Archive | February, 2013

Megastudy Ad Disparages Friendship

28 Feb

Megastudy AdA South Korean test-cramming company, Megastudy, wants South Korean children to realize, that for a fee Megastudy really does care more about each and every one of them, and that their friends are bad influences.

Two girls dressed in their school uniforms laughed as they walked along a cherry blossom-strewn road. They looked to be the best of friends. To their left was an eleven-line message printed on a stationery background. “Now that the new semester has started,” it read, “you’ll have a lot more time to hang out with people. It seems reasonable to want to build your friendships. But every time you do that, the studying you planned to do gets put off another day. What are you going to do? The college entrance exam date isn‘t going anywhere.” This ad from the 2013 campaign for Megastudy, a major test prep institute, concludes with the warning, “Don’t let yourself be pulled astray. Friends don’t study for you.”

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Kerry “Not Convinced” On Pivot

28 Feb

kerryIs China or is the U.S. the aggressor in East Asia. The newly-installed secretary of defense, John Kerry, seems to think the U.S. is the culprit.

I’m not convinced that increased military ramp-up is critical yet. I’m not convinced of that. That’s something I’d want to look at very carefully when and if you folks confirm me and I can get in there and sort of dig into this a little deeper. But we have a lot more bases out there than any other nation in the world, including China today. We have a lot more forces out there than any other nation in the world, including China today. And we’ve just augmented the president’s announcement in Australia with additional Marines. You know, the Chinese take a look at that and say, what’s the United States doing? They trying to circle us? What’s going on? And so, you know, every action has its reaction. It’s the old — you know, it’s not just the law of physics; it’s the law of politics and diplomacy. I think we have to be thoughtful about, you know, sort of how we go forward.

Max Fisher is skeptical but hopeful.

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Weird and Contradictory In Korea

28 Feb

Dennis Rodman in NkWeird: Dennis Rodman in Pyongyang – no further comment needed.

Contradiction: The United States and South Korea held their biannual Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue on February 21-22, 2013.

The two sides agreed that the North Korean nuclear test was a highly provocative act that, following its December 2012 missile launch, undermines regional stability, violates North Korea’s obligations under numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions, contravenes its commitments under the Sept. 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and increases the risk of proliferation.

In addition, the two sides affirmed the view, expressed at the January 2013 United States-Republic of Korea-Japan Defense Trilateral Talks in Tokyo, that if North Korea carries out any further provocations, it will bear responsibility for the consequences it will face for disregarding the overwhelming views of the international community.

Finally, the two sides addressed immediate, coordinated actions and agreed to continue the close collaboration within the alliance in response to the recent North Korean provocations and the North’s unacceptable pursuit of nuclear and missile capabilities.

The two sides discussed ways to strengthen the combined defense posture to defend the Republic of Korea and to deter North Korean aggression and provocations, including planning for the transition to a ROK-led combined defense, continuing combined exercises, and enhancing combined alliance capabilities. The two sides also reaffirmed U.S. defense commitments to provide and strengthen extended deterrence for the ROK, including the full range of military capabilities: the U.S. nuclear umbrella, conventional strike, and missile defense. Through the Extended Deterrence Policy Committee, the two countries will continue to develop a bilateral tailored deterrence strategy that refines alliance response measures for North Korean nuclear and WMD threat scenarios.
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