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Readers’ VOICE

On cultural heritage...

When asked about cultural heritage, most people come up with Bulguksa, palaces and so on.

But few think Hangeul is cultural heritage which is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage property.

Therefore, I would like to talk about Hangeul.

These days, animated by The Korean Wave, many countries are running Hangeul classes.

Though it is through the Korea Wave, I would like to highly praise the government’s efforts.

Also, I have some things I would like the government to do.

The first thing is that at the state level the government should support eminent universities around the world that want to run Hangeul classes.

The second thing is to extend the current Korean Wave. The government should invest more.

The more concerts that are held, the more foreigners love Korea, and the more we can export things such as cars, cellular phones and other things.

― So Kyung-suu, Seoul

On the Jeju naval base...

I lived and worked in Jeju for two years as an English teacher and reporter and listened to several opinions on the issue. The more in depth I got in regards to U.S. relations and national security the less co-operative and less transparent the Korean Government became. Jeju government officials would state they could not comment out of fear ― how realistic this fear is or was is unknown. Gangjeong was once declared an “absolute protection area” by the Jeju government but that status was later revoked by Governor Woo when the South Korean Navy decided to use the location for its new base.

It is my understanding the Supreme Court is supposed to rule on the legality of this status removal within the next year. If the court rules that the governor’s decision to remove the status as an “absolute protection area” is illegal the construction should stop. Why hasn’t this case been mentioned or looked into more in depth? How much political sway would the government and military have on the courts final decision? How long will the Supreme Court wait and could it be too late?

― Nicole Erwin, Melbourne, Australia

The smart move would have been to recognize Jeju’s designation as an island of peace and eliminate the construction of military bases there in perpetuity. Even given the foolish decision by the Korean government to proceed, one would think that there would be a voice of reason in the face of protests to step back and re-think naval plans.

― Loring Wirbel, Colorado Springs, Colorado
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