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Rolling Back the Stone in North Korea

Introduction: North Korea is the product of Japanese oppression. From 1910 to 1945 Japan subjugated the Korean population and plundered its resources.

The Korean Liberation Army was schooled in China during the period that Mao was driving out the running dogs of imperialism. Small wonder then that the majority of Koreans harboured the same sentiments as China's communist revolutionaries.

The last sentence is one way of telling history. However, the truth is far simpler; the majority of Koreans were peasant farmers, unused to doing anything except toiling in the mud. They really didn't care who was in charge, they just wanted a chance to get on toiling on their own behalf, rather than for the Japanese. Kim ll-Sung had other ideas and the peasants had no choice but to become communist revolutionaries.

Post-1945, the UN divied up the country between Russia and the US. The Soviet's stayed long enough to install a client regime in the North and the US did the same in the South, then they left. The situation in the South was far from settled. Mao, now in control of China aided the North in its war with the South.

The Korean War began in 1950 and ended in 1953, without resolution. Someone drew a line in the sand at the 38th parallel and open warfare ceased but the war continues to this day.

That war signalled the beginning of the 20th Century's descent into the biggest fantasy in human history, in which one half of the world was brain washed into believing that the other half was trying to enslave it with malevolent ideas.

Inside the fantasy world of the Kims'.

When Kim II Sung became the first leader of Korea in the post-War period the fantasy began. Kim needed to build his personality cult and so invented a whole raft of comic book exploits, with himself as the hero. North Korean students are taught that it was Kim II Sung who drove the Japanese out of Korea, single-handedly.

Kim passed on his heroic cape to his son, Jong-il in 1994.

The likeness between Kim ll Sung and Kim Jong-un is uncanny. Kimthe kims Jong-un is the son of current leader, Kim Jong-il. They say the baby-faced bloater was educated in Switzerland, an unlikely story. It's more likely that Jong-un was being worked on by Swiss plastic surgeons, whilst consuming a whole chocolate factory.

When Kim Jong-il, who is actually a rat with a broom up its arse, expires, North Korea's 24 million citizens will be told that Kim ll Sung has returned as a younger version of himself. Fully invigorated and full of verve, ready to lead the nation backward into thermo-nuclear oblivion.

Readers may not be aware that Kim ll Sung, who 'died' in 1994, is still North Korea's Eternal President. So, it's an historical fact that North Korea has been ruled for 16 years by a dead man - small wonder that it's been so difficult to do business in the region. Add in the fact that the war between the two halves of Korea is still current, the future looks bleak.

North Korea is not a country, it's a comic book backdrop, a kind of large Gotham City, where an elite of cartoon characters weave amazing exploits and bloater boy can't wait for his triumphal return, so he too can add to the mythology of men who soar like eagles above the clouds or swoop down from the White Mountains and bring a reign of terror on small creatures in the muddy fields.

Kim Jong-il's escape into fantasy has become all the more urgent as his country descends into some kind Pol Pot nightmare. Put simply, food supplies are in crisis and only gifts from China are keeping the wolf from the door.

Things have got so bad that Kim has resorted to buying presents from Beijing Silk Market from Del boys selling fake Rolex watches, Armani Suits and Gucci handbags as gifts for the party faithful.

South Korea intelligence has also reported that North Korean diplomats have been asking for food aid when meeting with officials in foreign countries.

Clearly, bloater boy has his own food supply, well he would wouldn't he, being a superhero - all he needs now is that illusive cape.

Update: The Hero's cape passed to Jong-un (Dec 2011)

The Great Fantasist finally met reality as all North Koreans were encouraged to enter the national crocodile tears competition.

Kim passed on his heroic cape to his son, Jong-il in 1994. Jong-il was a hopeless leader, he was happy to watch 2 million of his people die of starvation - something he learnt from Mao no doubt.

Will Jong-un be any better for North Korea?





The key to understanding Afghanistan is this - it is not a country harbouring terrorists, it's a place where terrorists are harbouring a country.

Geography: Pile of rocks west of Iran. They say (the historians) that in the 15th century Herat was the centre of the universe, the heart of Asia. This was the place to see and be seen for A-list celebs back in the day.afghan map

Population: est. 30 million depending on which slaughtering warlord is in power. The Russians managed to reduce the population by 1.5 million. How many civilians have died since 2001 is a secret.

Age Expectancy: Only 2% of the population are 65 plus, so no pension problems to speak of.

GDP: est. $29 billion, i.e. about the same amount as Roman Abramovich has in a biscuit tin under his bed. A key part of the mix is services, e.g., reconstruction - the Americans build something, the Talibs blow it up and the whole process starts again

Key exports: opium, opium, more opium, soap, and terrorism, and yes, precious gems - sent direct to a Swiss safe deposit box.

Government: doesn't have one, except in Kabul, where this year's President hides in his palace. According to the Taliban, Afghanistan doesn't need politics because it's got Islam, which obviously transends all else - obvious to anyone who feels at home in the 7th Century.

Economy: doesn't actually have one, lots of camel trading goes on among a loose coalition of stall holders but 50% of the population are unemployed and if you include all the kids who would work, if there were some, instead of sitting around waiting for the school to be re-built and pretending they would go, if there was one, the unemployment figure goes up to around 85%.

Statistics: what the outsider needs to understand about Afghanistan is that everything is an estimate, simply no one knows anything. The CIA Fact Book page on Afghanstan is shorter than the one for the achievements of New Labour.

Future Prospects: nil. Afghanistan is geographic space occupied by a number of tribes who don't like each other and like outsiders less. The only thing Afghans dislike more than outsiders is a Talib but since Talibs will cut your feet off for not walking backwards on alternate Tuesdays, no one's prepared to complain about their unreasonable behaviour. Afghans do not want the Taliban but neither do they want western style democracy, they want MP3 players and plasma TVs but not crazy ideas like education and equality for women; they want corruption and fraud, they want to be just like western democracies without the charade of elections every four or five years.

A curious election

April 2014 will see an election, 20.7 million voter cards have already been distributed. Afghanistan has a population of 27 million, half are under the voting age of 18. Work out the legitimacy of this election for yourself.



The Chagos Islands: How to disappear a whole people

In the 1960s and 1970s the Chagos islanders or Ilois, were forced from their "paradise" homeland to make way for the US base on Diego Garcia.

The Americans wanted a launch pad in the Indian Ocean for their B-52s and elements within Wilson's government offered them the Chagos Islands, in return for a large discount on Polaris submarines. A memo from then Foreign Secretary Michael Stewart to Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson in 1969 admitted that the payment was kept secret from Parliament and the US Congress.

One key condition was that the Chagos contained no people. The British assured the US that there were only seagulls. In truth, 1800 people lived on the islands; these people were intimidated off of the islands to live in squalor on Mauritius. As a bribe for accepting the Chagossians Mauritius was given its independence from Britain and £3 million to keep quiet.

Making the people of the islands disappear took some time and cunningly the British made the Chagos Islands disappear first, by renaming the islands the British Indian Ocean Territory, or BIOT by using an order-in-council. Orders-in-council are not public knowledge, essentially a ritual takes place involving the Queen and the Privy Council, no debate takes place, the orders are read, the Queen agrees and no one need be any the wiser.

The important thing was to maintain the fiction that the islands never had any permanent residence, since residence have rights.

A telegram sent to the UK mission at the United Nations in November 1965 summed up the problem:

"We recognise that we are in a difficult position as regards references to people at present on the detached islands. "We know that a few were born in Diego Garcia and perhaps some of the other islands, and so were their parents before them.

"We cannot therefore assert that there are no permanent inhabitants, however much this would have been to our advantage. In these circumstances, we think it would be best to avoid all references to permanent inhabitants."

Sir Paul Gore-Booth, senior official at the Foreign Office, wrote to a diplomat in 1966: "We must surely be very tough about this. The object of the exercise is to get some rocks which will remain ours... There will be no indigenous population except seagulls..."

As the judge in the case, Mr Justice Gibbs, said:

"It is clear from some of the disclosed documents that, in some quarters, the official zeal in implementing those removal policies went beyond any proper limits."

It's interesting to note that although Chagossians didn't officially exist, they were banned from returning to the islands. The British High Court has twice overturned this ban, in 2005 and 2007, but the Government continues to ignore the Court.

British Governments, from Wilson through Heath and beyond to the present have not properly compensated the Chagossians for the loss of their homeland. Now, the cost of resettlement makes getting back home even less likely.

If nothing else, the story of the Chagos Islands tells us everything we need to know about liberal democracies like Britain and the US. Parliament and Congress kept in the dark, the public kept in the dark, for the sake of geo-political ambitions 1,800 people were disappeared without a second thought.

Note: Diego Garcia is also the home of Camp Justice, a less well known relative of Guantanamo Bay. Sami al-Saadi, paid to keep quiet by the UK government, was rendered to Camp Justice before being sent back to Libya for more torture.

The Latest Twist in this sad tale

An unexpected ruling this month (Feb' 2013) by the permanent court of arbitration in The Hague, which arbitrates in disputes over the United Nations law of the sea, that it can hear the case challenging the UK's unilateral declaration in 2009 of a marine protected area around the Chagos Islands. UK prime minister, Gordon Brown promised the Mauritian prime minister that MPA would not be put in place and then promptly put the MPA in place?

The legal battle, begun more than two years ago, raises fundamental questions about who has sovereignty over the Indian Ocean territory. Mauritian government officials believe it could lead to the unravelling of Britain's disputed claim and the eventual return of the islanders.

The Foreign Office claims:

"The no-take MPA around the British Indian Ocean Territory (Biot) is the largest no-take MPA in the world. The MPA provides refuge and breeding sites for migratory and reef fish, marine mammals, birds, turtles, corals and other marine life. The MPA will help reduce regional loss of biodiversity and, it is hoped, in replenishing fish stocks in the Indian Ocean."

The Real Reason for the MPA

In 2014, the US lease on Diego Garcia runs out and Britain wants to be in a position to re-new the lease. It cannot not do that if the Chagos Islanders get their islands back. So Britain pretends to care about biodiversity and ignores the rights of the islanders.



In Myanmar (Burma) the army spent the whole year attempting to exterminate the Rohingya Muslims. Aung San Suu Kyi, the token leader of Burma, spent the year pretending that there was nothing to see, no problems, all was fine with Buddha and Burma was a great place for a holiday. The Rohingya took a different view and 600,000 thousand fled to Bangladesh. Bad idea! Bangladesh really don't want them and now Suu Kyi is doing a deal with Bangladesh to get the Rohingya to come back to Burma so that the army can get on with the killing. 

A name to remember: Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, he's in charge of the killing!