Korean Presidential Candidates Fail to Criticize China and Do Not Attend Ceremony Honoring Sailors Killed By North Korea

ROK-US relations could be interesting in the coming years considering how many of the liberal Presidential candidates have plans to appease China and North Korea:

However, only a minor opposition Justice Party has proposed a resolution against China’s increasing pressure on South Korea. In the past, the opposition lawmakers, which had showed a pro-China attitude under former President Roh Moo-hyun, contributed to worsening the relations between South Korea and the U.S. They are now calling for reversing the decision on the deployment of missile defense system, while not making any complaints about China’s irrational retaliatory actions against South Korean companies. Will they show the same attitude if the U.S. comes up with similar retaliatory behaviors?

China stood on North Korea’s side over the sinking of the Cheonan on March 26, 2010. Furthermore, the U.S. had to eliminate its plan on military drills against North Korea with its aircraft carrier in the West Sea after meeting with strong opposition from China. The second West Sea Defense Day Ceremony was held at the Daejeon National Cemetery on Thursday in order to honor and remember soldiers killed from the sinking of the Cheonan, the second battle of Yeonpyeong and the bombing of Yeonpyeong Island. However, opposition party members, including leading presidential candidates, Choo Mi-ae, head of the main opposition Democratic Party, and Park Jie-won, head of the People’s Party, did not show up at the event. It seems that opposition party members are putting a presidential election over national security, making the public feel anxious about South Korea’s national security if they win the election in May.  [Donga Ilbo]

You can read more at the link.

Picture of the Day: F-35 Participates In Joint Drill Between US and the ROK

U.S. stealth fighter on bombing drill in Korea

In this photo provided by the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) on March 25, 2017, the U.S. Air Force’s F-35B stealth fighter takes off from its base in Japan on March 23. The fighter participated in a joint drill between South Korea and the United States, and engaged in precision bombing training, among other things, before returning to its base. (Yonhap)

Kang Jung-ho Denied Work Visa to Enter the US to Play Baseball Due to DUI Conviction

It seems the US Embassy is punishing Kang Jung-ho more than the Korean justice system is willing to do after his third DUI conviction:

In this file photo taken on March 3, 2017, Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Kang Jung-ho arrives at the Seoul Central District Court to attend a verdict hearing on his DUI charges. (Yonhap)

Pittsburgh Pirates’ third baseman Kang Jung-ho has been denied a U.S. work visa following a recent DUI conviction, a source close to the matter told Yonhap News Agency Saturday, casting further doubt on his status for the 2017 major league season.

The source confirmed a report on Friday by the local network KBS that the U.S. Embassy in Seoul recently rejected Kang’s application for a visa to enter the country. The news came exactly three weeks after Kang received an eight-month sentence, which was suspended for two years, for leaving the scene of a DUI accident in Seoul last December. It was his third DUI arrest in South Korea and his driver’s license has been revoked.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link, but if he is not allowed to enter the US to play, Kang would assuredly be on the hook to lose millions of dollars from his Major League Baseball contract.

Inflight Emergency Causes F-16 to Drop 600-Gallon Fuel Tank into A Korean Lake

Considering how the Korean left went irrationally crazy about 20 gallons of formaldehyde that went through not one, but two water treatment plants before entering the Han River I can only imagine what they can dream up with 600 gallons of fuel dropped into this lake outside of Kunsan:

A U.S. fighter jet jettisoned its auxilliary fuel tanks into a lake near Kunsan Air Base after suffering an in-flight emergency during a training mission.

The pilot of the F-16, which was assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing, released the drop tanks Wednesday after receiving an indication of an oil system malfunction, a spokeswoman said

“The pilot safely executed the established emergency procedures, which included releasing the fuel tanks before landing unharmed,” Lt. Col. Michal Kloeffler-Howard said Friday in an email.

The tanks fell into a lake in an area owned by the Saemangeum Regional Environmental Office under the Ministry of Environment, about two miles west of Kunsan Air Base, the 7th Air Force public affairs officer said.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read the rest at the link.


Picture of the Day: Remembering Fallen Sailors

S. Korea mourns fallen soldiers in naval clashes with N.K.

Singer, actor and now soldier, Army Cpl. Lee Seung-ki (L) sings the chorus of a song during a ceremony at the National Cemetery in the central city of Daejeon on March 24, 2017, to commemorate South Korean soldiers killed in three major clashes with North Korea in the Yellow Sea. The government has designated the fourth Friday of March as the commemoration day for the fallen soldiers in the clashes, including the North’s torpedoing of the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan in 2010, which killed 46 sailors. (Yonhap)

Salvage Workers Race Against Time to Complete Recovery of Sunken Sewol Ferry Boat

I feel horrible for the families that have to live through this tragedy all over again as the resources have finally been mustered to lift the sunken Sewol ferry boat:

Salvage operators will load the Sewol ferry onto a semisubmersible ship late into Friday night ― the final task before heading to land.

“We are racing against time,” said Lee Cheol-jo, an official from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, who is in charge of the operation. “With strong tidal currents expected in the area Saturday, the workers have to do everything correctly to finish the job hopefully before midnight.”

He said loading the ferry onto a semisubmersible ship is the trickiest stage of the operation, which requires optimal weather conditions.

The workers plan to finish the job before March 24, the last day of the neap tide period around the area. The next neap is not until April 5.

Lee said the rest of the operation will not be as vulnerable to weather conditions.

The semisubmersible ship will take the 6,825-ton ferry to Mokpo Port next week.

The sunken ferry was lifted from the depths, Thursday, nearly three years after it sank and left 304 people dead on April 16, 2014, in Korea’s worst maritime disaster.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.