Monday, June 14, 2010

Lee Myung-Bak: A trying hard Park Chung Hee

Lee Myung-Bak: A trying hard Park Chung Hee

Former Dictator Park Chung Hee

Park Chung Hee loyalist
and current South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak

These two Korean leaders stand for modernization and prosperity, like Bonaparte and Ceasar they stood much for freedom and liberty, but then despite the achievements and of populist rhetoric they simply act too "right" as they challenge the "left" in Choson as well as acting too close to a liberator who, in fact interfere much in domestic affairs all in the name of defense.

And as what I expected from the two, especially on the latter, he seemingly act different. As according to Wikipedia:
"Lee attended night school at Dongji Commercial High School in Pohang on a full scholarship. A year after graduation, Lee gained admission to Korea University. In 1964, during his third year in college, Lee was elected president of the student council. That year, Lee participated in student demonstrations against President Park Chung-hee's Seoul-Tokyo Talks taking issue with Japanese restitution for the colonization of the Korean peninsula. He was charged with plotting insurrection and was sentenced to five years probation and three years of imprisonment by the Supreme Court of Korea. He served a little under three months of his term at the Seodaemun prison (서대문 형무소) in Seoul."
Despite joining a demonstration against his current party's (and perhaps his) predecessor, Lee Myung-Bak seemingly end as this: Joining the Grand National Party, the descendant of Democratic Republican Party of Park Chung Hee in 1992.

Somehow it unveils much opportunism, distaste for the North Koreans, of nailed fist policies that seemingly wanting a return to the conflict all in the name of unification, instead of putting it into the table for negotiations and peaceful, progressive acts like Lee's predecessors from the other party.

In addition to that,
Noticing much of the achievements being laid, of building bridges, infrastructures, these two also done atrocities all in the name of economic progress. As according to the writeup "Human rights and economic developments during the Park Chung Hee and Lee Myung Bak administration" by Changmin Choi:

Regarding Park Chung Hee:

"...By initiating the 5-year economic plan, Park Chung Hee tried to establish an economic system independent from the international aids. He promoted heavy and chemical industry by founding the iron manufacturing company which currently renamed as POSCO. Following the success of POSCO, Hyundai Heavy Industries CO., Ltd. was founded and established the foundation for the rapid and successful economic growth of South Korea. As the Harvard Professor mentioned in the interview with Chosun Ilbo newspaper, it is hard to deny that “without Park South Korea would not be as prosperous as it is today”

many human rights violations were occurred to integrate the country and lead the president’s economic and social development programs. Many of those who showed opposition to his policies were ignored or even punished. One example that shows his dictatorship is the declaration of martial law on October 17th, 1972. Park Chung Hee could control the whole country as his will by seizing the legislative, administrative, juristic power altogether. He had the authority to control the national assembly and even the presidential election by changing the direct election to the indirect one. “Koreanized Democracy” denied people’s rights. One stunning example that shows his persecution against probable threat to his political life was ordering kidnap of, although only situational evidence prove this, Kim Dae Jung, Nobel peace prize winner and 15th president of South Korea. The power centered to one dictator brought human rights violations for the achievement of his visions..."

And as for Lee Myung-Bak:

"...The Current Lee Myung Bak administration shows many similarities in its emphasis on the economic development. He could be elected for the economic situation in the 2007 presidential election seemed to face decline and his reputation as a legendary salary-man could appealed to the public. As if responding to this expectation, his election pledges focus more on how to better develop the economy than on the other social parts.

President Lee Myung Bak has been criticized for his oppression on the public human rights under the name of developing the nation’s economy. Despite public opposition, President Lee was determined to precede his election pledge of building the canal that would connect from Seoul to Busan which would theoretically reduce the domestic transporting cost. His sudden acceptance on the import of American beef over 30 months ignited the public anger. One incident that showed public’s opposition toward his administration is the candlelight rally. The problem was that suppression process of the rally was brutal and caused many casualties..."

These two leaders, in the idea of the wingnuts may consider it as "a good job", of doing a Machiavellian mean to achieve progress and prosperity as they say. Park did much of creating buildings, emphasizing military related industry with American support while Lee seemingly trying to do the same, development while wanting a nailed fist towards the Juche North. All of these are a means to appease the American imperialists at the expense of the suffering people, whose youth end up studying in the Philippines for English!

And if that's the case, what is development? An excuse for violating human rights? Of building roads, waterways while at the same time curbing opposition? Of utilizing anything in preparation for the coming battle? I really notice how these two right-wing leaders, then and now sharing the instinct of pointing against the north and willing to continue the fight, a return to the 1950s with modern weapons being used.

And if Lee Myung-Bak do so, of becoming too nailed fisted both domestic and North Korean related affairs, then a possibility of sharing the fate as Park Chung Hee did.