South Korean President Lee Myung-bak evidently knows how to tailor a message to his audience. Speaking to a group of 550 kids during a Children’s Day event at the Blue House, Lee said Saturday that North Korea is acting like a mishaving child, Yonhap News reports.
Today is election day in South Korea, where people choose their new representatives in parliament. I don’t have a whole lot to say about that, but there are a few interesting observations I’ve made about Korean elections.
First of all, people get the day off on election day. I have no school, my homestay dad doesn’t have to go into the office - all so that people have basically no excuse for not voting. Which is a pretty neat concept in my opinion.
I definitely remember my parents having to rush into our town hall before work to cast their ballots in the morning, or rush home from work early to get their vote in before the place closed. This eliminates some of the major obstacles to getting the vote out.
Also, apparently it’s illegal for media outlets and candidates to conduct public opinion polls for a week before the election. Having taken a high-level political science/media course my senior year, I know how detrimental it can be to have dozens upon dozens of polls and percentages and “slight leads” flashed into the face of the public constantly in the run-up to an election. So I like this idea too.
Supposedly it’s a pretty close race between the ruling party and the main opposition party for control of the parliament, so we’ll see how it goes.
Cho Myung-chul, the first North Korean defector to be appointed to a high-level government post in South Korea, is on the verge of setting another historic precedent: becoming the first defector to serve in the National Assembly. As AFP reports, Cho appears virtually assured of filling one of the ruling New Frontier Party’s proportional representation seats, which are allocated according to the number of elected seats each party wins.
"This is the third trip to South Korea by President Obama in the span of three years in office. During that time, he has also hosted the Korean President twice in the White House, most recently last October.
I think that the two leaders have forged an unprecedentedly close relationship and they’ve worked to implement the joint vision statements they agreed to in 2009 to promote global cooperation. I’d also note that this is, in effect, the handoff of the Nuclear Security Summit from Washington to Seoul, from — as the host. And that cooperation, I think, is emblematic of the global partnerships that they have achieved."
— Briefing on President Obama’s upcoming trip to Seoul for the Nuclear Security Summit. Read more here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/03/20/press-briefing-senior-administration-officials-presidents-upcoming-trip-
Japan doesn’t plan to stand by idly if the North Korea follows through on its plan to launch a satellite next month. If the satellite-carrying rocket approaches Japan, “the government would be expected to issue a shootdown order to the Self-Defense Forces based on the Self-Defense Forces Law,” the Yomiuri Shimbun reports.
Ready or not, it’s here: The South Korea-U.S. free trade agreement took effect Wednesday, as opponents of the deal say they won’t give up their fight to amend or nullify the pact. South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade estimates that the trade agreement will generate about 350,000 jobs over the next decade, the Associated Press reported.