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From Beijng to Tokyo, from Seoul to New Delhi, LinkAsia takes viewers into media about Asia – from Asia – offering unfiltered insight into one of the most diverse, fast-paced regions of the globe.

 

The LinkAsia blog features in-depth analysis from expert contributors and LinkAsia producers, as well as transcripts from NHK Japan reports.

 

LinkAsia airs Fridays at 9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT on Link TV, and is available online at LinkAsia.org.

LinkAsia News Brief

DPRK Rocket Launch Hangs Heavy over South Korean Election
(LinkAsia: December 14, 2012)
Yul Kwon:
So, perhaps the North Korean missile is more of a long-term threat than an imminent one. But, will it have a political effect? South Koreans go to the polls on December 19th to elect a new president. Japan's public broadcaster, NHK has this report on how the rocket might affect voters.

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NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: December 12, 2012

Reporter:
I'm standing at the unification observatory only two kilometers from the North Korean border. From here we have not detected any unusual activity on the other side that might be related to the missile launch. However, on this side, the presidential race is entering its final phase. The launch has definitely raised concerns about security. People in Seoul are expressing dismay and anger.

Seoul Resident:
A missile launch is totally unacceptable. We belong to the same race, but I never understand what they are trying to achieve through such an act.

Seoul Resident:
I was shocked they did this just before South Korea's presidential election. We need to beef up our national security.

Reporter:
South Korea's foreign minister Kim Song-hun condemned the North's decision to push forward with what it called a provocative act. He said the launch is a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions. President Lee Myung-bak has maintained a hard-line policy against the North. During his five year term, Pyongyang has carried out three long-range missile launches and one nuclear experiment. There have been other military provocations. The North shelled Yongpyang Island and is said to have sunk a South Korean naval patrol ship in the Yellow Sea. And the presidential election next week, the two main contenders stressing the need to improve North-South relations, but people are taking a realistic view. Recent polls show many citizens feel that they don't support hard-line policies against the North. Nor do they believe in appeasement. The North missile launch is expected to influence voters' decisions.
 
 

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Liu Qibao is Back

 
 

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If at First You Don't Succeed: North Korea Attempts Another Rocket Launch
(LinkAsia: December 7, 2012)
Yul Kwon:
Moving now to North Korea. Back in April, the country defied sanctions and attempted to launch a rocket. It failed, but the country seems to be upholding the old saying "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again." But will this launch prove to be successful? Here's NHK.

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NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: December 4, 2012

Reporter:
The ballistic missile launch will be the second since Kim Jong-un took power a year ago. It will use the same launch pad at Tongchang-ri, a site in the northwestern part of the country. Before the first test in April, officials in Pyongyang said the 30-meter, three-stage rocket was meant to carry a satellite, but Japan the United States and South Korea said the launch was in fact a ballistic missile test. The test ended in failure with a rocket exploding in mid-air two minutes after liftoff. It broke into more than 10 pieces and fell into the ocean. Analysts say North Korea's young leader Kim Jong-un wants to correct this failure before the first anniversary of his father's death on December 17th. Kim may also be trying to consolidate his power base by showing his dedication to a military first policy. Kim has also vowed to develop North Korea's economy.

Kim Jong Un:
We must start on a path of industrial revolution for the new century to make North Korea a great economic power.

Reporter:
But there are no tangible signs of improvement. The UN World Food Program says that 60 million North Koreans, or nearly 70 percent of the population, suffer from malnutrition. North Korea's relations with the outside world are at a standstill. Last February, the United States agreed to provide food aid in exchange for a freeze on ballistic missile tests. But the deal was broken after the North tested a missile in April. North Korea's leadership has been trying to hold direct talks with the United States, but officials in Washington say they are not ready to accept. China is also applying pressure on its neighbor arguing that the missile launch would violate the UN resolutions.
 
 

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Tibetans March Against China in New Delhi
(LinkAsia: November 30, 2012)
Yul Kwon:
In New Delhi, hundreds of Tibetans protested against Chinese policies that they say drove people to self-immolate. Here's a report from Japanese broadcaster, NHK.

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NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: November 28, 2012

Reporter:
Tibetan people are protesting in New Delhi to show their solidarity with the self-immolators. Four hundred exiles marched, calling for "freedom for Tibet!" and burning a Chinese flag.

Demonstrator:
You can't talk about a free Tibet, you can't talk about religion. And you can't, you know, say anything against the government.

Reporter:
The Tibetan government-in-exile says the situation is desperate in Chinese provinces, including Qinghai, that are home to large numbers of Tibetans. It says 72 Tibetans have set fire to themselves this year. Sixty of them died.

The Chinese government claims the Dalai Lama encourages their actions. China and the Dalai Lama have held negotiations since 2002.The Dalai Lama demands autonomy for Tibet except for military and diplomatic issues. But China's position has not moved. No official talks have taken place since January 2010.

China's leadership transition began this month. Tibetan leaders hope Wednesday's demonstration will add pressure on those taking power in Beijing to return to the negotiating table.
 
 

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Details Emerge in Devastating Bangladesh Factory Fire
(LinkAsia: November 30, 2012)
Yul Kwon:
Activists fighting for safe working conditions in Asia are pleading with P. Diddy, the rapper and entertainment mogul, to improve factory conditions in Bangladesh. This follows a horrific fire in a garment factory in the capital, Dhaka last weekend. P. Diddy's clothing company was one of several international brands that purchased from the factory. Meanwhile, police have arrested three managers of the Tarzeen Fashion factory and may charge them with negligence. Here's NHK with a report.

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NHK World NEWSLINE
Airdate: November 28, 2012

Reporter:
The worst garment factory blaze in the history of Bangladesh erupted on Saturday. At least 112 people died and more than 150 were injured. Survivors apparently told police that factory managers prevented them from leaving the multistory building when a fire alarm went off.

Bangladesh has about 4,500 garment factories. It is the world's second biggest exporter of clothing after China. Manufacturers have been moving operations to the country in recent years looking for lower costs.

On Wednesday, thousands of workers took to the streets in a suburb of Dhaka. Reuters says at least 20 protesters were injured in clashes with police. Working conditions in Bangladesh are notoriously bad and safety laws are weak. Global brands that rely on cheap labor are under renewed pressure following the tragedy.
 
 

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