Friday, March 30, 2007

Current Korean countdowns

What are we counting down the days until...

1 Day. The biggest news story of the moment is the Free Trade Agreement with the USA. Negotiations have been going on for ten months, but now it is getting down to the last minute the presidents of both countries have been on the phone to discuss it. The deadline has been created by the need to submit the bill before the US congress 90 days before the "fast track" authority agreement expires on July 1st. This would allow it to be agreed without changes. The major areas of contention are the protection demanded by Korea for it's rice and automobile markets. Farmers are protesting and, such is the level of opposition to the agreement, a politician is on hunger strike due the belief that an influx of cheaper U.S. imports will lead to job losses.

15 days Until the North Koreans have to dismantle their nuclear power facility. The sixty days given to North Korea in the six party talks are up on April 14th. Given the current lack of progress I am not expecting anything to have happened. If they ever do settle the matter of $25 million dollars, I am sure NK will come up with another delaying tactic.

3 months Until the International Olympic Committee decides on the venue for the 2014 winter Olympics. On July 4th PyeongChang will hear if it has beaten Sochi in Russia and Salzburg in Austria to hold the event.

9 months Until the South Korea Presidential elections. December 2007 will see President Moo-Hyun finish his term after four years in the position. Local politicians are very concerned that User Created Content will unduly affect their chances of election and want to ban it.

2 Years Until Subway line 9 opens. Connecting Gimpo with Gangnam this new line will open in 2009.

3 Years Until the AREX railway links Incheon with Seoul Station. Phase 2 of the AREX line will open 2010.

4 Years Until Daegu holds the world track and field games. Plucky little city Daegu has just won the contest to hold the World Championships in Athletics in 2011.

7 Years Until Incheon holds the Asian Games. Assuming Incheon wins the contest, the event will be held in 2014.

No comments: