North Korea: The first meeting of the North-South joint committee for the Kaesong Industrial Zone took place in the zone on Monday, 2 September.
According to a press release, the agreement on the formation and operation of the joint committee established the composition, function and role and the mode and methods of operation of the joint committee and the panel committees. It also decided to hold technical discussions through the operation of the panel committees.
The members agreed to hold the second meeting of the joint committee on 10 September to further discuss the operation of the panel committees and the issue of the operation of the zone.
Comment: Thus far the North has adhered to its undertakings to resume operations at Kaesong. However, its rejection of an official US delegation to seek the release of Kenneth Bae, who is in North Korean custody, shows that the North's charm offensive is selective in its application.
The North used the Bae situation as the occasion to register its hostility to US-South Korean military exercises that ended Friday. A foreign ministry statement said the North had approved the US official visit to obtain Bae's release until B-52 bombers joined the exercise. The North called the B-52 flights nuclear blackmail and canceled the visit.
North Korea had not criticized the Allied exercise before that and almost certainly was looking for an excuse to swipe at the US.
Pakistan: Karachi is in a law and order crisis. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday vowed not to politicize a planned solution to restore peace to Karachi and hoped others would cooperate with the federal government in doing so.
Sharif arrived in Karachi on Tuesday morning. On Wednesday he is scheduled to preside over a special federal cabinet session on the deteriorating law and order situation. The cabinet is expected to decide on a planned targeted operation against criminal gangs and armed militias of political groups, whose turf war has ruined law and order in Karachi.
Comment: Last week politicians debated a proposal to place Karachi under military control for a large scale clean-up operation. The senior police officer for Karachi, however, claimed today that the police have the situation under control, but that is beiong understood as an effort to protect his authority.
(An important interview) Saving the Net from the surveillance state (And Crony Media): Glenn Greenwald speaks up (Q&A) | Nick Sorrentino