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That Which Divides Us: Filibusters, Security Bills, and the NIS
By Steven Denney | February 26, 2016
Battering rams and smoke bombs. Not items one associates with democratic politics, but they were tools in the armory of South Korean lawmakers in the not-too-distant past.1) In 2011, for example, Democratic Labor Party assemblyman Kim Sun-dong ignited a teargas grenade in the legislative chamber. Coming from the far left, Kim was attempting to stop the ruling Grand National Party (now Saenuri Party) from voting to ratify the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement.
Now, it seems, long speeches are set to replace violent, undemocratic acts. On February 23, for the first time since 1969, a filibuster was used to prevent new legislation from going to vote. In this case, the hotly contested anti-terrorism bill (?????).
The proposed legislation is nominally meant to address concerns over terrorist attacks — the sort the NIS alleges that North Korea is currently planning. If implemented, it would establish an anti-terror agency in the Prime Minister’s office and grant additional discretionary powers to the state intelligence agency, the National Intelligence Service (NIS). These would allow it to collect relevant information on persons and activities deemed a threat to public safety and national security. The main opposition Minjoo Party opposes the expansion of NIS powers on principle, as well as on justified fears of NIS impropriety.
Kaesong Industrial Complex Operations Come to Halt: Analyzing Causes
While drafting the previous article on the subject, the author concluded that the inter-Korean relations passed the point of no return after the shutdown at the Complex, similar to the situation with the freezing of the inter-Korean Mount Kumgang Tourist Region project (at Lee Myung-bak’s decision). The present article analyses the reasons for which the Republic of Korea’s leadership took this obviously harmful rather than advantageous decision. Think for yourself:
•A landmark project—a decade-long symbol of the inter-Korean cooperation inspiring hope that economic interests would finally come out on top of political ones is shut down.
•A source providing information on North Korean domestic affairs is gone: at any rate, even in view of all the restrictions imposed by the North Koreans, it was still a better choice than reading tea leaves over photographs or testimonies of defectors.
•The Complex was a sort of a “window on western civilization” for more than 50 thousand workers and, if considering the project as a conductor of the South Korean propaganda in the North, it was a by far more powerful tool than leaflets of provocative content.
•The closing sparked certain tension between the state and its small and medium-sized businesses falling victims to the force majeure. It is unclear now how the losses will be compensated, but the opposition is already playing this card, challenging the government.
•? Authorities already had to deal with the termination of inter-Korean projects, when sanctions were imposed after the sinking of ROKS Cheonan in May 2010. North Korea suffered but minor economic damages, but the ground for the recharge of inter-Korean cooperation had been lost to agile Chinese, as “the nature abhors a vacuum.”
•Besides, as the South Korean propaganda admits, while the regime still has not yet estimated damages associated with the closing of the Complex, the losses incurred by average North Koreans, who lost lucrative jobs, are quite tangible.
South Korean opposition fights draconian anti-terrorism law
Posted on February 24, 2016 by Tim Shorrock
Opposition lawmakers in South Korea’s National Assembly are staging a marathon filibuster against a so-called Anti-Terrorist Act being pushed by the Park Geun-Hye government in the wake of North Korea’s latest rocket launch and nuclear test. As the independent Hankyoreh reports:
National Assembly speaker Chung Ui-hwa asserted his authority on Feb. 23 to bring a controversial anti-terror bill to the floor for a vote, describing the recent tensions on the Korean Peninsula provoked by a nuclear test by North Korea as a “national state of emergency corresponding to a war or incident.”
To prevent the legislation from being passed, the opposition parties have launched a filibuster on the floor of the National Assembly, in which it is pointing out problems with the anti-terror bill put forward by the ruling party. This is the first filibuster in South Korea since 1969.
Civic groups also strongly objected to Chung’s decision to bring the bill to the floor, expressing their concern that the NIS would abuse its authority and infringe on civil rights.
On Tuesday evening, Chung Ui-hwa called a session of the National Assembly and asserted his authority to bring the Anti-Terror Act for Protection of the People and Public Safety, a bill submitted by the Saenuri Party (NFP), to the floor. Chung defined the current situation as “a public safety emergency” and said that “the anti-terror bill cannot be put off any longer.”
Anybody concerned with civil liberties and government surveillance should pay attention to this draconian law (scroll down for a cartoon, published today, that illustrates how it will work, with the man in the suit representing South Korean intelligence).
N.Korea Threatens Preemptive Strike on Cheong Wa Dae
North Korea on Tuesday threatened to launch a "preemptive strike" on Cheong Wa Dae as massive joint South Korea-U.S. military drills loom.
"All our strategic and tactical means of strike will be mobilized to carry out preemptive, just operations," the North's Supreme Command said in a statement, if South Korean and U.S. special forces and equipment "which are mobilized for 'decapitation operations' and 'pinpoint strikes,' make the slightest slight move."
"The primary targets of strikes will be Cheong Wa Dae and reactionary ruling agencies, which are dens of plotters of confrontation," it warned.
It also threatened to attack U.S. "bases of aggression" in the Asia and Pacific region and mainland America.
The statement went on endlessly in a similar vein, boasting of "powerful, cutting-edge means of striking the U.S. as we please anytime, anywhere which no country in the world has ever had."
South Korea and the U.S. are mobilizing the biggest number of troops and equipment in the history of the annual joint maneuvers, including a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and F-22 stealth fighter jets.
A government official here speculated that the North "is especially upset by expressions such as 'decapitation' and 'regime collapse,'" which it considers an insult to Kim Jong-un.
The bombastic verbiage and flights of pure fantasy further fuel speculation that the old hardliners are firmly back in the saddle after internal power struggles in Pyongyang.
[Joint US military] [Conditionality] [Preemptive] [Media] [Heading]
Not So Hellish After All
By Sino-NK | February 24, 2016
“Hell Chosun” (???) is fashionable meme both inside and outside South Korea. As the latest in a long line of expressions of discontent (see: “Inferno Peninsula,” “Bankrupt Republic,” “5/7 Give-up Generation”), it has made its way from domestic message boards to the pages of the Washington Post. But what does Hell Chosun actually mean?
According to Se-Woong Koo, editor of the Korea Exposé blog and one of the first to write about the phrase in English, Hell Chosun is “an infernal feudal kingdom stuck in the nineteenth century.” In the words of historian-activist Park No-ja (aka Vladimir Tikhonov, a naturalized South Korean citizen from Russia), it is “a reference to the past [Chosun] dynasty… [which] alludes to a regressive society where the inheritance of status is almost fully institutionalized.” Pre-modern Korea, in other words, and a place with little opportunity for upward mobility.
[Column] Where is South Korea’s Bernie Sanders?
Posted on : Feb.20,2016 15:11 KST
With another election approaching in South Korea, no captivating candidate like Sanders has yet emerged
The phenomenon of Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders is heating up the US presidential race. He has risen from an outsider with 5% support to a major force that sheds light on the future of the US.
The Sanders phenomenon is fuelled by voters’ disgust with vested interests and establishment politics, many pundits say. A prime reason for this disgust is thought to be the severe polarization in the US, in which the top 1% of the population make more money than the lower 50% altogether.
“Polarization has intensified under the reign of neo-liberalism in the nearly four decades since Reagan, and the American people are sick and tired of it,” said Jeong Hui-yong, director of the Institute for Opening Up a New Society, referring to welfare cuts during this period.
If someone like Bernie Sanders actually showed up in South Korea, who knows what might happen?
[Election] [Sanders] [Example]
[Column] A country still run by Japanese collaborators
Posted on : Feb.20,2016 15:23 KST
On the left, former President Park Chung-hee (1961-79) in his Japanese imperial army officer uniform. On the right, his daughter and current President Park Geun-hye, next to the Biographical Dictionary of Japanese Collaborators
Why is the Ministry of Education blocking efforts to make available a dictionary of those who collaborated with the Japanese colonial administration?
#1. Seoul, Republic of Korea, 2016: As the city’s education office tries to stock the libraries of city middle and high schools with the “Biographical Dictionary of Japanese Collaborators,” the Education Ministry is obstructing its efforts, blustering about “violating protocol” and “infringing autonomy.”
#2. Paris, France, 2015: An exhibition was held at the national archives about collaboration with Nazi Germany. The exhibition was organized by France’s Department of Defense.
The contrast is striking. In France, 70 years have passed since liberation, but the government is actively urging its citizens to remember those who sold out their country. In South Korea, the government is actively blocking such efforts.
[Japanese collaborator] [Park Chung-hee]
Closure of the Kaesong Complex – a Pity if it’s for Good
South Korea’s government has decided to terminate cooperation with the North at the Kaesong Industrial Complex as of February 10. South Korea’s Minister for Unification, Hong Yong-pyo, made this announcement, indicating that this decision had been taken as part of countermeasures toward North Korea. Hong noted that the South Korean government did everything possible in Kaesong for the industrial complex according to international standards. Pyongyang, however, used the complex to achieve its own aims in building nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Therefore it became necessary to take more decisive and radical measures to pressure the North. Otherwise, continued development of Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs will threaten the security on the Korean peninsula and in northeast Asia.
As a reminder, the Kaesong Technopark has been in operation over 10 years as the largest economic collaboration project between the two Koreas: 124 small and medium-size businesses from South Korea, whose production lines employed 53,000 North Korean workers. The main benefit for the South was cheap labor. A Southeast Asian migrant worker at a similar textile plant in Seoul earns roughly 10-times more than a North Korean in Kaesong.
DPRK's artillery fire heard in frontline island: Yonhap
Xinhua, February 20, 2016
An artillery fire from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) was heard near a South Korean border island in western waters, Yonhap news agency reported Saturday citing military authorities.
A South Korean military official was quoted as saying that one round of artillery fire was heard from the northern region of South Korea's Baengnyeong Island near the western maritime border.
The artillery round hasn't landed in the South Korean territorial waters. No additional fire was heard since then, according to the report.
South Korea's military estimated that the DPRK forces may have conducted firing drills near the inter-Korean sea boundary.
Residents in the border island had been evacuated after the artillery fire, but they have resumed normal lives now, local broadcaster YTN reported.
The South Korean military is closely monitoring additional provocations from the DPRK, it said.
[Media] [Chinese IR]
134 Fake Asylum Seekers Nabbed
Police have arrested 134 foreigners who falsely sought asylum here since November last year and 37 brokers who helped them.
The number of asylum seekers soared from 1,574 in 2013 to 5,711 last year. But only a few dozen are granted refugee status.
Police attribute the increase despite the low chance of being accepted to the fact that they can legally stay in Korea for up to two years while their applications are processed.
[Double standards] [Defectors]
[Correspondent’s column] Why 2016 is more dangerous than 2010
Posted on : Feb.19,2016 15:51 KST
Without Kaesong window, and with more US-China antagonism, there’s a greater chance of tensions getting out of hand
The Korean Peninsula is facing a looming twofold crisis. Inter-Korean relations are as taut as a balloon on the verge of bursting. Relations between the US and China are on edge over discussions of the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system with US Forces Korea.
It‘s a deadly combination, where no side is able to control matters if they get out of hand. Indeed, the crisis has only spiraled further as the key players - South and North Korea, the US, and China - take sides in a large-scale game of chicken.
A similar twofold crisis occurred in 2010. To begin with, relations between Washington and Beijing were at a low. US pride had been injured by the 2008 eruption of a global financial crisis, and China started becoming arrogant. A power shift between the two seemed likely to happen at any moment. It led that year to a head-on collision between two forms of proud exceptionalism: US patriotism vs. Chinese nationalism.
Other comparisons also come to mind. In Jan. 2010, Beijing announced punitive measures against US companies to protest the country’s sale of weapons to Taiwan. The frictions only escalated after the sinking of the ROKS Cheonan corvette that March. During the ASEAN Regional Forum in Hanoi that July, the US openly sided with Vietnam and the Philippines in the disputes with China over territory in the South China Sea.
[SK NK relations] [China confrontation]
Park’s administration officials parrot her groundless claims
Posted on : Feb.19,2016 15:21 KST
Minister of Unification Hong Yong-pyo (right) passes Defense Minister Han Min-koo as he goes up to answer questions at a National Assembly hearing in Seoul, Feb. 18. (by Lee Jeong-a, staff photographer)
Though not offering evidence, officials continue to say Kaesong Complex money went to North Korean weapons
With President Park Geun-hye reiterating the claim that North Korea appropriated funds at the Kaesong Industrial Complex for its nuclear weapons program without offering any evidence, not only Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo, who admitted that there was no evidence for the claim, but also Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn have echoed Park’s claim that workers’ wages were delivered to the leadership of the Korean Workers’ Party (KDP), which used them to develop nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.
“We have determined that 70% of the wages paid in dollars went to the KWP Secretariat and to Room No. 39. We have determined that this was used for nuclear weapons, missiles, and legacy projects,” Hong said in response to questions at the National Assembly on Feb. 18.
“We have determined that the wages paid to North Korean laborers went to the KWP leadership and that those funds are being used for nuclear weapons and missiles,” Hwang said.
[Analysis] Are Park’s remarks a transformation of her N. Korea policy?
Posted on : Feb.17,2016 16:25 KST
In her address to parliament, Pres. Park makes no mention of dialogue or negotiations with the North
The approach, goals and methods of South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s response to North Korea’s nuclear weapon test and rocket launch that she outlined in her address to the National Assembly on Feb. 16 are simple. She promised to work with the international community to maintain and intensify pressure and sanctions in order to create “an environment in which the North Korean regime will realize that nuclear development will only bring about collapse and will have no choice but to change on its own.” The corollary of this logic, though, is that, if North Korea refuses to give up its nuclear weapons, South Korea will keep pushing it until the regime collapses.
“If we go down this road, there may be bigger challenges waiting for us, but I’m confident that, if the public supports us and is with us, we can achieve this,” Park said. The implication is that Park has resigned herself to a protracted struggle.
During her address, Park did not once mention the possibility of resolving the North Korean nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiations, such as the Six-Party Talks, which implies that she is not even considering this option.
[Park Geun-hye] [SK NK policy]
People's Party stance on NK confusing
By Kim Hyo-jin
The minor opposition People's Party led by Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo is suffering from an identity problem concerning its stance on North Korea.
While the conservatives and liberals are divided over the government's hard-line approach, the People's Party, which presented itself as "centrist" appears to be divided regarding the reclusive country.
The party unreservedly attacked the government for shuttering the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC), a symbol of the "sunshine policy" of reconciliation pushed by liberal governments from 1998 to 2008. This drew much attention as the main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea (MPK) responded cautiously amid deepening public security unease.
But, Lee Sang-don, a former ruling camp figure who was recruited Wednesday as the co-leader of the People's Party election campaign committee, expressed a differing view, saying the sunshine policy was a failure. "We need to overhaul our North Korea policy from ground zero," Lee said during a press conference.
[Progressives] [Liberal] [Ahn Cheol-soo]
N.Korea 'Preparing Terror Attacks'
A lawmaker here on Thursday claimed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered more cyber attacks against South Korea.
Citing information from the National Intelligence Service, Lee Cheol-woo of the ruling Saenuri Party told an emergency security meeting of government and ruling party officials the North could also use poison or abduct South Korean citizens as part of what he described as a "terror" campaign.
"The North can inflict damage on anti-North Korean activists, defectors and government officials here," Lee later told reporters.
[Canard] [SK NK policy]
Seoul Suspends Humanitarian Aid to N.Korea
Since North Korea's fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6, the government here has turned down a total of 17 civilian applications for visits to the North and delivery of goods to North Koreans.
Now the government is also determined to suspend humanitarian assistance to the North including programs for small children.
The Unification Ministry on Wednesday said it received 17 applications for inter-Korean projects or business programs between the North's latest nuclear test and mid-January.
It added that a temporary halt of humanitarian assistance to the North is inevitable because of its continued provocations.
"There's no change in our basic policy on humanitarian programs for vulnerable North Koreans including babies and infants," ministry spokesman Jung Joon-hee told reporters. "Nonetheless, the programs should also be shelved at a time when the North carries out grave provocations."
The programs include healthcare for North Korean mothers and children and prevention of infectious diseases
'Hell Joseon' through the eyes of Koreans overseas
Updated : 2016-02-18 12:00
By Jane Han
DALLAS More and more young men and women of Korea find life in their motherland so painfully tough that they literally call it hell, some even plotting to pick up and leave to another country.
But what happens when you really take off?
The Korea Times talked to 10 men and women from different walks of life who've immigrated to the U.S. within the past decade and here's what they had to say about the reality of departing '"Hell Joseon," a viral term that embodies young people's sense of hopelessness in Korea.
[Hell Joseon] [Migration]
'South's sanctions against NK could work'
By Kim Hyo-jin
Prof. Kim Byung-yeon
Additional economic sanctions imposed against North Korea are more likely to have a substantial impact on the country's economy than previous ones, according to an expert observer of the isolated state.
Kim Byung-yeon, an economics professor and vice director of the Institute for Peace and Unification Studies at Seoul National University, said that beginning last year, the repressive nation has experienced greater economic challenges, which has left it more vulnerable to external factors.
"I think additional sanctions will have a big impact on North Korea because the country has already struggled with decreasing trade with China and falling hard currency revenue," Kim said during a seminar hosted by the East Asia Foundation, Tuesday.
[Sanctions] [SK NK policy]
Controversy over Gaeseong wage claim escalates
By Kang Seung-woo
Updated : 2016-02-17 17:09
A controversy is rapidly escalating regarding a claim first made by a government minister on Sunday that North Korea diverted wages intended for its citizens who worked at the now-closed Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC), for nuclear weapons and missile development.
President Park Geun-hye also stated in her Tuesday address to the National Assembly that a hefty chunk of wages paid to North Korean workers was funneled to its leadership, hinting that the regime may have used the money to develop weapons.
The President's remark came one day after Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo retracted his claim made at the weekend that the government had data to prove the North's diversion of funds.
If Park's claim is true, it could mean that South Korea has violated a United Nations (U.N.) Security Council resolution against contributing funds to North Korea's weapons of mass destruction program.
[Kaesong] [UNUS] [US dominance]
Darkness at High Noon in Korea
With governments on both sides of the DMZ extinguishing what little remained of the "sunshine era" of engagement, the peninsula is lurching toward a new period of darkness.
By John Feffer, February 17, 2016.
As the world focuses on the war in Syria, the refugee crisis in Europe, and the primary slugfest in the United States, the two Koreas are heading toward a catastrophe in the Far East.
Although relations on the Korean peninsula have been deteriorating for the better part of eight years, the last six months have been particularly tense. North Korea recently conducted its fourth nuclear test and followed up with a satellite launch using a long-range rocket. The international community reacted in its customary fashion, with condemnations and the imposition of more sanctions. South Korea joined in the chorus of disapproval.
But this time, South Korea went a step further. It severed its last important economic link with the North.
The Kaesong Industrial Complex was the only legacy remaining of the “sunshine policy,” the Nobel-Prize winning project of former South Korean president Kim Dae Jung. Established in 2004, the economic zone brought together South Korean businesses and North Korean labor in a business park located just north of the Demilitarized Zone in the ancient Korean capital of Kaesong.
[[Park Geun-hye] [SK NK policy] [Satellite] [Kaesong]
South Korea’s big strategic bet to rein in North Korea
By Troy Stangarone
Feb 16, 2016
In US presidential politics, a candidate suspending their campaign means that they are dropping out of the race. In much the same way, South Korea’s recent announcement that it would suspend operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex in response to North Korea’s recent nuclear and missile tests means that what remains of Kim Dae-jung’s “Sunshine Policy” is drawing to a close. After North Korea’s Jan. 6 nuclear test and recent long-range missile test, Seoul had reached the conclusion that the status quo was no longer sustainable and that stronger measures would be needed to rein in North Korea’s nuclear program. However, if the international community was going to follow South Korea’s lead in raising the pressure on North Korea, Seoul had only one significant card to play to demonstrate its resolve – shutting down Kaesong.
Opened in 2004, the Kaesong Industrial Complex was envisioned as a place where South Korea could use economic engagement to slowly change the behavior of the regime in Pyongyang. The idea was that by combining South Korean capital and knowhow with low-cost North Korean labor the two sides could find a mutually beneficial avenue for raising living standards in the North, transferring needed technical and managerial skills, and over time reducing the potential burdens of unification on future generations.
The hoped-for complex, which was originally envisioned to employ 350,000 North Koreans at 1,500 firms and tourist destinations, hotels, and shopping centers by 2012, has never materialized. Expansion stalled due to North Korea’s weapons programs, a labor shortage, and the likely unwillingness of North Korea to see the complex grow too robust. Instead, the complex employed around 54,700 North Koreans, who were estimated to support another 200,000 or more family members, at 124 firms before being shut down.
[Kaesong] [SK NK policy] [Satellite] [Shill] [Sunshine]
Park vows to change North Korea with sticks
President says Gaeseong wages diverted for weapons development
By Kang Seung-woo
President Park Geun-hye said Tuesday that South Korea will continue to take harsh steps of its own to change North Korea and make it give up its nuclear weapons program.
She warned that the Kim Jong-un regime will eventually collapse if it continues to pursue nuclear weapons.
"It has become clear that the past ways of coping with North Korea cannot curb the country's nuclear ambitions. It is time to seek fundamental solutions to actually change the North," Park said in a televised address given at the National Assembly.
"Rather than only depending on international sanctions, we need to use every trick in the book to address this issue for ourselves."
She said that without any actions to change the North, the country will, ultimately, deploy missiles with nuclear warheads.
[Park Geun-hye] [Sanctions]
Bring 'sunshine' back
By Choi Sung-jin
As expected, President Park Geun-hye mostly offered excuses and self-justifications in her special address to the National Assembly Tuesday. People heard few words of regret for the failed policies of her administration that have dragged down inter-Korean relations to their lowest point and left the nation at its most insecure in decades.
Many will ask: Why should President Park say she is sorry when North Korea is raising tensions with a nuclear test and missile launch?
Undoubtedly, the totalitarian regime in the north deserves blame and criticism from all quarters for threatening people with weapons of mass destruction, hurting regional peace and stability.
It takes two ? or three, or even four ? to tango, though. In the multilateral relationships constituting Northeast Asia, everything is relative: One country may have to take the biggest responsibility for anything gone awry but the others should also be held accountable for it, to varying degrees and in differing ways. At least such acknowledgement helps to resolve a crisis before it aggravates further.
[Park Geun-hye] [Sunshine]
Kaesong Complex Shutdown: No Ordinary North Korea Problem
By Christopher Green | February 15, 2016
On February 11, South Korean agency Realmeter conducted an opinion poll looking at initial public responses to the closure of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, which was instigated by South Korea on the afternoon of the 10th. This was the first poll to explicitly look at the closure of Kaesong, but it exposed many of the same predictably sharp societal divides that we see in polls on other matters. Yet these were not exactly the same divides – and/or not expressed in quite the same way – that regular readers of Sino-NK might anticipate in light of our past work on South Korea’s so-called “new nationalism.”
Kim Seong-gon, “Total shutdown of Kaesong Complex, ‘Well done’ 47.5% vs ‘A mistake’ 44.3% [???? ????, ‘???’ 47.5% vs ‘????’ 44.3%],” EDaily, February 12, 2016.1)
Overall, respondents in the Kaesong-focused poll evinced support for the shutdown of the inter-Korean economic project, albeit only by a modest amount, 47.5 percent against 44.3 percent. This lies comfortably within the ±4.3% margin of error.
The Kaesong Closure: Punishment or Shot in the Foot?
By Ruediger Frank
12 February 2016
On February 10, 2016, the South Korean government decided to cancel cooperation with North Korea in the Kaesong Industrial Zone (KIZ, or simply Kaesong), arguing that the income from the zone had been used by Pyongyang to finance its nuclear and missile programs. One day later, the North froze all assets, expelled all South Koreans and declared the zone a military security area.
About 15 years ago, the plans for Kaesong were ambitious: a complex with jobs and living quarters for one million people, including an artificial lake and three golf courses. The city of Kaesong in the upper left corner looks like a village in comparison. Photo © Rudiger Frank
The joint industrial park was a major product of the sunshine era of presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun, at some point aiming to employ as many as one million North Korean workers in South Korean enterprises. The area is situated right at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), only 70 km away from Seoul, in one of the few potential invasion corridors in the otherwise mountainous Korean territory. The project was thus, from the outset, met with some skepticism by the North Korean military but economic and political reasoning prevailed.
2 Koreas Sever Communication Channels
North Korea on Thursday severed all communication channels with South Korea, including military and Red Cross hotlines.
The move came the same day it expelled all South Korean staff and seized assets at the joint Kaesong Industrial Complex and repeats a scenario from April 2013, when the complex was shut for about four months amid heightened military tensions.
The military communication line served as a conduit for the two sides to exchange entry passes for South Korean staff at the industrial park.
A Unification Ministry official warned the lack of communication channels could cause isolated provocations to "escalate into a big problem."
North Korea in a statement said South Korea's decision Wednesday to shut down the Kaesong complex "severed the last lifeline of North-South relations."
Seoul worries that North Korea may resort to fresh provocations when the UN Security Council decides on tougher sanctions against the North and South Korea and the U.S. hold their annual joint military drills in the next couple of months.
Recent developments suggest that old military hardliners are in the ascendant in internal power struggles in the North, and its patterns of behavior are wearyingly familiar from the last days of former leader Kim Jong-il.
N.Korea-Russia Logistics Project Shelved
A logistics project connecting the Rajin port in North Korea with Khasan in Siberia has been shelved indefinitely after the North's nuclear and rocket tests.
The project involves South Korean firms rather than the government, but a Unification Ministry official said they must ensure that they violate no sanctions halting inter-Korean economic cooperation.
The project was to facilitate the transport of minerals like bituminous coal to South Korea via Khasan and Rajin. It involves POSCO, Hyundai Merchant Marine and KORAIL, who bought 49 percent of the Russian shares in RasonKonTrans, a Pyongyang-Moscow joint venture.
The South Korean government invested in a roundabout way by providing the three firms with money reserved for inter-Korean projects.
[Editorial] Closing the Kaesong Industrial Complex is a mistake
Posted on : Feb.11,2016 18:16 KST
Workers at the Kaesong Industrial Complex in Kaesong, North Korea produce products for SK Apparel. In Mar. 2013, North Korea blocked South Korean staff from accessing the Kaesong Industrial Complex in protest of joint military exercises by South Korea and the US. Operations at the complex were suspended for roughly 160 days, restarting on Sep. 17. (pool photo)
On Feb. 10, the South Korean government decided to carry out a complete suspension of operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex, which is located in North Korea. Since Seoul has stated that it will only resume operations at the complex when Pyongyang addresses the concerns of the international community resulting from its development of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, this might as well be a shutdown.
The move - which Seoul describes as being part of its own separate punitive measures for North Korea’s nuclear missile test on Jan. 6 and its launch of a long-range missile on Feb. 7 - is obviously a step too far. If anything, it’s likely to worsen tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Since producing its first batch of products in early Dec. 2004, the Kaesong Complex has continued to steadily develop despite many twists and turns. Even though North Korea carried out three nuclear tests, the complex remained open. In March 2013, it was closed for several months after North Korea blocked South Korean staff’s access to the complex to protest joint military exercises by South Korea and the US.
The Kaesong Complex has faithfully served as a safety valve for inter-Korean relations even amidst difficult circumstances, and it’s truly regrettable that the South Korean government has made the arbitrary decision to close its doors.
[Kaesong] [Sanctions] [Satellite]
[Column] A conspiracy to revive and perpetuate the Cold War regime
Posted on : Feb.11,2016 18:15 KST
President Park Geun-hye presides over an emergency meeting of the National Security Council at the Blue House to address the topic of North Korea’s long-range rocket launch, Feb. 7. (Yonhap News)
On a South Korean comedy show, there’s a skit called “Superhero.” The skit depicts a superhero who inflicts extreme pain on his own body in order to telepathically transmit that pain to his opponent.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye has just ordered the complete suspension of operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex as a response to North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket. But the Kaesong Complex profits the South more than the North. Even the government referred to this as an “agonizing decision.”
The comedy routine may earn a few laughs, but President Park’s decision is no laughing matter.
The Korean Peninsula is the locus of unending rivalry between the forces of the Cold War and the forces of peace. The interests of the Pentagon and Wall Street are tangled together.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula are increasing because of North Korea’s recent nuclear test and rocket launch. While Pyongyang was responsible for the incident, the administrations of President Park and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are reaping the political rewards.
[Satellite] [North Wind]
Closing of Kaesong Industrial Complex increases risk of military confrontation
Posted on : Feb.13,2016 17:38 KST
Amid thick fog, a South Korean soldier moves a barricade at the southern end of Unification Bridge in Paju, Gyeonggi Province on Feb. 12, the day after North Korea declared that the area around Kaesong Industrial Complex was now under military control. (by Kim Seong-gwang, staff photographer)
The complex served as a buffer zone between militaries, and with North Korea severing all direct lines of communication a misunderstanding could easily escalate into a conflict
The closing of the Kaesong Industrial Complex – which had functioned as a sort of military buffer zone on the western side of South Korea’s border with North Korea – has increased the likelihood of a military clash between the two armies. Furthermore, the severing of all direct lines of communication between the two sides has severely diminished their ability to manage unexpected clashes. This means that there is a greater risk of a local conflict escalating into a real war.
“Since North Korea announced that it’s cutting the military communication lines and the telephone line at Panmunjeom, at the moment all lines of communication that had connected the North and South Korean authorities are severed,” South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense spokesperson Mun Sang-gyun said on Feb. 12.
Military communication lines had previously been maintained in the West Sea and East Sea regions, but the West Sea lines were cut in May 2011, as the suspension of tourism to Mount Geumgang dragged on. Furthermore, Seoul and Pyongyang had installed communication lines in 2006 that linked South Korea’s 2nd Fleet Command and North Korea’s West Sea Fleet Command in order to prevent an unexpected clash in the West Sea, but these lines were cut in 2008.
“It’s all over.” - Kaesong tenant companies face the loss of jobs, contracts, and credit ratings
Posted on : Feb.13,2016 17:41 KST
An attendee despairingly places his head in his hands during an emergency meeting of the Corporate Association of Kaesong Industrial Complex at the headquarters of the Korea Federation of SMEs in Seoul’s Yeouido neighborhood, Feb. 12. (by Kim Gyoung-ho, staff photographer)
With the Kaesong Complex suddenly closed and its assets frozen, its South Korean factory owners and workers also see the compensation offered by the government as inadequate
“The primary duty of the state is to protect the lives and assets of its citizens. Are we not citizens of the Republic of Korea? What needs to be clearly addressed is the fact that our government suddenly decided to suspend operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex, notified the tenant companies of this without any deliberation and put this into effect immediately. The government ought to pay us reasonable compensation; all this talk about covering the cost of insurance or giving us a reprieve on our taxes isn’t going to cut it. Just because we’re asking the government to take responsibility for the loss that we suffered because of the government’s decision and for no fault of our own doesn’t mean that we’re criticizing the government. Wouldn’t you agree?”
As Jeong Ki-seob, chairman of the Corporate Association of Kaesong Industrial Complex (CAKIC), poured his heart out, about 300 representatives from the 124 tenant companies at the complex frequently chimed in to signal their approval.
Government claims to have evidence N. Korea used Kaesong money for its nuclear program
Posted on : Feb.13,2016 17:40 KST
At the Central Government Complex in Seoul, Minister of Unification Hong Yong-pyo announces that, following a government statement, all activities at Kaesong Industrial Complex would be entirely suspended, Feb. 12. (by Lee Jung-yong, senior staff photographer)
Ministry of Unification declines to make the evidence public, saying only it possesses “related data,” argues that Kaesong was shut down as a public safety measure
In its Feb. 10 announcement of a full-scale shutdown of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, the South Korean government claimed that South Korean cash and investments in the complex were “likely be used to advance North Korea’s nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.” No specific basis for the claim was given at the time. On the question of proof, a senior Ministry of Unification official said that “there were some concerns and speculation” but that “nothing has been confirmed about how much has been channeled there.” Two days later, on Feb. 12, Minister of Unification Hong Yong-pyo claimed to have “related data” as evidence - but declined to make them public.
Speaking at a press conference at the Central Government Complex in Seoul that day, Hong declared that he was not at liberty to provide data to support the claims.
[Analysis] With Kaesong shut down, the last bastion of inter-Korean cooperation is at risk
Posted on : Feb.12,2016 17:14 KST
South Korean soldiers erect a barricade on the road to the Inter-Korean Transit Office in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, following North Korea’s declaration that the Kaesong Industrial Complex was closed and the complex area would be put under military control, Feb. 11. (by Shin So-young, staff photographer)
The fact that the North didn’t confiscate S. Korean assets at Kaesong leaves open the possibility of negotiations, but continued tensions could see the area militarized
Relations between North and South Korea are hurtling toward a catastrophe. After the administration of South Korean President Park Geun-hye decided to completely suspend operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex in a bid to push the international community to impose sanctions on North Korea following the North’s fourth nuclear weapons test and its launch of a long-range rocket, the North countered by expelling South Korean workers from the complex, freezing South Korean assets at the complex and shutting the complex down. With North and South Korean leaders engaged in a struggle with no end in sight, the Kaesong Industrial Complex - which is the last bastion of inter-Korean cooperation - is on the verge of being snuffed out.
The “severe measures” announced by the North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland are not limited to the Kaesong Complex. North Korea also announced that it would be cutting the military communication lines with South Korea and shutting down the liaison office at Panmunjeom. This means the effective end not only of cooperation and exchange but also of the channels for emergency communication between North and South Korea.
Since the Kaesong Complex first opened for business on Dec. 15, 2004, there have been a number of incidents at the complex. There was a work slowdown from Dec. 1, 2008 to Sep. 1, 2009 as part of North Korea’s Dec. 1 measures limiting the number of South Korean staff in the complex, and operations at the complex were suspended by South Korea for 165 days after North Korea pulled out its workers on Apr. 8, 2013. But even during those incidents, North Korea had never expelled all the South Korean staff or shut down the complex.
In Feb. 2013, the People’s Economic Cooperation Committee, an organization affiliated with the North Korean cabinet, stated that it would turn Kaesong into a military region if South Korea tampered with it in any way, but the North did not follow through on that threat. But this time, the situation is completely different.
The Blue House initiates recent hard-line responses to North Korea provocations
Posted on : Feb.12,2016 17:11 KST
Darkness engulfs the empty Inter-Korean Transit Office in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, as the passage of vehicles was cut off following North Korea’s announcement that all South Korean personnel must withdraw from the Kaesong Industrial Complex, Feb. 11. (by Shin So-young, staff photographer)
Calls from the Ministry of Unification for the Kaesong shutdown to be only temporary or provisional were shrugged off, the Park administration favoring to go on the offensive
One of the standout aspects of the Park Geun-hye administration’s response to North Korea’s recent fourth nuclear test and rocket launch has been the unchallenged role of the Blue House. After previous moves to resume loudspeaker broadcasts, the proposal of “five-party talks” to discuss North Korea’s nuclear program without including North Korea, and references to the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on the Korean Peninsula, the recent full-scale shutdown of the Kaesong Industrial Complex has also proven to be based on an arbitrary Blue House decision. Shrugged off during the decision process were calls from the Ministry of Unification - the presiding agency for the complex - for only a temporary shutdown, with only ineffectual gestures of “resistance” from Minister Hong Yong-pyo during the administration’s debate.
According to sources, during the Blue House and administration’s Feb. 7 discussion of potential responses to the North Korean rocket launch, the ministry opposed a full-scale shutdown of the complex and proposed a “temporary” or “provisional” shutdown instead.
“My understanding is that Hong proposed shutting the Kaesong complex down only temporarily if we did it at all,” said one administration source.
Another source familiar with the administration’s discussion process said the ministry “apparently did insist on only a provisional shutdown of the Kaesong complex, but wasn’t in a position to go against the set procedure.”
[Kaesong] [Park Geun-hye]
No evidence for claims that North Korea used Kaesong money for nuclear weapons
Posted on : Feb.12,2016 17:10 KST
Workers at the Kaesong Industrial Complex in Kaesong, North Korea produce products for SK Apparel. In Mar. 2013, North Korea blocked South Korean staff from accessing the Kaesong Industrial Complex in protest of joint military exercises by South Korea and the US. Operations at the complex were suspended for roughly 160 days, restarting on Sep. 17. (pool photo)
The majority of the 1 trillion won the S. Korean government and private sector invested in Kaesong was used for the complex’s maintenance and worker wages
“A total of 616 billion won (US$512.37 million) in cash entered North Korea through the Kaesong Industrial Complex, and the South Korean government and the private sector invested 1.02 trillion won (US$847.57 billion) in the complex altogether. In the end, it appears this was used to upgrade North Korea’s nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.”
This is a passage from the South Korean government’s statement explaining the complete suspension of operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex, which was announced by Minister of Unification Hong Yong-pyo on Feb. 10. The statement is an absurd exaggeration and distortion of the facts, and the government has failed to back it up with any concrete evidence.
When a high-ranking official at the Ministry of Unification was asked during a press conference after the announcement whether there is any evidence that North Korea used the money to develop weapons of mass destruction, the official responded that there were concerns and speculation, but that they had not confirmed how much of the money was used for this purpose.
During the regular press briefing on Feb. 11, a senior official with the Ministry of Unification only mentioned the “lack of transparency” resulting from the fact that wages were not paid directly to North Korean workers and from the different exchange rates used for paying the workers in kind (referring to the vouchers for goods that the workers are provided), without offering any clear evidence.
Throughout the administrations of South Korean presidents Roh Moo-hyun, Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye, the South Korean government has held the official position that the Kaesong Complex is a legitimate business resulting from inter-Korean cooperation. This is why the complex was not affected by sanctions even when the UN Security Council adopted resolutions placing sanctions on North Korea after its first three nuclear tests and its long-range rocket launches. But the government’s latest statement overturns this position.
There is a fundamental reason why North Korea could not have used the 1.02 trillion won from the government and private sector that the statement mentions for the development of weapons of mass destruction. In fact, the majority of this money was used for the construction and operation of the complex’s basic infrastructure, its factories, its machinery, and its accommodations and amenities.
The point under debate is the workers’ wages. These are paid each month in cash (US dollars) to the North Korean authorities, while the North Korean workers are for the most part paid in kind. This is related to the government’s claim that 132 billion won (US$109 million) in cash entered North Korea last year and a total of 616 billion won (US$511 million) entered the North since the complex had its trial opening in Dec. 2004.
Currently, wages for North Korean workers at the complex are only US$150 each month, including a fee for “social insurance” (amounting to 15% of wages). The North Korean authorities siphon off 30% of the wages as a “social and cultural program fee” and pay the individual workers the other 70% in cash and in kind.
Korea's quality competitiveness in Europe is between Japan, China
Updated : 2016-02-13 18:18??
By Choi Sung-jin
Korean products' quality competitiveness in the European market was lower than those of the U.S. and Japan but higher than China's, according to a report.
Assuming that the U.S. products' quality competitiveness is 100, those of Japan, Korea and China were 92.4, 85.9 and 79.2, respectively, said the report by the Korea Center for International Finance.
For fair and correct comparison, the report excluded price factors such as the exchange rate and consumer prices while taking into account other factors, including the elasticity of substitute goods, direct distance between Frankfurt, Germany, as the EU's logistical hub, and the respective countries' capitals as well as the conclusion of free trade agreements.
In the overall quality competitiveness of manufactured products, the U.S.'s was 91.7 percent, followed by Japan's 89.9 percent, Korea's 83.7 percent and China's 77.6 percent.
In the machinery, transport (shipbuilding) and petrochemical sectors, however, Korea was more competitive than Japan and China. In processed food, Korea (105.7 percent) was even ahead of the United States and Japan (91.6 percent).
"Despite the fall in global import demand, EU's domestic demand is expected to remain firm," the report said, calling for Korea to step up efforts to increase shipments to Europe. Korea's exports in January plunged 18.5 percent from a year ago but its shipment to the EU increased 7.3 percent.
Noting that China's quality competitiveness has sharply improved in recent years, the report said, "China might increase its exports aggressively by price cuts to cope with its swelling inventories."
S.Korea to Shut Down Kaesong Industrial Complex
Seoul has decided to shut down the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex in retaliation for North Korea's rocket launch Sunday and its recent nuclear test.
The closure of the industrial park just north of the border will cost the regime millions of dollars that it siphons off workers’ salaries.
"We've been trying to ensure that the Kaesong Industrial Complex meets international standards, but North Korea instead exploited our efforts," Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo told reporters Wednesday. "We've decided to completely suspend operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex to prevent our investment there from being used to develop nuclear warheads and missiles and we want to make sure our enterprises will not be victimized by Pyongyang."
Hong said Seoul notified Pyongyang of the decision and asked for cooperation in pulling out South Korean staff. The government plans to set up a taskforce to provide support to some 120 South Korean businesses that run factories there.
A night view of the Kaesong Industrial Complex (file photo) /Yonhap A night view of the Kaesong Industrial Complex (file photo) /Yonhap
The government pledged to tap into a cross-border economic cooperation fund to help the businesses being forced to pull out and look for alternative plots of land for them to use.
The government worries that the North could try to hold South Korean management and equipment hostage.
Some 184 South Koreans are based inside the complex. Any further South Koreans will be prohibited from entering it as of Thursday. "We will complete the withdrawal of the South Korean workforce as soon as possible," a Unification Ministry official said.
Hong said Seoul must take a "leading role" in international sanctions against the North. He added North Korea has earned a total of W616 billion in cash from the complex so far, and the suspicion is that the money went into the development of nuclear arms and missiles (US$1=W1,198).
[Kaesong] [Sanctions] [Satellite] [Dilemma]
S.Korea Holds Massive Live-Fire Drill on Border Islands
South Korea on Thursday conducted a massive live-fire drill in waters near Baeknyeong and Yeonpyeong Islands to ward off a repeat of North Korea's 2010 shelling.
Some 1,000 troops deployed 40 K-9 self-propelled howitzers, tanks, amphibious assault vehicles, attack helicopters, and coastal artillery.
Vulcan anti-aircraft guns were mobilized to practice shooting down North Korean drones.
Firms begin pulling out from Gaeseong complex
Updated : 2016-02-11 16:57
By Yi Whan-woo
South Korea began to pull out staff and material from the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC) in North Korea, Thursday, a day after it announced a closure of the inter-Korean complex.
No major disturbances occurred in the complex despite concerns here that North Korea may obstruct the firms there from pulling out.
The officials from Seoul's Gaeseong Industrial District Management Committee put priority on ensuring the safety of the South Korean workforce in negotiations as it prepares to pull out from the inter-Korean industrial park, according to the Ministry of Unification.
During a meeting with Pyongyang's Central Special Development Guidance Bureau representatives, the committee members also discussed ways of retrieving finished goods and factory equipment before cutting supplies of electricity and water at the GIC
[Kaesong] [Satellite] [Dilemma]
Military tensions may escalate
This photo capture from a documentary aired by North Korea's state broadcasting station on Thursday shows the country's top leader Kim Jong-un patting the long-range rocket that was launched on Feb. 7. / Yonhap
By Kang Seung-woo
Inter-Korean relations are apparently headed toward their lowest ebb yet after South Korea on Wednesday shut down the Gaeseong Industrial Complex in North Korea ? the last remaining symbol of cross-border cooperation ? in retaliation of the North's latest long range rocket test.
A number of analysts have expressed concerns that the North might resort to further military provocations in order to protest against increasing international pressure on the regime due to its recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.
In response, the United States plans to deploy numerous strategic military assets on the Korean Peninsula as a deterrent against the isolated nation's additional provocations, which could turn out to be a repeat of Pyongyang's 2013 strategy when it threatened nuclear strikes against the United States as well as the South.
South may drop trans-Korea project, too
By Jun Ji-hye
South Korea is likely to suspend its participation in the Rajin-Khasan project, a joint logistics program involving the two Koreas and Russia, after shutting down the Gaeseong Industrial Complex (GIC) in North Korea, officials said Thursday.
"Inter-Korean economic cooperation and exchanges have been suspended amid North Korea's provocative actions, and this will also affect the Rajin-Khasan project," an official from the Ministry of Unification told reporters on the condition of anonymity, noting that there is a possibility that it will be put on hold indefinitely.
The project is aimed at transporting bituminous coal produced in Western Siberia to South Korean ports through the North's port city of Rajin and Russia's border town of Khasan.
The comment came a day after Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo announced that South Korea is shutting down the GIC, the first sanction unilaterally made by the South Korean government against Pyongyang, to cut off the North's financial resources suspected of being used in the development of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
Geopolitical risks will hit Seoul stocks
By Kim Jae-won
Seoul stocks are expected to take a severe beating this week on growing geopolitical risks following North Korea's launch of a rocket, and weaker global bourses over concerns of sluggish growth in China and tumbling oil prices, analysts said Wednesday.
Rival parties differ somewhat in accusing N. Korea
By Choi Sung-jin
With parliamentary elections two months away, the ruling and opposition parties went all out during the Lunar New Year holiday to win votes. And North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket on Sunday could not come at a better time for them.
As expected, the conservative ruling party, Saenuri, lashed out at the communist regime in all ways imaginable, calling for the introduction of the U.S. missile defense system, the shutting down of the inter-Korean factory park in a North Korean border town and even the nuclear-arming of South Korea.
Unexpected was the harshness of rhetoric from the relatively liberal main opposition party.
"North Korea cannot maintain its system for long by just developing nuclear weapons and firing long-range missiles without taking care of its people's livelihoods," said Kim Jong-in, interim head of the Minjoo Party of Korea (MPK) while visiting a frontline combat unit Tuesday. "I am confident the North Korean regime will be annihilated and reunification of the Koreans will come someday."
[Satellite] [Liberal] [Mis-support]
A Kaesong Closure Story: The Inside Track
By Christopher Green | February 10, 2016
On April 9, 2013, the North Korean government unilaterally withdrew all of its 53,000 workers from the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a de facto declaration of closure that lasted until September 16 the same year. The South Korean government took a similar step today, February 10, 2016. Announcing the move, the Ministry of Unification declared that it was “halting production” at the complex in response to North Korea’s fourth nuclear test on January 6 and rocket launch on February 7.
Back in 2013, as today, there were very few timely and accurate sources that could tell analysts what was happening on the ground on the North Korean side of the dispute. Only Daily NK managed to get any news out from behind the wall of silence, yet again becoming the vital source of inside information on North Korean society. In a special Jangmadang to mark today’s closure, Sino-NK looks back at eight of the best Daily NK stories about the last one, sources that nobody could afford to ignore at the time, and will not want to forget as the latest closure moves forward.
[Kaesong] [Satellite] [Sanctions] [SK NK policy]
Conversations between North Korea and South Korea have come to a dead end
An earlier article written in the wake of the fourth series of nuclear-weapon testing by North Koreans covered China’s response to those tests. However, taking into account today’s growing confrontation between China and the USA, the Chinese government didn’t demonstrate such a hard-line response as had been expected. It was, however, South Korea who displayed a violent reaction: Park Geun-hye’s office made a clear statement suggesting that the strategy of six-party talks with the North Koreans be abandoned.
On January, 22nd Park Geun-hye, the President of South Korea, emphasized in her speech that the global community should show Pyongyang their clear and well-defined response. Among other things, this includes having the six-party talks with only five participants, which means inviting no representatives from North Korea. It’s been already eight years since the six-party talks regarding the nuclear weapons in North Korea took place last, and since no progress was made till today, the question arises – does this interaction strategy work at all?
[SK NK Negotiations]
German journalist who covered Gwangju Uprising dies
Updated : 2016-02-02 16:58
Jurgen Hinzpeter, a German journalist who filmed and reported the May 18 Gwangju Uprising in 1980, died Jan. 25. He was 79.
According to the May 18 Memorial Foundation, Hinzpeter died in his hometown of Ratzeburg, northern Germany, after a long illness.
Hinzpeter was a cameraman at the German public broadcaster ARD's studio in Tokyo at the time of the Gwangju Uprising. He flew to Gwangju and filmed the horrors of the massacre. More than 2,000 people were killed under the military dictatorship of former President Chun Doo-hwan.
Hinzpeter received the Song Kun-ho Journalism Prize in 2003 for his efforts.
According to Hinzpeter's wishes to be buried in Gwangju, some of his remains will likely be buried in a grave in the city's Mangwol-dong.
One-person protests in support of Baek Nam-gi spread to Paris
Posted on : Jan.30,2016 19:04 KST
Park Mirinae (right) and others conduct demonstrations in front of the Place du Trocadero in Paris, Jan. 27. Park is supporting the Rotterdam one-person protest of Baek Minjuwha whose father, Baek Nam-gi, remains in a coma after being struck with a water cannon jet by police at a popular indignation rally last November. Park and Baek are demanding an official apology from the government. (provided by Park Mirinae)
After hearing about Rotterdam protests by the daughter of Baek, who is in a coma after being hit by a water cannon, Park Mirinae decided to take up the cause in the French capital
“I decided to picket in Paris to help Baek Minjuhwa in her one-person demonstration in the Netherlands.”
Solidarity from citizens in Paris was reported on Jan. 27 in response to a one-person demonstration in Rotterdam, the Netherlands by Baek Minjuhwa to demand an official apology from the Park Geun-hye administration for an incident that left her father critically injured. Baek, 30, is the daughter of Baek Nam-gi, 69, who has been in critical condition since being struck with a water cannon jet by police at a popular indignation rally last November.
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