Friday, January 14, 2011

Daily Kor for January 14, 2011:
A day of big stories

ROK officialdom loves to pursue firsts, and it looks like South Korea will be the first to charge Google with breaking the law over the collection of data to make its Google Street View feature. And that's not the only bit of big news. We have the Bank of Korea raising interest rates. See that gavel the BOK governor is holding? He's smashing Kushibo's budget as the monthly payment on my adjustable-rate mortgage goes northward (nah, it's not really that bad, but it's more than a few lattes every month).

We have international incidents. First, the ROK Coast Guard thought the Japanese Coast Guard was illegitimately pursuing a South Korean fishing vessel, but the captain admitted he'd gone into Japanese waters. But the real international story today is related to Secretary of Defense Gates's visit to Tokyo, where he is pushing Tokyo to play a larger role in East Asian security, particularly as Seoul and Washington stand up to Pyongyang and Beijing.

Now I'll be the first to admit that the mealy-mouthed expressions of regret that Tokyo's conservative leadership has turned out (and then often practically reneged) in the past, combined with its myriad unresolved World War II-era territorial disputes, spell geopolitical disaster if Tokyo were to shed its pacifist right now, but I do like the idea of Beijing seeing that there are undesirable consequences when it allows its unleashed pitbull to bite the neighbors.
  1. South Korean fishing boat captain admits veering into Japanese waters in dispute that brought out coast guards of both countries (YonhapCSM, Korea Times)
    1. Note that the Christian Science Monitor article says the Sea of Japan is "also known as the East China Sea"
  2. In bid to fight inflation, South Korea's central bank raises benchmark interest rate from 2.50 percent to 2.75 percent (Reuters, AP via WaPo, WSJJoongang Daily, Bloomberg, Korea Times)
    • Government announces other steps to rein in inflation (Joongang Daily)
  3. US Trade Representative Ron Kirk anticipates congressional approval of KORUS FTA by July (ReutersKorea Herald, Yonhap)
  4. South Korean police determine that Google violated privacy laws by collecting emails and personal data while taking photos for Street View service (AP via WaPo, PC MagazineJoongang Daily, Korea Times)
  5. In Tokyo, US Secretary of Defense calls for stronger Tokyo-Seoul ties and vows to defend South Korea if it is attacked (WaPo, WSJ)
    • USFK Commander General Walter Sharp says US could destroy North Korea's missiles if they pose to great a threat (AFP)
    • Tokyo seeks stronger ties with Washington (WaPo, Bloomberg)
    • Gates asks Tokyo to play stronger role in East Asia (LAT)
    • Gates says US troops keep North Korea and China at bay (AP via MSNBC)
  6. 110 South Korean youngsters detained in South Korea for studying without a permit (Chosun Ilbo, Korea Herald)
  7. North Korean domain names return to the Internet (PC World)
  8. South Korean court orders Cambodian airline to pay families of South Korean victims for 2007 crash (Yonhap)
  9. North Korea has scoreless draw with United Arab Emirates in soccer's Asian Cup (AFP)
  10. Other than the Asian Cup being played somewhere, I have no legitimate excuse to show this soccer-themed picture — not even a reasonable joke headline — but I don't care (Monster Island)

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