Topic: Korea
by Graeme Peden


I wouldn’t discount the likelihood of a lot of sucking going on.

The president has been on the slide for awhile. He was elected in a major demographic split: anti-commie, pro-American, conservative old fogies voted for his opponent … a former Supreme Court judge who had a penchant for sentencing liberals to death. His support was from not-so-anti-commie, decidedly anti-American, “liberal” young fogies. He was also elected on an anti-big-business, anti-corruption ticket. He vowed to never visit the United States.

An albatross around his neck was that he was the candidate of Kim Dae Jung’s “party” despite not being Kim’s chosen heir … he defeated that bozo in the primaries. Thus his support base, the Millennium Democratic Party (already mired in Kim’s “getting Hyundai to buy him a Nobel Prize by bribing North Korea” problem) were not fully behind him.

Roh’s presidency has been racked by corruption (enter the typical loser brother of the president who dogs leaders all over the world), problems over campaign finance, problems over restructuring banks and majors corps and general problems over the economy. The fact that North Korea sank one of our naval vessels didn’t help. Oh, and they are racing ahead to build nukes … which many South Koreans don’t mind as they look forward to using them against Japan … and if the opportunity arises, America.

The “moment of clarity” for the opposition … which consists of the president’s own party and the party of his foe from the last election (strange but true) was the pres. commenting on the parliamentary elections due next month. While the pres. is dependent on the support of parliament … he must be seen to be above it … and is constitutionally barred from supporting any group in elections.

He refused to apologize … I think he actually wanted to be impeached when he realized how unpopular such a move would be among the electorate. I think he decided to call his opponents’ bluff so that they would shoot themselves in the foot in the election next month.

The highlight for me was the “sleepover” by the president’s supporters, surrounding the speaker’s podium in parliament in an attempt to block access to the gavel until 72 hours had passed from the introduction of the bill of impeachment … when it would lapse. Sort of a human wall of filibustering.

At 4 am on Friday, opposition members burst into the parliamentary chamber and attacked the sleeping pro-government members, one of whom ran, semi-clad, with the gavel, pursued by other parliamentarians. It sounded like something from Benny Hill.

I’m off into town now … I’ll let you know if anything of interest is happening there.