Sunday, July 23, 2006

Kim Jong Il's Love Life

Maybe she'll turn out to be his reverse Yoko, and teach him to do better. Love that the son of the anti-capitalist ideologue fell out of favor because he really, really wanted to see Disneyland. We rule!

Report: Kim Jong Il Living With Secretary

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July 22,2006 | SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has been living with his former secretary, who is virtually acting as the communist nation's "first lady," South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported Sunday.

There is no official information available about the marital history of the 64-year-old leader of the highly secretive government, but Kim is widely believed to have been married three times. His last wife, Ko Yong Hi, reportedly died of cancer in 2004.

Kim Ok, 42, "virtually acts as North Korea's first lady" and frequently accompanies the North Korean leader on his visits to military bases and in meetings with visiting foreign dignitaries, Yonhap said.

She also traveled with Kim Jong Il on a secretive trip to China in January, when she was received by Chinese officials as Kim's wife, the report said. Kim Ok also met with Chinese President Hu Jintao, it said.

It is not known whether Kim Ok and the North Korean leader have any children, Yonhap said.

Kim Jong Il is known to have three sons -- one from his second wife and two from his third. North Korean experts say Kim's 25-year-old son Kim Jong Chul is most likely to become the North's next leader.

His eldest son, Kim Jong Nam, is said to have fallen out of favor after embarrassing his father in 2001 when he was caught trying to enter Japan on a fake passport, saying he wanted to visit Tokyo Disneyland.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Japan discusses strike against North Korea

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13775754/

Japan is to vote to consider a "pre-emptive strike" (the article's words) against North Korean missile bases, in response to North Korea's missile launches around the 4th of July. The experts in the article don't rate Japan's air force as being up to the task in pilotry or materiel. Serious things being talked about here.

Update: I've been looking at Globalsecurity.org, for information on Japan's readiness. This link: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/japan/jmsdf.htm

mentions casually, or not so casually, that

For Japan, which relies on foreign countries for the supply of almost all energy and food, the influence to national life is quite serious in case that maritime traffic is cut off. It can also be said that the impact to the world economy is significant in such case.


If they're discussing mixing it up with North Korea, then they should know that

The DPRK, with over 8,800 AA guns, combined with SA-2, SA-3, and SA-5, and handheld SA-7 and SA-16 surface-to-air missiles, has constructed one of the world's most dense air defense networks.

and that

In the mid- 1980s, the former Soviet Union supplied SA-3/GOA surface-to-air missiles to the DPRK. The SA-3 provides short-range defense against low- flying aircraft. In 1987, the former Soviet Union provided SA-5/GAMMON surface-to-air missiles that gave Pyongyang a long-range, highaltitude, surface-to-air missile capability.

They stress that air defence is a North Korean priority. Though they have many unworthy MiG-21s, the North Koreans apparently also do have dozens of MiG-23s, MiG-29s, and Chinese Fantan fighters.

The Japanese Air Self-Defense Force seems to have very little bomber capacity. They have several hundred fighters, including F-1s, F-2s, and F-15Js, some of which serve as fighter-bombers or carry air-to-surface missiles, and their navy has several dozen destroyers, but as far as carrying out this attack on North Korea, it seems it would largely fall to the US to do it. If I were Japan, I would talk less about it, but do more about preparing for it. Considering what a problem it would be for the world economy if Japan lost such a struggle, this is far, far more important than any Vietnam War. I hope our leaders here in Congress are paying a lot of god-blessed attention to this situation, and thinking clearly and critically about it. God help us if this goes wrong, because if there's one thing we know about Kim Jong Il and the North Koreans, it's that they couldn't give a f*** about our capitalist system, or about the suffering that such a disruption of that important little island friend Japan would cause us.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

North Korea's tests

msn.com has the story of the missile tests North Korea just ran.

North Korea's Taepodong 2 missile, our local news keeps saying, "has a potential range of 9320 miles, far enough to hit California," but (although the news outlets often mention that the missiles are likely to be inaccurate) that's only if they manage to put a third stage on them; also, they likely can't put a nuclear warhead on them yet, thank God. North Korea can certainly do damage to us, though. The counterfeit dollar program that some of their officials supposedly run does some little damage. If they wanted to export terrorism to us, they could probably do that too.

With the Taepodong 2, they're like a small child with a temper problem; the missiles landed in the Sea of Japan, but didn't damage Japan. An earlier launch, in 1998, actually went over Japan itself (like a shot across the bow), much more alarming. So they're like a child punching the air angrily; the punches haven't landed anywhere yet, but the parent still must say something, because the child could hurt someone. And although they can't hurt anyone badly yet, they can hurt people somewhat, and when they grow up, their violent tendencies will be a real concern.

New Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers!

With a hat tip to boingboing.net, and my brother, the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers have their first installment in years! Good news!