UN PEACEKOR Hosts The 1st Global Virtual Forum Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic

On September 16, UN PEACEKOR (Chairman Dug-Ryong Kim) held the global meeting through Zoom and Youtube live for the first time ever in history due to coronavirus pandemic.

This forum was held by foreign compatriots from around the world with different time zones on the actual conditions and prospects of North Korea’s three sufferings (sanctions, corona, flood damage), and where to find clues for the recovery of South-North relations in this difficult situation. We had time to express each other’s opinions using the internet space as a place.

The forum was hosted by Jun-Hyuk Huh, Secretary General of UNPEACEKOR, and led to discussions by Yong-Han Choi, head of the National Security Strategy Research Institute, Jong-Cheol Park, a Research Fellow at the Institute for Unification, Yoo-seok Jeong, a senior research fellow at the Northeast Asia Research Center at Export-Import Bank of Korea, and Dae-jin Jeong, a professor at Ajou University.

The chairman of the organization stated that despite US’ distraction during a presidential election year, and North Korea focusing on its internal structure, there is still tremendous responsibility to bring to awareness, the importance of restarting the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.

The members of the forum focused heavily on the kind of development necessary in North Korea, and talked about the impact of Covid-19 on both the social and economic infrastructure of China and North Korea, but also how this could require heavier interest by South Korea or the US to improve relationship with North Korea, especially in the area of trade.

The forum garnered much interest, as almost 400 people tuned in to watch the forum.

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BTS Hits Billboard 100 with a Dynamite #1

After landing with Billboard #4 with the last single “On,” in March, K-Pop boy band BTS debuted with an all-English single, “Dynamite” at the top of the Billboard’s Hot 100.

BTS is the first K-Pop group to lead the Hot 100. Released on August 21, 2020, showed a result of 33.9 million US stream, 300,000 sold, and drew 11.6 million radio airplay audience impressions the week ending August 30.

BTS’ “Dynamite” made the best digital sales since One Direction’s “Drag Me Down” 5 years ago, and marks BigHit entertainment’s first #1 on the Billboard chart. Consultations to BTS!

Of course, much of BTS’ success comes from BTS’ use of technology (mainly YouTube and V Live) to gain followers, interact with them, and establish themselves as serious brands. Many analysts tout that the globalization of Broadband access has made not only information flow throughout the world, but also allow easier means for fans to gain access to their favorite bands’ music and show clips.

 

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Frenchwoman posts nude video for her business, gets arrested by Indian police

Photo from Google Images

27-year old Frenchwoman, identified only as Marie-Helene was arrested on August 27 by the local Indian police in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, after her Indian social media followers recognized the background of her nude video as the holy bridge.

The Ganges is a sacred river to Hinduism, and it is known that at the location of where the holy bridge is, is where Hindu deity Lakshmana crossed the river on jute ropes.

According to the Indian police, the woman filmed the material to promote her jewelry business. In the video, she originally begins by wearing a shawl, but drops it midway through filming, appearing nude.

She is currently on bail but has been charged with obscenity in a public place and with publishing obscene content online.

Marie-Helene stated that she’d chosen to become nude on the holy bridge because each time she crossed the bridge, she felt she was being harassed, and that she felt other Indian women and her “fellow female travelers” surely have experienced the same.

She apologized for her insensitivity to the local culture.

Public nudity is an issue in France as well, with the interior minister defending the right to sunbathe topless, while the localities might impose different rules, to include fines in association with topless or nude sunbathing.

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Catching Coronavirus Twice

A 33-year old Hong Kong resident contracted the COVID-19 twice this year. He was infected once in March, recovered from it, only to become re-infected in August.

The first time, his symptoms were mild; second time, they were asymptomatic. They are 142 days apart in terms of infection.

The second time, he was returning from a trip to Spain via the United Kingdom. The study noted that the Coronavirus involved between the first time and the second time were unrelated strains, showing that acquired immunity may not be as strongly counted upon to keep the population safe, even if a significant number recover from the infection.

Given the variety of COVID-19 mutations, experts advise that people should take the vaccine when it becomes available to minimize the continued spread of the number of COVID-19 viruses.

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Covid-19’s Real Problem: Organ damage

As US sees 150,000 deaths from COVID-19, some of those who are for quick reopening tout the relatively low death percentage rate as an argument against the severity of COVID-19. However, those who are recovering from COVID-19 show something more sinister from coronavirus infection: organ damage.

Two German studies found that many patients recovering from COVID-19 had heart abnormalities that didn’t exist before. The study included 100 patients from the University of Hospital Frankfurt COVID-19 Registry.

1/3 on the registry recovered at the hospital, while the other 2/3 recovered at home; however, in the 78 of the original 100, there were now heart abnormalities, with 60 of them showing inflammation in the heart muscle from COVID-19.

This abnormality would not be found on the echograms more frequently used to detect heart abnormalities.

Such results are quite damaging; those who have this weakness will likely require more extensive treatments and be at risk for abnormal heart beats and other heart problems.

So yes, maybe COVID-19 only kills around 1 percent of those infected; however, the true harm of COVID-19 isn’t necessarily the fast death, but the lasting impact on the majority of those that recover from the disease; mostly, the weakening of the organs in the rest of the body.

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BTS and Its fan club donate $2 Million to BLM

photo from Wikipedia

K-Pop Megastar BTS and its fan group, “One in An ARMY” has raised funds to support the Black Lives Matter movement and donated $2 million.

BTS initially donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter, and its fan club raised the additional $1 million more, matching the group’s donation.

BTS tweeted last week, “We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together.#BlackLivesMatter” on its tweet account.

The BTS is the first donor to donate to Black Live Matter movement as a foreign figure.

BTS, also known as the Bangtan Boys, is a seven-member South Korean boy band formed in Seoul in 2010 and managed under Big Hit Entertainment. The group is ranked #4 in Billboard’s Top Social Artists of the 2010s, and the highest group on the list.

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Coronavirus Fears Lead US to Telework

As universities and government agencies employ telework policies in fear of coronavirus, Alphabet, Google’s parent company has recommended its North American employees to work from home through April 10.

Although governments and schools have implemented telework or online course policies regionally or within its city boundaries, Google is asking everyone in the entire continent to follow this system.

As COVID-19 spread throughout Washington state, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook had encouraged its employees to work from home.

Google has also cancelled its annual developer conference Google I/O, due to COVID-19 worries. Furthermore, Google will establish COVID-19 fund which will enable temporary staff and vendors globally to take paid sick leave if they have potential COVID-19 symptoms or cannot work due to quarantine.

The US executive branch plans to meet with representatives from tech companies to discuss COVID-19 response efforts, where they will meet remotely.

Unwittingly, it seems that a virus may trigger a permanent shift in business and administration in the American workforce.

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US Universities: Educational or Multi-billion dollar enterprises with murky financial systems?

(Photo from Google Images)

The Education Department sent a letter requesting Harvard and Yale universities to disclose records of contracts or gifts from Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and Qatar. The Department believes that the universities failed to disclose around $375 million in foreign funding.

Education Department is willing to refer this matter to the Justice Department if schools do not comply, as such funding could impact the quality of education in ways to include the spreading of propaganda.

Department’s investigation is said to have found more than $6.5 billion in foreign funding.

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A Cup of Poem~~ 담쟁이/김서경

담쟁이

새벽을 가르며,
잠이 덜 깬 하늘을 싣고
열차는 달린다

빼곡빼곡 싱싱한
삶의 알갱이들 가득 채운
길고 긴 하루를 베어 문 아침,

너도 나도
비애와 인생의 암벽
그 땀내나는 등판에
쫙 달라붙어 오늘만
정말 오늘만 하며 깊게
깊게 새기는 생존

먹물 길게 주사하는
땅에 선 저들의 혈관
슬프고 명료하다.

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First Person-to-Person Coronavirus Spread Happens in US

Photo from NBC News : Washington State (1), California(2), Arizona(1), Illinois(1) as of Jan.30.2020 source from CDC

CDC confirmed that a woman who recently traveled to China and returned through Chicago airport spread the virus to her husband. Now with confirmed 6 cases, Illinois is attempting to verify 21 possible cases. CDC is verifying 92 more people for possible coronavirus infection. CDC already cleared 68 as testing negative for the coronavirus.

There are currently 7,800 confirmed infections globally, with most in China. CDC does not see a need to wear masks to protect oneself in public but did advise washing hands with soap for at least 20 seconds and to avoid close interaction with people who were sick.

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