By Ben McGrath, 15 January 2014
The stoppage was the longest rail strike in country’s history, but the unions channeled the hostility of workers into negotiations with KORAIL and the government.
By Ben McGrath, 23 December 2013
The police operation is a clear attempt by the Park administration to crush working class opposition to the attacks on jobs and living standards.
By Peter Symonds, 7 December 2013
“America is a Pacific power, a resident Pacific power, and we are going nowhere—nowhere,” Biden declared.
By John Chan, 29 November 2013
Miscalculations in the current situation could quickly lead to a clash involving Chinese warplanes with those from Japan, the US or South Korea.
By Ben McGrath, 12 November 2013
If imposed, a ban on the UPP would be the first since 1958 when US-backed dictator Rhee Syng-man outlawed the Progressive Party of his presidential challenger.
By Alex Lantier, 2 October 2013
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wraps up a visit to South Korea today, as part of a US diplomatic offensive to boost military alliances across the Asia-Pacific.
By Ben McGrath, 1 October 2013
President Park’s administration has accused teachers of being involved in a conspiracy to overthrow the government.
By Ben McGrath, 9 September 2013
UPP lawmaker Lee Seok-ki has been detained as part of an anti-communist witch-hunt designed to justify police state measures against the working class.
By Ben McGrath, 5 September 2013
Hyundai and Kia are demanding lower wages and costs, threatening to move production overseas.
By Ben McGrath, 30 August 2013
The raids occurred just as the agency is mired in a scandal over its interference in South Korea’s presidential election last December.
By Ben McGrath, 1 August 2013
The US is sending a message that American troops and bases will not be leaving the Korean peninsula in the foreseeable future.
By Ben McGrath, 3 July 2013
The South Korean and Chinese presidents discussed North Korea’s nuclear programs as well as boosting economic relations.
By Ben McGrath, 1 July 2013
The program is designed to create a low-paid, part-time workforce to meet the demands of big business.
By Ben McGrath, 20 May 2013
Led by General Motors, CEOs at major corporations in South Korea demanded wage cuts for workers at a meeting with President Park Geun-hye.
By Ben McGrath, 15 May 2013
A recent meeting between South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Barrack Obama gave Washington an opportunity to ensure Seoul’s adherence to US demands.
By Ben McGrath, 3 May 2013
Behind the growing tensions between Japan and South Korea are not just disputes over past history, but present-day economic and geo-political rivalry.
By Ben McGrath, 1 May 2013
Hit particularly hard by the devaluation of the Japanese yen and China’s slowdown, the government is trying to boost the economy.
By Joseph Santolan, 11 April 2013
Washington has set in motion a regional game of geopolitical brinkmanship in which the stakes are the possibility of nuclear war.
By Ben McGrath, 9 April 2013
As the US escalates tensions on the Korean peninsula, the South Korean bourgeoisie has moved to aggressively implement its own militaristic agenda.
By Alex Lantier, 4 April 2013
Chinese officials appealed for calm on the Korean peninsula yesterday, as the United States deployed missiles and further military forces to East Asia.
By Alex Lantier, 30 March 2013
On Thursday, US officials announced that B-2 stealth bombers had flown from Whiteman Air Force Base in the United States to South Korea.
By Ben McGrath, 1 March 2013
Park Geun-hye’s installation marks a turn to the right by the South Korean ruling elite amid growing social discontent at home and rising tensions across East Asia.
By Ben McGrath, 5 February 2013
With the election over, Park Geun-hye is preparing to ditch her pledges to narrow the gap between rich and poor.
By Ben McGrath, 28 December 2012
Major South Korean companies are planning to cut thousands of jobs as the economy is battered by deepening world economic turmoil.
By Ben McGrath, 20 December 2012
Park Geun-hye’s election represents a turn to authoritarian forms of rule by the South Korean corporate elite.
By Ben McGrath, 15 December 2012
The parties connected with the Korean Co-federation of Trade Unions are promoting the fraud that the Democrat candidate in the South Korean presidential election represents “a lesser evil.”
By Ben McGrath, 3 December 2012
Ahn Cheol-soo, a wealthy businessman, has thrown his support behind the Democrat in what is now largely a two-person race.
By Ben McGrath, 30 October 2012
The union sell-out of the campaign by auto workers will create more onerous working conditions.
By John Chan, 15 October 2012
The Obama administration’s move is set to heighten geo-political tensions in North East Asia.
By Ben McGrath, 6 October 2012
The government claims it is trying to prevent crime and protect citizens, but the real aim is to prepare for future crackdowns against social unrest.
By Ben McGrath, 6 September 2012
Tokyo and Seoul have refused to back away from competing claims over the Dokdo/Takeshima islands.
By Peter Symonds, 22 August 2012
Both governments are stirring up nationalist sentiment at home to deflect attention from mounting social tensions and political opposition.
By Ben McGrath, 18 July 2012
Park Geun-hye’s emergence is as the leading presidential candidate is a warning that more authoritarian forms of rule are being prepared.
By Ben McGrath, 13 July 2012
Seoul’s proposed intelligence-sharing agreement with Tokyo provoked a political crisis for the South Korean government.
By Ben McGrath, 14 June 2012
The heavy fines were designed to intimidate students who are struggling to cope with rising tuition costs.
By Ben McGrath, 16 May 2012
As well as being exposed to a domestic real estate bubble, South Korea’s banking system is heavily dependent on international credit markets.
By Ben McGrath, 21 April 2012
The ruling Saenuri Party retained control of the National Assembly only because millions of voters did not see the Democrats-led “progressive” bloc as a genuine alternative.
By Ben McGrath, 10 March 2012
The DUP is seeking to rebuild its electoral base by criticising the conglomerates and making limited proposals to restrict their activities.
By James Cogan, 29 February 2012
Pyongyang’s push for renewed talks appears to be a desperate bid for some form of rapprochement.
By Ben McGrath, 28 November 2011
The vote in South Korea’s National Assembly underscored the sharp divisions within the political establishment over the FTA, which was first agreed in 2007.
By Ben McGrath, 1 November 2011
The loss of support for the ruling right-wing GNP registered in local and municipal elections did not translate into gains for the opposition Democrats.
By Ben McGrath, 27 September 2011
South Korea is experiencing a rapidly widening gap between rich and poor, combined with a massive expansion of irregular, low-paid jobs.
By Joshua Newsham, 17 August 2011
Workers at the Yeongdo shipyard in Busan are continuing their fight against the company’s axing of 400 jobs.
By Werner Albrecht, 12 July 2011
Major sporting events today are all about national prestige and big business, with corruption, bribery and doping playing ever-increasing roles.
By Joshua Newsham, 2 June 2011
Workers continue to die in tragic circumstances following the betrayal of the 77-day Ssangyong occupation in 2009.
By John Chan, 23 May 2011
A major factor behind the electoral losses is growing discontent over rising prices and worsening social inequality.
By John Roberts, 4 March 2011
South Korea’s latest joint military exercises with the US dovetail with the Obama administration’s aggressive efforts to contain China’s influence in North East Asia.
By John Chan, 13 January 2011
The US is pushing its allies, Japan and South Korea, into closer defence relations as part of its broader efforts to counter Chinese influence in the region.
By John Chan, 30 December 2010
With strong backing from Washington, the South Korean government is continuing a series of provocative military drills that threaten to lead to conflict with North Korea.
By John Chan, 23 December 2010
Today’s live-fire drill further demonstrates the reckless determination of the South Korean regime and its chief backer, the Obama administration, to intensify pressure on North Korea and China, regardless of the danger of war.
By Bill Van Auken, 22 December 2010
Washington’s encouragement of South Korea’s live-fire military exercise in disputed waters off the North Korean coast is emblematic of the increasingly incendiary role played by US imperialism in Asia.
By John Chan, 21 December 2010
The Obama administration engineered this crisis as part of its ongoing campaign directed primarily at undermining China’s growing influence in Asia.
By John Chan, 20 December 2010
In a calculated and reckless provocation directed in the first instance against North Korea, the Obama administration has encouraged South Korea to proceed with live-fire drills in the vicinity of Yeonpyeong Island.
By John Chan, 7 December 2010
In essence, Washington has forced its junior ally to make key concessions on the economic front, in exchange for greater US military protection.
By Bill Van Auken, 7 December 2010
A late Sunday phone call between the US and Chinese presidents underscored the mounting tensions between the two countries as Washington and its allies stage a series of military exercises.
By Bill Van Auken, 24 November 2010
An exchange of artillery fire between North and South Korea on Tuesday provoked angry denunciations from Washington and warnings from Beijing and Moscow that mounting military tensions could provoke a disaster.
By Noel Holt, 4 October 2010
Myung Yeol Hwang, a 51-year-old Korean construction worker, died in tragic circumstances in Sydney in late August—homeless and unable to obtain basic medical care.
By John Chan, 8 September 2010
Rising US-China rivalry in Asia was expressed last week when Beijing pushed for Pyongyang to open up to foreign investors, while Washington announced new sanctions that would impede such plans.
By Peter Symonds, 28 May 2010
The confrontation between North and South Korea over the sinking of a South Korean warship intensified this week after Seoul, backed by Washington, announced a series of retaliatory measures.
By Peter Symonds, 25 May 2010
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have escalated markedly after Seoul accused Pyongyang of deliberately sinking the Cheonan, a South Korean warship, on March 26.
By John Chan, 26 April 2010
President Lee Myung-bak is increasingly under pressure from sections of his right-wing Grand National Party and the military to take action against North Korea over the incident.
By Sangjin Kim, 10 April 2010
In a two-day ballot this week, workers at Kumho Tire voted to reject an agreement reached between the company union and management to slash pay and jobs as part of a corporate debt restructuring plan.
By Ben McGrath, 27 February 2010
An Amnesty International report, entitled “Disposable labour: Rights of migrant workers in South Korea,” documents the abhorrent working conditions of immigrants.
By John Chan, 21 November 2009
South Korea, the final leg of Obama’s Asian trip, was no more successful that his other stops. Obama failed to make any advance toward a free-trade agreement between the two countries.
By John Chan, 12 November 2009
Just days before US President Barack Obama commences his first major visit to Asia, a brief exchange of fire took place between South and North Korean naval vessels.
By Terry Cook, 26 October 2009
Following the suppression of the 77-day occupation of the Ssangyong Motor plant at Pyeongtaek in August, the government has broadened its offensive against the rights and conditions of the working class.
By John Chan, 3 September 2009
Behind the rhetoric about “democracy” and “peace”, Kim represented the interests of sections of the Korean bourgeoisie who had been marginalised under the US-backed military dictatorship.
By Terry Cook, 24 August 2009
Following the end of the 77-day occupation of Ssangyong Motor’s plant in Pyeongtaek, the government of President Lee Myung-bak is carrying out a police vendetta against the workers involved.
By James Cogan, 18 August 2009
The state crackdown on the Ssangyong occupation demonstrates that the defence of the basic right to a job is a revolutionary question.
By Terry Cook, 7 August 2009
The Korean Metal Workers Union called off the occupation at the Ssangyong Motor plant after striking a deal that accepts the mass lay-offs demanded by the management.
By Patrick O’Connor, 6 August 2009
More than 4,000 South Korean riot police, backed by private security and nonunion company goons, have launched a violent assault on more than 500 auto workers at the Ssangyong factory in Pyeongtaek.
By Ben McGrath, 29 July 2009
A parliamentary standoff over new laws making it easier to sack workers has highlighted the political instability produced in South Korea by the global economic crisis, with more than 300 “non-regular” workers losing their jobs every day.
By Terry Cook, 27 July 2009
Thousands of heavily-armed riot police have laid siege to Ssangyong Motor’s factory in Pyeongtaek where around 900 workers and supporters continue to occupy a major building.
By Terry Cook, 16 July 2009
Police moved in with forklifts to remove barriers outside Ssangyong Motor’s Pyeongtaek plant in preparation for a police assault to break the occupation.
“If these workers fail, restructuring will become normal”
By a correspondent, 16 July 2009
A WSWS correspondent spoke to supporters outside South Korea’s Ssangyong Motor assembly plant, which workers have occupied for eight weeks.
By Terry Cook, 11 July 2009
Workers are continuing to occupy Ssangyong Motor’s assembly plant to fight mass sackings amid signs that the government is preparing another violent operation to storm the plant.
By Adam Haig, 6 July 2009
The outpouring of public sympathy for Roh following his death is misplaced in view of his record in office. Nevertheless, the widespread mourning points to bitterness over the deepening social divide in the country.
By Terry Cook, 1 July 2009
A lengthy factory occupation in defence of jobs at Ssangyong Motor’s Pyeongtaek plant in South Korea’s Gyeonggi Province reached a critical turning point last weekend. Clashes took place between occupying workers and several thousand company thugs, supervisory staff and non-striking workers.