Censorship Korean Politics Refugees Subversion The Fifth Column

South Korea’s illiberal left: authoritarians in the service of totalitarians

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. [Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19] In America, we have grown accustomed to a political polarity in which we …

Continue Reading
Korean Politics Korean Society

Are South Koreans always the last to learn facts about North Korea or

… does it just seem that way? Years after Google Earth made North Korea’s gulags visible to any American with an internet connection, Daum is launching a Korean-language map service covering North Korea. It’s not clear what new information this will provide for English speakers, other than helping us with those pesky problems of spelling …

Continue Reading
Korean Politics

Park Geun Hye didn’t lose. That means she won. (updated)

Ruling parties are supposed to lose mid-term elections, especially when they look incompetent, uninspiring, visionless, and scandalous. I expected Park Geun Hye’s Saenuri Party to lose, and frankly, it deserved to. Despite all of this, it didn’t lose, which means it won. Saenuri’s opposition was the New Politics Alliance for Democracy, formerly known as the Democratic …

Continue Reading
Censorship Korean Politics Korean Society The Fifth Column

In South Korea, a political realignment

When President Park speaks of reunification as a “jackpot,” she is seizing an issue that the left had “owned” for at least a dozen years. Ten years ago, the left could draw crowds of candle-carrying thirty-somethings to swoon about reunification, at least in the abstract. The dream was qualified, complicated, and hopelessly unrealistic, but it …

Continue Reading
Korean Politics Korean Society Reconstruction Regime Change ROK Military U.S. & Korea

Can Park Geun-Hye prepare Korea, and the world, for reunification?

Yesterday, Yonhap reported that an unusual billboard had appeared in Times Square in New York: “Korean Unification would be an immeasurable BONANZA for any nations with interests in the Korean Peninsula.” To most of the Americans who read it, the billboard will seem odd, but Korea-watchers will recall when Korean-Americans took out similar ads in the United States, about …

Continue Reading
Anti-Americanism Korean Politics Korean Society Sunshine U.S. & Korea

Post-Sunshine South Korea is sober, pragmatic, and grouchy.

In this post last week, I cited polling data showing how South Koreans’ views of North Korea have hardened in recent years, representing a dramatic swing since the fervent anti-Americanism and pro-appeasement sentiment of the Kim Dae Jung and Roh Moo Hyun years. I reckoned that the 2010 Cheonan and Yeonpyeong attacks were the tipping …

Continue Reading
Korean Politics Korean Society Refugees

Flower Indeed: Lim Su-Kyung and the Bigotry of the Korean Left

For several days, I’ve hoped to find time to write about the new hit TV show in South Korea, “Now on My Way to Meet You,” featuring (and humanizing!) photogenic North Korean women: Each woman also entertains, some by singing and dancing. Others perform comedy skits, including several who mimic North Korea’s iconic, stern-faced female …

Continue Reading
Korean Politics

See Kim Run!

It’s very rare that an election in any country is anything but a choice between the lesser of two evils. For a brief moment at least, South Korea’s election will be an exception to that dreary rule, because Kim Moon Soo has said he will run for president. Years ago, before he was elected as …

Continue Reading
Korean Politics Useful Idiocy WTF? Yeonpyeong Attack

Mayor of Incheon Blames North Korean Shelling on Little Eichmanns Coming Home to Roost

I’ve often said that in the eyes of many “progressive” South Koreans, it’s just not physically possible for North Korea to do wrong, and Incheon Mayor Song Young-Gil has done much to confirm our worst fears. A day after the North Koreans shelled Yeonpyeong Island — which, by the way, is undisputed South Korean territory …

Continue Reading
China & Korea Korean Politics Korean Society

President Lee Leases Tokdo to Japan for 100 Years to Build Porn Studio

Oh, wait — that’s not it. It was North Korea that actually leased two islands to China to build (what else?) casinos. Yes, casinos. File that one under “stuff Chinese people like.” It might also go under “stuff that North Korean money launderers like.” The difference being, the islands of Hwan Geum Pyong and Ui …

Continue Reading