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Posts Tagged ‘Korea’

N. Korea officially proposes talks with South: KCNA

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:11 am

North Korea Monday officially proposed dialogue with South Korea, less than two months after launching a deadly bombardment of a South Korean island.


Three official bodies separately sent notices to Seoul’s unification ministry calling for talks and announcing the reopening of a Red Cross border liaison office, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said.


It said the messages proposed holding a working contact for talks in the North’s border city of Kaesong on January 27, and suggested talks between Red Cross organisations in the southern city of Munsan on February 1.


The Red Cross liaison channel at the border truce village of Panmunjom would be reopened from January 12, the agency announced.


A Seoul government source quoted by the South’s Yonhap news agency confirmed the North had sent an official letter. There was no immediate response.


South Korea, which had been seeking a request through official channels, reacted coolly earlier Monday to a weekend proposal made through state media for the “unconditional and early opening” of talks.


The North’s November 23 bombardment of Yeonpyeong island near the disputed Yellow Sea border killed four people including civilians and drove tensions to their highest level for years.



 

Source: SGGP

8,000 Vietnamese laborers worked in Korea in 2010

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 11:31 am

In 2010, Vietnam sent more than 8,000 laborers to work in Korea under the EPS program. This is an increase of 1.7 times, as compared with 2009, said Phan Van Minh, director of Overseas Workers centre.

File photo shows that laborers are learning Korean at an employment agency to prepare for the examination.

Vietnamese young people are now able to find high-income jobs while working abroad. South Korea has become an attractive destination for many rural laborers, as it has a stable working environment and preferential policies.


In addition, 66,000 laborers registered to join the Korean language program and 29,400 candidates passed the examinations.


Under the EPS program, foreign workers are allowed to change jobs up to three times, within a three-year period. The workers also enjoy basic salary entitlements that are permitted under South Korean law. They are also protected by work related insurance policies, and salary and repatriation expenditure insurance. Finally, when their contracts finish, they may be re-employed by other Korean businesses.


To work in South Korea, workers must pass a Korean language test and meet specific criteria’s. Individuals, who can apply for the EPS program, are those who have just finished military service, students from vocational secondary schools and workers.

Source: SGGP

US envoy seeks Chinese help to ease Korea crisis

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:12 am

A top U.S. envoy sought China’s help Thursday in easing the threat of war on the Korean peninsula, hoping to gain insights about a Chinese official’s recent meeting with North Korea’s absolute leader, Kim Jong Il.


Stephen Bosworth met with Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun, Senior Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs Wu Dawei and Wang Jiarui, director of the International Department of the Communist Party’s Central Committee. Bosworth was expected to travel to Japan later Thursday.


“Ambassador Bosworth and Chinese counterparts had useful consultations on how to coordinate moving forward in dealing with North Korea,” a U.S. Embassy statement said.

A body guard, left, tries to shield off journalists while U.S. special envoy for North Korea Stephen Bosworth, second right, walks out of an exit upon arrival at the Capital Airport in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei confirmed Bosworth’s meetings. “The sides agreed to remain in contact on maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and over the six-party talks,” Hong told a news conference. The talks on North Korea’s nuclear program involve the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia, but have been on hold for nearly two years.


Bosworth had been expected to ask China for information on last month’s talks in Pyongyang between North Korean leader Kim and Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, Beijing’s top foreign policy official. China has come under growing pressure to push North Korea, its close ally, to change its behavior after the communist country shelled a South Korean island late last year, killing four people.


North Korea will be a key issue during Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to Washington later this month.


Bosworth met Wednesday in Seoul with South Korean officials and said he was hopeful for “serious negotiations” soon on the North.


In Washington on Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi held “lengthy discussions” on North Korea and ironed out details of Hu’s visit Jan. 19, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.


Crowley said both the United States and China want stability on the Korean peninsula. “Neither one of us wants to see the emergence of a North Korea that is a nuclear state,” he said. “We hope that coming out of the visit and the discussions with President Hu Jintao we would have a consensus on the best way to move forward.”


Also on Wednesday, North Korea called for “unconditional and early” talks with South Korea to end months of tensions. Seoul quickly dismissed the offer, carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency, as insincere and said it was waiting for an apology for two deadly attacks blamed on Pyongyang.


Tensions between the two Koreas have been at their highest level in years since North Korea showered artillery on a South Korean-held island near their disputed maritime border in November, killing four South Koreans. The attack was the first on a civilian area since the 1950-53 Korean War, and occurred in waters not far from the spot where a torpedo sank a South Korean warship eight months earlier, killing 46 sailors.


The attack on the warship was also blamed on the North — an allegation the country denies.


But North Korea has made some conciliatory moves recently. On New Year’s Day, the government issued a lengthy statement calling for warmer ties and the resumption of joint projects with South Korea. Pyongyang, eager for food and fuel assistance, has said it wants stalled nuclear disarmament talks to restart.


Washington and Seoul have said the North must first fulfill past nuclear disarmament commitments before talks can resume.

Source: SGGP

North Korea may have new atom test to boost heir: South

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 at 6:26 am

 North Korea could conduct a third atomic test next year to boost the credentials of its leader-in-waiting, while prospects for bilateral talks with Seoul are slim, a South Korean foreign ministry report said on Friday.


The regular report from a ministry research institute was published a day after Pyongyang vowed a nuclear “sacred war” after the South vowed to be “merciless” if attacked, and held a major military drill near the border.

A North Korean Scud-B missile (C) and South Korean Hawk surface-to-air missiles are seen at the Korean War Memorial Museum in Seoul, December 24, 2010.

The North, which carried out nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, has yet to show it has a deliverable weapon as part of its plutonium arms program, but a third test would raise tensions further on the divided peninsula and rattle global markets.


Nuclear experts have also said they expect a third test soon, while South Korean media reported earlier this month that the North was digging a tunnel in preparation for one.


“There is a possibility of North Korea carrying out its third nuclear test to seek improvement in its nuclear weapons production capability, keep the military tension high and promote Kim Jong-un’s status as the next leader,” the report said, referring to Kim Jong-il’s youngest son.


“Tension between the two Koreas will remain high with chances of additional North Korean attacks on the South staying high. Chances of a summit meeting between leaders of the two sides look slim,” the institute said, according to a summary of the report.


The analysis for 2011 was written by the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, run by the Foreign Ministry.


BOASTING TACTIC


Hostilities have escalated to their worst levels since the Korean war in the early 1950s, after a deadly naval clash in March and the North’s shelling of a South Korean island last month.


Still, the risk of an all-out war is low, and the North’s threats of destruction are largely rhetorical.


The North’s tactic of boasting about nuclear advances is a ploy aimed at restarting talks between itself, the South, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, from which it hopes to wring concessions, analysts say.


“Some form of meeting between six-party members could be held during 2011 to discuss North Korea’s uranium enrichment, but chances are very low for any meaningful progress being achieved,” the institute said.


Those involved in the six-party process say they want to resume it, but among them are widely differing starting points.


China, the North’s only major ally and vital financial backer, sees the forum as the best place to begin dialogue, but Seoul, Washington and Tokyo say they first need proof that Pyongyang is committed to dismantling its nuclear work.


“North Korea has displayed national strength and diplomatic skills that exceed its actual capacity. Kim Jong’s mental strength must be exhausted, and it is about time that China loses its patience,” Seoul’s Joongang Daily said in a commentary.


“The time has come for Seoul to strategically manipulate the North Korea-China alliance to encourage estrangement.”

Source: SGGP

UN Security Council fails to reach accord on Korea crisis

In Uncategorized on December 20, 2010 at 6:27 am

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 19, 2010 (AFP) – The UN Security Council failed Sunday to agree a statement on the Korean military crisis and Russia warned that the international community was now left without “a game plan” to counter escalating tensions.


China rejected demands by Western nations that North Korea be publicly condemned for its November 23 attack on Yeonpyeong island which killed four South Koreans, diplomats said.

South Korean marines patrol on the South Korea-controlled island of Yeonpyeong near the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea on December 20, 2010. AFP

About eight hours of formal talks by the 15 nation council and private discussions, which brought in the North and South Korean ambassadors, ended without accord.


“We were not successful in bridging” differences between the parties, Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin told reporters.


He added that unofficial talks would continue, but Susan Rice, the US ambassador and Security Council president for December, said it was “safe to predict that the gaps that remain are unlikely to be bridged.”


She added that “the majority of council members made clear their view that it was important to condemn” the November 23 artillery attack and the sinking of a South Korean warship in March.


Rice called the incidents “unprovoked aggression” by North Korea on the South.


However China even rejected a version of Russia’s statement which did not mention North Korea or the Yeonpyeong name in a proposed paragraph on the November 23 attack, diplomats said.


Britain produced a rival draft statement which said the council “condemns the attack launched by the DPRK on the ROK on November 23.” The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the official name of the North and the Republic of Korea is the South.


Churkin said Russia demanded the meeting on Saturday because of its “grave concern” about tensions between North and South Korea, a region right on Russia’s doorstep.


The South has vowed to go ahead with a live firing drill near Yeonpyeong. The North has threatened to retaliate.


Russia had wanted a call of “maximum restraint” to be sent to the two Koreas and for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to send a special envoy to negotiate with the rival states.


Churkin said the idea of a UN envoy had received “strong support” in the talks.


“I hope that this idea can still be pursued because now we have a situation with very serious political tension and no game plan on the diplomatic side,” said Churkin.


Six nation talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons have come to a standstill “and there is no other diplomatic activity, so we believe that there must be an initiative and this initiative of the secretary general appointing an envoy might be something which will set a political process in track,” Churkin said.


The foreign ministers of Russia and China have called on South Korea not to stage its military drills and this was reaffirmed by Churkin.


“We know that it is better to refrain from doing this exercise at this time,” he said.


South Korea has US backing however and Rice countered that it had a legitimate right to stage the exercises.

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Source: SGGP

CNN: North Korea agrees to return of UN nuclear inspectors

In Uncategorized on December 20, 2010 at 6:27 am

SEOUL, Dec 20, 2010 (AFP) – North Korea has agreed with US troubleshooter Bill Richardson to permit the return of UN nuclear inspectors as part of a package of measures to ease tensions on the peninsula, CNN reported Monday.


CNN correspondent Wolf Blitzer, who is travelling with Richardson in Pyongyang, said the North Koreans had agreed to let inspectors from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency go back to its Yongbyon nuclear facility.

South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak (L) speaks during a meeting for a duties report on Ministry of Public Administration and Security at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on December 20, 2010. South Korea ordered civilians on five border islands to take shelter ahead of a live-fire exercise on December 20. AFP

They had also agreed to allow fuel rods for the enrichment of uranium to be shipped to an outside country, and to the creation of a military commission and hotline between the two Koreas and the United States, Blitzer said.

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Source: SGGP

Sunshine Policy failed to change North Korea: report

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2010 at 6:56 am

China stops blocking harsh North Korea report: U.N. envoys

In Uncategorized on November 9, 2010 at 6:21 am

North Korea heads for new food crisis: UN

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2010 at 7:55 am

North Korea is heading for a “chronic” new food crisis with drought and floods in different parts of the country exacerbated by cuts in international aid, the United Nations said.


UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern “that the acute humanitarian needs” of at least 3.5 million women and children in North Korea would worsen because of food shortages.


Even though North Korea is considered by many to be the world’s most isolated state, Ban said in a report to be discussed Friday that “the global economic crisis is further increasing the levels of hardship” adding to the “chronic food insecurity”.

File photo of North Korean workers in a field behind a barbed-wire fence which separates China and North Korea.

North Korea suffered famine like conditions in the 1990s in which several hundred thousand people died, according to aid groups. There are worries now as the North heads into its notoriously long and biting winter.


There has been a shortage of rainfall in some parts of the country but in August torrential downpours caused floods in the north, near the Chinese border.


The UN predicted that the cereal yield would be nearly a fifth lower than in 2009.


It said the country needs 3.5 million tons of cereals a year to feed its population and would have to import 1.1 million tons. In addition, UN agencies had raised only 20 percent of the 492 million dollars they estimated in 2009 would be needed for the North.


Ban quoted the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as saying that each year, some 40,000 children under five become “acutely malnourished” in North Korea, with 25,000 needing hospital treatment.


“The lack of maintenance of water and sanitation systems increases rates of diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections, which are leading causes of child death.


“In addition, one third of women of childbearing age suffer from anaemia, a nutrition deficiency that is also a major cause of maternal mortality.”


The poor diet across the country leads to widespread “infectious diseases, physical and mental development disorders, poor labour productivity and an increased risk of premature death,” said the grim report.


A survey carried out by the government with UN support showed that about one third of the population suffer from stunting — below normal body growth. In some regions the figure was 45 percent.


The report was intended to be on human rights in North Korea and the UN chief said there was an “urgent need” for Kim Jong-Il’s regime to take steps to provide the basic right to food, water, sanitation and health.


The UN reported little change in the “comprehensive restrictions” on freedom of speech, religion and opinion in the tightly policed state. “The government’s control over the flow of information is strict and pervasive.”


Ban highlighted the difficulty in getting reliable information on events in the North.


But he said: “There are a number of reports concerning public executions, the use of torture, forced labour and the ill-treatment of refugees or asylum-seekers repatriated from abroad.”


His report said North Korea’s UN delegation had acknowledged that public executions were carried out for “very brutal violent crimes.”


It added that the UN envoy on rights in North Korea had raised concerns with the North’s mission about conditions in six prisons and detention centers reportedly used for political prisoners.

With the North embroiled in a dispute with South Korea over the sinking of a warship and in a nuclear arms standoff with the international community, Ban said humanitarian aid should not be restricted “on the basis of political and security concerns.”

Source: SGGP

Vietnamese globefish to be exported to South Korea

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 3:55 am




Vietnamese globefish to be exported to South Korea


QĐND – Friday, October 08, 2010, 19:45 (GMT+7)

The Khanh Hoa Provincial People’s Committee has recently approved a pilot project on catching, processing and exporting globefish during the period of 2010-2011.


According to the report, demand for the Vietnamese globefish is high in South Korea, and that’s why the Government approved Khanh Hoa and Kien Giang’s pilot projects to catch, process and export globefish to South Korea.


The report also said that globefish previously accounted for around 3% of Khanh Hoa province’s annual aquatic catch with 2,000 tons each year.


Between 2007 and 2009, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Khanh Hoa Provincial People’s Committee instructed the Provincial Department of Aquaculture, in association with the Drug Testing Center under the Criminal Science Institute, to carry out a research project on extracting toxin in globefish for drug addiction treatment.


Source: TTO

Translated by Vu Hung

Source: QDND