Tag Archives: North Korea

U.S Flirts With Ebola Quarantine, But North Korea Has A Better Solution

Ebola US North Korea

In the U.S., some states are facing a backlash for imposing mandatory isolation on medical workers who have treated Ebola patients and the army has begun quarantining soldiers who deployed to in West Africa. But North Korea has gone one several steps further by banning all foreign tourists.

According to tour operators in North Korea, the authoritarian regime plans to bar entry to foreigners on tourist trips due to fears of Ebola. Oh no! At least seven people will have to change their vacation plans!

“We have just received official news from our partners in the DPRK that, as of tomorrow, tourists from any country, regardless of where they have recently visited, will not be permitted to enter,” said Gareth Johnson of Young Pioneer Tours.

As for foreigners who somehow make it into the country, they will be quarantined to prevent any possible spread of the Ebola virus. An announcement distributed Thursday to diplomatic missions in Pyongyang said that, regardless of country or region of origin, all foreigners will be quarantined under medical observation for 21 days. Some may say this is an overreaction considering no cases of the disease have been reported in the reclusive country, or anywhere in Asia for that matter, and very few foreigners are allowed to enter anyways, but any excuse to make the North Korean people more suspicious of the outside world is a good one.

Meanwhile, over in the United States, President Obama has taken a different route to combating the spread of the Ebola virus. Obama said on Wednesday that the U.S. may face more Ebola cases but denounced closing U.S. borders and imposing mandatory quarantines out of health fears.

But that didn’t stop New Jersey governor Chris Christie from defending the use of mandatory 21-day quarantines for all travelers returning through Newark who have had contact with Ebola patients. In particular, Christie has targeted quarantined nurse Kaci Hickox, who returned from treating Ebola patients with Doctors Without Borders in West Africa last week and was quarantined against her will in New Jersey, despite testing negative for Ebola.

Hickox has said that a quarantine is unnecessary as she is showing no symptoms and has tested negative.

“I am not going to sit around and be bullied by politicians and forced to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public,” Hickox said on Wednesday.

State officials have said they were going to court to try to detain her for the remainder of the 21-day incubation period – because there’s no way Chris Christie is going to let Ebola wipe out the state the New Jersey while North Korea sits around with a smug smile in their isolated Ebola-free haven!

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North Korea Releases Bible Thumping American

North Korea Releases AMerican

American Jeffrey Fowle has been released from a North Korean prison camp and is on his way home. Perhaps Kim Jong Un’s cheese-induced gout is making him a little soft?

Jeffrey Fowle, 56, an Ohio municipal worker, was turned over to U.S. officials by authorities in Pyongyang and boarded a U.S. government aircraft sent to retrieve him.

Fowle was arrested for allegedly trying to leave a Bible at a sailors’ club in North Korea. Six months of detainment in a North Korean labour camp later, Fowle is back in Ohio reuniting with his family.

“We’d like to thank God for his hand of protection over Jeff these past six months,” family spokesman Tim Tepe said, giving thanks to the U.S. State Department, the Swedish government, and others for helping secure Fowle’s release.

I think it was God who got you into this mess in the first place, but whatever, at least Fowle’s release gives hope to the two other American detainees in North Korea: Matthew Miller, 24, of Bakersfield and Kenneth Bae of Lynnwood, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. The State Department said it is working on achieving their releases as well.

While Jeffrey Fowle was detained, the city terminated his employment as an equipment operator for Moraine, Ohio because of his prolonged absence, but City Manager David Hicks says can have his job back.

“The reinstatement opportunity is available to him. Assuming he wants to be reinstated, he will,” Hicks said. “I’m sure that we’ll have some celebration upon his return.”

Ugh. Continue working as a poorly paid equipment operator in small town Ohio and attend a depressing office party? He might have been better off in the North Korean labour camp.

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Where in the World is Kim Jong Un? And Other News…

Kim Jong Un

Where in the world is Kim Jong Un? The mystery surrounding the whereabouts of Kim Jong Un, who has not been seen in public since early September, grew even more mysterious Friday after the Supreme leader missed a ceremony to pay tribute to his late father and grandfather on what is a VERY important national anniversary.

Kim Jong Un’s absence and rumored illness has recently fueled speculation that he’d been overthrown in a coup, but the prevailing theory is that the dictator hurt his leg and doesn’t want to appear weak in front the people who worship him. Sources say the injury, possibly related to cheese induced obesity or gout, took place around late August or early September while Kim was inspecting military exercises. Either way, North Korean sources say Kim Jong Un will be Kim Jong Unavailable for at least 100 days. Reuters

Secret ServiceThe biggest threat to President Obama is… internet trolls. More than half of the threats made against Obama are made online, but given the recent missteps of the Secret Service, government officials are now questioning how adept the security team has been at handling them. Lawmakers and private security officials are sceptical about whether the Secret Service can adapt to the new social-media landscape. “I don’t know if they’ve adapted to these new threats,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on national security. “The attacks are going to come, no matter what. Are there new and creative ways of detecting them? I’m not convinced they’ve tied those loops.” If the Secret Service can’t stop a man from running with a knife in the White House or prevent an armed felon from getting on an elevator with the president, how can they sort through zillions of social-media postings to determine who is a harmless internet troll and who is a not-so-harmless internet troll with a detailed plan? Washington Post

ISIS militantsThe unnamed war on ISIS and other various terrorist organizations… isn’t going well. According to American intelligence officials, the 46 cruise missiles the U.S. fired last month at a Syrian terrorist cell killed just one or two key militants. The strikes on a compound near Aleppo didn’t do much to deter the Khorasan Group since earlier news reports caused many militants to scatter before the strikes hit, minimizing the missiles’ effect. Meanwhile, ISIS is quickly taking over the Syrian border town of Kobane from the Kurds and are also threatening to overrun a key province in western Iraq. The ISIS invasion has gotten so bad that local residents are fighting back – with tea. Four ISIS militants at a check point in Jalawla, 70 km north east of Baqubah were poisoned by a local resident after he offered them some tea that he had poisoned earlier. Looks like the tea had a higher success rate than the 46 U.S. cruise missiles. AP

Mexico GravesMexi-noooooo! Two weeks after 43 students disappeared in rural southern Mexico after clashes with police, authorities say the suspects have led them to new burial pits and more bodies. Attorney general Jesus Murillo Karam announced on Thursday that the suspects revealed four additional mass graves last weekend in the city of Iguala containing 28 badly burned bodies. Four new suspects were arrested on Thursday, taking the total number of those detained to 34, including 26 police officers. Wait, the police did this? I guess life in Ferguson, Missouri isn’t looking so bad now. Prosecutors attribute the student disappearances to police, who killed six people and wounded at least 25 in two separate attacks in the city of Iguala, after which officers rounded up some protesting students and drove off with them. Police are believed to have turned over the students to a local drug gang that apparently had ties to the family of Iguala’s mayor. Holy Mexican soap opera! BBC News

Ebola Worst Since AIDSEbola is the worst things since unsliced bread AIDS. While speaking before a World Bank forum on the Ebola crisis, CDC Director Thomas Frieden declared that the virus is the worst thing ever – minus AIDS. “I would say that in the 30 years I’ve been working in public health, the only thing like this has been AIDS,” he said, adding that the world needs to work fast to stop the outbreak, which has killed more than 4,000 people, including 200 health workers. Luckily, a prominent “pro-life” Republican in South Carolina has the solution: kill anyone who has Ebola. Unless, of course, they’re a fetus. Todd Kincannon, the former executive director of the South Carolina GOP, took to Twitter to express his views that “people with Ebola in the US need to be humanely put down immediately” and “the protocol for a positive Ebola test should be immediate execution and sanitation of the whole area.” He also blames the spread of Ebola on the people of Africa for: “Eating each other.” NBC News

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Kim Jong Un May Be Suffering From Cheese Induced Gout

Kim Jong Cheese

Kim Jong Un’s mysterious month long absence from the public eye has led to speculation that the North Korean leader’s weakness for cheese has caused a bad case of gout.

The Supreme Leader’s health problems are so severe that even the North Korean media, which typically portrays the isolated nation’s leader as indestructible, has confirmed Kim is “suffering discomfort.”

The admission of “discomfort”, along with a video from July showing the increasingly overweight 31-year-old walking with a slight limp, have fueled the rumour mill.

The Chosun Ilbo, South Korea’s largest newspaper, reported that Kim had fractured both of his ankles and had surgery in Pyongyang in the middle of September to treat them.

“I heard that Kim Jong Un injured his right ankle in June after pushing ahead with on-site visits and ended up fracturing both ankles because he left the injury unattended,” the source was quoted as saying.

Well, that makes sense. Whenever you injure one ankle and leave it unattended, the other one will break itself in a gesture of solidarity. But even with two broken ankles, the Supreme Leader trudged on.

“Despite some discomfort, our Marshal continues to come out and lead the people,” said the narrator of a documentary called “Improving the Lives of the People,” showing footage of Kim limping through the Taedonggang Tile Factory last month.

“His whole body is drenched in sweat, but he does not stop working hard, instead showing concern for the health of the other workers.”

Other non-propaganda commenters have guessed that Kim has gout, which runs in the family, as well as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol partially brought on by an excessive cheese habit. The North Korean dictator is known to send representatives around the world in search of high-quality cheese after acquiring a taste for it while studying in Switzerland. In fact, some rumours have gone so far as to suggest that Kim got so fat from eating cheese that his ankles simply gave out.

Meanwhile, the rest of the impoverished country continues to starve.

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North Korea Not Pleased with Kim Jong Un Parody Dance

Kim Jong Angry Parody Dance

In between eating expired meat and worrying about catching the bubonic plague, the Chinese have come up with a parody video featuring a fake Kim Jong Un dancing and fighting his way through a series of absurd situations.

The parody video shows Kim Jong Un being kicked to the ground by President Obama after pirouetting through a ballet studio, dancing with Russian President Vladimir Putin, doing “the Carleton”, and acting as a dance-loving member of the grounds crew at a baseball game.

The video, which first appeared on the Chinese video-sharing site Tencent, quickly became popular in China – but not so much in North Korea.

According to the Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, officials in Pyongyang are reportedly furious about the 3 and a half minute video because it “seriously compromises Kim’s dignity and authority.” I think his haircut alone is enough to compromise his dignity, but whatever.

The newspaper goes on to say that after North Korea asked China to stop the video from spreading, “Beijng was unable to oblige.” Unable or unwilling?

If mocking a dancing Kim Jong Un is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

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North Korea Threatens War Over Seth Rogan Movie

North Korea The Interview

Once again, North Korea has promised “merciless” retaliation over something trivial – or as the rest of the world calls it: just another Thursday.

In what may be the best viral marketing campaign ever, North Korea has threatened war if an upcoming Hollywood movie starring Seth Rogan and James Franco is released.

Surprisingly the threat of war does not come from poor casting choices. Instead, North Korea is upset over the action-comedy’s plot, which centers around killing Kim Jong-un. The film, titled The Interview, is about two talk show hosts who are invited to interview Kim Jong-un, and are subsequently recruited by the CIA to assassinate the North Korean leader. Although the movie won’t be out until October, the teaser trailer shows a lookalike actor playing Kim Jong-un as well as a bunch of action scenes set in Pyongyang.

Kim Jong-un was not impressed.

“Making and releasing a movie on a plot to hurt our top-level leadership is the most blatant act of terrorism and war and will absolutely not be tolerated,” a North Korean spokesman raged.

“If the US administration allows and defends the showing of the film, a merciless counter-measure will be taken.”

Well, clearly no one in North Korea has seen Team America: World Police, starring a lonely Kim Jong-il puppet – or all those episodes of 30 Rock, featuring Kim Jong-il as “the greatest waiter of all time” and Kim Jong-il as the greatest weatherman of all time.

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North Korea Calls President Obama a “Wicked Black Monkey”

Obama and MOnkey

Someone’s not a fan of President Obama, but this time it’s not a Republican – it’s Kim Jong Un!

In a series of articles published last Friday, the North Korean media went on an extremely racist and somewhat offensive tirade against the US President. The government controlled media called President Obama a “wicked black monkey,” a “clown,” a “dirty fellow” and somebody who “does not even have the basic appearances of a human being.” Wow – they just out-Sterlinged Donald Sterling. Will Kim Jong Un be forced to sell North Korea now?

“As I watch him more closely, I realize that he looks like an African native monkey with a black face, gaunt grey eyes, cavate nostrils, plump mouth and hairy rough ears,” one article said.

“It would be perfect for Obama to live with a group of monkeys in the world’s largest African natural zoo and lick the breadcrumbs thrown by spectators.”

But Dennis Rodman is still A-Okay. He looks more like an alien than a monkey anyway.

Now, this type of offensive rhetoric is a huge departure from the North Korean government’s usual commitment to sane and civilized criticism of international leaders… oh no, wait, Obama bashing is actually pretty standard.

The White House typically ignores the rhetorical excesses of the North Korean regime, chalking it up to good old-fashioned dictatorial brainwashing tactics – but this time Kim Jong Un went too far.

“While the North Korean Government-controlled media are distinguished by their histrionics, these comments are particularly ugly and disrespectful,” Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said in a statement.

But North Koreans aren’t being racist; they just know that the ideal physical type is a pale, chubby 5-foot Asian man with an awkward haircut. In fact, they believe it’s Americans who are the racist ones.

In response to a United Nations report on North Korea’s human rights violations, the official Korean Central News Agency released a report of their own titled “News Analysis on Poor Human Rights Records in U.S.” The article refers to the U.S. as “the world’s worst human right abuser and tundra of a human being’s rights to existence” and accuses the U.S. of being a “kingdom of racial discrimination”.

The North Korean report makes the following points:

  • “Under the citizenship act, racialism is getting more severe in the U.S. The gaps between the minorities and the whites are very wide in the exercise of such rights to work and elect.”
  • “The U.S. true colors as a kingdom of racial discrimination was fully revealed by last year’s case that the Florida Court gave a verdict of not guilty to a white policeman who shot to death an innocent black boy.”
  • “That’s why 52 percent of the Americans have said that racism still exists in the country while 46 percent contended that all sorts of discrimination would be everlasting.”

Well, they got a few of the Zimmerman facts mixed up, but the article does have a few good points. Still, at least you don’t hear Americans going around calling black people “wicked black monkeys” – unless, of course,  you happen to find yourself on a Nevada ranch or at an LA Clippers game.

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Not So Friendly Fire

Current Event Cat - NS Korea Not So Friendly Fire

North and South Korea exchanged some not so friendly fire on Monday over a poorly marked sea boundary.

During military exercises on Monday, North Korea reportedly fired hundreds of artillery shells across the Northern Limit Line into South Korean waters. South Korea wasn’t just going to sit pack and let Kim Jong Un drop a few hundred loads of ammunition into their water, so in response South Korea fired K-9 self-propelled artillery into North Korean waters. Although no shells from either side were fired at any land or military installations, the fish must be getting pretty tired of this shit.

South Korea is calling the North’s artillery firing a provocation aimed at testing Seoul’s security but North Korea doesn’t understand what the big deal is. North Korea routinely test-fires artillery and missiles into the ocean and they had sent South Korea a clearly worded fax early Monday morning informing the country of live-fire drills near the line. Ok, I think I see where the miscommunication happened… South Korea probably didn’t receive the warning fax because NOBODY USES FAX MACHINES ANYMORE – outside of North Korea that is.

Tensions are always high between the Koreas in late March/early April because of the North’s anger at annual joint military exercises by the South and the US. And since Kim Jong Un takes his March Madness pretty seriously, a tirade of bullets into the sea seemed inevitable.

Still, while Monday’s exchange was relatively mild in the history of the Koreas and their water/everything disputes, the White House released a statement calling North Korea’s recent actions “dangerous and provocative” and claimed they would only isolate the country further. You know what else would further isolate North Korea from the rest of the world? Their constant use of FAX MACHINES!!!

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North Korean Students Required To Get Kim Jong Un Haircut

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Haircut

The hairdo known as the “Chinese smuggler haircut” currently sported by dictator Kim Jong-un (aka North Korea’s “The Rachel”), is now a requirement for male university students.

According to less than reputable reports, the state-sanctioned haircut guideline was introduced in the capital Pyongyang about two weeks ago and is now being rolled out across the country.

North Korea has always been pretty strict about their haircuts. The North Korean government has recommended a generous range of 28 hairstyles for its citizens (18 styles for women and 10 for men), claiming that they are “the most comfortable” styles and capable of warding off the corrupting effects of capitalism. But now they’re adding one more haircut so stylish that it has become mandatory for all male students: The Kim Jong Un.

Kim Jong Un’s stylish do is commonly associated with Chinese smugglers and is definitely…. unique. But it’s still better than Kim Jong-il’s bouffant hairstyle, which he sported to make him appear taller.

But is this another addition to the long list of ridiculous news stories about North Korea that will later turn out to be fake? Remember the story of Kim Jong Un’s uncle being fed to starving dogs? Or the one where Kim Jong Un executed his girlfriend for making sex tapes? Or the one where Dennis Rodman sang Happy Birthday to the North Korean dictator Marilyn Monroe style? Oh wait, that last one was true.

Some North Korean enthusiasts say the story is likely false.

 “Kim Jong Un’s haircut is a very particular one, shaved up the sides to make him look like Kim Il Sung did when he was in his 30s,” Bruce Cumings, an expert in Korean history from the University of Chicago, says.

“If many young men are shaving their sideburns to look like Kim Jong Un, it is probably an attempt to show how loyal they are to the leadership.”

Adam Cathcart, a Lecturer in Chinese History at University of Leeds who is also editor of the SinoNK Web site, agrees.

“Haircuts are somewhat generational. To my knowledge, there was no ‘decree’ about getting hair cut significantly shorter just above the ears than had previously been the norms, but more and more young non-military men seemed to do it, and after [Kim’s uncle Jang Sung Taek-taek]’s execution there has appeared to be more such haircuts of such styled people shown on state media, at any rate,” Cathcart says.

“But no one has ‘the’ haircut except for Kim Jong Un, since it’s getting higher and higher and is practically a mohawk [now].”

Well, there’s only one way to find out the truth:

Step 1: Travel to Pyongyang.

Step 2: Look around.

If all of North Korea is having a bad hair day, then the rumours are true.

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North Korea “Elections”: Kim Jong Un Wins With 100% Of The Vote!

Kim Jong Wins North Korea Elections

North Koreans went to the polls on Sunday to vote in the first parliamentary elections under Kim Jong Un’s regime. Not surprisingly, 100% of the voters in Kim Jong Un’s district decided not to be sent to prison camps and elected Kim Jong Un to the highest legislative body in North Korea, the Supreme People’s Assembly.

Every five years, North Koreans head to the ballot box and vote in one of 687 districts, each of which has only one candidate as an option. Voters are required to write “yes” or “no” on the ballot. Write “yes” and you live, write “no” and it’s prison camp time. But this year no one will be hauled off to a prison camp (well, not for voting related reasons at least) because Kim received 100% approval from his Mount Paektu constituency.

“This is an expression of all the service personnel and people’s absolute support and profound trust in supreme leader Kim Jong Un as they single-mindedly remain loyal to him,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency said.

Although the results for the other candidates haven’t been officially announced yet, in the last elections in 2009, the North Korean government reported 99 percent turnout and 100 percent voter support for the given candidates. I think it’s safe to say we can expect the same this time around. Not that the sort of elections even matter – The Supreme People’s Assembly rarely meets and in practice it has little power. The democratic process works!

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