North Korea: New information indicates that Kim Jong Un was thoroughly drunk when he ordered the execution of the aides of his uncle, Chang Sung-taek in November. Eight of Chang's aides were executed before Chang. They were among the best and brightest economists in North Korea.
Comment: Kim Jong Un has his father's -- Kim Chong-il's -- strong despotic instinct for survival, but even less insight about how to govern anything, much less a country, such as North Korea.
Kim Chong-il was a drunk and voyeur of pornography who executed those who disagreed with him. Kim Jong Un is following his father's practices of making important decisions while drunk and executing those whom he is told disagree with him.
The key difference is that Kim Chong-il knew who his enemies were because he grew up in North Korea and studied with the veterans of the three Korean wars.
Kim Jong Un is essentially a foreigner; educated in Switzerland, who has no memories of the three wars; no military service, and has to be told who his enemies are by communist party hacks who are now wearing military uniforms. When Kim is drunk, the Army is always on duty.
Iran: Last week, Iran and the six world powers - the five members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany - held talks for four days. Spokespersons from all countries said there was progress, but the progress was slow.
One point that Iran tried to clarify concerns access to military industrial facilities. After an earlier contradictory statement, Iran announced that it will permit the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect Iran's missile or ordnance factories or installations.
"The Islamic Republic will subject their (sic) missile and military industries under IAEA inspection in order for transparency and in accordance with the agreement signed between them and the International Atomic Energy Agency," according to an official statement carried by theMehrnews agency.
Comment: Iran's intention in making today's statement is not clear. What is clear is that IAEA inspectors must locate and inspect Iran's brigade of BM-25 ballistic missiles which were bought from North Korea. Any inspection that does not find those missiles, however they might have been renamed, is a prima facie failure.
The BM-25 is a North Korean-version of a Soviet SS-N-6 submarine-launched ballistic missile. It was designed to carry nuclear warheads. North Korea obtained the missile; re-engineered it for North Korean purposes; manufactured an export model and sold a brigade to Iran.
Today, at 11:20 AM PT: Get the Market Movements in Advance; Williams Edge Webinar for July 24th, 2014 | John Ransom
Today, at 11:20 AM PT: Get the Market Movements in Advance; Williams Edge Webinar for July 23rd, 2014 | John Ransom