Routledge on North Korea - Routledge is one of those commercially successful academic presses that academics love to hate. On the one hand, they publish a lot and some of it is tailo...
5 hours ago
More than 26%, or one in four, of the nation’s bridges are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. While some progress has been made in recent years to reduce the number of deficient and obsolete bridges in rural areas, the number in urban areas is rising. A $17 billion annual investment is needed to substantially improve current bridge conditions. Currently, only $10.5 billion is spent annually on the construction and maintenance of bridges.But it was as if all the discussion dissipated into the ether when the next news cycle came around. The difference between the USA and the ROK is even starker when one considers that such "shovel-ready" projects were on the agenda as part of President Barack Obama's stimulus package so roundly derided and ridiculed by his Republican opponents.
|Lucero "Lucy" Gonzalez holds up a photo of her sister, Maribel Ramos, as the family and authorities searched for the missing Army vet after her disappearance earlier this month. [source]|
Kwang "K.C." Joy, who is currently being held in lieu of $1 million bail, is due to be arraigned Tuesday for the murder of the 54-year-old's roommate of one and a half years, Maribel Manriquez Ramos.Ms Maribel's body was found dumped in Modjeska Canyon, one of the rugged mountain areas found in the less populated areas of OC jutting the mountains.
Questioned by police and the media in the days after the 36-year-old U.S. Army veteran and Cal State Fullerton criminology student went missing, Joy had described Ramos as his best friend and the only family he had.
Joy had said he last saw Ramos outside their Orange apartment on May 2. Her family reported her missing the following day. The woman's body was found May 16 near Santiago Canyon and Jackson Ranch roads in Modjeska Canyon.
After the county coroner confirmed the identification of the body, Joy was taken to the Orange Police Department, questioned and arrested.
Just over one year on from the implementation of the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement, American companies see plenty of opportunities for export growth in South Korea, U.S. Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez said.More than the trade deficit itself, I'd like to know how much trade has increased. While parity is a nice benchmark, if both sides are selling hella more stuff, I'm happy.
In Seoul as part of a trade mission with U.S. companies and for meetings with South Korean government officials, Mr. Sanchez said the benefits of the FTA are being seen but it would take a few more years for the full impact to come through.
“There’s been nearly a 50% increase in U.S. auto sales here (since the FTA started in March 2012), orange juice is up 160%. I could name probably another four or five sectors that are doing well,” he said in an interview.
“But I think over the long haul is when we can really do a true measure, over 3 to 5 years.”
U.S. exports to South Korea of items covered by the FTA rose 4.1% in the first 12 months after the deal took effect on March 15, but critics have pointed to a widening U.S. trade deficit with South Korea. Some industry groups, including auto makers, have complained about other barriers to full implementation of the agreement.
Mr. Sanchez said there was a mutual understanding with Seoul to work to resolve non-tariff barriers such as burdensome regulations.
|Behind Mr Hashimoto is Ruff the WWII-era Comfort Station mascot, reminding soldiers that "doggie style" is the most efficient way to keep the line moving because there are others waiting.|
A prominent Japanese politician has described as "necessary" the system by which women were forced to become prostitutes for World War II troops.Well, at least he's admitting that the sex slaves exist and were mobilized by Imperial Japan. Some right-wing politicians would simply deny they existed or call them whores who willingly took the work (because it's every fourteen-year-old's dream to leave home, live in squalid conditions near the front lines, and be forced to get fucked by dozens of men a day with a battle raging not far away).
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto said on Monday that the "comfort women" gave Japanese soldiers a chance "to rest".
On Tuesday, Japanese ministers tried to distance themselves from his remarks.
Some 200,000 women in territories occupied by Japan during WWII are estimated to have been forced to become sex slaves for troops.
Many of the women came from China and South Korea, but also from the Philippines, Indonesia and Taiwan.
Japan's treatment of its wartime role has been a frequent source of tension with its neighbours, and South Korea expressed "deep disappointment" at Mr Hashimoto's words.
"There is a worldwide recognition... that the issue of comfort women amounts to a war-time rape committed by Japan during its past imperial period in a serious breach of human rights," a South Korean foreign ministry spokesman told news agency AFP.
Okay, so maybe I shouldn't take regard as direct criticism of my views since I do not comment at The Marmot's Hole anymore (no, not in any way, shape, or form for many years now), but since I was early on the preeminent critic of The Stupogants™ (enough that Laura Ling's famous sister, Lisa Ling, contacted me directly about my criticisms) and there was an entire post at The Marmot's Hole about my views on the matter, I'm taking DLB's bogus comments personal, at least as they relate to me.
But, but…it is fascinating to compare how the MH commentariat has treated the Kenneth Bae incident with how it treated Laura Ling and Euna Lee not too long ago. The full-throated vituperation and, yes, barely disguised misogyny that surrounded the Ling and Lee drama is nowhere to be found in the latest Bae hostage taking.
Given Bae’s voluntarily — and repeatedly — entered North Korea whereas Ling and Lee got misled into inadvertently crossing the North Korea-China border, this difference of popular reaction to the two incidents is striking. Bae seems to be getting a huge pass, while Ling and Lee were thoroughly excoriated in the most personal of attacks.
|Dennis Rodman hugs Kim Jong-un, while trying to avoid his solid.|
|Two countries for old men.|
An NK News investigation shows that Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American currently being detained by the North Korean government, is a trained missionary who was using his China-based tour company as a platform to bring missionaries into North Korea. The news comes following a statement released Sunday by the Korea Central News Agency which said that Bae had "disguised his identity" upon entering North Korea.Those who recall my skewering of The Stupogants™Laura Ling and Euna Lee (and Mitch Koss), or Messiah Complex-afflicted Robert Park and his buddy Aijalon Gomes may be surprised that I'm far less critical and much more sympathetic to the plight of Kenneth Bae, who was recently sentenced to fifteen years of hard labor.
The NK News investigation shows that Bae was initially sent to China by the evangelical missionary organization “Youth With a Mission” (YWAM) in 2006. The organization is designed to help equip missionaries with the skills needed to convert people into Christians.
And there’s a reason for that association: U.S. conservatives have long followed a strategy of “starving the beast,” slashing taxes so as to deprive the government of the revenue it needs to pay for popular programs.Take heed. Austerity may be killing us, metaphorically and (in some cases) even literally.
The funny thing is that right now these same hard-line conservatives declare that we must not run deficits in times of economic crisis. Why? Because, they say, politicians won’t do the right thing and pay down the debt in good times. And who are these irresponsible politicians they’re talking about? Why, themselves.
To me, it sounds like a fiscal version of the classic definition of chutzpah — namely, killing your parents, then demanding sympathy because you’re an orphan. Here we have conservatives telling us that we must tighten our belts despite mass unemployment, because otherwise future conservatives will keep running deficits once times improve.
Put this way, of course, it sounds silly. But it isn’t; it’s tragic. The disastrous turn toward austerity has destroyed millions of jobs and ruined many lives. And it’s time for a U-turn.
Four people, including two civilians, were killed when North Korea launched bombs against Yŏnpyŏng-do, an island in the Yellow Sea, one of the isolated "Five Islands of the West Sea" that sit close to the North Korean mainland.
North Korea says it has sentenced a US citizen to 15 years of hard labour.It's a sure bet that he probably will not serve anywhere near that kind of sentence, and it's only a matter of figuring out what kind of concessions are made so that he might be released.
The announcement, from state news agency KCNA, said Pae Jun-ho, known in the US as Kenneth Bae, was tried on 30 April.
He was held last year after entering North Korea as a tourist. Pyongyang said he was accused of anti-government crimes.
The move comes amid high tensions between North Korea and the US, after Pyongyang's third nuclear test.
North Korean media said last week that Mr Pae had admitted charges of crimes against North Korea, including attempting to overthrow the government.
"The Supreme Court sentenced him to 15 years of compulsory labour for this crime," KCNA said.
Mr Pae, 44, was arrested in November as he entered the northeastern port city of Rason, a special economic zone near North Korea's border with China.
He is believed to be a tour operator of Korean descent. The Associated Press news agency also reports that he is described by friends as a devout Christian.
On the face of it, North Korea's decision to sentence a US citizen to 15 years' hard labour seems to be a direct challenge to Washington: another twist in the cycle of actions and rhetoric that have helped keep relations so tense over the past two months.
But Mr Pae is not the first American citizen to be arrested or tried in North Korea. Over the past few years, Pyongyang has detained two American journalists, a businessman, an English teacher and an activist.
Some were tried and sentenced to hard labour like Mr Pae. But all were released following negotiations - some of which involved unofficial visits by high-profile Americans like former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.
So, while it may seem like another irritant to relations with Washington, the announcement of Mr Pae's conviction might actually be an attempt to draw US negotiators - even unofficial ones - to Pyongyang.
That would give North Korea a domestic propaganda victory, and it might also pave the way for more broader, more official, talks on the wider issues.
At the moment, North Korea is being offered talks on American terms - which include a commitment to dismantle its nuclear weapons programme. This is one way the regime can get a high-profile visitor to Pyongyang without any conditions at all.
South Korean activists say Mr Pae may have been arrested for taking photos of starving children in North Korea.
"We call on the DPRK [North Korea] to release Kenneth Bae immediately on humanitarian grounds," US State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said on Monday.
Diplomats from Sweden, which represents the US in North Korea in the absence of diplomatic ties, had been providing counsel to Mr Pae, reports said. The US State Department was working with the Swedish embassy to confirm the report of the sentencing, AP reported.
A 2-year-old girl born without a windpipe now has a new one grown from her own stem cells, the youngest patient in the world to benefit from the experimental treatment.Kudos to the Catholic hospital that made this expensive operation affordable, as well as the amazing Italian doctor who also helped make it a possibility.
Hannah Warren has been unable to breathe, eat, drink or swallow on her own since she was born in South Korea in 2010. Until the operation at a central Illinois hospital, she had spent her entire life in a hospital in Seoul. Doctors there told her parents there was no hope and they expected her to die.
The stem cells came from Hannah's bone marrow, extracted with a special needle inserted into her hip bone. They were seeded in a lab onto a plastic scaffold, where it took less than a week for them to multiply and create a new windpipe.
About the size of a 3-inch tube of penne pasta, it was implanted April 9 in a nine-hour procedure.
Early signs indicate the windpipe is working, Hannah's doctors announced Tuesday, although she is still on a ventilator. They believe she will eventually be able to live at home and lead a normal life.
"We feel like she's reborn," said Hannah's father, Darryl Warren.
"They hope that she can do everything that a normal child can do but it's going to take time. This is a brand new road that all of us are on," he said in a telephone interview. "This is her only chance but she's got a fantastic one and an unbelievable one."
Warren choked up and his wife, Lee Young-mi, was teary-eyed at a hospital news conference Tuesday. Hannah did not attend because she is still recovering from the surgery. She developed an infection after the operation but now is acting like a healthy 2-year-old, her doctors said.
It’s looking ominous in the smartphone market with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics and LG both increasing market share in the first quarter of 2013, according to UK-based researchers Juniper. Taking Juniper’s research alongside data from IDC it looks as though Samsung now has almost double Apple‘s market share in smartphones.The report does concede that the iPhone 5 is still the single best-selling model of smartphone. But according to the report, Samsung's overall growth in market share is a bad sign for Apple, which must come up with something very cool next year in order to maintain its reputation as a master of innovation:
Juniper Research estimates a 30% year over year increase in smartphone shipments with the first quarter 2013 total reaching almost 200 million.
Juniper Research points out that “Apple need to innovate, with the next product release being critical in maintaining their position as innovation leaders. Apple will also need to ensure that they are attractive to emerging markets to retain their title as global brand leaders.”The Galaxy S4 is now being released, and there won't be an iPhone 5s or iPhone 6 until late summer at the earliest.
North Korea said on Saturday a Korean-American tourist, who has been held in prison by the reclusive state since late last year, will face trial for "committing crimes" against the North, a move that could further stoke tensions with the United States.Given North Korea's track record, it's reasonable to expect Pyongyang to milk concessions or a high-profile visit out of this, with such a visit perhaps being used to either squeeze concessions or provide a face-saving way out of the manufactured crisis that the DPRK has created.
Kenneth Bae, 44, was in a group of five tourists who visited the northeastern city of Rajin on a five-day trip last November and has been held by police since then.
KCNA, the North's official news agency, said Bae entered the North on November 3.
"In the process of investigation he admitted that he committed crimes aimed to topple the DPRK with hostility toward it," the KCNA report said, using the North's official title of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"His crimes were proved by evidence," it said, adding he would soon be taken to the Supreme Court "to face judgment".
Former U.N. ambassador Bill Richardson delivered a letter regarding Bae to officials during a trip to North Korea in January, although he was unable to meet Bae.
|When your strip has the word angry in it, don't be surprised when photographers and journalists keep asking you to make this face whenever you pose for a picture.|
It's "South Park" with Asian attitude — a primal scream, a blast of defiance.I might be bothered to watch this, at least once or twice to see if I like it. I've seen the strip a few times, and it seems funny, but when they say "it's 'South Park' with Asian attitude," I'm reminded of an admonition by Lisa Simpson that "anything that's the something of something isn't the anything of anything." (I won't even touch the idea of there being an "Asian attitude," other than "ha ha, look at all the fat White people.")
"It's not easy being a girl, stuck with mean parents, a dumb boyfriend and annoying friends," Lee says, by way of introducing her main character. "I love the freedom of being able to say just what you need to say."
The comic-strip heroine acts out where her creator never had the nerve. Lee tells of being raised by ultra-strict parents, the youngest of four daughters in a Korean American household who were constantly pushed to achieve and "be somebody."
"I had lots of humiliating experiences and never had the guts to speak my mind," she says, hugging her forearms as she speaks, her eyes locked onto her listener's.
Now in her late 30s, Lee is making up for lost time: Like Kim, she never seems at a loss for words, talking at a rapid clip, her dark hair bouncing on her shoulders.
|That's three-quarters of the Asians I've |
dated and about half of the Caucasians.
|This one, too.|