Korean Lawmakers Pass New Law Authorizing Chemical Castration of Sex Offenders

It will be interesting in a few years to see if this new policy actually helps reduce the number of sex crimes or not?:

South Korean lawmakers have passed amendments to sex crime laws which will see those guilty of attempted rape and voyeurism subject to drug treatment, also known as chemical castration, in order to control their sexual impulses.

During the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon held on Tuesday at the Government Complex in Seoul, the government deliberated and voted on a number of reforms related to the law concerning pharmacological treatment of violent sex crime offenders, meaning offenders committing crimes of attempted rape, voyeurism, and rape involving minor victims will all be subject to chemical castration.

In addition, those serving a prison sentence and court orders of pharmacological treatment in the last nine to six months will be able to appeal to a court to lift the orders after being examined by psychology professionals to assess the risks of recidivism.  [Korea Biz Wire]

You can read more at the link.

North Korea Cancels Taedonggang Beer Festival

I guess President Moon if he wanted to cannot hold a beer summit in North Korea now 😉   :

A waitress delivers mugs of beer at the first Taedonggang Beer Festival in Pyongyang last year. [KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY]

A Chinese tour agency that specializes in North Korean tours announced the cancellation of the second Taedonggang Beer Festival on Sunday, which was initially planned to take place in Pyongyang from Wednesday throughout the end of August.“The reason for the cancellation is unclear and we don’t expect a full explanation,” Koryo Tours said in a brief statement on its official blog, “but it is possibly due to the country’s ongoing drought, which has caused a great deal of trouble.”

North Korea has yet to comment through its state media. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported as recently as last week that a newly produced wheat beer would be featured at this year’s festival.  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link.

President Moon Continues to Advocate for North Korea to Join Pyeongchang Olympics

I will say it once again, if the South Africans were banned from the Olympics because of their Apartheid policies than why is North Korea with its far worse human rights violations being championed by President Moon to be part of the Pyeongchang Olympics?:

President Moon Jae-in, center, and former Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na, at Moon’s left, both honorary ambassadors for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, pose together to wish for the country’s successful hosting of the sporting event in a ceremony on Monday in Pyeongchang, Gangwon, some 180 kilometers (112 miles) east of Seoul. [YONHAP]

President Moon Jae-in renewed his invitation on Monday for North Korea to attend the Winter Olympic Games in the South next year, continuing his strategy of using sports diplomacy to thaw inter-Korean relations.

“I urge the North once again to make a decision,” Moon said. “We won’t have hasty optimism, but there is no need for us to take a pessimistic view either. We will leave the door open and wait until the last moment.”

Moon made the remarks during an event to promote the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, Gangwon. The games, scheduled for Feb. 9 to 25, 2018, will start 200 days from Monday. [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link.

Picture of the Day: South Korea to Participate in Mobility Guardian Exercise

S. Korea to join U.S. air drill

A C-130H transport plane of the South Korean Air Force takes off from an air base near the southeastern port of Busan on July 25, 2017, to join a multinational exercise. The Air Force is also sending 30 service members to the inaugural Mobility Guardian training organized by the U.S. Air Mobility Command slated for early August. (Photo courtesy of the Air Force) (Yonhap)

South Korea Looks to Increase Capability of Ballistic Missile Warheads

I don’t think the North Koreans will be too impressed by this news considering they are developing nuclear warheads:

In this file photo provided by the Ministry of Defense on June 23, 2017, Hyunmoo-2, a new homegrown ballistic missile with a range of 800 kilometers, is test-fired from a mobile launch pad at a test site of the Agency for Defense Development in Anheung, 200 kilometers southwest of Seoul, the same day with President Moon Jae-in on hand. (Yonhap)

The South Korean government is pushing to revise the missile guidelines developed with the United States to double the maximum weight of warheads on Seoul’s ballistic missiles from the current 500 kilograms to counter growing threats from the North, sources said Monday.

The Seoul government proposed the revision in line with the Seoul-Washington summit last month, and is known to be planning to begin talks regarding the issue during the annual Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) and the Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD) later this year, they said.

In 2012, the allies revised the ballistic missile guidelines, allowing Seoul to extend the maximum allowable missile range to 800 kilometers from the previous limit of 300 km, against North’s advancing nuclear and ballistic missile capacities. Under the deal, Seoul can load up to 500 kg of warheads on missiles with the range of 800 km.

“Our military is reviewing various measures to counter North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations,” a government official said, declining to comment on the possible revision.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

President Trump Overturns US Military’s Policy on Transgender Servicemembers

So much for all the mandatory transgender training the US military has been going through as President Trump has now reinstated the transgender servicemember ban:

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a rainbow flag given to him by supporter Max Nowak during a campaign rally at the Bank of Colorado Arena on the campus of University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo., Oct. 30, 2016.

President Trump announced on Wednesday morning that the U.S. military would not “accept or allow” any transgender service members.

In a series of tweets, the commander in chief argued that too much is at stake in the military’s current operations for it to be “burdened” by the medical costs of transgender people or the “disruption” he says transgender service members would cause.  [Yahoo News]

You can read more at the link, but I really think this whole policy would have been less controversial if it did not include free sex change and hormone treatment for new recruits.  Additionally controversy only increased when it was announced that transgenders that chose not to undergo the surgery would be allowed to shower with the sex they identify with.

With the end of the don’t ask don’t tell policy I predicted it would be a lot to do about nothing which is what happened.  Gay servicemembers were not demanding special treatment, just the ability to serve openly.  If transgenders were just told they can serve openly and must have any surgeries completed prior to joining the military I think there would have been much less push back on this policy that led to President Trump overturning it.

President Moon to Hold Beer Summit with ROK Business Leaders

Considering that President Moon has plans to increase taxes on the wealthy and businesses to create a welfare state, President Moon better serve some pretty good beer to get these ROK business leaders on board:

President Moon Jae-in is set to hold his first dialogue with top business leaders here this week over beer to help break the ice and possibly allow more frank discussions, an official from the presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, said Tuesday.

The talks will be held Thursday and Friday, each day involving part of the top executives from the 14 largest business conglomerates, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Soo-hyun.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.