Media Digest (1/26/12)
A few stories from a few places in the world that I’m interested in.
—Andrei Lankov profiles Colonel General Terenti Shytkov, NK’s first leader. Shytkov was the de facto leader of the North from 1945-46 and was responsible for the post-liberation land reforms. He stayed on as a power-behind-the-scenes in his capacity as Soviet ambassador until the outbreak of the Korean War.
—Stephen Haggard posts his in-depth analysis of this year’s annual joint editorial (신년공동사설). The editorial basically functions as Pyongyang’s version of the State of the Union Address in the US.
—Andray Abrahamian speculates about why Ri Chol, head of the North’s Joint Venture Investment Committee, left his post earlier this year.
—The DailyNK reports on the murders of four bureaucrats in Cheongjin, North Hamgyong Province. The source notes that the alleged murders were carried out as acts of rebellion against the government. No other source or media outlet has corroborated the story as of this writing.
—Ikhwanweb has a profile of Egypt’s new Speaker of Parliment, Dr. Mohamed Katatni.
—The Arabist gives his take on the Egyptian Revolution, one year later.
—The Washington Post sits down with Myanmar’s president Thein Sein to chat about reform.
—Reuters explains why US sanctions on Myanmar have yet to be lifted, despite the enormous progress of reforms over the past year.
—Eurasianet looks at the Kazakh government’s lukewarm efforts to prosecute police responsible for firing on protesting oil workers in Zhanaozen.
—Eurasianet also wonders why amateur cell phone footage caught American Humvees in Zhanaozen on the day of the shootings. The Humvees were originally sold to Astana to help with the formation of a peacekeeping brigade.
—Barbara Slavin explains why the EU’s oil embargo on Iran is designed to avert war.
—Iran Primer analyzes the potential impact of EU sanctions on Iran.
—The Jamestown Foundation runs down the latest spate of insurgent attacks in Dagestan.
—The New Yorker profiles the oil industry in North Dakota.