Thursday, October 22, 2009

Korea news links for October 22, 2009: Secretaries Day

Apparently it's Secretaries Day in Washington and Seoul, as the dominant stories today are that the heads of the Pentagon and State have both made some strong statements about Pyongyang that should make it clear that the US will not tolerate a North Korea with nukes and that it's not going to give anything to a North Korea with nukes. It's a little interesting (to me, at least) that she referred to North Korea's "leaders" and not "leader."

[above: Not two minutes later, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates knocked a home run right out of the press room]
  1. In a speech on nonproliferation before the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says that Pyongyang "should be under no illusion that the United States will ever have normal, sanctions-free relations with a nuclear-armed North Korea" (Reuters via NYT)
  2. In Seoul, US Secretary of State Robert Gates says North Korea "has become even more lethal and destabilizing" (Reuters via NYT, Yonhap, Chosun Ilbo)
  3. Health Ministry says 17.2 million will get free H1N1 "swine flu" vaccination starting October 27, beginning with medical staff, pregnant women, children, senior citizens, and the military; vaccine for others will be available in January (Joongang Daily)
  4. ROK President Lee Myungbak and Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet, meeting in Hanoi, agree to upgrade their countries' relationship to "strategic cooperative partnership" (Yonhap, Joongang Daily, Korea Times)
  5. On occasion of Gates visit, South Korean group composed of scholars and retired military leaders calls for a return of tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea to counter DPRK nukes, along with delaying return of wartime operational command to South Korean (UPI)
  6. South Korea to provide North Korea with cross-border communications equipment, restoring hotline that has been cut since May 2008 due to "technical problems" (Yonhap, AP via WaPo, Kyodo)
  7. South Korea hopes to secure four spy satellites by 2012 (Donga Ilbo)
  8. Hyundai America says it may extend the popular Hyundai Assurance program into 2010 as it announces October sales are up from a year earlier (Reuters via CNBC, AP via WaPo)
  9. ROK customs agency says South Korean exports for October may fall 11 to 13 percent over the same period last year (Reuters via Forbes)
  10. ROK Finance Minister Yoon Jeunghyun concerned about drop in manufacturing and retail jobs during South Korean economic recovery (Bloomberg, Joongang Daily)
  11. Korea Development Bank says GM's global units are expected to take up GM Daewoo rights offer (Reuters via CNBC, Joongang Daily)
  12. South Korea, Japan, and China agree to launch regional credit rating system (Xinhua)
  13. Not willing to be outdone by half-Japanese 'Balloon Boy,' Korean-American couple "loses" round-headed infant in pumpkin patch, narrowly avoiding jack-o-lantern disaster; cable stations torn between calling the story 'The Great Pumpkim' or 'Pumpkin Patch Kim' (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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