Heavy rainfall in South Korea

In the central region of South Korea on August 8, there was a heavy downpour. According to the Seoul authorities, a record amount of rainfall over the past 80 years has fallen in the capital, exceeding 400 mm in less than a day in some areas. 80 road sections. At least seven people were killed, nine were injured and six more are missing as a result of heavy rains.

The consequences of heavy rains in South Korea — in the AiF.ru photo feed.

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South Korea announces North Korean ballistic missile launch

The General Staff of South Korea reported that the DPRK launched a ballistic missile According to Seoul, North Korea launched a ballistic missile for the 18th time since the beginning of the year. The last time the DPRK conducted a launch was in mid-May, when Biden visited Japan, the Japanese government reported 72/756543910757721.jpg” alt=”South Korea reported the launch of a North Korean ballistic missile” />

North Korea has fired an unidentified ballistic missile towards the Sea of ​​Japan (East Sea), South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said, Yonhap reports.

The military has not yet released details.

North Korea has been actively conducting missile tests since the beginning of this year. In March, the country tested a new Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile. Later, the authorities called the tests of tactical guided weapons successful. South Korea identified it as an upgraded KN-23 missile modeled after the Russian Iskander system.

On May 4, North Korea fired a projectile that looked like a ballistic missile that fell into the sea was reported by the Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea. Three days later, the launch of what was believed to be a ballistic missile was reported by the Japanese government and the Committee of Staff of South Korea. As the latter noted, it could have been launched from the Sinpo submarine in the direction of the Sea of ​​Japan.

On May 12, North Korea launched ballistic missiles. which fell outside the exclusive economic zone of Japan, the Japanese Ministry of Defense pointed out.

North Korean missile launches also occurred after US President Joe Biden's visit to Japan and the May 22 Quad summit. South Korea reported the launch of three missiles and calculated that it was the 17th since the beginning of the year.a. According to Tokyo, two of the three rockets flew 300 and 750 km and fell in the eastern part of the Sea of ​​Japan outside the exclusive economic zone. Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi sent a protest to the DPRK and called the missile launches a provocation.

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In A Few Days South Korea And The United States fired missiles back. Seoul launched Henmu-2 ballistic missiles, and the US — one ATACMS projectile towards the Sea of ​​Japan. In this way, the Allies showed the possibilities of “immediate strike” by the allied forces.

In late May, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea Pak Chin and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi condemned the latest North Korean missile launches. They agreed to strengthen trilateral cooperation in order to fully denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, and stressed their readiness to meet with representatives of North Korea.

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South Korea detects eight ballistic missiles fired from North Korea

South Korea and Japan reported the launch of six to eight ballistic missiles from the DPRK In Japan, they reported that they know about at least six missiles launched by Pyongyang. North Korea launched rockets for the 18th time since the beginning of the year, Seoul and Tokyo reported .jpg” alt=”South Korea has recorded the launch of eight ballistic missiles from the DPRK” />

People in South Korea look at the test launch of DPRK missiles, June 2017

North Korea launched eight short-range ballistic missiles towards the Sea of ​​Japan , said the Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea, Yonhap reports.

According to the military, the missiles took off from areas around Sunan Airport in Pyongyang from 09:08 to 09:43 local time (from 03:08 to 03 :48 Moscow time). At the same time, the source of the agency reported that the DPRK launched missiles from at least two different places.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said North Korea had fired at least six ballistic missiles, NHK reported. The Japanese agency noticed the first rocket at 9:14 local time (3:14 Moscow time). Several of them fell into the sea outside the exclusive economic zone of Japan.

The Japanese government organized an emergency meeting of emergency ministries and services.

The US Indo-Pacific Command has said it is aware of multiple ballistic missile launches from North Korea, is consulting with allies, and is committed to protecting South Korea and Japan.

threats to US personnel or territory or to our allies, and missile launches highlight the destabilizing impact of the DPRK's illegal weapons program,— said in the unit's statement

Read on RBC Pro Pro Variable logos and fonts: how they are useful for business corruption. How It Happened Pro Articles How Meditation Is Beneficial and What Techniques Can Help You Start Practicing Pro Instructions Does Eye Gymnastics Help Improve Vision Pro Articles The US market has reached a fair mark. Rule 20 Says ItAccording to South Korean military estimates, this launch was the 18th for the DPRK since the beginning of the year. The latest launches came after US President Joe Biden's visit to Japan and the May 22 Quad summit.

Then, South Korea reported that North Korea had launched three missiles. Two of them flew 300 and 750km before crashing into the eastern Sea of ​​Japan, Tokyo said.

On May 23, South Korea and the United States fired rockets back. Seoul launched Henmu-2 ballistic missiles, and the US — one ATACMS projectile towards the Sea of ​​Japan. So the allies showed the possibilities of “immediate strike” by the allied forces.

In late May, the United States, South Korea and Japan condemned the latest North Korean missile launches. Representatives of the countries agreed to strengthen trilateral cooperation in order to completely denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, and stressed their readiness to meet with representatives of North Korea.

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The head of South Korea ordered to strengthen the containment of the DPRK after missile launches

Seoul will begin to constantly maintain a state of readiness in terms of missile launches from the territory of the DPRK, the latest incident was the 18th since the beginning of the year.

Yoon Seok Yeol

South Korea will strengthen the extended deterrence regime and a joint defensive posture with the United States after the launch of eight ballistic missiles by the DPRK, such an order was given by the President of the Republic Yoon Seok Yeol , reports Yonhap.

The president's office said he ordered “constantly maintain a state of readiness and continue to strengthen the South Korean-American system of extended deterrence and combined defense, including missile defense exercises.” with Washington.

North Korea’s missile launches were a “provocation,” Seoul believes, the South Korean president noted that Pyongyang only committed “provocations” this year; this kind on average every nine days.

Eight short-range ballistic missiles have taken off from North Korea, the Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea reported earlier on the morning of June 5, indicating that North Korea has launched missiles for the 18th time this year. “[This] is a provocation that poses a serious threat to peace and security not only on the Korean Peninsula, but throughout the world,” — the military said in a statement.

The ministry clarified that the missile launches were carried out from several positions: from areas near the Sunan airport in Pyongyang from 09:08 to 9:43 local time (from 03:08 to 03:48 Moscow time), from the outskirts of the city of Hamhung in the east of the DPRK, the cities of Kaechon in the central part of the republic and Tongchang-ri in the northwest, reports Yonhap. The South Korean military added that the missiles traveled from 110 to 670 km at altitudes of 25 to 90 km at speeds of Mach 3 to 6.

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The command of the US Indo-Pacific Army announced consultations with allies about missile launches from North Korea. At the same time, according to the US military, the incident did not pose a direct threat to the territory of the United States or allied states. The message also stated that “these missile launches highlight the destabilizing impact of the DPRK's illegal weapons program.”

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South Korea says North Korea fired unknown missile at Japan

The South Korean military believes that the DPRK carried out another launch of a ballistic missile. The Japanese Coast Guard reported that the missile fell into the sea South Korea reports North Korea launching unknown missile at Japan” />

North Korea fired a projectile that looks like a ballistic missile towards the Sea of ​​Japan, Yonhap reports, citing a statement by South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.


“The authorities are analyzing the range and altitude of the missile, the question is being raised about a possible correspondence with a ballistic missile,” The report said.

Later, Reuters, citing the Japanese Coast Guard, reported that an unknown missile fell into the sea.

The agency clarified that the current launch occurred 18 days after the previous one, when North Korea fired two “new tactical guided missiles”.

Since the beginning of the year, the DPRK has already conducted missile tests several times. In particular, in March, the DPRK announced the successful testing of a new Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile under the personal leadership of the country's leader Kim Jong-un. Later, North Korea announced the successful testing of a “new tactical guided weapon”, which in Seoul was called the upgraded KN-23 missiles, modeled after the missiles of the Russian Iskander complex.

At the end of March, Kim Jong-un said that only impressive offensive weapons can properly protect the country, and promised that the state will continue to develop more powerful weapons and equip the army. Pyongyang also threatened to use nuclear weapons in response to military actions from Seoul; at the same time, the DPRK declares that it opposes the war with South Korea and does not consider it an enemy.

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South Korea has revealed the list of goods that will continue to be delivered to Russia

Seoul explained the new terms of supply.

Sources in the South Korean Ministry of Commerce told Russian media that consumer goods will continue to be shipped to Russia, despite Seoul joining the anti-Russian sanctions.

According to TASS, the authorities consulted with the United States, discussing the issue of restrictive measures adopted by the American side in relation to Russia.

Following the results, Seoul decided that it would not stop deliveries of cars, smartphones, household appliances and other goods to the Russian Federation.

In Korea, they said that they are considered as an exception, because addressed to the mass consumer.

The condition of Seoul is the fact that products are not used for military purposes.

The United States suggested that Korean firms obtain special permission from the American authorities to supply certain types of products to factories located in Russia .

Let us recall that earlier anti-Russian sanctions were imposed on 22 defense enterprises of the Russian Federation by the United States.

As Topnews wrote, due to large-scale restrictive measures, H& M Group, Canon, Oracle, Nike, iHerb and Apple.

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Japan and South Korea reported the launch of an unidentified projectile by the DPRK

Japan and South Korea reported the launch of an unidentified projectile by the DPRK According to the military, North Korea could have launched a ballistic missile /84/756459289759843.jpg” alt=”Japan and South Korea reported that the DPRK launched an unidentified projectile” />

North Korea launched an unidentified projectile eastward on Sunday, Yonhap reported, citing the South Korean military.

According to the agency, Seoul will convene a meeting of the National Security Council after the launch.

Kyodo, citing the Japanese government, writes that it could be a ballistic missile, the same opinion is shared by the South Korean military, reports Reuters.

Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said there was no information on damage to aircraft or ships as a result of the missile launch. According to him, the projectile flew about 300 km, and the maximum flight altitude was about 600 km.

The last time the DPRK launched a ballistic missile was reported at the end of January. Then Pyongyang confirmed that it had fired the Hwasong-12 medium-range missile.

In January, the United States proposed new UN sanctions due to the increased frequency of North Korean missile launches, as each of them violates Security Council resolutions. The first such sanctions were introduced in 2006. They implied a ban on the import into North Korea and export from it of missiles, materials and technologies for their production. Subsequently, the package of measures was expanded.

Author Evgenia Voropaeva

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Japan and South Korea announced the launch of an unknown projectile by the DPRK

Media: Japan and South Korea reported that the DPRK launched a projectile towards the Sea of ​​Japan According to the Japanese authorities, the projectile may be a ballistic missile. The Prime Minister of Japan received the necessary information about the launch and expressed regret that the DPRK continues to launch missiles

The DPRK launched an unknown projectile towards the Sea of ​​Japan, Yonhap writes with reference to the Joint Chiefs Committee headquarters of South Korea.

Kyodo, citing the Japanese government, reports that the projectile is possibly a ballistic missile. According to the country's coast guard, by 2:23 am Moscow time, the shell had already fallen, NHK reports.

According to the TV channel, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida ordered to collect the necessary information about the launch and said that a “ detailed urgent analysis. He expressed regret that “ since last year, the DPRK has been constantly launching missiles. ''

On September 28, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff reported that the North Korean military had launched at least one missile towards the Sea of ​​Japan. It was not specified what the shells were, but Kyodo sources in the Japanese government said it was a short-range ballistic missile. The shell fell outside the Japanese exclusive economic zone.

On September 29 last year, the DPRK announced that it had tested a hypersonic missile. As noted by the CTAC, the development of a hypersonic missile is “ of great strategic importance '' for the state and is one of the priorities of the five-year military plan, adopted in January 2021. The tests were condemned by the United States and Japan.

In October, the DPRK again launched a missile towards the Sea of ​​Japan. The South Korean National Security Council (SNB) expressed its “ deep regret '' in this regard. and called on Pyongyang to return to peace talks.

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Dry the crackers. Why are presidents regularly imprisoned in South Korea?

Former South Korean President Park Geun & nbsp; Hye , sentenced to & nbsp; a long term in prison, will be released on New Year's Eve. This was officially announced by a representative of the Ministry of Justice of the country.

Amnesty for & nbsp; health reasons

69-year-old Park Geun-hye & nbsp; was included in the & nbsp; number of approximately 3000 & nbsp; prisoners, for whom December 31 & nbsp; Correctional doors will open in 2021. The decision on & nbsp; pardon was made by the government of the country, proceeding from & nbsp; humanitarian considerations.

Among those who were affected by the pardon, & nbsp; mostly elderly people, or & nbsp; those who suffer from serious illnesses. Park Geun & nbsp; Hye, who has been behind bars since & nbsp; 2017 & nbsp;, has been in & nbsp; hospital three times in recent months. Due to her chronic illness, her & nbsp; condition worsened greatly, which & nbsp; allowed the authorities to make an appropriate decision. & Nbsp;

Thus, Park Geun-hye & nbsp; will become another South Korean president, first received severe punishment, and & nbsp; then pardoned. In & nbsp; history of South Korea, such a practice is widespread as, perhaps, nowhere else in the & nbsp; world.

Just helping a girlfriend

Park Geun-hye & nbsp; is the daughter of the President of South Korea Park Jung & nbsp; Hee , who was shot and killed by the director of the National Intelligence Agency Kim Jae Kyu in 1979. & Nbsp; Five years before & nbsp; and & nbsp; Park Geun-hye's mother died as a result of an attempt on & nbsp; & nbsp; father.

All these terrible events did not & nbsp; prevent Park Geun-hye & nbsp; and & nbsp; from becoming involved in politics. Since & nbsp; 1998, she was a member of the national parliament, then headed the Party of the Great Country, later renamed to & nbsp; Senuri, which means the Party of New Horizons in & nbsp; translation.

In the 2012 presidential elections Park Geun Hye ; won, gaining 51.55 & nbsp;% and & nbsp; becoming the first woman president in & nbsp; history of the country.

Park Geun Hye & nbsp; advocated for & nbsp; amendments to the & nbsp; law, which would & nbsp; would allow her & nbsp; to run for & nbsp; a second term. However, all these plans of an ambitious politician collapsed due to a corruption scandal.

She & nbsp; was accused of & nbsp; being under the influence of her longtime friend Choi Sung Sil , making decisions, causing damage to the country, but & nbsp; allowing to receive large sums of money to persons associated with & nbsp; Choi Sung Sil.

Impeachment and & nbsp; term

After the data on the & nbsp; abuses became public, massive street protests began, which were supported by the opposition. The president's rating, which was over 35 & nbsp; percent, fell & nbsp; seven times.

In & nbsp; November 2016, Park Geun-hye & nbsp; appealed to parliament with & nbsp; a request for & nbsp; voluntary resignation, but & nbsp; deputies considered this an attempt to evade responsibility. & Nbsp; 9 & nbsp; December 9, 2016 the Parliament of the Republic of Korea voted for the president & nbsp; For & nbsp; the removal of Park Geun-hye & nbsp; from the & nbsp; authorities were 234 & nbsp; deputies. & Nbsp; 10 & nbsp; March 10, 2017, the Constitutional Court of South Korea upheld the impeachment by unanimous decision of eight judges, & nbsp; as a result of which the powers of the president were terminated.

On March 30, 2017, Park Geun-hye was arrested by the police by & nbsp; by a decision of the Seoul court. US dollars for & nbsp; corruption and & nbsp; abuse of power.

On July 20, 2018, the court found her & nbsp; guilty of & nbsp; embezzlement of public funds and & nbsp; interference in & nbsp; parliamentary elections in 2016 & nbsp; years, sentencing & nbsp; years 8 & nbsp; freedom.

In & nbsp; August 2018, the Seoul Court of Appeal sentenced the ex-president to 25 & nbsp; years in prison. Subsequently, the lawyers managed to achieve a mitigation of punishment up to & nbsp; 20 & nbsp; years. In & nbsp; January 2021, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Korea put an end to the & nbsp; process, determining that Park Geun-hye & nbsp; should spend 20 & nbsp; years in prison. But, as we & nbsp; already know, in fact she spent less than five years behind bars.

Jung Doo & nbsp; Hwang: sentenced to & nbsp; death

Convicted presidents, as mentioned above & nbsp; & mdash ; the norm for South Korea. & Nbsp; can make a whole list.

In & nbsp; 1979, a high-ranking South Korean military man Jung Doo & nbsp; Hwang came to & nbsp; power in & nbsp; as a result of a military coup. A year later, he & nbsp; organized presidential elections in the & nbsp; country, at which he himself & nbsp; and & nbsp; won. In fact, a military dictatorship remained in the country. In & nbsp; 1987, under pressure from the United States, Jong Doo & nbsp; Hwang began democratic reforms in the country, and & nbsp; in & nbsp; February 1988 he retired.

Soon the former president was accused of & nbsp; corruption and & nbsp; other abuses. For a while, Jung Doo & nbsp; Hwang spent in & nbsp; the monastery, showing remorse, but & nbsp; and & nbsp; it did not & nbsp; help him. In & nbsp; 1995, he was arrested on charges of & nbsp; corruption, bribery and & nbsp; seizure of power. In & nbsp; 1996, he & nbsp; was sentenced to & nbsp; the death penalty, which was later changed to & nbsp; life imprisonment.

But after spending about two years in prison, Jung Doo & nbsp; Hwang was pardoned and & nbsp; was released. True, he was ordered to pay a gigantic fine of & nbsp; amounting to $ 370 million, which is also required for the heirs of the ex-president.

In & nbsp; 2020, an elderly politician received two years in prison, for & nbsp; what he insulted in & nbsp; his memoirs of a democratic activist. However, Jung Doo & nbsp; Hwan was not sent to jail again due to his advanced age. Jung Doo & nbsp; Hwang died at & nbsp; 91 years old on November 23 & nbsp; November 2021 & nbsp; year. As a convicted & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; grave crime, he & nbsp; was deprived of the right to & nbsp; state funeral.

Ro & nbsp; Te & nbsp; W: Olympias does not & nbsp; exempts from & nbsp; criminal liability

Retired general of the South Korean army Ro & nbsp; Dae & nbsp; Wu & nbsp; for many years was a companion of Jung Doo & nbsp; Hwang, and & nbsp; in the & nbsp; presidential elections in & nbsp; December 1987 acted as his successor. After becoming president, Ro & nbsp; Te & nbsp; Wu & nbsp; carried out a program of reforms, thanks to which the system of the military dictatorship was finally dismantled. The new president was the head of the 1988 Summer Olympics Organizing Committee, which helped to change the country's image in the & nbsp; international arena.

When Po & nbsp; Da & nbsp; U & nbsp; South Korea established diplomatic relations with the & nbsp; USSR and & nbsp; PRC, established a contract with & nbsp; DPRK. But, despite & nbsp; all the successes, after the end of the presidency in & nbsp; 1993, Ro & nbsp; De & nbsp; Wu & nbsp; was arrested on & nbsp; charges of corruption. Then added and & nbsp; new charges, in & nbsp; in particular, & nbsp; abuse of power.

In & nbsp; 1996, Jung Doo & nbsp; Hwang was sentenced to & nbsp; 22 & nbsp; years in prison, but & nbsp; then the sentence was reduced to & nbsp; 17 & nbsp; years.

In & nbsp; 1998, Ro & nbsp; Dae & nbsp; ; Wu & nbsp; was pardoned by the decision of the President of South Korea. He died & nbsp; October 26 & nbsp; at & nbsp; 89th year of life.

Term for his son, a step into the & nbsp; abyss

Oppositionist Kim Yong, who became president in & nbsp; 1993, came to power under the slogan of combating corruption. Thanks to his efforts, the trials of Jung Doo & nbsp; Hwan and & nbsp; Ro & nbsp; Dae & nbsp; Wu became possible. However, it was subsequently revealed that Kim Young & nbsp; Sam was involved in the & nbsp; patronage of representatives of large Korean companies. The president himself escaped criminal punishment, and & nbsp; his son Kim Hyun Chol was sentenced to & nbsp; three years for & nbsp; corruption. And, as usual, the whole term did not & nbsp; served & nbsp; & mdash; he was amnestied.

Who became president of South Korea in & nbsp; 2003, Noh & nbsp; Moon-hyun in & nbsp; his time was known as a fighter against & nbsp; abuses of officials. During the & nbsp; parliamentary hearings in & nbsp; Jung Doo & nbsp; Hwan's case, he & nbsp; made the speech that made him famous.

But & nbsp; during & nbsp; during the presidential term, claims arose against & nbsp; Noh & nbsp; Moon Hyun himself. He was even declared impeached, but the country's Constitutional Court found it illegal.

Noh Moon Hyun's presidential term ended in 2008, but charges of bribery continued. In & nbsp; May 2009, the ex-president of the country completed this story, stepping off the & nbsp; cliff.

Korean Gorbachev; sat down for & nbsp; bribery

The 10th President of South Korea Lee & nbsp; Myung Bak admitted that he went into & nbsp; politics, inspired by the reformist impulse of Mikhail Gorbachev. In & nbsp; 2002-2006, he & nbsp; was the mayor of Seoul, and & nbsp; in & nbsp; in & nbsp; 2007 won the & nbsp; race for & nbsp; presidency.

During the & nbsp; reign of Lee & nbsp; Myung Bak was caught in & nbsp; patronizing his brother who, according to & nbsp; illegal schemes, skillfully earned for & nbsp; the account of a high-ranking relative.

Lee & nbsp; Myung-bak's presidential term expired in & nbsp; 2013 & nbsp; year, and & nbsp; five years later for & nbsp; they came.

On October 5 & nbsp; Lee & nbsp; Myung Bak was found guilty of & nbsp; bribery, embezzlement and & nbsp; abuse of power and & nbsp; sentenced to & nbsp; 15 & nbsp; years in prison.

In & nbsp; 2019 president – “ prisoner '' released in & nbsp; due to & nbsp; deteriorating health.

In general, every person who marks the presidency of South Korea should prepare a supply of crackers in advance. The likelihood that an elegant suit will later have to be changed to & nbsp; prison uniform is extremely high.

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Disinformation is spreading beyond the realm of spycraft to become a shady industry – lessons from South Korea

class=”MuiTypography-root-133 MuiTypography-h1-138″>Disinformation is spreading beyond the realm of spycraft to become a shady industry – lessons from South Korea

Disinformation is being privatized around the world. This new industry is built on a dangerous combination of cheap labor, high-tech algorithms and emotional national narratives.

The ConversationNovember 18, 2021 · 2:45 PM EST

Efforts to reduce tensions between the Koreas, like the 2018 inter-Korean summit, are frequently the target of disinformation campaigns in South Korea. 

AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

Disinformation, the practice of blending real and fake information with the goal of duping a government or influencing public opinion, has its origins in the Soviet Union. But disinformation is no longer the exclusive domain of government intelligence agencies.

Today’s disinformation scene has evolved into a marketplace in which services are contracted, laborers are paid and shameless opinions and fake readers are bought and sold. This industry is emerging around the world. Some of the private-sector players are driven by political motives, some by profit and others by a mix of the two.

Public relations firms have recruited social media influencers in France and Germany to spread falsehoods. Politicians have hired staff to create fake Facebook accounts in Honduras. And Kenyan Twitter influencers are paid 15 times more than many people make in a day for promoting political hashtags. Researchers at the University of Oxford have tracked government-sponsored disinformation activities in 81 countries and private-sector disinformation operations in 48 countries.

South Korea has been at the forefront of online disinformation. Western societies began to raise concerns about disinformation in 2016, triggered by disinformation related to the 2016 US presidential election and Brexit. But in South Korea, media reported the first formal disinformation operation in 2008. As a researcher who studies digital audiences, I’ve found that South Korea’s 13-yearslong disinformation history demonstrates how technology, economics and culture interact to enable the disinformation industry.

Most importantly, South Korea’s experience offers a lesson for the US and other countries. The ultimate power of disinformation is found more in the ideas and memories that a given society is vulnerable to and how prone it is to fueling the rumor mill than it is in the people perpetrating the disinformation or the techniques they use.

From dirty politics to dirty business

The origin of South Korean disinformation can be traced back to the nation’s National Intelligence Service, which is equivalent to the US Central Intelligence Agency. The NIS formed teams in 2010 to interfere in domestic elections by attacking a political candidate it opposed.

The NIS hired more than 70 full-time workers who managed fake, or so-called sock puppet, accounts. The agency recruited a group called Team Alpha, which was composed of civilian part-timers who had ideological and financial interests in working for the NIS. By 2012, the scale of the operation had grown to 3,500 part-time workers.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (left) campaigning in 2014 for Kim Kyoung-soo (right), who became governor of South Gyeongsang Province in 2018 but was subsequently convicted of opinion rigging. 


Udenjan/WikiCommons, CC BY

Since then the private sector has moved into the disinformation business. For example, a shadowy publishing company led by an influential blogger was involved in a high-profile opinion-rigging scandal between 2016 and 2018. The company’s client was a close political aide of the current president, Moon Jae-in.

In contrast to NIS-driven disinformation campaigns, which use disinformation as a propaganda tool for the government, some of the private-sector players are chameleonlike, changing ideological and topical positions in pursuit of their business interests. These private-sector operations have achieved greater cost-effectiveness than government operations by skillfully using bots to amplify fake engagements, involving social media entrepreneurs like YouTubers and outsourcing trolling to cheap laborers.

Narratives that strike a nerve

In South Korea, Cold War rhetoric has been particularly visible across all types of disinformation operations. The campaigns typically portray the conflict with North Korea and the battle against communism as being at the center of public discourse in South Korea. In reality, nationwide polls have painted a very different picture. For example, even when North Korea’s nuclear threat was at a peak in 2017, fewer than 10% of respondents picked North Korea’s saber-rattling as their priority concern, compared with more than 45% who selected economic policy.

Across all types of purveyors and techniques, political disinformation in South Korea has amplified anti-communist nationalism and denigrated the nation’s dovish diplomacy toward North Korea. My research on South Korean social media rumors in 2013 showed that the disinformation rhetoric continued on social media even after the formal disinformation campaign ended, which indicates how powerful these themes are. Today, I and my research team continue to see references to the same themes.

Much of the disinformation trafficked in South Korea involves nationalistic anti-Communist narratives similar to this protester’s anti-North Korea message. 


Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images

The dangers of a disinformation industry

The disinformation industry is enabled by the three prongs of today’s digital media industry: an attention economy, algorithm and computational technologies and a participatory culture. In online media, the most important currency is audience attention. Metrics such as the number of page views, likes, shares and comments quantify attention, which is then converted into economic and social capital.

Ideally, these metrics should be a product of networked users’ spontaneous and voluntary participation. Disinformation operations more often than not manufacture these metrics by using bots, hiring influencers, paying for crowdsourcing and developing computational tricks to game a platform’s algorithms.

The expansion of the disinformation industry is troubling because it distorts how public opinion is perceived by researchers, the media and the public itself. Historically, democracies have relied on polls to understand public opinion. Despite their limitations, nationwide polls conducted by credible organizations, such as Gallup and Pew Research, follow rigorous methodological standards to represent the distribution of opinions in society in as representative a manner as possible.

Public discourse on social media has emerged as an alternative means of assessing public opinion. Digital audience and web traffic analytic tools are widely available to measure the trends of online discourse. However, people can be misled when purveyors of disinformation manufacturer opinions expressed online and falsely amplify the metrics about the opinions.

Meanwhile, the persistence of anti-communist nationalist narratives in South Korea shows that disinformation purveyors’ rhetorical choices are not random. To counter the disinformation industry wherever it emerges, governments, media and the public need to understand not just the who and the how, but also the what — a society’s controversial ideologies and collective memories. These are the most valuable currency in the disinformation marketplace.

This article's author, K. Hazel Kwon, is an associate professor of journalism and digital audiences at Arizona State University. This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit, independent news organization dedicated to unlocking the knowledge of experts for the public good.

‘American exceptionalism’: EU travel bans show US is abdicating global leadership, former CDC head says

'American exceptionalism': EU travel bans show US is abdicating global leadership, former CDC head says

The European Union is set to reopen its borders starting July 1. Right now, the bloc is still deciding who it wants to let in, and it does not look like people from the US will be among them. 

The World staff

Christopher Woolf

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A member of a ground crew walks past American Airlines planes parked at the gate during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC, April 5, 2020.


Joshua Roberts/Reuters


As countries around the globe start to reopen, the big question is how to do it safely. 

The European Union is set to reopen its borders starting July 1. Visitors from the US and Russia are among those that are restricted from entering Europe, The New York Times reported on Friday.

Earlier reporting this week from The New York Times that alluded to that prompted Dr. Tom Frieden, the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to tweet, “This is not what American exceptionalism is supposed to mean.” 

This is not what American exceptionalism is supposed to mean. Until the US gets control of this virus, we will face barriers to travel and economic recovery. https://t.co/et7Dn7tdcC

— Dr. Tom Frieden (@DrTomFrieden) June 23, 2020

Frieden headed the CDC from 2009 to 2017. He’s now president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, which focuses on preventing deaths from cardiovascular disease in low- and middle-income countries. Frieden joined The World’s host Marco Werman from New York to talk about the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic. 

Related: Nicholas Burns: US’ ‘unusual absence’ from world stage is bad for Americans

Marco Werman: Dr. Frieden, an interesting way to frame American exceptionalism. What did you mean in your tweet when you said that this is not what that’s supposed to mean? 

Tom Frieden: Well, there’s debate about what American exceptionalism is and different visions of it. But it was never supposed to mean that we continue to have tens of thousands of cases of COVID-19 disease every single day while Europe has essentially beaten the curve, and countries around the world are doing much better than we are. The key point here is that it’s not a question of health versus economics. The only way we’re going to get our economy back is to be guided by and fully support public health, so we can keep COVID-19 in its place and we can have more space in society. 

What do you make of the fact that this list puts the US in the same company as Russia and Brazil? Does that mean the US, Brazil and Russia, we’re all at the bottom of the barrel? 

There are a lot of countries that aren’t doing a good job, and there are a fair number of countries that are doing a really good job. I think the key is for us to continuously improve our response. We have great health departments around the country. We have very committed public health professionals. Congress has provided substantial resources. Now, we need to scale up our programs and show that we, too, can turn the tide and make huge progress against this pandemic. 

In parts of this country, we’ve done it. If you look at New York, New Jersey, many other places in the US, we have seen a huge decrease in cases. Now, we have to keep that up so we don’t have large spikes. We know there are going to be clusters. That’s inevitable. That’s why we need really good public health systems to find those clusters early and stop them before they become outbreaks. That’s what has to happen for us to be safer and for us to get our economy back. 

When you speak with colleagues overseas dealing with the pandemic, what do they say about how the US has handled the crisis? 

I get emails and text messages from all over the world just kind of shaking their head. What is happening? Why has the US response been so ineffective? Why isn’t contact tracing scaled up? Why in the world has mask-wearing become a political statement in some places and for some people? I would say there’s a kind of sadness and disbelief when people look at what’s happening in the US now.

The US has for decades been a leader in global health. And now it’s seen — unfortunately, accurately — as a laggard. I point out the need for federal leadership. I point out that public health has not failed in this pandemic. What has failed is the politicians’ willingness to listen to public health advice and be guided by and support public health, because everywhere in the world where that is done, their communities do better. Fewer deaths and less economic destruction and devastation. 

How do you think the US handling of the pandemic is changing the way this country is seen around the world?

Well, I think it’s done a lot of damage to our reputation as a leader, to our reputation as a country that could not only handle things here, but be relied on globally. When I think back to Ebola, the US led the global charge to protect the countries of West Africa and stop the epidemic there successfully. Now, the US is really not in that role.

Saying that we’re going to leave WHO in the middle of a pandemic is not a sensible thing to do. Certainly, WHO needs to be better, but they’re essential. And turning our backs on them is not going to help at this time. The US has a wonderful history of pragmatic, effective public health and political leadership. And if we get back to that, we can control this pandemic and the next one that comes along as well. 

I mean, you look at China, they recently had a cluster of more than 150 new COVID cases in Beijing. Officials sealed off neighborhoods, they launched a mass testing campaign, imposed travel restrictions. In the meantime, here in the US, we’re getting reports that President Donald Trump wants to close 13 federally run testing centers just as infections are spiking in several states. Again, maybe the answer is obvious, but how does the US emerge from this and get on the list of responsible countries?

If we do the right thing, we’ll get on the right list. I got an email this morning from a colleague in Australia. Incredibly impressive. They’ve got a cluster. They’re ramping up testing. They’re doing very intensive work. And really, the tale of two countries is the United States and South Korea. We’ve both had our first cases on Jan. 20.

If you had moved from the US to South Korea on that date, you would have been 70 times less likely to get killed by COVID-19. And these days, Korea is having 30 cases a day and they’re really concerned about it. They’re ramping up their efforts to clamp down on the virus. We have 30,000 cases, and there’s still debate about whether people should wear masks. It’s a little mind-boggling. 

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

How science denial on the political right hampers the US response to COVID-19

How science denial on the political right hampers the US response to COVID-19

Adam Wernick

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Science denial has led to delays in government responses to COVID-19 and climate change and eroded public trust in the very institutions we rely on to solve large-scale problems.




Science denial in the United States has for decades fueled resistance to taking action on climate change. As a consequence, the battle to prevent its worst effects may already be lost. That same science denial continues today as the country fights to fend off or delay the worst effects of COVID-19.

President Donald Trump and several Republican governors delayed action and failed to heed the warnings of the nation’s healthcare science advisors, while leaders in other countries, such as South Korea and Germany, have taken more timely and successful actions.

A decade ago, Naomi Oreskes, a Harvard history of science professor, compared climate change denial to tobacco danger denial in her book, “Merchants of Doubt,” which was penned with Eric Conway and later made into a documentary film. The two then wrote a science fiction novel, “The Collapse of Western Civilization,” that explored a future where denial about climate science in Western countries kept them from responding to the climate crisis, while an authoritarian China did.

The argument about the role of government and its relationship to science remains tragically relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The irony, we believed, was that by delaying action on climate change, they actually made the problem worse and they increased the odds that the kind of government that they hate would, in fact, actually come to pass…”

“Eric and I had been talking for a long time about what we saw as a central irony in the story of ‘Merchants of Doubt,’” Oreskes says. “And that was that the people we were studying, the people we refer to as merchants of doubt, [believed they] were fighting to protect freedom, that they were defending American democracy, American freedom, and individual liberty, against the encroachment of big government. But the irony, we believed, was that by delaying action on climate change, they actually made the problem worse and they increased the odds that the kind of government that they hate would, in fact, actually come to pass, as we had to deal with the unfolding crisis. So, the idea was to write a story that would make that point.”

Related: Mutual aid groups respond to double threat of coronavirus and climate change

When countries experience a large-scale problem like a pandemic that doesn’t respect borders, a political system that centralizes power is better able to respond quickly than one in which power is more distributed, Oreskes says. “So, even though we might dislike centralized power in certain ways, there are certain kinds of problems for which centralized power is really important and may, in fact, be the only way to address the issue.”

Until fairly recently, Trump was unwilling to use the authority that he has, Oreskes notes. When the seriousness of the virus first became identified, back in January, he didn’t empower the Centers for Disease Control or the National Institutes of Health to mount a strong response. He also chose early on not to use such powers as the Defense Production Act to compel the private sector to manufacture ventilators, face masks or other necessary medical equipment.

“Now, three months in, he is finally doing that, and suddenly we see the private sector — GM, Ford — being enlisted to do this sort of work,” Oreskes says.

Oreskes believes Trump’s hesitancy stemmed, in part, from a basic conservative reluctance to enlarge the size and role of the federal government.

“Tens of thousands and possibly hundreds of thousands of Americans will die — Americans whose lives could have been saved if we had acted more quickly and with more organization in the early stages of this disease.”

“In this case, the consequence of that reluctance is that the virus essentially went out of control,” Oreskes notes. “And now, tens of thousands and possibly hundreds of thousands of Americans will die — Americans whose lives could have been saved if we had acted more quickly and with more organization in the early stages of this disease.”

Conservatives have for 30 years been promoting the myth that there’s no way to solve problems like climate change without succumbing to totalitarianism, Oreskes maintains. But, “you don’t have to be a communist country to have an organized coherent response to a challenge,” she says.

Related: Coronavirus is changing how people think about fighting climate change

“The experience of South Korea, and to some extent Germany, as well, shows it’s not about being totalitarian,” she says. “It’s about paying attention to evidence, respecting facts, respecting expertise, and then mobilizing the resources that you have in line with what the expertise is telling you.”

What we’re seeing now in the US validates what she and Eric Conway predicted in “The Collapse of Western Civilization.”

“The idea that we were somehow protecting our freedom by disrespecting science — we’ve now seen how bankrupt that idea is.”

“Look at what’s happening now: We’ve lost huge amounts of freedom,” she points out. “The idea that we were somehow protecting our freedom by disrespecting science — we’ve now seen how bankrupt that idea is. I’m stuck at home and so are 200 million Americans. We’ve lost tremendous amounts of personal liberty, and we don’t know how long this is going to go on. We’ve also lost income. We’re seeing endless amounts of damage that could have been avoided if we had been willing to listen to and act upon the advice of experts.”

South Korea acted on the advice of scientific experts early on, whereas in the United States, “we have a president who has shown his utter disdain for and disrespect for science,” Oreskes points out. “He has been disdainful of the scientific evidence regarding climate change, he has been disdainful of the evidence regarding the safety of vaccinations against diseases like measles. And he is hostile to science.”

Related: What can COVID-19 teach us about the global climate crisis?

“Many of us … who do science, have been warning for a long time that if you undermine scientific agencies and the federal government, this will have consequences,” she says. “And now I think we are seeing those consequences in a very, very vivid way.”

In the 1950s and 60s, Oreskes notes, the federal government was not only putting a lot of money into science, but it was also “telling us a story about why science mattered.”

“Why did the American people believe in the importance of the Apollo program? It’s because we were told a story, a good story, a true story, about how science could help build America, how it could build our economy, how it could help build our educational systems and how we could do cool things like put men on the moon,” she says. “So, I think we need to recapture that commitment to science and to scientific institutions and to scientists.”

Equally important, Oreskes says, is to rebuild trust in government, Oreskes says. Science bashing has been linked in a direct way to a more general argument against the so-called “big government.” She believes Ronald Reagan’s slogan that “government is not the solution to our problem, the government is the problem,” has been “deeply, deeply damaging.”

“For 40 years, we have heard that argument made by political leaders on the conservative side of the spectrum, so much so that a lot of ordinary people don’t understand why we even have a Centers for Disease Control, much less why we really need to count on them now in this current moment,” Oreskes says. If the public is constantly hearing that government is bad or corrupt or inefficient, she adds, chances are they will begin to believe it.

“And the irony is that this can become true because, of course, if you put people in control of the government who don’t actually believe in governance, then they’re not going to do a good job in building the institutions that we need,” Oreskes adds.

“We have a lot of dysfunction in Washington, DC right now, and so people aren’t wrong,” she says. “People correctly perceive that Congress is dysfunctional, but that dysfunction is a product of 40 years of essentially anti-government policies.”

The coronavirus pandemic shows us why the country can’t wait until a crisis is upon us to mobilize the necessary resources, Oreskes insists. She uses military readiness as an analogy. Almost all Americans, she points out, accept the need for an army because we know that if we were to be attacked, we would be unable to mobilize an army overnight. “And we certainly wouldn’t be able to build battleships and airplanes and aircraft carriers,” she says. “We know that we have to do that in advance.”

“We have a notion of readiness when it comes to military matters, but many of us don’t have a similar notion of readiness when it comes to public health and medicine,” she maintains. “And yet, it’s exactly the same. If we’re not ready in advance, we will not be able to protect ourselves from a viral attack.”

If Oreskes were to write a story about how this particular crisis plays out, it would be a happy story about how it became a turning point and how, “because these issues became truly matters of life and death in front of our eyes, the American people began to wake up, and they began to realize that there’s a reason we have government and there’s a reason we have scientific institutions and there’s a reason why we spend money preparing for crises that may not happen.”

“[Similarly], nobody knows absolutely, positively for sure exactly how climate change will play out, but we know that climate change will play out and it will be very damaging,” she says. “And many of the kinds of damage that will occur, we can predict, even if we can’t predict exactly when or exactly where.”

This article is based on an interview with Steve Curwood that aired on Living on Earth from PRX.

L2B – The Journey lyrics

The world keeps turning, I’m just holding on,
Hold on..
This life’s a journey that keeps going on,
Hold on..

[Verse 1]
I got a lyrical addiction, I’m a punchline fiend,
Even in my dreams, I come up with rhyme schemes,
I try to be calm, but my mind is like a mob scene
Full of obscene gestures and loud screams in dark streets
From wild teens whose moms can;t stop them
From robbing people just because they want nice things,
They’d sacrifice a life to live like kings, but
That’s not the song that I sing,
Sometimes I just need to switch to a positive mind frame
And change the way I think.
See I’m excited for what life brings,
I’m trying to travel the world and go sight-seeing
And see what it’s like to be in different cultures and ways of life,
Traveling in first class flights, that sounds nice.
Walking through foreign lands, Europe and Japan,
Got as much Seoul as South Korea,
Looking down from the Namsan Tower,
I love where I’m from, but I got bigger plans,
I’m trying to spin a globe and just go wherever my finger lands.

The world keeps turning, I’m just holding on,
Hold on..
This life’s a journey that keeps going on,
Hold on..

[Verse 2]
I got so many dope verses, think I need an intervention,
Not to mention, never cared for being center of attention,
But I’ll deliver a hundred and ten percent, even when
It’s a challenge and the pressure is high, like hypertension.
Caught up living above the influence of reality,
Love, hugs, peace, drugs, and LSD,
Bright colors being smudged without paint brushes,
Just me under a spell while I’m staring at trees,
See life is one giant canvas to me,
Hand me a can of paint and watch me transform a
Blank space landscape in to something out of fantasy,
Something you’re seeing with your eyes, but still can’t believe.
I’m in the Amazon rain forest, laying underneath the canopy,
Staring up at the sky, wondering why can’t life always be this simple,
Thinking back to everything that I’ve been through,
But with endless possibilities, I feel like there’s nothing I can’t do.

The world keeps turning, I’m just holding on,
Hold on..
This life’s a journey that keeps going on,
Hold on..

Life is just a journey,
Life is just a journey, so stay..
Life is just a journey,
Life is just a journey, so stay..
Life is just a journey, so stay..
Life is just a journey, so stay strong..
Life is just a journey, so stay..
Life is just a journey, so stay strong..

The world keeps turning, I’m just holding on,
Hold on..
This life’s a journey that keeps going on,
Hold on..

Wale – Folarin Like (Nas is Like Freestyle) Lyrics

What, boy?
Let’s have some motherfuckin’ fun
Yeah, ayee, yeah

Folarin like, women level-headed
And more aggressive
That demoralize any moralless
Man or woman and
More or less any man or woman that go against me
Better know the lord, ignore it, keep it at 450
Fuck a 450, we 730
It’s December now
When they simmer down we start burnin’ ’em
It’s embarrassing
There’s literally no comparison
That’s like comparing Yogi Berra and Yogi Ferrell
I’m the coldest poet, they never show it
I show up like the fuckin’ bear from Revenant
Barely niggas is Yogi Bear in here
Mo’, this is a picnic walk
I sip gin, tonic in booth then I big shit talk
I’m cool, clam, collected ‘less I get pissed off
Then everybody get it like a pitch in kickball
Pimp hard, pimp hard, but think two times harder
Mulsanne parked
I bet the Pumas Usain Bolt to us
Woo! That’s a fast ass pussy cat
Ralph really rappin’ like he’s really, really in his bag yeah
Folarin like, a lot of artist father I
Think a lot of y’all been multiplying the prototype
Notice I
Don’t hang with niggas much in this industry
Been this way, niggas be hating wasting my energy
Then they say
Maybe Folarin is just a mental case
It’s not the case
I just confide in cases of Hennessy
L.A. Fitness will fill up, yeah I’m gettin’ a little bigger
Baby mama don’t notice, all my bitches can dig it
‘Bout to hit the casino, Steve O bring all the women
And if we hit the digits, the only way that we’re trickin’
Rose gold the pinky
Flows gold, the singles
Is all gold and platinum, I’m so focused really
Whole goal was really
To promote the city
Some niggas off that boat like they got motion sickness
Lord forgive me, you know that I’m flawed
But been on my job
Way more, ’cause I had a daughter
I dogged bitches before
Now talk sense into bitches
And not to give you my business
But they ain’t bitches no more
Naw, nah, fuck it let’s keep this shit goin’
I see niggas talkin’, could chalk it, grown people ignore it
But keep with the bluffin’
You see I be with people that love that shit
Love to see you public performin’, we will applaud
Now you Weekend at Bernie-lookin’
Mama purchasing urns for you, confirming you finished
I done murked you niggas
Whether first one, this verse is a hearse
It hurts me to hurt you
It burns, yeah it burns because I birthed you nigga [?]
Yeah, of course you niggas forgot
But every time I drop a single niggas hittin’ me up
Tellin’ me to give ’em a jump
Never think they’ll ever pull up
Literally I live in Maryland, Beverly Hills and the charts
Yup, and with the pen it’s like I’m like Kemba with ball
I’m Kyrie, Jamal
Crawford, guard me and you fall
Foreign features from South Korea
BTS be the shit, we about to see it
I am not North or South, I am just DMV
I’m a G, well-achieved, well-received
I’m a seasoned nigga
Yeah, boy I’m the cleanest nigga
Got soul, got style, rap genius nigga
I will not back down when you see a nigga
My whip black, like brown, Pam G’in a nigga
Yeah, Folarin like
Women like Miss Erykah
Badu, see you next lifetime, I marry ya
Playin’ though[?] nigga this gospel on my tonsils
Got the world on my hand like Kwame on Captain Planet do
I’m just a rhymer a lot of y’all just be sleepin’ on
They stay at mama’s house and get their Cheetos and cheap reefer on
They stay on social media
Being somebody doper than the person they are in person
Of course nobody meetin’ them
Folarin like, none of these niggas
Shine coming, man I’m tired of everyone of these niggas
Fuck ’em