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Navy launches high-speed patrol boat
June 29, 2007
South Korea's Navy unveiled an advanced patrol boat yesterday in Busan. It will be deployed in 2008 near the disputed maritime border with North Korea in the Yellow Sea. By Song Bong-geun
The Navy yesterday launched an advanced high-speed patrol boat, equipped with guided missiles, that will be deployed next year near the disputed maritime border with North Korea.
The ship is named the Yoon Young-ha, after a naval officer who was killed in a 2002 inter-Korean naval clash near the Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea. The line has served as a de-facto maritime border between the Koreas since the 1950-53 Korean War, although North Korea does not recognize it.
Yoon was the head of a Chamsuri patrol boat sunk during a skirmish provoked by the North in 2002.
Six South Korean soldiers were killed and 18 others wounded in the clash, while more than 30 North Korean soldiers were killed or injured, the Navy said.
In yet another move that may irritate the North, the Navy appointed as head of the new vessel Lieutenant Commander Ahn Ji-young, a hero of a 1999 clash near the limit line, the first sea battle between North and South since the Korean War. At least 30 North Korean soldiers were killed and more than 70 others wounded, according to the Navy. Only nine South Korean soldiers were injured, and there were no deaths.
[military balance] [role of ROK military]
Police Looking to Arrest Strike Leaders
Government authorities sought arrest warrants for 17 key officials of the Korean Metal Workers' Union for their unyielding plan to stage a general strike against the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement. Police were granted arrest warrants for 10 of them on Wednesday night. The metal union has vowed to wage the anti-FTA strike starting Thursday.
Truth behind "Northern Limit Line" Disclosed
Pyongyang, June 25 (KCNA) -- Rodong Sinmun Monday carries an article contributed by a military commentator disclosing the truth behind the "northern limit line" and clarifying once again the principled stand of the DPRK on it in connection with the fact that the warlike forces of south Korea are perpetrating the intrusion into the waters of the north side in the West Sea of Korea not just as a mere provocation but are pursuing the brigandish purpose of bringing under control those waters invaded by them.
Pointing out that the "northern limit line" is an illegal ghost line, the article observes that the U.S. imperialist aggressor troops unilaterally drew the line inside the inviolable territorial waters of the DPRK after occupying south Korea under the helmets of the "UN forces".
The article goes on:
The Korean Armistice Agreement (KAA) signed in July 1953 stipulated the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) on the ground and its extension in the East Sea of Korea but to everybody's regret it fell short of fixing the extension of the MDL in the West Sea of Korea.
The U.S. imperialists, utterly exhausted after sustaining an unprecedented defeat in the Korean war, ordered Clark, the then commander of the "UN forces", to fix the so-called "northern limit line" also known as "Clark line" in the West Sea of Korea in a bid to prevent south Korean fishermen from coming over to the north while checking traitor Syngman Rhee's reckless attempt at an "independent expedition to the north" and averting a war that may break out again accordingly.
[NLL] [Korea War effect]
Views of N.Korea Dim on Anniversary of Korean War
Four out of 10 Koreans in their 20s to 40s don't know which year the Korean War broke out, a poll on the occasion of the 57th anniversary of the conflict suggests. Gallup Korea polled 1,005 adults at the request of the Chosun Ilbo. Asked when the Korean War broke out, 61.8 percent of the respondents correctly answered 1950, 38.2 percent replied "I don't know," and the remainder gave wrong years.
Views of North Korea were slightly more critical than in previous years, with more respondents pointing to the North's military strength and provocation, and a stronger view that the Korean War was an unlawful invasion by the North. But more respondents also showed no interest in defending their nation, agreeing with the statement, "If a war breaks out, I won't return home."
[SK attitude NK] [Korean War events]
Remember the Korean War, Urges Veteran
Monday is the 57th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. Despite the elapse of nearly six decades, Paik Sun-yup (87) is often mentioned a war hero not only in the country but also in the United States and Japan. The veteran still participates in major events involving the Korean War without fail. In an interview with the Chosun Ilbo at the Korean War Memorial in Yongsan, Seoul on Friday, Gen. Paik said, "So long as the Kim Jong-il regime exists, we must not forget the Korean War."
These days, many don't even know when the Korean War broke out.
Waiting for the truth
A missed deadline contributes to a lost history
Goh Gyeong-hwan, a 48-year-old resident of Goyang in Gyeonggi Province, felt deeply frustrated as soon as he heard that there would be no chance to find the truth. He had missed his application deadline and now it was too late. He has waited for up to 57 years.
It was mid-May when he made an inquiry regarding his brother's death with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Goh drooped his head.
In the summer of 1950, when the Korean War broke out, his brother was taken away for being a member of the National Bodo League by soldiers and policemen who unexpectedly came to the village.
[Korean War events] [Human rights]
Whose history is it?
By Han Sung-dong, senior reporter
Growing up, you heard it called the "Yugio" (the "six two five," for June 25, the day the war broke out), the "Yugio Sabyeon" (the "June 25 upheaval), and the "Hanguk Dongnan" (the "Korean disturbance"). These days, it's often called the "Hanguk Jeonjaeng" (the "Korean War"). In Japan they still call it the "Joseon Jeonjaeng" (the "Korean War," using the name Japan often uses for Korea, and in the West it seems they call it the "Korean War" or the "Korean Conflict." One of the parties on the other side, North Korea, calls it the "Joseon Haebang Jeonjaeng (the "war to liberate Korea"), while in China they call it the "Hangmi Wonjo Jeonjaeng", the "war against America and in support of (North) Korea."
The reason everyone has a different name for it is because the war still is not over, making it hard for objective assessment, and because all the parties that fought in the war insist on using names that are advantageous to them. It truly was a war with a lot of interested parties.
Zhu Jianrong (Japanese name "Syukei"), author of a book in Japanese by the title Mao Zedong's Korean War, was born in 1957 in Shanghai and educated at East China Normal University and the Shanghai Institute for International Studies before going to Japan in 1986, where he is now a professor at Toyo Gauken University. According to Zhu, the war that took place on the Korean peninsula should be called the "Sino-American War."
By mid October of 1950, a month after the Incheon Landing by UN forces turned the war around, the North Korean military had been pushed back to the point it had only four divisions left. It was not the North Korean military that pushed back 130,000 UN forces advancing northward, it was the close to 300,000 members of the Chinese People's Volunteer Army. The West estimated that during the three years China fought in the war some five million Chinese troops were involved.
After the 1990s, China revealed that 25 infantry corps (79 divisions) and 16 artillery divisions for a total of between well over two million and up to three. Some 600,000 Chinese civilians assisted from behind the lines on the peninsula. That made it the largest overseas deployment by any nation after World War II. The West estimates that between 600,000 and 900,000 Chinese died or were injured. China says the number was 366,000, with 133,000 dead.
Douglas MacArthur wanted to use atomic bombs on Manchuria and parts of the Korean peninsula and send 500,000 Kuomintang forces into China and turn the war around, but he failed to get his way. Mao saw U.S. involvement in the Korean War as something that was ultimately about an invasion of China, and jumped for joy when MacArthur was dismissed.
His removal meant the U.S. had no immediate intention of invading China. Korea called the atrocities committed on the Korean peninsula about 400 years ago the "Imjin Waeran" and "Jeongyu Jaeran," but Japan called it the "Bunroku no Eki" or "Keich no Eki." Japan made off with between 50,000 and 60,000 Koreans as well as plenty of books and ceramic and printing technology, making for a richer modernization, while Korea was left in ruins. Ming China sent a large army to fight then, too, and called it the "war against Japan and in support of Korea."
Twice China has stopped large enemy forces that crossed the sea, and on the Korean peninsula, not even its own territory. History after the Sino-Japanese war of 1894 proves that China faces a crisis when it fails to do so.
The biggest victims of these wars were, of course, the people living on the Korean peninsula. Millions died and the land was thoroughly in ruins. The Jeongyu Jaeran began after Toyotomi Hideyoshi asked Ming for part of the southern peninsula and was rejected, but 400 years later the peninsula was divided into North and South by foreign powers. The army of one of those countries that plotted the division still occupies a spot in the middle of Seoul, perhaps as if mock those who were unable to maintain hold onto their own land?
[Korean War cause] [China-Korea relations]
Abolish statute of limitations on human rights violators
By Lee Deok-woo, lawer
This year marks the 27th anniversary of the 18 May Gwangu Uprising, and the 20th anniversary of the 1987 Democratic Movement. Yet the annual formalities in Gwangju, at which the presidential candidates will be in attendance to commemorate the victims, promise to be little more than a fleeting hubbub. After all, the commemoration of the Gwangju Uprising has become little more than kitsch. While on the one hand many pay their respects to the departed spirits of May 18, 1980, others have established a park bearing the name of the slaughter's chief culprit, former President Chun Doo-hwan. I ask you, what has become of our country?
The North's effect in December
[Outlook]We need new leaders who understand the changes in the world order in the 21st century.
June 25, 2007 After U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill's visit to Pyongyang last week, negotiation teams for the Six-Party Talks are starting to move quickly. On Feb. 13, the talks belatedly agreed to implement the joint declaration reached on Sept. 19, 2005, preparing a base camp for denuclearization.
But due to trouble releasing North Korean funds frozen at a Macao bank and finding a way to transfer the money, the agreement still has not been implemented.
After his visit to Pyongyang, Hill had a press conference in Seoul where he said (wearing a bright smile) that North Korea is willing to shut down the Yongbyon nuclear facility immediately and is ready to disable it.
In the meantime, a spokesperson for North Korea's foreign ministry said that during the meeting with the U.S. envoy, they discussed ways to enhance cooperation in financial transactions, shared opinions for implementing the next measures in the February agreement and discussed holding the Six-Party Talks. The North Korean official said the discussion was comprehensive and constructive.
DPRK's Strike Means Fully Ready to Go into Action
Pyongyang, June 21 (KCNA) -- The Navy of the Korean People's Army will never remain an onlooker to the reckless acts perpetrated by warships of the south Korean navy after intruding into the inviolable waters of the DPRK.
A spokesman for the Naval Command of the KPA warned this in a statement on June 21 in connection with the fact that the tense situation in the West Sea of Korea is inching close to a dangerous phase hour by hour.
According to the statement, the intrusion of south Korean naval warships into the waters of the DPRK has escalated since early in May: The number of its cases reached 7-8 on a daily average, 36 at maximum in mid-June.
Such reckless intrusion that has got unabated despite the repeated warnings of the KPA Navy may become a dangerous fuse to spark off the third skirmish in the West Sea and, furthermore, a bigger war going beyond the skirmish, the statement said, and went on:
Children Ignorant About Korean War
A group of U.S. war veterans who participated in the 1950-53 Korean War and their families receive a salute from Korean Boy and Girl Scout corps at the War Memorial of Korea in Yongsan, central Seoul, Sunday. Monday marks the 57th anniversary of the outbreak of the 1950-53 Korean War.
/ Korea Times Photo by Cho Young-ho
By Bae Ji-sook
To Koreans, scars and pain of the 1950-53 Korean War are still lingering. However, the war that caused millions of casualties remains vague to youngsters.
According to a recent survey by a local monthly magazine, one in every five children described the war as one that occurred between Korea and Japan.
[Korean War cause]
Roh Calls for Sustained Effort to Engage NK
President Roh Moo-hyun said Monday that his government will aim steadily at reconciliation and coexistence with North Korea by continuing to engage the communist state.
The two Koreas have achieved considerable progress in bilateral relations and deepened trust, setting the stage for a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of a multilateral security framework for Northeast Asia, Roh told the annual gathering of Korean War veterans at a Seoul hotel.
Rice May Visit NK in Fall: Roh's Adviser
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is likely to visit North Korea in October or November, depending on progress in multinational efforts to disable the North's nuclear weapons program, Yonhap new agency reported Monday.
Lee Su-hoon, chairman of the Presidential Committee on Northeast Asian Cooperation Initiative, said Rice's North Korean trip, if realized, would create a considerable stir in U.S.
Northeast Asia politics and pave the way for a four-way summit between two Koreas, the U.S. and China.
Dirty Politics and North Korea
By Tong Kim
As most people are busy going about their business, the presidential election is getting nasty and even vicious in South Korea. Dirty politics _ employing the means of mudslinging and malicious slander _ is not new in democratic elections. But it appears to be getting worse this year.
Long-term political prisoner repatriated to North dies
Lee In-mo suffered torture at the hands of S.K. agents, died in Pyongyang at 89
Lee In-mo, a North Korean who was imprisoned for a long time in the South for his beliefs before being repatriated to the communist nation through the truce village of Panmunjeom in March 1993, died on June 16.
The North Korean Workers' Party Central Committee, the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, and the cabinet jointly announced on June 17, "Comrade Lee In-mo, a former war correspondent and [long-term prisoner of conscience in the South], passed away on June 16 at age 89 from the aftereffects of the torture that he had suffered in prison in South Korea."
He was captured by the South while taking part in the Korean War as a war correspondent for the North and served 34 years on charges of waging a guerrilla campaign and joining an underground party. He was not released until 1988. The South Korean authorities compelled him to recant his belief in communism and convert to South Korean ideology but he refused to do so.
After his release, he published his life story in the South with the help of a local journalist. His book draw a lot of attention, as Lee described in his book the brutal torture he and his colleagues in similar situations consistently received in prison from South Korean agents urging them to sign letters of conversion to the South Korean side.
[Human rights] [Korean War events]
Kim Jong Il Sends Wreath to Bier of Ri In Mo
Pyongyang, June 17 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il sent a wreath to the bier of Ri In Mo, former war correspondent of the Korean People's Army and unconverted long-term prisoner, Sunday, expressing deep condolences over his death.
Ri In Mo Passes Away
Pyongyang, June 17 (KCNA) -- Ri In Mo, former war correspondent of the Korean People's Army and unconverted long-term prisoner, passed away at 7 a.m. on Saturday at the age of 89.
An obituary of Ri In Mo was published Saturday in the joint name of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK and the Cabinet of the DPRK.
GNP Has Image Problem With NK
By Kang Hyun-kyung
Two leading presidential aspirants of the opposition Grand National Party (GNP) have image problems at least in the eyes of North Korea.
Pyongyang has repeatedly warned that inter-Korean relations would become chilly once either of them took power. Unlike former President Kim Dae-jung and President Roh Moo-hyun, the GNP contenders oppose the engagement policy with North Korea. Former Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak is regarded here as being more flexible than former GNP Chairwoman Park Geun-hye, but Pyongyang sees the two as hawkish toward it.
Dress Code Angers Students
By Bae Ji-sook
A recent sign in front of the business management department building of Hanyang University has stirred controversy among students. The sign reads, ``Those in slippers, shorts or training pants should not enter.''
North’s Lee, imprisoned here for 34 years, dies
June 18, 2007
A North Korean who spent decades in a South Korean prison for refusing to renounce his communist ideology before returning to his homeland as a hero died Saturday, the North Korean media announced yesterday.
“Comrade Lee In-mo, a former war correspondent and prisoner who served a long prison term for his refusal to abandon communism, died at 7 a.m. on the 16th [of June] at the age of 89 due to the aftermath of the torture he sustained while in a South Korean prison,” North Korea’s Cental Broadcasting Station said.
Lee was captured in South Korea while working as a correspondent for North Korea’s Culture Ministry during the 1950-53 Korean War. He spent 34 years in a South Korean prison before being repatriated. While many captured North Korean spies abandoned their communist beliefs to resettle in the South, Lee and a handful of others refused.
[Human rights] ]Korean War events]
7 years after joint summit, North-South relations at a critical juncture
Seven years have passed since the historic joint statement from the 2000 North-South summit was issued. There is a celebration marking the event going on in Pyongyang, but nothing is being put on jointly by the two Koreas because of the South's decision to hold off on giving the North aid in the form of rice. The situation is a demonstration of how rough inter-Korean relations are as of late.
President Roh on North Korea, the media, and the upcoming election
"An Inter-Korean summit won't be possible unless North Korea's nuclear problem is resolved."
In an exclusive interview with The Hankyoreh on June 13, president Roh Moo-hyun said, "If we approach inter-Korean relations without a resolution of the North Korean nuclear standoff, it would not work well." However, Roh said, "If the North's nuclear standoff is in the process of being resolved, I wouldn't avoid an inter-Korean summit even if my term is nearing an end."
North Korea censors Seoul media
June 16, 2007
South Korean journalists covering a celebration of the 2000 inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang were ordered to submit their reports on the event to North Korea censorship, the Unification Ministry press corps said yesterday.
The journalists visiting Pyongyang refused to comply and North Korean officials stopped them from transmitting video to the South, deleted part of their reports and threatened to send the reporters back across the border.
N. Korea Suspends Summit Anniversary Event Over VIP Seat
All the Friday events were cancelled at a joint celebration marking the seventh anniversary of the historic inter-Korean summit as the North side prevented a lawmaker of the main opposition Grand National Party from entering the VIP seat line, the joint press corps reported.
North Korean officials blocked two-term GNP lawmaker Park Kye-dong's entry into the VIP seats of the People's Palace of Culture where a "gathering of unity" with representatives from the two Koreas was planned.
South Korea's chief delegate Paik Nak-chun made it clear that he could not accept the exclusion of Park from the VIP line, originally planned.
"We are of the position that no South Korean delegate will take part in an event that blocks the GNP lawmaker to the VIP seat," said a spokesman. He added that because no compromise was reached all afternoon, events were cancelled.
Koreas open joint celebration of summit anniversary
South and North Korea on Thursday started a four-day joint celebration of the seventh anniversary of the historic inter-Korean summit, pool reports said.
A 284-member South Korean delegation, led by Paik Nak-chung, a professor emeritus at Seoul National University, arrived in Pyongyang, the venue of the anniversary event, on a direct charter flight over the West Sea. The delegation included religious and civic group leaders, artists, athletes and politicians.
Roh Bent on Last-Minute Inter-Korean Summit
President Roh Moo-hyun has reiterated he would want to meet with Kim Jong-il even when Roh has only two or three months left in office.
"When the nuclear issue is in the process of resolution, the inter-Korean relationship should develop simultaneously,” Roh said in an interview with the government-friendly Hankyoreh Shinmun on Wednesday. “In that sense, if I turn down North Korea's request for a summit on grounds that I have only a few months in office left, the process of resolving the North Korean nuclear problem would be affected and delayed." He added he could go to Pyongyang even with only a few months left. “If I go and reach an agreement, then my successor can’t reject it. Therefore timing is important. I’m going to proceed with that in mind."
Unfit for an Inter-Korean Summit
President Roh Moo-hyun has just eight months left in office after having served as the country’s leader for four years and four months. Under normal circumstances, it’s about time for him to display an image of a mature head of state. But the day before yesterday, the public had to hear, once again, words that should not be uttered by a president.
In an interview with The Hankyoreh daily, the president carried on about “democratic forces,” “forces representing the remnants of military dictatorship,” “forces of peace and reform,” and “ruling power.” In the eyes of this president, the public is either part of this force or that force.
Seoul must finally get tough with the North
Walter Hendler (cicero) Email Article Print Article
Published 2007-06-15 16:47 (KST)
The six-party process aimed at denuclearization of North Korea has been stalled for four months. The March 13 deadline for shutting down the Yongbyon nuclear reactor has come and gone. Although the participants are making optimistic pronouncements about the imminent resolution of the BDA accounts "glitch," unfreezing the North Korean funds and paving the way for the implementation of the agreement, the prospects for an eventual success of the talks appear dim at the moment.
S. Korea launches another 1,800-ton submarine
South Korea unveiled its newest attack submarine, the second 1,800-ton vessel in its submarine fleet, here on Wednesday.
The diesel-powered submarine, developed in partnership with Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG, is named Jeongji after a Korean military officer of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) who led Korean forces in a series of victories against the Japanese navy.
N. Korean Nukes Stall Inter-Korean Relations
By Jung Sung-ki
Seven years after the historic inter-Korean summit, which aroused expectations for a rosy future of a reunified Korea, skepticism is running high about the cross-border relations shackled by North Korea’s nuclear weapons activity.
S. Korea Ranks 11th in Military Spending for 2006
South Korea spent $21.9 billion (about 20,367 billion won) on military build-up in 2006, ranking at the 11th in the world, according to a military affairs research institute in the capital of Sweden.
The figure accounts for 2 percent of world defense spending totaling $1,204 billion, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported in its Yearbook 2007 on armaments, disarmaments and international security released Monday.
The world's total military spending for 2006 was 3.5 percent up from the previous year's $1,118 billion, or 37 percent up from 1997's figure.
SIPRI has included North Korea, which conducted underground nuclear tests last October, in the list of nuclear powers for the first time.
The United States topped the list with $528.7 billion, or 46 percent of the world, followed by Britain at $59.2 billion. France, China and Japan rounded out the top five nations at $53.1 billion, $49.5 billion and $43.7 billion, respectively. China outnumbered Japan for the fist time in the ranking of military spending.
Other countries spending more in the military build-up than Korea were Germany ($37 billion), Russia ($34.7 billion), Italy ($29.9 billion), Saudi Arabia ($29 billion) and India ($23.9 billion).
Trailing South Korea were Australia ($13.8 billion), Canada ($13.5 billion), Brazil ($13.4 billion) and Spain ($12.3 billion).
The institute also calculated the spending according to purchasing power parity (PPP), based on comparison to the U.S.
China came in second in this calculation with $188.2 billion, followed by India ($114.3 billion). Russia and Britain were the other two in the top five.
South Korea ranked 11th under PPP as well, with the spending estimated at $30.1 billion.
In naming world's nuclear forces, the institute cited five states _ China, France, Russia, Britain and the U.S. _ under the non-proliferation treaty (NPT) as owning more than 26,000 nuclear warheads.
India, Pakistan and Israel are "de facto" nuclear weapon states outside the NPT.
North Korea made clear its intent to obtain nuclear capability, the institute said, but its detonation in October last year is widely believed to have been only a partial success.
"It raised doubts about whether North Korea could manufacture operational nuclear weapons," the institute said. [Military balance]
North Korea: Forget the Summit, Rice Is More Important
Frosty relations with the South of late come with distant hope
Lee Byong-chul (merrycow) Email Article Print Article
Published 2007-06-12 17:37 (KST)
In the end there was "no comment" from North Korea. This non-reply was made with a hint of anger and a flash of indignation because of South Korea's intended refusal of rice aid to North Korea.
South Korean officials, who were expecting a positive reply from the North, found themselves dumbfounded at the North's "no comment" over the joint event to celebrate the seventh anniversary of the inter-Korean summit meeting in 2000.
Democracy and Peace in Korea Twenty Years After June 1987: Where Are We Now, and Where Do We Go from Here?
The nationwide uprising of June 1987 put an end to the tyrannical rule of Chun Du-hwan’s regime and opened a new chapter in South Korea’s contemporary history. True, it has had its background in the April 19th Student Revolution of 1960, the Pusan-Masan Uprising of 1979 and the May Democratic Struggle of Kwangju 1980.
But it represents a categorically new achievement in having initiated a democratization process that has continued for the past twenty years without experiencing reversals such as the military takeovers of May 16, 1961 and May 17, 1980. At the same time, there is a prevalent sense of crisis in Korea today that the so-called ’87 regime that was formed after June 1987 has now reached its limit and is in need of a new breakthrough.
S. Korean officials not invited to summit anniversary event in N. Korea
South Korea has decided not to send a delegation of officials to take part in planned civic joint events in Pyongyang to mark the seventh anniversary of the historic inter-Korean summit, government sources said Monday.
Roh, DJ hit foes on 20th anniversary of democracy uprising
June 11, 2007
Wrapping themselves in the mantle of past movements for democracy, President Roh Moo-hyun and his predecessor spent the weekend arguing in favor of liberal governments and refuting arguments that democracy activists, who now comprise the majority in the cabinet, are incompetent when it comes to running affairs of state.
Show the Battered Ship at the War Memorial of Korea
At 10 a.m. on June 29, 2002, a skirmish erupted between a North Korean patrol boat crossing the Northern Limit Line, the de facto sea boundary between the two Koreas, and a fast patrol boat from South Korea, 14 miles off Yeongpyeong Island in the West Sea. The South Korean naval vessel was taken by surprise while trying to push the North Korean vessel back across the line.
In the battle, six crewmembers of the high-speed boat Chamsuri 357 died.
[Military balance] [NLL]
Uri Chief Wants Inter-Korean Summit on Independence Day
Uri Party chairman Chung Sye-kyun proposed an inter-Korean summit in Jeju Island on Aug. 15 Independence Day as the most effective way to establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula and cause a breakthrough in inter-Korean relations. Chung made the proposal in a speech before parliament Thursday. It is the first time a Uri leader has officially proposed an exact date and venue for a meeting between President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
Two Koreas' militaries end talks with no agreement
South and North Korea produced no agreement Friday at their working-level military talks, even on a date for the next meeting, as the North repeated its demand for the redrawing of their western sea border, officials here said.
The Northern Limit Line (NLL), drawn by the U.S.-led United Nations Command at the end of the Korean War, serves as the de facto sea border on the peninsula. But North Korea does not recognize it, triggering armed conflicts with the South, especially during crab-catching season.
Foreigners Belittle Korean Gov't Image
By Jane Han
A recent survey shows that the Korean government's image reflected in the international community falls dim compared to citizen and corporate appearances.
In a Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) survey conducted by the Institute for Industrial Policy Studies (IPS) from last November to January of 21 countries, covering 2,809 respondents, the Korean government's image scored an average 3.31 points out of 5, which is lower than the citizen image at 3.62 points and corporate image at 3.55 points.
``The frequent media exposure of North Korean missiles, demonstrations, strikes and the long lasting image as a divided country are some of the reasons we see for the lower impression on the government,'' said a KOTRA official working with the national brand management.
Koreans Friendlier to US, Disdaining to NK
By Kang Hyun-kyung
A recent poll found Koreans have become more friendly toward the U.S., while turning hard-lined to North Korea.
According to a survey of 1,000 people by the Hankook Ilbo, the sister paper of The Korea Times, 68.1 percent of the respondents perceived the Korea-U.S. alliance as important and should be preserved or strengthened in the future.
In 2002, 56.4 percent has this view, indicating the number of Koreans thinking relations with the U.S. are important has increased.
The respondents also said the government should reduce economic assistance to North Korea as the engagement policy has failed to change it.
Why June 15 Should Is no Cause for National Celebration
A resolution calling for June 15, when the heads of state of the two Koreas first met in Pyongyang seven years ago, to be designated a national commemoration day is to be submitted to the National Assembly early next week, signed by 159 lawmakers, including 105 from the ruling Uri Party and three from the major opposition Grand National Party.
For the breakdown of ministerial talks, South holds larger blame
The 21st round of cabinet-level talks between North and South Korea ended without agreement on anything at all. Relations with Pyongyang are running aground again, three months after relations, disrupted by North Korea's test of a nuclear device last October, were brought back to normal. Projects already agreed upon, mostly cooperation involving light industry and underground resources development, are supposed to continue. Still, the fact that talks this time got nowhere is going to have a considerable influence on the relationship.
The primary responsibility for what was essentially the breakdown of talks lies with the South. At the last round of cabinet-level talks, Seoul pledged Pyongyang it would provide aid in the form of rice, but immediately ahead of these latest talks it decided to postpone the first shipment because Pyongyang has not implemented the first step in the February 13 agreement. The main reason Pyongyang has not moved on implementation is because the issue of its money at Macao's Banco Delta Asia has yet to be resolved, but somehow the South holds the North responsible. Seoul's decision is unwise not only because it makes North-South relations subordinate to the six-party talks; it also does not help in resolving the problem of its money in Macao.
[BDA] [Dilemma] [Aid weapon]
21st Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks Close
Seoul, June 1 (KCNA Correspondent) -- The 21st North-South Ministerial Talks closed Friday.
At the talks both sides exchanged views after advancing proposals for definitely placing the inter-Korean relations on the orbit of sound development.
They once again confirmed the fact that it is impossible to settle any issue nor is it possible to expect any progress in the inter-Korean relations unless the outdated viewpoint and practice are discarded in the June 15 era when the nation is heading for reconciliation, cooperation and reunification.
A joint press release of the talks was issued at the talks.
According to it, both sides reviewed the successes made as a result of the inter-Korean ministerial talks held 20 times and the lesson drawn from them, shared the understanding that it is necessary to put the inter-Korean relations on a higher stage in the spirit of "By our nation itself" and had an earnest discussion after manifesting each other's stand on the principled and practical matters arising in the development of those relations.
They also agreed to make a further study of the issues related to promoting peace on the Korean Peninsula and the inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation in the basic spirit of the June 15 joint declaration.
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