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mike black
01-15-2006, 09:01 PM
(didn't see this posted. Never heard of this site before.)

Monsters And Critics (http://news.monstersandcritics.com/asiapacific/article_1075163.php/Kim_Jong_II_disappears_in_China_amid_financial_woe s)


Kim Jong II disappears in China amid financial woes

http://media.monstersandcritics.com/galleries/89083/00583067250.jpg

Beijing - North Korean leader Kim Jong II has disappeared in China. His luxurious special train which reportedly crossed the border into China Tuesday morning at Dandong was nowhere to be found Wednesday.

'We really would like to know where he is, but we simply don't have a clue,' said a South Korean military attache, who added he felt he was left in the lurch by his own intelligence services.

Although the train was seen travelling in the direction of Beijing by officials at two railway stations, Kim did not show up in the Chinese capital, sparking a torrent of speculation.

Some wondered whether Kim had only travelled through China on his way to Russia - a scenario 'almost ruled out' by one South Korean diplomat, given the fact that a direct rail connection exists between the North Korean capital Pyongyang and Moscow.

South Korean news agency Yonhap said it learned that the despotic North Korean leader had overcome his deep-rooted fear of flying and had flown to Shanghai, without explaining why his personal train would be travelling across China without him.

'He's not in Beijing at any rate,' the diplomat said confidently.

Instead of visiting Shanghai or Beijing, Kim Jong Il would do better to get to Macao as quickly as possible, observers joked, referring to an investigation into North Korean deposits in a bank in the southern Chinese enclave formerly administrated by Portugal.

In 1999, Macao was reintegrated into China as an autonomous region with special status. Macao is famous not only for its casinos and its mafia but also as a stomping ground for shadowy characters from North Korea. It's no coincidence there is a direct flight to Macao from Pyongyang. Investors from Macao even run a casino in the heart of the Stalinist state.

Kim Jong II's financial problems began in September when the United States took punitive measures against Macao's Banco Delta Asia, which allegedly helped North Korea distribute counterfeit U.S. dollars. The U.S. authorities are said to have seized fake U.S. bank notes produced by North Korea estimated at 45 million dollars.

The U.S. Treasury Department in September banned any deals by U.S. banks with Banco Delta Asia. The bank closed all accounts belonging to North Koreans, including accounts belonging to 20 banks, 11 trading firms, and 9 individuals, the Washington Post reported.

An investigation by Macao authorities into the bank triggered a rush on deposits and the Macao government had to take over the bank. Banco Delta Asia is believed to have managed substantial amounts of money for the family of Kim Jong Il. The sanctions would mean these stashes have dried up.

The U.S. also froze the assets of eight North Korean companies suspected of involvement in the proliferation of technology used for weapons of mass destruction.

The measures struck at the heart of the North Korean regime. The U.S. wanted to destroy the North Korea system with the sanctions 'by stopping its blood flow', the North Korean foreign ministry complained bitterly.

If the sanctions were not lifted, North Korea would not rejoin six-party talks on its nuclear programme with the U.S., China, South Korea, Japan and Russia, the ministry said, raising the stakes.

As host of the talks, China is worried that these 'new, complicated factors' might impede the resumption of the talks originally scheduled for the beginning of this year.

Experts said Kim probably hoped to discuss the sanctions and his financial predicament with China's government during his surprise secret visit. But he may find little understanding.

'We support the investigation by the authorities in Macao,' said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Kong Quan. China firmly opposed money laundering or other illegal activities, he stressed, adding possible criminal offences would be dealt with 'according to the law'.

© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Ben
01-15-2006, 09:21 PM
Hmm...

mike black
01-15-2006, 09:24 PM
Hmm...

You know, seeing you as the first reply put the dread of "It was already posted!" in me.

I hate that you've done that.

Ben
01-15-2006, 09:28 PM
You know, seeing you as the first reply put the dread of "It was already posted!" in me.

I hate that you've done that.
I rarely call people on double-posts. Relax.

mike black
01-15-2006, 09:42 PM
I rarely call people on double-posts. Relax.

I can't keep it straight anymore. Who's the political shark, who calls double posts, and who just drops snark.

Bill?
01-15-2006, 09:42 PM
he'll be back.
he always comes back.
:scared:

WinterRose
01-15-2006, 10:32 PM
I can't keep it straight anymore. Who's the political shark, who calls double posts, and who just drops snark.

Hell, I can't even figure out who wears the tutu and who greases the ferrets. Who plays what idioscyncratic sociological role on what basis anymore is WAY beyond me. I'm doing good to just post in the right thread. This was the one with the New Mutants quiz, right? I got Warlock! ^_^

Flonk
01-15-2006, 10:36 PM
Have they checked behind the couch yet? Whenever I loose something, it always ends up behind the couch. :?