Saturday, May 1, 2010

Daily Kor for May 1, 2010

I wish I could have been a fly on the wall at the summit between ROK President Lee Myungbak and PRC President Hu Jintao as they discussed the sinking of the Chonan [aka Cheonan]. I would have loved to watch Hu try to say with a straight face that we don't really know who is behind it and that as long as L'il Kim denies it, who knows what to believe?

At some point, Hu or whoever is in charge of China is going to have to do a David Kaczynski and realize that maybe all that stuff you're afraid that crazy brother Ted is doing really is happening. And then you make a deal brings him down with as little trouble as possible. Seriously, President Lee, offer Hu a deal that if China pulls the plug, there will be no US forces in former DPRK territory and all Chinese contracts with Pyongyang will be honored. You might have to throw in an agreement that Seoul won't raise a stink about keeping Kim Jong-il and his cohorts in exile, but that's a small price to pay for how much future suffering we'll prevent.

Anyway, I also want to draw attention to the subheading in story #2, about two ruling party candidates who are naturalized Koreans. They aren't the first, even if they're part of a very small group, and one reason I point them out is that some naysayers about Korea's drive toward acceptance of other groups (let's paraphrase the Chinese and call it "multiculturalism with Korean characteristics") insist that this kind of thing has not, could not, and perhaps will not happen. Even though it already does.
  1. WHO Director-General, returning from Pyongyang, says North Korea has no shortage of doctors and nurses (Reuters, WHO press conference)
  2. Na Kyung-won to run against incumbent Oh Sehoon in ruling Hannara Party primary for Seoul mayorship (Korea Herald)
    • Two naturalized Koreans, one from Japan and one from the Philippines, to run in local elections as ruling party candidates (Yonhap, Korea Times)
  3. North Korea expels most of remaining South Korean staff at Kŭmgangsan (Reuters, Korea Times)
  4. Reeling from domestic criticism, Zimbabwe says North Korea visit for World Cup preparation "not finalized" (BBC)
  5. North Korean denial of Chonan sinking clouds Lee-Hu summit in Shanghai (Bloomberg, Yonhap, Korea Herald)
    • Chinese president offers condolences (Korea Times)
    • Special probe seeks suspicious fragments at site of sinking (YonhapKorea Times)
    • Government to launch audit of military's handling of incident (Yonhap)
  6. American imprisoned in North Korea allowed to contact family (links here)
    • US calls on Pyongyang to release Gomes on humanitarian grounds (Yonhap)
  7. South Korean factory output increases for ninth month (Bloomberg)
  8. Seoul to terminate extra currency swap line with Tokyo (Yonhap)
  9. A pleasantly surprised President Obama is shocked to find that non-Hispanic White babies are still being born in America (USA Today)

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