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  • Peekay1982
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No Mu-hyeon: what's your think?
« on: May 23, 2012, 10:34:44 am »
I'd be curious to hear some other posters' opinions on No Mu-hyeon. It seems like he's being used as a rallying post for the centre-left parties (DUP etc) and The Korea Herald tells me that about 50 pro-No (pro-Mu-Hyeon?) MPs were elected recently, although apparently it's debatable how closely affiliated to him many of them actually were. This is my understanding of him based on my reading:

- the first Korean president to rise from a position of no influence at all - I believe he studied independently for the bar while working, rather than attending an expensive law school;

- came from an non-traditional geographic background for a president (south Gyeongsang rather than north Gyeongsang);

- was seen as a paragon of anti-corruption and anti-cronyism;

- ran on a virulently anti-foreigner ticket in 2003, taking advantage of the accidental death of those two little girls who were run over by a US military vehicle;

- gave massive aid and concessions to North Korea in return for their continued development of nuclear weapons systems;

- killed himself in order to prevent a "politically motivated" investigation into alleged embezzlement while he was in office.

This week his brother has again been summoned by prosecutors (I don't understand the way prosecutors seem to actually investigate crimes here) investigating a massive slush fund the family has. There's an extremely creepy photo on the front of the Herald today - a huge painting of him on stage with a group of people all wearing masks of his face in front of the painting doing some kind of dance. What do people think? Did he start off with good intentions and simply couldn't resist the urge to steal? Was he completely innocent and suffering from a witchhunt instigated by the current administration? Was he a dishonest hypocrite? Why are Koreans deifing someone who killed himself as a way out of his problems? He was a Catholic (like me) and killing oneself is one of the gravest sins a Catholic can commit... what was his endgame with North Korea? What did he actually expect from them? What kind of president completely ignores a regime's human rights abuses and kisses the behind of a vile bunch of gangsters like the Gim dynasty?

I would identify myself as broadly centre-left back in the UK (broadly - I have different ideas about different issues) but Korean left-wingers leave a bad taste in my mouth: racist, xenophobic and blindly worshipping North Korea. They've even opposed legislation denouncing human rights abuses in the North!


Re: No Mu-hyeon: what's your think?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2012, 02:03:20 pm »
The xenophobia (and pro-communism) is also the main reason I hate the crazies on the left in Korea (that and the violent unionists that are also members).  I also can't understand the youth in Korea's support for the left.  This generation should, in theory, be less xenophobic and more open to the world, yet the demographic's political alignment says otherwise (I guess the KTU my have a little bit of influence there)

The regionalism in Korea is outstanding but I don't really believe that hindered Roh.  He was from Gyeongsang (North or south doesn't really matter that much in Korean politics) which is a staunchly right area but being from there meant he stole some local votes away from the right and still got the massive support from the leftists in Jeolla.


  • Peekay1982
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Re: No Mu-hyeon: what's your think?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2012, 02:31:26 pm »
The xenophobia (and pro-communism) is also the main reason I hate the crazies on the left in Korea (that and the violent unionists that are also members).  I also can't understand the youth in Korea's support for the left.  This generation should, in theory, be less xenophobic and more open to the world, yet the demographic's political alignment says otherwise (I guess the KTU my have a little bit of influence there)

The regionalism in Korea is outstanding but I don't really believe that hindered Roh.  He was from Gyeongsang (North or south doesn't really matter that much in Korean politics) which is a staunchly right area but being from there meant he stole some local votes away from the right and still got the massive support from the leftists in Jeolla.

Young people being hard-left in Korea is absolutely baffling to me. If you were involved in the democracy struggles in the 70s and 80s I could totally see why you'd be unwilling or unable to grasp the reality of North Korea nowadays - but for people born in the 80s and 90s to be embracing the DPRK, or supporting politicians who do, is either extreme na´vetÚ or wilful ignorance. (Not that there aren't plenty of legitimate complaints against the Korean right.)

Thanks for clarifying a bit further about No's geographic origins. Everything I've read about him has made a lot out of him being from just outside Gimhae, but I was always thinking to myself "it's not that far from Daegu..." Funny to think of regionalism trumping political affiliation for a lot of Gyeongsang voters.


Re: No Mu-hyeon: what's your think?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2012, 03:05:19 pm »
Check out the East-West divide from the last 2 elections http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Korean_legislative_election,_2012
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Korean_legislative_election,_2008
Baiscally the South East always votes right and the South West always votes left.  However these votes don't count for nearly as much as Seoul and Gyeonggi which is why the last general election was so close, the left gained lots of (youth) votes in that area.


Re: No Mu-hyeon: what's your think?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2012, 04:43:12 pm »
I can't speak for everyone, but I hate the right more than I hate the left. That could explain the voting tendencies of the 20somethings and 30somethings. Honestly I would love nothing more than to vote EVERY SINGLE MOP out of office and fill the entire national assembly with independents.


  • dansk
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Re: No Mu-hyeon: what's your think?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2012, 06:45:08 pm »
The xenophobia (and pro-communism)
Jesus, what decade is this, the 50's?  Do you and Peekay really see the world in such blindly black and white terms that we're once again dealing with communists and patriots?  Don't look now, Joe McCarthy is smiling.

I'm going to get the standard educated person's retort out of the way quickly and say that North Korea is not an example of communism by any stretch of the imagination, nor was Soviet Russia or Maoist China.  They're massively centralized totalitarian regimes, which is the polar opposite of true communism.  (And now I'm going to pre-emptively counter your next post and state for the record that I am not a communist in either sense of the word.)

Beyond that, I sincerely doubt anyone but the craziest of crazies is actually advocating a North Korean-style government here in the South, or saying that they would rather live under the Kims.  That's a strawman of epic proportions.

Next, is it so impossible to imagine that it might be desirable to work on ending the stupidity with North Korea and finally bring peace to this peninsula, even at the cost of some moral ambiguity?  Personally, I'd rather accept a bit of ethical uneasiness in order to gain peace and eventual prosperity for all Korean people than continue the idiotic sanctions and blockades that have utterly failed over the last 60 years, not to mention provided endless fuel for the American military-industrial complex.

Children think in black and white, adults understand that the world is not so simple.


  • Peekay1982
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Re: No Mu-hyeon: what's your think?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2012, 09:04:00 pm »
The xenophobia (and pro-communism)
Jesus, what decade is this, the 50's?  Do you and Peekay really see the world in such blindly black and white terms that we're once again dealing with communists and patriots?  Don't look now, Joe McCarthy is smiling.

I'm going to get the standard educated person's retort out of the way quickly and say that North Korea is not an example of communism by any stretch of the imagination, nor was Soviet Russia or Maoist China.  They're massively centralized totalitarian regimes, which is the polar opposite of true communism.  (And now I'm going to pre-emptively counter your next post and state for the record that I am not a communist in either sense of the word.)

Beyond that, I sincerely doubt anyone but the craziest of crazies is actually advocating a North Korean-style government here in the South, or saying that they would rather live under the Kims.  That's a strawman of epic proportions.

Next, is it so impossible to imagine that it might be desirable to work on ending the stupidity with North Korea and finally bring peace to this peninsula, even at the cost of some moral ambiguity?  Personally, I'd rather accept a bit of ethical uneasiness in order to gain peace and eventual prosperity for all Korean people than continue the idiotic sanctions and blockades that have utterly failed over the last 60 years, not to mention provided endless fuel for the American military-industrial complex.

Children think in black and white, adults understand that the world is not so simple.

You've done so much pre-empting that perhaps I don't need to reply at all. But if I may?

You're right; North Korea isn't a paragon of classical communism. Apologies for using the term (which they themselves use, along with socialist) for ease of reference. What would you suggest? Centralised-totalitarian-command-economy-aid-bolstered-rogue-state? My point was that the (South) Korean hard left engages in some pretty unsavoury worship of the DPRK which digusts me. That's all. I appear to have angered you but I'm not sure what, exactly, has upset you about my posts. All I can do is apologise and hope we can get past this. Your pre-empting has rather unfairly assumed that I'd have a problem with you being a communist. You don't know anything about my political affiliations so kindly refrain from putting words into my mouth. 


Beyond that, I sincerely doubt anyone but the craziest of crazies is actually advocating a North Korean-style government here in the South, or saying that they would rather live under the Kims.  That's a strawman of epic proportions.

Do some research, check the facts, get involved; you might be surprised how many people, and who, are advocating exactly that.

Next, is it so impossible to imagine that it might be desirable to work on ending the stupidity with North Korea and finally bring peace to this peninsula, even at the cost of some moral ambiguity?  Personally, I'd rather accept a bit of ethical uneasiness in order to gain peace and eventual prosperity for all Korean people than continue the idiotic sanctions and blockades that have utterly failed over the last 60 years, not to mention provided endless fuel for the American military-industrial complex.

Now who's constructing strawmen? You know as well as I do that working with the North Koreans is a dead end, too; look at the lack of progress under the Sunshine Policy. The North Korean elites can only maintain their power with the country in its current state. They have no interest or incentive for allowing any change in the status quo. Believing they do is the mistake lots of people on the Korean left have made. China doesn't want anything to change either - and until they want change there won't be any.

I really feel like you've attacked me somewhat unfairly. I'd appreciate it if you refrained from using inflammatory, blasphemous terms like "Jesus" too. Thanks.


  • JahRhythm
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Re: No Mu-hyeon: what's your think?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2012, 10:43:25 pm »
Dansk, way to jump into the fray and show your ass, pal.
We teach EFL not ESL. Hagwon and "Private School" are not synonymous. Not everyone works in either a hagwon or public school. Immigration Question? Call 1345.


  • dansk
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Re: No Mu-hyeon: what's your think?
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2012, 07:21:08 am »
Do some research, check the facts, get involved; you might be surprised how many people, and who, are advocating exactly that.
The burden of proof is on the one making the outrageous claim.  Please provide me with a legitimate example of a South Korean public figure who advocates North Korean-style government here in the South.  (Hint: It's currently illegal to do so, so best of luck.)  I have no desire to waste my time disproving spurious claims.

Quote
Now who's constructing strawmen? You know as well as I do that working with the North Koreans is a dead end, too; look at the lack of progress under the Sunshine Policy.
On the contrary, there was a great deal of progress under the Sunshine Policy, until George Bush stepped in and threw North Korea on his "Axis of Evil" alongside Iraq, which he later went on to invade and occupy.  Amazingly, they weren't so happy to cooperate after that.

Quote
I really feel like you've attacked me somewhat unfairly. I'd appreciate it if you refrained from using inflammatory, blasphemous terms like "Jesus" too. Thanks.
I don't believe in blasphemy.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 07:25:28 am by dansk »


  • Peekay1982
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Re: No Mu-hyeon: what's your think?
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2012, 09:06:06 am »
Do some research, check the facts, get involved; you might be surprised how many people, and who, are advocating exactly that.
The burden of proof is on the one making the outrageous claim.  Please provide me with a legitimate example of a South Korean public figure who advocates North Korean-style government here in the South.  (Hint: It's currently illegal to do so, so best of luck.)  I have no desire to waste my time disproving spurious claims.

Quote

You're deliberately exaggerating my ("outrageous") claim. My point is that there are current members of parliament - Yi Seok-gi and Gim Jae-yeon of the UPP, for example (public enough for you?) - who have refused to publically condemn North Korean human rights abuses. They won't explain their position on the cognitive dissonance of a communist regime (self-described as communist, I hasten to reiterate) having hereditary succession either.


  • dansk
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Re: No Mu-hyeon: what's your think?
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2012, 12:22:22 pm »
According to this:

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/fullstory/2012/05/23/25/4500000000AEN20120523002500315F.HTML

They've been kicked out of the party and are currently under heavy pressure to resign their seats not only for being North Korean apologists, but because of allegations of corruption in the electoral process that ended with them in parliament.

With all due sarcasm, those are certainly two shining examples of the Korean left.  They strike me as the Korean version of Geert Wilders and his band of merry evildoers.  No one would confuse his rabid Islamophobia with genuine conservatism, though, so why conflate these two morons with liberalism?  Every democracy manages to elect false-flag lunatics every now and then.


  • Peekay1982
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Re: No Mu-hyeon: what's your think?
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2012, 02:13:23 pm »
According to this:

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/fullstory/2012/05/23/25/4500000000AEN20120523002500315F.HTML

They've been kicked out of the party and are currently under heavy pressure to resign their seats not only for being North Korean apologists, but because of allegations of corruption in the electoral process that ended with them in parliament.

With all due sarcasm, those are certainly two shining examples of the Korean left.  They strike me as the Korean version of Geert Wilders and his band of merry evildoers.  No one would confuse his rabid Islamophobia with genuine conservatism, though, so why conflate these two morons with liberalism?  Every democracy manages to elect false-flag lunatics every now and then.

"Please provide me with a legitimate example of a South Korean public figure who advocates North Korean-style government here in the South."


  • dansk
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    • March 13, 2012, 12:26:55 pm
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Re: No Mu-hyeon: what's your think?
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2012, 02:51:50 pm »
According to this:

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/fullstory/2012/05/23/25/4500000000AEN20120523002500315F.HTML

They've been kicked out of the party and are currently under heavy pressure to resign their seats not only for being North Korean apologists, but because of allegations of corruption in the electoral process that ended with them in parliament.

With all due sarcasm, those are certainly two shining examples of the Korean left.  They strike me as the Korean version of Geert Wilders and his band of merry evildoers.  No one would confuse his rabid Islamophobia with genuine conservatism, though, so why conflate these two morons with liberalism?  Every democracy manages to elect false-flag lunatics every now and then.

"Please provide me with a legitimate example of a South Korean public figure who advocates North Korean-style government here in the South."
Your original point was that the 'left' in Korea advocates these sorts of things.  These two morons are not representative of the left, and it seems a great deal is being done to remove them from their public positions.  They're a radical fringe, not mainstream by any means.


  • Peekay1982
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Re: No Mu-hyeon: what's your think?
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2012, 03:13:46 pm »
According to this:

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/fullstory/2012/05/23/25/4500000000AEN20120523002500315F.HTML

They've been kicked out of the party and are currently under heavy pressure to resign their seats not only for being North Korean apologists, but because of allegations of corruption in the electoral process that ended with them in parliament.

With all due sarcasm, those are certainly two shining examples of the Korean left.  They strike me as the Korean version of Geert Wilders and his band of merry evildoers.  No one would confuse his rabid Islamophobia with genuine conservatism, though, so why conflate these two morons with liberalism?  Every democracy manages to elect false-flag lunatics every now and then.

"Please provide me with a legitimate example of a South Korean public figure who advocates North Korean-style government here in the South."
Your original point was that the 'left' in Korea advocates these sorts of things.  These two morons are not representative of the left, and it seems a great deal is being done to remove them from their public positions.  They're a radical fringe, not mainstream by any means.

They are left-wing politicians currently holding seats in parliament - not that marginalised. Anyway your assertion was that not a single hugely pro left-wing politician - nay, not even a single public figure - could be found. The UPP is hard-left, no doubt, but they're not some tiny party headquartered in someone's mother's basement.

Admit you were wrong and apologise. Your rabid need to label me as some kind of far-right witchhunter led you to leaping in without all the facts. You look kind of foolish, don't you?


  • dansk
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Re: No Mu-hyeon: what's your think?
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2012, 04:31:41 pm »
Yes, my claim was too large, some people do exist here who prefer the way of life in the North to that in the South.  In the interests of diplomacy I'll concede that point.

I still maintain that they're radicals and not representative of the true left in Korean politics anymore than Geert Wilders is representative of the Dutch right, though.  In your original post you made a sweeping generalization that includes people who prefer some sort of peaceful settlement with the North - in which category I include Kim Dae-jung and No Mu-hyeon - and people like the two who are currently being kicked out of the UPP.

I don't see them as being even remotely similar.  Kim Dae-jung won the Nobel Peace Prize for what you call "kissing the behinds of a bunch of vile gangsters", so obviously I'm not alone on this one.

Wanting peace with the North doesn't require you to agree with everything they stand for.


(On a tangentially related note, who the hell decided 노 should be romanized as "Roh"?  It bugs me every time I see it, and I'm glad to see you don't follow suit.  For the most part I try to respect the desires of the named people to spell their names how they wish to spell them, but 'Roh' for 노 is just dumb.)