≡ S. Korea Eyes $8 Mln Food Aid To North, Okays Businessmen's Trip
South Korea has decided to push for 8 million dollars of food aid to North Korea.
The unification ministry said this afternoon that the government will provide the assistance through the World Food Programme and UNICEF to support North Korean children and pregnant women.
The pledge, first made in September 2017, was delayed amid tensions on the peninsula and international sanctions on the North.
Seoul also approved a plan by a group of South Korean business people to visit the shuttered Kaesong Industrial Complex to check their equipment left behind since its closure in 2016.
The ministry said it endorsed their request to protect their property rights.
So far, the government refused such requests amid stalled nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang.■[2019.05.17]
≡ No Conclusion Yet On Nature Of Missiles Launched By N. Korea
The defense ministry says it has yet to determine whether the projectiles launched by North Korea earlier this month were ballistic missiles or not.
A ministry official said today South Korea and the United States are still working closely to analyze the type of the projectiles fired on May 4th and 9th.
Regarding a local media report that the U.S. military recently concluded the projectiles were ballistic missiles, the ministry clarified it is not the official stance of U.S. Forces Korea.■[2019.05.17]
≡ 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]
≡ May Temperature Highs Hint At Scorching Summer Heat
South Korea is bracing for another scorching summer as many regions across the country are already in the grip of unseasonably hot weather.
Concerns over a stifling heat wave following record-breaking temperatures last year come after the nation’s first heat wave advisory was issued in Gwangju on Wednesday.
The Korea Meteorological Administration expects the heat wave this year to last about the same length as last year, with fewer days surpassing 40 degrees Celsius.
The weather agency plans to announce a detailed forecast for this summer next week.■[2019.05.17]
≡ Murderer Of Psychiatrist Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison
A man who killed a doctor during medical treatment last year has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.
The Seoul Central District Court also ordered the 30-year-old defendant, surnamed Park, to carry an electronic tracking device for 20 years after his release from prison.
Park was convicted of stabbing his psychiatrist, Lim Se-won, to death during a therapy session at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital.
Prosecutors demanded life imprisonment for Park, but the court handed down a jail term, saying the defendant was suffering from mental disease and is in need of medical treatment.
Lim's death raised nationwide awareness about the safety of medical staff at hospitals.■