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Yonhap News TV - Annapolis, MD Report
VIDEO URL: http://goo.gl/inx0o1

Representing a growing and thriving Korean-American community, Governor of Maryland Larry Hogan declares April 5th as "Maryland's Tae Kwon Do Day."

"In Korea, April 5th is Arbor Day celebrating growth and new beginnings," said Hogan. "So, Tae Kwon Do here in Maryland is now also on April 5th to represent the growing and thriving Korean-American community in our state and the growing, thriving relationship between Korea and the state of Maryland," he said.

The ceremony consisted of various traditional Korean performances and a series of Tae Kwon Do routines with a special kick-off performance by Hogan, himself.

"This martial art form is recognized not only as an important part of Korea's cultural legacy, but for its positive values promoting physical and mental health, and discipline," Hogan said, referring to Tae Kwon Do.

Steadying a hand on a stack of wooden planks with "Partisan Gridlock" printed across the top, Hogan positions himself with his other hand ready to strike.

He successfully breaks through all four sturdy planks and faces the cheering crowd victoriously.

Hogan, often referring himself as the Korean son-in-law, or "Han-Gook Sa-wie," is married to Maryland's First Lady Yumi Hogan, and has involved himself in the Korean-American community in his state.

Diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma last year, Hogan underwent intensive chemotherapy, and has now been declared 100 percent cancer-free.

At the ceremony, Hogan is seen healthy and almost a full head of hair, which he lost during his cancer treatment.


Yonhap News TV - Washington Report

VIDEO URL: http://goo.gl/A2Ez8k
FULL ENGLISH STORY: http://goo.gl/43HcHp

North Korea's nuclear capability is not believed to have increased despite the communist nation's latest nuclear test, a senior U.S. missile defense official said Tuesday.

"I would assess their technical capability has not increased," Vice Adm. James Syring, director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, said when he was asked about his assessment of the North's nuclear test during a discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


Yonhap News TV - Washington Report

VIDEO URL: http://goo.gl/RHjFIE

The United States would be happy to meet with North Korea "anytime, anywhere" if the communist nation is ready to talk about giving up its nuclear program, Washington's chief envoy for the nuclear issue said Tuesday.

Amb. Sung Kim, special representative for North Korea policy, said, however, during a Wilson Center discussion that the U.S. has seen no signs of willingness to hold such meaningful negotiations that would lead to concrete, irreversible denuclearization steps.


"U.S. warns N. Korea not to make 'mistake' amid concerns about nuclear or missile test."Yonhap News Agency - Washington ...

"U.S. warns N. Korea not to make 'mistake' amid concerns about nuclear or missile test."

Yonhap News Agency - Washington Report

REPORT URL: http://goo.gl/w1fvhF

"It would be a mistake for North Korea to once again embark on the kind of threatening behavior and provocations that led to international sanctions in the first place," Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel told reporters after a speech at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

"For North Korea to conduct a missile or a nuclear test would represent a setback in its hopes to grow its economy and to end its isolation. It would deal a setback to the world's hopes for successful negotiations," the official said.


Yonhap News TV - Washington Report

VIDEO URL: http://goo.gl/mnWs6Q

After a brief, but intense artillery fire exchange between the two Koreas on Aug. 20, the world tuned in as to how the incident would impact the peninsula. Many U.S. experts in Washington weighed in their analysis on the situation.

Richard Bush, Director of Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies for the Brookings Institution, explained that North Korea was "engaging in a pattern of gradual escalation," and that "Pyongyang wishes to test the resolve of President Park and the ROK armed forces." While Bush could not predict how far up the "escalation ladder" Pyongyang and Seoul were willing to go, he acknowledged that "at some points soon, Pyongyang will back down."

Bruce Klingner of the Heritage Foundation held similar views and added, "With Kim Jong Un, we know less about him. ... There's greater uncertainty and greater concern because his policy seems to be more erradic, less strategic thinking than his father. So, we wonder if he'll either inadvertently or by directions stumble across a red line that perhaps his father would have known to stop short of."

The artillery fire exchange that occurred last week was a provocation instigated by the North Koreans in an attempt to take down the loud speakers that South Korea had begun using to broadcast propaganda against the communist nation. This action was in turn provoked by a land mine explosion responsible by North Korea maiming two South Korean soldiers. Tensions have escalated only further since the first land mine incident and resulted in an open fire artillery exchange.

As of now, the South Korean President called on North Korea to apologize for recent provocations amid ongoing high-level talks between the two sides on defusing heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula.


Yonhap News TV - Washington Report

VIDEO URL: http://goo.gl/iMRMUc

In a discussion held at the Heritage Foundation Tuesday (Aug. 18), a group of Northeast Asia experts gathered and discussed Prime Minister Abe's 70th anniversary of the end of the war commemoration statement. All expressed favorable views, but agreed that there was room for improvement. They also discussed President Park's response to PM Abe's speech and believed both leaders did well to leave enough room for a potential bilateral relationship to take up.

"I thought it was measured and thoughtful," said Sheila Smith (Senior Fellow at Council on Foreign Relations), while Evans Revere, former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia, believed "[President Park] seems to be leaving the door open to further improvement in ties with Tokyo and I think that's a very positive sign."

The panelists discussed the possibility of either or both leaders visiting Beijing in the coming weeks and hoped for the two to hold a bilateral summit. They suggested that while the military parade in China should be avoided, the leaders of ROK, Japan, and even possibly, China, should take up on the opportunity to hold bilateral and trilateral meetings in an effort to repair relations.

Smith expressed her hope that "this fall will be an occasion for the three leaders to meet and I hope that Seoul and Tokyo will find a way to make that meeting a positive opportunity for the relationship."

Revere strongly emphasized the importance of keeping the summit meetings entirely separate from the military parade because of the symbolism China is attempting to express in terms of their military aggression. "Once again, let's keep the issues of a possible visit to Beijing, especially if they can be done by both leaders; separate from the whole parade thing."

With the coming weeks, no decision has yet been made from either leaders on whether a visit to Beijing will happen, but the experts await in hopes that either or both will make the trip. President Xi Jinping will be visiting Washington next month, while President Park will come the month after.


Yonhap News TV - Washington Report

VIDEO URL: http://goo.gl/5J7XQt

A congressional dinner was held inside the Cannon House Office Building last night hosted by the "One Dream One Korea" Campaign. The movement for Korean unification held an especially meaningful sentiment as August 15th marks the 70th anniversary of Korea's Independence from Japan's colonization.

Top music producer, Hyung-Suk Kim, along with Singer Yangpa and Na Yoon Kwon, visited Washington this week to promote a new song about "One Korea." A press conference was held at the National Press Club on Friday morning to shed some light into the making of the new song composed and produced by Kim.

"The one thing we have in common [between the two Koreas] is one Korea, Korean unification," said Kim during the press conference.

The singers also expressed their favorable views towards reunification of the peninsula. "I attend here today in hopes of one day being able to hold hands and smile as one blood, one family, like brothers and sisters," said Yangpa while Na hopes that "his generation, as well as, younger generations will think about the topic of unification deeply and realize its true meaning."

Both singers performed the song, "One Dream One Korea," as a preview of the yet unfinished number, but the entire hall happily sang along to its catchy tunes and easy lyrics.


Yonhap News TV - Washington Report

VIDEO URL: http://goo.gl/LSwFRR

In 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution (H.R. 121), authored by Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), to urge Japan to recognize its historical past, acknowledge its actions, and apologize in a clear and unequivocal manner. Eight years have passed and the surviving comfort women victims still have not received the sincere apology they have been fighting for.

An event was held on Tuesday marking the resolution's anniversary. It was attended by one of the surviving "halmonies," Lee Yong Soo, along with some members of Congress in support of H.R. 121. Honda, who has long been at the forefront of efforts to get Japan to admit and apologize for the sexual slavery, had a few comments to say in his disappointment with Prime Minister Abe's method of handling this issue and referred to Germany as a model. "We know that German Chancellor (Angela) Merkel has told Abe when Abe visited Germany, 'You know, we faced our past and we made our apologies.' In fact, I think they even have a law in Germany that if you say the death camps did not exist, you would be fined for a violation of a law. That's how serious they were."

Honda continued, "Prime Minister Abe has the historic opportunity to take leadership and doing something and saying, 'You are right. We were wrong. We apologize." He also mentioned the Japanese government's attempt to rewrite the school history textbooks in a more favorable way regarding the sexual slavery issue. This brought much criticism as it was viewed as a conniving way for the Japanese government to downplay their criminal acts during World War II.

Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Judy Chu (D-CA) who also were in attendance made similar appeals as their fellow congressman. Schiff said such a "dark chapter" of history won't be closed and healed until there is a full and forthright acknowledgment of responsibility by Japan.

Meanwhile, two of the surviving comfort women victims have opened up a lawsuit in the U.S. against Japan in pursuit of an apology.

"(LEAD) U.S. lawmakers urge Abe to offer sincere apology for sexual slavery"Report URL: http://goo.gl/NMncPVU.S. lawmake...

"(LEAD) U.S. lawmakers urge Abe to offer sincere apology for sexual slavery"

Report URL: http://goo.gl/NMncPV

U.S. lawmakers urged Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday to offer a sincere apology for the country's wartime sexual enslavement of women as two surviving victims sued Tokyo for damages for insulting them as prostitutes.

In particular, Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), who wrote the 2007 resolution, urged Japan to learn from Germany, which even enacted a law that makes it a crime to deny wartime historical facts.

"Prime Minister Abe has the historic opportunity to take leadership and doing something and saying, 'You are right. We were wrong. We apologize. We will pass a law that will say we apologize, we accept historical responsibility. We will pass a law that says our textbooks will teach our youngsters what happened in the past so they won't happen in the future,'" Honda said during an event marking the resolution's anniversary.


Yonhap News TV - Quantico Report

VIDEO URL: http://goo.gl/4FE8Ho
ENGLISH REPORT URL: http://goo.gl/cEVxud

A ceremony was held on Monday morning at the U.S. Marine Corps Base in Quantico commemorating the memorial for the "Changjin Reservoir Battle," which was one of the most fierce battles during the Korean War that had also helped make a massive evacuation operation possible.

The November-December 1950 battle, also known as the "Battle of the Chosin Reservoir," came as the U.S.-backed South Korean forces began retreating from North Korea after China sent massive numbers of troops to fight alongside the communist neighbor. More than 900 U.S. Marines were killed and thousands others went missing in the battle. Those who fought in the battle are also called the "Chosin Few," meaning they were far outnumbered by enemy troops.

The event was attended by the survivors of the battle, South Korean officials, and other supporters as they witnessed the groundbreaking ceremony for a memorial commemorating the battle.


Yonhap News TV - Washington Report

In a Gala reception for the 2015 Korean American Grassroots Conference, 13 US Congressmen and women, along with the Korean ambassador to the U.S. and Korean assembly members, attended to show their support for the Korean American community here in the United States. Several of them focused on the current issues that Korea and Japan face regarding historical conflicts.

Among them, Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA), Ed Royce (R-CA), Andre Carson (D-IN), and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) voiced in unison the urgent need for Prime Minister Abe to take this upcoming opportunity during his speech for the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II to apologize for Japan's wartime crimes and atrocities that were inflicted on the comfort women.

"He still has to address the apology, the unambiguous apology, clear historical responsibility and making sure it doesn't happen again," said Rep. Mike Honda during his remarks.

Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen furthered this notion and pointed out the importance of proper education about the history. "We should never stop educating and raising awareness about the crimes against humanity that they suffered."

In addition, Rep. Ed Royce touched up on the territorial conflict between Korea and Japan and said that "those of us that have studied history know that Dokdo Island is part of Korea. Dokdo is Korea."

As each member of Congress got up to speak at the podium, their praise for the many achievements made by the Korean-American community was met with deep acceptance from the Korean-Americans that had attended that night filling the hall with ringing applause and cheering.

Carrying the momentum, Congressman Andre Carson turned the focus to the future saying "we gotta start talking about a Korean-American governor. A Korean-American senator! Korean-American mayors and members of Congress! And in fifteen years, the first female, Korean-American President of the United States of America!"


Yonhap News TV - Washington Report


There have been many concerns circulating around Japan's new security legislation bill. Critics expressed concerns of Japan reverting back to a militarily aggressive Imperialistic Japan under the name of "collective self-defense," and feared the power could be misused.

However, Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano, chief of the Joint Staff of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, disagreed with that notion and reassured that under times of contingencies, especially for the Korean peninsula, Japan would offer their assistance at a discussion held at the enter for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). "In that instance, through our consultations with the United States or South Korea, what we would be capable of doing would be to provide logistical support," Kawano said through an interpreter. "And even if the security legislation is passed by the Diet (parliament), that framework, the basic framework would remain the same."

When asked for specific details on the legislation Kawano declined as it was still under parliament deliberation, but that said, continued to say that "the reason why the Japanese government has submitted this bill to the Japanese Diet is not to unleash military power, unrestrained military force, but it's to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance."


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