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Facts Chucked As North Korea Swap With UN Ignored For Small Japan Steaks, Cuts Hurt

By Matthew Russell Lee, Vine, Periscope

UNITED NATIONS, February 17 – As the North Korea UN sanctions "experts" report continues to be cherry picked further and further down the food chain, now that North Korea paid its 2017 UN dues by means of a swap is also ignored, in favor of fluff pieces about former Yankee Hideki Matsui eating small steaks on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue. Meanwhile in the wake of admitted misreporting on Okinawa, accountability means cutting of one month's salary from the Naha bureau chief. But are such cuts overseas, amid "coverage" of cuts of beef, not likely to cause more errors? Like the recent report focused on coal, pointing the finger at Vietnam, Russia, China, Vietnam and South Korea. Omitted, apparently intentionally, are violations by Japanese companies, like Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, as Inner City Press has reported. It is facts chucked or thrown, rather than fact checked. The reporting is politicized, or as identified in Tokyo, "last week the Sankei Shimbun retracted an article it published in December about a U.S. Marine who was injured in a car accident, saying it could not confirm that the marine had been trying to save a Japanese citizen when he was hit by the car. In an article published on Feb. 8, the Sankei Shimbun explained it had received a comment from the U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa about the accident, but had failed to confirm with the Okinawa Prefectural Police whether the marine really saved the man. According to Duke Reporters’ Lab, a project by Duke University that maintains a database of fact-checking organizations across the globe, there was only one fact-checking website in Japan as of Friday. The site, called GoHoo, is headed by Hitofumi Yanai, a lawyer and co-founder of FIJ. There were 44 such websites and organizations in the U.S., five in South Korea and one in China." By this count, Japan is the same as China. And how much fact checking is done at the UN, on reporting about the UN? We'll have more on this.  On the now exposed reporting about a car crash in Okinawa back in December 2017, complete with similar finger pointing at the Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times. On that one Masato Inui, an executive officer at Sankei Shimbun, has made promises. And on the other?

As North Korea says it can't pay its 2018 UN dues because of sanctions on its banks, there are 14 other UN member states at least two years behind in their dues payments, according to Secretary General Antonio's January 23 letter less than a month ago. One of these two years behind on dues is Dominica - which has a Dominica-flagged ship which this year has conducted ship to ship transfers with North Korea's Rye Song Gang 1 in violation of UN sanctions. Dominica, which received a post storm visit from the UN's Antonio Guterres and more recently Bill Clinton, not meeting any opposition figures, was a major assister of convicted UN briber Ng Lap Seng, giving him a passport and head of state Roosevelt Skerrit at his final Macau shindig, along with UN officials and Correspondents. A similar ship to ship transfer with Rye Song Gang 1 has been alleged this week by Japan, with a Belize flagged ship. Others beyond Dominica stripped of their UNGA votes include oil-rich UN Security Council member Equatorial Guinea. The other countries listed as denied votes for failure to pay are Libya, also under UN sanctions; Venezuela, Suriname, Grenada, Dominica, Dominican Republic (now off), Marshall Islands (now off), Central African Republic and Yemen, being bombed by Saudi Arabia. The four that got exemption and can still vote are Sao Tome and Principe, Comoros, Somalia and Guinea-Bissau, the latter two also on the agenda of the UN Security Council.  While the Democratic Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name, last year paid its UN dues as a "swap," for this year's $180,000 it has told the UN that sanctions are prohibiting the transfer and asks that the UN take action. On February 12, after reporting all of the above, Inner City Press asked the spokesmen for Secretary General Guterres then the President of the General Assembly. From the UN transcript: Inner City Press: Could I ask you on North Korea? The mission not only met with Jan Beagle of the Department of Management, they also wrote her a letter or delivered a letter from the Ministry, saying that they're unable to pay their 2018 dues due to banking sanctions.  And the letter says that, in 2017, they did pay but by some form of swap... How did the UN get paid by DPRK in 2017 if not through a bank?  And also — I may ask Brenden as well, but I wanted to ask you — is it the case that 10 countries, including Equatorial Guinea, Yemen and Venezuela, are currently unable to vote in the GA as António Guterres wrote in January, or have some of them cleared those dues, particularly Equatorial Guinea, which is on the Security Council? Spokesman:  On your first part, my understanding of the swap is that the UN has… the UN country presence has a certain amount of costs in the way it operates in the DPRK.  It… the DPRK paid those costs, which would have been borne by the UN as a credit towards their dues.  Ms. Beagle did meet with the delegation from the Permanent Mission.  What she told them is that the UN would work with them to try to find a way through which they could pay, and that includes an opening of an account at the UN Federal Credit Union, but we're going to continue our discussions with them to see how we can facilitate the payment. If Brenden would allow me, I do have guidance on those countries, if I may speak.  Thank you.  As of… as you know, under Article 19, Member States who are in arrears of payments in the amount of… that equals or exceeds the contribution due for two years can lose their vote in the GA.  An exception is allowed if the Member State can show that conditions beyond its control contributed to the inability to pay.  As of 29 January, 12 Member States are subject to Article 19.  In a resolution passed on the 17th [9th] of October, the GA decided that Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe and Somalia, although in arrears of the payments, shall be permitted to pay their votes… to be — excuse me — shall be permitted to vote until the end of the current session.  So, there are eight Member States that do not have a right to vote in the seventy-second session of the General Assembly — the CAR (Central African Republic), Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Grenada, Libya, Suriname, Venezuela and Yemen.  So that information is valid as of 29 January. Inner City Press: In the… in the letter that he signed, Dominican Republic, there's one other one that I missed from the list the way you were reading it, but… Spokesman:  Dominica. Inner City Press: Yeah, there was also… underneath that… I mean, it… has there been another letter put out, or this is an update that… [inaudible] actually paid…? Spokesman:  I will check.  This is, as I said, as of 29 January." Then Inner City Press asked the PGA spokesman, who returned in the afternoon with this: "Your Question at Noon: The loss of voting rights in case of arrears is based on the UN Charter. This loss is the only consequence of being in arrears, according to Article 19, which states: “A Member of the United Nations which is in arrears in the payment of its financial contributions to the Organization shall have no vote in the General Assembly if the amount of its arrears equals or exceeds the amount of the contributions due from it for the preceding two full years. The General Assembly may, nevertheless, permit such a Member to vote if it is satisfied that the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the control of the Member.”
Requests made under Article 19 of the Charter are considered by the General Assembly in the Fifth Committee at the beginning of the main session. The Committee on Contributions, a subsidiary body of the General Assembly, advises the Assembly on action to be taken with regard to the application of Article 19, in accordance with rule 160 of the General Assembly’s rules of procedure." So- pay or wait until October? North Korea letter
in full here on Patreon, that "Last year we paid our contribution to the UN in the form of swap with the operation expenses of the UN agencies in the DPRK, purely out of its position to honor its obligation as a UN member state, but it is an abnormal method which cannot be applied continuously in view of our state law and regulations. I would like to kindly request the UN Secretariat to take measures, in
conformity with its mission with impartiality and independence as lifeline, to secure promptly the bank transaction channel through which the regular payment of the DPRK’s contribution is made possible." We'll have more on this. Back on January 17 when the UN's Committee on Relations with the Host Country met, the representative of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea read a three-page statement condemning the US for issuing his Mission to the UN's tax-exempt card in the name "North Korea" and not Democratic People's Republic of Korea. He said, "We presumed it would be only a kind of technical mistake by the U.S. side, and returned the card back to the U.S. mission, while requesting them to correct that serious mistake." The statement, which Inner City Press has exclusively obtained immediately after the meeting (photos here, full PDF of letter via Patreon, here) continued that the U.S. mission replied, "It seems to be a glitch in our database, we'll reach out to our office in DC." That was on December 13, the statement said, continuing: "on 14th December there was an explanation from the U.S. mission informing that, quoted as 'Our DC office has indicated that all country / mission names on OFM credentials for Democratic People's Republic of Korea indicate North Korea which is the conventional short abbreviation. The short name for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is North Korea, so the tax card will remain the same." The statement concluded by condemning "such reckless political hostile policy" and demanded an apology. Watch this site. Throughout 2016 New Zealand documentary maker Gaylene Preston and her crew staked out the UN Security Council along with Inner City Press, awaiting the results of the straw polls to elected Ban Ki-moon's sucessor as UN Secretary General. Preston's focus was Helen Clark, the former New Zealand prime minister then in her second term as Administrator of the UN Development Program. Preston would ask Inner City Press after each poll, What about Helen Clark's chances? Suffice it to say Clark never caught fire as a candidate. Inner City Press told Preston, as did many other interviewees in her documentary “My Year with Helen,” that it might be sexism. But it might be power too - including Samantha Power, the US Ambassador who spoke publicly about gender equality and then in secret cast a ballot Discouraging Helen Clark, and praised Antonio Guterres for his energy (yet to be seen). Samantha Power's hypocrisy is called out in Preston's film, in which New Zealand's Ambassador complains that fully four members of the Council claimed to be the single “No Opinion” vote that Clark received. There was a private screening of My Year With Helen on December 4 at NYU's King Juan Carlos Center, attended by a range of UN staff, a New Zealand designer of a website for the country's proposal new flag, and Ban Ki-moon's archivist, among others. After the screening there was a short Q&A session. Inner City Press used that to point out that Guterres has yet to criticize any of the Permanent Five members of the Council who did not block him as the US, France and China blocked Clark, with Russia casting a “No Opinion.” And that Guterres picked a male from among France's three candidates to head UN Peacekeeping which they own, and accepted males from the UK and Russia for “their” top positions. Then over New Zealand wine the talk turned to the new corruption at the UN, which is extensive, and the upcoming dubious Wall Street fundraiser of the UN Correspondents Association, for which some in attendance had been shaken down, as one put it, for $1200.  The UN needed and needs to be shaken up, and hasn't been. But the film is good, and should be screened not in the UN Censorship Alliance but directly in the UN Security Council, on the roll-down movie screen on which failed envoys like Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed are projected. “My Year With Helen” is well worth seeing.


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