Thursday, January 29, 2004

Korea news

No sympathy here: SK complains about unfair trade barriers.

In weird counterpoint, here's a Korea Times business editorial that asks Koreans to calm their fears regarding a "colonization" of the stock market. Eh? Koreans are infamous for erecting their own massive trade barriers and they're worried about market colonization? Since Kirk is reporting that the Korean economy might not be improving as fast as previous optimistic numbers made it seem, I feel safe in assuming that "colonization," in this case, means "transmogrification into a colon."

They're checking folks here for bird flu.

Korea's got an unemployment problem, and the government's using tax benefits as incentives for hiring. Tax credits go to companies, not individual employees, in case you were wondering.

Someone in this PC-bahng ate something very stinky.

Not just in America anymore! Behold the Korean PIMP WIFE!

Korean private consumption "remains in the doldrums."

Bird flu affects metal birds.

The Marmot's post on a related subject notwithstanding, another showcase of NK cuisine gets... good reviews. The book's title sounds more like a cunnilingus manual, but maybe that's just me.

Here's the JoongAng Ilbo's take on the same cunnilingus manual. It's a short piece, but it contains so much: NK perfidy, UN cluelessness, and wretched irony.

Here's a flick I'd like to see, even though I know I won't understand 90% of the dialogue. Previews show some "Saving Private Ryan"-style camera work, not that I mind. And as an aside, I'll say that I'm glad Korean cinema is becoming a force to be reckoned with. Now if only the politicians could scrounge up similar levels of self-confidence...

This made me laugh: "North Might Exploit US Elections." It says in part:

Two defense researchers have predicted that North Korea might risk sudden actions to create an artificial crisis on the Korean Peninsula around the time of the U.S. presidential election at the end of this year.

In a thesis entitled, "2004 Security Environment Prospects and Important Defense Developments," published in the latest edition of "Weekly Defense Forum," Choi Kang and Cha Du-hyeon of the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses wrote that the possibility still exists that North Korea, in an effort to change its situation, might [take] sudden actions and risk a crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

The two researchers listed missile tests and missile displays, high explosive tests, and naval provocations as possible sudden actions North Korea might take, and stressed that the government must prepare responses to such actions.

The response from the Koreablogger community will be (and rightly so) yawns. If the American public is affected in any way, it'll be in swinging hawkish on defense issues, which might support Bush during the elections, which ultimately works against North Korea. But since when did logic matter to NK?

Anyway, the whole "in an effort to change its situation" is bogus: what the North wants is the maintenance of the status quo, the current Mexican standoff. The situation can't slide too far (or too quickly) in any particular direction, because that will almost surely spell the end of the regime.

And this is why baseball is the national pastime in Korea, not TKD.

Foreign Minister Bang Ki-moon sets himself up to be accused by NK of being an American toady. "Complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantling." Amen.

China flushes out the old team and ushers in a new team for the upcoming 6-party talks.

If you're Korean military and KIA while overseas, take heart: your family can receive up to 220 million won!

The Marmot posts a (cough) heartwarming picture.


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