Korea

Slavery in New Zealand, yes really.

Slave ship

Slave ship

New Zealand has a low level of modern slavery but people are still being exploited and changes need to be made, a global survey has found.

“Modern slavery for us is any situation where one person deliberately takes away another person’s liberty for some sort of profit or gain,” Walk Free Foundation global research executive director Fiona David says.

Modern slavery traps 35.8million people

This includes human trafficking, forced labour, forced or servile marriage, and the sale and exploitation of children.

New Zealand is estimated to have 600 people in modern slavery, the fourth lowest prevalence of 167 countries in the Global Slavery Index.

The known cases involved workers in modern slavery with the most widely documented being on fishing charter vessels in New Zealand waters, Ms David told NZ Newswire.

Their situations have included being subjected to violence, sexual abuse, being fed stale bread and fish bait, working 30-hour shifts and even being paid 35 cents an hour.”

New laws clamping down on fishing boat conditions come into force in 2016, which was “really positive”, she said.

-NZ Newswire

 

So who in New Zealand are responsible for modern slavery? I did a bit of digging and came up with this…

Read more »

Is Kim Jong-un really in charge?

There is a school of thought to suggest that Kim John-un isn’t really in charge in North Korea anymore.

Apparently his dad’s goons are.

An elite group of exiles from North Korea gathered in September in the Netherlands to discuss the state of the regime they used to serve. The conference included top diplomats, an ex-senior official of the Ministry of Security, and a high-ranking military officer, but the keynote address was given by Jang Jin-sung, formerly a key member of Kim Jong-il’s propaganda machine. Included in Jang’s speech was a surprising assertion: North Korea is in the midst of a civil war.

According to Jang — a former counterintelligence official and poet laureate under Kim Jong-il — members of the government’s Organization and Guidance Department (OGD), a powerful group of officials that once reported only to Kim Jong-il, have stopped taking orders from his son, Kim Jong-un. The OGD, Jang says, has effectively taken control of the country, and a conflict is simmering between factions that want to maintain absolute control over the economy and others seeking to gain wealth through foreign trade and a slightly more open market.

“On one hand, it’s people who want to maintain a regime monopoly,” Jang told VICE News through a translator in an interview Thursday. “On the other hand, it’s not like people are fighting against the regime, but in a policy sense they want to take advantage to get influence. It’s not actually consciously civil war, but there are these two incompatible forces at play.”

Jang’s statements come during a moment of peak curiosity about the hermit kingdom. Kim Jong-un — the portly 31-year-old who assumed the title of Supreme Leader after his father’s death in 2011 — has been absent from public view for nearly a month. He was last seen walking with a pronounced limp during a July ceremony commemorating the death of his grandfather, Kim Il-sung. He typically presides over the Supreme People’s Assembly, a rubber-stamp parliament, but missed the meeting in early September, and was replaced by a propaganda video that again showed him limping. “Despite some discomfort, our Marshal continues to come out and lead the people,” the film’s narrator said.

That video is hilarious…pure propaganda but from the outside utterly hilarious. Watching the fat little leader waddling along in front of his fat little generals is too funny.

Read more »

Perhaps Gareth Morgan should take note of this

Gareth Morgan famously rode his motorcycle through the Potemkin villages of NOrth Korea, proclaiming the whole country to be enlightened and not as reported outside of the country.

The man is an idiot. There is ample evidence of the lack of freedom and deprivations suffered by the people of North Korea under the Kim regime.

Yeonmi Park spoke to Australia’s SBS about her defection from North Korea.

I lived in North Korea for the first 15 years of my life, believing Kim Jong-il was a god. I never doubted it because I didn’t know anything else. I could not even imagine life outside of the regime.

It was like living in hell. There were constant power outages, so everything was dark. There was no transportation – everyone had to walk everywhere. It was very dirty and no one could eat anything.

It was not the right conditions for human life, but you couldn’t think about it, let alone complain about it. Even though you were suffering, you had to worship the regime every day.

I had to be careful of my thoughts because I believed Kim Jong-il could read my mind. Every couple of days someone would disappear. A classmate’s mother was punished in a public execution that I was made to attend. I had no choice – there were spies in the neighbourhood.

My father worked for the government, so for a while things were relatively OK for me compared with some others in North Korea. But my father was accused of doing something wrong and jailed for three years. He being guilty made me guilty too, so whatever future I had in North Korea completely disappeared. I could no longer go to university, and my family was forced to move out of Pyongyang to the countryside on the border close to China.

After a few years, my father became very sick with cancer and he came out of jail for treatment. During this time, we decided to leave North Korea.

We had to cross a frozen river in the middle of winter to sneak across the border into China. I was very scared – not of being caught but of being shot. If they see someone escaping, they don’t ask, they just shoot them.  Read more »

Killing a Hendrix classic, or a respectful cross-cultural tribute? [POLL]

Buying the favours of the strong men of North Korea

Kim Jong-il is trying to buy the favours of the military strong men by showering them with luxury items.

Perhaps Gareth Morgan needs to read this to find out his trip through North Korea might not have covered everything.

Imports of pets, saunas, alcohol and electronics into North Korea more than doubled in the year after Kim Jong-un took power in an apparent bid by the young leader to curry favour with senior officials and military officers.

According to a report submitted to the South Korean parliament today, imports of luxury goods amounted to $645.8 million in 2012, a sharp increase from the average of around $300 million a year under his father, Kim Jong-il.

Most of his people may be lacking food, medicine and access to most basic services, but the reclusive regime’s luxury purchases included pets, pet food, bathroom fittings, sauna systems and maternity products, Yonhap News quoted Yoon Sang-hyun, of the ruling Saenuri Party, as telling the parliament in Seoul.  Read more »

Kim’s not happy with his girlfriend, has her executed by machine gun

Have you seen Kim Jong-un’s girlfriend lately…no?

Probably because she pissed off her boyfriend and he had her executed…along with her fellow band members.

She was first identified as Kim Jong-un’s old flame 13 months ago, in July 2012. The poised, coiffed and elegantly dressed companion of the North Korean dictator of Kim Jong-un was filmed sitting next to him at a concert in Pyongyang, then ascending the stage with him to applaud the performers. One month later, however, she vanished from the scene as abruptly as she had arrived. And today came the shocking news that Hyon Song-wol, one of the reclusive state’s most popular singers, had been executed by machine gun.  Read more »

David Shearer’s solution to high power prices made clear… um…

David Shearer appeared on Larry Williams’ show last night to clarify…uhm….er…his…ahhh…position on…um lowering power…um…power prices.

There you go, all cleared up…got it.  Read more »

Yesterday a Hero was farewelled

Harry Honnor

Brig Harry Honnor, CB, MVO

Yesterday while the media and almost the whole of New Zealand watched the funeral of Sir Paul Holmes there was another funeral being held, in Paihia, of a Kiwi war hero, Brig Harry Bowen Honnor, CB, MVO

Shamefully our media have not covered the funeral of a true hero. There are very few images of Harry Honnor, but I found the one in this post of him receiving his Korean Presidential Unit Citation from the Auckland based Consul General for the Republic of Korea, Mr Dae-hee Lee,  in Whangarei on Long Tan Day, 18 August 2011.

My father in law served under Harry Honnor in Vietnam, in the Battle of Long Tan.

The Veteran blogs about it at No Minister:

We said good bye to Harry Honnor on a magic BoI day at Paihia yesterday.   The service was held at the beautiful old stone St Paul’s Anglican Church on Marsden Road just across from the beach.   He was farewelled with full military honours which brought Paihia to a standstill and something different to the many hundreds of tourists who witnessed the event.

Brigadier Harry Bowen Honnor will be remembered with affection by generations who served in the 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s as a soldiers soldier, a tough but much respected commander and an icon of the Paihia community where he made his home following his retirement in 1983.  Read more »

Korea is Hot

The rest of Korea is coming for your attention and your tourist dollars after Psy’s Gangnam Style paved the way.

Tagged:

Traveling while his city is rooted

NZ Herald

How will this help with the rebuild?

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker is to visit South Korea and Israel for eight days.

He will leave this Thursday, returning to Christchurch on Friday May 11.

While in South Korea, Mr Parker will travel to Christchurch’s sister city Songpa-Gu and also speak at a business breakfast in Seoul hosted by the Kiwi Chamber of Commerce.

A highlight is a visit to the Korean Antarctic Programme.

After Korea, he will travel to Israel for the International Mayors’ Conference, to be attended by 73 mayors from around the world. The invitation to Mr Parker follows a visit to Christchurch in April last year by Israel’s Speaker of the Knesset Reuven Rivlin.

Mr Parker returns to South Korea on May 10 where he is a guest speaker at the 2012 Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Conference in Seoul.

Christchurch City Council said the cost of Mr Parker’s travel was being met by the conference organisers. His wife will accompany him and Mr Parker is paying for the cost of her travel.