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'Minari,' Story of Korean American Family, Showcases Immigrant Experience

“Minari,” a film by Korean American filmmaker Lee Isaac Chung, tells the story of a young Korean immigrant family chasing the American dream. Like the Korean herb minari, known for its adaptability to a variety of climates and conditions, the young Korean family is determined to put down roots in the American rural South. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

India-China Border Disputes Persist Despite Troop Pullback

Artillery and tanks have rolled back, and Chinese and Indian soldiers have retreated from along the banks of Pangong Tso, a strategic Himalayan lake that straddles their border.     It is the biggest push to ease tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors since Indian accusations of Chinese transgressions into its territory and a deadly clash in June led to a huge nine-month military build-up along their Himalayan border.    Announcing the “smooth” completion of the disengagement process, a joint news release by both sides called it a “significant step forward.”   This handout photograph released by the Indian Army on Feb. 16, 2021 shows People Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers and tanks during military disengagement along the Line of Actual Control at the border in Ladakh. (Indian Defense Ministry/AFP)But analysts caution that the troop withdrawal from Pangong Lake represents only a start of a potentially long process as soldiers from both sides remain massed along several other stretches of the Himalayan border.     “It’s a first step, a tentative step,” according to Jayadeva Ranade at Center for China Analysis and Strategy in New Delhi. “It is aimed at defusing the tension which exists particularly at this point around Pangong.”   Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh told parliament earlier this month that other disputes remain to be resolved along the border known as the line of actual control, or LAC.“There are still some outstanding issues with regard to deployment and patrolling at some other points along the LAC,” the minister said. “We will focus on these in future discussions.”   The most contentious dispute centers on a large strategic plateau of over 900 kilometers known as the Depsang Plains where the two  Asian giants have also deployed a significant number of troops, according to analysts.    Following the disengagement at Pangong, negotiations on pulling back from three other so-called “friction points” where troops are still in close proximity have begun between military commanders. In the joint statement, the two countries said they will “push for a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues in a steady and orderly manner, so as to jointly maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas."    Analysts warn however that the negotiations will not be easy as the months-long standoff has significantly damaged ties, particularly in the wake of the brutal clash last June in which 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers were killed. While India said the standoff was triggered by Chinese intrusions into its territory, Beijing ...

Myanmar Migrants in Thailand Voice Outrage at Coup

With mass protests taking place in Myanmar against a coup, migrant workers in neighboring Thailand are also voicing their outrage about the military takeover back home. Details from Vijitra Duangdee in Bangkok.Camera: Black Squirrel Productions. 

China’s Vaccine Diplomacy Aimed At Deepening Ties with Central and Eastern Europe

China is promising to provide its Sinovac vaccine to Central and Eastern European countries scrambling to obtain COVID-19 vaccinations for their populations. Beijing’s pledge came at a summit earlier this month with 17 Central and Eastern European nations in what experts see is part of a global effort by Beijing to expand influence and diversify China’s trading partners. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports. 

Myanmar Military Cracks Down on Protests Against Coup

People across Myanmar continued protesting a military coup and called for the release of the country’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.  This, despite an increased show of force by military and police.  VOA’s Arash Arabasadi reports.
Produced by: Arash Arabasadi 

Myanmar’s Military Cracks Down on Protesters

Myanmar’s police cracked down on people protesting the country’s military coup in the capital of Naypyitaw Tuesday by firing warning shots, rubber bullets and water cannon. At least two demonstrators are reported seriously injured, with what are believed to be gunshot wounds, VOA’s senior diplomatic correspondent Cindy Saine reports.Produced by: Jesse Oni 

Leaked Report Says Cybercrime Spree Funded N Korea Nukes, Missiles

A confidential United Nations report says North Korea has used cyberattacks to steal hundreds of millions of dollars to fund its nuclear program and ballistic missile capabilities, in violation of international law. The report, which was leaked to the media Tuesday, says North Korea managed to bolster both its nuclear and missile programs in 2020 despite being subject to numerous international sanctions.  One unnamed U.N. member state quoted in the report said North Korea financed the military expansion with over $300 million stolen through cyber hacks and online fraud. The report highlights new ballistic missiles that have been on display in recent military parades, which the report says could be large enough to carry nuclear warheads and could potentially put the entire United States within range.  FILE - This picture taken on Jan. 14, 2021, and released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows what appears to be submarine-launched ballistic missiles during a military parade.Pyongyang boasted in January of developing what it claimed to be “the world’s most powerful weapon” — a submarine-launched ballistic missile. The weapon has yet to be tested, and its capabilities remain unknown. The display of military strength is partly a response to the change of administration in Washington, said Sojin Lim, a Korea analyst at Britain’s University of Central Lancashire. “The nuclear program is the only survival strategy for North Korea, especially for Kim’s family (and) the regime’s survival,” Lim told VOA. “Recently, because of the COVID-19 situation, their economic situation has become even worse. And especially with the new administration in the (United) States, the new President (Joe) Biden, North Korea has no other way to discuss or negotiate with America.” The report was written by independent monitors for the U.N. Security Council’s North Korea sanctions committee and leaked to the media Tuesday. North Korea is subject to a range of multilateral and unilateral sanctions from the United Nations, the United States and the European Union, among others. The measures have not worked, argued Lim. FILE - A man sits in front of a TV screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Jan. 15, 2021, the day after North Korea's parade celebrating a ruling party congress.“Sanctions give more hardship for civilians, but its own aims or purpose, which is the change in policy of the country, has not been working in that way,” she said. “And North Korea ...

Myanmar Police Crack Down on Protesters

Myanmar police cracked down on people protesting Myanmar's military coup in the capital of Naypyitaw Tuesday by firing warning shots, rubber bullets and water cannons, seriously injuring at least two protesters with what are believed to be gunshot wounds.
Demonstrators gathered in the streets of Myanmar’s capital for a fourth consecutive day, defying a set of restrictions imposed by the military junta aimed at stopping the massive protests against the overthrow of the elected civilian government.   
An unnamed physician who treated protesters at a Naypyitaw hospital told VOA’s Burmese Service that at least two demonstrators sustained what he believes were live gunshot wounds, one to the head, the other to the chest.
Twenty-year-old Myat Thwe Khine was placed on a ventilator as she slipped into a coma after receiving a gunshot wound to the head, according to the physician, who said X-rays show the bullet is still lodged in her head.
The doctor said 23-year-old Soe Wai sustained a gunshot wound to the chest.
The doctor could not say how may protesters were injured by bullets or water cannons, but he said most of the 20 people treated at the hospital were not injured by rubber bullets.
Tuesday’s protests in Naypyitaw occurred just hours after the military announced an 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew would be imposed in the cities of Yangon and Mandalay. The regime has also banned gatherings of more than four people across the country.   
Demonstrations were also staged in Yangon and Mandalay.  News agencies say the protesters were blasted with water cannon in all three cities.
Tens of thousands of people have come out in force across Myanmar since the demonstrations began, holding signs reading “Save Myanmar,” “We want democracy,” as well as photographs of Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of the deposed government.Protesters also raised a three-finger salute as they marched, a sign of resistance against tyranny in the popular “Hunger Games” movies.   
The demonstrations entered a new phase Monday as civil servants, railway employees, teachers and workers in other sectors began a nationwide strike.  
But Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the general who led the coup, made no mention of the unrest in his address to the nation late Monday, his first since taking power exactly one week earlier.    
The general reiterated claims that last November’s elections, overwhelmingly won by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, were fraudulent.  But he promised to hold ...

Myanmar Anti-Coup Protests Continue

Tens of thousands of people in Myanmar continue to protest a military coup and to demand the release of the country’s democratically elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. Amid escalating confrontations, police have warned they may resort to live ammunition rounds, as VOA’s Arash Arabasadi reports. 
Produced by: Arash Arabasadi 

Tens of Thousands Take to the Streets in Myanmar Following Coup

Tens of thousands of people in Myanmar took to the streets over the weekend to protest a military coup and call for the release of the country’s democratically elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. VOA’s Arash Arabasadi reports.Contributor: VOA Burmese Service
Producer: Arash Arabasadi 

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