Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Home -

Follow us on TWITTER

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


ICP on YouTube

Video on NY Times

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

While N. Korea Brags of Tribute at UN, UN Brags of No Speeches or Ban Condolence

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 26 -- Following the December 22 standing "moment" of silence in the UN General Assembly in tribute to Kim Jong-Il, North Korean state media KCNA reported that

"Nassir Abdul Aziz Al-Nasser, president of the UNGA, proposed to all those present at the meeting to express condolences over the demise of Kim Jong Il... The attendants paid one minute's silent tribute to the memory of the leader."

  On the morning of December 24, as the UN budget was belatedly being passed, a senior UN General Assembly staffer approached Inner City Press to respond to reporting on the tribute.

  He emphasized that normally when head of state or government or uncontested ruler dies in office, not only is there a minute of silence, each of the Assembly's Regional Groups and the Host Country (the USA) give speeches.

  So, the senior staffer argued, Nassir Abdul Aziz Al-Nasser has negotiated down the normal tribute. Conferring with the senior staffer before and after this was Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy chief of staff Kim Won-soo, who visited Pyongyang earlier this year, and once before that also for the UN.

  On December 22 less then three hours before the minute of silence, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky:

Inner City Press: the Korean publication Arirang has a story headlined that Ban Ki-moon will not visit the memorials set up for Kim Jong Il, and I am asking because it quotes a "UN official" who said that "UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has no plans to visit the Mission to offer his condolences." So it seems like they have a source. Was that decision made, and also does [Ban] have any comment or thought on this moment of silence for Kim Jong Il taking place this afternoon at 3 p.m.?

Spokesperson Nesirky: On the first, as we have already said publicly here, so you don’t need an unnamed UN official — you have a name, the Spokesperson sitting right in front of you — and what I said was that the Deputy Secretary-General had signed the Book of Condolences at the Permanent Mission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on behalf of the UN system, on behalf of the UN system. There are no other plans in that regard. No comment on what may or may not happen in the General Assembly, except to say that normal protocol is being observed, as I understand it, in this period of mourning for the DPRK.

Inner City Press: Sure, just one follow-up on that because I agree, I mean, I definitely heard you say the thing about the Deputy went there, so I wasn’t ignoring that. It just seems from this…

Spokesperson: It’s on behalf of the UN system. And the UN system… I think would include the Secretary-General.

Inner City Press: This quote seems, at least it is part, one reading of it is that the Executive Office of the Secretary-General wants it to be known, particularly in South Korea, that he is not going. What do you say to that reading of this quote?

Spokesperson: Well, I don’t think we need to parse one media report. All we need to do is to note that the Deputy Secretary-General signed the Book of Condolences on behalf of the United Nations system, okay? Right.

  It seems that the "UN official" quoted by Arirang may be that same deputy chief of staff, and that Ban is trying, at least to a South Korean audience, to stay clear of any condolence for Kim Jong Il, even from the "minute" of silence, which was shorter than a minute.

(c) UN Photo
Ban's Kim Won-soo in DPRK, lack of GA speeches and Arirang not shown

  What was Ban's role, and that of the President of the General Assembly, in "negotiating down" the December 22 tribute to Kim Jong Il in the General Assembly, and how and what basis was this done? Watch this site.

Share |

Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-253, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2011 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]