Archive for May, 2010

PHOTOS of 100,000+ North Koreans in Pyongyang rallying against US & South Korea Cheonan sinking allegations / 10万人糾弾市民大会 [KCNA / KNS]

Posted in Cheonan sinking, DPR Korea, Photos, Pyongyang, US imperialism on May 31, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

All photos are provided with the same tag:

100,000 citizens’ protest rally , 2010 May 30 —  Held in Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Square, the rally exposed and denounced the extreme anti-DPRK confrontational plot and smear campaign carried out by US imperialism and the Lee Myung-Bak group of traitors.  100,000 participated to reject the criminal insistence of South Korea, the US and Japan to link South Korea’s warship disaster to the DPRK [North Korea].  ”  [Translated from Japanese by 左手]

Korea News Service / kns-photo.com

 

Korea News Service / kns-photo.com

 

Korean News Service / kns-photo.com

 

Korea News Service / kns-photo.com

 

Korea News Service / kns-photo.com

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100,000 people gather in Pyongyang to protest against U.S., S. Korea over warship sinking [Xinhua]

Posted in Cheonan sinking, DPR Korea, Pyongyang on May 31, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

PYONGYANG, May 30 (Xinhua) — Some 100,000 people gathered in Pyongyang on Sunday to condemn the United States and South Korea for their behavior against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) over the recent South Korean warship sinking.

At the rally held on the Kim Il Sung Square, Choe Yong Rim, chief secretary of the Pyongyang City Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, said the inter-Korean relations have been driven into a situation, in which a war may break out anytime.

On May 20, South Korea released an investigation report and accused the DPRK of torpedoing its Cheonan corvette in March.  A total of South Korean 46 sailors out of the 104-member crew were killed in the incident.

“This is a conspiratorial plot intended to tide over the serious ruling crisis caused by the total failure of the (Lee Myung-bak) group’s domestic and foreign policies,” Choe said

Other speakers at the rally also expressed the determination to react with a rapid retaliatory strike if South Korea shows the slightest sign of “punishment” and “retaliation” together with foreign forces.

According to the KCNA, the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea Sunday released a bulletin to denounce South Korea for persistently linking the warship sinking with the DPRK.

“It is the iron will and spirit of the DPRK army and people to react to punishment with merciless punishment and to retaliation with a dreadful annihilating strike. If South Korea persists in reckless provocation, the DPRK will give more dreadful punishment to it,” it warned.

Also on Sunday, at a tripartite summit held in South Korea, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama exchanged views on the Cheonan warship incident.

The three leaders offered condolences over the death of the sailors in the corvette sinking.  The Chinese and Japanese leaders said they attached importance to the joint investigation by South Korea and some other countries into the incident, and have taken note of the responses from the concerned parties.

Article link here

Did an American Mine Sink South Korean Ship? [New American Media]

Posted in Black propaganda, Cheonan sinking, False flag, Friendly fire incident, Korea, south Korea, US imperialism on May 30, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

New America Media, News Analysis, Yoichi Shimatsu, Posted: May 27, 2010

BEIJING – South Korean Prime Minister Lee Myung-bak has claimed “overwhelming evidence” that a North Korean torpedo sank the corvette Cheonan on March 26, killing 46 sailors.  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed that there’s “overwhelming evidence” in favor of the theory that North Korea sank the South Korean Navy warship Cheonan. But the articles of proof presented so far by military investigators to an official inquiry board have been scanty and inconsistent.

There’s yet another possibility, that a U.S. rising mine sank the Cheonan in a friendly-fire accident.

In the recent U.S.-China strategic talks in Shanghai and Beijing, the Chinese side dismissed the official scenario presented by the Americans and their South Korean allies as not credible.  This conclusion was based on an independent technical assessment by the Chinese military, according to a Beijing-based military affairs consultant to the People Liberation Army.

Hardly any of the relevant facts that counter the official verdict have made headline news in either South Korea or its senior ally, the United States.

The first telltale sign of an official smokescreen involves the location of the Choenan sinking – Byeongnyeong Island (pronounced Pyongnang) in the Yellow Sea.  On the westernmost fringe of South Korean territory, the island is dominated by a joint U.S.-Korean base for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations.  The sea channel between Byeongnyeong and the North Korean coast is narrow enough for both sides to be in artillery range of each other.

Anti-sub warfare is based on sonar and acoustic detection of underwater craft.  Since civilian traffic is not routed through the channel, the noiseless conditions are near-perfect for picking up the slightest agitation, for example from a torpedo and any submarine that might fire it.

North Korea admits it does not possess an underwater craft stealthy enough to slip past the advanced sonar and audio arrays around Byeongnyeong Island, explained North Korean intelligence analyst Kim Myong Chol in a news release.  “The sinking took place not in North Korean waters but well inside tightly guarded South Korean waters, where a slow-moving North Korean submarine would have great difficulty operating covertly and safely, unless it was equipped with AIP (air-independent propulsion) technology.”

The Cheonan sinking occurred in the aftermath of the March 11-18 Foal Eagle Exercise, which included anti-submarine maneuvers by a joint U.S.-South Korean squadron of five missile ships.  A mystery surrounds the continued presence of the U.S. missile cruisers for more than eight days after the ASW exercise ended.  [It’s been stated by some, including North Korean media, that the Foal Eagle war games exercises actually were significantly extended in length and that this was unpublicized.  – 左手]

Only one reporter, Joohee Cho of ABC News, picked up the key fact that the Foal Eagle flotilla curiously included the USNS Salvor, a diving-support ship with a crew of 12 Navy divers.  The lack of any minesweepers during the exercise leaves only one possibility:  the Salvor was laying bottom mines.

Ever since an American cruiser was damaged by one of Saddam Hussein’s rising mines, also known as bottom mines, in the Iraq War, the U.S. Navy has pushed a crash program to develop a new generation of mines.  The U.S. Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command has also been focused on developing counterparts to the fearsome Chinese naval “assassin’s mace,” which is propelled by a rocket engine.

A rising mine, which is effective only in shallow waters, rests atop a small platform on the sea floor under a camouflage of sand and gravel.  Its detection system uses acoustics and magnetic readings to pick up enemy ships and submarines.  When activated, jets of compressed air or solid-fuel rockets lift the bomb, which self-guides toward the magnetic center of the target.  The blast rips the keel, splitting the ship or submarine into two neat pieces, just as was done to the RKOS Cheonan.

A lateral-fired torpedo, in contrast, “holes” the target’s hull, tilting the vessel in the classic war movie manner.  The South Korean government displayed to the press the intact propeller shaft of a torpedo that supposedly struck the Cheonan.  Since torpedoes travel between 40-50 knots per hour (which is faster than collision tests for cars), a drive shaft would crumble upon impacting the hull and its bearing and struts would be shattered or bent by the high-powered blast.

The initial South Korean review stated that the explosive was gunpowder, which would conform to North Korea’s crude munitions.  This claim was later overturned by the inquiry board, which found the chemical residues to be similar to German advanced explosives.  Due to sanctions against Pyongyang and its few allies, it is hardly credible that North Korea could obtain NATO-grade ordnance.

Thus, the mystery centers on the USNS Salvor, which happened to be yet right near Byeongyang Island at the time of the Cheonan sinking and far from its home base, Pearl Harbor. The inquiry board in Seoul has not questioned the officers and divers of the Salvor, which oddly is not under the command of the 7th Fleet but controlled by the innocuous-sounding Military Sealift Command.  Diving-support ships like the Salvor are closely connected with the Office of Naval Intelligence since their duties include secret operations such as retrieving weapons from sunken foreign ships, scouting harbor channels and laying mines, as when the Salvor trained Royal Thai Marine divers in mine-laying in the Gulf of Thailand in 2006, for example.

The Salvor’s presence points to an inadvertent release of a rising mine, perhaps because its activation system was not switched off.  A human error or technical glitch is very much within the realm of possibility due to the swift current and strong tides that race through the Byeongnyeong Channel.  The arduous task of mooring the launch platforms to the sea floor allows the divers precious little time for double-checking the electronic systems.

If indeed it was an American rising mine that sank the Cheonan, it would constitute a friendly-fire accident.  That in itself is not grounds for a criminal investigation against the presidential office and, at worst, amounts only to negligence by the military.  However, any attempt to falsify evidence and engage in a media cover-up for political purposes constitutes tampering, fraud, perjury and possibly treason.

Yoichi Shimatsu, former editor of the Japan Times, is an environmental consultant and a commentator on Asian affairs for CCTV-9 Dialogue.

 
[All emphases in article mine]
 
Article link here

Military Commentator on Truth behind “Story of Attack by North” (Part 1) — North Korea defends itself from accusations about Cheonan sinking [KCNA]

Posted in Cheonan sinking, DPR Korea, south Korea on May 30, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Pyongyang, May 28 (KCNA) — A military commentator Tuesday released the following article in connection with the south Korean regime’s allegation about the north’s “torpedo attack” on south Korean warship “Cheonan”:

The spokesman for the DPRK National Defence Commission solemnly declared the principled position of our army and people on the reckless steps the Lee Myung Bak regime of traitors is going to take against the DPRK after alleging that “Cheonan” was attacked by the north’s torpedo.

The spokesman also said the NDC decided to send an inspection group to south Korea to verify at first hand the “evidence” advertised by the south Korean regime to link the vessel’s sinking with the DPRK.

But the regime has persistently refused to allow the inspection group’s on-the-spot verification, afraid that its allegation would be proved to be false.

From the very outset, we have felt no need to talk about the incident as it is an absurd ploy kicked off by the regime to hurt the DPRK.

Since the regime has refused to accept our recognized demand, however, we cannot but reveal the truth behind the incident.

1. “Story about torpedo attack by the north” is what the south Korean regime invented.

 At around 9 pm on March 26, “Cheonan” went down, broken in two parts, from an unknown cause in the West Sea of Korea off Paekryong and Taechong islands.

On May 20, some 50 days after the tragedy, the south Korean regime made public a “report on the results of a joint investigation” alleging that it was hit by the north’s torpedo.

But the allegation is a sheer fabrication cooked up by it in an effort to deliberately link the case with the DPRK from the day the ship’s sinking occurred.

The fact is illustrated by the “pieces of evidence” produced by the “joint investigation team” under the manipulation of the regime.

Let’s get down to, first of all, an “extremely small amount of powder” that it said was detected from the funnel and the broken edge of the vessel.

The “investigation team” said the detected powder was proved to be RDX, which is used in making torpedo, concluding that the vessel was sunken by the north’s torpedo.

RDX is white crystalline, non-aqueous high explosive which is known to be used by many countries in munitions and other industrial sectors, with south Korea no exception.

It is unreasonable to correlate the use of such powder with the north’s torpedo and it is also groundless to ascribe the tragedy to the torpedo.

It is hard to swallow that powder was detected from the hull of the sunken vessel and its funnel.  The vessel had remained under the salt water, washed up by strong currents, for many days.  Its survivals said they had no smell of powder when the vessel was being sunken [sic].  And fishermen testified that they saw no fish or seaweed floated dead by a strong explosion on the spot.  Such facts are enough to excite public doubts.

The spot has often been used as a theater of target practices by the south Korean puppet navy and marine corps with such guns as K-9 and KH-179 howitzers.

A member of the “civilian-military joint investigation team” said that it may be possible to find out a sign of powder under the water as the spot is a fixed theatre of the gun firing, but if the vessel was broken into two by an explosion 6-9 meters deep under the water, not by a direct hit, it is nonsense to allege that a sign of powder was detected from the funnel or hull of the vessel.

He also said if the allegation is true, the undersurface of the vessel should have been thickly coated with powder.

The “investigation team”, finding no word to answer to a question whether the detected powder was compared with that used by south Korea, categorically alleged it is the north’s. As experts view, the analysis of “the powder amount as small as one ten billionth gramme is hardly authentic.

The “evidence”, which can be invented only by those rabid in anti-north confrontation and plots, could not be used in the final investigation results for fear that it would be rejected by the public.

The same holds true for “another piece of evidence” offered by the “investigation team”.

The south Korean regime had combed the area 500 meters around the spot to find out remnants since the incident occurred.

After many days, however, it suddenly announced that “alloy fragments” crucial for the probe into the incident were found out.

It said that the fragments were proved to be alloy of aluminium and magnesium, both used in making torpedo’s outer cover, and that they are the same with the material of the north’s practice torpedo the south side obtained seven years ago, evidencing the “north’s torpedo attack”.

Admittedly, aluminium and magnesium are used in diverse fields.  They were apparently used in building the submerged vessel, too.

Strangely enough, the metal fragments were confirmed to be the “north’s”.

Many doubts have also arisen as regards the afterbody of the torpedo, allegedly found out in the water under the spot of the incident prior to the announcement of the “investigation results”.

The regime, citing it as “another crucial piece of evidence”, has asserted that the afterbody with five propellers, engine, control device and driving shaft left undamaged is the same in size, shape and composition with CHT-02D torpedo design in the north’s pamphlet introducing its “weapons for export”.

Does the assertion really sound reasonable?

Even the bow and stern of the vessel, as heavy as hundreds of tons, were tossed about by currents and six of its crew reported missing because their bodies have not yet been found out.  Such being the case, it is unimaginable that the 1.5-meter-long afterbody of the torpedo remained in the same place for some 50 days and that a fishing boat pulled up with a fish net the afterbody scores of U.S. and south Korean warships equipped with up-to-date detection devices had failed to find out.

The south Korean regime has offered even photos in a bid to justify its assertion but they only reveal that it is a lie.

Besides, the assertion that the screw shaft and engine remained undamaged and unchanged in shape is also a laughing shock [sic].  Even U.S. and British members of the international investigation team, which had blindly backed the south Korean regime in its “investigation”, were perplexed at the exhibit in a glass box.

It lacks logic to include detailed torpedo designs considered top-secret in pamphlets available in other countries.  It is the view of experts that the vessel’s broken edges by non-contact explosion cannot be the same in corrosion with the torpedo severely heated by self- explosion.

“No. 1” written in the rear part of the screw in the “writing style of the north” is what the south Korean regime has produced as the “clearest piece of evidence”.

It is a matter of common sense to leave no clue in stealthy attack.

Even south Korean experts, with doubt that the north left such a clue, are of the view that the number of the screw that allegedly remained unerased under the water for many days was not carved by a machine but handwritten with a blue felt-tip pen apparently some time ago.

They also say the north’s style of marking number in military equipment is quite different from that produced by the south side as “evidence”.

The “evidence” is so poor that south Koreans ridicule it, saying, “The north is very kind to write the letters in the part unapt to rust,” “Blue bus No. 1 on the street is what infiltrated the south from the north”, “The letters are similar with those of my 8-year-old nephew. Then is my nephew also a spy?” and “Anyone who votes for No. 1 (the number of the Grand National Party in elections to local self-governing bodies) is a traitor”.

The same is true for the north’s submarine infiltration route offered by the south Korean regime as “another piece of evidence”.

The “civilian-military joint investigation team” announced that the submarine left its base at night three days before the occurrence of the incident, approached “Cheonan” after making a channel detour in the open sea, attacked the vessel and went back through the same course.

Encountering the demand for a detailed explanation, however, it said it is difficult for any countries to track submarine’s underwater movement so that the infiltration and returning course of the north’s submarine could not be confirmed.

Asked how a small submarine with some 300kg torpedo could hit the 1 400t vessel at a stroke with a 1.7t[?] torpedo in the West Sea where the underwater topography is so complicated and objects can hardly be recognized even within ten meters, the “investigation team” answered that it might be possible if the submarine underwent a training beforehand in similar water.

The spot of the incident is in the troubled water of the north and the south of Korea where the south side has allegedly maintained alert posture with many detecting and monitoring systems.

Furthermore, when the vessel met a mishap, the “Foal Eagle” joint military maneuvers were at their height with flotillas of various naval vessels and underwater and aerial reconnaissance means mobilized in anti-warship, anti-submarine, anti-air, sea lane blocking and other operations.

Nevertheless, the investigation team”, just visualizing the infiltration course of the “north’s submarine”, invented the “channel course”.

Commenting on the “investigation results”, south Korean press have said that they should have been worked out in an exact and certain way so that they could never be faulted by others but they were made with imagination in such a way as incriminating the north without grounds, only to amplify doubts.  They have also said that it is not only “Cheonan” but public trust in the Lee Myung Bak regime that was sunken, that the incident has aroused more and more doubts and deepened mistrust and that if someone makes public a declaration of conscience in the future, the regime will surely face a miserable fate for its fabrication.

It is only too [sic] natural that progressive media of south Korea decided to form a committee to verify the “investigation results” made public by the south Korean regime.

As the facts show, the “crucial pieces of evidence” produced by the south Korean regime, a master of fabrication and concoction, are nothing but faked things from A to Z, inviting serious doubts. (to be continued)

New base deal drives wedge through Japanese gov’t, alienates islanders; analysis of Japanese government betrayal on US military base at Okinawa [Xinhua]

Posted in Cheonan sinking, DPR Korea, Japan, Okinawa, US foreign occupation, US imperialism on May 29, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

A great analysis of a historic failure in Japanese democracy and how Japan uses North Korea as a pretext when it capitulates to its US masters.  Native politicians prioritizing the occupiers’ agenda over their constituents’ is a definition of tyranny and marks them as collaborators at best, traitors at worst.  Solidarity with the Japanese who deserve to be free of US occupation, and especially the long-suffering people of Okinawa.  – 左手  

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) shakes hands with her Japanese counterpart Katsuya Okada before their meeting in Tokyo May 21, 2010. It's not known if Clinton was equipped with a joy buzzer. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

by Jonathan Day

TOKYO, May 29 (Xinhua) — Japan and the United States announced in a joint statement a new framework of agreement regarding the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture, the subject of a steadily escalating debate that has tested the resolve of Washington and raised questions about Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s ability to govern.

The announcement on Friday was supposed to settle a debate over the issue that had become exhaustive, but it only served to fan the flames of betrayal and uncertainty felt by Okinawans that may never fully be extinguished having burned so fiercely for so long.

Indeed, as much as the decision has served to drive the political wedge further between Okinawa and mainland Japan, it has also caused a rift in the ruling coalition following Hatoyama’s forcible dismissal of Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Mizuho Fukushima, who, not wishing to betray the people of Okinawa, refused to sign a Cabinet document sanctioning the plan.

SDP leader Mizuho Fukushima, seen in this September 16, 2009 photo, refused to betray promises made about relocating a US military base in Okinawa and was sacked from the ruling coalition cabinet as a consequence. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo).

The whole ordeal has left all and sundry utterly flummoxed.

Hatoyama has dithered, bungled, deceived, flip-flopped and fumbled his way back to the exact point he started from when he took office last September, regarding the relocation of the Futenma facility, numerous political pundits are asserting.

In 2006 after some thirteen years of deliberation Japan and the United States agreed on the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, which featured the relocation of the heliport functions of Futenma to a coastal area of the U.S. Marines’ Camp Schwab and the building of two 1,600-meter runways in a V-shaped formation.

The 2010 accord made on Friday stipulates that the replacement facility will be located at the U.S. Marines’ Camp Schwab Henoko- saki area and adjacent waters, with the runway portion(s) of the facility to be 1,800 meters long.

Under the new plan, more military training exercises will be transferred outside of Okinawa, with Tokunoshima Island mentioned again by Hatoyama as a possible candidate site — despite the three mayors and residents of the tiny island’s flat-out rejection of the idea.

For all intents and purposes, the original bilateral accord from 2006 still stands (albeit with the United States gaining 400 meters worth of extra runway length) — Washington maintained all along that the 2006 pact represented the best way forward, meanwhile Hatoyama was jumping through as many hoops as he himself could create, before finally jumping through the first one all over again.

“The only thing Hatoyama could do is return to the original plan.  The opposition parties will be angry, and so will the public, especially the people of Okinawa,” commented Tsuneo Watanabe, a senior fellow at the Tokyo Foundation think tank, in a recent analysis of the situation.

SMR analyst Daniel Stewart hit the nail on the head with his epigrammatic summary of Hatoyama’s current predicament.

“Prime Minister Hatoyama has shot himself in the foot again on the vexed issue of the U.S. base on Okinawa.  He originally pledged to close it as part of his landslide winning platform last August.  He has now changed his mind but his coalition partners and the good citizens of Okinawa have not.  He is now facing defeat in the forthcoming upper house election.  He has apologized for breaking his pledge and is (of course) using the Korean situation as cover,” said Stewart in a recent editorial on the matter.

The prime minister having reneged on his pre-election promise to move the base “at least” outside Okinawa also gave up on reaching an agreement with future prospective hosts and the coalition parties by his self-imposed deadline and fully prioritized striking a deal with the United States.  This, according to notable political insiders, was certainly the path of least resistance, considering the United States had made its mind up on the issue back in 2006.

BROKEN PROMISES

Thousands of people gathered in Nago on Friday to express their disgust at Hatoyama’s U-turn having raised their hopes of military emancipation.

His flagrant backtracking on the issue since he took office in September has the entire nation questioning his credibility as a leader and has seen the support rate for his Cabinet plunge to levels that have previously necessitated the resignation of a number of his predecessors, which will certainly play into the hands of the leading opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), when it comes to the key upper house elections this summer.

Hatoyama has repeatedly vowed to relocate the Futenma facility outside Okinawa prefecture, starting with the then opposition Democratic Party’s “Okinawa Vision 2008” campaign launched in July 2008, the fundamental premise of which was to move the base out of Okinawa and eventually out of Japan all together.

This became the mantra that, to a significant degree, as political pundits would attest, propelled the Democratic party of Japan (DPJ) President through his election campaign and into the prime ministerial office.

The question remains, however, as elementary as it sounds, why make a promise you have no chance of keeping?

Local media reported Friday that Susumu Inamine, mayor of Nago, whose coastal area Henoko has been mentioned in the agreement as Futenma’s relocation site, said the probability of the Marine base being relocated there is “zero.”  He told local reporters he would not even involve himself in further negotiations with the central government.

Anger and a sense of betrayal and resentment has reached fever pitch in Okinawa, following Friday’s announcement.

“The ancestors of the Hatoyama family will cry, saying, ‘ Grandson the liar,'” local reports quoted Okinawa resident Muneyoshi Kayo as saying with reference to Hatoyama’s grandfather, former Prime Minister Ichiro Hatoyama.

“I’m just outraged and I’m not a native Okinawan although I’ ve lived here for almost 30 years,” Christopher Bellamy, general manager of a prominent international hotel in Naha, Okinawa, told Xinhua by phone.

“I’ve got staff members in tears, screaming:  ‘Why? Why? Why?’ it’s really traumatic for everyone here.  We all feel foolish now for believing things would change — there’s a really bitter feeling in the air.”

“I have nothing against the U.S. military generally, but I don’ t know any locals who haven’t had some kind of negative experience. I think Okinawa’s had enough,” he said.

In fact the defense ministry reported this month that 50 percent of crimes and accidents that take place on Okinawa are linked to the U.S. military, perhaps none more heinous than the 1995 rape of a 12-year old girl by three U.S. servicemen.

“Part of the reason may be due to the premier’s political hubris,” the Wall Street Journal proffered as an explanation to the completion of Hatoyama’s turnaround on Friday.

“He was catapulted into office in August with a popularity rating of more than 70 percent and the political capital to make a decision and stick to it.  He promised during the campaign to ” rebalance” the U.S.-Japan relationship without a clear idea of how to do it…”

“…the Obama Administration immediately sent everyone from the national security advisor to the defense secretary to Tokyo to talk some sense into the new Democratic Party-led coalition.  The public pressure — unusual for the two alliance partners — alerted the Japanese public to the seriousness of the blunder and Mr. Hatoyama’s public-approval ratings started to fall.”

THE DAMAGE HAS BEEN DONE

Deposed Cabinet minister Mizuho Fukushima hinted Saturday that the SDP would not so much as quit the coalition, but were effectively being kicked out for their stance on Futenma.

Such a split would be very untimely for Hatoyama’s Democratic Party ahead of an upper house election in July, but would not signal the end of the DPJ as they retain a vast majority in parliament’s more powerful lower house, but in the long term, perhaps the damage already done is irrevocable.

“The damage to his government has, of course, already been done, because the damage to the government’s reputation had less to do with the substance of the realignment plan.. than with the government’s gross incompetence in its handling of the issue,” said Tobias Harris, a specialist on Japanese politics and former employee of a DPJ upper house member, in a recent commentary on his “Observing Japan” website.

“Despite its persistent efforts to remind the public that all options were on the table, I wonder whether the public will see the government’s actions as anything but capitulation after months of dithering,” Harris said.

Foxconn (富士康) to raise salaries 20% after employee suicides; Shenzhen government says management problem to blame for Foxconn deaths (政府发言人:富士康企业管理文化使得负面问题叠加) [FT & People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Labor on May 29, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Financial Times’ article about Foxconn’s plan to raise salaries is here.  I cannot share the article here as FT does not allow excerpting and copying of its copyrighted material to the web.

***

Shenzhen government: management problem to blame for Foxconn deaths

The Foxconn suicides are a special problem during a period of rapid industrialization, and the company’s management is responsible for a pile-up effect of employees’ negative emotions, said Li Ping, spokesman for the Shenzhen Municipal Government on May 26.

On the afternoon of May 26, Wang Rong, secretary of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, along with other city officials, visited the Foxconn plant in Shenzhen to investigate the suicide incidents.

Li Ping said that police are investigating these incidents and will assist the company to prevent further tragedies.  The health bureau has sent 30 psychologists to Foxconn.  The human resource and social security regulators have probed the contracts, income and working conditions.  Shenzhen General Labor Union has also met with high executives of Foxconn Group to give advice on enterprise management and workplace relations.

He said that the government will further promote the improvement of laborers’ living conditions and enterprise management, make targeted psychological interventions and help the enterprises’ transformation during the financial crisis in order to prevent similar incidents.

Traumatized by the series of tragedies, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou, the usually media-shy executive, flew to Shenzhen to show off his plant to around 300 Chinese and foreign reporters in order to repair the image of the manufacturing giant, which makes iPods and other popular gadgets.

He promised the firm would do everything possible to prevent more deaths.  Nets were put on buildings to stop people from jumping and about 100 mental health counselors are being trained.

Gou said Foxconn would also adjust salary for employees in two weeks and fund the establishment of a hospital to provide professional therapy for employees.

Gou repeatedly said he felt sorry for the situation.  “What I’m the most concerned with is to prevent the same tragedies from happening again.”

Another employee of Foxconn Technology Group jumped to death Wednesday night just hours after the company chief promised better welfare.  It was the 10th death and 12th fall at the plant in Shenzhen this year. Two Foxconn employees had survived their suicide attempts but sustained severe injuries.

政府发言人:富士康企业管理文化使得负面问题叠加

26日下午,深圳市委书记王荣率该市有关部门负责人来到富士康科技集团,调研该公司连日发生员工跳楼事件。

从今年初截至记者发稿时止,富士康集团在深圳的生产厂区已连续发生“11连跳”。

今天傍晚深圳市政府举行的新闻发布会上,深圳市人民政府秘书长、新闻发言人李平介绍,深圳警方已对事件开展调查,并协助、督促企业加强防范;卫生部门派出30多名心理医生进行员工心理辅导、接受员工心理咨询和心理危机干预;深圳市总工会约见富士康集团高层,就改善企业管理和劳资关系等提出建议;人力资源保障部门对该集团员工的劳动合同、工资收入、加班时间、劳动强度等进行了重点调查。。。

People’s Daily Online article link here

Beijing suspects false flag attack on South Korean corvette [Online Journal / Wayne Madsen Report]

Posted in Beijing, Black propaganda, Cheonan sinking, DPR Korea, False flag, Japan, Korea, Okinawa, south Korea, US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA 21st Century Cold War, Wayne Madsen Report on May 29, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

The connection of this incident with the US recently imposing its continued military occupation on Japan / Okinawa is tremendously astute.  Such is the backdrop of the so-very-coincidental diplomatic love-fests recently going on every-which-way in northeastern Asia between North Korea, China, the US, South Korea, and Japan.  Besides China, Russia also hasn’t accepted the ‘official’ cover story about the Cheonan.  – 左手

By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

May 28, 2010

 

(WMR) — WMR’s intelligence sources in Asia suspect that the March attack on the South Korean Navy anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette, the Cheonan, was a false flag attack designed to appear as coming from North Korea.

One of the main purposes for increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula was to apply pressure on Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to reverse course on moving the U.S. Marine Corps base off Okinawa.  Hatoyama has admitted that the tensions over the sinking of the Cheonan played a large part in his decision to allow the U.S. Marines to remain on Okinawa.  Hatoyama’s decision has resulted in a split in the ruling center-left coalition government, a development welcome in Washington, with Mizuho Fukushima, the Social Democratic Party leader threatening to bolt the coalition over the Okinawa reversal.

The Cheonan was sunk near Baengnyeong Island, a westernmost spot that is far from the South Korean coast, but opposite the North Korean coast.  The island is heavily militarized and within artillery fire range of North Korean coastal defenses, which lie across a narrow channel.

The Cheonan, an ASW corvette, was decked out with state-of-the-art sonar, plus it was operating in waters with extensive hydrophone sonar arrays and acoustic underwater sensors.  There is no South Korean sonar or audio evidence of a torpedo, submarine or mini-sub in the area.  Since there is next to no shipping in the channel, the sea was silent at the time of the sinking.

However, Baengnyeong Island hosts a joint US-South Korea military intelligence base and the US Navy SEALS operate out of the base.  In addition, four U.S. Navy ships were in the area, part of the joint U.S-South Korean Exercise Foal Eagle, during the sinking of the Cheonan.  An investigation of the suspect torpedo’s metallic and chemical fingerprints show it to be of German manufacture.  There are suspicions that the US Navy SEALS maintains a sampling of European torpedoes for sake of plausible deniability for false flag attacks.  Also, Berlin does not sell torpedoes to North Korea, however, Germany does maintain a close joint submarine and submarine weapons development program with Israel.

The presence of the USNS Salvor, one of the participants in Foal Eagle, so close to Baengnyeong Island during the sinking of the South Korean corvette also raises questions.

The Salvor, a civilian Navy salvage ship, which participated in mine laying activities for the Thai Marines in the Gulf of Thailand in 2006, was present near the time of the blast with a complement of 12 deep sea divers.

Beijing, satisfied with North Korea’s Kim Jong Il’s claim of innocence after a hurried train trip from Pyongyang to Beijing, suspects the U.S. Navy’s role in the Cheonan’s sinking, with particular suspicion on the role of the Salvor.  The suspicions are as follows:

1. The Salvor engaged in a seabed mine-installation operation, in other words, attaching horizontally fired anti-submarine mines on the sea floor in the channel.

2. The Salvor was doing routine inspection and maintenance on seabed mines, and put them into an electronic active mode (hair trigger release) as part of the inspection program.

3. A SEALS diver attached a magnetic mine to the Cheonan, as part of a covert program aimed at influencing public opinion in South Korea, Japan and China.

The Korean peninsula tensions have conveniently overshadowed all other agenda items on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visits to Beijing and Seoul.

Article link here