Does Anyone From South Korea Know Or Heard About The Woman Called Chip Chan A Woman Claimed To Be Held Captive That Live Streams Her Life Inside Her Home What Is Going On There – Katharine H.S. Month Katharine H.S. Moon Former Scholar, Visiting Professor of Government – Harvard University, Professor Emeritus of Political Science – Wellesley College @KathyHSMoon
On January 9, negotiators in Seoul and Pyongyang began talks on easing tensions on the Korean peninsula and the possibility of improving inter-Korean relations. The main point of discussion is finding an acceptable way for North Korean athletes to join the global community at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
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But even before the dialogue began, the Korean speeches were associated with both very high and very low expectations.
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Some critics criticize the dialogue as nothing more than North Korea’s “booby trap” to gain approval from Seoul, while others hope the opening is a real olive branch that will pave the way for a reduction in military pressure and eventual denuclearization. of North Korea. Both are wrong. This opening may bring some good, but denuclearization itself is too advanced to be a fantasy. This week’s talks are baby steps, and the world should encourage the two Koreas to wet their toes and watch the heat rather than telling them how or where to swim.
Most importantly, Seoul has set its realistic expectations, and I would say that these should be lowered. Seoul should focus on the issues that drive the long-term debate – rather than a quick outcome that could raise expectations only to see the political opening quickly approach. Over time, the scope of the agenda may expand and deepen, but nuclear issues should remain off the table for a while until confidence-building measures can make progress and the threat from conventional weapons can subside. Seoul should also focus on the possibilities
It is clear that in Seoul, instant gratification – the successful staging of the Pyeongchang Games – is seen as the motivation and goal for dialogue with Pyongyang. But South Koreans should keep their ambitions modest to protect themselves from unnecessary trouble and to make cooperation with North Korea as easy as possible. Seoul, for example, wants Pyongyang to agree to perform together under a common flag during the opening ceremony (as the two have done in nine games since the 2000 Sydney Olympics). She also hopes the North will agree to field unified teams at select Olympic events. But this current situation is just an icebreaker to test the possibilities of stress teaching. Since the serious deterioration of inter-Korean relations in 2008 and the simultaneous termination of trilateral talks, cooperation has stalled on all fronts. In 2000, the two Koreas embraced the Sunshine Policy and Kim Jong-il and Kim Dae-jung officially launched nearly a decade of different cooperation strategies. Today, Kim Jong-un holds the threat of nuclear weapons over the heads of South Korean citizens. Participation in the Olympics as two different teams representing two different countries reflects reality and does not evoke unnecessary symbols and feelings of unity that cannot be achieved for now.
Many problems could arise during the Pyeongchang Games (February 9-26) even if North Korean players take part, and Pyongyang could criticize Seoul at any time and quickly leave or publicly condemn if things don’t go their way. For example, as much as the South Korean delegation would like to see a “national” Korean bond, South Korean democracy allows critics of the Pyongyang regime to voice and/or express anti-North Korean (or North Korean) sentiments. Keep the anti-DPRK posters in the world media so they remain where North Koreans can criticize. There is also the possibility that North Koreans will challenge and criticize the decisions of international referees, as the South Koreans did vehemently when their country’s figure skater Kim Dong-sung lost the gold medal to American Apollo Ohno at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City . . The integration of North and South in the practice of elite sport will be the best way to treat all participating athletes and respect their sport and avoid the politicization of many competitions that will last almost three weeks.
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If the North Koreans participate and the Winter Games conclude without interruption, Seoul will have to stick to the traditional themes that have been the “rice and kimchi” of inter-Korean relations for years: family reunions; regular communication channels; military-military meetings to prevent military mishaps, misunderstandings and adventurism; and human exchange in the areas of humanitarian aid, education and the arts. Fortunately, on January 3, Pyongyang restored the inter-Korean hotline (telephone), which the North had suspended since February 2016, following Seoul’s decision to close the Kaesong industrial complex. This is the main form of official communication that was used by the two warring countries twice a day (9am and 4pm). The challenge for both sides is to keep it going in good times and bad. Regular meetings between the two forces should also be key to sharing information, building trust and ensuring accountability for incidents in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
One of the most important items on Seoul’s agenda is reuniting families separated by the Korean War. Of the 130,409 people who have applied for reunification since the official process began in 1988, only about 60,000 are still alive today. Most of them are in their 70s and older. South Korean officials should emphasize to their North Korean counterparts that reunification of family members must be the first step if Pyongyang is serious about reunification, as Kim Jong Un and his predecessors have repeated for decades. The last summits were held in 2015 and have declined significantly under Kim Jong-un’s leadership compared to his father Kim Jong-il.
Both Koreas can focus their cooperation efforts on people-to-people exchanges as a confidence-building measure and as a way for Pyongyang’s leadership to promote improvements and development in the economic and cultural fields. In his recent New Year’s address, Kim Jong Un reiterated his wish that 2018 would be a year of improving the economy and “improving people’s living standards,” which was not clearly expressed in his 2017 speech. He placed emphasis on reforming light industry that can produce and supply various high-quality consumer goods, “improving agriculture” to increase the production of animal products, fruits and green vegetables, and promoting “scientific fisheries initiatives.” and revitalizing aquaculture.” He also announced the second phase of reforestation and improving roads and rivers – as he did last year – but this time there was a clear mandate for the nation to “do great things to achieve material prosperity to accomplish”.
South Korea certainly has the capabilities to provide technical assistance (not trade) alone or perhaps together with China, Japan, Australia, other Asian neighbors and relevant United Nations agencies. The idea is to keep the conversation going and test whether the Kim government is serious about the economic side of its key policies.
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Of course, technical assistance and education through people-to-people exchanges must address the complex web of sanctions imposed on North Korea. A legitimate question would be whether information sharing and human interaction primarily benefit the North Korean people or the government and its nuclear program. In September 2017, at the height of nuclear tensions on the peninsula, the Moon administration pledged $8 million in humanitarian aid to North Korea through United Nations programs. So the example of how to help the people of North Korea has already been given.
Finally, it is unreasonable to assume that South Korea will discuss the nuclear issue separately with its North Korean counterparts. The nuclear DPRK is a regional and global problem too large and complex for the two Koreas to handle alone. But the two Koreas could discuss reducing other weapons – including conventional weapons and chemical and biological weapons – as a measure to ensure stability and peace on the peninsula. Currently, North Korea has 2,500 to 5,000 tons of chemical weapons that can be used with conventional artillery and missiles, as well as biological weapons, including anthrax and smallpox.
If the two Koreas work hard, there is still much to be done before the nuclear issue comes up. Let’s hope they succeed next week and that Pyongyang agrees to show Pyeongchang as fair game. People gather and take photos in front of the installation “I.SEOUL.U”, the city’s new slogan, at Yeouido Park in Seoul, South Korea.
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