Interview with Mikel Vivanco delegate of the North Korea Friendship Association

“The Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea is a peace-loving country, thas how describe Mikel Vivanco”

mv-imagen

The special delegate of North Korea in Spain, Alejandro Cao de Benos, with the delegate of the Korean Association of Friendship (KFA), Mikel Vivanco, and Fernando Quevedo, Koryo Books.
By: ALEJANDRA HERNANDEZ

 

My great interest in this great country, that everyone speaks of him, because of the great hermetics that he has, we do not know what exactly happens there, what will happen ?, what do they think ?, etc. Was then I took the task of contacting someone who was very involved in this issue and it was when I discovered the existence of this association, called the “Korean Friendship Association” chaired by the Spanish Alejandro Cao de Bènos de Les and Perez and founded the August 8, 2000, created to provide information in the Western countries on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Creating events, exhibitions and dialogues of all kinds, cultural event development.

It was where I was able to contact Mikel Vivanco, who is currently the Official Delegate of the North Korea Friendship Association in Spain, that I had the opportunity and privilege of being able to interview him and very kindly answered each of my questions.

That first for me is important to know when it was that began to interest in this country, so we started our interview and Mikel said that in the mid-nineties, he remembers that it was how in the University, in semiotics class, a Professor commented that North Korea was a communist country. And Mikel was a Marxist-Leninist, as long as he had a use of political reason, but he had not realized that Korea was really a state related to his ideas. The bad thing is that at that time there were not many publishing houses that published works of the DPRK, so that later, in the decade of the 2000, it was when he could accede to these works, to enter in the KFA, etc. From the first moment the DPRK attracted him, and every day that passes, his admiration for her grows even more.

Mikel Vivanco was able to become Official Delegate of this Association, in 2010 who is the 4 in this position have held this position, but personally, he became a member for 11 years ago, who passed through the position of Organization Secretary State and is now Official Delegate. Knowing this information of his achievement as a delegate, I had another concern and that not only I have it, if not the whole world, wanted to know what is the main objective at this time of Korea Who told me that the main thing is to guarantee the Revolution, to continue building socialism, to defend its sovereignty, to improve the economy, to achieve the reunification of the country, and so on. And, above all, but above all and the main thing is to ensure the welfare of the People.

North Korea is a “socialist popular republic” countries such as Cuba, Vietnam where it is still governed by communism, and that in the example of Cuba its inhabitants day by day try to flee and are fed up with the type of government, and it is that it is impossible to live with communism as Government, but with the example of North Korea, according to all its inhabitants are happy in their country, and although there are many who have tried to escape, most say they are happy, for this reason was that I wanted to ask if there was any possibility that the type of government could change in North Korea, and I was astounded by the answer, which clearly said no and did not see it as necessary, because the DPRK possesses a system of social, political organization , Economic and cultural that works very well, told us that this has been historically proven. And that there is also a monolithic unity in the basic and most important aspects: unity of the masses among them, around the Leader, the Party and the People’s Army. And Mikel was able to verify it personally.

The DPRK is also an assembly system: since the citizens are 17 years old they can choose and be elected to represent the Masses. The decisions of the Popular Assemblies are carried out by the Popular Committees. Every week people gather at their place of work to decide how this will work the following week. The masses own the means of production. The People also holds power, the true definition of democracy. He also added that in his opinion, that is something that can not change, and should not change. As I became clearer that the government had never changed, another thing I was very interested to know was whether there is a possibility of reunification between the two Koreas, and if such a agreement could be given as it should be? In addition another thing that obviously had to ask was about the current president of the USA and that it is necessary so that between North Korea and the United States there is a good relationship, first Mikel told us he hopes that come to realize if the reunification Between the two Koreas, since from the DPRK the proposal is that of a country with two systems, based on the great national unity and the foreign non-interference. And in this way the Democratic Confederal Republic of Koryo could be formed. And that this is the first objective of the DPRK in terms of foreign policy, and indeed hopes that if it comes to fruition because this could calm the waters and increase trade between them, it would be the best, and of course I think it would be Something very good because the tension that exists between them with the reunification would diminish and would North Korea grow a lot and perhaps could be to be softer with its own people.

As the president of the United States, Mikel responded with a “No comments” that since the time of Donald Trump, the only thing he has done is throw threats and create a tension and with this that the whole world is with the eyes above North Korea, because of course they always korea looks like the bad countrie iin all around the world and the US as the winner, he added, for a start, it would not be a bad idea for the USA. To leave South Korea and the Asia-Pacific zone, to stop threatening the DPRK and to end its criminal sanctions, all they do is to try to attack the civilian population (which of course does not they get).

And if, in general, he leaves behind all the countries he is currently occupying wildly, he could even do well (or much better) with the rest of the planet. In South Korea, USA. Has military bases in the border and this to guarantee the security of its allies in the face of threats, it was then that I asked if it is true what is said that this border between the two Koreas is the most militarized in the world, but Mikel says he is convinced That it is not so; Which of course is militarized, but there are other areas of the world that are much more. This whole issue between Korea and the US has caused panic throughout the world, the constant threats from the US government, and the constant ballistic tests conducted by North Korea, so I wanted to know if in truth North Korea is prepared for any type of war and the very clear and blunt said yes, that of course it is prepared for any matter that could be given against North Korea, since its objective is to care and to well-being Of their citizens, and before this they are capable and ready in case the US Or another country would come to declare war are ready to respond, I asked him if that is why they do not want to give up the nuclear program and in effect what I predicted was true, he again stated that to give up this in fact it Would suppose his suicide as a nation.

Also Mikel told me that they do not want nuclear energy forever, that of course, but that right now they need to have the same armament with which they are constantly being threatened, and that includes all about nuclear.

On the other hand, he said that the DPRK is a peace-loving country: they know very well what war is, and that’s why they do not like it. Well after having talked about these situations of so much tension but obvious it was important to know, it was then that I wanted to change a bit the topic, and that I think is also interesting since to be North Korea a country where we think that the people we can not do nothing, So I wanted to ask Mikel, how is your life that things are the ones that trade is what they produce. what products they export or with which countries do business, because I decided to ask this to Mikel who told me that the most exported are mainly minerals, coal, materials for steel smelting and metallurgy, Textiles derived from chemicals, etc .; Also technological and pharmacological products, Gingseng, Vinalón, even cars and motorcycles. In relation to the export of labor, architects and other qualified technicians are quite solicited. For example, there are monumental works of socialist style in the African continent elaborated by the Mansudae Study of Pyongyang.

The DPRK also has special economic zones with foreign investment (in which the means of production have not been privatized, of course). It trades with many countries, and that Koreans are open to anyone who wants to relate in this aspect, that’s for sure. With the most, China and Russia. It also exports a lot to South Korea.

With this we were about to conclude our interview that before finalizing it with asking him to tell me in 3 words what North Korea means to him, well before this, we know that North Korea has an ideology called JUCHE, that at the beginning It was Marxism-Leninism that was adopted as the official political ideology of the country. However, Leader Kim Il Sung did not want to depend on any of the two communist giants surrounding the DPRK, so it was It was created this original philosophy created by the eternal President Kim IL Sung, Mikel tells us that the human being has destiny in his hands, which also means that the masses control the means of production, something that connects with socialism. It can also be understood as the application of socialism in the Korean way, paying attention to its place in space and time, which reminds us of the idea of ​​”socialism in a country.” It has many more nuances, which link to all aspects of people’s material and spiritual life.

And as I mentioned I before this interview, that this interview we would finish it with telling me in 3 words Which means North Korea,and he told me that s the real line of defense of socialism against imperialism: To barbarity … “Mikel said goodbye very kindly to say these words…

“Well that’s it, I hope it looks good, and tell me if you need anything else. At the end of the message I allow myself to leave you a series of links in case you want to go deeper.

Thanks for all and a hug,

Mikel”.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

So thank to this interview, I make clear a lot of things about North Korea and that Mikel is willing to do another interview in person and keep talking about this great country that is North Korea.

 

 

The art of the accusation

The cross accusations between North Korea and the US.

Ever since World War II, the United States and North Korea have been confronting and accusing each other. Presently, the situation has not improved, but it could be said that it has worsened significantly. The main actors of these accusations are Kim Jong-Un (North Korea) and Donald Trump (USA), who instead of trying to mediate in international politics, are once again a concern for the international community.
The usual accusations are not all of the same typology or thematic, but they have a clear objective, which in none other than to destabilize the image of the opponent, and at the same time they are adding even more “wood to the fire”. Earlier this week, a North Korean newspaper published a report accusing the US CIA of conspiring to attack North Korean’s leader in an attempt to murder him.

trump lol

Earlier this week, US newspapers published a report on China’s support for the US and the unpolite attention Kim Jong-Un allegedly had with the Chinese government, which is a bit ironic because North Korea is highly dependent on China and might even need its help… in case of a possible armed conflict. This is what is known as state marketing. Not everyone knows the existence of this department of government that the states have, whose purpose is none other than trying to make their people and even the rest of the world see what they want us to see through the media. There are clear, fully verified examples in which the US has used its state marketing services, like for example in the Vietnam war, the conflict with Fidel Castro (Cuba) and even more recently, the war in Afghanistan.

Recently Mr. Trump has made a series of very unfortunate statements, something very common since he began his electoral program last year (2016). These are statements where he shows his great ego and almost touching totalitarianism. In which he warns North Korea, that if they continue to ignore the international community, they will be punished with force, for example the US has already punished them with economic sanctions, but they haven’t stopped their nuclear activities and other military actions.

22 is too many

A large part of the world population is wondering: Why is President Donald Trump acting this way? Well, there is a study that explains the necessity of the US to enter a new war, not because of a mere economical, geographical or political issue, but because the American army cannot remain without activity in American territory, since this causes a great problem in society. The number of suicides among American military has increased exponentially recently, due to their lack of activity when they return from conflict. (20- 22 daily suicides according to Mission 22).      

To conclude, quoting Bertrand Russell: “Scientists strive to make the impossible possible. Politicians, for making impossible the possible.”

                                             

 

A Moral Question or Just a Matter of Fame?

Criticized by many, Dennis Rodman – former basketball star – basketball coach, actor, and professional wrestler recently affirmed that he wouldn’t return to North Korea.

In his career, Mister Rodman, better known as ‘the Worm’, has won five NBA titles and for seven consecutive times the ranking of rebounders; but he is also well known for his extravagant and bizarre performances outside the basketball field. Mister Rodman has unleashed a controversial issue within the United Stated, due to the increasing relation with the ‘Glorious Leader’, who give him the shoot of public flattery after his retirement by the masses under the orders of the dictator.

Picture 1. Retrieved from: http://goo.gl/10AV3e

Picture 1. Retrieved from: http://goo.gl/10AV3e

The buddy of Kim Jong-Un said that the issues of the North-Korean Leader, like the execution of his uncle, aren’t his job.They only have a good time together; with the person he call friend for life, but also affirms that he won’t return to North Korea if people from America – mostly his fans – don’t’ want that. So he commented on Daily News “I don’t want people to look at me as the devil or evil person”.

Mister Rodman also commented on the nation’s newspaper USA Today: “I love my country America, I love it, I’d never trade it for nothing in the world”, he added, perhaps to respond to the ex-boxer Mike Tyson, who has called him a “traitor”. Due to the actual issues in that North Korea is involved, we consider that it’s quite incredible that such a regime has still preserved through time until the 21st century, when – it is supposed that – democracy and liberalism are the unchallenged notions that subsisted till today.

Thus, regarding the past of Mister Rodman, he represents a symbol for the fight against the lack of liberty. The issues he had to surmount during his career were enough to mark him with a negative social consensus due to his North Korean trips – and the regime it represents – above all, the American public opinion criticized his actions.

 

The crazy world in which we live can be metaphorically described as a basketball game. Sometimes, it is necessary to ‘fast break’ and counter-attack in order ‘to take it to the hole’; overthrowing all the adversaries. Occasionally meaning that people have to take control over some situations in their life, and in part or even completely assume risks that could change their course.

In real life, Mister Rodman knew how to do it too. He has gone through many obstacles that life has thrown along his path, dealing with ‘’drugs, alcohol and the loss of fame’’. This simply represents a moral lesson, which everyone should take into consideration in some part of your life.

The following question is an uncertainty that everyone should consider at any point of its life.                                                          What is more important: your beliefs – referring to his home country – or life-long friendship?

North Korea Under UN Investigation for Alleged Human Rights Violations

Michael Kirby, head commissioner in UN investigation of North Korean human rights violations.  (from Voice of America)

Michael Kirby, head commissioner in UN investigation of North Korean human rights violations. (from Voice of America)

North Korea has been scrutinized for their human rights practices for years now.  This past March marked the start of a United Nations investigation of North Korea after many defectors were brave enough to commit to testifying.  It is  believed that North Korea’s practices are in violations of the United Nations international human rights law.  According to the United Nations website, “International human rights law lays down obligations which States are bound to respect… States assume obligations and duties under international law to respect, to protect and to fulfil human rights.”  The head of the UN review of North Korea’s practices, Michael Kirby, says that the nation is “engaged in large-scale human rights abuses.”  According to NHK World, Kirby has been unsuccessful in getting North Korea to cooperate in the investigation, but that “North Korea has maintained that the inquiry is a political plot launched by its enemies and should not be believed.”

In addition to great speculation of these violations in the past and many proposed resolutions, this summer, the United Nations began this review in Seoul, South Korea.  There, the panel heard testimony from defectors of the North about the horrible situations they faced after being deported back to North Korea from the nations to which they fled.  Similar stories were heard later in the summer in Tokyo and most recently in London this past week.  Park Ji-hyun was one of the brave nearly 200 testifiers against the nation for the alleged “torture, sexual violence, denial of food, arbitrary detention, abduction of foreigners, [and] the return of refugees to certain imprisonment” (Voice of America).  In her testimony, she recounted her escape to China in 1998, where she was forced to marry a Chinese gambler with whom she had a son.  When she was later arrested and forced to return to North Korea, she had to leave her son behind (Arirang, Korea).

Arirang:  UN Coverage of North Korean Human Rights Hearing [YouTube]

Independent estimates have reported that 150,000-200,000 people are detained in North Korean prison camps (Reuters).  Many ex-prisoners of these camps shared their experiences that were similar to, and some even far more gruesome than that of Park Ji-hyun’s.  Jee Heon-a, an ex-prisoner told of her experience in a North Korean prison camp:  “Everyone’s eyes were sunken. They all looked like animals.”  She told of the salted frogs that were the only source of food for herself and the other prisoners, and she told of a mother who was forced to murder her newborn child  (Reuters).

CNN Coverage of North Korean Violations Hearing & Imprisonment Story [YouTube]

The investigation is expected to continue this week in Washington DC, where further testimonies will be heard from witnesses, including Joe Bermudez, an expert on North Korean defense and intelligence affairs, David Hawk, a long-time human rights advocate, and more.  In a press release, Michael Kirby stated “Although we do not have direct access to the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)], we are still able to gather vital information from individuals who have bravely come forward to tell their stories” (Yonhap, South Korea).  Recommendations from the commission that are due in March will be passed on to the United Nations for review, when the UN will make a decision on what should be done (WXPI, Pittsburgh).

INTERVIEW WITH PING SHIH HU SUN, MANDARIN TEACHER AT UEM

I was one of the five students who were assigned Asia as a region to focus on for the International Observatory class and we were told to interview somebody who is related to that region. So I thought that there was no better person to interview than my Mandarin teacher at the Universidad Europea de Madrid, with who I have had the privilege of learning such a difficult yet wonderful language during the second trimester. Her name is Ping Shih Hu Sun and she was born in Taiwan.

I asked her ten general questions about various different topics regarding the region, focusing mainly on China, but also looking at events that have had an effect on China and vice versa.

I am very interested in the whole story about the crisis of the two Koreas, especially the North. Therefore, as an opening question, we can say I was “forced” to ask her about the relationship that exists between China and North Korea.

She said “I think that since they are neighbors, China wants to avoid divergences with North Korea, also because they share a similar political system, Communism, and there aren’t many other Communist states nowadays, so it is important to keep a relationship with them.”

I then continued with a question related to Taiwan, I asked her about the movement that has been going on for years about the complete sovereignty and independence and of Taiwan from China. It is always interesting to hear a personal opinion from somebody who is actually from there.

She said “As a matter of fact, politically and economically Taiwan is totally independent, but I don’t think that Taiwan is capable nor should become a completely independent country because it has been part of Chinese territory for five centuries and due to extraordinary circumstances it finds itself in such situation. No one will ever recognize them as an independent territory and state”.

That question led me to ask her about the Chinese community abroad, specifically in Spain, I was aware of the fact that she was born in Taiwan but I thought that since they are related she could give me an interesting answer, and she did.

She said that “The Chinese community in Spain is like most of the Chinese people, confident about the idea that putting effort into things will lead people to achieve what they aspire.” I immediately agreed with that inspiring statement, because every Chinese person that I know is a very hardworking person.

Manny Ping

After that, I asked her a question that would have taken her ages to answer since it was such an open question therefore she replied in a brief sentence, which made total sense to me. I asked her about some similarities and differences between China and Spain and she replied “Both countries are very hospitable, and are friends of their friends; generally speaking the people are very sociable”.

I then though it was time to move on to talk about more serious issues, so I went back to the North Korea topic, I asked her about the public opinion of the Chinese population about North Korea and its actions whether they support it or oppose it, or whether they just follow what the government says. She gave me a wise answer: “I believe that the people neither support nor oppose the North Korean regime, because the Chinese know that they have their own problems to take care of, they don’t want to pay attention to external problems”.

The next question was along the lines of the previous one. I was skeptical when thinking about asking this question because it involved a very personal answer which many people refuse to give. I asked Ping if she thought that the Chinese regime was too oppressive or if it was improving in terms of democracy, and she said “China is a Communist country, but in some aspects it is improving. However you cannot ask such a big country to make such a drastic change, which would cause chaos like it happened in Russia. China has to make slow progress and the population has to comprehend the real meaning of democracy”.

It seems that the debate about the Tibetan sovereignty has lost media attention years ago, so I thought that it would be interesting to bring it up in my interview, so I asked Ping about her personal opinion on the matter.

She replied by saying that “Tibet is part of the People’s Republic of China since many centuries ago. Nevertheless, the international media tends to twist the truth and misreport the facts. I that think what really matters at the end of the day is what the Tibetans want”.

It seems by the type of questions that I am asking her that I am criticizing China by focusing on the saddest happenings, but the fact of the matter is that I love China, its history, culture, language and people. I just focused on those topics because they have created heated debates for years. So, to continue I asked her about the freedom of the press in China. She thinks that “in today’s political system in China, the press does not have total freedom. Freedom is conceded depending on the topic, those topics which are critical about the regime are promptly censured, but those which aren’t are disclosed normally”.

The last two questions could not have been left aside. I had to talk about the economy, so I asked Ping whether this boost of the economy is the right path for China or if it would be better if they slowed down a little, thus respecting some human rights that some workers had had consequently violated due to that boost.

She said that “human rights of the workers are achievements that characterize developed countries. In a society like the Chinese one the rural population moves to the cities looking for jobs wherever employment is offered, so this is the result when there is more demand than supply. The governments may set the rules, but in the end it the companies who really decide”.

I saved the following questions for the end because it is a question that a lot of people ask themselves. I have to say… I did not expect that answer at all, but I have learned to respect all opinions. I asked Ping whether she thought there would be more competition or cooperation between China and the West, especially the United States.

She firmly said “I supposed there will be more competition with the United States because the Americans don’t want China to be on their level, and will make up stories to show that China is not trustworthy.

I enjoyed this interview with Ping, it was nice to know her opinion on these topics of such importance at the international level.

By Emanuele del Tufo

Latest news from North Korea – New opening

Date: March 22, 2012

By: Ananda Cerdan,Ibón Joung, Sara Setién, Eduardo Márquez and Virginia Mazón

   US said, “Last month, North Korea has agreed to suspend nuclear and long-range missiles and to allow UN inspectors”

“UN nuclear inspectors were invited to North Korea for the first time in three years”
 

  North Korea abort nuclear development and long-range missile tests in return for food help and with it the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is free to visit North Korean´s nuclear facilities after North Korea had expels last inspectors that were studying the nuclear program of Asian countries three years ago.

   Due to North Korean populations poverty since the soviet communism failed, the country has not been able to supply enough food among its territory. North Korea has been asking for alimentary help, and it is after Kim Jong-Il’s death when his son Kim Jong-un invited UN nuclear inspectors to visit the nuclear facilities for the first time in three years, according a deal with the United States. This deal consists of North Korea aborting nuclear developments in return for alimentary support; but weeks after, the agreement was questioned because the city of Pyongyang announced plans to launch a long-range missile. This act was considered a provocative action for South Korea, Japan and United States, that’s why the reconsider alimentary help because any launch would be seeing as a violation to the UN Security Council Resolutions.

“North Korea opens the doors of them nuclear facilities to the United Nations”
 

   The excuse of North Korea was to celebrate the centenary of the last leader Kim Il-sung, so they claim the right to launch a rocket, between the 12 and the 16 April, which will transport a satellite that could observe the space.

   Last North Korea news by KCNA says that South Korea, United States and Japan have considered the North Korean launch as a provocative action just to manifest against its regime.

   This isn´t the first time that North Korea has problems with the international community since North Korea launched in April 2009, the Taepodong-2 rocket with a communications satellite called Kwangmyongsong-2, which went into orbit by the North Korean government, although the intelligence services in South Korea and the U.S. assure that fell into the sea without reaching its goal. The launch of the Taepodong-2 rocket North Korea earned the condemnation from the international community, who played it was a covert test long-range ballistic missile.

   The UN issued at that time a presidential statement that saw the release a violation of resolution 1718 of the Security Council, which restricts the testing of ballistic missiles and nuclear communist country, but failed to enact sanctions for lack of agreement.

“Decisions still on”
 

   This deal will also open new inspections of North Korean´s nuclear program that started three years ago and from that had been unmonitored. This program asks to leave and restart atomic activities.

To conclude, we should remark that the US, Japan, Britain and other countries have urged North Korea to stop the launch because it´s seen as a threat to diplomatic efforts and a warming that would violate a UN ban.

 
 

Some links related:

UN nuclear watchdog invited to visit North Korea BBC News

Corea del Norte abre las puertas de sus instalaciones nucleares a la ONU El Mundo News