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Moral Realism Boomerang: Eight Months into the Lee Administration's North Korean Policy
By Bo-hyuk Suh
October 30th, 2008
Bo-hyuk Suh, Research Fellow at the Korea National Strategy Institute in Seoul, writes, “it is time inter-Korean relations should change, which would begin by respecting the agreement reached at the South-North summit meeting… The South Korean government should offer North Korea an unconditional dialogue to discuss inter-Korean cooperation, including the implementation of the October 4 Declaration.”
[SK NK policy]
Koreans Turn to Booze as Recession Bites
Economic depression is pushing up alcohol consumption. The Korea Alcohol and Liquor Industry Association on Wednesday said consumption of soju (traditional Korean distilled liquor) increased by 5.1 percent, of beer by 5.3 percent and of whisky by 4.4 percent from January to September over the same period last year.
Over this period, total 2.54 billion bottles of soju were consumed, increasing per-capita consumption by three bottles to 53.
Beer consumption increased approximately 150 million bottles to 2.94 billion bottles. Per-capita beer consumption also increased by three bottles to 61. Whisky sales, which usually drop in a recession, rose by 4.4 percent (1.66 million) bottles compared to last year.
Since the stock market plummeted last month, alcohol consumption has been soaring. Soju consumption in September alone rose by 7.9 percent to some 2 million bottles and beer consumption by 6.9 percent to 334 million bottles compared to the same month last year. Per-capita consumption for soju was 5.9 bottles and for beer 7 bottles.
Alcohol sales in supermarkets and convenience stores have also increased. Convenience store GS25 saw its soju consumption from Oct. 1 to 26 rise by 8.5 percent and beer by a staggering 18.4 percent.
DongA Ilbo and the government are told to apologize for past civil rights violations
Truth and Reconciliation Commission report finds DongA colluded with KCIA to fire journalists during Park Chung-hee era
In the latest of a series of findings, the official government Truth and Reconciliation Commission has determined that one of the more famous press suppression cases of the Park Chung-hee years, the "DongA Ilbo Advertising Coercion and Forced Layoff Case" during 1974 and 1975, was orchestrated by the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA, now known as the National Intelligence Service), and that the DongA Ilbo itself went along with what was unjust oppression by the Yusin regime, as it was called.
N. Korea appears to signal resumption of inter-Korean relations
North’s request for supplies to repair military communication network are being interpreted by the South as positive
At Monday’s meeting between North and South Korean working-level military officials, North Korea raised the issue of supplying materials and equipment for an existing military communication network as much and as forcefully as its demands for the cessation of leaflet distribution to North Korea, the Ministry of Unification has revealed. Discussion and continuous cooperation between North and South Korean authorities at the working level are needed to resume the supply of materials and equipment for the communication network, which was discontinued following the shooting death of a tourist at Mount Geumgang (Kumgang) last July. The analysis emerging within and outside the government is that this may be the North’s signal of a restoration of relations between North and South Korean authorities.
End leaflet distribution to N. Korea
"As the poor relationship between North and South Korea this year has become blocked even more due to this leaflet distribution, the Gaeseong (Kaesong) Industrial Complex is being driven into a crisis situation, as buyers’ orders are cancelled, businesses are faced with bankruptcy, the entrance and exit of buyers and investors is restricted, and South Korean staff members are expelled."
These words are part of an appeal sent last Saturday to groups distributing leaflets to North Korea by the Gaeseong Industrial Complex Tenant Companies Association. The association also urged the halting of leaflet distribution on October 10. According to them, the continued distribution of leaflets is souring inter-Korean relations and creating a crisis in the industrial complex, inevitably harming tens of thousands of North and South Korean workers.
South Korea's AH-1S Cobra helicopter fires rocket
South Korea's AH-1S Cobra helicopter fires rocket during the Army Aviation Shooting Match in Yangpyoung, northeast of Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008. North Korea's military warned Tuesday it would attack South Korea and turn it into "debris," in Pyongyang's latest response to what it says are confrontational activities by Seoul against the communist country.
N. Korean anger over leaflets dominates inter-Korean military talks
Continued distribution of leaflets could have negative consequences for Gaeseong and Geumgang projects
North Korea is angry over leaflets being dropped over its territory by private South Korean groups using massive helium balloons.
At talks between military officials from both sides on October 27, North Korean officials once again demanded that Seoul make it stop raining leaflets that are usually strongly against the government there, calling the actions of private groups a “severe matter.”
[Propaganda] [SK NK policy]
N. Korea Asks Seoul to Help Modernize Military Hotlines
By Jung Sung-ki
North Korea asked South Korea to help speed up modernizing its military communication lines at a working-level military meeting near the border, the Ministry of National Defense said Monday.
S-N Working Level Military Talks Due Monday
South and North Korea will hold working level talks Monday to discuss outstanding military matters, Yonhap News reported quoting the Defense Ministry Saturday.
The meeting will be held at the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine office on the western coast near the city of Paju at 10 a.m. Monday.
Army lieutenant colonels will represent the two sides in talks expected to touch on outstanding issues, including those related to changing the existing hotline system between the two countries. Pyongyang first proposed the talks Friday.
Rocket Launch Marks First Test for Korean Space Ambitions
Engineers of Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and Korean Air assemble the ground test vehicle (GTV), a mock-up of the KSLV-1 rocket, at KARI’s assembly complex in Goheung, South Jeolla Province. / Korea Times
By Kim Tong-hyung
GOHEUNG, South Jeolla Province ? A decade of effort and anxiety all comes down to a single moment next summer when South Korea attempts to launch a satellite into orbit from its brand new spaceport at the southern tip of the peninsula.
A successful launch would make Korea the ninth country in the world to launch a home-made satellite from its own soil and mark a huge step forward in national ambitions to have a man on the moon by 2020.
Empty Cargo Trains Cross Border Between the Koreas
A regular freight train service between the two Koreas resumed last December after a break of 56 years, but some 92 percent of trains were empty, it emerged Thursday.
According to Unification Ministry data disclosed by Grand National Party lawmaker Kwon Young-se of the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee, 150 of 163 regular freight trains that ran between Munsan in South Korea and Bongdong in the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea from December last year until August this year transported no cargo.
Scholar Stresses Study on Post-Unification Era
Prof. Lee Jang-hie
By Kang Hyun-kyung
A law professor said Thursday that now is the time for the government to start discussions on socio-economic and political aspects of state succession, the process by which sovereignty of one nation is transferred to another, to better prepare for the post-unification era.
``Some positive signs in the security environment on the Korean Peninsula, such as the U.S. government's removal of North Korea from the list of states sponsoring terrorism, came recently. The shifting security environment inspires practitioners and academics to turn their eyes to the post-peace building era,'' said Lee Jang-hie of the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul.
N.Korea Fires Short-Range Missiles
North Korea fired two short-range missiles from the western coast into the sea ahead of the anniversary of the North Korean Workers' Party on Friday, a defense source told the Yonhap news agency Tuesday
Lee Reckons N.Korea Functioning Normally
President Lee Myung-bak on Wednesday said he still believes North Korean society is “functioning normally under the unwavering leadership of its leader Kim Jong-il.” Lee was speaking to French daily Le Figaro. “Since his current condition is unknown, it is drawing many speculations. But I don’t think the state of Kim’s health will bring many changes in North Korea. The international community will make necessary preparations for any eventualities, but I don’t think North Korean society will break down easily.”
Korea Ranked 17th in National Branding Index
This is the 11th in a series of articles highlighting ways of upgrading Korea’s image and brand from international ‘Nation Brand’ experts on the occasion of the 58th anniversary of The Korea Times, which falls on Nov. 1. ? ED.
By Savas Hadji Kyriacou
The latest Nation Branding Index produced by East West Communications (www.eastwestcoms.com) ranked South Korea in 17th place globally in its third-quarter results, which is up from 28th place in the second quarter of this year.
Korea Develops 3-D Radar
Korea has developed a radar that can project the battlefield on the screen in three dimensions.
The Agency for Defense Development and LIGNex1 on Thursday said they completed development last month of the 3D Golden Eagle-A Radar, a first for the country. The new radar is being tested on the Navy's next-generation high-speed ship Yun Young Ha, which will be commissioned next year for patrol in waters near the Northern Limit Line in the West Sea.
Korea: Credit Crisis Sinks In; Won Plunges
South Korea's currency fell to a 10-year low Wednesday as Asian markets were battered in the wake of Wall Street's recent woes
By Moon Ihlwan
The South Korean currency on Oct. 8 sank 4.8% to a 10-year low as the ongoing global credit crunch forced local banks to scramble for the dollar and prompted many companies to hoard the greenback. President Lee Myung Bak's dismissal the day before of speculation that the country could face a repeat of the Asian financial crisis a decade ago did little to calm the Korean currency market.
The won, which closed at 1,395 to the dollar, has lost 16.8% of its value since U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in mid-September. Since the beginning of the year, the won has dropped 33% against the dollar, making it the world's worst performing major currency, and one whose direction is impossible to call. "The visibility is almost zero," said a Kookmin Bank dealer of the Korean currency's near-term movement.
Elsewhere in Asia, the Japanese yen soared even as stocks plummeted in Tokyo, where the Nikkei 225 benchmark index lost 9.4%. That marked the third biggest decline in its history, wiping $250 billion off stocks. "This isn't normal," Prime Minister Taro Aso, who became the Japanese leader two weeks ago, told Parliament. The plunge, he added, "is frankly beyond our imagination." This year Japan's stock market has lost 40% of its value despite the country's banks being relatively unaffected by the subprime crisis.
Stocks, Won Go Into Freefall
Korea’s stock market took its worst nosedive in history on Thursday. As stock markets around the globe plummeted, some fund managers in Korea stopped redeeming the investment of customers. The won saw its worst drop in 10 years and 10 months, plummeting W133.50 against the dollar.
Crunchtime Korea a Haven for Luxury Brands
Seoul has been chosen as the host city for a cultural project by Prada, the world-famous luxury fashion brand. Scheduled to run from March to July 2009 at Gyeonghui Palace, the Prada Transformer will bring a wide range of art, film and fashion events to one of the five grand palaces of the Chosun Dynasty in Seoul. “The fact that we have selected Seoul to implement it [the project] is a recognition of the importance that we give to Asia, Korea particularly, because of its rapid growth, both in business and cultural spheres,” says Prada CEO Patrizio Bertelli.
N. Korea warns of severing of inter-Korean relations
Warning suggests that Gaeseong tour and industrial complex projects could be closed without a positive response from the South
North Korea issued a warning October 16 that if the Lee Myung-bak administration continues defaming North Korea’s dignity and pursuing a course of indiscriminate anti-republic confrontation, North Korea will be forced to make a “crucial decision,” including the severing of inter-Korean relations.
History textbook controversy heats up
National Institute of Korean History releases a report that appears to justify the dictatorships of S. Korea’s authoritarian rulers
Controversy is expected to erupt as the National Institute of Korean History, which has been reviewing possible revisions to high school history textbooks, including one titled “A Modern and Contemporary History of Korea,” has submitted a report to the Ministry of Education in which it appears to justify the dictatorships of the authoritarian rulers of the past.
Korea Lacks in Strong Identity in Brand Positioning
By Thomas Cromwell
WASHINGTON ? Korea can definitely benefit from a well-executed nation branding program. Already it has one of the world's strongest economies and some of the best international corporate brands, such as Hyundai, Samsung and LG. What it lacks is a distinct position in the world in the minds of most people.
The Facts and Fables of a Unified Korea
By Andrei Lankov
October 16th, 2008
Andrei Lankov, Associate Professor in Kookmin University, Seoul, and
adjunct research fellow at the Research School of Pacifica and Asian
Studies, Australian National University, writes, "Despite all the
grave doubts, people will not dare to openly say that they do not
want to share the state with what they perceive as impoverished and
under-educated Northerners. Nonetheless, one thing is clear: the
enthusiasm about unification is waning, and sooner or later this
quiet transformation of the public mind may have political effects."
Renewal of confidence between the two Koreas
It is a turning point for the Korean Peninsula for the United States to have decided to remove North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. For starters, it resuscitates the nuclear negotiations that were at risk of falling apart and resumes the peninsular denuclearization process, because immediately after the U.S. announcement about the North’s delisting, Pyongyang immediately announced its intention to return to disablement. It looks like a round of six-party talks will begin in response to these actions on the part of the United States and North Korea, and with that we will enter the closing phase of what is called the second stage of denuclearization as described in the October 3 Agreement.
Korea’s Promotion Overseas Mismanaged
By David Kilburn
The attraction of transforming a country into a brand is easy to understand. Brands add value, both for their owners and their consumers.
According to U.S. brand expert John Gerzema, author of The Brand Bubble, brand value now accounts for about 30 percent of the market capitalization of companies on the S&P 500 index, up from 5 percent 30 years ago.
A Critical Week for Developments in N.Korea
North Korea marks three important events this week, leading to speculation that they could provide a clearer picture of developments in the Stalinist nation amid rumors about reclusive leader Kim Jong-il’s failing health. Kim marks the 11th anniversary of his inauguration as general secretary of the North Korean Worker's Party on Wednesday, the second anniversary of the nuclear test falls on Thursday, and Friday sees the KWP’s 63rd anniversary. It remains to be seen if Kim shows up.
And since chief U.S. nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill's visit to the North last week, Washington and Pyongyang have been busy negotiating behind the scenes, so this week may also turn out an important watershed for the North Korean nuclear problem.
Last Saturday and Sunday, the official North Korean press reported Kim watched a football match marking the anniversary of Kim Il Sung University, but there was no photo or video accompanying the news. The South Korean government on Monday said it has not confirmed whether the reports were factual.
'NK Strengthened Military During Seoul’s Liberal Administrations'
By Jung Sung-ki
Poverty-stricken North Korea purchased foreign weapons systems worth $65 million over the past five years despite its lingering food crisis, a lawmaker of the governing Grand National Party (GNP) said Monday.
Quoting documents submitted by intelligence authorities for a parliamentary audit of government agencies, Rep. Kwon Young-se of the conservative GNP said the North spent an annual $13 million on weapons from China, Russia, Slovakia and Germany over the past five years.
Rep. Moon Hee-sang of the main opposition Democratic Party, who belongs to the Assembly's National Defense Committee, said the South Korean military power exceeds the North's in terms of the quality of weapons systems and related precision-striking capabilities and fire-power.
Moon said, citing documents submitted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the South's up-to-date K-series tanks, combat fighting vehicles and other artilleries have better capabilities than the North's T-34, T-54/55 tanks and others in terms of night firing and river-crossing operational capabilities.
The North doesn't have destroyers, while the South operates a number of large-sized vessels, including the 14,000-ton Dokdo landing ship, 4,500-ton destroyers and a 7,600-ton Aegis destroyer, he said.
South Korea's high-tech fighters have superior night-mission and precision-strike capabilities than the North's aging planes, he added.
[Military balance] [Media] [Spin] [Context]
Pyongyang bought $65 million in weapons under Seoul's previous gov't: report
By Shin Hae-in
SEOUL, Oct. 6 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has purchased US$65 million worth of weapons from overseas suppliers over the past five years, a report showed Monday, implying the generous aid provided by Seoul's previous administration may have ended up strengthening Pyongyang's military.
Between 2003 and early-2008, Pyongyang spent an average of $13 million each year in buying the latest arms from countries including China, Russia, Germany and the Slovak Republic, according to a government report to a ruling party lawmaker. China has been providing North Korea with such items as used armored vehicles and military uniforms, the report showed.
"The government believes North Korea has reinforced its armed forces by a notable extent during this period," said Rep. Kwon Young-se of the ruling Grand National Party.
[Military balance] [Media] [Spin]
What If Kim Jong-il Is Back in Action?
Pyongyang’s state-run news Korean Central News Agency on Saturday reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il watched a college football match marking the 62nd anniversary of the founding of Kim Il Sung University. Kim was believed to be bedridden due to health problems and had not been seen in public for 51 days.
North Korea did not mention when and where Kim watched the football match. If the match took place at a stadium, the North would have extensively publicized the event. But judging from the lack of such publicity, it appears that Kim is still not well enough to make public appearances. Yet the fact that the North Korean media reported on Kim’s appearance after 51 days of silence could be conveying the message that, although not immediately, the North Korean leader could return to his routine in the near future. There are only four days left until Oct. 10, which is the founding day of the North Korean Workers’ Party, when Kim faces another test.
Meanwhile, North Korea is believed to have made some kind of proposal to chief U.S. nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill regarding the nuclear verification process when he visited the communist country last week. This could involve North Korean officials conducting nuclear verification operations in South Korea, in return for allowing international inspectors to verify the peaceful use of the communist country’s nuclear installations, plus U.S.-North Korean military talks to prepare for the verification process. The offer appears to be so concrete that South Korean government officials are saying that if necessary, Seoul and Washington may hold a summit to discuss matters.
S. Korean Army to Deploy 2,000 Wheeled Armored Vehicles From 2013
By Jung Sung-ki
The South Korean Army plans to deploy about 2,000 advanced wheeled armored vehicles beginning around 2013 to build rapid-response brigades modeled after U.S. Stryker combat brigades, a military source said Sunday.
The plan is a core part of the Army's efforts to transform itself into a slimmer but more mobile, network-centric force with increased firepower under the Defense Reform 2020 initiative with its operational focus shifting from a North Korean invasion to a counteroffensive or other forms of offensive action into North Korea, the source said.
``In the case of an emergency on the Korean Peninsula, wheeled armored vehicle brigades will play a leading role in advancing into North Korea, neutralizing key enemy targets, stabilizing North Korean society in captured areas or securing humanitarian aid, while mechanized divisions and corps consisting of sophisticated tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other artilleries back them up,'' the source told The Korea Times on condition of anonymity.
``For the U.S. Army, adding armored vehicles has proven very important. Before the Iraq experience in 2003, the U.S. Army believed that counterinsurgency was primarily an infantry effort,'' Bennett, who regularly advises the South Korean Army on policy direction, said in an e-mail interview. ``But it has found that armored vehicles, including vehicles like the Strykers, protect its personnel, thereby reducing casualties. This is very important to military morale and sustainability.''
[Military balance] [Collapse] [Regime change]
Fake US Dollars Traded at Mountain Resort in NK
Fake U.S. bills were traded at a South Korean-developed resort near a scenic North Korean mountain, a ruling party lawmaker said Sunday.
A total of 62 counterfeit U.S. notes, including 61 $100 bills, were discovered at the Mount Geumgang resort before 2007, said Rep. Lee Jeong-hyun of the ruling Grand National Party (GNP).
The lawmaker cited information obtained from Seoul's Unification Ministry and Hyundai Asan Corp., the resort's operator.
The fake U.S. bills were circulated at a duty-free store, a spa and other shops at the resort site, according to Lee.
The origin of the counterfeit notes is uncertain, but both Hyundai Asan and the ministry believe the bogus dollars were circulated by South Korean tourists, the lawmaker said.
N. Korea demands S. Korea end distribution of propaganda fliers
North warns that continuation could have negative effect on inter-Korean tourism and transit
The inter-Korean military working-level talks, the first inter-Korean talks since the inauguration of President Lee Myung-bak, began October 2 at the Peace House, located on the southern side of the Military Demarcation Line in the truce village of Panmunjom, but ended fruitlessly, only confirming the differences in perspective between North and South. In particular, the North criticized the dissemination in North Korea of leaflets critical of the North by civilian groups in the South and warned that if these are not discontinued, they will have a negative influence on the industrial complex and tourism in Gaeseong (Kaesong). They went on to express concerns about the deterioration of inter-Korean relations.
The peril of the four-power framework
Kim Ji-seok, Editorial writer
At the Russo-Korean summit that ended but a few days ago, President Lee Myung-bak concluded his "big four" foreign policy effort of visiting the United States, Japan, China, and now, Russia. With the United States he agreed on pursuing a "strategic alliance," and with both China and Russia he agreed to elevate relations to that of a "strategic cooperative partnership." Strategic partnerships are at the level of relations immediately below an alliance. With Japan, it was agreed relations would be the lower-level "mature partnership." It is entirely a matter of course that as our national importance grows there are ever deepening relations with the "big four" in all areas, including economic, political, security, cultural and social concerns. Much about the elevated relations is natural.
However, there have been a series of etiquette missteps along the way. When President Lee was in Russia, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrived more than 40 minutes late for their meeting, and the Russian deputy foreign minister was waiting at the airport instead of the foreign minister. When Lee went to China in May, the foreign ministry spokesman there openly declared that the "U.S.-Korea alliance is a relic of history." He was in Japan for a summit with that country’s leader in April, where the two agreed on starting a new era of relations, one that leaves the past in the past; but not three months later the Japanese government announced it would have a teachers’ guidebook published that claimed Dokdo to be Japanese territory. Even the American press essentially said Lee was "Bush’s poodle," in reference to his excessively low-posture when meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush.
Why did things like this happen? Because the United States and Japan think lightly of Korea, and China and Russia are uncomfortable with us, and the Lee administration has given them all reason.
Cold War comments from the NIS domestic security director
Speaking at an official get-together October 1 with members of the National Assembly, Kim Hoe-seon, the vice chief of the National Intelligence Service, said South Korea "will be unable to take one step forward towards becoming an advanced nation without eradicating pro-North leftist elements within." It would be hard to write off his comment as a mere slip of the tongue given the context in which he said them. It looks like he was clearly revealing his views and intentions regarding the so-called "public security incidents."
South Side's Violation of Inter-Korean Agreement Censured
Pyongyang, October 2 (KCNA) -- North-south military working-level talks took place in the area of the south side in Panmunjom on Thursday in connection with the evermore undisguised violation of the north-south military agreement by the south Korean puppet military.
The talks were attended by the north side's delegation headed by Senior Colonel of the Korean People's Army Pak Rim Su.
At the talks the north side strongly accused the south Korean puppet military of desperately persisting in scattering leaflets into areas of the north in violation of the bilateral agreement.
Citing facts to prove that recently the puppet military has massively scattered leaflets into the areas along the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) including Kangwon and North and South Hwanghae provinces and even into the heart of Kaesong City and its nearby ris, to say nothing of the Kaesong Industrial Zone (KIZ) and Mt. Kumgang tourist area and areas around it, the north side stressed that these violations have assumed a more serious dimension than before.
Liberal Party Leader Seeks Breakthrough in S-N Impasse
Democratic Party Chairman
By Kim Sue-young
The leader of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) said Thursday that members of the party will always be ready to visit Pyongyang for dialogue with North Korean officials.
North Demands South Stop Propaganda
By Joint Press Corps & Jung Sung-ki
PANMUNJEOM ? Talks between military officials of the two Koreas ended without any results as the North demanded that the South stop spreading propaganda leaflets, a South Korean military officer said.
The request was made during working-level military talks at the truce village of Panmunjeom, the first of their kind in eight months after the inauguration of the conservative Lee Myung-bak administration.
Col. Lee Sang-cheol, head of a three-member South Korean delegation to the one-day meeting, said the North demanded the South take measures to stop South Korean civic groups visiting North Korea from spreading propaganda leaflets.
Liberal Gov`ts Gave W8.38 Bln to North Korea`
SEPTEMBER 30, 2008 08:29
The liberal Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun administrations between 1998 and last year gave 8.38 trillion won to North Korea in aid and loans, according to a report released by a ruling party lawmaker yesterday.
Taking office in February 2003 after the second North Korean nuclear crisis emerged in September 2002, Roh doled out 5.68 trillion won to Pyongyang over his five-year term, double that of his predecessor Kim (2.70 trillion won).
Gov’t Recognizes N.Korea Abduction Victims
The government has decided to recognize four fishermen on the Gilyong that was hijacked by North Korea as abduction victims, the Unification Ministry said Wednesday. The identity of the four men was confirmed by a picture of 31 abducted fishermen published by the Chosun Ilbo in May.
The Gilyong with 15 people on board disappeared in January 1966 after a radio message saying it was being dragged by an unidentified Chinese vessel.
Roh criticizes Lee for not implementing October 4 declaration
In Lee administration, ‘reciprocity’ is ‘nothing more than another word for confrontationalism,’ Roh says
Former President Roh Moo-hyun said October 1 that the summit declaration of October 4, 2007, is a statement that has almost no ideological political character and consists of practical, businesslike content, but that inter-Korean relations have become blocked once again as a result of the Lee Myung-bak administration not respecting this declaration. He also said that the Lee administration appears somewhat nervous of late in its scrambling to offer various proposals for the restoration of relations.
A crack in the military’s foundation
The Korean military is sixty years old. During that time it has seen much growth, both outwardly and internally. It has disgrace in its history with two coup d’etats, but for the twenty years since democratization in 1987 it has quietly carried out its mission and walked and developed together with Korean democracy. A recent opinion survey found the military to be the most trusted organization in Korean society. We congratulate the military on its accomplishments and express our gratitude for its hard work.
Will Post-Kim Jong-il N. Korea Quicken Reform?
By Sunny Lee
Korea Times Correspondent
BEIJING ? Christopher Hill was prudent. Before his departure for Pyongyang Wednesday, the seasoned American top nuclear envoy set the tone for his mission. He told reporters in Seoul that the negotiations to persuade the North to return to the disarmament process would be "tough." That squared well with people’s subdued expectation.
Yet, will he eventually succeed in his mission? Surprisingly, one immediate "yes" comes from China. "I think Hill’s trip will bear fruit," said Prof. Zhu Feng, a well-known Chinese expert on security matters relating to the Korean Peninsula.
[US NK policy] [China NK]
Military Parade Biggest in a Decade
President Lee Myung-bak, second from left, inspects troops during a military parade to mark the 60th Armed Forces Day at Olympic Stadium in southern Seoul, Wednesday. The scale of the military parade was the biggest in almost a decade. State-of-the-art weapons systems were displayed. Standing at left is Minister of Defense Lee Sang-hee. / Yonhap
By Jung Sung-ki
South Korea's armed forces displayed their state-of-the-art weapons systems Wednesday in a massive military parade in Seoul to mark the 60th Armed Forces Day.
About 60,000 people, including President Lee Myung-bak, top military commanders and domestic and foreign Korean War veterans gathered at the Olympic Stadium in Jamsil, southern Seoul, to attend a ceremony featuring honor guard performances, aerobatics, a taekwondo demonstration and music concerts.
[Military balance] [Role of ROK military]
Proposal for founding the Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo
The Korean Committee for Solidarity with the World People takes it a pleasure to send this letter to the peace-loving and progressive people all over the world on the occasion of the month from October 1 to 31 every year to support the proposal for founding the Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo.
28 years have passed since publication of the proposal for founding the Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo Oct, 10, 1980.
The Tasks Facing Korea on Its 60th Armed Forces Day
The South Korean military marks its 60th birthday this year. Launched in September 1948 with 50,000 troops armed with Type 99 rifles left behind by the Japanese occupying forces, it has grown into a 680,000-strong force that ranks ninth in the world in terms of military spending. South Korea became the fifth country in the world to own Aegis destroyers, while developing homegrown technology such as a tank that can operate after being completely submerged in water.
[Sovereignty] [Military balance] [Role ROK military]
Pyongyang Invites DP Lawmakers to Kaesong
North Korea has invited 150 Democratic Party lawmakers and others to the North Korean border city of Kaesong, the Unification Ministry said Tuesday. They had originally planned to visit the Kaesong Industrial Complex on the first anniversary of the Oct. 4, 2007 Summit Declaration, adopted by former president Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
The first anniversary of the second summit declaration
Events marking the first anniversary of the October 4 South-North Joint Declaration begin today. Relations have soured, however, and it is sad that instead of seeing the declaration implemented, the two Koreas are not even holding a joint event. Even more unfortunate is our government’s attitude.
Unification Minister Kim Ha-joong says he is not going to participate in the event scheduled for this evening. He says it is because he will be attending armed forces day observances, but that makes no sense. The armed forces day events are going all day long, and there is no reason for the minister responsible for inter-Korean relations to throw related events to the wayside and go be elsewhere
Inter-Korean Military Talks Likely in Early October
North Korea proposed inter-Korean working-level military talks be held on Tuesday, but South Korea said it wants the talks to be held in early October, it emerged Monday.
Through military channels, North Korea abruptly proposed working-level military talks at the truce village of Panmunjom around Tuesday. They would be the first inter-Korean military talks since the inauguration of the Lee Myung-bak administration.
Lee Myung Bak Group's Anti-DPRK Human Rights Racket Assailed
Pyongyang, September 29 (KCNA) -- A spokesman for the Central Committee of the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland on Sept. 28 issued a statement blasting the puppet State Human Rights Committee of south Korea for officially announcing its decision to set up the "Special Committee on Human Rights of North" on Sept. 24 while finding fault with the "human rights performance" in the north.
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