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ICP Asked UN of Korean Tension, Ban Replies Denouncing DPRK Only

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 10 -- Ban Ki-moon was South Korea's foreign minister before he was UN Secretary General, and he may yet run for president in that country.

  Still, when Inner City Press on August 10 asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric not only about North Korea or DPRK placing landmines in the DMZ, but also South Korea threatening reprisals and restarting broadcasting cross-border "propaganda" from walls of speakers, a typical UN response of one the one hand, on the other hand was expected.

 But no.

 First Dujarric said he had some "language" on it. Inner City Press went to the spokesperson's office, but there was none. It would be emailed to Inner City Press, it was assured. At  4 pm, after Ban walked by an otherwise empty stakeout of a wan Burundi meeting of the UNSC, his office put out an entirely one sided statement, with no mention or reprisal or of propaganda:

"In response to questions asked earlier about an incident on the Demilitarized Zone in the Korean peninsula, the Spokesman had the following to say:

"The Secretary-General is concerned by the reports that the Korean Peopleís Army has placed new land mines in the southern half of the Demilitarized Zone, which injured two soldiers from the Republic of Korea on 4 August. He urges the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to fully adhere to the obligations under the Armistice Agreement and engage in dialogue on this incident.

"The Secretary-General urges the tensions on the Korean Peninsula to be alleviated."

  Make this man president of South Korea, one wag said.

A year after the Free UN Coalition for Access asked the UN why its in-house EZTV had channels from the US (CNN and Fox News), UK (BBC) and France (France 24) but none from China or Russia or India or Brazil, a new channel has been added: South Korea's Arirang.

 On July 15 the channel bragged it was on "UN In-House Network," President Park appeared on it saying hello to the UN community, just before promos and news casts promoting the country's foreign policy. A panel show - about the UN - featured CHOI Jong-moo, MUN Byeong-cheol and PARK Heung-soon, who said South Korea should "use" the UN. Duly noted.

 On July 15, after reporting on the addition, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric:

Inner City Press: I've noticed that the EZTV has this Arirang television on it, and about a year ago, I'd asked you about calling it P3 TV, that the current EZTV lineup has Fox and CNN from the United States, BBC from the U.K., France 24.  And you said that there was attempts to make it more diverse.  Has there been any attempt to get either India, Brazil, Russia, China, or is it sort ofÖ how do these things happen?

Spokesman Dujarric:  Let me check.  Broadcasters often contact us and try to provide news feeds for us.  And as long as it has no cost to the UNÖ

Inner City press:  But is there a desire to have kind of a diversity?

Spokesman Dujarric:  The broader the information, the better.

  Ban Ki-moon, former foreign minister and perhaps future president of South Korea, apparently made a plug for the station. Given that current President Park appears on it, might this be a way for Ban to continue to be projected into the UN after 2016?

 Inner City Press, on behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access, asked about UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric back on April 29, 2014:

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask on the actual UN EZTV which has channels and itís an in-house thing, it seems like now, thereís two French channels, thereís two American news channels, thereís Al-Jazeera, thereís no Russian or Chinese channel, soÖ

Spokesman Dujarric: Weíre trying. Part of the issue is what we can get for free, we had to cut costs in terms of subscription so it was a cost issue, but I know itís an effort on the part of [the Department of Public Information] to add more channels in different languages, but itís also trying to do it in a way that doesnít cost us a dime.

Inner City Press: Itís seems like P3 TV, do you see why?

Spokesman: Okay, thatís a comment, not a question.

Two days later there was an addition on UN in-house EZTV, but it is not Chinese or Russian: it's Japan's NHK. So G4 TV?

   


 

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