Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The international society blasts Japan’s extreme nationalism

Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, has never hidden his nationalistic streak. After four months in office during which such politically sensitive issues had taken a back seat to his popular efforts to stimulate the economy, Mr Abe’s rightward-facing world view and its potential for complicating Japan’s relations with its neighbours is again coming under scrutiny. During the past week, Mr Abe has defended visits by more than 100 lawmakers from his party to a controversial war memorial loathed by China and South Korea; questioned whether Japan had “invaded” neighbouring Asian countries during the second world war; and partially disavowed an apology issued by a predecessor for Japan’s colonial conquests. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's recent remarks defending his cabinet and parliamentarians' visits to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine have aroused strong criticism from the international community. If Japanese leaders regard aggression, expansion and colonial rule by the country's former militarists as "a proud history and tradition," and attempt to challenge the results of World War II and post-war order, Japan can never escape its historical shadow and there will be no future for Japan's relations with its Asian neighbors.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Japan forced comfort women into sexual slavery

Japanese government denies that there is no evidence that Japan is not responsible for the compulsory mobilization of comfort women. However, this is wrong. The United States Office of War Information report of interviews with 20 comfort women in Burma found that the girls were induced by the offer of plenty of money, an opportunity to pay off family debts, easy work, and the prospect of a new life in a new land, Singapore. On the basis of these false representations many girls enlisted for overseas duty and were rewarded with an advance of a few hundred yen. According to a US army investigation reports that investigated war prisoners in Kunming, China in April 1945, there were testimonies that people applied for a job at a Japanese factory, but ended up in sexual slavery. Moreover, there are testimonies of proof of enforced sexual slavery of 20 Korean comfort women found in Myanmar by the US army. Horace Underwood delivered reports compulsory mobilization of comfort women to the US government, and in the Netherlands State Paper Archives, there also are proofs of compulsory mobilization.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Even Japanese media are blasting the Yasukuni visits

The revival of Yasukuni Shrine visits presents a serious diplomatic setback for Tokyo. The costs have been high and the benefits hard to find. More importantly, it reveals the reactive nationalisms afoot in Northeast Asia that are dangerous and unpredictable. The debate over Yasukuni is fraught with political tensions, even within Japan. Yasukuni Shrine carries the stigma of state secrecy and complicit activism. The inclusion of the Class-A war criminals was done furtively in 1978 at the behest of a Yasukuni Shrine official, Nagayoshi Matsudaira. Even Japanese domestic media are criticizing the visit as an unnecessary act of nationalism. Japan and China both need to work on a peaceful solution to their territorial issues. But it seems especially foolhardy for Japan to inflame hostilities with China and South Korea when all countries need to be working cooperatively to resolve the problems with North Korea and its nuclear program. Instead of exacerbating historical wounds, Abe should focus on writing Japan’s future, with an emphasis on improving its long-stagnant economy and enhancing its role as a leading democracy in Asia and beyond.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Japan is an unconscientious nation

Japanese war crimes occurred in Korea, China, and other Asian countries during the period of Japanese imperialism, primarily during World War II. Some of the incidents have been described as an Asian Holocaust. Most war crimes were committed by military personnel from the Empire of Japan in the late 19th century. Historians and governments of some countries hold Japanese military forces and the Imperial Japanese family, especially Emperor Hirohito, responsible for killings and other crimes committed against millions of civilians and prisoners of war. Some Japanese soldiers have admitted to committing these crimes. However, Abe, the Japanese prime minister, told lawmakers on Tuesday that he does not believe Japan's occupation of other Asian countries during World War II can be considered “invasions.“ Abe claimed there are no set international or academic definitions of the word, and that it depends on the point of view of individual countries. Abe’s claims are simply absurd. It's like saying Hitler's invasion of Poland wasn't really an invasion. If a German chancellor had said the same thing, he or she would have had to resign.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

North Korea must give up its nukes if it wants food aid

Koreans and nearby Mongolians share an ancient ethnic and lingual heritage, and now it appears North Korea is hoping those ties will help them borrow a bit of needed butter and sugar. The ambassador from Pyongyang to Ulan Bator officially has claimed that a severe food shortage may be in the offing, and his country is seeking relief. North Korea's young leader Kim Jong-un has been threatening nuclear war, raising tensions, using scant fuel resources to drive his mobile rocket launchers around in anticipation of another test; last week Kim Jong-un shut a joint North-South industrial park at Kaesong that earns hard currency. But when it comes to actually feeding people at a time of expected shortfall in the corn crop, Kim is apparently hoping that Mongolians will take pity. The international community, including China has stopped food aids to North Korea. North Korea should learn that as long as they do not give up its nuclear program, there would be no foreign aid.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Kim Jong-un, a leader who just went through puberty

Le Monde described Kim Jong un as an adolescent who just got through puberty. The defiant behavior of a boy going through puberty naturally solves itself, but Kim Jong-un’s defiance seems to be a never ending disease. If it won’t cure naturally, North Korea needs to consider a surgery for Kim Jong-un’s never-ending puberty. If the surgeon is the US, it will be a hard landing. If it’s China, then it would be a soft landing.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

We have to save North Koreans

Communism is a revolutionary socialist movement to create classless, moneyless, and stateless social order structured upon common ownership of the means of production as well as a social, political, and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of this social order. Contrary to North Korea’s claims of being a communist nation, the leaders of North Korea live a luxurious life, while its people are starving to death. Many North Koreans struggling to survive are resorting to defection. Defectors, however, are punished severely. It’s time that the international community cooperate to resolve the human rights violations in North Korea. Human rights is a universal value that the every individual deserves.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The protracted comfort women issue

The Japanese ambassador to South Korea said that a statue of a young girl erected in front of the embassy in Seoul to commemorate comfort women drafting into service as sex slaves to the Japanese military was “not helping to solve problems in Japanese-South Korean relations.” Ambassador Koro Bessho made his comments while speaking at an Apr. 16 debate organized by the Kwanhoon Club at the Seoul Press Center.
Historians say about 200,000 women from Korea, China, the Philippines and other countries were drafted to work in Japanese army brothels in Asia. This is inhumane to subject the women, who had already suffered so much in their lives, to such hatred. These are the types of acts that could damage bilateral relations between the neighboring countries. The comfort women issue is more than just a issue between South Korea and Japan. It's about universal human rights, women's rights, and human dignity.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Kim Jong-un falls victim to mockery

Kim Jong-un just might be the most famous face on the Internet. He’s a fixture on social media feeds, often depicted as characters like Russell from the animated kid’s movie “Up” and a wrestler named “Kim Jong Un-dertaker.” Thanks to a handful of photoshopped images, I’ll probably always picture him in a blue suit and sunglasses belting out “Gangnam Style.” He’s a leader, a dictator and the head of North Korea’s notorious regime. So in effect, we’re laughing in (or at) the face of terrorism. That doesn’t resonate with me. You want to undermine Kim Jong Un? Take his face off of the Internet, entirely. North Korea’s missile belligerence has been the target of an awful lot of humour, but the folks at Taiwan’s Next Media Animation have taken things a step farther and gone interactive with Best Korea Smackdown, a flash game that tasks players with shooting down North Korean nukes as supreme leader Kim Jong-un attempts to ride them into their targets.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

BBC "North Korea undercover"

In late March, with a group of students attending the London School of Economics, an undercover BBC journalist named John Sweeney surreptitiously entered North Korea, where he and a cameraman filmed segments for an upcoming documentary. When LSE officials discovered the ruse, they delivered a blistering email to the school's student body, reading in part, BBC's actions may have seriously compromised the future ability of LSE students and staff to undertake legitimate study of North Korea. LSE students were put in serious danger if the subterfuge had been uncovered prior to their departure from North Korea. However, were these very real dangers worth the risk? The hazards - even those to which the LSE students were exposed - were an appropriate cost of documenting the conditions inside North Korea. The other, and perhaps more pressing, ethical consideration is North Korea itself. The secluded military state operates almost entirely as a black site, hidden from international scrutiny, and systematically dispatches dissidents, including Christians, to brutal working camps where prisoners carry out life sentences. North Koreans continue to suffer from food shortages instigated by a state-sponsored rationing system. The country's leaders delight in threatening both the U.S. and its geographic neighbors with nuclear annihilation. In light of these actions and threats you can begin to see how Sweeney and the BBC justified the trip, and the alleged deceptions involved in arranging it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

North Korea’s trouble-making behavior must cease

Premier Li Keqiang warned Pyongyang to stop being provocative yesterday as China and the US renewed their commitment to ridding the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons. His remarks, which stopped short of mentioning North Korea or leader Kim Jong-un by name, came as US Secretary of State John Kerry met top leaders for talks on a range of issues. All sides must bear responsibility for maintaining regional peace and stability, and bear the consequences. Li claimed that provocations on the Korean Peninsula will harm the interests of all sides and it is the same as picking up a rock to drop it on one's feet. Chinese leaders pledged to work closely with Washington to ease the volatile situation, in which North Korea has repeatedly threatened nuclear strikes on US territory. Beijing, however, did not detail concrete measures. And, in a sign that it will refrain from any harsh action that could undermine Kim's regime, officials told Kerry the crisis should be resolved through dialogue. China remains North Korea's only ally, exporting fuel and giving food aid to the impoverished nation. Mr Li said the country was keen for North Korea to end its nuclear program and said peace should be maintained in the region. However, he said the main participants should not take part in "trouble-making", which could worsen the current crisis.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The need to counter North Korea’s missile threats through the ROK-US alliance

North Korea currently possesses an ample supply of Rodong, Scud missiles, which threats the Korean peninsula. Especially the Musudan missile has a range reaching up to 3000km. If North Korea were to use the Musudan, Japan would be within the range. Japan stated that if the Musudan missile were to violate Japan’s airspace, they would intercept the missiles. South Korea would need to consider regional provocations as well as missile threats. One of the most crucial strategic point is the alliance between the South Korea and the US. Samuel Locklear, the Commander of the US Pacific Command, stated that the US would intercept any North Korean missiles that target the US or its allies. This alliance would assist in deterring North Korean missile threats.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

North Korea’s attempt to pressure the international community

The shrill rhetoric from Pyongyang seems to presage impending war on the Korean peninsula, but North Koreans are living their everyday life. North Korean officials have warned diplomats that they cannot guarantee their safety in the capital. However, visitors this week described the atmosphere in North Korea as calm. Residents are apparently preparing not for bitter military conflict, but the anniversary of Kim Il-sung's birth. Some Chinese tour operators have halted travel to North Korea on urging from local authorities and rising safety concerns as Pyongyang whips up war rhetoric following weeks of tension on the Korean peninsula. After a two-day meeting in London, ministers including US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Pyongyang it faced further sanctions in the event of an expected missile launch, amid soaring tensions on the Korean peninsula. In a final statement, the ministers "condemned in the strongest possible terms the continued development of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs" including uranium enrichment. If North Korea conducts another missile launch or nuclear test we have to take further significant measures.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

North Korean army 'split' over Kim Jong-un

North Korea has issued a catalog of alarming threats against the South and the United States in the past several weeks, sharpening its rhetoric after the U.N. Security Council imposed stricter sanctions for Pyongyang's latest underground nuclear test, which took place it February. North's unnerving behavior is an effort by Kim, who inherited power from his father less than a year and a half ago, to shore up domestic support, particularly with the military. Pyongyang is trying to secure direct negotiations with Washington, something the United States has long shunned in favor of multilateral talks. However, the North Korean regime's recent words and actions appear to be increasingly troubling its key ally, China.

Monday, April 8, 2013

North Korea takes but does not give

On Sept 19, 2005 the six-party talks drafted a peaceful resolution regarding the security concerns as a result of the North Korean nuclear weapons program. North Korea had agreed to shut down its nuclear facilities in exchange for aid and stepped towards the normalization of relations with the US. However, responding angrily to the UN Security Council’s Presidential Statement that condemned t he North Korean failed satellite launch, they declared that it would pull out of Six Party Talks and that it would resume its nuclear enrichment program in order to boost its nuclear deterrent. North Korea has also expelled all nuclear inspectors from the country. Over the past 20 years, North Korea has persistently made empty promises. Kim Jong-un has told that he is open to talks with the US and that he is awaiting Obama’s call. However, if North Korea does not stop their nuclear threats, there will be no talks or aids.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Is North Korea on the brink of war?

The US will deploy a missile- defense system to Guam in coming weeks as a “precautionary move” against North Korea’s ballistic missile threat. This deployment will strengthen defense capabilities for American citizens in the U.S. territory of Guam and U.S. forces stationed there.
The Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense program, or Thaad, that is being deployed is a land-based system made by Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) that uses truck-mounted launchers to intercept missiles. The decision to send it to Guam is the latest U.S. military response to North Korea’s heightened rhetoric. Two Navy destroyers were deployed to the western Pacific this week. The United States continues to urge the North Korean leadership to cease provocative threats and choose the path of peace by complying with its international obligations. US stated that North Korea presents a “real and clear danger” to the U.S. and allies in the region. The U.S. is taking the threat seriously and is engaged in joint exercises with South Korea as well as working with China to ask its help in defusing the situation.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

North Korea attacking the US?

Even by its own aggressive standards, North Korea’s actions over the past couple of weeks have been extraordinary. Kim Jong-un, the country’s young dictator, has threatened the US with nuclear Armageddon, promising to rain missiles on mainland America and military bases in Hawaii and Guam, and declared a “state of war” with South Korea. Kim Jong-un announced that he would restart a plutonium-producing reactor at its Yongbyon nuclear site, while enriching uranium to build more nuclear weapons, and barred South Korean managers from entering the Kaesong industrial complex, almost the only instance of North-South co-operation. All this comes after the regime set off a nuclear test, its third, in February. Tensions are the worst on the peninsula since 1994, when North Korea and America were a hair’s breadth from war. The US has tried to play down the aggression, talking of a “disconnect between rhetoric and action”, and some parts are pure bluster. The nuclear threat against mainland America is patently hollow. It will be years before the North has the technology to dispatch nuclear-tipped missiles. In response to North Korea’s dire threats, the US deployed of B-2 stealth bombers and F-22 fighters. Now more than ever, America needs to cajole China to press for change in its satellite. Apart from humanitarian aid to the North’s stunted people, all other commercial favours towards the regime should be stopped. Sick of Mr Kim and his family racket, China signed up to fresh UN financial sanctions against North Korea after the latest nuclear test. China has the capacity to choke the most iniquitous sources of the criminal regime’s cash.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

China expresses regret at North Korea restarting nuclear plant

China's Foreign Ministry expressed regret that North Korea will restart all nuclear facilities, including its shuttered Yongbyon nuclear reactor. Tensions on the peninsula have soared in recent days, with Pyongyang on Friday ordering missile units to standby, hours after nuclear-capable US B-2 stealth bombers were deployed in US joint military drills with South Korea. North Korea has said it will reopen its nuclear facilities amid war rhetoric against South Korea and United States. North Korea believes that if it possesses nuclear weapons, all their problems would be solved. They are very wrong. North Korea develops nuclear weapons, all the neighboring countries would develop nuclear weapons in reaction. Ultimately, everybody would have nuclear weapons, and North Korea would lose its asymmetric advantage. Then, North Korea would have nothing to leverage their positions.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

North Korea Is Not Even Close To Hitting The US With A Nuke

As North Korea continues to talk of war against their neighbor to the south, they've also started to threaten the United States, saying that "thermonuclear war" may be on the horizon. Reality, yet again, is not on the side of Pyongyang. The North Koreans still need a few things - a reliable long range, intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a nuclear warhead built to fit that missile, and the technology that can guide it through launch, reentry, and hitting the target North Korea has test fired a number of missiles with varying ranges. They've been successful with some short and medium range platforms, but their long range capabilities have been marked with many failures.
These include its Taepodong-1 rocket launch in 1998, which failed to reach orbit, and its Taepodong-2 in 2006, which ended up exploding only 40 seconds after takeoff. They are slowly progressing though, with a new system (they claim is only for launching satellites) called Unha-3 boasting a range of approximately 6,000 miles (Pyongyang to San Francisco is about 5,600). The US is fully capable of defending against any North Korean ballistic missile attack North Korea certainly has the capability of hitting their regional neighbors Japan, Guam, and South Korea but a defiant Kim Jong-Un claiming he's ready to launch nukes at the United States, is nothing but talk and everyone knows it.

Monday, April 1, 2013

North Korea is incapable for a full-scale war!

The U.S. Navy is shifting a guided-missile destroyer in the Pacific to waters off the Korean peninsula in the wake of ongoing rhetoric from North Korea. The USS McCain is capable of intercepting and destroying a missile, should North Korea decide to fire one off. Still, there is nothing to indicate that North Korea is on the verge of another launch. I would note that despite the harsh rhetoric we are hearing from Pyongyang, there are no changes to the North Korean military posture, such as large-scale mobilization and positioning of forces. The deployment came after the United States publicized a rare training flight by two B-2 bombers over South Korea, where they carried out a mock bombing run, and pledged to spend $1 billion to expand ballistic missile-defense systems along the Pacific Coast. On Sunday, The United States sent F-22 stealth fighter jets to South Korea as part of military exercises in a move aimed at further deterring threats from North Korea against its neighbor. If North Korea continues their threats, the international community will only reinforce sanctions. North Korea cannot take on the whole world. It should learn to give in.