Thursday, April 8, 2010

Daily Kor for April 8, 2010

The big news is the sentencing of Aijalon Mahli Gomes. His eight-year sentence at hard labor should come as a surprise to no one, and it is not unlike the twelve-year sentence handed down to Euna Lee and Laura Ling, and we all know what happened there. The big difference is the $700,000 fine, which will muck up any smooth effort to get him out.

This should be a lesson to those who think that traipsing into North Korea with messages that Kim Jong-il should step down will somehow erode the power of the regime. They have already ground up Robert Park and spit him out, and they may do the same with Mr Gomes. And who knows what they will do with whatever money they squeeze out of Mr Gomes's supporters. It's time for the organizations that have encouraged Mr Park's and Mr Gomes's walkabouts to renounce and repudiate this tactic.
  1. American from Boston who had resided in South Korea sentenced to 8 years in prison and $700K fine by North Korea for illegal entry (links here)
  2. South Korean oil tanker seized by Somali pirates near Somali coast (BBC)
    • Foreign Ministry says crew is still safe (Yonhap)
  3. South Korean sailors aboard doomed Chonan describe mystery blast (BBC, AP via WaPo, WSJ, Chosun Ilbo, Donga Ilbo)
  4. South Korea buys $1 billion to curb rise of KRW (Reuters)
  5. Finance Ministry says economy-boosting measures will remain despite strong recovery (Yonhap)
  6. Beijing considering allowing convertibility of yuan with Korean won (Yonhap)
  7. Japan Self-Defense Forces on high alert after sculpture in Pusan's Taejongdae Park determined to be dagger pointed at heart of Japan (Reuters

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