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South Korea has 1 million shamans, fortune tellers
Posted : 2017-11-27 17:00
Updated : 2017-11-27 17:01
By Chyung Eun-ju
As Korea goes through an economic downturn, the number of Korean shamans and fortune tellers is growing rapidly.
With unemployment growing, the barrier to becoming a shaman or fortune teller is lower than other areas where a degree or license is required. The same phenomenon occurred during the IMF financial crisis.
The groups with the most members are the Korean Kyungsin Federation and the Korean Fortune Telling Association, which each have around 300,000 registered members and 200,000 unregistered people – a million people in all. The number of members has doubled from 10 years ago when there were around 140,000 members in the Korean Kyungsin Federation in 2006.
For North Korean soldier’s recovery, South Koreans are pinning their hopes on this doctor
South Korean doctor: North Korean defector likes K-pop and American movies
The North Korean soldier who defected to South Korea through the Joint Security Area has recovered enough to start drinking water and watching T.V. (YONHAP)
By Anna Fifield November 22 at 9:44 AM
TOKYO — No medical drama is complete without a bold-yet-sensitive heartthrob doctor in a leading role. The incredible tale of a North Korean soldier’s escape across the demilitarized zone last week is no exception.
N.Korean Soldiers Violated Armistice When Chasing Defector
By Yu Yong-weon, Lee Yong-soo
November 23, 2017 09:12
The UN Command on Wednesday released video footage of a North Korean defector making a mad dash toward the South Korean side of the Joint Security Area last week.
The footage makes it clear that North Korean soldiers violated the armistice that halted the Korean War by crossing over to the South Korean side of the border at one point and firing bullets southward. Pursuers shot at the fleeing defector with AK-47 assault rifles just a few meters away from him.
Video shows dramatic defection of North Korean soldier
Posted on : Nov.23,2017 14:14 KST Modified on : Nov.23,2017 14:14 KST
A North Korean soldier who defected across the JSA drives a military jeep across the 72-hour bridge in North Korean territory on Nov. 13. (video footage provided by UN Command)
UN Command releases CCTV footage of North Korean soldiers violating Armistice Agreement
Video footage released by the United Nations Command on Nov. 22 offered vivid evidence of the tense situation at the Joint Security Area (JSA) at Panmunjeom when a North Korean soldier defected there on the afternoon of Nov. 13. The closed-circuit video footage shows the soldier appearing three minutes earlier than the 3:14 pm time when the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) claimed on Nov. 14 to have ascertained the situation.
The soldier’s black military jeep is shown traveling at a high speed along a road through rice patties toward 72-Hour Bridge. While there is no way of knowing when North Korean troops grasped the situation, soldiers on the North Korean side are seen rushing out as the vehicle passed by a checkpoint building. Located at the western end of Panmunjeom, 72-Hour Bridge stretches over a sandy stream and was reportedly built by North Korean soldiers in a period of just 72 hours in 1976.
[INTERVIEW] 'Seoul fails to position itself amid N. Korean crisis'
Posted : 2017-11-20 15:15
Updated : 2017-11-21 13:30
Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Chairman Moon Hyun-jin speaks during an interview with The Korea Times at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. , Nov. 15. / Courtesy of GPF
By Kim Hyo-jin
WASHINGTON, D.C. ? The Moon Jae-in government is not doing enough to resolve North Korea's nuclear issue, its foreign policy lacking clarity, says one NGO director.
"The leadership of South Korea is not doing its people any favors by having a willy-nilly position in North Korea policy," Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Chairman Moon Hyun-jin said in an interview with The Korea Times, Nov. 15.
He claimed Seoul has to position itself as a major partner with the U.S. and push its agenda forward in close coordination with the alliance.
Dismissing Seoul's so-called "balance diplomacy" between the U.S. and China as naive, he stressed his view is purely based on the acknowledgement of Northeast Asia's current geopolitical shift.
[SK NK policy]
North Korean military to begin winter drills next month
Posted : 2017-11-20 15:47
Updated : 2017-11-20 18:09
By Jun Ji-hye
The North Korean military's winter drills that will begin next month are drawing keen attention because Pyongyang has not conducted any provocations for more than 60 days.
Military officials here said Monday how the North will behave during the exercises may be a barometer of its future course of action _ to continue its provocations or to come to the table for dialogue _ as it will take place after the visit of Chinese and Russian delegations to Pyongyang.
‘Nut Rage’ Whistle-Blower Says Korean Air Retaliated Against Him
By Choe Sang-Hun
Nov. 20, 2017
SEOUL, South Korea — The whistle-blower who exposed the actions of the Korean Air chairman’s daughter who forced a plane to return to its gate in a tiff over macadamia nuts is suing her and the airline, accusing them of illegally demoting and ostracizing him.
“My case illustrates how those who say no to economic power in South Korea come under a systematic attack from their organization,” the whistle-blower, Park Chang-jin, said during a news conference on Monday. “I hope my case will help our society to think about the dignity and rights of common workers.”
The 2014 episode, which became known as a case of “nut rage,” led to international condemnation and ridicule of the chairman’s daughter, Cho Hyun-ah, after she became angry that a first-class flight attendant served the nuts without first asking her, then in an unopened package rather than on a plate, according to court documents.
Ex-Spy Chiefs Arrested in South Korea on Corruption Charges
By Choe Sang-Hun
Nov. 16, 2017
South Korea’s ousted leader Park Geun-hye leaving her home in Seoul, in March. Two former spy chiefs were arrested on Friday on charges of funneling money to Ms. Park. Credit Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters
SEOUL, South Korea — Two South Korean spy chiefs who served under Park Geun-hye, the impeached former president, were arrested Friday on charges of illegally channeling tens of thousands of dollars a month from their agency’s secret budgets for Ms. Park’s private use.
South Korea's largest army experience theme park opens
Posted : 2017-11-09 17:02
Updated : 2017-11-09 18:10
A ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrates the opening of Sunshine Land on Wednesday. / Courtesy of Hankook Ilbo
By Chyung Eun-ju
If you want a taste of military life, Sunshine Land theme park is loaded with opportunities.
South Korea's premier army experience center opened in Nonsan City in South Chungcheong Province on Wednesday.
Visitors can take part in dynamic combat action at the 32,497-square-meter center that took three years to build and cost 10 billion won ($9 million).
Sunshine Land shows what it is like to be in the nation's military through leisure sports. They can be experienced in the combat zone, the virtual reality experience center, the screen shooting range, the multi-purpose stadium and the survival experience center.
[Militarisation] [Propaganda] [ROM Military]
“Balanced diplomacy” becomes fundamental to President Moon’s foreign policy
Posted on : Nov.6,2017 16:46 KST Modified on : Nov.6,2017 16:46 KST
President Moon Jae-in gives an interview at the Blue House to the Singapore-based English news network CAN on Nov. 3 (provided by Blue House)
Rejection of trilateral alliance with US, Japan remains SK’s consistent position
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been raising eyebrows with his emphasis on “balanced diplomacy” on the eve of US President Donald Trump’s trip to Asia. With Moon reaffirming Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha’s remarks in the National Assembly that trilateral cooperation with the US and Japan must not turn into a military alliance at a sensitive time shortly before Moon and Trump’s summit, attention is focusing on why Moon made these remarks and on what he hopes to achieve.
During a telephone interview with the Hankyoreh on Nov. 5, a senior official at the Blue House said that Moon’s dismissal of the possibility of a military alliance with the US and Japan during an interview with Singapore’s Channel NewsAsia on Nov. 3 represented “a consistent position that has been voiced on several occasions” about a trilateral military alliance, which “public sentiment would never tolerate.”
[Moon Jae-in] [Foreign policy] [Self delusion]
High-Ranking Defector's Testimony Should Ring Warning Bells
November 03, 2017 13:04
Thae Yong-ho, the senior-most North Korean official to defect to South Korea in decades, testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill on Thursday. He told U.S. lawmakers that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is developing nuclear weapons to gain leverage for direct talks with the U.S. and get American troops to withdraw from South Korea. Kim believes that would in turn cause all foreign investors to pull out of South Korea, triggering a South Vietnam-style collapse. This preposterous scenario seems to be Kim's "roadmap."
[Thae Yong Ho] [NK US policy] [NK SK policy] [Bizarre] [US SK alliance]
Park 'Ordered Aides to Receive Bags of Cash from Spy Agency'
By Yoon Ju-heon
November 03, 2017 12:35
Two former Cheong Wa Dae secretaries have testified that ex-president Park Geun-hye ordered them to take regular delivery of illicit cash from the National Intelligence Service.
Prosecutors questioned Lee Jae-man and Ahn Bong-geun in the course of a probe into corruption in the NIS. They plan to question Park soon and bring additional bribery charges against her if the evidence holds water.
According to prosecutors, Lee and Ahn said they received around W4 billion from the NIS at Park's orders over three years starting in March 2013 (US$1=W1,115). They were given about W50-100 million a month in bags that were handed over near the presidential office
[Park Geun-hye] [NIS]
Former secretary claims NIS funds were effectively a slush fund for Park Geun-hye
Posted on : Nov.3,2017 18:27 KST Modified on : Nov.3,2017 18:27 KST
Former Presidential Secretary for Public Relations Ahn Bong-geun (right) and former Presidential Secretary for General Affairs Lee Jae-man enter the courtroom in handcuffs at the Seoul Central District Court to begin their trial on charges of bribery and embezzlement of public funds on Nov. 2. (Yonhap News)
Lee Jae-man, a former Blue House general affairs secretary arrested on charges of accepting “special activity funds” from the National Intelligence Service (NIS), told prosecutors that he had taken the money “on orders from [ousted former President] Park Geun-hye.” He also claimed to have kept the money in a separate safe and used the funds at Park’s direction.
If true, this means the NIS budget was effectively used as a slush fund for Park Geun-hye. Park has continued maintaining her innocence on charges of involvement in government interference, claiming she “did not receive a single won [one-tenth of a cent].” The accusations suggest she manipulated the public coffers as well, secretly stashing state funds to tap into for her own spending needs.
[Park Geun-hye] [NIS]
President Moon lays out five principles for a peaceful Korean Peninsula
Posted on : Nov.2,2017 17:28 KST Modified on : Nov.2,2017 17:28 KST
President Moon Jae-in gives an address proposing next year’s budget plan at the National Assembly on Nov. 1 (by Lee Jung-woo, staff photographer)
South Korea must play a leading role in establishing peace and preventing military conflict
During his address proposing next year’s budget plan at the National Assembly on Nov. 1, South Korean President Moon Jae-in unveiled five principles for achieving peace on the Korean Peninsula. These principles highlight a selection of the key elements from Moon’s congratulatory address on Liberation Day in August and his speech before the Korber Foundation in Germany (the Berlin declaration) in July, in which he called for South Korea to play a leading role in establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula. The Moon administration appears to have nailed down its policy for the Korean Peninsula.
“The Korean Peninsula is the place where the Korean people live and will continue to do so. It must be kept safe and peaceful, and making sure this happens is a responsibility vested in the President by the Constitution,” Moon declared in his speech.
“The new Administration was launched amidst the gravest security environment we have seen in a long time. The Government is working to stabilize the management of the current situation and, at the same time, ultimately ensure peace on the Korean Peninsula,” he said, as he laid out his five principles.
The first principle is “establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
[Moon Jae-in] [Tragedy] [Rhetoric]
Moon rules out nuclear armament
Posted : 2017-11-01 11:22
Updated : 2017-11-02 14:44
By Kim Rahn
President Moon Jae-in has ruled out the possibility of South Korea developing or stockpiling nuclear weapons, saying he is seeking a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.
In an address to the National Assembly, Wednesday, the President renewed his determination to pursue peace on the peninsula, pledging to resolve North Korea's nuclear and missile issues peacefully.
[Moon Jae-in] [Nuclearisation]
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