ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on April 17th, 2014 at at 7:41 am

Japanese Government Again Plans to Review Apology to Comfort Women

I really do not see what purpose reviewing the Kono Statement does politically for Prime Minister Abe other than to throw red meat at the Japanese right-wing who would vote for him regardless:

Kyodo News reports Tokyo plans to take final steps to verify the Kono statement this year during the regular session of the National Diet. The Kono statement acknowledges the Japanese military coerced Korean and other women into brothels during wartime and apologizes for doing so.

Quoting a Japanese government official, the daily said Tokyo is selecting legal, women’s rights and media experts to form a panel to verify the Kono statement. Kyodo said if the panel is formed it will begin working on verification soon.   [KBS Global]

You can read more at the link, but what is disappointing about this is that Prime Minister Abe told President Park that the Kono Statement was going to stand.

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Posted in: Japan

comments Comments (1)    - 181 views
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Avatar of GI KoreaBy on April 17th, 2014 at at 3:17 am

Korea Finder 14-14

Who knows who this lady is?

2014 Korea Finder Standings:

1. Comfortable Chairs – 4

2. Bobby Ray – 3

3. Setnaffa – 1

3. Bob – 1

3. Coryah – 1

3. 2ID Doc – 1

3. Leon Laporte – 1

3. Smokes – 1

The person with the most points at the end of the year of the weekly Korea Finder contest will win a book or DVD of their choice from Amazon.com. Also note that if you have a picture you think would make for a great Korea Finder feel free to send it in to me.

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Posted in: Korea Finder

comments Comments (12)    - 400 views
Avatar of GI KoreaBy on April 16th, 2014 at at 9:11 pm

Was the US and NATO Fighting the Wrong Enemy In Afghanistan?

Just about any servicemember in Afghanistan could of told you who the real enemy in the conflict is:

What if the United States has been waging the wrong war against the wrong enemy for the last 13 years in Afghanistan?

Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Carlotta Gall, who spent more than a decade covering Afghanistan since 2001, concludes just that in her new book, “The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014.”

Gall told “On the Radar” that Pakistan – not Afghanistan – has been the United States’ real enemy.

“Instead of fighting a very grim and tough war which was very high in casualties on Afghans, as well as NATO and American soldiers, the problem wasn’t in the Afghan villages,” Gall said. “The source of the problem, the radicalization, the sponsoring of the insurgency, was all happening in Pakistan.”

Gall said she first had the realization that Pakistan was fueling the insurgency in Afghanistan “very soon” after the Sept. 11 attacks.

“I went to Quetta and found Taliban resting up there and regrouping,” she said. “They had assistance, some of them talked about being forced and threatened and told to go in and fight the Americans … and when you’re there, on the ground, seeing every bombing, the suicide bombing had started, the insurgency that grew, and you investigate where it’s coming from, it kept leading back to Pakistan.”

Gall said that Pakistan’s leaders, and especially former President Pervez Musharraf, were “very clever” and tricked the United States into believing that Pakistan was an ally.

“I think the politicians, not all of them, but the diplomats … it took ages for them to understand that actually the persuasion wasn’t working; the engagement wasn’t bringing them on board; they were actually double dealing,” she said. “And now diplomats will tell you very plainly, ‘Yes, Musharraf was double dealing.’”  [ABC News-Yahoo]

You can read more at the link, but Gall also says that the Pakistani ISI was hiding Osama Bin Laden and that they are currently hiding Al-Qadea’s current leader Zawahiri as well.

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Posted in: Afghanistan

comments Comments (9)    - 332 views
Avatar of GI KoreaBy on April 16th, 2014 at at 4:25 pm

Tweet of the Day: Sergeant Kyle White To Receive Medal of Honor

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Posted in: US Military

comments Comments (0)    - 241 views
Avatar of GI KoreaBy on April 16th, 2014 at at 1:04 pm

Picture of the Day: CJ Hello Mobile Racing Models

Racing models pose for the camera during a media day event for “CJ Hello Mobile Super Race Championship” at the Jamsil Sports Complex in southern Seoul on April 14, 2014. (Yonhap)

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Posted in: Picture of the Day

comments Comments (15)    - 572 views
Avatar of GI KoreaBy on April 16th, 2014 at at 7:21 am

Hundreds Missing as Ferry Sinks Off South Korea’s Coast; Was North Korea Involved?

This has the makings of becoming one of the worst disasters in Korean history:

 

A multi-story ferry carrying 459 people, mostly high school students on an overnight trip to a tourist island, sank off South Korea’s southern coast Wednesday, leaving nearly 300 people missing despite a frantic, hours-long rescue by ships and helicopters. At least three people were confirmed dead and 55 injured.

The high number of people unaccounted for — likely trapped in the ship or floating in the ocean — raised fears that the death toll could rise drastically, making it one of South Korea’s biggest ferry disasters since 1993 when 292 people died.  [Associated Press]

Yonhap is reporting that a fourth body has been found and that currently 284 people are still missing.  The cause of the sinking is still unknown though survivors said it felt like the boat hit something, shook, and then quickly tipped over.

I have to say though that when I first saw this news the fact that a North Korean ship sank off the coast from Yeosu last week came to mind.  Was this retaliation for the belief the South sunk the ship?  However, when I later heard the ferry sunk near Jindo it made North Korean involvement in the tragedy much less likely.  First of all Jindo is a long way from North Korea.  Secondly the Southwest tip of the peninsula has many small islands and rocks that makes the possibility of the ferry hitting an uncharted submerged rock or reef more likely than a North Korean submarine or terrorist attack in my opinion.  However, considering the recent tensions and bombastic rhetoric and their past history with the sinking of the Cheonan, the Kim regime’s involvement has to always be considered when things like this happen.

The weather was reportedly good and this is a regular ferry service ride so it was initially surprising to me that whoever was at the controls would hit a submerged rock, but after the Costa Concordia disaster human error can never be ruled out.  This KBS report that the ship was off course from its regular ferry route if true, is further evidence that the ship likely hit a submerged rock or reef and human error is to blame.

I would think that once the ROK authorities get a chance to interview surviving crew members from the bridge of the ship and divers see what is below the surface where the ship sunk they should have a very good idea of what happened in the next 24 hours.  Condolences to the deceased and hopefully many more of the missing came be safely found.

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Posted in: Korea-General Topics

comments Comments (48)    - 1,512 views
Avatar of GI KoreaBy on April 16th, 2014 at at 3:30 am

KBS Documents Changes To Japanese Textbooks that Omit History of the Occupation of Korea

We have long heard about the Japanese textbooks that whitewash history in regards to the occupation of Korea and at least KBS actually went and did some reporting on what exactly has been omitted:

 

New Japanese elementary school textbooks have recently angered Koreans by making territorial claims about South Korea’s easternmost Dokdo islets. On top of the territorial provocations, four such textbooks are now confirmed to have been edited to remove parts about Japan’s forced annexation of Korea.
Our Bae Joo-yon wraps up KBS’s exclusive findings

Report: Four Japanese social studies textbooks authorized by the Japanese government earlier this month were edited to omit pieces of content about the damage that Japan caused through its colonial occupation of the Korean Peninsula.

A textbook by Mitsumura Tosho Publishing Company no longer contains a line about Korean opposition to the forced annexation. It now merely states Japan colonized the Korean Peninsula.

Another textbook, published by Kyoiku Shuppan, was edited to remove parts about Japan’s policy of indoctrinating Koreans through education to regard themselves as Japanese. The publisher also removed parts about Koreans’ resistance to colonial rule and their declaration of independence.   [KBS Global]

You can read more at the link, but it does not sound like there was a whole lot of history about the occupation of Korea in the textbook to remove in the first place.  For those that have not already I highly recommend reading this BBC report from last month from a Japanese reporter that highlights what history the Japanese education system leaves out.

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Posted in: Japan

comments Comments (1)    - 306 views
Avatar of GI KoreaBy on April 15th, 2014 at at 9:00 pm

Korean Employees To Vote On Whether To Go On Strike Against USFK

It seems these Korean workers would be better off protesting their own government who has been delaying the approval of the cost sharing agreement that pays their salary instead of protesting USFK:

Thousands of South Koreans who work for the U.S. military could go on strike later this month to protest what union officials describe as stagnant wages, unstable jobs and unfair working conditions.

U.S. Forces Korea countered that it has followed appropriate procedures and pointed to its recent decision to fully fund the salaries of its Korean employees — most of which are normally paid by South Korea — thus averting the furloughs of more than 12,000 Korean employees earlier this month.

Kim Song-yong, head of the USFK Korean Employees Union, said this week he doesn’t know how many employees might take part in a strike, which would be timed to coincide with President Barack Obama’s visit later this month. He wouldn’t speculate how long it would last.

“We will fight until our requirements are fully satisfied and until USFK complies with our requests,” he said.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

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Posted in: USFK

comments Comments (24)    - 563 views
Avatar of GI KoreaBy on April 15th, 2014 at at 4:08 pm

Tweet of the Day: Is Potential of North Korean Labor Force Being Overlooked?

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Posted in: North Korea

comments Comments (1)    - 279 views
Avatar of GI KoreaBy on April 15th, 2014 at at 1:02 pm

Picture of the Day: Korean-American Sues McDonald’s For $10 Million

Shown in this photo is a McDonald’s store in Queens, New York. The restaurant was sued on April 13, 2014, by a 62-year-old Korean-American living in New York, who demanded a compensation of US$10 million, claiming he was beaten by store employees. (Yonhap)

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Posted in: Picture of the Day

comments Comments (11)    - 607 views

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