South Korea’s Internet Cenorship

South Korea’s Internet Cenorship

South Korea is one of the freest and most democratic countries in Asia and also one of the most connected and technologically advanced countries in the world. This country has been the example of an economic miracle. In a little over 50 years it transformed from being a very poor country to one of the richest countries. However, in this video we’re going to talk about the internet. South Korea has the most Internet access in the world. No less than 96% of all South Koreans have access to the internet. However, despite this, the NGO Freedom House, which creates an annual benchmark index on network freedom, South Korea barely reaches the “partially free” status. That puts South Korea at the same level as countries like Nigeria or Kyrgyzstan. So what exactly is happening in South Korea? Why do they have such a low level of network freedom? In this video, we’ll answer these questions and tell you how the South Korean government is copying China’s Internet censorship methods.

Trump Meets Kim, Averting Threat of Nuclear War—and US Pundits Are Furious

Trump Meets Kim, Averting Threat of Nuclear War—and US Pundits Are Furious

It was an electrifying sight that captured the imagination of millions of people living on the crisis-weary Korean Peninsula but sent many Americans spinning into paroxysms of anger and cynicism, depending on their politics and knowledge of the rocky history of US relations with North and South Korea.

On Tuesday, President Trump and Kim Jong-un met and shook hands on Singapore’s resort island of Sentosa, curbing decades of deep and bitter hostility between the two countries and possibly opening a new chapter for the United States in East Asia. Afterward, Trump even boasted that he had created a “special bond” with the North Korean dictator.
The unprecedented meeting was the climax of months of intensive negotiations that began in earnest in March, when Kim, through the mediation of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, unexpectedly invited Trump to meet and settle their vast differences. As their initial encounter began, Trump declared that times had changed—irrevocably.
Read the rest at thenation.com.

Trump Meets Kim, Averting Threat of Nuclear War—and US Pundits Are Furious

Trump warns Kim about ‘massive and powerful’ U.S. nukes

President Donald Trump on Thursday canceled his planned summit with Kim Jong Un, scolding the North Korean leader in a letter for “tremendous anger and open hostility” while also bluntly reminding Kim of the United States’ nuclear prowess.
The scuttling of the meeting, which had been scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, is a blow to U.S. efforts to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, as well as Trump’s desire to land a legacy-making deal with the hermetic nation.
It also raises the risk of conflict in East Asia and has rattled U.S. allies South Korea and Japan.
“Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote in the letter, which a senior White House official said was dictated entirely by the president.
Trump and his aides sought to pin the blame for the canceled summit entirely on North Korea.
Read the rest at Politico.com.

Shocker! American Steel Prices Spiked in April.

Shocker! American Steel Prices Spiked in April.

In the days and weeks after President Donald Trump slapped 25 percent tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, it was widely reported that American steel-consuming companies were bracing for higher prices. Some said they were already seeing those higher prices reflected in contracts to purchase steel from suppliers, but no one was sure how significant those price increases would turn out to be.

Now, a little more than six weeks since the tariff announcement, we have a better picture of the consequences of Trump’s trade policy. It looks like this:

SteelBenchmarker

SteelBenchmarker

This chart—published by SteelBenchmarker, a firm that tracks the price of the commodity across different markets—shows the average price (in dollars per metric tonne) of hot-rolled band (HRB), one of the most commonly used types of steel. The dark blue line represents the United States’ average price, while the light blue represents the price of steel produced in Western Europe, the red line represents China, and the pink line shows what SteelBenchmarker refers to as the “World Export” market: steel produced in other places, including Japan and South Korea.

Read the rest at Reason.com.

Trump Meets Kim, Averting Threat of Nuclear War—and US Pundits Are Furious

3/9/18 Tim Shorrock on Negotiating with North Korea

Tim Shorrock returns to the show to discuss Trump’s decision to negotiate with North Korea. According to Shorrock the media has largely completely ignored the role South Korean Moon Jae-in has played in making diplomacy between the U.S. and North Korea possible. Shorrock then describes the threats North Korea has faced from the United States since the Korean War, and why ending U.S. hostilities is a necessary precondition for real diplomacy. Finally Shorrock discusses the militaristic streak among liberals.

Tim Shorrock is the author of “Spies For Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing” and a regular contributor to The Nation and the Korea Center for Investigative Reporting. Follow him on Twitter @TimothyS.

Discussed on the show:

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: Zen CashThe War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.LibertyStickers.comTheBumperSticker.com; and ExpandDesigns.com/Scott.

Check out Scott’s Patreon page.

Trump Meets Kim, Averting Threat of Nuclear War—and US Pundits Are Furious

Seoul: North Korea Open to Denuclearization, Offers to Halt Missile Tests

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media.

 

Korean Peninsula — Extending the progress made at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, officials from South Korea said on Tuesday that the North is now open to the idea of abandoning its nuclear weapons program and would even halt missile tests while negotiations with the United States were underway.

The announcement comes after a rare two-day visit by South Korean envoys to the North’s capital of Pyongyang in which they met directly with leader Kim Jong-un. During that meeting, it was also agreed that Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will hold a summit at the two countries’ border in late April.

Additionally, a hotline will be established between the North and South to better allow for communication. All this good will, however, is contingent upon the U.S. guaranteeing the safety of the Kim regime.

“The North Korean side clearly stated its willingness to denuclearize,” President Moon’s office said in a statement. “It made it clear that it would have no reason to keep nuclear weapons if the military threat to the North was eliminated and its security guaranteed.”

The statement also said that as long as peaceful negotiations continue, the North would freeze its nuclear program:

“The North expressed its willingness to hold a heartfelt dialogue with the United States on the issues of denuclearization and normalizing relations with the United States. It made it clear that while dialogue is continuing, it will not attempt any strategic provocations, such as nuclear and ballistic missile tests.”

President Donald Trump was guardedly optimistic about the news but was also certain to reference the possibility of military action in a Tuesday tweet:

“Possible progress being made in talks with North Korea. For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned. The World is watching and waiting! May be false hope, but the U.S. is ready to go hard in either direction!”

The tone was similar, if a bit more hard-edged, in a statement from Vice President Mike Pence:

“Whichever direction talks with North Korea go, we will be firm in our resolve. The United States and our allies remain committed to applying maximum pressure on the Kim regime to end their nuclear program. All options are on the table and our posture toward the regime will not change until we see credible, verifiable, and concrete steps toward denuclearization.”

The Trump administration has consistently stated that it’s only open to idea of normalizing relations with North Korea if the country first agrees to abandon its nuclear ambitions. If the Hermit Kingdom agreed to that condition, Trump has said he’d be willing to meet with Kim Jong-un.

As for the joint U.S.-South Korea military drills that were postponed during the Winter Olympics, those will proceed in April. Chung Eui-yong, director of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service and the man who led the Pyongyang delegation, told reporters Tuesday Kim was surprisingly flexible on this front:

“Kim Jong-un simply said he could understand why the joint exercises must resume in April on the same scale as before. But he said he expected them to be readjusted if the situation on the Korean Peninsula stabilizes in the future.”

In fact, Chung said that beyond asking that the U.S. guarantee his country’s safety, Kim had no other demands during his meeting with the South.

“There was no other specific demand from North Korea in returning to dialogue,” he said. “They only said they wanted to be treated like a serious dialogue partner.”

While analysts and commentators are already speculating about how seriously the North’s overture can be taken, the very fact that Kim Jong-un met with South Korean delegates — the first such occurrence since the leader came to power in 2011 — is cause enough for hope that the situation on the Korean peninsula won’t devolve into conflict.

North Korea Willing to Discuss Denuclearization for Security Assurances

North Korea Willing to Discuss Denuclearization for Security Assurances

Kim says no reason to keep nukes if military threat ends

In comments that could potentially have significant ramifications on trying to convince the US to join talks with North Korea, South Korean delegation envoys say they were told by Kim Jong-un that North Korea is willing to discuss scrapping their nuclear arsenal.

The White House has long suggested scrapping the nuclear program and missile development as a precondition for talks, and clearly that’s not going to happen, but North Korea seems very willing to discuss the subject within the talks, and would disarm if given the right deal.

South Korea’s statement quoted Kim as making it clear North Korea “would have no reason to keep nuclear weapons if the military threat to the North was eliminated.” North Korean officials have made comments to this effect in the past, but telling it to the South Korean delegation shows its a clear message intended to be sent to the US as an inducement to talk.

This makes sense, as North Korea has always presented its nuclear arsenal as a deterrent to an American attack. Getting a trustworthy guarantee that the US isn’t going to attack them in the future is clearly a big deal for North Korea, but is it attainable?

That’s less clear, with President Trump and other administration officials saying there is “possible progress,” but also downplaying the chances of an actual deal, suggesting they don’t believe North Korea would deliver on such a proposal.

One unnamed administration official seemed to take the position that this wouldn’t be enough for talks, saying denuclearization of North Korea in “non-negotiable,” suggesting it remains a precondition.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.

The Koreas and the Mainstream Media

The Koreas and the Mainstream Media

As a voluntaryist/libertarian, I never thought I’d sit down at the keyboard to write about the Winter Olympics. Not the games, but about the politics that inevitably rears its ugly head whenever you get a group of people together to compete in activities that, in the end, are mindless entertainment for the masses. All of the flags. The endless stories of years of preparation. The nations.

Politically, the biggest news surrounding this event was that north and south Korea would march in the opening ceremonies together, and that their women’s hockey teams would combine forces. Many, including myself, saw this as an occasion for the two countries to enter into some form of talks to end the 65-year tension between estranged brothers. I told a friend that the best thing the United States could do was to leave them be. Looking from the outside, it appears the siblings will be allowed to talk.

It is customary that countries send a delegate to the games. Kim Jong Un chose his sister, Kim Yo Jong, to represent north Korea at these games. At the opening ceremonies, she was seated near Vice President Mike Pence, who was there as the ambassador for the United States. The two were never seen to speak, shake hands, or make eye contact. The American press saw this as her “throwing shade” at the man. Knowing that the mainstream press in this country hates Trump, Pence, and anything to do with this administration, they began to fawn over her.

Before I describe the “swooning” that the talking heads engaged in, let’s take a look at the sister of one of the most notorious dictators on earth. Yo Hong is the deputy director for the “Propaganda and Agitation Department” of a country the keeps up to 300,000 of its own citizens in “concentration camps.” Her family runs these gulags. She is a member of the politburo of the nation’s supremely powerful “Worker’s Party.”

It is obvious that, besides being a “pretty face” they can parade for the cameras, she is active in the nation’s brutal affairs for a regime that frequently performs public executions of its people. One that has actually sent a reported 50,000 citizens as slave labor to countries such as Angola, China, Kuwait and Russia. The athletes that are currently representing the nation in the Olympic Games know that if they attempt to defect, their families at home will be massacred or sent to the camps. I could continue, but it would be overkill at this point. I assume most that are reading this have some knowledge of the brutality inflicted by north Korea.

Knowing that Yo Hong is an active participant in the misery of millions of her own people, let’s look at how some in the U.S. press have reacted to her, all because she is seen to be hostile to an administration they despise. CNN ran with the headline, “Kim Jong Un’s sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics.” They spoke of her smile, handshake and “warm message” written in south Korea’s presidential guest book. Clumsily comparing her to Ivanka Trump, the news outlet appeared to imply that with her good looks, she is the polar opposite of her brother and that she was sent to be the diplomatic face of the dictatorial regime. The Washington Post headline read, “The Ivanka Trump of north Korea captivates the south.” Referring to her as a “political princess,” they marveled that she wore a plain black outfit and that her purse was not a name brand.

Forgive me if it appears that I am only criticizing the liberal media. The reaction from the other side of the aisle isn’t helping. Not to be outdone or ignored, the “right” side reacted to the progressive media the way it always does. Instead of taking the high road, suggesting the left knock it off and see where this diplomacy takes itself, some decided to attack north Korea. Marc Thiessen, Washington Post columnist and Fox News contributor, posted a picture of the Koreas at night, an image that has become famous due to it showing the south lit up like a Christmas tree and the north in darkness. He attacked what he called the north’s “charm offensive,” reminding people of northern conditions.

Whatever the intentions the Kims may have in sending their team to the Olympics as a unified Korea, the fact that it can lead to southern influence, mainly liberty-minded discussions, suggests the talking heads would do well to step aside and allow the kinsman to converse.

As a reaction to both sides spitting fire, social media immediately blew up. People responded to the press’ articles by posting pictures of signs that read, “Justice for Otto” (referring to American college student Otto Warmbier who was arrested for stealing a poster in a Pyongyang hotel; Warmbier would be released but shortly after die from treatment he received at the hands of the regime). Memes showing CNN choosing a “gulag queen” over “dignity” quickly followed. Michael Malice, author of Dear Reader – The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il, and an expert on north Korean history tweeted: “Russian collusion is treason, north Korean collusion is journalism.” Although I may agree with all of it, none of this is helpful in the peace process if one is to be started. It is always kindled by the media and their partisanship.

However people in the press feel about this administration, or about the situation with the Koreas, one would hope they would be able to think rationally and do their job. One can only believe that raw hatred has replaced clear thinking, “seeing red” has clouded judgment, and one day they will be able to look back at the mockery they’ve made of their profession and repent of the sin of partisan, hack journalism.

When a voluntaryist/libertarian/anarchist such as myself — one that is accused of being unreasonable for those beliefs — can see the damage being done by the mainstream’s biased reporting, it is time that the public look into alternative outlets for their news gathering.

Trump Meets Kim, Averting Threat of Nuclear War—and US Pundits Are Furious

Is the US Readying the “Father of All Bombs” for Use on North Korea?

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media. 

 

East Asia — With the mainstream media contemplating the significance of Kim Jong-un sending his sister to the Olympic Games in South Korea, as well as any messages found within the North’s military parade on Thursday, the larger question still looms:

Will the current thaw in relations between the United States and North Korea last beyond the games in Pyeongchang?

On Thursday, as he prepared to fly to South Korea to attend the games, Vice President Mike Pence told U.S. troops in Japan that “our forces are ready and our nation is resolved.” The day before, he reminded the world of the U.S. view that “North Korea is the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet.”

While this doesn’t exactly bode well for U.S.-North Korea relations in the days to come, it doesn’t necessarily mean the situation will devolve into war. Still, evidence exists that the U.S. is taking the potential for a military conflict with the Hermit Kingdom very seriously.

Writing for The Nation on Tuesday, Michael T. Klare, professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, pointed out that the U.S. may already have a tool in place to decimate North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Last April, headlines were made around the world when the U.S. detonated the “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan. At the time, it was reported that this MOAB was the strongest non-nuclear weapon in the United States’ military arsenal.

As it turns out, however, the U.S. had a “father of all bombs” waiting in the wings the whole time.

The GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), Professor Klare noted in his article, is a 30,000 pound weapon so massive it can only be carried by a B-2 stealth bomber. By contrast, the MOAB — officially the GBU-43B — is 21,600 pounds.

Originally designed for use against the nuclear program of Iran, the MOP “bunker buster” can penetrate hundreds of feet of rock and concrete before detonating its 5,300 pounds of high explosives. This is notable because, as with Iran, many of North Korea’s nuclear facilities are believed to be buried deep underground.

Equally noteworthy is the fact that earlier this month, the U.S. moved three B-2 stealth bombers — again, the only craft capable of carrying the “father of all bombs” — to a military base in Guam.

While the Air Force has refused to say whether any GBU-57s were moved along with the bombers, the very fact that the jets are there is, as Klare wrote Tuesday, “to say the least, highly provocative.”

In any case, as cooler heads have at least temporarily prevailed ahead of the games, Klare says now is the time to push for meaningful dialogue:

“With the Winter Olympics just about to begin, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in desperately striving to arrange peace talks with the North, this is the moment to speak out for de-escalation of the Korean crisis and the commencement of serious talks involving all key parties, including the United States, leading to a reduction in threatening arsenals and behaviors on all sides.”

Trump Meets Kim, Averting Threat of Nuclear War—and US Pundits Are Furious

Is the US Readying the "Father of All Bombs" for Use on North Korea?

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media. 
 
East Asia — With the mainstream media contemplating the significance of Kim Jong-un sending his sister to the Olympic Games in South Korea, as well as any messages found within the North’s military parade on Thursday, the larger question still looms:
Will the current thaw in relations between the United States and North Korea last beyond the games in Pyeongchang?
On Thursday, as he prepared to fly to South Korea to attend the games, Vice President Mike Pence told U.S. troops in Japan that “our forces are ready and our nation is resolved.” The day before, he reminded the world of the U.S. view that “North Korea is the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet.”
While this doesn’t exactly bode well for U.S.-North Korea relations in the days to come, it doesn’t necessarily mean the situation will devolve into war. Still, evidence exists that the U.S. is taking the potential for a military conflict with the Hermit Kingdom very seriously.
Writing for The Nation on Tuesday, Michael T. Klare, professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, pointed out that the U.S. may already have a tool in place to decimate North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
Last April, headlines were made around the world when the U.S. detonated the “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan. At the time, it was reported that this MOAB was the strongest non-nuclear weapon in the United States’ military arsenal.
As it turns out, however, the U.S. had a “father of all bombs” waiting in the wings the whole time.
The GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), Professor Klare noted in his article, is a 30,000 pound weapon so massive it can only be carried by a B-2 stealth bomber. By contrast, the MOAB — officially the GBU-43B — is 21,600 pounds.
Originally designed for use against the nuclear program of Iran, the MOP “bunker buster” can penetrate hundreds of feet of rock and concrete before detonating its 5,300 pounds of high explosives. This is notable because, as with Iran, many of North Korea’s nuclear facilities are believed to be buried deep underground.
Equally noteworthy is the fact that earlier this month, the U.S. moved three B-2 stealth bombers — again, the only craft capable of carrying the “father of all bombs” — to a military base in Guam.
While the Air Force has refused to say whether any GBU-57s were moved along with the bombers, the very fact that the jets are there is, as Klare wrote Tuesday, “to say the least, highly provocative.”
In any case, as cooler heads have at least temporarily prevailed ahead of the games, Klare says now is the time to push for meaningful dialogue:
“With the Winter Olympics just about to begin, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in desperately striving to arrange peace talks with the North, this is the moment to speak out for de-escalation of the Korean crisis and the commencement of serious talks involving all key parties, including the United States, leading to a reduction in threatening arsenals and behaviors on all sides.”

Trump Meets Kim, Averting Threat of Nuclear War—and US Pundits Are Furious

Is the US Readying the "Father of All Bombs" for Use on North Korea?

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media. 
 
East Asia — With the mainstream media contemplating the significance of Kim Jong-un sending his sister to the Olympic Games in South Korea, as well as any messages found within the North’s military parade on Thursday, the larger question still looms:
Will the current thaw in relations between the United States and North Korea last beyond the games in Pyeongchang?
On Thursday, as he prepared to fly to South Korea to attend the games, Vice President Mike Pence told U.S. troops in Japan that “our forces are ready and our nation is resolved.” The day before, he reminded the world of the U.S. view that “North Korea is the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet.”
While this doesn’t exactly bode well for U.S.-North Korea relations in the days to come, it doesn’t necessarily mean the situation will devolve into war. Still, evidence exists that the U.S. is taking the potential for a military conflict with the Hermit Kingdom very seriously.
Writing for The Nation on Tuesday, Michael T. Klare, professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, pointed out that the U.S. may already have a tool in place to decimate North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
Last April, headlines were made around the world when the U.S. detonated the “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan. At the time, it was reported that this MOAB was the strongest non-nuclear weapon in the United States’ military arsenal.
As it turns out, however, the U.S. had a “father of all bombs” waiting in the wings the whole time.
The GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), Professor Klare noted in his article, is a 30,000 pound weapon so massive it can only be carried by a B-2 stealth bomber. By contrast, the MOAB — officially the GBU-43B — is 21,600 pounds.
Originally designed for use against the nuclear program of Iran, the MOP “bunker buster” can penetrate hundreds of feet of rock and concrete before detonating its 5,300 pounds of high explosives. This is notable because, as with Iran, many of North Korea’s nuclear facilities are believed to be buried deep underground.
Equally noteworthy is the fact that earlier this month, the U.S. moved three B-2 stealth bombers — again, the only craft capable of carrying the “father of all bombs” — to a military base in Guam.
While the Air Force has refused to say whether any GBU-57s were moved along with the bombers, the very fact that the jets are there is, as Klare wrote Tuesday, “to say the least, highly provocative.”
In any case, as cooler heads have at least temporarily prevailed ahead of the games, Klare says now is the time to push for meaningful dialogue:
“With the Winter Olympics just about to begin, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in desperately striving to arrange peace talks with the North, this is the moment to speak out for de-escalation of the Korean crisis and the commencement of serious talks involving all key parties, including the United States, leading to a reduction in threatening arsenals and behaviors on all sides.”

Trump Meets Kim, Averting Threat of Nuclear War—and US Pundits Are Furious

China Reportedly Moves 300,000 Troops to Border With North Korea

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media. 

 

East Asia — China has apparently signaled it doesn’t have much confidence in the current thaw in relations between the United States and North Korea, as it was recently reported that the Chinese government has significantly reinforced its border with the Hermit Kingdom.

Citing a report from Radio Free Asia (RFA), South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo wrote Monday that China is “preparing for a potential war on the Korean Peninsula” by deploying additional troops and mobile strike groups closer to its dividing line with North Korea.

Chosun Ilbo wrote that RFA, which claims to have spoken with “a North Korean source in China,” reported Friday that “the Chinese military late last year deployed another missile defense battery at an armored division in Helong,” a city near its border with the North.

Additionally, “military units in Yanbian were relocated from Heilongjiang Province, thus adding 300,000 troops along the border,” Chosun Ilbo reported.

RFA’s source also said China has moved several missile defense batteries to reservoirs near rivers that serve as part of the border between the two countries. This is because, as Chosun Ilbo wrote, China’s troops “could be swept away if the North tore down the banks of the reservoirs or they were destroyed by missiles or air strikes.”

The South Korean outlet also noted that on January 24, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported that the Chinese military unit that would be the first to cross the border in the event of war has been armed with China’s most sophisticated surface-to-air missiles.

The news comes days away from the opening of the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The lead-up to the games has seen a de-escalation in tensions on the Korean Peninsula, though many believe the softening of tensions will be temporary.

Meanwhile, newly published photos have revealed the extent of China’s militarization of its artificial islands in the South China Sea. Those waters are a major point of contention between China and the United States, with the U.S. accusing China of trying to aggressively exert its dominance in the region.

Minimalistic Mockup Of A Paperback Book With A Customizable Background 3438 El1

Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan

by Scott Horton

Minimalistic Mockup Of A Paperback Book With A Customizable Background 3438 El1 (3)

What Social Animals Owe to Each Other

by Sheldon Richman

Minimalistic Mockup Of A Paperback Book With A Customizable Background 3438 El1 (2)

Coming to Palestine

by Sheldon Richman

Minimalistic Mockup Of A Paperback Book With A Customizable Background 3438 El1 (4)

No Quarter: The Ravings of William Norman Grigg

by Will Grigg

Minimalistic Mockup Of A Paperback Book With A Customizable Background 3438 El1 (1)

The Great Ron Paul

by Scott Horton

Pin It on Pinterest