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NightWatch 20120725

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NightWatch

For the night of 25 July 2012

North Korea:  For the record. North Korean official media clarified that Kim Jong-un is married to Ri Sol ju. She is the woman who has appeared in public with Kim.

Comment: The prominence given to the marriage of a Kim leader is refreshing, mainly because his father and grandfather were adulterers who hid their affairs. The deceased elder Kims had multiple girlfriends and wives and never gave prominence to any, except after they died.

The upside is that the new Kim leader appears more open than any of his forbears. The downside is that there probably will be more Kims to perpetuate a manifestly incompetent family dynasty.

Special Comment: The longstanding NightWatch position is that the North Korean people have deserved far better leadership than they have gotten from the Kim family. The achievements of the South Korean democracy and free market capitalism are the proofs of the concept. In other words, a democratically, capitalistic elected government would have outperformed the Kims exponentially, given the commitment to education, the work ethic and the energy of the North Korean work force.

North Korea-US: North Korea's Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling for the United States to end its historically hostile policies toward Pyongyang by signing a peace treaty, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). The statement added that both parties must be on an equal footing and stop antagonizing each other before dialogue can be effective.

Comment: The idea that the US and North Korea would ever be equal parties is preposterous from the start, but Republican and Democrat administrations have been willing to accept that contention just to talk with North Korean negotiators. The North understands the game and that US administrations do not last as long as North Korean governments.

Pakistan: The Ashraf government informed the Supreme Court of Pakistan that it would not re-open the corruption case against President Zardari, despite the Court's clear order last month. The Swiss have indicated they have no intention or re-opening the graft case against Zardari, which is now over a decade old.

Comment: The key issue is whether the Pakistan government will follow orders from the judiciary. The Gilani government fell because it refused, and the Ashraf government has put itself in the same quandary. Thus far, Pakistan does not appear to be a country that follows its own laws at the highest levels of government.

Ashraf, like Gilani, swore to enforce and uphold the laws. Ashraf is following Gilani in deliberately refusing to uphold the laws that their parties enacted in the Pakistani National Assembly. Ashraf is liable to be held in contempt of the Supreme Court and required to resign.

Greece: For the record. The head of Greece's joint chiefs of staff, Lt. Gen. Constantinos Ziazias, resigned from his post on 25 July. Ziazias resigned in protest at demands to shuffle top-level officers as a measure to create savings, unnamed sources said. Apparently few Greeks are prepared to accept any real cutbacks, including the armed forces.

End of NightWatch for 25 July.

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