Connect with us

World

Phuket Gazette World News: South Korea on high alert; Uruguay says yes to gay marriage; Louvre closes to pickpockets; Lufthansa danger flight

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– World news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

South Korea, U.S. remain on missile watch as North lauds Kims
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: South Korea and the United States remained on high alert for any North Korean missile launch on Thursday as the hermit kingdom turned its attention to celebrating its ruling Kim dynasty and appeared to dial down rhetoric of impending war.

Despite North Korea’s threats it will attack U.S. bases and the South in response to any hostile acts against it, Pyongyang started to welcome a stream of visitors for Monday’s birthday celebrations of its founding father Kim Il-sung.

North Korea has stationed as many as five medium-range missiles on its east coast, according to defence assessments made by Washington and Seoul, possibly in readiness for a test launch that would demonstrate its ability to hit U.S. bases on Guam.

Officials in Seoul said there were no signs that additional steps had been taken on Thursday that would indicate the North had moved closer to a launch.

Pyongyang issued a statement that appeared to be tinged with regret over the closure of the joint Kaesong industrial zone that was shuttered when it ordered its workers out this week, terming the North-South Korean venture “the pinnacle of General Kim Jong-il’s limitless love for his people and brothers”.

The statement on the country’s KCNA news agency blamed South Korean President Park Geun-hye for bringing the money-spinning venture to “the brink of shutting down”.

Kim Jong-il, Kim Il-sung’s son, ruled North Korea until his death in December 2011. He was succeeded by Kim Jong-un, the third of his line to preside over one of the world’s poorest and most heavily militarised countries.

Since taking office, the 30-year old has staged two long- range rocket launches and a nuclear weapons test. The nuclear test in February triggered United Nations sanctions that Pyongyang has termed a hostile act and a possible pre-event to invasion.

For over a month, Pyongyang has issued an almost daily series of threats to the United States and South Korea, most recently warning foreigners to leave the South due to an impending “thermonuclear” war.

Apart from the swipe at South Korea’s new president, verbal threats appeared to fall off as KCNA listed arrivals for the upcoming birthday celebrations, naming an eclectic mix ranging from Chinese businessmen to Cold War-era enthusiasts of its socialist monarchy and official ideology of “Juche”, or self-reliance.

Ramon Jimenez Lopez, listed as the chairman of the Latin American Institute of the Juche Idea, and Jie Wenjiang, who it said was in charge of Hantong International freight company in Dandong, China, were among the arrivals, KCNA said.

Key tenet

Reinforcing the rule of the Kim dynasty and the legitimacy of the latest Kim to hold power in Pyongyang is a key tenet of North Korea’s ideology.

Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said Kim Jong-un had “lifted the North Korean people out of the sea of bloody tears that has been their world in the past year” after the death of his father.

It was the first anniversary on Thursday of Kim’s official ascent to power, although he became de-facto leader immediately after his father’s death.

Despite the heady rhetoric from North Korea and its closure of the Kaesong economic zone that generated $2 billion a year in trade, Pyongyang does not appear to have placed its 1.2 million strong armed forces on high alert.

Most observers say Pyongyang has no intention of igniting a conflict that could bring its own destruction but warn of the risks of miscalculation on the highly-militarised Korean peninsula.

The North’s rhetoric has pushed the United States, the guarantor of South Korea’s security, to move more military assets into the region in response to the rising threat levels.

In Washington, U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel warned on Wednesday that the North was “skating very close to a dangerous line” with its threats and provocations, and warned the United States was prepared to respond to any moves by Pyongyang.

“We have every capacity to deal with any action that North Korea would take, to protect this country and the interests of this country and our allies,” Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon.

China, the North’s only major diplomatic ally, has watched the situation evolving on its doorstep with concern.

“China respects North Korea, but it also holds the responsibility of preserving peace in Northeast Asia,” the Global Times, a tabloid published by the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily, said in an editorial.

“Pyongyang should drop its illusions that it can make the world stay silent over its desire for nuclear arms through its hard-line stance and deceptions. We believe the North still has a chance and we regret that it has become mired in this crisis. We hope the crisis is only temporary.”

Financial markets which have fluctuated with the rise in tensions appeared to have stabilised and the head of South Korea’s central bank on Thursday announced that there was no imminent threat to Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

“We will take appropriate action if the economy is affected by North Korea risks,” Bank of Korea Governor Kim Choong-soo said after it left interest rates unchanged on Thursday.

Uruguay approves gay marriage, second in region to do so
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Uruguay’s Congress passed a bill on Wednesday to allow same-sex marriages, making it the second country in predominantly Roman Catholic Latin America to do so.

Seventy-one of 92 lawmakers in the lower house of Congress voted in favour of the proposal, one week after the Senate passed it by a wide majority. Leftist President Jose Mujica, a former guerrilla fighter, is expected to sign the bill into law.

“I agree that family is the basis of society but I also believe that love is the basis of family. And love is neither homosexual nor heterosexual,” said opposition lawmaker Fernando Amado of the centre-right Colorado Party.

Uruguay is the 12th country to pass a law of this kind, according to Human Rights Watch. In Latin America, Argentina also has approved gay marriage and it is allowed in Mexico City and some parts of Brazil.

Roughly half a million people marched through Paris in January to protest the legalization of same-sex marriage, underscoring opposition to the measure in the heart of Western Europe.

In Uruguay, a nation of about 3.3 million people sandwiched between Argentina and Brazil, critics of the bill included the Catholic Church and other Christian organizations, which said it would endanger the institution of the family.

“We are opposed to this bill because we understand it distorts and changes the nature of the institution of marriage,” said opposition lawmaker Gerardo Amarilla.

Damian Diaz, a 25-year-old teacher who is in a committed relationship with a man, said he was heartened by the move.

“We’re definitely going to feel now that we live in a place where we’re recognized for who we are, where we get more respect and more acceptance,” he told Reuters Television.

Spain politicians to be fenced off from evictions protesters
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PH

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Protests1 hour ago

Police to prosecute yesterday’s protesters for Covid-19 violation

Thailand3 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vax approved, IATA testing vaccine travel pass, Covid Update | June 25

Thailand3 hours ago

Man wanted for attempted murder arrested on train

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand3 hours ago

The list of high/medium/low risk countries for travelling to Thailand now

World4 hours ago

Rare, giant barking deer makes appearance in Cambodia

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Anutin says health system won’t collapse despite shortages

World5 hours ago

Fire at Chinese martial arts school kills 18, mainly kids

Thailand6 hours ago

Man allegedly steals almost 300,000 baht from monk

Thailand6 hours ago

Illegal cigarette shipment busted, valued at 30 million baht

Thailand8 hours ago

Pair arrested for allegedly stealing prepaid phone cards worth 240 million baht, take home almost 150

Best of9 hours ago

Top 5 Indian Restaurants in Bangkok

Phuket9 hours ago

A Korean restaurant catches fire at a Phuket shopping centre

Best of9 hours ago

Top 10 Provinces to visit in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved for emergency use in Thailand

World10 hours ago

1 dead 99 unaccounted for in Florida building collapse

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending