- I was wondering why Samcheong-dong was so busy last night: Prime Minister Chung Un-chan has resigned over the failure to pass Cheong Wa Dae’s plan to amend the Sejong City project:
Prime Minister Chung Un-chan told the nation yesterday that he will step down from his post, ending a turbulent 10-month term marred by a failed attempt to revise the Sejong City development plan.
“A series of major political events has concluded with the July 28 by-elections, and I believe a clean slate has been prepared for the president to start the second half of his term,” Chung said in a televised press conference that was broadcast live. “As a responsible public servant, I decided now is the opportunity to make public my intention to resign.”
Despite being an opposition guy known for his partiality to Keynesian economics, I kind of liked Chung, as did President Lee, who reportedly wanted him to stay on. Sure, Sejong City turned into a Mongolian cluster f*ck, but that was going to happen regardless since it was, after all, a project approved with bipartisan support during the previous administration. Granted, it’s a project I dislike immensely, and I sort of sympathize with President Lee on this one, but you can’t take an agreed-upon project and junk it overnight and not expect to piss a lot of people off.
- RFA (via the Chosun Ilbo) reports that the North Korean football team followed up their public humiliation at the hands of Portugal with another public humiliation upon returning to North Korea:
Citing unnamed North Korean sources, RFA said the team were made to stand on a stage at the People’s Palace of Culture on July 2, just three days after they returned from South Africa, and subjected to ideological criticism for six hours. The team’s two Japanese-born players, Jong Tae-se and An Yong-hak, were exempt from the session.
Around 400 officials including the vice minister of the Workers’ Party, Sports Minister Pak Myong-chol, other athletes and sport students were apparently part of the audience. Ri Dong-kyu, a sports commentator for the North’s state-run Korean Central TV, pointed out the mistakes of each player.
-Interesting headline: “Overseas Young Leaders of Korean Descent Vow to Work Towards Advancing Korea.” I have to say, I’ve never been comfortable with the Korean government’s attempts to turn overseas Koreans into a promotional tool. Don’t get me wrong — I understand the cultural and historical ties — but this kind of thing could breed distrust and lead to misunderstandings with the host societies.
- Another headline that disturbs me, this one regarding USFK: “Korea tour normalization: More like home now.” God, I hope not.
- Rodney Farry provides some helpful tips to Irish economic refugees coming to the Ireland of the East.
- And in the Long Island Pride department: “Amy Fisher Porn Movie Deal: “Long Island Lolita” To Star In Four Adult Films”
- Remember the French Freezer Babies? Well, TIME asks, “Why Are French Women Killing Their Babies?” (HT to reader)