Belmont Club

The World As It Turns

The Pentagon expresses regret over Pakistani border incident: “It admitted that poor coordination between US and Pakistani military officers operating through the border coordination centre, including reliance on ‘incorrect mapping information shared with the Pakistani liaison officer’ resulted in a misunderstanding about the correct location of Pakistani units.”

It said that a “fundamental lack of trust” between the two countries was a big factor in the incident. American and Afghan troops believed they were being attacked by militants and called in an airstrike. However, two Pakistani border posts were destroyed. …

Pakistan has been pushing for an apology from President Barack Obama as the first step for rebuilding the awkward alliance. In the meantime, it has closed all land crossings into Afghanistan to Nato supply convoys and launched a review of relations with Washington and Nato. American officials believe diplomats could face expulsion if the matter is not resolved soon.


Auguries and portents at the Dear Leader’s death: “Strange natural phenomena have been witnessed in North Korea since the death of the country’s leader Kim Jong-il, the state news agency KCNA reports. … Ice cracked on a famous lake ‘so loud, it seemed to shake the Heavens and the Earth’, and a mysterious glow was seen on a revered mountain top, KCNA said.”

A snowstorm hit as Mr Kim died and ice on the volcanic Chon lake near his reported birthplace at Mount Paektu cracked, it said. Following the storm’s sudden end at dawn on Tuesday, a message carved in rock – “Mount Paektu, holy mountain of revolution. Kim Jong-il” – glowed brightly, it said. It remained there until sunset.

On the same say, a Manchurian crane also apparently adopted a posture of grief at a statue of the late leader’s father in the northern city of Hamhung. “Even the crane seemed to mourn the demise of Kim Jong-il, born of Heaven, after flying down there at dead of cold night, unable to forget him,” KCNA reported officials as saying.

Japan Hopes North Korea will stop abducting Japanese in Japan: “The death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, who called the shots on the issue of Japanese abducted by Pyongyang agents, has raised expectations in Japan for a breakthrough in the deadlocked issue. As the abduction issue greatly affects ties between Japan and North Korea, the government is closely watching how developments unfold in that country.”

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda brought up the abduction issue during his 10-minute telephone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday. Noda asked Obama for the U.S. government’s understanding and cooperation on the matter. When Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently, he wore a badge shaped like a blue ribbon–a symbol of a Japanese movement to rescue abduction victims.”

Current leader of North Korea visited Disneyland on a forged passport: From the Hermit Kingdom to the Magic Kingdom. “Jong Un, 28, secretly entered Japan from Vienna at the age of 8 using a Brazilian passport under a different name and stayed in Japan for 11 days, the sources said. Kim Jong Il’s second son, Kim Jong Chul, 30, made the visit with Jong Un at the age of 9, also using a Brazilian passport. … The officials confirmed there was a high possibility that they visited Tokyo Disneyland during their stay in Japan based on credit-card records and other information. It was not known what other locations they visited, the sources said.”

Kim Jong Il invented the hamburger and never took a dump: Now it can be told. “Other myths suggest that Kim shot a 38-under-par round at the inauguration of Pyongyang’s first golf course in 1994, including eleven holes in one. He also invented the hamburger, or, as the North Koreans call it, the Gogigyeopbbang, or ‘double bread with meat’. And he was able to skip going to the bathroom; one government website briefly claimed that he had no need to urinate or defecate.”


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