Author Archives: Scott

June’s Local SK Elections – Influenced by the North?

Hmm, combine this story about Twitter and similar Internet services influencing the results of Wednesday’s (2 June) election in South Korea with this one on North Korean hackers stealing the IDs of South Korean citizens in order to make postings on South Korean websites and you can make a very interesting case about North Korea attempting to use modern information warfare techniques to influence popular opinion and elections in the South. My question – why isn’t the South, or even the U.S., trying to do something similar?
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Time for a New Tool

Every time North Korea pops into the headlines, whether for testing nukes, starving its people, or killing South Korean sailors, the media is filled with articles demanding something be done, this time … and then, further along in the story, lamenting the lack of decent policy options. After dismissing the old standbys  – diplomatic remonstrations, tighter economic sanctions, and, for those trying to be particularly tough (while hiding safely inside a beltway think tank), military strikes, most articles settle for the now common refrain, If only China would

If only China would what? Step up and handle a problem South Korea, Japan and the U.S. have been complaining about for decades? People have been expounding that nonsense since the Clinton administration. How’s it worked so far? Still holding your breath, thinking this time it’s going to be different?

No, instead of begging China for help, it’s time for some fresh ideas. Having written a fair amount on the North, here are my two cents.

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Motorcycle Ambulances

It seems the good people at Seoul city hall have finally discovered there is a bit of a traffic problem. A problem, wonder of wonders, that makes it difficult for ambulances to get to people quickly. So, starting in April, the city is conducting a 6-month experiment [opens in new window, in Korean] using specially-equipped motorcycles driven by emergency first responders to reach people (e.g. heart attack victims) in need of a fast response. If you see one, let me know. Or better yet, take a pic and post it somewhere so I can link to it.
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  • Niche topic but useful info - Diplomats and Deceit: North Korea’s Criminal Activities in Africa https://t.co/oYiP4GKzAF - posted on 20/10/2017

  • Headline is off, plus some confusion over terms in the text, but interesting article overall. https://t.co/twHzyYFEGB - posted on 18/10/2017

  • Well done by VOA on the message and Robow quotes and pics: Death Toll Tops 300 From Mogadishu Blast https://t.co/uqsKzltksZ - posted on 17/10/2017

  • Interesting examination of the counter-productivity of sanctions: Engagement, Not Sanctions, Deserves Second Chance https://t.co/xvqD59tFI4 - posted on 16/10/2017

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