Skip to comments.North Korea says it wants to maintain "strategic ties" with Libya
Posted on 07/27/2002 2:01:33 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
CAIRO, Egypt - North Korea's ceremonial head of state pledged to boost his country's "strategic relations" with Libya, Libya's official news agency quoted him as saying Sunday during a visit to Tripoli.
Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, was accompanied by North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun and Foreign Trade Minister Ri Kwang Gun.
Addressing a banquet hosted by Mustafa al-Kharoubi, member of Libya's Revolution Command Council, the North Korean No. 2 said his government and people have "an unwavering will ... to continue developing and boosting the strategic ties with Libya ... and effectively contribute to build a new independent and prosperous world."
Both countries are on the U.S. list of nations sponsoring terrorism. According to the Central Intelligence Agency, North Korea has been exporting weapons, components and expertise to countries including Iran, Libya, Syria and Egypt.
From Libya, Kim Yong Nam travels to Syria later in the week. He has already visited Indonesia.
Al-Kharoubi stressed the role of the United Nations in consolidating international peace and security and called for "reforming the U.N. Security Council to guarantee a just representation of the developing countries," JANA reported.
Both sides condemned Israeli acts against the Palestinians and called on the international community to help the Palestinians achieve their national right to self-determination.
Kim Yong Nam is No. 2 in North Korean hierarchy and serves as a ceremonial head of state, while leader Kim Jong Il wields absolute power.
Libyan Foreign Minister Abdel Rahman Mohammed Shalgam visited North and South Korea two years ago. Libya established diplomatic ties with North Korea in 1974 and South Korea in 1980.
North Korea s number two starts rare visit in Libya, Syria; sources: missile sales to be discussed***Kim Yong-Nam had been expected to meet with Moamer Kadhafi, however the Libyan leader is currently on a tour of several African countries. According to South Korean officials, the North Korean delegation is to visit Libya for four days and Syria for three days. They have already visited Indonesia. Tripoli has good ties with Pyongyang and the Kadhafi Foundation, run by one of the sons of the Libyan leader, and has in the past sent aid to help ease North Korea's severe food shortage.
According to diplomatic sources, the Mideast tour could signal renewed missile sales. North Korea has sold the Scud C and D missiles to Syria and is a leading contractor in an attempt to develop a No-Dong variant for Libya, The Worldtribune reported. Syria has contracted North Korea to produce and assemble the Scud D missile, with a range of 700 kilometers. The sources said Damascus has launched the program from facilities that now produce the Scud C, with a range of 500 kilometers.
The Libyan visit is inclined to focus on North Korea's contribution to the No-Dong variant. The sources said Western intelligence agencies believe Pyongyang has shipped No-Dong missiles and components to Libya over the last year. About 100 North Korean specialists are in Libya to administer its medium-range missile program, meant to produce a weapon with a range of about 1,000 kilometers. "We are talking about a major visit by a leader who hardly ever leaves North Korea," a diplomat said. "The agenda for such a visit can only be understood as being highly significant."***
[Full Text] DAMASCUS, Syria - Syria wants peace in the Middle East to start with Israeli withdrawal from occupied Arab lands, not with the division of nations into the "axis of evil and the axis of good," President Bashar Assad told a visiting North Korean delegation.
Assad said during a state dinner Tuesday that Syria and North Korea which U.S. President George W. Bush labeled part of an "axis of evil" threatening world peace, must take "firm stands" to express their rights in realizing peace and defending their countries.
Syria seeks peace based on Israeli withdrawal from war-won Arab lands, including the Syrian Golan Heights occupied by Israel in the 1968 Mideast war, "but not the peace of those who classify peoples in the axis of evil and the axis of good," Assad was quoted as saying by the official Syrian Arab News Agency.
Addressing Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, Assad said: " We, in this part of the world, suffer from this tyrannous policy, as you suffer in the Far East of the Asian continent. ... Both of us are facing similar pressures and confronting them with the national unity, steadfastness and moving forward on the road of development and modernization."
Without mentioning the United States directly, he said the world today suffered from a tyranny that stems from the conceit of power.
According to SANA, Assad charged the Israeli aggression against the Palestinians was continuing "as a result of the support Israel receives from the state which was presumed to be an unbiased peace process sponsor."
Syria has reacted coolly to Bush's call for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's removal before America backs the creation of an independent Palestinian state. Since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Syria has cooperated with the United States in sharing intelligence in the fight against al-Qaida, but refused to recognize other anti-Israeli groups, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, as terrorists.
Kim Yong Nam arrived in Syria on Tuesday accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun and Foreign Trade Minister Ri Kwang Gun. He has already visited Indonesia and Libya in a bid to foster bilateral relations.
Syria, North Korea and Libya are on the U.S. list of nations sponsoring terrorism. The Central Intelligence Agency says North Korea has been exporting weapons, components and expertise to countries including Iran, Libya, Syria and Egypt. [End]
Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi looks on after his arrival at the presidential palace in Cairo on July 21, 2002. Gaddafi arrived to Egypt to discuss bilateral, regional and international issues with Egyptian President Mubarak. REUTERS/Aladin Abdel Naby
Saif Gaddafi, son of Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, stands in front of one of his pieces of artwork featuring his father's portrait July 23 2002. Gaddafi's work is part of a Libyan art and antiquities exhibition on view for the first time in the UK. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty
Venezuelan oil shipments to Cuba resuming in August - Libya studying Cuba's oil refinery***Rodriguez added that Cuba and Venezuela had studied the possibility of modernizing Cuba's Cienfuegos refinery but decided the project isn't feasible. He said OPEC member Libya is conducting a similar study and that Venezuela is sharing information on Cienfuegos with Libya.*** July 2002
***The Bush administration created a stir last week by accusing Cuba of sharing its dual-use biotech capability with "rouge" states that are looking to create plagues for biological warfare. That charge should put into perspective Castro's own warning to the United States during his swing through the Middle East last May. "Iran and Cuba, in cooperation with each other, can bring America to its knees," Castro said at the University of Tehran. "The U.S. regime is very weak and we are witnessing this weakness from close-up." *** Source - May 12, 2002
Fidel, Saddam and Hugo --An improbable but growing friendship of three military revolutionaries*** The Castro-Hussein-Chávez connection is anti-American and anti-capitalistic, but not in an ideological way. What matters to the three is domestic power built upon a base of nationalism that they believe legitimizes their policies In a way, this bizarre trio represents the rebirth, a half century later, of the kind of nationalist populism spawned by General Juan Perón in Argentina and Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt. Mr. Castro and Mr. Saddam gained power through armed revolutions; Mr. Chávez, a paratroopers' lieutenant colonel, was democratically elected in 1998, after serving time for trying to overthrow the government in 1992.
Mr. Chávez is the most intriguing new leader to emerge in Latin America since Mr. Castro - and he is the lynchpin between Mr. Castro and Mr. Saddam. Although Cuba had been sending doctors and health workers to Iraq for years, there had not been any major contacts between the two countries until Mr. Chávez appeared on the scene. This fall, Mr. Chávez became the first democratically elected foreign head of state to visit Iraq since the Gulf War, ostensibly to invite Mr. Saddam to a summit of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. But it also was an in-your face gesture toward the United States.
With France and Russia, two of the five veto-wielding members of the Security Council, determined to see the sanctions against Iraq ended, the United States can do little to prevent them from withering away. Mr. Saddam has no intention of allowing UN weapons inspectors back into his country, and he knows that renewed bombing of Iraq is out of the question. Confident that the United States and the British would not risk shooting down a civilian airliner in the southern or northern "no-fly" zone, Mr. Saddam has resumed regular domestic commercial flights for the first time in a decade.
Iraq has the world's second-largest reserves of oil, after Saudi Arabia, which it exports legally under UN controls and smuggles out on a huge scale. Mr. Saddam is not short of cash for whatever adventure next occurs to him, and, with Mr. Chávez, he can influence the international oil supply and its prices.
As for Venezuela, a main source of U.S. imported oil, Mr. Chávez has been raising his profile within OPEC, having presided in Caracas in late September over a summit of that organization. Late in November, Mr. Saddam showed on two occasions what he can do to the oil market when he briefly threatened to halt the shipping of oil, a move Mr. Chávez knew about beforehand.
The Iraqi link is one aspect of Mr. Chávez's international involvements that the United States must not underestimate, with Cuba playing a central role. Since he took office in February 1999, Mr. Chávez has proclaimed his "identification" with the Cuban revolution. He visited Havana and entertained Mr. Castro in Caracas for five days last October. Mr. Castro treated Mr. Chávez as a son, an attitude seldom displayed by the Cuban leader toward any young people. During that same visit, Mr. Chávez granted Cuba large crude-oil price discounts, as he has done selectively elsewhere in the Caribbean, and agreed to help complete building a Cuban oil refinery. ***December 2000
Gaddafi's bid for Africa*** Mugabe has been increasingly isolated by the world in the wake of his controversial victory in last month's presidential election amid reports that Zimbabwe is virtually mortgaged to Libya in exchange for oil and money. The Libyans are said to have been allocated farms by the government. No official comment could be obtained from the Libyan ambassador, Mahmoud Azabi, who was said by his office to be out of the country. Reports in the State-controlled Herald yesterday said Libya was now providing 70 percent of Zimbabwe fuel imports. A 12-month US$330 million (Z$18,15 billion) oil deal signed by Mugabe and Gaddafi last year for Libya to supply Zimbabwe with oil expires in two months' time and Mugabe was reportedly anxious to secure an extension to avert another crisis in the tense period after the presidential poll.
"The bottom line is that Libya has been unable to get the products promised by Mugabe when the deal was sealed," another source said. "That is why Mugabe had to go and plead with Gaddafi." The deal, under which Gaddafi supplied oil in exchange for land, agricultural produce and stakes in key enterprises in the tourism sector, helped Mugabe reduce the magnitude of the crippling fuel crisis which started in October 1999. With the exception of Gaddafi, the rest of the world's suppliers had stopped oil supplies to Zimbabwe due to non-payment. ***
Libya pulls Zimbabwe's fuel plug***Libyan demands that the Mugabe regime hand over valuable farms as part of the deal have yet to be met, prompting fears from fuel-hungry consumers that the north African country will soon grow impatient with Zimbabwe. It is understood that groups of Libyan businessmen have been to Zimbabwe and visited vast commercial farms around the country. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi also toured some big commercial farms and identified some for his country's expropriation last year.
However, the mechanics of delivering this land to the Libyans seem to have been delayed, prompting cries of impatience from the Libyans. Zimbabwe is now so heavily reliant on the Libyans that the country will cease to function if Gaddafi puts brakes on oil supplies. Mugabe has paid a dozen visits to Libya in the past year to maintain Gaddafi's patronage. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says Zimbabwe has virtually become a "colony of Libya". Libya's cut supplies have only
***Venezuelan Energy and Mines Minister, Alvaro Silva Calderon, was appointed the Opec secretary-general last month. "The fuel situation is getting worse and with the Libyans reportedly turning a cold shoulder after amassing land in Zimbabwe, there is a pressing need to take the begging bowl to other oil-producing countries like Venezuela to avert the crisis," said the source. "Why would the President honestly spend a week in Cuba when he has been there before?" he said. Last week, parts of the country were hit by fuel shortages triggered by hoarding amid reports that the commodity was in short supply.*** Source July 2002
Now look at who's the latest beneficiary of Gaadafi's largess -- Source: Central Bank of Venezuela -Caracas proposed an emergency fiscal adjustment package May 30 that was designed to cut government spending and raise revenues. So far, this package has been a dismal failure. Proposed tax hikes are languishing, and multilateral agencies have refused to lend, forcing Chavez to seek a $5 billion bridge loan from Libya, sources say. Attempts to refinance Venezuela's debt have been equally unsuccessful, primarily because domestic and foreign investors are wary of the risk. Caracas was able to raise only around $4 million, or 10 percent of its goal, in a late-June auction of two-month treasury bills.***
Venezuela-Libya Ties Coming to the Surface ***However, Venezuelan sources with longtime ties to Rich said negotiations with Crown Resources ended last year when a due diligence investigation turned up "troubling indications" of links with suspected Russian mobsters. Rich, who fled to Switzerland to avoid tax-evasion charges and was pardoned by former President Bill Clinton in January 2001, may have feared running afoul of legal authorities in the United States and Europe if he closed a deal with the firm. If the allegations involving Crown Resources are accurate, it would indicate that high-level officials in the Chavez regime are involved not only in questionable loan and investment negotiations with the governments of Libya and Cuba, but also with a company alleged to have ties to some members of Russia's criminal underworld.
Senior Venezuelan government officials believed to be involved in the Cienfuegos talks include PDVSA president Ali Rodriguez and Foreign Minister Roy Chaderton, according to military intelligence and oil industry sources in Caracas. The disclosure that Rodriguez is representing the Chavez regime in the negotiations has caused an uproar at the highest levels within PDVSA. Company vice president Jorge Kamkoff, a veteran oilman who is widely respected within the oil industry in Venezuela and internationally, has reportedly objected strenuously to undertaking any investments in the Cuban facility. Kamkoff did not return STRATFOR's calls seeking confirmation of these reports. However, other sources in PDVSA said July 26 that Kamkoff will be forced to retire in weeks or even days and likely will be replaced by Aires Barreto, a naturalized Venezuelan citizen who was born in Goa, India. Barreto reportedly is widely despised within PDVSA because he conducted a purge of veteran middle- and senior-level company managers during the controversial tenure of former PDVSA president Hector Ciavaldini.
STRATFOR's sources in the company also said that the Chavez regime's recent announcement that oil shipments to Cuba would be renewed Aug. 1, plus the disclosure about the possible investment in Cienfuegos, has infuriated many career oil-industry employees and managers. Moreover, their rage is being fanned by what appears to be an intensifying campaign of surveillance and intimidation of PDVSA employees who do not publicly support the Chavez regime's attempts to forge closer commercial and investment relations with Cuba and Libya.
A recent internal company document warns that many PDVSA managers and employees are once again discussing the possibility of staging work slowdowns and possibly even a general strike in the coming weeks, which could shut down Venezuela's oil production and exports and possibly force Chavez out of office a second time after a brief coup earlier this year.***
Yeah, North Korea knows a lot about prosperity, right... One wonders how these guys say this stuff with a straight face.
Look's more like Boris Karloff in the "Mummy".
The motherboard's a 66 mhtz 486 with 16 megs of 32 pin RAM- all that will fit- the floppies came from a PC used as a doorstop. The hard drive is 210 mb Conner salvaged from an old IBM abandoned in a shed, running bare Win 95- no a or b... and the modem's a USR 33.6K Sportster that "sort of" plug n' plays...
Some have called my backup PC a "coal-burner" while others refer to it as an abbacus...
Note: this topic is from 7/27/2002. Thanks Cincinatus' Wife.