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“Is South Korea Socialist?”

Posted July. 07, 2003 21:43,   


A recent edition of the U.S. Weekly magazine Newsweek gave a report about the controversy surrounding socialism in Korea, sparked by the recent array of general strikes in the article entitled “Is South Korea Socialist?”

The magazine said that South Korea seemed to acknowledge outside criticism that the market-based country has concentrated too much on socialistic ideas and that was why the nation is seen to have turned its position around 180 degree in relation to the strikes.

Newsweek reported that President Roh and his administration have publicly defended the status of workers and European idealism rather than management executives and American capitalism.

It analyzed that the administration has been showing the same pattern of providing favorable concessions to workers whenever there was a strike by labor unions. A financial source said that “the new administration`s socialistic character has given much impetus to labor union hardliners.”

The weekly magazine reported that it was uncertain when the government started to change its position towards the illegal strikes. But it quoted the Chinese ambassador to Korea. “Korean people are more socialistic than Chinese people,” to the shock of many Koreans.

The magazine added that President Roh was beginning to act his age given that many old-age right-wing figures have been critical of the Roh administration.