Monday, November 19, 2007

Winston concludes his visit to North Korea

Winston's back from the "Workers' Paradise" and while I give him kudos for raising human rights, I do seriously wonder what good he has done. Will he incentivise North Korea to move forward, do these contacts plant seeds in the minds of high ranking officials and politicians that the outside world isn't so scary? You see these are the only positive things that could come of this - that eventually Kim Jong Il will die/be toppled, and those who work as part of this nightmare system will want help.
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The significance of Winston's visit isn't just about New Zealand reaching out to North Korea, according to Stuff it is the FIRST Western Ministerial visit since North Korea tested a nuclear weapon. Oh, the irony that the nuclear-phobic New Zealand is first to send a Minister to a totalitarian nuclear proliferator.
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According to Stuff, Winston said that 'Kim Jong Il's regime was making good progress on denuclearisation. North Korea had doubled the number of people working on projects such as the dismantling of its main nuclear facility, and was committed to the success of the six-party talks on the issue.'
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Honestly, how does he know this? North Korea is a habitual liar, as anyone who spends time reading its press releases should know. What is "good progress"? How will anyone ever be able to verify that it has destroyed its nuclear arsenal, or dismantled all of its nuclear facilities? Seriously, how can you trust a totalitarian dictatorship that remains in denial that it started the war in 1950, that doesn't tell its population that men have landed on the moon and that claims South Korea is a starving chaotic hellhole of dictatorship and despair (yes the irony!). North Korea lied about pursuing a nuclear weaponry programme for many years, denied it wanted them - then "boom".
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North Korea is committed to convincing the rest of the world to bail out its bankrupt economy from its bankrupt system - that is what is wants - and it blackmailed the world into doing so.
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However, give Winston some modest credit:
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'His visit included stops at a garment factory and farm, but Mr Peters was cautious about giving an overall assessment of life in a country few foreigners are permitted to visit, "I don't like to give my impressions after only three days. I came with certain impressions from my reading of background information. It is clearly a society that is unusual in most respects with the freedom of movement and information, but I saw glimmers of enough change to believe that we could be seeing a change going on here."
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I would have thought the impressions are obvious. Unusual is a great euphemism for totalitarian control. However glimmers of change are curious. There have been glimmers of change for years, but there have always been children incarcerated, tortured and enslaved in gulags. It should have been made clear to North Korea that this is unacceptable - New Zealand has penalised Zimbabwe, Fiji, Burma and South Africa for far far less than this. Why change now?
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Meanwhile North Korea reports on Winston leaving with a casual statement of fact . We shall wait to see if it makes any serious propaganda about his trip.

1 comment:

Ember said...

Winston Peters is a publicity freak. Winston promoting Human rights in North Korea ehh? Not a chance. He has just been cozying up to the US ever since he became foreign minister. Any link with US brings him to the international headlines. And that's about it.

He is a bitter, acerbic, selfish and mean politician. His stance on immigration is all rhetoric and no substance, very similar to what those tiny right wing political parties do in Europe.

But even on immigration he is a wuss. His main target populace has always been ''ASIAN ASIAN AND ASIANS. Stop them, check them. They're taking over NZ'' But rarely he says a word on Pacific Islanders , who probably have the biggest number of overstayers in NZ. He can't mess with them. He knows they are a powerful vote bank in NZ. So he would cowardly use ''Asians'' to generate fear and consequently, votes.

PS- By the way, ever since he became foreign minister he has rarely made dumb anti- immigration statements. Thanks to China's trading prowess, he has even said Chinese international students are most welcome to NZ. He did this while he was on an official visit to China. Ah the irony....