14 May 2004

A Korea That Can Say "Roh"

Welcome back to South Korea's reinstated President Roh Moo Hyun. I was over at the Constitutional Court today for the ruling. There were more than a dozen buses full of riot police, many with fire extinguishers (Koreans have this bad habit of immolating themselves in protest), about three or four dozen reporters and cameramen outside, and only about a dozen demonstrators on each side of the debate.

Really, given that most people expected the Court to overturn the impeachment, it is no wonder there were so few people out at the court house -- just those who really wanted to get on the news and about two or three dozen spectators (fairly evenly split between the very old, who mostly opposed Roh, and university students, who mostly supported him).

The big challenge for Roh now is to see if the Uri Party, which was initially created simply to support he then-embattled president, will now fall under his sway or will instead assert its independence of him, now that it controls more than 50 percent of the parliament (the latter case appears more likely).

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