Background Briefing - Sunday, November 28, 2010

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Today we will look into a number of stories and issues in the news. We will begin in a moment and talk about the tense situation between the two Koreas with Kyung Moon Hwang who is a professor of History at the University of Southern California. Following last Tuesday's artillery barrage on a South Korean island and as the U. S. and South Korea conduct naval exercises, we will assess the apparent change in South Korea attitudes towards the North in the aftermath of this latest incident and try to understand the motives of the secretive regime in the north that is undergoing a dynastic transition.

Then, since there is a widespread assumption that China holds the keys to moderating North Korea's behavior, we will speak with Sue Mi Terry who is a National Intelligence Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations specializing in North Korean issues and North Korean/ Chinese relations. We will also look into leadership succession and North Korea's evolving nuclear strategy.

Then we will cover the elections going on in Haiti today with a former member of the Haitian parliament Guy Metayer who knows a lot of the candidates running for President in a crowded field in a race that has excluded the popular singer Wylef Jean and candidates for the most popular party of the deposed leader Aristide who is in an imposed exile in South Africa.

Then finally we will cover the elections in Egypt today for the parliament with Bruce Rutherford, a professor of Political Science at Colgate University who is a specialist on Egypt. Although it is almost certain that the ruling party of President Hosni Mubarak will win, and there are widespread reports of the media and monitors being denied access to the polls, we will examine the future of the ruling party's grip on a country where the opposition is both stifled and seething.