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North Korea no longer talks with South Korea. Experts say it can try to make a crisis



How Kim Jong Un came into power

North Korean state media said several hotlines would be closed, including military-to-military calls and other channels intended to directly connect its leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on short notice. These lines are considered important because they can help prevent unintentional military confrontations caused by misinterpretations or miscalculating the actions or intentions of others.

Choi Hyun-soo, a spokesman for the South Korean Ministry of Defense, said North Korea did not answer phone calls on military channels Tuesday morning for the first time since it was founded in 2018. Calls to the joint liaison office hotline, which North Korea said were closed Friday, were also not answered.

“The inter-Korean communication channel must be maintained in accordance with the agreement because it is the basic means of communication,” the Unification Ministry, the South Korean government body that handles all matters of North Korea, said in a statement.

“The government will continue to work towards peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula while complying with the inter-Korean agreement.”

Pyongyang said it gave Seoul a cold shoulder because North Korean defectors in South Korea flew balloons to their homes carrying leaflets and SD cards, perhaps with information about the outside world. It is illegal for most North Koreans to consume information that is not approved by the country’s powerful propaganda machine, and that can have dire consequences.

Experts believe that the Kim regime used the issue of leaflets to create a crisis – a tactic in the North Korean international relations manual which is often used to create a feeling of urgency in novice negotiations.

Pyongyang claims the balloons, which were sent by private groups, violated the agreement reached at the April 2018 summit, where both parties agreed to stop “all hostile acts and eliminate their means, including broadcasting through loudspeakers and distribution of leaflets” in along the balloon. shared border. Several communication lines that were closed on Tuesday were established or rebuilt as part of the same agreement.

“We will never barter our highest leadership dignity for anything, but defend it at the expense of our lives,” said a statement published Tuesday at the North Korean government-run KCNA news outlet. “There is no need to sit face to face with the South Korean authorities and there is no problem to discuss with them, because they only arouse our disappointment.”

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The statement also said Tuesday’s move was “the first step of determination to completely close all means of contact with South Korea and get rid of unnecessary things.”

Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Un’s sister and one of the most powerful officials in the country, seems to have played a major role in North Korea’s decision to cut off communication with South Korea.

He and Kim Yong Chol, who were partners with Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo in talks with the United States, were both named in Tuesday’s announcement. KCNA also brought Kim Yo Jong’s work on Friday which called the defectors “shepherd dogs” and threatened South Korea, suggesting “now is the time to bring the owner to account.”

Fighters for an independent North Korea, a non-governmental organization that claims to send balloons, said they sent 500,000 leaflets, 2,000 $ 1 bills, and 1,000 SD cards across the border. The group did not say what was on the memory card, but in the past they had South and West Korean films and television shows.

The group posted pictures on its website showing several balloons, including those carrying posters bearing caricatures of Kim Jong Un and the words: “While people are starving, what is the use of nuclear rockets, chemical biological weapons and political prison camps? Let’s end it Kim Jong-un’s dictatorship from generation to generation! “

The Chief Warrior for the Free North Korean group, Park Sang-hak, is a well-known defector. In 2012, North Korean agents tried to kill him with a poison needle shaped like a pen.

Political tactics

Kim’s family is treated with almost godlike respect in North Korean state media, and insulting one of them can carry harsh punishments. But the decision to escalate hostilities could be a political tactic intended to start inter-Korean talks, which are basically stuck in neutral conditions for months.

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“Inter-Korean communication is essentially dead and dysfunctional, but Pyongyang is trying to make the broken line into a much bigger deal than it really is,” said Duyeon Kim, senior adviser at the International Crisis Group specializing in Northeast Asian affairs and nuclear policy .

The first inter-Korean hotline was established in 1971, according to the Unification Ministry. Since then North Korea has cut off inter-Korean communication at least five times.

“This situation is not ideal, but the two Koreas are accustomed to the period of the dialogue channel being cut off,” said Duyeon Kim.

Talks to achieve some of the main objectives set at the April 2018 summit, including ending the Korean War and rebuilding inter-Korean economic projects, have so far failed to progress.

An important point that emerged was the sanctions imposed on North Korea by the UN Security Council and the United States. Pyongyang is in dire need of hard currency, but sanctions prohibit the country from selling most valuable items or engaging in profitable joint projects with South Korea.

Andrei Lankov, an expert in North Korean affairs at Kookmin University in Seoul, said Moon could not do anything that violates sanctions for fear of alienating the United States, allies of the South Korean treaty, or President Donald Trump – who made it clear he did not want to pay the alliance old at the same price as its predecessor.

North Korea is now trying to steer South Korea into a corner while maintaining the United States, hoping that a sense of urgency in Seoul will encourage the Moon to work together on Kim Jong Un’s requirements.

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North Korea “does not want the Moon Jae government to feel comfortable. They want to create a measurable crisis, a controlled crisis,” Lankov said. “North Korea needs a crisis in relations with South Korea, but of a kind that will not be directly attractive in the United States.

The problem, however, is that Moon is riding the highest politics after doing better than expected in legislative elections earlier this year. And its constituents don’t really care about the escalation cycle with North Korea – this is something South Koreans are used to doing. Deciding on communication is likely to fail to register as a major problem in South Korea, where the economy and the new coronavirus pandemic are the most pressing problems at the moment.

Lankov said North Korea’s efforts to create a sense of crisis in South Korea were “very unsuccessful.”

“However, that is not necessarily a good sign,” he said. “The lack of response is likely to mean North Korea is starting to increase its volume, increasing the intensity of provocation.”

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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