lee myung bak

North Korea Launches Another MotherF***ing Missile

The news came on the tele in the lunch room, and after images of slow-motion rockets ascending into the blue sky switched to a conference with the South Korean President, Lee Myung-bak, surrounded by his usual coterie of faceless besuited middle-aged technobureaucrats, their private discussion was mistakenly broadcast:

LMB: So, uh…
TB1: I know.
LMB: What do you guys think we should do?
TB1: I don’t know, what do you think we should do?
TB2: I don’t know, what do you think we should do?
LMB: Look busy and concerned.
TB1 & TB2: Okay!

Nixon Went To China, And Lee Went To Dokdo

Let me say one thing before I begin: this post is not going to be a tired rehashing of the Dokdo issue. The newspaper of record just published an article on Lee Myung-bak’s recent wag-the-dog visit to the islands, while the Dokdo Times, as usual, has summarized the event perfectly:

Japanese-born President Lee Myung-bak made the first ever visit by a South Korean leader to the Korean Dokdo Islands today, in an unprecedented trip that unmistakably proves Seoul’s sovereignty over the territory.

Summitry for Politics’ Sake

It’s hard not to yawn.

North and South Korea have agreed to hold preliminary military talks on 8 February, in an attempt to defuse heightened tensions on the peninsula.

South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak urged the North to seize a “good chance” to improve relations.

The Koreas will discuss the two deadly attacks by Pyongyang against the South, which killed a total of 50 people, Seoul’s defence ministry said.

The talks may lead to a more senior meeting, possibly at ministerial level.

Again With the China Meme

Lee Byung-Chul argues that Beijing has a lot more to do with North Korea’s “peaceful” overtures to South Korea than previously thought.

One of the lessons of this episode is that despite professions of inability to control its client state, China appears now to have demonstrated unrivaled leverage on the North in terms of economic, political and military intervention. In addition to supplying substantial amounts of aid including 90 percent of the North’s oil at sharply lower “friendly prices,” China has co-opted and trained a pro-Chinese cadre of North Korean functionaries and elites in the hopes that they would become collaborators under the coming regime of Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il’s son and presumptive heir. So Beijing is no longer hiding its solid hold over the North.

Ban Ki-moon Reveals His Sinister Plot

Colum Lynch fears the nauseating truth about U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: he’s old-school Korean, which means once he has a political job, he’ll never give it up without a bullet or a nudge from a superior.

The revelation was buried in an official U.N. readout of a New Year’s day exchange Ban had with South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak.

Seoul and Beijing in a Pyongyang Cage Match

The North Koreans might be choosing a successor this week, but it’s the Chinese and South Koreans who are fighting each other. Amid the consensus that Kim Jong-un will be the next “fat, ruthless” Kim family member to rule the DPRK, Gordon Chang asks what Beijing wants.

But Jong-Un’s future is by no means assured. China probably wants him out of the way so that there can be a collective leadership. Moreover, ambitious generals and even-more-dangerous colonels could be scheming. Finally, Jang Sung-Taek may not want to relinquish power when Kim Jong-Il has passed from the scene, either naturally or otherwise.

A Reality Check Next for DPRK-US Relations

The Chosun Daily might understand that the Obama administration is skeptical about the Six-Party Talks format, but its perceived solution – it’s Beijing’s responsibility – is becoming more shibboleth than plan.

…some skeptics there argue that the six-party talks are useless and have only aggravated the situation while giving the North Korea breathing space to develop its weapons. This was reflected in a recent remark by former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen, who said the U.S. is interested in a “new way” that could generate more positive results than the six-way talks.

Power Doesn’t Flow from the Mouth of a Politician

Rarely do I comment on South Korean domestic politics, but what does the last clause of the last sentence mean?

Immediately after the mass withdrawal of Prime Minister-designate Kim Tae-ho and other figures nominated by him for high positions, President Lee emphasized that he would take those events as a starting point for efforts to let the principles of a fair society take root not only in public officialdom but in all areas, including politics, economics, society and culture. This has prompted observations, however, that the president may be embarking on a large-scale turnaround through a drive for corrective inspection.

Is he going to get an enema?

Four Rivers Don’t Make for One Legacy

I would never have expected The Chosun Daily to rebut the environmental arguments the Lee administration is making about the value of the Four Rivers project. But, on an R. Elgin post on the Lee administration’s “Four Rivers Project”, keith disagrees nonetheless, that “it’s a damn good idea”.

It’s Hard to Believe in the Lee Administration

Thermal image of Cheonan sinkingErich Weingartner underscores the most annoying aspects of the Cheonan disaster: the Lee administration and the ROK military establishment keep doubt alive with their ham-fisted performances.

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