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Archive for March, 2009

       North Korea Military Parade

Article #1: “N.Korea detains 2 Americans” (AP)

Two American journalists and their guide were detained by North Korean soldiers while on a reporting trip near the country’s border …”

Yesterday, two American journalists from the news agency Current were caught by the North Korean border patrol. Americans have been caught by the North a few times before. Each time, the United States made a secret deal with the North and got its people out of North Korea. This time, the situation could be a lot tougher for talks, because tensions have risen dramatically between US and the North recently. Furthermore, North is likely to push for their satellite launch. No matter what happens, North is likely to have a bigger voice than it did before, because of the detainees.

Washington could not be reached for comment…South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young told reporters he had no comment.”

Currently, everyone is very cautious about this issue. This has to do with American lives and a misunderstanding or miscalculation could easily cause deaths. It also will not be seen often in the media, because the government (both US and South Korea) is hesistant to talk about it. Most of these cases often lead to secret talks, and the public is hidden from the truth.

Two of the journalists who got detained

Two of the journalists who got detained

Article #2: “North Korea fully reopens border” (AP)

North Korea provided no official explanation for the closures…”

Recently, the North closed the border and cut the hotline between South Korea. However, nobody knows why they did it. Some contribute it to the new conservative government of the South, and some say it is beacuse of the Key-Resolve training between the South and US troops. Just last week, the North closed and reopened the border four times, leaving everybody perplexed. The significance is tht North Korea has changed its policy and is now becoming more unpredictable. In essence, they are becoming more isolated due to the unpredictability because countries will now be hesistant to make a deal with them. Experts say the unpredictable actions were part of Stalin’s policies back in the forties and fifties, and that Kim Jung-Il might be following Stalin.

The firms give North Korean authorities about $70-$75 cash per worker each month, providing the regime with much-needed hard currency…”

The North receive huge beneftis from the South due to the Kaesong Complex. It is not the workers that get paid, but the North Korean government. This means the dictator earns about three to five millions dollars per month. Therefore, Kaesong Industrial Complex is a major source of income for the People’s Party. Therefore, experts say that closing the complex completely is unlikely because that would put already economically struggling North bankrupt.

Kaesong Industrial Complex

Kaesong Industrial Complex

Article #3: “US Wary of Upcoming N.Korea Missile Launch” (AP)

U.S. military officials confirmed Thursday that North Korea has filed an official notice that it intends to conduct a missile launch early next month.”

This means that even with huge amount of international opposition, the north is planning on sending a missile or a satellite. If they do, they will probably become America’s top enemy (they are currently fourth on the priority list on American foreign policy). Seding a missile indicates that the North is ready for a war and that they will harm either Korea, Japan, or US if they do not get what they want. Sending a satellite indirectly indicates that the North can send a missile anywhere they want on Earth, especially mainland America. If the North does send a satellite or a missile, it will cause major outcry/upset among the major powers (US, Japan, Korea, China, Russia).

The last North Korean missile test of a Taepodong-2 two-stage missile in 2006 was a spectacular failure when the missile started to cartwheel out of control shortly after it left the launch pad and was either destroyed by ground controllers or simply flew apart.”

Two years ago, when the North tested its first missile, it resulted in a complete failure. After forty seconds from the launch, the missile began to go out of control. It was a major embarrassment to the North Korean government that was so confident about its military power. This time, however, the mistake is not likely to happen again, because the North has developed tremendous amount of new knowledge and technology since the last incident. Therefore, the success and the failure of the soon-to-be test launch is crucial to the future of our global peace.

Question: considering the events of the past year, is North Korea becoming closer to the international community or more isolated?

North Korea has become much more isolated than before. Similar to many other Communist countries, the North is also very secretive. We do not know what is going on in that country or the leader’s mind. This increased over the past year, because of Kim’s health issues. We all thought that he would die soon. Some said he couldn’t even get out of his bed, and some said he was seen at a soccer game, waving at his “dear friends.” We do get photos from the communist government, but we are not even sure if those photos are recent. Furthermore, its actions have become increasingly unpredictable. For example, they closed and reopened the border four times in one week. We also do not know if they will test its missile, even though they say so. These types of mysterious actions from the North makes other countries hesistant. Eventually, increasing number of countries are becoming wary of the North; therefore, the North continues to distance itself from the international community.

 

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maslow

 

At the bottom of the pyramid, there is the physiological level of human need. This is the basic needs for our survival such as food and water. Without these, we cannot survive. It is important to note that it comes below friendship or security. Therefore, this means that people are willing to break friendship and moarlity for food. After that comes the safety level of the pyramid. After we have our needs for survival, we then start to concern ourselves with safety and sercurity in our lives. Then comes friendship. After we have the needs and safety, we have the family and the development of human bonds. We begin to desire happiness in life. At top, there is esteem. I think this is the beginning of the “pride” that everyone has in their lives. After achieving happiness (of family and love), we begin to feel pride in our lives. At the very top, we have philosophical and innovative terms mentioned such as problem solving. We begin to reason about why we live, what is going to happen in the future. We also think about religion and laws (ethics).

I agree with the author that food and water come at the bottom of our needs. When humans are desperate to survive, I think we try to find a way to live, not matter what the rules and customs are. Who cares about laws when we are about to starve to death? I think the belief is that, if we break a law in order to survive, the worst that could happen is punishment. If we decide to stick to the law and not steal food, we will die.

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