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Los derechos humanos como moneda de cambio: el caso de la #LeyTelecom

10-lug-14

Todo indica que la polémica Ley de Telecomunicaciones en México terminará siendo promulgada sin cambios sustanciales. Pero más allá de lo que dice la ley, los procesos políticos detrás de su tramitación parecen aún más graves: consideran a los derechos humanos como una moneda de cambio.

En ONG Derechos Digitales colaboramos con R3D de México para hacer internetlibre.mxEn ONG Derechos Digitales colaboramos con R3D de México para hacer internetlibre.mx [CC BY ONG Derechos Digitales]

Las noticias no son buenas. Pese a todos los esfuerzos de la sociedad civil mexicana, el proyecto de Ley de Telecomunicaciones de México está casi listo para convertirse en ley.

La preocupación por esta ley es ampliamente justificada. Su aproximación a temas tales como la regulación de medios, neutralidad de la red y diversas facultades que se le entregan a funcionarios públicos, especialmente aquellas relacionadas con requerir cortes de servicio en áreas geográficas determinadas o implementar medidas de vigilancia desproporcionadas e innecesarias.

La iniciativa es tan crítica que concilió la atención internacional. De hecho, ONG Derechos Digitales colaboró en varias ocasiones con otras organizaciones en México para buscar mejoras en los puntos críticos de la ley.

Pero más allá de los puntos específicos problemáticos de la Ley de Telecomunicaciones, persiste una sensación amarga respecto de los procesos políticos que subyacen a estas decisiones: por un lado, por la poca participación y transparencia del proyecto, y por otro, por el tono general del proyecto y las concepciones de interés público y derechos humanos que allí asoman.

Una de los principales causantes de esta sensación, es la nefasta idea respecto a que los derechos humanos serían un activo negociable en nombre de la eficiencia del mercado, la inclusión social, la penetración digital o la seguridad pública. Bajo este planteamiento, si un proyecto de ley sacrifica algunos de estos derechos, aquello no sería problema pues ya aparecerán los defensores de los DD.HH. y otros actores relevantes para poner los puntos sobre las íes y “asunto arreglado”.

blblblbEl grave problema de derechos humanos en #LeyTelecom es mucho más profundo que lo que dice la ley [CC BY ONG Derechos Digitales].

Sin embargo, decidir sobre el respeto a los derechos humanos, sea en Internet o en otra plataforma o lugar, no equivale a definir una simple política pública, ni una subvención a una industria determinada, ni compite en importancia con la innovación o el mercado. El respeto a los derechos humanos es parte esencial de un sistema democrático y un Estado de derecho; ellos garantizan un mínimo de derechos que tienen todas las personas por su sola calidad de seres humanos, y les sirven de base para poder desarrollarse en una sociedad y gozar sus otros derechos.

De hecho, en la mayoría de las constituciones políticas occidentales se reconoce el respeto a estos derechos no como una facultad, sino como un límite al poder del Estado y de otros agentes privados, y un deber esencial del mismo. No una facultad de negociar ni de realizar componendas. Es también el caso de la Constitución Mexicana, que define clara e inequívocamente este punto en su artículo primero1  .

Sin embargo, de la lectura del proyecto de Ley de Telecomunicaciones y otras conductas del gobierno mexicano (como la censura al sitio 1dmx), queda claro que los énfasis no están puestos allí. En el proyecto de ley en cuestión, es fácil constatar que su lenguaje está pensado desde las facultades del gobierno, desde las obligaciones de colaborar con los órganos policiales, desde las excepciones que tornan inútiles algunas reglas, desde la necesidad de limitar los derechos humanos, cuando son estos los que deberían limitar al poder. Lo anterior queda clarísimo en la redacción de los artículos 189 y siguientes del proyecto, donde se limitan a hablar de las necesidades del gobierno.

blblblbActivismo para detener la #LeyTelecom [Cortesía de accesnow.org]

Es cierto que la política se basa en la deliberación y negociación. Pero cuando el mecanismo y el lenguaje para diseñar políticas públicas parte desde las necesidades de un gobierno o determinados agentes privados, en lugar de partir de un enfoque de derechos humanos e interés público, las bases de estos procesos de deliberación y/o negociación vienen sesgadas y mal diseñadas.

Lamentablemente, en este escenario, el rol de la sociedad civil será el de apagar incendios y corregir errores antes que permitir que nuestros derechos florezcan y se desarrollen en la sociedad.

ONG Derechos Digitales http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/cl/deed.es

Los derechos humanos como moneda de cambio: el caso de la #LeyTelecom

10-lug-14

Todo indica que la polémica Ley de Telecomunicaciones en México terminará siendo promulgada sin cambios sustanciales. Pero más allá de lo que dice la ley, los procesos políticos detrás de su tramitación parecen aún más graves: consideran a los derechos humanos como una moneda de cambio.

En ONG Derechos Digitales colaboramos con R3D de México para hacer internetlibre.mxEn ONG Derechos Digitales colaboramos con R3D de México para hacer internetlibre.mx [CC BY ONG Derechos Digitales]

Las noticias no son buenas. Pese a todos los esfuerzos de la sociedad civil mexicana, el proyecto de Ley de Telecomunicaciones de México está casi listo para convertirse en ley.

La preocupación por esta ley es ampliamente justificada. Su aproximación a temas tales como la regulación de medios, neutralidad de la red y diversas facultades que se le entregan a funcionarios públicos, especialmente aquellas relacionadas con requerir cortes de servicio en áreas geográficas determinadas o implementar medidas de vigilancia desproporcionadas e innecesarias.

La iniciativa es tan crítica que concilió la atención internacional. De hecho, ONG Derechos Digitales colaboró en varias ocasiones con otras organizaciones en México para buscar mejoras en los puntos críticos de la ley.

Pero más allá de los puntos específicos problemáticos de la Ley de Telecomunicaciones, persiste una sensación amarga respecto de los procesos políticos que subyacen a estas decisiones: por un lado, por la poca participación y transparencia del proyecto, y por otro, por el tono general del proyecto y las concepciones de interés público y derechos humanos que allí asoman.

Una de los principales causantes de esta sensación, es la nefasta idea respecto a que los derechos humanos serían un activo negociable en nombre de la eficiencia del mercado, la inclusión social, la penetración digital o la seguridad pública. Bajo este planteamiento, si un proyecto de ley sacrifica algunos de estos derechos, aquello no sería problema pues ya aparecerán los defensores de los DD.HH. y otros actores relevantes para poner los puntos sobre las íes y “asunto arreglado”.

blblblbEl grave problema de derechos humanos en #LeyTelecom es mucho más profundo que lo que dice la ley [CC BY ONG Derechos Digitales].

Sin embargo, decidir sobre el respeto a los derechos humanos, sea en Internet o en otra plataforma o lugar, no equivale a definir una simple política pública, ni una subvención a una industria determinada, ni compite en importancia con la innovación o el mercado. El respeto a los derechos humanos es parte esencial de un sistema democrático y un Estado de derecho; ellos garantizan un mínimo de derechos que tienen todas las personas por su sola calidad de seres humanos, y les sirven de base para poder desarrollarse en una sociedad y gozar sus otros derechos.

De hecho, en la mayoría de las constituciones políticas occidentales se reconoce el respeto a estos derechos no como una facultad, sino como un límite al poder del Estado y de otros agentes privados, y un deber esencial del mismo. No una facultad de negociar ni de realizar componendas. Es también el caso de la Constitución Mexicana, que define clara e inequívocamente este punto en su artículo primero1  .

Sin embargo, de la lectura del proyecto de Ley de Telecomunicaciones y otras conductas del gobierno mexicano (como la censura al sitio 1dmx), queda claro que los énfasis no están puestos allí. En el proyecto de ley en cuestión, es fácil constatar que su lenguaje está pensado desde las facultades del gobierno, desde las obligaciones de colaborar con los órganos policiales, desde las excepciones que tornan inútiles algunas reglas, desde la necesidad de limitar los derechos humanos, cuando son estos los que deberían limitar al poder. Lo anterior queda clarísimo en la redacción de los artículos 189 y siguientes del proyecto, donde se limitan a hablar de las necesidades del gobierno.

blblblbActivismo para detener la #LeyTelecom [Cortesía de accesnow.org]

Es cierto que la política se basa en la deliberación y negociación. Pero cuando el mecanismo y el lenguaje para diseñar políticas públicas parte desde las necesidades de un gobierno o determinados agentes privados, en lugar de partir de un enfoque de derechos humanos e interés público, las bases de estos procesos de deliberación y/o negociación vienen sesgadas y mal diseñadas.

Lamentablemente, en este escenario, el rol de la sociedad civil será el de apagar incendios y corregir errores antes que permitir que nuestros derechos florezcan y se desarrollen en la sociedad.

ONG Derechos Digitales http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/cl/deed.es

U.S. Taxpayers Are Subsidizing Defense of Alleged Killers of Palestinian Teen

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A controversial Israeli organization that's representing the six men recently arrested in the recent revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager is receiving thousands of dollars in tax-deductible support from Americans. The group, called Honenu (which roughly translates to "pardon"), supports Israelis charged with or convicted of violence against Palestinians.

Honenu's work goes well goes beyond legal aid.

The group says it also provides "spiritual" and "financial" assistance to prisoners and their families. Among those Honenu has helped: Yigal Amir, assassin of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin; an Israeli convicted of murdering seven Palestinians at a bus stop; and an Israeli soldier convicted of manslaughter and obstruction of justice after shooting a British photographer in Gaza.

The tax-exempt donations do not appear to run afoul of U.S. law. But they do put U.S. taxpayers in the position of subsidizing aid to Israelis convicted of politically motivated violence.

Asked about the group's work, Honenu spokesman Eran Schwartz said the organization "provides much help to Israeli police, soldiers and citizens who are entitled, as are all people, to legal defense." Schwartz declined to answer our other questions, including about the group's financial support that goes beyond legal defense. (See their full statement below.)

A suspect (L) connected to the death of Mohammed Abu Khdeir is seen covering his face at the court house in Petah Tikva, central Israel. (Xinhua/JINI)

Honenu's latest filing to the Israeli government shows it overall budget for 2012 was nearly $600,000, about $120,000 of which went to legal aid, $34,000 to "financial assistance," and the rest to salaries and overhead. (Here is Honenu's filing, in Hebrew.)

The group, which was founded in 2001, uses an American nonprofit as conduit for donations. Honenu's website, which advertises that "your contribution is tax-deductible," says checks should be made out to "Central Fund of Israel," or CFI. As the New York Times detailed in 2010, the Central Fund of Israel serves as a "clearinghouse" for donations to hundreds of groups in Israel, some of them supporting settlements.

CFI has grown almost continuously since it was founded in 1979 by members of the Marcus family, who own a New York textile company.

Operating from Manhattan's garment district, CFI received about $16 million in 2012, according to the Fund's latest filing with the Internal Revenue Service. Jay Marcus, who now runs CFI, said donations in 2013 reached about $19 million.

In the Fund's filings with the IRS, it lists donations to Israeli groups as going to "social services, humanitarian aid, and aid to the poor."

Marcus confirmed in a phone call that his organization transfers donations to Honenu. "They are a legal aid society," he said.

Honenu's filing with the Israeli government shows the group received about $120,000 from CFI in 2012. The documents identify another $12,000 coming from "Honenu USA." A nonprofit organization with that name operated from Queens, New York and last filed a report to the Internal Revenue Service in 2010, stating it had received contributions of $33,000. It is not clear if Honenu USA is still active.

Marcus Owens, a lawyer who ran the IRS's nonprofit unit in the 1990s said such donations can fall into a tricky area: "While providing legal assistance to those accused of crimes is a long-standing charitable purpose (e.g. the American Civil Liberties Union), providing assistance to relatives of those convicted of crimes has been viewed by the US government as potentially encouraging further criminal action."

The State Department's recent annual report on terrorism included, for the first time, attacks by Israelis against Palestinians, citing a rise in "violent acts by extremist Jewish individuals and groups in retaliation for activity they deemed to be anti-settlement."

If you have experience with or information about American nonprofits supporting extremists in Israel, email Uri Blau or tweet him @uri_blau. Blau is an Israeli investigative journalist specialized in military and political affairs, corruption and transparency. He was a 2014 Nieman Fellow for Journalism at Harvard University.

Full response from Honenu

As our article details, Honenu is an Israeli group that received tax-deductible donations from the United States and supports Israelis charged with or convicted of violence against Palestinians. We asked Honenu for comment prior to our article. This is their full response:

Honenu's response to article by Uri Blau. The reporter, Uri Blau was convicted of severe crimes of espionage against Israel which attests to his motives and his anti-Israel and anti-Semitic interests. To date, we have not heard him expressing regret for his criminal actions. Honenu provides much help to Israeli police, soldiers and citizens who are entitled, as are all people, to legal defense. We will not cooperate with a convicted criminal whose goal is to damage Israelis and Jews.

The author of our article, freelancer Uri Blau, was convicted in 2012 in Israel of holding classified military documents he received as a reporter. The International Press Institute condemned the case against Blau as "undermining press freedom in general and investigative journalism in particular" in Israel. Here is more on Blau's case and press freedoms in Israel.

ONG Derechos Digitales colabora con el “Mapa mundial de responsabilidad de intermediarios”

10-lug-14

El centro para Internet y sociedad de la Escuela de Derecho de la Universidad de Standford, ha publicado el “Mapa mundial de responsabilidad de intermediarios”, un documento que detalla la evolución de la regulación de Internet y su relación con la libertad de expresión y los derechos de los usuarios.

Este trabajo fue construido con contribuciones de todas partes del mundo. El capítulo sobre Chile fue realizado gracias al aporte de Juan Carlos Lara, director de contenidos de ONG Derechos Digitales.

Puedes ver el mapa completo acá.

Puedes ver el capítulo sobre Chile acá.

ONG Derechos Digitales http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/cl/deed.es

Kim Jong-un

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For other people named Kim Jong-un, see Kim Jong-un (disambiguation).
This is a Korean name; the family name is Kim.
Kim Jong-un
김정은
Supreme Leader of North Korea
Incumbent
Assumed office
17 December 2011
Premier Choe Yong-rim
Pak Pong-ju
Preceded by Kim Jong-il
First Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea
Incumbent
Assumed office
11 April 2012
Deputy Kim Yong-nam
Choe Yong-rim
Choe Ryong-hae
Ri Yong-ho
Preceded by Kim Jong-il (general secretary)
First Chairman of the National Defence Commission
Incumbent
Assumed office
13 April 2012
Deputy Kim Yong-chun
Ri Yong-mu
O Kuk-ryol
Preceded by Kim Jong-il (Chairman)
Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army
Incumbent
Assumed office
30 December 2011[1]
Preceded by Kim Jong-il
Chairman of the Central Military Commission
Incumbent
Assumed office
11 April 2012
Acting: 17 December 2011 – 11 April 2012
Deputy Choe Ryong-hae
Ri Yong-ho
Preceded by Kim Jong-il
Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission
In office
28 September 2010 – 11 April 2012
Serving with Ri Yong-ho
Leader Kim Jong-il
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Choe Ryong-hae
Ri Yong-ho
Personal details
Born 8 January 1983 (age 31)[2]
Pyongyang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Political party Workers’ Party of Korea
Spouse(s) Ri Sol-ju
Children Kim Ju-ae
Alma mater Kim Il-sung University
Kim Il-sung Military University
Religion None (atheism)
Signature
Military service
Allegiance  Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Years of service 2010–present
Rank Marshal of the Republic (공화국원수, Konghwaguk wonsu)
Commands Supreme Commander
Kim Jong-un
Chosŏn’gŭl
Hancha [3]
Revised Romanization Gim Jeong(-)eun
McCune–Reischauer Kim Chŏngŭn

Kim Jong-un[4] (Korean pronunciation: [ɡ̊imd͜zɔŋʊn]; born 8 January 1983;[2] also romanised as Kim Jong-eun, Kim Jong Un or Kim Jung-eun[5]) is the supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea. He is the son of Kim Jong-il (1941–2011) and the grandson of Kim Il-sung (1912–1994). He has held the titles of the First Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, First Chairman of the National Defence Commission of North Korea, the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army, and presidium member of the Politburo of the Workers’ Party of Korea. He was officially declared the supreme leader following the state funeral for his father on 28 December 2011.[6] He is the third and youngest son of Kim Jong-il and his consort Ko Young-hee.[7]

From late 2010, Kim Jong-un was viewed as heir apparent to the leadership of the nation, and following his father’s death, he was announced as the “Great Successor” by North Korean state television.[8] At Kim Jong-il’s memorial service, North Korean Chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly Kim Yong-nam declared that “Respected Comrade Kim Jong-un is our party, military and country’s supreme leader who inherits great comrade Kim Jong-il’s ideology, leadership, character, virtues, grit and courage”.[9] On 30 December 2011, the Politburo of the Workers’ Party of Korea formally appointed Kim as the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army.[1] On 11 April 2012, the 4th Party Conference elected him to the newly created post of First Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

He was promoted to the rank of marshal of the DPRK in the Korean People’s Army on 18 July 2012, consolidating his position as the supreme commander of the armed forces.[10] He obtained two degrees, one in physics at Kim Il-sung University and another as an Army officer at the Kim Il-sung Military University.[11][12] On 9 March 2014 Kim Jong-un was elected to the Supreme People’s Assembly. He was unopposed but voters had the choice of voting yes or no. There was a record turn-out of voters and according to government officials all voted yes. The election was significant as it was the first time Kim Jong-un had faced an election since inheriting power following the death of his father in 2011.[13] At 31 years of age, he is first North Korean leader born after the country’s founding and the world’s youngest head of state.

Kim was named the world’s 46th most powerful person by Forbes Magazine’s List of The World’s Most Powerful People in 2013, the third highest among Koreans after Ban Ki-moon and Lee Kun-hee.[14]

Early life and education

No official comprehensive biography on Kim Jong-un has yet been released. Therefore, the only known information on his early life comes from defectors and people who have claimed to witness him abroad, such as in Switzerland. Some of the information has been conflicting and contradictory since his brother Kim Jong-chul was attending school in Switzerland around the same period. Nevertheless, there has been some consensus on information about his early life. North Korean authorities have stated that his birthdate is 8 January 1982, but South Korean intelligence officials believe the actual date is a year later. Dennis Rodman said that the birthdate is 8 January 1983 after meeting the young leader in early September 2013.[2]

According to reports first published in Japanese newspapers, he went to school in Switzerland near Bern. First reports claimed he attended the private English-language International School in Gümligen near Bern under the name “Chol-pak” or “Pak-chol” from 1993 until 1998.[15][16][17] He was described as shy, a good student who got along well with his classmates and was a basketball fan.[18] He was chaperoned by an older student, who was thought to be his bodyguard.[19]

Later, it was reported that Kim Jong-un attended the Liebefeld Steinhölzli school in Köniz near Bern under the name “Pak-un” or “Un-pak” from 1998 until 2000 as the son of an employee of the Embassy of North Korea. Authorities of Köniz confirmed that a student from North Korea, registered as the son of a member of the Embassy, attended the school from August 1998 till fall 2000, but were unable to give details about his identity. Pak-un first attended a special class for foreign-language children and later attended the regular classes of the 6th, 7th, 8th, and part of the final 9th year, leaving the school abruptly in fall 2000. He was described as a well-integrated and ambitious student who liked to play basketball.[20] However, his grades and attendance rating are reported to have been poor.[21][22] The ambassador of North Korea in Switzerland, Ri Tcheul, had a close relationship with him and acted as a mentor.[23] One of Pak-un’s classmates told reporters that he had told him that he was the son of the leader of North Korea.[24][25] According to some reports, Jong-un was described by classmates as a shy child who was awkward with girls and indifferent to political issues but who distinguished himself in sports, and had a fascination with the American National Basketball Association and Michael Jordan. One friend claimed that he had been shown pictures of Pak-un with Kobe Bryant and Toni Kukoč taken at an unknown location.[26]

In April 2012, new documents came to light indicating that Kim Jong-un had lived in Switzerland since 1991 or 1992, earlier than previously thought.[27]

The Laboratory of Anatomic Anthropology at the University of Lyon, France, after comparing the picture of the boy Pak-un taken at the Liebefeld Steinhölzli school in 1999 with a picture of Kim Jong-un from 2012 came to the conclusion that the two faces show a conformity of 95%. The head of the institute, Raoul Perrot, a forensic anthropologist, considers it most likely that the two pictures show the same person.[28][29]

It is believed that the student at the Gümligen International School was not Kim Jong-un but his elder brother Kim Jong-chol. It is not known whether the student known as Pak-un in Liebefeld Steinhölzli lived in Switzerland prior to 1998.[30] All the children of Kim Jong-il are said to have lived in Switzerland, as well as the mother of the two youngest sons, who lived in Geneva for some time. The Kim clan is also said to organise family meetings in Switzerland at Lake Geneva and Interlaken.[23]

Most analysts agree that Kim Jong-un attended Kim Il-sung University, a leading officer-training school in Pyongyang, from 2002 to 2007.[31]

For many years, only one confirmed photograph of him was known outside North Korea, apparently taken in the mid-1990s, when he was eleven.[32] Occasional other supposed images of him surfaced but were often disputed.[33][34][35][36] It was only in June 2010, shortly before he was given official posts and publicly introduced to the North Korean people, that more pictures were released of Kim, taken when he was attending school in Switzerland.[37][38] The first official image of him as an adult was a group photograph released on 30 September 2010, at the end of the party conference that effectively anointed him, in which he is seated in the front row, two places from his father. This was followed by newsreel footage of him attending the conference.[39]

Succession

Pre-2010 Party Conference speculation

His eldest half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, had been the favourite to succeed, but reportedly fell out of favour after 2001, when he was caught attempting to enter Japan on a fake passport to visit Tokyo Disneyland.[40]

Kim Jong-il’s former personal chef, Kenji Fujimoto, revealed details regarding Kim Jong-un, with whom he had a good relationship,[41] stating that he was favoured to be his father’s successor. Fujimoto also claimed that Jong-un was favored by his father over his elder brother, Kim Jong-chul, reasoning that Jong-chul is too feminine in character, while Jong-un is “exactly like his father”.[42] Furthermore, Fujimoto stated that “If power is to be handed over then Jong-un is the best for it. He has superb physical gifts, is a big drinker and never admits defeat.” Also, according to Fujimoto, Jong-un smokes Yves Saint Laurent cigarettes, loves Johnnie Walker whisky and has a Mercedes-Benz 600 Sedan.[43] When Jong-un was 18, Fujimoto described an episode where Jong-un questioned his lavish lifestyle and asked, “We are here, playing basketball, riding horses, riding Jet Skis, having fun together. But what of the lives of the average people?”[42] On 15 January 2009 the South Korean news agency, Yonhap, reported that Kim Jong-il had appointed Kim Jong-un to be his successor.[40][44]

On 8 March 2009, the BBC reported rumors that Kim Jong-un was on the ballot for elections to the Supreme People’s Assembly, the rubber stamp parliament of North Korea.[45] Subsequent reports indicate that his name did not appear on the list of lawmakers,[46] but he was later elevated to a mid-level position in the National Defense Commission, which is a branch of the North Korean military.[47] Reports have also suggested that he is a diabetic and suffers from hypertension.[48][49]

North Koreans bowing to the statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il

From 2009, it was understood by foreign diplomatic services that Kim was to succeed his father Kim Jong-il as the head of the Korean Workers’ Party and de facto leader of North Korea.[50] He has been named “Yŏngmyŏng-han Tongji” (영명한 동지), which loosely translates to “Brilliant Comrade”.[51] His father had also asked embassy staff abroad to pledge loyalty to his son.[49] There have also been reports that citizens in North Korea were encouraged to sing a newly composed “song of praise” to Kim Jong-un, in a similar fashion to that of praise songs relating to Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung.[52] Later, in June, Kim was reported to have visited China secretly to “present himself” to the Chinese leadership, who later warned against North Korea conducting another nuclear test.[53] The Chinese Foreign Ministry has strongly denied that this visit occurred.[54][55]

North Korea was later reported to have backed the succession plan, after Kim Jong-il suspended a propaganda campaign to promote his youngest son.[56] His birthday has since become a national holiday, celebrated on 8 January, according to a report by a South Korean website.[57] He was expected to be named on 28 September 2010 as successor to his father as leader of North Korea.[58][59][60]

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter visited China in early September 2010, and discussed the issue of the North Korean leadership succession with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. According to Carter, Kim Jong-il had said to Wen that Kim Jong-un’s prospective promotion to paramount leader of North Korea was “a false rumor from the West”.[61]

Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission

Kim Jong-un was made a daejang, the equivalent of general in the United States,[62] on 27 September 2010, a day ahead of a rare Workers’ Party of Korea conference in Pyongyang, the first time North Korean media had mentioned him by name and despite his having no previous military experience.[63][64][65] Despite the promotion, no further details, including verifiable portraits of Kim, were released.[66] On 28 September 2010, he was named vice chairman of the Central Military Commission and appointed to the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party, in an apparent nod to become the successor to Kim Jong-il.[67]

On 10 October 2010, alongside his father, Kim Jong-un attended the ruling Workers’ Party’s 65th anniversary celebration. This was seen as fully confirming his position as the next leader of the Workers’ Party. Unprecedented international press access was granted to the event, further indicating the importance of Kim Jong-un’s presence.[68] In January 2011, the regime began purging around 200 protégés of both Jong-un’s uncle-in-law Jang Sung-taek and O Kuk-ryol, the vice chairman of the National Defence Commission of North Korea, by either detention or execution to further prevent either man from rivaling Jong-un.[69] In the following months, Kim Jong-un was given more and more prominence as he accompanied Kim Jong-il during several “guidance tours” and received gifts from foreign delegations and personages, an honour traditionally awarded only to the living supreme leader. He was also listed second only to Kim Jong-il himself in the funeral committee for Jo Myong-rok.[citation needed]

Ruler of North Korea

On 17 December 2011, Kim Jong-il died. Despite the elder Kim’s plans, it was not immediately clear after his death whether Jong-un would in fact take full power, and what his exact role in a new government would be.[70] Some analysts had predicted that when Kim Jong-il died, Jang Sung-taek would act as regent, as Jong-un was too inexperienced to immediately lead the country.[71] On 25 December 2011, North Korean television showed Jang Sung-taek in the uniform of a general in a sign of his growing sway after the death of Kim Jong-il. A Seoul official familiar with North Korea affairs said it was the first time Jang has been shown on state television in a military uniform. His appearance suggested that Jang had secured a key role in the North’s powerful military, which pledged its allegiance to Kim Jong-un.[72]

The cult of personality around Kim Jong-un was stepped up following his father’s death. He was hailed as the “great successor to the revolutionary cause of Juche“, “outstanding leader of the party, army and people”[73] and “respected comrade who is identical to Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il”,[74] and was made chairman of the Kim Jong-il funeral committee. The Korean Central News Agency described Kim Jong-un as “a great person born of heaven”, a propaganda term only his father and grandfather had enjoyed,[75] while the ruling Workers’ Party said in an editorial: “We vow with bleeding tears to call Kim Jong-un our supreme commander, our leader.”[76]

He was publicly declared Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army on 24 December 2011[77] and formally appointed to the position on 30 December when the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party “courteously proclaimed that the dear respected Kim Jong Un, vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of the WPK, assumed the supreme commandership of the Korean People’s Army”.[1]

On 26 December 2011, the leading North Korean newspaper Rodong Sinmun announced that Kim Jong-un had been acting as chairman of the Central Military Commission,[78] and supreme leader of the country, following his father’s demise.[79]

On 9 January 2012, a large rally was held by armed forces in front of Kumsusan Memorial Palace to honor Kim Jong-un and demonstrate loyalty.[80]

On 27 March 2012, Kim was elected to the Fourth Conference of the Workers’ Party of Korea, that elected him first secretary, a newly made position, on 11 April. This position replaced the post of general secretary, which was awarded “eternally” to Kim Jong-il. At the conference, Kim Jong-un also took his father’s seats as Politburo Presidium member and Chairman of the Central Military Commission.[81] In a speech made prior to the Conference, Kim Jong-un declared that “Imbuing the whole society with Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism is the highest programme of our Party”. On 13 April 2012, the 5th Session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly appointed Kim Jong-un First Chairman of the National Defence Commission.

On 15 April 2012, during a military parade to commemorate Kim Il-sung’s centenary, Kim Jong-un made his first public speech.[82] That speech became the basis of “Onwards Toward the Final Victory“, a repeatedly aired propaganda hymn dedicated to him.[83]

In July 2012, Kim Jong-un was promoted to wonsu, the highest active rank in the military. The decision was jointly issued on by the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the National Defence Commission, and the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, the Korean Central News Agency subsequently announced. By this promotion, he is one of only two wonsu holders now alive in North Korea. The other is Lee Ul Sol, who received the rank in 1995. The only higher rank is Dae Wonsu (roughly translated as Grand Marshal or Generalissimo) which was held by Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il-sung, and which was awarded posthumously to his father, Kim Jong-il, in February 2012.[10][84] The promotion confirmed Kim’s role as top leader of the North Korean military and came days after the replacement of Chief of General Staff Ri Yong-ho by Hyon Yong-chol.

During a 26 July 2012 performance marking the 59th anniversary of the armistice of the Korean War, security around Kim reportedly increased dramatically because Kim “is extremely nervous about the possibility of an emergency developing inside North Korea” caused by “mounting opposition to his efforts to rein in the military.”[85]

In August 2012, Kim Jong-un announced economics reforms similar to China.[86] Kim began to be mentioned by the North Korean state media as “Supreme Leader” (chego ryongdoja) at this time.

In November 2012, satellite photos revealed a half-kilometer-long propaganda message carved into a hillside in Ryanggang Province, reading, “Long Live General Kim Jong-un, the Shining Sun!” The message, located next to an artificial lake built in 2007 to serve a hydroelectric station, is made of Korean syllable blocks measuring 15 by 20 meters, and is located approximately 9 kilometers south of Hyesan near the border with China.[87]

Kim Jong-il’s personal chef Kenji Fujimoto stated, “Stores in Pyongyang were brimming with products and people in the streets looked cheerful. North Korea has changed a lot since Kim Jong-un assumed power. All of this is because of leader Kim Jong-un.”[88]

Model of a Unha-9 rocket on display at a floral exhibition in Pyongyang, 30 August 2013

Officially, Kim Jong-un is part of a triumvirate heading the executive branch of the North Korean government along with Premier Pak Pong-ju and parliament chairman Kim Yong-nam (no relation). Each nominally holds powers equivalent to a third of a president’s powers in most other presidential systems. Kim Jong-un commands the armed forces, Pak Pong-ju heads the government, and Kim Yong-nam handles foreign relations. Nevertheless, it is generally understood that Kim Jong-un, like his father and grandfather before him, exercises absolute control over the government and the country.

On 30 November 2012, Kim met with Li Jianguo, who “briefed Kim on the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China,” according to the KCNA news agency.[89] A letter from Xi Jinping was hand-delivered during the discussion.[89]

In 2013, Kim re-established his grandfather’s style when he made his first New Year’s address, a break from the approach of his father. Kim Jong-il never made televised addresses during his 17 years in power.[90] In lieu of delivering a speech, Kim Jong-il contributed to and approved a New Year’s Day editorial, jointly published by Rodong Sinmun (the daily newspaper of the Korean Workers’ Party), Joson Imnigun (the newspaper of the Korean People’s Army), and Chongnyon Jonwi (the newspaper of the Kim Il-sung Socialist Youth League).[91] At the extraordinary meeting with his top defence and security officials on 26 January 2013, Kim issued orders on preparations for a new nuclear test and introduced martial law in North Korea effective from 29 January.[92][93]

In May 2014 following the collapse of an apartment building in the capital, Kim Jong-un was said to be very upset at the loss of life that resulted. A statement issued by the country’s official news agency the Korean Central News Agency used the rare expression “profound consolation and apology.” An unnamed government official was quoted by the BBC as saying Kim Jong-Un had “sat up all night, feeling painful.” While the height of the building and the number of casualties was not released, media reports described the building as 23-storeys and indicated “hundreds” of people may have died in the collapse.[94]

Nuclear threats

On 7 March 2013, North Korea threatened the United States with a ‘pre-emptive nuclear attack’,[95] and Kim Jong-un issued a detailed threat to “wipe out” Baengnyeong Island, the scene of previous naval clashes.[96] North Korea has revealed its plans for conducting nuclear strikes on U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.[97]

At a plenary meeting of the WPK Central Committee held on 31 March 2013 in the wake of war threats with South Korea, Kim Jong-un announced that North Korea will adopt “a new strategic line on carrying out economic construction and building nuclear armed forces simultaneously”.[98]

Purges

Ri Yong-ho, Kim Yong-chun, U Tong-chuk, and Kim Jong-gak were handpicked to groom the young leader and were close confidants of Kim Jong-il. They have either been demoted or disappeared. One South Korean government official said Kim Jong-un is trying to “erase all traces of his father’s rule” 11 months after stepping into power and “replacing top brass with officers who are loyal to him alone.”[99] By the end of 2013, three defence ministers and four chiefs of the army’s general staff had been replaced and five of the seven men who had escorted his father’s hearse two years earlier had been purged,[100] with his uncle Jang Sung-taek one of the most prominent.[101] Jang Sung-taek is believed to have been executed by machine gun. It has been claimed that Kim Jong-un has also put to death members of Jang’s family. According to multiple sources, Kim is attempting to completely destroy all traces of Jang’s existence through “extensive executions” of his family, including the children and grandchildren of all close relatives. Those reportedly killed in Kim’s purge include Jang’s sister Jang Kye-sun, her husband and ambassador to Cuba, Jon Yong-jin, and Jang’s nephew and ambassador to Malaysia, Jang Yong-chol. The nephew’s two sons were also said to have been killed.[102] At the time of Jang’s removal it was announced that “the discovery and purge of the Jang group… made our party and revolutionary ranks purer…”[103] and after his execution on 12 December 2013 state media warned that the army “will never pardon all those who disobey the order of the Supreme Commander.”[104]

Personality

Kenji Fujimoto, a Japanese chef who used to work as Kim Jong-il’s personal cook, described Kim Jong-un as “a chip off the old block, a spitting image of his father in terms of face, body shape, and personality”.[105]

The Washington Post reported in 2009 that Kim Jong-un’s school friends recalled he “spent hours doing meticulous pencil drawings of Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan.”[106] He was obsessed with basketball and computer games.[107][108] On 26 February 2013, Kim Jong-un met ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman,[109] leading many reporters to speculate that Rodman was the first American that Kim had met.[110] Rodman described his trip to Kim Jong-un’s private island, “It’s like Hawaii or Ibiza, but he’s the only one that lives there.”[111] Kim Jong-un is reportedly a fan of Eric Clapton.[112]

In a 2012 news story, Business Insider reported, “Signs of a rise in luxury goods have been creeping out of North Korea since Kim Jong-un took over as last year. Just recently, Kim’s wife Ri Sol-Ju was photographed holding what appeared to be an expensive Dior handbag, worth almost $1,594 — an average year’s salary in North Korea.”[113] According to diplomatic sources, “Kim Jong-un likes to drink and party all night like his father and ordered the [imported sauna] equipment to help him beat hangovers and fatigue.”[114]

During Dennis Rodman’s 26 February 2013 trip to North Korea, Vice Media correspondent Ryan Duffy observed that “the leader was ‘socially awkward’ and didn’t make eye contact when shaking hands”.[115]

According to Cheong Seong-chang of Sejong Institute, Kim Jong-un has greater visible interest in the welfare of his people and engages in greater interaction with them than his father did.[116]

In 2013, it was rumored that Kim Jong-un had received plastic surgery in order to modify his facial appearance.[117]

Assassination attempt

On 14 March 2013, reports surfaced from South Korean intelligence sources that Kim Jong-un had been the target of an assassination attempt.[118] The attempt was made by “disgruntled people inside the North” in response to the demotion of Reconnaissance General Bureau director Kim Yong-chol in November 2012. According to the unnamed intelligence source, the attempt was made in downtown Pyongyang and resulted in a firefight. The demotion was due to an internal power struggle between government factions.[119]

Human rights violations

Many reports indicate that the human rights violations under the leadership of Kim Jong-il[120] are continuing under Kim Jong-un.[121] Such violations include ordering the killing of defectors,[122] conducting public executions[123] and sending people to political prison camps.[124] It is assumed that Kim Jong-un was involved in the Cheonan sinking[125] and the bombardment of Yeonpyeong[126] to strengthen his military credentials and facilitate a successful transition of power from his father.[127]

The 2013 report on the situation of human rights in North Korea[128] by United Nations Special Rapporteur Marzuki Darusman proposed a United Nations commission of inquiry[129] to document the accountability of Kim Jong-un and other individuals in the North Korean government for alleged crimes against humanity.[130] The report of the commission of inquiry[131] was published in February 2014 and recommends to make him accountable for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.[132]

One report by the Japanese Asia Press agency in January 2013 claimed that in North and South Hwanghae provinces more than 10,000 people had died of famine. Other international news agencies have begun circulating stories of cannibalism. One informant, based in South Hwanghae, said: “In my village in May, a man who killed his own two children and tried to eat them was executed by a firing squad.”[133]

Name

Kim was formerly known as Kim Jong-woon or Kim Jung-woon.[48] His name was first reported as 김정운 (Hanja: ; lit. righteous cloud), possibly as a result of an error in transliteration; the Japanese language does not distinguish between 운 (/un/) and 은 (/ɯn/).[citation needed] The initial source of his name was Kim Jong-il’s former personal chef, known by the pen name Kenji Fujimoto, who was among the few who had access to information about Kim’s household from inside the government. Chinese media had named him as 김정은 (Hanja: ; lit. righteous grace).[3]

Family

Portraits of Kim Jong Un’s father and grandfather (Arirang Festival mass games in Pyongyang)

On 25 July 2012 North Korean state media reported for the first time that Kim Jong-un is married to Ri Sol-ju (리설주).[134][135] Ri, who appears to be in her early 20s, had been accompanying Kim Jong-un to public appearances for several weeks prior to the announcement.[135] The BBC, quoting an analyst who spoke to The Korea Times of South Korea, reported that Kim Jong-il had hastily arranged his son’s marriage after suffering a stroke in 2008. According to some sources, the two married in 2009 and Ri gave birth to a daughter in 2010.[136][137]

Kim Jong-un has two half-brothers and an older and younger full-brother (see below). He also has a younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, who was believed to be about 23 in 2012. She sometimes accompanies him.[138][139]

Fatherhood

In October 2012, there was speculation about Ri’s public disappearance, and questions arose whether it was the result of a “breach of discipline” or “pregnancy,”[140][141] but she later reappeared with her spouse Kim at a military college.[140][141] It was followed by news reports in December 2012 that Ri was visibly pregnant, although North Korean officials did not comment on the speculation.[142][143][144]

In March 2013, former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman visited Kim Jong-un in North Korea and on his return told the British tabloid newspaper The Sun that Ri had given birth to a healthy daughter.[145] One South Korean government source speculated that “doctors induced labor to make sure the child was born in 2012, which marked the 100th anniversary of North Korean founder Kim Il-sung,” but no exact birth date has been confirmed.[145][146][147] Rodman told The Guardian in September 2013 that the couple’s baby, a girl, is named Ju-ae.[148]

Select[α] family tree of North Korea’s ruling[β] Kim family[γ][δ]

Kim Bo-hyon
1859–1955
Kim Hyong-jik
1884–1926
Kang Pan-sok
1892–1932
Kim Jong-suk
1919[ε]–1949
Kim Il-sung
1912–1994
Kim Sung-ae
1928–?
Kim Yong-ju
1920–
Kim Young-sook
1947–
Song Hye-rim
1937–2002
Kim Jong-il
1941[ε]–2011
Ko Yong-hui
1953–2004
Kim Ok
1964–
Kim Kyong-hui
1946–
Jang Sung-taek
1946–2013
Kim Pyong-il
1954–
Kim Sul-song
1974–
Kim Jong-nam
1971–
Kim Jong-chul
1981–
Kim Jong-un
1983[ε]
Ri Sol-ju
c. 1986
Kim Yo-jong
1987–
Kim Han-sol
1995–
Kim Ju-ae
c. 2012[ε]
  1. ^ To keep the tree of manageable size, it omits some members, e. g., brothers and sisters of Kim Jong-il.
  2. ^ Names of Supreme Leaders of the DPRK are in bold font.
  3. ^ Korean names often have a variety of transliterations into English, which can be confusing. For example, “Kim Jong-chul” may also be written “Gim Jeong-cheol” or “Kim Jŏng-ch’ŏl” among many other variations. See Korean romanization for more information.
  4. ^ Huss, Kan; Frost, Clay. “North Korea’s First Family: Mapping the personal and political drama of the Kim clan”. msnbc.com. Retrieved 20 January 2013.  (Confirms many, but not all, of the birth and death years. See individual articles for more references.)
  5. ^ a b c d Official biographies of Kim Jong-suk and Kim Jong-il give birth years of 1917 and 1942, respectively, while Kim Jong-un’s birth year may actually be 1984. Kim Ju-ae may have been born in late 2012 or early 2013.

See also


References

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  115. ^ Silverman, Justin Rocket (29 May 2013). Vice’ season finale on HBO gives fresh look at Dennis Rodman’s meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un”. New York Daily News. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  116. ^ Song Sang-ho (27 June 2012). “N.K. leader seen moving toward economic reform”. The Korea Herald. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  117. ^ North Korea hits out at ‘sordid’ Kim Jong-un plastic surgery rumours. The Telegraph (24 January 2013). Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  118. ^ Julian Ryall (14 March 2013). “Kim Jong-un ‘was target of assassination attempt. The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  119. ^ Tom Barrabi (14 March 2013). “Kim Jong-un: North Korean Leader Reportedly Target Of Assassination Attempt”. International Business Times. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  120. ^ “UN General Assembly slams Pyongyang’s human rights record”. China Post. 21 December 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  121. ^ “North Korea’s Kim Jong Un wages defector crackdown”. Los Angeles Times. 5 January 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  122. ^ “N. Korea’s killing of 3 would-be defectors”. The Dong-A Ilbo. 4 January 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  123. ^ “Boomerangs Usually Come Back”. Daily NK. 11 January 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  124. ^ “Harsh Punishments for Poor Mourning”. Daily NK. 11 January 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  125. ^ “North Korean Propagandists Say Kim Jong-il’s Son Planned South Korea Attacks”. International Business Times. 24 December 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  126. ^ “Kim Jong-un ‘Masterminded Attacks on S.Korea. The Chosun Ilbo. 3 August 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  127. ^ “Korean Peninsula: After Cheonan Warship Sinking and Yeonpyeong Incidents”. Chun Kwang Ho, King’s College London, 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  128. ^ “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Marzuki Darusman”. United Nations Human Rights Council. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  129. ^ “North Korea human rights probe urged by UN”. The Christian Science Monitor. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  130. ^ “U.N.’s Pillay says may be crimes against humanity in North Korea”. Reuters. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  131. ^ Michael Kirby, Marzuki Darusman, Sonja Biserko (February 17, 2014). “Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”. United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Retrieved February 18, 2014. 
  132. ^ Nick Cumming-Bruce (February 17, 2014). “U.N. Panel Says North Korean Leader Could Face Trial”. The New York Times. Retrieved February 18, 2014. 
  133. ^ Williams, Robb (28 January 2013) North Korean cannibalism fears amid claims starving people forced to desperate measures The Independent, Retrieved 30 January 2013
  134. ^ “North Korea leader Kim Jong-un married to Ri Sol-ju”. BBC. 25 July 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  135. ^ a b “North Korea leader Kim Jong Un projects new image by showing off wife”. Fox News Channel. Associated Press. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  136. ^ “North Korea leader Kim Jong-un married to Ri Sol-ju”. BBC. 25 July 2012. Retrieved 2013-12-04. “Ms Ri is believed to have married Mr Kim in 2009 and given birth to a child the following year, analyst Cheong Seong-chang told the South Korean Korea Times newspaper.” 
  137. ^ “Dennis Rodman lets the world know Kim Jong Un has a daughter”. National Post. Associated Press. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  138. ^ “Kim Yo Jong”. North Korea Leadership Watch. 11 July 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  139. ^ Lee Young-jong; Kim Hee-jin (8 August 2012). “Kim Jong-un’s sister is having a ball”. Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  140. ^ a b “Kim Jong-un’s wife reappears after two-month absence”. The Telegraph. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  141. ^ a b Kim, Jack; Macfie, Nick (29 October 2012). “North Korea leader’s wife reported back in public after long silence”. Reuters. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  142. ^ Boehler, Patrick (17 December 2012). “Another Lil’ Kim? Wife of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Appears ‘Heavily Pregnant’”. Time. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  143. ^ Nelson, Sara C. (30 October 2012). “North Korea, Kim Jong Un And Wife Ri Sol Ju Mark 60th Anniversary of Kim II Sung Military University in Pyongyang”. Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  144. ^ “Images suggest North Korea leader’s wife pregnant”. South China Morning Post. 17 December 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  145. ^ a b “Kim Jong-un ‘Has a Little Daughter. Chosun. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  146. ^ “Dennis Rodman lets the world know Kim Jong Un has a daughter”. National Post. Associated Press. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  147. ^ Kim Jong-un ‘Has 2 Daughters’ Chosun 16 May 2013
  148. ^ “Dennis Rodman’s slip gives away name of North Korean leader’s baby”, The Guardian.

External links

Party political offices
New office Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission
2010–2012
Served alongside: Ri Yong-ho
Succeeded by
Choe Ryong-hae
Ri Yong-ho
Preceded by
Kim Jong-il
Chairman of the Central Military Commission
Acting: 2011–2012

2011–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Kim Jong-il
as general secretary
First Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea
2012–present
Political offices
Preceded by
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as Chairman
First Chairman of the National Defence Commission
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Military offices
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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Kim Jong-un, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Pyongyang

10-lug-14
This article is about the capital of North Korea. For other uses, see Pyongyang (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Pyonggang. ‹See Tfd›
Pyongyang
평양시
Directly-governed city
Pyongyang Directly Governed City
평양직할시
  transcription(s)
 • Chosŏn’gŭl
 • Hancha 直轄市
 • McCune-Reischauer P’yŏngyang Chikhalsi
 • Revised Romanization Pyeongyang Jikhalsi
From top left: Pyongyang's Skyline, Juche Tower, Kumsusan Memorial Palace, Arch of Triumph, Arch of Reunification, Tomb of King Dongmyeong & Puhŭng Station, Pyongyang Metro
From top left: Pyongyang’s Skyline, Juche Tower, Kumsusan Memorial Palace, Arch of Triumph, Arch of Reunification, Tomb of King Dongmyeong & Puhŭng Station, Pyongyang Metro
Nickname(s): “Jerusalem of the East” (archaic)[1][2]
Map of North Korea with Pyongyang highlighted
Map of North Korea with Pyongyang highlighted
Coordinates: 39°1′10″N 125°44′17″E / 39.01944°N 125.73806°E / 39.01944; 125.73806Coordinates: 39°1′10″N 125°44′17″E / 39.01944°N 125.73806°E / 39.01944; 125.73806
Country North Korea
Region P’yŏngan
Founded 1122 BC
Districts
Government
 • Chairman of Pyongyang People’s Committee Ryang Man-kil[3]
 • Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea Pyongyang City Committee Kim Su-gil[4][5]
Area
 • Total 1,100 km2 (400 sq mi)
Elevation 27 m (89 ft)
Population (2013)
 • Total 2,514,692[6]
 • Dialect P’yŏngan

Pyongyang (평양, Korean pronunciation: [pʰjʌŋjaŋ], literally: “Flat Land” or “Peaceful Land”, approved: P’yŏngyang;[7] several variants[8]) is the capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (commonly known as North Korea) and the largest city in the country. Pyongyang is located on the Taedong River and, according to preliminary results from the 2008 population census, has a population of 3,255,388.[9] The city was split from the South P’yŏngan province in 1946. It is administered as a directly governed city (chikhalsi) on the same level as provincial governments, not a special city (teukbyeolsi) as Seoul in South Korea.

Etymology

“Pyongyang” literally means “Flat Land”, in Korean. One of Pyongyang’s many historic names is Ryugyong (류경; 柳京), or “capital of willows”, as willow trees have always been numerous throughout the city’s history; this served as an inspiration for many poems. Even today, the city has numerous willow trees, with many buildings and places having “Ryugyŏng” in their names. The most notable of these is the uncompleted Ryugyong Hotel. The city’s other historic names include Kisong, Hwangsong, Rakrang, Sŏgyong, Sodo, Hogyong, and Changan.[citation needed] During the early 20th century, Pyongyang came to be known among missionaries as being the “Jerusalem of the East”, due to its historical status as a stronghold of Christianity, namely Protestantism.[1][2]

Prehistory

In 1955, archaeologists excavated evidence of prehistoric occupation in a large ancient village in the Pyongyang area, called Kŭmtan-ni, dating to the Chŭlmun and Mumun pottery periods.[10] North Koreans associate Pyongyang with “Asadal” (아사달), or Wanggomsŏng (왕검성; 王儉城), the first second millennium BC capital of the Gojoseon kingdom according to Korean history books, notably Samguk Yusa. Many South Korean historians[who?] deny this claim because other Korean history books[which?] place Asadal around the Liao River located in western Manchuria. The connection between the two therefore may have been asserted by North Korea for the use of propaganda. Nevertheless, Pyongyang became a major city under Gojoseon.

History

Tomb of King Dongmyeong

It is likely that the area of Pyongyang belonged to Wiman Joseon, the longest-lasting part of Gojoseon, which fell in the Gojoseon–Han War in 108 BC. Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty ordered four commanderies be set up, with Lelang Commandery in the center and its capital established as 平壤 (Old Chinese: *breŋ*naŋʔ,[11] modern Mandarin: píngrǎng, Korean: pyongyang). Several archaeological findings from the later, Eastern Han (25–220 AD) period in the Pyongyang area seems to suggest that Han forces later launched brief incursions around these parts.

View of Pyongyang, 1908-1922

The area around the city was called Nanglang during the early Three Kingdoms period. As the capital of Nanglang kingdom (낙랑국),[a] Pyongyang remained an important commercial and cultural outpost after Lelang Commandery was destroyed by an expanding Goguryeo in 313.

Goguryeo moved its capital there in 427. According to Christopher Beckwith, Pyongyang is the Sino-Korean reading of the name they gave it in their language: Piarna, or “level land”.[12]

In 668, Pyongyang became the capital of the Protectorate General to Pacify the East established by the Tang Dynasty of China. However, by 676, it was taken by Silla, but left on the border between Silla and Balhae (Bohai). This lasted until the time of the Goryeo dynasty, when the city was revived as Sŏgyŏng (Hangul: 서경; hanja: 西京; “Western Capital”) although it was never actually a capital of the kingdom. It was the provincial capital of the Pyeongan Province during the Joseon dynasty.

The importance of Pyongyang declined in the late 16th century, when the Japanese conquered it. The city was further damaged when it was overrun by the Manchus early in the 17th century. After the invaders left, Korea withdrew from international contact, and Pyongyang, like other Korean cities, was largely closed to the outside world for nearly three centuries.[13]

In the 19th century, Pyongyang became a base for Protestant missionaries in the country. The city soon had the largest Christian population in Korea and by 1890 it was reported that Pyongyang had more than 100 churches, most of which were Protestant.[13]

In 1890, the city had 40,000 inhabitants.[14] It was the site of an important battle during the First Sino-Japanese War, which led to the destruction and depopulation of much of the city. However, it was the provincial capital of South Pyeongan Province from 1896. Under colonial rule, the city became an industrial center, pronounced in Japanese as Heijō. By 1938, Pyongyang had a population of 235,000.[14]

Division of Korea and founding of DPRK

In 1945, the 25th army of the Soviet Army entered Pyongyang, and it became the temporary capital of Provisional People’s Committee for North Korea. Pyongyang Commercial School was on Mansudae Hill, with the provincial government building behind. The provincial building was one of the finest buildings in Pyongyang. The Soviet Armed Forces assigned it as their headquarters and allotted City Hall to North Korean officials, while the Communist Party’s headquarters were assigned to the Revenue Office.[15] It became the de facto capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at its establishment in 1948. At that time, the Pyongyang government aimed to recapture Korea’s official capital at that time, Seoul. Pyongyang was again severely damaged in the Korean War, during which it was briefly occupied by South Korean forces. In 1952, it was the target of the largest aerial raid of the entire war, involving 1,400 UN aircraft.

After the Korean War

After the war, the city was quickly rebuilt with Soviet aid, with many buildings built in the style of Socialist Classicism.

Modern highrise buildings in Pyongyang, North Korea.

The plans for the modern city of Pyongyang were first displayed for public viewing in a theatre building. On 27 July 1953 – the day the armistice between North Korea and South Korea was signed – The Pyongyang Review wrote: “While streets were in flames, an exhibition showing the general plan of restoration of Pyongyang was held at the Moranbong Underground Theater”, the air raid shelter of the government under Moran hill. “On the way of victory… fireworks which streamed high into the night sky of the capital in a gun salute briefly illuminated the construction plan of the city which would rise soon with a new look”.[16]

The rebuilt city featured extensive parks, broad boulevards, and high-rise apartments. Pyongyang became the political, economic, and transportation center of North Korea. In 1962, the city had a population of 653,000. The population grew to 1.3 million in 1978 and to more than 3 million by 2007.[14]

In 2001 the authorities began a long-term modernization program. The Ministry of Capital City Construction Development was included in the cabinet in that year. In 2006, Kim Jong-il’s brother-in-law Jang Song-thaek took charge of the ministry.

Satellite view of Pyongyang (2007-08-22, Landsat 5).

Geography and climate

Pyongyang
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
12
 
−1
−11
 
 
11
 
2
−8
 
 
25
 
9
−2
 
 
50
 
17
5
 
 
72
 
23
11
 
 
90
 
27
17
 
 
275
 
29
21
 
 
213
 
29
21
 
 
100
 
25
14
 
 
40
 
18
7
 
 
35
 
9
0
 
 
17
 
2
−7
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: WMO

Pyongyang is in the west-central part of North Korea; the city lies on a flat plain about 50 kilometres (31 mi) east of the Korea Bay, an arm of the Yellow Sea. The Taedong River flows southwestward through the city toward the Korea Bay.

Pyongyang has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dwa). Cold, dry winds can blow from Siberia in winter, making conditions very cold; the low temperature is usually below freezing between November and early March, although the average daytime high is a few degrees above freezing in every month except January. The winter is generally much drier than summer, with snow falling for 37 days on average.

The transition from the cold, dry winter to the warm, wet summer occurs rather quickly between April and early May, and there is a similar abrupt return to winter conditions in late October and November. Summers are generally hot and humid, with the East Asian monsoon taking place from June until August; these are also the hottest months, with average temperatures of 21 to 25 °C (70 to 77 °F), and daytime highs often above 30 °C (86 °F).

Politics

Pyongyang, April 2012

Major government and other public offices are located in Pyongyang. The seat of the Workers’ Party Central Committee is located in Haenbangsan-dong, Chung-guyok. Pyongyang People’s Committee is located in Haebangsan-dong, Chung-guyok. The Cabinet of North Korea is located in Jongro-dong, Chung-guyok.

The politics and management of the city is dominated by the Workers’ Party of Korea, as they are in the national level. The city is managed by the Pyongyang Party Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea. The supreme standing legislative body is the Pyongyang People’s Committee.

Administrative status and divisions

A 1946 map of Pyongyang

For the first few decades of North Korea’s history, Pyongyang was not officially considered the capital of the country. The North Korean government officially regarded itself the sole legitimate government of the entire Korean peninsula, so until 1972, the North Korean Constitution designated Seoul as the country’s capital. According to the official discourse of the time, Seoul was considered to be under the occupation of the American forces and their South Korean client. Pyongyang, in this scheme of things, was merely the provisional headquarters of the peninsula’s sole government, to be used only until the eventual liberation of Seoul. In 1972, Pyongyang was officially promoted to the status of national capital.[18]

P’yŏngyang is divided into 18 wards (ku- or guyŏk) (the city proper) and 2 counties (kun or gun).[19]

Foreign media reports in 2010 stated that Kangnam-gun, Chunghwa-gun, Sangwŏn-gun, and Sŭngho-guyŏk had been transferred to the administration of neighboring North Hwanghae province.[20]

Culture

Landmarks

The Rungnado May Day Stadium by the Taedong River is among the largest stadia in the world

The capital has been completely redesigned since the Korean War (1950–53). It is designed with wide avenues, imposing monuments and monolithic buildings. The tallest structure in the city is the uncompleted 330-metre (1,080 ft) Ryugyŏng Hotel. This hotel has 105 floors and encloses 361,000 square metres (3,890,000 sq ft) of floor space. The original plan called for crowning it with seven revolving restaurants.

Notable landmarks in the city include:

Pyongyang TV Tower is a minor landmark. Other visitor attractions include the Korea Central Zoo. The Arch of Reunification has a map of a united Korea supported by two concrete Korean women dressed in traditional dress straddling the Reunification Highway, which stretches from Pyongyang to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

As of 2011 current construction includes a claimed 100,000 new homes in the city, including a large project along Changjeon Street. This is the top construction priority and uses KPA soldiers as labor. Supposedly construction plans began after Kim Jong Il described the area as “pitiful”.[21]

Cuisine

Pyongyang raengmyeon, cold buckwheat noodle soup originating in Pyongyang

Pyongyang served as the provincial capital of Pyeongan province until 1946,[22] and Pyongyang cuisine shares the general culinary tradition of the Pyeongan province. The most famous local food is Pyongyang naengmyeon, or also called mul naengmyeon or just simply naengmyeon. Naengmyeon literally means “cold noodles”, while the affix mul refers to “water” because the dish is served in a cold broth. Naengmyeon consists of thin and chewy buckwheat noodles in a cold meat-broth with dongchimi (watery kimchi) and topped with a slice of sweet Korean pear. Pyongyang naengmyeon was originally eaten in homes built with ondol (traditional underfloor heating) during the cold winter, so it is also humorously called “Pyongyang deoldeori” (shivering in Pyongyang). Pyongyang locals sometimes enjoyed it as a haejangguk, which is any type of food eaten as a hangover-cure, usually a warm soup.[23]

Another representative Pyongyang dish, Taedonggang sungeoguk, translates as “trout soup from the Taedong River“. The soup features trout (abundant in the Taedong River) along with black peppercorns and salt.[24] It is served[by whom?] as a courtesy to important guests visiting Pyongyang. Therefore, the question “How good was the trout soup?” is commonly used to greet people returning from Pyongyang. Another local specialty, Pyongyang onban (literally “warm rice of Pyongyang”) comprises freshly cooked rice topped with sliced mushrooms, chicken, and a couple of bindaetteok (pancakes made from ground mung beans and vegetables).[23]

Famous restaurants in the city include Okryugwan and Ch’ongryugwan.[25]

Sports

Template:See also:Sport in North Korea Pyongyang has a number of sports clubs, including the April 25 Sports Club and the Pyongyang City Sports Club.[citation needed] The most popular sport in Pyongyang is football.[citation needed]

Transportation

Domestic trains

The facade of the Pyongyang Railway Station

Pyongyang railway station serves the main railway lines, including the Pyongui Line and the Pyongbu Line.

International trains

The city also has regular international rail services to Beijing and Moscow. A journey to Beijing takes about 25 hours and 25 minutes (K27 from Beijing/K28 from Pyongyang, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays); a journey to Moscow takes 6 days. The city also connects to the Eurasian Land Bridge via the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Metro, tram and bus

Pyongyang Tram car – Be 4/4

The Pyongyang Metro is a two-line underground metro system which has a length of 22.5 km (14.0 mi). The Hyoksin line serves Kwangbok, Konguk, Hwanggumbol, Konsol, Hyoksin, Jonu, Jonsung, Samhung and Rakwon stations. The Chollima line serves Puhung, Yonggwang, Ponghwa, Sungni, Tongil, Kaeson, Jonu and Pulgunbyol stations.

There is also a 53 km (33 mi) long Pyongyang tram system and a 150 km (93 mi) Pyongyang trolleybus system. The trolley bus-stops are fairly busy.

Cars

A Proton Wira yellow taxi in Pyongyang.

There are few cars in the city, cars being a symbol of status in the country due to their scarcity as a result of restrictions on import because of international sanctions and domestic regulations.[26] The scarcity of fuel makes the cost of using cars prohibitive. In addition, some roads are in a poor condition.[27]

It was reported that traffic lights are in a manual control instead of being automated. This is due to the low level of technology in Pyongyang. Also, their use of manual control is because all the cars belonging to high government officials have a “0″ in the front plate. When a traffic light operative notices the “0″ on the plate, they immediately turn the signals green for them.[citation needed]

Air

State-owned Air Koryo has scheduled flights from Pyongyang Sunan International Airport to Beijing (PEK), Shenyang (SHE), Vladivostok (VVO), Moscow (SVO), Bangkok (BKK), Khabarovsk (KHV), Kuala Lumpur (KUL), and Shanghai (PVG).

Air Koryo also operates limited scheduled service to a few domestic destinations. The only domestic destinations are Hamhung, Wonsan, Chongjin, Hyesan and Samjiyon. In April 2008, Air China launched a regular service between Beijing and Pyongyang.

Another airport, Mirim Airport, is located in the east of the city. It appears to have fallen into disuse.

Hotels

Yanggakdo International Hotel by night

Pyongyang has two major operating hotels: the Yanggakdo International Hotel and the Koryo Hotel. The Ryugyong Hotel is the tallest building in North Korea but remains unopened. The Yanggakdo Hotel is the second tallest. The Yanggakdo, Koryo and Ryugyong hotels are designed to cater to foreign tourists. Other hotels include the: Taedonggang Hotel, Ryanggang Hotel, Moranbong Hotel, Haebangsan Hotel, and Sosan Hotel.[28]

Retail

Pyongyang is home to several large department stores including: Pyongyang Department Store No. 1, Pyongyang Department Store No. 2, Kwangbok Department Store, Ragwon Department Store, Pyongyang Station Department Store and the Pyongyang Children’s Department Store.[28]

Gallery

Historical photos from Pyongyang
Pyongyang Station during the 1920s.
Pyongyang Station during the 1920s. 
Pyongyang City Hall during the 1920s.
Pyongyang City Hall during the 1920s. 
Pyongyang Tram during the 1920s.
Pyongyang Tram during the 1920s. 
Sŏsŏng ward during the 1920s.
Sŏsŏng ward during the 1920s. 
View of Pyongyang during the 1920s.
View of Pyongyang during the 1920s. 
View of Moran Hill in Spring during the 1920s.
View of Moran Hill in Spring during the 1920s. 
View of Moran Hill during the 1920s.
View of Moran Hill during the 1920s. 
Monuments and sights of Pyongyang
Juche Tower Monument to the philosophy of Juche (self-reliance).
Juche Tower Monument to the philosophy of Juche (self-reliance). 
Arch of Triumph.
Arch of Reunification, a monument to the goal of a reunified Korea.
Arch of Reunification, a monument to the goal of a reunified Korea. 
Monument to Party Founding.
Monument to Party Founding. 
Rungnado May Day Stadium.
Kumsusan Memorial Palace.
Tomb of King Dongmyeong.
Ryugyong Hotel.
A panoramic view of Pyongyang from atop the Juche tower

Panorama of Pyongyang, as seen from the Juche Tower in April 2012.

Twin towns – Sister cities

Pyongyang is twinned with:

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Nanglang-state is different from Lelang Commandery.

References

  1. ^ a b Lankov, Andrei (16 March 2005). “North Korea’s missionary position”. Asia Times Online. Retrieved 25 January 2013. “By the early 1940s Pyongyang was by far the most Protestant of all major cities of Korea, with some 25–30% of its adult population being church-going Christians. In missionary circles this earned the city the nickname “Jerusalem of the East”.” 
  2. ^ a b Caryl, Christian (15 September 2007). “Prayer In Pyongyang”. The Daily Beast. The Newsweek/Daily Beast Co. Retrieved 25 January 2013. “It’s hard to say how many covert Christians the North has; estimates range from the low tens of thousands to 100,000. Christianity came to the peninsula in the late 19th century. Pyongyang, in fact, was once known as the ‘Jerusalem of the East.’” 
  3. ^ Organizational chart of North Korean Leadership, April 2012, Ministry of Unification
  4. ^ The Secretarial Pool, NK Leadership Watch, 6 May 2014
  5. ^ NK Media Reports Pyongyang Apartment Collapse
  6. ^ City population by sex, city and city type, UN, 11 February 2013, retrieved 12 July 2013 .
  7. ^ “P’yŏngyang: North Korea”. Geographical Names. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  8. ^ For example: Heijō (“Heijō: North Korea”. Retrieved 26 June 2013. ), Heijō-fu (“Heijō-fu: North Korea”. Retrieved 26 June 2013. ), Heizyō (“Heizyō: North Korea”. Retrieved 26 June 2013. ), Heizyō Hu (“Heizyō Hu: North Korea”. Retrieved 26 June 2013. ), Hpyeng-yang (“Hpyeng-yang: North Korea”. Retrieved 26 June 2013. ), P-hjöng-jang (“P-hjöng-jang: North Korea”. Retrieved 26 June 2013. ), Phyeng-yang (“Phyeng-yang: North Korea”. Retrieved 26 June 2013. ), Phyong-yang (“Phyong-yang: North Korea”. Retrieved 26 June 2013. ), Pienyang (“Pienyang: North Korea”. Retrieved 26 June 2013. ), Pingyang (“Pingyang: North Korea”. Retrieved 26 June 2013. ), Pyengyang (“Pyengyang: North Korea”. Retrieved 26 June 2013. )
  9. ^ United Nations Statistics Division; Preliminary results of the 2008 Census of Population of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea conducted on 1–15 October 2008 (pdf-file) Retrieved on 2009-03-01.
  10. ^ National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage. 2001. Geumtan-ri. Hanguk Gogohak Sajeon [Dictionary of Korean Archaeology], pp. 148–149. NRICH, Seoul. ISBN 89-5508-025-5
  11. ^ “Baxter‐Sagart old Chinese reconstruction”, Wiktionary .
  12. ^ Beckwith, Christopher I. (2009). Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present. Princeton University Press. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-691-13589-2. 
  13. ^ a b World and Its Peoples: Eastern and Southern Asia, 2007, p. 939 .
  14. ^ a b c Lahmeyer, Jan, “North Korea – Urban Population”, Populstat, University of Utrecht .
  15. ^ Hwang, Jang Yop, “The Red Army Descends on Pyongyang”, Memoirs .
  16. ^ Schinz, Alfred; Eckart, Dege (1990), “Pyongyang-Ancient and Modern – the Capital of North Korea”, GeoJournal 22 (1): 25 .
  17. ^ “World Weather Information Service – Pyongyang”. July 2011. 
  18. ^ Andrei Lankov, “on the Importance of Pyongyang”
  19. ^ “행정구역현황 (Haengjeong Guyeok Hyeonhwang)”. NK Chosun. Retrieved 10 January 2006.  Also Administrative divisions of North Korea (used as reference for hanja)
  20. ^ “Pyongyang now more than one-third smaller; food shortage issues suspected”, Asahi Shinbun, 17 July 2010, retrieved 19 July 2010 
  21. ^ Lee, Seok Young (25 August 2011). Pitiful” Changjeon Street the Top Priority”. Daily NK. Retrieved 30 August 2011. 
  22. ^ “평양시 平壤市” [Pyongyang] (in Korean). Nate/Encyclopedia of Korean Culture. 
  23. ^ a b “닮은 듯 색다른 매력을 간직한 북한의 음식 문화” (in Korean). Korea Knowledge Portal. 19 June 2009. 
  24. ^ Ju, Wan-jung (주완중) (12 June 2000). “오마니의 맛’ 관심” [Attention to "Mother's taste"] (in Korean). The Chosun Ilbo. 
  25. ^ Lankov, Andrei (2007), North of the DMZ: Essays on daily life in North Korea, McFarland, pp. 90–91, ISBN 978-0-7864-2839-7 
  26. ^ “In Kim’s North Korea, Cars Are Scarce Symbols of Power, Wealth”. Bloomberg. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  27. ^ Fisher, Max. “North Korean Press Bus Takes Wrong Turn, Opening Another Crack in the Hermit Kingdom”. The Atlantic. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  28. ^ a b “Pyongyang Metro maps”. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  29. ^ “Bilateral Relations (Nepal–North Korea)”. Government of Nepal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  30. ^ First China-DPRK sister cities meeting held in Pyongyang [1].

Further reading

External links

Pyongyang at night



This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Pyongyang, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

New York State to Pay Millions in Wrongful Conviction Case

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Nineteen years ago, a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge sentenced Jabbar Collins to a prison term of 34-years-to-life for the murder of Abraham Pollack, a Brooklyn rabbi shot dead in the hallway of his apartment building. That day, Collins told the court he was innocent; the judge disagreed and said he wished he could send Collins off to a hard labor camp.

Today at noon, Collins is scheduled to appear before a different judge and receive much different news: the state of New York has agreed to pay him $3 million for the 15 years he lost behind bars, serving time for a crime there is very good reason to believe he didn't commit.

The award comes as part of a lawsuit Collins filed against both the state and city of New York three years ago after his murder conviction was overturned in federal court in 2010. In a statement, Collins' attorney, Joel Rudin, said that while the award is one of the highest ever agreed to by the state, he and Collins hope it will lead to an even bigger payment from the city.

"Three million dollars is a lot of money, but it is a small fraction of what Jabbar Collins is entitled to for 15 horrendous years in a maximum security state prison," Rudin said. "We look forward now to concentrating totally on his much larger claim for damages against New York City."

The case against the city is scheduled to go to trial on October 20 before Federal Judge Frederic Block.

According to Rudin's statement, Collins sued the state under the Unjust Conviction Act, which allows wrongfully convicted New Yorkers to recover damages if they can prove their innocence with "clear and convincing evidence," an extremely high bar. Clearly, the state felt Collins had a strong chance of demonstrating his innocence.

A spokesperson for New York City's office of corporation counsel said that they couldn't comment on any pending litigation.

The city recently agreed to pay five men wrongly convicted in the Central Park jogger case $1 million each for every year they spent in prison.

Collins' lawsuit accuses then-Brooklyn District Attorney Charles "Joe" Hynes and one of his top aides, Michael Vecchione, of a startling array of misconduct. The suit alleges that Vecchione, who prosecuted Collins, coerced witnesses, withheld evidence, and suborned perjury to win the conviction in 1995. Collins had gathered much of the evidence while in prison through Freedom of Information Act requests.

In 2010, after Collins had lost on numerous appeals before state judges, federal judge Dora Irizarry vacated Collins' conviction, saying Vecchione's misconduct was "beyond disappointing" and criticized Hynes for protecting him. Vecchione remained on Hynes's staff for years after the conviction was thrown out.

"It is really sad that the D.A.'s office persists in standing firm and saying they did nothing wrong here," Irizarry said.

In June last year, Vecchione was forced to answer questions about his conduct in the case under oath. He answered "I don't recall" and close variants 324 times. He retired from the Brooklyn District Attorney's office in November after Hynes lost the election for what would've been his seventh term.

Hynes himself has already testified twice under oath in the case, and in court papers filed last month, Rudin sought to question him a third time, following revelations in a scathing Department of Investigation report that Hynes received advice from a top Brooklyn Judge on how to handle political fallout from the Collins case.

The terms of Collins' settlement with the state are expected to be announced today shortly after noon by State Court of Claims Judge Faviola Soto.

Recycling Fashion

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cordel

Thread made up of used T-shirts, one of many usar for old clothes. Image by lomurella on flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

This week, Rut Abraín from Esturirafi shares some wonderful ideas that would help our economy and reduce space in our closets, even help people in need, and the planet, by recycling our used clothes:

Durante años, he ido acumulando ropa que no usaba. La iba dejando en el montón de “ropa que no uso” y al final la acababa regalando o dejando en el fondo de un armario. Cuando fui a revisarla, me di cuenta que muchas de esas prendas estaban perfectamente y que sólo les había cogido manía, otras no me servían  y algunas estaban rotas o manchadas.

For years, I've been storing clothes I didn't use anymore. It accumulated on the pile of “clothes I don't use” that I ended up giving away or leaving at the bottom of the closet. When I checked it, I realized that many of them where in perfect shape and I just didn't like it, other were no more useful amd some had stains or holes.

According to her, the most effective ways of making the most out of it are: put it on containers for the needy, donate it or give it to a friend or relative that may want it, or remake it or use the fabric to make new things as bags or tableclothes.

To read more about conservation of the environment, you can follow Rut on her blog Esturirafi and Twitter.

This post was part of the tenth #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on July 7, 2014.

Global Voices » Quick Reads This site is licensed as Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

Bangladeshi Sex Workers Take Cow Steroids To Mask Their Real Age

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ActionAid, a British charity, mentioned in a recent report that 90% of commercial sex workers in Bangladesh are addicted to Oradexon, a steroid meant for cattle. Diaspora Bangladeshi blogger Anushay Hossain explains why they use this drug:

This medicine meant to fatten cows has become the preferred drug among the madams [employers of sex workers] of Bangladesh. They are using the pills to mask the real age of the underage girls working for sex in their brothels by making them appear older and at the same time making the more ‘seasoned’ sex-worker look plum and voluptuous.

Global Voices » Quick Reads This site is licensed as Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

“I Increasingly See More People Looking Like Zombies”

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Its aim is to make you think a little, or at least, get a smile. This is the description of the blog Se hace camino al andar (You make the road as you go) managed by Andres Mayorquin who from Merida, México, explain us why some people look today so much as a zombie:

Seres humanos profundamente insatisfechos con lo que han sido, con lo que son y con lo que parece, serán, pero intentando a toda costa aparentar que todo va bien. Pero les ves los ojos y estos no brillan. Platicas con ellos y se quejan de todo. Miras su facebook y sólo lees dramas, personales o ajenos. Convives de cerca y notas cómo se dedican a perjudicar al prójimo, o por lo menos a ignorarlo. Más preocupados por tener que por ser y estar. Seres sin conciencia de lo que son.
Muchos hemos olvidado, por el diario trajín, por el exceso de información que nos rodea, por la llegada de un estímulo externo tras otro, qué es lo que le da sentido a nuestra vida. Tenemos memoria pero no tenemos historia; contamos con recuerdos y anécdotas, pero desconocemos el hilo conductor que los une e integra; vemos un árbol, y otro y otro más, pero somos incapaces de darnos cuenta del bosque en el que estamos.

Human beings unsatisfied with what they have been, with what they are and what it looks like, they will be, but trying hard to look as if everything is OK. But you look at their eyes and they don't shine, You talk to them and they complain about everything. You look at their Facebook accounts and there is oinly drama, personal or other people's. You live close to them and you realize how they engage themselves in affecting their fellowmen, or at least ignoring them, They are more worried for having to being. They are not conscious of what they are.
Many of us have forgotten, due to daily life, the excess of information that surrounds us, for having an outside incentive after another, what gives sense to our life. We've got memory but not history, we have memories and accounts, but we ignore the thread of the story that unites and integrates. We see a tree, and another and another but we can't appreciate the woods that surrounds us.

You can read other interesting stories on his personal blog or in his Twitter account.

This post was part of the tenth #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs in GV) on July 7, 2014.

Global Voices » Quick Reads This site is licensed as Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

Curl – Inner 2

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da: www.magnatune.com
Pubblicato su licenza concessa dall’etichetta discografica con associazione a vita.

Linux Foundation SysAdmin Andy Grimberg Loves New Tech and Snowboarding

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Andrew Grimberg is the primary administrator for the OpenDaylight Project's infrastructure. In this Q&A he describes his typical day at work, his love for learning new technologies and for snowboarding, what keeps him up at night, and his favorite sysadmin tool, Vim.

Original Article by Linux.com - Original Content Feed

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