— Lethal radiation outside Fukushima reactor foundations- 42 sieverts/hour; expert says contaminated water going into ocean would cause global disaster, TEPCO “hasn’t a clue what it’s doing”

“It needs to be clear that this problem is not gone, this is not just a local problem. It’s a very major thing.” — Mycle Schneider

From ENE News:

February 6, 2018

The Independent, Feb 2, 2018 (emphasis added): Fukushima nuclear disaster: Lethal levels of radiation detected in leak… Expert warns of ‘global’ consequences unless the plant is treated properly… [Tepco] found eight sieverts per hour of radiation, while 42 [sieverts] were also detected outside its foundations… It came as Tepco said the problem of contaminated water pooled around the plants three reactors that is seeping into the ground has caused a major headache in its efforts to decommission the plant… Mycle Schneider, an independent energy consultant and lead author of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, said that Tepco “hasn’t a clue what it is doing” in its job to decommission the plant. He added that the contaminated water that is leaking at the site could end up in the ocean if the ongoing treatment project fails and cause a “global” disaster, he told The Independent… “I find it symptomatic of the past seven years, in that they don’t know what they’re doing, Tepco, these energy companies haven’t a clue what they’re doing, so to me it’s been going wrong from the beginning. It’s a disaster of unseen proportions.” Mr Schneider added that the radiation leaks coupled with the waste from the plant stored in an “inappropriate” way in tanks could have global consequences… “This can get problematic anytime, if it contaminates the ocean there is no local contamination, the ocean is global, so anything that goes into the ocean goes to everyone.” He added: “It needs to be clear that this problem is not gone, this is not just a local problem. It’s a very major thing.”

NHK, Feb 1, 2018: High radiation detected at Fukushima plant… A remote-controlled inspection of the Unit 2 reactor containment vessel last month detected a maximum of 8 sieverts per hour of radiation… [Tepco] said the radiation reading was taken near what appeared to be fuel debris, the term used to describe a mixture of molten fuel and broken interior parts… radiation levels remain so high that they present a major challenge to decommissioning work. During the probe, 42 sieverts per hour of radiation was also detected outside the foundations of the reactor. But officials said they have doubts about the accuracy of the reading because a cover had not been removed from the measuring instrument at the time. They added that they don’t know why radiation levels were lower near the suspected fuel debris than around the foundations. They gave a number of possible reasons, such as that cooling water may have washed radioactive materials off the debris…

RT, Feb 2, 2018: An inspection of the Fukushima nuclear plant has detected extremely highamounts of radiation, says operator TEPCO… Experts can’t explain why radiation levels in fuel debris were lower than outside the reactor’s foundations

Sputnik, Feb 4, 2018: ‘Global Consequences’ of Lethal Radiation Leak at Destroyed Japan Nuclear Plant… While 8 Sv/h is deadly, outside of Fukushima’s Reactor Number 2 foundations… a much higher level of 42 Sv/h was detected. A strange occurrence, and experts are still arguing what caused the discrepancy. One possible explanation is that cooling water washed radioactive material off debris, taking it somewhere else. But here’s a truly terrifying catch: according to the report, Tepco highly doubts the new readings, because, as was discovered later, a cover was not removed from the robot-mounted measurement device at the time of the inspection, NHK World reports… While that radiation dosimeter cover negligence prevents precise calculations, the actual picture inside Unit 2 is thought to be much worse

Watch NHK’s broadcast here

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— “Yum!” In publicity stunt, Boris Johnson gulps down Fukushima peach juice, as EU prepares to ease import restrictions on food

“intended to prove that food and drink from Fukushima is safe, seven years after…”

From the Independent, UK

By Lydia Smith
December 15, 2017

Boris Johnson gulps down can of peach juice from Fukushima
Boris Johnson has been filmed drinking a can of peach juice from Fukushima, the Japanese region hit by nuclear disaster after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The video, tweeted by his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono, shows the Foreign Secretary chugging the can at the Foreign Office in London this week.

“Very good… Mmm,” he said, before studying the can, a gift from Mr Kono.

The moment was intended to prove that food and drink from Fukushima is safe, seven years after the meltdown at the Daiichi nuclear energy plant — the most serious nuclear incident since the 1988 Chernobyl disaster.

More than 50 countries imposed import bans on regional produce following the accident, around half of which remain in place, including restriction from the U.S. and China.

Earlier this month, the EU said it would ease import restrictions on agricultural items and seafood from the region.

Research published last year showed the radiation released by the disaster may have lingering effects on fish — but that the risk posed to human beings through consumption, in part thanks to strong regulation, is minimal.

The study, published in the journal PNAS, shows that freshwater fish and ocean bottom dwellers near Fukushima have a higher risk of contamination with the radioactive chemical caesium than most other types of the ocean fish in the same area.

The risk diminishes the further away the fish are from the city’s nuclear facilities — and the research showed there was a relatively low risk of  people in Japan consuming contaminated fish. ..

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-fukushima-peach-juice-japan-taro-kono-london-a8112546.html

Posted under Fair Use Rules.

Research referred to is here: http://www.pnas.org/content/113/14/3838

Two authors are employed by a Japanese federal agency, and the study was partially funded by  Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), CREST.

— Up to 95% loss of kelp forests along Northern California coast

The author only gives two reasons for this loss

a ‘perfect storm’ = above average water temperature and an increase in sea urchin populations

From Monterey Herald
February 2, 2018

By Ross Clark, Earth Matters

The abundance of kelp along the California coast fluctuates, declining annually with winter storms. Since 2015, however, we have seen a “perfect storm” during which kelp abundance has declined by as much as 95 percent along the Northern California coastline. Above average water temperature and an increase in sea urchin populations have greatly reduced bull kelp abundance. The loss of this annual alga has had significant effects on other marine species, many of which rely on these forests for shelter and food.

One species that has been greatly affected by the loss of kelp is the red abalone. This mollusk relies heavily on fragments of drift kelp for food, reaching out from its rocky hiding place to grab passing pieces with its sticky foot muscle. Without drift kelp, the abalone must vacate its hiding place in search of other algae. Dr. Rogers-Bennett with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who studies kelp forest condition, notes that the impacts to the abalone became noticeable in 2016 after a year with low kelp abundance. Divers reported abalone mortality of almost 40 percent, finding large numbers of shells within the rocks and on beaches.

A diver team of 56 researchers, visiting 11 locations along the Sonoma and Mendocino coastline in 2017, reported a 65 percent reduction in abalone density compared with populations from a decade before. The abalone that were found showed clear signs of starvation, including loss of muscle mass and exhibiting risky behaviors in their search for algal food. Research divers found that where there once were dense layers of algae now were only bare rock and urchins. Abalone were found climbing out on the few remaining algal stalks reaching for blades of food, abandoning their usual cryptic cautious ways.

Based on the 2017 survey findings, the State determined that the Northern California abalone population was in jeopardy and on Dec. 7 the state closed the fishery for a year. An alarming finding from the dive surveys was a lack of abalone at deeper depths. Usually, about one third of the abalone live in deeper waters out of reach of most divers, but with the decline in kelp, the abalone had moved to shallow unprotected waters in search of food. This relocation and the decline in numbers and vigor have left the remaining abalone population exposed and vulnerable.

The closure has of course been detrimental to north coast businesses. A Fish and Wildlife report estimated that the north coast abalone fishery brings in $50 million in additional economic value to the area annually. With the closure, local businesses faced with reductions in visitors are hoping that the abalone divers switch to fishing other species.

Hopefully a closure of the abalone fishery will help reduce further stress on the population. Researchers point out that the animals that have so far survived are some of the largest of the species, and are needed to rebuild populations when the kelp returns. It takes about 12 years for an abalone to grow to legal size.

When and if kelp returns is uncertain. Urchin barrens often remain for a many years. Winter storms can dislodge exposed urchins and many will starve without sufficient algae in a few years. The ecological transition from kelp forest to urchin barrens and back to kelp forest has been studied in the past but barrens have not been reported at this geographic scale. Regional reductions in urchin numbers and successful recruitment of bull kelp (from distant parents) will be needed before kelp may return to previous abundance, when once again abalone may hide in crevices and wait for their meal to drift by.

Ross Clark is the director of the Central Coast Wetlands Group at Moss Landing Marine Labs. He’s also a member of the county Commission on the Environment and the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Research Activity Panel. Contact him at features(at)santacruzsentinel.com

http://www.montereyherald.com/environment-and-nature/20180201/earth-matters-the-loss-of-our-kelp-forests

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– Poisoned flow: Fukushima is an American problem – Akio Matsumura

From Akio Matsumara, Finding the Missing Link

December 12, 2017

Fukushima Update

In December 2016, Japan’s government nearly doubled its projections for costs related to the Fukushima nuclear disaster to 21.5 trillion yen ($188 billion), increasing pressure on Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) to step up reform and improve its performance. Less optimistic observers estimate total cleanup costs will end up between $300 billion and $500 billion.

Although 34.5 billion yen ($309 million) in taxpayer money has funded an "ice wall" to keep out groundwater from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant site, the frozen barrier may not be meeting hopes and expectations. In theory, the ice wall should serve as a dam to prevent groundwater from the mountainside of the plant from flowing into the reactor buildings.

The groundwater level rose rapidly and the average daily flow of groundwater into the building basements for October was estimated to be 310 tons. That was close to the 400 tons that was flowing into the building basements before any measures were implemented to deal with the contaminated water. - Fukushima “Ice Wall “ Linchpin not living up to high hopes November 26, 2017 by The Asahi Shimbun

One Tepco manager shared the status at the plant in late November 2017:

We’re struggling with four problems: (1) reducing the radiation at the site (2) stopping the influx of groundwater (3) retrieving the spent fuel rods and (4) removing the molten nuclear fuel.

Seven years after the triple meltdown, they do not know what’s going on inside. Nobody knows, nobody can possibly know, which is one of the major risks of nuclear meltdowns. Nobody knows what to do. 

From Fukushima to San Francisco

It is plain to see that the continued flow of water from the nuclear plant extends the problems of Fukushima into the Pacific ocean. Marine life could be at risk. On the West Coast st of North America, children and adults may be affected. (See my previous article.)

The University of Hawaii at Manoa published a report this year, In the Wake of Fukushima: Radiocesium Inventories of Selected North Pacific Fish:

Thirteen commonly consumed types of fish caught in the North Pacific and locally available in Hawaii were analyzed using gamma spectroscopy to measure Fukushima-derived and historic 134 Cs and 137 Cs isotopes. All fish samples had detectable 137 Cs above 95% Confidence Intervals. Three out of the thirteen samples had 134 Cs, an isotope indicative of Fukushima releases, detected above 95% Confidence Intervals. The highest 134 Cs and 137 Cs concentration in the examined species was in ahi tuna carrying 0.10±0.04 Bq/kg and 0.62±0.05 Bq/kg, respectively. Other samples with 134 Cs activities found above their 2-sigma uncertainty were albacore tuna and swordfish.

Five samples showed the Fukushima tracer 134Cs, present above critical levels and at the 68% confidence interval (CI at 1-sigma uncertainty) but only three of those fish exhibited activities above the range of their 2 sigma uncertainty representing 95% CI.

This study suggests that about 40% of fish tested and consumed on the islands of Hawai’i were recently exposed to the path of the Fukushima-derived radiocesium plume in the North Pacific Gyre. Fukushima-derived radio cesium fallout in Hawaiian soils

This study, which shows that fish have come into contact with radiation but have not been affected by it, is the result of only six years of accumulation after the Fukushima nuclear power accident. Given that, as we hear from Tepco, the contaminated water will continue to flow for up to eighty years, we must expect this to get worse. We should prepare from now all possible means to reduce the unavoidable burden that our descendants will face definitely in coming decades when most of this article readers might be in other spiritual world.

Silent Representation

Despite this steady stream of contamination and a host of unknowns, U.S. West Coast politicians have remained silent. Why will they not speak up? I have four thoughts.

  1. Contaminated food and water is bad for business. People in fishing, agriculture, or tourism do not want to consider the unknowns as they consider their budgets.
  2. The military industry thinks of nuclear technologies as linked to defense and security.
  3. Environmentalists and climate change activists focus on nuclear power as a zero-carbon source of electricity.
  4. Some scientists believe that the current level of radiation is no harm to human or fish chain and farm products after seven years of the Fukushima accident. Some nuclear scientists knowingly speak out for the benefit of the government and nuclear industry.

For all of these interest groups, it is in their short term interest to close their eyes and hope that what went into the ocean drops down to the floor and never returns. The one example we do have, however, Chernobyl, provides a perfect example of how radiation takes several years to manifest as cancer and other severe ailments.

The full extent of the damage will not be understood until the fifth generation of descendants.

Most congressmen, governors, and mayors also have an interest in waiting this out if possible. In two to eight years their terms will be up. No voters want to consider potential effects decades from now, so the politician has no incentive to tackle it. I have worked alongside politicians from many countries for 40 years. Above all, we discussed issues of humanity – war, peace, the environment. I admire their talent of understanding people’s mind and their demand for the short term solution through their election.

Developing Deep Leadership: a California-led Solution

The issue of Fukushima and the contaminated water that continues into the Pacific is a question of eternal values. It includes issues of economic growth and health, but also runs much deeper: Who will take responsibility for our planet?

This summer I went to Sacramento to visit Governor Brown. We have known each other for decades. I have always thought of him as a different sort of politician. Who else could I talk to about an issue that might affect life for tens of thousands of years to come? We both agreed that we need a new vision to look at this great environmental issue.

I envision an International Lawmakers Conference. Its aims will be to (1) develop a new type of leadership among elected politicians, (2) determine how we invest now in the field of medicine and (3) build a global mechanism to safely store the 250,000 tons of radioactive waste we have already produced.

In the short term, the International Lawmakers Conference would raise awareness for the ongoing flow of water into the Pacific. This would encourage more scientific studies, attract the attention of politicians and the funds of institutions. Eventually it will help instill a sense of greater values in our leaders. Participants would include federal and state lawmakers, governors, mayors, as well as religious and business leaders, scientists, and representatives from international organizations. The international members of the Nuclear Emergency Action Alliance (NEAA) could play a critical role of expert nuclear guidance.

I do hope some US Congressmen of the West Coast States will stand up and speak out on these serious long-term effect issues for the sake of our descendants and the earth.

In Memory

To end, I would like to remind readers of the heroic mission and sacrifice of the late Yastel Yamada, founder of the Skilled Veterans Corps for Fukushima. The rationale behind the Skilled Veterans Corps is that even if workers get cancer from the radiation, it may take 20 years to develop, wherein average life expectancy only gives them 12 to 15 years to live anyway. He didn’t believe the young should risk their lives to do work that his group could handle on their own. Mr. Yamada passed away two years ago from cancer, much earlier than he expected after.  His mission to save young lives will be remembered by younger generations who will carry on its mission for their next generations to come.

Read more about the life of Yastel Yamada here.

http://akiomatsumura.com/2017/12/poisoned-flow-fukushima-is-an-american-problem.html

Posted under Fair Use Rules

— Japan poised to dump tanks of radioactive water into Pacific

This is in addition to the 100s of tons of contaminated water flowing into the Pacific each and every day for 6 1/2 years.

From ENE News

AP: “Japan poised to flood Pacific with 1 Million tons of nuclear water contaminated by Fukushima” — Newsweek: “Experts want Japan to push a Million tons of radioactive water Into ocean” — Release could kill fishing industry (VIDEO)

November 27, 2017

AP, Nov 26, 2017: Japan is poised to flood the Pacific with one million tons of nuclear water contaminated by the Fukushima power plant… The Japanese government is being urged by experts to gradually release radioactive water in to the Pacific Ocean… The water is stored on site in around 900 large and densely packed tanks and could spill should another major disaster strike. The government has been urged to release the water into the ocean… Local fishermen are extremely hesitant to this solution… Fumio Haga, a drag-net fisherman, said: ‘People would shun Fukushima fish again as soon as the water is released.’…

Newsweek, Nov 25, 2017: Experts Want Japan To Push A Million Tons Of Radioactive Water Into the Pacific Ocean… The government has been urged by experts to gradually release the water to the Pacific Ocean…

AP, Nov 27, 2017: Fukushima meltdown: Japan urged to dump radioactive waste in Pacific Ocean by nuclear experts; Nation at a loss with how to dispose of tanks of toxic matter left over from 2011 disaster… Experts advising the government have urged a gradual release to the nearby Pacific Ocean… Local fishermen are baulking. The water, no matter how clean, has a dirty image for consumers, they say… The fishermen fear any release would sound the death knell for their nascent and still fragile recovery… The amount of radioactive water at Fukushima is still growing, by 150 tonnes a day. The reactors are damaged beyond repair, but cooling water must be constantly pumped in to keep them from overheating. That water picks up radioactivity before leaking out of the damaged containment chambers and collecting in the basements… “Our recovery effort up until now would immediately collapse to zero if the water is released,” Iwaki abalone farmer Yuichi Manome said…

Metro.co.uk, Nov 27, 2017: Japan could pump 1,000,000 tons of radioactive water into the sea from Fukushima — More than six years after a tsunami devastated Japan’s west coast and overwhelmed the Fukushima nuclear power plant it has been revealed radioactive water could be pumped into the sea… Experts have advised the government to carry out a gradual release into the Pacific Ocean… Fishermen are still trying to recover from the disaster but the release of water could kill the industry…

Watch RT’s broadcast here

http://enenews.com/ap-japan-poised-to-flood-pacific-with-1-million-tons-of-nuclear-water-contaminated-by-fukushima-newsweek-experts-want-japan-to-push-a-million-tons-of-radioactive-water-into-ocean-relea

Ukraine to pay US $1.4 billion to become a “nuclear dump”

Ukraine is a country in economic and social free fall after the coup that overthrew its government in 2014.  Nuclear waste dumps in stable countries have many serious problems. A nuclear dump in Ukraine will be a disaster. 

From Fort Russ News

November 16 , 2017

Vesti-Ukr  – translated by Inessa Sinchougova
Outside Kiev, they have begun to build a repository for used nuclear fuel, in order to abandon the apparently expensive Russian waste services. The authorities assure that it does not carry a threat to people, but local residents and environmentalists are seriously concerned.
Not far from Kiev, in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, the construction of a centralized storage of used nuclear fuel has begun. The construction site is located between the former villages of Staraya Krasniţa, Buryakivka, Chistogalovka and Stechanka of the Kiev region. As reported in the Ministry of Energy, the cost of construction will cost Ukraine $ 1.4 billion. The facility will be a platform which will build concrete containers of nuclear waste. The full construction is planned to be erected within 16.5 years in 15 stages.
“Financing will be carried out by the operator of Ukraine’s NPPs – Energoatom company, without attracting funds from the state budget, while more than 80% of the amount ($ 1.17 billion) will be spent on technological equipment,” the agency noted.
So far, in Ukraine there was only one such storage facility – at Zaporizhzhya NPP. To date, used fuel at Ukrainian NPPs was shipped for processing to Russia. For this, depending on the volume, Ukraine annually paid $ 150-200 million. Therefore, in order to save money, the authorities decided to build their own nuclear burial ground 100 km from the capital – with an American company.
Are the savings justified?
As the head of the Supervisory Board of the Institute of Energy Strategies, Yuri Korolchuk, stated – in the current political situation the construction looks favourable, but the main question is how effectively the project will be implemented.
Despite the fact that the construction company will be working with the American company Holtec, its own specialists will not be working in Ukraine. Instead, they will involve other contractors, maybe even Ukrainian ones, so how much the project will be environmentally safe and technically effective remains a mystery,” says Korolchuk.

Continue reading

— A People’s Peace Treaty with North Korea — sign and forward

From davidswanson.org

October 27, 2017

Alarmed by the threat of a nuclear war between the U.S. and North Korea, concerned U.S. peace groups have come together to send an open message to Washington and Pyongyang.

Click here to add your name to the People’s Peace Treaty.
https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=13108&tag=WBW171027&track=WBW171027

The People’s Peace Treaty will be sent to the governments and peoples of Korea, as well as to the U.S. Government. It reads, in part:

Recalling that the United States currently possesses about 6,800 nuclear weapons, and has threatened the use of nuclear weapons against North Korea in the past, including the most recent threat made by the U.S. President in his terrifying speech to the United Nations (“totally destroy North Korea”);

Regretting that the U.S. Government has so far refused to negotiate a peace treaty to replace the temporary Korean War Armistice Agreement of 1953, although such a peace treaty has been proposed by Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) many times from 1974 on;

Convinced that ending the Korean War officially is an urgent, essential step for the establishment of enduring peace and mutual respect between the U.S. and DPRK, as well as for the North Korean people’s full enjoyment of their basic human rights to life, peace and development – ending their long sufferings from the harsh economic sanctions imposed on them by the U.S. Government since 1950.

Add your name now.

https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=13108&tag=WBW171027&track=WBW171027

The People’s Peace Treaty concludes:

NOW, THEREFORE, as a Concerned Person of the United States of America (or on behalf of a civil society organization), I hereby sign this People’s Peace Treaty with North Korea, dated November 11, 2017, Armistice Day (also Veterans Day in the U.S.), and
1) Declare to the world that the Korean War is over as far as I am concerned, and that I will live in “permanent peace and friendship” with the North Korean people (as promised in the 1882 U.S.-Korea Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation that opened the diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Korea for the first time)***;
2) Express my deep apology to the North Korean people for the U.S. Government’s long, cruel and unjust hostility against them, including the near total destruction of North Korea due to the heavy U.S. bombings during the Korean War;
3) Urge Washington and Pyongyang to immediately stop their preemptive (or preventive) conventional/nuclear attack threats against each other and to sign the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons;
4) Call upon the U.S. Government to stop its large-scale, joint war drills with the armed forces of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and Japan, and commence a gradual withdrawal of the U.S. troops and weapons from South Korea;
5) Call upon the U.S. Government to officially end the lingering and costly Korean War by concluding a peace treaty with the DPRK without further delay, to lift all sanctions against the country, and to join the 164 nations that have normal diplomatic relations with the DPRK;
6) Pledge that I will do my best to end the Korean War, and to reach out to the North Korean people – in order to foster greater understanding, reconciliation and friendship.

Sign your name by clicking here.

https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=13108&tag=WBW171027&track=WBW171027

Some noted signers: 
Christine Ahn, Women Cross DMZ
Medea Benjamin, Code Pink
Jackie Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation, UFPJ
Gerry Condon, Veterans For Peace
Noam Chomsky, Emeritus Professor, M.I.T.
Blanch Weisen Cook, Professor of History and Women’s Studies, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York
Joe Essertier, World Beyond War – Japan
Irene Gendzier, Emeritus Professor, Boston University
Joseph Gerson, Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security
Louis Kampf, Emeritus Professor, M.I.T.
Asaf Kfoury, Professor of Mathematics, Boston University
John Kim, Veterans For Peace
David Krieger, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
John Lamperti, Emeritus Professor, Dartmouth College
Kevin Martin, Peace Action
Sophie Quinn-Judge, Temple University (retired)
Steve Rabson, Emeritus Professor, Brown University
Alice Slater, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
David Swanson, World Beyond War, RootsAction
Ann Wright, Women Cross DMZ, Code Pink, VFP

After signing the petition, please use the tools on the next webpage to share it with your friends.

Background: 
President Jimmy Carter, “What I’ve Learned from North Korea’s Leaders,”Washington Post, Oct. 4, 2017
Col. Ann Wright (Ret.), “A Path Forward on North Korea, “ Consortiumnews,March 5, 2017
Leon V. Sigal, “Bad History,” 38 North, Aug. 22, 2017
Prof. Bruce Cumings, “A Murderous History of Korea,“ London Review of Books, May 18, 2017

http://davidswanson.org/a-peace-treaty-with-north-korea-and-you-can-sign-it/

*** The  1882 U.S.-Korea Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation mentioned below was itself a coercive action forced on Korea by the United States to forcibly open the country to U.S. trade and presence. It’s time to have real peace and friendship with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.