Tensions are flaring up again between South Korea and Japan. Earlier this month, Japan restricted exports of three chemicals vital to South Korea’s electronics industry, citing national security concerns. Seoul called the move “economic retaliation” and filed a complaint with the WTO. Tokyo has also threatened to remove South Korea from its “white list” of trustworthy countries for trade in sensitive materials by July 24.
To outside observers, the trade spat may seem sudden. However, the relationship has been deteriorating since last fall, when long-existing disagreements over Japan’s history with the Korean Peninsula were reignited.
South Korean court rulings precipitated the current spat.… Seguir leyendo »
On Tuesday, the South Korean government wrapped up a months-long process of reviewing a landmark 2015 agreement with Japan over the “comfort women” issue. In the agreement, Japan apologized for the sexual enslavement of Korean women in military brothels before and during World War II. It also offered for the first time government money to support surviving victims through a foundation run by the Korean government. Both sides pledged to stop criticizing each other on the comfort women issue. They pronounced the deal a “final and irreversible resolution” to the issue.
However, the deal quickly faced backlash in South Korea and was further delegitimized when President Park Geun-hye was impeached last year.… Seguir leyendo »
On Friday, South Korea’s Constitutional Court unanimously upheld the legislature’s impeachment of President Park Geun-hye. After months of political uncertainty, Park became the first democratically elected leader in the country to be stripped of her powers, which had been suspended since the legislature’s 234-to-56 impeachment vote in December.
The scandal that brought down Park also led to the demise of the ruling party, engulfed officials and business leaders alike, and has preoccupied South Koreans for months.
The ruling was eagerly awaited. But it’s a beginning more than an end. Here are five things you should know for the road ahead.
1) The ruling was unanimous and unambiguous.… Seguir leyendo »