2012년 2월 28일 화요일
New North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has personally joined Pyongyang's rhetorical war against joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises that kick off Monday. According to the North's official KCNA news agency, Kim on Sunday visited four units under the 4th Army Corps, which shelled Yeonpyeong Island in October 2010, and was quoted as parroting earlier calls in the official media for "a powerful retaliatory strike" at South Korea, "should the enemy intrude even 0.001 mm" into its waters. On Saturday, the North's powerful National Defense Commission also denounced the exercises. "Nuclear weapons are not an exclusive property of the U.S.," it said. "We have more powerful means of war than the nuclear weapons of the U.S. and state-of-the-art strike equipment that nobody else has." http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2012/02/27/2012022700654.html
2012년 2월 27일 월요일
A South Korean government representative to the UN Human Rights Council on Monday urged "all countries directly involved" to abide by the principle prohibiting forced repatriation so that North Korean defectors in China are not sent back against their will. In a keynote speech at a UNHRC meeting in Geneva, Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Bong-hyun said, "North Korean defectors are not a matter of political consideration but a humanitarian issue. They are in an unimaginably terrible situation where they are deprived of their basic rights and dignity. If repatriated, they face a seriously life-threatening and inhumane fate, including torture." Kim did not mention China directly. He also expressed concerns about human rights abuses in the North, especially in political prison camps. He urged the North to respond to the South Korean Red Cross' proposal to resume reunions of families separated by the Korean War and the North's bizarre abduction campaign. "An increasing number of families of abduction victims, prisoners-of-war and others have died without knowing whether their relatives are still alive," he said. Kim also mentioned the plight of so-called comfort women, who were pressed into sexual slavery for the Japanese Imperial Army in World War II. "All countries concerned should take necessary measures including compensation for the victims and punishment of those responsible, as well as trying to protect women during wartime," he said. http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2012/02/28/2012022800746.html North Korean Defectors - Movie | Crossing 1 of 10
Hundreds of North Korean defectors were awaiting repatriation as of last Friday after being arrested in various parts of China, rights activists say. "Some 220 defectors have been interrogated by regional security departments in China and are being held at about 10 detention centers near the North Korea-China border," said Kim Hoe-tae of Solidarity for North Korean Human Rights. "They'll be sent back to the North one by one." Other defector groups and activists say there are even more, counting those who are still on the way to detention centers after their arrests, bringing the total to anywhere between 300 and 400. According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China sent between 4,800 and 8,900 defectors back to the North every year between 1998 and 2006, Kim added. Former unification deputy minister Kim Suk-woo agreed. "China has repatriated about 5,000 defectors to the North every year under an agreement on the extradition of fugitives and criminals it concluded with the North in the 1960s," he said. Different groups give different estimates on the number of defectors who have been arrested in Shenyang, Yanji, and Changchun this month, ranging from 24 to 40. "We're certain of the number of defectors arrested in China for whom we've worked through our brokers," a member of a defector group said. "But it's hard for us to find out the total number." But most activists believe the numbers reported in the press are just the tip of the iceberg. ◆ Flood of Refugees It is estimated that somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 North Koreans are currently roaming China, including North Korean women who were sold to Chinese men, people who crossed the border in search of food, and families who are trying to get to South Korea. Those who are looking for food often find work at factories or lumber camps in China as undocumented immigrant workers. But those who wish to defect to the South move to designated gathering points, from where they are taken to safe houses provided by Christian missions and cross the border through the southwestern province of Yunnan into Laos or Burma. They then make their way to Thailand, where they spend three or four weeks in immigration detention centers before they are deported to South Korea. Some 2,500 to 3,000 defectors have reached South Korea annually over the past five years, 2,737 last year. ◆ Hardship The fate of defectors who are arrested in China and repatriated depends on what motivated them to flee in the first place. Those who fled hunger are normally categorized as ordinary criminals and held in prisons or labor camps managed by the Ministry of People's Security. They suffer forced labor and beatings but are released after a certain period. But those who are found to have attempted to escape to South Korea, contacted South Koreans or foreigners, or visited churches, are treated as political criminals and held in political concentration camps supervised by the State Security Department. Some are executed, depending on the extent of their crimes or the prevailing mood in the regime. "Defectors can escape the most severe punishment if they insist that they were merely trying to find food in China, even if they really wanted to go to South Korea," a defector said. "But if media reports confirm that they were trying to get to the South, as we've seen recently, they face the worst kind of punishment." Meanwhile, the North Korean propaganda website Uriminzokkiri accused South Korea of "making a bigger fuss about the issue of 'defectors' than ever before." It was the first response from the North since conflict between South Korea and China over the issue started making headlines.
Jean Dujardin won the best actor Oscar on Sunday for silent film "The Artist," becoming the first Frenchman to win the coveted accolade and beating out Hollywood frontrunners George Clooney and Brad Pitt. Dujardin was largely unknown outside of France until "The Artist" became the toast of film festivals and started racking up awards last year for his moving, virtually silent portrayal of a dashing actor struggling with Hollywood's transition from silent to talking pictures. Clearly overwhelmed at his win a beaming Dujardin took to the stage punching the air. "I love your country," he declared with his thick French accent. "The Artist" is set in 1927 Hollywood. Dujardin referred to the first Academy Awards in 1929, which honored films from 1927 and 1928. "It's funny because in 1929 it was...Douglas Fairbanks who hosted the first Oscar ceremony," Dujardin said. "It cost $5 and it lasted 15 minutes. Times have changed." He ended his acceptance speech shouting in his native French "Oh Putain! Genial! Merci! Formidable! Merci beaucoup!" ("Bloody Hell! Brilliant! Thanks! Fantastic! Thank you very much!") followed by: "I love you!" He was also asked if he might make more "talkies" in the United States. He said he would like to, but that he probably would not because he is French. More article : http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/27/us-oscars-jeandujardin-idUSTRE81Q0EJ20120227
North Korea has developed and deployed improved long-range multiple rocket launchers in time to celebrate the centennial of its founder's birth this spring, a source here said Monday. According to the source, North Korea recently completed upgrading the previous model of its 240-millimeter rocket launchers, and named them 'Juche 100 Guns,' after the North's primary ideology of self-reliance. The source said the new launchers have more than doubled the range of the earlier version, which could fire up to 60 kilometers, and that they have been deployed to some artillery units. North Korea is known to have been operating two types of 240-mm rocket launchers: the 12-round M-1985 and the 22-round M-1991. The Juche 100 is based on the M-1991, according to the source. North Korea reportedly imported 300-mm ammunitions from Russia and test-fired them for years off the west coast. Intelligence officials here believe the North is expected to unveil the Juche 100 to the public during a massive military parade on April 15 this year, the 100th birthday of the North's founder Kim Il-sung. Experts say South Korea can counter with its own precision-guided land missile capable of hitting Pyongyang. The Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), the surface-to-surface missiles, can be fired from multiple rocket launchers with an effective range of 165 kilometers. Equipped with a global positioning system and inertial guidance technology, these missiles were positioned near the Demilitarized Zone last year. (Yonhap)
Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering won bids to build four 35,000-ton next-generation support tankers for the British Royal Navy worth a total of US$700 million on Wednesday. This is third-largest order ever recorded in Korea's defense-related exports, following an order for $1.08 billion worth of submarines from Indonesia, and another for K-9 self-propelled artillery from Turkey worth $1 billion. It is also significant in that it was an export deal to Britain, which built the world's first modern warships. The British government announced that DSME had been chosen as the preferred bidder to build the new support tankers, which are tasked with supplying fuel, ammunition and food to warships. Three firms, including Daewoo, Hyundai Heavy Industries, and Italy's Fincantieri competed for the bid. The two Korean companies reportedly gained the upper hand due to their technological prowess and price competitiveness. British officials inspected them both in April and May last year, and also visited supply tankers of the Korean Navy. An official at Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration said, "We have secured a stepping stone to make inroads into the European market for military vessels."
2012년 2월 26일 일요일
2012년 2월 24일 금요일
2012년 2월 21일 화요일
A photo of North Korean defectors being deported back to North Korea has been released to the public for the first time. Taken in August last year at the North Korea-China borderlands of Tumen in China and Onsong County of North Hamkyong Province, the picture shows Chinese police sending back a North Korean family of a man, two women and a teenage boy back to the North. Having departed a concentration camp in Tumen, a pickup truck enters the North Korean and Chinese border bridge. WJ refers to the license plate of the Chinese armed police force. "The family members in the back seat were wearing manacles on their wrists. Women were lying unconscious and the man seemed to have given up, with his eyes closed. The children looked terrified. Tourists were abustle at the sight." Defectors arrested at the Tumen camp are sent back to North Korea in trucks once a week on average, but this family was transported differently in an apparent political move. Across the bridge lies the North Korean worker district of Onsong.
2012년 2월 20일 월요일
2012년 2월 13일 월요일
South Korea is planning to construct an overseas pilot training center in Portugal by 2014 for Korean Aerospace Industries' T-50 supersonic military jet trainer. A Defense Ministry official said Portugal was designated as the primary negotiation partner for the construction of the center, and the two parties are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding next month. The official said once the center is completed, training systems in coordination with the T-50 will be shared with other countries. The grounds are also expected to be utilized for the export of the trainer jet. South Korea will inject 300 billion won into developing international training centers over the next 30 years.
2012년 2월 12일 일요일
Leaders of South Korea and Qatar agreed Thursday to form a top-level cooperation mechanism handling all issues of cooperation between the two countries from oil and energy to science and technology, military and security, and green growth, officials said. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak agreed to the establishment of a “High-level Strategic Cooperation Committee” after Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani suggested the mechanism to expand the scope of bilateral cooperation to all sectors, senior presidential press secretary Choe Geum-nak said. “The two leaders will take charge of the committee in person,” Choe said. “This means that the two leaders can resolve problems directly through a hot line when lower-level discussions hit a snag.” The Qatari leader also called on South Korea to play greater roles in his efforts to transform the “desert nation” into an industrial country, senior presidential secretary on green growth Kim Sang-hyup said. Lee arrived in Doha earlier Thursday on missions to ensure a stable supply of crude oil to South Korea and to campaign for South Korean builders to participate in major real estate development and infrastructure construction projects in the Middle Eastern nation. http://www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20120210001181
2012년 2월 10일 금요일
President Lee of South Korea has requested Saudi Arabia for a stable crude oil supply regarding the Iranian crisis. Saudi Arabia has willingly embraced the request, promising aid when necessary. The Arab nation has worked as the leader of OPEC for a stable worldwide crude oil supply. It has been 50 years since Saudi Arabia has established diplomatic relations with South Korea. President Lee is currently visiting Qatar. The South Korean president is planing to hold a bilateral summit with the king of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad, with the plan of establishing a high ranked strategic conference. Regarding energy, the two nations have already reached a settlement by agreeing upon the details about the energy and industrial cooperation Memorandum of Understanding. http://www.africasia.com/services/news_mideast/article.php?ID=CNG.1acb098b785b758e2a25af6194040dbc.171
2012년 2월 8일 수요일
Korea and Turkey have agreed to upgrade their level of cooperation to a strategic partnership. The move came during a bilateral summit between President Lee Myung-bak and his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul on Monday morning. The two sides agreed to deepen and diversify bilateral relations in various fields such as the economy, political affairs and culture. Officials say that Korea's technology and Turkey's regional network can create a strong synergy effect, and this in turn will pave the way for Korean businesses to enter the Arab market.
Approximately 10,000 tons of fruit are being exported every year to North Korea via the Chinese city of Dandong in Liaoning Province. The city borders North Korea at the estuary of the Yalu River. The fruit is thought to be imported by the ruling elite of the country and the high volume is in spite of food shortages. An source in the city said, “About 10,000 tons of fruit were exported to North Korea via Dandong Marine Centre last year,” adding, “They were worth 100 million yuan ($16 million).” Shipments to North Korea have grown about 15 percent per year on average over the past five years, the source said. Fruits exported to the North include the different varieties available in China, including subtropical and tropical types such as bananas, pineapples, lychees, dragon fruit and durians as well as apples, tangerines and watermelons. The source said fruit exports surge just before major North Korean holidays, including Feb. 16 (the birthday of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il) and April 15 (the birthday of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung). “Fruit exports significantly increased ahead of Christmas Day in the past, but there was no notable change in exports last year due to the death of Kim Jong Il,“ the source said. North Korea does not celebrate Christmas but fruit exports usually increased because Dec. 24 marks the birthday of Kim Jong Il’s biological mother Kim Jong Suk. The shipments are sent to Pyongyang for use at events or consumed by the power elite. Payment is made mostly with U.S. dollars, but the yuan is often used to settle accounts. Source: english.donga.com
2012년 2월 6일 월요일
The North Korean regime is apparently trying to project a more cheerful image of new leader Kim Jong-un, who is seen wreathed in smiles in the latest official pictures. Kim was pictured smiling during visits to military bases, holding the hands of soldiers and even whispering in their ears in an apparent bid to stress a sense of camaraderie. Choi Jin-wook at the Korea Institute of National Unification said, "When Kim Il-sung died in 1994, Kim Jong-il ordered a lengthy mourning period which led to a depressed atmosphere that exacerbated economic woes. Kim Jong-un is seen smiling a lot because they learned the lessons of 1994." In other words, Kim Jong-un is acting as a kind of cheerleader after the potentially destabilizing death of his father Kim Jong-il. A government official here said, "North Korea may appear stable from the outside, but the situation internally must be urgent and intense. The theory is bolstered every time I see Kim Jong-un trying to imitate his grandfather even in the way he smiles." It sits oddly with North Korea's strong Confucian traditions for a bereaved son to go around grinning before the 49-day official mourning period that ended on Friday is over. North Korean propaganda officials, who carefully stage all the new leader's movements, must be fully aware of this. But they apparently decided that it is more important to consolidate his hold on power by whatever means necessary.
More than 1 million North Koreans are subscribed to mobile phone services provided by Egypt's Orascom Telecom, a media report said Thursday (local time), indicating growing mobile penetration in the reclusive country. The number of cell phone users in North Korea has reportedly surged in recent years despite Pyongyang's strict control over any flow of information within and across its borders. Orascom made the announcement in a regulatory filing on Thursday, Bloomberg said. The company launched mobile phone services in North Korea in 2008 through Koryolink, a joint venture it set up with the North. Koryolink is the sole mobile phone operator in the communist country. Also Thursday, Orascom chief Naguib Sawiris met with North Korea's nominal head of state, Kim Yong-nam, the North's official media said. Kim, the president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, the North's rubber-stamp legislature, had a "friendly talk" with Sawiris, according to the (North) Korean Central News Agency, without giving further details. North Korea, which has a population of 24 million people, first launched a mobile phone service in Pyongyang in 2002. The service was later banned after a deadly explosion in a northern train station in 2004, possibly out of concern that it could be used in a plot against the regime. (Yonhap News)
2012년 2월 4일 토요일
2012년 2월 2일 목요일
Recently, more North Korean soldiers have been appearing on day laboring markets, something that hasn't happened before. These soldiers get employed to fix the roofs and floors of other people's homes, or making coal briquette to earn money. This kind of labor used to be done by the poorest of North Korean citizens. However, the severe famine and economic depression has forced the once-elite soldiers out to day labor job markets. Only until a while ago, the soldiers used to be the ones with authority, giving orders to everybody. Now, they must do rough work to make money for daily meals. On the surface, North Korea keeps screaming about strong and prosperous nation, but they can't even feed their own soldiers anymore. Just what do they think they're doing?