TAB: No Gay Rights Charter in Seoul


Just as North Korea faces condemnation for its human rights violations, Seoul sidesteps an equally important issue. Are some human rights more valuable than others? Why can’t Seoul support gay rights?

The Seoul Metropolitan Government Sunday announced it was indefinitely postponing the charter of human rights for citizens of Seoul after fierce protests from gay rights opponents.

The proposed charter was designed to increase awareness of human rights issues at a time when organizations were taking a close look at North Korea. However, a clause in the proposed charter sparked controversy and lingering oppression. The document stated a person “has the right not to be discriminated against based on his or her sexual orientation or sexual identity.”

This debacle raises an interesting question: Does Seoul’s failure to pass a human rights charter eliminate the the nation’s moral position on North Korea’s Human Rights abuses? Granted the violations in the DPRK are egregious, but what does it say about a nation who doesn’t safeguard the rights of all its citizens?

The Asia Brief is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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TAB: Protesters clash in Hong Kong, Seoul Mayor champions same-sex marriages, and more


Protest groups clash in Hong Kong, Is Beijing getting ready to remove Leung, Seoul Mayor supports marriage equality, Vongfong sets its sights on Tokyo, and 12 get death sentences in Xinjiang.

It’s Tuesday, October 14, 2014, and this is The Asia Brief.

A new dawn breaks in Hong Kong, bringing with it more questions as to what will ultimately resolve a tense situation that every day seems to bring about new twists and turns. After yesterday violent confrontations between Occupy Central members and anti-protesters, questions have emerged as who is organizing them. Reports are also surfacing that Beijing might have been responsible for outing CY Leung’s business deal and is moving with trying to wrap up the protests by next Monday.

Vongfong has been downgraded to a tropical storm and is expected to reach Tokyo today. Thus far is has resulted in the injury of at least 50 and forced the evacuations of 450,000. Flights and trains continue to be disrupted.

In a surprising bit of news from the largely conservative South Korea, Seoul’s mayor, Park Won-soon, says he hops his country will be the first in Asia to recognize same-sex marriages.

Chinese courts have handed down sentences from July events in Elixku and Huangdi. Twelve have received death sentences, while many more were given additional prison terms.

Thank you for joining me today. Follow the Asia News Weekly Twitter and Facebook feeds for more news throughout the day.

The Asia Brief is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Show Notes

Thumbnail: Alcuin Lai

Boots In Seoul: Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon Stream in HDR

Seoul's Cheonggyecheon in HDR

Saturday, Jo and I ventured into Seoul to test out her new camera. Our destination was none other than Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon stream.

It’s a wonderful waterway that stretches for nearly 11km from Jongno to the Han river.

Rather than wear flip flops this time, I opted for my hiking boots, thus my social shares were tagged with #BootsInSeoul. This will be the hashtag for travels this winter.

As Jo and I got closer to Zone 3, the Wildlife Zone, I pulled out my iPhone 5S and wanted to shoot some pics. I’ve always been pleased with the camera and its ability. I’ve also always been pleased with the True HDR app; however, sometimes in auto mode, the pictures aren’t clearly focused. The app does allow for manual captures and imports. The HDR above is the result of that.

Using the camera I manually captured the two images required for True HDR and then merged them in app. Personally, I think I’ll be doing this from here on out, as it’s a bit faster and the results better.

Get ready for more #FlipFlopsInSeoul and #BootsInSeoul posts in the coming weeks.

Flip Flops In Seoul: Itaewon

I love traveling. I love flip flops. So as the final days of summer are upon us and the leaves start changing, I’ve decided to put together a new travel series. Rather than video, these will be chronicle my life… in flip flops for the time being. Thus I present to you: #FlipFlopsInSeoul and the inaugural offering, a day in Itaewon.

Enjoy.

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ASIA NEWS WEEKLY: Seoul-Tokyo Relations, Technology Payouts, and more


Seoul-Tokyo Relations, floods and landslides wreak havoc, and technology giants payout damages. These stories and more are on the August 29th edition of Asia News Weekly.

This Asia News Weekly podcast begins with the latest developments in the ongoing stagnant relationship between Seoul and Tokyo. While South Korea’s President Park continues to demand Japan to look squarely at its role during World War II, a call echoed by former Prime Minister Murayama, host Steve Miller questions if South Korea is ready to do the same with its own past following liberation.

The podcast then provides the latest updates to natural disasters affecting both nations. In Hiroshima, a landslide was responsible for killing up to eighty with heavy rain delaying rescue and recovery operations. That same kind of rain created what many in South Korea were calling a “water bomb” and flooded the southeastern city of Busan, killing five.

Changes in government usually happen smoothly in democracies; however, both Thailand and Indonesia have seen their fair share of political turmoil this year. This week, Thai junta leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha assumed the Premiership and former Jakarta governor Joko Widodo was certified as Indonesia’s President-elect.

Asia News Weekly also discusses two legal cases affecting South Korea and Japan. First, The Korea Times’ Kim Yoo Chul joins Miller to explain the Seoul High Court’s ruling against technology giant Samsung. In Japan, TEPCO has been ordered to pay the surviving family members of a woman who committed suicide after the March 11th earthquake. The details of these substantial payouts are explained as the podcast moves into the second half.

As the show winds down, Miller takes a look at gambling addiction in Japan amidst calls for casinos and expansion of gambling. He brings in comprehensive data from a US study and asks the question, “Is Japan ready for more gambling and at what price?” The podcast concludes with the Asia News Update segment, featuring several short stories from the region, and your comments.

Asia News Weekly is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Thumbnail: Taisyo – Wikimedia Commons

SHOW NOTES

ASIA NOW: American Sequoias in Korea


Today on Asia Now, Yuna Kim and I try to track down the fate of 500 giant sequoias that were donated to South Korea in 1971.

The Korean War began at dawn on Sunday, the 25th of June 1950. Three years later, an armistice was signed, ending a deadly conflict claiming some 1.2 million lives on all sides. It’s also a war that was really only brought to life to many through the television show M*A*S*H.

Since that time, both nations have continued on their own independent paths. North Korea is often depicted as a rouge state, while South Korea is held up high for its ability to modernize and become an economic powerhouse in just 60 years.

However, there are other countless other stories to be told about South Korea’s recovery and this is one of them. Today on Asia Now is a story brought to us by Conrad Erkelens. He’s the son of a Navy Commander who donated 500 giant sequoias in 1971 and asked for help to uncover their fate.

Asia Now is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

SHOW NOTES

ASIA NOW: Pope Francis in Korea


Pope Francis recently visited South Korea. What was it like for those seeking a glimpse of the Holy See and what could the Pope’s visit to the ROK mean for the nation’s Protestants? It’s a conversation taking place in Asia… now.

Pope Francis recently wrapped up a five-day visit to South Korea. It was the first papal visit in fifteen years. As one might expect, Pope Francis’ visit received a lot of domestic and international press. While not a Christian nation, like The Philippines, Christianity has taken root on the peninsula with roughly 30% of the population today self-identifying. That roughly breaks down to 10% being Catholic and 20% falling into Protestant and other denominations.

For those seeking a glimpse of the Holy See, what was their experience? Chance Dorland from Seoul It Up filed this report for Asia Now. I also spoke with Hongik University assistant professor Michael Hurt. He shared his opinions about Christianity in Korea and possible implications of Pope Francis’ visit.

Asia Now is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

SHOW NOTES

Thumbnail: Jeon Han

ASIA NOW: Korea’s Plastic Surgery- Is it a problem of Society?

South Korea conducts more plastic surgery than any nation per capita. In fact, in addition to trying to promote it’s music and food, Korea has an app dedicated to medical tourism. Is plastic surgery a sign of a superficial society or something else? It’s one topic worth discussing in Asia… now.

South Korea conducts more plastic surgery than any nation per capita. In fact, in addition to trying to promote it’s music and food, Korea has an app dedicated to medical tourism. Is plastic surgery a sign of a superficial society or something else? It’s one topic worth discussing in Asia… now.

According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, nearly 15 million people received some form of plastic surgery per year as of 2011. The majority of these procedures fall into the non-invasive category, focusing on skin and hair treatments. The United States performs the most surgeries overall, but South Korea has the highest rate of occurrence per capita.

In today’s Asia Now, I speak with three long-time listeners, sharing their views on plastic surgery, three surgeons, and one plastic surgery broker.

Do you feel plastic surgery is a personal choice – no different than spending money on a personal trainer, getting a tattoo, or other forms of body modification or have we created a society where we feel comfortable berating others, crushing their self esteem in order to make us feel better about ourselves – forcing others to change their looks?

Asia Now is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Source links available at Asia News Weekly.