Das geteilte Land - KOREA

Südkorea: Grenzen der Demokratie

Nach Jahrzehnten der Militärdiktatur erlebte Südkorea mit KIM Dae-Jung (1998-2003) und ROH Moo-Hyun (2003-2008) eine demokratische Periode. Unter Präsident LEE Myung-Bak (2008-2013) begann ein neues Zeitalter, in dem die Demokratie immermehr eingeschränkt wurde. Mit Präsidentin PARK Geung-Hye, der Tochter des Diktators PARK Chung-Hee, werden nun seit 2013 der Demokratie nicht nur Grenzen gesetzt, sondern die demoikratische Verfassung wird immer weiter ausgehöhlt.
Wir verweisen dafür auf Berichte in Tageszeitungen (koreansiche und auslänndische) und Zeitschriften.

Distorting Democracy: Politics by Public Security in Contemporary South Korea
by  Jamie Doucette and Se-Woong Koo

Although a full year has not elapsed since the election of South Korea's President Park Geun-hye, there are already troubling signs that her term as President is going to be a difficult period for both the health of Korean democracy and for liberal and progressive political forces. In the months since she was elected, significant evidence of political and electoral interference by the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and other state agencies has come to light, leading to an expanding series of political scandals, most notably the indictment of former NIS director Won Sei-hoon.

A sitting lawmaker, Lee Seok-ki, has been arrested on suspicion of sedition and plotting a rebellion, as well as charges of violating Korea's National Security Law (NSL). Citing this arrest, the Ministry of Justice has recently moved to disband the United Progressive Party (UPP), of which Lee is a member, charging that the party's 'progressive democracy' platform is based on "the so-called founding ideology of North Korea".

This sequence of events has been accompanied by a broader shift in political discourse. For the purpose of discrediting its opponents, the broader South Korean right has returned to its cavalier use of the chimerical label chongbuk chwap'a: a term commonly translated as 'pro-North leftists,' encompassing not only suspected proxies of North Korea but anyone seen as deferential to the wishes of the North. This article assesses the implications for South Korean democracy.

Jamie Doucette is Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Manchester. Se-Woong Koo is Rice Family Foundation Visiting Fellow and Lecturer at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University. Along with several other scholars, they helped initiate the Concerned scholars statement on National Intelligence Service interference in South Korea Democracy and signature campaign in early September, 2013.

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