3 April, 2006

liberty love motel

Just as much as AP would like to stay at the Son of Heaven Hotel in Beijing, AP would like to stay in the South Korean ‘love hotel’ that is shaped like Lady Liberty.:


(Via Marmot)

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by @ 11:55 pm. Filed under South Korea, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

ancient korean cannon

This is bitchin, and a fine example of the empirical study of history. However, in order for a truly empirical study it must be peer reviewed. AsiaPundit requests that Dr Chae send him the blueprints for this device so he can shoot at the guys doing dredging work across the street at unacceptable hours verify the results.:

Boom 1

Dr. Chae Yeon-seok of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute said Friday he has built a replica of the 14th-century weapon which can fire arrows 150 meters, and that he sucessfully tested it.

The artillery piece, 30.2 cm long and 4.6 cm in diameter, was a state-of-the-art weapon in Northeast Asia at that time in terms of its power and range. It is believed to have been invented by a scientist during the Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392).

The replica was constructed according to an original that had been passed from one owner to another, including antique dealers, over the years. Chae built the replica after being asked recently to determine its authenticity.

The original has an inscription reading “18th year of Hongmu,” which was the 11th year of the reign of King U of the Goryeo Kingdom or 1385 A.D.

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by @ 11:33 pm. Filed under South Korea, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

north korea wants its refugees back

Curzon at Coming Anarchy notes that North Korea is seeking the arrest of people who helped others escape the gulag state.:

North Korea issued a warrant yesterday for the arrest of four members of Japan-based NGOs helping North Koreans flee or defect to South Korea and Japan. The warrants were issued on the following charges, carrying the following penalties:

Joining or leading groups that engage in anti-State activities: 5-10 years of “labor reeducation”

Fleeing to a foreign state for the purpose of engaging in anti-State activities: 5-10 years of “labor reeducation”

Masterminding insurrection against the State: death penalty, confiscation of all property

No charges are leveled against the individuals for protecting dissidents who have fled North Korea—which is what all four activists do for a living.

Japan’s national Police Agency has opined that because North Korea is not party to the International Crime and Police Organization (ICPO), the warrant is meaningless unless if the suspects go to North Korea, calling it a “nonsense warrant with no enforceability.” (Information taken from Japanese language Sankei Shinbun article.)

AsiaPundit thinks this is a great opportunity and that talks should be opened with the North with an eye to bringing it in line with international legal processes. If the North wants to put some Japanese residents on trial, that seems fair - but only if the trials meet international standards and it reciprocates by handing over some of its citizens who are wanted in the West.


(Image stolen from here.)

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by @ 9:10 pm. Filed under Japan, South Korea, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, North Korea

singapore bars political podcasts

Political podcasting and streaming videos are prohibited in Singapore’s coming election.:

Podcasting will not be allowed during elections as it does not fall under the “positive list” which states what is allowed under election advertising.

Senior Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts Balaji Sadasivan added that streaming of videos during campaigning would also be prohibited.

He was addressing a question in Parliament on Monday about the use of new technologies on the internet during hustings.

Pictures of candidates, party histories and manifestos are on the “positive list” and are allowed to be used as election advertising on the internet.

Newer internet tools like podcasting do not fall within this “positive list”.

Dr Balaji said: “There are also some well-known local blogs run by private individuals who have ventured into podcasting. The content of some of these podcasts can be quite entertaining. However, the streaming of explicit political content by individuals during the election period is prohibited under the Election Advertising Regulations. A similar prohibition would apply to the videocasting or video streaming of explicitly political content.”

Bloggers can continue - but if they get too political they will have to register … and then shut up.:

Dr Balaji added that individual bloggers can discuss politics, but have to register with the Media Development Agency if they persistently promote political views.

When registered, they’re then not allowed to advertise during elections - something only political parties, candidates and election agents are allowed to do only.

Before any ‘free speech’ advocates gets in a huff about this - AsiaPundit will note that private citizens will likely be allowed to make political speeches at Speakers’ Corner after registering with police.:

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As such, this ban on political blogging is not a ban on free speech. It is merely a means to bridge the digital divide. Singapore’s technology savvy bloggers will now have to queue with their digitally disabled fellow citizens for a chance to talk at the Lion City’s only authorized free speech zone.

The PAP are not oppressive, this is merely a means to bring all Singaporeans together.


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by @ 8:52 pm. Filed under Blogs, Singapore, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Web/Tech, Weblogs, Censorship

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