Text

S. Korean president tells a group of children that N. Korea is acting like a child

koreanewsline:

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. 

(Source: koreastandardtime)

Link

koreanewsline:

Slate military columnist Fred Kaplan suggests that the best way for Washington to deal with Pyongyang is to ignore it: “The North Korean leaders savor our attention. They grow a little in their own delusional stature every time we shudder over the grave danger they allegedly pose. They shine a…

(Source: koreastandardtime)

Text

Rock the Vote

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.

Link

koreanewsline:

South Korea and Japan’s ongoing dispute over the islets known as Dokdo to Seoul and Takeshima to Tokyo has erupted again, with the South Korean Foreign Ministry summoning a Seoul-based Japanese diplomat Friday to vent about Japan’s reference to Dokdo in its annual Diplomatic Bluebook, AFP…

(Source: koreastandardtime)

Text

N. Korean defector could soon become S. Korean lawmaker

koreanewsline:

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.

(Source: koreastandardtime)

Link

TOP 3 “Ask President Obama” Questions & Answers

Quote
"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-

Text

Japan mulls shooting down N. Korean rocket

koreanewsline:

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.

(Source: koreastandardtime)

Text

S. Korea-U.S. free trade pact goes into effect

koreanewsline:

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.

(Source: koreastandardtime)

Link

A fascinating angle on a potential motivation for the recently announced deal with North Korea to suspend their nuclear program in exchange for food aid. Could it be a way to weaken South Korea’s ruling conservative party ahead of this year’s presidential elections? The conservative party has taken a hard-line stance against their northern neighbors, where as the opposition is more open to negotiations and warmed relations with the north.