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122 2016-12-27 [Upfront] Round-up of 2016 Key Issues: Security & Politics

[Upfront] Round-up of 2016 Key Issues: Security & Politics

Arirang TV's current affairs program, "Upfront," recently aired an episode titled, "Round-up of 2016 Key Issues: Security & Politics."The panelists for this episode were Professor Park Tae-woo from Institute of Sustainable Development at Korea University and Professor Choo Jae-woo from Kyung Hee University, Chinese Studies Department. They discussed many security and political issues that were raised in 2016.

First, they discussed Korea's security issues such as the nuclear threats from North Korea and the THAAD deployment. In regards to North Korea's current situation and the two nuclear testings it has done this year, Professor Park commented that as North Korea's economy deteriorated, the development of nuclear weapons has become a survival strategy for the country. He believes that denuclearization through negotiations is impossible. As for the level of North Korea's nuclear weapons development, Professor Choo explained that despite the lack of detailed information, we can assume that North Korea is further along in their nuclear weapons development from the looks of things, such as nuclear warheads and launching pads.

On the matter of a possible dialogue between North Korea and the US in 2017 after North Korea's 5th nuclear test, Professor Park commented that both Trump and Kim Jong-un are unpredictable and that the US-North Korea relationship is expected to continue to deteriorate.

A discussion on the THAAD deployment followed next. On July 8, 2016, the Korean government officially announced its decision to deploy a THAAD missile defense system in response to North Korea's nuclear threat. Professor Park stated that despite the concerns on the deployment, such as costs and the electromagnetic waves, it is not so risky as people think it is.

They also discussed political issues such as the 20th National Assembly, impeachment bill and the Anti-bribery and Graft Act. Professor Choo commented that social media has created a new political culture in regards to the assessment on the 20th National Assembly. He also added that the so-called Kim Young-ran Act, which was implemented on September 28, 2016, may cause some problems in the short-term, but people will soon get used to it.

Lastly, in regards to Korea's future, Professor Park commented that we need political leadership and that Korea's national security is also important. Professor Choo also commented that we're in a serious need of leadership.

(Link to Video)

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