Sunday, June 19, 2011

Daily Kor for Sunday, June 19, 2011:
The Asiana plane incident revisited

I think I wrote up yesterday's Marines-shooting-at-Asiana-plane story a bit too early. It was only in Yonhap yesterday, but now it's being picked up by AP, UPI, Reuters, CNN. The Korean media (Korea Times, Korea Herald) For your edification, I'm including the CNN story — complete with footage after footage of various Asiana planes landing and taking off — that goes along with it.

As I've taken off from Incheon International Airport various times and looked out over the Google Earth landscape below, I've thought to myself how dangerously close we seem to be to the Northern Limit Line, the de facto border that North Korea has recently begun to dispute. I'm not expert on military matters, but it almost seems as if the remarkable thing is not that this incident occurred, but that it hasn't before.

Certainly there are a lot of questions that need to be asked. Was the Asiana flight where it was supposed to be? Is Kyodong-do Island a no-flight zone for civilian aircraft or at least an area that comes with stepped-up restrictions and regulations such that those Marines would reasonably expect that if a plane weren't a ROK military plane then it shouldn't be above them? Was there a North Korean plane actually mimicking a civilian airliner's flight path in hopes of sparking an incident?
  1. Visiting Greenpeace members urge South Korea to shut down Kori-1, the oldest nuclear reactor in the ROK and based on a design similar to that of Fukushima (AFP)
  2. ROK Prime Minister Kim Hwangsik says corruption is widespread in South Korea, and ending irregularities in bureaucracy, essential for the country to become an advanced nation, is a top priority (Yonhap)
  3. In weekly Republican address, US Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota says ratifying FTA with South Korea will jumpstart the US economy (LAT, UPI, CNN, Bloomberg)
  4. Hana Financial Group says it remains committed to talks aimed at acquiring Korea Exchange Bank from Lone Star Funds, in a deal currently worth US$4.3 billion (Bloomberg)
  5. Prime Minister's Office inspectors confirm Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs officials were bribed and treated to local "entertainment," possibly including sexual services in room salons (Joongang Daily)
  6. South Korean business delegation in talks with Guinean authorities about investing in the West African country's natural resources, including iron, uranium, and aluminum (Bloomberg)
  7. Diligent drug-free Korean defeats pothead American South Korea's Park Taehwan edges out US Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps in 100m freestyle and 400m event at Santa Clara Grand Prix (AFP, Yonhap, Korea Times, Korea Herald)
  8. Pathway in Shinan County wins award for Most Creative Bridge (Yonhap)

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