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 Critical National / Regional Security Issues, Foreign Policy/Geopolitics, Iran, Iran, Iran, Middle East, Nuclear, Nuclear/uranium enrichment, Our Media | 0 comments
What is the nuclear deal that has been negotiated with Iran and just how did the U.S. get here?
There are serious questions as to whether it will succeed as there are areas where it does come up remarkably short. What does this initial deal really mean for future US relations with Iran, with Israel, and all the countries of the Middle East? What opportunities and risks does it hold for the US and the world?
David Day engages in a fascinating and educational conversation with Professor Jeswald Salacuse from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University, and David Santoro, the nuclear expert at Pacific Forum CSIS in Honolulu. Dr. Salacuse is the former Dean of the Fletcher School, a prolific writer on the topic of international negotiations.
Posted by DavidDay on Sep 9, 2013 in Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Critical National / Regional Security Issues, Disaster Prep & Humanitarian Aid, Economic Development, Economic Security/Development, Foreign Policy/Geopolitics, Foreign Policy/Geopolitics, International Business, Iran, Iran, Iran, Middle East, Military, Our Media, Pakistan, Pakistan, Pakistan, Regional Security/Flashpoints, Regional Security/Flashpoints, Syria, Syria, Syria, Syria, WMD/Chemical Weapons | 0 comments
If you have not noticed, the Washington focus on the Middle East has moved from Libya to Egypt to Syria and now to Iran. There are, however, other countries that continue to struggle with seemly insurmountable challenges to their very existence as nation states—namely, Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are all but forgotten.
In this global broadcast, both on audio and video, David Day engages in an unusual and in-depth discussion with Dr. Abdul-Karim Khan, an expert that grew up in Peshawar, Pakistan. Dr. Khan has tremendous depth in the history, the politics, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and the challenges that both Afghanistan and Pakistan now face. He also discusses the background and makeup of the Syrian rebel army and the linkages and non-linkages between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the civil war in Syria.Read More