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King or kingmaker?

Tug-of-war has begun over unified candidacy On Monday, 102 celebrities called for the two major opposition presidential nominees to agree on a single candidate. Similar demands will follow until the liberal Moon Jae-in and centrist Ahn Cheol-soo give their consent. From the standpoint of opposition supporters, however, it should not be a matter of whether […]

Overseas voting in doubt

Parties must cooperate to introduce viable system  Korean citizens living abroad have been granted the vote in the Dec. 19 presidential election, following their inaugural ballot-casting in the April parliamentary elections. But the effectiveness of the overseas voting system is in doubt, because only a fraction of overseas Koreans are registered to vote in the […]

Time to test Iran

Time to test Iran

NEW YORK ― Most of the debate about how to address Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear-weapons capacity focuses on two options. The first is to rely on deterrence and live with an Iran that has a small nuclear arsenal or the ability to assemble one with little advance notice. The second is to launch a […]

Those ‘guilty’ in innocent lady’s death

Those ‘guilty’ in innocent lady’s death

A year ago, when I was working at a previous school, a female teacher’s death left me speechless. I was depressed all day at the sad news. How could she die suddenly with her marriage so close? She should have been walking on air, dreaming of a wonderful honeymoon with her soul mate. Why did […]

NLL as political football

Any further brawl is dirty old electioneering Analysts here have long worried the 18th presidential election would be a proxy war of ghosts: two deceased former leaders. Unfortunately, the premonition seems to be proving right, as ex-Presidents Park Chung-hee and Roh Moo-hyun are coming back in big ways. For nearly two weeks, the governing Saenuri […]

Diplomatic procession as world heritage

Diplomatic procession as world heritage

The initiatives to make the Joseon Diplomatic Procession a UNSECO World Cultural Heritage are about to begin in Korea and Japan. Korea has nine world cultural heritage sites and one natural heritage site, and Japan has twelve cultural and four natural heritage sites recognized by the internationally renowned organization as of 2012. Commemoration of the […]

Little justice in N. Korea

Little justice in N. Korea

One of the questions a Korean-speaking visitor to North Korea is likely to encounter in a private conversation with a local is “What happened to the Party and security functionaries of East Germany after reunification?” This question shows one of the most important, and perhaps the defining feature, of the North Korean apparatchik’s collective world […]

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