Tag Archives: Korea

South Korea activists protest labour policies, get in touch with for Park’s apology

Posted December 05, 2015 23:17:55

Protesters at a rally in South Korea Photo: Protesters at an anti-government rally in central Seoul. The the sign in centre reads: “listen to people’s voice”. (Reuters: Kim Hong-Ji)

Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters have marched by means of downtown Seoul, demanding that South Korean president Park Geun-hye apologise for cracking down on a protest last month when farm and labour activists clashed with police.

An estimated crowd of 30,000 individuals, a lot of of them wearing masks in defiance of Ms Park’s call for a ban on mask-wearing during protests.

They marched by way of the city centre behind a banner reading “Resign Park Geun-Hye”, chanting slogans.

Saturday’s rally in the capital drew around 14,000 men and women, according to police estimates, far fewer than the 60,000 that attended the rally on November 14.

It went ahead following a court rejected the government’s request for an injunction produced in the aftermath of the violent scenes at the earlier demonstration, which had been organised by some of the country’s most militant activist groups to protest against Ms Park’s labour marketplace and education policies.

External Hyperlink: Video shows protesters in downtown Seoul calling for president Park Geun-hye to apologise

Ms Park’s conservative government plans to make it achievable for employers to dismiss workers based on functionality and to cap the salaries of senior staff in order to encourage employers to hire younger people and ease youth unemployment.

Activists had been also protesting against Ms Park’s choice to replace privately published college history textbooks with government versions, a move they say is an try to whitewash military dictators’ oppression of democracy and human rights in South Korea till the mid-1980s.

Charges were laid against dozens of men and women in the wake of the rally last month, which saw riot police use water cannon and pepper spray soon after some protesters attacked police with metal pipes and sharpened bamboo sticks.

An arrest warrant has been issued against the head of the militant Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), who has taken sanctuary in a Buddhist temple in Seoul, from where, on Saturday, he repeated a get in touch with for a common strike.

“What is our demand? Cease the move to worsen labour circumstances that only fattens capitalists,” KCTU chief Han Sang-gyun stated in his video message to the rally.

KCTU has regularly issued calls for a common strike in current years but the only considerable action taken has been rotating function stoppages at locations exactly where unionised labour is extremely organised.

There is broad public assistance for Ms Park’s labour policy.

A Gallup poll released in September of 1,002 respondents showed more than 70 per cent support for the plan to make firing less complicated and to cap greater income earners’ salaries.

Reuters/AFP

Topics: activism-and-lobbying, world-politics, government-and-politics, korea-republic-of

Agen Sabung Ayam

Kim Young-sam, Former President of South Korea, Dies at 87

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Kim Young-sam waving in the course of a parade on Feb. 25, 1993, in Seoul, soon after getting sworn in as South Korea’s 14th president. Credit Yonhap/European Pressphoto Agency

SEOUL, South Korea — Kim Young-sam, the former president of South Korea who replaced the final of the country’s military leaders, purged politicized generals and introduced a landmark reform aimed at transparency in financial transactions, died on Sunday. He was 87.

Mr. Kim, who was president from 1993 to 1998, died of septicemia and heart failure, stated Oh Byung-hee, the chief of Seoul National University Hospital, where Mr. Kim was admitted with a fever on Friday. He had been treated for a series of strokes and pneumonia in current years.

Mr. Kim, an outspoken critic of military dictators from the 1960s by means of the 1980s, was a single of the “three Kims” — the other folks were former President Kim Dae-jung and former Prime Minister Kim Jong-pil — who played major roles, often relying on regional help from their home provinces, in the course of South Korea’s turbulent transition from dictatorship to democracy.

Mr. Kim was born in 1927, a son of a wealthy anchovy fisherman on Geoje Island, off the southeast coast of South Korea, throughout a time when all of the Korean Peninsula was a Japanese colony. He was elected to Parliament at age 26 and created a following as an opposition leader famed for his daring criticism of Park Chung-hee, who seized power in a coup in 1961 and tortured and imprisoned dissidents prior to his assassination in 1979.

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Kim Young-sam dragged off by plainclothes policemen in Seoul in 1986. Mr. Kim was an outspoken critic of military dictators from the 1960s via the 1980s. Credit Heesoon Yim/Agence France-Presse — Getty Pictures

Mr. Park had Mr. Kim expelled from Parliament for criticizing his dictatorship in the course of an interview with The New York Times in 1979. Mr. Kim’s colleagues resigned from Parliament in protest, and massive antigovernment demonstrations broke out in Mr. Kim’s political residence ground in the southeast. Mr. Park was assassinated by his spy chief later that year.

Mr. Kim’s travails continued when Mr. Park was replaced by Chun Doo-hwan, an army main general who engineered a coup to fill the power vacuum left by his patron’s death. Mr. Kim was barred from politics and put under property arrest. He once staged a 23-day hunger strike.

“Dawn will come even if the rooster is strangled,” he when said, a saying that became a catchphrase for Koreans’ yearning for democracy.

Mr. Kim was as effectively recognized for a lifetime rivalry with Kim Dae-jung, a fellow opposition leader from the southwest Jeolla area. They both ran for president in 1987 in South Korea’s 1st democratic election and split the opposition vote, permitting Mr. Chun’s handpicked successor, Roh Tae-woo, another former army basic, to win.

In 1990, Mr. Kim merged his celebration with Mr. Roh’s military-backed governing celebration in a move widely condemned as a betrayal of pro-democracy forces. The merger was a political marriage of convenience: Mr. Roh wanted a parliamentary majority, and Mr. Kim, who distrusted Kim Dae-jung as significantly as he detested the military dictators, believed that he would never ever win the presidency as lengthy as the other Mr. Kim competed with him for the opposition vote.

When in the governing party, whose leading hierarchy integrated a lot of former generals, Mr. Kim and his followers, vastly outnumbered by rival factions but all seasoned veterans in party politics, rapidly expanded their ranks and dominated the celebration.

Mr. Kim beat Kim Dae-jung in the 1992 election to become the initial civilian leader in South Korea in much more than 3 decades.

Although he won the election with the support of the military-backed party, Mr. Kim did not overlook his roots. He purged a clique of politically ambitious army officers who went by the name Hanahoe, which roughly meant “an association of one-for-all, all-for-one particular.” Bound by their regional prejudices and sponsored by the military dictators, the members of the group were so potent they blackmailed — and even beat up — members of Parliament. The officers had been forced to retire.

Mr. Kim’s military purge culminated in the arrest and conviction of Mr. Chun and Mr. Roh on mutiny and corruption charges for their roles in the 1979 coup and a bloody crackdown on a pro-democracy uprising in the following year, as effectively as for collecting hundreds of millions of dollars every in bribes from businessmen. (Mr. Kim later pardoned them and released them from prison.)

Mr. Kim also barred South Koreans from owning bank accounts below pseudonyms. That adjust is regarded one particular of the most essential landmarks in South Korea’s lengthy-operating campaign against corruption bank accounts below borrowed names had been extensively employed by politicians and businessmen to hide slush funds.

But Mr. Kim’s time in workplace was also marked by missed possibilities.

In his memoir, Mr. Kim said he persuaded President Bill Clinton to cancel the United States’ plan to bomb North Korea’s nuclear facilities in 1994 for fear of war.

“Looking back,” Mr. Kim stated in an interview in 2009, “I consider the North Koreans believe they can say whatever they want simply because no matter what they do, the Americans will by no means attack them.”

The 1994 nuclear crisis was defused when former President Jimmy Carter met with the North Korean leader at the time, Kim Il-sung, in Pyongyang, the North’s capital, and brokered what would have been the first summit meeting between the leaders of the two Koreas. But Kim Il-sung died of heart failure in July 1994, two weeks before the meeting was scheduled to take location. ”Fate played a trick on me,” Mr. Kim said. “If I had met Kim Il-sung, I would have changed the nation’s history.”

The achievement that had eluded him — becoming the 1st South Korean leader to hold a summit meeting with the North — went to his rival and successor, Kim Dae-jung. In 2000, Kim Dae-jung flew to Pyongyang and met with Kim Jong-il, Kim Il-sung’s son and successor. That year, Kim Dae-jung was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

By the time Kim Young-sam ended his 5-year term in early 1998, he was a sad, disgraced lame duck.

In 1997, South Korea’s proud economy swallowed the humiliation of a $ 58 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund during the Asian financial crisis. Mr. Kim was criticized for failing to stop the crisis by overhauling the country’s effective household-run conglomerates, which had expanded on reckless borrowing and with cozy ties to the government.

With thousands of men and women losing their jobs, Mr. Kim stopped jogging in the early morning, a daily routine that he had never ever missed until then.

Mr. Kim’s reputation was additional tarnished with the arrest of a son on corruption charges. His governing party was so unpopular that South Koreans have been ready to hand over energy to the opposition for the first time, as they did with the election of Kim Dae-jung in late 1997.

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