At ‘Truce Village,’ North, South Korea set stage for cabinet-level talks

June 10, 2013 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, Info, North Korea, Nukes, Soft Power, Trade, Travel, U.S. Policy 

North and South Korea inched closer to resetting their strained relations Sunday as delegations met face-to-face to lay the foundation for the first cabinet-level talks in six years.

The meeting at the “Truce Village” of Panmunjom in the Korean Demilitarized Zone — so-called because the armistice that brought the 1950-53 Korean War to a close was signed there — signaled that the two countries may be prepared to move beyond months of mutual mistrust.

Read more:http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/09/18864098-at-truce-village-north-south-korea-set-stage-for-cabinet-level-talks?lite

BBC Panorama 2013 North Korea Undercover (Documentary)

May 27, 2013 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, Culture, Economy, Espionage, Info, North Korea, Nukes, Technology, Trade, Travel, U.S. Policy 

Published on Apr 16, 2013

While North Korea’s ‘Supreme Commander’ Kim Jong-Un has been threatening thermo-nuclear war against the United States, Panorama reporter John Sweeney spent eight days undercover inside the most rigidly-controlled nation on Earth. Travelling from the capital Pyongyang to the countryside beyond and to the de-Militarised Zone on the border with South Korea, Sweeney witnesses a landscape bleak beyond words, a people brainwashed for three generations and a regime happy to give the impression of marching towards Armageddon.

Students slam BBC for ‘gambling with lives’ in N.Korea

The UK’s top economics university has accused the BBC of gambling with students’ lives after it emerged the BBC used unwitting students as cover to film in North Korea.

The London School of Economics said its students, who went to North Korea on a study trip, could have been detained for years if the BBC scam unraveled.

The LSE claims that BBC’s Panorama reporter John Sweeney posed as one of the university’s professors, and took the students on an alleged study trip in order to film an undercover documentary in North Korea. The students were not aware that they were involved in the filming of a documentary and the BBC did not warn them of the imposed dangers, General Secretary of the LSE Students Union Alex Peters-Day told RT.

According to Peters-Day, rather than make a concerted effort to inform the entire student group headed to the country, individual students overheard conversations in hotel lobbies and in minivans en route to Beijing airport.

“A couple of years ago two American journalists were found to have been doing undercover journalism in North Korea. They were both sentenced to nine years of hard labor. Obviously, as we now have just heard, the climate in North Korea is more heightened than it was back then, but students should have had the right to make the decision for themselves whether or not they are going to face danger. The problem for us is that the BBC made that decision for them,” Peters-Day told RT.

“The group was just told there would be a print journalist only. It wasn’t actually until they arrived in North Korea that they were told there would be a documentary in which they would be appearing. It wasn’t until they arrived in Beijing to fly to North Korea that they were joined by other journalists. When we are talking about a trip like this, with such risks involved, it’s so important that the students would have been briefed at all stages and would have been made aware. They just weren’t in this case. The BBC deliberately withheld information from them,” she said.

In addition to the potential danger to students, Peters-Day claims that this situation potentially jeopardizes all academic work in the UK, preventing future access for professors to politically-sensitive countries.

“I know Universities UK, which represents over a hundred universities in Britain, have come out and condemned the BBC for doing that, because it places at jeopardy huge amounts of academic research. And the problem is LSE academics and other academics do work into regimes like North Korea, which is really insightful. Whereas this is a tourist trip. I’m pretty certain the information, the footage they will get would have been the same sort of footage of tourist monuments and statues of Kim Jong-un, when actually the important work that is done by universities uncovering authoritarian regimes is now at risk and jeopardy,” added Peters-Day.

The same sentiment was expressed in an email sent by the university to students and staff: “It is LSE’s view that the students were not given enough information to enable informed consent, yet were given enough to put them in serious danger if the subterfuge had been uncovered prior to their departure from North Korea.”

According to an anonymous student present on the trip who spoke with the BBC, they were not made aware of the presence of several journalists working prior to their flight to Pyongyang. Rather, students were told that John Sweeney was a history professor with the university, though that subterfuge seemed to dissipate slowly once the group had arrived in North Korea.

For its part, the BBC has thus far refused to pull the program, while Craig Calhoun, director of the LSE, questions whether it was worth it for anyone involved.

“The BBC story put LSE students at danger but seems to have found no new information and only shown what North Korea wants tourists to see,” wrote Calhoun via Twitter.

Not everyone is entirely convinced that the BBC’s gamble was not worth the risk. John Lloyd, director of journalism at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, believes the timing and the content of the program made it “extremely valuable.”

Regardless of whether the program will ultimately be viewed as being of value, the incident comes at a delicate time for the BBC’s Director General Tony Hall, who is still trying to navigate the institution beyond last year’s accusations of a cover-up and editorial failure over the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal.

Perhaps even more damaging, according to one BBC news executive who spoke with Reuters, the decision to embed journalists with the LSE student group had been “right to the top,” and involved Hall in at least some regard.

http://rt.com/news/bbc-lse-north-korea-919/

ALERT: Fukushima Radioactive Fallout Effecting U.S. West Coast

May 10, 2013 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, Info, Nukes, Science, Technology, Trade, Travel 

What is at Stake in the US-ROK 123 Agreement?

April 30, 2013 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, Economy, Info, North Korea, Nukes, Science, Soft Power, Technology, Trade, U.S. Policy 

Published on Apr 22, 2013

Please join us for a Korea Chair Platform event on the US-ROK 123 Civil Nuclear Agreement. Our distinguished penalists will discuss the significance of the agreement and their views on the future of US-ROK nuclear cooperation .
Ambassador Christopher Hill

Dean, The Josef Korbel School of International Studies,
University of Denver
Dr. Gary Samore
Executive Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs,
Harvard University
Ms. Sharon Squassoni
Director and Senior Fellow, Proliferation Prevention Program, CSIS
and
Dr. Victor Cha
Senior Advisor and Korea Chair, CSIS

Obama says he doesn’t believe North Korea has nuclear missile

April 17, 2013 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: North Korea, Nukes, Soft Power, Technology, U.S. Policy 

(CNN) — President Barack Obama has said he doesn’t believe North Korea can fit a nuclear warhead on a missile, casting strong doubt on an alarming assessment disclosed last week by the Pentagon’s intelligence arm.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/17/world/asia/koreas-tensions/index.html

Inside Story Americas – US vs North Korea: A potential crises?

April 11, 2013 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, Culture, Food Aid, History, Info, North Korea, Nukes, Technology, Trade, Travel, U.S. Policy 

Published on Apr 3, 2013

When Kim Jong Il was succeeded by his son in December 2011 any hopes of an improvement in relations between North Korea and the US were soon dashed. The announcement of plans to reopen the Yongbyon nuclear complex is just the latest move in an escalation of aggressive actions by both Washington and Pyonyang over recent months. At the weekend North Korea announced it was entering a ‘state of war’ with the South. Earlier in the month Pyonyang affirmed it is right to launch a ‘pre-emptive nuclear strike’ on the US.

U.S. Designs a Korea Response Proportional to the Provocation

April 8, 2013 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Info, North Korea, Nukes, U.S. Policy 

WASHINGTON — As North Korea hints at new military provocations in the coming days, the United States and South Korea have drawn up plans to respond more forcefully than in the recent past, but in a limited way intended to prevent an escalation to broader war.

Amid the rising tensions, there were still efforts on many fronts on Sunday to limit the possibility of military conflict. In an indirect but clear criticism of China’s longtime ally, North Korea, Xi Jinping, China’s new president, said in a speech on Sunday that no country in Asia “should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gain.”

Read more:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/world/asia/us-and-south-korea-devise-plan-to-counter-north.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

U.S. deploys warship off South Korea amid soaring tensions on peninsula

April 2, 2013 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, Info, North Korea, Nukes, Soft Power, U.S. Policy 

SEOUL (Reuters) – The United States has positioned a warship off the Korean coast as a shield against ballistic missile attack as South Korea’s new president vowed swift retaliation against a North Korean strike amid soaring tensions on the peninsula.

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/u-deploys-warship-off-south-korea-amid-soaring-013622157.html

Nuclear-capable stealth bombers sent to South Korea amid Kim Jong Un’s threats

March 29, 2013 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, Culture, Info, North Korea, Nukes, Soft Power, Trade, Travel, U.S. Policy 

Two American B-2 Spirit stealth bombers practiced an attack on the Korean Peninsula Thursday as part of a military exercise that has sparked angry threats from North Korea. In response, reports indicated that the North Korean leader ordered the country’s rocket units to be on standby to attack U.S. military bases.

The U.S. military said the planes involved in the firing drill left Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri on a “long-duration, round-trip training mission.”

Inert munitions were dropped on a range facility on the Jikdo islands off the western coast of South Korea before the jets returned to the continental U.S. in a single continuous flight.

B-2 Spirit bombers are capable of carrying either conventional or nuclear weapons.

In a statement, the United States Forces Korea said the mission “demonstrates the United States’ ability to conduct long-range, precision strikes quickly and at will.”

Read more:
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/28/17498063-nuclear-capable-stealth-bombers-sent-to-south-korea-amid-kim-jong-uns-threats?lite

N. Korea puts artillery forces at highest combat posture

March 26, 2013 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Info, North Korea, Nukes, Soft Power, U.S. Policy 

North Korea’s military warned Tuesday that its artillery and rocket forces are at their highest-level combat posture in the latest in a string of bellicose threats aimed at South Korea and the United States.

Seoul’s Defence Ministry said it hasn’t seen any suspicious North Korean military activity and that officials were analyzing the North’s warning. Analysts say a direct North Korean attack is extremely unlikely, especially during joint U.S.-South Korean military drills that end April 30, though there’s some worry about a provocation after the training wraps up.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/03/26/north-korea-tensions.html

Next Page »