South Korea should not warm to North Korea too quickly, Iran cannot blame Trump for its problems, New Israeli law hurts the balance between nationality and democracy, In defense of journalism, Bangladesh should develop a ‘circular’ clothes-making model

A roundup of global commentary for the Aug. 6, 2018 weekly magazine.

House/Yonhap via AP
South Korean President Moon Jae-in (l.) is guided by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (r.) at the northern side of Panmunjom in North Korea, May 26, 2018.

Korea JoongAng Daily / Seoul, South Korea

South Korea should not warm to North Korea too quickly

“In a joint announcement by the Department of State, the Treasury and the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. government on [July 24] issued a warning not to loosen sanctions on joint ventures with [North Korea]...,” states an editorial. “It also warned about tactics used by Pyongyang to evade international sanctions.... The Trump administration released a list of suspicious countries.... Surprisingly, South Korea is no exception. North Korean coal was shipped to South Korea via Russia last October.... The United States has raised suspicions about Seoul turning a blind eye to the smuggling.... The Moon Jae-in administration must apply the strictest of standards to sanctions as Pyongyang has yet to implement denuclearization.” 

The Guardian / London

Why Iran cannot blame Trump for its problems

“If there is one thing we can be sure of about Donald Trump’s affection for Twitter diplomacy, it’s that it generates considerably more heat than light,” writes Ali Ansari. “His [recent] outburst aimed at Iran has elicited widespread reproach, most obviously from Trump critics in the US and Europe.... There is also little doubt that renewed verbal confrontation with the United States has given hardliners in Iran cover for an entrenchment of their power. But we should take care in suggesting a causal relationship between US actions and developments inside Iran.... Iran has serious structural economic problems and a chronic lack of infrastructural investment, symbolised by the widespread water shortage, and these things have been decades in the making.” 

The Irish Times / Dublin, Ireland

New Israeli law upsets the balance between nationality and democracy

“In proclaiming itself the national homeland of the Jewish people Israel has always had to take account of the fact that about one-fifth of its population are Arab Palestinians who remained within its borders after independence was declared 70 years ago...,” states an editorial. “This balance between nationality and democratic citizenship is substantially altered for the worse by the nation state law passed by the Israeli parliament [recently].... The law says ‘the right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people’.... As a result [Israel’s] critics can make a stronger case for unilateral action to take a lead against such arrogance.” 

The Royal Gazette / Hamilton, Bermuda

In defense of journalism

“Journalism can make a positive difference,” states an editorial. “While the value of the free press is sometimes underappreciated by those who dismiss significant stories as ‘negative’, the end result of airing even an ugly truth is often a win for the community. That is how it’s supposed to work.... Journalism requires diligence, tenacity, verification skills, and the trust of contacts in the community, not to mention a thick skin. Whenever we publish something that does not support their view of the world, politicians of all parties, and their supporters, routinely attack journalists as ‘biased’.... Another attack that reporters sometimes hear is that ‘you have an agenda’. Indeed, we do: to share accurate information and human stories that are in and of public interest.... Long live journalism.” 

The Daily Star / Dhaka, Bangladesh

Bangladesh should develop a ‘circular’ model for the global clothing industry

“In the month of May, I was invited to represent Bangladesh at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit in Denmark...,” writes Mostafiz Uddin. “Since 2014, the term ‘circularity’ has been on the forefront of the Copenhagen Fashion Summit.... In the circular economy scenario, you keep resources in use for as long as possible, and extract and harvest the maximum value from the products whilst in use. Then you recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life and thereby you create a new business model.... This is where the opportunity for the Bangladesh textile and apparel sector lies. As we as a nation do not sell directly to consumers yet, we could co-create circular business models with the big apparel and fashion chains....” 

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