ROK and Inter-Korean relations
Korea Peace Economics
pdf booklet from ROK Ministry of Unifications [contains photos]
'Koreas Had Sought Summit Before 2000'
By Seo Dong-shin
The first round of inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang in June 2000 engraved a lingering picture on most Koreans' memory, namely that of emotional handshaking between then President Kim Dae-jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
But former President Chun Doo-hwan, who seized power through a military coup in 1979, and the North's founding father Kim Il-sung might have been able to replace the two Kims in the picture, if only the efforts to stage the first-ever summit had not turned sour 15 years earlier.
According to Park, the frosty inter-Korean relations in the Cold War era seemed to warm up when the North suggested aid to the flood-stricken South in 1984. Chun put forward the summit idea in January 1985, and officials of the two Koreas began their secret contacts in Bandung, Indonesia, in April that year.
``There were criticisms that we had more to lose than to gain (from the summit), and the United States also signaled concern,'' said Park, a former three-term lawmaker.
In addition, Donald Gregg, former U.S. ambassador to South Korea who played an active role in stopping Team Spirit, a joint military exercise between South Korea and the United States, helped to induce an agreement on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Lim said.
S-N Phone Link Resumes After 6 Decades
By Kim Tae-gyu
Information-Communication Minister Chin Dae-je, center, places a call to a guard at Dokdo, South Korea's easternmost islets, during a ceremony to celebrate the resumption of private inter-Korean telephone services between the South and an industrial park at Kaesong, North Korea, Wednesday.
South and North Korea Wednesday reopened private telephone services for the first time in the six decades since the cross-border phone link-up was cut in 1945, just after the nation's liberation from Japan.
KT, the South's top fixed-line telecom operator, will take charge of operating the 300 lines linking the South to the Kaesong Industrial Complex located north of the heavily-fortified Demilitarized Zone, a four-kilometer-wide buffer separating the South from North.
About 400 politicians and businessmen of the two Koreas took part in the ceremony in Kaesong to celebrate the historic but overdue connection. The southern delegation included Information-Communication Minister Chin Dae-je and KT president Nam Joong-soo.
``Following telephone and facsimile links, we need to talk with the North about expanding info-tech cooperation in such areas as postal service and high-speed Internet,'' Chin said in a congratulatory message.
Nonetheless, the road to the private telephone link-up has not been easy.
The two Koreas reached a basic agreement to connect Seoul and the Kaesong industrial park in 2002 but they have disagreed about the price of the services.
After several negotiations, Pyongyang finally agreed in March to allow the services at 40 cents, approximately one sixth of the previous 2.3 dollars enabled through lines in Japan. KT planned to complete the inter-Korean connection in May.
However, an unexpected barrier emerged as the United States bans shipments of merchandise using more than 10 percent of U.S. parts or technologies to North Korea and other nations designated as hostile.
The policy prevented KT from transporting necessary telecom equipment to Kaesong until the U.S. gave a green light to the shipment last month.
Demilitarization Top Priority in 2006: Chung
By Seo Dong-shin
Unification Minister Chung Dong-young said Tuesday that South and North Korea should focus on military talks next year to build more trust and possibly to scrap guard posts in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
Calling the current military confrontation over the DMZ ``abnormal,'' Chung said that the two Koreas should be able to confirm that each has no intention to invade the other by starting to take confidence-building measures in the military field.[In denial] [Sovereignty]
Court to Review Past Execution Ruling on Dissidents
By Chung Ah-young
A court Tuesday decided to review the controversial execution ruling against eight dissidents under the iron-fisted rule of late President Park Chung-hee due to its unreliable investigation records.
The court's review is expected to shed light on the case after 30 years by investigating suspicions that the Park government conspired in the ruling that had the eight dissidents executed in 1975.
The Seoul Central District Court said it has decided to review the case as police and intelligence agents were believed to have severely tortured the accused during their investigation at that time.
[Human rights] [Park Chung-hee]
Debate Rekindled Over Military Objectors
By Kim Tong-hyung
The nation's human rights panel's opinion that an individual has the right to refuse compulsory military service is re-igniting debate on conscientious objection.
Concluding its four years of inner discussions, the National Human Rights Commission Monday officially recommended the government recognize conscientious objector status.
Suspension of a professor
[EDITORIAL] Dongguk University has suspended Prof. Kang Jeong-koo, a sociology professor who was charged with pro-North Korean activities in connection with his assertion that the Korean War was Kim Il-sung's campaign for reunification. Kang is reported to be complaining that university authorities have joined his accusers rather than acting as his advocates although he is now fighting for freedom of expression, an integral part of academic freedom.
Public attention to Kang's case peaked in October when Justice Minister Chun Jung-bae intervened with a directive to then Prosecutor General Kim Jong-bin not to detain Kang in an unprecedented move to control the prosecution which led to Kim's resignation in protest amidst prosecution-wide complaints about threats to its independence and political neutrality.
Kang had been indicted earlier in 2001 shortly after his visit to Pyongyang where he participated in a pro-unification rally. He wrote a commemorative message in the visitors' book at Mangyeongdae, the birth place of Kim Il-sung, and the authorities here found it subversive as it read: "Let's achieve the great task of national unification by inheriting the spirit of Mangyeongdae."
During his trial, Kang insisted it is his historical belief that the U.S. intervention in the Korean War foiled Kim Il-sung's campaign to reunite the divided country and caused the death of millions while the war could have been concluded in a month with much fewer casualties if the Americans had not come.
Minister Chun and the many liberal advocates see Kang's case as a matter of freedom of expression and academic study but the majority of Dongguk faculty members believe otherwise. The Kang controversy illustrates the ideological spectrum in our society in the middle of the 21st century and offers a measure of the depth of tolerance here six decades after the division of the country.
Yet, unfortunately, people are trying to make their own judgments on the basis of only a few items of evidence, including his message on the visitors' book and an internet article. And we find his suspension somewhat premature although we can understand the university's intention to keep the professor away from students. We also are interested in knowing whether the professor is a man of conscience, or he is simply a pro-Pyongyang propagandist. But we had better await the verdict the bench at the Seoul Central District Court will deliver at the end of the trial after a more extensive scrutiny of his academic work.
[Human rights][Double standards]
Defecting is easy...English is hard.
December 28, 2005 ? In a scene played out endlessly across Seoul, two students at a hagwon, or institute, try to get to grips with the basics of greeting someone in English. As the first hour draws to a close, the students haltingly recount what they have learned so far.
"What's your name?" asks one to the other.
"My name is Cassandra," the woman replies. "Where are you from?"
So far, so very normal. But then the kicker: "I'm from North Korea. Where are you from?"
"I'm from North Korea," Cassandra says.
In fact, all the students at Jayoutuh School ? jayoutuh means "free area" ? hail from north of the Demilitarized Zone. Situated in southern Seoul, the school has been offering free English and Chinese lessons to defectors since February 2003.
To look at its gleaming white walls and its bright, clean interior, one might get the impression that the school has no problems with funding. But Cho Myung-sook, the school's founder and principal, says that because the government tends to channel funds toward its own schools, Jayoutoh has to rely on donations from churches, individuals and a dollop from corporations.
Although Christian in orientation, the school administration says it does not force religion on anyone, and that some non-Christians attend.
Korea Faces Image Problems Overseas
By Reuben Staines
In January, stem cell researcher Hwang Woo-suk received top honors from the Corea Image Communication Institute for his efforts in enhancing South Korea's international profile. Less than a year later, his scientific reputation in tatters, Hwang is facing a torrent of criticism for tarnishing the country's image in the eyes of the world.
This, experts say, has been the story of 2005: a year of lost opportunities for South Korea to showcase its talents on the international stage.
In the assessment of a visiting European diplomat, the Hwang scandal _ coupled with violent protests by South Koreans on the sidelines of the World Trade Organization (WTO) talks in Hong Kong _ undercut all of the country's other numerous achievements this year.
Despite the successful hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November, the year 2005 appeared to be a case of one step forward, two steps back, he said, requesting anonymity.
Critics have cited the fabrication of results by Hwang's team as a symptom of South Korea's hurried work culture and lack of checks and balances.
Dennis Florig, professor at Hankook University of Foreign Studies, believed the Hwang scandal will do the most damage in the international scientific and academic community, where he said South Korea already has a poor reputation.
``Koreans have a reputation among Western academics as being diligent but lacking in originality and creativity,'' he said. ``Hwang's apparent achievements overcame this stereotype because they appeared bold and original. But now that is undone.'
Florig believed the protests by South Korean farmers in Hong Kong will hurt the country's image among conservatives, though farmers and those opposed to the WTO's free trade agenda would applaud them.
He saw South Korea's blunt diplomacy in approaching territorial disputes with neighboring Japan and China as having a more damaging effect on its image. ``Ridiculous posturing over worthless rocky islets obscures more serious issues of interpretations of colonial history with Japan,'' he said, referring to the diplomatic clash over the Tokdo islets.
University to Suspend Prof. Kang
By Kim Tong-hyung
Dongguk University has decided to suspend sociology professor Kang Jeong-koo Monday, saying he abused his position at the school with his controversial remarks that some claim are pro-North Korean.
The 60-year-old Kang is currently awaiting a court trial after he posted an article on the Internet earlier this year, which defended the North Korean invasion of the South during the 1950-53 Korean War as a `` campaign for reunification.''
The prosecution indicted Kang last month for the violation of the National Security Law.
[Human rights] [Double standards]
Pyongyang's Rhetoric as Virulent as Ever
By Seo Dong-shin
Amid dimming prospects for the resumption of the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear programs, Pyongyang has stepped up criticism against South Korea as well as the United States.
In an unusual move, the North criticized Ban Ki-moon, minister of foreign affairs and trade, Sunday for the remarks he made in a briefing last week.
Minister Ban told a press briefing last Wednesday that North Korea's recent announcement of the intention to intensify peaceful nuclear activities was ``not in line with the spirit of the Sept. 19 joint statement.''
Ban also said that if the U.S. allegations of North Korea being involved in counterfeiting is true, that is certainly an illegal activity and should be stopped immediately.
``The remarks incited anger among all Korean people'' as they were definitely pro-U.S., anti-North Korea remarks that publicly followed Washington's hostile policy against Pyongyang, a statement released through the North's Korean Central News Agency said.
The ``reckless remarks'' of the South Korean government official in charge of foreign affairs ``did not contain a word about the U.S. the criminal state that tramps down on other countries' sovereignty'' and instead slandered the same Korean people, the statement said.
[Media] [Friction] [Vituperation] [Evidence] [Collusion]
Controversy Over Professor's Pro-NK Remarks
Kang Jeong-koo, sociology professor at Dongguk University, stirred controversy when he described the 1950-53 Korean War as part of North Korea's attempt to unify the divided nation in an Internet article posted in July. Conservatives accused him of making pro-North Korean remarks, calling for him to be punished for what they describe as a violation of the National Security Law. However, progressives defended Kang, citing freedom of expression. In October, then- Prosecutor General Kim Jong-bin resigned in defiance of Justice Minister Chun Jung-bae who instructed the prosecutors not to detain the 60-year-old professor during their investigation of him.
[human rights][double standards]
Korea's Brave New World
By Mike Weisbart
Korea Times Columnist
In some ways, it just doesn't matter what new details emerge from the Hwang Woo-suk debacle. Sure, everyone wants _ and deserves _ to know the full truth about what happened and how. But as the media slavers breathlessly, waiting on every twist and turn to bring you the latest developments, I think it's time for some sober reflection from a different perspective.
The easiest, most accessible analysis, and the one that most foreigners who know a bit about Korea are pointing out en masse, is that Koreans' penchant for doing things fast has finally caught up and bit them in their backside.
S. Koreans Back Disgraced Scientist
By Joohee Cho
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, December 25, 2005; A04
SEOUL, Dec. 24 -- In a candlelight prayer vigil on Christmas Eve, South Korean advocates of the country's dishonored stem cell scientist, Hwang Woo Suk, gathered to show support, saying research into custom-designed human embryonic stem cells must continue.
Thousands of Hwang's supporters, some wearing Santa Claus outfits and "I Love Hwang Woo Suk" ribbons, stickers and masks, walked slowly behind Buddhist monks performing the traditional three-steps and one-bow march to express repentance.
"We want a comprehensible explanation of what really happened," said Lee Jong Jin, 42, who came with his family. "I just can't believe it as it is."
Hwang's 2005 Paper Fabricated
9 Out of 11 Stem Cells Confirmed to Be Nonexistent
By Kim Tae-gyu
South Korea's cloning scientist Hwang woo-suk fabricated data for his 2005 paper on tailor-made stem cells in the U.S. journal Science in May, an investigation panel said on Friday.
Making an announcement of its initial probe, the panel organized by Seoul National University (SNU) said Hwang faked results of at least nine of 11 stem cell lines he claimed to have created and called Hwang's deliberate deception an act that ``damages the foundation of science.''
Culture Contents Exports to Top $1 Bil.
Korean Wave Powering Big Jump in Outbound Amount for 3 Consecutive Years
By Choi Kyong-ae
South Korea's exports of cultural contents will exceed $1 billion this year on the back of ``hallyu'' or the Korean wave, the Korea Culture & Contents Agency (KOCCA) said Thursday. The figure represents another hefty jump in the contents' exports for three years in a row.
The exports of cultural contents such as movies, music, games and soap operas stood at $800 million last year, up 31 percent from a year earlier.
Every year for three years from 2000 to 2002, Korean cultural contents exports hovered at around $500 million but began to pick up in 2003, when cultural contents exports rose to $610 million. [Hallyu]
Prosecution will indict Kang without detention
December 23, 2005 ? Prosecutors yesterday announced they will indict without detention controversial professor Kang Jeong-koo on charges of violating the National Security Law, after he sparked a furor with his outspokenly pro-North Korean remarks.
Mr. Kang, a Dongguk University professor of sociology, kindled the controversy by writing a column for an Internet media outlet last July, where he defined the Korean War as the "North Korean leadership's effort for unification."
Mr. Kang also described U.S. General Douglas MacArthur, generally acknowledged a hero of the Korean War, as "the slaughterer of civilians," and followed up with continued pro-North Korean, anti-American remarks.
[Human rights] [National Security Law]
Group says Korea tops in political freedoms
December 23, 2005 ? A U.S. human rights group said in its annual report that South Korea has one of the highest levels of political freedom as well as overall freedom - of movement, jobs, and so on, in the world.
By contrast, the report released by Freedom House dubbed North Korea's political freedom and the freedom of individual citizens as the lowest in the world.
Warm feelings increase for North Korea
December 23, 2005 ? South Koreans' attitudes toward their compatriots in the North have changed significantly over the past three years, recent polling data suggest. In a survey this year that was also conducted in 2003 and 2004, it appears that South Koreans are more willing to think about the North as a partner in cooperation and less as a nation depending on foreign aid for its survival.
The JoongAng Ilbo and the Survey Research Center at Sung-kyunkwan University have polled 1,000 people annually since 2003.
[SK attitude NK]
Ex-Presidents to Be Stripped of State Decorations
By Seo Dong-shin
State decorations awarded to former Presidents Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo some 20 years ago will likely be cancelled as early as next month, government officials said Wednesday.
The move comes as a result of months of push from the ruling camp to annul the state decorations given to people who were found guilty of organizing a coup d'etat in 1979 and those who participated in the government's bloody suppression of the democratic movement in Kwangju in 1980.
Navy successfully tests ship-to-ship missile
The Navy successfully completed test-firing of the first domestically-made ship-to-ship guided missile on Tuesday, the Defense Ministry said yesterday. The 150-km-range missile was developed in 2003 by a domestic defense institution called the Agency for Defense Development.
Brig. Gen. An Jung-hun, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry, said the ministry and Navy together conducted the final test-firing of the indigenous missile on the East Sea before the military begins mass-production of the weapon in 2006.
During the test firing, the military also successfully tested the capabilities of the missile's domestically designed surveillance equipment.
"The military confirmed that the missile's surveillance equipment 'seeker' also successfully operated during the test-firing," An said. "Domestic seekers will replace exported ones."
When the missile was first developed in 2003, its surveillance equipment was supplied by foreign partner firms. Korea succeeded in developing the equipment this year.
The government has invested 100 billion won (about $98 million) in developing the missile since the development project was launched in 1996.
"We are expected to see as much as 900 billion won (about $870 million) of profits by substituting the imports with the domestic mass production," the spokesman said.
The missiles are scheduled to be onboard the Korean Navy's 4,000-ton vessels and 7,000-ton Aegis destroyers for marine operations by 2010.
The navy plans to invest more than 3 trillion won to build three Aegis ships by 2012.
By Jin Dae-woong
Ex-President Kim Seeks to Visit NK
By Lee Jin-woo
Former President Kim Dae-jung has expressed his willingness to visit North Korea again as long as his health permits him to go on the trip, reports said.
In a recent interview with Monthly JoongAng magazine, Kim, 79, said, ``I'd like to visit North Korea again if my doctors say I'm healthy enough to go. I've been repeatedly invited by the North's leadership to visit Pyongyang. Besides, President Roh Moo-hyun has also suggested I take a trip to the North.''
Year of 2005 Symbolized by Discord
By Kim Rahn
A four-letter Chinese phrase meaning ``estrangement and discord'' was selected to sum up widening conflicts of Korean society this year.
About 38 percent of 200 professors of the nation has selected ``sanghwahataek (????),'' which literally means ``fire above and pond below,'' as the phrase of the year, according to the Professors' Times on Monday.
The surveyed professors said they chose the words symbolizing incompatibility and conflict among people, because people have been sharply divided over controversial issues and are confronting with each other in ongoing disputes.
Ideological disputes, which have continued since the nation gained independence from Japan in 1945, emerged again following a professor's alleged pro-North Korean remarks about the Korean War.
The nation's conservative groups attacked Dongguk University professor Kang Jeong-koo for being leftist, restricting his freedom of expression, the Professors' Times pointed out.
The ideological polarization was also seen in the controversy over whether or not to destroy the statue of Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Inchon.
Ex-US Envoy Faces Disgrace
Former Korean Ambassador to Washington Hong Seok-hyun experienced both glory and disgrace this year, which will be remembered as turbulent days for the once U.N. Secretary-General aspirant.
In April, just two months after the official start of his duty, Ambassador Hong had to make an apology for an illicit accumulation of wealth.
He admitted that his late father had falsely registered his residency to buy farmland in the late 1970s. Hong topped the list of the nation's public servants with properties valued at 73 billion won ($71 million).
In July, the former top diplomat faced a far more serious crisis when the wiretapping scandal first erupted.
Most S. Koreans Prefer Phased Unification
SEOUL (Yonhap) -- More than six out of every 10 South Koreans prefer a gradual reunification of North and South Korea rather than one resulting from a sudden collapse of the communist state, a survey showed Tuesday.
According to the poll of 1,000 people nationwide by local research group Metrix, 64.2 percent said they would rather see a gradual unification of the Koreas, up from 53.4 percent last year.
Only 11.7 percent of the respondents said the two Koreas must be reunified immediately, while 18.9 percent preferred a divided peninsula.
The opinion poll was conducted on Dec. 6-7 at the request of a presidential advisory council on the democratic and peaceful unification of the Koreas.
The survey showed public attitudes toward the country's economic assistance for North Korea have improved over the year.
Human Rights Commission Seeks to Abolish Death Penalty, Security Law
By Kim Cheong-won
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is expected to make recommendations for the national action plan (NAP) on human rights which contain controversial issues such as abolishing the death penalty and the National Security Law.
'Chun Doo-hwan Ordered Draft for Student Activists'
By Jung Sung-ki
Former President Chun Doo-hwan directed the forceful conscription of student activists to eliminate underground democratic movements in the early 1980s, a government panel said Monday.
The fact-finding committee of the Defense Ministry made public an interim report on its investigation of two suspicious cases allegedly committed by the military during previous authoritarian governments.
South, North Films Offered at Moscow Fest
A film festival highlighting the cinematic works of South and North Korea is being held in Moscow, Russia as part of celebration of the 60th anniversary of Korea's independence from Japanese rule.
Organized by the Kyore Ilbo, a Moscow-based Korean- language newspaper, it is taking place at Moscow's Salute Hotel and will show "Soldiers of Heaven" and "Fighter in the Wind"' from the South and North Korean pieces like "Kkotpinun Chonyo" and "Hong Kildong."
The festival was launched Dec. 19 and will run until Dec. 21.
Kim Dae-jung to visit North
Private trip will include a meeting with Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang
December 20, 2005 ? Former President Kim Dae-jung said he would meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-il for a second time in the near future. He said the governments of both Koreas had agreed to his trip, but that he would travel there in a private capacity, not as an envoy of the Roh administration.
Mr. Kim told the Monthly Joong-Ang in an interview Thursday that he had five issues to discuss with Kim Jong-il. They include converting the six-nation nuclear talks in Beijing into a permanent forum, dealing with hard-line U.S. rhetoric and coping with international condemnation of North Korea for its human rights abuses.
He said he also wanted to discuss what he called Japan's drift to the political right and ways of hastening the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula.
The visit, at an unspecified time, would be Mr. Kim's second encounter with Kim Jong-il, whom he met in June 2000 for the first meeting of the two nations' heads of government. "Pyongyang has requested a visit several times, and President Roh Moo-hyun officially asked me to make the visit," he said.
"The variable to determine the date is my health condition," Mr. Kim added. The former president, 79, was hospitalized twice earlier this year for pneumonia and has suffered chronic kidney problems. He appeared hopeful, though, of traveling soon, saying his health has improved greatly as of late.
The deputy head of Seoul's National Security Council, Lee Jong-seok, confirmed Mr. Kim's visit and promised full cooperation.
Asked about the recent verbal barrage from Washington aimed at the North, Mr. Kim said, "Although they use strong rhetoric, I don't think they don't have the strength to carry out the military operations that the neo-conservatives insist upon." He added, "South Korea cooperates with the United States for peace. If war is the premise, everything must change." He also called U.S.-South Korean relations "rough," but said they were in a transitional stage.
He said he did not believe that recent U.S. financial sanctions or criticism about human rights in the North were the harbinger of the end of the six-way nuclear weapons negotiations.
He repeated an anecdote that he has mentioned before, saying Kim Jong-il told him in 2000 that there was a role for the United States on the Korean Peninsula to balance Russian, Chinese and Japanese influence.
Reaching Over Korea's Divide, a Helping Hand Holds a Bible
By NORIMITSU ONISHI
Published: December 19, 2005
SEOUL, South Korea - In from the freezing cold on a recent Sunday morning, sitting on the heated floor of a cozy apartment in northeast Seoul, the North Korean defector seldom looked up at the South Korean missionary who had been trying, for the last year, to convert him to the Christian faith.
The North Korean mechanically checked the messages on his Samsung cellphone and restrained his two daughters from using hymn sheets as telescopes to peer at the half-dozen North Koreans in the home church.
When the South Korean started strumming his guitar and led his congregation in a hymn, the North Korean's lips barely moved, even as a young man next to him raised his hands, palms up, and intoned, "Can't replace the Lord with anything!"
After the service, the North Korean said, "Even when I pray, I'm not sure it comes naturally."
North Chides South for Dirtying Korean Tongue
By Seo Dong-shin
When Kwon Ho-ung, senior North Korean Cabinet Councilor, was visiting Cheju Island as head of Pyongyang's delegation to the inter-Korean Cabinet talks last week, he expressed discomfort at the signboards on shops around the southern resort island.
``What is this English abbreviation, CJ? Why did you name it in English?'' were Kwon's first words when he and other members of the communist country's delegation arrived at a golf club named ``CJ Nine Bridges'' at Mt. Halla for lunch Thursday.
Kwon's Southern counterpart, Unification Minister Chung Dong-young, tried to explain: ``It's to do business with foreigners. It makes it easier for foreign guests and tourists in this era of globalization.''
But Kwon was not satisfied. ``I wasn't feeling sure that we were in our own country at all, seeing all these English signboards on restaurants along the way,'' he said. ``Why don't you put a signboard for foreigners and another one for our own people as well?''
N. Korean Ship Takes Shelter at Cheju Island
Cheju (Yonhap) _ A North Korean oil tanker has been allowed to take shelter at this southern resort island, according to the local coast guard Saturday.
The 1,998-ton ship made the request to South Korea's Unification Ministry because of high waves after it departed from North Korea's northeastern Wonsan Port on Thursday.
The tanker, which anchored at an islet port north of Cheju, is to leave for Wonsan as soon as conditions permit, according to the authorities.
This is the first time that a North Korean ship has taken shelter in South Korea after obtaining permission from the authorities since the two Koreas agreed to open the waters for North Korean civilian vessels at inter-Korean talks on maritime cooperation in August.
North Korean Defector Goes Her Own Way
By Seo Dong-shin
For Choi Jin-i, a North Korean defector who has been living in the South since 1999, the international human rights conference held two weeks ago in Seoul was not very impressive. ``It was the same old tune,'' she said. ``There was nothing new in the arguments said there.''
In an interview with The Korea Times at her home in western Seoul, the 46-year-old poet and writer added that she also felt very sorry to observe a scuffle between a few protesters against the conference who were holding pickets outside the venue and some North Korean defectors and conservative South Koreans who jumped at the protesters. ``I felt they were just intent on making a scene, perhaps to draw more attention,'' she said.
But she just doesn't feel right about ``big Western countries'' getting together to press North Korea and causing emotions to escalate with no apparent practical gains. ``I think the problem could be better tackled if cooperation were established just among Asian nations,'' she suggested.
Choi cuts her own path in North Korean defectors' society in the South, which has seen more than 1,000 new faces for four consecutive years now.
For one thing, she does not have much respect for Hwang Jang-yop, the highest North Korean official to defect to the South and who plays a symbolic leader role among defectors here.
Choi is also critical of another prominent defector Kang Chol-hwan, author of ``the Aquariums in Pyongyang'' and now a journalist, who was invited to White House last June. ``I think Bush is using Kang for his propaganda,'' Choi said.
Divided Koreas Seek Quick Nuke Agreement
By BO-MI LIM
The Associated Press
Friday, December 16, 2005; 5:56 AM
JEJU, South Korea -- North Korea on Friday signaled its willingness to quickly implement an agreement to abandon its nuclear programs but refused to directly commit to more six-nation nuclear negotiations during high-level talks with South Korea.
At talks in September, the North agreed to abandon its nuclear programs in exchange for security guarantees and aid, but no progress has been made on carrying out the accord. North Korea has threatened to boycott further negotiations until the United States lifts financial sanctions against it for alleged money laundering and counterfeiting.
In the statement Friday, however, the two Koreas said the September agreement "has be to implemented soon ... for a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue in accordance to common security and benefits of the people."
However, South Korea failed to secure a firm commitment from the North to rejoin the six-nation talks, which also include Japan, Russia and China.
In October, Washington sanctioned eight North Korean companies it said acted as fronts for proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The North denies the allegations.
U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Alexander Vershbow labeled the North a "criminal regime" in remarks last week, saying it was the first government to take part in counterfeiting since Adolf Hitler's Germany. The North said the remarks were tantamount to a declaration of war and called for Vershbow's expulsion.
Unification Minister Chung Dong-young, head of the South Korean delegation to the inter-Korean talks, travels Sunday to Washington where he is expected to relay the North's position and try to bring both sides back to the negotiating table.
The two Koreas also agreed Friday to increase economic cooperation and conduct more reunions of Koreans divided by their heavily fortified border. In addition, they pledged to hold military talks next year to prevent conflicts along the border.
Washington has strongly urged the South to link its economic cooperation with the North to progress at the nuclear talks. Recently, the United States and South Korea have publicly differed over Seoul's "sunshine policy" of engagement with its neighbour
Koreas try to draw up accord
North requests removal of political, military 'barriers'
JEJU - South and North Korea have struggled to hammer out a joint press statement as they failed to respond to each other's demands yesterday during inter-Korean Cabinet-level talks on Jeju Island.
The talks opened Tuesday with the arrival of the 29-member North Korean delegation via a direct flight from Pyongyang. The North delegation is scheduled to return home this morning.
Chung Dong-young, head of the South Korean delegation, urged the North to return to nuclear disarmament talks during unofficial meetings with his North Korean counterpart Kwon Ho-ung on Wednesday night and yesterday, said Kim Chun-sig spokesman for the South's delegates.
However the North has requested to remove the political and military "barriers" between the two countries, saying the nuclear issue needs to be dealt with the United States primarily, Kim said.
But Kim said it looks like the North "still misunderstands" that the South is economically pressing the country.
The North has raised issues such as the removal of a law that bans South Korean tourists or delegates from visiting certain places in the North, such as the birthplace of the state's late founder Kim Il-sung.
But Kim said it is unlikely that the South will have a response to that demand during the talks because it is a very sensitive issue that requires time to reach agreement on.
Pyongyang also requested an end to the joint South Korea-U.S. military drills.
[Sovereignty] [joint US military] [Sanctions]
Koreas to Hold Red Cross Talks in March
By Seo Dong-shin
CHEJU ISLAND _ South and North Korea have agreed to hold Red Cross talks and reunion sessions for separated families at Mt. Kumgang in the North next March, South Korean officials said Thursday.
In ministerial talks here, the two sides engaged in last-minute efforts to issue a joint press statement on bilateral issues as well as the six-party talks on the North's nuclear programs.
The South's words to persuade North Korea to return to the nuclear talks at an early date fell on deaf ears, as the Northern delegates avoided even discussing the issue at the inter-Korean Cabinet talks.
``It's a well-known fact that North Korea regards the nuclear issue as one to be resolved with the United States,'' Kim Chun-sig, the South's spokesman for the Cabinet talks, said in a briefing.
But the North listened to the South's position without making arguments, and the South expects Pyongyang to get the message, Kim said.
North Korea called on the South to ``tear down three kinds of barriers'' _ political, military and economic _ to upgrade bilateral relations.
N.K. urged to return to nuke talks
Pyongyang delegation gives no immediate response
By Annie I. Bang
JEJU - South Korea yesterday urged North Korea to return to nuclear disarmament talks and stressed that it is the most effective way to improve inter-Korean relationships during the first full-day of inter-Korean ministerial talks on the southern resort island of Jeju.
The remark was made by South Korean Unification Minister Chung Dong-young during his speech at the general meeting of the 17th ministerial talks.
Impasse in Six-Party Talks Draws Concern
The new round of inter-Korean ministerial talks, which opened on Cheju-do on Tuesday for four days, arouses concern as to whether it can contribute to resuming the six-party negotiations over North Korea's nuclear programs. Even though it is aimed at expanding inter- Korean exchanges, the government also intends to make use of the meeting to break through the current impasse in the six-party talks caused by a verbal war between Pyongyang and Washington
Park Government Behind Execution Ruling: Committee
By Kim Tong-hyung
A state-run committee said Tuesday it found solid evidence to back suspicions that the former Park Chung-hee government conspired in a court ruling that had eight dissident activists executed in 1975.
In the latest revelation of political oppression under former President Park, a truth committee looking over the ``Minchonghangnyon'' incident of the 1970s said it found official documents showing that the government had issued orders to execute the activists hours before the Supreme Court announced its verdict.
NK Writer Sues for Copyright Breach
By Kim Rahn
A North Korean writer has filed a lawsuit against a South Korean publisher, demanding 150 million won in compensation for violating the copyright of his novel.
Hong Sok-jung, 64, a famous North Korean writer and the grandson of Hong Myong-hee, one of the greatest modern-time novelists who defected to the North in 1948, filed the copyright infringement suit concerning his novel ``Hwang Chin-i'' through a South Korean law firm.
There have been cases before of South Korean descendants of writers who left to North Korea filing lawsuits with courts in the South over copyrights of their ancestors' works. But this is the first time that a writer living in the North directly filed a suit in South Korea.
Groups Urge Return of Remains of Ex-NK Spies
SEOUL (Yonhap) _ A group of religious organizations here urged their government on Monday to send the ashes of former North Korean spies to their ideological home, North Korea, following the vandalism of their graves by right-wing activists.
The activists broke the grave monuments of the former spies with axes and threw red paint on them a week ago to protest their past collaboration with North Korea.
A coalition of 13 Buddhist, Christian and Confucian organizations expressed their regret over the violence.
``There is no reason to delay the repatriation of the ashes of the `prisoners of conscience' who have no place to be laid in our country,'' they said in a joint statement.
The third video reunion for separated families to be conducted
The South and North Korean Red Cross are planning to conduct the third video reunion for separated family members from December 8 to 9.
A total of 585 people from 80 South and North Korean families are scheduled to participate in this round of reunion. 162 South Korean participants from 40 families are expected to meet their 104 North Korean family members while 133 North Koreans from 40 families meet their 186 South Korean family members.
In preparation for this video reunion, test-runs of operations of video terminals are underway and picture files of participants were exchanged in a jpg format through the exclusive optic cables between the two Koreas.
Inter-Korean ministerial talks open on Jeju Island
Four-day meeting to focus on giving North 'impetus' to return to negotiation table on disarmament
By Annie I. Bang
The two Koreas will begin ministerial talks on Jeju Island today to discuss pending issues amidst dimming prospects for the resumption of the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear standoff.
The four-day dialogue will focus on giving the North an "impetus" to return to the negotiation table to be also attended by the United States, China, Japan and Russia, following North Korea's repeated threats to hold off the nuclear negotiations due to hostilities from the United States.
English-Only Zones Booming at Universities
By Chung Ah-young
A Korean college student wakes up in the
morning, beginning his day by speaking English
to say hello to his roommates in a student
resident hall on a local campus.
He watches English-speaking world news and reads
English language newspapers as part of his daily
routine at the school dormitory.
Speaking only English at the campus is no longer
strange for Korean university students as more
and more universities are turning their campuses
into English only speaking zones to expose their
students to English-friendly speaking
If anyone violates the rule for speaking only
English in a certain zone, he or she will
receive penalties and lose points.
Sogang University will operate its dormitory as
an English-speaking zone over the two floors
starting next semester.
1,200 N. Koreans Defect to South in 1st 11 Months
SEOUL (Yonhap) _ More than 1,200 North Koreans defected to South Korea in the
first 11 months of the year to flee the poverty-stricken communist country, the
Unification Ministry said Saturday.
The number of North Korean defectors to the South amounted to 1,217 in the
January-November period, according to the ministry. This is the fourth straight
year to see over 1,000 of the defectors flood into the country.
The number rose from 583 in 2001 to 1,139 in 2002 and 1,281 in 2003, according
to the ministry.
However, the figure is unlikely to match last year's 1,894, the ministry said.
Broadcaster starts service for North
December 10, 2005 ? A radio station which will
broadcast outside news to citizens of North
Korea started up Wednesday. The station, "Open
North Korea Broadcasting," does not produce its
own programs, but airs content provided by
"There has been a stereotype that broadcasts
targeting a North Korean audience must criticize
the North Korean regime," said Ha Tae-gyeong,
secretary-general of the station. "But this is
an open radio station. We are willing to air
programs presenting positive views about the
North Korean regime."
The first broadcast was made for an hour
starting at midnight and featured reports on an
international conference in Seoul on North
Korean human rights.
The radio station began preparations last fall
and the first trial program was aired in March
this year. The final testing for operations were
finished at the end of last month. The
broadcaster said it had contacted some
supporters inside North Korea to check the
quality of reception.
The station has its headquarters in Washington,
D.C. because South Korean laws governing
broadcasting transmissions are extremely strict.
DJ Wants Pragmatic Approach
By Lee Jin-woo
Former President Kim Dae-jung has stressed human
rights conditions in North Korea could be
improved through economic cooperation and
cultural exchanges on a gradual basis, warning
that any forcible and arbitrary outside move to
change the human rights situation in the North
would not be successful.
In a ceremony marking the fifth anniversary of
Kim's winning the Nobel Peace Prize Thursday
night at the W Seoul-Walkerhill Hotel,
northeastern Seoul, he made the three points in
helping the Communist country change human
rights for the better.
Firstly, he said history showed that any attempt
to force communist countries to improve harsh
human rights conditions had not been successful.
The 2000 Nobel Peace Laureate said it was not
strict sanctions, but economic and cultural
exchanges that led to the opening of the
communist countries including the Soviet Union,
China and Vietnam and the amelioration of their
Bill Makes Aid to NK Easier
By Lee Jin-woo
A bill, which aims to pave the way for providing a legal basis for the South
Korean government's aid to the communist North, was passed at the National
Assembly's plenary session Thursday.
``A new era will soon start with the inter-Korean cooperation act, ending the
previous era of the anti-communist National Security Law,'' said South Korean
Unification Minister Chung Dong-young. ``The bill, which is based on national
consensus, is expected to put an end to time-consuming ideological disputes
over the government's aid programs to the North.''
Peace in Crisis - What Is to Be Done?
The following is the full text of a speech given by former President Kim
Dae-jung in commemoration of receiving the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize at the W
Seoul-Walkerhill Hotel Thursday. _ ED.
[Friction] [Kim Dae-jung]
Korea's Concrete Wall
Greetings from the Korean Committee for Solidarity with the World People
As you know well, the "security walls" built by Israel have already been branded as illegal by a decision of the international Court ct Justice and a resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations. The international Community is strongly opposed to the erection of the walls because they seriously disturb peace and stability on the west shore of the Jordan.
Originally, walls are a structure to separate or close up a certain area or people. They are far cry from peace and stability.
There is something the world should be aware of Concrete walls with winch Israel's "security wails" cannot stand comparison have already existed on the earth for a long time. They run along the southern edge of the Military Demarcation Line, which cuts across the small of the Korean peninsula for 240 kilometres.
No Red Carpet for NK Rights Envoy
By Park Song-wu
An international conference on North Korea's human rights finished its three-day schedule Saturday with a candle-light rally in Seoul.
One of the high-profile visitors to Seoul was Jay Lefkowitz, who was appointed by Washington early this year as a special envoy to take a look at Pyongyang's humanitarian abuses.
The American envoy might have concluded that his mission to Seoul was successful as his call for human rights improvements in North Korea has been widely publicized.
But he was not given the red carpet treatment at government offices in Seoul.
Lefkowitz reportedly requested a meeting with Unification Minister Chung Dong-young on Thursday. But Chung dodged it, saying that he is ``not in the same league,'' a source in the government said.
U.S. aide asks Seoul to press rights in North
Uri Party officials react angrily to comments
urging more active role
December 10, 2005 ? A visiting U.S. envoy
yesterday made a blunt call to the South Korean
government to stop shirking its duty to
challenge the North Korean regime's human rights
abuses. He noted repeatedly that Washington and
Seoul have differences in their tactical
approaches to promoting human rights in the
reclusive communist state.
Jay Lefkowitz, the U.S. envoy for human rights
in North Korea, said the international community
has been working on a series of approaches to
improve the rights situation in North Korea. At
a hastily called news conference yesterday
afternoon, he urged Seoul "to participate and be
a little more vocal." He added, "There is never
an inappropriate time to talk about human
Referring to the recently adopted UN resolution
condemning the North Korean regime's rights
abuses, Mr. Lefkowitz said it was time for Seoul
to stop dithering. "In the future, South Korea
can join," he said. The United Nations General
Assembly adopted the resolution last month, but
South Korea abstained, as it has consistently on
Asked why the United States has canceled its
promised 250,000 tons of food assistance to
North Korea for this year despite the continuing
famine in the North, Mr. Lefkowitz cited
suspicions of misuse of the contributions. "The
United States does not play politics with
humanitarian aid," he said, adding that reports
about food aid diverted to feed military or
exported for hard currency had prompted
Washington to make the decision.
[Friction] [Camouflage] [Aid weapon] [Diversion]
Rights activists slam silence on North's regime
But Korean officials assert bluntly that
stability is their first priority
December 09, 2005 ? At an international human
rights conference in Seoul yesterday, activists
from around the world were critical of the
reluctance of the U.S. and South Korean
governments to counter human rights abuses in
North Korea. They condemned what they called an
overriding emphasis on concluding nuclear
disarmament talks and asked Seoul and Washington
to treat human rights issues equally seriously.
But a Korean government official bluntly
rejected those demands, saying that human rights
in North Korea is not a priority for the Roh
The three-day conference opened with a speech by
Hwang Jang-yop, a former secretary of the North
Korean Workers' Party and the most senior North
Korean official ever to defect to the South.
After nearly a decade here ? he defected in 1997
? Mr. Hwang said he has become extremely
concerned about the "naive perceptions" of South
Korean youth toward the North Korean regime.
Kim Dae-jung calls for three-stage unification
December 09, 2005 ? Former President Kim Dae-
jung said yesterday that peace on the Korean
Peninsula was dependent on the United States and
North Korea negotiating a settlement regarding
Pyongyang's nuclear issues.
Mr. Kim was at a ceremony held in the W Seoul at
Walker Hill Hotel to celebrate the fifth
anniversary of him winning the Nobel Peace
Prize, where he gave a speech titled "How to
Keep Peace in a Crisis." The former president
was awarded the prize for his sunshine policy
toward North Korea and a summit with Kim Jong-il
Mr. Kim said that only after successful talks
between Washington and Pyongyang could the two
Koreas enter the first stage of unification.
Roh asks ex-president to visit North again
December 09, 2005 ? President Roh Moo-hyun asked
former President Kim Dae-jung to visit North
Korea in a brief phone conversation yesterday.
Mr. Roh called his predecessor before leaving on
a nine-day tour of Southeast Asian countries to
congratulate Mr. Kim on the fifth anniversary of
his selection as a Nobel peace prize laureate.
Mr. Kim did not commit to the trip, said Kim Man-
soo, the Blue House spokesman. The two men have
been at odds recently over revelations of
illegal wiretapping by the intelligence service
during Mr. Kim's administration.
Mr. Roh left later in the day for Kuala Lumpur
for a meeting of the Association of Southeast
Asian Nations leaders and those from South
Korea, China and Japan. Mr. Roh will also have
bilateral meetings with the presidents of
Malaysia and the Philippines and return to Seoul
on Dec. 16.
Cities start to destroy defenses against tanks
December 09, 2005 ? Defensive fortifications
built in northern Gyeonggi province to hinder
tank attacks by North Korea may become part of
history with some local governments deciding to
demolish them. The fortifications are overpass-
like structures erected in the 1970s over roads
connecting cities in the province to Seoul. In
the event of an attack, the South Korean Army
would blow up the structures to block roads to
The local government of the satellite city of
Guri, northeast of Seoul, said yesterday it
started demolishing fortifications over the road
connecting Seoul to Namyangju city, Gyeonggi
province, on Nov. 8, 34 years after their
The city government said it will spend 1.3
billion won ($1.2 million) to dismantle the
defensive wall by the end of this year and plans
to replace it with underground fortifications on
the same spot. An official said, "We hope that
removing the wall will help to ease tension
between the North and the South and build trust
between two countries."
The city of Uijeongbu also plans to demolish a
defensive structure over the road between Seoul
and Dongducheon, starting Dec. 26. It is also
discussing with the army the removal of five
"The defenses cause significant inconvenience to
citizens as they were built when roads were much
less crowded. The city will continue to take out
unnecessary walls after consulting with the
army," an official of the Uijeongbu local
[Threat] [Military balance]
Executions in 1975 were a state plot, panel says
December 08, 2005 ? Decades after eight
democracy activists were executed for allegedly
trying to overthrow the South Korean government
at North Korea's instigation, a "truth-finding"
committee at the National Intelligence Service
said yesterday that the case was fabricated by
the military regime at the time, headed by
President Park Chung Hee.
The committee concluded that the executions were
a result of trumped-up charges fabricated to
shield the Park regime from growing student
activism for democratic change. It said the
former president was directly involved in the
[National Security Law][Park Chung-hee] [Double standards]
NK Rights Issue No Longer Taboo in South
By Kim Tong-hyung
A girl walks past pictures of North Korean children displayed near Seoul City Hall in central Seoul, Sunday. South Korean civic groups will open a three-day international conference on North Korea's human rights abuses today to galvanize international pressure on the communist regime to improve its dismal rights record. /Reuters-Yonhap
The international community's repeated call for North Korea to improve human rights has intensified the struggle between conservatives and progressives in the South to find common ground on which to address the humanitarian situation across the border.
[Human rights] [Camouflage]
Kim Yong Nam Meets S. Koreans Concerned with
Pyongyang, December 2 (KCNA) -- Kim Yong Nam,
president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme
People's Assembly, met with Sin Ki Nam, chairman
of the organizing committee of the world library
information conference to be held in Seoul in
2006, and other south Koreans concerned at the
Mansudae Assembly Hall today. On hand were
The chairman asked the president to convey
regards of President Ro Mu Hyon to leader Kim
On the occasion a talk proceeded in a
Presidential Body Urges S-N Summit
The Advisory Council on Democratic and Peaceful
Unification Tuesday called for holding a second
inter-Korean summit, saying regular meetings of
this kind will help resolve the nuclear standoff
and lead to peaceful unification.
The presidential council said inter-Korean
relations have improved significantly since the
first-ever summit was held in 2000.
''To further solidify the improved South-North
relations based on these achievements, we must
work to establish regular summits between the
two sides,'' the group of some 17,000 advisors
at home and abroad said.
The statement came at an annual meeting of the
council's 500-member standing committee at the
Kim Koo Museum and Library in Seoul.
Boeing to Deliver 2nd Batch of F-15Ks to S. Korea
SEOUL (Yonhap) _ Two F-15K fighter jets were to
arrive in South Korea this week as the second
batch of 40 aircraft U.S. manufacturer Boeing
Co. is delivering to the Asian country under a
5.2 trillion won ($5 billion) deal, an official
Boeing supplied two of the jets to South Korea
in October and plans to deliver 36 more by 2008.
[military balance] [Tribute]
DJ Celebrates 5th Anniversary of Nobel Peace
By Ryu Jin
``A glorious moment once again!'' South Korea's
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kim Dae-jung greets
the meaningful fifth anniversary this week,
despite some unfavorable events at home that
dimmed the twilight of his life in recent
Kim Dae-jung Library, a private research base
for the elderly retired statesman who dedicated
most of his life to the democratization of South
Korea and its reunification with the North, says
it has been preparing for the whole week as a
``commemoration week'' with a variety of events.
Kim, 81, has devoted the last couple of weeks
without holidays in order to get better prepared
for those events, in which he is scheduled to
deliver speeches and lectures, according to his
Venue for 2nd S-N Summit Doesn't Matter: S. Korea
By Ryu Jin
South Korea on Saturday reaffirmed its earlier
position on the venue for a second inter-Korean
summit, saying it does not insist on a return
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to Seoul.
In a denial of foreign news reports that Unification Minister Chung Dong-young
requested Kim in June to make a ``reciprocal visit to Seoul'' as he had
promised five years ago, a government official said it is untrue that Chung
asked the North Korean leader to visit Seoul.
``He did talk about the summit when he met the North's leader in June,'' he
said. ``But it is not true that the minister requested him to come to Seoul. He
did not specify the South Korean capital as the venue of the second
Arrangements Completed to Re-erect Monument to
Victory in Battle in Northern Area of Korea
Pyongyang, November 30 (KCNA) -- Preparations to
re-erect the "monument to the victory in the
battle in the northern area of Korea" have been
rounded off in the DPRK. At the 15th north-south
ministerial talks held in Seoul in June last the
north and the south declared the "1905 Five-
point Treaty" totally invalid this year a
century since the fabrication of the treaty and
decided to take working measures to retake the
monument from Japan. The DPRK side set up the
Measure Committee for Retaking the Monument to
the Victory in the Battle in the Northern Area
of Korea and the south side organized the
Committee for Promoting the Restoration of the
Monument to the Victory in the Battle in the
Northern Area of Korea, thus jointly pushing
forward the work.
Researchers of the DPRK Academy of Social
Science have already ascertained the place where
the monument was erected in 1708 to commemorate
the victory won by the Volunteers' Army in North
Hamgyong Province during the Imjin Patriotic War
The results of the survey proved that the
monument was erected on a low hill in Rimmyong-
ri, Kimchaek City, North Hamgyong Province.
Park Sought Regional Anti-Communist Body
By Jung Sung-ki
The late President Park Chung-hee sought to
establish a regional security framework
involving Japan and Taiwan to deter the spread
of communism from China and North Korea to
Northeast Asia in the late 1960s, declassified
documents revealed Friday.
The move came as the Vietnam War (1959-1975)
intensified, according to the documents.
The Defense Ministry released a 1,700-page
diplomatic dossier related to the Vietnam War in
which South Korean troops participated between
1963 and 1973.
In a document, Park said, ``With regard to the
formation of this regional security mechanism,
we must clarify the purpose and direction of it
in order to stop the spread of communist forces
led by China.''
Park, a former Army general who took power in a
coup in 1961, stressed the importance of
participation by Japan and Taiwan in the
organization. ``In the Far East Asian region,
what other nations except for South Korea, Japan
and Taiwan can set up that kind of powerful
collective security framework against the
Park said the country should take the initiative
in forming the body before negotiating the
matter with the United States, indicating that
consultations were also underway with Washington
on the establishment of the body at that time.
Forum to Discuss Peace in 21st Century
By Ryu Jin
Hundreds of foreign and Korean scholars,
including some 50 experts on Korea, will gather
in Seoul next week to discuss such issues as
peace in the post-Cold War era, dialogues
between civilizations after the 9/11 terrorist
attacks, bioscience and bioethics.
Hosted by the Committee on the 60th Anniversary
of Korean Liberation and the Academy of Korean
Studies (AKS), the ``2005 Global Forum on
Civilization & Peace'' will be held at the
academy in Songnam, south of Seoul, Dec. 5-7.
The session will be participated in by Professor
Choi Sang-yong of Korea University, Professor
Guillermo O'Donnell of the University of Notre
Dame, Professor Hazel Smith of Warwick
University in the U.K. and John Feffer, the
American author of ``North Korea/South Korea.''
N. Korea Chides Chung for Proposing 'Vietnam
By Seo Dong-shin
North Korea has chided Unification Minister
Chung Dong-young for expressing hope that the
communist country would follow Vietnam's case of
opening its doors and developing its economy.
In what North Korea watchers in Seoul interpret
as a rather ominous sign ahead of the 17th inter-
Korean ministerial talks, an unnamed spokesman
of the North's Committee for the Peaceful
Reunification of the Fatherland Thursday lashed
out at Chung's remarks, through a question and
answer session with the (North) Korean Central
News Agency (KCNA
Agent Orange Victim Commits Suicide
SEOUL (Yonhap) -- A South Korean Vietnam war veteran seeking compensation for
his suffering from exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange has committed
suicide, police said Friday.
The 59-year-old veteran, identified only by his family name Yeh, drank
herbicide early Wednesday morning after he was prevented from entering the
National Assembly building in Seoul by guards, police said.
Ex-President May Visit NK in Spring
By Ryu Jin
South Korea's former President Kim Dae-jung, who crossed the heavily
militarized border for a landmark summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il
five years ago, will likely make another meaningful visit to Pyongyang next
spring, according to sources Thursday.
Korea's rating drops on world peace index
December 02, 2005 ? The World Peace Forum, a
South Korea-based private research organization,
yesterday announced its world peace index for
this year. South Korea's rank dropped three
places compared to that of last year.
According to the forum, South Korea was ranked
46th on the peace index list of 76 surveyed
countries. That fall was a consequence of
stationing troops in Iraq, tension with Tokyo
over the Dokdo islets and Japan's past military
aggression, and labor-management conflicts.
Denmark topped the peace index while Sweden came
second and Switzerland third. The United States
was ranked 51st.
Japan, due to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's
controversial remarks and shrine visits that
have angered its Asian neighbors, was ranked
19th, nine steps lower than its 2004 ranking.
Anti-North Human Rights Racket Assailed
Pyongyang, November 20 (KCNA) -- A spokesman for
the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of
the Fatherland Saturday issued a statement
bitterly denouncing the anti-north human rights
racket kicked up by south Korean ultra-right
conservatives such as the "Grand National
Party." It termed this row an unpardonable
treacherous criminal act to tarnish the image of
the dignified DPRK and create distrust and
confrontation between compatriots in pursuance
of the U.S. hostile policy towards it. It went
on: Shortly ago, the "General Federation of
Christians" of south Korea at its "policy
consultation" decided to handle mainly the
"human rights issue" in the north with the
federation's "human rights committee" playing a
major role. It also said that it would hold in
Seoul on Dec. 10 a prayer meeting urging the
"north to improve its human rights record" with
100,000 Christians attending
NK Remains Silent on APEC Forum
By Seo Dong-shin
North Korean media has not even once mentioned that the South hosted the 13th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum that ended Saturday, according to Yonhap News Agency that monitors the North Korean news outlets in Seoul.
The North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Pyongyang Broadcasting, and Rodong Shinmun, all the communist country's official news media, delivered the news over the weekend that U.S. President George W. Bush was visiting Seoul, but avoided mentioning the occasion.
But when the name of a civic group referred to the APEC forum, such as the anti-APEC Pusan Citizens' Coalition, the North Korean media changed it to anti-Bush Pusan Citizens' Coalition.
Observers in Seoul say that the authorities of the poverty-stricken North might have felt it inappropriate to let its people know the South was hosting such a big global conference as the APEC forum in which heads of states from 21 APEC member economies participated.
[Media] [In denial]
Seoul frets at North's rights forum
November 30, 2005 ? Following the United
Nations' recent adoption of a North Korea human
rights resolution, a partially U.S. government-
funded convention condemning Pyongyang's rights
abuses will take place in Seoul next week,
indicating the international community's tougher
stance on the rights situation in the North.
The South Korean government is concerned that
North Korea is almost certain to react angrily
to the event. "Inter-Korean ministerial talks
are scheduled on Dec. 13, and we are carefully
monitoring the North's statements," a Seoul
The international conference will take place
from Dec. 8 to 10. At least 30 international
organizations, including the European Union and
the Southern Baptist Convention, a conservative
religious group in the United States, will send
In April, the U.S. State Department gave Freedom
House, a U.S.-based rights group, $1.97 million
to hold conferences on North Korea rights issues
over one year
[Human rights] [Camouflage]
NK Rights Promotion Campaigns to Hit Seoul
By Seo Dong-shin
Following the recent passing of a resolution at
the United Nations calling for the improvement
of human rights in North Korea, there will be
yet another event which the organizers hope will
help raise public awareness about the issue
It is an international conference on North
Korean human rights scheduled for early December
in Seoul, the second of its kind after the first
one held last July in Washington, the United
UN Disarmament Talks Start in Pusan This Week
SEOUL (Yonhap) _ South Korea and the United
Nations will jointly host an international
disarmament forum in Pusan this week, the
Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
The three-day forum will kick off on Thursday at
the APEC Nurimaru House in the southern port
The annual seminar, the fourth of its kind, will
be the first international event at the building
since it served as a main venue for the Asia-
Pacific Economic Cooperation summit earlier this
More than 40 local and foreign experts on
disarmament and non-proliferation are to discuss
ways of curbing the spread of nuclear weapons
and other weapons of mass destruction, officials
[Non proliferation] [Double standards]
Trip to North Korea:
Unification Minister Chung Dong-young, left,
and Hyundai Asan Chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun pose
Friday at the South Korean Immigrations and
Quarantine (CIQ) office near the inter-Korean
border. Chung and Hyun visited North Korea to
attend a ceremony marking the 7th anniversary of
the Hyundai group's launch of tours to Mt.
Kumgang in North Korea.
Return to ROK and Inter-Korean relations page