Jang, Su-jeong 기자2017.03.02 19:57:21
2016 was such a chaotic year for Korea. Many issues on the news were constantly in the public eye. They were much more dramatic than any movie scenario, and there were so many of them that I could not even attempt to write down everything on one page. Therefore, I chose three stories that continue to have a strong influence on Korea.
North Korea’s fourth nuclear test, as well as their long-range missile engine test, was carried out in 2016. This situation could be a threat to national security, so the Korean government agreed to the deployment of the U.S. THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) missile defense system. This triggered arguments for and against it, and many conflicts between Korea and China.
Gender issues also drew public attention last year. Sexual abuse has been frequently taken place in literary circles in Korea, but it was not discussed openly until 2016. In addition, misogyny and feminism became a hot topic, and the gender-related controversies still continue.
Many Koreans felt anger as well as disappointment at the political chaos. Na, Hyang-wook, the director of the Education Ministry's policy-planning office, referred to 99 percent of Korean people as dogs and pigs. He added, “This country needs a caste system because people are not all born equal.” Moreover, the Park, Geun-hye – Choi, Soon-sil Gate was the biggest political turmoil of 2016, which raised the question of whether there is any spirit of democracy remaining. In fact, this spirit was not in evidence in the senior government officials, but in numerous ordinary people in Korea, especially the protesters holding candles during the anti-government rallies around the country.
Lots of affairs in 2016 let us down, but we could still find many people trying to make the world a better place. 2016 was the year of problem recognition, so we hope 2017 will be the year of problem-solving. In order to achieve this goal, empathetic communication between the policy makers and the public has to be achieved first.
Meanwhile, we reporters have improved this issue, No. 365, for our readers. First, the table of contents has been adjusted. Social Issues, a new category to accompany the Feature, Culture, and World sections, is now included. Second, we added a new section called Health, which replaces the Gourmet section. Furthermore, The KNU Times now has a call for letters from readers, and some letters will be published in the next issue. In order to improve our magazine, we have read the publications of other universities, and have increased the number of our regular meetings. We are determined to continue our efforts to make The KNU Times even better! Finally, we wish all of you a ‘Happy New Year’ in 2017.
The KNU Times