These are some of the recent news occurred in South Korea, which you don't find and hear them on the TV and newspapers in the U.S. It's about the tension protest by the South Koreans against the U.S. on the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which would destroy the country's crucial economy (agriculture and farming) by importing cheaper goods and throwing more people out of the jobs in South Korea. In my opinion, it will be similar situation like in the U.S. by outsourcing the jobs to overseas countries with lower pay. Due to high competition with overseas market, the U.S. might plan to sell cheaper products (by outsourcing the manufacturing jobs to the Third World countries as their labour cost is cheaper a lot compared to hiring people in the U.S.). At the end, the one who make more profits are the manufacturers who don't plan to create more jobs in the U.S. Also, the South Koreans are angry and protested against the construction of a new naval base on a beautiful island of Jeju in South Korea. (For more details of the news, please scroll down)
Jeju island is a popular vacation spot for the locals and tourists, which is also being declared by UNESCO as the world heritage site. Jeju island is a volcanic island which provides a variety of activities to do like, hiking on Halla-san, catching sunrise and sunset over the ocean, enjoying the beautiful waterfalls and lying on the sandy beach. However, the proposed of the construction for the U.S. naval base would destroy the ecosystem of the nature habitat for plants and wild animals as well as the aquatic ecosystem of Jeju island. Thus, please give your full support to South Koreans, Gloria Steinem and Ann Wright to save Jeju island by signing the petition: http://signon.org/sign/save-jeju-island-no-naval
Proposed naval base threatens island by CNN. Sign petition & Google "SAVE JEJU ISLAND"
Where is Jeju island?
|The strategic naval base will be located between Jeju island (South Korea) and China which will make a bad maritime security situation in Northeast Asia (http://www.ips-dc.org/articles/jeju_and_a_naval_arms_race_in_asia)|
S Koreans protest against trade deal with US
Authorities detain at least 15 people after police clash with demonstrators in the capital Seoul.
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2011 11:56
Source: Aljazeera English
Riot police used water cannons to disperse protesters gathered in front of the National Assembly [Reuters]
South Korean authorities have detained at least 15 people after police clashed with protesters demonstrating against the country’s free-trade agreement with the US.
Riot police used water cannons on Thursday to disperse an estimated 2,000 protesters who gathered in front of the National Assembly in the capital Seoul, before a parliamentary vote to ratify the pact.
The South Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has been approved by the government but still requires approval from Korea's legislature.
The protesters claimed the pact would endanger their country's agriculture industry by flooding the market with cheaper imported goods.
"This agreement is totally shameful and it betrays our country," Kim Won-yeol, a protester, said.
"This agreement also seriously damages our citizens' goods, so many people have gathered here to stop the FTA from being ratified at the National Assembly."
"South Korea is the country of farming, and it has been relying on farming until now. The South Korea-US FTA kills the South Korean farming," Lee Keun-soo, Head of Gawngju City Farmers Union said.
The demonstrators said they wanted Lee Myung-bak, the country’s president, and his ruling Grand National Party to renegotiate the deal with the US.
Korea's parliament was scheduled to vote to ratify the FTA at its general meeting on Thursday afternoon.
The pact is America's biggest free-trade agreement since the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico.
South Korea is the world's 12th largest economy and US-South Korea trade amounted to $90.2bn last year.
Clashes in Seoul over S Korea-US FTA
Thu Nov 3, 2011 7:24PM GMT (Souce: PressTV)
Police used water cannon to disperse about 2,000 protesters outside South Korea's national assembly on Thursday amid a deepening political standoff over the ruling conservatives' final push to seal a trade deal with the United States.
The FTA, which some studies say could boost $67 billion two-way trade between the allies by as much as a quarter, was approved by the U.S. Congress last month and signed into law by President Barack Obama. It had been expected to sail through the South Korean parliament where the ruling Grand National Party (GNP) has a majority.
But the opposition, buoyed by a landslide victory in a key by-election in the capital last week, has flexed its muscle and demanded changes to the deal, saying it is skewed in Washington's favor. Xinhua
One female protester who has a four-year-old boy said she came out to join the protest because she believes that the FTA would put her child's future in jeopardy. Korea Times
U.S. farmers are also expected to be big winners under the agreement, with more than $1.8 billion a year in increased exports to South Korea. Reuters
The deal is the biggest U.S. trade pact since the North America Free Trade Agreement went into force in 1994. AP
FACTS & FIGURES
The trade accord, if ratified, will knock down tariff and non-tariff barriers between the world's largest and 11th-largest economies. Yonhap News
The Korean Rural Economic Institute predicts that U.S. agricultural exports to South Korea, currently $2.8 billion, could double after the FTA, causing the loss of up to 130,000 jobs. International Herald Tribune
The U.S. think-tank Economic Policy Institute predicts that the South Korea - United States free trade agreement will lead to the loss of 159,000 U.S. jobs. Economic Policy Institute
S Koreans clash with police over base
Sun Sep 4, 2011 5:22AM GMT (source: PressTV)
South Korean protesters have clashed with the country's riot police over the construction of a new naval base on the island of Jeju which will be open to US forces, Press TV reports.
The protesters, who have occupied the site since June in order to prevent the construction, were joined by 300 activists and opposition party members who flew to the island.
Protesters allege that South Korea has bowed to pressure from the United States, which they say is eager to establish a military presence near China. Washington currently has nearly 28,500 troops in South Korea.
Damage to the environment is a concern of the protesters over the construction of the naval base as is the possibility of disputes with China over the American presence.
Police dispersed about 130 people on Friday and arrested 38 others. Protesters scuffled with the police, but no serious violence was reported.
After the police dispersed the crowd, engineers finished building a perimeter fence surrounding the construction site.
Local military officials say the USD 970-million project is vital for South Korea's national security.
Once completed in 2014, the base will host some 20 warships, including submarines.
Seoul started construction of the naval base in January near a village on the resort island's southern coast facing the South China Sea.
To date, about 14 percent of the construction has been completed.