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Spokesman for Worker-Peasant Red Guards Warns S. Korean Defense Minister of His Reckless Remarks
Pyongyang, July 29 (KCNA) -- A spokesman for the Worker-Peasant Red Guards of the DPRK released a statement Tuesday denouncing puppet Minister of Defense of south Korea Han Min Gu for behaving like a rabid dog.
The statement said:
Visiting Yonphyong Island as the first leg of his inspection after his inauguration as defense minister, Han cried out for "punishing" at any cost what he called the "origin of provocation, supporting forces and commanding forces", asserting that "the island is the place where belligerency and barbarity of someone were vividly manifested".
During his television appearance he blustered that he would put the existence of the north's social system at stake, not content with slandering the DPRK's peaceful proposal for dialogue as a "camouflaged peace offensive conducted in pursuance of the typical tactics of the united front" and the "reconciliation-war double-dealing tactics".
Visiting the missile command of the puppet ground force, he called for "getting fully combat-ready" so as to "strike any target in the north", fully disclosing his belligerent nature.
South Korea is now in a position to launch missiles in reliance on its American master whom it blindly kowtows to. Yet, it is mulling countering the powerful revolutionary army of Mt. Paektu which is equipped with the most sophisticated strike means in the world. This reminds one of a poor puppy unafraid of a tiger.
The Great Illusion – South Korean version
Park Geun-hye talks of ‘peaceful unification’ but her actions belie a peaceful process
July 30th, 2014
In 1910 Norman Angell published his famous book The Great Illusion, in which he argued that war between the interlocked advanced economies would be so dysfunctional that militarism was obsolete. 1914 showed that he was wrong about militarism, but right about the consequences. A variant of this illusion is currently permeating South Korea, based on misconceptions about unification and how to achieve it.
Unification has had a fresh lease of life recently, especially since South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s “jackpot” speech on January 7 of this year. Unification, or more correctly reunification, has been high on the agenda of both Koreas, at least in rhetoric, since 1945. The Korean War of 1950-53 was, of course, an attempt at unification, with both sides having come to the conclusion that force was the only option. It was an assumption not unreasonable under the circumstances. The Chinese Civil War seemed, in 1950, to be on the verge of reunifying China. That reunification was to be thwarted, ironically, by the Korean War itself, but no one knew that in June 1950. Reunification by force was historically the most common way and the American Civil War – by far the bloodiest conflict in American history – was, in the mainstream narrative at least, accepted as a legitimate resolution of the problem of a divided country.
Apart from the dreadful cost of the Korean War in human lives and infrastructure – 3-4 million dead, and huge devastation – the war had one vital lesson. Because of its strategic location none of the interested great powers – the U.S., China, and Soviet Union/Russia – would lightly tolerate the whole of the peninsula coming under the control of adversaries. That was true in the 1950s and remains true today. [Unification]
South Korea says no plan to offer fresh Asiad talks with North Korea
South Korea has no intention of offering another round of talks with North Korea on its planned Asian Games participation as Pyongyang is responsible for the breakdown of the previous meeting, a government official said Tuesday.
"For now, we have no plan to first propose (talks) since the North Korean side unilaterally declared the failure of the previous meeting and walked out of it," an official at Seoul's unification ministry told reporters.
There is no change in the South Korean government's position to wait and see North Korea's attitude, added the official.
[Rebuff] [Sports diplomacy]
Chosun Ilbo Surveys 100 North Koreans
By Christopher Green | July 28, 2014
A collage made up of the many different graphics published by Chosun Ilbo between July 7 and 9 to illustrate the findings from their investigation in Northeast China. | Image: Destination Pyongyang
>A collage made up of the many different graphics published by Chosun Ilbo between July 7 and 9 to illustrate the findings from their investigation in Northeast China. | Image: Destination Pyongyang
A recent survey of 100 civilians conducted in China by the South Korean daily Chosun Ilbo offers interesting new evidence of trends in North Korean public opinion.
Published in the form of thematic articles over three days (July 7, 8, and 9), the survey results were obtained in cooperation with the Center for Cultural Unification Studies between January and May 2014 in Dandong and Yanji (the only locations cited). All 100 participating informants were in China on official visas issued after Kim Jong-un came to power: four received their permits in 2012, 53 in 2013, and a further 43 in 2014. Most were in China in order to visit family or close acquaintances, and most also planned to work for between six months and one year before returning to North Korea.
The headline results are as follows. First, the North Koreans surveyed (hereafter “North Koreans,” though the survey is unlikely to be fully representative of nationwide opinion. Please see footnote (3)) strongly agree with the need for unification. The overwhelming majority, 95%, sees unification as essential, and 97% say they would anticipate accruing benefit from it.
On the personal level, respondents say they harbor positive emotional attachment to South Koreans (the people, not the Republic of Korea itself); only 4% state that they do not feel close, or are to some extent hostile, to their southern brethren. Though only slightly fewer than half of people admit to having watched or listened to South Korean media inside North Korea, 79.6% of those who admitted to having done so say it gave them a positive impression of South Korea (the place, not the state), and 20.4% a slightly improved impression. Finally, 69% of all respondents say they support capitalism over [North Korean] socialism, and a further 11% said they support both equally. Just 19% come down fully on the side of socialism.
[Public opinion] [Unification]
Court orders disclosure of 2007 inter-Korean summit transcript
A Seoul court has ordered the nation's spy agency to release the transcript of a 2007 summit between late President Roh Moo-hyun and then North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, saying the agency's refusal to disclose it is "unfair," court officials said Sunday.
In June last year, a progressive civic group filed a lawsuit with the Seoul Administrative Court demanding the National Intelligence Service (NIS) disclose the full text of the transcript and its excerpt, after the spy agency turned down its request for disclosure.
The NIS, which was charged with violating the act on presidential records at that time by allegedly leaking the transcript to ruling party lawmakers, refused to reveal them, saying the disclosure could make it difficult to conduct its own investigation into the leakage of the minutes.
"It is unfair for the NIS to reject the civic group's request, and it should release the transcript of the inter-Korean summit," the court said.
Koreans Losing Confidence in Government
Koreans have lost confidence in the president, the government, and the military since the April 16 ferry disaster and a shooting rampage at a frontline guard post, according to a survey.
The survey of 1,000 adults across the country by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies last weekend gave President Park Geun-hye a confidence score of 5.44 points on a 10-point scale.
That is a significant slide from 6.21 points in June last year.
The confidence score for the government as a whole dropped from 5.09 in the last year's survey to 4.26 this year.
The military's score fell by the largest margin among the state institutions surveyed, from 5.77 to 4.67.
The National Assembly finished lowest with a dismal 2.85 as it did last year.
An unprecedented level of anti-Semitism in South Korea?
Similar headlines described reactions to the May issue of the Japanese magazine The Diplomat which contained an article with what seemed like devastating information – 53% of the South Korean population is anti-Semitic! This is shown in the survey titled ADL Global 100: An Index of Anti-Semitism conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an American human rights organisation which monitors anti-Semitism and other types of discrimination towards Jewish people. The ADL has been conducting similar research in the US for the last 50 years, but the present survey was based on 53,100 interviews with adults in 102 countries and was dubbed the first comprehensive analysis of the level and intensity of anti-Semitic feelings worldwide.
The survey was based on the principle which is widely used in the US for any research of this type. Respondents needed to answer which of the 11 questions they felt were true or false. Afterwards, those who answered “true” or “probably true” to 6 or more questions were deemed to hold anti-Semitic feelings. Here are the questions:
•Jews are more loyal to Israel than to their country of residence
•Jews have too much power in the business world
•Jews have too much power in international financial markets
•Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust
•Jews don’t care what happens to anyone but their own kind
•Jews have too much control over global affairs
•Jews have too much control over the United States government
•Jews think they are better than other people
•Jews have too much control over the global media
•Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars
•People hate Jews because of the way Jews behave
N.Korea 'Preparing for Another Invasion Drill'
North Korea is preparing for a large-scale landing exercise ahead of joint annual South Korea-U.S. military drills next month.
"We've detected signs that the North is preparing for a massive landing drill in Nampo on the west coast since two to three weeks ago," a government source here said Monday.
The North protests vociferously against South Korea-U.S. drills every year and has apparently now decided to stage a drill of its own.
Recently, the North has been transporting arms and equipment to Nampo and carrying out a preliminary exercise by firing rockets from 122 mm rocket launchers and howitzer shells into the West Sea.
[Military exercises] [Inversion]
North Korea says only the “final choice” remains
Posted on : Jul.22,2014 12:07 KST
Modified on : Jul.22,2014 13:43 KST
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un listens to an explanation on rocket launches from Kim Rak-gyom, head of North Korea’s Strategic Rocket Forces, in a photo from the July 10 edition of the Rodong Sinmun newspaper. (Yonhap News)
Pyongyang increasing pressure for either dialogue or tension, while criticizing “some spineless countries”
By Choi Hyun-june, staff reporter and Park Byong-su, senior staff writer
Under criticism from South Korea and the US for its recent missile launches and artillery drills, North Korea issued warnings on July 20 that only “the final choice” remains. Earlier, North Korea had promised to send a large group of athletes and cheerleaders to the Incheon Asian Games. As time goes by, North Korea is putting more and more pressure on the US and South Korea to choose whether they want tension or dialogue.
On Monday, North Korea released a statement in the name of the spokesperson of the policy bureau of the National Defense Commission. “Military activity such as launching our tactical missiles or carrying out artillery drills is legitimate military activity, and it is a legal exercise of our right to autonomy. The US and South Korea are manipulating the UN Security Council (UNSC), which lost its objectivity long ago, in their continuing efforts to mislead the public,” the statement said.
'Unification depends on the will of South Koreans'
Unification is about Korean identity, not just costs and benefits, visiting scholar says
By Jung Min-ho
Sandip Kumar Mishra, a professor at the University of Delhi, speaks during a recent interview in Seoul.
/ Korea Times photo by Jung Min-ho
The prospects of Korean unification depend in large part on whether South Koreans really want it and are willing to reach out to the right international partners, according to an Indian scholar.
Sandip Kumar Mishra, a professor of Asian studies at the University of Delhi, was in Seoul at the invitation of the Institute for Unification Education to speak on Korean unification from an international perspective.
Between May 26 and June 13, he delivered about 20 lectures, addressing government officials, professors, researchers, high school teachers and students.
"Japan says it wants Korean unification," Mishra said in a recent interview with The Korea Times. "But in reality, it is concerned that a united Korea will be stronger."
In Mishra's view, the South Korean government has relied too much on major powers such as the United States, China, Japan and Russia to resolve issues with North Korea and denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Those countries, he believes, have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo and may not want a united Korea.
Kim Jong-un Ups Pressure Over Asian Games
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Sunday said his country's participation in the Asian Games in South Korea will help improve cross-border relations.
"Participation in the Asian Games will provide important momentum for improving inter-Korean relations and removing distrust," the state-run [North] Korean Central News Agency quoted him as saying.
The remarks came after talks between the two Koreas broke down last Thursday over the question who should pay for hundreds of North Korean athletes and cheerleaders to take part.
After watching a soccer match, Kim said, "It is our principled stand that the inviolable sports should not be a political bargaining chip of the undesirable forces."
[NK SK policy] [Sports diplomacy]
[News analysis] Why did Asian Games inter-Korean talks break down?
Posted on : Jul.19,2014 17:20 KST
Senior representatives to the July 17 inter-Korean talks on the Incheon Asian Games, Kwon Kyung-sang (right) from the South and Son Gwang-ho from the North, shake hands before their meeting at the Peace House on the South Korean side of Panmunjeom Peace Village. (provided by the Ministry of Unification)
South and North appear to have stumbled over the size of the North Korean contingent; N. Korea could “reconsider” participating in the Games
By Kim Oi-hyun and Yi Yong-in, staff reporters
On July 18, North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) explained that the reason that the inter-Korean working-level talks about the Incheon Asian Games broke down the previous day was because of South Korea’s “unfair attitude” about the size of the cheering squad and the travel costs. The KCNA also said that, if South Korea did not adjust its attitude, North Korea would reconsider its decision to participate in the games.
In response, the South Korean government said that North Korea is making an absurd argument. The breakdown of the first round of working-level talks has made it considerably more difficult for North Korea to meet the Aug. 15 deadline of submitting its list of athletes for the games.
While North and South Korea continue to argue about why the talks broke down, the general view of experts is that the fundamental reason involves a “strategic clash” between the two sides. First of all, North Korea announced on July 7 in its statement from the “government of the republic” that it had decided to send the cheering squad and the athletes to the Incheon Asian games “in order to set the mood for improving inter-Korean relations and for bringing unity to the Korean people.” In essence, the North indicated that it meant to take advantage of the Asian Games to work on improving inter-Korean relations.
[Sports diplomacy] [NK SK policy] [Overture]
Rough Seas, Rocky Roads
By James Church
02 July 2014
On July 1, having studied for all of 24 hours the June 30 DPRK National Defense Commission (NDC) proposal for another go at reducing tensions, Seoul rejected it in categorically and, surely not by accident, somewhat insulting terms. NDC proposals, at least in the view of the North Koreans, are not to be sneezed at, much less abruptly dismissed. Not everything in each NDC proposal may be equally weighty, but North Korean officials are constantly amazed, annoyed and aghast at how little credibility outsiders attach to these pronouncements.
The latest NDC proposal is to some degree in line with one released in January. The fact that the two are similar is useful, because what differences there are can be revealing—in both positive and negative ways. Unlike the earlier proposal, and especially because of the differences in context, the one on June 30 is a little more difficult to pin down. Is it, like the proposal in January, an invitation to the dance, or is it a challenge to a duel?
NK leader stresses 'improved relations' with South through Asia Games
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un stressed that his country's participation in the Asian Games in South Korea would help improve cross-border relations, the North's state media reported Sunday, just days after negotiations fell through on Pyongyang's dispatch of its delegation.
"The participation of the DPRK's players in the 17th Asian Games offers an important occasion in improving the relations between the north and the south and removing distrust between them," the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted Kim as saying in an English-language report. DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name.
The comments were made when Kim watched a match of the North Korean men's national football team which plans to participate in the Incheon Asian Games, the KCNA report monitored in Seoul said.
The games are scheduled for Sept. 19-Oct. 4 in South Korea's western port city of Incheon.
"It is our principled stand that the inviolable sports should not be a political bargaining chip of the undesirable forces," the young leader added.
Echoes of Terror on the Korean Peninsula
by K.J. Noh
Shim Han-un has lived, by any measure, an extraordinarily difficult life. On July 8th, 2014, at the ripe age of 64, on a judgment from the Seoul Central Court, he finally got tiny, long delayed measure of peace, the fruit of half a century of struggle.
South Koreans are used to this sense of the uncanny when they hear about abuses or atrocities on the other side of the DMZ up North. The propaganda machine runs full tilt, 24 hrs a day, fed with defector testimony, eye witness accounts, reportage, books, stories, press conferences. Some of it is obviously concocted, other stories are poignant in their testimony, even as the stories are unverifiable. What is unmentioned and unmentionable, is that the majority of defectors, despite their stories, state that they would like to go back to the North. For the most part South Koreans ignore the hysterical rhetoric, even when highly prestigious institutions of propaganda (like the creative writing department of Stanford University) join the chorus.
They ignore it, not just because they know that every defector is interrogated and coached by the intelligence services for 180 days, 24 hrs a day, before seeing the public, but because with each disclosure about the North, a gruesome sense of the uncanny comes flooding back: when they hear about labor and re-education camps, starvation, arbitrary arrest, torture, and executions, the imprisonment of families and children by association, the enslavement of wives of dissidents into sex slaves, the total censorship of media, the mind-numbing surveillance and informing, the impunity and corruption of the police, military and the bureaucratic class; mass executions; the total and arbitrary control of a society by a crazed, brutal, totalitarian dictatorship: the Rhee, Park, Chun and Noh governments come to mind. They understand, deep in their hearts: that these stories—credible or not—are like distorted echoes, reflections, belated distress signals escaping out of the terror chambers of the South Korean Military government, tiny, uncanny packets of truth escaping the black hole of the original foundational terror of the South Korean State.
[Human rights] [Defectors] [Propaganda]
S. Korean state failing at redistribution
Posted on : Jul.18,2014 17:55 KST
Data analysis shows South Korean government’s transfer payments exceptionally low among developed countries
By Ryu yi-geun, staff reporter
In 2013, the average monthly income earned on the labor market by households of two persons or more was 3.83 million won (US$3,730). The majority of household income consisted of wages received in exchange for labor, or earnings from doing business for the self-employed.
The main way that households earn income, as seen above, is by working in the labor market or by running a business. However, there are those who cannot earn enough money: those who do not have the opportunity to work despite being able and willing to do so, and those who cannot work because of old age or sickness.
Papal visit aims to push reunion of North and South Korea - Seoul cardinal
Sunday, July 06 2014
Roman Catholics in South Korea are optimistic that the forthcoming visit of Pope Francis will help ease tensions and help to pave the way to a much-awaited reconciliation with its neighbor North Korea.
Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul, said the people of South Korea are hopeful that the papal visit will produce the "greatest miracle," for the two Koreas to return to dialogue, reported CBCP News.
S Korea churches plan joint 'Korean Christian Museum' in Seoul
West urges North Korea to close political prison camps, end caste system
Korean peace and reunification conference planned for Switzerland in June
UN report says North Korea sees Christians as 'serious threat'
US missionary said moved back to North Korean labor camp
Missionary Bae jailed in N.Korea 'wants U.S. to help him get home'
Life for North Korean Christians is 'worst' for another year, says report
Kang Moon-Kyu's work for democracy and Korea reunification is praised
"In the Holy Land, the Pope invited the presidents of Israel and Palestine 'to his home' in the Vatican to pray together. Perhaps, Pope Francis might make a gesture of peace or detente for the two Koreas," said Yeom according to CBCP, the news service of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines.
The Argentine-born pontiff is scheduled to travel to South Korea on August 14-18, his first Asian trip as the head of the Catholic Church, for the 6th Asian Youth Day, a weeklong event to be held in Daejon.
Eight nations demand ICAO action on North Korea
By Yi Whan-woo
South Korea and seven other countries have requested the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to take steps to prevent North Korea from test-firing missiles without advanced notification, the government said Wednesday.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Pyongyang violated the United Nation's aviation safety arm's regulations that require members to declare a no-fly zone before test-firing missiles. North Korea is one of the 191 ICAO member countries.
"The eight countries have submitted a joint statement to the president of the ICAO council for a review on North Korea," a ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
The seven others are the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada and Australia.
NK urges South to change policy
North Korea suggested Wednesday that the South Korean government should break from its "Cold War mentality" and boldly change its current hard-line policy toward the North.
North Korea's Rodong Shinmun published an article which stated, "The entire nation is hoping for a solution to the hostile state of North-South relations. Now is the time for South Korea to make a bold decision, lest they be remembered shamefully by history and future generations."
The article emphasized, "Considering new perspectives and opening new paths to the improvement of North-South Korean relations is important. South Korea must boldly move away from the Cold War mentality of antagonizing people of different beliefs and systems."
It also stated, "They need to do away with their stiff measures and create an environment for the essential conditions for reconciliation and unity. What they especially need to do is to put a halt to joint military exercises with foreign powers, which is the culmination of South Korea's hostile policies toward their fellow Koreans."
The paper had previously criticized Korea-U.S. joint military exercises as "the source of hostile North-South relations" and "a malignant tumor destroying North-South relations. " It once claimed that "the reason for dispute between North and South Korea stems from the U.S. ambition to conquer the Korean Peninsula."
[NK SK policy] [Overture] [SK NK policy] [Joint US military]
Peace, friendship, confederation?
The North Korean government has offered South Korea a truce and unification based on the principles of a federation or confederation. This was written in an official government statement circulated on July 7, 2014 by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
“There is increasingly more interest in a Korean reunification on the principles of a federation, two parts with different social systems and ideologies,” the statement reads. “Like a federation and confederation, the North and South must combine efforts for reunification and actively aid each other in prosperity and mutual interests,” the North Korean government stated.
North Korea has also called upon South Korea to reject “confrontation and enmity with their brothers”. South Korea was called on to reject hosting various military exercises with “outsiders”, rid itself from dependency on “external forces” and face its brothers to the north, the statement reads.
[Overture] [Unification] [rebuff] [Confederation]
Group barred from helping at Pyongyang apartment collapse site
MOU denies request based on lateness of request, lack of credibility at the requesting agency
July 10th, 2014
Seoul has prohibited a South Korean rescue group from visiting the North to assist following a fatal apartment building collapse in May, officials said Thursday.
In June, the Korea Rescue Association, based in Seoul, applied for government approval on June 26 to assist in the aftermath of the May 13 collapse of a 23-story apartment building.
The South’s Ministry of Unification confirmed on Monday that North Korea’s “General Bureau of Red Star Construction” had requested the assistance of the KRA on June 9 – nearly four weeks after the accident itself.
The MOU denied the request on the grounds that it is now nearly two months since the accident and that there have been indications that the North has started a new construction project there.
“So we think it is not appropriate for the group to visit there for rescue operations,” an official told the Yonhap News Agency.
Furthermore, the South said that the General Bureau of Red Star Construction was not a “substantial and reliable organization.”
The building’s collapse was confirmed to have take place May 13 through photographic analysis, while satellite imagery indicates that the cleanup was complete at the site within four days.
At this stage, North Korea’s request for assistance may have been aimed at assessing structural integrity in Pyongyang buildings with a similar design.
The North Korean leadership has acknowledged the accident, blaming faulty construction and lax supervision for the collapse. It has not, however, released an official death toll.
[SK NK policy] [Construction] [Sanctions]
DPRK Government Statement Calls for Ending Confrontation and Improving North-South Ties
Pyongyang, July 7 (KCNA) -- The government of the DPRK released the following statement Monday, 20 years since President Kim Il Sung left his last signature on a historic document related to Korea's reunification.
The Korean nation's cause for national reunification is undergoing big difficulties and trials due to the vicious challenge and obstructive moves of the anti-reunification forces at home and abroad, the statement said.
The DPRK government clarifies as follows out of its patriotic desire to tide over the difficulties lying before the nation, improve the north-south relations and open up a fresh turning phase for independent reunification at present:
1. The north and the south should end reckless hostility and confrontation and open up the road for reconciliation and unity.
[NK SK policy] [Overture]
N. Korea showing it’s ready for both conflict and dialogue
Posted on : Jul.15,2014 12:07 KST
On the same day, the North agrees to meeting on Asian Games and fires off 100 rounds from a multiple rocket launcher
By Choi Hyun-june, staff reporter
Early on the morning of July 14, North Korea agreed to the South’s proposal to hold working-level talks for the Asian Games on July 17 at Panmunjeom. But around noon, North Korea carried out a show of force, shooting around 100 rounds from a multiple rocket launcher (MRL) into the East Sea around noon on the same day. North Korea could be trying to take the lead in the current situation, making overtures of peace on the one hand and ratcheting up tensions on the other.
“This morning, we received notification from North Korea that it was accepting our proposal to hold inter-Korean working level talks at the House of Peace on the south side of Panmunjeom on July 17. Our government will be preparing for the working-level talks through close deliberations with the organizing committee of the Asian Games in Incheon,” Unification Ministry spokesperson Kim Ui-do said during the regular press briefing on July 14. This was final confirmation of the schedule for the working-level talks between North and South Korea about the games, which the two sides been discussing since the beginning of July.
[NK SK policy] [Overture] [Warning]
In foreign policy, Pres. Park “too obsessed with principles”
Posted on : Jul.15,2014 12:13 KST
Participants present during “Changes in the Diplomatic Terrain in Northeast Asia and Korea’s Diplomatic Response,” a forum hosted by the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyungnam University and the Graduate School of International Studies at Hanyang University and sponsored by the Hankyoreh, at the President Hotel in central Seoul, July 14. (by Ryu Woo-jong, staff photographer)
Speaking at forum in Seoul, experts criticize President for talking big but doing nothing to engage internationally
By Kim Oi-hyun, staff reporter
“The President Park Geun-hye administration is applying nuclear fundamentalism to North Korea and historical fundamentalism to Japan, without taking a single step forward,” the professor said.
Lee Won-deok, professor of international studies at Kookmin University, gave his assessment of the foreign policy of the Park Administration on July 14 at the President Hotel in downtown Seoul. Lee was a speaker at a policy debate titled “Changes in the Diplomatic Terrain in Northeast Asia and Korea’s Diplomatic Response,” hosted by the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyungnam University and the Graduate School of International Studies at Hanyang University and sponsored by the Hankyoreh.
Lee argued that, while North Korea and Japan reached a “generous” agreement recently, with Japan easing sanctions in exchange for North Korea agreeing to reopen an investigation into kidnapped Japanese, the South Korean government is too obsessed with principles, which is keeping it from exercising its full diplomatic potential.
During the debate on Monday, Lee sharply criticized Park’s foreign policy. “The Park administration has announced some great initiatives, but it is not moving forward with any of them. The Trust-building Process for the Korean Peninsula, the Peace and Cooperation Plan for Northeast Asia, and the Eurasia Initiative compose a single package, as well designed as a Russian nesting doll, but looking back at the past year and half, not a bit of progress has been made,” Lee said.
North Korea keeps blowing hot and cold
By Kang Seung-woo, Jun Ji-hye
North Korea is continuing its puzzling series of peace gestures and provocative acts.
On Monday, the North fired more than 100 rockets and artillery shells into the East Sea from close to the inter-Korean border.
At the same time, Pyongyang agreed to Seoul's revised proposal to meet Thursday at Panmunjom to discuss details of the North's participation in the Asian Games in Incheon.
"From 11:43 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. , Pyongyang fired about 100 shells and rockets toward the northeast from a site hundreds of meters north of the Northern Limit Line (NLL) at the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Goseong, Gangwon Province," the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.
The DMZ is a four kilometer-wide buffer zone separating the two Koreas.
"The projectiles fell into the East Sea, one to eight kilometers north of the NLL," a JCS official added.
Given that the range of shells was presumed to be three to 50 kilometers, officials analyzed that the rockets were fired from 122 and 240 millimeter multiple-rocket launchers, and the shells from a 76.2 millimeter coastal gun.
The official added that nothing fell into South Korean waters.
[NK SK policy] [Overture] [Warning]
Take a closer look at North Korea’s alleged drones
By Adam Taylor April 2
This picture released on April 2, 2014 shows wreckage of a crashed drone found on March 31, 2014 at Baengnyeong island near the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea. (South Korean Defence Ministry/AFP/Getty Images)
If these unmanned aircraft look rudimentary, it's probably because they are: Not only did they all crash, but with only a poor quality camera that could not take video, and no way to broadcast the images, their use as a spy plane is severely limited.
Despite their lack of sophistication, however, the sudden appearance of these drones in South Korea is causing some serious concern.
According to the Chosun Ilbo, one drone crashed on Baeknyeong Island on Monday, not long after the North and South engaged in artillery fire. The others had crashed in Paju, Gyeonggi Province on March 24, the paper reported.
While the South Korean government hasn't formally accused anyone of being behind the drones yet, there's one obvious suspect: North Korea.
Time Is Ripe to Restart Inter-Korean Dialogue
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is out in Kangwon Province personally directing a military drill along the eastern coast. He is telling soldiers that the Northern Limit Line, which serves as a de facto maritime border between the two Koreas on the West Sea, is "under a constant threat" from the South and is looking for a chance to strike back.
But at the same time the North is extending an olive branch, announcing Monday that it wants to send a cheerleader squad to the Asian Games in Incheon in September.
[SK NK negotiations]
N.Koreans Favor Reunification
Ninety five of 100 North Koreans in China yearn for a unified Korea, and 97 believe it would have a positive influence on their lives, according to a survey.
The North Koreans surveyed said even though their leader Kim Jong-un may oppose reunification, it would be difficult for him to prevent it.
The Chosun Ilbo and Center for Cultural Unification Studies interviewed 100 North Koreans in China's Dandong and Yanji from January to May to get their view on reunification between two Koreas.
The 100 who agreed to be interviewed are in China legally with permission from their country's regime. Four came to China in 2012, 53 in 2013 and 43 in 2014.
Because they left fairly recently, they were able to provide valuable information about the current situation in the North and people’s attitudes there.
A North Korean (left) talks to a Chosun Ilbo reporter in Dandong, China in February. /Courtesy of TV Chosun A North Korean (left) talks to a Chosun Ilbo reporter in Dandong, China in February. /Courtesy of TV Chosun
Asked how necessary reunification is, 95 respondents ticked "very necessary." Forty-eight cited economic development as the chief reason, 24 the need to reunite the Korean people, 16 hope for improved quality of life and six said the pain of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War must end.
Respondents said reunification will ensure better lives for their children and freedom to spend their money as they wish.
Also, 97 respondents said reunification would directly benefit their lives. Some 34 want a unified Korea to have a free-market economy, but 26 want the two sides to agree on a suitable system, and 24 do not care.
How South Korea and America wrecked chance for reconciliation with the North
As North Korea commemorates 20th anniversary of death of Kim Il-sung, Mark Barry reflects on a costly missed opportunity
Mark Barry for NK News, part of the North Korea network
theguardian.com, Friday 11 July 2014 05.00 BST
This screen grab taken from North Korean TV shows a mass memorial meeting in Pyongyang to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of Kim Il-sung in 8 June 2014.
Screen grab from North Korean TV shows mass memorial in Pyongyang on 20th anniversary of Kim Il-sung's death. Photograph: North Korean TV/AFP/Getty Images
North Korea's founding father Kim Il-sung died suddenly 20 years ago this week – 17 days before what would have been the first inter-Korean summit. The weeks leading up to his death – and even his funeral – were rare moments of opportunity for reconciliation, missed by South Korea and the US.
I met Kim Il-sung in his final weeks as part of a delegation of former heads of state and government led by a Washington-based NGO, the Summit Council for World Peace, supported by the Unification Church. In April 1994, the North Korean leader appeared in reasonably good health for a man of 82. However, I later learned he suffered from heart disease and knew he may not have much longer to live.
By this point, most of his power had been assumed by his son, who evidently had complete control over domestic policy. Yet the father made the key decisions on the DPRK’s relations with South Korea, China, Russia, Japan, and the US, which were critical for its foreign policy.
[Kim Il Sung] [Kim Young Sam]
[Editorial] Inter-Korean relations desperately need a new approach
Posted on : Jul.8,2014 11:57 KST
The South Korean government accepted a proposal on July 7 for a North Korean cheering squad at the upcoming Asian Games in Incheon. It’s a far cry from fielding an inter-Korean team or joint cheering section, but it is significant as a step toward thawing the chill between South and North right now. Hopefully, the government will take this opportunity to make some proactive efforts toward improving ties.
Pyongyang may be waging a “peace offensive” lately, but little has changed in its overall attitude. A “statement from the government of the republic” released the same day featured the same insistence on a two-track program of nuclear and economic development and calls for a halt to South Korea’s joint military exercises with the US. The statement’s format was a bit unusual, to be sure, but in terms of content it simply picked up where its National Defense Commission special proposal of June 30 left off. In short, it sees North Korea’s future course as set it stone, and attempts to pin blame on the South for various problems - all in an effort to break Seoul down and get it to play along. If Pyongyang really has any hopes of improving relations, this sort of attitude has got to go.
[SK NK negotiations] [Byungjin]
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