Thursday, November 07, 2013

Right-Wing Drift vs. Despotism

The present government of the Republic of Korea is right-wing, and Proud.

Fine. South Korea's democratically-elected government missteps, however, when it bans political activities and seeks to dissolve a rival political party.

Also, South Korea still requires mandatory military service from all young men. But the system is abused (desirable appointments surreptitiously distributed unfairly) and abusive (less-advantaged young men forced into labor) as well as being sexist (in a land of legal equality, why no female service?) and possibly illegal (with no conscientious objector option, the system abrogates Korea's human rights obligations).

Korea suffers growing pains. Hopefully, the Korean people will find good solutions to their problems.

But major danger lurks, in stubborn homogeneity. Koreans are unaccustomed to diverse opinion; rather than seeking to bridge differences, diversity is smothered. Multiethnic mixed communities are rare, and too often considered dangerous.

Korea just now has many opportunities. But sustainable progress requires solving basic problems among Korea's neighbors, and offering opportunity comprehensively across the nation. Korea needs statecraft, not simplistic despotism. We pray President Park Geun-hye will search for creative solutions. Otherwise, Korea's enemies laughingly watch Korea hurry-hurry (빨리빨리) into disaster.