North Korea’s Refugees: Canary in the Coal Mine?

As this show is broadcast, there are a series of interviews being conducted in Seoul by a UN panel on human rights which is now hearing harrowing accounts of brutality in North Korean prisons.

Sunna An formerly, Office of Chief of Staff  Blue House  Republic of Korea, North Korean Refugee matters

Sunna An
formerly, Office of Chief of Staff
Blue House
Republic of Korea, North Korean Refugee matters

Witnesses have been testifying about being forced to watch the brutal executions of family members along with torture and other horrific human rights violations. The North Korean refugee numbers for South Korea are climbing. Is this issue the “canary in the coal mine” for Pyongyang? What is the situation really like on the ground? What actions are governments and international organizations undertaking to handle this horrific problem?

Hosted by David Day, this is a sobering and yet fascinating conversation with Ms. Sunna An, formerly with the Office of the Chief of Staff for South Korea’s Blue House working on North Korean refugee matters. Ms. An is now a Kelly Fellow with Pacific Forum, CSIS.

 

 

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Taiwan (Republic of China) at a Dangerous Crossroads

 

America’s relationship with Taiwan has waxed and waned since 1949, when Nationalist forces fled there following defeat by the Communists on mainland China in a lengthy and bloody civil war. 

Kerry Gershaneck, former US Marine Officer stationed in Taiwan

Kerry Gershaneck, former US Marine Officer stationed in Taiwan

Following this disastrous defeat and retreat, the US provided the security umbrella and economic incentives that helped propel the Taiwan into one of Asia’s leading economic “Tigers”.  Taipei, in turn, supported US foreign policy and military policies.  In recent years, however, a number of factors have caused that once-close relationship to drift.  Some analysts say that actions by Taiwan and the US have placed Taiwan on a trajectory towards absorption by the PRC. 

 As one analyst noted, “Taipei is doing more damage to its own ability to deter mainland coercion and military attack than any weapon the People’s Liberation Army could conceive. This damage represents a serious threat to Taiwan’s national security, and by extension to the national security of the U.S. and Japan.” And the U.S., for its part, appears increasingly ready to sacrifice its national security and regional stability–and its fundamental beliefs as a nation–by refusing to reverse this drift.

David Day hosts this illuminating conversation with Kerry Gershaneck, a former US government official previously responsible for both “front line defense” of Taiwan and for developing key security cooperation programs with its military forces.

 

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American Eyes Inside North Korea’s Nuclear Facilities and Others

Nicole FinnemanFormerly, Korea Economic Institute, Washington, D.C.

Nicole Finneman
Formerly, Korea Economic Institute,
Washington, D.C

 

 

 

Hosted by David Day, this television program aired statewide in Hawaii and features, as its special guest, Ms. Nicole Finneman, formerly with the Korea Economic Institute in Washington, D.C.  Ms. Finneman, an American eyewitness inside North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear facility and other fascinating facilities and locations throughout the country, talks about those experiences.

The conversation turns from the Yongbyon visit to the potential business and commerce development in North Korea and references American firms now lining up to do business in North Korea in the future, including the Korean-American-owned, Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (a private university).

Ms. Finneman talks about her visits to various commercial enterprises, the Koryolink mobile phone explosion in the country, and the market/commercial developments within the country. (Koryolink, a joint venture between the Egyptian company Orascom Telecom Holdings and the state-owned Korea Post and Telecommunications Corporation, is North Korea’s only 3G mobile operator.)

Nicole also discusses  her visit to the digital libraries at Kim Il Sung University and their remarkable high tech facilities which many universities in the U.S. currently do not have…but only connected to an intranet–no internet.

Finally, Ms. Finneman and David Day talk about the infrastructure for commerce and foreign investment that is now being put into place in North Korea and her crystal-ball view of the potential for change in that country.

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Lessons from Fukushima: Big Changes in Japan’s Self Defense Forces

Col. Grant Newsham, USMC, U.S. Military Liaison Officer to the Japan SDF (Army)

Col. Grant Newsham, USMC, U.S. Military Liaison Officer to the Japan SDF (Army)

         

 

 

        On the Anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Col. Newsham discusses what it was like on the ground then, the shortcomings in the disaster relief efforts, and the lessons learned—including the need for Japan’s Self Defense forces to now develop an amphibious capability. The conversation also turns to the significance of this new capacity in Japan’s future role in disaster relief and humanitarian assistance actions in the Asia Pacific Region. 

A Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Landing Craft Air Cushion drives onto the beach as part of exercise Dawn Blitz,testing new amphibious operations

A Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Landing Craft Air Cushion drives onto the beach as part of exercise Dawn Blitz,testing new amphibious operations

 

 

Host: David Day

A Japanese Self-Defense Force landing craft, air cushion lands on Red Beach at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.

A Japanese Self-Defense Force landing craft, air cushion lands on Red Beach at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.

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The Korean War & Its Armistice: Unfinished Framework for a Future

Hyunh-Oh Kim, Consul for Political Affairs Consulate, Republic of Korea

Hyun-Oh Kim, Consul for Political Affairs Consulate, Republic of Korea, Honolulu

               June 25, 1950 marked the beginning of the Korean War and in Hawaii, as well as in many other locations around the globe, ceremonies of commemoration were held. The ceremony in Hawaii is the starting point for this conversation that covers a brief overview of the Korean War, its decimation of South Korea, and the uneasy truce that punctuates the DMZ–all of which has served to create a framework for the unfinished future of Northeast Asia. Korean Consul Kim discusses the rise of South Korea, literally from ashes, to the global stage and credits that rise, in significant part, to the critical involvement of the United States in the war and its assistance to South Korea in the rebuilding process.

Seongho Hong  Kelley Fellow  Pacific Forum CSIS

Seongho Hong
Kelley Fellow
Pacific Forum CSIS

Seongho Kim, talks about the missing piece in the framework for Northeast Asia–North Korea. He also emphasizes that the Korean War Armistice froze the 2 Koreas in place, along the DMZ, and effectively blocked the Korean peninsula from developing economically to its full potential. Both Counsel Kim and Seongho drill down on the missing piece and the need to somehow get North Korea back to the bargaining table for not only nuclear talks but also the discussion of economic development (for North Korea) options.

 

Kerry Gershaneck, former US Marine Officer stationed in Korea and Senior Associate and Director of Governmental Affairs, Pacific Forum CSIS

Kerry Gershaneck, former US Marine Officer stationed in Korea and Senior Associate and Director of Governmental Affairs, Pacific Forum CSIS

Finally, the discussion between Consul Kim, Seongho Hong and Kerry Gershaneck looks at Mdme. President Park’s current visit to Beijing and the interesting language issued in the Joint Communique between China and South Korea directed at North Korea.

Host: David Day

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Power, Diplomacy, Crisis, and Consuls: The Role of the U.S. Embassies

Two career diplomats, a husband and wife team: Ambassadors James and Lauren Kahea Moriarty join David Day in a conversation over the wide range of roles that US Embassy staff play, and how they work and live in countries that range from the glamorous and technologically sophisticated to the brutal and primitive.

Amb. James Moriarty

Amb. James Moriarty

The closure of U.S. embassies in 19 Middle Eastern and African cities in the face of terrorist threats highlights the important—yet often dangerous—work of the thousands of men and women serving in U.S. Embassies as they represent American interests around the world. These men and women play crucial roles in the success of American foreign policy, economic growth, national security, and international influence.  However, relatively few Americans understand what these diplomats and other Embassy staff do, nor the unique challenges and perils they face on a daily basis.

Amb Lauren Moriarty

Amb Lauren Moriarty

 

 

Program sponsored by Pacific Forum, CSIS

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The Asia-Pacific Region’s Flashpoints: An Update

Brad Glosserman Executive Director Pacific Forum, CSIS

Brad Glosserman
Executive Director
Pacific Forum, CSIS

Pacific Forum CSIS’s Executive Director, Brad Glosserman, reviews with David Day the key tense and potentially dangerous security Flashpoints that the Asia-Pacific Region now faces.

 

Asia Pacific Region

Asia Pacific Region

The conversation places these Flashpoints in the context of the rising economic dynamism of the Region, the re-focus of the “whole of government and business” into the Region and its need for stability and security. Potential border spillover Flashpoints are considered with (1)  the ethnic violence in Myanmar,(2) the latest developments in the South China Sea disputes (including the possibility of China now dragging Malaysia into the fray, in addition to the Philippines and Vietnam), (3) China’s dispute with Japan over the Senkakus, and (4) the current situation with the enhanced bellicose rhetoric coming out of North Korea.

 

Hosted by David Day

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The Iron Lady is No More

Garrett Grace and David Day discuss the accomplishments and background of Lady Margaret Thatcher, her rise in British politics, and the pitiful condition of the British Economy at the time she took office in 1979.  The conversation includes a discussion of the controversial policies of Margaret Thatcher as well as her enormous successes.This show also takes up Thatcher’s role with Ronald Reagan in ending the Cold War and then looks to her legacy and the significant portions of it that endure.

Margaret Thatcher The Iron Lady

Margaret Thatcher
The Iron Lady

 

 

Hosted by David Day

Garrett Grace Hawaii Banker former U.K. & Ireland Resident, served in Australian Navy

Garrett Grace, a Hawaii Banker
former U.K. & Ireland Resident, served in Australian Navy

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