Saturday, 24 April 2010

Mission Impossible

Sources close to Korean Government suspect direct North Korean involvement in Cheonan sinking. The chief prosecutor does not exclude the possibility of an underwater mine to be the cause of the event.

Even if tangible evidence of North Korean involvement emerges, the president’s caution and balanced behaviour will be understandable. Hot-blooded retaliation against a nuclear-armed neighbor would be a disaster for the entire region with strong possibility of foreign reaction, like China or USA, which are the main surrporters of south and north respectively.

So what's next? I had written about this on my polish blog two days ago. Nothing is next.

Next is a status quo in the situation, more South Korean aid for the North, more indoctrination in the North Korean tv, more jobs at Keseong Special Industrial Zone, more dollars flowing into NK budget.

What is possible resolution of this situation?
For as long as China directly or indirectly supports NK, there is none. United Nations will do nothing as they are paralised by China vote in the Security Council. USA will restrain and will only support SK just as it does for decades.

Google will cooperate with NK and will not publish North Korean maps on it's servers, press will be silent and so the world turns.

SK can only tighten it's security even more, though I have always been personally impressed by the discreet and efficient security system. USA can withdraw from trying to colonalise SK in economic terms and might consider selling their beef elsewhere.

NK plays the same role as Belarus in Europe. Is a border from democratic world which successfully helps stopping transformation and helps to keep control over number of processes.

In the mean time people in NK are dying of hunger and their government doesn't care.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Technical break

Due to important things to settle and lack of time, I contemporary suspend writing until beginning of may, unless something very important happens or something pops up in my mind. Sorry :(

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Cheonan soldiers recovered

The bodies of remaining 36 missing soldiers from South Korean frigate Cheonan were recovered lately.

Two weeks ago the frigate sank from unknown reasons and only 58 of the 104 crew on board had been saved.

Cold nerves of Defence Council, president Lee and Korean People had prevented the outbreak of conflict with North Korea.

However Mr President Lee says that the investigation has to be thorough, detailed and fast to finally know the causes of the tragedy.

For all Korean people, I am sorry for your loss.

Korean Prime Minister to attend funeral of Polish President

Mr Chung Un- Chan, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea is confirmed to attend the Sunday's funeral of the late President Lech Kaczyński and Maria Kaczyńska, the First Lady. The ceremony will take place at the Cracow's Royal Cathedral in Poland.

South Korea is one of those "silent friend" states, with which the Republic of Poland had just begun to have closer relations.

I had already written somewhere about enormous nowledge of my homeland's history among Korean citizens.

I promise that I will try to interview Mr Chung Un-chan on Sunday and the interview publish here in this post.

Last minute: PM had called off his visit because of air traffic difficulties.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

In memoriam

 This time this post will not be on Asian or Korean matters.

I made this movie about Mr President. It is my first movie, so have some understanding...
President of Poland Lech Kaczynski passed away

Today at about 9 am CET the presidential plane crashed near Smolensk (Russia) at 4th attempt to land.
The president of Poland with the First Lady and 88 other top important leaders of the country are dead.

Mr President was flying to attend the 70th anniversary of Katin genocide. During the 2nd World War Soviet "Ally" in the war versus Nazi Germany gathered and killed about 22 000 of top Polish intelligentsia: military officers, official leaders, aristocrats and nobles, professors, lawyers, doctors, and priests.

Several days ago in Katin met Mr Radoslaw Sikorski, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, Mr Donald Tusk, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, and Mr Vladimir Putin, cirrent Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.

Despite of variety of optimistic comments in Poland, "historical breakthrough" after years of silence and denying Soviet/Russian involvement and governmental conspiracy in the Katin Massacre, it was only a tiny step on the very long road ahead. There was indeed Prime Minister of Russia in Katin, but there weren't many Russian media, there were not any news on the topic, and on the very day of the meeting put some concert of the secondary pop-star or her divorce as the top news of the day.

Mr President wasn't invited to Katin on the official meetings with Prime Minister Putin, because he was the person responsible for the idea of the "eastern partnership" of the European Union and spreading the idea of democracy and souvereignity to the east, slow democratisation of Belarus, and also the main inventor of the Belsat TV project which is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - the Belarus satelite tv independent on the Lukashenka regime.

Now following
(CNN) -- There are no survivors in the crash of a plane that was carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, according to the governor of Smolensk, the Russian region where the plane crashed.
The plane was approaching the airport at Smolensk and probably hit some trees at the end of the runway, a spokesman for Poland's Foreign Ministry told CNN.

"It caught fire, the fire has now been extinguished, but the extent of the damage is such that it's unlikely anybody on board survived," Piotr Paszkowsk said.
Kaczynski was 60.
Pictures from the scene showed parts of the airplane charred and strewn through a wooded area. Some pieces, including one of the wheel wells, were upside-down.
The crash happened around 10:50 a.m. (2:50 a.m. ET) on the outskirts of the town of Pechorsk in the Smolensk region, the Investigation Committee of the Russian prosecutor's office said in a written statement on its Web site.
The Tupolev-154 was carrying a total of 132 and was landing in heavy fog, the committee said.

The chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe expressed his condolences after the crash.

 On the crash site the journalists from Poland are not being allowed to even come closer to the site because of "securing evidence". They are kept in total ignorance and do not know anything new.
Currently the head of the state is Mr Bronislaw Komorowski, the Spealer of the Polish Lower Chamber of the Parliament.
In the Katin woodland there were people waiting for Mr President. These were members of the families of those murdered in Katin, journalists, and priests and other public involved.
On the plane crashed were in order of the presidency:
Mr President of the Republic of Poland, Lech Kaczyński
Mrs First Lady of the Republic of Poland, Maria Kaczyńska
Mr Ryszard Kaczorowski, the last President of the Republic of Poland in exile
Mr Krzysztof Putra, vice - speaker of the Parliament

Mrs Krystyna Bochenek, vice-speaker of the Senate
Mr Jerzy Szmajdziński, vice-cpeaker of the Parliament
Mr Władysław Stasiak, the presidential Chief of Staff
Mr Aleksander Szczygło, the president of the National Security Council
Mr Paweł Wypych, Minister of Staff of the President of Poland
Mr Mariusz Handzlik, Undersecretary of State in the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland
Mr Andrzej Kremer, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Gen. Franciszek Gągor, Chief of the General Staff of the Republic of Poland
Mr Andrzej Przewoźnik, The President of the Historical Memory Council
Mr Grzegorz Dolniak, vice - leader of the Civic Platform Parliamentary Club, the Polish Congressman
Mr Przemysław Gosiewski, leader of the Law and Justice Parliamentary Club, the Polish Congressman
Mr Zbigniew Wasserman, the Polish Congressman, Mr President's Friend
Mr Janusz Kochanowski, the Ombudsman
Mr Sławomir Skrzypek, The President of the National Bank of Poland, Mr President's Friend
Mr Janusz Kurtyka, The President of the National Memory Institute, IPN
Bishop Gen. Tadeusz Płoski, The Field Chaplain of the Polish Army

And many other importand leaders and special people

Non omnis moriar

My personal comment:
3 days ago I haven't seen any russian tv in Katin. Now they are there and it's good.
Why can't they have better planes, but only those stupid Tupolev junk?
Why like during the worst Soviet times, journalists are kept far away from the site?
Why Mr Radoslaw Sikorski did not go immediately to Russia?

And why did they have so many stupid interpersonal conflicts which were played against them by Russia during last months?

And again, why did they go there? Because of this:

Thursday, 8 April 2010

National Branding and historical politics

....variety of ideas.
Today Korea Times has informed about the newest national advert in the US.
Korean ownership of the Dokdo Island will be promoted by 100 000 hand rubber bands in the USA, just after the full page article in New York Times and Times Square billboard.

This is just one of the actions of Korean authorities to promote the country and it's interests. Korean PR and soft power has been deeply involved in promoting Korean dramas ( soap operas) in the Far East, Korean music and contemporary youth bands, even Korean fashion brands.

This has caused increased numbers of Japanese and Chinease who travel to Korea just to learn the language or watch the house or caffeteria of their favorite amants from the soap operas ( here especially girls).

That would be enough on national branding in this post.

There is however another interesting issue about Korean politics and foreign relations with it's neighbors.
Dokdo is an island otherwise called Takeshima by Japanese and is located in the sea south of Korean coast. There are some traces of natural resources on the island, but the whole conflict in Japan has deeper roots.

This is more about memory and historical politics. Japanese occupation has exceeded Hitler's regime in accuracy and implementation of methods and left huge traces of bad memories in both Koreas. So therefore the ownership of Dokdo is more a matter of national identity and common sense of harm which has never been excused for up till now. Historical politics in Korean education system builds many myths about nation's history as it helps to improve the identity and mobilizes human powers into any action for the common goal (whether real or imaginary).

There might be critics of such policy of the state which tells a lot of tales to Korean children, but on the other hand the same happens in Japan.

Contemporary Japan had not experience any denazification process as it was done in Germany post World War II. In the West it would not be accepted that Nazi officers are invited to tv stations where they are treated like national heroes in the 21st century in front of millions of young Japanese. This attitude is simmilar to the attitude of current Russian leaders who still try to deny the massacres of Katin ( see Katyń of Wajda if you are interested, but warning, the movie contains drastic scenes). However current Russian leaders stopped denying communist crimes, these crimes are nameless, they were done by anonymous people who "had their orders". This quote: "I had my orders" is also very often mentioned by Japanese veterans when they sometimes face more detailed quations about their actions during the war.

Tensions between Tokyo and Seoul are big and not easy to resolve. But time heals the wounds as I have mentioned before and young generation of Japanese raised on Korean Wave will show different attitude, also young generation of Koreans who have no historical burdens will be able to say: "It is past now. We will remember but we do not have to hate".

What will be with Dokdo then? I don't know, but knowing the energy of Koreans in fighting for their interests, it will be Dokdo and it will be Korean.

I am sorry if this post is not answering all as I write in haste this time.

Korea Times on Dokdo Bands: and this one a movie on Katin

Monday, 5 April 2010


Kibun means internal harmony, a state close to nirvana in my amatour understanding.

Kibun is in the group, in bilateral relationships, in the company, in the lab. This  means an optimal harmony of everyone in the group.

Two years ago my uncle was asked to become a deputy president of one of the chebols. Prepared for the conversation according to the best Harvard school he went for two weeks long orientation program. One day there was a conversation with his would-be boss, the owner of the chebol, and my uncle proposed to fire 1/3 of the employees after detailed analysis of the company's efficiency and results.

No wonder that the owner said a very big no due to two reasons. One is "Kibun" - a company is your mother, your father, your grandma, your everything. Your employer hopes you will spend the lifetime tied up to your desk and climbing up the ledder. Firing off one third of the staff is not what you suppose to do. The other more to-the-ground reason is that kicking so many people off work would cause mass protests and strikes and such "cat's music" would injure company's image.

I had a lab seminar once, when I got involved in discussion about individualism and collectivism with my labmates. I don't remember what did we have disagreement about anymore, but I remember that I bought coffee for the guy who was my biggest opponent and this way subconsciously I have set the "Kibun" back on in the lab.

This is really a pity that such devotion to common harmony and happiness is not that much respected and performed there where happiness is needed the most - nuclear small family of husband and wife. Luckily this is changing now and changing rapidly.