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South Korea Ban DPRK Tweets, UN Kirby Calls It Vibrant, Censors Speak from Holy Seat

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 29 -- With "human rights in the DPRK" the topic, the UN press briefing room was almost full Tuesday afternoon. But the UN's "Mister North Korea" (previously "Mister Sri Lanka") Marzuki Darusman was not present, having to return to his native Indonesia.

Rather, the briefing was by Michael Kirby and Sonja Biserko of the Commission of Inquiry. Inner City Press asked Kirby about South Korea's National Security Act which prohibits even re-tweeting information from North Korea.

  Kirby defended South Korea as a "vibrant" state where even even this type of law is not really enforced. He apparently took this to be a question akin to one he recounted from China, about human rights in Canada. He said Australia too has issues on economic migrant on which the UN would speak forthrightly.

  Well, no. Inner City Press specifically asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson's office for any Ban comment on Australia's out-sourcing of asylum seekers, on which Ban had taken a blue-washing call from Kevin Rudd. No Ban comment ever emerged on that -- or, it seems, on South Korea's National Security Act.

  Kirby has a very high impression of the UN -- he said the world has only gotten better since the formation of the UN in 1945, and that "no organ" of the UN would get involved in regime change. Apparently he never heard of Libya.

  The UN moderator gave the first question to the UN Censorship Alliance, UNCA, which sent a person who lost election to the board. Kirby answered, on camera, that he had sat in UNCA seat (and been thrown out), that he didn't know there was a "holy seat."

  The second question went to an UNCA board member -- what can be done to North Korea? -- and so it proceeded. When Inner City Press was called on, fifth, it thanked Kirby on behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access @FUNCA_info and told him as guest he should sit where he likes, that there are not or should not be any holy seats in the UN press briefing room.

  The UN moderator made sure to give the first UNCA questioner the last question too, seemingly so she could say, "speaking again from holy seat with its little sign." Little indeed. Watch this site.


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