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April 25, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

REBROADCAST: Ep. 16

Ep. 16 "Environmental Justice and Radiation Exposure in Guam" (hosted  by Dr.  Lisa Linda Natividad with production assistance of Lydia Taleu and Joy White) first aired 5/7/10

From 1946 to 1962 the US conducted 67 nuclear tests on Enewetak, Rongelap and Bikini atolls in the Marshall Islands resulting in radiation fallout across a large swath of the Pacific, including Guam.  Evidence for high levels of radiation exposure on Guam and its coverup by military authorities was provided in a sworn affidavit by US Navy Lt. Bert Schreiber, an atomic, biological and chemical defense officer stationed on Guam in the 1950s. Up to 20 years later, from 1968 to 1974, Guam had higher yearly rainfall measures of strontiun 90 compared to Majuro (Marshall islands). Lt. Schreiner did not make any public disclosure of his detection for radioactive material until he blew the whistle during the Blue Ribbon Panel on Radioactive Contamination on Guam held in Washington, DC on July 30, 2001. In November 2005, he returned to the island to make a public apology for remaining silent for over 50 years while the people of Guam were exposed to radiation, ate contaminated food and drank contaminated water.

In 2009, Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo introduced a bill (HR 1630) to amend the 1990 Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) to include Guam in the list of affected ‘downwinder’ areas with respect to atmospheric nuclear testing in Micronesia. In April 2010,  Senator Tom Udall introduced an amendment to RECA with the inclusion of Guam for downwinders compensation. To date, the people of Guam have yet to receive compensation. The territory currently qualifies for RECA compensation in the ‘on-site participants” category but  not for downwind  exposure.

Exposure to high levels of radiation have been linked to poor health outcomes, particularly in cancer related cases and diabetes . The technology to clean the environment of radiation does not  currently exist. As a result, people in the Pacific continue to suffer the long-term effects of radiation exposure from US nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands and French nuclear testing in Polynesia.  The Pacific Association of Radiation Survivors, or PARS, is a nonprofit organization established to bring justice to those whose health has been negatively affected by exposure to radiation.

Program guests are Mr. Robert Celestial, PARS president  and Dr. Chris Perez, PARS medical advisor.  Mr. Celestial is an atomic Army veteran who was deployed to Enewetak in the Marshall Islands to attempt post nuclear testing cleanup.  Dr. Perez is a medical physician and member of the Army National Guard whose mother, now deceased, was diagnosed with a condition which would qualify her for compensation if Guam is included in the RECA downwinder  provisions. They discuss what brought them into this struggle for environmental and reparative justice, the intent of RECA, the role of PARS,  and the symbolic and material significance of federal compensation for radiation exposure for the people of Guam.  For more information, they can be contacted at 671-727-PARS.

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April 19, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

Ep. 146 “We’re Still Here-What’s Next?”

Ep. 146 “We’re Still Here-What’s Next?” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Joy White) was recorded 4/11/13 and airs 4/19/13.

On April 17, 2013 the Governor of Guam declared the island back in alert condition Green (indicating low risk of a foreign military attack and the return to normal operations ) while residents await further information about the arrival and deployment of the Army’s Task Force Talon --- the unit from Fort Bliss being deployed to Guam to support the Terminal  High Altitude Defense missile system.  Just how serious is the North Korea threat of a missile attack on Guam?

This episode features a special panel presentation on North Korea held at the  University of Guam on April 11, 2013 sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts  & Social Sciences.  This presentation was entitled “We’re Still Here- What’s Next?” and featured an overview of Korean history by Professor Mark Ombrello (ombrello@hawaii.edu; see also HI408-01 Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/111895715651101/)

The episode includes brief comments made at during the panel  from the following:  Dr. Michael Stoil Imstoil@uguam.uog.edu), associate professor of Political Science; Dr. Robert Underwood (raunderwood@uguam.uog.edu), UOG President and former Guam Congressman; Dr. Hyun-Jong Hahm (hahm0929@gmail.com), assistant professor of Linguistics; and Dr. Michael Bevacqua (mlbasquiat@hotmail.com), assistant professor of Chamorro Studies.  This panel presentation was edited to fit the format of this program.

Music selection”  “We Have Nothing to Envy in the World”  from a collection of North Korean government VCDs.   http://nothingtoenvy.com/videos/

Please forward this announcement to your respective networks and encourage listeners to submit their comments on line. Suggestions for future topics and guests or requests to be added  or deleted from this list may be sent directly btf.kprg@gmail.com

Thank you for listening to and supporting public radio for the Marianas --- and for promoting Beyond the Fence, locally and abroad.

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April 11, 2013 @ 4:40 pm

Ep. 145 “The ‘State of War’ through the Lens of Modern Korean History, Part 2”

Ep. 145 “The ‘State of War’ through the Lens of Modern Korean History, Part 2” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Daisy Demapan) was recorded 4/9/13 and airs 4/12/13.
Yesterday, April 11, the Governor of Guam declared a Code Yellow alert (indicating medium risk of an emergency) amid reassurances from US officials that Guam will be defended in the event of a missile attack.
On today's program we continue to discuss how the study of modern history can help us to understand this latest crisis in the Korean peninsula and the extraordinary ongoing tensions generated by colonialism, national division, and foreign intervention.
This episode features a conversation with University of Guam students currently enrolled in the History of Modern Korea course taught by Professor Mark Ombrello.  These students discuss their motivations for taking this course, prior misconceptions about the history of Korea, what they have learned so far which helps them to critically examine the current crisis, and their level and focus of worry about the nuclear and military threat from North Korea and anticipated response of the United States and its allies .
The students (in order of introduction) are: Karla Smith, a history major and African-American who was a US Navy service member stationed in Japan in the early 90s;  Sharon Sievers, a history major and Chamorro from Tinian whose grandfather was Korean (also doing research for another class on the reunification of the Mariana Islands); Chelsea Miller, an anthropology major who has lived in the region of Micronesia since age 2; Taylor Cox, an education- ESL major and Chamorro raised in the States now planning her first visit to Korea this June; Charlene Flores, a history major and Chamorro who hopes the current crisis will spur local efforts towards political self-determination, and Chris Cabrera, a history major and Chamorro studying the Japanese language.
The comments of another student in this course, Eric Rabago, an east asian studies major and Chamorro, were included in Episode 144 which aired last Friday, together with an interview with Professor Ombrello.
Music selection:  “Korea Pride” a video by K.J. Yoon (a 9th grade Hillside School diversity project), with soundtrack by Arirang.
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April 4, 2013 @ 7:50 pm

Ep. 144 “The ‘State of War’ through the Lens of Modern Korean History” Part 1

Ep. 144 “The ‘State of War’ through the Lens of Modern Korean History, Part 1” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Marlon Molinos and Joy White) was recorded 4/3/13 and airs 4/5/13.

North Korea has issued a series of war threats and ominous announcements since March 7, 2013 when the United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions against it for conducting a nuclear test in February.  On March 30 North Korea warned that inter-Korean relations have entered a ‘state of war’ and that it would retaliate against any U.S. and South Korean provocations without notice.  This third threat in less than one week makes specific mention of Guam as a possible target for a missile attack. As Guam officials reassure island residents, the Pentagon has announced plans to deploy a new missile defense system to Guam, one of several escalating moves from the Pentagon in response to what the Secretary of Defense calls “a real and clear danger.”

How does the study of modern history help us to understand this latest crisis in the Korean peninsula and the extraordinary ongoing tensions generated by colonialism, national division, and foreign intervention?

Our main program guest is Mark Ombrello (ombrello@hawaii.edu) an instructor of history at the University of Guam who is currently teaching a senior seminar on the History of Modern Korea. Professor Ombrello holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Anthropology from Emory University and a M.A. in Micronesian Studies from the University of Guam and is a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. Prior to coming to Guam, he lived in Japan for ten years where he studied the Japanese language and taught English.

We conclude with comment from UOG sophomore and East Asian Studies major, Eric Rabago (ericysrabago@gmail.com) who is enrolled in the History of Modern Korea course.

Music selections: Arirang, a popular Korean folk song in both the South and North which is also considered an unofficial national anthem, sung by Ri Kyong Suk and Peace, the theme song of the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, sung by Park Jun Hyun.

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