Alex and Michael begin their discussion with a reflection on the passing of Roh Tae Woo and his complicated contribution to the development of South Korea. The 1988 Seoul Olympics being juxtaposed with his participation in a coup and his three-time reelection.
Michael then discusses the amazing development he has witnessed since his arrival in Korea in 1982, both economically and politically. As the building cranes built the apartment buildings and factories, a burgeoning democracy was also being built. He discusses the times of the Three Kims, Presidents Kim Young Sam and Kim Dae Jung and king maker Kim Jong Pil with some very interesting comments on Kim Jong Pil.
Michael then talks about an amazing three and a half hours he spent at a luncheon with 20 other journalists in Pyeongyang. He met with and listened to Kim Il Sung discuss his perspectives on the Korean War and Japanese occupation.
Moving to the present, Michael outlines his learned views on the current state of Korean politics and the potential risks in the ongoing rift with Japan. Michael wraps up by discuss the brewing tensions between the US and China and how it could impact on Korea.
A thoroughly entertaining and vital piece of context for all of us wanting to understand the political landscape of South Korea.
Today’s episode was brought to you by The Four Seasons Seoul, stylish elegance in the heart of the city.