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South Korea in 2012: Domestic Politics, the Economy and Social Issues

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Chapter Summary

2012 was a 'super election year' in the Republic of Korea (ROK-South Korea). With respect to South Korea's international linkages and global profile, the Lee Myung-bak administration, however, showed a great deal of dynamism, inter alia, by seeing free trade agreements with the European Union (EU) and, more controversially, with the United States (US) through, by pursuing an active (but not always uncontroversial) 'resources diplomacy', by increasing development co-operation funds and by actively contributing to peace-keeping operations around the globe, by hosting a number of high-profile conferences. The parliamentary election of 11 April 2012 had been widely expected to lead to a change of majority in the National Assembly. In August 2012, the court ruled in a unanimous decision that a five-year old legal provision which had required internet users to reveal their real names when posting on internet forums was unconstitutional.

Keywords: European Union (EU); internet users; Lee Myung-bak; Republic of Korea (ROK); resources diplomacy; trade; United States (US)



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