Posted by DavidDay on Jan 4, 2014 in Blog, China, Critical National / Regional Security Issues, Foreign Policy/Geopolitics, Korean Peninsula, Military, North Korea, North Korea, North Korea, North Korea, North Korea, Northeast Asia, Northeast Asia, Nuclear/uranium enrichment, Our Media, Regional Security/Flashpoints, Regional Security/Flashpoints, WMD/Chemical Weapons | 1 comment
The execution of the No. 2 leader in North Korea, Kim Jong Un’s Uncle Jang Song Taek, was beyond brutal–savage by any account. At the time that this broadcast was made, it was believed that Jang’s execution was by machine gunning him down while tied to a stake (this was the fate of Kim Jong Un’s former girlfriend). Some hours after the show was taped, we learned of an even more savage execution from the Singapore Straits Times (http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/asia-report/china/story/jangs-execution-bodes-ill-china-20131224 )
“According to the report, unlike previous executions of political prisoners which were carried out by firing squads with machine guns, Jang was stripped naked and thrown into a cage, along with his five closest aides. Then 120 hounds, starved for three days, were allowed to prey on them until they were completely eaten up. This is called “quan jue”, or execution by dogs.
The report said the entire process lasted for an hour, with Mr Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader in North Korea, supervising it along with 300 senior officials.
The horrifying report vividly depicted the brutality of the young North Korean leader. The fact that it appeared in a Beijing- controlled newspaper showed that China no longer cares about its relations with the Kim regime.”
It is hard to imagine such savagery which puts it on a scale rivaled perhaps only by Pol Pot’s genocide, the Holocaust, and others of similar ilk. Whether or not the report is true, we shall have to wait and see but whether Jang was e executed by machine gun or by dogs, the result is the same–the former is less sensational.*
Jang’s execution means what for North Korea? Was there, in reality, a coup d’état or an attemped one? Was the Jang execution a good or bad? Was it necessary?
The North Korea policy wonks and observers are all over the map as to why this has happened and what it means for the future of the Hermit Kingdom. We turned to the fascinating perspective of an American who has recently returned from yet another trip to North Korea to understand what is actually going on on the ground. Patrick Border is an American citizen diplomat and veteran Hawaii North Korea traveler. We had an unusual conversation with Mr. Border as to the real “why” behind recent events in North Korea (Kenneth Bae, Merrill Newman and Dennis Rodman’s NBA exhibition game tryouts) and, in particular, Uncle Jang’s execution and its future implications.
During this interview, Mr. Border discusses the armed conflict within North Korea between the respective factions of economic reformer Jang and the North Korean military, with officers of military being killed. He talks about the instability of the Regime, the “overreaching” that Jang’s execution signals as well as the potential for steps towards a “People’s Power” tipping point in North Korea. Mr. Border emphasizes that Jang was North Korea’s point man for its relations with China and that relationship is now bitterly shattered and he reveals just what he has seen in Pyongyang that proves this. He left us with the ominous perspective that North Korean Regime is now isolated–even more than ever with its old mentor and protector, China, shut out–and that the shabby facade that the Regime holds up to the global community is crumbling, its dirty linen has been aired like never before, and there are now clear factions in North Korea with people forced to choose sides.
* On this particular point, you might be interested in a related piece on this website called, “Execution by dogs or machine guns: ‘What difference does it make?’” here.
Posted by DavidDay on Dec 21, 2013 in All Southeast Asia, Blog, China, China, Critical National / Regional Security Issues, Foreign Policy/Geopolitics, Japan, Japan, Korean Peninsula, Military, Mongolia, Northeast Asia, Our Media, Philippines, PRC/China, Regional Security/Flashpoints, Russia, Russia, Senkakus, South China Sea Claims, South Korea, South Korea, Taiwan Straits, Vietnam, Vietnam | 0 comments
So what are China’s next strategy moves in the Asia-Pacific Region? What does the PLA really think about the U.S. military and its capabilities? –a bizarre perception that encourages them to push harder now.
China has now been successful at establishing its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea. In the process, we have seen a bizarre, almost schizophrenic, series of contradictory communications on the subject coming out of Washington that have enhanced China’s successful roll-out.
Following the roll-out, China’s lone aircraft carrier (sans aircraft) departed for the South China Sea for a “show the flag” cruise. Next, we witnessed a near collision by U.S. and Chinese naval ships in the South China Sea.
This program is Part 2 of the conversation between David Day and China-Hand Michael Sacharski. Mr. Sacharski has spent some 3+ decades in China, met and worked with various members of its leadership and has fascinating perspectives to share about China’s ADIZ planning & gameplan, its unexpected success in the imposition of its new ADIZ in the East China Sea, and what strategic moves we can now expect China to make in the Asia-Pacific Region in the near term. Mr. Sacharski is the CEO of Pacific Enterprise Capital.
Posted by DavidDay on Dec 14, 2013 in Blog, China, China, Critical National / Regional Security Issues, Foreign Policy/Geopolitics, Japan, Japan, Korean Peninsula, Military, Northeast Asia, Our Media, PRC/China, Regional Security/Flashpoints, Senkakus, South China Sea Claims, South Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Taiwan Straits | 0 comments
Are there unusual crossovers of the new China ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone) with both Taiwan and South Korea? There are and the Taiwan piece is perhaps something that most people do not know. Is China’s new ADIZ over the Senkaku islands a precursor to further ADIZs China may have in mind? What is this new Air Defense Zone that China has imposed in the East China Sea all about? How did we get here? What about the schizophrenic, wires-crossed responses coming out of the Pentagon and the State Department?
“Asia in Review” host David Day engages in a fascinating conversation with special guest Michael Sacharski. Mr. Sacharski has lived and worked in China as an American executive and entrepreneur for some 3+ decades and shares some interesting insights into the Chinese thinking behind this new strategy. Mr. Sacharski is the CEO of Pacific Enterprise Capital.Read More
Posted by DavidDay on Nov 28, 2013 in China, Economic Development, Economic Security/Development, Energy, Foreign Policy/Geopolitics, International Business, Intl Business in Asia, Japan, Korean Peninsula, Middle East, North Korea, North Korea, Northeast Asia, Nuclear, Oil & Gas, Our Media, PRC/China, Regional Security/Flashpoints, Russia, South Korea, Syria, Vietnam | 0 comments
In this broadcast,“Asia-in- Review” Host Hong Jiang explores Russia’s recent foreign policy and geopolitical shifts into Asia followed by its fascinating energy moves into the Region with international business lawyer & professor, David Day.
The program starts with the recent Russian foreign policy moves into the Middle East after the U.S. Syria debacle, followed by the new Russian military arms sales to Egypt, and some discussion of Russia’s client nuclear state, Iran. The Russian geopolitical moves into Asia are next, as Hong Jiang discusses with Mr. Day, Putin’s recent trip to Vietnam, along with Russia’s (1) Kilo class submarine sales to Vietnam,(2) mutual defense pact, and then (3), new joint venture operations between Vietnam’s PetroVietnam and Russian energy companies for joint oil & gas exploration efforts in both the South China (“East Sea” in Vietnam) and the Artic Seas.
Next, the conversation turns to the critical and fascinating energy “pivot” that Russia is now engaged in, shifting its focus from its former European gas and oil pipeline customers to new pipeline developments with Japan, South Korea, and yes, even North Korea.
Russia’s foreign policy regarding The Korean Peninsula is also probed.Read More
Posted by DavidDay on Oct 11, 2013 in Blog, China, China, Info Ops & Strategic Communications, Media & Communications, Northeast Asia, Our Media, PRC/China, Strategic Communications & Info Ops | 0 comments
“The first social responsibility and professional ethic of media staff should be understanding their role clearly and being a good mouthpiece.
Journalists who think of themselves as professionals, instead of as propaganda workers, are making a fundamental mistake about identity.”
–Hu Zhanfan, President of CCTV
All news media in the People’s Republic of China is state-controlled, with the larger ones (Xinhua, People’s Daily, CCTV) reporting directly to the Communist Party’s Central Propaganda Department (CPD). The watchdog group, “Reporters without Borders,” ranked China 174 out of 179 countries in its 2012 worldwide index of press freedom. Journalists face harassment and prison terms for violating government censorship rules. Chinese media disseminators usually employ their own monitors to ensure political acceptability of their content.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has roughly 700 credentialed news media representatives United States. The number of U.S. reporters in China is generally less than 20. The Chinese reporters are, for the most part, government agents who are allowed free rein in the U.S. to fulfill their mission. Their U.S. counterparts in China work for independent news organizations and are routinely harassed, including having their visas denied or delayed, sources beaten and arrested, travel restricted, and their physical safety threatened.
In this program, “Asia in Review” host David Day engages in a fascinating conversation on this sensitive topic with special guest Ms. Hong Jiang, the Deputy Regional Director (for Hawaii) from the independent US-based TV network, New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) and an Associate Professor at University of Hawaii at Manoa; Also joining Ms. Jiang is Mr. Kerry Gershaneck, a former senior US government Public Affairs official who teaches Strategic Communication at Hawaii Pacific University.
The show focuses on the implications of this news media coverage imbalance and how it plays into the larger “information war” between the US and the PRC that former Secretary of State Clinton alluded to in testimony before Congress. Ms. Jiang and Mr. Gershaneck address the question of whether this imbalance now gives the PRC a significant advantage in its “Soft Power” and other “influence operations” directed at the U.S. and what the U.S. can begin to do to level the Information playing field with the PRC.
This show is a fascinating, in-depth conversation about the collapse of one of China’s key
Princelings, Mr. Bo Xi Lai. What is different about this program is that the guest, Mr. Michael Sacharski, is a 3+decade American China Hand who has met and spent time with Mr. Bo on several occasions.
The conversation probes Bo’s extraordinary revolutionary pedigree, his rise as a charismatic, anti-corruption mayor of Dalian, moving to other key political positions before his final post as the crime-busting mayor of the huge city of Chongqing. The program includes a conversation about how Mr. Bo departed from the consensus style of the typical senior, Chinese leadership and his political differences with members of the senior leadership. Interestingly, this discussion includes warnings to Bo from the Party about his wife, Gu Kai Lai (who is also a Princeling). The conversation includes a discussion of how this trial came about, why the Party is conducting the trial, and the relationship of Mr. Bo’s courtroom defiance to his own father’s conduct during his persecution by the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. This interview with Mr. Sacharski examines the interesting quanxi relationship that exists running from Bo Xi Lai’s father, Bo Yi Bo, to Jiang Zemin (Zhang Zemin) to a number of Politboro members, including Xi Jin Ping, and back to Bo Xi Lai, the son.
Hosted by David Day, Mr. Sacharski draws upon his extraordinary meetings with the charismatic Mr. Bo and his knowledge of the history and inner workings of the Party to give the viewer a far more complete picture of this, China’s trial of the 21th century. The discussion concludes with a look towards Mr. Bo’s future and the likelihood that his opera is not over…down, but not out.
Posted by DavidDay on Aug 21, 2013 in Disaster Prep & Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Policy/Geopolitics, Korean Peninsula, Mongolia, North Korea, North Korea, Our Media, Pacific Forum CSIS, PRC/China, South Korea | 0 comments
As this show is broadcast, there are a series of interviews being conducted in Seoul by a UN panel on human rights which is now hearing harrowing accounts of brutality in North Korean prisons.
Witnesses have been testifying about being forced to watch the brutal executions of family members along with torture and other horrific human rights violations. The North Korean refugee numbers for South Korea are climbing. Is this issue the “canary in the coal mine” for Pyongyang? What is the situation really like on the ground? What actions are governments and international organizations undertaking to handle this horrific problem?
Hosted by David Day, this is a sobering and yet fascinating conversation with Ms. Sunna An, formerly with the Office of the Chief of Staff for South Korea’s Blue House working on North Korean refugee matters. Ms. An is now a Kelly Fellow with Pacific Forum, CSIS.
Posted by DavidDay on Aug 15, 2013 in Counter-Terrorism, Critical National / Regional Security Issues, Developments in Technology, Disaster Prep & Humanitarian Aid, Economic Development, Economic Security/Development, Energy, Food Security, Foreign Policy/Geopolitics, International Business, Intl Business in Asia, IT/Computer/Software, Korean Peninsula, Military, North Korea, North Korea, North Korea, Northeast Asia, Nuclear, Our Media | 0 comments
Hosted by David Day, this television program aired statewide in Hawaii and features, as its special guest, Ms. Nicole Finneman, formerly with the Korea Economic Institute in Washington, D.C. Ms. Finneman, an American eyewitness inside North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear facility and other fascinating facilities and locations throughout the country, talks about those experiences.
The conversation turns from the Yongbyon visit to the potential business and commerce development in North Korea and references American firms now lining up to do business in North Korea in the future, including the Korean-American-owned, Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (a private university).
Ms. Finneman talks about her visits to various commercial enterprises, the Koryolink mobile phone explosion in the country, and the market/commercial developments within the country. (Koryolink, a joint venture between the Egyptian company Orascom Telecom Holdings and the state-owned Korea Post and Telecommunications Corporation, is North Korea’s only 3G mobile operator.)
Nicole also discusses her visit to the digital libraries at Kim Il Sung University and their remarkable high tech facilities which many universities in the U.S. currently do not have…but only connected to an intranet–no internet.
Finally, Ms. Finneman and David Day talk about the infrastructure for commerce and foreign investment that is now being put into place in North Korea and her crystal-ball view of the potential for change in that country.Read More