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Irene Adler

UBC Gets Friendly With North Korea

Shortly after Prime Minister’s remarks on the death of the notorious North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il, a University of British Columbia professor public criticized Harper’s heavy-handed statements as “out of tune” and “puts us on the sidelines in a chorus of one”[i]. Paul Evans, Director of the Institute for Asian Research at University of British Columbia (UBC), seems to think that Canada stands alone in its critique of the “Dear Leader” in being one of the few countries to remind us of the tragic atrocities committed by Kim Jong Il’s regime. He must have overlooked the strong comments made by both the German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle and the Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott calling out the human rights abuses under the dictatorship of Kim Jong-Il[ii].He also claims that Harper “violates normal canons of protocol in reacting to the death of a leader of a country with which Canada has diplomatic relations”[iii]. Canada has had no formal diplomatic relations with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea since May 25, 2010 and has since moved its Pyongyang office to Seoul. This suspension of Canada-DPRK relations came in the wake of North Korean aggression in the sinking of the South Korean naval vessel Cheonan, which killed 46 people[iv].More importantly, Paul Evans and a number of IAR staff at UBC are members and contributors to the North Korean propaganda website, CanKor[v]. Under the section “Is CanKor for you?”, the organization queries:  "Do you wish to discover the who, what, when, where, why and how that makes the DPRK the most popular whipping boy of the international community?” [vi]The head of CanKor, Erich Weingartner, operates out of UBC’s Institute of Asian Research. He has openly admitted that he has direct ties with the upper echelons of the North Korean ruling elite and has published a… Read More