In other news, the Hankyoreh reports that the military is being mobilized to aid the massive transfer of funds from taxpayers to construction companies / white elephant that is the four rivers project:
[T]he ROK Army Second Operations Command and Busan Regional Construction Management Administration concluded an agreement for army engineers to provide support for construction along Area 35 of the Nakdong River. To do this, the Defense Ministry assembled a unit centered on the 1117th Engineer Group of the Second Operations Command, which it will deploy from June to next November. The task of the army engineers will be to take the sediment soil removed during deep dredging of the riverbeds and moving it to a different location. Some 117 military engineers and 72 units of equipment including 50 dump trucks, will be deployed to the site. Military engineers will billet in a location near the construction site. The Defense Ministry has budgeted some 2.75 billion Won ($2.47 million) for equipment and billeting. The Busan Regional Construction Management Administration will support the costs.
The article notes that this is the first significant mobilization of military labour since the dictatorships, and gives examples from the past:
According to a report submitted by the Defense Ministry to Lawmaker Ahn on military deployments to national construction sites, the army was deployed as a major source of construction labor force to national projects during the military dictatorship, such as the construction of the Seoul-Busan Highway (1968 to 1970), Uljin-Hyeon-dong Road (1982 to 1984) and Seoul Beltway (1991 to 1994).
Incheon Airport has been voted best airport in the world for the fifth year straight. How best to celebrate this? Why not sell it -- for less than it's worth? Why is the government looking to sell 49% of its stake?
"After cutting taxes on high-income households and blowing an enormous amount of money to renew the country's four major rivers, the government is desperately trying to sell the airport to help mend its massive budget hole."Actually, an acquaintance who works for the airport planning division has cited the need to fund the four rivers project as the main reason for wanting to sell it.
For interesting (if not-so-related) reading, Park Noja's essay "Militarism and Anti-militarism in South Korea: “Militarized Masculinity” and the Conscientious Objector Movement" can be read here. I wrote a bit about the Conscientious Objector Movement here about five years ago.
Japan Focus also reprints an article from 2005 originally printed in the Korea Times:
[A] book on pro-Japanese art works has been published by the Institute for Research in Collaborationist Activities, an organization working on nation-related issues in Korea's modern history and putting forth the correct history by illuminating Koreans' pro-Japanese activities during the Japanese occupation.By 'illuminating' the writer means 'uncovering history in order to stomp on what ever scurries out.' Anyone who talks about 'correct' history worries me.
The book is composed of a collection of art works that have been on display in a pro-Japanese arts exhibition that has been touring the nation since last October under the title "Choson in the Japanese Colonial Period and War Art" and features war footage and the difficult lives of Choson people at that time.[...]Question: Are they really still invaders if they've been there for 30+ years?
Four-hundred pictures, including art works, visual images and various propaganda of the Japanese regime, depict the lives of Korean people who had to put up with the plundering and exploitation of manpower as well as resources through conscription of labor, the draft, and the forced mobilization of comfort women. The book also enables readers to witness pro-Japanese activities of representative Korean painters such as Kim Eun-ho, Kim Ki-chang, Kim Kyong-seung and Shim Hyung-gu whose work beautified and praised Japanese invaders at that time.
At any rate, what I want to know is if anyone knows what the Korean title of that book might be. I'd be very interested to see it or anything else which might collect visual propaganda from the colonial period. Here's an essay (pdf) about colonial era postcards from Korea, while this page has a collection of vintage posters for Japanese industrial expositions. To find images from the colonial period, doing an image search on Naver or Google for 내선일체 (naisen ittai, or 'Japan and Korea as one body') will turn up several images, such as this one: