UN Works with Intelligence Contractors to Destabilize North Korea Dialogue

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By William CRADDICK | Disobedient Media | March 15, 2019

Just a few days after NBC News and National Public Radio (NPR) launched propaganda attempts to undermine the peace process between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United Nations has waded into the fray with a new attempt to build a case for retaining sanctions that have proven to be a sticking point between the negotiation teams.

Much like previous reports, the United Nation’s Panel of Experts (PoE) on North Korea utilized misleadingly interpreted satellite footage provided by private firms who have contractual connections to the CIA and Pentagon. The panel’s findings will ultimately be used to support policies that are aimed at playing on North Korean fears and make them more likely to withdraw or engage in counterproductive behavior.

I. Continued Misleading Interpretation Of Satellite Footage

The PoE’s claimed that the DPRK has been using an “underwater pipeline” at an oil terminal in Nampo, North Korea to offload fuel it receives by sanctioned methods. Much like with previous attempts to “prove” North Korean behavior with satellite imagery that did not actually show evidence of claimed activity the UN’s contentions are similarly based on shaky grounds.

Image: UN Panel of Experts

A second photo run by NKNews.org from private defense contractor Planet Labs purports to also show the “underwater pipeline.” NK News claimed that the underwater pipeline had been used since 2018 solely based on the fact that ships moved in and out of the area, which is obviously designated for mooring.

Vessel docked in the area connected by an alleged “underwater pipeline.” Image: Planet Labs

There are a number of problems with both the photos provided by the Panel of Experts and the Planet Labs image published by NK News. These issues are outlined below.

  • None of the images shows where the “underwater pipeline” comes ashore. It is not visible under the water’s surface, even where the shoreline is shallow.
  • None of the cables connecting to the ship are pipelines. They are cabling used to moor the ship in place.
  • All of the buoys are in place to mark either mooring cables or the ship’s anchor which would have been dropped alongside it once it came to a stop. The UN PoE labeled the anchor buoy as an “offloading buoy” misleadingly in one of their images.
  • An “underwater pipeline” creates a huge risk for salt water contamination of gasoline being pumped through it. This is why all such transfers are done above the surface of the water.

Additional markings on the UN PoE’s images discuss the storage capacity and location of the oil terminal in Nampo but provide no evidence of an “underwater pipeline.” Even more damning, the image provided to NK News by Planet Labs shows a very clear shadow running down its center. This indicates that either two photographs were laid on top of each other and copied, or the original image was creased to hide some detail that would have otherwise been visible.

The use of an underwater pipeline is not the standard method by which ships refuel. Previous reports discussing sanctions evasion display photographs showing how ships will commonly lash together before exchanging gasoline above the water line. When ships to take on fuel from land, they will pull up along a dock. These kinds of details might be obvious to anyone with a degree of maritime knowledge but not a layman.

Image showing customary method by which ships dock to take on fuel.

II. Satellite Footage Of Nampo Docks Is Sourced From Intelligence Contractors

Much like with previous attempts to undermine the Korean peace process, the UN PoE has sourced their imagery from private contractors who primarily work with the CIA and Pentagon. The PoE’s satellite footage is attributed to DigitalGlobe. As Disobedient Media has previously reported, DigitalGlobe is an American vendor of satellite imagery founded by a scientist who worked on the US military’s Star Wars ICBM defense program under President Ronald Reagan. DigitalGlobe began its existence in Oakland, CA and was seeded with money from Silicon Valley sources and corporations in North America, Europe and Japan. Headquartered in Westminster CO, DigitalGlobe works extensively with defense and intelligence programs. In 2016, it was revealed that DigitalGlobe was working with CIA chipmaker NVIDIA and Amazon Web Services to create an AI-run satellite surveillance network known as Spacenet.

DigitalGlobe is a subsidiary of Maxar Technologies, a private conglomerate which boasts contracts with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). Some subsidiaries of Maxar derive as much as 90% of their annual revenue from government contracts with the Department of Defense and U.S. Special Operations Command.

Planet Labs, whose imagery was cited in NK News reports of the UN PoE’s findings, is a private satellite imaging corporation based in San Francisco, CA that allows customers with the money to pay an opportunity to gain access to next generation surveillance capabilities. In February 2016, Federal technology news source Nextgov noted a statement from former CIA Information Operations Center director and senior cyber adviser Sue Gordon that Planet Labs, DigitalGlobe and Google subsidiary Skybox Imaging were all working with the NGA to provide location intelligence. Planet Labs’ own website also lists press releases detailing past contracts for subscription access to high resolution imagery with the NGA.

The pervasive involvement of companies providing satellite footage with the CIA in particular is deeply inappropriate. On March 13, 2019 Spanish paper El País reported that the CIA had been implicated in a shockingly violent attack on the North Korean embassy in Spain during the week before the Hanoi Summit. The attack was speculated to be an attempt to gain intelligence on former ambassador to Spain Kim Hyok Chol, who had been appointed by Kim Jong Un to spearhead negotiation efforts with their American counterparts. The involvement of such contractors in a UN panel responsible for overseeing sanctions put into place against North Korea suggests the very real possibility that the entire process is designed to undermine any hope of a denuclearization agreement.

III. The UN PoE Touts Sanctions At A Highly Inappropriate Time

The UN’s decision to continue to tout sanctions in the aftermath of the Hanoi Summit can only be interpreted as an attempt by internationalists and American neoconservatives to scuttle President Donald Trump’s attempts to seek denuclearization for the DPRK. Hugh Griffiths, a British national heading the Panel of Experts, was widely quoted by the media as being of the opinion that Chairman Kim Jong Un had only come to Hanoi to try and relieve the pressure of created by sanctions. It apparently did not bother the international and American press that Mr. Griffiths’ mandate does not include giving his opinion about unrelated peace talks.

Griffiths finds himself in agreement with a number of GOP neoconservative hardliners such as former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley who stress the importance of sanctions with the ostensible goal of cutting off revenue to the DPRK. Some such as John Bolton have openly called for an increase in sanctions in clear opposition to President Trump’s clearly stated desire to seek further dialogue. North Korea has explicitly mentioned the actions and comments of Bolton as endangering the health of negotiations while continuing to maintain that personal relations between Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump were “still good and the chemistry is mysteriously wonderful.”

While the stated objective of sanctions is to deprive North Korea of revenue that can be used to finance purchases related to its nuclear program, it is undeniable that they contribute majorly to economic hardship and starvation for the civilian population of the DPRK. In 2018, UNICEF noted that sanctions create severe issues with the delivery of humanitarian aid and put the lives of tens of thousands of children in danger alone. While North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons was certainly what landed them in the situation they currently find themselves in, it is the callous disregard of human welfare by the United Nations, internationalist and certain American interests which causes an increase in such needless suffering.

Considering that nations such as Japan have recently moved to suspend efforts to condemn and punish the DPRK for their rights abuses in light of progress made during the negotiation process, the UN’s move to shift the spotlight back onto sanctions is incredibly poorly-timed. The same can be said for US agencies such as the Department of State who have interfered with talks by openly welcoming the Panel of Expert’s report.

IV. Media And The UN Ignore Actual Evidence Of Sanctions Evasion

Despite all the efforts of international media, the UN and other factions to foment conflict between the DPRK and United States they been curiously unable to identify real evidence of parties who are trying to smuggle goods in and out of North Korea to dodge sanctions.

Footpaths being used to move goods to and from China along the border near Kusong-Dong, North Korea. Credit: DigitalGlobe, detail added by Disobedient Media

With a search of just a few minutes on Google Earth along the Chinese-North Korean border, Disobedient Media was able to identify pathways being used by smugglers to move goods in avoidance of sanctions near Kusong-Dong, North Korea. The ease with which this verifiable information could be found shows just how inept and uninterested monitoring bodies and international media organizations are in finding actual evidence of any potential sanctions violations. The failure of these institutions suggests that their efforts are made solely with propaganda in mind.

The current drive to highlight supposed bad faith behaviors by the DPRK has absolutely nothing to do with promoting peace or encouraging North Korea to abandon their nuclear arsenal which is as dangerous to them as it is any of their enemies. The increase with which such disingenuous reports have been promulgated since the Hanoi Summit shows the increasing desperation with which certain factions are seeking to maintain hostilities which create a benefit for some but which are ultimately dangerous to the entire world. It seems that there is no low to which such parties will not stoop in order to prevent peace from being realized.

Perhaps the United Nations should spend more time focusing on preventing their officials and peacekeepers from committing a plethora of sex crimes while on the job.

via UN Works with Intelligence Contractors to Destabilize North Korea Dialogue

Press release: Taranaki Hydrogen roadmap smoke and mirrors

And in this case the smoke is being pounded up our back passage.

Climate Justice Taranaki

NYTimes What is climate change cartoon 2015

Climate Justice Taranaki questions the environmental and economic arguments for the Taranaki Hydrogen Roadmap released on Friday.

“The roadmap is full of fanciful ideas and technologies that are unproven and still at the experimental or development stages. They are fine if we have lots of time, but we are in a climate emergency. With just 12 years left to turn things around, we need to act fast by upscaling proven renewable energy technologies, and investing in energy conservation and resilience,” said Catherine Cheung, spokesperson for Climate Justice Taranaki.

“We agree that there may be a niche role for green hydrogen – hydrogen produced by water electrolysis with renewable energy – in fueling long-haul, heavy transport to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions from this sector. But the heavy emphasis given to the production of ammonia, urea and methanol, whether using green or blue hydrogen, is a worry,” said Cheung.

Blue hydrogen…

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Why Castro and Che Guevara Split

 

 

 

Revolutionary Friends

Al Jazeera (2017)

Film Review

This is a documentary about Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and the 1959 Cuban Revolution. In addition to exploring the revolution’s early history, the filmmakers trace how Cuba came to rely on the Soviet Union for its economic survival – and how the Soviets forced Castro to exile Che from Cuba for political reasons.

After traveling extensively through South America, Che Guevara, deeply affected by the extreme poverty and exploitation he saw, was totally committed to “permanent revolution.”* In contrast Soviet leaders were committed to socialism in one country and “peaceful coexistence with the US.” They opposed Che’s guerilla activities in Africa and Latin America owing to the potential threat they posed to US-Soviet relations.

The most interesting part of the film reveals that the CIA initially supported Castro’s guerillas  with arms, funding and US volunteers because they viewed him as “easy to control.” It contains priceless footage of Castro denouncing communism (in English) to an American audience and calling for Cuban “representative democracy.”

In February 1959, the US initially recognizes Castro as Cuba’s new prime minister. A few months later, he appoints Che (an avowed Marxist) to head the Cuban national bank. The US responds by blocking all credit to Cuban banks. Castro retaliates by nationalizing Cuba’s American businesses. The US government, in turn, blocks all Cuban sugar imports.

Given that 90% of the Cuban economy is based on trade with the US, the country is on the verge of collapse. Castro is left with no choice but to ally himself with the USSR to trade Cuban sugar for oil and financial aid.

Under Soviet direction, Castro ends Che’s governmental role in 1963 and sends him on a series of foreign missions.After several speeches critical of Soviet leaders (for failing to support third world guerilla movements), Che angers them further by cultivating relations with China, just as the USSR and China are becoming estranged.

After an unsuccessful campaign with guerilla fighters in the Congo, Castro sends Che to Bolivia, where he and ten fighters who accompany him are stranded without weapons, food, medicine or support from the Bolivian Communist Party. On October 9, 1976, Che is wounded in a firefight with Bolivian security services. He is subsequently captured and executed.


*As envisioned by Leon Trotsky, this refers to a country’s continuing revolutionary progress being dependent on a continuing process of revolution in other countries.

This film can’t be embedded for copyright reasons. It can be viewed free until April 7 at the Al Jazeera website: Che Guevara Fidel Castro Revolutionary Friends

Venezuela Organizes Civic-Military Exercises in Defense of Electric Grid

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The president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, headed a planning day Friday for the Civic-Military Exercises Ana Karina Rote 2019 to take place over the weekend throughout the national territory with the aim of shielding the country’s hydroelectric system amid possible new external attacks.

“The military operation Ana Karina Rote this Saturday and Sunday throughout the country is to consolidate the electric victory free from fascist and imperialist attacks on the electrical system,” said the head of state from the Miraflores Palace in the company of the military high command of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB).

The president’s message was addressed to all governors, mayors, and the military chiefs of the different regions of the country as well as movements of organized popular power that will participate in the deployment to ensure the operation of the strategic facilities of the National Electric System (SEN) and the systems of distribution of drinking water.

President Maduro explained that the exercises should serve to optimize the response capacity to possible aggression and put into practice national defense plans.

He instructed the creation of Commandos for the Defense of Basic Services, Special Peace Groups, which will integrate a new structure of the FANB together with the popular power from this weekend.

“We will deepen the civic-military union in all neighborhoods, towns, communities. I want to go deep… for territorial defense in the streets, neighborhoods and avenues of Venezuela,” he explained.

On Friday, the Venezuelan leader reiterated the involvement of the United States government in the cyber attack against the Ardas automated system of the Simon Bolivar Hydroelectric Power Plant, which caused a five-day national blackout.

via Venezuela Organizes Civic-Military Exercises in Defense of Electric Grid

Australians Are Furious About Google’s Commercial Delivery Drone

Wing, a subsidiary of Alphabet has been testing its drone delivery service over Bonython, a suburb of Tuggeranong, a township in southern Canberra. The year-long trial, called Project Wing, wrapped up last week; now the company is planning for a commercial launch in June.

Counter Information

Global Research, March 16, 2019
Zero Hedge 15 March 2019

Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. is on the verge of launching what the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) says will be the world’s first commercial drone delivery service in Australia. 

Wing, a subsidiary of Alphabet has been testing its drone delivery service over Bonython, a suburb of Tuggeranong, a township in southern Canberra. The year-long trial, called Project Wing, wrapped up last week; now the company is planning for a commercial launch in June.

Wing says its drones will be able to deliver small items, such as food and medication, but residents of Canberra, where the program was tested and will soon be ready for commercial flight, are furious about drones buzzing above.

Here is how Wing’s drone works 

Alphabet and Wing are expected to face a fierce fight before the delivery program takes off, according to ABC.

In response to the public backlash, Wing recently tested a quieter version of its delivery drone.

“We’re trying to be as transparent and…

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Turkey Claims NZ Mosque Shooter Previously Entered Country For “Assassination” Attempt

Turkish police are currently investigating the New Zealand mosque shooter’s 43-day travels inside the country, but it should also be noted that he visited a number of East European and other countries during the same period, which are conducting their own investigations.

SECRET WARS REPORT

In an apparent attemptto capitalize on the horrific terror attack on two New Zealand mosques which left 49 dead and dozens more wounded,Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed the gunman, 28-year-old Australian national Brenton Tarrant, hadtargeted Erdogan, Turkey, and “the whole Muslim world” in a speech on Friday.

“It is clear that the understanding represented by the killer that also targets our country, our people and myself, has started to take over Western societies like cancer,” Erdogan said, as reported by Turkey’sHurriyet Daily News.

While Erdogan was referring to the gunman’s manifesto which had called for the death of the Turkish president by name, state-runmedia took allegations a big step further on Fridayafter it was revealed Tarrant had made at least two trips to Turkey in 2016:TRT Worldcited government officialswho said thewhite supremacist gunman had previously entered Turkey“to carry out a…

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Monsanto is Not Happy – The European Court of Justice just ordered the release of its bogus glyphosate studies to the public.

Monsanto’s been fighting tooth and nail to keep these studies secret.

World Animals Voice

monsanto 1

Monsanto is fuming: The European Court of Justice just ordered the release of its bogus glyphosate studies to the public.

This is huge.

These studies are the reason the European Union re-licensed cancer-linked glyphosate for another five years back in 2017. Monsanto’s been fighting tooth and nail to keep these studies secret. 

Monsanto would do anything to get its infamous toxic weedkiller approved. But this stops now.

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monsanto 2But we need to be quick: we have momentum on our side with this court ruling, we need to use it to get the EU to act now and ban glyphosate once and for all. Are you in?

It’s really incredible: not even our MEPs have seen these studies.

Until now, the European Food Safety Authority refused to give anyone access — saying that it “could harm the commercial interests of companies that presented the studies”.

You and I both know what…

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