South Korea - North Korea: North Korea has not responded to South Korea's final offer to resume talks on normalizing operations at the Kaesong industrial complex. On 4 August, South Korea inquired whether the North intended to respond, but got no response.
Comment: The North's position is that operations should restart immediately without conditions. The South wants a guarantee that the North will not suspend operations again, even during periods of tension. The North's position makes good short term business sense. Its tactic apparently is to rely on the South Korean businessmen to become impatient with continuing short term losses and to exert pressure on the Park government to relent so as to avoid permanent losses.
South Korean business interests have delivered petitions independently to North Korea, but those also have received no response. However, they probably encourage the North to persist in its tactics to wait out the South Korean government.
Turkey: A special court in Istanbul on Monday sentenced at least 10 defendants out of 275, including a former army chief of staff, to life in prison for their role in a secret organization known as Ergenekon that allegedly plotted a military coup to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Erdogan. The court acquitted 17 defendants.
In the Ergenekon case, the Turkish government accused the so-called "deep state" of conspiring to cause social unrest which would then provoke a military coup. The court has now largely agreed with the government's argument.
Among those convicted is General Ilker Basbug, who led the military between 2008 and 2010. At least five generals have been jailed for life in the most extensive judicial action against the Turkish military leadership in over a century.
Comment: The investigation of senior Turkish military officers began formally in 2007, but rumors and reports of a secret military and security cabal, referred to as the "deep state", pre-dated the investigation by decades. Its members are said to include senior military officers, business leaders and ultra-nationalists. The political ascendancy of the pro-Islamist Justice and Development Party culminating in more than ten years in office has sharpened a clash of power interests based on different themes in Turkish history and culture.
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