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BGN Eye Hospital

Koreabridge - Mon, 2018-07-09 06:20
Website:  https://www.facebook.com/eyehospitalinkorea/

BGN Eye Hospital - your comprehensive and specialized eye care provider in Busan!

BGN Eye Hospital is a part of BGN Eye Care Group, it is located in Seomyeon area ( Buam station, exit 2) .

BGN Eye Hospital is a part of BGN Eye Care Group, it is located in Seomyeon area ( Buam station exit 2). BGN Eye Hospital specializes in treatment of cataract, glaucoma, presbyopia, retinal diseases, children myopia, dry eye syndrome, comprehensive Eye Examinations as well as in in Laser Vision Correction (Lasik, Lasek) and ICL vision correction surgeries ( Aqua ICL/Toric ICL).

Why choose BGN Eye Hospital?

1) Our ophtalmologist have rich professional experience in performing operations for vision correction, cataract, retina and glaucoma treatment.

2) We offer our patients the most advanced, safe and innovative equipment for examination and surgeries.

3) We work with Global insurances, including Bupa and Cigna and provide direct billing service for our patients.

4) We provide one stop service and full patient support in English, Russian and Chinese languages. We will do our best to make your stay at the hospital as comfortable as possible.

5) We constantly have promotions and discounts for ou patients!

Curently we have promotion prices for Laser Vision Correction Surgeries ( Prime Lasek 1,000,000 won, All Laser Fit Lasek ( Fisrt Plus Lasek) 1,400,000 won, Custom Lasik 1,600,000 won) and special discounts for Comprehensive Cataract Examination!

Find out more by contacting us!

Direct: 010-3030-0327/051-933-85 ( English, Русский, 中文)

email: maria@bgnhospital.com

BGN Eye Hospital: Busan, Busan-jingu, Gaya-daero 729 ( Buam subway station, exit 2)

cigna bupa advertisement.jpg - 복사본 (2).jpg BGN Eye Hospital
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Korean Cosplay Convention (with Abby P) | 코스프레 체험

Koreabridge - Sat, 2018-07-07 17:25
Korean Cosplay Convention (with Abby P) | 코스프레 체험

I've wanted to try cosplaying since I was a teenager, but didn't have an opportunity. I wasn't a big fan of anime, but I did watch some, and I thought it'd be fun to visit a convention. Well this year in Korea I found out that there are several conventions going on, and one of them was a cosplay convention in Seoul. So I contacted my friend Abby P (another YouTuber) and we went together in cosplay as characters from the movie "Spirited Away."

Have you ever tried cosplay before? What are your experiences?

Abby P also made a video about our cosplay experience on her channel here: https://youtu.be/u4Y342EyAFc

The post Korean Cosplay Convention (with Abby P) | 코스프레 체험 appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

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North Korean vs South Korean Dialects

Koreabridge - Sat, 2018-06-30 14:55
North Korean vs South Korean Dialects

Have you ever wondered why North Korean news announcers seem to talk so differently than South Koreans?

Do you want to know how North Korean and South Korean dialects are different?

Ever since my last dialect video I made in 2016, I've wanted to tackle the topic of North Korean dialects. But it's just such a large topic, and it's difficult to find information besides vocabulary words and a plethora of North Korean TV dramas.

So over the past year or so I've been collecting North Korean language resources (textbooks, grammar explanations, vocabulary, phrases, intonation samples, and more) to compile a long list of differences and unique points about North Korean dialect to create a video. Finally this January I started putting those items together and shortening the list into what might be an easy-to-digest and watchable video... and here it is!

Let me know your feedback on this new video. I'd like to be able to make more dialect-related videos in the future as well.

The post North Korean vs South Korean Dialects appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

www.GoBillyKorean.com

 

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LTW: - S.Korea clashes against Germany in World Cup and in automotive quality battle

Koreabridge - Thu, 2018-06-28 23:09
LTW: - Korea clashes against Germany in World Cup and in auto quality South Koreans were exhilarating at 1:00am on June 28 when South Korean soccer team beat defending champion and world #1 Germany in World Cup match in Russia. It was the first time Asian country ever defeated Germany in World Cup history, and the first time Germany got eliminated in the World Cup preliminary league since 1938. Another news with South Korea over Germany came as Hyundai Genesis ranked highest in the recent influential J.D Power 2018 U.S. Initial Quality Survey(IQS) which measures the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles during the fist 90 days of ownership.The lower the score, the better. Its sister Kia took the 2nd with 72, followed by Hyundai with 74. Impressed with Korean Hyundai and Kia in top 3, Forbes magazine compared it "man biting dog." Premium German car maker Porsche ranked 4th with 79 while BMW and Mercedes-Benz found themselves at 11th and 15th, respectively. My German friends won't call me for a while..


Though Hyundai has become a major player with over 8 million vehicles a year, its start was meager. Hyundai's first model, Ford Cortina, went into production in Ulsan plant in Nov 1968, assembling Cortina components from Ford U.K. Its production was less than 6,000 a year. Many of Hyundai engineers who worked on Cortina in 1968 are still active in Korean auto industry. Imagine those engineers who built Model T with Henry Ford are still pounding table at operation reviews in Detroit suppliers.


Regards,H.S.
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Cycling the northern Han River

Koreabridge - Sun, 2018-06-24 12:07
Cycling the northern Han River

A friend asked about cycling from Seoul to Busan and although I haven’t done that, I’ve been to the starting point. The Bukhangang (northern Han River) cycling track is an incredibly scenic getaway east of the congested Gangnam/Jamsil area. It’s the first leg of the 700km Seoul-Busan route, but it’s also a perfectly good destination in itself, suitable for those of us who can only peddle for an hour before our butt hurts too much.

To get started, catch the Seoul metro to Paldang station (팔당역, K128 on the Gyeongui-Jungang line) in the east. Alternatively, if you’re coming from the south, you could take a bus to Hanam City / Misa-ri but be prepared for a nice long walk through the park and across the Paldang bridge (팔당대교).

At Paldang station, turn left when you come out and walk past some restaurants selling 콩국수 (soybean noodles). You’ll see a pretty large and professional-looking bike shop. Rates are shown in the photo, with the cheapest bikes at 3,000 won an hour. There are options for city bikes and mountain bikes with gears.

Once you’ve got your bike, come out of the store and turn left, heading east into the hills. The trail is pretty obvious and flat, following the Han River. Look out for raptors such as the White-tailed Sea Eagle or Steller’s Sea Eagle as they coast on the updrafts between the mountains before hunting fish in the river.

Click on the map above for a larger image. The top right-hand corner is a recreational sightseeing route. Note that the map is upside down (south is up) so the bike shop is at the right hand side and our route takes us past the pink numbers 1,2,3 and 5. The other two maps on the board are for hard-core cyclists who want to go to Busan.

The route offers plenty of photo opportunities as it runs past and onto an old railway track, featured in the drama Doctors with Park Shin-hye and Kim Rae-won. We took our time and got to the point where the railway crosses the river in about an hour (It’s about 10km). There, we stopped at a three-storey café for a coffee before heading back to the bike shop.

Cycling at Paldang bridge was much more fun than Yeoido (which is not too bad really). The bike shop is more professional than most you find in Seoul, the scenery is breathtaking and the coffee is good and cheap. Even if you don’t cycle, there is a great café spot near the train station that is worth a date.

Blogging on secretkorea.net is my way of sharing cool travel experiences with all of you. I do my best to personally verify everything posted here. However, prices and conditions may have changed since my last visit. Please double check with other sources such as official tourist hotlines to avoid disappointment. If you like this post, disagree, have questions or want to contribute additional information for other travelers, please comment below! =)

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After the Trump Show in Singapore, N Korea Gets Kicked Back to Moon Jae In

Koreabridge - Sat, 2018-06-23 05:29
After the Trump Show in Singapore, NK Gets Kicked Back to Moon Jae In



This is a local re-post of a Singapore response piece I wrote for the Lowy Institute a few days ago.

I’ll be honest and say that I still don’t really know what Trump achieved in Singapore. He’s running around the US and Fox claiming that he solved North Korea and and all that. But that’s not true. Just go read the Sentosa Declaration. It’s only 400 words and mostly aspirational. That’s not bad, but hardly worth presidential involvement.

In effect, what it really does is remove the Americans from the process and let Moon run this détente basically as he sees fit. Whether or not that is good thing depends on your North Korea politics, but the most important thing about Sentosa is that Trump got his spectacle and can now forget about North Korea and go back to Mueller and the Deep State and all that.

Moon now has checked the American box. He’s got an 80% approval rating. The left just cleaned up in the local elections last week, which were partially a validation of the outreach program. And the left is the largest bloc in parliament. So all the stars are aligned for a major left-progressive effort on North Korea. For three decades, progressives told us they could solve this if the right and the layers of bureaucracy and inertia were just out of the way. Now comes the test of that.

The text follows the jump:

 

 

The Trump-Kim summit last week was a nothingburger – not good or bad, just nothing new really at all. After months of hype, including grossly inflated talk of a CVID (complete, verifiable, irreversible disarmament) and a Nobel prize, US President Donald Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jeong Un returned very little. As was quickly pointed out on Twitter and in the cable news coverage, the Sentosa Declaration was disappointingly similar to previous statements. In fact, it was somewhat inferior.

In practice, going forward now, the fizzle in Singapore opens the door to South Korean President Moon Jae-In to run this year’s North Korea détente as he sees fit. Moon’s party also cleaned up in last week’s local elections in South Korea. Even the mayoralty of the city I live in, Busan, was won by the primary left-wing party, the Democratic Party. I believe this has never happened before. This was in part a validation of Moon’s outreach strategy.

The South Korean left is now in a strong position from which to pursue a vigorous détente. The Democrats are the largest bloc in the legislature. Moon is a liberal with an 80% approval rating. The Democrats just won elections in the middle of the détente season. And Trump has effectively withdrawn from the peace process.

Singapore was, therefore, a curious sort of win for engagers. As South Korea’s only ally, the US had to be involved in the peace process in some way. The US is the world’s sole superpower; it is deeply vested in northeast Asia. Around 300,000 Americans live in South Korea, and the US defense shield has been central to South Korean security for decades. So, Washington’s participation was inevitable.

But Trump is notoriously lazy and checked-out from policy detail. He is also impulsive, belligerent, and unpredictable. Last year it seemed like he might start a nuclear war. The US has also been generally more hawkish on North Korea than the South. So for engagers, Singapore takes care of a few necessary elements:

It ties Trump ever more tightly to a diplomatic track, making backsliding toward last year’s war threats harder. Trump’s media addiction is now sated. He got his big TV appearance; he got the global publicity he craves. He can now claim, as he already has on Twitter and in Trumpist-conservative media back home, to have taken care of the North Korean problem. He can now push it all onto Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and go back to attacking his domestic enemies, which interests him far more than the thorny Korean issues which would require real focus and energy to manage. But because the Sentosa Declaration has no hard substance to it, Moon is not locked into any framework or direction by it. It is the best of both worlds for Moon: Trump’s taste for substance-free publicity and disdain for detail both removes him from the process now, and lets Moon more or less do whatever he likes.

This is good or bad depending on your North Korea politics of course. The South Korean left has long complained that the US intervenes too much in Korean politics and that the two Koreas should be left to their own devices. Conservatives worry that without US hawkishness on North Korea, the South Korean left will offer a lot for very little. The South Korean left has long flirted with the idea of a federation of some kind. Conservatives have often opposed this, because they fear it will turn into semi-permanent subsidization of the North, and lead to curbs on freedoms in the South. It is unclear if Moon has enough political support to push something like a Greater Koryo Confederation, but if there was ever a time to try, this is it. The political winds are about as favorable as they are going to get for leftist, big-bang approach to a final status deal with North Korea.

The promise of the left for a generation regarding North Korea was that it represented a different, less confrontational approach than the usual suspects on the right. In this narrative, the old guard which held the South Korean presidency for decades, and the hawks who filled the national security bureaucracies in the US and South Korea for decades, had little to offer but more competition, threats of force, and the status quo. Those hawks dragged their feet out of deep distrust for North Korea. Now we have a chance to test the outreach argument. Trump has recessed himself. Moon has the political support for a major effort. He knows the issues as well as any liberal of his generation. This is it. Maybe he can pull it off. I am doubtful myself, but we wish him luck.

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University

@Robert_E_Kelly

 

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Singapore Summit: The Trump Show Goes to North Korea

Koreabridge - Fri, 2018-06-08 21:59
Singapore Summit: The Trump Show Goes to North Korea


 

This is a local re-post of an essay I wrote earlier this week for The New York Review of Books.

I haven’t blogged here in awhile, because I am so busy. Last weekend, I went to the Shangri-La Dialogue (reflections here). Today I am flying down to Singapore to provide analysis for BBC for the Trump-Kim summit. Two weeks after that, I am going to the Jeju Peace Forum. So sorry. Also, I am slowly gravitating toward Twitter more for my commentary. Please go there.

This NYRB essay focuses on the extraordinarily chaotic ‘process’ of Trump foreign policy-making applied to the North Korean case. The short version is that there is scarcely a process at all. Trump agreed to the North Korea summit 45 minutes after it was broadly suggested to him by the South Korean government. He has since done none preparation, and Bolton has all but abjured what NSA’s are supposed to do.

So now, we are basically going into this blind. It’s a Trumpian crap-shoot, and no one really knows the outcome will be, because no one knows what Trump will say, or worse what he will give up for his ‘win’ for the fall midterms. Call it this whole mess of reality TV affectations + incompetence + unprofessionalism the ‘Trump Show.

My guess, the summit will be a nothingburger. The strategic and ideological divisions between the two sides are too wide for such a tight timetable, and Trump is way too checked-out from the details of nuclear missiles to seriously bargain the issue. Even Trump is now saying it’s just a ‘get to know each other’ meeting, which is default win for the Norks, because the get the photo-ops. So wait, why are we even doing this now?

In short, we should have cancelled long before, but now it is too late. And Rodman, Gorka, and Hannity are coming too, just to make sure this whole thing is a gonzo Trump Show entertainment-not-reality joke. Whatever…

The full essay follows the jump:

 

 

The last few weeks in North Korea diplomacy have been tumultuous but curiously pointless, in our modern “Trumpian disruption” way. US President Donald Trump has for months flouted established patterns of engagement with North Korea, and he clearly relishes doing so. Cable TV is filled with pro-Trump pundits praising his marginalization of “so-called experts” on the North. The analyst community is apparently to be swept aside before Trump’s bold moves and wheeler-and-dealer bravado, which will bring North Korean supremo Kim Jong-un to the table.

But it is not at all clear that this turmoil has resulted in anything other than chaos, setting off a daily rollercoaster of changes, such as the South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s sudden suggestion that he, too, might participate in the summit. We are still waiting for a clear sign of triumph or improvement in America’s position in relation to North Korea: Pyongyang has offered nothing yet that cannot be easily reversed, while in South Korea, Trump’s antics have noticeably worsened US standing.

Trump’s bellicose 2017 rhetoric has scared up a huge dovish consensus for the liberal Moon to make concessions to the North—which is an ironic result, perhaps, for a hawkish Republican US administration to have achieved. Elected a year ago with just 41 percent of the vote, Moon’s approval rating is now above 80 percent, despite no serious domestic achievement. Trump has also regularly bullied South Korea—by, for example, calling Moon an appeaser, threatening to unilaterally withdraw US troops, and forcing an unnecessary and contentious trade-deal renegotiation.

The US president is now extraordinarily unpopular here, even as the South Korean government has taken to rank flattery to keep him at bay. It is an open secret in South Korea that Moon’s suggestion that Trump might win the Nobel Peace Prize was nothing but a gimmick to appeal to Trump’s vanity and keep him on a diplomatic track in the place of his threatened “fire and fury.” No one in South Korea actually believes it—and it is a mark of just how effectively Trump sets the US media agenda that the notion was seriously debated at home for several weeks.

Conversely, when the Trump administration decided to put the Singapore meeting back on track, it sent to Pyongyang, on May 28, precisely those sorts of experts—people like US ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Kim, and National Security Council Korean specialist Allison Hooker—who represent the supposedly stodgy status quo. After two months of his showboating on North Korea, when the president finally decided to commit to the meeting with Kim, he fell back on establishment policy wonks operating quietly on business trips. These officials now face a nearly insuperable burden of slapping together in just a few weeks a framework deal that has eluded US negotiators for years. A successful outcome in this venture is highly unlikely.

This return to backroom expertise suggests that the Trump-Kim summit process has, in the harsh glare of the global media, been overexposed. One might call it the “Trump Show”: a disquieting mix of ginned-up melodrama and neediness for attention. And this was apparent from the start, when Trump accepted the general suggestion from South Korean envoys to meet Kim. It is unclear if the envoys actually spoke for Kim himself. They may simply have encouraged Trump. But Trump, ever impulsive and disdainful of experts, agreed to it without even telling his own staff. He then, bizarrely, sent the South Korean envoys outside the White House in the middle of the night to make a statement that the US secretary of state should have made in a proper forum.

This mix of reality TV antics and Trumpian disruption has characterized the entire run-up to the summit, generating endless TV talking-points, but little actual movement on the technical issues. Indeed, Trump’s bragging about how he had forced the North Koreans to agree to talks and the speculation about a Nobel almost certainly worsened the negotiations. The North Koreans partially halted the summit process in mid-May because of hype from the White House that Pyongyang would completely denuclearize. Compare this chaotic approach to President Lyndon Johnson’s boisterous yet meticulous engineering of Civil Rights and Great Society legislation, spending hours on the phone with members of Congress, fighting for every inch of political advantage.

As so often occurs with Trump initiatives, the process became more important than the substance itself. Rather than debating the details of what complicated deal we might strike with North Korea—a cap on missiles in exchange for a relocation of US peninsular airpower to Japan, Guam, or Hawaii, for example, or cameras in North Korean facilities in return for targeted sanctions relief—the media focus has been on the frenzy of daily moves and counter-moves, such as Trump’s strange, “jilted lover” withdrawal letter of May 24. Trump cannot help but makes his policy initiatives about himself, and this was no different. Meanwhile, no one seemed to notice that Trump never made any programmatic statement about what US talks with North Korea hope to achieve beyond highly unlikely CVID (complete, verifiable, and irreversible disarmament).

It is unnerving that on something as momentous as North Korea’s nuclear program, the president has never spoken in any detail about what trade-offs the US might consider in order to demobilize those weapons. If the North Koreans reject CVID, as most analysts expect, would the US accept something less? If so, in exchange for what? This is the sort of mixed-deal package likely to emerge, and Trump has not publicly laid any groundwork for what compromises the US might accept. Instead of maximalist campaign-rally speeches and the Nobel hype, moving the negotiations to the expert staff level—and giving them more time—would help a great deal.

The necessary presidential framing is probably missing because, first, the president himself does not understand these issues and does not want to spend the time studying them (reportedly, he “doesn’t think he needs to” prepare for the Singapore summit); and second, since he appears unwilling to actually negotiate with the North at Singapore, there is no need, conveniently, to learn any details. With a penchant for threats and little interest in the giving-to-get of diplomacy, Trump appears to expect to dictate terms, as he has attempted to do in negotiations over Obamacare repeal, China, NAFTA, Iran, and elsewhere.

A sign of this belligerence in the North Korean case was the promotion by Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Adviser John Bolton of the “Libya model,” referring to the agreement with the former leader of Libya, Muammar Qaddafi, to give up its entire nuclear program upfront in exchange for vague future promises of security guarantees and economic assistance. This major blunder suggests that Bolton and Pence were deliberately undercutting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s outreach to Pyongyang, even attempting to sabotage the June summit.

Few in the analyst community think North Korea will accept Libyan-style CVID. The North Koreans spent forty years working on nuclear weapons. They have written them into their country’s constitution. The ballistic missile warheads give Pyongyang the power of direct nuclear deterrence over the US mainland, and that is a powerful shield against any US-led attempt at regime change in North Korea. It would be astonishing if the North Koreans were suddenly to surrender their arsenal. Even were they to agree to that, the counter-concessions they would demand would be enormous—such as the end of the US-South Korean alliance.

Notably, the Libya deal ended very badly for the Libyan elite, particularly for Qaddafi. The US provided neither the economic aid nor the security assurance. First, Washington dragged its feet on the benefits, much to the enragement of Libyan officials, who started claiming they had been cheated. Then, during the 2011 Arab Spring, the US violated the security guarantee by supporting the Libyan revolutionaries. Qaddafi met a grisly end when rebels hunted him down, captured, and killed him. No one misses Qaddafi, of course, but the US’s clear failure to uphold its end of the bargain damaged American credibility in dealing with other rogue states over nuclear weapons.

It speaks to its high-handedness and disdain for diplomacy that Team Trump even suggested this as a framework, for Pyongyang has often said that a Libyan outcome is exactly what it fears. The North Koreans have told US negotiators for years that if Qaddafi had held onto his nuclear program, he would likely still be alive. This is almost certainly true.

Worse, this storyline from the North Koreans about Qaddafi is so well-known among those who work on North Korea that is it hard to imagine Bolton and Pence did not know it. When they invoked the Libyan model, they almost certainly knew it would set off a harsh response—as it did, with Pyongyang calling Pence a “dummy” the next day. They also likely knew it might even bring down the summit, which it nearly did. North Korea’s mid-May semi-halt to the process directly followed the Libya references. Pence has been a notably hawkish voice on North Korea from the start of the Trump administration, and Bolton has repeatedly advocated a military strike against North Korea or all-out regime change.

Little of the above suggests that Trumpian disruption has improved American foreign policy outcomes. Indeed, Trump’s manic behavior nearly sank the summit three times—first, with his early May triumphalism, predicting that the North would denuclearize and hyping the Nobel; second, with his May 24 semi-withdrawal letter, which simultaneously threatened nuclear war again; and third, through his inability to control his subordinates’ provocations about the Libya model. Amid the media distractions, no one appears to be talking about the specifics of a possible deal: some mix of aid, sanctions relief, cameras or inspectors in North Korea facilities, a pullback of US conventional forces or airpower, a peace treaty, a North Korean missile cap, a stockpile inventory, and so on. In the event that Trump does strike a deal, the US public—told hyperbolically last year that a nuclear North Korea was an existential threat to America—will be wholly unprepared for such a volte-face.

From the repeal of Obamacare to trade with China, from his border wall to an infrastructure plan, Trump’s overexposure of his proposals by stimulating a media frenzy through his own shenanigans routinely undercuts his efforts. There probably is room for a US-North Korean deal—both sides seem to want the summit—but Trump’s propensity to turn every major policy initiative into personal theatrics may well undercut his Korea effort, too. Pyongyang may judge that it cannot trust someone so unstable and prone to change his mind.

Worse, the North Koreans may try the flattery route to obtain a deal. They, too, can see that Trump has been easily rolled by sycophancy from such diverse quarters as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Persian Gulf royals, and US CEOs. The North Koreans were always canny negotiators in past dealings; it should not surprise us at all if they have now identified Trump’s vanity as his weakness, and choose to cater to it, as did their fawning response to Trump’s May 24 letter. Are you ready for Ambassador Dennis Rodman to take up residence in Trump Tower Pyongyang?

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University

@Robert_E_Kelly

 

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Reality TV Diplomacy: Pageantry Trumps Tension as US-NK Summit Proceeds

Koreabridge - Tue, 2018-06-05 12:29
Reality TV Diplomacy: Pageantry Trumps Tension as US-NK Summit Proceed Listen to "Reality TV Diplomacy: Pageantry Trumps Tension as US-NK Summit Proceeds" on Spreaker.

On episode 75 of The Korea File podcast:

Former U.S. diplomat, speechwriter, and commentator on U.S. foreign policy in Asia Mintaro Oba joins host Andre Goulet to discuss this month’s on again off again US-North Korea meeting how the Moon administration’s heroic heavy lifting has kept the summit on track. Plus: a risk-free template for how to be a North Korea pundit. 

This conversation was recorded on June 1st, 2018.
 

Music on this episode is from the album 'The Best of Yi Moon-sae'.


    The Korea File
      http://www.spreaker.com/show/korea_moments

AttachmentSize xTKF ep75 Mintaro Oba (Mono).mp314.89 MB
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LTW: Sin-soo Choo and BTS shine in the U.S

Koreabridge - Fri, 2018-06-01 01:33
LTW: Sin-soo Choo and BTS shine in the U.S While Donald Trump is changing his mind on the meeting with Kim Jong-un as often as he makes trips to bathroom in diarrhea, two Korean celebrities have made histories in the U.S. Sin-Soo Choo, a Korean in Texas Rangers, hit a good-bye home run, his 176th home run in his MLB career, on May 27 in the 10th inning against Kansas City Royals, becoming the Asian with most home runs in MLB history since his debut in 2005 with Seattle Mariners. Matsui Hideki of Japan had held the title with 175 home runs until his retirement in 2012. Another Korean sensation was with boy band BTS as they earned the first No.1 album on Billboard 200 chart with 'Love Yourself:Tear', becoming the first K-pop album to lead the Billboard 200, and the first foreign language chart topper since 2006 when Il Divo topped the list with Ancora in the mixture f Spanish, Italian and French. 



Sin-Soo Choo and BTS are not the only Korean history makers in the U.S. Another great MLB achievement that no one had made before, and no one will ever repeat, was accomplished by Korean pitcher, Chanho Park of LA Dodgers, on Apr 23 in 1999. In the 3rd inning against St.Louis Cardinals, Chanho Park allowed two grand slams, to the same hitter , and all this in one inning. Bill Phillips of Pittsburgh Pirates gave two grand slams in one inning nearly a century ago in 1890, but it was with two different hitters. The Cardinals hitter that helped Chanho Park shine in MLB history was Fernando Tatis who is also listed with the most RBI in one inning in MLB history. Hard to believe? Just check it out below.

https://www.facebook.com/mlb/videos/10152971278367451/ 
Regards,H.S.
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Please Help! URGENT! Need BLOOD TYPE B+

Koreabridge - Tue, 2018-05-22 11:57

Hi,

I want to ask you for help!

The friend of mine PYAK IGOR. He was diagnosed with BLOOD CANCER.  And he is really in bad condition now.  Right now he is in Busan National University Hospital (Address: 179 Gudeok-ro, Amidong 1(il)-ga, Seo-gu, Busan, South Korea: orange line. TOSONG station)

Doctor said that he needs B+ TYPE OF BLOOD  a MALE DONOR.

Maybe if there is somebody who's having this type of blood can help my friend.

PLEASE  HELP US TO SAVE A FRIEND.

For anyone  who can help  and need more information please write in the comments.

Thank you in advance!

Please Help! URGENT! Need BLOOD TYPE B+
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Teachers Teaching Teachers Playlist

EdTechTalk - Sat, 2018-05-19 04:13

While things have gotten a bit quiet on the the EdTechTalk site, Teachers Teaching Teachers continues to have great conversations Wednesday nights at 8pm EST (global times). Below is a playlist of recent episodes.  
Tune in at: http://edtechtalk.com/ttt
 

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:Educational Technology and Education Conferences: (December 2018)

EdTechTalk - Fri, 2018-05-18 03:06

:Educational Technology and Education Conferences:

for June to December 2018, Edition #39

 

Prepared by Clayton R. Wright, crwr77 at gmail.com, May 12, 2018

 

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Which North/South Korean Scenario is most likely five years from now?

Koreabridge - Sun, 2018-05-13 14:27
North & South Korea have begun the process of Reunification Relations are closer than now, but the countries remain firmly divided Things basically stay the same Tensions will be heightened and/or military conflict has occurred Other Which North/South Korean Scenario is most likely five years from now?
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Things to Think about Before Having Surgery in Korea

Koreabridge - Mon, 2018-04-30 07:25
Things to Think about Before Having Surgery in Korea

 

A couple of months ago, I underwent surgery in Korea. Although I’m used to being a patient here, that was the first time I stayed in the hospital for what seemed like an eternity (a week, actually). Let me share my experience on being a foreign inpatient for those of you who may be contemplating on going under the knife in the land of the morning calm.

INFORM WORK  ABOUT THE SURGERY EARLY (IF POSSIBLE).If the surgery can wait, schedule it during vacation. In Korea, calling in sick for a day is like being guilty of a crime. What more if you’re going to miss work for days? If you’re going to undergo a medical procedure that may require you longer time to recover, you MUST ask for a leave a month ahead to give your company time to get someone to stand in for you. It’s not odd at all if your boss would ask you to look for a substitute, especially if you work as a teacher. I’ve done this a few times during my hospital visits. If you say you’re going to resume work after a week, you have to keep your word. It’s better to extend the time of recovery your doctor gave you and get enough rest than have to call your boss again and say that you’re not ready to go back to work. I remember that time when I suffered from severe backpain and had to call in sick, my wonjangnim was furious! She called me up to say I had to go to work no matter what. I was in the hospital, and my boss kept berating me on the phone. She hung up on me as I was explaining. The next day, my condition got worse that I couldn’t even stand up. I had to call her again to say that I couldn’t go to work, but she wouldn’t listen even when I challenged her to call the hospital. I quit that hagwon before deciding to have surgery. My oncologist said that I could return to work a week after the operation, but I wasn’t sure if I would be physically and mentally ready after just a few days, so I took a month-long leave from the hagwon. In the school, however, I resumed work after two weeks, because I didn’t inform them about the surgery and I had English Camp to facilitate.HAVING SOMEONE ASSIST YOU IS A MUST.The initial plan was to have my mom fly to Korea, so she could care for me, but my husband was able to ask for a leave, so he was my caregiver. Lately, I’ve seen a number of Korean inpatients who have no family member or a friend attending to them. Korea is a busy country with busy working people who barely have time to breath, so sometimes family members will just visit and leave the patient under the care of nurses. When my father-in-law had an operation, no one stayed with him in the hospital. (Everyone in the family works fulltime.) We only visited him and brought him everything he needed. Sometimes my mother-in-law would cook him dinner or bring his favorite banchan (side dishes) and stay with him for hours, but she never slept at the hospital room with him. When my husband underwent surgery, I insisted that I stay with him overnight, but he declined. He said sleeping in the hospital would be too uncomfortable for me, because he won’t be the only patient in the room. Most inpatients here stay in the wards, because Korea’s National Health Insurance does not cover upgrades like having a private room. I was willing to pay for my own room. (I have a private insurance and I really value my comfort.) Unfortunately, there was neither a private nor a semiprivate room available, so I had to stay in the ward with six other patients. I was more anxious of being in the ward than the surgery itself, because I thought I wouldn’t have much privacy, but it wasn’t so bad. The curtain around my bed was huge enough to cover my place and the room wasn’t packed to the gills. We were four patients in the room. Other patients arrived later. My bed was near the bathroom, so I didn’t have to walk far every time I had to use the toilet. The only issue I had was the noise. Sometimes I would be awakened by one of the patients whining. One of the attending family members coughed and spit incessantly in the middle of the night. (He seemed more ill than any of the patients in the room.) The girl next to me went through the same surgery that I had, and she was miserable when she woke up. She cried a lot during her first day post-op. I knew how painful the first couple of hours are when the medicine wears off, and you have to fight off your sleepiness, because you’re instructed to stay awake. I asked my husband to get her a stuffed toy, and I gave it to her. I told her the pain would soon go away. Before I left the hospital, she gave me a thank-you letter and a box of macarons.There was also the janitress, an ajumma (middle-aged woman), who cursed every time she was cleaning the bathroom. One day, she threw a fit because she had to unclog the toilet and clean the flooded bathroom. (All the patients in that room had to take laxatives before surgery, so you can just imagine the toilet being a fecal matter war zone!) To everyone’s astonishment, the ajumma kicked one of the unused IV stands left near the bathroom, and it landed right in my bed. I swear I would’ve lost it if that IV stand hit me! No one reasoned with her. I wish I did. (Anywhere you go, beware of angry ajummas… even in places like the hospital where people should have more compassion.)If you can speak fluent Korean, you will be all right without a caregiver as there are many friendly and kind nurses who will attend to you, but if you can scarcely speak the language, I suggest you have a friend who can speak Korean help you out. Maybe your friend can stay with you until you wake up from the surgery. Before you have the procedure, you’re going to be asked a series of questions (about your medical background) and sign an agreement and/or consent. My level of Korean is intermediate, but there were still some things that were not clear to me when the nurses were explaining preoperative procedures. I asked if they could give me an English-translated copy of the paper they gave me before I was admitted to the hospital, but they said they have it only in Korean. It came as a surprise to me, because the hospital where I was admitted is one of the biggest and most prominent hospitals in Seoul, and it even has an International Healthcare Center, but even the foreigners’ desk could not provide me with an English-translated copy. All of the papers they handed me and the waivers I signed were in Korean. I had to rely on my little knowledge of the language and my Korean husband’s help. Most doctors and nurses will try to speak to you in English if you tell them that you don’t understand Korean. My Korean is good enough to talk to the nurses, but my husband urged me to speak in English to avoid misunderstanding.If you don’t have a Korean friend or someone who can speak Korean well to assist you, don’t fret. Most big hospitals in Korea have International Healthcare Centers. In Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH), for instance, you can ask for an English-speaking volunteer to guide you. ASK QUESTIONS.Normally, doctors in Korea don’t spend a lot of time explaining to their patients everything they need to know about their surgery. Doctors here are not used to being bombarded with questions. Some may even find it offensive. You are, however, their patient, and it’s your right to feel confident about the surgery they’re going to perform on you, so even when you notice your doctor fidgeting or scowling, ask, ask, ask. I suggest you make a list of things you’d like to ask your doctor prior to your procedure and make the talking concise.Also, I made it a habit to ask the nurses what medicine they were giving me or injecting into my IV. Some of them would just hand you medicine without informing you what it’s for.DEAL WITH LACK OF PRIVACY.You may find it awkward to have another patient in the room waiting for his turn as your doctor is discussing your diagnosis or treatment plan with you, but believe me, that patient doesn’t give a damn. Korean hospitals don’t have the same privacy that we enjoy in our home country, something we have to get used to. I recall one time when the nurse had to empty my bladder after surgery. There was another patient in the room who was going to be next, and only a thin cubicle curtain separated us from each other. The patient was a woman, so I didn’t mind it that much. Besides, I had similar experiences in other hospitals. I’ve gotten used to this culture somehow.When I was wheeled into the waiting room, I was stunned to see other patients, both men and women, who were lined up in stretchers, prepped for surgery. My husband was allowed to stay with me while I was in the waiting room. He was the only family member there.Being alone in a foreign country when you are sick can be daunting, especially when you have to undergo a serious medical procedure. I’m fortunate enough to have a caring husband who never left my side, but if you have to face the surgery alone, you don’t have to worry. Korea offers excellent medical care despite some peculiarities in its hospital culture. You’ll be in good hands. You’re going to be all right. I will never forget the kindness shown to me by the nurses and how well they took care of me even when I had my caregiver. After the surgery, I woke up in the recovery room and I felt a gentle hand wiping the tears from my face. I thought it was my husband, but I realized later on that it was a nurse. I was crying not because of pain, but because I lost something important to me, a part of me, after the procedure, and that nurse stayed by my side to try to comfort me.

A couple of months ago, I underwent surgery in Korea. Although I’m used to being a patient here, that was the first time I stayed in the hospital for what seemed like an eternity (a week, actually). Let me share my experience on being a foreign inpatient for those of you who may be contemplating on going under the knife in the land of the morning calm.

INFORM WORK  ABOUT THE SURGERY EARLY (IF POSSIBLE).If the surgery can wait, schedule it during vacation. In Korea, calling in sick for a day is like being guilty of a crime. What more if you’re going to miss work for days? If you’re going to undergo a medical procedure that may require you longer time to recover, you MUST ask for a leave a month ahead to give your company time to get someone to stand in for you. It’s not odd at all if your boss would ask you to look for a substitute, especially if you work as a teacher. I’ve done this a few times during my hospital visits. If you say you’re going to resume work after a week, you have to keep your word. It’s better to extend the time of recovery your doctor gave you and get enough rest than have to call your boss again and say that you’re not ready to go back to work. I remember that time when I suffered from severe backpain and had to call in sick, my wonjangnim was furious! She called me up to say I had to go to work no matter what. I was in the hospital, and my boss kept berating me on the phone. She hung up on me as I was explaining. The next day, my condition got worse that I couldn’t even stand up. I had to call her again to say that I couldn’t go to work, but she wouldn’t listen even when I challenged her to call the hospital. I quit that hagwon before deciding to have surgery. My oncologist said that I could return to work a week after the operation, but I wasn’t sure if I would be physically and mentally ready after just a few days, so I took a month-long leave from the hagwon. In the school, however, I resumed work after two weeks, because I didn’t inform them about the surgery and I had English Camp to facilitate.HAVING SOMEONE ASSIST YOU IS A MUST.The initial plan was to have my mom fly to Korea, so she could care for me, but my husband was able to ask for a leave, so he was my caregiver. Lately, I’ve seen a number of Korean inpatients who have no family member or a friend attending to them. Korea is a busy country with busy working people who barely have time to breath, so sometimes family members will just visit and leave the patient under the care of nurses. When my father-in-law had an operation, no one stayed with him in the hospital. (Everyone in the family works fulltime.) We only visited him and brought him everything he needed. Sometimes my mother-in-law would cook him dinner or bring his favorite banchan (side dishes) and stay with him for hours, but she never slept at the hospital room with him. When my husband underwent surgery, I insisted that I stay with him overnight, but he declined. He said sleeping in the hospital would be too uncomfortable for me, because he won’t be the only patient in the room. Most inpatients here stay in the wards, because Korea’s National Health Insurance does not cover upgrades like having a private room. I was willing to pay for my own room. (I have a private insurance and I really value my comfort.) Unfortunately, there was neither a private nor a semiprivate room available, so I had to stay in the ward with six other patients. I was more anxious of being in the ward than the surgery itself, because I thought I wouldn’t have much privacy, but it wasn’t so bad. The curtain around my bed was huge enough to cover my place and the room wasn’t packed to the gills. We were four patients in the room. Other patients arrived later. My bed was near the bathroom, so I didn’t have to walk far every time I had to use the toilet. The only issue I had was the noise. Sometimes I would be awakened by one of the patients whining. One of the attending family members coughed and spit incessantly in the middle of the night. (He seemed more ill than any of the patients in the room.) The girl next to me went through the same surgery that I had, and she was miserable when she woke up. She cried a lot during her first day post-op. I knew how painful the first couple of hours are when the medicine wears off, and you have to fight off your sleepiness, because you’re instructed to stay awake. I asked my husband to get her a stuffed toy, and I gave it to her. I told her the pain would soon go away. Before I left the hospital, she gave me a thank-you letter and a box of macarons.There was also the janitress, an ajumma (middle-aged woman), who cursed every time she was cleaning the bathroom. One day, she threw a fit because she had to unclog the toilet and clean the flooded bathroom. (All the patients in that room had to take laxatives before surgery, so you can just imagine the toilet being a fecal matter war zone!) To everyone’s astonishment, the ajumma kicked one of the unused IV stands left near the bathroom, and it landed right in my bed. I swear I would’ve lost it if that IV stand hit me! No one reasoned with her. I wish I did. (Anywhere you go, beware of angry ajummas… even in places like the hospital where people should have more compassion.)If you can speak fluent Korean, you will be all right without a caregiver as there are many friendly and kind nurses who will attend to you, but if you can scarcely speak the language, I suggest you have a friend who can speak Korean help you out. Maybe your friend can stay with you until you wake up from the surgery. Before you have the procedure, you’re going to be asked a series of questions (about your medical background) and sign an agreement and/or consent. My level of Korean is intermediate, but there were still some things that were not clear to me when the nurses were explaining preoperative procedures. I asked if they could give me an English-translated copy of the paper they gave me before I was admitted to the hospital, but they said they have it only in Korean. It came as a surprise to me, because the hospital where I was admitted is one of the biggest and most prominent hospitals in Seoul, and it even has an International Healthcare Center, but even the foreigners’ desk could not provide me with an English-translated copy. All of the papers they handed me and the waivers I signed were in Korean. I had to rely on my little knowledge of the language and my Korean husband’s help. Most doctors and nurses will try to speak to you in English if you tell them that you don’t understand Korean. My Korean is good enough to talk to the nurses, but my husband urged me to speak in English to avoid misunderstanding.If you don’t have a Korean friend or someone who can speak Korean well to assist you, don’t fret. Most big hospitals in Korea have International Healthcare Centers. In Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH), for instance, you can ask for an English-speaking volunteer to guide you. ASK QUESTIONS.Normally, doctors in Korea don’t spend a lot of time explaining to their patients everything they need to know about their surgery. Doctors here are not used to being bombarded with questions. Some may even find it offensive. You are, however, their patient, and it’s your right to feel confident about the surgery they’re going to perform on you, so even when you notice your doctor fidgeting or scowling, ask, ask, ask. I suggest you make a list of things you’d like to ask your doctor prior to your procedure and make the talking concise.Also, I made it a habit to ask the nurses what medicine they were giving me or injecting into my IV. Some of them would just hand you medicine without informing you what it’s for.DEAL WITH LACK OF PRIVACY.You may find it awkward to have another patient in the room waiting for his turn as your doctor is discussing your diagnosis or treatment plan with you, but believe me, that patient doesn’t give a damn. Korean hospitals don’t have the same privacy that we enjoy in our home country, something we have to get used to. I recall one time when the nurse had to empty my bladder after surgery. There was another patient in the room who was going to be next, and only a thin cubicle curtain separated us from each other. The patient was a woman, so I didn’t mind it that much. Besides, I had similar experiences in other hospitals. I’ve gotten used to this culture somehow.When I was wheeled into the waiting room, I was stunned to see other patients, both men and women, who were lined up in stretchers, prepped for surgery. My husband was allowed to stay with me while I was in the waiting room. He was the only family member there.Being alone in a foreign country when you are sick can be daunting, especially when you have to undergo a serious medical procedure. I’m fortunate enough to have a caring husband who never left my side, but if you have to face the surgery alone, you don’t have to worry. Korea offers excellent medical care despite some peculiarities in its hospital culture. You’ll be in good hands. You’re going to be all right. I will never forget the kindness shown to me by the nurses and how well they took care of me even when I had my caregiver. After the surgery, I woke up in the recovery room and I felt a gentle hand wiping the tears from my face. I thought it was my husband, but I realized later on that it was a nurse. I was crying not because of pain, but because I lost something important to me, a part of me, after the procedure, and that nurse stayed by my side to try to comfort me.

From Korea with Love
Chrissantosra.wordpress.com


 

 

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Cheonjuam Hermitage – 천주암 (Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do)

Koreabridge - Sun, 2018-04-29 02:15
Cheonjuam Hermitage – 천주암 (Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do)

The main hall at Cheonjuam Hermitage in preparation for Buddha’s birthday.

Hello Again Everyone!!

The compact Cheonjuam Hermitage is located in northern Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do. And it’s beautifully situated on the eastern slopes of Mt. Cheonjusan, which stands an impressive 639.5 metres in height.

Follow the plethora of mountain hikers as you make your way towards Cheonjuam Hermitage. The first thing to greet you is the stone front façade to the hermitage. Before entering the hermitage, turn around to get a beautiful view of northern Changwon down below.

To the right, follow the pathway up towards the lower courtyard. Situated in the lower courtyard is a two story building that acts as the monks’ dorms at Cheonjuam Hermitage. To the left of the monks’ dorms, and overhanging from the upper courtyard, is the hermitage’s bell pavilion. It’s rather surprising that a hermitage so small in size would have such a large bell; but it does!

Having climbed the stairs either to the right or left of the bell pavilion, you’ll see the main hall to your right. The main hall is surrounded around the exterior by beautiful blue hued Shimu-do, Ox-Herding, murals. Stepping inside the main hall, you’ll notice a main altar comprised of three seated statues. Sitting in the centre is the image of Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). This statue is joined to the left by a green haired Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) and a crowned Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) to the right. And hanging over top of these three statues is a large red datjib. To the right of the main altar is a mural dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars). And to the left is the temple’s guardian mural.

The only other shrine hall that visitors can explore at Cheonjuam Hermitage is the newly constructed Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall to the right rear of the main hall. Both the Chilseong and Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) murals are rather typical in composition; it’s the Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) mural that stands out a bit with a dongja offering Sanshin an assortment of fruits including grapes and a watermelon. Also worth having a look is the fiercely painted tiger on the left exterior wall of the Samseong-gak Hall.

HOW TO GET THERE: You can get to Cheonjuam Hermitage from the Changwon Intercity Bus Terminal by taxi. The taxi ride should last about 10 minutes and cost 6,000 won. And after visiting the hermitage, there’s plenty of mountain hiking to enjoy.

OVERALL RATING: 4/10. During Buddha’s birthday, when the paper lanterns are hanging in the upper hermitage courtyard, Cheonjuam Hermitage is especially beautiful during these mid-spring months. Added to this aesthetic beauty is the large hermitage bell, as well as the Ox-Herding murals adorning the main hall and the Sanshin and tiger murals housed in and around the Samseong-gak Hall.

The front facade as you make your way up to the hermitage grounds.

The view from Cheonjuam Hermitage towards northern Changwon.

The entry to the hermitage grounds with the monks’ dorms to the right.

The bell pavilion at Cheonjuam Hermitage.

A large bell for such a small hermitage.

The main altar inside the main hall with Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) in the centre.

The amazing datjib canopy above the main altar.

The guardian mural to the left of the main altar.

And to the right is this mural dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars).

One of the Shimu-do murals that adorns the exterior walls of the main hall at Cheonjuam Hermitage.

The beautiful scenery that surrounds the main hall.

The Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall to the rear of the main hall.

A closer look at the Samseong-gak Hall.

The Sanshin mural housed inside the shaman shrine hall.

A decorative tiger that adorns the left exterior wall of the Samseong-gak Hall.

The view from the Samseong-gak Hall over the monks’ dorms at Cheonjuam Hermitage.

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LTW: The Summit

Koreabridge - Fri, 2018-04-27 15:58
LTW: The Summit


As you have probably seen live on CNN on Apr 27, Kim Jong-un became the first North Korean leader to cross DMZ for a meeting in S.Korea since Korea got divided right after liberation from Japan in 1945. In a joint Panmunjom Declaration after a big bear hug accompanied by their spouses, Kim Jong-un and SK president Moon Jae-in pledged to make nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, agreed to officially end the Korean War by the end this year, promised to hold another summit meeting in Pyeongyang this fall, and vowed to halt hostile acts along the DMZ, such as loudspeaker propaganda broadcasting. While most Koreans are excited about the dramatic turnaround from just a few months ago when Kim and Trump threw mud at each other over the size of their nuclear buttons, some critics caution that the Panmunjom Declaration is not much different from the two previous summit meetings in Pyongyang between Kim Jong-il and Kim Dae-jung in 2000 and with Roh Mu-hyun in 2007. The critics argue Kim Jong-un would be very reluctant by instinct to throw away for nothing the very thing that made him get all the attention from the rest of the world including the mighty U.S.


The Moon-Kim summit served only an appetizer as there were no details over how and when the denuclearization can be completed. The main menu will be coming when Trump sits on the table with Kim Jong-un in 3-4 weeks for CVID of nuclear program. My two cents for Trump and Moon for their Nobel. Trump better understand Kim Jong-un has Hitler's DNA in his family blood . Kim's grandpa started Korean War in 1950, much like Hitler did WWII, Kim's father blew up Korean Air flight in 1987, killing hundreds of innocent passengers, much like Hitler's Auschwitz, and Kim Jong-un himself terminated his own cronies, brother and uncle, much like Hitler did away with his Nazi friend Ernst Rohm in Nacht der langen Messer in 1934. Two previous S.Korean presidents got duped by Kim Jong-un's father in the past. President Moon better keep in mind, "If deceived the first time, it can be a mistake. If cheated the 2nd time, it is because you are a fool. If third time, you are an accomplice." Below is what Moon's barber will make Moon should he become an accomplice.
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Vance Stevens' Contribution to Earthcast 2017 (from Oman)

Earthbridges.net - Tue, 2018-04-17 21:15

Vance Stevens' contributions for Earth Day from Musandam, Oman.

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Earthcast 2017

Earthbridges.net - Tue, 2018-04-17 15:37

Earthcast 2017

#1 - Rye, NH students - Blue Class

#2 - Rye, NH students - Green Class

#3 - Rye, NH students - Yellow Class

read more

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Can Moon Sell a Deal with North Korea to the Hawks, in the US and SK?

Koreabridge - Fri, 2018-04-13 22:56
Can S Korean President Moon Sell a Deal with North Korea to the Hawks

This is a local re-post of an op-ed I wrote earlier this month for the Lowy Institute. Basically, I am wondering if Moon can get a deal with North Korea by South Korea’s  conservatives, especially in the press. I am skeptical.

It is worth noting in this regard that Moon and the Blue House have said almost nothing publicly about the talks with Kim Jong Un, specifically what the agenda might be or what proposals POTROK might make. Does anyone else find that vaguely alarming? Given all the big talk about settling the big issues of Korean, shouldn’t POTROK be floating some ideas out there for the public and analyst community to chew over? And Moon talked so much about improved transparency in government as a candidate.

It is worth remembering that when SK President Park Geun Hye negotiated the comfort women deal in a blackhole like this, she faced punishing public criticism when the deal was finally released. Moon will face the same backlash if he gives away a lot with little to no public input or warning. This is all very curious. I wish we knew a lot more about what Moon and Trump are considering offering up – USFK, the alliance itself, aid, sanctions relief, recognition? Everyone is guessing, because these two democratic governments aren’t telling anyone anything. Grr.

So below the jump are some ideas on how to get a deal passed Seoul conservatives who are increasingly suspicious of this whole thing.

 

 

Later this month, South Korean President Moon Jae-In will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. This is the third inter-Korean summit since the days of the Sunshine Policy – an approach of opening and dialogue toward North Korea from 1998 to 2008. This effort earned a Nobel Peace Prize, but previous liberal governments in South Korea struggled to show real successes. There were widespread complaints, from the right especially, that the Sunshine Policy was all South Korean concessions in exchange simply for a provocation halt. All North Korea gave up was its willingness to attack South Korea, and in exchange it received somewhere around three to four billion US dollars over a decade.

Overcoming this conservative skepticism at home will be Moon’s biggest hurdle. Moon won with only 41% of the vote. As a minoritarian president, whatever deal he brings home will be dissected in the conservative press, and there will likely be much analogizing of him to Neville Chamberlain and ‘peace in our time.’ Moon has not floated any proposals or talking points unfortunately, so we can only guess what he might focus on or give away, but here are some suggestions to slip this by the hawks:

1. Do not get derailed by all the North Korean efforts to change the subject away from its nuclear and missile programs.

Perhaps the heart of the skepticism from analysts everywhere about these summits is that North Korea would ever give up its nuclear program despite forty years of effort to build these weapons and the obvious deterrent utility – no American-led regime change is possible now – of keeping them. It is easy to predict that Kim will seek to discuss anything and everything but the nuclear missile program. There will be lots of suggestions for joint projects like sports teams at international games, economic cooperation, rail through North Korea, training of North Korean technical staff, family reunions, and so on. And lots and lots of nationalism with the subtle dig that the Americans stand between the two Koreas. Moon must nevertheless hook any movement on these pleasantries to some kind of controls on the nuclear missile program.

2. If the North Koreans will not discuss denuclearization, try nuclear safety.

I have floated this idea for the last month or so because of the likelihood that the North will balk on denuclearization and possibly walk out. Our goal, however unlikely, is CVID: complete, verifiable, irreversible disarmament. The North Koreans will likely not move on that much if at all. Or they will ask for a concession so outrageous – the end of the US-South Korean alliance, e.g. – that Moon will have no choice but to say no. (Moon himself might be open to such a swap, as Lowy’s own Sam Roggeveen has floated too, but I doubt 41% Moon could get that past the right back home.) Indeed, John Bolton may be hoping for exactly this outcome: Moon demands CVID; the North Koreans laugh and walk out; and the Americans have their casus belli.

An alternative that keeps the discussion in the nuclear space, and avoids the subject-changing problem I mentioned above, is nuclear and missile safety. North Korea, besides being a horrible orwellian tyranny, is also a grossly mismanaged semi-feudal state. One can only imagine how sloppy and careless it is with nuclear materials. We already know their main test site suffered a tunnel collapse which killed two hundred people. So why not talk with them about issues like waste disposal, storage, site access, missile command and control, and so on to avoid a Chernobyl-style meltdown? That is a legitimate concern, one North Korea (and China) probably share, and keeps the conversation focused on the nuclear program.

3. Map out a Trump-Kim summit as best as possible.

The possible May summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump is an enormous risk for the democratic camp. I have argued vociferously in print, Twitter, and on TV for weeks that it should be cancelled. Trump has neither the knowledge of Korea, the willingness to learn (i.e., to read), the attention span, nor a clear preference for democracy over dictatorship to negotiate on behalf of democracy with a tyrant Trump may well secretly admire as he does so many other dictators. I am amazed the Moon government thinks it is a good idea to put someone like Trump in a room with their existential competition. Were it up to me, I would cancel the summit immediately.

But if Moon insists, then he should do the very best to nail down specific items and issues for that discussion. Naturally Kim and Trump, fellow norm-breakers, will violate those guidelines. So Moon should broadcast those very publicly so that Trump faces a public backlash if he veers wildly. It is easy to see Trump gambling away South Korean security for some small-beer outcome which he can market as a ‘win’ back home to change the subject from his endless scandals so that the Republicans survive this fall’s midterm elections so that Trump will not be impeached next year. It should be pretty obvious to everyone now that Trump makes decisions based on his narrow interest; he is certainly not thinking about the American national interest, much less a small ally’s.

4. Get the details.

Deals with North Korea in the past have collapsed over sequencing, implementation wiggle room, delays, and other such deep-in-the-weeds specifics. Moon should try his mightiest to nail down very specific moves and timetables. US officials used to complain of ‘buying the same horse twice’ from the North. After twenty-five years of negotiating with the North on nukes, it should be pretty clear to everyone that they are canny negotiators who will take a mile if you give them an inch.

This is does not mean Moon should negotiate in bad faith. Democracies should not do that; that is one of things that makes democracy morally superior to places like North Korea. But there should be enormous skepticism. A big-bang deal – swapping US troops for nukes is the most obvious – is a huge risk. Go slow. Get the North Koreans to agree to some mid-level proposals which can be overseen in some detail, and then let’s see if they actually stick to them. There is little strategic trust between North Korea, and South Korea and the US. Moon will be pilloried as Neville Chamberlain if he naively hopes that Kim is not of the same ilk as his family predecessors. Seven years into his reign there is little to suggest that he is some manner of reformer. Indeed the most remarkable part of his reign is just how little North Korea has changed despite the shotgun succession and all the international pressure. The North is still a human rights disaster, still a tyranny, still belligerent, still a trouble-making international rogue, still promoting a cult-like ideology, and still threatening South Korea. And on top of that, it is a nuclear missile state.

These prescriptions are admittedly hawkish. Perhaps too skeptical. But they channel the response Moon will receive here if he takes a huge leap later this month. Moon surely sees himself as Nixon going to China, rather than Chamberlain going to Munich. We can always hope of course. But that is not a strategy, and in the midst of all this year’s pleasant atmospherics, note that North Korea has yet to float one meaningful concession. It’s all just talk so far. Maybe Moon can change twenty-five years of nuclear North Korean history, but I doubt it.

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University

@Robert_E_Kelly

 

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The Korea File: Summit Spring Brings DPRK, ROK, US and PRC to the Dialogue Table

Koreabridge - Fri, 2018-04-06 14:56
Summit Spring Brings DPRK, ROK, US and PRC to the Dialogue Table

Listen to "Summit Spring: DPRK, ROK, US and PRC in Dialogue" on Spreaker.

Jenny Town (Assistant Director of the US-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies/Managing Editor at 38North.org) joins host Andre Goulet to discuss Washington's reaction to the surprise announcement of a Donald Trump/Kim Jong-un summit and- what can we expect from this month’s upcoming inter-Korean talks? How do the conditions surrounding the summit compare to the Roh Moo-hun/Kim Jong-il meeting of 2007? 

Plus: John Bolton as White House National Security Adviser adds a dangerous element to peace-making efforts on the peninsula and- why is Seoul still without an American ambassador? All this and more on episode 73 of The Korea File. 

Music on this episode: 방주연's '당신의 마음' (1987)

This conversation was recorded on April 3rd, 2018

https://www.spreaker.com/user/koreamoments/xtkf-ep73-jenny-town


    The Korea File
      http://www.spreaker.com/show/korea_moments

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