27개의 게시물을 찾았습니다.
27개의 게시물을 찾았습니다.
Last Wednesday(1.11) we'd to learn that (according to a facebook source) "Our friend, photographer Park Jeong-geun who has been inspected by the 'National Security Law', became under arrest by 'infringing the National Security Law' today, as accepting an arrest warrent. Jung-geun has been RETWEETING the twitter account @uriminzok (account from North Korea) and made some black humor of 'Viva la Kim...!"(*)
* Related articles:
☞ In South Korea, Old Law Leads To New Crackdown (npr, 2011.12.01)
☞ South Korean Law Casts Wide Net, Snaring Satirists in a Hunt for Spies (NYT, 2012.01.07)
☞ 박정근 “에리카 김 만나 사랑도, 내곡동에 살고 싶기도” (Hankyoreh, 2012.01.17)
☞ 정봉주와 박정근, 표현의 자유 ‘그 사이’ (NewsCham, 2012.01.12)
And finally here you can read Jeong-geun's 'open letter' to "His Excellency Mr. President Lee Myung-bak", written three days ago in Suwon Police Detention Center!
Today's (2nd) article in Hankyoreh, related to the 3rd Yongsan Massacre anniversary:
Couple torn apart by Yongsan tragedy still hanging on
Husband and wife find strength in current social movements and in each other
It was 3 pm Saturday in the No. 6 reception room at Anyang Prison. Separated by a transparent acrylic barrier and iron bars, the husband and wife were speaking through gestures before the microphone came on. The wife, forty-year-old Jeong Yeong-sin, mimed eating to ask, "Have you eaten?" and mimed running to ask, "Have you exercised?" Dressed in prison blue marked with number "2944," her husband Lee Chung-yeon, 41, had a shy look on his face, but a broad smile spread over it. He nodded his head vigorously at his wife's questions.
The couple married in 2008 after dating for six years. But their simple wish for a happy home was crushed just six months later when redevelopment plans went into effect for the Zone 4 area of Seoul's Yongsan district, where the couple was living.
The area was the site of the couple's pub, called Rea, which they opened in 2006, as well as their home and Lee's parents' home. Lee was threatened with eviction without fair compensation from contracted "security employees", which led him to become the head of a residents' committee organized to resist the zone's demolition.
On Jan. 19, 2009, Lee and his father headed up to the lookout tower of the Namildang Building where the pub was located and began a protest "to survive." Within a day, a police commando unit descended on it. During the suppression effort, a fire broke out, claiming the lives of Lee's father and four other protesters, as well as one police officer. Lee and six other protesters fortunately escaped with their lives, but are now facing their fourth winter behind bars, accused of killing a policeman.
Jeong went into seclusion after her father-in-law's funeral, which came 355 days after his death. The reason was her anger over having to conclude negotiations without receiving any adequate apology or compensation.
"In the beginning, I didn't come out on the weekends for visits," she explained. "There were too many people looking happy on the weekends."
Her only friend was the wall-mounted television, which was the only thing she managed to keep from the pub after it descended into chaos. But even now, she shakes in terror at the memory of the tragic day whenever it shows a scene of fire.
It was the Hope Buses that helped Jeong finally shake off a bit of her sorrow and anger and step out into the world again. After reading a copy of Kim Jin-suk's book Salt Flower Tree, she said, she took part in all five campaigns to visit the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions Busan office direction committee member during her protest at Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction, gaining courage in the process.
"The tens of thousands of people who rode on the Hope Bus joined in even though it was not their own problem," Jeong said. "But Yongsan is my problem. I made up my mind that I couldn't just stay at home anymore."
Since July 2011, Jeong has been working as a full-time activist with the Yongsan emergency measures committee. She meets with demolition protesters across the country to help buoy their spirits, and she is passionately committed to the campaign to enact a law prohibiting forcible evictions in order to make sure no tragedies like Yongan happen in the future.
The microphone came on in the reception room. From behind bars, Lee asked for the latest news about the third anniversary event for the tragedy that was set to take place the next day. "It's a good thing the weather isn't cold for the memorial," he said.
"Yeah," said Jeong. "We're going to go around the development zone and then head to Duriban [a noodle restaurant near Hongik University] in the evening. The chairperson said he'd buy us noodle soup."
Even after going from being an ordinary small business owner to living behind bars, Lee expressed a wish to visit Gangjeong Village on Jeju Island and the Hope Tents at Ssangyong Motors.
Relating news he heard during a recent visit by Park Jong-bu, elder brother of torture victim Park Jong-chul, Lee told his wife, "I found myself thinking that the world has changed so much thanks to their sacrifice and efforts, yet we've gotten a free ride in this world."
He also said, "This is a still a world where common sense doesn't prevail, but that's all the more reason we have to live with a sense of duty."
Jeong told him, "Just rest easy. I'll do it all for you."
Perhaps because they were being watched, the couple never exchanged the expected "I love you"s. When encouraged by the reporter, Lee said, "I know it just seeing her eyes."
Without making eye contact with her, he said, "I love you." A bright smile spread over her lips.
As Lee headed back to his cell after the short 12-minutes together, Jeong smiled and waved at him.
In the car on the way to Seoul, Lucid Fall's song about the Yongsan tragedy, "Ordinary People," was playing on the stereo.
"It's a world where things are tough for the 99% who are ordinary people," Jeong said.
"I want to do my best for the people who have been locked up, and for the demolition protesters in other redevelopment regions, before people forget about Yongsan," she explained.
As soon as she arrived in Seoul, Jeong hurried to Seoul Station to buy chrysanthemums for the memorial event the next day. The flowers were placed at the site of the Namildang Building in Yongsan, where redevelopment has been halted for the third straight year, just like the couple's newlywed life.
Today's Hankyoreh published the following piece:
Third anniversary of Yongsan Tragedy
The bereaved family members of five victims in the Yongsan Tragedy and members of civic organizations place flowers in memory of the victims on the site of forced evictions, Jan. 15. They said they would hold a week long memorial until the third anniversary of the incident on Jan. 20. The civic group are demanding a ban on forced eviction of tenants and punishment for those responsible for the incident.
The Yongsan Tradgedy caused the deaths of five protesting tenants and one police officer in a fire that broke out when hundreds of riot police officers and private security forces tried to evict some 30 tenants from a building they had occupied.
[Jan. 13 ~ 14] Impressions from the "2nd Day of Siege" (at least 3000 activists joined the 'event'), to support the "Tent of Hope" village in Pyeongtaek:
"Amid the global economic slowdown stemming from the eurozone debt crisis, China continues to grow at a rapid pace. Experts say there can't be a better time for Korea to begin its negotiations for a free trade agreement with its largest trade partner" (Arirang News, 1.09).
According to yesterday's S. Korean and Chinese media the official negotiations for a free-trade agreement with China will begin in February or March...
Here two controversial pieces regarding the subject.
1. Today's (conservative/reactionary) Chosun Ilbo published the following "analysis":
FTA with China Could Have Geopolitical Ramifications
Free trade talks between South Korea and China will have far-reaching implications beyond the realm of commerce. If the pact is concluded, it will have a strong diplomatic and security aspect that is capable of shifting the geopolitical landscape of Northeast Asia.
◆ Diplomatic Opportunities
A key government official on Tuesday said the FTA "must be pursued from a national strategic standpoint that bears Korean reunification in mind." Another government official said while North Korea "relies on China, the Seoul-Beijing relationship is based on mutual economic exchanges. From a long-term perspective, the South Korea-China FTA could spell opportunities to maintain stability in North Korea and head toward reunification."
Since forming diplomatic ties with China in 1992, Seoul has proposed to Beijing several ways to ensure stability in North Korea and pursue reunification, but none of them have succeeded. Deepening ties between South Korea and China through the economic pact could become an effective way to expand Seoul’s diplomatic and security options.
Kim Sung-han at Korea University said, “If the FTA is worked out successfully, we will be able to discuss the North Korean issue with Beijing and get a chance to create an atmosphere for achieving reunification of the two Koreas.
Experts say that the negotiating channel for the bilateral FTA will play a positive role, since it is being created at a time when uncertainties are mounting in the North following the sudden death of leader Kim Jong-il amid growing defection from the country. China is also apparently approaching the FTA from a strategic as well as an economic perspective.
Yoon Duk-min at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security said, "From one perspective, China sees the FTA as a chance to overcome Washington's strategy of encirclement. For us, it would serve as a strong diplomatic card."
As of the end of 2010, bilateral trade totaled US$188.4 billion, which is more than the combined trade with the U.S. ($90.2 billion) and Japan ($92.5 billion). If Seoul and Beijing strengthen their economic alliance through the bilateral FTA, some experts believe China will no longer take such a passive approach to Korean reunification.
Beijing would have fewer reasons to fear a reunification led by the South if South Korea and China boost economic cooperation and bilateral ties.
◆ Geopolitical Impact
The South Korea-China FTA could have a major geopolitical impact on Northeast Asia as well. Until now, the security landscape in Northeast Asia has been a Cold-War-style standoff between the South Korea-U.S.-Japan alliance on one side and China and North Korea on the other. But if the Seoul-Beijing FTA is signed and economic cooperation increases rapidly, this traditional framework would crumble.
Heo Yoon at Sogang University said, "The reason why leftwing factions opposed the FTA with the U.S. is because they didn’t want Seoul-Washington ties to strengthen further. So from an economic perspective, the FTA with China would be a form of alliance, and we need to take a close, strategic look at simultaneously bolstering our ties with the U.S. and China and seek public consensus."
2. Today's editorial in Kyunghyang Shinmun("moderate progressive"):
No Reason to Rush the Korea-China FTA
Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak and China’s Paramount Leader Hu Jintao agreed on Monday to embark upon the domestic procedures necessary for beginning official negotiations for a free trade agreement between the two states.
The two leaders have thus effectively proclaimed the beginning of a Korea-China FTA.
The government is emphasizing that joint research on an FTA has been in progress between the two states for some time, but speculation is rife as to why the Lee Myung-bak government, previously half-hearted regarding a Korea-China FTA, has changed direction and begun negotiations with less than one year of its term in office remaining.
China has consistently urged Korea to enter negotiations over an FTA. Its interest, up to now, has reportedly been focused more on using the FTA to check US influence when it comes to the international political order in the Asia-Pacific region than on economic interests.
The diplomatic and national security interests tied up in a Korea-China FTA are accordingly complicated.
There are doubts as to how specific the government’s strategic plan was when it decided to open negotiations. If it has hurried into the FTA due to an awareness of the increased political uncertainty on the Korean Peninsula following the death of Kim Jong-il, and of China’s role, it stands a high chance of messing things up.
Neither is this something that should be subject to a greedy desire to achieve the flashy distinction of being the first country to conclude FTAs with the “world’s three great economic blocs,” following those with the USA and the EU.
There are concerns that the economic repercussions of the Korea-China FTA on products made by small and-medium industries, including agricultural and marine products and textiles, will be much greater than those brought by the FTAs with the US and the EU.
If tariff barriers disappear, the damage sustained by the these industries will inevitably be of fearful proportions. The agricultural industry, in particular, which has been harmed to an extent that is hard to measure by the US and EU FTAs, would be subjected to an additional, tsunami-like shock.
Shandong Province, which is geopolitically similar to Korea, has 4.4 times more arable land than the latter and produces 9-10 times more fruit and vegetables. In terms of physical distance, importing its products to Seoul’s Garak-dong Market would be similar to bringing in agricultural produce from Jeju-do.
This is why some are worry that Korea’s agricultural and fisheries could be obliterated. It is obvious that most beneficial effects of the Korea-China FTA, such as occupying the Chinese domestic market, would be concentrated toward internationally competitive big businesses, and that weaker small-medium enterprises, farmers and fishermen would be left in an even more vulnerable position.
It is a certainty that such an FTA would accelerate the growing social polarization between social classes and industrial sectors.
Even now, a quarter of Korean exports go to China and a fifth of imports come from it, gradually increasing worries about the “China Risk,” whereby the fallout from economic changes and inflation in China are passed on intact to Korea.
Now is the time to break from the vague “FTA supremacism,” which may be aimed at “expanding economic territory” or at “occupying markets,” and concentrate more on acquiring a sustainable economic structure that includes reduced polarization.
The Korea-China FTA must not be hurried; even if it does go ahead, it must faithfully observe a process of public consultation and be sure to obtain the agreement of the people. Only then can public conflict and resistance of the kind prompted by the KORUS FTA be minimized.
The role of the National Assembly is to put in place a mechanism that stops negotiators from flying solo, drawing lessons from the KORUS FTA, where negotiations were riddled with instances of haste and inequality.
"South Korea’s attempts to keep North Korean material from the eyes and ears of its citizens is coming under the global media spotlight as the country launches a new sweep of domestic web sites and discussion forums"(NKT, 1.07)
Well, possibly SK's current (insane) gov't and its (paranoid) NIS don't like it, but...
"South Korea’s National Security Law making headlines"
Only two days ago Choe Sang Hun wrotes in the New York Times(NYT) about the South Korean government snaring satirists in the hunt for Norko spies. The piece looks at Kim Myung-soo and his continuing legal battles since being arrested and later released on bail back in 2007 on charges of “aiding the enemy” by selling used books deemed pro-North Korean.
According to NYT, the net in South Korea is blossoming with sedition while the government works hard to root it out: “During the first 10 months of 2011, the police deleted 67,300 Web posts they believed threatened national security by “praising North Korea and denouncing the U.S. and the government,” a sharp rise from 14,430 posts in 2009.”
While criticizing the U.S. is more sport than crime, Kim says all of the books seized from him as evidence by police are available in government-supported libraries around Seoul... (The Marmot's Hole)
☞ South Korean Law Casts Wide Net, Snaring Satirists in a Hunt for Spies (NYT, 2012.1.07)
☞ In South korea, old law leads to new crackdown (npr, 2011.12.01)
☞ All Quiet on the Northern Front (Foreign Policy, 2011.8.25)
Last night, Hyundai Motors Union (Ulsan Regional Council, a part of KMWU/KCTU) 'vowed' to suspend all engine output in the company's biggest production base from tomorrow, saying an employee set himself on fire to protest the company's ongoing suppression of unionized workers...
Reuters reported today the following about the latest developments:
The incident indicates labor issues remain a potential vulnerability for the strongly performing South Korean carmaker, although it avoided strikes for a third year in a row last year.
The worker and union member with the surname Shin was found in flames at a Hyundai engine plant in the southeastern city of Ulsan at around noon on Sunday, and is currently in critical condition at a hospital in nearby Busan, Hyundai's union said in a statement.
The union said in a separate statement that a factory manager had tried to "unfairly control" Shin after he reported problems with engine quality to management, citing files found on his computer.
"Hyundai's management has not abandoned its outdated labor management policy, causing frequent conflicts with labor," the union said.
The union warned that it would suspend engine output throughout Hyundai's complex in Ulsan and refuse overtime and weekend work from Tuesday should the company fail to accept demand including preventing the repeat of incidents of alleged suppression or excessive monitoring.
A company spokesman denied (of course^^) any improper conduct in the treatment of unionized workers.
But employees at the plant where Shin worked already suspended production after the incident...
☞ 문용문 지부장 "분신사태 왜곡 단호히 대처하겠다" (Ulsan LaborNews, 1.09)
☞ 금속노조 현대차지부 "조합원 분신 현장통제 때문" (OMN, 1.09)
☞ 현대차 분신 조합원 ‘위독’.. 화상전문병원서 긴급 수술 (VOP, 1.09)
☞ 현대차지부 조합원, 사측 현장통제에 맞서 항거분신 (KCTU, 1.08)
☞ Hyundai braced for labour unrest (beyondbrics, 1.09)