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The Hindu Vocab 06th Jan 2018

Game for talks: on the resumption of dialogue between the two Koreas

The prospect (संभावना) of a thaw (गरमाहट) in relations between North and South Korea, which resume talks after two years, holds out the hope of denuclearisation on the Peninsula. Lending the move diplomatic heft (महत्त्व) is the U.S.’s consent (अनुमति) to South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s proposal to delay the controversial joint military exercises between the two allies. These annual operations have traditionally caused consternation (व्याकुलता) in Pyongyang. The significance (महत्ता) of the U.S. decision can also be seen in the context of Beijing’s suggestion for a freeze on (इस्तेमाल बंद करना) joint military exercises between Washington and Seoul in exchange for a halt to Pyongyang’s nuclear programme. The demand acquired added impetus (प्रोत्साहन) ever since Seoul launched the U.S.-backed Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system, raising fears that its radars could snoop (झांकना) on Chinese security infrastructure. But the idea never received serious consideration from the U.S., as forcing Kim Jong-un, the North Korean autocrat, to completely give up the programme was the singular focus of President Donald Trump’s approach. As for Mr. Kim, he sees recognition of his country as a nuclear power as a vantage (श्रेष्ठता) point from where he could negotiate a roll-back of crippling (अशक्त कर देने वाला) international sanctions and a possible reconciliation with Washington.

The immediate trigger to the revival of dialogue is the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang in South Korea next month. North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launches and nuclear explosions have raised global alarm over the region’s safety for travel and tourism, not to mention security during the Games. Memories of the downing (दुःखी करना) by North Korea of a civilian aircraft ahead of the 1988 Seoul Olympics have prompted understandable caution by the host nation. Seoul has apparently determined that the most effective means of allaying those apprehensions (शक) is to confirm the participation of North Korean athletes. The deferment (विलम्बन) of the joint military exercises with the U.S. lends further credibility to Mr. Moon’s overtures to the North, as much as it assuages (शान्त करना) Chinese concerns. Beijing had imposed an unofficial blockade (अवरोधन) on South Korean trade, tourism and entertainment following the THAAD missile installation last year. But it was quick to appreciate the needless economic and diplomatic cost of that approach, even if it did not alter its stance on the missile programme. Cumulatively, these developments should boost public patronage (प्रश्रय देना) in the entire region for the Winter Olympics. Mr. Moon, a former human rights lawyer, has been a staunch advocate of a negotiated resolution of the North Korean nuclear stand-off. A votary of reunification (एकीकरण) on the Peninsula, he may be expected to seize the momentum generated by these events to foster cooperation with the North. There will no doubt be many obstacles on that ambitious path. But a détente (नरमी) between neighbours is a possibility few leaders can ignore.


1. Prospect: the act or state of looking forward to some occurrence
Synonyms: anticipation, contemplation, expectance, expectancy, expectation
Antonyms: actuality, reality, certainty

2. Thaw: to go from a solid to a liquid state
Synonyms: deliquesce, flux, fuse, melt, run, liquefy
Antonym: clot, coagulate, congeal, gel, jell, jelly, thicken, harden, set, solidify

3. Heft: the amount that something weighs
Synonyms: avoirdupois, heaviness, weight
Antonyms: helplessness, impotence, impotency, powerlessness, weakness, accessory (also accessary), adjunct, appendage, extension, offshoot

4. Consent: the approval by someone in authority for the doing of something
Synonyms: allowance, authorization, clearance, concurrence, permission, granting, green light, leave, license (or licence), sanction, sufferance, warrant
Antonyms: interdiction, prohibition, proscription, deterrence, discouragement, repression, suppression, denial, refusal, rejection, revocation

5. Consternation: A feeling of anxiety or dismay, typically at something unexpected
Synonyms: dismay, perturbation, anxiety, distress, disquiet, disquietude, discomposure, angst, trepidation
Antonyms: satisfaction

6. Significance: the idea that is conveyed or intended to be conveyed to the mind by language, symbol, or action
Synonyms: content, denotation, drift, import, intent, intention, purport, sense, meaning, signification
Antonyms: insignificance, littleness, puniness, slightness, smallness, triviality

7. Freeze On (Idiom): a policy that put a temporary end to something

8. Impetus: something that arouses action or activity
Synonyms: boost, encouragement, goad, impulse, incentive, incitation, incitement, instigation, momentum, motivation, provocation, spur, stimulant, stimulus, yeast
Antonyms: counterincentive, disincentive

9. Snoop: to interest oneself in what is not one’s concern
Synonyms: butt in, interlope, intermeddle, intrude, meddle, mess, muck (about or around), nose, obtrude, poke, pry, interfere
Antonyms: avoid, eschew, shun, disregard, ignore, neglect, overlook

10. Vantage: the more favorable condition or position in a competition
Synonyms: better, bulge, catbird seat, drop, edge, high ground, inside track, jump, pull, stead, upper hand, advantage, whip hand
Antonyms: disadvantage, drawback, handicap, liability, minus, penalty, strike, bar, catch, check, clog, crimp, embarrassment, hindrance, hitch, hurdle, impediment, interference, let, manacle, obstacle, obstruction, rub, shackle, stop, trammel

11. Crippling: to render powerless, ineffective, or unable to move
Synonyms: paralyze, disable, hamstring, immobilize, incapacitate, prostrate
Antonyms: energize, galvanize, invigorate, vitalize, freshen, refresh, refreshen, regenerate, rejuvenate, restore, revitalize, revive

12. Downing: feeling unhappiness
Synonyms: gloomy, glum, hangdog, heartbroken, heartsick, heartsore, heavyhearted, inconsolable, joyless, low, low-spirited, melancholic, melancholy, miserable, mournful, saddened, sorrowful, sorry, unhappy, woebegone, woeful, wretched
Antonyms: blissful, buoyant, buoyed, cheerful, cheery, chipper, delighted, glad, gladdened, gladsome, gleeful, happy, joyful, joyous, jubilant, sunny, upbeat

13. Deferment: The action or fact of putting something off to a later time; postponement.
Synonyms: postponement, deferral, suspension, putting back, putting off, adjournment, delay, shelving, rescheduling, interruption, arrest, pause

14. Assuages: to lessen the anger or agitation of
Synonyms: appease, pacify, conciliate, disarm, gentle, mollify, placate, propitiate
Antonyms: anger, enrage, incense, inflame (also enflame), infuriate, ire, madden, outrage

15. Apprehensions: suspicion or fear of future harm or misfortune
Synonyms: alarm (also alarum), apprehensiveness, dread, foreboding, misgiving
Antonyms: anticipation, excitement, hope, hopefulness, confidence, optimism, sanguinity

16. Patronage: transactions or economic support provided by customers
Synonyms: custom, business
Words Related: bankrolling, endowment, financing, funding, subsidy

17. Reunification: Restoration of political unity to a place or group, especially a divided territory.

18. Détente: The easing of hostility or strained relations, especially between countries.
Synonyms: restoration of friendly relations, restoration of harmony, agreement, compromise, understanding, peace, an end to hostilities, amity, concord
Antonyms: disruptive



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