I recently heard that rations have ceased even for North Korea’s State Security Department and Ministry of People’s Security. So far, priority of rations were given to these institutions, but now it has stopped.; This implies that food shortage in North Korea is more grave than expected. Last year, harvest was not good and flood and typhoon damages devastated the already bad situation. This will lead to these powerful institutions to act irrationally. The breakdown of the rationing system is a sign that North Korea is near its collapse. The collapse of North Korean regime is only a matter of time.
Recently, ultranationalism fever is spreading in Japan. Japan is ignoring values a member of international community must adhere to, and is only putting nationalistic sentiments as their priority. And at the center of this nationalism are Japanese politicians. The politicians are claiming that Dokdo, a land Korea has effective control over, is their territory, and have nationalized Senkaku islands, a territory disputed with China. This resulted in criticism both among international community and domestic citizens. In order to overcome this criticism, Japanese politicians are using nationalistic sentiments. Moreover, they are trying to gain popularity through this nationalistic propagandas for the upcoming elections. Currently, diplomatic issues between the three East Asian countries, Korea, China, and Japan is deteriorating. China, especially, is on the verge of military actions if Japan’s provocations of nationalizing really the Senkaku islands takes real effect. I am worried that Asia might be going backwards and heading for a situation similar to that of 20 years before the Cold War.
Japanese novel Silence is a novel about Jesuit missionary sent to 17th century Japan, who endured persecution in the time of Hidden Christians. It depicts Japanese samurai beheading people who refuse to step on the portrait of Jesus. A video showing Japanese extreme rightist demonstrators trampling on Korea’s national flag Taeguekki. The video shows people taking turns to step on a version of the Korean flag in which the black lines around the red-andblue central circle are depicted as cockroaches. A man who is not shown in the video urges people to step on the flag saying the flag is fake Pepsi logo. This is no different from the outrageous acts shown in the novel Silence. Japanese anti-Korea protest, though mainly led by a few ultra-rightist groups, are going way too far. Although this is not true, it almost seems that it is in the blood of Japan to insult and destroys the values important to others. If they feel that their country is valuable, they should admit the values of other nations.
The international community takes insults to national flags seriously. If Japan indeed has a will to sustain peace and stability in Asia, it is obligated to enforce legal actions on its people that disturb peace. Even though there is a legal provision such as this, they insulted Korean national flag. I wonder how Japan will handle this issue, if they are even planning to do so.
North Korea is selling gold for cash. They are in emergency. In the past year, North Korea exported more than 2 tons of gold to China, and got 1 billion dollars. North Korea is not only producing gold, but taking gold from the people to export gold. I doubt that this gold will be used for good. The gold will be used for nuclear development, war preparation, and idolization of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-un. It will be wasted on Kim Jong-un’s luxury and propaganda. There is a saying that selling Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il statue can provide for all of North Korea.
Psy’s Gangnam Style is set to take over the UK after storming into the charts. Overnight sensation Psy became the first Korean to have a UK singles hit when he went straight in at number 3. On 23rd, Official Charts Company predicted that Gangnam Style could possibly hit Number 1 on UK Singles chart.
Last week, it came in 11th on the Billboard Singles, and it is number 1 in iTunes charts of more than 30 countries including Belgium, Denmark and Netherlands. It is also number 1 on world wide iTunes chart. ‘Gangnam Style’ music video has a hit of over 2.5 billion hits on Youtube, and is recorded on the Guiness World Record as the most liked video in the world. The world is mesmerized by Gangnam Style. K-pop sensation is spreading through Korean wave stars. It’s amazing.
I am in trade related business, and have been going back and forth from Japan for a couple of years. There I talked with many Japanese. When the subject of Dokdo is spurred, every Japanese I talked with replied that Dokdo is Korean territory. The press makes it sound that most of the Japanese believe that Dokdo is Japanese territory, but this is not true. The only people that think Dokdo is Japanese territory are those that are extreme rightists. Countless Japanese have admitted that Dokdo is Korean territory. In 1903, Japanese marine expert, Kuzuu Yoshihisa’s book about Korean marine territory, he claims that Dokdo is an Korean island that can be seen at the top of Ulleung island. Few Japanese people are creating a mess in international community by lying and making outrageous comments. I hope this stops.
I recently read an article from Washington Post, ‘Kimchi : Korea’s affordable health care’ where it reveals the health effects of Kimchi, one of the world’s 5 healthy food. In Japan, Kimchi is already popular in normal households. I had the opportunity to eat Kimchi a couple of times when I went to a Korean restaurant. It wasn’t as spicy as I expected, and although it was kind of sour, vinegarish tasting, it was pretty good. It had the unique neat taste of Korean food. Kimchi is abundant in lactic acid, and dietary fibers, which helps anti-aging, digestion, strengthens immune systems, and cleans out the toxic waste within the body. With all this health benefits with the taste… Why don’t you give it a try!
In 1884, Japan arbitrarily included Daoyu islands into their territory. In 1904, they did the same thing with Dokdo. At the moment, Japan invaded neighboring countries and walked a path of imperialism by expanding their territory. Their inclusion of Daoyu islands and Dokdo is therefore, illegal. Daoyu islands are shown as part of Fujian province in a Chinese map dating back to 1865. In the case of Dokdo, not only ancient Korean maps, but also in Japanese literature recorded Dokdo as Korean territory. Even though there is objective evidence and records, Japan remains firm of their scheme to usurp territory. As a war criminal nation that took part in World War II, Japan refuses to repent, but instead tries to reenact their shameful past of imperialism. If Japan continues their efforts to be ignorant, the international community must raise the danger level on Japan’s rash actions.
Salt is essential for the survival of human and animal life. Men have used salt as food preservatives, for cooking, and at funeral offerings. Salt is essential for all living creatures in small quantities. Salt regulates the water content of the body, and is used for electrical signaling in the nervous system. Because of its importance to survival, salt has often been considered a valuable commodity during human history. However, as salt consumption has increased, many modern nations have consumed too much salt leading to health risks, such as high blood pressures. There is, however, an exception to this. North Korea is suffering from salt shortages. Due to typhoon damages, North Korea’s salt production has dropped, leaving many North Koreans, including even the soldiers, in dire need of salt. A year ago, I heard that North Korean soldiers ate salt as snack because they had nothing other to eat. Now, they don’t even have salt to eat. When soldiers were unable to get access to salt in military, they are leaving their posts and returning to their home to find salt. North Korea is suffering not only from food shortages, but also from salt shortages. I wonder how they will fight if a war breaks out.
‘Dokdo Style’ UCC, a parody of Korea wave star, Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ is gaining internet sensation. The video clip created by highschool students to promote ‘Love Dokdo, our territory week’ event held by one of Korea’s regional office of education. The video clip shows Korea’s will to protect Dokdo from Japan’s territorial ambitions, and is becoming a sensation online.