Thursday, January 30, 2003

I haven't had much time lately to spend (waste) as much time as usual following news about Korea but a read through CNNs latest report indicates that I haven't missed much. Yesterday I spend time listening to Bush's State of the Union Address, reading the fact sheets and summarising same for work. In sum, I thought it was a good speech. I don't agree with his proposed economic stimulus package believing that tax-cuts are not the way to solve short-term economic slowdowns which US is currently facing and the increasing deficits which currently do not incorporate the likely cost of war with Iraq in their forecasts should be cause for concern and prudential planning. But since I'm not American and don't vote, I won't argue that point any longer. The main crux of the speech was regards to Iraq and the weapons inspections. I'm not sure I advocate war but the point was clearly put before us and, to me, it did make some sense. The UN inspectors did not go to Iraq to conduct a scavenger hunt and the information from Iraq should be more forth coming and clear. I'm less sure about any supposed links to Al-Qaeda and the base justification of preventing terrorism.

And on the Korean penninsula, I read an article in the Wall Street Journal (who are subscriber based meaning the actual article I will refer to is inaccessible unless your a paying customer) which was highly thought provoking. In a nutshell it criticised Korea's sunshine policy and supported Bush's more hardline stance against the North. The justification is that such repressive regimes should be ousted while they are weak rather than being propped up by outside do-gooders trying to forestall war. In the end, he argues, all these countries do is support dictators who then become more powerful and wreak greater havoc than would have been possible or thinkable if they had been dealt with earlier. He asked how the South Koreans will be able to face their neighbours in the North come the day of unification. How will the South be able to look in the eye those that starved, suffered, lived in prison camps, did hard labour and/or lost their families under Kim's repressive regime and tell them that they (the South) had supported a policy which appeased and pampered to the demands of Kim Jong-il because they feared the economic cost to themselves and did not want to risk war to save the North Korean 'brothers'. For me anyway, this struck a chord. We don't see the dying and suffering that is going on in North Korea already, we often only consider what our own suffering would be if there was war or reunification at a time when the North is economically destitute. I'm not sure I've changed my mind but its certainly food for thought.

Entertainment Section
In entertainment news I went to see the Avril Lavigne concert last Monday. The concert was great, the venue SUCKED!!! The Millenium Hall would have to be, without doubt, the most ridiculuous place to hold a rock concert ever concieved in the entire history of holding rock concerts. I say that without exaggeration. It was a bunch of high school teeny boppers and a few deprived adults like me craving some live music regardless of our own musical taste and after a few songs they told us NOT TO JUMP SO MUCH!!!??! This wasn't Limp Bizit or Korn and we were hardly Hell's Angels heavy metal bashers crowd surfing and trying to bring the roof down. If the floor couldn't handle a bunch of kids bopping with glow sticks then it isn't the place to have a rock concert. That was my main complaint, I have others but won't bore you with them.

Happy Chinese New Year Everyone!

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui