Sunday, July 23, 2006

It's not The Daily Show, but I kinda like it...

Koreans of the South tend to trumpet the areas in which the ROK surpasses Japan. I am, however, at a loss to name what those areas are aside from World Cup finals goals, penetration levels of high-speed internet service, short-course speed skating, archery and supertanker construction...oh, and nationally humiliating scientific frauds.

However, to this list of areas where Koreans are way ahead of the Japanese I believe we should include "the use of snark in editorials published by major newspapers", as demonstrated by this mean-spirited takedown of the Blue House:

Korea in Appeal to Alternative Universe
Chosun Ilbo

Unification Minister Lee Jong-seok told a TV forum on Thursday, "I'm not sure if the phrase 'cooperation between South Korea, the U.S. and Japan' is appropriate in the North Korean missile issue. Based on its cooperation with the U.S., South Korea will cooperate with Japan, China and Russia." He also said Korea will "go its own way in step with the international community. It has to be seen if what the U.S. does coincides with the wishes of the international community."

Only the UN Security Council is empowered to speak for the international community. Its 15 members unanimously adopted a resolution on North Korea last Saturday which condemned the North's missile tests and urged UN members to stop supplying materials that Pyongyang could use to build missiles. As of now, that is the only position the international community has taken on the missile question. Washington and Tokyo are now searching for specific ways of sanctioning North Korea based on that resolution.

Is Lee aware of a position deliberated on by the international community in a place other than the UN? His remarks distinguishing "cooperation between South Korea, the U.S. and Japan" from "cooperation with Japan, China and Russia based on cooperation between South Korea and the U.S." suggest that he expects China and Russia to take a different view from the international community. But China and Russia are permanent Security Council members that supported the North Korea resolution.


In terms of cosmology, the title should probably have had Korea appealing to an "alternate universe" ("equal and opposite") than "alternative universe" ("in addition to the current one")...but in terms of geopolitics, "alternative universe" might be closer to what the Blue House wants.

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