Basketball and peace in Korea

This 5 July 2018 video says about itself:

North And South Korea Court Peace With Basketball Diplomacy In Pyongyang | NBC News [USA]

Two teams drawing on a mix of players from North and South Korea met in an exhibition game in Pyongyang.

From daily The Morning Star in Korea:

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

North and South Korea prepare for joint basketball games

DOZENS of South Korean basketball players arrived in North Korea’s capital today for a series of games the two Koreas hope will foster a spirit of detente generated by the recent North-South summit meetings.

The 50 players arrived in Pyongyang on two military aircraft.

South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung Gyon headed the delegation, which included 20 government officials and support staff and dozens of South Korean reporters.

North Korea’s Deputy Sports Minister Won Kil U led the North’s welcoming party.

The South Korean male and female basketball players are expected to play four matches with North Koreans tomorrow and Thursday. It was not clear whether North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would attend any of the games, but he did make a prominent appearance at a concert put on by South Korean musicians in Pyongyang earlier this year.

The exchanges are the latest result of a diplomatic outreach to the South that Kim announced during his annual New Year’s speech. That led to the North’s participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February and two summits with South Korean President Moon Jae In.

Kim has also had three summits with China’s leader and met US President Donald Trump last month in Singapore.

Cho, the South Korean unification minister, said he felt “deeply moved” upon arrival because he could sense the change in relations in the past few months.

Basketball diplomacy has something of a history in North Korea.

Basketball made international headlines from Pyongyang when former NBA player Dennis Rodman arranged a game there in 2014 for Kim’s birthday.

South Korea’s Hyundai company built a basketball stadium in Pyongyang during the “Sunshine Period” of engagement between the North and South and a joint game was played there in 2003.

Two rounds of inter-Korean basketball games were held before that, in 1999.

TWO KOREAS BEGIN MOVING LAND MINES Troops from North Korea and South Korea began removing some land mines along their heavily fortified border, as part of a pact to reduce tension. [Reuters]

South Korea announced last weekend that the UN Security Council had finally granted an exemption from sanctions for its plans to work with North Korea on a joint survey as the first step towards reconnecting rail and road links between the two Koreas severed during the Korean War of 1950–53. While the US did not use its veto in the UN Security Council to block its ally, the Trump administration is increasingly dissatisfied with moves by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to foster closer relations with North Korea prior to a deal on its denuclearisation. Washington effectively delayed the planned survey in August, and again last month, by declaring that it could violate UN sanctions: here.

Football, Korea-Germany 2-0, Hitler reacts

This satiric video says about itself:

Hitler reacts to Germany’s defeat to South Korea and elimination from the 2018 World Cup

27 June 2018

(Note the film Downfall goes to the respectful owners)

After hearing the news that Germany failed to advance to the knock out stages after a 2-0 defeat to South Korea, Dolfy goes to rant town.

Meanwhile, Hitler’s political heirs in Germany, the AfD party, blame the defeat on players of African and Turkish ancestry in the team.

Militarist Japanese government sabotaging Korean peace process

This 27 April 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Korean War Finally Ending, in Huge Victory for Peace Activists

North and South Korea have agreed to sign a peace deal, after nearly 70 years of war. Christine Ahn says this is thanks to dedicated activism inside and outside of the Korean Peninsula. In conversation with TRNN’s Ben Norton.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

‘Complete denuclearisation’ – Trump signs agreement with Kim Jong-un

US PRESIDENT Trump announced he has agreed to suspend ‘war games’ with South Korea in return for a commitment to the ‘complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula’.

Speaking at a press conference in Singapore after meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for the first time, Trump said: ‘The sanctions will come off when we are sure that the nukes are no longer a factor.

‘I hope it’s going to be soon. But they’ll come off – as you know and as I have said, the sanctions right now remain but at a certain point I actually look forward to taking them off and they’ll come off when we know we’re down the road where it’s not going to happen, nothing is going to happen.’

… He announced: ‘We have done war exercises with a long period of time working with South Korea and we call them war games.

‘… They’re tremendously expensive. The amount of money that we spend on that is incredible. …’

In response to a question regarding the value of the agreement he signed with President Kim, Trump answered by implying he has his sights set on dealing with Iran.

Only months ago, Trump threatened nuclear war on North Korea. Now, the prospects for peace in Korea have brightened. That is not thanks to Trump and his militarist administration. It is thanks to the peace movement in Korea and worldwide. Earlier this year, that caused rapprochement between North Korea and the new South Korean government, elected after their militarist right-wing predecessors had been impeached for corruption. Rapprochement, eg, at the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Trump and his new war-minded ‘security’ adviser John Bolton tried to sabotage that peace process. However, apparently Trump came to the conclusion that he still wanted to do warmongering, but that warmongerring all over the world at the same time would be self-defeating.

US President Richard Nixon was a war criminal, who had United States peace activists killed and who attacked press freedom in reporting on the Vietnam war. Still, Nixon came to the conclusion that it was undesirable to wage cold war on the Soviet Union and on China at the same time. So, the stopped the Cold War policy of not recognizing China. Though done by a crook of a president, that was in itself positive. Even though Nixon did it to concentrate warmongering on the Soviet Union.

It looks like Donald Trump’s recent handshake with North Korea’s Kim Jung-un is somewhat similar to Nixon’s 1972 handshake with Chairman Mao in China.

From News Line daily today:


Trump bending over backwards to make a deal with North Korea contrasts starkly with his conduct towards Iran, where he has ripped up a negotiated deal that kept Iran from producing a nuclear weapon, and where the US has threatened sanctions against its onetime allies, now in a G6 set-up that signed the Iran deal – as did the US – and now refuse to break it off, and thus face US sanctions. …

However, not even the US can take on the entire planet at the same time. This is why Trump has temporarily changed his tune in relation to North Korea.

However, other militarist politicians are not changing their tune in relation to North Korea. Especially so the right-wing revanchist government in Japan. Consisting of members of the ‘Liberal Democratic’ party. A beautiful name. Like the name ‘Freedom Party of Austria‘ sounds beautiful. However, both parties were founded after the second world war by ex-allies of Adolf Hitler. And at present, there are still echoes of Hitler-like ideas in both parties.

Instead of an all-out effort to clean up the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the right-wing Shinzo Abe administration is in denial about that disaster. Instead of stopping cancer causing nuclear pollution, they rather spend Japanese taxpayers’ money on militarism.

Peace between North Korea and South Korea and the USA would make it harder for Japanese warmongers to sell to the taxpayers more and more spending on war, with the North Korean bogeyman as the pretext.

It is time for Shinzo Abe to resign, and to give peaceful people in Japan the chance to repair the damage he caused.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Japan: war games are of vital interest

The Japanese Defense Minister says that the presence of US military personnel in South Korea and the joint war games are vital for security in East Asia.

Who is minister of war … sorry, I am supposed to use the euphemism ‘defense’ in the right-wing Abe administration?

It used to be Ms Tomomi Inada.

Pictures from Japanese neo-Nazi Kazunari Yamada’s website show him posing with Shinzo Abe’s internal affairs minister, Sanae Takaichi, and his party’s then policy chief, Tomomi Inada

These pictures from Japanese neo-nazi leader Kazunari Yamada’s website show him posing with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s internal affairs minister, Sanae Takaichi, and Abe’s party’s then policy chief, Tomomi Inada. Ms Inada later became minister of war … sorry for forgetting to use the euphemism ‘defence’ … of Japan.

In July 2017, Ms Inada resigned as war minister. Not because of her nazi scandal, but because of other scandals.

Ms Inada’s successor became Mr Itsunori Onodera. Wikipedia writes about him:

He was elected to the House of Representatives for the first time in December 1997 from Miyagi Prefecture No. 6,[2] but resigned in 2000 in the wake of an electoral donation scandal.[3]… Like Abe, the majority of his government, and many predecessors as defense ministers, Onodera is affiliated to the openly revisionist lobby Nippon Kaigi.[6] Onodera supports Japan having the ability to launch a first-strike attack against enemy bases.[7]

The word ‘revisionist’ has lots of meanings. In Onodera’s context, it means denying that the 1930s-1940s Japanese imperial government, allies of Hitler and Mussolini, did anything wrong. Korea was then a Japanese colony. The Japanese occupiers then kidnapped teenage girls in Korea (and in China, the Philippines, Indonesia, etc.) to be raped as ‘comfort women’ in military brothels. Today, Japan’s ‘Liberal Democrat’ ‘revisionists’ deny this war crime and other war crimes.

The NOS article continues:

Minister Onodera responds to President Trump’s unexpected intention to stop the annual war games of South Korea and the USA on the border with North Korea. …

US President Trump said yesterday at the summit with [North Korean] Kim that he will stop the war games because they are expensive and provocative. …

Japan states that it intends to continue to conduct war games with the US and to work together to defend against missiles from North Korea.

Unfortunately, not only in Japan there are right-wing politicians trying to out-Trump Trump on militarism. Like in the USA: Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican-South Carolina) was less pleased, calling Trump’s reasoning for halting the military exercises “ridiculous”. [Reuters]

Trump under pressure from US intelligence agencies over North Korea: here.

The Singapore summit and the growing war threat: here.

The massive war games send a regular threatening message to China, which is the true target of US and Japanese aggression. … The disagreements in Washington are over how best to proceed with planning for war against China and Russia: here.

The elderly are consistently the most affected victims of heat waves, floods, and other disasters, pointing to the social neglect of the aged by the Japanese government: here.

The cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved new so-called National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) on December 18 that will rapidly accelerate Tokyo’s remilitarization, including the acquisition of offensive weaponry. The new 10-year policy explicitly targets China and North Korea, as well as Russia: here.

JAPAN ESCALATES TRADE DISPUTE WITH SOUTH KOREA Japan removed South Korea as a preferred trading partner on Friday, escalating a bitter row between the countries that threatens the global supply chain for smartphones and other electronic devices. [BBC]