Every year, hundreds of young English speakers drift into East Asia, looking to while away a couple of aimless years between college and the inevitable round of grad school applications that await them back home. Korea is an especially popular destination: The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education alone plans to hire 655 foreign teachers in 2014, a fraction of the 22,000 expat educators working in the country. But if you want to teach English in Korea, it’s a lot easier if you’re white.Sponsored Ads
For most would-be instructors, the racism begins before the even get through the door, thanks to the standard South Korean practice of requiring applicants to submit photos alongside their resumes. Some employers are more blunt: A recent Craigslist ad for English teachers from TalknLearn, a Seoul language academy, simply states, “Need: White” on its list of required qualifications. When black teachers do make it into the classroom, they’re often passed over in favor of their white counterparts.
The cozy facade of Beijing-Seoul relations has unraveled in recent weeks amid territorial disputes and maritime law enforcement between the two nations.
China has sought to cultivate warmer ties with South Korea by exploiting shared historical issues against Japan. The ploy is aimed at splitting the U.S.-led geopolitical alliance in the western Pacific.
With South Korean President Park Geun-hye at the helm in Seoul, that strategy seemed to be succeeding as Beijing and Seoul revved up anti-Japan rhetoric in unison — despite pleas from Washington and Tokyo for Seoul to transcend parochial issues and re-seal South Korea-Japan unity in fending off common security threats by North Korea and China.
Last week’s boisterous Chinese-Russian joint naval drill in the northern East China Sea, however, served as a wake-up call for the South Koreans and ignited a powder keg of bad feelings in South Korea toward China.
The article mentions four primary factors endangering Northeast Asia:
- China as an emerging power.
- Japan’s drive to make a comeback as a regional power.
- Russia’s tougher stance against the West.
- North Korea’s threats complicating regional problems.
The article doesn’t mention the biggest factor of all – the decline of the US. All of these factors mean that a military conflict is possible in the Northeast Asia region.
South Korea’s Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se says a military conflict could be on the cards in Northeast Asia,.. a region plagued by historical, regional and security-related tensions.
Speaking at the International Peace Institute in New York City on Tuesday,.. Yun expressed his grave concern over the increasing rivalry in Northeast Asia.
He noted China’s emerging power, Japan’s aim to make a comeback as a regional power,.. and Russia taking a tougher stance against the West.
Minister Yun said this, coupled with North Korea’s ongoing nuclear threats,.. is creating serious changes to the geopolitical sphere of Northeast Asia as well as to the Korean peninsula.
The foreign minister’s words of warning come as Japan tries to secure more military power.
I think we are facing the possibility of a regional collapse due to a war scenario – China-Japan plus the US.
Another regional collapse is possible in Eastern Europe, again due to war. In this case it would be a NATO-Russia war.
Another regional collapse is possible in the Middle East. This region is already in the state of partial collapse. A full collapse could happen if Israel goes to war against Syria and Lebanon (Hezbollah.)
These regional instabilities indicate that the world order we know today is very unstable. Plus there are indications that Russia and China have formed an alliance including the military. We might actually see 2 or 3 regions collapse at the same time or within a short time span.
Last week President Barack Obama embarked on his great reassurance tour of Asia. America’s allies need not fear. No matter how wealthy, influential, or powerful, they can count on Washington’s continuing protection.
So it is with the Republic of Korea (ROK), with which the U.S. fought a brutal war against North Korea and China, backed by the Soviet Union, between 1950 and 1953. Afterwards Washington initiated a so-called Mutual Defense Treaty with the South and left a permanent military garrison. Behind America’s shield the South prospered, developing an economy now around 40 times the size of North Korea’s. The ROK also has twice the population, an overwhelming technological advantage, access to global markets, and numerous important international friends.
Yet when President Obama arrived in Seoul he announced: “The commitment that the United States of America has made to the security of the Republic of Korea only grows stronger in the face of aggression.” In light of new North Korean threats, said the president: “Our alliance does not waiver with each bout of their attention seeking.”
While major conflicts have been deterred, it is unclear whether Japan and South Korea are reassured. Publicly and in private discussions, Japanese and South Korean officials insist that they trust US defense commitments. But they ask revealing questions about the conditions under which the United States would act, and how it would do so. They wonder about their roles and responsibilities, as Washington presses them to assume more of the defense and deterrence burden. And they worry about the reduction of roles and numbers of nuclear weapons in US strategy and, despite Washington’s rebalance to Asia, the ability of the United States to defend them well in a fiscally constrained environment. Plainly, US disengagement is a concern.
Could these concerns drive Japan and South Korea to resort to self-help and develop nuclear weapons? Both are technologically capable of going nuclear quickly, and this would be the cheapest way of increasing their indigenous military capabilities. But the real question is whether they would be willing to do so. While Japan remains allergic to the idea of crossing the nuclear threshold, there is growing public support, backed by influential elites, for manufacture of nuclear weapons in South Korea.
Ieodo is a manmade platform affixed to an undersea rock (named Socotra) in the Yellow Sea. For a map and an aerial photo see Cumberland’s website, www.cumber.com. The direct link is http://www.cumber.com/content/special/ieodo-1.jpg. The platform is Korean, and the facility is an oceanographic research station. South Korea built the platform and claims jurisdiction, but China claims jurisdiction, too. International maritime law stipulates that undersea structures are not nationally territorial while above-sea-level structures are subject to claims.
Ieodo is situated in the area where South Korea, China, and Japan are engaged in asserting claims over Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ). The airspace zones claimed by the three countries overlap. And now there is an occasional scrambling of military aircraft when planes enter the zones. Civilian aircraft and unarmed military or research aircraft face the choice of lengthening routes to bypass the zones or acknowledging them by advance filing of flight plans with the respective governments.
And those governments face similar choices. Do they respect the zone of another country with which they disagree and file their own flight plans? Or do they ignore the claim of another country, which they contest, and thereby add to the risk of confrontation? Thus we have a geopolitical test of wills at work in East Asia.
The initial US response to competing claims was to support Japan and fly two B-52s into the zone the Chinese claim, without notifying China. That move ratcheted up the Chinese response, and the Chinese scrambled fighter escorts. The incident triggered more responses and drew Korea into the kerfuffle.
The latest news suggests that Japan is willing to engage in discussions with China and Korea. This may lead to a negotiated settlement, but that is doubtful. Meanwhile, North Korea’s petulant young leader is again starting to activate his nuclear ambitions. It seems that he cannot stand not being the center of attention in the region. America’s VP, Joe Biden, serves as the US envoy to all of the regional players, and it is his task to ratchet down the regional tensions.
South Korea announced on Sunday that it has expanded its air defense zone so far south as to overlap with part of China’s similarly expanded air zone, in a move that could increase tensions in the region.
The new zone announced by South Korea’s Defense Ministry takes in two territorial islands and a submerged rock named Ieodo with a South Korea-controlled research station built atop it. China also claims Ieodo for its own.
South Korea has declared an expanded air defence zone overlapping one recently announced by China that has sharply increased regional tensions.
Seoul’s defence ministry said on Sunday its new zone, which will take effect on December 15, would cover Ieodo – a submerged rock reef in waters off its south coast, which China calls Suyan.
The airspace above the Seoul-controlled rock – long a source of tension between South Korea and China – is also covered by Beijing’s zone.
‘We will coordinate with related countries to fend off accidental military confrontations and to ensure safety of aeroplanes,’ defence ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok said.
China last month unilaterally declared an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea, asking foreign planes to identify themselves.
South Korea is finalizing plans to expand its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in response to China establishing the East China Sea ADIZ, local newspapers are reporting.
According to a number of local reports, ROK National Security Office chief Kim Jang-soo convened a meeting of top South Korean security officials on Sunday to discuss the new ADIZ.
The Korean Herald reported that the ADIZ is rumored to include the “country’s southernmost island of Marado; Hongdo Island, an uninhabited island south of Geojedo Island; and Ieodo, a submerged rock within the overlapping exclusive economic zones of South Korea and China.”
“With regard to activity within the zone, nothing will happen — for a while,” said June Teufel Dreyer, a China expert at the University of Miami. “Then the zone will become gradually enforced more strictly. The Japanese will continue to protest, but not much more, to challenge it.”
That may wear down Japan and effectively change the status quo, she said.
The zone is seen primarily as China’s latest bid to bolster its claim over a string of uninhabited Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea — known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Beijing has been ratcheting up its sovereignty claims since Tokyo’s privatization of the islands last year.
What do the Chinese people want to happen concerning the ADIZ?
- Intercept unidentified foreign aircraft: 87.6%
- Shooting them after first warning: 59.8%
- Fire flaming tracer bullets: 51.8%
(Source: The video below)
We need the Chinese military to protect us from the Chinese people. That poll was unscientific.