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History beckons for Korea

In the midst of increasing problems with instability in the region, the inter-Korean summit offers hope.

Sectarian violence is surging in Indonesia and the Philippines, and there is increasing tension in the Pacific with the coup attempts in Fiji and the Solomon Islands.

The situation in South Asia looks like it will get worse before it gets better. The Tamil Tigers are locked in a bitter struggle with Sri Lankan forces over the city of Jaffna. India would rather stay out of the war as it still has major problems of its own, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir.

The hostility between North Korea and South Korea, both still technically at war with each other, is one of the last vestiges of the Cold War.

Since the bitter fighting of the Korean War, the country has been divided between north and south. Many families have been torn apart ever since. On numerous occasions, fighting has flared up between the two neighbors.

There are many who have questioned the intentions of the summit altogether. Opponents claim that timing of the meeting so close to the elections was designed to give the ruling party a boost at the polls.

One seriously hopes that is not the case, but even if true, it would not rule out the possibility of a breakthrough occurring.

The most important factor with regard to the progress in the Asia Pacific region is peace.

Peace can be difficult to attain. There are many obstacles to the this goal and in this case the problem is mostly ideological.

If the summit can solve these differences, the outlook for the region will have brightened considerably despite the problems elsewhere. Because none of the other conflicts was ever harder to crack than that between the two Koreas.

 


 



Headlines

Central Asia

17 die after
gunmen penetrate Kyrgyzstan
from Tajikstan
(Times of Central Asia)

Advani to attend
Kalachakra
(World Tibet News)

East Asia

Family reunions hailed
as successful event
(Korea Herald)

Nepalese man's lawyers
quit over ruling
(www.asahi.com)

Pacific Islands

U.S. supports return
to normalcy
(www.fijilive.com)

State deal with
former trustees reported
(Honolulu Star-Bulletin)

South Asia

Court clears decks
for release of
Veerappan men
(Times of India)

Five Nepalis to
compete in Sydney
Olympics
(Kathmandu Post)

Southeast Asia

Abu Sayyaf 'very,
very, nervous'
(PDI)

Elephant training school
attracts unlikely students
(Bangkok Post)


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