» 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.
VATICAN - USA
Pope to Trump: America’s greatness is measured by its attention to the poor
Pope Francis exalts the "rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people” and the nation’s “commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide ". Concerns " for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door ". The oath Trump preceded by various prayers of Catholic, Protestant, Jewish Representatives. The slogan "America first" will guide political choices. String criticism of the establishment. China’s caution and the enthusiasm of the president of Taiwan.
CHINA - UNITED STATES
The Trump era begins: The China-US relationship and the risk of war
As the inauguration ceremony of the Trump presidency approaches, the Propaganda Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party has banned all journalists from “unauthorized criticism" of Trump’ words and deeds. According to the great dissident Wei Jingsheng there is a chance that Trump will force China into fair trade deals, possibly leading to political and legal reforms. A trade war is an option.
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.