Updated: 5/16/2006; 2:06:48 PM.

Current events
Post-9-11 events and analyses

daily link  Saturday, January 17, 2004

North Korea Reaches Out to Japan:"Facing a choice of Japanese sanctions or Japanese aid, North Korea is quietly taking steps to unblock its longstanding political logjam with Japan.

First, six adult children of Japanese hijackers from the Red Army faction, an extinct left-wing terror group, unexpectedly arrived here on Tuesday from Pyongyang, the North Korean capital. Then, North Korea floated a March 20 deadline for sending to Japan the children of five Japanese who had been abducted by North Korea years ago. The parents were allowed to come here from North Korea in October 2002. .. On Friday, Yoriko Kawaguchi, Japan's foreign minister, confirmed that four Japanese diplomats were in Pyongyang, the first visit by Japanese officials since relations between the countries soured in the fall of 2002. ..

"Japan has a strong hand to play on the issue of financial support of North Korea," Senator Brownback said in a speech here, referring to annual remittances of tens of millions of dollars by ethnic Koreans in Japan to North Korea. "It needs to play its hand."

Japanese concern also extends to those fleeing North Korea. This week, Japanese human rights groups and editorial writers protested after the Chinese authorities disclosed that the Chinese police had arrested a Japanese human rights activist and two North Korean refugees a month ago. The activist, Takayuki Noguchi, worked with Life Funds for North Korean Refugees, the largest group here helping North Koreans who escape from their country. "

  9:44:47 PM  permalink  

Al-Qaeda launches online terrorist manual: "Al-Qaeda has issued a chilling new call to arms to recruits who remain undetected by security agencies. In a terrorist manual published on the internet, Osama bin Laden says: 'After Iraq and Afghanistan will come the Crusader invasion of Saudi Arabia. All fighters all over the world must be ready.' The manual has been masterminded by Saif al-Adel, the organisation's third most senior man and the only terrorist other than bin Laden and his partner Ayman al-Zawahiri to have a $25 million reward on his head.

It is directed at new volunteers who are 'below the radar' of counter-terrorist authorities and who cannot break cover to undergo formal training in terrorist techniques. Like bin Laden, Zawahiri is quoted in the publication, called 'The Base of the Vanguard'. .. Another author is Abdul Aziz al-Mukran, who is also known as Abu Hajjer and is one of the most wanted al-Qaeda suspects in Saudi Arabia. In his contribution, entitled 'The war of nerves', he lists the use of weapons of mass destruction, specifically biological and nuclear arms, as a potential tactic in the 'ongoing war'.

The manual is an internal al-Qaeda document [the January issue of what promises to be a monthly publication] and will be of enormous interest to security agencies. The fact that al-Adel, a former special forces colonel in the Egyptian army, has risked discovery to publish it is an indication of its importance. 'Though it shows that we have taken down a lot of the training infrastructure and made it hard for [al-Qaeda] to operate, it is very worrying in that it implies that there are a lot of recruits around who we have yet to pick up,' one British senior police counter-terrorist officer said. "

  9:40:17 PM  permalink  

Talking Points Memo by Joshua Micah Marshall: Another excellent blog, on US politics, winner of a recent "Opinion Award," along with Friedman, Krugman, and others in the print media.  12:23:28 AM  permalink  

Topical, polemical, and short:  Rick Klau and Dan Bricklin (Pamphleteers and Web Sites) make the point that weblogs are the modern equivalent of pamphlets in 18th century America: low-cost ubiquitous personal publishing.  Historian Bernard Bailyn is cited about pamphlets, quoting "George Orwell, a modern pamphleteer":   "[The pamphet] is a one-man show. One has complete freedom of expression, including, if one chooses, the freedom to be scurrilous, abusive, and seditious; or, on the other hand, to be more detailed, serious and "high-brow" than is ever possible in a newspaper or in most kinds of periodicals."  Bailyn says none were professional writers, that "The American pamphleteers were almost to a man lawyers, ministers, merchants, or planters heavily engaged in their regular occupations."

  12:13:12 AM  permalink  

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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 2:06:48 PM.