U.S. promises action after North Korea’s blatant threats

January 25, 2013 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, Culture, Info, North Korea, Nukes, Science, Technology, Trade, Travel, U.S. Policy, Unification 

BEIJING — The United States and China reacted sharply to the latest torrent of belligerent language from North Korea, which called the U.S. its “archenemy” and said it planned to conduct another nuclear test despite international sanctions.

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American Delegation Arrives in North Korea on Controversial Private Trip

January 7, 2013 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, Culture, Economy, Education, Espionage, History, Info, North Korea, Science, Soft Power, Technology, Trade, U.S. Policy, Unification 

SEOUL, South Korea — Bill Richardson, the former governor of New Mexico, led a private delegation including Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, to North Korea on Monday, a controversial trip to a country that is among the most hostile to the Internet.

Mr. Richardson, who has visited North Korea several times, called his four-day trip a private humanitarian mission and said he would try to meet with Kenneth Bae, a 44-year-old South Korea-born American citizen who was arrested on charges of “hostile acts” against North Korea after entering the country as a tourist in early November.

“I heard from his son who lives in Washington State, who asked me to bring him back,” Mr. Richardson said in Beijing before boarding a plane bound for Pyongyang. “I doubt we can do it on this trip.”

In a one-sentence dispatch, the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency confirmed the American group’s arrival in Pyongyang, calling it “a Google delegation.”

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/08/world/asia/bill-richardson-and-eric-schmidt-of-google-visit-north-korea.html?_r=0

North Korea’s Kim Signals Warmer Ties With South

January 1, 2013 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, Culture, Economy, History, Info, North Korea, Soft Power, Trade, U.S. Policy, Unification 

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un named improving the economy and better relations with South Korea as top policy goals for his second year as leader, signaling he may ease his country’s confrontational approach toward Seoul.

“The building of an economic giant is the most important task that comes to the fore in the present stage of building a thriving socialist country,” Kim said yesterday in a New Year address carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. “The reunification of the country is the greatest national task that brooks no further delay.”

Kim departed from the past year’s saber-rattling against South Korean President Lee Myung Bak as Lee’s successor Park Geun Hye prepares to take office Feb. 25. Park has repudiated Lee’s hard-line North Korea policy, expressing her willingness to talk to Kim and help the North join global organizations to thaw ties.

Read more: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-01-01/north-korea-picks-stronger-economy-south-ties-as-top-2013-tasks

Daughter of Dictator Wins South Korea Presidency

Park Geun-hye waved to supporters after she was declared the winner of the presidential election on Wednesday in Seoul.

SEOUL, South Korea — Park Geun-hye, the daughter of South Korea’s longest-ruling dictator, was elected president on Wednesday, the first woman to win the post.

Voters appeared to prefer stability and “motherly” leadership over her opponent’s calls for radical change in how the country addresses economic inequality and military threats from North Korea.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/20/world/asia/south-koreans-vote-in-closely-fought-presidential-race.html?_r=0

Photo Credit: Kim Hee-Chul/European Pressphoto Agency

South Korea’s Park pledges engagement with Pyongyang

November 5, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, History, Info, North Korea, Nukes, U.S. Policy, Unification 

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s presidential frontrunner Park Geun-hye proposed on Monday to open liaison offices in the capitals of the rival Koreas in a sweeping policy statement that aimed to revive ties between the two countries.

Park, who represents the conservative New Frontier Party and is seeking to become the country’s first woman president, said she was willing to meet North Korea’s leader but said Pyongyang must renew its commitment to end its nuclear program.

ajosshi.com: NK may renew its “commitment” to end its nuclear program, but it will never actually happen with China, Japan, or the U.S.  around.

Read more: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-11-04/news/sns-rt-us-korea-north-parkbre8a4055-20121104_1_liaison-offices-geun-hye-koreas

UN Chief Considering North Korea Visit

October 30, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: History, Info, North Korea, U.S. Policy, Unification 

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon holds the trophy of Seoul Peace Prize during the award ceremony in Seoul, South Korea, October 29, 2012.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he would consider a trip to North Korea as part of his efforts toward peace on the Korean peninsula.

Ban, a South Korean, made his comments Tuesday as he received the 2012 Seoul Peace Prize.

“I will spare no effort to help both the South and the North move toward eventual reunification and a Korean peninsula that is peaceful and free of nuclear weapons,” Ban said.”As secretary-general, I am committed to doing my utmost to play any role in helping to advance peace on the Korean peninsula. That includes visiting North Korea, under the right conditions.”

Read more: http://www.voanews.com/content/un-chief-considering-a-visit-to-north-korea/1535807.html

Late leader’s grandson longs for one Korea

October 19, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, Culture, U.S. Policy, Unification 

IN a rare and remarkable interview posted on YouTube, the teenage grandson of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has provided a glimpse into the secretive world of his country’s ruling dynasty.

During the interview conducted at the school in Bosnia where he studies, Kim Han-sol, nephew of current leader Kim Jong-un, refers to his uncle as “a dictator” and speaks of his wish to “make things better” for the Korean people.

Sporting black-frame glasses, two studs in his left ear and a fashionable haircut, Kim also talks of his close friendships with South Korean and US students and his hopes for the Korean peninsula’s reunification. (AFP)

Kim Han-sol interviewed by Elisabeth Rehn (1/2)

Kim Han-sol interviewed by Elisabeth Rehn (2/2)

North Korea Threatens Violent Response to Propaganda Campaign

October 19, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, Culture, Defection, History, Info, North Korea, U.S. Policy, Unification 

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea threatened on Friday to attack the South if activists proceeded with a plan to send leaflets across the border criticizing the North Korean regime. South Korea’s military said it would immediately strike back if the North did so.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/20/world/asia/north-korea-threatens-violent-response-to-propaganda-campaign.html?_r=0

UN chief refuses to abandon dream of united Korea

October 10, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Filed under: Asia, History, Info, North Korea, U.S. Policy, Unification 

PARIS: All the signs are that he will be disappointed, but Ban Ki-moon refuses to abandon hope that he will live to see peace prevail on the Korean peninsula.

At 68, the secretary general of the United Nations has lived through enough unexpected twists and turns of history to ensure he remains defiantly optimistic about the potential for positive change.

Cheery and charming, he gives the impression of being a glass half-full sort of person, even when it comes to the military-run Communist regime that retains an iron grip on power in the impoverished north of his divided homeland.

“I really want to contribute to the promotion of dialogue and the reduction of tension on the peninsula and to work for its eventual reunification,” Ban told AFP in an interview during an official visit to Paris this week.

Asked if he really believed he might see that happen in his lifetime, the former South Korean foreign minister responded with a broad smile and a wistful murmur.

“I hope so,” he said. “I hope so. The sooner the better.”

Read more: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1230606/1/.html