Asean Summit, Malaysia on Nov 21, 1015

Asean Summit, Malaysia  on Nov 21, 1015
Asean Establishes Landmark Economic and Security Bloc
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) - Text version)

“….. Here is the prediction: China will turn North Korea loose soon. The alliance will dissolve, or become stale. There will be political upheaval in China. Not a coup and not a revolution. Within the inner circles of that which you call Chinese politics, there will be a re-evaluation of goals and monetary policy. Eventually, you will see a break with North Korea, allowing still another dictator to fall and unification to occur with the south. ….”

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

North Korean defector criticises China in rare Beijing talk

North Korean defector criticises China in rare Beijing talk
North Korean defector and activist Hyeonseo Lee, who lives in South Korea, poses as she presents her book 'The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story' in Beijing on March 26, 2016 (AFP Photo/Fred Dufour)

US under fire in global press freedom report

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Children Day

Children Day

Search This Blog

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Peace deadline set between Israel, Palestinian Territories

Deutsche Welle, 30 July 2013

A nine-month deadline has been placed on a final peace deal between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, according to US Secretary of State John Kerry. Talks between the two parties will resume in two weeks.

A three-year freeze on talks ended on Tuesday in Washington DC, with Kerry telling reporters both sides had agreed on which issues were key if peace was to be reached. Those issues include the definition of borders, refugees and the status of Jerusalem. The next round of talks will take place in either Israel or the Palestinian territories.

"The parties have agreed to remain engaged in sustained, continuous and substantive negotiations on the core issues," said Kerry, standing side-by-side with Israeli chief negotiator Tzipi Livni and her Palestinian counterpart Saeb Erakat.

"They will meet within the next two weeks in either Israel or the Palestinian Territories in order to begin the process of formal negotiation," he said.

"[Those key issues] are on the table with one simple goal: a view to ending the conflict, ending the claims," Kerry added. "Our objective will be to achieve a final status agreement over the course of the next nine months."

The top US diplomat went on to say there was "no other alternative" than a two-state solution. Kerry's work to reignite peace talks was praised by Erakat, while Livni said it was their task to "work together so that we can transform that spark of hope into something real and lasting".

The parties met with US president Barack Obama as part of talks. Attempts to last open negotiations in 2010 were almost immediately unsuccessful, with the previous talks being held in 2008.

Talks fail to please all

The latest round of negotiations have, however, been condemned by Islamist militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip.

There are also doubts over the motives of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
 "The question is whether Netanyahu is happy with simply holding negotiations or if he really wants to reach a peace accord," Israeli public radio presenter Chico Menache told AFP news agency. "It's difficult to know if he's ready to make territorial concessions on Israeli settlements."

Lash and jail for Saudi web activist Raef Badawi

BBC News, 30 July 2013

Related Stories 

Raef Badawi was facing a possible
death sentence for apostasy
A Saudi online activist has been jailed for seven years and sentenced to 600 lashes for urging religious liberalisation, his lawyer has said.

The activist, Raef Badawi, co-founded the Free Saudi Liberals website, an online forum for public debate.

He was arrested last year and convicted on Monday of setting up a website that undermined general security.

Amnesty International considers Mr Badawi a political prisoner and has called for his immediate release.

Mr Badawi was originally charged with apostasy, or abandonment of religion, a crime in Saudi Arabia that carries with it the death penalty.

Lawyer Waleed Abu Alkhair told the BBC that Mr Badawi, a father of three, had confirmed in court that he was a Muslim but told the judge "everyone has a choice to believe or not believe."

He was convicted of the charges of setting up a website that undermines general security and of ridiculing religious figures.

The judge ordered that the 600 lashes be administered 150 at a time.

Mr Alkhair said the charges were over comments the activist posted calling for a relaxation of Saudi Arabia's strict interpretation of Islam.

The lawyer said the sentence was unduly harsh.

"The lashes could be spread out but in Sharia this is a sign that the judge wants to insult him," he said.

His lawyer said he will appeal against the decision.

Related Article:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mamnoon Hussain elected as new Pakistani president

BBC News, 30 July 2013

Mamnoon Hussain (right) submits his presidential nomination papers at
the High Court in Islamabad on 24 July 2013

Pakistan votes 

Pakistani lawmakers have elected Mamnoon Hussain as the president to replace Asif Ali Zardari, according to unofficial results.

Mr Hussain is the candidate of the ruling PML-N party.

He faced a challenge from Wajihuddin Ahmad of the PTI. The main opposition PPP boycotted the poll in protest at the date of the vote being changed.

Pakistan's largely ceremonial president is elected by members of parliament and the four provincial assemblies.

Correspondents say Mr Hussain's victory was all but assured after voting began on Tuesday morning because of his party's majority in the National Assembly and the assembly of Punjab, Pakistan's most populous province.

Unofficial results on state television showed that he had won a convincing majority in both houses of the National Assembly, and is on course to win a large majority in Punjab.

Local media has reported that he is likely to secure more than 400 of the 674 electoral votes.

Mr Zardari's five-year term ends on 8 September. He replaced former military ruler Pervez Musharraf and agreed to constitutional amendments in 2010 that handed many of the president's powers to the prime minister.

Mr Zardari's main achievement is seen as having presided over Pakistan's first civilian government to serve a full term.

But his time in office was dogged by confrontation with the military and judiciary. His government did little to address mounting economic problems and the country remains beset by a Taliban insurgency.

The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) said last week that it was boycotting the elections because it had not been given enough time to campaign.

The Supreme Court had brought the vote forward from 6 August to 30 July.

Ruling party members had complained the first date clashed with the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says that the outcome of the election was pretty much a foregone conclusion - and because the incumbent has little or no real power the vote itself failed to capture the imagination of the Pakistani public.

Mr Hussain, a former Sindh province governor, is seen as being close to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Saudi prince defects from royal family

Alalam, Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saudi Prince Khalid Bin Farhan Al-Saud
Prince Khalid Bin Farhan Al-Saud has announced his defection from Al Saud royal family through a statement, calling on other princes to break their silence and reveal the truth for sake of God.

In his statement on Saturday, the Saudi prince referred to his ‘sufferings’ under reign of Al Saud regime describing them as bitter experiences that will be revealed by the Saudi twitter writer Mujtahid and Saudi activist Saad al-Faqih, who is currently living in London.

He said he thanked God that helped him understand the truth about Saudi regime through a “direct horrible personal experience” so that he could have a taste of what people suffered from throughout the country.

“With pride, I announce my defection from Al Saudi family in Saudi Arabia,” he wrote in his statement.

“This regime in Saudi Arabia does not stand by God’s rules or even (country’s) established rules and its policies, decisions, and actions are totally based on personal will of its leaders.”

“All that is said in Saudi Arabia about respecting law and religion rules are factitious so that they can lie and pretend that the regime obeys Islamic rules.”

He criticized the royal family for considering the country as its own property while silencing all voices from inside and outside the government calling for any change and reforms.

Khalid Bin Farhan said the ruling family has deliberately pulled the country to the current condition where cries of oppressed people are ignored. “They don’t think about anything but their personal benefits and do not care for country’s and people’s interests or even national security,” he added.

He warned that current problems of Saudi Arabia are not “temporary or superficial” and they do not end at unemployment, low wages and unjustified distribution of common wealth, facilities and services.

“The problems are deep and real,” he said adding that they are concerned with political and financial corruption and abuse of power by the regime and fraud in the parliament and judiciary system.

The Saudi prince said everything that the pro-reform opposition says about country’s political, economical, judiciary, social and security condition as well as their abuse of religious values are true and “the situation is even worse than what is said in criticisms”.

He called on all those who cared for the future of the country to join him and the reform stream and break their silence on Al Saud corruptions.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Cambodia’s opposition rejects election results, calls for investigation

Deutsche Welle, 29 July 2013

Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy has rejected the election results published by the government, speaking of massive manipulation. He has called for an international committee to investigate.

On Sunday evening Cambodia's National Election Commission had announced that the ruling Cambodian People's Party had won 68 of the 123 seats in parliament, with 55 going to Sam Rainsy's Cambodia National Rescue Party.

But on Monday the opposition leader rejected this result.

"We don't accept the election results from the NEC because there are too many irregularities," Rainsy told a press conference in Pnom Penh.

He called for the establishment of an investigative committee, with representatives from all political parties, as well as international NGOs and experts from the United Nations, to assess the election results. If they were found to be unfair, he said, his party would call for a repeat of the vote.

Even before Sunday's vote Rainsy had expressed reservations.

"We take part in this election knowing it's not a real election," he said at the weekend.

Two independent audits earlier this year had found that the voter list could disenfranchise 1 million eligible voters. And although Sunday's voting was mainly peaceful, there was one incident, in which angry people set fire to two police vehicles in Pnom Penh, because they could not find their names of the list of voters.

Rainsy had returned earlier this month after four years in self-imposed exile, to challenge Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has headed the government for 28 years.

Hun Sen's party had a clear majority of 90 seats in the outgoing parliament and has lost substantially in this year's vote, despite massive backing by the state-run media.

Sixty-year-old Hun Sen has been accused in the past of committing human rights violations and silencing opponents. He was a former junior commander of the notorious communist Khmer Rouge, which ruled the country in the 1970s.

Sunday's poll was the fifth general election for Cambodia since the vote in 1993, which was organized by the United Nations to restore democracy and stability in the country.

Cambodia's economy has grown fast, with the help of Chinese investment, but it remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with a third of the 14 million inhabitants living on less than 65 cents a day.

rg/ch (dpa, Reuters)
Related Article:

Israeli government agrees to release Palestinian prisoners ahead of peace talks

Deutsche Welle, 28 July 2013

The Israeli government has approved a proposal to release Palestinian and Arab prisoners in a bid to jumpstart peace talks. The proposal was greeted by protests from Israelis who view the prisoners as murderers.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday sought and won cabinet approval for the contentious release of the prisoners which he and others hope will enable negotiations to get past a three-year diplomatic rut.

The approval on was greeted with a positive response from Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

"I believe this is a step toward peace and I hope that we can use this opportunity that the U.S. has provided for us to resume negotiations," he said.

The vote

The Cabinet voted 13-7 with two abstentions in favor of Netanyahu's controversial proposal. Relatives of those killed in Palestinian attacks, meanwhile, protested against the measure outside Netanyahu's office (pictured above).

Netanyahu's office said in a statement that the cabinet approved peace talks with the Palestinians but without elaborating where or when.

The move is part of a US-brokered push to get the two sides back to the negotiation table and envisions the release of the prisoners over a period of several months, in four stages, with each stage linked to the progress made in the negotiations.

Emotions run high

The move has stirred emotions on both sides, because the prisoners in question are viewed as heroes by many Palestinians and criminals by many Israelis. When Netanyahu asked the Cabinet to consider the proposal, he spoke of the difficulty of the decision.

"This is not an easy moment for me, and is not easy for the ministers in the government and is especially difficult for the bereaved families," Netanyahu said.

"But there are moments where I need to make tough decisions for the good of the country, and this is one of those moments."

He went on to say that the upcoming talks are important to Israel and that any accord reached in the negotiations would be put to a referendum in the country.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Culture of abuse threatens to undermine Taiwan's armed forces

Want China Times, Sun Ching-yu 2013-07-27

Thousands took to the streets in Taipei on July 20 to protest over
the death of Corporal Hung Chung-chiu. (Photo/Chen Chen-tang)

The death of Corporal Hung Chung-chiu was yet another "homicide" that Taiwan's military thought it could easily cover up, but the strong protests led by Hung's family, the general public and the media have forced President Ma Ying-jeou to apologize and investigate the incident.

Hung died on July 4 after spending nearly a week in disciplinary confinement to which he never should have been subjected. He succumbed to a heatstroke after being forced to do harsh physical exercise in high temperatures. The public and an ongoing investigation are pointing toward a culture of bullying in the military in the case of Hung, a conscript who had nearly completed his compulsory military service. A number of senior officers and non-commissioned officers have been taken into custody for their part in the affair.

Each year, hundreds of deaths take place in the military that are ruled to be accidents or suicide. Hung's death was just the tip of the iceberg. What was a minor matter for the military suddenly became a major issue for the public because the incident triggered memories of abuse and injustice suffered by many former servicemen and their families.

Soldiers are trained for war and respect for the profession is fundamental in the military. However, the Republic of China's military appears accustomed to abusing soldiers and trampling their dignity for fun. A closed military legal system has also resulted in the abuse of power. Hung was placed in the brig just a few days before he was to be discharged and after he died military officers involved in the incident allegedly covered for each other and destroyed evidence.

The military legal system should not violate Articles 77 and 80 of the Constitution, which stipulate that justice should be independent and free from any interference. When the military legal system cannot work in accordance with the Constitution or is brought into question by the victim's family and the general public, the judicial system should be involved or else the military's human rights record cannot be assessed. Taiwan has been a democratic state for two decades but in the military it is as if martial law were still in place.

Conscript soldiers are not career soldiers. But they should not be treated with discrimination, much less tortured by career soldiers. A country that does not care for its troops is one that cannot fight a war — the Kuomintang should have learned that lesson from China's civil war, when poor morale meant its numerical advantage was swept away by highly motivated Communist forces. How can the government expect to claim great military power and the support of its people in a country where we find plentiful examples of cases like that of Hung and of Chiang Kuo-ching — a serviceman who was wrongfully executed for a rape and murder he did not commit, an injustice for which the government has only recently apologized.

(The author is a famous writer in Taipei.)

Kao Hua-chu, Taiwan's defense 
minister. (Photo/CNA)

Taiwan protesters demand justice for dead corporal

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration LecturesGod / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems  (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it),  Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse),  Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) (Text version)

“…  Government

Let us speak of government. We're not speaking of your government, but of any government - the way it works, how it survives, how it has survived, the way it campaigns, and how it elects leaders. It's going to change.

Years ago, I told you, "When everybody can talk to everybody, there can be no secrets." Up to this point on this planet, government has counted on one thing - that the people can't easily talk to each other on a global scale. They have to get their information through government or official channels. Even mass media isn't always free enough, for it reports that which the government reports. Even a free society tends to bias itself according to the bias of the times. However, when you can have Human Beings talking to each other all at once, all over the planet without government control, it all changes, for there is open revelation of truth.

Democracy itself will change and you're going to see it soon. The hold-outs, the few countries I have mentioned in the past, are doomed unless they recalibrate. They're doomed to be the same as they have been and won't be able to exist as they are now with everyone changing around them.

I mentioned North Korea in the past. Give it time. Right now, the young man is under the control of his father's advisors. But when they're gone, you will see something different, should he survive. Don't judge him yet, for he is being controlled.

In government, if you're entire voting base has the ability to talk to itself without restriction and comes up with opinions by itself without restriction, it behooves a politician to be aware and listen to them. This will change what politicians will do. It will change the way things work in government. Don't be surprised when some day a whole nation can vote all at once in a very unusual way. Gone will be the old systems where you used to count on horseback riders to report in from faraway places. Some of you know what I am talking about. Government will change. The systems around you, both dark and light, will change. You're going to start seeing something else, too, so let's change the subject and turn the page. …”

Girl's online plea highlights plight of Yemen's child brides

BBC News, Abubakr al-Shamahi, Sanaa, 26 July 2013

Nada's uncle took her in after she ran away
In a three-minute video posted online, Nada al-Ahdal, a slight and pretty 11-year-old girl, has caught the attention of millions in her home country, Yemen, and abroad, as she tells her story.

Sitting in a car, she speaks to the camera eloquently and forcefully, and tells of an alleged attempt by her parents to forcibly marry her to an older man.

"Does it satisfy you for me to be married? Does this satisfy you?... Mum, accept this: I don't want you. You killed my dreams, all of them."

The video went viral, first in Arabic, and then in a version that was translated into English, and clocked over seven million views in three days.

However, since it first emerged, a number of sides, including Nada's parents, have disputed the child's story.

The case has thrown a spotlight on the contentious issue of the forced marriage of children in Yemen, where it is a socially accepted custom in some areas.

Some Yemeni social media users reacted negatively to the video itself, feeling that it was wrong to expose Nada's parents to public criticism, as it was not in keeping with Yemeni traditions.

"I swear this is shameful. How can you bash the girls of Yemen like this… You've embarrassed us… This is the start of her going astray," was the reaction of one Yemeni Facebook user.

Nada is now in the custody of the Yemeni Women's Union, a women's rights NGO.

Nada al-Ahdal says she ran away from home to avoid marriage

Ramzia al-Eryani, the head of the organisation, maintains that Nada's story is genuine, and not uncommon.

"This is not the first time this has happened, there have been far worse cases. Only last week we had two cases that were much worse," she said.


The issue of child marriage in Yemen began to hit the international headlines with the case of Nujood Ali, who was nine years old when, in 2008, she escaped her two-month marriage and went to court seeking a divorce.

She was granted one, and went on to win international awards, as well as publishing a book, I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced.

In 2009, there were attempts by Yemeni parliamentarians and civil society groups to get a law passed restricting marriage to those who are 18 years and over.

However, this failed after opposition from hardline conservative MPs, and a fatwa from Abdulmajeed al-Zindani, a prominent cleric.

The official marriage age remains 15, a law set in 1994, although the law is vague and not widely implemented.

Despite the national and international attention, child marriage remains prevalent in Yemen.

The International Center for Research on Women records in a study that 48.9% of Yemeni females were married before the age of 18.

According to the Gender Development Research and Studies Centre at Sanaa University, up to 65% of marriages between 2010 and 2012 involved children, rising to 70% in rural areas.

In the Yemeni headquarters of Save the Children, a villa in the suburbs of Sanaa, Alaa al-Eryani, who works on the ground in Yemen for the international NGO, says there is a discrepancy between people living in rural and urban areas in their reaction to Nada's case, and child marriage in general.

"If you go to a small village, they would tell you that she's crazy for running away from her parents, if you go to these villages, eight-year-olds are being married… Here in the city, where people are generally more educated and aware, they would tell you that it shouldn't happen."

Ms al-Eryani remains optimistic that Nada's case will cause some change.

"I hope it was a wake-up call for some people," she says.

'Strong and brave'

Meanwhile, Nada's uncle, Abdulsalam al-Ahdal, who took her in, says the majority of the family, and wider society, have given him and Nada their support.

He says any negative reactions to Nada are the result of what he describes as a misuse of religion to justify child marriage.

"There wasn't a problem. The whole family knows she is strong and brave, and that this is a decision that she has taken for her future."

He also says that Nada is adamant that she will not return to her parents.

"Nada is saying that she has a choice - she doesn't want to be with her mother under these circumstances. If they force her, she will run away again, or she says she will commit suicide."

Nonetheless, Nada, clearly not fazed by the events of the past few weeks, appears to be regaining the dreams she once had.

"I want to be a singer," she exclaims excitedly, as her uncle watches on, "I want to be a star!"

Related Articles:

Friday, July 26, 2013

Kim Jong-un meets Chinese VP on 60th anniversary of end of Korean War

Want China Times, Xinhua and Staff Reporter 2013-07-26

Kim Jong-un met Li Yuanchao on Thursday. (Photo/Xinhua)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met visiting Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao in Pyongyang on Thursday to discuss relations between their two countries.

Li arrived earlier in the day to attend activities marking the 60th anniversary of the armistice that brought an end to fighting in the Korean War.

During his meeting with Kim, Li said the anniversary was a chance to remember the outstanding sons and daughters of China and North Korea who sacrificed their lives to defend their homelands.

"Reviewing history, we deeply feel that today's peace is hard earned and should be cherished doubly," said Li, who is also a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China.

The China-DPRK relationship is entering a new period that builds on the past and prepares for the future, Li said, adding China was willing to work with North Korea to strengthen mutual trust and communication, expand exchanges and cooperation in various fields and advance bilateral ties.

Li noted that, as a neighbor of the Korean peninsula, China persists in the realization of its denuclearization and the maintenance of its peace and stability. Beijing insists problems should be solved by dialogue and negotiation, he said.

Li said China would like to push the resumption of the Six-Party Talks and devote itself to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula together with all related parties, in a bid to achieve peace in the region.

Kim, first chairman of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's National Defense Commission, said the Workers' Party of Korea and the people of the DPRK would forever remember the martyrs of the DPRK and China who sacrificed in the war.

The DPRK highly regards the great achievements of China's socialist cause, and values its traditional friendship with China, he said, adding his country was willing to promote its communication and cooperation with China, and push the development of the two countries' relationship.

Kim said his country was dedicated to developing its economy and improving its people's livelihoods, which requires a stable external environment. The DPRK supports China's efforts to restart the Six-Party Talks, and would like to make efforts with all parties to protect the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula, he said.

Li, who conveyed a message from Chinese President Xi Jinping to Kim, also met with Chairman Kim Yong-nam and Vice-Chairman Yang Hyong-sop of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK earlier Thursday.

Li Yuanchao lays wreaths in front of the graves of Chinese 
soldiers killed during the Korean War, July 26. (Photo/Xinhua)

Related Article:

Obama presses Vietnam on rights but sees better ties

Google – AFP, Shaun Tandon (AFP), 25 July 2013

US President Barack Obama and President Truong Tan Sang of Vietnam
meet in the White House in Washington, July 25, 2013 (AFP, Saul Loeb)

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama said Thursday he spoke frankly to Vietnam's leader about human rights but called for greater cooperation between the former war adversaries in areas from trade to security.

President Truong Tan Sang was only the second Vietnamese head of state to visit the White House since the normalization of relations in 1975 and he was jeered on his arrival by hundreds of Vietnamese Americans, many waving the flags of the former Saigon regime and chanting slogans that were occasionally audible inside the White House.

But the two leaders looked upbeat during their meeting at the Oval Office, with Obama saying that Sang showed him a letter written by revolutionary Ho Chi Minh to former US president Harry Truman that voiced hope for strong relations, two decades before their war started.

Several hundred demonstrators from the
 Vietnamese-American community rally at
 the White House on July 25, 2013 (AFP,
Karen Bleier)
"We all recognize the extraordinary complex history between the US and Vietnam, but step by step we have been able to establish a degree of mutual respect and trust," Obama said.

Obama, however, said that he pressed Sang on human rights, a long-standing concern of US lawmakers and Vietnamese Americans.

"The United States continues to believe that all of us have to respect issues like freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly," Obama told reporters at the Oval Office with Sang at his side.

"We had a very candid conversation about both the progress that Vietnam is making and the challenges that remain," he said.

Several lawmakers have accused Obama of merely mentioning human rights and said he should have made progress a condition for further improvements in relations.

Sang, who acknowledged "differences" between the two countries on human rights, said that Obama had promised to visit Vietnam by the end of his second term. Obama, who would be the third successive US president to visit Vietnam, is expected in the region in October for summits in Bali and Brunei.

A member of the Vietnamese Community
wears a sign during a protest in front of
 the White House on July 25, 2013 (AFP,
Karen Bleier)
Obama said that he hoped for greater cooperation in areas including defense although he was not specific. The United States has steadily increased military cooperation with Vietnam but maintains a ban on export of "lethal" weapons due to human rights concerns.

One factor that has increased ties between the United States and Vietnam is concerns over the rise of China.

Obama reiterated US calls for progress on an initiative backed by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations to work with China on a code of conduct, which would set rules to manage disputes and prevent potential mishaps from escalating.

Obama hoped to "arrive at codes of conduct that will help to resolve these issues peacefully and fairly."

Obama has increasingly put a focus on Southeast Asia, seeing the region as economically vibrant, largely US-friendly and neglected in the past by US policymakers. Sang is the fourth Southeast Asian leader to visit the White House this year.

The United States has spearheaded its Asian effort by championing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which aims to create a vast free trade zone across the Pacific. Twelve nations are participating, including Vietnam and most recently Japan, meaning that the pact would cover 40 percent of the world economy.

Obama has set a goal of completing negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership by the end of the year, although few expect that such a complex deal will be ready so soon.

"We are committed to the ambitious goal of completing this agreement before the end of the year because we know that this can create jobs and increase investment across the region and in both of our countries," he said.

Members of the Vietnamese Community
 chant and sing during a protest in front
 of the White House July 25, 2013 (AFP,
Karen Bleier)
US labor activists have called for Obama to threaten to oust Vietnam from the talks to protest the lack of workers' rights in the manufacturing power. The administration, however, has repeatedly praised Vietnam for its participation.

The hundreds of demonstrators in Lafayette Park across from the White House waved flags of the former South Vietnam and chanted slogans that could sometimes be heard inside the executive mansion.

One protester held up a banner, "Communist - Go Home." But in a sign of the patriotism that also drives Vietnamese Americans, several held up signs denouncing not Sang but China over its territorial claims.

"What we want to do is respect human rights and freedom in Vietnam," said demonstrator Huu Dinh Vo of the Federation of Vietnamese American Communities.

"Okay, you can invite him, but you have to put on the table pressure to push the Vietnamese communists to comply with international law and human rights and freedom like in other countries," he said.

America's 'no longer forgotten' war

Deutsche Welle, 25 July 2013

It was a proxy war in the classic sense; a war over political systems; a bloody civil war. Millions of Koreans were killed between 1950 and 1953 and for the US, it was a military disaster.

In the end, neither the US-led UN forces nor the North Koreans backed by their Chinese allies and large amounts of Soviet machinery were able to win. Aside from a few territorial tradeoffs, everything remained the same: a Communist dictatorship in the north, supported by the Soviet Union and red China, and the anti-Communist South Korea, supported by the West.

In an attempt to bring the entire country under Communist rule, Dictator Kim Il Sung deployed troops on June 25th, 1950 to attack the South. Backing him were Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and his Chinese counterpart Mao Zedong. Three days later, the South Korean capital Seoul was captured.

Within only a few weeks, the South Korean military, which was poorly prepared for such an attack and only had support from a few small US units, was pushed back to a small territory in the southeast of the peninsula around the port town of Busan. A few US military units were also cornered between Seoul and Busan.

UN military intervention

 A North Korean farmer flees to
the South in 1950
On July 30th, 1950, the UN Security Council decided in the absence of veto power Soviet Union to intervene in the conflict and authorized the deployment of UN forces. Prior to that, the Council had condemned North Korea for "breaching the peace."

With help from UN security forces, the US and South Koreans were able to squelch the North Korean advancement. UN, US and South Korean forces then passed over the line of demarcation and were able to take Pyongyang and vast parts of the country. China responded by deploying hundreds of thousands of so-called volunteers, who pushed back the enemy soldiers to the 38th parallel. Bloody trench warfare followed. The world was on the verge of a nuclear war.

On July 10th, 1951, negotiations for a ceasefire began. But it was to take two more years - until July 27th, 1953 - for the aggression to cease. Historian from the University of Innsbruck and expert on the Korean War Rolf Steininger said the Soviet Union played a major role in prolonging the war, which ended up taking the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. "Kim and Mao Zedong wanted to end the war but Stalin said no. We know that much today."

"We are only losing people and we have enough of those," Steininger quoted Stalin as saying. "Stalin's strategy was to 'bleed the Americans out' in Korea." The realization that the war could not be won by military means coupled with the US' increasing battle fatigue, according to Steininger, paved the way to a ceasefire treaty. But it was the death of Stalin on May 5, 1953 that made the agreement possible.

Forgotten, not forgotten

In the US it was to take around 40 years for the Korean War to really enter the public conscience. Inspired by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. in the year 1983: "A number of well-known actors and later American astronauts got together and opened the Korea War Memorial in 1995. Up to that point, it had been the only war for which there was no memorial," said Steininger. On a website for US veterans, the war is referred to as "No longer The Forgotten War." Around 37,000 US soldiers died in the Korean War.

US Astronaut Buzz Aldrin supported
the Korean War Veterans Memorial
For Koreans, the war is anything but forgotten. Han-kyung Lee was 12 years old when the war broke out on June 25th, 1950 in what is referred to today as the demilitarized zone. "The phrase 'forgotten war' would imply that the war is over. But Korea is still technically at war; it's not over. So it is a poor way to refer to the war, really."

Lee, who has lived in Germany since 1965, remembers the American air-raids: "I remember exactly how the war started. I saw North Korean and South Korean soldiers. And I remember the Americans bombing Korea. It was horrific - beyond words."

"At first we didn't know what was going on when the B-29 long-range heavy bomber flew overhead and started dropping bombs. We thought they were aid boxes or leaflets." Lee, now 75, will never be able to forget the images of playing children killed by American shells.

Mainly civilians, many of them children, were killed in the airstrikes. The big cities - Pyongyang and Seoul - were completely leveled. Steininger confirmed the extent of the air raids: "By the end of 1951, American pilots were complaining they had no targets left. The place was destroyed by then."

Implications for post-World War Germany

Steininger told DW the Korean War also had consequences for Germany. "The decision made by Western powers to re-arm Germany in December 1950 would never have happened had it not been for the Korean War. It was a military disaster for America and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer used that to his advantage."

Lee Han-kyung has lived
in Germany since 1965
Steiniger added that the young Federal Republic also benefitted economically from the war; the last restrictions placed on the economy were dropped over the course of the war.

After the German reunification in 1990, people also started speaking of a unification of the Korean Peninsula. But many people in South Korea have given up on this idea - and for a good reason, too: "If the North Korean system fell apart, the South would have to shoulder an extremely heavy load - a burden much larger than West Germany had to take 20 years ago."

Related Article:

North Korean soldiers pass gravestones at the inauguration
of a Korean war cemetery in Pyongyang, July 25, 2013
(AFP, Ed Jones)