Bush Administration plays apologist for Stalinist regime: The Stalinists don't need to worry about muting reaction from its refusal to do what was asked of it during the Beijing surrender. Washington is doing it for them: "The Bush Administration is struggling to downplay North Korea's refusal to honor its agreement to shut down its Yongbyon nuclear reactor" (Time). Meanwhile, we have reports that the Stalinist regime may honor the deal (BBC); South Korea may stop sending aid northward (Washington Times); and the disgust continues to grow at American weakness ("analysts argue that this game play between the U.S. and Kim Jong-Il may just continue with the U.S. making additional concessions" - Daily NK; "They will pretend to disarm, and we will pretend to believe them" - One Free Korea).
More On Communist China's Korean colony: Charles Scanlon (BBC) begins his North Korea diary, or as he puts it, "the inevitable game of cat and mouse that is a feature of any visit to North Korea." A defector describes the choreographed "celebration" of the late Kim Il-Sung's birthday (Daily NK). Kim Song A (Daily NK) examines the possibilities of Stalinist interference in South Korea's presidential election this December.
Defector in Canada details the long arm of Communist lawlessness: Jiyan Zhang talks to Bill Gertz of the Washington Times (h/t Between Heaven and Earth).
U.S. finds persecution of Gao Zhisheng "troubling": The State Department weighed in on the torture the human rights lawyer has suffered (AP via BH&E).
David Kilgour continues to press on organ harvesting: Donna Jacobs (Ottowa Citizen) caught up with the former MP (h/t BH&E).
Cadres admit Yangtze river is beyond repair: The Communists' rampant over-development has so polluted the Yangtze River that the regime is now admitting that the damage "is largely irreversible" (BBC). Even the much-praised (by the Communists) and much-maligned (by everyone else) Three Gorges Dam reservoir "has become heavily polluted."
Communists crack down on casinos: Over 120 casinos have been shut down over the last couple of years, at least if the Communists are to be believed. Casinos are usually the final stop (through lost wagers) for money pilfered by corrupt cadres.