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“Deep Division of Korean Society” Televised Live by CNN

“Deep Division of Korean Society” Televised Live by CNN

Posted March. 12, 2004 23:44,   


Legislators dishing blows to each other; Legislators slumping down on the floor and weeping; Legislators throwing nameplates and shoes at the speaker who declared the passage of the impeachment motion.

This is the portrait of Korean politics which aired live for about an hour throughout the world by CNN on March 12.

CNN carried a live broadcast relayed through YTN from the time before the National Assembly voted to impeach President Roh Moo-hyun.

CNN evaluated that there is still a maximum of six months remaining before the final decision of the Constitutional Court is made, but Korean society has already plunged into deep division.

CNN reported on the humorous scene of the members of Nosamo (People who love Roh Moo-hyun) demonstrating outside the Capital while the parliamentary members dealing blows to each other inside the Assembly.

Responses from Leading Foreign News Agencies—

Major world news agencies began to send emergency telegrams from the moment when the National Assembly’s security guards pulled the members of the Open Uri Party out of the chamber.

The Associated Press (AP) introduced the process of treating an impeachment motion in detail and compared the contrasting responses between the supporters of the Uri Party opposing the approval of the impeachment bill and the supporters of the Grand National Party dancing and applauding, saying “Today is a national holiday.”

AP reported that, as a result of the approval of the impeachment bill, Prime Minister Goh Kun will take over the president’s duty as acting president until the Constitutional Court makes a final decision. But AP showed concern, saying that not only was it passed about a month before the general election, but also at a time of tension lingering with the North Korea’s nuclear programs, and with the South Korean economy’s road to recovery.

AP told that the approval of the impeachment bill shook the Korean financial market and brought about a sharp decline in stock prices.

Chinese government-controlled Xinhua news agency and CCTV reported the news moment-by-moment after the impeachment bill was put to a vote at 11: 34 a.m.

Foreign news agencies as a whole showed concern that Korean politics didn’t break from the old conventional one.

William Peseck Jr., a columnist from Bloomberg news agency in the U.S., pointed out in the column entitled “Economy Rather than Impeachment” that it is strange that Korean parliamentary members voted to impeach President Roh at a time when Korea strives to enhance its international image and that it is also strange that President Roh did not make a simple apology. Kyoto News, in a news commentary, said that the absence of a president in Korea might lead to confusion in national administration and predicted that it might have a great influence on both foreign and domestic policies.

Young-Sik Kim spear@donga.com