A couple months ago, when reports were coming out that North Korea had had no H1N1 infections, I was going to write a post that maybe it's not Kimchi that can protect you from "swine flu," but KimJI. Ha ha. Well, it turns out that viruses have no respect for party ideology or propaganda, and they've been infecting people right and left.
Realizing what a bad idea it is to have a pandemic rage unabated just beyond one's border (that is, after all, how it spread from Mexico to the US), Lee has offered medicine and advice. South Korean health workers can offer expert advice in quarantining English teachers, canceling all events where more than three people are expected to gather, and resisting the urge to shoot anyone you think has sneezed H1N1 all over you.
- South Korea confirms it will send 350 troops to Afghanistan next year to protect ROK civilian engineers working on reconstruction (BBC, Xinhua, AP via NYT, Korea Times, Korea Herald, Joongang Daily)
- President Lee Myungbak offers to send "swine flu" medication to North Korea after reports that dozens have already died and the virus is spreading fast (AP via NYT, AFP, Korea Times, Korea Herald, Joongang Daily); Pyongyang admits outbreak and declares that "the relevant organ is further perfecting the quarantine system against the spred of this flu virus" (Yonhap)
- US special envoy for North Korea Stephen Bosworth arrives in Pyongyang (LAT, Reuters, Yonhap)
- Four South Koreans indicted by US grand jury in scheme to sell $1 million worth of "highly deceptive" counterfeit US$100 bills supplied by a person in China (Reuters via CNBC)
- US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff reconfirms pledge to maintain current level of troops in ROK (Yonhap)
- English teachers in Inchon establish union, the second such group in South Korea (Yonhap, Korea Times, Korea Herald)
- Unwilling to let UN sanctions and US embargo get in his way, a determined Kim Jong-il fulfills his promise to open Pyongyang's first Apple Store (Yonhap)
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