ROK and Inter-Korean relations
274 secret tapes are confiscated from ex-agent
July 30, 2005 ? Prosecutors announced yesterday
that they had seized 274 secret tape recording
at the home of Kong Un-yeong, a former official
with the central intelligence agency who headed
an illegal eavesdropping operation that targeted
Each tape is two hours long, the authorities
said. Prosecutors also confiscated 13 volumes of
transcripts, each 200 to 300 pages long.
1st Meeting of Panel for North-South Cooperation
in Fisheries Opened
Kaesong, July 27 (KCNA) -- The 1st meeting of
the panel for north-south cooperation in
fisheries took place in Kaesong from July 25 to
27 in accordance with the agreement of the 10th
meeting of the North-South Committee for the
Promotion of Economic Cooperation. At the
meeting both sides discussed proposals for
cooperation in fisheries to ensure peace and the
common interests of fishermen of the north and
the south in the West Sea according to the basic
spirit of the June 15 North-South Joint
Declaration and adopted an agreement of the 1st
meeting of the panel for north-south cooperation
Working-level Contact Between North and South
Kaesong, July 28 (KCNA) -- A working-level
contact concerning August 15 north-south
football matches for reunification was held in
Kaesong on July 26 and 28. At the contact the
north and the south noted that leader Kim Jong
Il received the chairperson of Hyundai Group and
the vice-chairman of Hyundai Asan of south Korea
and complied with the request of Minister of
Unification Jong Dong Yong offered through them,
thus making it possible to hold August 15 north-
south football matches for reunification on the
occasion of the significant 60th anniversary of
the liberation of Korea.
Professor Kang Makes Another Pro-North Korean
By Moon Gwang-lip
Kang Jeong-koo, sociology professor at Dongguk
University, said in a column posted yesterday on
an Internet news site that the 1950-1953 Korean
War should be regarded not as a ``war for
sovereignty usurpation'' but as a ``war for the
great cause of unification,'' a statement
similar to North Korean propaganda.
``No South Korean history textbook depicts Wang
Kun and Kyon Hwon as invaders. Wang is revered
as a great king who worked for unification,''
Kang said, advocating the communist country's
reasoning behind the war.
Wang (A.D. 877-943) was the founder of the Koryo
Dynasty (A.D. 918-1392), unifying the three
kingdoms split from the Silla Kingdom after
defeating Kyon Kwon of Hu-Paekche.
In the column entitled ``True Knowledge About
MacArthur,'' Kang claimed the three-year war
could have ended in a month without the
intervention of the United States.
``Without U.S. intervention, Korea would not
have suffered such bloodshed and destruction. To
4 million Koreans killed during the war, the
U.S. is not a lifesaver or friend but an
enemy,'' Kang said.
Koreas reach fishing agreement
July 28, 2005 ? North and South Korea yesterday
three days of maritime talks in Kaesong,
agreeing to cooperate to prevent boats from
third countries from fishing in portions of the
Yellow Sea belonging to the two Koreas.
The two sides agreed in principle to designate a
joint fishing zone in the Yellow Sea near the
inter-Korean maritime border.
A South Korean official said that more than 200
illegal fishing boats from third coutries
operate daily in Korean waters, exhausting the
two Koreas' maritime resources and needlessly
aggravating cross-border tensions.
However, they failed to reach an immediate
agreement on the specific areas to be designated
joint fishing zones. Instead, the two Koreas
announced they will finalize the location and
details associated with the proposed joint
fishing zone, including fishing operation
timelines, at a planned meeting between the two
countries' military officials. A date for that
meeting has yet to be set. Working-level
officials from the North and South Koreas also
agreed to work together to carry out joint
projects in fisheries production, processing and
Separately, the two Koreas will begin talks
today in Kaesong on railroad and road
2 Koreas to Block Illegal Fishing in West Sea
Joint Press Corps and Seo Dong-shin
Shim Ho-jin, right, South Korean chief delegate,
enters a conference room with his North Korean
counterpart Cho Hyun-ju during the third and
last day of working-level inter-Korean talks on
fishery cooperation in Kaesong, North Korea,
Wednesday. / Korea Times
KAESONG, North Korea _ South and North Korea
agreed to join hands in fending off illegal
fishing boats from a ``third country,''
presumably meaning China, from their territorial
waters in the West Sea.
The agreement is part of the six-point results
obtained from the three-day working-level
consultations on marine cooperation, which ended
on Wednesday. South Korean officials commuted
from Seoul to the meeting venue in the North by
bus each day.
Ambassador Hong to resign
July 27, 2005 ? South Korea's ambassador to the
United States, Hong Seok-hyun, expressed his
intention to resign in the wake of political
tumult over his alleged involvement in providing
illegal political funds to presidential
candidates in 1997.
Separately, a former national spy agency
official, who played a role in implicating Mr.
Hong in the scandal, stabbed himself yesterday
in a suburb of Seoul in a failed suicide bid.
Roh to Accept Amb. Hong's Resignation
By Lee Jin-woo
President Roh Moo-hyun has decided to accept the
resignation of South Korean Ambassador to the
United States Hong Seok-hyun over his alleged
involvement in a slush funds scandal, Chong Wa
Dae said on Tuesday.
Propaganda removal resumes along DMZ
July 27, 2005 ? North and South Korea resumed
dismantling loudspeakers and propaganda
billboards along their respective borders,
yesterday, as part of an agreement reached last
week to minimize tensions along the
The initial agreement to remove all propaganda
related equipment was reached in June of last
year but was halted after incidents in the
Yellow Sea in which North Korean naval vessels
entered South Korean waters.
The removal of all propaganda material is
scheduled to be finished by Aug. 13. Both sides
are expected to have more talks the day before
to verify the process.
While they have agreed to hold general-level
talks at Mount Paekdu in the North, no date has
been set. Last week, both sides agreed to finish
establishing communication offices in order to
reduce the risk of clashes in the Yellow Sea.
An apology for actions that were inappropriate
We are offering a sincere apology over recent
reports concerning the National Security
Planning Agency's transcript of a secretly
recorded conversation involving then-JoongAng
Ilbo President Hong Seok-hyun. The JoongAng Ilbo
has taken pride in playing a role in creating a
fair and just society by watching over those
with political, economic and social power. But
the transcript in question seems to imply that
former President Hong was involved in the
political evil of the past.
In view of the gravity of the case, the JoongAng
Ilbo offers its deepest apologies to the people
and pledges to painstakingly reflect on our
track record, even before authorities launch
investigations to verify the validity of the
content of the transcript. After being appointed
Ambassador to the United States in February, Mr.
Hong resigned as leader of the JoongAng Ilbo.
Yet the JoongAng Ilbo cannot say it has nothing
to do with this matter. It makes us feel bitter.
The JoongAng Ilbo endured great suffering in
connection with the 1997 presidential election.
The Kim Dae-jung administration pressured the
JoongAng Ilbo after its victory, and Mr. Hong
was detained on charges of tax evasion in 1999.
The so-called "Bokwang tax evasion scandal" was
actually a result of the Kim administration's
displeasure with the Joong-Ang Ilbo for
supporting Mr. Kim's opponent. At the time, Mr.
Hong himself offered a public apology. He served
his jail term
Reception Given by South Side's Delegation
Pyongyang, July 25 (KCNA) -- The delegation of
the south side gave a reception at the People's
Palace of Culture Sunday evening for the
participants in the meeting of Korean writers
for the implementation of the June 15 joint
Korea University Develops Anti-Plagiarism Program
By Kim Cheong-won
It took nearly four hours for Kim Mi-kyoung, a
university student, to write her 10-page history
class assignment with a pencil. If she had typed
it, it would have taken less than 30 minutes.
But she had to write it by pencil because her
professor requested it to prevent students from
copying off the Internet.
However, she may not have to do it any more.
Korea University has developed a program that
can tell whether reports are plagiarized or not.
8 SNU Professors Under Probe for Allegedly
By Chung Ah-young
Prosecutors are investigating eight additional
Seoul National University (SNU) professors after
arresting two professors on charges of
embezzling research funds
Ambassador Hong Likely to Resign
By Seo Dong-shin
South Korean Ambassador to the United States
Hong Seok-hyun is likely to announce his plans
on Monday amid escalating demands for his
The demands erupted after news reports were
released alleging his involvement in illicit
dealings during the 1997 presidential election
Secret recordings stir furor in media
July 23, 2005 ? A national television network
detailed yesterday a 1997 conversation between
JoongAng Ilbo Publisher Hong Seok-hyun and
senior Samsung executive Lee Hak-soo, revealing
the men discussed possible political
contributions by the Samsung Group to the
campaigns of the two leading presidential
candidates at the time.
In doing so, the station, MBC, appeared to defy
a court order not to disclose the contents of
what was an illegally recorded exchange about
political donations before the 1997 presidential
election. The tape had been secretly made by the
National Intelligence Service.
MBC explained that its reporting was based on a
1997 intelligence service briefing and not on
the tape itself.
In its prime-time nightly newscast, MBC reported
on the conversation between Mr. Hong, now South
Korea's ambassador to the United States, and Mr.
Lee, the chief planning officer of Samsung.
The report said Mr. Hong was involved in the
delivery of political donations to the campaigns
of Lee Hoi-chang and Kim Dae-jung on behalf of
Agency cites origin of Park foundation
July 23, 2005 ? An investigation by a special
committee set up by the National Intelligence
Service reported yesterday that in 1962 a Busan-
based businessman was forced, apparently upon
the orders of Park Chung Hee, to relinquish his
assets, one year after Mr. Park's coup d'etat.
The assets were subsequently used to establish a
scholarship foundation controlled by Mr. Park,
and later by his daughter, Grand National Party
Chairwoman Park Geun-hye.
Mr. Kim's family claims that the charges were
politically motivated because Mr. Kim had
refused to help finance Mr. Park's coup d'etat,
which took place on May 16, 1961.
On June 20, 1962, the day after military
prosecutors sentenced Mr. Kim to seven years
imprisonment, Mr. Kim agreed to surrender his
property to the Park regime.
Only after doing this was he released. The
committee said yesterday, "To hide the fact that
Mr. Kim signed the consent while in detention,
the written consent was fabricated to make it
look like Mr. Kim signed it on the 30th after he
Mr. Kim's assets, including his stakes in the
media companies and an 81-acre estate belonging
to a scholarhsip foundation he had founded, were
used to establish the May 16 Scholarship
In 1982, the foundation changed its name to the
Chungsu Scholarship Foundation. Ms. Park headed
the foundation until February of this year.
Getting to the truth
The so-called "X-file" is stirring up the whole
nation. Curiosity about the unidentified
material whose authenticity no one can confirm
is sweeping the whole nation. Verification of
the truth is neglected. Perhaps people are
getting excited while pursuing a phantom, so it
is important to find out the truth. The truth
shouldn't be buried -- we should dig it out. The
wisest solution lies in approaching the problem
from the truth and facts.
We cannot but be surprised to find that such
illegal activities were committed during the
civilian government that boasted of being the
first democratic government, not a military-
backed regime. As there were more than 8,000
recorded tapes, most of the leaders of our
society were the victimes of wiretapping. It
must also be clarified whether such illegal
tapping was committed by the governments that
succeeded the first civilian government. We
cannot leave alone the reality where people
carry multiple numbers of mobile phones out of
fear of having their conversations tapped.
Korean Writers Meet to Implement June 15 Joint
Pyongyang, July 21 (KCNA) -- A meeting of Korean
writers for implementing the June 15 joint
declaration was held at the People's Palace of
Culture on Wednesday. Present there were Vice-
Premier of the Cabinet Ro Tu Chol, Chairman of
the C.C., the General Federation of the Unions
of Literature and the Arts of Korea Kim Jong Ho,
writers and poets in Pyongyang.
KCNA Refutes Threadbare Fiction about "North
Pyongyang, July 22 (KCNA) -- Media in the United
States and south Korea again floated the
threadbare fiction about a "north Korean
defector-asylum seeker." Recently they spread a
whopping lie that a deputy to the Supreme
People's Assembly who had allegedly worked in
the field of munitions industry sought "asylum"
in south Korea.
They reported that this "defector" testified to
the fact that the north has manufactured nuclear
weapons with plutonium and developed "special
The DPRK can not but draw attention to the smear
campaign kicked up by unsavory forces against it
at a time when the north-south relations are
making favorable progress and the six-party
talks for the solution to the nuclear issue are
expected to resume soon. As we have already
clarified, the alleged defection of a deputy to
the SPA is a sheer fabrication because there is
no such institution in the DPRK as the "marine
industrial institute" to which he allegedly
belonged and no man with such position from the
DPRK had ever made a business trip overseas. [Disinformation]
Working Contact Made between Authorities of
North and South
Kaesong, July 22 (KCNA) -- A working-level
contact between the authorities of the north and
the south of Korea took place in Kaesong on July
22 in connection with the expected participation
of the delegations of the authorities of both
sides in the "August 15 grand national festival
for independence, peace and reunification"
slated to be held in the area of the south side
under an agreement reached at the 15th inter-
Korean ministerial talks. At the contact the
north and the south issued an agreement after
deciding to make the Aug. 15 grand national
festival a significant grand festival which
would demonstrate internally and externally the
will of all Koreans for national independence,
their desire to achieve national reconciliation,
unity and co-prosperity through their concerted
Samsung Campaigned for Lee
MBC Reports Intelligence Agency's Eavesdropping
By Ryu Jin
Korea's leading television network MBC
broadcasts a series of detailed reports on a
tape recording that sparked controversy over
eavesdropping and 1997 presidential election
campaign on its prime-time news program at 9
p.m. Friday. / Korea Times
Samsung Group campaigned for Lee Hoi-chang, then
ruling party candidate in the 1997 presidential
race, and Hong Seok-hyun, then president of
JoongAng Ilbo, played a key role, a major
Following its initial reports the previous day,
MBC television reported in more detail on the
``Lee Sang-ho X-File,'' named after its reporter
who first obtained an audiotape containing a
secret conversation between executive officers
of Samsung and JoongAng Ilbo.
``Samsung is suspected of having contributed
about 10 billion won ($9.8 million) to Lee Hoi-
chang, then candidate of the ruling camp, ahead
of the 1997 presidential election and Samsung
Chairman Lee Kun-hee sent Hong Seok-hyun to
deliver the money,'' MBC said.
Hong Pressed to Resign Over Scandals
Political Parties Moving to Uncover Truth Behind
Illegal Election Dealings
By Ryu Jin
South Korean Ambassador to the United States
Hong Seok-hyun is caught in the biggest scandal
of his seven months in office over illicit
dealings in the lead-up to the 1997 presidential
He has so far managed to sidestep hullabaloos
that threatened his career, but now he faces a
graver quandary, as some have questioned whether
he should continue his duties as one of the key
diplomats to represent the in handling such
important problems as the North Korean nuclear
Park Chung-hee's Media Control Plot Unveiled
By Lee Jin-woo
The late President Park Chung-hee forced a
businessman to give up his scholarship
foundation and shares in news companies to
muzzle the press in 1962, an investigation
report of a special committee said on Friday.
The Puil Scholarship Foundation, a predecessor
of the Chungsoo Scholarship Foundation, was
donated by its late owner Kim Ji-tae, a wealthy
businessman and former lawmaker, to Park's
military government, according to the report by
the National Intelligence Service (NIS).
Chairwoman of the main opposition Grand National
Party (GNP) Park Geun-hye, who is the daughter
of the late president, had headed the
foundation, which remains the 100 percent owner
of the Pusan Ilbo, a vernacular daily, and 30
percent of the Seoul MBC, since the late 1990s
until February this year.
Assailants strip soldiers of weapons
July 22, 2005 ? Three unidentified men assaulted
two armed South Korean soldiers on patrol near
Donghae, a coastal city in Gangwon province, and
stripped them off their weapons and ammunition
before they escaped. One of the soldiers was cut
with a knife.
In response, the South Korean military declared
a security alert in the area in a bid to catch
the men and recover the arms. In March of 2002,
two K-2 assault rifles were stolen from the
Capital Defense Command and then later used in a
bank robbery in Seoul.
The officials said it was unlikely that North
Korean agents were responsible.
Experts said yesterday that North Korean agents
are more likely to avoid contact with other
people before melting into the populace of the
city or going inland. The Seoul dialect and
Gangneung dialect used by the men also suggested
that the assailants had no ties to the North.
Inter-Korean Military Working Talks Held
Pyongyang, July 20 (KCNA) -- The third military
working talks took place in the portion of the
south side in Panmunjom today over the issue of
implementing the agreement reached at the north-
south general-level military talks. Present at
the talks were the military working delegation
of the north side led by Senior Colonel of the
Ministry of the People's Armed Forces Yu Yong
Chol and the military working delegation of the
south side headed by Colonel of the Ministry of
National Defense Mun Song Muk.
Meeting of Korean Writers Held
Pyongyang, July 20 (KCNA) -- A meeting of Korean
writers was held here Wednesday to implement the
June 15 joint declaration. The meeting that
brought together writers in the north and from
the south and overseas was the first of its kind
in the history of national division. It
discussed the duty and role of writers of
national literature in achieving national
reunification under the banner of the June 15
joint declaration, the issues of forming the
"June 15 association of writers of national
literature" as a common organization of writers
in the north and the south and overseas and
instituting "June 15 Prize for Reunification
Spy Agency's Eavesdropping Under Probe
By Lee Jin-woo
The nation's spy agency said on Thursday it will
investigate illegal eavesdropping cases
allegedly committed during the President Kim
Young-sam government of the 1990s.
The Agency for National Security Planning,
predecessor of the National Intelligence Service
(NIS), allegedly recorded private meetings of
politicians, executives of conglomerates and
senior journalists between 1993 and 1998, a
local vernacular daily Chosun Ilbo reported.
Anti-Samsung Professor to Lead Korea University
By Choi Kyong-ae
Korea University, which recently received a
large amount of financial assistance from
Samsung Group, Thursday named Jang Ha-sung,
known as the anti-Samsung scholar, as dean of
its college of business administration.
Jang, 52, teaches business administration at
Korea University and works as an economic
adviser to the shareholder activities group
People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
The appointment came several months after
Samsung Group donated 41.8 billion won for the
university to build a library named ``Samsung
Jang has earned a nickname of ``Samsung sniper''
for his harsh ``Samsung bashing.''
Army Will Be Streamlined Into More Mobile Force:
SEOUL (Yonhap) _ South Korea is considering
downsizing its 680,000-member military by one-
fourth by 2020 and streamlining its combat
organizations in an effort to carry out a
comprehensive reform of its armed forces,
Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung said Wednesday.
``Since the objective of current military reform
is to transform the organization of South
Korea's military to a quality-based structure
from a quantity-based one to create small but
strong, advanced and elite forces, the
reorganization of military structure is a key
task,'' Yoon said in an interview with Yonhap
South Korea plans to set its number of troops at
around 500,000, reducing it in three stages by
2020, Yoon said, adding the cut will be offset
by the introduction of sophisticated weapons.
``Yesterday, I received a report from a staff
officer that when we have 500,000 troops, our
ground forces will be on an equal status with
North Korean ground troops. The Navy and Air
Forces' strengths are 130 and 150 percent of
those of North Korea,'' Yoon said.
S, N Writers to Form New Association
SEOUL (Yonhap) ? In their first-ever gathering,
writers of South and North Korea announced in
Pyongyang that they will form an association
aimed at promoting reunification of the
peninsula, the (North) Korean Central News
Agency reported Thursday.
Militaries agree on new hotline
July 21, 2005 ? Military officials from North
and South Korea met in the truce village of
Panmunjeom yesterday and agreed to resume
measures aimed at minimizing border tensions,
including the establishment of a 24-hour hotline
between the two navies.
The meeting was aimed at avoiding conflicts such
as the naval clashes in the Yellow Sea that have
taken place in recent years. Higher-ranking
officials had agreed last year to implement the
hotline and other measures, but work on the
projects was stopped after a South Korean ship
fired warning shots in response to a maritime
border crossing by a North Korean vessel.
Military talks resume
Optical Fiber Communication Cables Connected for
TV Dialog between Separated Families and
Kaesong, July 18 (KCNA) -- Optical fiber
communication cables for TV dialog between
separated families and relatives in the north
and the south of Korea were connected under an
agreement reached at the 15th inter-Korean
ministerial talks and the inter-Korean working-
level Red-Cross contact. A ceremony of
connecting the cable links took place in the
Demilitarized Zone of the Military Demarcation
Line on July 18.
Present there were persons concerned including
communication personnel in the north and the
south of Korea.
Spokesman for DPRK FM Dismisses Sheer Lie Spread
by Some Unsavory Forces
Pyongyang, July 19 (KCNA) -- A spokesman for the
DPRK Foreign Ministry Tuesday gave the following
answer to the question put by KCNA refuting the
sheer lie that a deputy to the Supreme People's
Assembly allegedly working in the field of the
munitions industry sought an "asylum" in south
Korea, the fiction floated by some media of the
U.S. and south Korea: The fiction is a sheer
fabrication as there is no such institution in
the north as the "marine industrial institute"
to which he allegedly belonged.
The "statement" allegedly made by him was full
Some unsavory forces fabricated "the issue of a
renegade-deserter," a fiction, in a bid to
mislead the public opinion. This is, however,
nothing but a despicable and ridiculous plot to
tarnish the image of the dignified DPRK.
The DPRK cannot but maintain high vigilance and
draw attention to the fact that the hostile
forces are getting frantic in their false
propaganda against it at a time when the north-
south relations are making positive progress and
the resumption of the six-party talks for the
solution to the nuclear issue is near at hand.
S-N writers' meeting
S-N writers' meeting: A delegation of South
Korean writers read a statement before their
departure for Pyongyang at Incheon International
Airport in Inchon
City, Wednesday. The writers left to attend the first meeting in 60 years with
their North Korean counterparts. [photo]
Koreas Agree to Establish Military Liaison Offices
By Joint Press Corps & Jung Sung-ki
PANMUNJOM _ Military officers of South and North Korea Wednesday agreed to establish liaison offices to avoid accidental armed clashes along their disputed western sea border, the Defense Ministry said.
Colonels of the two sides met at the truce village of Panmunjom to set the date and the agenda for a third round of inter-Korean general-level talks on tension-reducing measures along the heavily fortified border, ministry officials said.
The two sides also agreed to restart dismantling remaining propaganda facilities along the 248-kilometer-long Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) from July 25 to Aug. 13, they said.
Forgotten Spy Saga Sparks Call for
SEOUL (Yonhap) _ Decades after a prominent North
Korean journalist was executed by hanging in
South Korea on espionage charges, calls have
risen to reinvestigate one of the country's most
intriguing spy sagas, one that had been long
The question is whether the purported defector
was a real communist spy or a mere turncoat who
just sought personal comfort after being
disenchanted with the harsh systems in both
Koreas of the time.
Some even suspect that the Cold War episode
might have been a South Korean put-up job aimed
at strengthening its anti-communist campaign.
But one thing is clear: he was a victim of
intense inter-Korean rivalry.
On March 22, 1967, Lee Su-kun, then vice
president of the North's state-run Korean
Central News Agency, defected to South Korea
while covering a Korean War armistice commission
meeting at the inter-Korean border village of
Lee's defection was dramatic enough to capture
world headlines. In a pre-planned arrangement
with U.N. Command officials, the North Korean
journalist jumped into a sedan waiting for a
British general that was about to leave the
[Refugee reception] [Evidence] [Human rights]
N. Korea to Present Deal to Energy Proposal
By Park Song-wu
Pyongyang will likely present a counterproposal
to Seoul's offer of electricity aid, demanding
that Seoul also build power plants in North
Korea, a former unification minister said at a
lecture on Monday.
A high-ranking Seoul official, however, said on
Tuesday that North Korea would accept South
Korea's proposal at the six-party nuclear talks,
which will begin in Beijing on July 26, and will
not request big changes to it.
Seoul said ready to pay 'cost of peace'
July 19, 2005 ? Responding to questions over how
Seoul expects to cover the cost of doubling
North Korea's electricity supply, South Korea's
top energy official said yesterday that the
government would undertake to pay whatever was
needed to maintain peace on the Korean Peninsula
and reach a successful conclusion to the six-
party nuclear negotiations.
"Though we need more discussion with Pyongyang
to decide how to cover the costs of supplying
electricity to North Korea, we will consider the
'cost of peace'," Energy Minister Lee Hee-beom
said yesterday in a briefing.
His comment follows by a week a huge offer
announced by Unification Minister Chung Dong-
young to provide 200 million kilowatts of
electricity for energy-starved North Korea in
exchange for its ending its nuclear weapons
development program. In announcing the plan, Mr.
Chung said the government will cover the 1.5
trillion won ($1.4 billion) to 1.7 trillion won
needed to build high-voltage lines, transformers
and other infrastructure by using money already
earmarked for light-water reactors under the
Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization
Inter-Korean soccer match to take place
July 19, 2005 ? For the first time since
September 2002, a soccer match, scheduled for
Aug. 15 in Seoul, will take place between North
and South Korea. The game is being held to
commemorate the 60th anniversary of the
country's independence, a government official
The official said that in a meeting over the
weekend between Hyun Jeong-eun, Hyundai Group's
chairwoman, and the North's leader, Kim Jong-il,
Ms. Hyun delivered the government proposal, and
Mr. Kim agreed to it.
Mr. Kim also offered Ms. Hyun the right to open
Mount Paektu and the city of Kaesong to South
Korean tourists from next month.
A changed world for Korea's returnees
July 18, 2005 ? One came back for a father-in-
law; one came back for God. More than one came
back for profit.
Another calls Korea "an abnormal, sick society,"
and in the same breath says, "I'm more patriotic
than anybody I know."
They left Korea decades ago, while the country
was in the grip of dictators, in search of a
better life in the United States. With most now
closing in on their retirement years, they have
returned to their homeland and discovered a new
political, economic and social landscape. Some
embrace it, some do not.
The first-generation returnees interviewed for
this article are generally well-to-do, are
fluent in English, possess degrees from American
universities and, in most cases, have U.S.
passports. Many of them are back in Korea for
the same reason they left all those years ago:
They're simply following the opportunities. The
return doesn't mark a circular journey, but a
2 Koreas Plan Liberation Day Football Match
By Reuben Staines
South and North Korea have agreed to play a
football match as part of joint Liberation Day
celebrations in Seoul next month, the government
Hyundai Group chairwoman Hyun Jung-eun proposed
the match on behalf of the South Korean
government during a meeting with North Korean
leader Kim Jong-il in the North's port city of
Wonsan on Sunday, Unification Ministry spokesman
Kim Hong-jae said.
No domestic problem with electricity supply
July 18, 2005 ? The Ministry of Commerce,
Industry and Energy announced yesterday South
Korea would not suffer from a shortage of power
when it begins supplying North Korea with 2
million kilowatts of electricity a year starting
Lee Won-geol, head of the ministry's energy &
resources policy office, said although the power
supply in the South could become problematic
when providing the North with electricity
starting next month, the government would come
up with measures to prevent shortages.
A new generator is under construction at
Incheon's Yeongheung Thermoelectric Power Plant,
and the completion date has now been set at June
2008, instead of March 2009 as previously
scheduled. The new generator is expected to
produce 800,000 kilowatts.
2 Koreas May Discuss Guard Post Removal From DMZ
By Yoon Won-sup
South and North Korea will likely discuss the
simultaneous withdrawal of guard posts from the
Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) when they meet in a
rare round of general-level military talks next
month, Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung said.
``The inter-Korean military talks will cover a
variety of measures to build peace on the Korean
Peninsula, and the withdrawal of the guard posts
from the DMZ will likely be on the main
agenda,'' Yoon said in an interview with SBS TV
Hyun Jung-eun and Kim Jong-il [Photo]
Hyundai Group chairwoman Hyun Jung-eun, third
from left, poses for the camera with North
Korean leader Kim Jong-il, fourth from left,
during her visit to the North Korean port city
of Wonsan, Saturday. From left are Hyundai Asan
executive Yuk Jai-hee; Lim Dong-ok, an official
of the North's Communist Party; Hyun; Kim;
Hyundai Asan vice chairman Kim Yoon-kyu; and
Hyun's daughter Chung Ji-hee.
2 Koreas to Connect Fiber-Optic Link for 'Video
SEOUL (Yonhap) _ The two Koreas will connect a
fiber optic cable across their heavily armed
border on Monday to allow video conferencing
links for separated families, South Korean
officials said Sunday.
The cable linking Munsan in the South to Kaesong
in the North will be connected during a ceremony
to be held on the southern side of the border at
2 p.m., officials at the Unification Ministry
The project is part of a plan to allow families
separated by the 1950-53 Korean War to undertake
``video reunions'' around Aug. 15, when the two
Koreas mark the 60th anniversary of their
liberation from the 1910-45 Japanese
colonization of Korea.
North Korea May Demand More Concessions
By BO-MI LIM
The Associated Press
Monday, July 18, 2005; 2:35 AM
SEOUL, South Korea -- It could be called electro-diplomacy _ an offer by South
Korea to double North Korea's electricity supply if it gives up its nuclear
The United States likes the idea, but analysts here are warning that North
Korea may be leery of having to depend on its neighbor's power.
But "North Korea would live in constant fear that electricity may be cut off
suddenly," Kim said. "They would demand that the South build power plants for
them to disperse this fear."
Upper 5% of Property Holders Own 83% of Land
By Kim Jae-kyoung
The nation's wealthy property holders possessed
more than four-fifths of total individual
properties at the end of last year, as a result
of the escalation of asset polarization between
the rich and the poor.
According to the latest data complied by the
government, the upper 5 percent of real estate
holders has 82.7 percent of the total individual
properties measured at 57,218 square kilometers.
The figure represents an increase of 17.5
percentage points from 65.2 percent in 1986.
Parties Differ Over NK Energy Aid Plan
By Lee Jin-woo
Ruling and opposition parties collided Friday
over how to implement the government's plan to
supply North Korea with electricity for
Pyongyang's abandonment of its nuclear weapons
On Tuesday, Seoul unveiled its ``important
proposal,'' offering 2 million kilowatts of
electricity annually to the North, which suffers
from chronic electricity shortages.
According to experts, the total amount of
electricity that the North can generate stands
at about 7.7 million kilowatts per year, which
is about one seventh South Korea's capacity.
Energy Aid to N. Korea Faces Technical Hitch
By Seo Jee-yeon
South Korea has offered North Korea electricity
in exchange for the reclusive nation's return to
the six-way disarmament talks, but it remains
unclear whether the actual supply is technically
Under the plan led by the Ministry of
Unification, the South plans to directly supply
2,000 megawatts of power to the North, almost
the equivalent of present electricity output in
the impoverished communist state, by 2008, if
Pyongyang dismantles its nuclear weapons
The government plans to link electricity
networks of the two Koreas for the power supply,
with electricity cables being linked between
Pyongyang and a power station in Paju, north of
But some experts are doubtful about the
practicality of the plan. Chang Young-sik,
former president of the Korea Electric Power
Corp (KEPCO), warned of a possible technology
hitch when the South directly supplies
electricity to the North
Conservative GNP to Soften Policy on NK
By Seo Dong-shin
The largest opposition Grand National Party
(GNP) is likely to adopt a revised party
platform that includes an about-turn on its
hostile attitude toward North Korea.
The new platform put forward by the party's
innovation committee says that the GNP aims at
joint development of the two Koreas based on the
principle of ``mutual co-existence,'' while
making concerted efforts to recover a common
identity as one people.
NK Electricity Aid to Cost Taxpayers W2.5 Tril.
By Seo Jee-yeon
The large-scale electricity aid to North Korea
is only a small portion of the
South's total electricity demand and will have little impact on the Korean
economy, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE) said Wednesday.
``Two million kilowatts of electricity, which the government promised to
provide to the North by 2008 if it scraps its nuclear ambitions, amounts to the
energy consumption of Inchon or fourfold the electricity needs of Cheju
Island,'' a ministry official at the public relations team said on condition of
``The energy aid to the North will not effect the South's electricity supply.''
Seoul Not to Abuse Energy Aid Plan
By Ryu Jin
South Korea would never use its proposed electricity aid to North Korea as
``leverage'' to pressure the impoverished country once its nuclear weapons
problem is resolved, a high-profile official in Seoul said Wednesday.
``When the North dismantles its nuclear program and the South starts to provide
electricity, it means they are moving forward toward co-prosperity on the
peninsula based on mutual trust,'' he said on condition of anonymity. ``How can
we use it as leverage to pressure the North?''
The official, who has been deeply involved in designing the ``important
proposal,'' stressed electricity aid is, like the Kaesong industrial complex,
fundamentally aimed at developing the economies in a balanced manner.
By Ignacio Ramonet
PESSIMISM is the prevailing mood in South Korea these days when you talk with politicians and trade unionists. Relations with the United States over what to do about North Korea are going from bad to worse. Tensions are evident in relations with Japan, because Japanese schoolbooks persist in minimising the cruelties inflicted on the Koreans during the Japanese occupation (1905-1945), and because of the row over the Dokdo islands, to which both sides have territorial claims. Seoul is opposed to Tokyo's diplomatic ambition to have a permanent seat on the new UN security council next September, after the reform of the UN.
Above all the economy is going badly.
Kim Jong-il has just announced his intention to resume negotiations on denuclearisation within the Group of Six (North Korea, South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the US) and has indicated that his country could rejoin the non-proliferation treaty, ending its nuclear threat. The ball is in the US court. Will Bush be willing to backtrack on aggression and follow the recommendations of his South Korean ally?
New intelligence chief vows to overcome past
July 12, 2005 ? Former Justice Minister Kim
Seung-kyu was inaugurated yesterday as the new
director of the National Intelligence Service,
pledging to make the agency "globally
In order to do so, Mr. Kim, who is the second
spy chief appointed by President Roh Moo-hyun,
said he will work to "abandon the dark past" of
For decades, the spy agency, once known as the
Korea Central Intelligence Agency, was known for
human rights abuses, and for being used by those
in power to advance their own interests.
S. Korea-Japan Joint Naval Maneuver Denounced
Pyongyang, July 10 (KCNA) -- 50 civic and social
organizations including the Solidarity for
Implementing the South-North Joint Declaration,
the Council for National Reconciliation and
Independent Reunification and the south Korean
Federation of University Student Councils
reportedly released a joint statement titled "We
denounce the south Korea-Japan joint naval
maneuver" on July 7. Noting that the coastal
police office of south Korea and the Japan Coast
Guard staged a "joint naval maneuver" under the
pretext of "combating terrorism" from July 7,
the statement said that the U.S. has justified
its wars of aggression under the signboard of
"anti-terrorism." It termed the on-going
exercise part of such "anti-terrorism war". [Role of ROK military]
Sealed off since the early 1970s with barbed
wire fences after North Korean commandoes came
ashore into the South, Oeongchi Beach in Sokcho,
Gangwon province, was reopened yesterday to the
public after three decades. Representatives of
local residents and Kim Bok-cheon, deputy mayor
of Sokcho, (second from right) cut a ribbon to
mark the opening of the site [Assassination]
Daewoo chief gets Korean citizenship
July 09, 2005 ? The Justice Ministry said
yesterday that it has approved the application
of the once-fugitive Daewoo Group founder, Kim
Woo-choong, to reclaim his Korean citizenship.
Mr. Kim is thus Korean now and no longer French.
Mr. Kim fled Korea in 1999 after his company
encountered financial reverses. He had tried to
fend off bankruptcy by manipulating company
accounts and seeking loans that were illegal.
Thousands of employees suffered in the debacle.
Mr. Kim obtained French citizenship in 1987,
which he said was an effort to open businesses
in Eastern European countries, which then did
not have diplomatic relations with South Korea.
Korean citizenship law does not allow dual
citizenship, and Koreans who voluntarily become
foreign nationals automatically lose their
Kim Il-sung Legacy Controversial in S. Korea
By Seo Dong-shin
Late North Korean leader Kim Il-sung, right,
talks with former U.S. President Jimmy- Carter
on an excursion boat in this file photo taken in
June 1994. Yonhap
It has been exactly 11 years since Kim Il-sung,
the founding leader of North Korea, passed away
on July 8, 1994. Called the ``Great Leader,''
the late Kim is still honored by his son, ``Dear
Leader'' Kim Jong-il. But in the South, his
clout seems to linger as well.
When the news of the sudden death of the North's
founding leader plastered newsstands in Seoul in
July 1994, then-South Korean president Kim Young-
sam ordered the entire army to be put on the
highest alert in case of an emergency.
That stiff reaction had shattered the prospects
of the inter-Korean summit that seemed to be
just around the corner thanks to the mediation
of Jimmy Carter, former U.S. president, amid
high tensions of the first nuclear crisis on the
The pattern repeated when Seoul refused to allow
a civilian delegation to visit the North's
capital to mourn the 10th anniversary of Kim's
death last year. It became one of the reasons
Pyongyang later cited for suspending normal
This week, a staunch conservative from the main
opposition Grand National Party (GNP) launched
an attack against Han Hong-gu, a progressive
scholar working for a committee to examine past
wrongdoings of the nation's counterespionage
During a confirmation hearing at the National
Assembly on the new chief of the National
Intelligence Service (NIS), Rep. Chung Hyung-
keun demanded the dismissal of Han, a history
professor at Sungkonghoe University working for
the NIS Development Committee for Clarifying the
In his argument, the prosecutor-turned-lawmaker
cited Han's article last year that described Kim
Il-sung as a ``20th century nationalist'' and
questioned whether 10 years of time is still not
enough to evaluate the ``leader of our
Few Signs for 2nd Inter-Korean Summit
By Jung Sung-ki
President Roh Moo-hyun said Thursday the
possibility of another round of inter-Korean
talks remains low but pledged to continue to
seek a solution to the stalemate over North
Korea's nuclear program.
``The government has sought and continues to
seek a second inter-Korean summit. At present,
however, we haven't seen any imminent `good
signs' over the issue'' Roh said during a
luncheon meeting with managing editors of
newspapers and broadcasting networks at Chong Wa
Defectors reportedly enter Chinese school
July 06, 2005 ? Citing an unidentified source
with a group that supports North Korean
defectors, Yonhap News Agency reported yesterday
that 10 North Koreans entered a Korean
international school in Qingdao, China, and
requested asylum in South Korea.
The source was quoted as saying that two men and
eight women, all from Hamgyong province, entered
the school through the front gate while students
were leaving. A South Korean government official
would not confirm the report.
Last month, three North Koreans defected to the
South ? two escaping together on a boat while a
third succeeded in crossing the Demilitarized
Zone on foot.
In January, Seoul lowered the resettlement funds
it gives to defectors and vowed to tighten its
screening process to root out North Korean
agents posing as defectors.
Spy service: 7 agents caught in 3 years
July 06, 2005 ? Seven North Korean spies have
been arrrested over the last three years, two of
whom are suspected of transferring information
back to the North over the Internet, National
Intelligence Service officials reported
The information was released to the National
Assembly's Intelligence Committee before the
confirmation hearing of Kim Seung-kyu, who has
been nominated to head the National Intelligence
One suspect was arrested on charges of
contacting North Korea's propaganda agency, the
National Democratic Front, via e-mail.
Another suspect was arrested on charges of
uploading information on an Internet bulletin
board that could be accessed by North Koreans.
Further details were not released.
Three North Korean agents were arrested in 2003,
and three were taken into custody last year. So
far this year, the intelligence service has
arrested one agent. Spy agency officials also
said that about 50 Internet sites are engaged in
[Human rights] [ICT] [Double standards]
2 Cyber Spies for NK Tracked Down: NIS
By Seo Dong-shin
The National Intelligence Service (NIS) has rounded up seven North Korean
agents in the past three years, two of them cyber spies, according to a NIS
report released Tuesday.
It is the first time North Korean Internet spies were exposed.
``We have watched cyber spy activities very closely, but just two were actually
caught,'' the NIS reported to the National Assembly's Intelligence Committee.
``Spying activities based on the Internet are hard to track down due to
passwords and anonymity.''
One of the cyber spies was a 27-year-old referred to by the surname Park, who
attempted to send an email to a North Korean agency operating overseas as part
of an operation to spread the North's ideology among South Koreans.
The other, a 74-year-old with the family name of Kang, posted a report to be
read by the North on a Web site, according to the NIS.
[human rights] [ICT] [Double standards]
Panel Eyes Inquiry Into Shooting Sprees in 1984
By Jung Sung-ki
A Defense Ministry fact-finding panel said
Monday that it might investigate shooting
incidents that occurred during previous
authoritarian governments, as part of its plan
to review past misdeeds by the military.
Lee Hae-dong, chairman of the ad hoc committee,
said the panel, if required, will include
shooting incidents, which occurred in 1984 when
former President Chun Doo-hwan ruled, in the
list of investigations.
The panel will also decide whether to
investigate the persecution of Buddhism in 1980
by the Chun junta, as the Buddhist community has
officially requested a probe into the case, Lee
Chun's military regime raided Buddhist temples
around the nation on Oct. 27, 1980, and arrested
more than 20 Buddhist leaders, under what was
called a ``purge of the Buddhist community,''
according to the ministry.
The panel will also delve into the training of
special agents aimed at assassinating North
Korean leader Kim Il-sung.
DLP Lawmakers to Visit North Korea in Late July
By Seo Dong-shin
A delegation composed of lawmakers of the minor opposition Democratic Labor Party (DLP) will visit Pyongyang late this month to hold a five-day meeting with their counterparts of the North Korean Social Democratic Party (KSDP), DLP officials said Monday.
Delegates of the two parties will discuss ways to boost exchanges between the two sides as well as inter-Korean cooperation in the first-ever official meeting between political parties of the two Koreas since the division of the Korean Peninsula.
Conservative Veterans Slam Splinter Group
By Jung Sung-ki
The Korea Veterans' Association (KVA) criticized
a retired Army general Friday for his bid to
establish another veterans' association,
labeling it an ``unlawful attempt break up'' the
On its official Website (www.veterans.or.kr),
the veterans' group harshly criticized retired
Brig. Gen. Pyo Myung-ryul, who is organizing
``progressive veterans' association'' which, the
KVA says, is motivated by political ambition.
Pyo, a former chief of the Army's Troops
Information and Affairs, said last month he
plans to inaugurate a new veterans' group,
tentatively named the ``Peace Koreans Veterans'
Association,'' by Aug. 15, Liberation Day.
The envisaged group will push for measures to
correct the ``distorted'' military history and
culture, which it says has been swayed by pro-
Japanese forces and those in power under
authoritarian governments, Pyo said. [Role of ROK military]
Blind Drunk Scholar Casts Off Academic Restraint
Police have booked an academic with a leading Korean university for causing a drunken disturbance aboard an aircraft after the inebriated scholar threw crockery and attempted to barge into the cockpit.
Police at Incheon International Airport on Friday said a 46-year-old professor of administration with a university in Seoul on Wednesday boarded a Korean Air flight from Jakarta, Indonesia, where he had been on a business trip. The professor, identified by his family name of Chung, was already steaming when he took his business-class seat and proceeded to guzzle two glasses of champagne, two glasses of white wine and two glasses of red wine, all within an hour.
"It appears I made mistakes while drunk out of my mind," Chung told police.
Peace Forum of S. Korean Religious Organizations
Pyongyang, July 1 (KCNA) -- South Korean
religious organizations reportedly held a
"Christians' forum on peace" in Seoul on June 27
to mark the fifth anniversary of the June 15
joint declaration. Present there were members of
12 religious organizations including the
National Pastoral Council for Justice and Peace,
the south Korean Christian Professors Council,
the Christian Women's Society, the south Korean
Women Theologians Council and the Korean
Nation's Exchange and Cooperation Fund.
Roh's Approval Rating Plummets: Survey
By Lee Jin-woo
Recent surveys show that the public has
seriously lost confidence in President Roh Moo-
hyun and the ruling Uri Party.
Surveys of 1,086 students at Seoul National
University (SNU) conducted over the last three
years indicate many are increasingly
disappointed in the leadership of President Roh.
According to the surveys by Professor Kim Kwang-
woong of SNU, only 19.5 percent of the students
interviewed positively assessed Roh as an
appropriate leader for this era.
Roh Stresses Trust Between South, North
By Lee Jin-woo
President Roh Moo-hyun Friday stressed the
importance of inter-Korean trust, asking North
Korea to put the agreements it made with the
South into practice.
``One of the most important tasks for us is to
accomplish the unification of the two Koreas,
which can start by having faith in one
another,'' Roh said in a speech at the 12th
general meeting of the Advisory on Democratic
Jets to roar tonight in nationwide drill
June 30, 2005 ? The South Korean Joint Chiefs of
Staff yesterday announced a nationwide military
exercise that will last from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The military drill will involve 17 fighter jets,
including 16 F-16's, and eight helicopters.
The drill will simulate an attack on South Korea
by the North Korean air force.
An official from the Joint Chiefs of Staff
warned that the public might be able to hear
noise coming from the planes in certain areas.
South Korea regularly holds military drills,
which sometimes include civilian participation,
in order to ensure readiness in case of a
conflict with the North.
[Role of ROK military] [Threat]
Roh contributes to leftist newspaper
June 30, 2005 ? President Roh Moo-hyun has
pledged 10 million won ($9,700) in a fundraising
campaign for the liberal daily newspaper
Hankyoreh, according to Blue House staff.
The money will come entirely from Mr. Roh's
personal funds, a staffer said.
"This is what Mr. Roh has been doing, as a
personal act, since the launch of the
newspaper," said a public relations staffer at
the Blue House. "No more, no less."
Mr. Roh, who has had a rough relationship with
Korea's conservative mainstream newspapers since
his days as an attorney, owns 360 shares of
Hankyoreh stock, worth 1.8 million won. He has
been a shareholder since the founding of the
newspaper in 1987.
The Hankyoreh, whose name means "one nation,"
was launched after the landmark June 1987 pro-
democracy protests, by a group of democracy
activists and reporters who had been fired from
Konglish' Slogans Hurt Image
By Kim Ki-tae, Reuben Staines
Corporate slogans using poor English are hurting
the image of Korean companies, according to
marketing experts and foreign residents.
``The more they invest in marketing overseas,
the worse their image may become,'' said Choe
Yong-shik, marketing lecturer at Sejong
University, referring to the awkward English
catchphrases of the country's biggest firms.
Choe criticizes the companies for their
``Konglish'' slogans in his new Korean-language
book ``What's Wrong With Korea's Global
Slogans consisting of puzzling wordplays such as
Samsung Electronics' ``Digital Exciting
Anycall,'' SBS' ``Humanism Thru Digital'' and
HTH Logistics' ``36.5°C Delivery Service'' are
listed in the book with comments from English
Choe pointed out that many local firms fail to
observe even the very basics of English in
choosing their slogans.
Foreign residents in Seoul canvassed by The
Korea Times agreed that many slogans are weak,
confusing or even inadvertently amusing due to
their poor use of English.
``They are a bit wonky,'' said Ivan Milin, a
Canadian English instructor who has worked in
South Korea for the past four years. ``It's like
someone translated the slogans literally with a
Commenting on the ``Bravo Your Life'' slogan for
Samsung Life Insurance, Milin said: ``It comes
across as comical because it's not really proper
But Park Jong-won, marketing professor at Korea
University, was more accepting of the company
slogans. He said slogans don't have to strictly
follow grammatical rules as long as they appeal
to customers. ``Even in the United States,
slogans are poetic or symbolic. The English
isn't always perfect,'' he said.
Park said the young South Koreans who the
slogans are aimed at are unlikely to be put off
the products but will instead accept the
catchphrases as they are.
However, he noted that local companies need to
be more careful about their slogans if they want
to become global brands.
Cho Yong-pil to Sing in NK
Pop star Cho Yong-pil is expected to hold a
concert in North Korea in early August.
The Unification Ministry said in a press
briefing yesterday that the private-run
broadcasting company SBS is driving a plan for
Cho to perform in the communist country.
Cho said that ``I received the request a long time ago but have also seen five
plans scrapped. I am ready to perform at any time when a schedule is
SBS, which received an approval from the ministry to promote South-North
exchange programs, said it is awaiting an answer from the North to settle the
Pictures of Naked Soldiers Prove Human Rights
By Kim Rahn
This is a picture released by the Citizens'
Solidarity for Human Rights Wednesday. It shows
soldiers standing at attention in a shower room
of an unidentified military unit.
A human rights' group disclosed dozens of photos
of naked soldiers Wednesday, confirming claims
that stripping and rights abuses have been
prevalent in the military.
Since Friday, four pictures had been posted on
personal Web sites showing soldiers, mainly
junior comrades, standing without their clothes
on. The pictures were titled ``promotion
Police and the military authority have claimed
the pictures were taken a couple of years ago
for fun and with the consent of the soldiers in
a few military units.
But the dozens of photos released yesterday
indicate there have been infringements of human
rights in the military over many years in a
practice of shaming soldiers.
[Human rights] [Role of ROK military]
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