Sunday, May 20, 2012

Daily Kor for Sunday, May 20, 2012: Old work starts anew

It's been a long, grueling semester (or two), but I'm hoping to bring back the Daily Kor (or at least the weekly Kor) as part of my evil plan to topple my sworn enemies at The Marmot's Hole and ROK Drop as the go-to sources for up-to-date Korean news my continuing mission to inform readers about what's going on in and around the peninsula.

Meanwhile, it looks like (story #1) I'm not the only one resuming work: Out latest installment of "Norks with Nukes" has the Pyongyang regime restarting work at the Yŏngbyŏn facility, according to analysis at 38 North, a think tank at the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University. (Interesting side note: The North Koreans spell the local name 녕변 (Nyŏngbyŏn), not 영변 (Yŏngbyŏn); I don't know why I didn't realize that until now.)
  1. US-Korea Institute analysis shows North Korea is resuming work on nuclear reactor at Yongbyon (NYT, Bloomberg, CNN, Donga Ilbo)
    • Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stresses Pyongyang's need to adhere to international norms on nuclear issues, says DPRK would face more isolation if it "continues down the path of provocation"(Reuters)
    • US President Barack Hussein Obama says G-8 is united on North Korea (AP via NPR)
    • US House of Representatives passes defense authorization bill recommending redeployment of tactical nuclear weapons on Korean Peninsula (Yonhap, Korea Times)
    • Tea Party officials ask if renewed work at Yŏngbyŏn is part of Obama's stimulus package gone awry
  2. UN diplomats say North Korea continues to violate sanctions, citing possible attempts to ship arms to Syria and Myanmar and illegally import luxury goods (AP via WaPo)
  3. China demands information on fishermen detained by North Korea (WSJ)
    • Some Chinese reported freed (Korea Herald)
    • Monster Island take on this issue here
  4. South Korean satellite launched from Japan successfully reaches orbit (Yonhap, AP via NPR)
  5. Seoul Metropolitan Government to subsidize two-thirds of cost of electric vehicles (Korea Herald)
  6. Over three dozen students injured, some severely, when tour bus in Kangwon-do suffering brake failure plummets over 13-meter precipice (Joongang Daily)
  7. Hyundai Engineering & Construction submits bid for $1 billion power plant in western Iraq (Reuters)
  8. Nearly two-thirds of South Koreans say Kwangju Incident played vital role in country's democratization (Yonhap, Korea Times)
  9. South Korean stocks plunge 3.4 percent on worries about Europe's economic woes (Yonhap, Korea Herald)
    • Kushibo's note: This is part of a long-standing situation in Korea where the currency and/or the stock market go up or down (more often down, it seems) based on events that are completely out of South Korea's control but somehow go to concerns about South Korean stability
  10. Woori Bank sues Merrill Lynch in Manhattan Federal court, claiming that Merrill defrauded it in a series of transactions in 2005 and 2006, selling interests in seven CDOs designed to move toxic mortgage assets off Merrill’s books (Bloomberg)
  11. Prosecutors find tens of millions of dollars in accounts linked to brother of late former President Roh Moohyun (Donga Ilbo)
  12. With summer travel season fast approaching, US State Department issues travel tips for Americans to avoid terrorism while overseas (AP

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