The Julian Assange™ affair highlights the growing reach of American law across the world, and now there are fears that South Korea could be next in line for persecution after an American law firm opened an office in Seoul. The company, which goes under the name of Sheppard Evans even though it is not believed to be religious, has made the unlikely claim that it is merely in Korea to help K-pop go global.
While there have long been hopes that the Korean Wave – or Hallyu as it is known – would usher in a new era of Korean cultural colonialism, experts are warning that it is the danger of American legal colonialism which now threatens our country, using The Wave as a front. While Washington is trying to extend American law to many countries around the world, it could prove particularly destabilizing in Korea Inc., which is so-called because of the way the country is run like one big national business around which the legal and political system are organized. If the pro-legal system is challenged by encroaching Americanism, the whole house of cards could come crashing down.
Many say it is typical of the arrogance of the United States that they believe they should make the world's laws, when Korean scholars have pointed out that America is much further away from most other countries than Korea. According to 60-year-old Professor Kim of Seoul International University "Much of the world can be proven to be closer to Korea than America, so perhaps it should be Korea that has the right to make international laws, not other nations."
Historically Korean laws have been accepted as taking precedence over those of other countries. For example, with the Dokdo issue Korean law clearly states that it is Korean territory, whereas so-called Japanese legal experts in Tokyo have interpreted Japanese laws to state that Dokdo is Japanese territory. Even if this dubious interpretation of their legal system proved to be accurate, Korean law is clearly and factually in the right.
Last month, the government had to allow foreign law firms to open offices in Seoul for the first time after it was discovered that under the deceptive free trade agreements Korea signed last year despite lacking a proper Korean translation, Korea had to open up its legal system to foreigners, who had previously always been denied justice in our country. With the move, we now face the prospect of not only being subject to the diktats of Washington, but also the individual dictatorship of resident aliens running to a American law firm every time they are accused of spreading AIDS, taking drugs and not getting paid.
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