≡ Seoul Holds 1,400th Weekly Rally To Protest Japan's Sex Slavery
A weekly Wednesday rally in Seoul held since 1992 seeking an apology from Japan for its wartime sex slavery marked the 1,400th of its kind today.
Coinciding with a national ceremony to mark International Memorial Day for Comfort Women, a number of similar events took place in and around the country to commemorate the victims.
Julie Sohn has more.
Despite the sweltering heat, activists and victims gathered in front of the former Japanese Embassy in Jongno at noon as they have been doing every Wednesday for the past 27 years.
This time, surrounded by tens of thousands of supporters, including students and lawmakers, they continued to demand Tokyo offer a sincere apology to former sex slaves.
The rally coincided with "International Memorial Day for Comfort Women" designated by the government last year to commemorate the day when the late Kim Hak-sun first publicly testified about how she was forced into wartime sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II.
An unveiling ceremony was also held this afternoon of a new statue symbolizing the victims near the former site of a Japanese imperial shrine on Seoul's Namsan.
Along with these events in Seoul, similar rallies took place in other countries to show global solidarity, including Japan.
A flash mob event was held today in front of the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art in Nagoya to criticize the Japanese government for closing an exhibition at the Aichi Triennale art festival of a statue symbolizing the victims earlier this month.
Julie Sohn, eFM News.■[2019.08.14]
≡ Rallies Condemning Abe For Trade Restrictions To Open Thursday In Seoul
A number of rallies and marches will be held across central Seoul tomorrow, National Liberation Day, to condemn Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for Tokyo's recent trade restrictions.
Some 10 civic groups will come together at 11 a.m. at Seoul Plaza to protest Japan's wartime forced labor.
After the gathering, they will march to the Japanese Embassy.
Later that day at 6 p.m., a candlelight vigil will open at Gwanghwamun Square.■[2019.08.14]
≡ S. Korea To Increase Defense Spending Amid N. Korean Threats
The defense ministry says South Korea plans to increase defense spending by an average of 7.1 percent each year over the next five years.
This comes amid evolving missile threats from North Korea.
The ministry announced today its five-year defense blueprint, revealing its plan to spend a combined total of 290.5 trillion won for the 2020-2024 period.
Around 64 percent of the planned budget will be spent on defense capability improvement and the remaining 36 percent will be dedicated to force management.■[2019.08.14]
≡ China Condemns Protests At Hong Kong Airport As 'Terrorist-Like Acts'
China has slammed protesters at Hong Kong International Airport after two men were beaten by demonstrators.
Xu Luying, spokeswoman at the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs of the State Council, said it expresses its strongest condemnation towards the terrorist-like acts.
Activists blockaded two terminals at the airport on Tuesday.
A man wearing a yellow journalist vest, whom the editor of China's state-controlled Global Times identified as one of its reporters, was seen tied up and beaten while another man Beijing said was a Shenzhen resident visiting Hong Kong.
Xu said the actions "seriously damage the international image of Hong Kong."■[2019.08.14]
≡ Typhoon Krosa To Batter Busan, Southern Coast From Late Thursday
Typhoon Krosa will likely bring more rain to the Korean Peninsula than initially forecast.
According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, the storm was located southeast of Kagoshima in southern Japan this morning and was moving northwest.
Krosa is expected to make landfall on Kyushu early tomorrow morning and arrive in South Korean waters at night, bringing heavy rain and strong winds to Busan and the South Gyeongsang coast.■[2019.08.14]
≡ S. Korea Begins Process To Remove Japan From Trade 'Whitelist'
South Korea has begun the process to strike Japan off its list of trusted trading partners.
The trade ministry said today that the reclassification of its trade partners will go into effect after gathering public opinion for 20 days and legal reviews.
Earlier this week, the government decided to revamp the categorization of its trading partners into three groups from the current two, and put Tokyo in the in-between group.
The second group is for a country that participates in the world's top four export control agreements "but operates an export control system that violates international norms."
The trade ministry said that the new group was not intended to target Tokyo, nor a countermeasure against Japan's export curbs against Seoul.
This comes after Japan implemented export sanctions against South Korea in July and later announced Seoul would be removed from trade "whitelist" on August 29th.■[2019.08.14]