Korean Language Blog

Real Life Korean Politics Posted by on Dec 18, 2008 in Uncategorized

Today was a drama filled day in the South Korean legislature.  Picture this: a man in a suit blocks the doorway to the parliamentary meeting room, another man gets a sledgehammer to pry the door open, a security officer uses a fire extinguisher to stop the man with a sledgehammer.  No, it’s not what you’re thinking, it wasn’t a rendition of a Korean play in a theater.  More importantly, when did fire extinguishers become weapons used on people?

So what was the cause of all this commotion?  Well it seems that the Hanaradang (하나라당) a ring wing conservative party in Korea, submitted a proposal that would reduce tariffs in a trade agreement with the U.S.  This trade proposal will be the biggest since NAFTA for the U.S. and the biggest ever for South Korea.  Both countries have a lot to lose if this agreement isn’t approved in the kuk-he (국회), or the Korean legislature.

Everyone wants free trade right?  So why is the Minjudang (민주당) and the Minju-nodong-dang (민주노동당), both of which happen to be the opposition parties to the Hanaradang (하나라당) so against this trade agreement?  Well, it seems that the trade terms will negatively affect farmers, auto makers, and trade unions.  Anticipating the Minjudang (민주당) and Minju-nodong-dang (민주노동당) reactions to the trade agreement, the Hanaradang (하나라당) locked the legislative door to the opposition parties.  Well it looks like the Minjudang (민주당) wasn’t too happy because they got some sledgehammers to pry the door open.

However, it looks like the Hanaradang (하나라당) won.  They thought ahead and got some security officers to hose down the members of the Minjudang (민주당) with a fire extinguisher.  Hmmm… I wonder if this is what they mean when people say they want to be ACTIVE in politics.  It also seems Hanaradang (하나라당) has another trump card: the president.  No, we’re not talking about Bush, but rather the newly elected President Lee Myung Bak (이명박) of South Korea.  He happens to support the Hanaradang (하나라당).  It’s going to be a uphill battle for the opposition party, that’s for sure.

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