The report on DPRK forced labour in the EU by the Slaves to the System research team is receiving much attention. Not just from the media, some of whose less esteemed members are having a field day misquoting me in different languages, but also from non-media folks, such as for example members of the EU parliament (who asked question in parliament),
Een experiment. Een opiniestuk voorgelezen als podcast (een opedcast?), de eerste van een serie: Bureau Breuker. Deze keer over de nieuwe diplomatieke notie van separative engagement, voorgesteld door prof. Jang Jin-sung (Universiteit Leiden).
Hier is het mp3-bestand (320kbps):
Er zal nog van alles niet optimaal zijn qua opname, maar dat zal naar ik aanneem langzamerhand verbeteren.
What if North Korea did not hack Sony? Recent news seems to suggest that there is a lot of debate surrounding this question in knowledgeable circles. Since I am not much of a cyberdetective, I can’t really contribute. But permit me to list a few considerations that should perhaps be taken seriously in the game of assigning blame for Angelina Jolie now knowing what Sony’s top producer really thinks of her:
It took some doing, performing magic tricks with lecture halls, conjuring up discussants, contacting every media outlet in and outside Europe, and fighting off some dodgy characters with pronounced Hwanghae-do accents (no, not really), but the program for the conference has been finalized. It seems as if there’ll be lots of people, which is why we made sure to get the biggest lecture hall of Leiden University. And trust me, it is big. Big enough to accommodate the speakers, discussants, audience and the media. Haven’t heard from Pyongyang yet,
You can now register for the conference by reading this text, liking it on FB, retweeting it 3,568 times and starting a fan club. Alternatively, you can scroll down the page, click the registration link and fill out the form. And be honest when you fill it out, please. You’re expected to own up to every bit of graft you ever received from Room 39 (we’re not interested in the cognac bottles though). And we know what’s going on in there, don’t forget. Oh, and it’s Chatham House Rule. Which we take seriously. If you are from the media and are looking for a interview let us know. We can’t promise anything (well, we could, but we’d have to break some promises probably, so we won’t), but we’ll do our best.
And here’s is the provisional program. We won’t release the names of the speakers (except Jang Jin-sung) until the conference starts and then it’s Chatham House Rule. Discussants have also been left out of this program for the time being. The elite exiles will be in conversation with discussants who are recognised scholars or practitioners in closely related fields of expertise. There’s enough to wet the appetite though, I imagine.
This is a variation on the theme of the previous post, a variation as Bach would have understood it: part of the same opus. The basso continuo is provided by the appropriately heavy theme of human rights.
The notion of human rights has often been
I like to think of myself as a reasonable human being. Most of the time then. But given my primal reaction to this text in which it is stated that “human rights issues have proved a complication” in establishing parliamentary linkage with North Korea, I am afraid I have to admit it stripped the veneer of reasonability right away from me. So allow me to show my more unreasonable side in this blog.
My favourite North Korea-related website (www.newfocus.co.kr) just carried an article on the September conference featuring seven of the most prominent NK exiles in Leiden. This of course means that I have become searchable on the New Focus website. I realize this is my vanity talking, but I really like it. Can’t help it. Vanitas vanitatum, et omnia vanitas, as my grandmother used to say, but there you go. (for the philologically inclined among you, this is from Ecclesiastes1:2.)
A few updates: