November 21, 2019 12:55 Train tickets between Russia and North Korea have sold out as many North Korean slave laborers are going home to meet the year-end deadline for their repatriation set by the UN Security Council.A source in Ussuriysk told Radio Free Asia on Tuesday that train tickets between Moscow and Pyongyang are sold out until the end of the year. The situation is the same in Vladivostok, and a source there said, "I've never seen train tickets to Pyongyang sold out a month in advance." Nepal also recently submitted a report to the UN that it has deported 33 North Korean workers, VOA reported the same day. In China, North Korean slave laborers are reportedly being kept on in rotation on tourist visas to subvert the deadline.The North Korean regime typically steals the bulk of overseas laborers' wages and keeps them virtual prisoners under the control of trade officers at building sites, logging camps and Korean restaurants.Read this article in Korean China, Russia … [Read more...] about N.Korean Slave Laborers Set to Return Home from Russia
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November 21, 2019 12:25 Former U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has expressed concerns over the recent cancelation of joint South Korea-U.S. aerial drills. "I don't know the facts, but those kinds of concession [to North Korea] before have not worked out," Hagel told Radio Free Asia on Monday."I don't know in detail what their agreements were in order to postpone those exercises," he said. "I would hope that whatever the reason was we postponed is a good reason. I hope it leads to an ultimate breakthrough in relation with North Korea... I would assume that's why they did it." He added, "Those exercises have been very important to combat readiness to preparation on the peninsula for both South Korean forces and U.S. forces." "But to unilaterally, arbitrarily postpone those exercises for no good reason is dangerous," he warned. S.Korea, U.S. Postpone Joint Aerial Drills S.Korea, U.S to Revive Aerial Drill Under New Name U.S., Korea Cancel Massive Aerial Drill Again … [Read more...] about Ex-U.S. Defense Chief Warns Against Delaying Joint Air Drill
November 21, 2019 13:05 A team of researchers from South Korea, China and Japan have discovered that more than 30 percent of ultrafine dust (PM 2.5) in South Korea is carried over from China. This is the first time China has accepted responsibility after years of denial. The National Institute of Environmental Research detailed the findings in a report that all three countries signed off on. The report was released Wednesday ahead of a trilateral environment ministers' meeting on Saturday, raising hopes of increased cross-border cooperation in fighting toxic emissions. But skeptics point out that the three countries arrived at the figures by simply averaging out all their individual estimates for major cities, rather than checking the figures independently. Subject to analysis were three Korean cities (Seoul, Busan and Daejeon), six Chinese cities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Qingdao, Shenyang and Dalian), and three Japanese cities (Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka).Also, data from … [Read more...] about China Accepts Responsibility for Toxic Haze
Like every year, there are several contenders for Person of the Year, 2018. I thought of Fortnite, the gaming sensation, but it pales in front of the Chinese checkers between Trump and Jinping. McCain and Bush’s demise reminded us of Vietnam, Iraq and the Cold War. On the centenary of Armistice, a new war may have just begun. Trade conflict is a small part of a larger battle. America’s ‘Tariff man’ should better know that his tantrums can trample Mexico or Canada, but it’s difficult to trump China. Remember, China and India accounted for over half of global GDP two centuries ago. It is not the West’s sunset time yet, but the clock is reversing. US hegemony is challenged as China gradually regains its polar position. Yes, China is ascending a great wall of debt, but its will to dominate is taller. Arrest a CFO, impose tariffs, block investments or play military games; nothing would cut the Middle Kingdom’s ambitions. The boundaries of … [Read more...] about Person of the Year: Definitely not Trump, Modi, Mbappe, MeToo brigade, Fed or FAANG!
November 21, 2019 13:30 There are rumblings in the administration of notoriously peevish U.S. President Donald Trump that it will pull some troops out of Korea unless Seoul agrees to pay an exorbitant bill for their upkeep. Asked about the possibility of downsizing the number of American troops stationed in South Korea, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, "I'm not going to prognosticate or speculate on what we may or may not do." The new U.S. defense secretary is fully aware of the impact that a troop downsizing would have on the security situation on the Korean Peninsula, and it is obvious why he gave such an ambiguous answer after cost-sharing talks collapsed on Tuesday.He wishes to use that threat as leverage in negotiations aimed at getting South Korea to quintuple its share of the expenses to keep 28,500 American soldiers stationed here. Just four days ago, Esper had vowed to "maintain current U.S. troop levels and improve combat readiness." But less than an hour after the … [Read more...] about U.S. Hint at Troop Pullout Points to Major Crisis