The (South) Korea Confederation of Trade Unions is preparing to hold massive rallies before and during the Group of 20 summit in Seoul slated for Nov. 11-12. The progressive activist group said it will hold a non-stop rally from Oct. 10 through Nov. 12 and a march on Nov. 7, 19 and 11.
The G-20 summit has emerged as the world`s leading forum since the eruption of the global financial crisis in 2008. The (South) Korea International Trade Association said that had the G-20 failed to tackle the crisis, the world could have experienced a shock similar to the Great Depression of the 1930s. South Korea could also have suffered a second consecutive year of declining GDP and export growth and a surge in unemployment to 5-10 percent, it added.
South Korea is the first Asian and emerging economy to host the G-20 summit, which is a good opportunity to display leadership surpassing that of the 12 emerging economies in the G-20. The British daily Guardian called it fascinating to watch the country step forward and take on this global leadership role. If successful, the newspaper said, the Seoul G-20 summit will prove even bigger than the citys hosting of the 1988 Summer Olympics in raising the country`s global profile.
A successful hosting will raise South Koreas international creditworthiness and boost economic growth and employment. Samsung Economic Research Institute said a successful summit will lift the countrys brand index two to three notches from 19th among the 30 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The expected economic benefits include a generating effect of 21 trillion to 24 trillion won (19 billion to 21 billion U.S. dollars) and 160,000 new jobs, the think tank said.
The labor confederation, however, apparently does not want South Korea to grow more powerful and its people to become more well off. Potential sabotage by North Korea coupled with frantic efforts from leftist forces in the South could eventually trample on the peoples livelihood. This sort of behavior is simply beyond the pale.
In contrast, the Federation of (South) Korean Trade Unions said the G-20 summit is a very important national matter and should be hosted successfully. Stressing that the event is a chance to raise the national image, the federation has pledged not to hold rallies over the summit period. A labor group should have a sense of responsibility and act with a sound mind.