Post #2: South Korea, its languages and role internationally

The official language of South Korea is Korean, which is shared with North Korea. However, there are some differences between the North and South Korean iterations of the language similar to Mexican and more authentic Spanish. Other languages spoken in South Korea include English and Mandarin Chinese, but they are considered immigrant languages. In response to anti-South Korean actions in China as a result of the ongoing deployment of a missile defense system, South Korea it came out on February 1st that it has stopped issuing visas for Chinese language instructors affiliated with a Chinese NGO affiliated with China’s education ministry. There have not been any new visas issued, nor have any one-year visas been renewed. When asked if these visa actions are in response to China-South Korean chances, an official from the Ministry of Justice said, according to The Korea Times, “According to the ministry, it recently discovered that the instructors at the Confucius Institute do not fulfill the requirements to receive the E-2 visa, as they are technically hired and paid by the Chinese institute, not a South Korean institute.” Chinese officials are hoping that these visa issues will be worked out.

According to the United Nations’ website, the Republic of South Korea has been a member since September 17, 1991. South Korea has been elected to the Security Council as a non-permanent member twice, including two terms as president of the council. South Korea also ranks 40th in nations who have sent peacekeeping troops to the United Nations, which they claim is, “a reflection of the government’s willingness to contribute to world peace and security, thus enhancing its status in the international community while simultaneously making the world a safer place.” South Korea also claims that it is one of the major players in nuclear disarmament in the world. From 1993 – 2006, South Korea served on the Commission on Human Rights. In regards to international justice, South Korea helped draft the legislation which created the International Criminal Court.


The Republic of Korea has been a member of the World Trade Organization since its inception on January 1, 1995. However, South Korea initially joined the predecessor to the WTO, the GATT on April 14, 1967. North Korea is not a member of the WTO. South Korea is an observer to the Committee on Trade in Civil Aircraft. It is Party to the Government Procurement Agreement, and Signatory to the Information Technology Agreement. Since China and South Korea are both members of the WTO, South Korea has been considering filing a lawsuit through the WTO in regards to China’s THAAD economic retaliatory actions. While South Korean officials refused to officially comment on the actions they will be taking in response to the economic sanctions, they are exploring this route, which would make it an official trade dispute with the two countries. Currently, officials feel their hands are tied in one way or another, considering Chinese officials are stating publicly that they have no knowledge of any actions being taken against the Republic of Korea, but their actions have been directly opposite their official statement. However, officials are still reviewing whether Chinese actions can be brought to the attention of the World Trade Organization on an individual basis according to the Organization’s rules.




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