Tourism News

Tourism News Phuketwan Tourism News
facebook recommendations


Sign up now for our News Alert emails and the latest breaking news plus new features.

Click to subscribe

Existing subscribers can unsubscribe here


Warmongering Precedes Phuket's Next Big Event

Thursday, June 25, 2009
PHUKET will bounce from the frivolity of Fashion Week to the nuclear-charged Asia Regional Forum in mid-July, an event that could be full of fireworks.

Today marks the 59th anniversary of the Korean War, a conflict that appears in danger of being revived if the latest outburst from Communist North Korea is any guide.

''If the US imperialists start another war, the army and people of Korea will . . . . wipe out the aggressors on the globe once and for all, '' said the official Korean Central News Agency in a sentence hardly inclined to fuel friendship.

The Thai Foreign Ministry has told officials that 26 countries have confirmed their participation in the series of Phuket meetings, with one exception: North Korea.

No stranger to being a nation alone, diplomatic isolation has deepened for the hardline Communist state since its second nuclear test on May 25.

More missiles are ready for testing, reports say, with a firing perhaps towards Hawaii anticipated for US Independence Day celebrations on July 4.

Meanwhile, the North Korean cargo ship, the Kang Nam, is somewhere at sea nearing Singapore, with a US destroyer close behind.

If the vessel is on a voyage to Burma with secret weapons on board, experts say it will probably have to refuel, and Singapore is the likely port.

Under a UN resolution, the ship can be boarded and searched. But the last time the Kang Nam was searched amid similar suspicions back in 2006, the ship was empty.

On the horizon, Phuket's potential as a site for talks to resolve the nuclear standoff loom larger every day.

Arthayudh Srisamoot, deputy director-general of the Thai Foreign Ministry's Asean bureau, told the Yonhap News Agency: ''Due to the uncertain situation on the Korean Peninsula, we are awaiting confirmation whether the DPRK (North Korea)'s foreign minister will come, but it is our hope that he does.

''He will make significant contribution to the ARF talks.''

Before the standoff, Khun Arthayudh anticipated that North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would both be on Phuket, possibly setting the stage for their first meeting.

Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya planned to visit the North Korean capital of Pyongyang to discuss details of North Korea's participation.

But Khun Kasit has canceled the trip, the official said, without clarifying the reason.

Diplomatic sources in South Korea told the Yonhap News Agency that the North appears to have rejected his visit in anger over Asean's condemnation of its nuclear test and missile launches.

Phuket provides North Korea's foreign minister with a rare opportunity to mingle with his 10 counterparts from Asean and its dialogue partners: Australia, Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, India, the European Union, New Zealand, the US and Russia.

The other participants are Mongolia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, East Timor and Papua New Guinea.

Burma and North Korea, both severely criticised internationally for human rights abuses, restored diplomatic relations in 2007.

Burma severed ties in 1983 following a failed assassination attempt by North Korean agents on then South Korean president Chun Doo-Hwan during a visit to Rangoon.

The bombing killed 17 of Chun's entourage, including cabinet ministers. Four Burmese officials also died.

Phuket's Asia Regional Forum, incorporating Asean and other group meetings from July 16-23, will centre on the Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket.

Phuket 'Ground Zero' for Nuclear Truce Talks
Disarming Discussions Phuket is being proposed as an ideal site in July for the US, Japan, China, Russia and South Korea to meet over nuclear rogue state North Korea.
Phuket 'Ground Zero' for Nuclear Truce Talks

Help! Secretary of State Clinton to Visit Phuket
Phuket Celebrity Husband and former President Bill helped tourism recover after the tsunami. Now next month, Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, is set to visit Phuket.
Help! Secretary of State Clinton to Visit Phuket

MediaWATCH: Clinton Blasts 'Modern Slavery'
News Digest Hillary Clinton is coming to Phuket. The key issue: people trafficking; Rohingya arrested; stopping unwanted cellphone messages; world's worst airline food; H1N1 scan call.
MediaWATCH: Clinton Blasts 'Modern Slavery'

Big Phuket Asia Summit a Prize for Five-Stars
Cash Flow Bonus Resorts in the north of Phuket will share the benefits of a 2000 person influx of guests for an important international summit in July, it has been revealed.
Big Phuket Asia Summit a Prize for Five-Stars

Phuket Fake IDs Arrest, Rohingya Link to Terror
People Trafficking Raids in Phuket and elsewhere net a man accused of faking IDs for Burmese illegals and three Rohingyas, one accused of having links to September 11 2001 terrorism in the US.
Phuket Fake IDs Arrest, Rohingya Link to Terror

First Phuket Fashion Week Parade: Photo Special
Photo Album Phuket finally saw what the fuss was about when the models took to the long catwalk at Jungceylon. It was just the kind of event the new Patong needs.
First Phuket Fashion Week Parade: Photo Special

Nothing But War Can Stop Patong's Big Show
Latest From the tsunami to swine flu, Phuket and Jungceylon have been through a lot already this 21st Century. But now, the good times are set to roll. Only a war can stop Fashion Week.
Nothing But War Can Stop Patong's Big Show


Comments have been disabled for this article.

Friday June 21, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


Facebook Twitter