Japanese holiday ‘celebrating’ disputed islands sparks backlash in South Korea

South Korean national police guard the Takeshima islands in pairs positioned at various lookout points. (Chico Harlan/The Washington Post)

Web users in both Japan and South Korea are up in arms over Japanese celebrations on Friday of Takeshima Day — a quasi-official holiday designed, appropriately, to mark an old territorial spat between Japan and South Korea.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/02/23/japanese-holiday-celebrating-disputed-islands-sparks-backlash-in-south-korea/

Revealing N Korea’s gulag and nuclear sites

Google’s newly updated maps show unprecedented detail in aerial imagery of isolated labour camps and missile launch pad.
Read more:
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2013/01/201312913574380840.html

 

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Carr welcomes reopening of N Korea embassy

January 16, 2013 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, Info, North Korea, Prison Camp, Slave Labor, Trade 

FOREIGN Minister Bob Carr has welcomed a move by North Korea to re-establish an embassy in Canberra, saying it would enable Australia to register its concerns about human rights.

The embassy was closed in January 2008, apparently because of financial pressures.

Senator Carr on Wednesday confirmed that Pyongyang was seeking to reopen the mission.

“We would welcome the opening of an embassy,” he told ABC Television.

“It would enable us to express our very strong concerns, our deep concerns, about what we see as a catastrophic position on human rights.”

Read more: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/carr-welcomes-reopening-of-n-korea-embassy/story-fn3dxiwe-1226554862935

Abe to turn the screws on N. Korea over abductions

January 13, 2013 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, Criminals, Culture, Espionage, History, Info, Kidnapping, North Korea, Slave Labor, War Crimes 

Japan plans to expand travel restrictions on resident North Koreans and increase scrutiny on remittances to the country as part of independent sanctions over Pyongyang’s recent launch of a long-range ballistic missile, sources said.

Japan prohibits top executives of the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon) from re-entering Japan if they travel to North Korea.

The government is considering expanding the scope of senior Chongryon officials subject to the ban, the sources said.

It is also considering lowering the remittance to North Korea for which reports are required, which is currently more than 3 million yen ($33,600), the sources said.

The government will also set up a new headquarters comprising all Cabinet ministers in late January to resolve the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea.

Read more: http://ajw.asahi.com/article/asia/korean_peninsula/AJ201301140007

Japan sends envoy to South Korea in bid to dial down tensions

In the wake of elections that put hawkish leaders in power, Japan has reached out to South Korea in a bid to dial down tensions. Shinzo Abe, the new prime minister of Japan, sent an envoy to South Korea to meet Friday with Park Geun-hye, who was recently elected president.

“I’d like to act as a bridge to make this year a good one for both of our countries,” Japanese envoy Fukushiro Nukaga said, as quoted by the Kyodo news agency.

Park said she too wanted to rebuild ties, but urged Japan to “squarely face” its history. The closely watched meeting comes as the two countries spar over disputed islands and the sensitive history of South Koreans serving as “comfort women” for Japanese soldiers during World War II.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-japan-envoy-south-korea-20130104,0,3383711.story

South Korea parliamentarians visit islands claimed by Japan

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean members of parliament visited a set of remote islands also claimed by Japan on Tuesday, a move likely to further fray ties between two of the most important U.S. allies in Asia.

The tour followed a visit by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in August, the first by a Korean leader, which prompted Japan to recall its ambassador to Seoul. The row was then overshadowed by a far more acute dispute between Tokyo and Beijing over another island group.

Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-korea-japanbre89m0ev-20121023,0,4297739.story

S. Korea fails to block activists from dropping propaganda leaflets in North

October 22, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, Censorhip, Defection, History, Info, North Korea, Prison Camp, Slave Labor, U.S. Policy 

SEOUL — South Korean police on Monday tried for hours to block a civic group from sending pro-democracy leaflets across the border by balloon after North Korea threatened the activists with a “merciless military strike,” but the South’s efforts ultimately failed.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/s-korea-blocks-activists-from-dropping-propaganda-leaflets-in-north/2012/10/22/b69ed022-1c26-11e2-ba31-3083ca97c314_story.html

Anger of wartime sex slaves haunts Japan and South Korea

Women forced into working in frontline military brothels keep up pressure on Japan for direct compensation for war ordeal

Kang Il-chul was 16 when Japanese military police arrived at her home in South Korea and told her she was being conscripted. The year was 1943, and her country was just two years away from liberation after 35 years of brutal Japanese colonial rule.

Kang spent the remainder of the war in occupied China, as one of tens of thousands of Asian women forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers in frontline, makeshift brothels. “I was put in a tiny room and made to sleep with about 10 to 20 soldiers a day,” says Kang, pausing to display the scars on her head – the result of frequent beatings by the military police. “I was punched and beaten so much that my body was covered in bruises. I still get headaches.”

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/18/forced-prostitution-wartime-japan-korea?newsfeed=true

North Korea’s Underground Railroad to Freedom

October 17, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Culture, Defection, North Korea, Prison Camp, Slave Labor, Torture, U.S. Policy 

Former deputy editor of the Wall Street Journal Melanie Kirkpatrick has written a compelling book describing the tortuous path North Koreans must undertake across China to reach freedom in South Korea and other countries in the West. The book captures the multiple paths that desperate North Koreans have taken to arrive safely in South Korea and the West. It champions the sacrifices of dedicated individuals outside North Korea who have risked their lives to assist North Koreans in their road to freedom and to provide information back to North Korea about the outside world. And it savages the policies of governments including China, the United States, and South Korea for turning a blind eye to the suffering of North Koreans who are victims of an uncompromising totalitarian political system.

Read more: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/10/north-koreas-underground-railroad-to-freedom/263767/

Korea refutes Japanese PM’s remarks on wartime sexual slavery

Japan should resolve a long-standing grievance regarding Korean women forced to serve as sex slaves during World War II through a sincere apology and compensation, a senior Seoul official said Monday, refuting published remarks on the matter by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

The issue of Japan’s wartime sexual enslavement of tens of thousands of Korean women for its front-line soldiers is one of the most emotional and unresolved issues between South Korea and Japan.

Korea has pressed Japan to resolve the issue through an apology and compensation for the aging Korean women on a humanitarian level, but Tokyo refuses to do so, saying the matter was already settled by a 1965 treaty that normalized relations between the two countries

Read more: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2012/09/120_120735.html

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