[KS] Professor Kang Nae-hui's talk at Columbia Univ, 4/25
Afostercarter at aol.com
Afostercarter at aol.com
Thu Apr 20 02:28:22 EDT 2006
How good to know where Professor Kan stands
on this vital issue of the day!
In a similar spirit, in case List members missed them,
I append two recent articles from the Chosun Ilbo,
equally replete with patriotic fervour and vigilance.
Also a typically pusillanimous and insidious piece
of neoliberal propaganda from that well-known
anti-popular organ, the Financial Times.
Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea, Leeds University
Home address: 17 Birklands Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3BY, UK
tel: +44(0) 1274 588586 (alt) +44(0) 1264 737634 mobile:
+44(0) 7970 741307
fax: +44(0) 1274 773663 ISDN: +44(0) 1274 589280
Email: afostercarter at aol.com (alt) afostercarter at yahoo.com website:
[Please use @aol; but if any problems, please try @yahoo too - and let me
know, so I can chide AOL]
Updated Apr.10,2006 22:02 KST
Government Faces Revolt Over Free-Trade Deal With U.S.
The government faces harsh opposition from within its ranks to plans for a
free-trade agreement with the U.S. First up was the former presidential
secretary for economic affairs, who charged the FTA would be tantamount to "a second
Eulsa treaty" after the deal that cost Korea its independence in 1905.
Ex-secretary Chung Tae-in also said the plans smacked of a bid by President Roh
Moo-hyun to conjure a lasting legacy out of a hat.
On Monday, Sangji University President Kim Sung-hoon, a former minister of
agriculture and forestry, joined the chorus, telling an online newspaper an FTA
with the U.S. would reduce Korea to a 51st state. "The FTA would not only be
political suicide but also brand Roh as the most incompetent president in the
country's history and his 'participatory government' as the one that sold out
the country's economy and culture," Kim charged.
Some 16 lawmakers in the ruling Uri Party held a seminar on the FTA attended
by Chung and the head of the People's Coalition for Media Reform, Kim
Young-ho. A participant said the lawmakers agreed they cannot blindly follow while the
president and leading government figures push ahead with the FTA
On March 28, some 270 civic groups including the Korean Confederation of
Trade Unions, the Federation of Korean Trade Unions and the Korean Federation for
Environmental Movement formed a coalition against a free-trade deal with the
U.S. and decided to start their national campaign on April 15. They plan to
declare the situation an "emergency."
Cheong Wa Dae is worried that could get in the way of progress in
negotiations, for which there is little time. "This talk of becoming colonized betrays an
old-fashioned mindset," a government official said. "Without dominating the
global market faster than anyone else, we cannot survive. Of course there are
always risks, but we cannot avoid opening the market. The government itself is
well aware of the risks and will do its best to adjust the speed and content
in the negotiations."
The government is reportedly considering setting up a special public
relations office just to deal with opposition to the FTA. That opposition is expected
to intensify after the upcoming local elections and probably right up to the
U.S.-proposed deadline for negotiations in March 2007. In the process, it could
also spill over into intense social conflict in Korea.
(englishnews at chosun.com )
Korean FTA Negotiators Primed on U.S. Bugging Tricks
Updated Apr.9,2006 22:09 KST
Beware of the dragonfly: it may be a bugging robot disguised as a harmless
insect. No, the advice does not come from a mental patient convinced the
government is spying on his laundry bills: it was one of the security tips issued
during last week's two-day workshop for 120 Korean delegates in the nation's
impending free-trade negotiations with the U.S. The workshop was designed to help
delegates guard their negotiation strategies from prying ears when the talks
start in June.
Security authorities at the workshop revealed the extraordinary inventiveness
of U.S.'s intelligence surveillance power, which indeed stretches to a
dragonfly robot that records conversation with the microphones concealed in its
trunk as it sluggishly drones about the room.
One government official set delegates on edge when he warned, "There is no
telling what lengths the U.S. with its technological might will go to if it
decides to eavesdrop." Sure enough, the CIA also has other members of the insect
kingdom at its disposal, besides using a coin-sized camera that can take 11
Security authorities drew special attention to a U.S. surveillance program
dubbed "Echelon" and administered by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).
Data gathered by Echelon's 120 spy satellites worldwide and analyzed by a
voice-recognizing super computer is believed to enable NSA to intercept as many as 3
The official advised negotiators to assume that eavesdropping is routine,
pointing to the bizarre episode of the Boeing 767-300ER China bought from the
U.S. in 2000 for use as a presidential airplane. No fewer than 20 listening
devices were found in the aircraft, including in the bathroom and the headboard of
the presidential bed.
The bugging of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's office in the run-up to the
Iraq war is only the tip of the iceberg. Private firms, too, do it in
negotiating business deals, a fact that should awaken security consciousness among
local companies, the official added.
Among the security instructions given at the workshop are: use passwords
instead of keywords for documents, only use an e-mail system vouchsafed by the
National Intelligence Service, and do not use photocopiers at hotels and business
centers since they can leak information.
An official with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the workshop
had been organized not because it was concluded that U.S. negotiators will bug
their Korean counterparts but to instill security awareness among delegates.
(englishnews at chosun.com )
Seoul hopes trade deal with US will prompt reform
By Anna Fifield
Published: April 10 2006
Looking for new engines of growth for its manufacturing-reliant economy,
South Korea has high hopes for the bilateral trade agreement it is about to start
negotiating with the US.
Seoul sees the deal not merely as a pact with its second largest trading
partner dramatically to open markets to each other's goods and services but also
as a catalyst for the kind of broader reform that will help propel South Korea
to the next stage in its remarkable economic transformation.
"This will help us upgrade our whole economy - weak sectors such as
agriculture will be strengthened and over-protected sectors such as the film industry
will become more competitive," Kwon Tae-shin, South Korea's vice-finance
minister, told the Financial Times. "And there will be knock-on improvements for
corporate governance, the accounting system and government bureaucracy. All of
these areas can meet global standards."
After three decades of export-led growth, South Korea's business sector
underwent radical restructuring and market opening in the wake the 1997 Asian
financial crisis. But economists say still more change is needed, particularly in
the service sector, to lessen the economy's reliance on global demand for the
products of manufacturers such as Samsung and Hyundai. Exports make up 70 per
cent of the country's gross domestic product volume.
The fast-declining fertility rate and rapidly ageing population, as well as
fierce competition with countries such as China and India, have resulted in
economists' warnings that Korea's long-term growth potential is likely to
deteriorate unless the economy is restructured.
"China has been receiving the main bulk of foreign direct investment and if
this continues we will be sidelined by China," says Young Soo-gil, an
influential economist who heads the National Strategy Institute, an independent
"A free trade agreement with the US would help facilitate further industrial
co-operation between the two countries and would help us turn the current
situation around by taking advantage of the potential that exists in Asian
markets," Mr Young says.
Seoul and Washington are drawing up draft agreements outlining their
positions on the main issues, before the first of five rounds of formal negotiations
begins on June 5. In spite of the tight deadline to reach an agreement - the
pact has to be completed by March next year under a US "fast track" process -
Seoul has delayed the opening of the politically sensitive talks until after
local elections at the end of next month.
The negotiations are likely to be thorny - particularly in sensitive sectors
such as cars, pharmaceuticals and agriculture - and there is scepticism in
Seoul and Washington alike about whether a deal can be struck.
But Korean government officials were encouraged by the speed with which
Australia and the US concluded their own agreement. They also point out that Roh
Moo-hyun, South Korea's president, has made the agreement a main priority for
his final two years in office, although it apparently contradicts his other
important goal: reducing social disparities or "bipolarisation".
"People might think these two things are not necessarily compatible," said a
trade ministry official. "But the free trade agreement will have a positive
effect on growth and economic stability, which can lead to economic
The Korea Institute for Economic Policy estimates annual exports to the US
would at once rise 12.1 per cent, or $5.4bn, and would expand by 15.1 per cent,
or $7.1bn, during the mid- to long-term if a deal is signed.
Demands of a trade agreement would probably entail some necessary
restructuring in the service sector, forcing Korea to open areas that are holding back
business development, such as law and education.
KIEP says arrival of US service providers would increase productivity and
employment. Service sector exports would immediately rise by 4 per cent and
imports by 10 per cent if barriers to services were reduced by a fifth, widening
the deficit by almost $1.8bn, Even if the service sector were not to be
liberalised by the agreement, restructuring would occur because of demand from the
manufacturing sector, economists say.
But Seoul should not expect any trade deal to solve all its structural
problems, according to recent research by World Bank economists. For maximum
economic growth from trade liberalisation, countries should embark on domestic
reforms in their investment climate and labour markets, and pay more attention to
areas such as governance and infrastructure.
The report points out: "Doing well in these areas clearly correlates with
stronger trade-related growth. [That in turn suggests] countries may need to
simultaneously undertake reform in several areas in order to benefit from trade
In a message dated 19/04/2006 22:29:20 GMT Standard Time, ck2048 at columbia.edu
> Subj:[KS] Professor Kang Nae-hui's talk at Columbia Univ, 4/25
> Date:19/04/2006 22:29:20 GMT Standard Time
> From:ck2048 at columbia.edu
> Reply-to:Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws
> To:Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws
> Sent from the Internet
> Professor Kan Nae-hui (of Chungang Univ. and currently visiting
> scholar at Cornell Univ.) will be giving a talk at Columbia Univ.
> on Tuesday 4/25. It is open to everyone. Information about the talk
> (including an abstract) is below.
> “The Korea-U.S. FTA: Neoliberalism, Culture, and Democracy in South
> Kang Nae-hui, Professor, Chungang University, Korea
> Visiting Professor, Cornell University
> Tuesday, April 25, 2006, 4:00p - 6:00p
> 403 Kent Hall, Columbia University
> This talk will focus on how the recently started attempt to
> negotiate for a Free Trade Agreement between South Korea and the
> United States will bear upon the way neoliberalism dominates in
> South Korea. Neoliberalism has been inflicting Korean society as a
> dominant strategy of capital accumulation for more than two
> decades, but the FTA is expected to intensify the country’s
> neoliberalization even further. Given that the trade agreement will
> certainly devastate the national economy and public culture, one
> wonders why the Korean government that claims to be democratic
> pursues it so stubbornly. Is it because there is a fundamental
> difference between political and real social democracy? To
> understand this question, this talk looks into the ways in which
> relationships among politics, the economy, and culture are
> reformulated in South Korea today.
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