I’ve already given my thanks with my South Korean family in September. I can only give so much thanks. If readers are grateful for war and endless political campaigns, please think of their families and loved ones and all the opportunities I will have in the coming year to dissuade them of their complacency.
Just remember, turkey doesn’t make you sleepy. Your drinking habits and your boring uncle suffice.
1. Japan might yet instruct the U.S. again how to be a reforming state.
2. Taiwan gets “Hong Kong’ed“.
As the second anniversary of the Yeonpyeong Island shelling approaches on November 23rd, national security experts are in agreement that South Koreans lack an adequate awareness of national security issues. They point out that overall awareness has been degraded by this year’s presidential candidates, who are all calling for a softer line policy toward North Korea.
For example, Saenuri Party candidate Park Geun Hae has proposed “mutual economic and social exchanges and economic cooperation,” while Democratic United Party candidate Moon Jae In has called for the “protection of the Northern Limit Line through the establishment of the West Sea Joint Fishing Zone.” Meanwhile, independent candidate Ahn Cheol Soo has called for “the institutionalisation of North-South economic cooperation.”
While all three candidates do speak of the importance of national security in their campaigns, their proposed policies toward North Korea actually emphasize North-South exchanges and dialogue. The candidates all believe that putting forward softer policies toward North Korea will garner greater support from voters than emphasis on security issues.
However, many experts believe that more North Korean provocations in the style of the Yeonpyeong Island shelling could occur all too easily if such North Korea policies lead to widespread changes in public opinion.