Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Daily Kor for November 18, 2009: Pirates of the Gulf of Aden

Interestingly, the biggest news story of today was one we had yesterday (see #14): South Korea has adopted an ambitious 30% reduction of greenhouse gases from what they would otherwise be in 2020.

Another big story — one I'm surprised has not yet caught on in the K-blogosphere — is that of twenty-eight North Koreans captured by Somali pirates on their 22K-ton chemical tanker. There were in fact two hijackings, the other of a Spanish boat. We now get word that the Spanish have paid a $3.3 million ransom for the return of the trawler and crew. After the ROK government was roundly criticized in the K-blog comments sections for giving in to Taliban demands over the missionaries who became hostages in Afghanistan, I fully expect to see the K-blogs throw as much criticism on the Spanish for doing essentially the same thing.

Oh, yeah, and it looks like North Korea is trying to play nice. That must be the game plan this week.

  1. US President Barack Obama and PRC President Hu Jintao call for resumption of North Korea nuke talks "as soon as possible" (AFP)
  2. China says it would welcome talks between Washington and Pyongyang (Reuters via WaPo); ROK Foreign Minister says such US-DPRK talks would bear fruit (Yonhap)
  3. Somali pirates hijack tanker in south Somali Basin and hold North Korean crew hostage (links here)
  4. North Korea makes peace overtures to South Korea (UPI, Yonhap, Korea Times, Korea Herald)
  5. South Korean authorities searching for military camp location in Afghanistan (Yonhap, AFP, Joongang Daily); location may be north of Kabul (Yonhap); troops to be sent in spring (Korea Times)
  6. ROK officials insist South Korea did not promise Taliban to keep troops out of Afghanistan during 2007 hostage crisis (Yonhap, Korea Times)
  7. Autopsy reports indicate that Pusan fire victims were killed by smoke inhalation, while cause of fire remains unclear (Joongang Daily)
  8. Kia begins rolling out cars from its new $1 billion plant in US state of Georgia (BusinessWeek)
  9. Minister of Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries says South Korea will increase agricultural aid to developing countries suffering from chronic food shortages, including 150K tons of rice and $100 million over three years (Korea Times)
  10. OECD predicts South Korean growth over 4% in 2010 (Reuters via Forbes)
  11. North Korea sends military delegation to China (Korea Herald)
  12. Bank of Korea's governor says a hasty interest rate increase could harm recovery (Reuters)
  13. South Korea climbs one notch to #39 of 180 in international ranking of political and public corruption (Yonhap, Korea Times, Korea Herald)
  14. North Korea calls on South Korea to stop setting barriers to dialogue (Xinhua)
  15. South Korea pushing to export Mandarin oranges, also known as tangerines, to US beginning early next year (Yonhap)
  16. White House source: "Bill Clinton agreed to go to Pyongyang after he heard the North Koreans have all kinds of tang" (Reuters)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts, but please be kind and respectful. My mom reads this blog.