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Watching the latest missile news in Pyongyang in June
Watching the latest missile news in Pyongyang in June

In May 1999, I visited North Korea. I was based at the time in Beijing as a correspondent for a Slovenian newspaper, and it was impossible not to visit the country that had aroused so many questions and offered so few answers. One just needed to see the place. So I did. I joined a hypocritical game: I used my Chinese contacts to deal with the other side, added some money, and provided a letter that said I was researching revolutionary art, a cover to facilitate my contact as he would never be able to issue a visa to a journalist. As I said, it was a hypocritical game, my passport and a Chinese visa within it evidence that I was head of a Slovenian news organization in Beijing. They never noticed.

I remember the excitement preparing for the trip. It was similar to when I was a small kid and my father and older brother were making preparations to climb the highest mountain in Slovenia. That summer our house was full of expectations, of clothes and equipment I never saw before. Going to North Korea was the opposite. Before I got to the airport, I dropped my cell phone and address book; I took only a limited amount of money, no books, just empty notebooks, and pencils, while I went carefully through my clothes, respecting the instructions from my Chinese friend about what to wear and what to say.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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