PN's Voice 147
Peace Network Korea
PN's Voice 147, 27.11.2018
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PN's Voice No. 147 27 11. 2018
Small steps, Road to peace
N.K. Talks of New 'State-first Principle'
Rodong Sinmun, North Korea's main media outlet, called for the country to unite around leader Kim Jong-un this week as revealed its new slogan, "state-first" policy, as denuclearization talks with the United States remained stalled. In a front-page editorial, the situation in the North was described as being "not peaceful at all". The article went on to say that due to the "state-first policy” the country has moved forward despite what it calls "unheard-of hardships".
The "state-first policy" slogan first appeared in the North's state media late last year, but it has been more frequently used in recent months and has become a keyword emphasizing internal unity as denuclearization talks between the North and the U.S. have reached an impasse. Watchers say North Korea appears to be turning more conservative in terms of its propaganda campaign as its nuclear talks with Washington have not shown progress in recent months.
Source : Yonhap News
UN Grants Sanctions Exemption for Inter-Korean Railway Survey
The United Nations Security Council on Friday granted a sanctions exemption to enable the two Koreas to conduct a survey on reconnecting railways across their border, a diplomatic source said. This paves the way for the survey and a ground-breaking ceremony before the end of the year.
South Korea requested an exemption for deliveries of fuel and other material needed to conduct the survey in the North. Pyongyang is under heavy U.N. sanctions, including capped imports of refined petroleum, for its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. As part of efforts to denuclearize the regime, South Korea has pushed for inter-Korean projects, including the railway reconnection.
The U.S. has insisted that sanctions on North Korea remain fully in force until the full and verified denuclearization of the regime. Its approval of the exemption could help reopen stalled negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang. The U.N. decision is the first sanctions exemption related to the recent expansion of inter-Korean projects. But it is limited to the survey, and the reconnection of the railway will be subject to additional exemptions.
Source : Hankyoreh, The Korea Times
North Korea Destroys Guard Posts in DMZ
North Korea demolished guard posts in the DMZ last Tuesday after the two Koreas agreed to "completely destroy" those near their heavily-fortified border last month. Footage provided by South Korea's defense ministry showed guard posts in North Korea blown up in thick smoke. It follows a military pact at a summit last month in North Korea that called for a halt to "all hostile acts," a no-fly zone near the border and the gradual removal of guard posts, firearms and landmines from the DMZ separating the two. As an initial step, the neighbors agreed to demolish 11 guard posts within 1 km (0.6 mile) of each side of the border and withdraw equipment and personnel stationed there by the end of November, the ministry said.
Source : The Korea Times
UN Condemns Japan’s Compensation to Comfort Women
The UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) said that the Japanese government’s view that the comfort women issue has been resolved denies the rights of the victims and contended that Japan’s compensation has been inadequate. The comments represent the committee’s final opinion on this issue. In a post on its website on Nov. 19, the UN committee expressed its regrets about the Japanese government’s opinion that the comfort women issue has been finally and irreversibly resolved. The committee also voiced its concerns about the fact that Japan has not provided adequate compensation to the victims as required by the international convention on enforced disappearances.
The committee said that the Japanese government’s position that the issue had been finally and irreversibly resolved permanently blocks the prosecution of the perpetrators and denies the victims’ right to justice and compensation and to receive a guarantee that such acts will not reoccur and the public’s right to know the truth. The committee also expressed its concerns about the lack of statistical data about the number of comfort women who might have been victims of enforced disappearance and the lack of any investigation or indictment of the perpetrators.
Source : Hankyoreh
Pompeo Stresses Patience as Nuke Talks Stall
Washington is “prepared to be patient” with North Korea, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday, indicating U.S. flexibility despite Pyongyang stalling denuclearization negotiations. “We’ve known this was going to be a lengthy process,” Pompeo.
Pyongyang has been unresponsive to rescheduling high-level bilateral talks this week after a meeting slated for Nov. 8 between Pompeo and Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, was cancelled at the last minute. The talks are no not likely to happen this month. Pompeo added that Washington will exercise patience and make sure that the North doesn’t conduct nuclear and missiles tests. All while, “the economic sanctions which have caused North Korea to engage with us will remain in place,” countering Pyongyang’s demands for sanctions relief.
Source : JoongAng Daily
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