Links of Interest

Richardson has already linked it, but I want to add is that this one could be very, very important to what happens in North Korea.

The United States is considering economic sanctions on Chinese banks which have business transactions with North Korean companies allegedly implicated in the development or proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), a news report said Sunday.

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Rep. Henry Hyde, Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, has a message for President Junichiro Koizumi. Hyde, a veteran of the Pacific Theater of World War II and no fan of Japan’s revisionist view of history, suggests that Koizumi won’t be invited to address the House during his upcoming state visit if he intends to visit the Yasukuni Shrine this summer. That’s my cue to link to this essay by Dennis Halpin, Hyde’s top aide on Asia policy. Halpin is the former U.S. Consul in Pusan, has a Korean wife, and speaks some Korean.

I swear there must be a clock in Tokyo that goes off every time a Korean election is imminent. Like a regular cuckoo clock, only the cuckoo shouts “Takeshima!” and “Yasukuni!” Koizumi may be a stalwart against Kim Jong Il, but the Uri Party owes its survival to him.

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If you’re in China and trying to do an Internet search for “Cultural Revolution,” this is what you will see:

Warning: “Your search word could violate related laws.

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The recent decision to admit six North Koreans reportedly came directly from President Bush. In the same brief story, we also learn that Korean-Americans are considering building a mini-Hanawon to help them learn to adjust to life in America. For now, only about one or two hundred more are on the way, which might give us a chance to see how they do here. The more Korean-Americans get to know these refugees and become emotionally involved in helping them, the greater the pressure will be on South Korea to open its doors to more like them.

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Some interesting poll results on the upcoming Korean election:

Of the people questioned, 649 said they voted for Roh Moo-hyun at the 2002 presidential election. Among them, only 252 said they will vote for an Uri Party candidate in the next presidential election. Of those who decided to withdraw their political backing for the Uri Party, 27 percent said they will support the Grand National Party, 10 percent the Democratic Party and 7 percent the Democratic Labor Party.

Among Grand National Party members who voted for Lee Hoi-chang in the 2002 election, 80 percent said they will vote again for the Grand National candidate, the poll said. Only 7 percent would support the Uri Party.

The poll also asked respondents whom they will vote for in the 2007 presidential election. Among strong possible candidates, 25 percent said Goh Kun, former prime minister.

Grand National Chairwoman Park Geun-hye and Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak gained 22 percent of support each “• and the two are both likely Grand National candidates for the presidential election.

The JoongAng Ilbo, Seoul Broadcasting System, East Asia Institute and Hankook Research polled a group of 1,299 voters over the age of 19 nationwide from May 10 to 11. The telephone interview had a 95-percent confidence, with plus or minus 2.7-percentage-point margin of error.

The Uri appears to be headed for disaster, which will splinter the party into bickering factions, and could even cause Roh to step down.

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The Joongang Ilbo continues to chronicle major setbacks for Hanchongryon, whose behavior was finally too awful for Korean students to tolerate. A member of the New Right Union joins the rising calls for the reestablishment of law and order, though his implied support for military action against demonstrators is excessive. Another group of New-Righters will investigate and expose North Korean subversion through South Korean stooges. I eagerly await their findings, though I don’t doubt that the governments of both Koreas will frustrate the committee’s work.

3 Comments

  1. Rather than Uri’s weakness I think the upcoming power struggle between Park Geun Hye and Lee Myung Bak is the real story in that poll. With Korea’s long and tortuous history of opposition candidates stealing defeat from the jaws of victory (ie Kim Young Sam and Kim Dae Jung ala 1987)I wouldn’t be surprised to see the GNP candidacy devolve into a three way with Koh Gun as the wild card. Party affiliation and even the parties themselves are rather ephemeral so don’t expect anyone of those three to put on the man pants – never mind Park Geun Hye on that one – and make the hard decision to step down ‘for the good of the party’. Yes, I can see the election day headline now, “Uri wins with 27% as Park, Lee and Koh split remainder of vote.” Keep the Sunshine glowing.




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  2. Corpy is spot on, there’s a very real possibility of a split vote in the next election that would let whatever knucklehead the Uri Party throws out get into office. Park and Lee are the dueling egos who are unlikely to back down, while Koh, the oldest of the three, might just decide he doesn’t need the aggravation and bow out.




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