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U.S., South Korea and Japan discuss military drills, North Korea denuclearization

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2018

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends a bilateral meeting with South Korea’s President Jae-in at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea June 14, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-ji/Pool

SEOUL, South Korea – The top diplomats from United States, South Korea, and Japan promised on Thursday (June 14) to work together to ensure North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons programme after U.S President Donald Trump’s summit with the North’s leader Kim Jong Un.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono met in Seoul two days after Trump and Kim signed a statement agreeing to pursue the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Pompeo insisted that Pyongyang was committed to giving up its nuclear arsenal but said it would “be a process, not an easy one,” while Kono said he expects arrangements to be made for a summit between Japan and North Korea to resolve long-standing issues.- Reuters

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Japan delegation head apologizes, sends home basketball players for night with women

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, August 20th, 2018

Yasuhiro Yamashita, Head of Japan’s delegation to the Asian games | REUTERS


Japan has sent home four players from their men’s basketball team at the 18th Asian Games for spending the night in a Jakarta hotel with women, head of the delegation Yasuhiro Yamashita said on Monday (August 20).

The players left the athletes’ village following their game against Qatar on Thursday (August 16) to eat at a restaurant where they met a Japanese-speaking local, who told them about a bar where they could meet women, Yamashita told a news conference. The quartet, who were wearing their team uniforms, spent a couple of hours at the bar before checking into a hotel with four women, staying there until Friday (August 17) morning, he added.

Officials named the players as Takuya Hashimoto, Keita Imamura, Yuya Nagayoshi and Takuma Sato.

Japan, who won basketball bronze at the last Asian Games four years ago, beat Qatar 82-71 in their second game in Jakarta and top qualifying Group C. Their next match is against Hong Kong on Wednesday. — Reuters

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South Korean families heading north to reunite with long-lost relatives

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, August 20th, 2018

A man selected as a participant for a reunion shows pictures of his deceased mother and little brothers living in North Korea, at a hotel used as a waiting place in Sokcho, South Korea, August 19, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

A group of South Koreans gathered in the northeast coastal city of Sokcho Sunday before heading to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for a reunion with their war-separated families.

The family reunion, which is held during the celebration of the National Liberation Day of Korea, was announced in the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace after leaders from the two sides met in April.

Before meeting their family members on the other side, the South Koreans registered for the reunions at a hotel in Sokcho, got their health checked and were briefed on the procedures and protocols for the event.

The two sides will hold two rounds of reunion meetings. The South Koreans will leave for the venue Monday morning to stay there for three days.

The second round of reunion, involving 83 DPRK families who applied for gatherings with SouthKorean relatives, will be held from Friday to Sunday at the same venue, according to SouthKorean media.

Many separated families have not heard of their missing relatives in nearly 70 years since the Korean War was halted by armistice in 1953. Some waited a lifetime for news of their family which never came. For those who are still alive, everyone has a story of bitterness hanging on to their missing loved ones for decades.

Seventy-seven-year-old Kim Hyeja was finally about to meet her brother after 73 years. Kim’s mother took her two-year-old brother out one day in 1945 and she has not heard from them since.

Kim said she wanted to learn how her mother lived through years of separation with family until her death when she meets her brother.

“I think about my mother all these years, about how sad she’d be, thinking about her daughter. I’m very heart-broken every time this comes to mind,” said Kim.

Ninety-one-year-old Lee Geumsum will meet her son, who got separated from her in 1950.

“I’m sure I won’t recognize him. He was three, but now he’s 71. And he won’t recognize me either. I want to ask him how he lived through all these years, whether he was raised by a new mother, or did his father raise him on his own,” said Lee.

Still those who are about to reunite with their family members are the lucky few, as the vast majority of separated relatives are still waiting to see their loved ones in their lifetime.

“As for those separated families who have not get the chance to reunite, I hope their problem will get solved. Whether it’s the leadership in the north, or in the south, both sides should work towards letting these separated families to reunite at any time with great foresight, to fulfill the wishes of these seniors over 90 years old,” said Lee Youngbu, a senior South Korean heading north to meet his relatives. — Reuters

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Activists urge Japan to apologize for forcing women to work in wartime brothels

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2018


A protester wearing a mask representing ‘comfort women’ | Reuters


Over 50 activists wearing white face masks joined a sit-in protest in front of Japan’s de facto embassy in Taipei on Tuesday (August 14), asking for a formal apology and demanding monetary compensation for Taiwanese women who were forced to work in its wartime brothels.

In drizzling rain, women’s rights activists wore black shirts and masks representing the “comfort women” – a euphemism for girls and women forced to work in Japan’s wartime brothels – who have already passed away. They also held reeds to symbolize the tenderness and endurance of comfort women over the years, inspired by the documentary film “Song of the Reed” which pays tribute to the women.

Before the sit-in protest, Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation Chairperson Huang Shu-ling handed a letter of protest addressed to the Japanese government to a Japanese official. Police hovered nearby and declared the protest a violation of the assembly and parade act, though they allowed it to continue until the event was over.

Like other Asian nations including South Korea and China, Taiwan has an ongoing dispute with Japan over the treatment of women during the war. — Reuters

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