#Shigak no. 03: Cases of Sedition and Espionage and the Repatriation of Defectors

By | March 18, 2014 | No Comments

Lee Seok-ki, the South Korean MP who was sentenced to 12 years in prison on charges of sedition. | Image: HankyorehTV/Youtube

Lee Seok-ki, the South Korean MP who was sentenced to 12 years in prison on charges of sedition. | Image: HankyorehTV/Youtube

This issue of # 시각 (shigak)  together several high profile issues in or related to South Korea: espionage, suicide, political parties, and repatriation, among other things. The strange case of Yu U-song (유우성), for starters, has made waves in the South Korean media in the last couple of weeks. Yu is former Chinese resident in North Korea who disguised himself as a North Korean refugee in order to get into South Korea, subsequently working for the Seoul city government. Yu was later accused of spying for North Korea and is currently in court. This somewhat unique case has given sufficient cause for the left-leaning daily, the Hankyoreh, to implicate the NIS and the conservative press.

On a more sobering topic: suicide. It is something that South Korea is genuinely concerned about, and has long been searching for answers to why it comfortably tops the list of OECD suicide hotspots. However, those answers seem as far away as they ever were, and a recent group suicide in Gangnam seems tragically unlikely to bring progress. One finds far less concern about the failure of left wing political factions in the country to consolidate around a traditional party format in the 27 years since democratization; if the reaction to Ahn Cheol-soo’s sudden decision to ditch “new politics” in favor of union with the old is anything to go by, there never will be. There is, however, plenty of concern for the hundreds of North Koreans facing deportation to South Korea from Canada.

Each bimonthly volume of Shigak features only the most important tweets posted by Sino-NK analysts in the preceding period. These are augmented with essential annotations and a small dose of concentrated analysis. Shigak, meaning “perspective,” is a multilingual data collection effort that uses Twitter to curate sources dealing in key political, social, and economic issues on South Korea. Each bimonthly issue takes only the most important tweets posted by Sino-NK analysts under the hashtag #시각 and augments them with essential annotations and a small dose of concentrated analysis.

Shigak is edited by Steven Denney and Christopher Green. Back issues can be found on the dedicated page.

Download the third release at the link below.

#Shigak no. 03, February 24 – March 18, 2014

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