Friday, May 28, 2004

Pardon me

Roh's aide Choi Do-sul got sentenced to 2 years gaol for soliciting illegal funds mostly from SK. I believe he pocketed some and used the rest for the presidential elections. In the meantime, those found guilty in the 2000 cash-for-Summit scandal have been issued get out of gaol free cards otherwise known as presidential pardons according to the Ministry of Justice. Park Jie-won though was not included in the list of those to be freed.

Pension Scheme

There is an article about civil discontent with the pension plan in Korea. I found this interesting mostly cause I just finished reading/editing an article by a Korean scholar here at the Korea Studies Program regarding the historical development of Korea's pension plan. Applying certain western-oriented theories in combination he explains that welfare policies in developmental states, using Korea as a case study, tend to be used as tool to gain ends other than public welfare such as legitimate government, gain public support for authoritarian regimes and to quell public anger against hardship, such as welfare efforts in the aftermath of the crisis. In this context, he noted that welfare policy was much more heavily influenced over the years by the Economic Planning Board than the Welfare Ministry and was considered valuable for capital accumulation for promoting economic growth rather than supporting disadvantaged. Hopefully, the maturation of civil society in Korea will give rise to more 'public good' considerations for the future development of social welfare.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui