Fisherman Publicly Executed In North Korea For Listening To Foreign Radio Broadcast

A North Korean fishing boat captain was reportedly publicly executed for listening to a banned foreign radio station…

According to the U.S. Government-funded Radio Free Asia, North Korea executed a 40 year-old man after he admitted to listening to radio broadcasts from Radio Free Asia, banned in the dictator state. North Korea has strict rules when it comes to what content citizens can consume to deny them access to information and news from outside the country’s borders.

The man identified as Chongjin, picked up the foreign broadcasts while he was out in the water off the coast of North Korea.

Chongjin is said to have been turned in by by one of his crew members at a fishing base in the port city of Chongjin, where his crew member confessed his “offense” to authorities. It’s believed that Chongjin, who was once a radio operator in the military, had started listening to foreign broadcasts while on service. Chongjin was charged with “subversion against the party.”

“In mid-October, a captain of a fishing boat from Chongjin was executed by firing squad, on charges of listening to Radio Free Asia regularly over a long period of time,” a source told the station.

“The provincial security department defined his crime as an attempt of subversion against the party. They publicly shot him at the base in front of 100 other captains and managers of the facility’s fish processing plants,” they added.

“They also dismissed or discharged party officials, the base’s administration and the security officers who allowed Choi to work at sea.”

A second source claimed to the news agency that the fisherman who had turned Chongjin in was “vengeance for Choi’s arrogant and disrespectful behavior so he reported him to the security department.”

They also claimed:

 “It seems that the authorities made an example out of Choi to imprint on the residents that listening to outside radio stations means death.”

Despite acts like this execution North Korea has failed to quash its people’s desire to obtain information from the outside world. Two refugees who escaped from North Korea to settle in the neighboring South told RFA that North Korean residents often listen to their broadcasts because they are ‘curious’.

“We can get a variety of content from CDs and memory sticks, but what North Koreans most want to know is news from the outside,” one said.

“Residents can get many outside broadcasts, but they prefer RFA because it can be heard clearly in the Korean language.”

Report: Almost 2 million CCP Members Hold Positions at British Consulates, Major UK, US Firms: Leaked Database

A recently leaked database has revealed that 1.95 million registered members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have been employed at universities, major corporations, and British consulates around the world.

Some members have been employees of U.S. aerospace manufacturer Boeing and pharmaceutical maker Pfizer.

The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), a global coalition of lawmakers, obtained the database from an unidentified Chinese dissident, then shared the material with four media organizations, according to a Dec. 12 report by British newspaper The Mail on Dec. 13, which obtained the list and reviewed it.

IPAC, in a statement on Nov. 13, said one of its representatives received the database from a “non-government source” and the coalition had experts verify the list.

“IPAC will push for governments and companies to respond, setting out how they intend to safeguard their values in the face of infiltration,” IPAC stated.

According to the outlet, the database contained names, dates of birth, and ethnicity, while some also had addresses and telephone numbers. The database was first leaked on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, after it was allegedly extracted in 2016 by people believed to be Chinese dissidents, from a Shanghai server.

Most of the CCP members in the database are from Shanghai.

The Mail found that major aerospace companies Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Boeing have employed hundreds of CCP members. Additionally, Pfizer and British drugmaker AstraZeneca employed a total of 123 Party members. British automaker Jaguar Land Rover also employed CCP members.

The database also showed that over 600 CCP members were employed across 19 branches of British banks HSBC and Standard Chartered.

Chinese academics with Party membership also worked at British universities, where they were involved in sensitive research including aerospace engineering and chemistry, The Mail found.

Continue Reading at The Epoch Times…

Most of the members in the database are from the country’s southeastern coastal metropolis of Shanghai.

New York-headquartered tech firm IBM has at least two dozen Party units with 808 members in China.

3M, a manufacturer of consumer and health care goods, including N95 respirators and other medical products critical to preventing COVID-19 spread, employs at least 230 CCP members within five Party units.

PepsiCo, the multinational snack and beverage company, has 45 employees listed under the company’s Party branch committee.

Dow Chemical Company, one of the world’s three largest chemical producers, lists 337 CCP members in four Party committees.

Other notable U.S. firms on the list include Westin Hotel & Resorts owned by Marriott International (23 members); analytics firm Nielsen Holdings (94); leading food company Mars Food (14); and insurance provider MetLife (31).

The U.S. companies and Party branches mentioned are by no means exhaustive. As of 2016, around 75,000 foreign businesses—accounting for over 70 percent of the roughly 106,000 foreign firms in China—have established Party units, according to state-run media People’s Daily.

The development of CCP units picked up pace from 2002, after Beijing’s top leadership “wrote the obligations of nonpublic firms’ Party organizations into the Party charter, providing evidence for the nonpublic firms’ Party organizations to host activities and play their roles,” according to Chinese media reports from 2002.

State media reported that the country currently has nearly 92 million CCP members. While the database represents only a small fraction of the total membership, it’s a key piece of the puzzle for uncovering the regime’s penetration of international companies, said Bill Gertz, national security correspondent for The Washington Times in an interview.

Early this month, the Trump administration imposed travel restrictions on CCP members and their immediate families, reducing the maximum duration of stay for those with B1/B2 visitor visas from 10 years to one month.

The Party Network

Creating more Party units within companies in China has been one of the top priorities for the CCP’s Organization Department, a core Party organ that oversees staffing of government officials nationwide, according to Qi Yu, a former deputy head of the department.

Qi, who currently serves as the Party committee secretary at the Chinese foreign ministry, said at an October 2017 news conference in Beijing that the regime requires corporate Party organizations to “organically integrate Party activities with the firm’s production in order to support companies’ healthy development,” according to People’s Daily.

Continue Reading at The Epoch Times…

A Secret Agreement That Allows Chinese Spies To Roam Free In Switzerland is Exposed

Details of a little known agreement between Switzerland and China that allowed Chinese “spies” to enter Switzerland at Swiss taxpayers’ expense have leaked. The deal, which was signed in 2015 and is up for renewal, “lays out terms for Chinese agents to travel to Switzerland and interview suspected Chinese nationals that Swiss authorities wished to deport,” according a report by The Guardian.

The deal had never been published by the government and wasn’t even publicly acknowledged until August this year, the report says. This differs greatly from “more than 50” deals Switzerland has with other countries that are widely known about. In fact, the deal was so under wraps that “even the Swiss parliament and foreign affairs committee did not know of its existence”.

An Asia-focused human rights campaign group called the “Safeguard Defenders” were the first to translate the original document, which revealed an “extraordinary commitment to secrecy”. 

While Chinese experts needed to be invited by Switzerland for their two week “missions”, China could then send whatever agents it wanted without approval. Those agents were permitted to enter the country “without official status” while the Swiss kept their identities confidential. The reports that the agents would subsequently produce for the Swiss government were also kept confidential.

The agreement contained “no provisions to supervise the agents’ activities beyond their work with Swiss authorities,” the Guardian noted. Peter Dahlin, the director of Safeguard Defenders said: “What they do during that two weeks is completely unsupervised. Theoretically, the fact that it’s allowed is remarkable … If this was kept secret, that means other governments wouldn’t know.”

Safeguard Defenders said in a statement: “In only a minority of cases [do other readmission] deals allow for the other party to send representatives to accompany the individual to be returned, and in those cases [the representatives] are limited to that specific activity, and it is a public, official duty being carried out.”

The deal was called “extremely favorable” to the Chinese by Margaret Lewis, a law professor at Seton Hall University in the US: “It strikes me as odd that if it was as low level as someone who was staying in Switzerland illegally, the PRC [People’s Republic of China] would bother sending over officials. The incentives [for MPS officials to travel] would likely be people who are … of interest to the PRC government.”

The agreement was not well received in Switzerland when it was revealed this year, as the world grapples with the Wuhan Coronavirus and skepticism about China and its intentions it at recent highs. Leo Lan, a spokesman for the country’s Chinese Human Rights Defenders campaign group, said: “Given China’s appalling record of detainees’ rights, it’s also a legitimate concern if the repatriated persons would be exposed to torture or other ill-treatment if they were detained.”

Lewis concluded: “Usually governments want to keep close tabs on any foreign agents who are on their soil. If in Switzerland the MPS officials have time to roam free [outside of the Swiss-initiated interviews], I worry about the possibility for interactions with other PRC nationals that are unofficial in nature, and the potential for coercion.”

Source: ZeroHedge

Report Finds Microwave Energy Likely Made US Diplomats Ill

(AP) A new report by a National Academy of Sciences committee has found that “directed” microwave radiation is the likely cause of illnesses among American diplomats in Cuba and China.

The study commissioned by the State Department and released Saturday is the latest attempt to find a cause for the mysterious illnesses that started to emerge in late 2016 among U.S. personnel in Havana.

The study found that “directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy appears to be the most plausible” explanation for symptoms that included intense head pressure, dizziness, and cognitive difficulties. It found this explanation was more likely than other previously considered causes such as tropical disease or psychological issues. The study did not name a source for the energy and did not say it came as the result of an attack, though it did note that previous research on this type of injury was done in the former Soviet Union.

In its report, the 19-member committee noted that it faced significant challenges in trying to get to the bottom of the medical mystery. Among them, not everyone reported the same symptoms and the National Academy of Sciences research did not have access to all the previous studies on the illnesses, some of which are classified.

“The committee found these cases quite concerning, in part because of the plausible role of directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy as a mechanism, but also because of the significant suffering and debility that has occurred in some of these individuals,” said committee chairman David Relman, a professor of medicine at Stanford University. “We as a nation need to address these specific cases as well as the possibility of future cases with a concerted, coordinated, and comprehensive approach.”

The health effects were experienced by about two dozen Americans affiliated with the U.S. Embassy in Cuba as well as Canadian diplomats and personnel at the U.S. consulate in Guangzhou, China, in early 2017.

Some of the Americans have been critical of the U.S. government’s response to their health complaints and at least one has filed suit against the State Department.

Between late 2016 and May 2018, several U.S. and Canadian diplomats in Havana complained of health problems from an unknown cause. One U.S. government count put the number of American personnel affected at 26.

Some reported hearing high-pitched sounds similar to crickets while at home or staying in hotels, leading to an early theory of a sonic attack.

China Forces Hong Kong “Political Prisoners” Onto Buses For Re-education Camps

Disturbing video out of Hong Kong shows family members of “political prisoners” saying hysterical goodbyes after China rounded them up onto buses headed for reeducation camps in the mainland.

The heartbreaking footage shows a group of desperate Hong Kongers banging on the barred windows of the bus as it drives away to the Chinese mainland.

Joshua Wong, Ivan Lam and Agnes Chow, who spearheaded the Umbrella Movement in 2019 against Communist China’s encroachment of Hong Kong’s sovereignty, were among the political prisoners boarded in the vans after getting sentenced last week for their roles in the mass protests.

From Time Magazine:

Analysts see the ruling as casting a pall over the broader pro-democracy movement. “These three are widely seen as icons pushing the limits of democracy in Hong Kong in defiance of Beijing,” says Willy Lam, a political scientist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “Their sentencing will strike fear into the hearts of pro-democracy supporters.”

Authorities have arrested more than 10,000 protesters since June last year in a crackdown that has netted everyone from pensioners to primary school students. But it’s done little to resolve the underlying tensions in a city where much of the population lionizes democratic ideals but is ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

Earlier in May, Wong described how Communist China was actively intimidating him, threatening him with kidnapping and even “extraordinary rendition.”

“No matter what, I am always targeted by Beijing,” he said.

“For years, strange vans and shadowy men have trailed him. He and his girlfriend were once assaulted when leaving a movie theater. He has been pelted with eggs and fists and branded a ‘traitor‘ by the Chinese foreign ministry. Last year, he was snatched off the street and stuffed into a minivan by police,” Time reported.

China was losing control of the mass protests in late 2019, but the coronavirus pandemic shortly squelched Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement just a few months later as various governments began imposing strict lockdowns worldwide.

In July, President Trump responded to China’s totalitarian actions toward Hong Kong with an executive order that would “hold responsible” Communist China’s efforts to “extinguish Hong Kong’s freedom.”

“This law gives my administration powerful new tools to hold responsible the individuals and the entities involved in extinguishing Hong Kong’s freedom,” Trump said.

“Their freedom has been taken away. Their rights have been taken away, and with it goes Hong Kong in my opinion because it will no longer be able to compete with free markets. A lot of people will be leaving Hong Kong, I suspect,” Trump added.

It seems many people are leaving – via reeducation buses – and it remains unclear how Trump’s EO addresses the blatant fascism that continues in Hong Kong.