Wednesday, December 17, 2003

News on Korea

South Korea is Australia's No. 1 source of adopted babies. Begging the question
what kind of society sends its children overseas?

This is the difficult and unsettling question that Korean society has been agonising over for the better part of two decades. At one level, South Korea is a vibrant nation, making its mark internationally. At the same time, it is a country bound by mores and prejudices deeply rooted in Korean culture.

A fiercely patriarchal society, South Korea has historically shunned the idea of out-of-family adoption. "Korean culture is quite different," says Kim. "As far as domestic adoption is concerned, the Korean people have mainly adopted relatives. The Korean people did not adopt a child unless they had blood ties."
The article goes on to look at government efforts to reduce the number of overseas adoptions in an effort to address the poor image it sends but of course this only increases the number of babies left in orphanages because such a policy fails to deal with the other side, namely, Korean prejudices against out-of-family adoptions.

Intelligence from Korea is reporting that Al-Qaeda has been casing the joint. Despite the anonmyous comment given that South Korean's are veterans when it comes to dealing with infiltration by terrorists it is a disquieting commentary. For some reason Korea becomes a more frightening place when you are not there but all your friends are.

On the subject of dealing with threats, Foriegn Minister Yoon Young Kwan gives an interview about how South Korea hopes the North Korean crisis might unfold, emphasising the need for piecemeal and gradual opening of the economy, perhaps Chinese style, to avoid a total collapse that would bring about chaos to both North and South Korea.

It looks like the poor drunk sap that killed the South Korean women in a drink driving incident could be the first US soldier to be tried by South Korean courts under the revised SOFA. I would imagine the South Korean prosecutors would be handling this matter very carefully to ensure that is exactly what happens.

Australia - Shoot 'em up Foreign Policy

Not only has the #%@$* Prime Minister of Australia and the spineless oppositionadvocated the death penalty to Saddam despite the fact that our country has long rejected capital punishment now the government is preparing to put guns on customs boats so we can shoot trespassing un-armed fisherman. And better yet, the Courts have ruled
Australian officials do not have to take into account the likelihood that a failed asylum seeker would be killed, tortured or persecuted in their home country if deported.

What is happening to my country?

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui