≡ S. Korean Man Freed After Kidnap In Libya
A South Korean worker who was abducted in Libya last year has been freed unharmed after 315 days of captivity.
National Security Advisor Chung Eui-yong announced this morning that the 62-year-old man, identified only by his surname Joo, was released Thursday afternoon Korea time.
Seoul's foreign ministry and spy agency had been working to set him free in cooperation with the Libyan government and other countries, including the U.S., the U.K., France and Italy.
Chung explained the rescue operation gained momentum after the United Arab Emirates stepped up efforts to help save Joo in line with a comittment made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during a summit with President Moon Jae-in in February.
He also confirmed the kidnappers were part of an armed criminal group based in southern Libya.
Joo is currently in Abu Dhabi and will return home tomorrow.
Three Filipinos, who were kidnapped with him, were also released.■
≡ Spirit Of Gwangju Movement Inspires Struggling Democracies
May 18th, 1980 is remembered by Gwangju citizens as the day in which the country experienced a painful process in achieving democracy.
However, there are still some in South Korea who attempt to distort related history with unfounded claims, including one that alleges North Korean agents were behind the movement to instigate riots.
Such stories are common in Asia, where the fight for democracy has been long and hard.
In the final of our two-part series, our Julie Sohn takes a closer look at the May 18 movement and its impact on the region.
Every country has its own history with its own political, religious and ethnic dynamics.
But at their core, they share similar backgrounds in their fight for justice, human rights and democracy.
tbs eFM's News linked up with activists from Asian countries like Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines who said the same drive and spirit of the Gwangju democratization movement exists in their countries.
This is Gianna Catolico from the Philippines.
"Foreign human rights organizations look up to the May 18 Uprising and are replicating the May 18 spirit in their respective countries. Just like the Philippines, many countries in the Asia-Pacific region and African continent are plummeting towards de-democratization and authoritarianism."
Anwar Sastro Maruf, president of Confederation of Indonesian People's Movement, said as a human rights and democracy activist, he felt a positive impact from the Gwangju movement and realized the Indonesian government should also be brave and reveal the truth about the gross human rights violations that continue in his country where democracy is still half gripped by the military regime.
Similarly, people in India are struggling under law that empowers the military to open fire at any individual, even if it results in death.
Babloo Loitongbam, director of Human Rights Alert in Manipur, says the spirit of Gwangju has influenced their fight.
"The network that the Gwangju Memorial Foundation and all are making is very critical for us to get inspiration. Seeing how lovingly the people in Gwangju have preserved this memory in a way that heals the wounds of the parts of injustice is something that we have drawn a lot of inspiration from."
Many believe that keeping the Gwangju movement alive, like many fights for democracy around the world, is necessary to inspire others to persevere and achieve the freedom they deserve.
Julie Sohn, eFM News.■[2019.05.17]
≡ UN Urges China Not To Send Back N. Korean Defectors
U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights in North Korea Tomas Ojea Quintana says he sent a letter to the Chinese government against sending North Korean defectors back to Pyongyang.
In an interview with Voice of America on Thursday, Quintana said he clearly urged China to not return the seven North Korean defectors currently in the country, adding he knows the despair that defector families are in, with some attempting to commit suicide to avoid repatriation.
He also said that while China considers North Korean defectors as illegal immigrants, under international laws they should not be returned as they face torture and threats to their lives.
Beijing reportedly has not yet given a response.■
≡ No 'Significant' Activity At N. Korean Missile Site: 38 North
No new activity has been spotted around key facilities at a North Korean missile site, but minor activities continue elsewhere in the complex.
The U.S. monitoring website 38 North said on Thursday commercial satellite imagery from May 10th showed no movement around the engine test stand or launch pad at the Dongchang-ri site since March 8th.
However, it said low levels of activity were observed at other areas, suggesting continued improvements to the complex.
The Sohae satellite launching station was the focus of intense scrutiny after it was reported in March that facilities there were being restored to normal operational status following their partial dismantlement last year.■
≡ Seoul Stocks In Midday Trade
Turning to the local bourse, stocks in Seoul are trading _______ at this hour.
As of noon, the benchmark KOPSI was up/down/flat _____ percent at _______ while the tech-heavy KOSDAQ was up/down/flat _____ percent at _______.
The Korean currency was trading at _______ won against the U.S. greenback, up/down/unchanged _____ won from yesterday's close.■(1,192)[2019.05.17]
≡ (BBC) Trump Unveils Controversial New Immigration Plan
U.S. President Donald Trump has announced a controversial, broad plan to reform border security and legal immigration.
He said on Thursday he wants to overhaul the immigration system to favor young, educated, English-speaking applicants with job offers, instead of people with family ties to Americans.
[Clip: Trump (00:38)]
"Only 12 percent of legal immigrants are selected based on skill or based on merit. In countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and others, that number is closer to 60 percent, and even 70 percent and 75 percent in some cases. The biggest change we make is to increase the proportion of highly skilled immigration from 12 percent to 57 percent, and we'd like to even see if we can go higher."■
≡ WHO To Review Adding Diagnosis Codes For Sex Addiction, Game Disorder
The World Health Organization is set to decide whether to tag diagnostic codes to sex addiction and game disorder to track their incidence around the world and better combat them.
Member states of the WHO will discuss the revision of the International Classification of Diseases during the annual World Health Assembly that will kick off Monday in Geneva, Switzerland.
It could be the first revision to the coding system in more than two decades.
South Korea's gaming companies are protesting the move to add game disorder to the list over concerns it will lead to tougher regulations on the industry.
Earlier, Seoul's culture ministry and the Korea Creative Content Agency sent letters to the WHO expressing their opposition.■ [2019.05.17]