Archive for the ‘Korea’ Category

Russia, China call for restraint on Korea peninsula

March 11, 2009

Russia and China said on Wednesday they were concerned about rising tensions on the Korean peninsula after North Korea warned that shooting down a long-range missile it plans to test would be an act of war.

By Guy Faulconbridge

Pyongyang said on Monday it had put its armed forces on full combat readiness in response to the start of annual military exercises by U.S. and South Korean troops, which it condemned as a provocation.

The reclusive state also said it planned to test-fire a long-range Taepodong-2 missile and warned any attempt to shoot it down would amount to an act of war. The missile is designed to fly as far as Alaska, but has never successfully flown.

“Both sides expressed concern about the worsening situation on the Korean peninsula,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke to his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi on Tuesday.

The ministers called on those involved “to show restraint and composure, and to refrain from any actions that could undermine security and stability in this region,” it said.

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Read about the alliance between Russia and China:
 Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

Russia, “Desperate For Cash,” Sells Oil to China In “Very Bad Deal”

 North Korea Warns: Shoot Down Our Satellite Will “Prompt Counterstrikes by the Most Powerful Military Means”

.Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

White House: U.S. Will Not Shoot North Korean Missile

A U.S. Navy ship launches ballistic missile defense interceptors like those that could be used to counter North Korea’s long range missile launch….

Obama’s Stimulus Plan Compared to other Government Programs

December 22, 2008

The economic stimulus bill that Congress is set to begin debating next month could reach $850 billion or more, according to congressional aides, dwarfing every massive government expenditure in the past century except World War II. Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. said yesterday that a huge economic stimulus plan is necessary to keep “the economy from absolutely tanking.” In a television appearance, he said the stimulus package “has to be bold; it has to be big.”

An employee of the Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) counts dollar notes ... 

The boldness of the economic rescue is already straining the government’s finances. The nation’s deficit is hurtling toward the $1 trillion mark for the first time, prompting concern about the short-term impact of an expanded stimulus package. Here is the cost for some of the top government spending projects in inflation-adjusted terms and actual dollars. Though most of the earlier projects cost less than the stimulus plan, they made up a larger share of the economy because of the U.S. economy’s rapid growth in recent decades.


World War II: $3.6 trillion
Actual cost: $290 billion in 1945, excluding $50 billion lend-lease

Vietnam War: $698 billion

$111 billion in the 1960s

Iraq War: $597 billion

$551 billion from 2003 to 2008

Korean War: $454 billion

$54 billion in the 1950s

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Korean adultery actress sentenced

December 17, 2008

One of South Korea’s best-known actresses, Ok So-ri, has been given a suspended prison sentence of eight months for adultery.

She admitted the offence and the court suspended the sentence for two years.

The trial took place after Ms Ok failed to get the constitutional court to overturn the strict law that makes adultery a criminal offence.


South Korean actress Ok So-Ri leaves the court, 17/12/08
Ms Ok apologised for stirring up a controversy

In her petition she said the law was an infringement of human rights and amounted to revenge.

According to the BBC correspondent in Seoul, John Sudworth, the scandal has kept South Korea’s tabloid newspapers and internet chatrooms buzzing for months.

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One of South Korea‘s most famous actresses was convicted of adultery Wednesday in a high-profile case that drew renewed attention to a decades-old law prohibiting extramarital affairs.

Ok So-ri, who was handed a suspended jail term, had lost a battle in October to have the ban declared unconstitutional.

“I would like to say I’m sorry for causing so much trouble to society,” a somber Ok told reporters after the verdict.

A district court in Goyang, near Seoul, handed Ok a suspended eight-month jail sentence, South Korean media reported, meaning she will not have to serve time. Ok’s lover received a six-month suspended term.

There was no immediate word on any plans for appeal.

The sensational sex-and-celebrities case has been tabloid fodder for months, with Ok’s challenge to the adultery law adding extra spice.

Last year, Ok acknowledged during a news conference that she had had an affair with an opera singer who was a friend of her husband for a few months in 2006. She stressed the affair was a result of her loveless marriage to actor Park Chul.

Actress Ok So-ri arrives for her trial at a court in Goyang, ... 

The court appeared to show some sympathy for Ok’s predicament.

“Though the fact of adultery should be criticized, (the court) issued this ruling taking into account that husband Park Chul’s responsibility was not small,” the court said, according to cable news channel YTN.

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North Korea to ‘Urgently’ Need Food for 40% of People, UN Says

December 8, 2008

North Korea, plagued by years of famine, will “urgently” need food aid for 40 percent of its population, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme said in a report yesterday.

The country is facing a shortfall of more than 800,000 tons of grain for the year through October 2009, in what is likely to be a third straight year of dropping food production, the report said.
By Heejin Koo

About 8.7 million of the country’s 23 million people will “urgently need food assistance,” because “the country’s agricultural production will not meet basic food needs,” according to a FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission report. The agencies visited North Korea from Oct. 9-24.

“The findings of the mission confirm WFP’s fears that millions of DPRK households will suffer through yet another year of food shortages,” WFP country Representative Torben Due said in a statement from Pyongyang, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“Accessing enough food and a balanced diet will be almost impossible, particularly for families living in urban areas or in the remote food-deficit provinces in the Northeast,” Due said. “This could have grave consequences for the health of the most vulnerable groups.”

Floods, drought and economic mismanagement have led to persistent food shortages. The South Korean government said in August it is considering a UN request to help raise $60 million to buy food and other essential supplies for its neighbor.

North Korea and South Korea remain technically at war since their 1950-53 conflict ended without a peace agreement. North Korea has about 1.2 million soldiers and South Korea about 500,000 on the border. There are 28,500 U.S. soldiers stationed in South Korea.