North Korea may return to the six party talks in Beijing, Cambodia says

Cambodia has a long fraternal relationship with North Korea, going back to the day of Prince Sihanouk.

So, it should not come as a surprise that Phnom Penh would announce that the DPRK may return to the six party talks in Beijing without preconditions.

This statement has hardly made a ripple, despite the sudden flow of printer’s ink in the world’s press about what’s going on in North Korea. So, is the announcement to be ignored? Or is it receiving serious consideration in Washington, Seoul, and Tokyo–the three capitols who dismiss statements as to North Korea’s intentions on the talks which remain in suspension?

GuamDiary can only fall back on the banal observation–only time will tell.

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The DPRK has a new marshal

The young leader of the DPRK has assumed the supreme military title of ‘marshal’, which his grandfather Kim Il Sung proudly wore.

Hardly eighth months at the reins of power, there can no longer be any doubt that the young marshal is firmly in power in the DPRK.

North Korea watchers like Leon Sigal can no longer dismiss Kim Jung eun as ‘that kid’, which he publicly did at the New York based Korea Society.

The winds of changes are picking up speed in North Korea, but few among America’s North Korean clerisy have the foggiest ideas of what is really going on. The ‘experts’ and ‘watchers’ remain rusted to Cold War ideas about ‘rolling back’ North Korea to the edge of collapse or war.

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Kim Jung eun appears in public with his wife

‘We know hardly anything about Kim Jung eun’ heralded the world’s media hardly eight months ago. And in the main these words remain true.

Now, we know he’s married, has a baby daughter, and his wife is a ph.d.

Now, we, also know, that the young leader of North Korea has signaled a cultural opening to his people, especially the young that the ‘hermit’ DPRK is welcoming change as befits style, entertainment, and the economy, yet is not letting its military guard down a whit the for simple reason the country has been at war since 1950, and long suffering for the signing of a peace treaty which neither the US nor South Korea are willing to reach!

The ‘New York Times’ might comment, say, that the hemlines of women police in Pyongyang are a tad higher, without drawing the obvious conclusion that so slight a change is a bellwether of other changes to come.

A young leader is breathing new life into the DPRK which his grey bread senior leadership are going along with. And that says volumes.

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Lady Day R.I.P.

Today, 17 July 2012 is the 53 anniversary of the death of Billie “Lady Day” Holiday.

She rests quietly in a modest plot in St. Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx, New York.

Few are those who visit her gravesite. Yet, her distinctive voice is never quiet on the radio, television clips, and recordings.

She sleeps the sleep of the just after a hard life; a victim of racism, drugs, bad men, and at the hands of the State who arrested and humiliated.

Long dead, but not forgotten and admired and revered is our Lady Day.

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Disney’s Mickey and Stallone’s Rocky on North Korean telly

The media are having a field day with Mickey and Rocky on North Korea’s telly, without really trying to fathom the winds of change blowing culturally and economically in the DPRK, to say the least.

Oceans of ink flowed when it came to mocking Kim Jung il’s fascination with American cinema. The ‘Dear Leader’, like Sihanouk of Cambodia [also a comic figure for US media], took a serious interest in the art of film making.

Now, his son and heir, the young Kim Jung eun has brought out into the open a shift in a flowering of culture and an openness not expressed before. This should tell us something, but few pundits have picked up on the changes occurring in North Korea.

[Kim Jong Il Talks Film and Filmmaking, In His Own Words

Kim Jong Il

The Huffington Post    First Posted: 12/19/11 07:19 AM ET Updated: 12/19/11 08:29 AM ET]

The former Soviet Korea expert Andrei Lankov wrote of ‘pools of prosperity’ in the DPRK; he went on to suggest that near starvation conditions in the countryside was a campaign by NGOS to conflate their importance through exaggerating real conditions on the ground. You have to wonder what is the ‘learned doct’ is sniffing?

It is about time serious writing and reporting on North Korea be done; leave the axes to grind and the black art of propaganda behind, and begin covering North Korea with the seriousness it deserves.

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Hillary Clinton continues to ruffle the South China Sea tides in US China policy

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton will go down in the annals of American history as a tough, no nonsense politician and diplomat.

Here she is once again twisting the Chinese dragon’s tale over the South China Sea, which Beijing claims as a ‘mare nostrum’, but so does Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam defend territorial rights to the same body of water.

For the forgetful minds, Clinton herself threw her two cents into matter by raising ‘sovereignty’ in the South China Sea two years ago at a gathering of Asia Pacific nations. She has taken the bit between her teeth and is tearing down the steeplechase course with what she considers a triumphant belling of the Chinese cat.

Now, she is on a charm offense with ASEAN countries who fear the encroaching shadow of a China who has resurrected centuries old imperial pretensions and claims.

She is visiting Laos: for the first time in 60 years has a US official of such ‘august’ rank visited that land locked nation. A country, JFK was willing to ‘nuke’ more than a half century ago; a country the US used for covert operations against North Vietnam; a country that US mines and unexploded bombs still claim life and limbs of the Laotian peasants.

Clinton comes in deep concern to patch old wounds but also with shallow pockets. She is weaving a coverlet of resistance against China’s influence–welcomed or not–in southeast Asia.

There is no philanthropy here…it’s is cold, calculated ‘reasons of state’ on the US’ part.

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JPMorgan’s losses climb–us$9 billion and counting

 

Jaime Dimon’s days are numbered. His less than ‘truthful’ appearances before Congressional committees were an exercise in eyewash.

‘The New York Times Online’ reports that JPM’s risky hedges are now us$9 billion in the red–almost a fivefold jump from Dimon’s admission to a us$2 billion loss.

Yet as GuamDiary suggested weeks ago, the losses are even greater: time will tell if investigating journalists and government enquires will expose JPM bad behaviour.

The new ‘losses’ are a call for tighter regulations on the vampire banks who feed in the public trough. Although JPM’s profitability has soared, it still carries hundreds of billions in toxic mortgages and thinks nothing of throwing people out of homes and paying big bucks to venal Congressmen and women, to maintain the broken theory that a free market is the best way to run things.

On the country, the biggest welfare clients are the banks! Dimon can no longer serious argue that regulation is bad for business–which it is not.

The egg is on Wall Street’s fair haired boy’s face. Will JPM’s institutional investors and coupon clippers sum up the courage to give Dimon the heave ho? Or will they let things go until the bank crash into the iceberg of losses totaling us$50 to us$100 billion?

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