Occasionally, I pass by the private mansion of President Park Geun-hye in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul, after attending an early morning service at the Hyundai Presbyterian Church about 300 meters away. A police car that was parked there for some time after her inauguration is no longer there and a lone patrolman stands guard to ward off any possible trespassers from entering the house now empty of its master.
Recently, South Korea was severely hit by two major disasters. One was the sinking of the Sewol ferry, which cost hundreds of young lives, and the other was the shooting at a frontline barracks in which five soldiers were killed and seven others wounded. Both incidents shook the nation and stirred up the wrath of so many angry mothers, who have to send their children on school excursions and eventually to the military, which is mandatory in Korea.
While China seems to be an increasingly confident actor on the world stage, within the country, there is a serious lack of confidence in the government, with those who have thrived within the system eager to leave the country, taking their money with them.
Suicide is a major public health issue across the world. It is the cause of 800,000 premature deaths globally, according to latest statistics.
China's intention to drive a wedge into cooperative ties among Japan, the United States and South Korea by wooing Seoul to its side has become clearer than ever.
Last Tuesday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet approved a reinterpretation of the country's pacifist postwar constitution that will allow the military to help defend allies and others “in a close relationship” with Japan under what is known as “collective self-defense.” The shift is needed as Japan alleges the People's Republic of China is planning to invade the disputed Senkaku Islands, known as Diaoyu in China and Diaoyutai in Taiwan, which both claim them.
- Joe Hung
The government watchdog Control Yuan issued a report this June that pointed fingers at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), saying that it is partially responsible for the cutting of ties with Taiwan's former African ally last November.
2014/7/7, 1 Comment
June is the time for Wimbledon tennis, World Cup football and in Basle, hundreds of the world's central bankers gather for the Annual Meeting of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).
The Fourth of July weekend in the United States celebrates community, local as well as national. Parades featuring people in uniform — scouts, firefighters and police as well as the military — traditionally are a fixture. Military uniforms remind us of the role of war in our history — and present. The current Veterans Administration scandals remind us of how serious related problems can become.
Before returning home after a two-day state visit on Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping attended a business forum in Seoul. President Park Geun-hye was alongside him. Later in the day, Park hosted a private luncheon for Xi and his wife at a traditional Korean house, a rare hospitability she offers to visiting heads of state.