Malaysian Police: NK diplomat Hyon Kwang-song seems to be the mastermind & kept Ambassador Kang Chol in the loop. https://t.co/y3Qlh7kDmv
— Noon in Korea (@NoonInKorea) February 23, 2017
This likely for domestic consumption within North Korea because with all the evidence piled up against North Korea I don’t think anyone outside the country will believe this claim:
After South Korean “conservative media” published reports that he was “poisoned to death by two women agents of the General Reconnaissance Bureau of North Korea,” the Malaysian police “recklessly made it an established fact,” the KCNA said.
It said Malaysia pushed for an autopsy of the body without any prior agreement with the North and its representatives.
“Moreover, the Malaysian side clamored for a second autopsy without publishing the results of the first autopsy,” the KCNA said, claiming “the unjust acts of the Malaysian side are timed to coincide with the anti-DPRK conspiratorial racket launched by the South Korean authorities.”
It claimed that South Korean authorities have shown “excessive responses” to the case and that they openly discussed the deployment of a U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.
“This proves that the South Korean authorities have long expected the case since it worked out a scenario for it,” it said. [Korea Times]
You can read more at the link, but you have to love the fact that the THAAD issue is even to blame for the murder of Kim Jong-nam. What else could possibly be blamed on THAAD?
Two large developments in the murder of Kim Jong-nam today. The first development is that the North Korean embassy has been linked to the murder:
A second secretary at the North Korean Embassy in Malaysia is the latest suspect sought in the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, Malaysian police said Wednesday, the strongest proof yet that the communist regime masterminded the plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half brother.
In their second press briefing since Kim Jong-nam was killed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on the morning of Feb. 13, police said they were searching for a 44-year-old North Korean diplomat named Hyon Kwang-song, who arrived in Malaysia on Sept. 20, 2016. [Joong Ang Ilbo]
It makes sense that any murder of Kim Jong-nam would have had assistance from the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia should seriously consider shutting the place down considering the criminal activity conducted there. The second major development is that Malaysian authorities believe the two women who committed the attack knew what they were doing:
Khalid said the women knew they were handling poisonous materials during the attack, which occurred in a departure area of Kuala Lumpur’s budget airport, and had practiced the attack multiple times.
“We strongly believe it is a planned thing and that they have been trained to do that. This is not just like shooting a movie,” he told reporters. (………)
The case has perplexed leading forensic toxicologists who study murder by poison. They say the airport attack is one of the most bizarre cases in the books, and question how the two women could walk away unscathed after deploying an agent potent enough to kill Kim Jong Nam before he could even make it to the hospital.
Khalid noted the two women “were warned to take precautions,” and said security camera footage showed them quickly walking to restrooms after the attack to wash their hands. [Associated Press]
Malaysian authorities have completely ruled out the attack being a prank:
“We’re ruling out the possibility that the women thought the attack was a prank or even that they believed they were shooting a television show,” Khalid Abu Bakar was quoted by The Star, a news outlet in Malaysia, as saying.
“The lady was moving away with her hands toward the bathroom,” said Khalid, according to The New Straits Times, another Malaysian newspaper. “She was very aware that it was toxic and that she needed to wash her hands.” [Joong Ang Ilbo]
After watching the security camera footage I was convinced that at least the Vietnamese woman Doan Thi Huong knew what she was doing considering how violently she attacked Kim Jong-nam with the poisoned cloth.
The man in the video who arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport does have a pretty good resemblance to Kim Jong-nam:
There is no sign of Kim Han-sol at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) following speculation that he was on his way here.
As at 11pm Monday, reporters were seen leaving KLIA2 after failing to confirm the arrival of Han-sol, the son of the Kim Jong-nam who was killed last Monday.
However, there was a slight commotion when a man, whom media suspected of being Han-sol stepped out of the domestic arrival gate.
The man, who was wearing a cap, earphones and a black face mask, walked away before the gathered media were able to ask him any questions.
Earlier in the day, a message circulated among the media that the 22-year-old son of murdered Kim Jong-nam would be touching down at KLIA2 at around 7.30pm. [The Star]
You can read more at the link.
Via a reader tip comes this news that North Korea is looking for English teachers willing to work for many years in the country, but there is a catch you can’t leave campus:
Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), North Korea’s first privately funded university, is recruiting English teachers.
The school is receiving applications from candidates in dozens of countries, many of which are ironically non-English speaking countries such as South Korea, China and Japan.
Preference is given to candidates who have a long-term mindset and are open to staying at PUST for a number of years,” the university says in its recruiting message on www.heysuccess.com , a British recruiting website.
“English teachers are required to commit to an entire 15-week semester. The spring semester begins in early March and finishes in mid-June. The fall semester begins in early September and finishes in mid-December.”
Detailed working conditions such as salary and welfare are unknown.
The university says the ideal candidate will be an “energetic, responsible, and well-qualified professional teacher with relevant English teaching experience.” It It says an English teaching qualification (TEFL/ CELTA/ TESOL) is also highly preferred.
Successful applicants are supposed to have a campus-based lifestyle, meaning they may not be allowed to travel outside the campus. [Korea Times]
This sounds more like a jail sentence then an English teaching job.
Here is an interesting theory on why South Koreans hate the Japanese so much:
If South Korea can only weakly legitimate itself through democracy, and with race-nationalism so powerful, Seoul must go head-to-head with Pyongyang over who is the best custodian of the minjok and its glorious 5000 year history. This is a tussle South Korea cannot win, not only because of the North’s mendacious willingness to falsify history, but South Korea’s Westernized culture, massive U.S. presence, rising multiculturalism leading to mixed race citizens, and so on.
The North’s purer minjok nationalism will always have resonance in the South, where for a generation former dictator Park Chung Hee invoked race for legitimacy, 10% of the public voted for an openly pro-North Korean party in the last parliamentary election, and the main left-wing party has consistently equivocated on whether the U.S. represents a greater threat to South Korea than North Korea does.
Enter Japan, then, as a useful ‘other’ to South Korea, in the place that really should be held by North Korea. All Koreans, north and south, right and left, agree that the colonial take-over was bad. The morality of criticizing Japan is undisputed, whereas criticizing North Korea quickly gets tangled up in the ‘who-can-out-minjok-who’ issues raised above. [The National Interest]
I recommend reading the whole article at the link, but likewise the anti-Japanese hatred is irrational when compared to the Chinese as well. The Chinese are actively conducting anti-Korean initiatives because of the THAAD issue, have a territorial dispute with Korea, are the chief benefactor of North Korea, a country committed to the destruction of the ROK, and China was the last country to invade the ROK and nearly destroyed it during the Korean War. Heck the Chinese embassy even sent protestors into the streets of Seoul to beatdown Koreans during the Olympic torch protest.
Despite all of this, hatred is directed towards the Japanese who should be a natural geopolitical ally. I have always believed that the persistent anti-Japanese sentiment and rotating bouts of anti-US sentiment is because South Koreans know they can protest both countries without repercussions. As the current THAAD dispute shows the Chinese government does not sit idly by without retaliating against Korea, likewise for North Korea. If South Koreans push North Korea too much a ROK ship may get sunk or artillery rounds may land in the ROK. Protest Japan or the United States and little to nothing happens. That makes both countries easy targets to direct Korean nationalism towards especially for domestic political reasons.
I don’t expect this dynamic to change unless South Koreans are put into a position where they have to forgive and forget with Japan for national security reasons. As long as the US-ROK alliance this is something Koreans do not have to worry about.
I have to wonder if this coal import ban from China has anything to do with the North Koreans murdering Kim Jong-nam who was under Chinese protection?:
China said it would suspend all imports of coal from North Korea for the rest of the year, putting it further in line with UN Security Council sanctions meant to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile weapons program.
The Chinese Commerce Ministry said Saturday that the ban, which went into effect Sunday, would last through Dec. 31, which comes after Pyongyang’s universally condemned intermediate ballistic missile launch one week ago. [Joong Ang Ilbo]
You can read more at the link, but the other thing to keep in mind is what China says and what it actually does in regards to sanctions against North Korea are two different things.