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October 27, 2016 / 25 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘South Korea’

Far East Meets Middle East in Summit for Religious Leaders

Monday, September 12th, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Over 20 religious leaders from east Asia arrived in Israel Monday for a four-day summit in Jerusalem. Participants came from countries such as China, South Korea, India, and Japan, representing spiritual traditions of Taoism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Jainism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism. Throughout the upcoming week, they will come face to face with Arab and Israeli religious leaders of Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

“It is time to expand the Israel-Asia dialogue from only diplomatic and economic spheres to religion, spirituality and faith,” summit coordinator Simona Halperin told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “This is a first meeting in history between the religious leaders of Judaism and those of the eastern faiths.”

The summit was a joint project between the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the American Jewish Committee and the World Council of Religious Leaders (WCRL). Notable guests included the president of the Buddhist Association of China, Xuecheng, Swami Avdeshanand Giri, spiritual leader of millions of Indian Hindus, and Bawa Jain, Secretary-General of the WCRL.

President Reuven Rivlin greeted summit participants.

“Welcome to Jerusalem, the holy city to the religions of the sons of Abraham,” Rivlin told the guests. “Your arrival is a very special event, for many years the interaction between our religions hardly even existed.

“This is no longer the situation, as your visit today shows,” Rivlin said.

Xuecheng and Swami Giri also addressed the summit, saying religious leaders should take a leading role towards solving worldwide social and environmental challenges.

“I’m very happy to be here,” said the Swami. “We have a saying in our colloquial tongue: ‘When you have dialogues, then the wisdom dawns and knowledge comes.’ Dialogue imparts clarity.”

Xuecheng expressed his hope to make lasting friendships among religious leaders in Israel. “Only if we make true friends we can really set the goal of mutual respect and understanding. the Chinese religions are working very hard to call out other religions to help in the construction of a peaceful world,” he said.

According to Halperin, during the four days of the summit the religious leaders will meet with rabbis from all Jewish streams, as well as with Muslim, Druze and Christian leaders. The group will tour holy sites and discuss current events including global warming, the environment, the status of religion in contemporary society, the role of religion in peacemaking and more.

“Our spiritual worlds are very close to each other in that they are not missionary religions which makes them very open and tolerant,” Rabbi Daniel Sperber, a professor of Talmud at Bar-Ilan University and Orthodox rabbi. “I feel a unity and comradery between our peoples, more so than with the western world and Christianity.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

North Korea Launches 3 Mid-Range Ballistic Missiles at Sea of Japan

Monday, September 5th, 2016

North Korea launched three ballistic missiles Monday morning in its latest banned series of military weapons testing, according to South Korea. The moves comes just barely two weeks after North Korea test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (IBM) from a submarine.

North Korean equipment was discovered at the site of a nuclear plant under development in Syria that was destroyed in an air strike nearly a decade ago, allegedly by the Israeli Air Force. Israel never formally acknowledged its role in the attack, in accordance with state policy that prohibits comment on such attacks.

The southeastern Asian nation has been actively engaged in sharing nuclear technology with Iran, which has declared its intention to annihilate Israel.

The North Korean IBM launched two weeks ago penetrated Japanese air defense space, as did Monday’s missiles, which entered the defense zone in the Sea of Japan without warning.

The missiles were fired from the country’s Hwangju province on the western coast, towards the east and landed in the sea.

It is believed they were mid-range Rodong missiles and reached approximately 1,000 kilometers (620 miles). Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada told CNN it appears North Korea is quickly mastering the learning curve.

“Looking at the fact that the three missiles have landed on almost the same spot at almost the same time, I think their missile technology has substantially improved,” she said.

North Korea’s sole ally, China, is currently hosting the G20 summit in Hangzhou, where the issue was raised immediately and where China attempted to pour oil on troubled waters.

“The situation on the [Korean] peninsula is quite complex and sensitive,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying. “We hope all relevant parties can avoid taking actions that may escalate tensions and can make joint efforts to maintain peace and stability on the peninsula.”

The United States “strongly condemned” the multiple launches, calling the move “reckless” and noting the threat to civil aviation and maritime commerce in the region. U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to attend the summit.

Hana Levi Julian

Analysis: At Last, Potential Buyer for Iron Dome System: the Pentagon

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

One of the problems with Iron Dome, the short-distance anti-missile system developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Raytheon and battle tested successfully in two Gaza wars was that, despite its stellar reputation and the great interest in it by high profile visitors to international weapons shows, no country so far has actually purchased the system. Israeli newspapers have reported on state visitors who expressed an interest in the system: NATO, South Korea, the US, Azerbijan, and India. But in the end all these interested buyers ended up going for something else.

The reason must be that Iron Dome was tailor-made to fit the bizarre, even grotesque relationship between Israel and Hamas. The system functions as a means of perpetuating an intolerable reality whereby an entity much weaker militarily than its neighbor nevertheless deigns to shoot hundreds, even thousands of rockets into its neighbor’s civilian centers without fear of annihilation. The Iron Dome does nothing to discourage the firing of rockets, it only works to keep the casualties to a minimum. Where else on the planet would such a relationship exist between two bordering countries?

But now, Defense News reports, the Pentagon wants to purchase a modified version of the Iron Dome’s Tamir interceptors for the US Army, to defend against a variety of threats, including rockets, artillery, mortars, and even cruise missiles and UAVs.

According to Defense News, the Israeli-designed Tamir interceptor has already been adapted for launch from a US Multi-Missile Launcher (MML), and last April, at the Army’s missile range in New Mexico, the MML-launched Tamir scored its first intercept on US soil against a target drone.

It turns out that the Iron Dome, too, much like most US military aid package components, is generating mostly American jobs, as half of the funds for the development program are already going to Raytheon, which operates many facilities in the US.

Yosi Druker, head of Rafael’s Air Superiority Systems division told Defense News that the Tamir would be modified to meet US standards, and would be produced entirely in the US. It would be “100 percent Raytheon,” he said, adding, “The minute that the US decides to procure Iron Dome, we will transfer all the knowledge and production file to Raytheon.”

Mind you, that purchase is yet to be made, and, judging by the Iron Dome’s track record so far, the deal could still go south. Still, Druker is hoping the low cost and excellent performance record of the Iron Dome should give it an advantage over the competition. “It’s clear that according to price and capability and maturity of the system, Iron Dome has advantages,” he said.

But John Patterson, a public relations director for Raytheon Missile Systems who spoke to Defense News, declined to comment on the chances of the system to sell to the Pentagon, and only stated that Raytheon has “an excellent working relationship with Rafael.”

Incidentally, if no other state in the world envisions a situation where they would be facing an absurd battle theater such as the one Israel has faced with Hamas since 2006, could it be that Israel is doing something wrong?


UNESCO to Question Jewish Ties to Western Wall in Arab-Sponsored Draft Resolution

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

United Nations Watch, a Geneva-based watchdog organization, expressed concern today that UNESCO may fuel anti-Jewish incitement and violence, and the increasing PA Arabs’ denial of Jewish religious and cultural rights, by adopting an Arab-sponsored draft resolution that denies Jewish ties to Jerusalem’s Western Wall and Temple Mount.

The Jordanian-Palestinian draft text on the Old City of Jerusalem was submitted to the 21-member World Heritage Committee, which meets over the next 10 days in Istanbul for its 40th annual session.

“This inflammatory resolution risks encouraging the past year’s wave of Arab stabbing and shooting attacks in Jerusalem and other parts of Israel, which began with false claims that Israel was planning to damage holy Muslim shrines,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

Under the battle cry of “Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger,” incitement in September by Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad sparked a wave of terror attacks across Israel which began on the Temple Mount and eastern Jerusalem. At least 40 have been killed and more than  500 wounded. The Arab attacks include 155 stabbings, 96 shootings, 45 car ramming attacks, and one bus bombing.

The draft now before UNESCO includes the following problematic language:

  • The draft refers ten times to Al-Haram Al-Sharif, exclusively using the Islamic term for Temple Mount, without any mention that it is the holiest site in Judaism. This is part of a larger campaign at the UN, and particularly in UNESCO, to Islamize sites historically belonging to other faiths.
  • This year’s proposed draft is even more extreme than the resolution adopted in 2015. The new version three times uses the Islamic term Buraq Plaza while placing the parallel name “Western Wall Plaza” in scare quotes, implying skepticism or disbelief concerning what is the most hallowed site for Jewish worshippers over two millennia, due to the ancient wall’s connection to the Holy Jewish Temple destroyed in 70 CE. Last year’s resolution also sought to diminish the Jewish connection by putting the name Western Wall in parentheses after the Islamic term, yet the new use of quotation marks intensifies the denialism that was famously promoted by Yasser Arafat’s negotiator at Camp David, and which continues in Palestinian Authority statements.
  • Israel, which is referred to throughout as “the Occupying Power” in Jerusalem, is called to restore “the historic Status Quo,” with the new word “historic”—a change from last year’s text—implying a reversal of any changes since 1967.
  • Jerusalem’s light rail, which is used daily by thousands of Arab residents among others, is accused of having a “damaging effect” on the “visual integrity” and “authentic character” of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem—even though the track passes through an existing highway and only facilitates transportation for visitors of all faiths.

The 21 members on the UNESCO world heritage committee are: Angola, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Croatia, Cuba, Finland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. Good luck to all of us.

Jewish Press Staff

South Korea-Israel Free Trade Talks Wrap in Seoul

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Free trade agreement negotiations between Israel and South Korea wrapped up Thursday in Seoul.

Israeli negotiator Netta Bar El told reporters, “This agreement will be an important platform for needed growth and from which to promote trade between our two nations.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

North Korea Blows Up Capitol Hill in New Video [video]

Monday, March 28th, 2016

Pyongyang is again obsessed with blowing up the American capital in a cloud of nuclear haze, on the video screen.

North Korea released its latest propaganda mini-film over the weekend, showing an ‘exciting’ nuclear attack on Washington DC.

Entitled “Last Chance,” the four-minute video released Saturday shows a submarine-launched nuclear missile that lays waste to Washington. The footage shoots through the history of U.S.-Korean relations, including images from the Korean War, the capture of U.S. surveillance ship Pueblo in 1968, and the first international nuclear crisis with Korea in the early 1990s.

The video reaches a sequence that shows a missile flying through the clouds, then swerving back to Earth and piercing the ground in front of the Lincoln Memorial in the American capital.

In the ensuing explosion, the U.S. Capitol building is dramatically destroyed, with a message then flashing on the screen in Korean: “If U.S. imperialists budge an inch toward us, we will immediately strike them with nukes.”

The video, posted to the DPRK Today website, concludes with the American flag in flames.

This is not the first such video released by North Korea, a nation apparently unable to resolve its issues other than with digital violence, arms sales to terrorists and video threats to world powers.

Pyongyang has been working hard to develop intercontinental ballistic missile (IBM) capability, particularly a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) that can carry a nuclear warhead.

A similar video was uploaded to the Internet in 2013, with the White House targeted in the crosshairs and once again, the U.S. Capitol going up in the flames of an explosion.

The country then threatened South Korea with a “merciless military strike.”

For weeks, leader Kim Jong-un’s military leaders have been escalating the belligerent public rhetoric following the annual joint military drills by South Korea and the United States.

This year’s war games were even bigger, in response to North Korea’s launch of a long-range rocket in February, and its nuclear test at the start of the year.

In particular, this year’s games included special drills that honed the skills needed for an operation to neutralize North Korea’s top leadership if need be.

Kim Jong-un has taken those drills personally. Last Thursday he presided over a long-range artillery drill simulating an attack on the Seoul office and residence of South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

On Saturday the KCNA published a statement by the “Reconciliation Council” calling the South Korean president “dog like,” a “dirty old woman” and “chicken-like” among other epithets that are not printable on this website.

The North Korean leader demanded hours later she apologize via the artillery section of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), and “punish” those who formulated the new operation simulation. Pyongyang is unhappy with the international sanctions imposed on North Korea that followed its rocket and nuclear tests earlier in the year, though it was warned they would come in response.

Hana Levi Julian

North Korea Executes Defense Chief for “Treason”

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

North Korean Defense Chief Hyon Yong Chol was executed for treason. It is believed the execution happened in late April or early May.

Among the charges was falling asleep at an event where North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was present, according to South Korean media. But Hyon Yong Chol may have also disagreed with the little dictator.

Seoul’s National Intelligence Service said this was part of a series of ongoing purges in North Korea’s military.

According to Reuters, 15 high-level officers have been executed this year, to a total of 70 since 2011.

Hyon Yong Chol was executed by firing squad, or more accurately, an anti-aircraft gun on a shooting range. The execution was held in front of hundreds of people.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/north-korea-executes-defense-chief-for-treason/2015/05/13/

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