Showing posts tagged as "south korea"

Showing posts tagged south korea

1 Jul
A turbulent triangle: Beijing, Seoul, and Pyongyang | Matthias von Hein
Beijing’s relations to North and South Korea are a clear example that theory does not necessarily go hand in hand with practice. In theory, North Korea is supposed to be China’s closest ally. Over 50 years ago, both countries signed the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, thus committing themselves to defending one another in the case of conflict.
But in practice, China has had a troublesome relationship with its wayward “little brother,” especially after Pyongyang conducted a third nuclear test in February, despite Beijing urging it not to.
Since Kim Jong Un assumed power at the end of 2011, no foreign leader has so far visited North Korea
This prompted China to vote in favor of a UN Security Council resolution condemning North Korea’s actions and imposing sanctions against its regime. Pyongyang’s execution of Kim Jong-Un’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek - who was China’s most important contact among the North’s ruling elite - has further strained the relationship.
This development stands in stark contrast to Beijing’s relations to South Korea, which normalized in 1992. In a little more than two decades, South Korea has become China’s third-largest trading partner. One fourth of Seoul’s exports go to China, making it the country’s biggest trading partner. While bilateral trade stands at around 230 billion USD, South Korea currently enjoys a hefty trade surplus of some 60 billion USD.
FULL ARTICLE (Deutsche Welle)
Photo: Korea.net/flickr

A turbulent triangle: Beijing, Seoul, and Pyongyang | Matthias von Hein

Beijing’s relations to North and South Korea are a clear example that theory does not necessarily go hand in hand with practice. In theory, North Korea is supposed to be China’s closest ally. Over 50 years ago, both countries signed the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, thus committing themselves to defending one another in the case of conflict.

But in practice, China has had a troublesome relationship with its wayward “little brother,” especially after Pyongyang conducted a third nuclear test in February, despite Beijing urging it not to.

Since Kim Jong Un assumed power at the end of 2011, no foreign leader has so far visited North Korea

This prompted China to vote in favor of a UN Security Council resolution condemning North Korea’s actions and imposing sanctions against its regime. Pyongyang’s execution of Kim Jong-Un’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek - who was China’s most important contact among the North’s ruling elite - has further strained the relationship.

This development stands in stark contrast to Beijing’s relations to South Korea, which normalized in 1992. In a little more than two decades, South Korea has become China’s third-largest trading partner. One fourth of Seoul’s exports go to China, making it the country’s biggest trading partner. While bilateral trade stands at around 230 billion USD, South Korea currently enjoys a hefty trade surplus of some 60 billion USD.

FULL ARTICLE (Deutsche Welle)

Photo: Korea.net/flickr

27 Jun
South Korean president’s leadership under question over PM troubles | Jack Kim
South Korean President Park Geun-hye rejected the resignation of her prime minister on Thursday and asked him to stay on after her second nominee for the job stood aside over controversial comments he had made about Korea’s troubled past with Japan.
The decision to keep incumbent Prime Minister Chung Hong-won, who tendered his resignation two months ago over the government’s flawed response to a ferry disaster, heightened concerns about her ability to rule and push through reforms.
"The fact that a prime minister who has offered to resign is staying means it’s going to be difficult to see her promises get fulfilled," said political commentator Rhee Jong-hoon, who heads iGM Consulting.
Park has suffered a sharp drop in public support since the April 16 ferry tragedy that killed more than 300 people, many of them children on a school trip. The latest polls show a 20-percentage point plunge in her ratings.
Her government has been criticised for slow and incompetent handling of the rescue operation and she has vowed dramatic reform to fix bureaucratic corruption and regulatory oversight that have been cited as causes of the tragedy.
FULL ARTICLE (Reuters)
Photo: World Bank/flickr

South Korean president’s leadership under question over PM troubles | Jack Kim

South Korean President Park Geun-hye rejected the resignation of her prime minister on Thursday and asked him to stay on after her second nominee for the job stood aside over controversial comments he had made about Korea’s troubled past with Japan.

The decision to keep incumbent Prime Minister Chung Hong-won, who tendered his resignation two months ago over the government’s flawed response to a ferry disaster, heightened concerns about her ability to rule and push through reforms.

"The fact that a prime minister who has offered to resign is staying means it’s going to be difficult to see her promises get fulfilled," said political commentator Rhee Jong-hoon, who heads iGM Consulting.

Park has suffered a sharp drop in public support since the April 16 ferry tragedy that killed more than 300 people, many of them children on a school trip. The latest polls show a 20-percentage point plunge in her ratings.

Her government has been criticised for slow and incompetent handling of the rescue operation and she has vowed dramatic reform to fix bureaucratic corruption and regulatory oversight that have been cited as causes of the tragedy.

FULL ARTICLE (Reuters)

Photo: World Bank/flickr

22 Apr
South Korea: North Believed to be Preparing for 4th Nuclear Test | Steve Herman
Speculation is growing that North Korea is planning to conduct an underground nuclear test to coincide with President Obama’s visit to the peninsula this week.
South Korea’s foreign minister is warning the North not to carry out a fourth nuclear test. Speaking at an international forum in Seoul, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se remarked: “If North Korea goes ahead with another nuclear test as it has publicly warned, it will be a game changer.” 
Daniel Pinkston, the Northeast Asia deputy project director for the International Crisis Group, said Pyongyang is unlikely to worry about the South’s reaction.
“They’ve demonstrated a long dedication, persistence and resolve to dedicate a lot of resources over a long period of time. They’ve been able to bear the international pressure and sanctions and everything else. So I think it’s a clear indication that the nuclear program is very important to the leadership and so I don’t expect them to stop or reverse course,” said Pinkston.
FULL ARTICLE (Voice of America)
Photo: John Pavelka/flickr

South Korea: North Believed to be Preparing for 4th Nuclear Test | Steve Herman

Speculation is growing that North Korea is planning to conduct an underground nuclear test to coincide with President Obama’s visit to the peninsula this week.

South Korea’s foreign minister is warning the North not to carry out a fourth nuclear test. Speaking at an international forum in Seoul, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se remarked: “If North Korea goes ahead with another nuclear test as it has publicly warned, it will be a game changer.” 

Daniel Pinkston, the Northeast Asia deputy project director for the International Crisis Group, said Pyongyang is unlikely to worry about the South’s reaction.

“They’ve demonstrated a long dedication, persistence and resolve to dedicate a lot of resources over a long period of time. They’ve been able to bear the international pressure and sanctions and everything else. So I think it’s a clear indication that the nuclear program is very important to the leadership and so I don’t expect them to stop or reverse course,” said Pinkston.

FULL ARTICLE (Voice of America)

Photo: John Pavelka/flickr

South Korea: North Believed to be Preparing for 4th Nuclear Test | Steve Herman
Speculation is growing that North Korea is planning to conduct an underground nuclear test to coincide with President Obama’s visit to the peninsula this week.
South Korea’s foreign minister is warning the North not to carry out a fourth nuclear test. Speaking at an international forum in Seoul, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se remarked: “If North Korea goes ahead with another nuclear test as it has publicly warned, it will be a game changer.”
 FULL ARTICLE (Voice of America)
 Photo: Emmanuel Dyan/Flickr

South Korea: North Believed to be Preparing for 4th Nuclear Test | Steve Herman

Speculation is growing that North Korea is planning to conduct an underground nuclear test to coincide with President Obama’s visit to the peninsula this week.

South Korea’s foreign minister is warning the North not to carry out a fourth nuclear test. Speaking at an international forum in Seoul, Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se remarked: “If North Korea goes ahead with another nuclear test as it has publicly warned, it will be a game changer.”

 FULL ARTICLE (Voice of America)

 Photo: Emmanuel Dyan/Flickr

11 Apr
Out of the blue | S.C.S.
FORAGING in South Korea’s mountains may soon become more fruitful. Since a wild ginseng digger reported the wreckage of a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on April 3rd, the South’s ministry of defence has been ruminating on rewards for anyone who spots an enemy drone. The report followed the discovery of two other similar aircraft: on March 24th in Paju, a border city; and on March 31st on Baengnyeong island, near the disputed Northern Limit Line which demarcates the two Koreas’ maritime border. North Korean inscriptions on the planes’ batteries; an ongoing military investigation into their engines, fuel tanks and weight; and the sequence of the photographs found stored in one of the plane’s cameras suggest the drones were sent from North Korea. For others, their sky-blue camouflage paintwork, identical to that on larger drones paraded in the capital Pyongyang two years ago, was a giveaway.
FULL ARTICLE (The Economist)
Photo: Uwe Schwarzbach/Flickr

Out of the blue | S.C.S.

FORAGING in South Korea’s mountains may soon become more fruitful. Since a wild ginseng digger reported the wreckage of a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on April 3rd, the South’s ministry of defence has been ruminating on rewards for anyone who spots an enemy drone. The report followed the discovery of two other similar aircraft: on March 24th in Paju, a border city; and on March 31st on Baengnyeong island, near the disputed Northern Limit Line which demarcates the two Koreas’ maritime border. North Korean inscriptions on the planes’ batteries; an ongoing military investigation into their engines, fuel tanks and weight; and the sequence of the photographs found stored in one of the plane’s cameras suggest the drones were sent from North Korea. For others, their sky-blue camouflage paintwork, identical to that on larger drones paraded in the capital Pyongyang two years ago, was a giveaway.

FULL ARTICLE (The Economist)

Photo: Uwe Schwarzbach/Flickr

7 Apr
South Korea finds images of presidential residence on Kim Jong-un’s drones | Julian Ryall
Two North Korean drones that crashed in South Korea had taken hundreds of aerial photos of military installations as well as the official residence of President Park Guen-hye, authorities in Seoul have revealed.
Presidential security has been stepped up after one of the unmanned aerial vehicles, which crashed near the town of Paju last week, was found to contain images of the Blue House, the target of a 1968 assassination attempt by Pyongyang against the then South Korean leader.
Another, which crash-landed on Baeknyeong Island, off the west coast of the Korean peninsula on Monday, had photographed the defences on the island and the neighbouring islands of Socheong and Daecheong.
FULL ARTICLE (The Telegraph)
Photo: toughkidcst/flickr

South Korea finds images of presidential residence on Kim Jong-un’s drones | Julian Ryall

Two North Korean drones that crashed in South Korea had taken hundreds of aerial photos of military installations as well as the official residence of President Park Guen-hye, authorities in Seoul have revealed.

Presidential security has been stepped up after one of the unmanned aerial vehicles, which crashed near the town of Paju last week, was found to contain images of the Blue House, the target of a 1968 assassination attempt by Pyongyang against the then South Korean leader.

Another, which crash-landed on Baeknyeong Island, off the west coast of the Korean peninsula on Monday, had photographed the defences on the island and the neighbouring islands of Socheong and Daecheong.

FULL ARTICLE (The Telegraph)

Photo: toughkidcst/flickr

31 Mar
North Korea declares no-sail warning off coast to conduct firing drills | Jack Kim and James Pearson
North Korea declared a no-sail warning on Monday for areas off its west coast near a disputed border with South Korea and has notified the South that it will conduct firing drills, a South Korean government official said.
The area is near the so-called Northern Limit Line, drawn up at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, which the North has refused to recognize. Past clashes between the two navies in the area killed scores of sailors on both sides.
The warning comes amid heightened tensions surrounding the North after the U.N. Security Council condemned Pyongyang for its mid-range missile launches last week, just as the leaders of South Korea, Japan and the United States met to discuss the North’s arms program.
FULL ARTICLE (Reuters)
Photo: expertinfantry/flickr

North Korea declares no-sail warning off coast to conduct firing drills | Jack Kim and James Pearson

North Korea declared a no-sail warning on Monday for areas off its west coast near a disputed border with South Korea and has notified the South that it will conduct firing drills, a South Korean government official said.

The area is near the so-called Northern Limit Line, drawn up at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, which the North has refused to recognize. Past clashes between the two navies in the area killed scores of sailors on both sides.

The warning comes amid heightened tensions surrounding the North after the U.N. Security Council condemned Pyongyang for its mid-range missile launches last week, just as the leaders of South Korea, Japan and the United States met to discuss the North’s arms program.

FULL ARTICLE (Reuters)

Photo: expertinfantry/flickr

25 Feb
"North Korea is far outside the boundary of accepted behavior" - expert | Roman Kosarev
The exercises led to an extended surging tension last year when North Korea threatening preemptive nuclear strikes and attacks on South Korean and US targets. Meanwhile around 360 South Koreans reportedly met their North Korean relatives on Monday for the first time since the Korean War, that lasted between 1950 and 1953. The family reunion event took place in North Korea’s mount Kumgang resort. The Voice of Russia talked to Daniel Pinkston, a North East Asia Deputy Project Director at the International Crisis Group.
FULL INTERVIEW (Voice of Russia)
Photo: rapidtravelchai/flickr

"North Korea is far outside the boundary of accepted behavior" - expert | Roman Kosarev

The exercises led to an extended surging tension last year when North Korea threatening preemptive nuclear strikes and attacks on South Korean and US targets. Meanwhile around 360 South Koreans reportedly met their North Korean relatives on Monday for the first time since the Korean War, that lasted between 1950 and 1953. The family reunion event took place in North Korea’s mount Kumgang resort. The Voice of Russia talked to Daniel Pinkston, a North East Asia Deputy Project Director at the International Crisis Group.

FULL INTERVIEW (Voice of Russia)

Photo: rapidtravelchai/flickr

20 Feb
Separated Korean Relatives Meet for Emotional Reunions | Daniel Schearf
More than 100 South Koreans have crossed into North Korea to meet with relatives they have not seen since the 1950s Korean War. Pyongyang has not allowed the emotional reunions since 2010 and analysts have said the isolated nation uses them for political purposes.
One hundred forty South Koreans, most in their 70s and 80s, arrived Thursday at North Korea’s Mount Kumgang resort.
They are part of several hundred chosen by lottery to spend two days meeting with North Korean relatives they have not seen in six decades.
FULL ARTICLE (Voice of America)
Photo: lookingpost/flickr

Separated Korean Relatives Meet for Emotional Reunions | Daniel Schearf

More than 100 South Koreans have crossed into North Korea to meet with relatives they have not seen since the 1950s Korean War. Pyongyang has not allowed the emotional reunions since 2010 and analysts have said the isolated nation uses them for political purposes.

One hundred forty South Koreans, most in their 70s and 80s, arrived Thursday at North Korea’s Mount Kumgang resort.

They are part of several hundred chosen by lottery to spend two days meeting with North Korean relatives they have not seen in six decades.

FULL ARTICLE (Voice of America)

Photo: lookingpost/flickr

6 Feb
South Korean politician charged with treason | Julian Ryall
When two left-leaning political parties merged to form The Unified Progressive Party (UPP) in December 2011, and were later joined by elements of a third party, South Korea’s socialists believed they had discovered a new voice.
This sentiment was stoked by the UPP winning eight new seats in the general election held in April the following year, bringing its total to 13 out of the 300 in the National Assembly.
Officially describing itself as a progressive political grouping, the party advocates an end to military cooperation with the United States, achieving peace with the regime in North Korea, the abolition of nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula and, eventually, the reunification of the two neighboring states.
However, events soon took a turn for the worse when the party’s Central Committee launched an investigation over allegations of irregularities in the selection of its proportional representation candidates for parliament. Although the UPP’s four joint leaders resigned to take responsibility for the scandal, things were about to get much worse for the fledgling party.
FULL ARTICLE (Deutsche Welle)
Photo: NewsHour/flickr

South Korean politician charged with treason | Julian Ryall

When two left-leaning political parties merged to form The Unified Progressive Party (UPP) in December 2011, and were later joined by elements of a third party, South Korea’s socialists believed they had discovered a new voice.

This sentiment was stoked by the UPP winning eight new seats in the general election held in April the following year, bringing its total to 13 out of the 300 in the National Assembly.

Officially describing itself as a progressive political grouping, the party advocates an end to military cooperation with the United States, achieving peace with the regime in North Korea, the abolition of nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula and, eventually, the reunification of the two neighboring states.

However, events soon took a turn for the worse when the party’s Central Committee launched an investigation over allegations of irregularities in the selection of its proportional representation candidates for parliament. Although the UPP’s four joint leaders resigned to take responsibility for the scandal, things were about to get much worse for the fledgling party.

FULL ARTICLE (Deutsche Welle)

Photo: NewsHour/flickr