Thursday, November 29, 2012

2012 MAMA to be aired in 85 countries for 2.3 billion viewers

Watch out, because this year's Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) may be coming to your TV set. The 2012 MAMA, which is set to take place on November 30, will be aired in 85 countries across the world including Korea and Hong Kong, targeting more than 2.3 billion viewers. This will be made possible with the help of Hong Kongs TVB, Chinas biggest channel Hunan TV and the international channel FIC (FOX International Channels) as media partners. The channels will relay the event live to a total of 16 countries including America, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Australia, and air a recorded version sometime later in 69 countries including France, Finland, Greece, the Netherlands, the Arab Emirates and Bangladesh. Outside of these channels, 20 online platforms such as Global will make 2012 MAMA available everywhere else.
The coverage marks the biggest amount for a Korean program. This year's MAMA will be aired live in main channels across Asia. This years amount of coverage has expanded compared to last year's, as it started to reach out to Europe, South America and even the Middle East. As if to prove MAMA's increased influence and the growth of K-Pop, many overseas channels showed interest in the event .This doesn't only mean that MAMA will be aired in more countries, but also that MAMA has opened up a new way to share Korea and Asia's songs and their cultures to the world.

Wording set for 'comfort women' memorial

A county plan to erect a memorial for women forced into sexual slavery in Japanese-occupied territories around World War II is moving forward. Bergen County is expected today to sign the final proof for the Comfort Women Memorial, which is to be placed near the Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack. It would sit aside memorials to the Holocaust, the Irish Potato Famine and the Armenian genocide. The memorial, according to information provided by the county, will contain the following words:
In memory of hundreds of thousands of women and girls from Korea, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, the Netherlands, Indonesia and other Japanese-occupied territories who were forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Armed Forces of Japan before and during World War II.
It would be the second such memorial in Bergen County for the women referred to as "comfort women" after the military comfort stations that were reportedly set up for Japanese soldiers at the time. Palisades Park dedicated a similar stone and plaque in 2010. That stone has generated international attention in the past year. Several officials and a few lawmakers from South Korea have visited Palisades Park, some laying flowers near the stone. In the spring, Mayor James Rotundo and other town officials said members of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party met with them and asked that the stone and plaque be removed, arguing that they contained historical inaccuracies. Town officials said they had researched the issue of the comfort women prior to erecting the stone and refuse to remove it. Late last month, a 4-foot-tall stake bearing a Japanese political message was found dug into the flower beds near the stone. The stake read, "Takeshima is Japanese territory," referring to an ongoing dispute between Korea and Japan over a group of islands claimed by both countries. A police investigation into the incident is ongoing, Rotundo said.
The county memorial is expected to be dedicated before the end of the year. It is being donated by the Bergen County Comfort Women Memorial Committee, he said. The final proof is to be signed at 4 p.m. today in the fifth-floor conference room, at One Bergen County Plaza.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

As military service is regarded as an opportunity to be recognized for their masculinity, stars gladly take their duties and freshly start their careers.
Hyun Bin, the antagonist of the 2011 small-screen smash hit “Secret Garden,” is ready to re-embark on the entertainment scene. Slated to be discharged on Dec. 6 after 21 months of service at the Marine Corps., he has already moved to establish an agency for himself. Local news outlets reported that the actor will start his own management firm with actress Shin Min-a.
Hyun Bin managed to gain ample publicity after working as the face of numerous Marine events such as promotional marathons, a photo album and film release as well as concerts. Hyun is already receiving endorsements and film offers but is in no rush. He has managed to keep himself in the limelight even in the barrack, and he will pick the ones that suit him perfectly.
For a long time, celebrities daunted the military draft fearing that being two years away from the media limelight would make their career grind to a halt. There have been slews of draft-dodging scandals involving such anxious entertainers. But there was a change in attitudes after top-class celebrities made a soft landing to their old jobs after the discharge and even obtained a positive image of “responsible” and “manly.” Stars such as former H.O.T. singer Tony Ahn, actors Lee Dong-wook and Cheong Jeong-myeong as well as many others have proven that military service could open doors to a new level of careers with a brand new image, and more male celebrities are willing to serve the military without fear.

South Korea making final preparations to launch a space rocket

At the Satellite Technology Research Center in Daejeon yesterday, researchers looked grim as they made final checks of the satellite that the Naro is supposed to lift into orbit. Each time they’ve prepared for past launches, their hopes have been dashed. The first attempt in August 2009 failed when the satellite didn’t separate from the second stage of the rocket and both plummeted back to earth. The second attempt in June 2010 failed when the rocket exploded two minutes and 17 seconds after liftoff for reasons that still have not been determined.
And a third attempt was aborted last month when a helium leak was found because of a broken rubber seal in the connector between the rocket and its launchpad. A new linking mechanism was sent by Russia, and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute said it has been successfully replaced. If Korea finally succeeds in putting the indigenously developed satellite at least 302 kilometers (187 miles) above earth and into orbit, it will become the 10th country in the “space club,” which includes neighbors Japan and China. A final launch rehearsal took place at the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla, yesterday. The rocket was transported from its assembly complex to a launch pad at the center on Tuesday.
A final systems check was conducted in two separate stages with a launch simulation of the rocket’s Russian-built first-stage, which took around seven hours, and a launch simulation of the Korean-built second stage taking about five hours, according to the Korea Aerospace Research Center.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said earlier that this will be the last attempt to launch a version of the Naro rocket into space. I really hope the launch succeeds.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

North Korean authorities claim that North Korea is a paradise on earth

If you look at photos from North Korea, North Korea looks like a paradise. Festivals are held frequently in Pyeongyang and various performances are held. They even used 2 billion dollars for the Day of the Sun. They even built a 50km long waterway all the way from Nampo to open a dolphin show in Pyeongyang. This is all for the priviledged class in Pyeongyang. 70~80% of North Korean children are suffering from malnutrition, and 500 thousand tons of food is in shortage. North Korea is only a paradise for the privileged few. 

Japan's stubborn and irrational claim on foreign territory

Diaoyudao is historically and legally Chinese territory, but the Japanese government is taking the issue to the International Court Of Justice. Japan is taking it to ICJ because there is nothing to lose because it wasn't theirs from the beginning. Japan basically stole the so-called Senkaku islands when World War II ended. The funny thing is the US 'allowed' Japan to do so. But who are we to tell Japan can have Chinese land? Seriously this isn't the first time. We basically took Palestinian land and gave it to Israel - but this is a different topic that I will not indulge any further. Anyways, Japan is not stopping with the Diaoyudao. They are taking the Dokdo issue to the ICJ. The present is no longer the time where imperialism prevails. Japan's facism ended along with the WWII. As a war criminal country and a defeated nation, they request to much. This is all because even if Japan loses any of the suits, they won't lose anything, but if they win, there's a big gain. Worth the risk? Probably so. But at what cost?

Monday, November 26, 2012

N Korea preparing for missile launch

US satellites have picked up signs that North Korea is preparing to launch a long-range missile, a Japanese newspaper reported today. North Korea moved missile parts from its military factory in Pyongyang to a launch pad in Tongchang-ri in the country’s far northwest early November. The US has already informed its counterparts in Japan and South Korea about the move.
The developments came after North Korea carried out a failed rocket launch in April in what the communist state said was an attempt to put a satellite into orbit from the same launch pad. Images of the shipment recently taken by US satellites were similar to one used in the April launch. Pyongyang is technically ready to launch a missile late November, but an immediate launch is unlikely ahead of South Korea’s presidential election next month.
North Korea has not announced any plans to launch a rocket. Immediate confirmation by the Japanese government was not available. In Seoul, a South Korean defence ministry spokesman said it could comment on any matter of intelligence, while a presidential Blue House spokeswoman said she had no information.

North Keeps on Pushing NLL Weak Spot

North Korea continued to attack a perceived weak spot in South Korean politics today, declaring that South Korea and the U.S. already recognize the illegality of the existing Northern Limit Line in the West Sea while strongly objecting to military training exercises going on in the area. The Chosun Central News Agency (KCNA) called the Hoguk exercises a dangerous and sinister plot. The attack on the Hoguk exercises comes after the U.S.-ROK Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) in Washington DC on the 25th, wherein South Korean Minister of National Defense and U.S. Defense Secretary agreed that the NLL is an effective method of preventing inter-Korean tension and declared that U.S.-ROK combined military exercises in the area should be enhanced. Conversely, North Korea called the exercises an ugly conspiracy to build danger in the West Sea around the NLL, a non-existent line that the imperialist American army placed in our sacred waters.
North Korea's rhetoric is a way for Pyeongyang to get the upper hand in any future NLL dialogue with South Korea, especially if a potentially weak left wing president is selected in December's South Korean election.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

U.N. Medal Presented to Dongmyeong Unit in Ceremony

UNIFIL Commander presented U.N. medal to all Dongmyeong troops in ceremony. Dongmyeong Unit, which is successfully carrying out its missions as part of U.N. peacekeeping operations in Lebanon’s Tyre region, was presented U.N. medal, the highest honor awarded to U.N. peacekeeping forces, in a ceremony held at its local post on June 24. Present at the ceremony hosted by the commander of the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Claudio Graziano, an Italian Army Maj. Gen., were the Republic of Korea’s ambassador to Lebanon Park Chan-jin and some 500 hundred others, including local Lebanese officials from Dongmyeong Unit’s area of responsibility. After the medals were presented by the commander of the UNIFIL and other key leaders, a Taekwondo performance was offered by local children followed by a performance of traditional Arab dance, an exhibition of traditional farm music and Taekwondo by members of the Dongmyeong unit and a reception. As an award presented to U.N. forces deployed throughout the world to praise their successful execution of missions, the U.N. medal is only given to forces who successfully complete missions for at least 90 days or those who are killed in action. The first batch of Dongmyeong Unit had also received the U.N. medal on December 17, 2007, for successfully executing their missions.

North Korea may possibly be preparing for long-range missile test

North Korea, under heavy U.N. sanctions for its nuclear weapons program, could be preparing a long-range ballistic missile test. This comes just weeks before South Korea's December 19 presidential election in which how to handle North Korea is a major campaign issue. The isolated North has for years tried to influence major events in the South by waging propaganda or armed attacks. The US has detected moves that are seen as preparation by North Korea for a long-range missile launch, which could take place as early as this month. North Korea is believed to be developing a long-range ballistic missile with a range of up to 6,700 km aimed at hitting the continental United States but the last two rocket test launches failed.
Regional powers trying to stop North Korea's arms program believe North Korea is using rocket launches to perfect technology to build a missile arsenal capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the United States. North Korea is under U.N. sanctions that ban trading in missile or nuclear technology that have driven its already dire economy deeper in trouble but cutting off what was once a lucrative source of hard cash.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Diplomacy trips equivalent of 19 trips around the world

President Lee Myung-bak returned home Thursday from a trip to Cmabodia and the United Arab Emirates where he laid the groundwork for regional free trade deals and ensured lucrative construction projects will go smoothly after he leaves office. Lee's government has praised Lee's export contract with UAE as an achievement in their resource diplomacy. President Lee Myung-bak made 49 trips to 94 countries during his term. He has made the most number of overseas trips among Korea's presidents. Former President Roh Moo-hyun made 27 trips to 55 countries, former President Kim Dae-jung made 23 trips to 37 countries, and former President Kim Young-sam made 14 trips to 28 countries. President Lee's trips are equivalent to circling the Earth 19 times. During his trips, he attended 170 summits including multilateral talks. 

Kim Jong-un purges opposing forces

Ever since Kim Jong-un came into power, Kim Jong-un has been inspecting North Korea's political party, government, and military officials trying to find anti-Kim Jon-un forces. Last time, he stated that he will cut off anybody who are disloyal to him. And he indeed put his words knto action. 15 military officers, including Hyun Young-cheol and Kim Young-cheol have been removed. Kim Jong-un is trying to reduce the influence of military in order to control it. But seriously, is it even possible to force somebody to become loyal to you...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hamburg stricker Heung Min Son has revealed that he is unlikely to renew his contract with HSV. The 20 year old has scored six goals in 12 appearances this season and has been tipped from greatness ever since he left Dongbuk High School in 2008. Hamburg has been in a slump for 3 games, but in the recent four matches, Son led his team to 3 victories and one tie. He stands 7th in the Bundesliga's top scorers. Son has attracted the attention of host of clubs from across Europe, including Premier League giants Arsenal and Liverpool. Son, the 20 year old, has great potential and is very young. At the moment, Monaco and Bundesliga outfits Bayern Munich and Borrusia Dortmund are all interested in Son. I hope to see the best of him in future seasons.

Obama's message for North Korea in visiting Myanmar

On Monday, President Obama visited a medium-sized Asian country known for its international isolation, brutal military dictatorship and flirtations with nuclear weapons - Myanmar. On his historic visit to Myanmar, Obama had a message for the North Korean leadership. He urged North Korea to let go of their nuclear weapons and choose the path of peace and progress. If North Korea does so, they'll find the extended had from the United States of America. This means relaxing sanctions and offering economic assistance to any country that was willing to unclench its fist. US has provided aids to North Korea over the past few years. However, in order to threaten the US for more aid, North Korea launched missiles and went through with nuclear tests. They even provoked against South Korea. This caused the US-North Korea relationship to deteriorate. Now, the US will no longer endure North Korea's irrational behavior. Whether North Korea will get international aid will be fully up to how North Korea changes. It's time that they take responsibility.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

North Korea focusing on development of Pyeongyang

North Korean authorities are focusing city developments in Pyeongyang and its border cities, such as Hyesan, Gangye, and Manpo. North Korea is also putting up streetlight and neon signs in Onseong province and Naseon economic zone. The reason for the development efforts are because Kim Jong-un wants to propagandize that North Korea has improved. It is all part of a plan to attract Chinese investors and tourists into the border regions, and to prevent defectors. Most of North Korea with the exception of the cities mentioned above are still underdeveloped. And its people are still in dire circumstances starving to death.

Korea pop princesses Girl's Generation

British newspaper The Guardian recently published a feature on Girl's Generation and predicted that the Korea pop princesses will follow in Psy's steps as the next K-pop act to hit it big in the international market. It seems certain that Girl's Generation, a nine-member Korean girl group who had racked up millions of sales throughout East Asia long before Psy made air horse-riding socially acceptable, are poised to release their first album recorded entirely in English. Tentatively due for release next year by Lady Gaga's label, Interscope, the album will mark the group's first serious effort to court English-speaking music fans. Not only are they good singers and performers, they all look stunning. I hope Girl's Generation's international activities become a success.

Monday, November 19, 2012

K-pop Monster Rookie Lee Hi dominates music charts

Lee Hi's debut song 1, 2, 3, 4, has dominated the weekly music charts for two weeks in a row. Since the single's release, Lee Hi came at #1 on Billboard's K-pop Hot 100 chart, displaying the massive success of her debut. Lee Hi was a runner up from Season 1 of K-Pop Star audition program and was signed to YG Entertainment after the show. Her soulful voice appeals to many listeners with different demographics. 1, 2, 3, 4 shows off Lee Hi's unique voice color and groovy vocals in a retro-soul genre. Congrats Lee Hi on your record-breaking debut! If you haven't listened to her song, I recommend that you do. Even the Billboard recommends her music video as a must see. 

The Sexiest Man Alive

Would you believe if Kim Jong-un, the Supreme Leader of North Korea, was picked as the sexiest man alive for 2012? On Wednesday (Nov. 14), The Onion announced Kim Jong-un as the sexiest man alive for the year 2012. Wit his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, strudy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman's dream come true. Blssed with an air of power that masks an unmistakable cute, cuddly side, Kim made the Onion's editorial board swoon with his impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle, and that famous smile. The Onion then added that Ri Sol-ju is one lucky lady, that's for sure.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Senior defense officials and security advisers from home and abroad gathered in Seoul for a regional security forum aimed at discussing ways to curb weapons of mass destruction and handle North Korea's nuclear threat. The inaugural Seoul Defense Dialogue (SDD) brought vice minister-level and other senior defense officials from 15 Asia-Pacific countries, the European Union and two international organizations. The first Seoul Defense Dialogue comes under the spotlight because of growing territorial disputes in northeastern Asia, as well as the increasing North Korean military threat. The goal for attendees of the SDD is to develop action plans to deal with regional security issues. 

There is no future without self-reflection

Japan and Germany, two of the war criminal nations of WWII, are very different. Unlike Germany that apologized for their crimes to the international community and built their trust through honesty, Japan is denying to repent for their shameful test and rationalizing their distortion of the history.
Japan's Rising Sun Flag symbolizes Japan's imperialism that led to the massacre of 20 million people during the invasions by Imperial Japanese Army. The Japanese waved the flag and used the design in the athlete's uniforms at the Olympic games, which symbolizes world peace. This is the equivalent of Germans waving the Nazi Germany Flag during the Olympic games. This is an insult to human dignity.
Japan still covets for other country's territory. Japan will not be welcomed in the international community if it persists its efforts to distort the past, revive imperialism, and refuse to apologize for its past crimes.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

South Korea has reported the seizure of cargo from a Chinese freighter that can be used to produce ballistic missiles tha was made in North Korea and destined for Syria. The seizure of 445 graphite cylinders from the Shanghai-registered Xin Yan Tai in May at Busan was reported to the UN Security Council committee. This could be a violation of sanctions against the reclusive, nuclear-armed rogue state. The council imposed sanctions against North Korea after its first nuclear test in 2006 and stepped up the punitive measures after its second test in 2009 to try to derail the country's rogue nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. Under the sanctions, the North is barred from importing or exporting nuclear and missile material and technology. As one of five veto-wielding permanent member, China, must handle behavior that violates relevant UN Security Council resolutions and China's laws and regulations strictly. North Korea continues actively to defy the measures in the UN sanctions resolution. 

It is surprising to see Seoul host its own Defense Dialogue. Korea went through a civil war in 1945, and still remain a separated nation. Senior defense officials and security advisors from home and abroad gathered in Seoul for a regional security forum aimed at discussing ways to curb weapons of mass destruction and handle North Korea's nuclear threat. The Seoul Defense Dialogue brought vice minister-level and other senior defense officials from 15 Asia-Pacific countries, the European Union and two international organizations. The first annual Seoul Defense Dialogue, kicked off on the 14th. Around 100 officials from 15 countries and civilian security experts will discuss common regional security challenges halting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, countermeasures against cyber threats and detering North Korea's military threats. Although there are various multilateral defense dialogues in the region, the Seoul Defense Dialogue is the first for vice-ministerial level officials. From SDD, I hope to see Asia-Pacific countries must cooperate to maintain peace and stability in the region.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The US stance on Korea Japan land dispute

Recently, James Steinberg, former Deputy Secretary of State, criticized Japan's ICJ suit regarding Dokdo. Steinberg believe that the question of whether Japan should revert to formal mechanisms, namely the ICJ, is probably not the right way to go, precisely because any attempt definitely to resolve these things, even through neutral processes, is going to lead one or the other party unsatisfied. Steinberg's comment may represent Obama administration's stance on Dokdo because Steinberg is one of Obama's closest advisors. The territorial disagreements in East Asia doesn't need to be resolved at the sovereignty level, so long as the related parties recognize each other's joint exploration rights and ease tensions. I look forward to more updates on US's stance on East Asian territorial disputes.

There only midget soldiers in North Korea

So far, North Korean soldiers stationed near the border are reportedly selected from families known to be most loyal to the communist regime to try to prevent military defections that may embarrass North Korea. Moreover, in order to look stronger, soldiers who are at least 170cm tall are stationed. However, nowadays, soldiers who are tall enough and from a loyal family are very difficult to find. Due to the chronic food shortages, many soldiers are malnourished and very short. They now place just tall soldiers even if they are not from a loyal family. From this we can infer the gravity of the food shortage in North Korea.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Psy's Gangnam Style Awarded Best Video at MTV EMA

Psy joined global super stars like Muse, Alicia Keys and the Killers for the MTV Europe Music Awards. Millions of viewers from scores of countries around the world watched Psy perform his Gangnam Style song and his horse-riding dance for the audience before picking up the Best Video award at the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA) held in Festhalle, in Frankfurt, Germany. It marks the first time a Korean performer has been awarded the Best Video Award from MTV. Heidi Klum referred to him as the undisputed King of Pop as she welcomed him onto the stage to perform Gangnam Style. The song has been viewed more than 700 million times on YouTube and received a record-breaking 4.9 million likes on Facebook since being released in mid-July. If this continues, Gangnam Style may become the most viewed video in the world. Psy, now a huge K-pop super star, will no doubt, receive continual attention from the world.

Japanese urging Japan to resolve the comfort women issue

A Japanese civil group is urging the Japanese government to resolve the comfort women issue. The Japanese government has been ignoring the the request of international community and the United Nations for apology and compensation for sexual slavery crimes during WWII. 'Executive Committee of Japanese Military Sexual Violence' made the Japanese military's sexual crime documents public on the 11th at Tokyo. They then urged Japan to apologize and compensate to the Chinese comfort women that were forced into sexual slavery. Although the Japanese government to a certain extent admit that the comfort women were victimized during the war, they do not feel the need to apologize or compensate to the victims. The Japanese government and politicians must learn to humbly adhere to the civil group's requests.

Monday, November 12, 2012

In North Korea, death-row convicts are executed using blunt weapons secretly in prison cells or hills. According to Daily NK, an online newspaper focusing on issues relating to North Korea, a North Korean defector testified that during mid-2000, death-row prisoners were killed in their prison cells by being clubbed on the head to death, while other inmates were told to look away. Non-public executions are secretly being done in diverse places prisons, fields, and even in mountains, The reason the executions are being done in the mountains is to easily dispose the body. It is believed that the family of the convict are not even told of the execution. Can you believe that they are executing people by beating the crap out of the convicts using clubs and hammers? This is the truth about North Korea.

Korean Americans having more say in American politics

On Nov 6th, Cindy Ryu, a commercial property owner and manager from Shoreline, who first won election in 2010, won her second term with a 76.48 percent to 23.52 percent lead over Republican challenger Randy Hayden. Cindy Ryu is a politician of the Democratic Party. She is a member of the Washington House of Representatives, representing the 32nd district. She immigrated to the US in 1969 with her family. In 2006, she became the first female Korean American mayor in the US, when she was elected mayor of Shoreline, Washington.
Cindy believed in the American Dream and knew that access to quality public education and an opportunity to work hard and earn a living wage is what it takes to help families achieve their own American Dream. Because Cindy is the kind of experienced leader the 32nd District has come to expect she was reelected even in a region where the majority of the population is of caucasian, such as Shoreline. Ryu said affordability of living safely in suburban King and Snohomish Counties, especially in the face of decreased family income and less public services is her main priority in Legislature. I hope to see more Korean Americans have their say in the US.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Choo Chang-min's Masquerade starring Lee Byung-hun has been selected to close the annual Korean Film Festival in the UK which is taking place in a number of cities including London, Bristol, Bournemouth and Glasgow until Nov. 16. The London Korean Film Festival is the largest Korean film festival in Europe, and has been held every November since 2006. It is hosted by the Korean Cultural Centre with funding from the Korean Film Council. Choo, Lee, and actor Ryu Seung-ryong attended the festival and met local fans in the UK. Lee, who is currently shooting the Hollywood film Red 2 walked down the red carpet for the closing ceremony. Masquerade revolves around King Gwanghae, the 15th king of the Chosun Dynasty, and a lowly clown who resembles the king and acts as his double when the monarch comes under threat of assassination. Choo Chang-min's film achieved the critics-and-public double whammy in South Korea. 

When will Japan come to their senses

Some wonder why Japan and Korea relations are in deep shit. Some may think that Korea is still stuck up in the past and requesting Japan's apology and repentance, and in order for peace and development of two countries, Korea should let it go. Although, this may seem true, but without Japan's sincere apology for the crimes they have committed during war, there can be no future for the two countries. The reason Korea is urging Japan's apology is to prevent Japan from making the same mistake. Moreover, if it comes to the comfort women issue, Japan must apologize. Only Japan's apology and a correct historical awareness can bring peace and cooperation in East Asia.

Korean celebrities serving obligatory military service

Even Korean celebrities are not exempt from obligatory military service. Few celebrities have evaded their compulsory service, but most celebrities fulfill their obligations to their nations. Hyun-bin, Kang Dong-won and Jo In-sung are currently serving their military service. If you do not know much about Korean actors, if you ever look at the Korean dramas they appeared in, you would be able to guess their popularity in Korea. Many fans were sad that the actors had to join the army when they were at the pinnacle of their career. However, these actors are completing their service and are returning. They would have felt proud to have served for their country despite their status as a celebrity. Nowadays, many Korean nationals abroad are voluntarily joining the army. Sacrificing the wealth and honor of an individual to serve their country is a very noble act.

President Lee visits Indonesia and Thailand

President Lee Myung-bak said Monday he had "in-depth" discussions with Thai officials about sharing South Korea's river refurbishment experiences for a massive river re-engineering project the Southeast Asian nation has been pushing for since last year's devastating floods.
The multi-billion-dollar project was a focus of Lee's trip to Thailand from Friday to Sunday.
During summit talks with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Lee asked for South Korean firms' participation in the project, stressing the experience and know-how the country gained while carrying out a similar project to refurbish the country's four major rivers.
Thailand began pursuing the US$13 billion project after the country was hit by severe floods last year. Yingluck has expressed keen interest in South Korea's river refurbishment project that was aimed at preventing floods, preserving water resources and promoting tourism along the waterways.
Presently, Korea, China and Japan are fiercely competing with each other over the Thai project. Amidst such a situation, President Lee engaged in in-depth discussions during his recent visit to Thailand on how to work together drawing upon Korea's experience in carrying out the four rivers restoration project.
When Yingluck visited South Korea earlier this year, she toured the construction sites of the four major rivers restoration project and unveiled her plan to introduce a similar policy in Thailand to prevent chronic flood damage.
Before Thailand, Lee also visited Indonesia for a regional democracy forum and summit talks with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Lee reaffirmed collaborative ties between Korea and Indonesia on large-scale joint investment projects that are in the works as well as cooperation in the defense industry and energy sector. The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding on the joint development of an environmentally-friendly green car.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Yeonpyeong island residents of still in pain from North Korean Bombardment

The photos above are the houses in a small Korean island. It is very ruined. This is the photos of Yeonpyeong island where North Korea bombarded the island two years ago. The coming November 23rd will be the 2nd year since the bombardment. I don't know how fast time flew, but to many Koreans, this day will not be forgotten. The shelling caused widespread damage on the island, killing two South Korean marines, two civilians. This year, Korea will be commemorating the soldiers and civilians who fell victim to the incident. I, too, commemorate the memory of the victims. However, there is something South Koreans must not forget. North Korea's provocations has not ended yet.

K-food is now a familiar cuisine to foreigners

K-food is creating a Korean wave fever. Last January, at the 2012 Madrid Fusion Culinary Trade Fair, the theme of Korea was fermented food. Korea promote its fermented food, such as soy sauce, soy paste, red pepper paste, pickled vegetables, and kimchi, claiming that when you eat the food, you become thankful. Many Korean cuisines are fermented. The healthy natural ingredients go through ripen and fermentation creating healthy lactic acid bacteria. Malaysia airline, Air Asia, included Kimchi bouillabaisse, which receieved critical acclaim. Moreover, their fried rice with fermented kimchi and chicken was very popular. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Korea's Kt-1 Trainer Jets

Korea's air space industry is advancing. Recently, Korea developed completely indigenous Korean aircraft exclusively using domestic technologies - the T-50 Golden Eagle, supersonic advanced trainers and multirole light fighter, and the KT-1, a single-engined turboprop, basic training aircraft. KT-1's advanced design features make it possible to achieve low stall speed and excellent spin recovery. In addition, the KT-1 is so maneuverable that it has the capability to enter the inverted spin intentionally and to recover easily. With all these features, the KT-1 has unsurpassed superiority over competing trainers in the world.
Twenty Korean-made turboprop KT-1 trainers have been exported to Peru. The governments of the two countries signed the contract worth USD200 million in Lima on Wednesday. KT-1 was chosen because of its price competitiveness and operational efficiency.
So far, more than 100 KT-1 jets are deployed and operational in South Korea, and it is the third overseas shipment of the KT-1 after Indonesia and Turkey and the first time Korea has sold defense equipment to Latin America.

The reason why North Korean soldiers are defecting

A 17 year old teenage North Korean soldier who recently defected after killing two of his superiors and crossing the heavily armed border to South Korea has told interrogators he did it because he saw no hope in the North. This is because food rationing system has been repealed and changed to self-sufficiency. When the North Korean authorities could no longer provide the people with food, the ration system in the military seized to function. Moreover, Kim Jong-un took moneymaking businesses out of military control and handed them over to the Cabinet, devastating soldiers. North Korean soldiers are desperately struggling to survive. It has been reported that soldiers even in the most elite troops are dying of starvation.