UN, North Korea "Plays with Mouth," South Koreans Limit Themselves to
Feet, of Different Sports and OJ Simpson
Russell Lee, News Analysis
NATIONS, June 16 -- A day after the raucous UN press conference of
North Korean Ambassador Sin Son Ho, denying
his country sank the Cheonan ship, a South Korean diplomat asked
Inner City Press
what reporters thought, and in essence, who was winning the
Son Ho threatened military reaction to any statement by the Security
Council, refused to comment on his country's chances in the World
Cup, said that if the Council passed anything, "I will be
fired." It was the talk of the press corps, even the next day.
wag analogized North Korea to O.J. Simpson and his defense to murder
charges. The Simpson defense team raised questions about the
investigating police, about the evidence, about the decedent.
Inner City Press made this analogy to the South Korean diplomat, he
shook his head. They must show an alibi, he said. They must show
physical evidence. But must they?
as the Simpson team unearthed racially charged statements by
investigating police, there is the matter of the "Drunken
General" Lee Sang Eui, who was on duty at the time of the sinking, and
fired just before South Korea's Council presentation. The South
Korean diplomat acknowledged the Drunken General issue, but said it
had nothing to do with proving how the Cheonan sank, it was only a
"chain of command" issue.
When Inner City Press asked
Sin Son Ho about the Drunken General, his spokesman smiled, and he
declined to answer. He also wouldn't answer about the UN Development
Program re-opening its program in, and web site about, the DPRK. But
even with non-answers, UN correspondents were still buzzing that next
day. "Better than Ban," one said, while others laughed.
problem is that South Korea's case was
largely confined to a closed door "informal dialogue" of
Security Council members -- and some non Council member countries,
the diplomat pointed out. But no press.
DPRK's Sin Son Ho: if the analogy doesn't fit, you must acquit
Meanwhile, Sin Son Ho held
forth for nearly an hour, on the record.
like North and South Korea are playing different sports," Inner
City Press said.
no, the South Korean diplomat countered. We are playing football,
only the feet are to be used. But North Korea is using their hands
and their mouth. It is like at the World Cup, where North Korea
brings beautiful ladies to cheer then on for television. People are
impressed. But it is propaganda.
City Press asked if South Korea thinks it could have been a mistake
by a lower or middle level North Korean commander. No, was the
response. We have intelligence, it came from the top.
was that again, about showing evidence?
Do your own press conference, Inner
City Press suggested. No, the South Korean diplomat said. If they came
forward with evidence, we would then rebut. But they have no evidence.
But that's not the game they are
South Korean diplomat, as China's Permanent Representative Li Baodong
passed by, closed with a flourish. China and Russia both know our
evidence is good, the South Korean diplomat said. Noth Korea wants to
blow up the armistice agreement, they want a peace agreement with us
and the US. But we have to deal with the nuclear issue first, not
luck. Watch this site.
* * *
S.Korea Fires Top General on Eve of Screening Film to UNSC
June 14, updated -- Nearly immediately after the release of the South
Korea led investigative report blaming the sinking of its Cheonan
ship on its neighbor North Korea, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
said that the report was troubling, that the Security Council should
take it up and take appropriate action.
Ban so often
uses the Security Council as an excuse not to comment on or take any
role in important topics of the day, Inner City Press asked why
case was so different. Ban's spokesman hastened to say that Ban
wasn't telling the Security Council what action to take, only to
June 14, the
Security Council took the issue up, though only informally, agreeing
to hear representatives of South Korea and then North Korea in
"informal consultations" not in the Council chamber but in
the North Lawn building. (Some found irony, since the Council did not
move with Ban to the North Lawn building, but rather stayed in the
General Assembly basement, allegedly on safety grounds.)
UN's Ban in South Korea, General and briefing not shown
was told that one precedent for this was the Council's consideration
of the killing of tens of thousands of civilians in Sri Lanka in
2009. Then, the Council held closed meetings in the basement while
the matter stayed off the Council's agenda due to veto threats from
Russia and China. Subsequently, the International Crisis Group has
called for an international investigation of the UN's ineffective
call for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka.
June 11, it was
Sang Eui, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, may have
falsified a document to make it appear that he was in the Defense
Ministry’s command-and-control center on the night of March 26 when
the Cheonan was sunk.. sleeping off a drinking session in his
the UN there was
not mention of this. Ban Ki-moon was at the World Cup, where on June
12 South Korea played. On June 14, just before South Korea's
presentation, Lee Sang Eui was fired. Watch this site.
3:11 p.m. -- UN Security has pushed the press back from the second
floor room where the Council meets about the Cheonan. To the side of
the jam packed Vienna Cafe, a small crowd roars as Paraguay scores,
going up 1-0 over Italy. The TVs are provided by the South African
mission. There is no cheering among the press corps. No filming, no
questions, no access.
3:51 p.m. -- an Anatolian diplomat, emerging from the South Korean
briefing, tells the assembled Asian press that he "personally"
found Seoul's briefing convincing. The crowd follows him down the
cement stairs. It is impossible to ask about the drunken general.
of 5:19 p.m. - with media scrum chasing North Korean Deputy around,
action moved to Twitter. But to recap: Araud of France says to his
government, the evidence is undeniable: North Korea did it. Strong
Council action merited, he says, but up to South Koreans (who are
6:15 p.m. -- #NKorea Rep, trailed by Asian media, finally says we
"totally deny" responsibility. Will answer more questions
Tuesday at 11. Media chase him down 1st Ave. 10-4
7:05 pm - Japan's Takasu says NKorea did it. InnerCityPress asks,
why did they go it? To gain what? Takasu: I hope NK will answer that...
Tuesday 11 a.m.? 10-4