Sunday, November 15, 2009

Daily Kor for November 15, 2009

Why does this weekend feel like last weekend? Again with the dearth of news stories and the focus on people protesting. The protest against ROK troops going to Afghanistan is far smaller than last week's labor rallies, but Western news coverage is about the same.

Of course, the biggest story may be the tragic fire in the indoor shooting range in Pusan. No doubt we'll hear more about that in the days to come, so I won't get into any more speculation than I already have about fire safety. From the Taegu subway fire (seriously, that place seems cursed) to the Taeyongak Hotel [대연각 호텔] fire on Christmas 1971, in which 163 lost their lives, fires with considerable loss of life seem a perennial theme in the ROK.

In upcoming days, as President Lee has a chance to meet with Obama, Hatoyma, and other regional leaders, we might end up hearing more about cooperation and new ways to work together, with more of the same when Obama visits South Korea later in the week. I'm an optimist at heart, and I see a lot of good will ready to be transformed into action these days. No matter what chinboista protesters may say.

  1. Two hundred protesters hold rally in Seoul ahead of visit by US President Obama to voice opposition to Seoul's plan to send troops to Afghanistan (AP via WaPo)
  2. Fire inside indoor shooting range in Pusan kills ten people, including seven tourists from Japan (links here)
  3. South Korea to adopt the tougher of its two voluntary emissions reduction targets for 2020 (Reuters)
  4. Speaking at APEC summit in Singapore, ROK President Lee Myungbak stresses economic cooperation and building of regional economic community (Yonhap, Korea Times)
  5. US President Obama says the United States "will not be cowed by threats" from North Korea (Yonhap)
  6. Paris-based Reporters san Frontiers (aka RSF, or Reporters Without Borders) to provide $380,000 to three anti-Pyongyang radio stations (Yonhap)
  7. President Obama explains away awkward bow-like greeting to the Emperor of Japan: "The guy's like four feet tall and I was just trying to find him" (WaPo)

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