By Hyonhee ShinSEOUL (Reuters) – Debate is brewing in South Korea over efforts to scrap a decades-old ban on North Korean media, as changing attitudes fuel renewed calls to review a national security law dating from the Cold War. South Korea’s National Security Act blocks access to the North’s government websites and media, barring efforts at “praising, inciting or propagating” its activities. In a statement to the court before the hearing, the national rights watchdog had called the clauses vague, disproportionate and damaging to fundamental rights. North Korean films, songs and other content are already widely available on YouTube and elsewhere, they added. “The North will likely produce television shows and publications specifically designed to sow more division in the South,” said defector Kim Tae-san, a former North Korean ambassador to the Czech Republic.
(Reuters) – Following are the eight groups for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which will be held in Qatar from Nov. 20-Dec. 18. There will be a round-robin format in the group stage when each of the 32 teams play three matches. The top two in each group advance to the last 16. GROUP AQatar (hosts)EcuadorSenegalNetherlandsThe Dutch are favourites to advance from Group A as they chase a maiden World Cup title. Spain have struggled in the last two editions after their golden generation won the country’s first World Cup but their young talented side are capable of taking the next step.22 days ago WHBL
Russia, whose forces invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, announced the reversal after Turkey and the United Nations helped keep Ukrainian grain flowing for several days without a Russian role in inspections. The defence ministry justified the change by saying it had received guarantees from Ukraine that it would not to use the Black Sea grain corridor for military operations against Russia. The grain deal, originally reached three months ago, had alleviated a global food crisis by lifting a de facto Russian blockade on Ukraine, one of the world’s biggest grain suppliers. In an interview with Turkish broadcaster ATV, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he and Zelenskiy discussed sending grain to African countries. Putin had earlier proposed sending grain to countries such as Djibouti, Somalia and Sudan first, where it is badly needed.1 month ago WHBL
Now that the North’s nuclear weapons are mature and deployed, the United States and its allies are looking to simply dissuade the North from military action. South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup said last week the focus of efforts to deal with North Korea should be shifted from curbing nuclear weapons development to deterring their use. The newly released U.S. Nuclear Posture Review says Kim Jong Un’s regime would be annihilated if it ever attacked with nuclear weapons. Another major drill began on Monday with hundreds of South Korean and U.S. warplanes, including a rare deployment of American F-35B fighters. “They’re doing it because they want to send a message to North Korea, hey, we mean business,” he said.1 month ago WHBL
“They see the United States, South Korea and Japan forming as a security bloc, creating a need for a counter bloc, which would include North Korea,” she said, referring to China. “Americans have perennially overestimated China’s influence over North Korea,” said John Delury, professor of Chinese studies at Yonsei University in Seoul. Even during years of self-imposed COVID isolation, North Korea kept up the work on its weapons. “Sanction North Korea, which cut itself off from the world for three years because of COVID and continued testing missiles? “If North Korea has an inherent technical need to do the test, then I don’t think China has real leverage to stop those activities.10 days ago WHBL
It was in China’s interest to make its “best efforts” to induce North Korea to denuclearise, he said. North Korea’s tests overshadowed multiple gatherings this month of international leaders, including the Group of 20 conference in Bali, where Yoon pressed Chinese President Xi Jinping to do more to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations. China is South Korea’s largest trading partner, as well as a close partner of North Korea. Now Japan faced more and more threats from North Korea’s missile programme, including tests that overfly Japanese islands, Yoon said. “I believe the Japanese government cannot be asleep at the wheel with the North Korean missile flights over their territory,” he said.4 days ago WHBL