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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘South Korea’

What Will Get Russia to Abandon Iran? Israeli Natural Gas

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

“Has Putin’s desire to retain Russia’s energy position moved him away from Tehran?” ask The Commentator’s Peter C. Glover and Michael J. Economides. While the world has been expected to divide into familiar camps over Iran’s nukes – the West against it, the East at least tacitly for it – it turns out there’s a new wrinkle in this plot, which could change the outcome of the biggest story of the year.

Moscow is interest in Israeli energy. Not to buy, to redirect.

Gazprom, Russia’s giant energy producer, has had an “energy stranglehold over Europe,” according to Commentator. The 20 million metric tons of eastern Mediterranean liquid natural gas (LNG) which Israel expects to export each year to Europe amounts to about a third of Russia’s gas exports.

Putin is concerned about this threat to Russia’s economy, which is based almost entirely on its ability to control European energy. And so Moscow is set on doing everything in its power to protect this ‘captive’ market against the marauding Israelis (and Cypriots).

The Jewish Press’ Rotem Sella earlier this month cited “a very senior person in the Israeli gas industry” who told him: “The Russians have been poking around here for a while. Everyone knows about the Russian interest in controlling the European energy market. Do they want to buy from us, or delay our efforts? I don’t know. But they are here.”

During Putin’s visit to Israel, he and Prime Minister Netanyahu reportedly agreed to form a Gazprom subsidiary which would “help” with Israel’s enormous gas field, the “Levyatan.”

And Ohad Marani, CEO of IDLC energy which is already drilling the Myra well, told Sella: “In the Far East we will see three times what we see in Europe. While we won’t be able to keep the whole margin, it’s surely better than any European option, which would involve an expensive pipe.”

And could involve selling in Putin’s territory. You shouldn’t do that…

Turns out that in order to convince Israel it would be much better off selling its gas to India, China, South Korea and Japan, the new czar is prepared to sacrifice Iran. Putin is even willing to lose a billion dollar deal and possibly eat a 4 billion dollar court decision against him:

Eurasia Monitor has reported that Iran is suing Russia for close $4 billion in damages in the Court of Arbitration in Geneva for canceling a contract to sell five divisions of the S-300 long-range anti-aircraft missile system worth an estimated $800 million to $1 billion.

As I said, anyone who thought the Iran conflict would divide along predictable demarcation lines – welcome to the 21st century. Russia, which helped construct Iran’s nuclear plant at Bushehr, does not appear so eager to support Iran in a war against Israel. The Kremlin has other priorities than those it used to have when it ran the USSR brand.

And that chess play could prove to be the one that got Tehran to blink first.

Obama to Erdogan: There’s Still Time to Solve Iran Issue Diplomatically

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Reuters has reported that President Obama spoke with Turkish PM Erdogan Sunday morning, and told him that Iran still has time to solve the nuclear issue diplomatically, but that the window is closing.

President Obama is currently in South Korea for a nuclear security conference in Seoul. He made a symbolic gesture by first visiting the De-Militarized Zone between North and South Korea, underscoring the United States’ commitment to South Korea’s security amid rising tensions.

All Time Record High for Israel Tourism in February

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

The month of February 2012 has broken records in the tourism industry in Israel, with 232,000 visitor arrivals, 6% more than the same month last year, and an increase of 4% compared to February 2010, which marked the previous record. Out of 232,000 arrivals, 200,000 were tourist entries, another all-time record high.

Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov stated: “The increased momentum of tourism to Israel is the result of focused and intensive international marketing activity in spite of regional turmoil and the ongoing economic crisis in Europe.”

The Ministry of Tourism has been pushing travel to Israel in new markets such as China, India, South Korea, Russia and South America.

Since the beginning of the year 388,900 tourists have arrived in Israel, similar to 2011, when 388,500 tourists arrived.

According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, there is a stable trend in flights to Israel. In the month of February there were 172,000 arrivals by air, 1% less than in February 2011. Of those flights, 6,400 tourists flew directly to Eilat and Ovda. Since the beginning of the year, 329,000 tourists have arrived by air, 1% more than January – February 2011.

Korean Jewish Community Gets First Torah Scroll

Monday, March 5th, 2012

The dedication of a new Torah scroll is always a cause for celebration. But for the small yet proud Jewish community in South Korea, just such a dedication Sunday meant so much more. Not only did it cap the community’s recent unprecedented growth, it welcomed what for Jews elsewhere in the world is almost a given: a Torah scroll of their own.

Often a Torah scroll – which typically costs in excess of $10,000 and can cost as much as $30,000 – is donated by generous individuals in honor or in memory of a loved one, but according to Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Osher Litzman, the South Korean Torah was funded by the community members themselves.

“We have been blessed with donations from locals, visitors and friends who have helped to cover a significant amount of the expenses,” said Litzman, who is still fundraising for the project. “The goal is that everyone in the community will have a share.”

(Chabad.org)

Obama Discusses Leaders He Considers Friends

Friday, February 10th, 2012

In an interview with Time Magazine, US President Barack Obama listed those foreign leaders that he considers friends and have helped him implement diplomatic initiatives.

“The friendships and the bonds of trust that I’ve been able to forge with a whole range of leaders is precisely, or is a big part of, what has allowed us to execute effective diplomacy,” said Obama.

The list included Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not mentioned.

“I think that if you ask them, Angela Merkel or Prime Minister Singh or President Lee or Prime Minister Erdogan or David Cameron would say, ‘We have a lot of trust and confidence in the President. We believe what he says. We believe that he’ll follow through on his commitments. We think he’s paying attention to our concerns and our interests,’” Obama added.

Report: Boeing, IAI to Sell Arrow Missile System to South Korea

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Boeing and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), partners in production of the Arrow ballistic-missile defense system, intend to sell the weapon system to South Korea, according to Defense News.

The report stated that the deal is estimated to exceed $1 billion, and would be consummated between the US and South Korean governments.

“There’s still a long way to go, but we and our Israeli partners are working very persistently to be able to provide this phenomenal capability to South Korea, an important U.S. ally,” Roger Krone, president of Boeing said recently in Tel Aviv.

Last week, Boeing and IAI announced that they were increasing collaboration on the Arrow anti-ballistic missile program and other projects in the missile defense arena.

US Appeals to South Korea to reduce Iran Oil Imports

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Reflecting its recent campaign to increase economic pressure on the Iranian regime, a senior US official encouraged South Korea on Tuesday to lower its oil imports from Iran.

South Korea has been a dependable ally of the US in its efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear program, but it relies on Iran for approximately 10% of its oil supplies.

South Korea has not yet responded to the US entreaty.

 

North Korean Kim Jong-il is Dead at Age 69

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Kim Jong-il, the leader of North Korea is dead at age 69. North Korean media reports that he died on December 17 while traveling on a train.
Kim Jong-un, his third oldest son is supposed to replace him as the new head of state.
Jong-un, in his late twenties, is reported to have gone to school in Switzerland while living there under a pseudonym. He is reported to be a diabetic and suffer from hypertension. His father made him a general in 2010.
In response to the news of Jong-il’s death, South Korea has put its military on high alert.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/north-korean-kim-jong-il-is-dead-at-age-69/2011/12/19/

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