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Seoul Scandal
South Korea’s Crisis Deepens
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  • Anthony

    “Times”, they are a stirring!

  • Andrew Allison

    What do you propose that the incoming administration should do about the mess in South Korea?

    • Disappeared4x

      South Korea is not as dire as this, so, I suggest: Learn how to pronounce Pyeongchang before the Winter Olympics 2018

      • Andrew Allison

        I assume that you meant PyeongChang, pronounced Pong-Chan. But what does that have to do with my comment?

        • CapitalHawk

          It means he (or she) proposes the new administration do nothing. Perhaps there are some people who might be more invested in the situation who can be counted on to work out a solution? I think they are known as “South Koreans”.

          • Andrew Allison

            I’m afraid I’m going to have to report you to the PC and/or bathroom police for omitting the pronoun “trans” [grin] But, on a more serious note, my comment made no reference to how dire or otherwise the situation might be (or to the irrelevant question of the pronunciation of the name of the 2018 Winter Games host city). I simply asked our friendly local foreign policy guru (WRM) what he thought the incoming administration should do. Personally, I think that you nailed it, but then again, I’m not (thank the Lord) an expert.

          • Disappeared4x

            This TAI post is an unforced anxiety attack, because the FT says so(?): South Korea is “leaderless and in disarray”. What are the agendas of the quoted South Koreans?

            (Where was TAI on Mrs. Clinton’s influence peddling scandals? Was that not a greater threat
            to America’s stability than Mr. Trump’s Twitter habit?)

            CapitalHawk inferred correctly, not do nothing, but do not make it worse by misprounouncing PyeongChang. South Korea’s debut as an Olympic host is an important milestone, perhaps the present problems will be overcome
            by national pride in a successful, hopefully scandal-free Winter Olympics.
            Maybe there will be snow too!

            As Dhako notes, President Park offered her resignation. South Korea will survive.

            Not quite sure PyeongChang2018 will survive Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski…(just kidding, feels good to throw off the shackles of the PC Police – loved Johnny Weir’s look at the recent National Dog Show)

          • Disappeared4x

            adding Johny Weir (center) with Tara Lipinski (left) and Poodle at National Dog Show: get ready for figure skating in PyeongChang! I think this is a poodle…on the right. Who needs pronouns?

          • CapitalHawk

            Well, experts are the ones who cause all the trouble in the world, so yes, be thankful you are not one.

  • Dhako

    South Korea was always one political mismanagement away from a real Crisis. And in President Park, they have a lady who was much more in love with her own “political cleverness” than the average citizen in the Seoul could give her credit for, even if they are press-ganged to do so. In other words, there was always a bit of being “legend-in her-own-mind” about her. And as a result of it, she took various political dicey positions that show how unreliable she is. Or at least, how easily goaded she is, even when matters could have turn to her favor if only she had bit more sturdiness about herself.

    And by that I mean she have decided to blow hot and cold to the Chinese’s side, knowing full well that the US’s pivot and the THAAD system will be useless to her country’s defense without getting a “political buy-in” from China, at least for the “acceptance” of their deployment. And all it took for her to change mid-course direction, after blowing hot and cold as to whether she will accept this system, was one or two “missile bait” from that “perennial toddler” in North Korea.

    Hence the minute her “unreliability” became a fact of reality for the Chinese side, then simply they have decided to withdraw their hand of friendship from her. And this has the effect of “compounding” the economical head-wind in which South Korea was always destined to head towards it, as she tries to expand the reach of her tech industries across the world. And this meant the huge internal Chinese market, which was simply the “rock” in which South Korean’s Multinational corporations (MNCs) were too dependent on (as an export-market for their goods) no longer was acting as such since the political “understanding” between President Park and President Xi, was no longer in operation.

    Moreover, on the security front, she put too much effort in “talking up” the THAAD system, to the point of telling anyone who could care to listen to her that South Korea, do not indeed need a “Chinese’s insurance policy” that will ensure that the North Korea will not act stupidly, even if that assertion was contradicted by the need of her military who kept telling her, they need “secondary insurance policy” from the Chinese side to go with their “first insurance policy”, that was the American’s THAAD system.

    And then, of course, all of a sudden Mr Trump came to the political scene in Republican’s primaries, undercutting her “vow” of saying that so long as we have US on our side, we don’t need anyone else to which to “purchase” an insurance policy from. Subsequently, although it was forgivable for Mr Trump to have said the things he said about how South Korea should approach their defenses when he was merely campaigning for the Republican’s primaries. But now that he is in power, every one else in South Korea can see that President Park took a monumental gamble with American’s THAAD system without Chinese’s acceptance of it, which means that act had angered the Chinese in no end.

    And the end result of it, is that she has lost her gamble with Trump (who at least made it clear he has no desire to baby-sit South Koreans defensively), and while she is at it, she also has the North Koreans menacingly trying to perfect their delivery missile system at her country’s expense. And to boot, the old support in which her earlier years in office she used to have from China is no longer available since she had decided to do a bit of “missile dalliance” with the American’s THAAD system without coming to understanding with the Chinese side.

    All in all, the political left, who were always more “realistic” about what they can get out of America in comparison of what they could get from China. Or at least knew they need both “insurance policy”, in the form of “hard insurance policy” with the THAAD system from the Americans; and Chinese insurance policy, in the form of “diplomatic understanding” between South Korea and China, in-order for the later one to be able to restrained North Korea, have a better chance of strategically picking up the pieces after President Park vacates the Blue-House.

    Which means, if the left play their card, cleverly, in the sense of not be too dependent on Uncle Sam, wholly, they have a much more political brighter future in South Korea than this discredited President Park, at least during the time Mr Trump is in power in Washington, given the fact that he shows no inclination of carrying the “defensive waters” of the South Koreans while they can easily manage that if they do thing with China’s blessings. So from that perspective, if election is call for in South Korea in the near future, I expect her to lose, and lose decisively to the opposition. And what they will do in that eventuality, we at least have to see it. But I am sure of it, whatever they do, they will not be as strategically inept as she has been in recent years.

    • ——————————

      Dhako, you must have too much time on your hands…when your posts are longer than the articles…I mean, seriously?!

      • Dhako

        What can I say, I earn my living as an analyst. And top of that I like writing papers at my think-tank, which as you could imagine is seriously long papers. As for time on my hand, it so happens that, from time time, in my Ivory-Tower, we get bored in reading position papers from morning till late in the evening, which means writing on serious blogs like this one (and taking part in subsequent debates) actually comes as a relieve. Or if you will, it’s a bit of a needed distraction. Hence, the reason you behold my out in here.

        • Observe&Report

          Which think tank?

          • JR

            Whatever the pro-Chinese propaganda outfit is paying Dhako his yuan’s. Not that I’m judging,. Everyone’s gotta eat.

          • Observe&Report

            I was testing in case his story might be true. The 50-cent bunch only get paid per post, not per word; so it’s unusual to see them post lengthy essays.

          • Fat_Man

            I still say it is a bot.

          • Dhako

            Chinese Academy of Social Science (CASS), and Visiting Research Scholar at University Collage London (UCL), London, UK.

  • Fat_Man

    “I can’t remember a time more challenging than this,”
    Summer 1950?

    • Dhako

      He means he can’t remember a time more challenging than this during the South Korea’s democratic era, which is post-1980s period.

  • Dhako

    As I expected President Park offered to resign her post of Presidency of South Korea to the Parliament this Tuesday (Seoul Time).


    South Korea’s Park Geun-hye offers to step down – Scandal-mired president asks parliament to ensure stable transfer of power.

    Park Geun-hye said on Tuesday she was willing to step down as South Korea’s president, asking parliament to come up with a way of ensuring stable regime change amid a corruption scandal that has riveted the nation.

    Ms Park said she would step down according to a schedule agreed by lawmakers to minimise a leadership vacuum.

    “I’ll leave everything about my future to parliament, including shortening my term,” she said in a televised address. “I will step down, according to the schedule and legal procedures agreed by lawmakers for the stable transfer of power.”

    Her speech comes as she faces mounting public calls to resign — a move she has so far resisted, saying most of the influence-peddling allegations involving her close aides have yet to be proved. Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans have taken to the streets on recent weekends demanding her resignation.

    Even as close aides have been indicted over alleged abuse of power, Ms Park has rejected state prosecutors’ requests to question her over the saga, with her lawyer saying she will comply with a probe by a separate independent counsel.

    Prosecutors allege Ms Park allowed her long-time friend Choi Soon-sil to meddle in state affairs extensively and extort funds from top South Korean companies for non-profit foundations controlled by Ms Choi. Ms Park was named as a criminal “conspirator” in the scheme.

    The latest announcement comes as lawmakers prepare a motion to impeach the president, which could go to a vote as early as Friday. Even Ms Park’s political allies in the ruling party have called for her to opt for an “honorary” resignation instead.



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