» 04/09/2008, 00.00
Lee tries to confirm his victory in parliamentary elections
Just three months after his election, the newly-elected president expect South Korea’s 38 million eligible voters to hand him and his conservative Party a much needed majority if they want to implement the reforms they promised.
Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – South Koreans go to the polls today to elect their 299-member National Assembly. The vote is seen as a test for President Lee Myung-bak who was elected to the highest office of the land last December. Mr Lee's conservative Grand National Party is counting on winning more seats than the liberal opposition United Democratic Party to begin implementing its much touted reforms. But a large number of voters remain undecided and Mr Lee’s popularity is already dipping, dampening Conservative hopes.
Mr Lee was elected on a platform that included economic reforms and getting tougher on North Korea, tying humanitarian aid for instance to Pyongyang’s ending its nuclear programme.
Almost in response to the Seoul’s new stance, North Korea has carried out new missile tests and closed its borders to South Korean humanitarian workers, and closed off the areas of Kŭmgangsan (Mount Kumgang) and Kaesŏng, two demilitarised areas where the Koreans from both sides worked together on humanitarian and industrial projects.
About 37.8 million people in South Korea are eligible to cast their ballots at some 13,250 polling stations. North Korea is not likely however to play any determining role in the outcome; the economy is said to be the main factor.
The new parliament will begin meeting May 30 for a four-year term.
10/04/2008 COREA DEL SUD
Lee’s party wins elections, Seoul now waiting for reforms
Despite a very low turnout, result allows the president to start promised economic reforms. Pyongyang issues no comment, for now.
18/12/2007 SOUTH KOREA
Presidential elections: waiting for Lee’s victory in Seoul
A day before votes are cast, surveys indicate that the former mayor of Seoul will win the bid for the highest office. A declared Christian Lee Myung-bak can count less on his party’s political positions than on his own status as a symbol of South Korea’s economic success, rising like the phoenix out of the ashes of war.
30/12/2008 SOUTH KOREA
Opposition occupies parliament to stop trade deal with United States
South Korea’s National Assembly has been paralysed by Democratic Party members who have occupied the main session hall to prevent it from functioning. The bone of contention is a trade deal with the United States estimated to be worth US$ 20 billion. Meanwhile consumer confidence hits lowest level in years.
20/06/2006 SOUTH KOREA NORTH KOREA
Pyongyang's arrogance casts shadow on two peace meetings
The North Korean envoy invited widespread indignation by talking about threats of war linked to a victory of the Grand National Party. At a Nobel Peace Prize conference, meanwhile, Gorbachev talked about the division of Korea as "fruit of the Cold War" and urged all to resolve conflicts in "national terms".
02/01/2009 SOUTH KOREA
New Year demonstrations in Seoul against the government’s “dangerous” laws
More than a hundred thousand people, including media and teachers’ unions, take to the streets in a candlelight protest against President Lee Myung-bak’s policies on media, security services and school admission.
Card. Tong’s article on China-Holy See dialogue, arouses joy and dismay
The Hong Kong bishop’s optimism over a change in the method of appointing bishops and the function of the Patriotic Association. But it is unclear whether it is real change or just nominal, in words. Underground bishops are patriotic and love their country, but the Party is suspicious of them. Freedom in episcopal appointments is “essential", but the bishops are not free to exercise their ministry. Patriotic bishops controlled in their visits with members of the universal Church. The "bugs" (hidden microphones) in a bishop’s office.
Card. Tong: The future of Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view
Card. John Tong
The Hong Kong Cardinal outlines the steps that hope to propel dialogue between China and the Holy See. Themes include the Pope's role in the appointment of bishops; A change of vision in the Patriotic Association; the possible integration of the underground bishops in the Episcopal Conference. A new article by card. John Tong, following a previous article published a few months ago on "Communion of the Church in China with the universal Church."
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