News and Perspectives on Korean Affairs, History and Policy Issues
December 11, 2010
South Korean Parliament's Scuffles
Again, the South Korean National Assembly floor became a scene of chaos as scuffles by legislators and aides arose while the process of approving the national budget was contested, violently. The ruling majority Grand National Party is accused of railroading the budget approval measure without fully going through legislative and committee dialogue/process or accomodating the minority parties' concerns. The controversial "Four Great Rivers Project" budget promoted by the Lee Myung-bak administration was approved in this way, for which the opposition likens to a "legislative coup d'etat." More political tension in South Korea is in store.
South and North Korean teams marched together in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, under one flag representing one Korea -- highlighting the Korean people's desire for reunification. This did not happen in the 2008 Olympics, suggesting challenges that remain.
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Long-closed Military Demarcation Line in the DMZ that divides Korea is now open for inter-Korea traffic and exchanges, but the exchanges have slowed down since 2008.
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