Loneliness of the long distance runners in North Korea

first_imgScientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames MOST READ LATEST STORIES The event, part of the celebrations for the anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth in 1912, is normally the annual peak for Western tourism to the isolated country, offering visitors the chance to run or jog through the streets of Pyongyang.But fears of conflict reached fresh heights last year as the North made rapid progress in its nuclear and missile ambitions under Kim Jong Un, the third member of the Kim dynasty to rule, carrying out its most powerful atomic test to date and launching rockets bringing the continental United States into range.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSeveral new sets of United Nations Security Council sanctions were imposed, and in September, Washington effectively banned United States citizens from visiting following the death of tourist Otto Warmbier, while several other countries stepped up their travel warnings.The measures remain in place despite a rapid rapprochement triggered by the Winter Olympics in the South, with Kim due to meet the South’s President Moon Jae-in later this month, ahead of a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump. D’Antoni, Harden and Paul poised to capture trio’s 1st title Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Competitors run along a wide street during the annual Pyongyang marathon in Pyongyang on April 8, 2018. The event – part of the celebrations of the anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth in 1912 – has consistently been its annual peak for Western tourism to the isolated country, offering visitors the chance to run or jog through the streets of Pyongyang. Image: AFP/Ed JonesA few hundred foreigners lined up in Kim Il Sung stadium Sunday for the Pyongyang marathon, less than half of last year’s contingent with Western tourism to North Korea battered by nuclear tensions and a United States travel ban.A packed crowd in the 47,000-capacity arena cheered and applauded before the runners streamed out of the stadium beneath portraits of the North’s founder and his son and successor Kim Jong Il.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Australian Tracy Britten, who ran the 10-kilometer race, said doing so was “surreal.”“You just don’t know what to expect, so here you are in the streets of Pyongyang running around, people are giving you a high five and it’s just an incredible experience.”Western tourists to the North used to run at around 5,000 a year, with U.S. visitors making up about 20 percent, and critics say that Pyongyang profited from their presence.Standard one-week trips cost around $2,000 (about P104,000), while shorter budget journeys can be less than half that price.Warmbier, a University of Virginia student, had tried to steal a propaganda poster, was convicted of subversive activities and sentenced to 15 years’ hard labor.He was sent home in a mysterious coma last June, dying a few days later, with Trump tweeting that he had been “tortured beyond belief” while Pyongyang blamed botulism, although medical examiners said he suffered brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen.But Cockerell told AFP that on the “battlefield of soft power,” Washington had inflicted “a stunning defeat on itself” with the travel ban.“The complete absence of Americans cedes the ground to the DPRK state to present Americans any way it wants without even a few local people encountering visitors from the U.S. and seeing what people are really like there,” he said.‘Aura of danger’Young Pioneer Tours, the firm which took Warmbier to North Korea, also saw its marathon customers fall by more than half, although guide Matt Kulesza said that its overall numbers for this year were on target. Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident For some travelers, he said, controversy about the country “almost appeals to people,” so that to some extent “all publicity is good publicity,” although the current warming on the peninsula could change that.“With so much positive talk of the DPRK in the media maybe that aura of mystery, that aura of danger is almost disappearing,” he added.But British television student Callum McCulloch, 23, had no doubts.Describing Pyongyang as “like the set of a Wes Anderson film” after his half marathon, he dismissed the Foreign Office’s advice against “all but essential travel” to the North.“If someone tells you not to go somewhere, not to do something, that makes you more want to go there, surely,” he said. “It’s bragging rights. My mates owe me a few pints when I get home.” JBRELATED STORIES:What to do post-run to maximize your resultsLOOK: 3 new running books to level up and inspire your training Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew A total of 429 foreign amateurs entered the Pyongyang Marathon this year, compared with more than 1,000 in 2017.“The tourism industry in general has fallen substantially since the middle of last year,” said Simon Cockerell, general manager of Koryo Tours, the market leader. “All the political dramas, military crises have brought the industry down by at least half.”Twin tourersTwo North Korean twin sisters, Kim Hye Gyong and Kim Hye Song, took first and second in the women’s race Sunday, matching each other stride for stride and gesture for gesture as they came up the finishing straight, the younger of the 25-year-olds crossing the line less than a meter ahead.Local runners also filled the first three places in the men’s race, with the first invited elite competitor, a Moroccan, trailing in fourth and observers suggesting the cold conditions, in the single degrees Celsius, did not favor African runners.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. 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‘June Protest Stands; No Turning Back’

first_imgMr. Paye (3rd from right), reads the statement on behalf of the four political parties.— Collaborating opposition partiesThe opposition collaborating political parties have, joined forces with the Council of Patriots to stage the controversial June 7 “save the state” protest demonstration.The parties are the former ruling Unity Party (UP), Alternative National Congress (ANC), All Liberian Party (ALP) and the Liberty Party.They said their resolve to join the protest stems from their response to President George Weah’s January 28, 2019, State of the Nation Address in which they urged the President to realize that the country’s governance system has reached crisis level, while the economy is declining exponentially.Their position was contained in a statement dated Wednesday, May 8, 2019, delivered at a press conference in Monrovia. Reading the statement on behalf of the four political parties, UP Chairman Wilmot Paye said, “so today, not only do our four Political Parties unflinchingly, resoundingly, unapologetically and unequivocally support efforts by the Council of Patriots to organize a peaceful assembly as guaranteed by the 1986 Constitution of Liberia. We also announce our direct involvement and participation in the planning, execution, and management of all peaceful conduct and actions geared toward achieving the noble objective of drawing the attention of President Weah and his administration to the issues of governance, which his administration has woefully ignored despite growing outcries from Liberians.”Mr. Paye told Liberians to act urgently, “else the country will be doomed forever.” He said the country’s fragile peace can only be maintained when the government musters the courage to tackle historical wrongs and contemporary ills.“In recent times, in quite an unprecedented fashion, our international partners have been vocal. This is reflected in their utterances, which they make apparently reluctantly and against conventional diplomatic protocols to draw attention to Liberia’s declining governance climate.“They do so because more than US$10 billion had been invested in Liberia’s peace. This peace, we are under no illusion, can only be sustained through deliberate citizens-centered decisions, actions, policies and a governance culture that is characterized by the rule of law,” Mr. Paye said.He added, “there will be no violence at least from the perspective of our four political parties and the Council of Patriots Movement. No one should instill fear in you. There is a huge difference between 2019 and 1979, to which some unqualified comparisons have been made to discourage us from speaking out. The Council of Patriots is a democratic movement that our four Political Parties are part of.”He called on Liberians both at home and away to accord their fullest support to the Council of Patriots, by turning up in their thousands on June 7 to express their disapproval for the deteriorating state of the economy.“June 2019 is the time for you to speak to those on Capitol Hill, who have shown no interest in your plight. Their contemptible behavior is the reason for us to unite under a single banner,” Mr. Paye said.Paye: “This will be the time for you the forgotten doctors, nurses and health workers to be heard. This will be the time for your teachers and professors and education workers to speak out. It will be the time for you civil servants, who may soon lose 25 percent of your salaries as part of a fake solution to problems you did not create, to stand up for your rights as guaranteed by the Liberian Constitution.Mr. Paye further noted, “This day will unite your voice with marketers, taxi drivers, motorcyclists, teachers, and health workers to speak to the three branches of your government seated on Capitol Hill.”He said “Indeed, June is your time to make history; to speak truth to power, and to put into practice the power that the constitution gives to you when it says, “All power is inherent in the people…”Paye said June 7 is not about violence, and so it cannot be violent, adding that those on Capitol Hill are working to instill fear or discourage people from participating in the protest because “they are the looters; you are the looted; the cheaters, you are the cheated; you work, they pay themselves; you sow, they reap; You study hard, they get the pass; you trek, they fly. June 7 will be the one chance you have to make them know “enough is enough.”“The conspiracy on Capitol Hill is serious, but it will not end if we do not stop it! That is why, without a doubt, a peaceful action by all of us, irrespective of our political, religious and ethnic differences, has become necessary,” Paye said.He urged the President to not fear June 7 or its aftermath, because it is not intended to unseat him.According to Mr. Paye, those that are misguiding the President are “lying to keep you away from seeing reality, and by the time you realize it, you could be well on your way to The Hague, like former President Charles Taylor.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Police report on enforcement activities during Fall Fair weekend

first_imgThe detachment reports that it received 15 calls for service to the fairgrounds over the weekend, mostly related to intoxicated persons being too drunk to care for themselves, or who were involved in fights or damaging property. Other calls involved an assault, some lost property, mischief and a missing person. No one was seriously injured by these events, police report.Police issued 15 Immediate Roadside Prohibitions for alcohol, where vehicles were impounded and drivers were suspended from driving for a 90-day period, over the course of the Fall Fair. Local members along with the Integrated Road Safety Unit concentrated on taking impaired drivers off the road, and as a result, no alcohol-related collisions or fatalities occurred during the event.The Dawson Creek RCMP Bike Patrol was on duty during the weekend patrolling the fairgrounds and the vehicles parked nearby, as well as handing out coupons to local restaurants to some of the fair’s youngest patrons.- Advertisement -Extra resources were called in from around the Peace region to assist local members in ensuring the public’s safety during the Fall Fair. Dawson Creek RCMP would like to thank everyone that helped to make the fair go by safely, especially those who chose to find a safe and sober ride home.last_img read more