South Korean diplomats from their Embassy in Washington, D.C. visited the Idaho State Veterans Home in Boise Wednesday. They honored Korean War veterans while in the Northwest to promote a free trade agreement between the U.S and Korea.
Sixty years ago, U.S. servicemen and women battled communist Chinese and North Koreans in what’s been called the Forgotten War. The war is not officially over, but a somewhat stable peace has existed in the Korean peninsula since the nation was divided in the 1950s.
The most recent trade mission to China organized by the state Department of Commerce and headlined by Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is underway this week.
Computer and electronic products make up the lion’s share of Idaho’s exports to China, but that sector isn’t represented in the lineup of 15 Idaho companies working to explore and strengthen trade ties.
Environmental groups are mobilizing against proposals to export coal through Northwest terminals. That coal would be mined in the Rockies and travel by train across Idaho to Oregon and Washington ports to be shipped to Asia. Protesters rallied in Oregon’s capital Monday. They're asking Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber to block permits for several coal terminals.
Critics say the coal-laden trains would spew dust and block traffic. And environmental groups oppose the use of coal as an energy source regardless of where and how it's shipped.