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Chosun Ilbo Attacked as Street Violence Escalates
Parts of the Chosun Ilbo's logo are seen lying on the top of a pile of garbage demonstrators hurled at the newspaper's building in Taepyeongro, Seoul.
The violence of candlelight vigil protesters has taken another leap as the demonstrators attacked a journalist and vandalized buildings and facilities of conservative newspapers. Some 50 protesters who occupied Taepyeongro early Thursday morning went to the Chosun Ilbo building on the street. They scattered garbage in the entrance to the building, and called other protesters passing by to do the same.
Labeling Rule Angers Restaurant Operators
A signboard in the cafeteria of Deoksoo Elementary School, Seoul, displays the origins of beef and other ingredients, Wednesday, when school cafeterias began to implement the new rule on beef labeling. From July, restaurants and cafeterias must show the country of origin of dishes and soup containing beef ingredients. / Yonhap
By Kim Tae-jong
New rules requiring all restaurants to specify the country of origin of beef used in meat based dishes is angering owners, who are skeptical about the efficacy of the new labeling rule, calling it ``nonsensical.''
From July, all restaurants must indicate the origin of all beef they use to allow customers to choose between Korean and imported beef. Previously, only eateries with a floor space of 100 square meters were required to do this.
Gov't Calls for Protests to Stop
President Lee Myung-bak on Tuesday said protests criticizing government policies should serve as "an opportunity to review and improve them." But he added "illegal and violent rallies that try to challenge the government's legitimacy must be strictly distinguished and handled accordingly." Lee, who is hoping to recover some authority after weeks of mass protests against imports of U.S. beef paralyzed his administration, made the remarks in a Cabinet meeting at Cheong Wa Dae.
Gov’t to clamp down on candlelight rallies
President Lee shifts away from apologetic demeanor and resolves to get tough on protesters
Justice ministry to crack down on campaign against conservative dailies
Prosecution to launch investigation, but prosecutors seem reluctant to investigate
Gov’t blocks Hantongryeon from entering S. Korea, labeling it ‘anti-state’
Though allowed to travel freely in the past, Lee gov’t places new restrictions on Hantongryeon members
» Members of Hantongryeon celebrate their arrival at Incheon International Airport on September 19, 2003. The government has denied the group to entry into South Korea recently, saying it is an "anti-state group."
Seven members of Hantongryeon, the Korean Alliance for Democracy and Reunification in Japan, including Vice Chairman Song Hyeong-geun, attempted to enter South Korea to participate in an annual commemorative event held at Mount Geumgang June 15-16 but were denied entry, with Seoul declaring the group as being against the state. The seven group members, all South Koreans residing in Japan with South Korean passports, entered North Korea via Beijing.
Tension Lingers on Western Sea Border
A sailor aims an anti-aircraft missile on the 1,900-ton frigate Jeju during a simulated fire-and-control operation against a possible North Korean naval incursion off Yeonpyeong Island near the Northern Limit Line in the West Sea, Monday. The 58th anniversary of the outbreak of the 1950-53 Korean War falls on today. / Yonhap
By Jung Sung-ki
``Combat positioning, combat positioning,'' a loud radio sounded around 11:30 a.m. in a 1,900-ton Ulsan-class South Korean Navy ship sailing 70 kilometers off Yeonpyeong Island near the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the West Sea.
Hundreds of sailors in full battle-gear aboard the frigate named after the country's southern island of Jeju took their places immediately to follow orders from the ship's captain, Cmdr. Kim Ju-young.
[NLL] [Role ROK military] [military balance]
Cyber Terror Against Advertisers 'Will Be Punished'
The Justice Ministry and the Prosecutors’ Office on Monday reaffirmed their determination to crack down on activists who are attacking businesses that advertise in Korea’s big conservative dailies, the Chosun, Dong-A and JoongAng daily.
The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office in a meeting with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, the National Police Agency, and the Korea Communications Committee, concluded legal action is inevitable as terrorizing of businesses to get them to pull their ads has gone beyond the level of a consumer movement and begun to reveal systematic and malicious intent.
[Boycott] [Human rights]
Teens Have Mixed Feelings About National Security
Secondary students in South Korea regard the U.S. both as the foreign country that poses the greatest threat to South Korea's security and the nation South Korea should cooperate with most. More than half the respondents in a poll of secondary school students' sense of national security conducted by Research and Research knew neither the year when the Korean War broke out nor the fact that North Korea started the war by invading the South.
The Ministry of Public Administration and Security on Monday disclosed the poll of 1,016 seventh to 12th graders nationwide from June 13 to 16.
[SK attitude US] [SK attitude NK]
S. Korea’s policy on North becoming tougher
Due to low presidential approval rating, Cheong Wa Dae sticks to uniting conservatives
» Members of Right Korea argue that "Leftist and Pro-North Korean people lead the candlelight vigil" at Seoul City Plaza on June 10. President Lee Myung-bak, whose approval rating dropped rather sharply, has increasingly depended on the rightwing faction nowadays.
President Lee Myung-bak’s policy on North Korea has been affected and changed by the candlelight vigils. However, the direction of the change is the exact opposite of the will of people who have participated the candle vigils.
A source close to the government’s internal affairs said on June 20, "The recent mood related to North Korean policy at Cheong Wa Dae is becoming tougher and more conservative." "As approval ratings for the president fell to some 10 percent, there is a move to overcome the situation by uniting conservatives. The lynchpin of a grand alliance of conservatives is ‘anti-North Korea,’" the source said
Lee Myung Bak Group Accused of Hindering Implementation of Inter-Korean Agreement
Pyongyang, June 23 (KCNA) -- A spokesman for the north side's delegation to the North-South Military Talks released a statement Sunday condemning the Lee Myung Bak group's trickery and confrontational moves.
The Lee group has failed to implement any provision in the agreement on passage, customs clearance and communications directly related to the cooperation and exchange in Kaesong and Mt. Kumgang areas and instead, is egging the conservative puppet military on to intentionally throw a stumbling block to its implementation, the statement pointed out, and said:
60 Years of the Republic: The Korean War
Calamity befell the new Republic of Korea and its people when it was less than two years old. The Korean War, which raged for three years from June 25, 1950 until July 27, 1953, was a disaster that destroyed the already fragile socio-economic foundations of the republic at its root. According to statistics compiled by the South Korean government, about 850,000 soldiers and civilians were killed or went missing in South Korea alone. More than 80,000 South Koreans were taken to the North.
[Korean War cause] [Korean War events]
FKI, the assistant to ChoJoongDong
The Federation of Korean Industries and other business organizations are volunteering to be a fighter against Koreans online who are pressuring advertisers in the Chosun Ilbo, JoongAng Ilbo, and DongA Ilbo. The ruling Grand National Party is joining in the counterattack, working hard to help these three papers.
Prosecutory measures taken in ChoJoongDong case
Supreme Prosecutors’ Office attempts to bring Internet campaign under control
The prosecution is taking steps to launch a probe against the voluntary campaign by Internet users which calls on companies to remove their ads from "ChoJoongDong," an acronym that refers to the three major conservative newspapers, the Chosun Ilbo, the JoongAng Ilbo and the Dong-a Ilbo. Prosecutors said the probe would focus on information exchanges among citizens which protest against the conservative media’s journalistic stance and make telephone calls to boycott their advertisers. The move is stirring up a controversy of "political prosecution" and the prosecutor is also being accused of conducting an irrational investigation.
[Boycott] [Human rights]
ChoJoongDong's ad revenues fall to 50 percent
Due to netizens protest on the coverage over U.S. beef imports, 10 companies withdraw their ads from the three dailies
» On June 10, citizens posted a message that read, "Shut down Chosun Ilbo" on the wall of the Koreana Hotel which was owned by Chosun Ilbo.
A grassroots protest against companies which have placed their ads in three conservative newspapers, called "ChoJoongDong," an acronym that refers to the Chosun Ilbo, JoongAng Ilbo and Dong-a Ilbo, is increasingly gathering strength. The protest was launched on May 27, when an Internet user posted a list of ads in the three newspapers on an Internet site and proposed to "make a call to protest."
The protest spread among the netizens so quickly due to the attitude of ChoJoongDong’s article dealing with the U.S. beef import agreement. The three conservative newspapers have labeled the candlelight vigils as unsound activities led by leftists.
Internet free speech to be restricted
Cheong Wa Dae takes steps to decrease negative public online opinion
The administration and the ruling Grand National Party are moving to control public opinion on the internet that is disadvantageous to them.
Roh Tae-woo wins injunction against relatives
June 19, 2008
Former President Roh Tae-woo yesterday won a local court injunction against his relatives, barring them from disposing of shares in a company established with illegal slush funds the strongman accumulated during his time in power.
The Seoul Central District Court said it has accepted Roh’s request to bar his younger brother, nephew and the nephew’s father-in-law from selling stakes in a cold storage warehouse company called Aurora CS.
The injunction effectively ruled that Roh is the actual owner of the disputed firm.
Roh served as president from 1988 to 1993.He was later convicted of extorting large sums of money from the nation’s conglomerates during his presidency.
Meeting for National Reunification Closes
Mt. Kumgang Resort, June 16 (KCNA) -- A meeting for national reunification which was opened at Mt. Kumgang resort on the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the publication of the June 15 joint declaration came to a close on Monday.
Prior to the closing ceremony there was a meeting of the north, south and overseas co-chairmen of June 15 All-Korean Committee.
Discussed at the meeting were matters on increasing the role of the committee and the organizations of people from all walks of life in the north and the south of Korea and abroad in resolutely foiling the moves of the anti-reunification forces and firmly defending and implementing the June 15 joint declaration and the October 4 declaration.
"Implementation of June 15 Declaration is the basis for restoring inter-Korean relations"
Representatives of N. and S. Korea are united in voice at Mount Geumgang
» The Southern representatives who will participate in the 8th anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration in Mt. Geumgang issue a statement at Seoul Station on June 15.
The representatives of "North, South, and Overseas Committee for the Implementation of the June 15 Joint Statement" met at Mount Geumgang on June 15 on the eighth anniversary of the declaration to call on both North and South Korean government authorities to fully implement the June 15 Joint Declaration and the October 4 Summit Declaration.
Former South Korean Unification Minister Lim Dong-won and a total of 258 people from South Korea attended what officially was called the "National Reunification Conference on the Occasion of the Announcement of the June 15 Joint Declaration." Presbyterian elder Park Yong-gil, wife of the late Rev. Moon Ik-hwan, was the South's honorary top delegate, while Seoul National University emeritus professor Paik Nak-chung was the official leader of the South's delegation.
Textbooks as tools
The Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology has told the editor of the textbook "A Modern and Contemporary History of Korea" ("Han'guk Geun Hyeondae Sa") to appear at the ministry for a meeting. This is most unusual. There are other subjects within the "human society" (sahoe) curriculum, like geography for example, so it does not take much to guess what the meeting is going to be about.
The Education Ministry has persistently pressured textbook publishers to accommodate the demands made by the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry that the textbook be revised. Being "business friendly" is nice, but it is disgusting and pathetic to watch the ministry be the executioner for one of many interest groups out to rule on scholarly facts.
Appeal to Koreans at Home and Abroad Published
Pyongyang, June 14 (KCNA) -- The Central Committee of the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland released an appeal addressed to all Koreans at home and abroad on Saturday on the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the publication of the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration.
The north-south summit meeting was provided and the June 15 joint declaration was made public in Pyongyang in June 2000, the appeal said, adding that this was a great event of national significance as it put an end to the history of division and confrontation imposed by outside forces upon the Korean nation and ushered in the new era of independent reunification on the basis of the idea of "By our nation itself."
NK Calls on Lee to Honor Accord
By Na Jeong-ju
North Korea called on South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak, Saturday, to implement inter-Korean cooperation projects agreed in the Oct. 4 Joint Declaration signed by the leaders of two Koreas last year.
Old Cheong Wa Dae Intranet 'Should Be Shut Down'
The National Archives of Korea demanded on Thursday the e-Jiwon (digital knowledge park) system should be shut down. It had been the Cheong Wa Dae work management system during the Roh Moo-hyun administration, and Roh staff moved the system along with a mass of illegally copied documents to Bongha Village, where Roh has lived since he left office. "Recovering some 2 million leaked documents is an important issue, but we asked the e-Jiwon system to be shut down first because preventing any hacking was more urgent," a ranking government official said.
An official at the National Archives said the material contains a considerable number of confidential documents on national security and weapons purchase plans. Spokesmen for former president Roh say they took copies of the documents with the consent of President Lee Myung-bak when he was president-elect, but a Cheong Wa Dae official said they never sought consent
Essays Trace US, Japan Roles in Joseon's Downfall
By Lee Hyo-won
In Korea's foreign policy game, regular players are without fail the United States and Japan ? respectively Korea's first Western treaty partner (1882) and former colonizer (1910-45) ? while China and Russia can also be added to the roster.
Today, intense public outrage over American beef imports is fueling the summer heat, and while partnership among East Asian countries is a top priority, unresolved issues like the one concerning World War II sex slaves (``comfort women'') continue to haunt Korea-Japan relations.
June 15 Events to Take Place in Mt. Geumgang, Seoul
By Kim Sue-young
Events to mark the eighth anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration are scheduled to take place at Mount Geumgang in North Korea and Seoul on Sunday and Monday, organizers said Friday.
'Kim Jong-il Proposed Holding 2nd Inter-Korean Summit in Russia'
By Kim Sue-young
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il proposed holding the second inter-Korean summit in Russia, a former unification minister said in his memoirs published earlier this week.
Lim Dong-won, 74, tells behind-the-scene stories in the book, based on experiences he had while helping former President Kim Dae-jung design the ``Sunshine Policy'' for engaging North Korea and coordinating the first inter-Korean summit in 2000. The book is titled ``Peacemaker.''
According to the book, when Lim visited Pyongyang in April, 2002 as a special envoy to discuss Kim Jong-il's return visit, the North Korean leader expressed negative opinion on a Seoul trip.
``I intended to visit Seoul last spring. But the situation has changed as Bush who keeps a hawkish stance toward the North was elected as U.S. president,'' Kim Jong-il was quoted as saying. ``As the Grand National Party and other conservative forces are fostering an anti-North Korea mood, my aides advise me not to go to Seoul because it can worsen the situation.''
Instead, the head of the Stalinist state suggested holding an inter-Korean summit in Irkuck, Siberia. ``If necessary, we can discuss ways to link with the trans-Siberian railway through the three-way summit with the Russian president.''
However, former President Kim refused to accept the suggestion considering it might invite misunderstanding from allies such as the United States, Lim said.
[US dominance] [Summit00] [HEU] [Evidence]
Wikipedia blocks its entry on Lee
June 13, 2008
The Korean-language version of Wikipedia, the world’s largest open content online encyclopedia, has recently banned users from editing an item about South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, the Web site showed yesterday.
On the local version of Wikipedia (http://ko.wikipedia.org), the nonprofit agency explained under the "Lee Myung-bak" entry that editing is "protected from June 8 to Oct. 8 due to repeated defamation."
President at Crossroads
President Lee Myung-bak
By Oh Young-jin, Kim Hyun-cheol
President Lee Myung-bak is in a big trouble. But the bigger question for the 67-year-old head of state and for the nation is whether the self-described CEO of Korea Inc. can turn the crisis around and make a ``fresh start'' as he vowed Wednesday morning.
Civic Groups Warn of Impeachment Drive
The People's Association for Measures Against Mad Cow Disease, which has been organizing candlelight vigils against the import of U.S. beef, warned Wednesday it would launch an impeachment campaign against President Lee Myung-bak if the government fails to begin an all-out renegotiation of the beef deal with the U.S. by June 20. In a statement, the coalition of over 1,700 civic groups including the People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, urged the government to nullify the existing agreement and negotiate the deal from scratch. "If the government decides to ignore the mandate from the people, who hold the sovereign power in this country, we will not hesitate to launch a campaign to drive President Lee Myung-bak out of office," the statement read.
Candlelight protests elevate democratic principles
[Analysis] Protesters create open environment of non-violent protest, encouraging new culture of demonstration
To the surprise of both participants and onlookers alike, the candlelight protests that have grabbed the nation’s attention for the past 40 days have been impressive in more ways than one. Not only have the demonstrations exceeded expectations in terms of the size and scale of the events held, but demonstrators have created a culture of non-violent protest that is open to people from all walks of life.
The June 10 rally, in particular, attracted the largest number of demonstrators protesting in South Korea in 21 years. The 2008 June "candlelight struggle" showed that it may be possible to achieve something beyond the democratic gains won via the June Struggle of 1987. Seoul’s City Hall Plaza has become a staging area for citizens to learn how to trust one another through discussion and communication.
Summit declarations integral to N. Korea policy
Ahead of the 8th anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration, there is a growing call for the government to change its policy on North Korea. Following calls for change by experts and scholars at home and abroad, people who were instrumental in moving inter-Korean relations forward in the 1990s are increasingly adding their voices to the din. The group includes former President Kim Dae-jung, former unification ministers Lim Dong-won and Jeong Se-hyun, and Rep. Park Ji-won. Current Unification Minister Kim Ha-joong, who has been tentative about his stance, is also trying to display a different attitude by participating in an event related to the anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration.
The calls for a shift in North Korean policy are not so complex. People are urging the government to clearly acknowledge the October 4 summit declaration of 2007 and the June 15 Joint Declaration of 2000 and pledge to implement them.
KCNA Terms Lee Myung Bak Political Charlatan Swimming against June 15 Era of Reunification
Pyongyang, June 11 (KCNA) -- The Lee Myung Bak regime of south Korea has driven the inter-Korean relations to the lowest ebb since the publication of the June 15 joint declaration.
After traitor Lee took office all dialogues between the authorities of the north and the south have been deadlocked and cooperation projects been put in the danger of overall suspension although they continued despite turns and twists. This has bedeviled the inter-Korean relations that have so far favorably developed.
The traitorous group is working hard to bring back the old confrontational era while negating the June 15 joint declaration under the watchword of "no nukes, opening and 3,000 dollars" based on "pragmatism."
The June 15 joint declaration
Friendly greetings from the Korean Committee for Solidarity with the World People!
We are sending this letter on the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the adoption of the June 15 north-south joint declaration.
The June 15 joint declaration adopted on June 15, 2000, has opened a wide avenue of dialogue, reconciliation, visit and cooperation based on the idea of ?By our nation itself?. This helped to remove distrust and misunderstanding between the north and south and dynamically promote reconciliation and unity.
Kim Dae-jung urges Lee gov’t to resume inter-Korean dialogue
Sunshine policy is the only alternative to resolution of issues between North and South, Kim says
» Former President Kim Dae-jung enters the library that bears his name, the Kim Dae-jung Library located in Yonsei University, Seoul, before delivering a speech on June 10. In his speech, Kim urged President Lee Myung-bak to take swift action to improve inter-Korean relations.
Former President Kim Dae-jung urged President Lee Myung-bak to resume talks with North Korea as quickly as possible, saying that inter-Korean relations would deteriorate if the chilled ties between the two countries continue for a long time because it may prompt the North to exercise a policy known as "Tongmibongnam," a policy of communication with the United States and blockage of South Korea.
In a speech made on the afternoon of June 10 at Yonsei University in Seoul, Kim said, "For President Lee Myung-bak, the best way to turn South-North relations into a relationship of friendly cooperation is to announce that it will provide humanitarian aid for North Korea in the form of rice and fertilizer and pledge to implement the June 15 and October 4 Joint Declarations."
[SK NK policy]
Korean Leader Considers Ways to Rework Government
By CHOE SANG-HUN
Published: June 11, 2008
SEOUL — President Lee Myung Bak pledged a "new beginning" on Wednesday as he contemplated reorganizing his unpopular government which has been shaken by the biggest anti-government demonstrations in two decades.
The demonstrations against Mr. Lee started more than a month ago when students began protesting his government's decision in April to resume imports of American beef despite widespread fears of mad cow disease. They snowballed into a broader backlash against Mr. Lee's leadership style and his policies on everything from North Korea to education reform programs.
Education Ministry under fire for textbook revision plan
Conservative business group proposed history textbook revisions in April and gov’t followed
» Kim Do-yeon, the education minister, along with his ministry, is under fire for pushing for a history textbook revision proposed by the conservative Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is drawing criticism for allegedly trying to become involved in the process of revising history textbooks, after its plans to hold a rare meeting with the textbook editors. The ministry’s plan came about following a strong call from conservative historians and businesses for revisions to middle and high school history textbooks.
Inter-Korean Hotline to Crucial to Implement Agreements of Summit in 2000
"Through it, S. Korea delivers its stance during the second North Korean nuclear crisis," former unification minister Lim said
Lim Dong-won, who served as unification minister, head of the National Intelligence Service, and top presidential aide for diplomacy and security during the administration of Kim Dae-jung, published his memoir, "Peacemaker."
In the memoir, Lim, who now serves as president of the Sejong Institute and head of the Hankyoreh Foundation for Unification and Culture, said a 24-hour hotline between South Korean president Kim Dae-jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il allowed the two Koreas to implement agreements signed at the historic inter-Korean summit in 2000. The hotline between the two counties has existed since the 2000 summit.
Peace is the real power fueling the candles
The candles lightening up the area in front of Seoul City Hall have been growing in number. The 72-hour relay protest that began on June 6 filled Seoul City Hall Plaza and the wide Sejongno boulevard with 200,000 people (the official police estimate was 65,000), despite obstructive tactics from conservative elements. Many young people are present, having been a big part of the protests from the start, but older generations are also participating: their parents and even their grandparents. There are farmers that have come to Seoul from the countryside, mothers pushing strollers, and even members of an online "plastic surgery club" and other demographics you do not usually see at street protests. It would be safe to say that all generations and social groups are taking up candles.
These candles that have been burning for more than a month now, demonstrating the potential for a more participatory democracy.
For Studies in English, Koreans Say Goodbye to Dad
By NORIMITSU ONISHI
Published: June 8, 2008
AUCKLAND, New Zealand — On a sunny afternoon recently, half a dozen South Korean mothers came to pick up their children at the Remuera Primary School here, greeting one another warmly in a schoolyard filled with New Zealanders.
The mothers, members of the largest group of foreigners at the public school, were part of what are known in South Korea as "wild geese," families living separately, sometimes for years, to school their children in English-speaking countries like New Zealand and the United States. The mothers and children live overseas while the fathers live and work in South Korea, flying over to visit a couple of times a year.
Driven by a shared dissatisfaction with South Korea’s rigid educational system, parents in rapidly expanding numbers are seeking to give their children an edge by helping them become fluent in English while sparing them, and themselves, the stress of South Korea’s notorious educational pressure cooker.
Koreas Not Eye-to-Eye on Vision 3000
By Andrei Lankov
June 6^th , 2008
Andrei Lankov, an Associate Professor at Kookmin University, Seoul, and Adjunct Research Fellow at the Research School of Pacifica and Asian Studies, Australian National University, writes, “sooner or later Lee Myong-bak and his advisers will have to reconsider the "Northern question" and come out with a strategy that has a chance to work… Quite likely, their answer will be some kind of engagement policy, in other words, a re-worked and re-branded version of the Sunshine Policy.”
[SK NK policy]
South Korea praises North Korea over nuclear issue
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: June 6, 2008
Filed at 3:27 a.m. ET
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea's president praised North Korea on Friday for making progress in international negotiations on its nuclear programs and called for talks with Pyongyang on stalled inter-Korean relations.
GNP Routed in Local By-Elections
The ruling Grand National Party was routed Wednesday in the first local by-elections held since the inauguration of the Lee Myung-bak administration. In an election for a total of nine local administrative chiefs and 43 local assembly members, just one local administrative chief in Cheongdo County, North Gyeongsang Province, and eight local assembly members elected were from the GNP.
Korea Launches 3rd 214-Class Submarine
South Korea on Wednesday launched its third 214-class, 1,800t-class submarine Ahn Jung-geun at Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan. The Ahn Jung-geun will be delivered to the Navy and deployed late next year. The submarine was named after a revered independence fighter, the first time a naval vessel has been named for a member of the resistance to Japanese occupation.
[Military balance] [Japanese colonialism] [Terrorism]
Seoul proposes holding talks with Pyongyang
S. Korea hopes to provide 50,000 tons of corn under agreement made by former Pres. Roh
Seoul is waiting for a reply from Pyongyang to an offer it made in May to hold working-level talks to discuss the possibility of providing corn assistance.
Sex and the City Fever Returns to Korea
The hype is on ahead of the release of the film version of "Sex and the City" here in Korea on Thursday. Revived as a movie four years after the TV sitcom ended, "Sex and the City" is exciting not only for devout female fans but also the fashion, retail, and publishing industries as it is expected to once again serve as a fashion bible and a guide to relationships for women of a certain age with explicit sex scenes and fabulous fashion styles, much as the TV series did. The styles sported by the four lead characters will likely lead to trends among women around the world.
Police violence during beef protests resulted in civilian injuries
Photo and video evidence shows that police committed indiscriminate acts of violence
» A citizen who was hit by a policeman wielding a shield, bleeds as he hits the ground at dawn on June 2.
It has been found that riot police were found to have exercised a series of illegal and drastic measures in the course of cracking down on demonstrations held in front of Cheong Wa Dae on June 1-2. Many protesters were injured. Riot police used water cannons at close range, in violation of safety regulations. A number of demonstrators were injured as riot police wielded shields and clubs in the process of taking them into custody
Crimes Committed by Lee Myung Bak Group during 100 Days of Their Office Brought to Light
Pyongyang, June 2 (KCNA) -- The National Reunification Institute made public a white paper Sunday disclosing the crimes committed by traitor Lee Myung Bak of south Korea for the past 100 days since the first day of his coming to power, talking about "lost decade."
The past 100 days of the conservative group's office are characterized by disgrace and crimes as it reduced south Korea to a complete colony of the U.S. and brought the north-south relations to collapse and made the dark clouds of confrontation and war hang over the Korean nation, the paper notes.
Citing facts to prove that Lee Myung Bak is the worst sycophantic traitor, the paper goes on:
The traitor totally restored the humiliating master-servant relationship while talking about "tightened south Korea-U.S. alliance" quite contrary to the nation's desire for independence.
Lee's Approval Rating Plummets to 21 Percent
Only 21.2 percent of Koreans approved of President Lee Myung-bak's performance after 100 days in office. In a Gallup poll for the Chosun Ilbo on the occasion, 68.9 percent disapproved of the new president, 3.8 percent said his performance was average and 6 percent were undecided.
Lee’s approval rating has plummeted over 30 points since March 2, right after his inauguration.
N.Korea Remains Powerful Threat to South: Minister
Korea remains exposed to one of the strongest military threats in the world even as inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation have increased, Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee said Saturday. Lee was delivering a keynote speech titled "Defense Policy in the Era of Uncertainty: South Korea's View" at the seventh Asia Security Conference on Saturday. The three-day meeting brought together defense ministers from 26 countries, including ASEAN, Australia, Japan, the U.S., and the U.K.
Asked about Seoul’s reluctance to join the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative, Lee said considering the security situation, South Korea is already participating within the possible range. "The Korean government will continue to review the initiative and consider timing and range of participation," he said. Currently, South Korea only sends an observation team to training for the PSI, which aims to intercept ships suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction or parts on the high seas. Some 86 countries have joined the initiative.
[Threat] [Spin] [PSI]
Public anger fuels anti-government rallies
Calls for president’s resignation trump calls for renegotiation of U.S. beef agreement
» Citizens are hit by a water canon shot by police at the entrance of Cheong Wa Dae at dawn on June 1. People are once again calling on the government to renegotiate U.S. beef import rules, but have added a call for the president to resign.
As street rallies and demonstrations against the government’s public announcement of the U.S. beef deal, the final administrative step prior to resumption of U.S. beef imports, have become increasingly vigorous from day to day, the anger of the general public seems to have a new role to play in the nation’s anti-government battle. In the wake of the weekend rallies, which have been the biggest in scale thus far, more slogans calling for President Lee Myung-bak to step down have appeared than calls for the government to withdraw the notice and renegotiate the sanitary conditions for beef imports with the United States. All street marches led to the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae, or the Blue House.
Sales of wine pass soju as Koreans get healthy
June 02, 2008
Koreans are spending more on wine than soju for the first time in the nation¡¯s history, based on sales at the nation¡¯s biggest discount chain.
Sales of wine totaled 24.3 billion won ($23.5 million) in the January to May period, E-Mart said in a release yesterday. Meanwhile, soju recorded 24.1 billion won of sales during the same period. The store analyzed alcohol sales from its 113 branches nationwide.
Wine Outsells Soju for First Time
By Kim Hyun-cheol
Sales of wine surpassed those of soju, the representative local alcoholic beverage, for the first time in the nation's biggest discount store franchises.
The sales of wine amounted to 24.3 billion won ($23.6 million) during the first five months of this year, 200 million won more than soju, E-Mart announced Sunday. The figure accounts for 19.6 percent of its overall liquor sales, making wine the second best-selling kind next to beer with 37.4 percent.
E-Mart's sales share of wine has more than doubled since 2005, when wine was fifth at the bottom of the list with 9.4 percent. In 2005, only 41 bottles of wine were sold for every 100 bottles of soju.
Wine is the only kind of liquor for which sales have been constantly on the rise over the past few years while soju sales have stagnated, the company said.
"This is the outcome of rapidly growing demand for wine of late," an E-mart official said.
"We expect wine to be neck and neck with beer sales sooner or later with this growth."
[Wine] [IM] [FTA]
The situation of protest about U.S. beef import in S.Korea is similar to that of June,1987
Farmers, professors and veterans, and citizens protest the government’s announcement about U.S. beef import
» In the map, the flame icon indicates the places where the candlelight vigils have been held. From April 18 to May 30, vigils have been held in 99 cities and villages. April 18 marks the time when the U.S. beef import rule was agreed upon between South Korea and the U.S. Some say that it’s the biggest demonstration since the June Great Struggle in 1987 that expelled the military dictatorship in South Korea.
The government’s May 29 announcement of conditions for U.S. beef imports is expected to face mounting protests from citizens and netizens during the weekend. The evening of May 31 they are planning to hold rallies in major cities across the nation at places such as Seoul Plaza. Representatives of all walks of life are issuing statements against the government’s announcement.
During a press conference on May 30, a civic organization declared that it will organize a major candlelight vigil at Seoul Plaza on the evening of May 31 as part of a citizens’ campaign against the nation’s resumption of the importation of U.S. beef. They stated, “We will encourage citizens to take part in the rallies through a campaign, sounding car horns as during the 1987 June civilian uprising.’’
The professors’ union issued a statement, criticizing the government’s lack of philosophy and willingness to take responsibility for the state of affairs. ``We think that the current situation is similar to that of June ,1987, but the government appears not to recognize this.”
Traitor Lee Myung Bak and S. Korean Puppet Military Urged to Take Measure to Stop Scattering of Leaflets
Pyongyang, May 30 (KCNA) -- The head of the north side's delegation to the inter-Korean military working-level talks on Friday sent a notice to the puppet military taking a grave note of the fact that the Lee Myung Bak group set in motion the puppet military and right-wing anti-communist organizations in south Korea to resume all forms of scattering of leaflets against the DPRK.
Terming the above-said act a new intolerable provocative act of totally negating all the military agreements reached between both sides on implementing the historic June 15 joint declaration and the October 4 declaration, the head of the north side's delegation in the notice pointed to its grave nature.
Its increased gravity lies in that such action taken by the Lee Myung Bak group, in particular, is part of the pro-Japanese sycophantic act, a treacherous act to put pressure upon fellow countrymen in collusion with the Japanese reactionaries, the sworn enemy of the Korean nation, who brought so towering grudge to the Korean people, the notice said, and went on:
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