Friday, October 31, 2014

Shale Boom Redraws Oil Routes as Alaskans Ship to Korea


South Korea Plans to Start Won-Yuan Direct Trading in December


Asia Times Online :: Laos to open sale of land to foreigners

Asia Times Online :: Laos to open sale of land to foreigners

Could Hong Kong Lose It's Independence?

South Korea’s Ebola Response Are plans to send a team to two of the most afflicted countries in Africa driven by humanitarian or political motives?


Russia, China & Mongolia Begin Trilateral Talks


Putin Signals Russia's Shift to Asia


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hanging out at the Koreas' demilitarised zone


Graphic: Rising Tide of Chinese Global Investments


Singapore tops World Bank business ranking for ninth year


"Ease of Doing Business" Ranking

1. Singapore
6. Norway
2. New Zealand
7. USA
3. Hong Kong
8. UK
4. Denmark
9. Finland
5. South Korea
10. Australia

Korea’s Business Environment Ranks 5th in the World

30 OCTOBER 2014
The Ministry of Strategy and Finance announced on Oct. 29 that Korea ranked fifth this year on the World Bank Doing Business Index, reaching a new high and joining the top 10 for four consecutive years.
Korea has climbed from 19th in 2009 and 16th in 2010, to eighth in 2011 and 2012 and seventh in 2013. This year, it is second to no G20 country, and second only to New Zealand and Denmark among OECD members.
Singapore beat them all, followed by New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Denmark. Korea was followed by Norway, the United States, and Great Britain. Canada, Japan, China, and Russia took the 16th, 29th, 90th, and 62nd spots.
- See more at:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

North Korea: Defectors and Their Skeptics

North Korea’s Charm Offensive: New Cards, Same Player


Japan Can’t Ratify the TPP This Year


Protest Art in 1950s Japan: The Forgotten Reportage Painters


Afghanistan Promises China Help with 'Militants'

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) with Afghan PresidentAshraf Ghani Ahmadzai attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing October 28, 2014.
(Reuters) - Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani has pledged to help China fight Islamist militants, a senior Chinese official said on Tuesday, after Ghani met President Xi Jinping in Beijing on his first visit abroad since his September inauguration.

China 'to Overtake Korea in Most Industries in 4 Years'


South Korea’s Export Weakness Puzzles Economists


New Apartment in downtown Pyongyang North Korea Costs US$100,000

Pyongyang Changjon Street.jpg

A recently-released photo of the newest, hottest hot spot in Pyongyang - Changjon Street.
A recently-released photo of the newest, hottest hot spot in Pyongyang - Changjon Street.
29 OCTOBER 2014
The Worker’s Party of Korea, the North Korea’s state-owned newspaper, posted a picture of a fancy night view of Pyongyang Changjon Street on the second page of their Sept. 29th edition. Changjon Street, construction of which was completed in June 2012, is a new apartment complex is known as “North Korean New Town.”
As investment in real estate is active in North Korea, a new apartment in Pyongyang is said to be traded at US$100,000. In addition, loans with usurious annual interest rates of 20 percent have become generalized as private loans develop
- See more at:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Afghanistan: Out with NATO, in with China?

Afghanistan: Out with NATO, in with China? - Yahoo News
China will not send any troops to replace the departing NATO forces, local and foreign analysts agree. But Beijing, which offered Mr. Ghani hundreds of millions in aid Tuesday, is gearing up to play a leading role in Afghanistan’s future – fearful that if its neighbor descends into chaos, more trouble will spread into China’s restless, predominantly Muslim province of Xinjiang.

Monday, October 27, 2014

My taste and some photos of the delicious persimmons in Youngdong South Korea

I got here just in time for the persimmons harvest in  Youngdong South Korea.

I was also in Youngdong for the grape harvest and festival.
But the persimmon trees are everywhere. 

The trees look as if they are covered with orange Christmas ornaments while dropping their leaves. 

Everywhere you look some one is picking persimmons.
Some to be sold at market, others for home use.

Many are peeled then hung up to dry outside to be eaten at a later date.
The frost enhances their taste.

Youngdong and the surrounding area is one of the most beautiful places in South Korea.

The people are some of the nicest and welcoming you would ever want to meet.
Their sense of sharing is something i have never seen before. It is a custom that just comes naturally to them.

 I love it here.

Tao Dao Man

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

[Photo] Persimmons drying in Youngdong South Korea

Rows of persimmons being dried by farmers in Youngdong County, North Chungcheong Province, Oct. 20. Around 2,500 tons of dried persimmons are produced each year in the Youngdong area, one of South Korea's main persimmon producing regions.The persimmons are dried outdoors, because exposure to frost brings out their flavors. (Newsis)

South Koreans More Accepting of LGBT Community


Jet Crash In Moscow Kills Total Boss

Afghanistan Discussed At Munich Security Conference

Monday, October 20, 2014

China Nears Deal with Mexico to Export Bullet Trains for First Time


Russian company to build railroads, develop natural resources in North Korea


China-Vietnam Defense Hotline Agreed: What Next?


KY Leung Hints At Foreign Influence in Hong Kong

2 Japanese Ministers Quit

BBC News - Japan ministers Yuko Obuchi and Midori Matsushima quit
Ms Matsushima had been accused by the opposition of violating election laws.
Ms Obuchi is alleged to have misused funds from her political support groups and other donations.
Correspondents say the resignations are a major setback for PM Shinzo Abe, who wants to bring more women into the top levels of government.
Mr Abe said he took responsibility for having appointed both women, and that they would be replaced within a day. Both are members of his governing conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

“If we don’t face our past, we’re bound to repeat the same mistakes.” Japanese wartime medical orderly reports on army’s role in maintaining “comfort women” system


Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Golden Lands: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand & Vietnam by Vikram Lall reviewed by Jame DiBiasio

From Sri Lanka to Tibet to Japan, the expression of Buddhism through art and architecture tells a wider tale. Vikram Lall, a practicing architect and teacher in New Delhi, wonders at the mind-boggling diversity of Buddhist buildings. Indeed, the variety on hand in Bagan alone is a testament to the endless creativity of presenting a uniform set of philosophical and religious tenets.
Buddhism's expansion has largely been a process of coexistence with other faiths rather than a premeditated program of displacement. Lacking a central organized Vatican, there is freedom to interpret Buddhism to suit local styles.
Some of the greatest monuments in Southeast Asia—the Shwezigon in Bagan, the Bayon in Angkor—housed local spirits as well as Buddhist imagery. In Shwezigon's case, the purpose was to lure the masses with the local spirits, called nats, and thereby expose them to Theravada Buddhism. At the Bayon, the inclusion of animist and Hindu statuary was meant to help Angkor's first Mahayana Buddhist king secure his position among the displaced and hostile Hindu aristocracy.
Lall traces such developments through the story of Buddhist architecture. Meant to be the first volume of a series spanning Buddhist architecture across Asia and the world, The Golden Lands focuses on Southeast Asia. He plans five more volumes, each covering a different geography, with the final one meant to incorporate contemporary Buddhist architecture in both Asia and the West.

South Korea’s Coast Guard Is Here to Stay


Hong Kong Protests - Live Video

Images: The sacred places of Vietnamese martyrs

Truong Son Martyr Cemetery - located in Vinh Truong Commune, Gio Linh District, Quang Tri Province - is the eternal resting place of more than 10,000 soldiers who died on the Ho Chi Minh trail during the Vietnam War. This is the largest cemetery for martyrs in the country.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Putin Says Russia Willing to Act as Moderator for Korean Peninsula


China and Russia both need to take the lead for peace on the peninsula. 

The US is incapable of this role when their only true mission is to contain and further encroach on both China, and Russia.

Tao Dao Man

Chinese Comfort Women: Testimonies from Imperial Japan’s Sex Slaves by Peipei Qiu, with Su Zhiliang and Chen Lifei reviewed by Jonathan Chatwin


More Than 50,000 Chinese Students Study in Korea

Chinese students learn Korean at a university in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province on Oct. 7.
Chinese students learn Korean at a university in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province on Oct. 7.

More South Korean Schools Are Teaching Mandarin

SCO Development Bank ready to finance projects in India, Iran


Journalist Pepper-Sprayed by Hong Kong Police

From Skye To Tibet

Film from the Isle of Skye in Scotland. This clip is actually a sampling of the shots that will be used in an upcoming film, The Life Story of Guru Rinpoche, for which the mountain range in the video will be rendered in a 3D workspace to make it appear as though it was shot in Tibet and the Himalayas. It will be interesting to see the final edit, but in the meantime, feast your eyes HERE:    

Friday, October 17, 2014

English Education in Korea: Unrealistic Expectations


Meet India's New Nuclear Cruise Missile India’s latest long-range cruise missile, the Nirbhay, is nuclear capable.


Japan Caves to China on Senkaku Island Dispute

Cambodian Garment Workers Rally For Higher Pay

Latest Clashes In Hong Kong

Asia Times Online :: Do the Trans-Siberian shuffle by Pepe Escobar

Asia Times Online :: Do the Trans-Siberian shuffle

Asia Times Online :: North Korea in grip of leadership tension

Asia Times Online :: North Korea in grip of leadership tension

South Korea Is Arming Authoritarians with Tear Gas


Japan Denied Revision of UN Comfort Women Report