World View: India Announces Travel Restrictions as Taliban Targets Polio Workers in Pakistan
- Concerns grow over stability of North Korean regime
- European governments fund terrorism through ransom payments
- India announces travel restrictions as Pakistan polio workers are killed
Concerns grow over stability of North Korean regime
Kim Jong-un and Jang Song-thaek earlier this year
In North Korea you can be executed for sneezing the wrong way, and
indeed dozens of officials have been purged since the child dictator
Kim Jong-un came to power in 2011. Nonetheless, the sudden fall from
grace and execution of Jang Song-thaek is so spectacular and so public
that it's feeding speculation that it signals a major power struggle
between competing factions in the child dictator's government. (See
"11-Dec-13 World View -- Purge of Kim Jong-un's uncle signals N. Korean 'reign of terror'")
The following is pretty funny. These are excerpts from the official
report on the execution of Jang:
Upon hearing the report on [Jang], the service
personnel and people throughout the country broke into angry
shouts that a stern judgment of the revolution should be meted out
to the anti-party, counter-revolutionary factional
elements. Against the backdrop of these shouts rocking the
country, a special military tribunal ... was held ... against
traitor for all ages Jang Song Thaek...
All the crimes committed by the accused were proved in the course
of hearing and were admitted by him...
However, despicable human scum Jang, who was worse than a dog,
perpetrated thrice-cursed acts of treachery in betrayal of such
profound trust and warmest paternal love shown by the party and
the leader for him...
The era and history will eternally record and never forget the
shuddering crimes committed by Jang Song Thaek, the enemy of the
party, revolution and people and heinous traitor to the
Analysts are mixed about the meaning of Jang's spectacular fall. Some
say that it signals a power struggle within Kim's family and possibly
a coup. Others say that it means that Kim is becoming more powerful
and confident, to the point where feels he can get rid of even family
members whom he dislikes.
Whichever is true, the fear is a period of instability in North Korea.
Even worse, Kim may precipitate a crisis with South Korea or the
U.S. in order to justify further purges within his government.
Examples of previous crises precipitated by Kim or his father are the
shooting of long-range missiles earlier this year, nuclear missile
tests, and the sinking in 2010 of the South Korean warship Cheonan
with a torpedo, killing 46 people. Washington Times and CNN
European governments fund terrorism through ransom payments
Britain's Foreign Office is calling on other European governments to
stop making large money payments to terrorists in return for the
release of hostages. No specific countries were named, but it's thought
that the Foreign Office was referring to France, Spain, and Italy.
France is believed to have paid Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
$20 million to free four French hostages in Niger, though the French
government denies it. Earlier this year, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian
Peninsula (AQAP) took delivery of $22 million in cash in exchange for
Swiss, Austrian, and Finnish hostages. Spain allegedly paid 12 million
euros to free a hostage in Mali.
Ransom money is a major funding
source for terrorist groups, who use the money for everything from
food and electricity to chemicals for explosives. The Foreign Office
is asking other countries to stop making ransom payments, but
governments find it difficult to resist pressure from kidnap victims'
relatives. BBC and
Daily Mail (London)
India announces travel restrictions as Pakistan polio workers are killed
Gunmen shot dead a polio worker and two policemen on duty to protect a
polio vaccination team in two separate attacks on Friday in Pakistan. The
shootings were the latest in a series of attacks by militants
targeting polio teams. The Taliban have imposed an "official ban' on
polio vaccinations, claiming that the polio vaccines are a stealth way
to prevent Muslims from having more children, and they've been
murdering doctors and nurses who administer the vaccines. The result
is that polio is endemic in Pakistan, as well as in Afghanistan and
India has become the first country to implement a ban on travelers
from Pakistan who have not been immunized against polio.
Pakistani travelers will not be allowed to enter India after January
30, 2014. According to an Indian official:
Any Pakistani wishing to travel to India has to
provide a certificate of vaccination as we want to keep the Indian
nation safe from the crippling disease.
Other countries are considering measures as well. The Lancet Medical
Journal has warned that the Pakistani polio virus could become a
threat to Europe. In January 2012, 21 children in a Chinese province
were affected by polio, and it was confirmed that the virus strain had
been transmitted from Pakistan after its DNA was analyzed. Pakistani
polio has been found in Egypt, Palestine, Israel, and Syria. The Nation (Pakistan) and Dawn (Pakistan)
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, North Korea, Kim Jong-un, Jang Song-thaek,
Britain, France, Mali, Algeria, AQIM,
Yemen, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, AQAP,
Pakistan, India, Taliban, polio, Afghanistan, Nigeria
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