Two Koreas Fall in Global Peace Index

      June 09, 2010 08:36

      The Korean Peninsula has become less peaceful than last year as tensions have increased, a report shows.

      The U.K. Institute for Economics and Peace and the Economist Intelligence Unit released their latest Global Peace Index of 149 countries on Tuesday. South Korea ranked 43rd this year, down from 33rd last year, while North Korea fell 8 notches to 139th.

      South Korea's reduced ranking is not due to the March shipwreck of the Navy corvette Cheonan, which was not reflected in the evaluation, but rather a rise in the number of heavy weapons per 100,000 people. The country gained good marks in categories such as number of jailed population and number of internal security officers and police.

      The North ranked among the bottom, scoring badly in military expenditure as a percentage of GDP, number of armed services personnel, number of jailed population, and relations with neighboring countries.

      Countries in the Asia-Pacific region mostly saw their rankings drop with rising levels of violent crime and political instability, the IEP said. The most peaceful countries in the world were New Zealand, Iceland and Japan, while Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan were deemed least peaceful.

      The annual index has been compiled since 2007 by evaluating 23 categories including exports of major conventional weapons, number of deaths from organized conflict, potential for terrorist acts and political instability.

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