Korea Yonhaps top 10 news items in 2018 are as follows:
First and Third Wenjin Conferences to Accelerate the Peace Process on the Peninsula
The picture shows Wen Zaiyin and Kim Jong-un displaying the Pyongyang Declaration. (Tu/Tsing Wa Tai)
South Korean President Wen Zaiyins three talks with North Korean State Council Chairman Kim Jong-un have focused the world on the peninsula. On April 27, the two leaders held their first historic talks at Panmunjom on the Korean-Korean border, and issued the Panmunjom Declaration, which focused on the realization of complete denuclearization of the peninsula and the epoch-making improvement of Korean-Korean relations, setting a new milestone for Korean-Korean relations. On May 26, the two leaders met again in Panmunjom to reconfirm their will to achieve denuclearization of the peninsula and to build a permanent peace mechanism. From September 18 to 20, Wen visited Pyongyang. The two sides issued the Pyongyang Joint Declaration and military agreement on specific measures for denuclearization, including the permanent abandonment of the DPRKs Dongcangli rocket engine test site. Wen Jae-in and Kim Jong-un-den also pledged to return to Seoul as soon as possible, which is a symbol of the importance of the Korean nation in Mount Baitou (Changbai Mountain). Following the summit, the DPRK and the ROK pilot demolition of DMZ border posts and gradually implement cross-border railway and highway docking projects.
2. The MeToo Movement swept Korea
The anti-sexual harassment initiative movement MeToo (I am also a victim) which started in Europe and America swept through Korea. Many women bravely spoke about their victimization experience and pulled the political and cultural leaders off their horses.
The fire of the MeToo movement in South Korea was ignited by female prosecutor Xu Zhixian, and then gradually spread to the political circles, the workplace and the campus. In the cultural circles, the poetess Cui Yongmei implied that she had been sexually harassed by Gao Yin, the first candidate of the Nobel Prize for Literature in South Korea and drama director Li Runze had been repeatedly exposed and prosecuted. In the film circle, famous director Kim Kidd and veteran actor Cao Jaixian were exposed, and actor Zhao Mingji, suspected of molesting students, committed suicide. In political circles, Ann Xi, a powerful candidate for the next general election and governor of Zhongqing Nandao (provincial administrative head), is being accused by a female secretary of sexual assault and indecency, and his political career is over.
The MeToo movement aroused the attention of Korean society to the threat of sexual violence and enhanced womens voice. However, some phenomena of extreme hatred of men or women appeared in the later period.
3. Implementation of the 52-hour working week system in Korea
According to the newly revised Labor Standard Law of Korea, the maximum working hours per week, including overtime, were reduced from 68 hours to 52 hours. Since July 1, enterprises, institutions and public institutions with more than 300 employees have taken the lead in implementing the 52-hour working week system. South Korean society has taken an important step towards a work-life balance, which is no less influential than the five-day working week introduced by legislation in 2004.
However, the implementation of the system was not smooth. The management asked the government to postpone the implementation of the system on the grounds of insufficient preparation. The government decided to grant a six-month transition period, while the management put forward a request for an extension of the transition period. However, Korean society has reached a consensus on getting rid of overwork, and the 52-hour working system has taken root smoothly. Beginning in July next year, special industries, such as public transport, which were previously excluded from the system, will also implement a 52-hour working system.
IV. Investigation of Supreme Court Leadership for Power and Profit
2018 is an indelible stain in Korean judicial history. The Supreme Court of Korea was exposed in the period of Liang Chengtais presidency to make judgments in favor of the regime in order to obtain the interests of the head of the court. Among them, deliberately postponing the judgment of workersclaims against Japanese enterprises in World War II is the most representative example. After investigation, the behind-the-scenes contacts between Qingwatai and the Great Court gradually emerged during the period of Park Shinhuis government.
The Grand Court was also suspected of blacklisting, monitoring and special management of some judges who criticized judicial policy at that time. In 2017, the Grand Court conducted three internal investigations into the challenged blacklist, but failed. After that, the prosecution launched a wide-ranging investigation in June. Dozens of current and former judges were investigated. The prosecution also conducted an unprecedented search and evidence collection of the administrative office of the Court. At the end of October, the core person involved and the former Chief Executive of the Grand Court were arrested. It is believed that Liang Chengtai, the most questioned, will inevitably be prosecuted for alleged abuse of power.
Fifth, the bullying behavior of the president of the chaebol family and enterprise arouses peoples indignation
From left to right: Zhao Xiane (Zhao Lianghaos eldest daughter), Zhao Xianwen (Zhao Lianghaos second daughter), Li Mingji (Mrs. Zhao Lianghao), Zhao Lianghao. (Figure: Yonhap)
In April, Zhao Xianchen, the second daughter of Zhao Lianghao, president of Hanjin Group, and the advertising specialist of Korean Airlines, sparked waves at a meeting of advertisement company employees. Korean Airlines staff exposed scandals about the long-term violence of Mrs. Zhao Lianghao and other Hanjin family members. Later, Hanjins family continued to be questioned about malfeasance, corruption and smuggling, and was investigated by the police, customs, taxation, Fair Trade Commission and other organs in an all-round way.
In October, Liang Zhenho, president of Korea Future Technology Corporation, a network mobile hard disk company, was condemned by public opinion after he slapped former employees in his office and asked them to kill chickens with a knife at a company seminar. Later, Liang Zhenhao was also investigated on suspicion of Disseminating Obscene videos.
6. BTS triggers the upsurge of the global Korean Current
The Korean Bomb-proof Youth League (BTS) has held 22 performances in 11 cities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and France since the beginning of September, attracting 320,000 fans from Europe and the United States. During the tour, BTS starred in the NBC reality show Americas Got Talent, the same talk show Jimmy Tonight Show and ABC TV news signboard program Good Morning America. The British BBC, the Guardian and the French newspaper Figaro praised BTS as the Beatles of the 21st century and the K-POP combination that initially topped the Western music industry.
BTS delivered a speech at the United Nations General Assembly on September 24, calling on young people to learn to love themselves and voice for themselves, which attracted worldwide attention. The BTS boom has made countless young people around the world begin to pay attention to Korean culture and learn Korean. BTSs contribution to the dissemination of culture was recognized and awarded the Korean Governments Corolla Culture Medal in October.
Former President Lee Myung-bak was arrested for corruption
Former President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea. (Image: Visual China)
South Korean prosecutors had suspected that former President Lee Myung-bak actually controlled DAS, an automobile parts manufacturing company, and abused the presidential power for personal gain. The prosecution speeded up the investigation after the trustees of Lee Myung-bak and DAS staff and cadres gave new confessions one by one. Although Lee Myung-bak advocated that the prosecutions action was based on political retaliation for the death of former President Roh Moo-hyun, the court approved the prosecutions request and Lee Myung-bak was arrested in March. Lee Myung-bak is suspected of embezzling 35 billion won (about 210 million yuan) of DAS funds. He is also suspected of accepting $5.85 million bribes from Samsung Electronics in the name of paying lawyer fees in the DAS case. In addition, the bribes from financial institutions, builders, business associations, former parliamentarians and Zen Yard totaled 11.1 billion won.
After more than five months of court trial, the court found that Lee Myung-bak actually controlled DAS company, sentenced him to 15 yearsimprisonment, and imposed a fine of 13 billion won (about 79 million yuan) to recover 8.2 billion won from crime. Lee Myung-bak appealed against the first instance decision. The case is still under trial.
VIII. Seouls soaring house prices, the government pounds out to cool down speculation
From January to November, apartment prices in Seoul rose by 8.22% from the end of last year, nearly twice as much as last year. The average price of apartments in Yushan, Qingshannan Road and other cities fell by 2.49%. Seouls soaring house prices are unusual. Faced with this situation, the Korean government launched a new housing policy on August 2, last year, and then on September 13, one year after the launch of the new housing policy, to cool the property market. Specifically, it includes raising the comprehensive real estate tax rate for multiple property holders; strengthening loan control, restricting the holders of a set of houses from buying houses as mortgages in restricted purchase areas; and applying for housing lessors loans in restricted purchase areas, the ratio of loan amount to mortgage value should not exceed 40%, which is much lower than the previous 80-90%.
Ninth, the conservative territory of the ruling partys victory in the elections
The Seventh Session of South Koreas Local Members of Parliament and Local Government Leadership Elections (Local Elections) were held nationwide on June 13. The ruling Common Democratic Party (CDP) won 14 electoral districts in 17 elections for heads of municipalities and Daoguang administrative regions and won an overwhelming victory. The first opposition Liberal Korean candidate won in only two places. This is the biggest victory in the history of the Democratic Party and the largest defeat in the history of the Liberal Korean Party since the implementation of the local electoral system in 1995. In the election of mayor of Seoul, mayor of Incheon and governor of Gyeonggi Dao (provincial administrative head), Democratic candidates Park Yuanchun, Park Nanchun and Li Zaoming were elected, thus the Democratic Party achieved a complete victory in the capital circle for the first time. In Busan, Uysan and Qingshan Nandao, which are considered to be the most popular electoral districts, the Democratic Party candidates have won. In view of the fact that the Democratic Party series has been repeatedly rejected in these areas, this victory is a double surprise.
10. The Winter Olympics in Pingchang successfully opened the window of dialogue between Korea and the DPRK
At the Pingchang Winter Olympic Games, the staff came in with the Korean flag. (Figure: Yonhap)
The 2008 Pingchang Winter Olympic Games were held in the Pingchang, Jiangling and Peishan areas of Jiangyuan Road, Korea, from 9 to 25 February. This is the second Olympic Games held in Korea 30 years after the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. Based on the accumulated experience of hosting the Olympic Games, South Korea has made the current Pingchang Winter Olympics a peaceful Olympics, an economic Olympics, a safe Olympics and an ICT Olympics, and won great praise from all parties. DPRKs participation in the Pingchang Winter Olympic Games eased the once tense situation on the peninsula, opened up the situation of dialogue between the two Koreas, and thus achieved three inter-Korean summit talks, making this Winter Olympic Games a truly peaceful winter Olympic Games. Korea won 5 gold, 8 silver and 4 bronze in this Olympic Games, ranking seventh in the comprehensive medal list.
Source: Overseas Network Responsible Editor: Li Hang_BJS4645