08/01/2014NORTH KOREA - CHINA Pyongyang excommunicates China: a decadent and unprincipled country An editorial in the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper is the latest step in the cooling of bilateral relations. The Kim regime displeased at Xi Jinping’s decision to visit South Korea first. A source on the border: "If things go wrong, so much the better for us. Government will stop trade with China and the plunder of our natural resources .Ordinary people have never benefited from these relations". Seoul (AsiaNews) -
China "is a country without principles, bourgeois and
decadent." The sentence is taken from the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North Korean government,
and represents the latest step in the cooling of relations between Beijing and Pyongyang.
07/28/2014KOREA Talks resume between North and South over Big Dictionary of the Korean People's Language The project was started in 2005 because of the growing cultural gap between the two sides of the border. The South has adopted international terms which never arrived in the North, and the difference of the– pre-existing - dialects has become more radical. The goal, says Seoul, is "to preserve the cultural heritage Korean language and overcome distances”.
07/28/2014ISLAM Eid al-Fitr: Ramadan ends today (for Sunnis) For Shia Muslims, the festival of Eid begins tomorrow. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon (Sunnis) announce the end of Ramadan, which commemorates the period during which the Koran was revealed to Muhammad.
07/27/2014VATICAN "Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
07/25/2014ASIA Air disasters: 2014 could beat 2005 in terms of fatalities So far this year, 680 people have died, higher than 12-month totals for the past three years. With 916 deaths, 2005 was the worst year. IATA points out that about 100,000 flights take place every day without incident with passenger trips on airlines exceeding three billion last year.
07/24/2014JAPAN - KOREA Tokyo government to make “officially apology” to Korean comfort women Announced by Junichi Ihara, head of Asian Affairs of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the end of a meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Lee Sang-deok. The issue of women sexually exploited by Japanese soldiers has divided the two nations since the end of World War II. Today only 54 remain alive: some will meet the Pope during his visit to South Korea
07/23/2014CHINA - KOREA China arrests 29 North Korean refugees who face death if repatriated by Joseph Yun Li-sun The arrests were made between Qingdao and Kunming and include 5 Chinese and Koreans who were trying to help them get to South-East Asia. The Beijing government set on sending them back home, where they face concentration camps or execution. Seoul "at work" to resolve issue, experts skeptical: "China does not want refugees from the north, it fears the economic impact."
07/20/2014VATICAN Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
07/18/2014VATICAN - ISLAM Christians and Muslims should work fraternally for "justice, peace and respect for the rights and dignity of every person" The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue issues a message for the Muslims of the world to mark the end of Ramadan. "Despite being aware of our differences, [. . .] We perceive the importance of promoting a fruitful dialogue built upon mutual respect and friendship. Inspired by our shared values and strengthened by our sentiments of genuine fraternity, we are called to work together for justice, peace and respect for the rights and dignity of every person."
07/16/2014KOREA - UNITED STATES US-South Korean naval war games start Five-day US-South Korean naval exercises being in South Korean territorial waters. Pyongyang reacts by protesting, calling for the drill's cancellation, whilst continuing to fire projectiles into the sea. Meanwhile, the two Koreas are, asks to cancel the event and continues to fire short-range missiles. Meanwhile, the two Koreas organise joint meet to prepare for Asian Games in Incheon.
07/13/2014VATICAN As pope makes "heartfelt appeal" for peace in the Holy Land, he notes that prayer is not "in vain" After the Angelus, Pope Francis called on those present to pray during a minute of silence. He made the same plea to local and international policy makers. Prayer helps us "not allow ourselves be overcome by evil, nor accept that violence and hatred take over from dialogue and reconciliation." The parable of the sower asks, 'How is our heart? To what ground does it look like: a road, rocky ground, or a bush? We must remember that with our words "we too are sowers". Indeed, "Our words can do so much good and so much evil; they can hurt and heal, encourage and depress." And "please, do not forget to pray for me."