North Korea Reportedly Entering ‘State Of War’ Against South Korea

North Korea Reportedly Entering ‘State Of War’ Against South Korea

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea warned Seoul on Saturday that the Korean Peninsula had entered “a state of war” and threatened to shut down a border factory complex that’s the last major symbol of inter-Korean cooperation.

Analysts say a full-scale conflict is extremely unlikely, noting that the Korean Peninsula has remained in a technical state of war for 60 years. But the North’s continued threats toward Seoul and Washington, including a vow to launch a nuclear strike, have raised worries that a misjudgment between the sides could lead to a clash.

In Washington, the White House said Saturday that the United States is taking seriously the new threats by North Korea but also noted Pyongyang’s history of “bellicose rhetoric.”

North Korea’s threats are seen as efforts to provoke the new government in Seoul, led by President Park Geun-hye, to change its policies toward Pyongyang, and to win diplomatic talks with Washington that could get it more aid. North Korea’s moves are also seen as ways to build domestic unity as young leader Kim Jong Un strengthens his military credentials.

On Thursday, U.S. military officials revealed that two B-2 stealth bombers dropped dummy munitions on an uninhabited South Korean island as part of annual defense drills that Pyongyang sees as rehearsals for invasion. Hours later, Kim ordered his generals to put rockets on standby and threatened to strike American targets if provoked.

North Korea said in a statement Saturday that it would deal with South Korea according to “wartime regulations” and would retaliate against any provocations by the United States and South Korea without notice.

“Now that the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK have entered into an actual military action, the inter-Korean relations have naturally entered the state of war,” said the statement, which was carried by Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency, referring to the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Provocations “will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war,” the statement said.

Hours after the statement, Pyongyang threatened to shut down the jointly run Kaesong industrial park, expressing anger over media reports suggesting the complex remained open because it was a source of hard currency for the impoverished North.”If the puppet group seeks to tarnish the image of the DPRK even a bit, while speaking of the zone whose operation has been barely maintained, we will shut down the zone without mercy,” an identified spokesman for the North’s office controlling Kaesong said in comments carried by KCNA.

South Korea’s Unification Ministry responded by calling the North Korean threat “unhelpful” to the countries’ already frayed relations and vowed to ensure the safety of hundreds of South Korean managers who cross the border to their jobs in Kaesong. It did not elaborate.

South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said the country’s military remains mindful of the possibility that increasing North Korean drills near the border could lead to an actual provocation.

“The series of North Korean threats – announcing all-out war, scrapping the cease-fire agreement and the non-aggression agreement between the South and the North, cutting the military hotline, entering into combat posture No. 1 and entering a `state of war’ – are unacceptable and harm the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula,” Kim said.

“We are maintaining full military readiness in order to protect our people’s lives and security,” he told reporters Saturday.

In Washington, Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, noted the “reports of a new and unconstructive statement from North Korea.”

“We take these threats seriously and remain in close contact with our South Korean allies,” Hayden said. “But, we would also note that North Korea has a long history of bellicose rhetoric and threats, and today’s announcement follows that familiar pattern.”

The White House has stressed the U.S. government’s capability and willingness to defend itself and its allies and interests in the region, if necessary.

“We remain fully prepared and capable of defending and protecting the United States and our allies,” Hayden said.

The two Koreas remain technically at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. Naval skirmishes in the disputed waters off the Korean coast have led to bloody battles several times over the years.

But on the streets of Seoul on Saturday, South Koreans said they were not worried about an attack from North Korea.

“From other countries’ point of view, it may seem like an extremely urgent situation,” said Kang Tae-hwan, a private tutor. “But South Koreans don’t seem to be that nervous because we’ve heard these threats from the North before.”

The Kaesong industrial park, which is run with North Korean labor and South Korean know-how, has been operating normally, despite Pyongyang shutting down a communications channel typically used to coordinate travel by South Korean workers to and from the park just across the border in North Korea. The rivals are now coordinating the travel indirectly, through an office at Kaesong that has outside lines to South Korea.

North Korea has previously made such threats about Kaesong without acting on them, and recent weeks have seen a torrent of bellicose rhetoric from Pyongyang. North Korea is angry about the South Korea-U.S. military drills and new U.N. sanctions over its nuclear test last month.

Dozens of South Korean firms run factories in the border town of Kaesong. Using North Korea’s cheap, efficient labor, the Kaesong complex produced $470 million worth of goods last year.

Associated Press White House reporter Darlene Superville contributed to this report.


U.S., China Pledge To Work Together On North Korea Situation, John Kerry Says


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, gestures while shaking hands with China’s Premier Li Keqiang during a meeting at the Zhongnanhai compound in Beijing Saturday, April 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Jason Lee, Pool)

BEIJING — U.S. and Chinese leaders said Saturday that their countries are committed to finding a peaceful way to ensure a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

“We are determined to make that goal a reality,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said after talks with Chinese officials and before having dinner with China’s foreign policy chief, Yang Jiechi.

“China and the United States must together take steps in order to achieve the goal of a denuclearized Korean peninsula. And today we agreed that further discussions to bear down very quickly with great specificity on exactly how we will accomplish this goal,” America’s top diplomat told reporters.

Yang, speaking through an interpreter, said China was “firmly committed to upholding peace and stability and advancing the denuclearization process on the Korean peninsula. We maintain that the issue should be handled and resolved peacefully.”

He said China will work with the U.S. and other nations involved in past international talks on North Korea, adding that “to properly address the Korean nuclear issue serves the interests of all parties.”

Kerry spoke of “our joint commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in a peaceful manner. We agreed that this is of critical importance for the stability of the region and indeed for the world and indeed for all of our nonproliferation efforts.”

JYJFantalk Source: Associated Press+Yahoo News

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North Korea Warns Foreigners To Leave South

North Korea Warns Foreigners To Leave South

Reuters/Reuters – North Korean soldiers look to the South as they patrol at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone separating the North from South Korea in Paju, about 55 km (34 miles) north of Seoul March 19, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

By Christine Kim and Joyce Lee

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea intensified threats of an imminent conflict against the United States and the South on Tuesday, warning foreigners to evacuate South Korea to avoid being dragged into a “merciless, sacred, retaliatory war”.

The North’s latest antagonistic message belied an atmosphere free of anxiety in the South Korean capital, where the city center was bustling with traffic and offices operated normally.

Pyongyang has shown no sign of preparing its 1.2 million-strong army for war, indicating the threat could be partly intended to bolster Kim Jong-un, 30, the third in his family to lead the reclusive country.

None of the embassies in Seoul appeared to have issued any directives to their nationals after the warning and airlines reported no changes in their schedules. Schools catering to foreign pupils worked without interruption.

The warning, read out on North Korea’s state television in a bulletin that interrupted normal programming, was the latest threat in weeks of high tension following U.N. sanctions slapped on Pyongyang for its latest nuclear arms test.

It followed the North’s suspension of activity at the Kaesong joint industrial park just inside North Korea, all but closing down the last remnant of cooperation between the neighbors. North Korean workers failed to turn up on Tuesday.

North Korea had said South Korea was trying to turn the Kaesong complex into a “hotbed of war”.

The warning to foreigners, reported by the KCNA news agency said once war broke out “it will be an all-out war, a merciless, sacred, retaliatory war to be waged by (North Korea).

“It does not want to see foreigners in South Korea fall victim to the war,” the agency quoted the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee as saying.

“The committee informs all foreign institutions and enterprises and foreigners, including tourists…that they are requested to take measures for shelter and evacuation in advance for their safety.”

Last week, North Korean authorities advised embassies in Pyongyang to consider pulling out in case of war, though none appeared to have taken any such action.


Speculation has grown that the North would launch some sort of provocative action this week — perhaps a missile launch or a fresh nuclear weapons test.

A government source in Seoul said a North Korean medium-range missile, reported to have been shunted to the east coast, had been tracked and was believed to be ready for launch.

“Technically, they can launch it as early as tomorrow,” the source said.

But a U.S. embassy official in Seoul said a directive issued last week saying there was no imminent threat to Americans in South Korea remained valid. “Our workers are in all our offices today,” he said. “We have not evacuated anyone.”

A Philippine foreign ministry spokesman quoted diplomats at its Seoul embassy as saying the situation “remains normal and calm”.

Stocks, which had fallen 4 percent over the past four days, edged higher on Tuesday despite the warning to foreigners. The won currency moved little, dipping slightly after the North Korean statement.

Employers at the Kaesong complex faced uncertainty as the 53,000-strong North Korean workforce stayed away. A spokesman for textile company Taekwang Industrial and at least two other firms said production had stopped.

About 475 South Korean workers and factory managers remain in Kaesong, which generates $2 billion in trade for the impoverished North. The Seoul government said 77 would return on Tuesday.

North Korean workers at the park have appeared increasingly agitated in recent days, refusing to talk to their colleagues.

Many Southerners connected with the park bedded down at budget hotels in a nearby South Korean town in the hope that an order would come from the North to re-open.

“I have been feeling anxious now and then. Now it’s really preposterous facing this,” said Shing Dong-chul, 55, a South Korean worker who transports wire made in Kaesong.

“North Korean workers didn’t talk a lot, but they appeared to have complaints about Kaesong being closed. They worried whether they would be working or not.”

Addressing a cabinet meeting, South Korean President Park Geun-hye described the suspension of Kaesong as “very disappointing” and said investors would now shun the North.

Few experts had expected Pyongyang to jeopardize Kaesong, which employs more than 50,000 North Koreans making household goods for 123 South Korean firms.


The zone is practically the last vestige of the “Sunshine Policy” of rapprochement between the two Koreas and a powerful symbol that the divided country could one day reunify.

South Korean companies are estimated to have invested around $500 million in the park since 2004.

World leaders have expressed alarm at the crisis and the prospect of a conflict involving a country claiming to be developing nuclear weapons.

China, the North’s sole diplomatic and financial ally, issued a new call for calm and restraint, though Beijing’s leaders have shown increasing impatience with Pyongyang.

“We ask all the relevant sides to bear in mind regional peace and stability and earnestly protect the legal rights and safety of citizens,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a briefing.

A Russian foreign ministry spokesman, in a statement on the ministry’s website, said Moscow was in solidarity with all G8 industrialized countries “as regards the rejection of Pyongyang’s current provocative and bellicose line of conduct”.

The North is also angry at weeks of joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises off the coast of the peninsula, with B-2 stealth bombers dispatched from their U.S. bases.

But the United States announced the postponement last weekend of a long-planned missile launch, a move officials said was aimed at easing tensions on the peninsula.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits Seoul this week and the North holds celebrations, and possibly military demonstrations, next Monday to mark the birth date of its founder, Kim Il-Sung – the current leader’s grandfather.

In Washington, U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter urged China to use its influence with the North and said Moscow wanted similar action from Beijing.

But Chinese criticism of North Korea is unlikely to mean tough new action against Pyongyang because China would see any collapse of its troublesome neighbor as a disaster.

(Additional reporting by Ju-min Park in PAJU, Jack Kim in Seoul, Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Manuel Mogato in Manila and Steve Gutterman in Moscow; Writing by Ron Popeski; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

JYJFantalk Source: yahoo news

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121212 US: North Korea Missile Launch is ‘Provocative Act’

US: North Korea Missile Launch Is ‘Provocative Act’

By MATTHEW PENNINGTON | Associated Press

A screen shows a rocket being launched from a launch pad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, at North Korea’s satellite control centre in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province, in this photo released by …

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House was quick to condemn North Korea’s successful launch of a long-range rocket, calling it a “highly provocative act” that threatens regional security.

Tuesday’s launch, which caught the world by surprise, apparently placed an object in Earth orbit, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said, but neither the missile nor debris from the launch posed a threat to North America.

The launch directly violated U.N. Security Council resolutions and contravened North Korea’s international obligations, the White House said in a terse statement that labeled the launch “a highly provocative act.”

“This action is yet another example of North Korea’s pattern of irresponsible behavior. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and fully committed to the security of our allies in the region,” the statement from National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said. “Given this current threat to regional security, the United States will strengthen and increase our close coordination with allies and partners.”

“The international community must work in a concerted fashion to send North Korea a clear message that its violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions have consequences,” Vietor said.

North Korea declared the launch of a rocket and satellite a success early Wednesday local time. Three hours later, the U.S. military confirmed that an object appeared to achieve orbit.

On Saturday, North Korea had widened the dates during which it might conduct the launch of its Unha-3 rocket, citing a technical problem. Washington says the launch is a cover for testing technology for missiles that could be used to strike the United States. The previous four attempts all failed.

“It was a surprise in terms of the timing,” said Bruce Bennett, senior defense analyst with the RAND think tank. “They had talked about postponing for a week. To recover so quickly from technical problems suggests they have gotten good at putting together a missile.”

North Korea has also conducted two nuclear tests since 2006, deepening international concern over its capabilities, although it is not believed to have mastered how to mount a nuclear warhead on a missile.

The U.S., Japan and South Korea last week vowed to seek further U.N. Security Council action if the North conducted a launch. It remained to be seen whether Russia and China, the North’s main ally, would agree to further sanctions.

Victor Cha, a Korea expert at Georgetown University and a former White House policy director for Asia, said a successful launch was a major national security concern for the United States.

He said there would still be technical hurdles for the North to overcome, particularly in terms of getting a rocket to re-enter the atmosphere, but it would mean that North Korea is able to launch a long-range ballistic missile — the first rival state to the U.S. do so since the Soviet Union and China.

Rep. Ed Royce, incoming Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the launch showed that new North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had no intention of giving up his nuclear weapons program. Royce also criticized U.S. policy toward Pyongyang, calling it a “long-term failure.”

“The Obama administration’s approach continues to be unimaginative and moribund. We can either take a different approach, or watch as the North Korean threat to the region and the U.S. grows,” Royce said in a statement.

credit: associated press+yahoo news

Momma’s source: Yahoo News

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120416 Forbes: North Korea: A Paper Tiger Threatens The Peace

4/16/2012 @ 12:49PM
North Korea: A Paper Tiger Threatens the Peace
Doug Bandow, Contributor
I write about domestic and international policy.

By Doug Bandow

Dealing with North Korea always leaves a sense of déjà vu.  Whether Pyongyang is making threats, proposing negotiations, pocketing concessions, or violating agreements, the U.S. and its allies have heard it all before.  The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is perfectly predictable in an unpredictable sort of way.

Dealing with the DPRK will never be easy.  The best policy would be one of containment, with the U.S. stepping back and placing more responsibility on the North’s neighbors to handle the problem child.

The North’s latest provocation was last week’s “satellite” launch.  The missile broke up and fell into the ocean, leading to a South Korean attempt to find the pieces.  The fiasco left Pyongyang looking like a paper tiger, but Seoul warns that a third nuclear test may be next.

North Korea’s missile shot—formally an effort to place a weather satellite into orbit—came just weeks after the Obama administration cut a deal to provide food assistance in return for a halt in nuclear tests and uranium enrichment.  Pyongyang also was expected to return to the so-called Six Party talks with the objective of eliminating the North’s nuclear program.

That agreement is now kaput.  At least the Obama administration did not have high expectations.  Secretary of State Hilary Clinton called the pact “A modest first step in the right direction,” and the effort probably was a useful probe of Pyongyang’s intentions.  The administration’s mistake was to believe that this “modest first step” was worth paying for.  Now Washington looks credulous or even incompetent, while the DPRK again has won worldwide media coverage.

There is disagreement over whether North Korea consciously violated the latest accord or genuinely didn’t believe that it had agreed to forgo missile launches.  But no matter:  President Barack Obama denounced Pyongyang’s “bad behavior” and negotiations with the North have hit another dead end.  Tomorrow the DPRK could collapse or the new rulers in Pyongyang could embark upon a radical program of perestroika, but unfortunately the West must act on the assumption that the country will remain a Stalinist fossil for many years to come.

Moreover, the North remains in the midst of an uncertain power transition.  Kim Jong-un, the roughly (we aren’t sure) 29-year-old young son and grandson of North Korea’s prior two dictators, has received the titles and other trappings of power, though it is not clear how much authority he actually wields.  Grandfather Kim Il-sung took decades to transfer power to Kim Jong-il  Kim Jong-il was barely two years into a similar shift to Kim Jong-un when the former died.

Pyongyang’s corridors of power are filled with family members, party officials,and military officers who have little reason to turn power over to an untested youngster who lacked the time and perhaps skill necessary to make the system his servant.  Even his uncle and aunt, apparently tasked by Kim Jong-il to help shepherd the son along, are far better positioned to grab supreme power, if not formal leadership.  Nor are senior military officers likely to play sycophant to the recently minted “four star general.”

Moreover, the leadership may be focused on internal developments for another reason.  2012 is the centenary of the birth of founding dictator Kim Il-sung.  Major celebrations were held yesterday on his birthday.  Kim Jong-il had set 2012 as the year North Korea would demonstrate that it was prosperous and powerful.  The supposed satellite launch was just one of many steps likely to be taken in coming months to promote this end.

The allied objective long has been a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.  Indeed, leaders on both sides of the Pacific often have talked of refusing to accept a nuclear North Korea, insisting that the DPRK’s possession of nuclear weapons was simply unacceptable.

It is a worthy goal, but probably unobtainable.  There has never been any evidence that Pyongyang was inclined to give up whatever weapons it has obtained at great cost.  Doing so would leave the North vulnerable to a foreign attempt at regime change, eliminate the need for any other nation to pay any attention to what is a small and impoverished nation, and lose a useful tool for financial extortion.

Abandoning nuclear weapons also would directly contradict the Kim family’s “military first” policy which solidified political support from the armed forces.  Kim Jong-il may have had the power to overrule the military’s wishes but apparently was not inclined to do so.  Kim Jong-un almost certainly does not have such authority, and no one hoping to survive, let alone rise, in North Korean politics today likely will challenge the military on the issue. A collective leadership where competition for power is intense and the outcome is open inevitably will limit negotiating options with the West.


There still may be room for an agreement—to, for instance, stop any further plutonium production or uranium enrichment.  Simply freezing the North’s nuclear program would be worthwhile and would ease fears of proliferation.  Still, no one in Pyongyang would accept such limits out of the goodness of their hearts.  The price for any pact, especially including verification inspections, would be high.  And it is hard to imagine a consensus arising in Pyongyang so long as the leadership remains unsettled.

Yet there is no alternative to negotiation.  Six years ago, before becoming deputy defense secretary, Ashton Carter advocated military strikes on North Korea, but the administration does not appear to be considering such a policy, and rightly so.  Military action likely would trigger another Korean War, with hideous consequences for all concerned.

Of course, Pyongyang might do nothing in response to a U.S. attack, but more likely would view military action as a prelude to coercive regime change.  Then it would make sense for the North to strike first, and Seoul is within range of Scuds and artillery.  While neither China nor Russia likely would intervene on the DPRK’s behalf, starting a war on their borders would greatly complicate Washington’s relationship with both nations.

Sanctions are everyone’s preferred tool, but the North Korean leadership is willing to impose enormous hardship on the North Korean people to pursue its political ends.  Moreover, sanctions won’t be effective without Beijing’s acquiescence.  And so far the People’s Republic of China is committed to stability on the peninsula.

Which leads back to negotiation.  Washington should use the North’s failed launch to reemphasize the role of diplomacy while moving in a new direction.

It is probably less painful to have a root canal than dicker with a North Korean diplomat.  Nevertheless, the DPRK appears to behave less provocatively while talking with America and South Korea, in particular.  In contrast, at a time of relative isolation two years ago the North torpedoed a South Korean warship and bombarded a South Korean island.  Even if talks go no where they may perform a useful role.

Thus, Washington should pursue discussions with limited expectations.  Let North Korean officials talk without pressing hard for an unattainable agreement.  Keep Pyongyang at the table, which it perceives as having some value, even if the process otherwise seems to be a waste of time.

At the same time, Washington should stop ostentatiously making public demands.  For instance, President Obama insisted that the North drop its missile launch.  His comments ensured that the North Koreans would move ahead.  A disappointed statement of regret would have sufficed, followed by a conscious effort to downplay the issue.  Pyongyang’s objective is to win attention and create anxiety.  The U.S. should not provide the first or evidence the second.  In fact, the North’s failed launch demonstrated that the event received a build-up far exceeding the stakes.  After describing the satellite as the “cream” of the nation’s space technology and claiming the launch to be an “inspiring deed,” the DPRK has been profoundly embarrassed.

Moreover, Washington should suggest that the U.S. and North Korea establish consular relations.  If the North wants America’s “respect,” then let it have it.  In return, the American government would be free to raise any issue, from security to human rights, in what hopefully would become an ongoing dialogue.  The objective would not be to argue Kim Jong-un away from totalitarian communism, but to open a small window into the DPRK, create a communication channel, and offer the prospect of expanded future ties.

At the same time, the U.S. should step back.  Even if North Korea had a long-range missile that worked, Kim Jong-un & Co. would not use it against America.  North Korea has a return address and the U.S. has a devastating retaliatory capacity.  Kim wants his virgins in this world, not the next.  None of his colleagues want to play a game of self-immolation.

Without forces in South Korea, the U.S. could stand largely aloof from the North’s antics.  Washington would still worry about proliferation, but would face no direct threat of a North Korean nuclear attack, no matter how small.  Unfortunately, today 27,000 Americans stationed in the South act as nuclear hostages.  Yet their presence is not necessary for the ROK’s defense.  Seoul enjoys a 40-1 economic and 2-1 population advantage over the North.  Washington should turn responsibility for South Korea’s defense over to the South Koreans, whereit long has belonged.

As the U.S. disengages militarily, it should indicate that it plans to step behind the North’s neighbors as they deal with Pyongyang.  The ROK should take the lead in confronting North Korea.  On questions from trade and investment to conventional deterrence, the South should be the country responding to the North.  Japan also has an important role to play in both economic and security matters, since its relatively pacifist tendencies have been challenged by the DPRK’s multiple provocations.

Washington should work with both the South and Japan to develop a “grand bargain” diplomatic package for North Korea to present to Beijing.  The PRC routinely calls for negotiations.  The U.S. should call on China to support an allied plan offering to swap recognition, trade, and aid for denuclearization.  And Washington should request Chinese support for the plan (while addressing Beijings fears about the economic and geopolitical costs of a North Korean collapse).  The U.S. should request a commitment to squeeze investment as well as aid flows and energy shipments should the North refuse to make a deal.

If China refuses, Washington should politely indicate that the PRC will bear the burden if things go badly on the Korean peninsula.  And should North Korea come calling to request aid to feed its starving population,the U.S. will point the way to Beijing.

Moreover, Washington should explain, if the North insists on creating an expansive nuclear arsenal, that the U.S. will reconsider its objection to South Korea and Japan possessing nuclear weapons.  After all, it makes little sense for America to ensure that the only secondary power with nukes is the region’s most brutal and least trustworthy state.  If the PRC is going to protect its discreditable ally, it should pay the full price for doing so.  Chinese officials should wake up to the same nightmares as those which now disturb policymakers in America, South Korea, and Japan.

It’s déjà vu all over again, observed Yogi Berra.  Such is the result of negotiating with North Korea.  Washington may have no choice but to continue talking with DPRK.  But the U.S. needs to step back, turning principal responsibility for the disagreeable task over to those with the most at stake, Pyongyang’s unfortunate neighbors.

credit: Doug Bandow

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Feeling Under The Weather? Spit On Your Smartphone Then!

I thought that this was rather interesting. I’m sure the medical profession will be worried about losing revenues.  😉  I noticed that the byline says, ” If the work of a pair of scientists”…These kinds of innovative ideas can get squashed by those benefiting the most from the present system, even though it sounds like a great help to us as patients.

Feeling Under The Weather? Spit On Your Smartphone Then!
By Trevor Mogg | Digital Trends

If the work of a pair of scientists in South Korea is developed further, a future where people are commonly seen spitting onto their smartphones may not be too far off.

The two scientists, Hyun Gyu Park and Byoung Yeon Won, believe the smartphone of tomorrow could be used to diagnose an infection by placing a small amount of saliva onto its touchscreen. An app (what else?) would then be used to analyse the sample and identify the user’s ailment.

As explained by the New Scientist, it works through the touchscreen’s ability to detect minuscule differences between various types of saliva, depending on the virus present.

“Since these touchscreens can detect very small capacitance changes we thought they could serve as highly sensitive detection platforms for disease biomarkers,” Park said.

Using an iPhone-sized touchscreen in an experiment, the pair showed that such technology was indeed capable of detecting bacteria and could even differentiate between varying concentrations of the bacteria contained within the tiny droplets placed on the screen.

The scientists, based at the Korea Advanced Institute for Science and Technology in Daejeon, admitted that there’s still some way to go with the research. Up to now Park and Won have failed to find a way of getting the technology to identify individual pathogens, though they believe it will be possible at some point.

It sounds like an excellent idea, though spreading infected saliva on your phone may not do much to contain a virus. Fortunately, Park is planning to develop a film which can be stuck onto the touchscreen. “Nobody wants direct application of bio-samples onto their phone,” he told the New Scientist.

If the technology does become a reality, it could also allow people in their homes with long-term illnesses to monitor their condition, saving an unnecessary trip to the hospital, or flagging up a serious problem early if one arises.

[Image: mezzotint / Shutterstock]

Momma’s Source: YahooNews

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My Mini Black Dress: Movie, Released with English Subs 7 June

My Mini Black Dress; Movie, Released w/ English Subs.7 Jun

My Mini Black Dress_
Little Black Dress” depicts the friendships, jealousies, hopes and failures of four 24-year-old girls. The girls first met as first year students in college. They seem to be enjoying their 20′s, but inside they all have worries. It Has Now been released w/ English Subs, Care to Watch?

Yoo-Min (Yoon Eun-Hye) still doesn’t know what she wants to do. Somehow she gets a job as an assistant to a top writer. Yoo-Min wasn’t even sure if she would take the job as an assistant, but after seeing an expensive black mini dress at luxury department store she buys the dress with the writer’s credit card and in the process accepts the job. Yoo-Min’s job turns out to be more of a babysitter for the writer’s twin sons. By chance, Yoo-Min runs into high-school acquaintance Young-Mi who also works as a writer’s assistant.

Hye-Ji (Park Han-Byul) is busy playing around and living the life of a socialite. One day, she is scouted by a talent agency. She then becomes the face for a high profile ad campaign and shoots to stardom. Her other 3 friends become jealous of her.

Soo-Jin (Cha Ye-Ryeon) holds the most jealousy over Hye-Ji’s sudden fame, because she has tried unsuccessfully to become an actress. Soo-Jin has failed many different auditions. Compounding her problems, her father’s business has gone bankrupt.

Min-Hee (Yoo In-Na) has rich parents, but her parents got divorced. Min-Hee now wants to study abroad, but her poor English skills holds her back.

Revised romanization: Mai Beulraek Minideureseu
Hangul: 마이 블랙 미니드레스
Director: Heo In-MooWriter: Kim Min-Seo (novel), Heo In-MooProducer: Jang Suk-Bin, Jung-Hyun, Kim Woo-Sang, Kim Jung-Bok, Ahn Soo-Yeon
Cinematographer: Yoon Hong-Sik
Release Date: March 24, 2011
Runtime: 107 min.
Distributor: CJ Entertainment Language: Korean | Country: South Korea

This isn’t a Scam, You Can Find it HERE


100% Completely Honest.

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The Dark Side of South Korean Pop Music

The Dark Side of South Korean Pop Music
Posted on June 15, 2011
by DBSK Always

NEWS] 110614 The Dark Side Of South Korean Pop Music reports:

K-Pop sensations Girls’ Generation on stage in Seoul

South Korea’s pop industry is big business in Asia. As K-Pop sets its sights on Europe and the US, will this force a change in the way it treats its artists?

Selling singles is no way for a pop star to make money these days. Most artists find that touring and merchandise sales are more lucrative. So when it comes to concerts, size matters.

This is why the biggest date in the Korean pop calendar – the Dream Concert, at which up to 20 bands perform – is held in Seoul’s 66,800-seat World Cup Stadium.

Teenage crushes come here for a once-a-year date in a national love story, where commitment is measured in coloured balloons, and devotion is knowing all the words.

Most of the bands, like Super Junior and Wonder Girls, are household names; highly produced, sugary boy- and girl-bands with slick dance routines and catchy tunes.

But the industry also has a less glamorous side: a history of controversy and legal disputes over the way it treats its young artists, which it is still struggling to shake.

Fans of K-Pop star Rain helped him nab top spot in Time’s list of influential people

K-Pop is a massive industry: global sales were worth over $30m (£18m) in 2009, and that figure is likely to have doubled last year, according to a government website.

Industry leaders are also ambitious – Korean stars are beating a path to Japan, America and Europe. This month, South Korea’s biggest production company, SM Entertainment, held its first European concert in Paris, part of a year-long world tour.

In April, Korea’s king of pop, Rain, was voted the most influential person of the year by readers of Time magazine. And earlier this year, boy band Big Bang reached the top 10 album chart on US iTunes.

Follow the money

Korea is excited by what this new musical export could do for its image – and its economy.

But some of K-Pop’s biggest success stories were built on the back of so-called slave contracts, which tied its trainee-stars into long exclusive deals, with little control or financial reward.

Rainbow’s singers put in the hours

Rainbow is a seven-member girl-band, each singer named after a different colour. If any group could lead to a pot of gold, you would think they would.

But Rainbow – currently in a seven-year contract with their management company, DSP – say that, despite working long hours for almost two years, their parents were “heartbroken” at how little they were getting paid.

A director for DSP says they do share profits with the group, but admits that after the company recoups its costs, there is sometimes little left for the performers.

K-Pop is expensive to produce. The groups are highly manufactured, and can require a team of managers, choreographers and wardrobe assistants, as well as years of singing lessons, dance training, accommodation and living expenses.

The bill can add up to several hundred thousand dollars. Depending on the group, some estimates say it is more like a million.

Musical exports

But music sales in South Korea alone do not recoup that investment. For all their passion, home-grown fans are not paying enough for K-Pop.

The CD industry is stagnant, and digital music sites are seen as vastly underpriced, with some charging just a few cents a song.

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Bernie Cho, head of music distribution label DFSB Kollective, says online music sellers have dropped their prices too low in a bid to compete with pirated music sites.

“But how do you slice a fraction of a penny, and give that to the artist? You can’t do it,” he says.

With downward pressure on music prices at home, “many top artists make more money from one week in Japan than they do in one year in Korea”, Mr Cho says.

Company representatives say concerts and advertising bring in far more than music sales. “Overseas markets have been good to us,” says one spokesman. South Korean musicians need to perform on home turf, but “Japan is where all the money is”.

As acts start to make money overseas, he says this “broken business model” – underpricing – is creeping into their activities abroad.

A former policy director at South Korea’s main artists’ union, Moon Jae-gap, believes the industry will go through a major upheaval. “Because at the moment, it’s not sustainable,” he says.

Until that happens, he says, artists will continue to have difficulty making a living.

South Korea’s government is keen to promote its new international identity, one many hope could rival Japan’s cool cultural image.

The only question is whether the industry ends up more famous for its music, or for its problems.

Source: [BBC]
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