Monday, April 03, 2017

South Korea, A Nation in Reproach

The shame of a government laid bare: after the Sewol tragedy,
some say the fall of Park Geun Hye was only a matter of time

What South Korean President Park’s Political Demise Means for the Region’s Geopolitics 

Craig Mark in The Wire 040000APR17
Beyond her own personal humiliation, the ramifications of Park’s fall are already reverberating from domestic South Korean politics into the fraught geopolitics of Northeast Asia.
https://thewire.in/120366/south-korean-park-political-demise-regions-geopolitics/

‘Chaebol’ reform issue tops South Korean presidential race — again

HYUNJOO JIN, SE YOUNG LEE AND NICHOLA SAMINATHER, Reuters
The conglomerates known as “chaebol” have come under the reform buzz saw before, only to emerge bigger and stronger than ever... The question after the May 9 election is how deep will the reform drive go this time?
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/04/02/asia-pacific/politics-diplomacy-asia-pacific/chaebol-reform-issue-tops-south-korean-presidential-race/#.WOExFxIrJTY


The Korean Quandary

Martin Vengadesan in the Daily Star 020000APR17
What’s heartening about the South Korean situation is the application of the rule of law. The people of South Korea seem aware that aside from the volatile North, one of the greatest threats to the country fulfilling its vast potential is corruption. And nobody, it seems. is immune.
http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/columnists/watching-the-world/2017/04/02/the-korean-quandary-both-seoul-and-pyongyang-are-grabbing-the-headlines-in-these-uneasy-unpredictabl/


Park scandal forcing rethink of cozy public-private ties

Kenichi Yamada in Nikkei Asian Review 312145MAR17
Chaebol now have an excuse to decline government invitations, according to presidential hopeful Ahn Cheol-soo, a former co-chief of the opposition People's Party. Park's case is an opportunity to break the cozy ties between government and big business, Ahn argues.
http://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Park-Geun-hye-scandal/Park-scandal-forcing-rethink-of-cozy-public-private-ties?page=2


Growing Pains of an Emerging Democratic Powerhouse

Max Boot in Commentary 310000MAR17
It is a shame that Park’s presidency has ended so ingloriously... problematic from the American perspective given that Park was more pro-American than her likely successor, Moon Jae-in, who has voiced skepticism about tough sanctions on North Korea and the deployment of THAAD... While perhaps tragic, her downfall is also a sign of South Korea’s growing maturity as a democracy.
https://www.commentarymagazine.com/foreign-policy/asia/south-korea-park-geun-hye-resolution-democratic/


ALSO THIS WEEK:

A Neo-Nationalist Crack in Abe's Strategy (Lowy Interpreter)
From String of Pearls to Head Vice: China Squeezes India (Swarajya)
The Ryohingya are Myanmar's Perpetual Other (East Asia Forum)

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