Tag Archives: South Korea

Are North Korean Statements-Sound And Fury?

Recent photographs which depict North Korean leader Kim Jong Il as seriously ill, reportedly with cancer, may explain the outpouring of threats and warnings about possible nuclear attacks that North Korea issues almost every day. The North has threatened a “thousand-fold” military retaliation if anyone attacks their nation. North Koreans can sleep peacefully at night because there is no plan to invade or bomb that nation. General Walter Sharp, the top US commander in Korea assures one and all there is sufficient military force to handle, “anything North Korea can throw at us.”

The world can expect turmoil and confusion once Kim dies and his son attempts to become leader of the country. It is almost certain there must be generals in the North Korean army ready to make a quick grab at power and send the young punk son off to China.

Of course, no one knows exactly what will happen. Who knows, maybe North Korea has a young George Bush who sees WMD in South Korea that must be destroyed.

North Korea Darkness Prevails-Is He Dead Or Alive?

The lingering mystery as to the status of North Korean leader, Kim Jong il continues to confuse foreign policy experts. South Korean Intelligence sources believe the North Korean boss is recovering from surgery or a serious illness but there is no sign he lacks the ability to exert his control. The South Korean National Intelligence Service(NIS) told National Assembly sources there is no power vacuum. Unlike his father, Kim Jong il has not prepared any of his three sons to assume power in case of his death. Most likely, some form of military coalition leadership would assume control of the country and this most likely will result in not being able to engage in meaningful dialogue with the outside world for months to come.

The good news is South Korean military officials have not noticed any sign of movement by opposing North Korean soldiers and the border is calm. It is one of those wait and watch situations. Frankly, no one really knows what will happen.

US-South Korea Urge Human Rights In North Korea

The leaders of South Korea and the United States urged the North Korean government to improve its human rights programs and to accept vigorous terms for nuclear program verification procedures. Presidents Lee Myung-bak and George Bush reaffirmed their commitment to improving human rights in North Korea by emphasizing to leaders of that country excellent human relations will translate into excellent relations with the world and improved economic development. Bush also expressed his concern about the fatal shooting of a South Korean tourist by a North Korean soldier earlier this month which has caused great concern in South Korea.

Bush told reporters he expressed his views to the president of South Korea “about North Korea’s human rights record. I’m concerned about uranium enrichment activities as well as nuclear testing and proliferation and ballistic missile programs.” Bush threatened North Koreans if they refuse close inspection and continue violating human rights, they’ll “continue to be the most sanctioned regime in the world.”

Any sensible leader supports human rights. President Bush has a habit of talking and threatening when calmer speech and fewer threats might obtain better results.

Textbook Wars Rage Between South Korea And Japan

Japan is among the world’s leading economic powers in the world and its people rank among the top in education, but failure on the part of Japan’s Education Ministry has held the nation up to ridicule. The people of China and Korea are particularly concerned over the refusal of Japanese educators to present the brutality of the Japanese armed forces in their nations during World War II. The latest episode of South Korean anger emerged with publication of a new Japanese textbook which describes the islets of Dokdo as being part of the Japanese nation.

The anger stems not in itself about the islands, but arises from a consistent inability on the part of Japanese educators to present an objective picture of what happened during World War II. Many South Koreans urged their government to take a tough stance on the issue of the islands. South Korean Song Jae-wook said: “It is the right thing to be ‘future oriented’ and leave behind the past, but in reality, looking back n what we and or parent’s generation have gone through with Japan, the government should know what should be done in reality.”

The Japanese Ministry of Education might well spend time in Germany and learn how that nation has done an outstanding job of confronting evil and ensuring contemporary youth learn the truth about the past.

South Korea Beef Riots Continue

Among the great mysteries to people in the United States of America is the outbreak of riots and demonstrations against importation of beef from our nation. As a people we feel responsible for the inept behavior of our president who has caused so much turmoil throughout the world by his disastrous policies in the Middle East and his refusal to respect our Constitution, but– beef? Exactly, what is the beef by South Koreans regarding American beef? Tens of thousands of South Korean automobile workers have gone on strike to protest the importation of American beef on grounds it is somehow connected to mad cow disease. As far as we know here in the mid-west, there has not been a reported outbreak of mad cow disease anywhere around these parts.

We gather that American beef is much cheaper than beef that originates in South Korea which may account for some aspect of the riots. An automobile worker was quoted as saying the strike was “not a political strike, but is aimed to protect our health.” There really is a simple solution– don’t buy American beef and live a healthy more expensive life. Strikes and demonstrations are simply a storm in a teacup having no rationale other than mass hysteria.

South Korean Government Cracks Down On Protests

The violence which has ripped apart South Korea over the issue of importing beef from the United States continues to upset its government. President Lee Myung-bak assumed a tough response to street demonstrations and candlelight rallies which he regards as disruptive to law and order. He insisted “protests challenging the national identity and the illegal rallies should be distinguished from policy critics and should be sternly deal with.” He blamed extremists for creating the turmoil. His government has obtained agreement from the United States that no beef from cattle over 30 months old will be exported to Korea.

From the vantage point of the United States, most Americans are bewildered by the violence of the demonstrations and the concern South Koreans have about beef from the United States. We understand there are worries about disease, but it confuses the average American who most probably eats the same beef and wonders what the beef is all about.

Korean Jitters Impacts Aid Programs

A team of South Korean diplomats are flying to Washington to discuss Bush administration plans to provide aid to the North Korean government. There is absolutely no reason for South Korean diplomats to fly thousands of miles to Washington D.C. to discuss an American aid program to North Korea that has been promised due to the communist regime’s agreement on nuclear disarmament. A South Korean government official said: “the trip is being made to show North Korea that the United States’ rice aid is being conducted with discussion and cooperation from the South Korean government. Through this we are trying to send a message to the North that any attempts to get closer to Washington while isolating Seoul will not work.”

For some reason South Korean diplomats are under the illusion the United States govenment will make a dramatic turn and become friends with North Korea while abandoning close ties with the south. This ploy supposedly will make the North more mindful about listening to south Korean demands for cooperation.

Such is the madness of modern life and politics.

Olympic Game Fights Erupt In Seoul

The Olympic Torch relay hit the streets of Seoul only to create demonstrations from groups including ethnic Chinese who expressed their pride to North Korean defectors who regard China as a supporter of the oppressive North Korean regime. Han Chang-kwon, head of a union of North Korean defectors, stated bluntly, “I believe China isn’t qualified to hold the Olympics. They’re using the Olympics to send North Koreans back to their country, which is why I came to rally to publicize their in humane actions.”

At one point an angry North Korean attempted to set himself on fire, but was prevented by the police. More than 8,300 police officers were moblized to protect the 22 kilometer Olympic march. Even while Koreans protested against, thousands of Chinese expressed their admiration for China and wanted the world to know they have pride in the Chinese nation.

The Olympics was to be an opportunity for China to enter the world stage as a leading nation in the 21st century. Instead, its actions in Tibet, its crackdown on Chinese dissidents, and its policy of returning fleeing North Koreans back to the oppressive world of North Korea increasingly turn supporters of China into disappointed friends.

War Of Words In North And South Korea

The war of words continues to escalate in North and South Korea as both sides found themselves responding to comments by the other. North Korea was upset at comments made by a South Korean general who said his nation would militarily respond if attacked from the north. The paranoid North Korean government interpreted his remarks as a threat and warned they would unleash a sea of fire that would destroy South Korea. Part of the problem stems from the election to the office of president of Lee Myung-bak, who had campaigned on a platform of being more pragmatic and clear in dealing with North Korea. His comments were interpreted in the North as representing a shift from the past 10 years in which South Korean governments have attempted to develop positive economic relations with the Communist North.

The South Korean president should never forget he is dealing with a paranoid government and they must be handled with care and diplomatic use of language. North Korea fired som missiles into the sea to prove it could fire missiles. The best response is silence and ignoring the action.

Issues of nulcear weapons in North Korea are best addressed by the international community including China and the United States. There is no need for South Korea to assume some type of leadership role, let the world handle it.

Bush/Rice–Be Tough Or Be Positive With North Korea?

Secretary of State Rice took a firm stand on how the United States should deal with the North Korean government. She stated the Pyongang regime is not one the “United States is prepared to engage broadly.” and is running out of time to present a complete list by December 31 of all nuclear programs in the country. “It remains,” said Rice, “a country that is dangerously armed and a considerable threat on both the proliferation front and its own program.”However, the North Korean government is offering a view in which they are working closely with the United States and hope all problems are over between the two nations. Republican senators, Brownback, Kyl, Grassley, and independent Joseph Liberman urged Rice to take a tough stand and demand preconditions prior to engaging in further discussions. However, Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer urged that “whatever has occurred in the past is not occurring now,” and negotiators should focus on the present rather than becoming trapped in the past.

Ironically, the South Korean government which is probably the most threatened by any North Korea action, is proceeding in a positive direction with its northern neighbor. China is working closely with North Korea to ensure its compliance with agreements concerning ending nuclear development. But, the Bush administration can not shake its hostility and insistence that North Korea is lying or refusing to cooperate. Perhaps, a more positive approach will create a sense of trust among North Koreans and assist in their movement toward a stance in which all assistance to violent groups ends.