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174 Dead After Crowd Crush Indonesian Football Match in Kanjuruhan Stadium

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174 Dead After Crowd Crush Indonesian Football Match in Kanjuruhan Stadium
A group of people carry a man in the stadium during the melee. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

At least 174 people died and hundreds were injured in violence and a crowd crush after an Indonesian league football match, the deputy east Java governor has said.

Supporters of the Javanese clubs and longtime rivals Arema and Persebaya Surabaya clashed after Arema were defeated 3-2 at the match in Malang Regency, East Java.

Supporters from the losing side invaded the pitch and authorities fired teargas, leading to a crush and cases of suffocation, said East Java’s police chief, Nico Afinta.

Thirty-four people died in the Kanjuruhan stadium and the rest while in hospital, and hundreds were injured, he said. Two police officers were among the dead.

Many people were crushed and suffocated when they ran to one exit, Afinta said.

“They went out to one point at the exit, then there was a buildup – in the process of accumulation there was shortness of breath, lack of oxygen.”

A police spokesperson later put the death toll at 129 in one of the world’s deadliest sporting stadium disasters. A hospital director told local TV that one victim was aged five.

Indonesia’s chief security minister, Mahfud MD, said the number of spectators exceeded the capacity of the Kanjuruhan stadium.

He said in an Instagram post on Sunday that 42,000 tickets had been issued for a stadium that had a capacity to hold 38,000 people.

The head of the Malang Regency health office, Wiyanto Wijoyo, said earlier that officials were still collating the numbers of injured.

Victims “died of chaos, overcrowding, trampling and suffocation”, Wiyanto said, adding that the injured were referred to different local hospitals.

Fighting reportedly started when the thousands of Arema fans rushed on to the field. Persebaya players immediately left it but several Arema players still on the field were also attacked.

Local reports said up to 3,000 spectators had taken to the field, out of a crowd of 40,000. Police said 13 vehicles were damaged, including 10 police cars.

Images captured from inside the stadium showed huge amounts of teargas and people clambering over fences. People were carrying injured spectators through the chaos.

Video footage circulating on social media showed people shouting obscenities at police, who were holding riot shields.

Torched vehicles, including a police truck, littered the streets outside the stadium on Sunday morning.

The Indonesian government apologised for the disaster and promised to investigate its circumstances.

“We’re sorry for this incident … this is a regrettable incident that ‘injures’ our football at a time when supporters can watch football matches from the stadium,” the Indonesian sports and youth minister, Zainudin Amali, told broadcaster Kompas.

“We will thoroughly evaluate the organisation of the match and the attendance of supporters. Will we return to banning supporters from attending the matches? That is what we will discuss.”
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Fan violence is an enduring problem in Indonesia, where deep rivalries have previously turned into deadly confrontations.

Amid the longstanding rivalry beetween Persebaya Surabaya and Arema FC, Persebaya Surabaya fans were not allowed to buy tickets for the game due to fears of violence.

Mahfud MD said organisers ignored the recommendation of authorities to hold the match in the afternoon instead of the evening.

“This sport … often provokes supporters to express emotions suddenly,” he said on Instagram.

The Indonesian league has been suspended for a week as a result of the riot.

“We are concerned and deeply regret this incident,” said Akhmad Hadian Lukita, the president director of PT Liga Indonesia Baru. “We share our condolences and hopefully this will be a valuable lesson for all of us.”

The Indonesian football association (PSSI) said it would investigate what happened.

“We announced the decision [to suspend the league] after we received a direction from the chairman of PSSI,” Akhmad Hadian said. “We are doing this to respect everything and while waiting for the investigation process from PSSI.”

Other stadium disasters include a 1989 crush in the stands at the UK’s Hillsborough Stadium, which led to the deaths of 97 Liverpool fans, and the 2012 Port Said stadium tragedy in Egypt where 74 people died in clashes.

In 1964, 320 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured during a crowd crush at a Peru-Argentina Olympic qualifier at Lima’s national stadium.

Reuters & Agence France-Presse__________________

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BNSP CPMI Welder Certification in Batam: 149 Participants Ready to Contribute to South Korean Industry

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BNSP CPMI Welder Certification in Batam: 149 Participants Ready to Contribute to South Korean Industry

TELEGRAF – The National Professional Certification Agency (BNSP) is holding a competency and certification test for 149 prospective Indonesian migrant workers (CPMI) who work as welders, with the aim of placement in South Korea.

This event lasted for three days, from 14 to 16 June 2024, at TUK LPK Geweld Batam, and was carried out by LSP Manufacturing Industry Migrant Workers.

Chairman of BNSP, Syamsi Hari, stated that this certification aims to provide state recognition and guarantee for the competency and competitiveness of CPMI in the welding field.

“This competency certificate is a form of state recognition and guarantee of your competence and competitiveness, especially for placement in South Korea,” said Syamsi when giving a speech in Batam, Friday (14/6/2024).

Syamsi also believes that through this certification, CPMI’s knowledge will increase so that they can compete better in the international job market.

“I am sure that with the experience and training that has been followed, the participants can undergo the competency test well. Hopefully all of them are competent and accepted to work in South Korea,” he added.

The Director of PT Pamor Sapta Dharma, Heru, stated that the participants taking part in this certification were recruited by his company and had undergone training and practice at the shipyard.

“This is the third stage, and thank God the first and second stages that have been certified have all been placed and working in South Korean industry,” explained Heru.

Chairman of LPK Geweld Batam, Denny Oscar, hopes for support from all parties so that the certification implementation runs smoothly and produces a high graduation rate.

“The appointment of LPK Geweld Batam as a competency test site shows BNSP’s success in opening up opportunities for the nation’s children to work further,” said Denny.

This certification event was also attended by Miftakul Azis, a member of BNSP who is in charge of certification in the agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mining, quarrying, processing industry, as well as electricity, gas and steam/hot water procurement sectors.

In addition, this certification was witnessed directly by representatives from the Korea Offshore & Shipbuilding Association (KOSHIPA) and Hyundai Heavy Industries, which are industry representatives in South Korea.

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North Korea Fires Several Cruise Missiles Towards Yellow Sea: Seoul Military

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North Korea Fires Several Cruise Missiles Towards Yellow Sea: Seoul Military
South Korea and U.S. soldiers stand guard during a ceremony marking the 63rd anniversary of the signing of the Korean War armistice agreement at the truce village of Panmunjom, South Korea, July. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

North Korea fired several cruise missiles towards the Yellow Sea on Wednesday (Jan 24), Seoul’s military said, the latest in a series of tension-raising moves by the nuclear-armed state.

Pyongyang has accelerated weapons testing in the new year, including tests of what it called an “underwater nuclear weapon system” and a solid-fuelled hypersonic ballistic missile.

“Our military detected several cruise missiles launched by North Korea towards the Yellow Sea at around 7am today,” the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

“The detailed specifications are being closely analysed by South Korean and US intelligence authorities,” it added.

Unlike their ballistic counterparts, the testing of cruise missiles is not banned under current UN sanctions against Pyongyang.

Cruise missiles tend to be jet-propelled and fly at a lower altitude than more sophisticated ballistic missiles, making them harder to detect and intercept.

The latest launch comes as South Korea is conducting a 10-day special forces infiltration drill off its east coast, “in light of serious security situations” with the North, that runs until Thursday, according to the South’s navy.

“We will achieve our mission to infiltrate deep into the enemy’s territory and neutralise them completely under any circumstances,” the drill’s commander said in a statement.

“PRINCIPAL” ENEMY

Last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared the South his country’s “principal enemy”, jettisoned agencies dedicated to reunification and outreach and threatened war over “even 0.001 mm” of territorial infringement.

Hours after the missiles were fired by Pyongyang Wednesday, Seoul’s defence minister said North Korea would face the end of its regime if it ever waged war.

“If the Kim Jong Un regime makes the worst choice to start a war, you must become the invisible force that protects South Korea and … eliminate the enemy’s leadership in the shortest possible time and end their regime,” Shin Won-sik said.

Shin made the remarks during his visit to an air force base operating the South’s advanced stealth fighter jets.

Recent months have seen a sharp deterioration in ties between the two Koreas, with both sides jettisoning key tension-reducing agreements, ramping up frontier security, and conducting live-fire drills along the border.

The North Korean leader Kim also said Pyongyang would not recognise the two countries’ de facto maritime border, the Northern Limit Line, and called for constitutional changes allowing the North to “occupy” Seoul in war, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

“OVERWHELMING RESPONSE”

In Seoul, President Yoon Suk Yeol told his cabinet that should the nuclear-armed North carry out a provocation, South Korea would hit back with a response “multiple times stronger”, pointing to his military’s “overwhelming response capabilities”.

At Pyongyang’s year-end policy meetings, Kim threatened a nuclear attack on the South and called for a build-up of his country’s military arsenal ahead of armed conflict he warned could “break out any time”.

Earlier this month, the North launched a solid-fuel hypersonic missile, just days after Pyongyang staged live-fire exercises near the country’s tense maritime border with South Korea, which prompted counter-exercises and evacuation orders for some border islands belonging to the South.

Kim also successfully put a spy satellite into orbit late last year, after receiving what Seoul said was Russian help, in exchange for arms transfers for Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

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AFP

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North Korea Fires Intermediate-range Ballistic Missile: Seoul Military

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North Korea Fires Intermediate-range Ballistic Missile: Seoul Military
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un labelled South Korea his country's "principal enemy" while on a tour of a major munitions factory earlier this week. (Photo: KCNA/KNS/AFP)

North Korea fired a suspected intermediate-range ballistic missile on Sunday (Jan 14), Seoul’s military said, days after Pyongyang staged live-fire exercises near the tense maritime border with the South.

“Our military detected one suspected intermediate-range ballistic missile launched from the Pyongyang area towards the East Sea” at about 2.55pm (5.55am GMT), Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement, referring to the body of water also known as the Sea of Japan.

The statement gave no further details, adding that authorities in Seoul, Washington and Tokyo were analysing the specifications.

“Our military maintains full readiness by closely sharing information related to the launched ‘North Korean missile’ with the US and Japan,” the JCS said.

Japan’s coast guard also confirmed a suspected missile launch by North Korea, citing information from the country’s defence ministry, and warning vessels to take care.

North Korea’s last missile test was of a Hwasong-18 solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which it fired into the East Sea on Dec 18.

The apparent test comes days after North Korea conducted a series of rare live-fire drills near the maritime border with the South, prompting counter-exercises and evacuation orders for some South Korean border islands.

Leader Kim Jong Un also earlier this week branded Seoul his “principal enemy” and warned he would not hesitate to annihilate the South, as he toured major weapons factories.

“The historic time has come at last when we should define as a state most hostile toward the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea the entity called the Republic of Korea,” Kim was reported as saying on Wednesday by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), referring to the two countries by their official names.

Analysts said at the time that the shift was significant, signifying a shift in Pyongyang’s approach to Seoul into “ultra-hawkish mode”.

TIES WOEFUL

Relations between the two Koreas are at one of their lowest points in decades, after Kim enshrined the country’s permanent status as a nuclear power into the constitution and test-fired several advanced ICBMs.

Last year, Pyongyang also successfully put a reconnaissance satellite into orbit, after receiving what South Korea claimed was Russian assistance, in exchange for arms shipments for Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

Traditional allies, Russia and North Korea have recently boosted ties anew, with Kim making a rare overseas trip to see President Vladimir Putin in Russia’s far east in September.

Top Russian officials, including Moscow’s defence and foreign ministers, also visited North Korea last year, with the flurry of trips both ways fanning concern among Kyiv’s allies over the possibility of a potential arms deal.

KCNA said on Sunday that Pyongyang’s foreign minister would visit Russia this week.

In 2023, Kim test-fired a string of advanced ICBMs including a purported solid-fuel version.

At Pyongyang’s year-end policy meetings, Kim threatened a nuclear attack on the South and called for a build-up of his country’s military arsenal ahead of armed conflict that he warned could “break out any time”.

Pyongyang declared itself an “irreversible” nuclear power in 2022 and has repeatedly said it will never give up its nuclear weapons programme, which the regime views as essential for its survival.

The United Nations Security Council has adopted many resolutions calling on North Korea to halt its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes since Pyongyang first conducted a nuclear test in 2006.

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AFP

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Indonesia’s Marapi Volcano Erupts Again, a Month After Deadly Incident

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Indonesia’s Marapi Volcano Erupts Again, a Month After Deadly Incident
Mount Marapi volcano spews volcanic ash during an eruption as seen from Nagari Bukik Batabuah in Agam, West Sumatra province, Indonesia, January 14, 2024, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Iggoy el Fitra/ via REUTERS

Indonesia’s Marapi volcano erupted on Sunday (Jan 14), with ash rising 1,300m from the peak six weeks after a fatal eruption, according to the country’s geological agency.

The volcano in West Sumatra province erupted at least twice by 3.37am GMT on Sunday, the agency said, urging the evacuation of people within 4.5km of the centre of the eruption, with the possibility of lava flows in rivers and valleys.

“In case there’s a rain of ash, we urge residents to also use masks in order to prevent respiratory illness,” the agency said.

Mount Marapi volcano spews volcanic ash during an eruption as seen from Nagari Bukik Batabuah in Agam, West Sumatra province, Indonesia, January 14, 2024, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Iggoy el Fitra/ via REUTERS

In December more than 20 people were killed after Mount Marapi, one of Sumatra’s most active volcanoes, erupted and spewed grey clouds of ash as high as 3km.

Indonesia straddles the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, an area of high seismic activity atop multiple tectonic plates.

Volcanic ash from Sunday’s eruption covered nearby houses, vehicles and evacuation tents set up by the local disaster agency, Reuters footage showed.

A number of residents went to health facilities for respiratory check-ups, and the authorities distributed masks.

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REUTERS

 

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Indonesia Temporarily Grounds Boeing 737-9 Max Jetliners After Alaska Airlines Incident

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Indonesia Temporarily Grounds Boeing 737-9 Max Jetliners After Alaska Airlines Incident
An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 Max flies above Paine Field near Boeing's manufacturing facility in Everett, Wash., Monday, March 23, 2020, north of Seattle. A window panel blew out on a similar Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 Max seven minutes after takeoff from Portland, Ore., on Friday, Jan. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Indonesia has temporarily grounded three Boeing 737-9 Max jetliners, following an incident last week in which an Alaska Airlines plane suffered a blowout that left a gaping hole in the side of the fuselage.

The three aircraft, grounded since Saturday, belong to the Indonesian budget carrier Lion Air. The decision was made by the country’s Transportation Ministry in coordination with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to ensure the safety and security of flight operations.

An emergency landing on Friday by the Alaska Airlines jetliner prompted U.S. federal authorities to ground some Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft. The FAA grounded all Max 9s operated by Alaska and United and some flown by foreign airlines for inspection. The inspections are focused on plugs used to seal an area set aside for extra emergency doors that are not required on United and Alaska Max 9s.

The grounded Lion Air planes use a mid-cabin emergency exit door that is different than the one on the Alaska Airlines’ plane involved in the incident, said Adita Irawati, a Transportation Ministry spokesperson.

Danang Mandala Prihantoro, a spokesperson for Lion Air, said the airline “has taken preventive steps” by grounding the planes and is “carrying out further inspections on the mid-cabin emergency exit door.”

In 2019, Indonesia temporarily grounded Boeing 737 Max 8 jets to inspect their airworthiness after a Lion Air plane of that model crashed in October 2018, killing all 189 people on board.

 

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North Koreas Kim turns 40. But There Are no Public Celebrations of His Birthday

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North Koreas Kim turns 40. But There Are no Public Celebrations of His Birthday
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. REUTERS

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un turned 40 on Monday with no announced public celebrations at home, after he entered the new year with artillery barrages into the sea and vows to expand his nuclear arsenal.

Since taking power in late 2011, Kim, the third generation of his family to rule North Korea, is believed to have established an absolute leadership similar to his predecessors. But his birthday has yet to be officially celebrated, unlike his late father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung. Their birthdays are two of the North’s biggest holidays and are marked with great fanfare, loyalty campaigns and sometimes massive military parades.

On Monday, North Korea’s state news agency published a lengthy article extolling Kim’s guidance of major construction projects in the past decade. It also reported Kim visited a chicken farm with his daughter the previous day. But it made no mention of his birthday.

Some observers speculate Kim may think he’s still relatively too young or needs bigger achievements to hold such lavish birthday festivities. Others say the lack of a public birthday bash may be related to his concerns about attention to his late Japan-born mother.

Kim’s headlong pursuit of a bigger nuclear arsenal has invited punishing U.S.-led sanctions, which together with border closures during the pandemic were believed to have badly hurt the North’s fragile economy. Kim has subsequently admitted policy failures as his vow that North Korea would “never have to tighten their belts again” remained unfulfilled.

“For Kim, it’s still probably politically burdensome to idolize himself as he’s still young and hasn’t accumulated much achievements,” said Hong Min, an analyst at Seoul’s Korea Institute for National Unification.

Kim Yeol Soo, an expert at South Korea’s Korea Institute for Military Affairs, said it will likely take some time for his birthday to become an official holiday because elderly members of the North’s ruling elite would still think he’s too young.

Birthdays are central to the mythology of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, who had ruled North Korea with a god-like status since the country’s founding in 1948.

Their birthdays — April 15 for Kim Il Sung, and Feb. 16 for Kim Jong Il — are typically celebrated with tributes to their giant statues, dance parties, fireworks and art performances. On some milestone birthdays, North Korea’s military holds huge parades with goose-stepping soldiers and powerful weapons capable of targeting the U.S. and South Korea.

Kim Il Sung’s birthday was designated as an official holiday in 1968 when he turned 56, according to a website run by South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which handles relations with North Korea. Kim Jong Il’s birthday reportedly became an official holiday in 1982, when he turned 40.

North Korea has never formally commented on Kim Jong Un’s birthday. The only time Kim has been honored in public on his birthday was in 2014, when former NBA star Dennis Rodman sang “Happy birthday” before an exhibition basketball game in Pyongyang. The Unification Ministry-run website states that Kim Jong Un was born on Jan. 8.

There are also views that Kim may be worried about bringing unwanted attentions to his mother, Ko Yong Hui, a Japan-born dancer who was known as his father’s third or fourth wife. Ko’s links to Japan, which had colonized the Korean Peninsula in the past, and the fact that she wasn’t Kim Jong Il’s first wife, are considered as disadvantageous for Kim’s dynastic rule.

“The fact his mother came from Japan is his biggest weak point that undermines his legitimacy of the Paektu bloodline,” Park Won Gon, a professor at Seoul’s Ewha Womans University, said, referring to the Kim family’s lineage named after the country’s most sacred mountain.

“When Kim Jong Un’s birthday becomes an official holiday, he won’t still publicize details about his birth,” he said.

Despite no known public birthday events, experts believe Kim Jong Un faces little political challenge and is expected to intensify his run of weapons tests ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November.

In a key ruling party meeting in late December, Kim vowed to enlarge his nuclear arsenal and launch additional spy satellites to cope with what he called unprecedented confrontation led by the U.S. In the past few days, he had his troops fire artillery shells near the disputed sea boundary with South Korea, raising tensions with his rival.

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AP

 

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