Women in Public Sphere: Space for Improvement and Endless Strides

 

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife,” the famous first sentence of <Pride and Prejudice> which establishes the superiority of men in the nineteenth century marriage custom in England. Regarding the matter of gender inequality, I – not only as a young woman but also as a human who views the world to have room for improvement – would like to delve into the matter of women’s “underrated” competency and capability in the globe, particularly in the public sphere. Despite the vast improvement in women’s rights, it cannot be denied that women still lack representation of themselves although they constitute more than half of the world population.

Prior to proposing solutions to solve gender inequality, it is much more imperative to face the truth that only 22.8 percent of all national parliamentarians were women as of June 2016. Surprisingly, Rwanda has displayed the highest women participation in national politics by having 63.8%. Although cases might differ from countries to countries, having an overview of Rwanda’s strides to gradually achieve gender equality is necessary.

Rwanda undertook an exhausting process to draft a new constitution, shortly after genocide against Tutsi has ended. These strides, however, were not the only products of the government of Rwanda. Cooperative behavior taken by both neighboring and distant Non-Governmental Organizations contributed to the establishment of the groundwork for women parliamentarians and the Ministry of Gender and Women in Development. Since the genocide, innovative electoral structures have been introduced to the public in order to both raise public awareness towards the matter of education and to encourage women to step out in politics. As women are being more empowered and inspired by improving constitution and laws, Collect if Pro-Femmes has been actively for further enhance in women’s rights and lives.

In Korea, many women face barriers in terms of promotion within companies because there is a rampant social belief that married women will soon be pregnant and even that unmarried women have the potential to get married due to the social atmosphere that focuses on marital obligation of women. There is a serious discrepancy between what people say about how the society should treat women and what those people actually do to women. Male-dominated power structures implant gender discriminative understanding in women. Considering the fact that Korea has been a Confucian society for several hundred years, remnants of gender discrimination still remain in blind corners. Yet, gender discrimination can never be embraced in any cultures. It is paramount for every human being to be guaranteed with basic human rights for a more ‘civilized’ society for every individual regardless of one’s gender.

 

http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/leadership-and-political-participation/facts-and-figures

http://www.idea.int/publications/wip2/upload/Rwanda.pdf

http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/68/184&Lang=E

Written by Da Eun Lee

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Science and the UN

 

As science technology is deeply involved in every human civilized life, there are certain conflicts regarding science ethics. Also as the present is a globalized world, the importance of deciding the major matter is in increasing rate. Consequently, there are some organizations for filling in resolutions for global scientific matter. First, there will be explanations of organizations from United Nations related to Science, and their current primary works.

One of the affiliated organizations of United Nations, related to science, is COMEST (World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology) from UNESCO.  COMEST(Built 1998)’s primary task was to advise the organization on its program concerning the ethics of scientific knowledge and technology. Each 18 members of COMEST is a specialist in fields such as science, professional engineering, law, philosophy, culture, religion or politics. Their course is to make global problems to local issues and create the basic foundation of science ethics. Nanotechnology, space, water, Bio and more ethic issues passed through COMEST. COMESCO currently addresses two topics: ethics of water and oceans and ethics of robotics as part of the emerging technologies. As water resource can become a natural resource for energy, and it is an indispensable part of nature for transportations and life conservation, the protection and fair usage from the world is needed. Also as technology develops, there were always conflicts about ‘machines’ because it sometimes created unemployment, as another revolution – information age is approaching. Also as the AI program is a great issue currently, to discover how humans can work harmoniously is certainly essential for the development and safeguard.

The UNSCEAR (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation), researches how much effect does radioactivity affects citizens of the world. It also opens sessions. As a result of the act of UNSCEAR, people who were in dangerous areas, or misunderstood to be, was protected or cleared itself by the accurate survey.

Asia, especially Japan focuses on is education. Japan is supporting UNESCO 2030 agenda’s natural science part. The idea which is mostly promoted is the sustainable use of ecosystems. UNESCO set up 17 goals of sustainable development. “Resilience and adaptation are essential conditions in our quest for sustainability, and these must be informed by science and other knowledge” said Flavia Schlegel, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for the Natural Sciences. The idea of sustainable science is related to environment protection, as conferences and arguments of climate changes are highlighted over the world. Asia and the world are focusing on proper education about it.

Even though there are many opinions of these global scientific organizations and these activities, these show the importance of global care of science. And all of these works is focused on world protection as the founding purpose of United Nations. For climate change, protection from nuclear, and science ethics has a great influence on the whole world’s course. The world should notice and support these organizations’ management for the nation and the entire globe.

 

<References>

http://www.unscear.org/unscear/index.html

http://www.unescoapceiu.org/ko/

http://en.unesco.org/news/how-science-can-help-create-sustainable-world

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/social-and-human-sciences/themes/comest/

http://en.unesco.org/sdgs/sc

 

Written by Ji Soo Lee

North Korea’s Faults

 

What keyword comes to mind when you think of North Korea, or to be exact, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea? Probably nuclear weapons, Kim Jong-un, or maybe “a threat to the international society”. Most people acknowledge the fact North Korea disobeys UN’s claims or international law, but they do not know which laws they exactly violate. In this article, the missing knowledge of breached international laws will be introduced.

First of all, North Korea is violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). According to World Report 2015, North Koreans suffer from arrest, torture, detention without trial, prison camps if they showed any dislike toward their leader, Kim, or their past leaders.

Moreover, North Koreans are stripped from freedom of information. The government oppresses any organized political opposition, media, civil society organizations, et cetera. They cannot watch or collect any foreign programs or news reports.

Some people think North Korea actually does not have any obligations toward the world to not experiment with nuclear material because it withdrew from the Treaty of Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). However, it has breached three Security Council Resolutions addressed specifically to it and made under Chapter VII of the Charter. Several trade bans were imposed to stop North Korea’s constant testing. Nevertheless, the rogue country keeps on doing “its work”. North Korea has experimented with nuclear weapons 5 times. However, authorities suspect they have done much more.

Surprisingly, China is also breaking international law in the process of handling refugees from North Korea. Despite its obligation to protect refugees under the Refugee Convention of 1951 and its 1967 protocol, China consider North Korean refugees as illegal migrants and repatriate them.

So far, we found three main breaches of international law and a little unknown violation made by China. Then what should be done? Or can anything really be done to stop North Korea’s dangerous game?

Chances North Korea will ever admit they violated these laws is very, very low. But it is not impossible. The leader Kim Jong-un is facing difficulty running his country due to natural disasters, poverty, and constant glares from USA, China, Japan, et cetera. In addition, recently North Korea signaled for help for flood relief. According to Bradley Williams, a international relations professor at City University in Hong Kong, “It’s not unheard of, but it’s rare for the North Korean government to make an open and public call for assistance.” North Korea even expressed its concern to South Korea and demanded help. Yet if it truly wants complete help, it will have to make up for it. During that process, leader Kim just might admit his faults.

<References>

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2015/country-chapters/north-korea

http://www.hk-lawyer.org/content/north-korea-nuclear-weapons-and-international-law

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/09/12/asia/north-korea-floods-admission/index.html

 

Written by Je Yun Choi

Human Rights at Stake: Burundi

 

The Rwandan Genocide took the lives of 500,000 to 1,000,000 people in 1994. Though more related to political corruption rather than an ethnic divide, the mass human rights violations in Rwanda’s neighboring nation Burundi is just as grotesque and unjustified.

On April 26, 2015, Brudundians gathered at the streets Bujumbura, the capital, in protest against President Nkurunziza’s third term bid for re-election, a violation of Brudundi’s consitution. On the same day, Jean Nepomuscène was shot by a police officer after returning from church for “(raising) his arms in the air between the dissenting districts of Ngagara et Mutakura.” Jean wasn’t the last student to die. 24 year old Justin Kwigomba, friend of Jean, fled to Rwanda after he was targeted by the Imbonerakure (the youth wing of the CNDD-FDD, the ruling party). Notorious for gang rape, torture, and murder, the Imbonerackure is just one part of the systemic human rights violations conducted by the government today. The Report of the UN Independent Investigation on Burundi (UNIIB) states that the “gross human rights violations (in Burundi) amount to crimes against humanity.” According to the UN Human Rights Office, 564 cases of executions have been verified between 2015 and 2016, and have been initiated without proper due process of law. International Business Times (IBT) elaborates on other findings.

The use of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment against opponents. Ill-treatment included attaching weights to testicles, crushing of fingers and toes with pliers, detention in a closed container, forcing families to stay next to the dead body of a relative, forcing the victim to sit on acid, broken glass or nails, gang rape of a mother in the presence of her children, injections of a yellow liquid in the testicles and other parts of the body leading to paralysis, knife and machete stabs, lashes using preheated electric cable or iron bars, progressive burning with a blowtorch or gas cylinder, progressive electrocution, pulling a cord attached to the testicles, tightly tying a person’s arms in the back for several days, insults and humiliating speech, including an ethnic dimension, poking of fingers in the eyes of the victim, tying the victim up by the feet upside down (known as “Amagurizege” in Kirundi)

Alarmingly, the UNIIB report warns that “no one can quantify exactly all the violations that have taken place and that continue to take place in a situation as closed and repressive as Burundi during the period covered by UNIIB’s mandate.” The situation is ever more dangerous as the conflict has a potential overspill effect into other regions. The UNIIB investigators note that “(they) are gravely concerned about the general trend of ethnically divisive rhetoric by the government, as well as others, which may carry a serious potential of the situation spiraling out of control, including beyond Burundi’s borders.”

Nevertheless, the ruling party and the president have denied all allegations. Though, witnesses include 12 upper echelon members of the government’s security forces, the President’s Communications Chief Willy Nyamitwe has recently tweeted that “@UNHumanRights did not respect the usual rules by releasing the report without the response of @BurundiGov.” Though Burundi government has tried to corroborate its claims by setting up commissions of inquiry, the recent UNIIB report has claimed that the government has “blatantly (failed)” to investigate.

In November of 2015, the UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the violence in Burundi. The UNIIB has stated that “if the violations continue and the Government continues to fail to prevent abuses, invocation of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which authorizes the UN to deploy a force to restore international peace, may be necessary.” Aljazeera reports that “the experts urge the Burundian government, the AU, the UN Human Rights Council, the UN Security Council and other international actors to take a series of robust actions to preserve the achievements made in the Arusha Accord and in the 2005 Constitution.”

<References>

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/09/probe-finds-gross-human-rights-abuses-burundi-160920193304827.html

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/burundi-you-are-young-must-fight-how-rebel-touts-manipulate-young-men-toward-armed-conflict-1514228

http://reliefweb.int/report/burundi/report-united-nations-independent-investigation-burundi-uniib-established-pursuant

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/21/un-report-accuses-burundi-government-human-rights-abuses

Written by Han Sung Lim

 

Refugees

It is hard to find a newspaper that doesn’t mention the refugee crisis, whether it is in the headlines or the world news. The problem all started about half a year ago when a three-year-old refugee Alan Kurdi was found dead in Turkey. The rapidly increasing refugees topped 66m this year which rings a bell of the worst refugee crisis after the WWII; several countries are denying the demands of the EU to accept more refugees.

However, the new arrival of refugees can be a blessing in disguise. The general stance in the status quo regards that the refugees would ‘dent public finances’. Unlike the popular assumption, the World Street Journal (WSJ) recently reported that “a report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Refugees has proven that the acceptance of refugees can, in fact, benefit financially.” The Bank of Korea also conducted a research and concluded that the arrival of refugees might help revive the stagnated economy of Germany which is mainly due to the low fertility and population aging. The reason is the following: the arrival would, in the long run, solve the employment problem.

 

The Dark Side

The primary assumption on the refugees is justifiable. Germany now faces an enormous amount of refugee applicants, and it takes about 4 to 5 months to be officially approved as ‘refugees.’The Dutch Government follows the German Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act, which enforces refugees to live in a designated asylum for at least six weeks with financial support from the government. The refugee policy demanded 2.4 billion euros in 2014 and estimated to increase up to 55billion euros in 2015 according to the Kiel economics institute. The act, furthermore, supports 1180 euros every month per a family of 4 after they are accepted, while more of the budget should be put for social integration.

 

The Bright Side

Germany is one of the EU countries which suffer extreme job vacancy due to the lack of economically active population. Among 10million job vacancies, 19% of them are simple labor jobs, 62% requires professionals, and 19% needs college graduations. Refugee applicants now have a high percentage of college graduates and professionals; the government would be able to hire them right after a vocational training. Under these policies, Germany is expected to maintain the economic growth rate of 1% even after 15 years. Furthermore, the ‘wage-dampening’ would let refugees get quickly hired without a vocational training leading to a significant boom in employment.

We always have or in a majority of times focused on the humanitarian perspective of refugee acceptance. The economy now further proves that the arrival would not only be a nation’s pride but also would benefit in financial matters. The ball is now in the Angela Merkel’s court.

 

<References>

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21688938-europes-new-arrivals-will-probably-dent-public-finances-not-wages-good-or

https://www.rsc.ox.ac.uk/refugeeeconomies

 

Income Inequality in Asian Countries

Korea’s income inequality is shown to be the worst. According to the International Monetary Fund, Top 10 percent of the entire Korean population receives 45 percent of the total income. As income inequality problems in Korea have exacerbated over the last two decades, the gap between the haves and the have-nots in other Asian nations has also clearly become apparent. Singapore follows Korea by 10 percent of the whole population holding 42 percent of the country’s wealth, and it is followed by Japan with 41 percent.

As expressing its concerns, IMF noted that “countries in the Asia-Pacific region need to address inequality of opportunities by broadening access to education, health, and financial services.”

In order to delve into the income inequality matter, it is important to view income inequality as a source of inappropriate investment and development in health and education, because wealth is concentrated in the top few percentage of the population. The widening gap between the rich and the poor is a side effect of the rapid economic growth around Asian countries. From 1990 to 2015, even in the midst of the financial crisis that struck Asia and the world, the region grew at around 6 percent, annually.

The perspective of regarding China and India as the “happily ever after countries,” is misleading as such a view neglects the systemic problems plaguing the nations today. The success of these countries is defined by rapid and continuous rates of growth, both aggregate and per capita national income. In addition to this economic growth, substantial reduction in income poverty within these countries draws the world’s attention to consult numerous fiscal policies. Notwithstanding this eye-opening economic progress, the strategy of development had brought relatively high income growth without mammoth improvement in the resource, especially labor, market. This disproportionate economic expansion, hence, has been accompanied by rising inequality in Asian economies, as referring to the increase in Gini coefficient from 36 in 1990 to 40 in 2013 in Asia.

Income inequality needs to be relieved in order to achieve social justice. Regardless of the gradual alterations in fiscal and social policies, fiscal policy and technological progress are crucial forces that can resolve income inequality in advanced economies, while human capital itself has been the sole working force in developing countries. The apt adoption of fiscal policy will combat rising inequality by broadening the coverage of social welfare system.

Education is particularly a suitable solution to rising inequality. Government-driven education programs will further provide the people with diverse opportunities to be involved in many workplaces. Not only students, but adults, who are already involved in their jobs, should be provided with opportunities to hone professional skills, by which they can utilize the acquired skill as a new work-driving force.

40 years ago, Bangladesh was the second poorest country in the world. Responding to inequality in its economic system, the Bangladesh government focused their policies on public services, microfinance programs, education, and the private sector. Likewise, the world should take steps in this direction.

<References>

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2016/03/488_200524.html

http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/2010/wp92_2010.pdf

http://www.paulsoninstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Li-Shi-cover-photo-369×300.jpeg

Written by Da Eun Lee

 

Ethnic Koreans in China

Where the Chinese have Chinatowns, Koreans have Koreatowns. Koreans, like the Chinese, have an exceptionally strong feeling of affinity to other Koreans. From overseas colleges to the global job markets, Koreans have formed resilient long lasting communities, tied by camaraderie deeply rooted in a common ethnic identity. Reflective of this characteristic, as more Korean startup companies seek opportunities in China, cooperation between ethnic Koreans in China and South Korean businessmen is at its height. Nevertheless, ethnic Koreans in China are facing an identity crisis. According to the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture government, the ethnic Korean population has decreased from 860 thousand in 1995 to 80 million in 2009, as the birth rate has sharply declined from a healthy 2 children per person to 0.7 per person (Kim, 3) The spiraling population trend is worrisome, as the Chinese government could ㅡand is considering toㅡ dismantle the prefecture if the minority population drops to less than 30%, which would result in a deprivation of minority privileges enjoyed in mainland China. The core cause underlying the population decline is an increasing number of younger generations of ethnic Koreans identifying themselves as Han Chinese. Critical changes in the socioeconomic framework of ethnic Korean communities and in perceptions regarding South Korea and China have weakened ethnic bonds, threatening the foundation and longevity of ethnic Korean communities in China.

Critical changes in the socioeconomic framework of ethnic Korean communities have weakened ethnic bonds. Ethnic Koreans, referred to as Chaoxion people in China, are centered in Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture, Heilongjiang, and Jianoing province: rural regions in the Northeast. Since the establishment of the People Republic of China (PRC) regime, they have maintained a relatively high living standard in rural China, concentrating on agriculture and specializing in cultivating in rice paddies. In the recent decade, however, they have been increasingly placed in disadvantage in a rapidly urbanizing China. Highly educated Chaoxion people have failed to advance to major political-economic positions in Chinese society, as forming a network of connections (Guanxi) is essential for doing business. Chaoxion people have been limited from accessing educational and vocational opportunities due to their geographical position at the periphery of China, identity as a minority, and lack of command of the Chinese language. This is why a major shift in economic activities has occurred, as Chaoxion people are migrating within China in pursuit of industry and service sectors. Professor Si Joong Kim, in the Economic Status and Role of Ethnic Koreans in China, elaborated that growing number of 2nd generation Chaoxion people now work for Chinese companies (translator, factory workers and open businesses (getihu : restaurant, tourism, motels, etc) in major cities or abroad (Kim, 16). Aware of this trend, Chaoxion parents tend to send their children to Han national schools rather than ethnic schools in pursuit of better education. According to the Yanbian prefectural government, in 1991, 26 Korean middle schools were in Liuhe County, but by 2011 there remained only one (Bae). This pattern is repeated across districts as now 700 thousand Chaoxion children are enrolled in Chinese schools. Though such change has brought positive economic benefits and expanded learning opportunities, it has also resulted in social disruptions such as divorce, juvenile delinquency, and, most critically, an identity crisis. Professor Oh of Seoul National University reports that there is “debate among ethnic Korean intellectuals on the real identity of ethnic Koreans in China” and that “ethnic Koreans and leaders are confused about their identity” as more ethnic Koreans opt to assimilate into the Chinese majority culture (Denny). The population decline and mass ethnic realignment mentioned above are both signs of such confusion.

Moreover, this identity crisis has been exacerbated as ethnic Koreans feel disillusionment and disappointment from South Koreans. After the establishment of bilateral trade between China and South Korea in 1992, interaction between South Koreans and Chaoxion people has increased substantially. According to the Korean embassy, “the number of South Korean visits to China, including business trips, tourist visits, and student visits increased substantially throughout the 1990s, surpassing 1 million in 2000.” (Si, 105) Likewise, 70 thousand Chaoxion people now reside in mainland South Korea, comprising 3.8% of the general population. Such interaction has yielded mutual benefits; however has also factored into generating prejudice and discrimination towards Chaoxion people. Chaoxion people can apply to 2 types of visas, each valid for 3 years in South Korea: a high tier F-4 visa and a lower tier H-2 visa. According to Chairman Kwack of the Korean immigration and Diaspora community research center, the legal requirements are too high for Chaoxion people to attain an F-4 visa; they are thus critically limited in job options with a H-2 visa, which only allows Chaoxion people to work at 38 government approved 3-D (dirty-dangerous-difficult) jobs (Kwack). So until 2007, before the H-2 visa was introduced, Chaoxion people were framed as illegal immigrants for 15 years, and have yet to escape this prejudice. Chaoxion people are treated unfairly due to this image, suffering under precarious working conditions and abuse by their employers. According to a research paper by Professor Park of Konkuk University, 51.9% of 300 Chaoxion living in 8 districts in Yangbian reported to have experienced “discrimination, isolation, and indifference in South Korea” (Park,2). Professor Park attributes the cause of such discrimination to the South Korean economic recession, and notes that Chaoxion people are victimized as an outlet of dissatisfaction felt by South Koreans (Park, 3). Thus, it is hard for Chaoxion people to climb the social ladder, barred by the legal system and widespread negative public opinion. These circumstances force Chaoxion people to make extreme choices, subjecting them to deportation.  In addition, discrimination has been reinforced by false images produced by the popular media which associate them with money laundering, crime, and phishing. Yet, according to the Police Department, crime rates of Chaoxion people were lower than 3.7%, the national average in 2014 (Korean Herald). Just as in General Ford’s “Meeting My Father for the First Time,” in the eyes of Chaoxion people, South Koreans are carefree people who “did not really give a damn about the hopes and dreams” of the their northern neighbors (Ford). As a result, an increasing number of Chaoxion people are returning back to China, voluntarily or forcefully, disappointed by the general social atmosphere.

On the other hand, China has become a different meaning for ethnic Koreans. China has maintained a lenient minority policy, especially towards ethnic Koreans for their contribution in the formation and development of the PRC. Yet, until the Market Reformations under Deng Xiaoping, Chaoxion people had no incentive to assimilate into Chinese culture, as they maintained a relatively high standard of life in comparison to most of mainland China, and a strong ethnic identity reinforced by education. Even after Deng Xiaoping’s reforms, many Chaoxion people had immigrated to South Korea following the establishment of formal diplomatic relations in August 1992. Yet, times have changed. According to the World Bank, China recorded a 14.3 real GDP growth in 1992, and have consistently maintained a 7.6 average growth rate ever since. Strengthened by its economic growth, China invested in the Yanbian region with a 30 billion dollar development project known today as the Greater Tumen Initiative, gaining popularity among the Chaoxion people. As mentioned above, socio-economic circumstances have also drastically changed, and Chaoxion people find it difficult to find jobs in the South Korean mainland. According to Professor Moon of Anyang University, “for Chaoxion people the South Korea in the past was a land of opportunity, yet today they feel that the economic tides have turned in favor of China” (Bae) This attitude is concentrated among the younger generation; Cui Shengchun, former secretary general of Yanbian’s External Cultural Exchanged Center, for example, said that “First, I am a Chinese. I grew up here in Yanbian and I love this place. My mother country is China.” This view is similar to that expressed by Lee Herrick in “What is This Thing Called Family,” where Herrick defines home as family, “the people who will stand up for you” as opposed as “a definition of physical similarity” (Herrick) Likewise, China has become a friendlier domain for younger generations, as they are also more proficient in the Chinese language and well exposed to the culture.

The overarching issue is what constitutes the Chaoxion people’s ethnic identity and how it will be maintained. The ethnic Korean community in China is going through a period of transition as times are changing and long held identities are questioned. The important point is that Chaoxion are not just derivatives of Korean peninsula, but a distinct people with a unique culture; thus, it is imperative for the Chaoxion people to reassess the definition of being “Korean,” and rebuild their community bonds with the help of South Koreans, who have to combat their unjust prejudice towards them. The problem that Chaoxion people face is one that applies to us. What does it mean to be a member of a society? Are our values truly immutable and how is our identity shaped by them? Whether the Chaoxion emerge stronger or dissipate in the flow of history is a choice; the later can be averted

 

<References>

Bae, Woohan. “8 million Domestic Chaoxion people… Foreigners who are not foreigners.” http://www.hankookilbo.com/v/af60b41d727d44aea8a757b5b655f0bf. Hankuk ilbo, n.d. Web. 17 June 2016.

“Chaoxian (Korean) Nationality.” China Korean Nationality: History, Religion, Economy. TravelChinaGuide, n.d. Web. 16 June 2016.

Denney, Steven. “How Beijing Turned Koreans Into Chinese.” The Diplomat. N.p., 9 June 2016. Web. 16 June 2016.

Gu, Minjung. “[Still foreigners, Chaoxion people ②] “Giving up job opportunities in Korea”…2nd Generations heading back to china.”Herald News. N.p., 19 May 2016. Web.

Si, Joong Kim. The Economic Status and Role of Ethnic Koreans in China (n.d.): n. pag. Piie.com. Institution for International Economics. Web. 17 June 2016.

Volodzko, David. “China’s Koreans, Part I: A Brief History.” The Diplomat. N.p., 21 Aug. 2015. Web. 16 June 2016.

 

Written by Han Sung Lim

The 54 Mexicans

Would you believe that now, even in the 21th century, the rights of minority have been denied in the United States of America before? According to Mexico, it is possible. More than 10 Mexicans were sentenced to death, but they weren’t allowed to prove they were innocent. As soon as Mexico learned the truth, they argued 10 states of United States had violated the 54 Mexicans’ consular rights regarding with the Vienna Convention.

The Vienna Convention

Before going on to the case, what is a “consular right” and what does it have to do with the Vienna Convention? Most people do not recognize the difference between the consul and ambassador’s job. However, while the ambassador is the main representative of its country and make negotiations related to culture, economics, military relations, politics, et cetera, the consul usually protect and help their nationals’ civil complaints.

The Vienna Convention on Consular Rights was established in 1963 and contains 79 articles. The article which the States failed to keep is Article 36. The following is an excerpt from the Vienna Convention Article 36 (2).

if he so requests, the competent authorities of the receiving State shall, without delay, inform the consular post of the sending State if, within its consular district, a national of that State is arrested or committed to prison or to custody pending trial or is detained in any other manner. Any communication addressed to the consular post by the person arrested, in prison, custody or detention shall be forwarded by the said authorities without delay.

The Arguments

Mexico repeatedly pointed out to the Court they had not been notified of Mexicans being sentenced to death. The United States had fought back by claiming they had served all detained nationals after the LaGrand Case (Germany v. United States of America. This case was also related with foreigners not able to exercise their consular rights in the States. At the time, the Court was in favor of Germany nationals.) Also, the United States argued the Article 36 “creates no obligations constraining its right to arrest a foreign national”, and so the Court does not have the jurisdictional and admissibility right to make a decision over this case. Yet the Court overruled the objections, and considered this case as “the matter of merits”. In the end, the Court finally judged the United States had indeed breached the obligations regarding to Article 36 on March 2009.

The Bittersweet Taste

After the United States had lost two cases over consular rights in the Court, on March 2005, they removed the Optional Protocol to the Convention, which gave the Court the right to rule over any disputes regarding the Vienna Convention. Then in 2006, the US Supreme Court ruled foreign nationals may not use the treaty to raise legal objections after trial. People didn’t have to think hard why US had taken these measures.

Reporter’s Quotes

After reading the application of Mexico, the reporter couldn’t help but getting surprised at the truth that United States had really denied the consular rights of a foreign. The reporter hopes the readers realize there are more violations of one’s rights than we think, and people should constantly pay their attention and check if their country has violated the Vienna Convention.

 

Written by JeYun Choi

Refuge for Freedom and Respect for Democracy

In the recent defection of an elite North Korean politician, Tae Young Ho, to South Korea, there is a dearth of guarantee that the North Korean government to remain stable. Minister Tae of North Korean Embassy in London seeking asylum has already been a pronounced fact among his few acquaintances. When minister Tae met BBC correspondent in Seoul, he had asked about the life in Seoul, South Korea, exposing his interest towards moving to a third country. Although his term was about to end this summer and was planning to go back to North Korea, he prioritized the education of his children and his desire towards freedom and democracy. His decision sets its origin on the great economic burden on himself and his family.

According to a research paper “Commentary on North Korean Study” by Korea’s National Intelligence Service, it has been shown that North Korean diplomats are going through a hard time, by being paid between 700 and 800 US dollars for a monthly salary. Despite this monthly pay, expediency fund or monetary support for diplomats and their families other than official salary do not exist. This would be the fundamental reason of North Korean elites in a foreign country withdrawing North Korean nationality.

Not only Minister Tae, but three more North Korean citizens have escaped the country in the beginning of 2016. This defection is itself a reflection of the terrified North Korea, where the one and only tyrant has an ultimate power and control over the rest of the country. Defection of North Koreans, however, is not limited to aristocratic people, but rather is dissolving into the public.

The North is once again facing economic challenges like it did 20 years ago. The country consistently marked a minus value for the growth rate and this rate plunged, especiallly in the food production statistics and agriculture. Moreover, the trade sanctions is slowly penetrating the lives of civilians. Along with this, the value of mineral resources started declining sharply, and therefore was not able to export enough to earn a living for the country.

The profiles of defectors began diversifying in 2010 as it ranged from diplomats and soldiers to artists and athletes. Although North Korea regards these refugees as notorious criminals, desire of these people are not evading the pathway to freedom. A few refugees actively take part in a joint panel to share their journey in search of mental and physical freedom. In addition to the refugees’ effort to seek their own freedom, the South Korean government is consistently striving to cooperate with those refugees.

There are quite a plenty of non-profit organizations willing to achieve, step by step, liberty in North Korea. LiNK, or Liberty in North Korea, is a well known NGO that rescues North Korean refugees without cost or condition by steadily garnering information about escape routes through China and Southeast Asia. These organizations are extremely pivotal to gain freedom among North Koreans and the repressive regimes around the world as a whole since international attention has focused on nuclear weapons and the Kim family when a quarter of children in North Korea are chronically malnourished. It is inevitable that the totalitarian North Korean regime will collapse within a short period of time, but the world’s goal, consisted of nations supporting democracy, is to accelerate that transformation for the innocent people in North Korea.

 

<Reference>

http://theseoultimes.com/ST/?url=/ST/db/read.php?idx=13157

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20160726000877

http://www.libertyinnorthkorea.org/rescue-refugees/

 

Written by DaEun Lee

Olympic-Cultural Parade

1896 in Athens, Greece, the world’s first cultural parade began. The Olympic Flame and the Artistic Program beautifully decorated the scenery, presenting people an unforgettable memory. But most of all, the performances represent the creativity and traditions of the host countries.

“The Olympic Charter is established under the three major components of the Olympic Movement: Sport, Education, and Culture.”

Olympic Games, are an integral part of a modern sport and plays a part in a large number of modern day civilizations. This event provides opportunities to athletes from various cultures to gather together every 4 years and to show off their fitness, but also the extent to which they have adjusted to the general movements and sports, economic, cultural and political demands.

Furthermore, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) emphasizes and maintains its commitment to ensuring the survival of the concept of Olympic as a cultural program and as an event additional and complementary to the sports competitions.

Most importantly, the Olympic can achieve 5 non-exclusive categories on cultural aspects:

  1.  acknowledgment of the city artistic and cultural capacities
  2. improvement of the city cultural services
  3. showcase of the country cultural diversity
  4. international projection
  5. change of image.

 

For the most representative case of Olympics which played a crucial role in one nations’ culture and economy, Seoul ’88 can be it. The games brought the city the opportunity to be known worldwide and achieved a change of image with a marked military past which was a fatal international stereotype.

Olympic Games also benefits the participants since it means to belong to an international elite-the sports elite consisting of the best. Each contestant comes from a certain social group, becoming a star which attracts the public. Having the appearance of an idol thanks to marketing and the media, he/she becomes the promoter of world fashion lines. In that way athletes become popular figures in videos, advertisements, various humanitarian activities, creating a new part of a culture in one’s country.

Olympic Games present the world with a place of multiculturalism as the combination of cultures of equal status. Since 2016 Rio Olympic has done a marvelous role on it, why don’t we expect for the upcoming 2018 Pyeongchang and 2020 Tokyo Olympic?

 

<Reference>

The concept of Olympic cultural programmes: origins, evolution and projection, University lecture on the Olympics ,Beatriz García García   

‘THE OLYMPIC GAMES AS A CULTURAL EVENT’ Zvezdan Savić,  2007