There are just a few days for the end of the year of red monkey, 2016, and ‘eventful’ would be the word that is often used during this time of every year. This word is very much true particularly this year as history would only tell and evaluate the year of red monkey – we diagnose this year as end of the year comes.
Both domestic and foreign affairs have been very unpredictable and chaotic as violent religious groups such as the ISIShas been the evil cause of terrorism across the Middle East and Europe where many innocents have been the causalities. The Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia in 2010 seemed to have brought a new spring atmosphere in North Africa and the Middle East where dictatorships were common for decades – but such case did not last long as Syria’s Assad regime gave fierce resistance for 4 years, which has brought never-ending civil war. Hence, complicated relationships of the Russians and the Western powers in Syria, as well as the Kurds and others related. This has only resulted in the massacre of the innocent people, and directly caused for illegal refugees where many attempted in vain in the Mediterranean Sea. In essence, this has shaken up the political and economic scopes of Europe that we now know today.
The refugee issue has ultimately resulted in the United Kingdom’s ‘Brexit’ vote, which has further caused a domino effect as to protectionism and nationalism across the European continent, which everyone notes easily on Donald Trump’s election at the end of the day. The Republican, who asserted for white dominance and Christianity with emphasis on protectionism and nationalism – these were the primary factors of how Mr. Trump has brought the so-called New-Americanism into his victory for presidency. The impact of his victory does not limit to a domestic affair within the United States, as starting from next January with his presidency would bring unpredictable relationships with other superpowers – thus, volatility globally going forward.
Meanwhile in the East, China has been in the middle of conflicts in the South China Sea as well as in Southeast Asia, where much potential for natural resources are in the region as an alternative to oil of the Middle East. The new economic and military superpower, China now acts in the region as if those territories in debate are part of its border against its neighboring nations – as if China will soon make it official to be part of their territory. The background of such aggressive movements by the Chinese government is a direct rival sensitivity with the United States as both have strong geo-political presence and vision, which directly overlaps with each other. Under this circumstance, even the small nations in the South China Sea are acting in their own best interests that only bring more risks and volatility in the region.
The world is returning back to ‘Age of Cold War’ after all these nationalism and protectionism are bringing complicated functional relations into upmost highest volatility worldwide. Selfishness for each of its best interests, each nation are rivaling each other for power and thus, nuclear power is back on agenda on the table to take initiatives – those efforts to eliminate nuclear power for peace are in vain, and heavy clouds are in the surface as Russo-American relationship is the lowest ever-since the Age of Cold-War.
Then what is the reality of Republic of Korea in this chaotic global environment? The Korean peninsula is the only divided nation in this world where global superpowers all have their interests in this region – a heavily fortified geographic region today. Note that North Korea’s obsession to nuclear power is only bringing the peninsula the most dangerous place in this planet, which only brings the efforts of peace in vain.
Despite such gloomy macro environment, embarrassing domestic affairs only brought the end of the year in disgrace – President Part’s recognition of her misuse of power only to a degree of ethical extent but refusing to acknowledge legal responsibility – this has brought the nation an outrage and humiliation worldwide. What would be the crime of President Park? She is not an individual, but she is a leader, who is responsible to lead the country as a model -, however she has refused to admit her wrongdoing and instead is trying the best to distance herselfas if she’s conducted none of those. President Park has divided the country into two– this itself is a crime already. The Republic of Korea follows presidency, and the president of the country is like a heart of the nation.
However, that heart has ceased to function today. One must seek for ‘country and its people’not by her lips,but wholeheartedly since the nation is under emergency at the moment. Politicians should not act accordingly for their own advantages, but must act for the best of the nation and its people.“If impeachment is dismissed then a revolution must follow” is a slogan by those politicians, but these should not be used for instigation. Furthermore, these radical thoughts and acts are not the root of genuine democracy since freedom is only applicable to only of those who truly know how to enjoy. Forcing others to hear their opinions and voices, whereas dismissing others are not democracy. President Park and her government cannot be forgiven regardless what the rationales are behind – these are all proved and thus cannot be denied after all. However denying the past itself is not right as well – President Park’s father – President Junghee Park’s both achievements and acts, whether right or wrong – need to be the mirror and warning of our present and future. One cannot deny the history itself.
Reflecting back the year of red monkey –one must evaluate both inside and outside the country more closely, and welcome the new year of Rooster with optimism.
▶한국어 버전: [천지일보 시론] 다사다난했던 병신년 한 해를 돌아보며…