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  1. 1. G24 | pdf edition | Friday April 13 2012 World Downloaded 06:48 GMTNorth Korea launches long-range rocketUS and South Korean officials report that the launch from a base inthe north-west of the country has failed Page 2Syria’s ‘very fragile’ ceasefire could see UNobservers on the ground in daysBashar al-Assad yet to withdraw forces from cities, says Kofi Annan,as both sides accuse the other of breaking truce Page 2George Zimmerman appears briefly incourt on Trayvon Martin murder chargeMan charged with murder of Trayvon Martin has arraignment setfor 29 May as judge agrees to seal all documents in the case Page 3Eat less meat to prevent Escape From Camp North Korea’s rocket Pakistani studentsclimate disaster, study 14 by Blaine Harden launch fails as world applying for UK visawarns Page 4 – review Page 6 condemns action Page 8 will face compulsory interview Page 10Humanitarian funding Wrong turn grants David Cameron’s offerwatchdog says private glimpse behind North to Burma leader to Google posts strongfinance is key to aid Korean curtain Page 6 boost reforms Page 9 first-quarter resultsefforts Page 5 and announces two-for- one stock split Page © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007 in England and Wales. No. 908396. Registered office: Number 1 Scott Place, Manchester M3 3GG
  2. 2. Page G24 World Friday April 13 2012 06:48 GMT and other targets. North Korea has tested two atomic devices but is not believed to have mastered the technology needed toNorth Korea launches long-range rocket mount a nuclear warhead on a long-range missile. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking for theUS and South Korean officials report that Group of Eight nations after their foreign ministers met inthe launch from a base in the north-west of Washington, said on Thursday that all the members of the blocthe country has failed agreed to be prepared to take further action against North Korea in the Security Council if the launch went ahead.Associated Press in Pyongyang “Pyongyang has a clear choice: It can pursue peace and reapNorth Korea [] has fired a long-range the benefits of closer ties with the international community,rocket defying international warnings against moving forward including the United States; or it can continue to face pressurewith a launch widely seen as a provocation. and isolation,” Clinton said. Space officials had announced they would launch a satellite South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was convening anthis week as part of celebrations honouring North Korea emergency security meeting, officials said.founder Kim Il Sung. Lift-off took place at 7:39am from the west According to projections, the first stage of the rocket was tocoast launch pad in the hamlet of Tongchang-ri, South Korea fall into the ocean off the western coast of South Korea, while a[]’s Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul said. second stage would fall into waters off the eastern coast of the However, the launch appeared to have failed, with the rocket Philippine island of Luzon.splintering into pieces moments after take-off, South Korea’s Weeden said the launch appeared to be a failure of bothDefence Ministry said in Seoul. space and missile objectives. “We suspect the North Korean missile has fallen as it divided “The earlier it breaks up, the less data you’ve collected, sointo pieces minutes after lift-off,” Defence Ministry spokesman the less useful that test is likely to be,” he said. “It’s very likelyKim Min-seok told reporters. that the US and its allies probably gathered more information In Washington, a US official also said the launch appeared to about this test than the North Koreans have.”have failed. He said US and other nations had been poised to keep close Tokyo, which was prepared to shoot down any rocket flying watch on the launch to gather intelligence about the state ofover its territory, also confirmed a launch from North Korea. North Korea’s rocket program. “We have confirmed that a certain flying object has beenlaunched and fell after flying for just over a minute,” Japan’sDefence Minister Naoki Tanaka said. He said there was no Syria’s ‘very fragile’ ceasefire could seeimpact on Japanese territory. UN observers on the ground in days “For all their advanced technology, these rockets are fairlyfragile things,” said Brian Weeden, a technical adviser at Secure Bashar al-Assad yet to withdraw forces fromWorld Foundation who is a former Air Force officer at the USSpace Command. “You’re looking at a metal cylinder that has cities, says Kofi Annan, as both sides accusefairly thin walls that contains a lot of high pressure liquid.” the other of breaking truce In Pyongyang, there was no word about a launch, and at Ian Black, Middle East editorthe time, state television was broadcasting video of popularfolk tunes. North Korean officials said they would make an Efforts to build on a “very fragile” Syrian ceasefire areannouncement about the launch “soon.” accelerating, with detailed plans to deploy UN observers within North Korea had earlier announced it would send a three- days being drawn up to keep up pressure on President Basharstage rocket mounted with a satellite as part of celebrations al-Assad [] for a peaceful outcomehonouring late President Kim Il Sung, whose 100th birthday is to the bloodiest chapter of the Arab spring.being celebrated Sunday. Kofi Annan, the international envoy, has told the UN security A failure would be a huge blow to a nation that has staked council that a truce was being partially observed, though theits pride on a satellite launch seen as a show of strength amid regime and the opposition accused each other of breaching it inpersistent economic hardship as North Korea’s young new the first hours after it began at 6am.leader, Kim Jong Un, solidifies power following the death of his Annan, representing the UN and the Arab League, said thefather, longtime leader Kim Jong Il, four months ago. Syrian government had not withdrawn its troops, tanks and North Korean space officials said the Unha-3 rocket is meant heavy weapons from cities as it was supposed to do 48 hoursto send a satellite into orbit to study crops and weather patterns before Thursday’s truce came into effect.its third bid to launch a satellite since 1998. Officials took “Syria [] is experiencing a rareforeign journalists to the west coast site to see the rocket and moment of calm on the ground,” he said in a statement.the Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite Sunday in a bid to show its “The cessation of hostilities appears to be holding … This istransparency amid accusations of defiance. bringing much-needed relief and hope to the Syrian people who The United States [], Britain, have suffered so much for so long in this brutal conflict.”Japan and others have called such a launch a violation of UN Ban Ki-Moon, the UN secretary-general, called the ceasefireresolutions prohibiting North Korea from nuclear and ballistic “very fragile”.missile activity. Syrian state TV blamed “terrorists” for a bomb attack in Experts say the Unha-3 carrier is the same type of rocket that Aleppo, while diplomats and opposition sources reportedwould be used to launch a long-range missile aimed at the US incidents of soldiers swapping their uniforms for civilian clothes to mislead any outside observers. Expectations © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007
  3. 3. Page G24 World Friday April 13 2012 06:48 GMThigh, based on previous experience, that the government will appropriate”.try to manipulate the situation. Annan would also have to make clear what would constitute “It’s clear that the regime hasn’t implemented what it a sufficiently serious breach of the ceasefire to render it void.promised, but there are straws we can clutch at,” said one The UN official looking at the arrangements, Major-Generalsenior western diplomat. Robert Mood of Norway, underlined the difficulties. “Both sides The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, speaking after are plagued by a very high degree of mutual suspicion,” he said.a meeting of G8 foreign ministers, warned that Assad must “It’s terribly difficult for them to cross that abyss.”implement the peace plan in full. “The Annan plan is not a Syria’s ambassador to the UN, Bashar Ja’afari, said hismenu of options. It is a set of obligations,” she said. “For it to government was “on board” with the peace plan. But hebe meaningful, this apparent halt in violence must lead to a said that government forces would remain on alert tocredible political process and a peaceful, inclusive democratic “counterattacks” and that “legally speaking, there is a bigtransition.” There were fears among the G8 that the ceasefire difference between declaring a ceasefire and putting an end tomight not hold until the observers could arrive. the violence”. Nato also said it was monitoring the situation , after theTurkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, said Turkey mightseek help from the alliance if there were any further incursions George Zimmerman appears briefly ininto its territory. Syrian forces opened fire across the Turkish court on Trayvon Martin murder chargeborder on Monday, killing two people in a Turkish refugeecamp. In Syria on Thursday opposition activists reported violence Man charged with murder of Trayvonby security forces in Zabadani, Hama and Homs. The network Martin has arraignment set for 29 May asof Local Coordination Committees counted 15 people killed judge agrees to seal all documents in theby shelling and sniper fire in Homs, Qusair, Bayada, Idlib caseand the Damascus region. Troops also reportedly fired on Richard Luscombe in Miamidemonstrators outside the parliament in Damascus. Anti-Assad forces could face a significant test on Friday if George Zimmerman [], theplans for mass protests go ahead. Burhan Ghalioun, head of neighbourhood watch volunteer charged with the second-the opposition Syrian National Council, said: “It will be the degree murder of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin [http://biggest possible [demonstration] so that the Syrian people can], made his first court appearance onexpress their will.” The right to peaceful assembly is one plank Thursday.of Annan’s six-point plan. It also calls for humanitarian and Arab At a brief hearing at the Seminole County jail in Sanford,and foreign media access. Zimmerman, 28, spoke only to acknowledge the charge against Ricken Patel of the campaigning group Avaaz said: “Having him and confirm that he had legal representation. He was notused the Annan plan as cover, killed 1,000 people and crushed required to enter a plea.the remaining pockets of the Free Syrian Army, of course Zimmerman’s lawyer, Mark O’Mara, made no application forAssad is happy to now observe a ceasefire. The question is, will bail and Seminole County judge Mark Herr sent the case for ahe keep it when the people of Syria flood into the streets on formal arraignment on May 29 before circuit court judge JessicaFriday?” Recksiedler. Worryingly, the Syrian interior ministry said in a statement But Herr agreed to a request from O’Mara, supported bythat only pre-authorised demonstrations would be permitted prosecutor Angela Corey, to seal all documents in the caseby police. It also called on opposition fighters “whose hands relating to the incident on February 26 when Zimmerman shothave not been stained with Syrian blood” to hand themselves in dead Martin, 17, during a confrontation in a gated community inwith their weapons with a promise they would be freed without Sanford.charge. Zimmerman was not arrested at the time because police News agencies on Thursday night obtained a draft resolution believed his claims of self-defence, enraging Martin’s familybeing considered by the UN security council that would allow and sparking six weeks of mass protests in central Florida andan initial 30 observers in to monitor the ceasefire. Diplomatic elsewhere.sources had earlier said this could rapidly become a 500-strong Zimmerman, wearing a grey one-piece Seminole County jailmission. The draft demanded that the government ensure inmate suit and with his hands shackled in front of him, staredfreedom of movement for the observers and the ability to ahead intently during the four-minute hearing, listening asinterview anyone they want in private. Judge Herr spoke on a closed-circuit TV monitor. The UN will be keen to avoid a repeat of the situation last He answered said: “Yes, sir” twice as Herr asked him if heDecember when the authorities were accused of misleading the understood the charge and whether O’Mara was representingArab League monitoring mission. him. “It will be no good if they are able to deploy in Homs and After the hearing, O’Mara, who described his client asHama if the regime can do what it wants unobserved in Idlib “stressed and tired”, told reporters that he would be seeking toand Deraa,” one official said. file a motion for bail in the coming days. The UN draft also demanded that the government withdraw “He’s tired, he’s gone through some tribulations of his owntroops and heavy weapons from population centres. If Syria with the intensity of this event. He’s facing second-degreedoes not implement its commitments, the draft expresses murder charges now that would frighten any one of us,” hethe council’s determination “to consider further measures as © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007
  4. 4. Page G24 World Friday April 13 2012 06:48 GMT “But I’m not concerned about his focus. My concern was that Frederica Wilson, the Miami congresswoman whosethis matter was being handled in a piecemeal fashion, whether constituency includes Martin’s home, said that Thursday’sit was police, law enforcement or defence. It’s supposed to court hearing for Zimmerman was an important first step for thehappen in the courtroom. The job is better done the way we family following their protracted battle to have him arrested.know how to do it.” “I am thankful that the wheels of justice will continue to O’Mara, who added that his client will plead not guilty, said turn. This is just the beginning and we have a long processhe asked for the documents to be sealed because they would ahead of us,” she said.reveal sensitive information about the case, such as witness “The evidence influenced [Corey] to charge him but theaddresses. outcry helped bring the case to justice. This case would never “The concern is, with the focus this case has had to date, that have been brought without that outcry. It was a case that almostthere have already been requests to get that information,” he slipped through the system without the public ever knowingsaid. about it.” Special prosecutor Corey ended 44 days of uncertainty onWednesday when she announced that Zimmerman would becharged with second-degree murder, an offence that carries a Eat less meat to prevent climatesentence from 25 years to life in prison. disaster, study warns He has been held in protective custody since his arrest onThursday, with his brother Robert declaring that the family wasdisappointed by the severity of the charge. Fertilisers used in growing feed crops “They [prosecutors] have thrown the book at him,” for cattle produces most potent of theRobert Zimmerman told CNN. “I would have hoped the more greenhouse gases causing climate changecourageous decision would be to say we’re not prosecuting, and Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondenthere’s why. Our brother could have been dead, our brother hadto save his life by taking a life. Meat eaters in developed countries will have to eat a lot “The incident has been weighing on my brother in a way I less meat, cutting consumption by 50%, to avoid the worstcouldn’t possibly describe. As a family we’re devastated. We consequences of future climate change [ a strong family and we have been living a somewhat altered am5p6x], new research warns.reality for some time.” The fertilisers used in farming [] “I trust that the system, the judge, the prosecutor and I will are responsible for a significant share of the warming thatbe able to, should the need arise, to get ourselves a fair and causes climate change.impartial jury to hear the case,” he said. A study published in Environmental Research Letters Some legal analysts believe it might be difficult for state [] warns that drastic changes inattorney Corey to make a murder charge stick against a defence food [] production and at the dinnerunder Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law, which table are needed by 2050 in order to prevent catastrophic globalallows for the use of deadly force if a citizen perceives his life to in danger. It’s arguably the most difficult challenge in dealing with Zimmerman has claimed he was under attack from Martin, climate change: how to reduce emissions from food productionwho was unarmed, and fired in self-defence. while still producing enough to feed a global population “The only hurdle I see is a stand-your-ground motion to projected to reach 9 billion by the middle of this century.dismiss that will have to be made,” Kenneth Nunn, a senior The findings, by Eric Davidson, director of the Woods Holeprofessor at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law, Research Centre in Massachusetts, say the developed world willtold the Guardian. have to cut fertiliser use by 50% and persuade consumers in the “The burden is on the defendant to show stand your ground developed world to stop eating so much meat.applies, but the standard is only a preponderance of the Davidson concedes it’s a hard sell. Meat is a regular part ofevidence. If Zimmerman shows that then it is dismissed and Ms the diet in the developed world. In developing economies, suchCorey’s case goes away at that point. The prosecutor should be as China and India, meat consumption has risen along withable to overcome that – but it’s going to be a very difficult case.” prosperity. Another law professor, Dan Markel, of Florida State “I think there are huge challenges in convincing people inUniversity, agreed. “If everything we’ve seen reported so far the west to reduce portion sizes or the frequency of eatingabout Zimmerman’s side of the story is true, and there aren’t meat. That is part of our culture right now,” he said.other missing pieces of evidence, I have trouble fathoming how Researchers have been paying closer attention in the pasta jury would return a guilty verdict for murder, based on proof few years to the impact of agriculture on climate change, andbeyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.  the parallel problem of growing enough food for an expanding Also today, Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, issued a population. Some scientists are at work growing artificial meatstatement to “clarify” an earlier comment that she believed the [] which would avoid the fertilisersshooting was “an accident”. and manure responsible for climate change. “I made a comment that was later mischaracterised,” she Nitrous oxide, released by fertilisers and animal manure,said. “In no way did I mean the shooting was an accident. We is the most potent of the greenhouse gases that cause climatebelieve that George Zimmerman stalked my son and murdered change. The UN’s climate body has called for deep cuts to thosehim in cold blood,” adding that she felt that it was the emissions.encounter that was accidental. Growing feed crops, for cattle and pigs, produces more of those emissions than crops that go directly into the human © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007
  5. 5. Page G24 World Friday April 13 2012 06:48 GMTchain. Eating less meat would reduce demand for fertiliser as Velina Stoianova, policy adviser at GHA and author of thewell as reduce the amount of manure produced. report. Davidson also suggests changes in current farming practice “It is therefore imperative that we are able to gain as clear– such as growing winter ground cover crops – would help a picture as possible about the effectiveness of this fundingabsorb nitrogen and prevent its release into the atmosphere. source in responding to humanitarian needs and tackling In reaching his conclusion, Davidson draws on figures from vulnerability.”the Food and Agricultural Organisation suggesting the world NGOs have benefited the most from private support,population will reach 8.9 billion by 2050, and that daily per receiving a 70% increase in private funding between 2009 andcapita calorie intake will also rise to 3130 calories. 2010. In the five years from 2006 to 2010, NGOs respectively Meat consumption is also projected to increase sharply to received $1.7bn, $2.7bn, $3.2bn, $3bn and $4.9bn from private89kg per person a year in rich countries and 37kg per person a sources, according to GHA estimates. The data indicatesyear in the developing world. private donors account for an average of 57% of NGO income. Such a trajectory would put the world on course to more By comparison, only 5% of UN income and 28% of Red Crosssevere consequences of climate change. income came from voluntary contributions during the same Davidson is not suggesting people give up meat entirely. period.“The solution isn’t that everyone needs to become a vegetarian Overall figures for the NGO community hide considerableor a vegan. Simply reducing portion sizes and frequency would variations. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the medical aidgo a long way,” he said. So would switching from beef and pork, group, receives 90% of its funding from private sources, whilewhich have a high carbon foot print, to chicken or fish [http:// the Norwegian Refugee Council relies on official funding for]. average of 98% of its income. MSF is notable for the amount of money it receives. In 2010, donations amounted to $1.1bn; were it a country, MSF wouldHumanitarian funding watchdog says have been the second largest humanitarian donor after the US.private finance is key to aid efforts “MSF base their existence on independence, so they rely on individuals and private foundations, which they say allows them to be neutral and to be able to respond quickly wheneverPrivate contributions vital against backdrop crises appear,” said Stoianova.of economic downturn, claims Global NGOs also implement a considerable share of fundingHumanitarian Assistance report on behalf of other organisations, particularly UN agencies, although tracking that flow is hard.Mark Tran Among UN agencies, only the UN High Commissioner forGuardian Global Development Refugees (UNHCR) systematically collects data on the volumeIndividuals, businesses and foundations have continued to give or share of spending implemented by partner to humanitarian and development organisations despite UNHCR transferred $2bn to NGOs between 2006 and 2010.harsh economic times, providing a crucial source of funding in The strength of private giving comes against a backdrop ofthe face of declining official aid []. declining official development assistance. The OECD club of The resilience of private funding is highlighted in a report by rich countries last week reported that 2011 marked the first dropGlobal Humanitarian Assistance [] in the value of aid for 17 years [];(GHA), an aid funding watchdog. inflation wiped out the increase in cash terms, while some According to the report, 24% of the international countries cut back on development aid.humanitarian response from 2006 to 2010 came from privatevoluntary contributions – at least $18bn. In 2010 alone, $5.8bn *was donated privately, mainly in response to the earthquakein Haiti and the floods in Pakistan. As a share of the totalhumanitarian response, private funding grew from 17% in 2006to 32% in 2010. “Private funding has remained consistent despite a From Beirut to Big Brother, Murdoch tosevere global economic crisis, so, at a time when governmentresources are limited and maintaining response to the growing Millionaire,number of aid challenges is particularly demanding, private discuss the hot topics in the media onmoney has become the answer for many organisations,” said not one, but two blogs Organ Grinder © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007
  6. 6. Page G24 World Friday April 13 2012 06:48 GMT ever indifferent to human rights, sends asylum seekers back to North Korea.Escape From Camp 14 by Blaine Harden Once in the south, like the majority of North Korean– review refugees, Shin struggled to settle. The South Korean state offers generous provisions for refugees, but the South KoreansThis account of one man’s escape from themselves tend to view their northern neighbours as problemthe North Korean gulag is harrowing but cases. For Shin’s part, having been guided from birth by nothingimportant more complex than a desire to assuage pain and hunger, heAndrew Anthony remained unmotivated by South Korea’s preoccupation with profit and competition.For outsiders, North Korea [] can He drifted around aimlessly for a while and then moved toseem less like a nation than a sick joke. What little information the US, where, despite the support of refugee groups, he hasemerges from the world’s most secretive state is almost also failed to find a position or place that he can nurture. Thetoo disturbing to process. A communist monarchy and sense of chronic, and perhaps incurable, displacement is justimpoverished nuclear power that relies upon slave labour one of the legacies of his appalling treatment in North Korea.and levels of repression that even George Orwell would have Survivors of the Nazi concentration camps also suffered longstruggled to invent: it’s as if Nineteen Eighty-Four was taken after their release, but at least they had group solidarity and anot as a critique but a blueprint. distinct place in history []. No such But for North Koreans, like abused children, the grim reality consolations are afforded North Korean survivors.of the Kim family dynasty is all they know. Until recently, full First, they were practically bred to be pitted against oneaccounts of life in this famine-riven dystopia were hard to another, and second, as Harden notes: “While Auschwitzcome by. Then a couple of years ago, Barbara Demick’s Nothing existed for only three years, Camp 14 is a 50-year-old Skinnerto Envy [] provided excoriating box” – referring to BF Skinner’s notorious behaviouraltestimonies of refugees who had managed to escape into China experiments.and then on to South Korea. The picture those witnesses drew To some, perhaps many, this might appear to be a book thatof North Korea was of one vast and brutal gulag. has few redemptive qualities. After all, what can be done with Now comes Escape From Camp 14, a still more harrowing this knowledge of suffering? But it’s important to recogniseaccount of the gulag within the gulag, the huge prison camps the depth of misery in North Korea, not just to be aware of thethat litter the more remote provinces of this benighted country. horror of the Kim regime, but also to stand as a testament to theWritten by Blaine Harden, an experienced American journalist, plight of a terrorised tells the extraordinary story of Shin Dong-hyuk, the only One other reason is to arm yourself against those misguidedperson born in the gulag to have escaped. individuals who continue to see in North Korea an anti- As with the terrors of Stalin and Mao, North Korea judges any imperialist challenge to the US. They may be rare, but they’recrimes against the state as blood crimes. So when Shin’s uncle not always without influence. One example is Andrew Murray,committed the capital crime of escaping from the state, his who, as an executive member of the Communist party ofremaining family were imprisoned for life. Although cohabiting Britain, expressed his party’s “solidarity” with Kim Jong-il’sis not allowed in the prison camp, Shin was the result of his “People’s Korea”.parents being granted one of the rare conjugal permits. Murray now sits on the TUC general council and was until He spent his childhood in unforgiving and unpaid labour, recently chair of the Stop the War coalition. Unfortunately,developing the survival skills – snitching and stealing – that North Korea’s war on its own people shows no sign of stopping.were vital for a daily existence, constantly threatened by Write your review of this or any other book, find out whatbeating and starvation. At 13, when he learned that his mother other readers thought or add it to your listsand brother were planning to escape, he did what had becomeinstinctive and betrayed them to the authorities. The pair weretortured before his mother was hanged and his brother shot.But Shin, too, was tortured, for weeks in an underground prison Wrong turn grants glimpse behindwithin the prison camp, within the prison state. He had upset North Korean curtainone guard by giving his information on his mother’s plot toanother guard, rather than to him. It’s hard to know what is real in North Korea, The narrative, I should warn sensitive readers, is unyielding but foreign press got a chance to see lifein its pain and despair. Except that Shin didn’t despair, becausedespair requires hope and he possessed no hope. He could see behind the facade by accidentno further than his next meal, which was often difficult enough Associated Press in Pyongyangto find. It was only meeting an older prisoner, a disgraced party The press bus took a wrong turn Thursday. And suddenly,official who had travelled abroad, that led him to start thinking everything changed in the official showcase of North Koreanof a world beyond the electric fence and beyond North Korea. achievement.The two planned an escape that only Shin, with no small luck, A cloud of brown dust swirled down deeply potholed streets,survived. past concrete apartment buildings crumbling at the edges. Eventually, after sneaking across the Chinese border and Old people trudged along the sidewalk, some with handmadefinding paid work for the first time in his life, he made his way backpacks crafted from canvas bags. Two men in wheelchairsto South Korea – not a straightforward journey because China, waited at a bus stop. There were stores with no lights, and © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007
  7. 7. Page G24 World Friday April 13 2012 06:48 GMTroads so battered they were more dirt than pavement. bus windows, and the showcase buildings — the Victorious Ordinary North Koreans stared unabashedly at the 50 or Fatherland Liberation War Museum, the palace commemoratingso foreign reporters on a rare trip to this secretive, autocratic the Kims’ “juche” philosophy of self-reliance, the computernation as it honours its founder, heralds its new leader and labs at Kim Il Sung University — filled with people that theprepared for Friday’s satellite launch — an apparent failure minders insist are everyday North Koreans.— that Washington said was really a test of missile technology. The students in the classrooms don’t glance up as dozens “Perhaps this is an incorrect road?” mumbled one of the of reporters rumble in, and the professor’s lecture continuesNorth Korean minders, well-dressed government officials who without pause. The young people in the university pool careenrestrict reporters to meticulously staged presentations that down the plastic slide, in front of TV cameras, as if they areinevitably centre on praise for the three generations of Kim completely who have ruled this country since 1948. Perhaps they are real students. But look straight into the So as cameras madly clicked, the drivers quickly backed eyes of these people, and their pupils dance around you likeup the three buses in the narrow streets and headed toward you’re not there, as if they’ve been trained to pretend you arethe intended destination: a spotlessly clean, brightly lit, not. Only the official guides, always beautiful women in flowingextensively marbled and nearly empty building that preserves polyester gowns in ice-cream colours, will talk music recordings and makes DVDs. Always, those talks centre around the Kims: the Great Leader It was at the Hana Music Information Centre, a guide told Kim Il Sung; the Great General Kim Jong Il and, since his father’sthe reporters, where North Korea []’s death in December, the Respected General Kim Jong Un.longtime leader, Kim Jong Il, made one of his last public They speak in relentless, rote hyperbole.appearances before his December death. “The more time passes by the more we miss our Dear Leader “I hope that the journalists present here report only the Kim Jong Il,” said Ri, the music centre guide. “I don’t think weabsolute truth,” said can ever find any person so great.” Ri Jinju, her voice trembling, her hair frozen with hairspray. Behind that robotic facade, though, North Koreans want the“The truth about how much our people miss our comrade same things as just about everyone else; at least, that’s whatKim Jong Il, and how strong the unity is between the people defector after defector has said.and leadership, who are vigorously carrying out the leaders’ They fight with their spouses and worry when their childreninstructions to build a great, prosperous and powerful nation.” get fevers. They wage office politics, dream of buying cars and, In North Korea, it’s hard to know what’s real. Certainly, you if they have enough clout, they hope to get away to the beach incan’t go looking for it. the summer. When times are at their worst, as they were when Anyone who leaves the press tour, or who walks from the famine savaged the country in the 1990s, they dream of enoughfew hotels where foreigners are allowed, can be detained by the food so their children won’t starve to death.police and threatened with expulsion. It’s not clear why the regime hides places like the dusty, But even in such a controlled environment, reality asserts potholed neighbourhood, which is just a mile or so from theitself. centre of town, across the trolley tracks and just off Tongil Is reality the cluster of tall buildings within view of the Street.main foreigners’ hotel, where long strings of bright, colored It doesn’t look like a war zone, or even like a particularlylights are switched on when the sun sets, illuminating entire rough New York City neighbourhood. Many streets in Newblocks like some gargantuan Christmas decoration? Or is it the Delhi, the capital of one of the world’s fastest-growingvast stretches of Pyongyang, by far the most developed city in economies, look far more battered and far poorer.impoverished North Korea, that go deathly dark at night? To most North Koreans, one-quarter of whom depend on Is the reality along Pyongyang’s drab-but-spotless main international food aid, living in homes without electricity orroads, the only streets that journalists normally see, with their running water, the neighbourhood would look upper-middle-revolutionary posters urging North Koreans to struggle toward class. Special permits are required to live in the capital city,a Stalinist paradise? Or is reality on the streets near the music and life here is vastly better than it is for most people in thecenter? countryside. “They’ve left very few stones unturned in North Korea,” There are predictable government jobs here, electricity atsaid Anthony Brunello, a professor at Eckerd College in St least a few hours a day, better-stocked stores, schools that havePetersburg, Florida, who has studied totalitarian propaganda indoor bathrooms.methods. He said officials will go to nearly any extreme to But the officials still hide the run-down neighborhoods.create a system that will keep the Kim family in power. There’s a certain view of North Korea they want visitors to have. If that means using propaganda that seems insensible Maybe, though, the regime is opening up. In past years,to outsiders, few of whom believe the official version of media minders would order reporters to put down theirPyongyang as a communist idyll, it is very logical in Pyongyang. cameras if they saw something they felt didn’t reflect well onAfter all, the Kims still hold power. North Korea. At times, they would close the curtains on the “They’ve managed to create a process of control that works,” buses.he said. But on Thursday, the minders said nothing as the cameras Most foreign visitors to Pyongyang never encounter a clicked away. The journalists stared. And outside the bus, thepothole, a traffic jam or a piece of litter larger than a cigarette North Koreans who never expected to be seen stared back.butt. They see no people with physical disabilities, and nograffiti. They normally see only the clean streets outside © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007
  8. 8. Page G24 World Friday April 13 2012 06:48 GMT hungry.” The UK foreign secretary, William Hague, voiced “deepNorth Korea’s rocket launch fails as concern” over the launch, which he said was a clear violationworld condemns action of the UN ban, and called for a robust response from the international community.Launch ends in failure and embarrassment However North Korea chose to describe the rocket’sfor North Korea, breaking up only minutes purpose, its clear technological shortcomings were the worst possible prelude to what are expected to be huge celebrationsafter lift-off this Sunday to mark the centenary of the birth of the country’sJustin McCurry in Seoul founder, Kim Il-sung. It may have also ruled out any early return to negotiationsA much-heralded test of North Korea [http://tinyurl. over its nuclear program, said John Delury of Yonsei Universitycom/dal4lh]’s rocket technology has ended in failure and in Seoul. “The big question is, does this completely derail theembarrassment for the regime in Pyongyang less than two diplomacy and negotiation that were finally getting a little bit ofminutes after lift-off. steam as of early March?” The Unha-3 rocket, which Washington claimed was cover for “It looks likely this will kill it all. The other question is whata ballistic missile test and drew condemnation from around the happens between the two Koreas. If diplomacy all falls apartworld, exploded into about 20 pieces fell into the Yellow Sea. and nothing’s happening, then not only is the likelihood of The North Koreans ignored eleventh-hour pleas from the US, another nuclear test high but the possibility of intra-KoreanSouth Korea [] and Japan not to go tension is high and of the South hitting back harder. That wouldthrough with the launch, insisting its sole purpose was to put be the really bad scenario for the months to earth observation satellite into orbit. “After the shelling of Yeonpyeong in 2010 the hardliners In a rare show of candour, an announcement broadcast here wanted to really send a battery to knock out militaryby North Korean state TV acknowledged that the three-stage installations along the maritime border. You could see a muchrocket had failed to enter orbit. stronger military response to any provocation or perceived “Scientists, technicians and experts are now looking into the provocation.”cause of the failure,” the Korean central news agency said. The sight of the South Korean navy ploughing the waters Soon after the launch, the White House said the North near the countries’ maritime border off the Korean peninsula’shad violated UN security council resolutions banning it from west coast will only strengthen the view that this was andeveloping long-range missile technology, adding that it risked ambitious propaganda exercise gone embarrassingly wrong.even greater isolation. The satellite was supposed to have demonstrated North “Despite the failure of its attempted missile launch, Korea’s emergence as a developed state, despite evidence ofNorth Korea’s provocative action threatens regional security, widespread hunger and a crumbling economy.violates international law and contravenes its own recent A successful mission would have also strengthened thecommitments,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney. position of the country’s new leader, Kim Jong-un, as doubts “While this action is not surprising given North Korea’s persist over his experience and ability four months after hepattern of aggressive behaviour, any missile activity by North succeeded his father, Kim Jong-il, who died of a heart attack lastKorea is of concern to the international community.” December. Washington said it was suspending plans to deliver food aid, “This launch was in part a propaganda effort. That effortbut Carney did not say if the launch would mean a permanent clearly failed and will have ramifications internally,” a USend to the deal, agreed in February, in which the North agreed administration official told stop enriching uranium and developing ballistic missiles in “This launch was also a chance for North Korea to showcaseexchange for 240,000 tonnes of US food aid. its military wares to prospective customers. The failure will President Obama has come under fire from Republicans make those customers think twice before buying anything.”presidential for his willingness to engage with the North’s new The North American aerospace defence command, Norad,leader, Kim Jong-un. said it had tracked the missile after its launch at at 7:39am local “Instead of approaching Pyongyang from a position of time. The first stage fell into the sea about 100 miles west of thestrength, President Obama sought to appease the regime with South Korean capital, Seoul, and the remainder was is believeda food-aid deal that proved to be as naive as it was short-lived,” to have broken up and landed in the sea. Norad said no debristhe Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, said. had fallen on land or threatened populated areas. He adding that the administration had “emboldened the Major General Shin Won-sik, a South Korean defenceNorth Korean regime and undermined the security of the ministry official, said the rocket had exploded between one andUnited States [] and our allies”. two minutes after it was launched from a site in Tongchang-ri Carney, however, said Obama had insisted that North on the country’s north-west coast.Korea cease provocations, including missile launches and A group of foreign journalists who were invited to view thenuclear tests, as a condition for talks: “He has also insisted rocket on its launch pad earlier this week were not permitted tothat North Korea live up to its own commitments, adhere watch the launch, even its international obligations and deal peacefully with its At Kim Il-ung Square, the city’s main plaza, residentsneighbours. were seen waiting to begin rehearsals for the Great Leader’s “North Korea is only further isolating itself by engaging anniversary celebrations, during which, despite today’s rocketin provocative acts, and is wasting its money on weapons fiasco, officials are expected to declare North Korea a “strongand propaganda displays while the North Korean people © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007
  9. 9. Page G24 World Friday April 13 2012 06:48 GMTand prosperous nation”. now planning to argue in favour of an immediate change when The failed launch raises the possibility of a new round of foreign ministers meet in Brussels on 23 April, barring aninternational sanctions against North Korea, which invited unlikely diplomatic disaster in Burma.similar measures after a long-range missile launch and a second Downing Street believes Cameron’s visit, the first by anuclear weapons test three years ago. western leader since West German president Richard von The UN security council is to hold an emergency meeting Weizsäcker in 1986, will mark a high point for the primelater Friday to discuss its response. The US secretary of state, minister on the world  stage.Hillary Clinton, said security council members had agreed to Aides are keen to bolster the image of the prime minister,coordinate any action against the North. who is under fire at home for a series of measures in the budget “Pyongyang has a clear choice,” Clinton said in Washington that have backfired, notably the “granny” and “pasty” taxeson Thursday. “It can pursue peace and reap the benefits of – affecting pensions and hot food – and a row over a cap oncloser ties with the international community, including the philanthropic donations.United States; or it can continue to face pressure and isolation. The concerns are highlighted in a critical article in Friday’s All eyes are now on what North Korea might do next. Recent Guardian by Tim Montgomerie [],satellite images show it may be preparing to conduct a third the influential founding editor of the ConservativeHomenuclear test at a site where similar tests were carried out in 2006 website. Montgomerie warns of “chaos inside the Downingand 2009. Street operation”. The South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak, convened an He writes: “How many strategic errors does the Conservativeemergency security meeting after this morning’s launch; his party have to make before even a Labour party led by the likesoffice said the government in Seoul would continue to closely of Ed Miliband seems electable to the British people? I askmonitor its neighbour’s actions. because the current Tory leadership seems to be playing the electoral equivalent of Go for Broke, the board game where you race to lose a million pounds and the winner is the one whoDavid Cameron’s offer to Burma leader becomes penniless first.”to boost reforms The prime minister’s apparent decision to take the lead in calling for the lifting of EU sanctions is likely to lead to wry smiles in Brussels. Britain, until recently, led demands forMove could pave way for lifting sanctions sanctions to remain in place. Britain is now expected to argue atas PM prepares to meet Aung San Suu Kyi at the foreign affairs council in Brussels that the EU’s outright banher Rangoon home on non-humanitarian development assistance to Burma should be lifted in stages.Nicholas Watt in Kuala Lumpur The sanctions must be renewed by unanimous agreement.David Cameron [] will pave the way Britain will be looking to lift some altogether and to suspendfor the European Union to ease sanctions on Burma [http:// others. The arms embargo will not be] later this month, when he offers incentives One government source said: “It is about striking the rightto the regime on Friday as a reward for introducing political balance. The prime minister will want to see President Theinreforms. Sein and he will want to see Aung San Suu Kyi and talk to both Cameron, who will also meet opposition leader Aung San of them.Suu Kyi [] at the lakeside home in “If you look at the EU sanctions approach, and our wholeRangoon where she was held under house arrest for 15 years, approach to sanctions, it is carrot and stick. Therefore wewill tell President Thein Sein that Britain is prepared to provide will want that decision on 23 April to be right balance thatsupport for Burma’s peace and reconciliation process. Experts recognises the great progress that has been made … versus notinvolved in the Northern Ireland peace process will help advise taking our foot too much of the pedal – that this could movedifferent groups on holding substantive dialogue with the aim backwards.”of securing ceasefires. Cameron’s visit takes place on the day of the Burmese Britain will also offer support for better and stronger water festival of Thingyan. Speaking in Malaysia on Thursdaygovernance by training officials on sound public financial he expressed the hope that recent political reforms will bemanagement, on the rule of law and strengthening irreversible.parliamentary democracy, involving a parliamentary exchange “What I see happening in Burma is a potential flowering ofprogramme. freedom and democracy and I think that from everything I’ve In the first visit to Burma by a sitting British prime minister seen – although I will see for myself tomorrow – it seems as ifsince the country’s independence from Britain in 1948, the president of Burma is intent on taking a new path and wantsCameron will outline an assistance plan to encourage Thein to see a progressive flourishing of freedom and democracy,”Sein to maintain the momentum of change. he told students at the Kuala Lumpur campus of Nottingham He believes the president needs to be rewarded after he University.faced down conservatives in the regime to allow Aung San Suu Cameron appeared alongside the Malaysian prime minister,Kyi to contest recent parliamentary byelections. The Nobel Najib Razak, who pressed for the lifting of sanctions imposedlaureate’s National League for Democracy secured a landslide by the Association of South East Asian Nations after visitingvictory, picking up 43 of the 44 seats it contested. Burma. Cameron will tell Thein Sein the package of measures can Cameron said: “Those aren’t just my words, or the words ofonly be introduced if the EU relaxes its sanctions. Britain, the prime minister of Malaysia, that is the feeling of Aung Sanwhich has resisted calls within the EU to relax sanctions, © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007
  10. 10. Page 10 G24 World Friday April 13 2012 06:48 GMTSuu Kyi, who has suffered incredibly – an incredibly dignified The pilot study found 38% of applicants from Bangladeshstruggle for democracy. would be considered ineligible for a student visa. In most “I hope that following my meetings tomorrow I will have cases this was because applicants were unable to answer basicthe confidence to go back to my country, to back to others in questions in English without the aid of an interpreter. Thethe European Union, and argue that the change in Burma is failure rate in other countries is projected to be 29% in India,irreversible, that they are set on a path towards democracy, that 28% in Egypt and 27% in Sri Lanka. In Canada and the US, whichin a world of difficulty and darkness and all sorts of problems, are predominantly English speaking countries, the failure rate ishere is one bright light that we should encourage, and we projected to be 4%.should respond in a way that makes that regime feel that it is The government’s decision to hold compulsory interviewsmoving in the right direction and that the world is on its side.” in Pakistan comes after the National Audit Office found that up Downing Street has carefully balanced the trip to show to 50,000 people could have entered Britain to work on studentsupport for Aung San Suu Kyi’s 24-year struggle for democracy, visas.which began when she abandoned her life in Oxford after the The NAO said that in 2009 the UK Border Agency introducedmilitary regime’s violent crackdown on protesters in 1988. But a points-based system (Tier 4) which lacked key controls. TheNo 10 also wants to send a warm signal to the president. report said this raised the prospect of thousands of migrants entering Britain with no checks about whether they had plans to study.Pakistani students applying for UK visa The report said: “The agency implemented Tier 4 beforewill face compulsory interview the key controls were in place. The agency withdrew entry clearance officers’ powers to test applicants’ intentions before it had controls fully in place over sponsors and thePlan to introduce new measures to stop documentation required to support an application.bogus students after pilot study suggests “We estimate between 40,000 and 50,000 individuals might40% of applicants are ineligible have entered through Tier 4 in its first year of operation to work rather than study. This estimate is based on college enrolmentNicholas Watt, chief political correspondent rates and changes in patterns of applications and refusals, but itEvery Pakistani student applying for a visa to come to study in is not possible to know with certainty.Britain will face a compulsory interview with consular officials “Between March 2009 and February 2010, the [Border]following a secret pilot study indicating that up to 40% could be agency detected thousands of forged college visa letters atineligible. some application centres. The agency did not check that those Theresa May, the home secretary, will soon announce that who entered through suspect routes were attending college.”“bogus” students [] will be blocked Margaret Hodge, the Labour chair of the Commons publicfrom entering Britain when the measures are introduced. accounts committee, said: “This is one of the most shocking “Britain is open for business to the best and the brightest,” reports of poor management leading to abuse that I have government source said. “But our message to bogus “It is completely unacceptable that the programme wasstudents is clear: you will be found out and you will be stopped launched without key controls being in place. The agency needsfrom coming. This is an important way of weeding out bogus to get a grip and fix the way it deals with student visas.”students.” The home secretary’s plan, which, at first, will be run on ashort-term basis, is likely to lead to a big increase in resources Google posts strong first-quarter resultsat Britain’s consular operations in Pakistan [ and announces two-for-one stock split6rzsjs]. For the past five to 10 years visas have been approvedvia paper applications. The pilot study, which was carried out by the UK Border Search giant’s first-quarter earnings up 60%Agency, suggests that 40% of applicants for student visas from to $2.89bn year-on-year, but cost-per-clickPakistan are likely to prove ineligible for the document. The falls for second quarter in a rowmain reason will be their inability to speak English. Charles Arthur, technology editor At present, on the paper applications, 20% of Pakistanisapplying for student visas are found to be ineligible. Google has reported strong first-quarter earnings [http:// “How are they planning to come and study here if they have], up 60% year-on-year to $2.89bnno English?” one government source said. (£1.81bn), with gross revenues also up, by 24%, to $10.65bn, and The pilot study was extended to 13 overseas posts, has announced a two-for-one stock split that will effectively actranging from India and China to Nigeria. Of 2,300 applicants as a one-off dividend for existing shareholders, while retaininginterviewed, the study points to 17% being ineligible for the UK the co-founders’ control of voting After paying $2.5bn of “traffic acquisition costs” (TAC) to The government hopes to extend these pilot schemes. As a companies that bring traffic to the site, Google’s revenues werefirst step, compulsory interviews will be held in Pakistan. $8.14bn. But cost-per-click (CPC) – the average amount that “The government has put its emphasis so far on tackling the Google charges advertisers when users click on an ad – fell forroots of migration,” the government source said. “Now we are the second quarter in a row, by 6%, and was down 12% year-moving on to look at the system. This is one area that we have on-year. That almost certainly indicates a greater shift amongidentified where we can identify people better who are seeking users towards mobile rather than desktop access, reflectingto abuse it.” the growth in smartphones [] © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007
  11. 11. Page 11 G24 World Friday April 13 2012 06:48 GMT– particularly the use of Google’s Android [ the question as “pretty short-term”. He continued: “We don’tyedgrtw] mobile software. get many new operating systems – there’s only been a few in Larry Page, Google’s chief executive, and co-founder Sergey my lifetime – and Android is really about increasing the paceBrin announced in a letter that they were splitting the stock of innovation, the use of mobile devices, getting a greater user[] to create a new tranche of non- experience to our users. We’re in the very early stages of stock, continuing the stock structure that they created The computer I carry in my pocket is as good as the one on mywhen the company was floated in 2004. The move ensures that desktop a few years ago. So we’re excited about things we’rePage and Brin will retain control of the company: “These non- doing.” He said he was confident that CPC advertising yieldsvoting shares will be available for corporate uses, like equity- would improve on mobile.based employee compensation, that might otherwise dilute ourgovernance structure,” they said. Page and Brin hint that outside shareholders might not havethe guts for longer-term bets and could outvote the directors ifthe voting stock is further diluted: “In our experience, successis more likely if you concentrate on the long term. Technologyproducts often require significant investment over many yearsto fulfil their potential. For example, it took over three yearsjust to ship our first Android handset, and then another threeyears on top of that before the operating system truly reachedcritical mass. These kinds of investments are not for the faint-hearted.” As has been the case throughout its life, almost all ofGoogle’s revenues came from advertising [] – just over 96%, compared to 97% a year ago.Similarly, the US remains its dominant market, comprising46% of revenues; the next biggest is the UK, where it generated$1.15bn, or 11%, of revenues, approximately in line withprevious quarters. Speaking after the results were announced [], Page dodged questions from analysts aboutwhether Google will release its own tablet to compete withApple’s iPad, which dominates that space and is forecast tocontinue its lead over the next four years. Page seemed tohint that any tablet would be lower-priced to compete withAmazon’s Kindle Fire, which uses a version of Google’s Androidsoftware without connecting to the search giant’s servers,rather than at the top end where Apple dominates: “There’sbeen a lot of success on some lower-priced tablets that wereon Android, perhaps not the full Google Android,” Page said.“We believe there’s going to be a lot of success at the lower endof the market, and it’s an area we think is important and we’regoing to focus on.” Page insisted that despite the falls in CPC value “ourbusiness is healthy”, and that the fall was due to a combinationof foreign exchange rates, the growth of mobile and Apple’siPad (Google pays Apple for its favoured position as the searchengine on the iPhone and iPad), and “changes in ad quality”.He insisted there was no weakness in Google advertising:“If anything, lower CPCs give better return on advertisingspend: it’s a lower cost so a better return on investment foradvertisers.” He also declined to give concrete numbers about how manypeople directly use Google+, the company’s fledgling socialnetwork. Earlier this week the company gave the site a facelift,and said that 170 million people had “upgraded” to registerwith Google+, with 100m logging into those accounts in thepast 30 days. Asked whether Android – which has become the dominantmobile operating system for smartphones, and for whichGoogle does not charge for a licence – could lower TAC or leadto increased advertising revenue per device, Page © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007