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NightWatch 20100830


For the Night of 30 August 2010

North Korea-China: Comment. Today, 30 August, Chinese and North Korean media confirmed Kim's visit to China and carried limited details about it. As is the custom, the communist media confirmed the visit only after Kim was back safely in Pyongyang.

In a dinner speech for Chinese President Hu, Kim described his visit in terms of a pilgrimage that his late father, President Forever Kim Il-sung, always intended to make but never did. Kim said, in part,

"Permeated in Jilin and Heilongjiang Provinces (of China) are immortal footprints of the bloody anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle President Comrade Kim Il Sung waged with Chinese comrades from early on. As such, they are unforgettable lands of history which are cherished dearly in the hearts of our people; they are also witnesses of the DPRK-China friendship.

"When he was alive, President Comrade Kim Il Sung would never forget this eventful Northeastern region and, reminiscing on it, would say that he would be back here for sure. We have come today, embracing his wish.

The other distinctive feature of the North Korean media description of the visit is the use of communist cult language to explain every Chinese accomplishment. Everything Kim observed and all his interactions were described as the result of communist and socialist wisdom and planning. Kim repeatedly paid tribute to Chinese communism, as if to applaud the Chinese for swindling the successful modern systems in the world. He ignored that China began to progress by abandoning communist economics where it could and by copying capitalist , free market enterprise.

The international media described the visit as rich in policy implications, highlighting Kim's so-called desire for an early resumption of nuclear talks. Actually, Kim's public statements indicate he said there was no change in the North's desire for early nuclear talks. "No change" means the North continues to condition talks on acceptance of the North as a nuclear armed power.

As for other issues, the pervasive theme in the press statements is easing of tension. The North is not at all interested in talks soon. All in all, the visit looks like a Confucian farewell, performing last rites for unfinished family business.

India-Jammu and Kashmir State: Protesters again clashed with police in Kashmir after a relative of a senior separatist leader was injured by police gunfire. The constable who fired the shots has been suspended, a senior police officer said, who described the shooting "unfortunate".

Comment: A similar incident two months ago resulted in continuous violent protests by a cohort of young Kashmiri Muslims who, unlike their parents, have no memory of the brutality and overwhelming force that India uses in its successful counter insurgency crackdowns in Kashmir. This could lead to a similar surge in civil disorders and another Indian crackdown.

Russia-US: Russian Prime Minister Putin accused Western countries of using unfair political methods including deception and broken promises to obstruct the process of "resetting" relations, according to the Kommersant daily, RIA Novosti reported.

Putin said the NATO secretary general promised the former Soviet Union during its withdrawal from East Europe that NATO would not expand over its current boundaries. Putin said that Russia has been deceived. Russia-U.S. relations face many problems, he stated. There were to be no NATO missile defense systems in Poland, but now they are planned for other European countries as well.

Comment: Putin continues to sharpen his criticism of NATO and, by implication, the US, apparently to advance his political appeal and career. He in no respect considers the US or NATO cooperative partners.

His political selling point is that no but him can protect Russia from the avaricious West; appreciates Russia's vulnerabilities and is capable of countering its susceptibility to deception. He is building a case that he is Russia's savior-in-waiting.

End of NightWatch for 30 August.

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