PN's Voice 156

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PN's Voice No. 156  25. 08. 2020 
Small steps, Road to peace

Kim Jong-un Delegates More Power to Sister

South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) announced that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has delegated power to some of his aides, principally his sister Kim Yo-jong who is now "steering overall state affairs". The NIS went on to report that Kim Jong-un still maintains "absolute authority", but handed various policy areas to others to reduce his stress levels among concerns about this health. After the recent changes, Ms. Kim now has responsibility for Pyongyang's policy towards the US and South Korea, among other policy issues, and is "the de-facto number two leader." However, the NIS interpreted these developments to mean that Kim Jong-un has not necessarily selected his sister to be his eventually successor.
Source : BBC News, The Guardian

Trump: “U.S. Would be at War with NK if Not for Me”

U.S. President Donald Trump boasted of his good relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last week, saying that if it were not for him, the United States would be at war with North Korea. "It would have been a war if you had Hillary Clinton. It would have been a war if Obama were allowed to stay any longer," he said. Trump's comments came in response to comments from the Democratic Party that he has embraced dictators or "thugs" like the North Korean leader. Trump went on to say, “President Obama said when I sat down that first meeting ... he said it was the biggest problem we had, North Korea. And we would have had a big problem, would have been a hell of a war. Tell you right now. You'd probably be in that war right now…When I say that we got along and we've met, everyone says, 'Oh, that's so terrible.' No, it's a good thing. It's a good thing, not a bad thing. It's a good thing. Doesn't mean bad things don't happen, but it's a good thing."

Source : Yonhap News

U.N. Rapporteur urges Seoul to Reconsider Ban on Anti-N.K. Leaflets

Tomas Ojea Quintana, the U.N. special rapporteur on North Korea's human rights, urged South Korea to have more discussions about its push to prohibit the sending of anti-North Korea leaflets across the border, expressing concern it could violate the right to freedom of expression. South Korea is seeking to legislate a ban on leaflet-sending, saying that it could heighten cross-border tensions and jeopardize the lives of people in border regions. "You should know that the international human rights law in tacit terms, very specific terms, recognizes rights of everyone to impart information even across the border," Quintana said during an interview. "It is not a matter of just discretion or point of view from the government…I believe that it is under the National Assembly level of South Korea where this has to be discussed and debated among political parties and representatives to what extent the leaflets being sent across the border and other kind of similar practices compromise national security of a country.” The sending of leaflets has emerged as a major source of cross-border tensions since Pyongyang blew up a joint liaison office in its border town of Kaesong in anger over the matter in June. South Korean authorities have said they could seek to legislate a ban on leafleting and revoked the licenses of two defector groups for their involvement in sending leaflets to the North last month. An inspection was also into dozens of civic groups, including those run by North Korean defectors working for human rights and defector resettlement, setting off speculation that this may in fact be an attempt to keep a lid on such activity.

Source : Yonhap News

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