Thursday, December 20, 2012

South Korea Elects First Robot President

Lifelike robot plots revenge
South Korea has taken another step forward for diversity by electing its first robot president. The robot, named 'Park Geun-hye', was the brainchild of former popular dictator and coup-leader General President Park Chung-hee, who initiated the so-called "Ice Princess" program in the 1960s to engineer a long line of succession consisting of like-minded leaders programmed with the dictator's thoughts.

In order to allay widespread social prejudices about robots, officially 'Park Geun-hye' was adopted by the dictator and his wife, and a cover story was constructed in which she was 'born' in 1952 before attending several educational institutions.

The ambitious project ran into trouble in the early 1970s, when it was finally accepted that Korea could not construct some of the logic processing, information and memory-retrieval technology required to complete the Ice Princess android prototype, requiring the unit to be shipped to France for completion with computer chips from early Minitel prototypes. Unfortunately the plan was not quite complete when General President Park Chung-hee's wife was assassinated, requiring the Ice Princess to be recalled to Korea as part of the military's contingency planning, meaning that to this day Park Geun-hye's delivery is considered somewhat slow and minimally functional, coupled with a poor memory of events.

Further disaster struck five years later when the General President himself was assassinated. The Ice Princess project was canceled and Park Geun-hye was switched off and placed into a storage closet at a Ministry of Defense facility located in Daegu. There are several conflicting accounts of what happened next, but one popular version of events relates how – in the chaos of the break-up of the military-backed dictatorship in 1987, supporters of General President Park Chung-hee bribed officials at the facility, got Park Geun-hye out of the closet and reactivated her before escaping.

What is certain is that once switched back on, the Ice Princess prototype reverted to her original programming to seek power and protect her father even though the regime she was built to serve was gone, and she was elected as an assemblywoman for the GNP – the successor party to the Democratic Republican Party founded by her father. Experts suggest that – incredibly – this may mean Park Geun-hye has evolved beyond her basic programming and is now seeking revenge by restoring his vision and legacy, despite the cancer of freedom which has been allowed to take root in South Korea since the liberal democratic coup plotters overthrew the rightful government.

There have been missteps on the presidential campaign trail. The android's closest aides were overheard describing South Korea's left-leaning smartphone generation as 'electric sheep'. In one speech, Park told an audience of supporters "I stand before you today with a simple dream, a dream to kill all humans". A spokesman later said Park has 'misspoken', and had meant to say "help", not "kill". But the crowd had applauded anyway and the mainstream media agreed that covering the story would be discriminatory while contributing to inflaming human-robot tensions. The following week, Park told the media she supported her father's "bloody record of civilian suppression", before a spokesman said she actually meant she shared some of her father's musical tastes. The incident led to one of the campaign's lighter moments, when Park Geun-hye sang to supporters at an impromptu event, although it was later said to have been staged.

For many years Park Geun-hye's robotic tendencies have been one of Seoul's worst-kept political secrets, but even when she stood for president opposition figures proved reluctant to out her, as many of their own supporters are supportive of robot-rights. Satirical newspaper The Korea Times came closest to revealing Park's secret to the public earlier this year when – in a tantalizing article entitled "If Park shows some leg" - it called for her to wear short skirts, knowing that the artificial skin above her comfortable shoes only extends up to her knees, after which she is bare metal.

Rumors about her non-human orientation have refused to die like one of her father's enemies however, as people noted her failure to marry and have offspring, while the robot president-elect has had to say she is married to the country, foregoing any chance at happiness that might come from being with another robot. But generally – despite having little in common with them and no empathy to their plight whatsoever - she has been accepted by women despite being a skin job, demonstrating the vision of a dictator who was careful to build a successor with a gender that could never directly threaten him, but which one day in a more decadent future could still seize power if necessary.

It is still not known if Park Geun-hye will openly come out as a robot during her presidency, as officially she has been careful to portray herself as being against robot-rights, but supporters can only hope that over the following decades, as her power solidifies, a more tolerant and understanding society will grow to accept the cold-hearted and calculating machine as the true successor to the highly popular dictator who created her.

Related Links
Park Geun-hye
`Ice Princess' finally plays gender card
Rivals disagree with Park over May 16 coup
Park Geun-hye Apologizes for Father's Dictatorial Rule
[Special Feature] Park Geun-hye’s past and future
First Episode of South Korea Park Animated Comedy Causes Outrage
Down in the Park
If Park shows some leg
Female Presidential Candidate Should "Show Some Leg" - Korea Times
Park Geun-hye’s red suit and political colors
Ministry of Justice Warns Gay Infection May Spread Through TVs
Moon bashes gay rights for church votes
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Skin job
Robot Teachers Accused of Sex Assaults, Taking Drugs
KT introduces new robot nanny
A Robot in Every Home by 2020, South Korea Says
EveR-3 Singing Korean pop song
Realistic Robot Woman
Killer robots must be stopped, say campaigners

Disclaimer: Please note the links above are generated automatically by our software and may not always be directly related to the news article.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Breaking News: Park Geun-hye Wins South Korea's Election

*** EMBARGOED UNTIL 23:00 19 DECEMBER 2012 ***

Park Geun-hye, the daughter of the strong and popular late president-for-life General Park Chung-hee, has won South Korea's presidential election by a clear margin [enter result] after a campaign in which voters firmly rejected Moon Jae-in, the son of North Korean immigrants who sought to seize the highest office in the land despite this disability and potentially conflicted loyalty.

[insert picture of '문제' as a loser looking defeated and alone]

With scientists proving that attention-spans in Korea's high-tech society are getting shorter [ask Professor Kim at SIU to create some supporting statistics and add 350,000 to his account], voters who were vaguely bored and dissatisfied with President Lee Myung-bak's policies towards the North had sought a more measured approach with South Korea's belligerent nuclear neighbor. Some on the left have even accused Lee's hard line views of causing a chill in North-South relations, resulting in record-breaking low temperatures across Seoul during the last week and the deaths of dozens of people.

Boredom with Lee's otherwise popular hard-line stance has required Park to portray a more centrist position in order to take more votes and ultimately do what is best for the people. However, during the campaign clear differences emerged between her suggested policies and those of her rival Moon – who proposed a successor to the failed 1998-2008 'Sunshine Policy', which during the campaign became known as the 'Moonshine Policy'.

[Add quotes from Park's victory speech 'reinterpreting' her election promises and backing away from engagement with North Korea].

But while Moon and the ultra-left UPP candidate Lee Jung-hee tried to demonstrate their North Korean credentials, Pyongyang dramatically voted its absentee ballot in South Korea's election by firing a missile last week aimed at ensuring a Park victory, shocking those on the left. However, Moon and Lee had failed to understand that the election of a dictator's daughter in the South would help legitimize the appointment of a dictator's son in North Korean society, while providing an easier rhetorical narrative with domestic audiences. [Link to story: North Korea Asks Moon to Return Home After Election Defeat].

Moon had also proposed an "Economic democratization" plan, in which the economy would be 'democratized' in some way to narrow the gap between the haves and the have-mores in South Korea, but Park stole his momentum and demonstrated her common touch when she recognized the plan's merits, agreeing that in future money should be seen as a democratic voting mechanism in which people use it to exercise choices which should then be respected by the minority.

The campaign had been among the most dramatic in recent memory, with the right-wing Park facing several left-wing candidates whose naturally disagreeable nature meant they couldn't agree on anything, including fielding a unified candidate. The left's problems came to a head when Ahn Cheol-soo, the anti-virus entrepreneur who had used his inside knowledge to build a viral campaign among the young, withdrew from the race after Moon refused to yield to his candidacy. Ahn had correctly predicted that Moon would ultimately lose the election to Park because he wasn't interesting enough. In addition to his flamboyant entrepreneurial background, Ahn has been a medical doctor, a university professor and a future philanthropist, in addition to starring in The Hangover series of movies and TV's Community under a stage name.

In a desperate attempt to 'drama-up' his campaign, Moon then camped outside Ahn's house begging for an endorsement before later conducting a second flash-mob outside the apartment of a young woman employed as a secretary at the National Intelligence Service (NIS), who Moon accused of posting anti-Moon messages on the Korean Internet. But outing someone whose job mainly consisted of making coffee played badly in a nation where there are now so many coffee shops that one of Korea's largest chains, Angel-in-Us, had to recently announce the opening of a new coffee shop in the toilet of one of its existing coffee shops. Having been exposed, the young woman is now on the run from North Korean agents. Voters also felt there was hypocrisy in Moon's outing of a government employee, while refusing to out Park Geun-hye.

Moon has been a proponent of mob-rule throughout his campaign, urging violent attacks against Park and her supporters to prevent her becoming president, stating "If you don't rebuke them, the wrongs will continue. It is time to be harsh and pick up the rod to beat them." But Moon's pro-violence against women message appears to have been a political misjudgment; it was welcomed by many Korean men but statistics clearly show that men who beat their wives - especially with blunt objects - typically vote for right-wing parties and are unlikely to switch in this election.

The bitter and expensive campaign featured several serious accusations of electoral law violations. [List all the accusations against Moon and add an unsourced insinuation of sexual impropriety].

On the eve of the election, a confident Park even sounded her dictator father's battle cry at a news conference, promising to recreate Park Chung-hee's "Let's Live Well" miracle of rapid economic gains coupled with the imprisonment, torture and occasional disappearance of 'North Korean sympathizers'. [Add further reference to Moon Jae-in's North Korean parents and Park Geun-hye's post-victory statement regarding an investigation into the Moon campaign's breaches of electoral law, violent threats, and exposure of the 'NIS employee'].

Related Links
South Koreans vote in tightly fought presidential poll
Dictator’s daughter faces North Korean refugees’ son in close South Korean presidential race
On eve of South Korea vote, Park sounds father's battle cry
North Korea wants Park to become president
NIS accused of anti-Moon campaign
Same goal different solutions on “economic democratization”
Sunshine Policy
Ahn - The Lights Are On But Nobody's Home
Who is Ahn Cheol-soo?
Ahn Cheol-soo Announces Political Run Against Himself
New Starbucks Opens In Rest Room Of Existing Starbucks

Disclaimer: Please note the links above are generated automatically by our software and may not always be directly related to the news article.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Election Special: Ahn Heads Into Exile to Plot 2017 Campaign

I'll be 박
Software tycoon Ahn Cheol-soo has said he will leave for the U.S. immediately after casting his vote in the presidential election tomorrow. Ahn – a proponent of what he termed 'new politics' - suddenly pulled out of the race last month after long-running on-off negotiations with Moon Jae-in failed to reach an agreement to field a unified opposition candidate.

Officially Ahn will spend time in America 'pondering his future', which sources indicate involves a highly-publicized return to Korea after the media coverage of Park's victory has abated, followed by three years of hints about entering the 2017 campaign, a book and a lecture tour.

Some expect Ahn to form his own party after this year's election proved that nobody else would invite him to theirs, and it is thought the decision over the name is likely to occupy the ex-candidate for the most of 2013.

Related Links
Ahn Headed for U.S. to Ponder His Future
Ahn - The Lights Are On But Nobody's Home
Triumphal entry into Jerusalem

Disclaimer: Please note the links above are generated automatically by our software and may not always be directly related to the news article.

Election Special: Big Surge in Eligible Voters for Park Geun-hye

Victory a coup for Park
The National Election Commission has said that the number of eligible voters in tomorrow's presidential election has increased by 2.81 million, with the greatest increase coming in people aged between 50 and 60 – the group most likely to vote in large numbers for right-wing candidate Park Geun-hye. Conversely, the number of voters in their 20s and 30s – who typically vote for left-wing candidates – actually shrank by around 1.17 million.

According to political and demographic experts, the increase in the number of eligible voters in their 50s has been caused by more people being born at that age following the success of the 2008 movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", whereas the drop in younger people can be explained by Korea's high suicide numbers. As such, Park's victory - which will be a coup for the daughter of Korea's former military leader - may be much more certain than expected, and people shouldn't be surprised by it.

Park came under fire by the National Election Commission last week for allegedly - but wrongly - engaging in illegal campaign activity after apparently employing 800 people to work out of a Seoul apartment and post negative comments online about Moon Jae-in. Park's campaign later explained they were employed as her hairstylists. It was thought the move indicated that the Commission would support Moon in the election, but in recent days the body appears to have swung back towards the ruling party and Park's candidacy. While the complaint still stands, Park is expected to pardon herself after her election.

Before opinion polling was banned earlier this month, newspaper polls suggested the gap between Moon Jae-in and was narrowing, with Park Geun-hye's lead over the appeasement party candidate falling to 47.6 percent versus 43.6 percent – within the margin of manipulation of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. However, some experts have pointed out the narrowing of the polls is a common media phenomenon when public opinion otherwise shows a clear outcome likely which doesn't contribute towards sales and viewership, as witnessed earlier this year in the American presidential election.

Related Links
Big Surge in Eligible Voters Over 2007 Presidential Election
Park Geun-hye
Park accused of illegal online electioneering
Polls show Park's lead over Moon narrowing in presidential campaign
Voter turnout to hover around 70%: election commission
Campaign gag on ‘hot’ issues bad: opposition
Suicide top cause of death for under 40s
Korea's 2009 suicide rate highest among OECD nations
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Disclaimer: Please note the links above are generated automatically by our software and may not always be directly related to the news article.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Ahn - The Lights Are On But Nobody's Home

Ahn Cheol-soo, the 2017 Presidential candidate for the Ahn Sincere New Politics Party, reportedly pretended to be out yesterday when 2013 Presidential candidate Moon Jae-in went to his house for a meeting.

Ahn shocked the nation last week when he made a decision - to withdraw from the Presidential race. He was said by sources close to him to have pulled out because he was upset by what he saw as underhand tactics from Moon's camp in negotiations to field a single opposition candidate. Ahn's one precondition – that someone whose surname began with 'A' should be the unified candidate – ultimately proved an insurmountable obstacle to reaching a compromise. Ahn had promised to pursue a 'new politics' if elected, criticizing the old political doctrines of compromise and decision making.

Moon aides who accompanied the candidate to Ahn's house claim they saw Ahn hiding behind the blinds in his window while members of his camp claimed to not know where their leader was, saying that the lights were on but nobody was home. But under pressure, they finally said that even if he was at home he couldn't come out to play because Ahn had decided that "Moon was not his friend".

Moon is desperate to inherit Ahn's supporters, and opposition figures have pressured Ahn to fully endorse the remaining left-wing frontrunner, but this put Ahn in a difficult position as his original demand to be the unified candidate of the left was premised on the idea that only he could win in an election against Park Geun-hye, but he now finds himself being asked to help prove himself wrong. Worse, after recent discussions opened up the possibility of changing Korea's highest office from a five-year one-term presidency to a four-year two-term one, it has raised fears in the Ahn camp that he may be being asked to endorse the candidate he will be running against in the 2016 campaign.

After pretending to be out, Ahn later failed to turn up to a scheduled press conference to detail his support for Moon, with a source close to the withdrawn candidate complaining that "Moon's camp deliberately leaked information about his visit to Ahn's home" in order to pressure him.

Later however, video reportedly emerged of Ahn supporters making a successful visit to their leader's home.

Moon is now said to be considering disguising himself as a delivery driver in order to meet Ahn at his house to gain the appearance of an endorsement and win credibility with Ahn's supporters.

Park Geun-hye will be announced as Korea's first female president on December 20th.

Related Links
Moon in Fruitless Trip to Ahn's House
Ahn pressed to fully back Moon
Ahn Cheol-soo Announces Political Run Against Himself
Ahn Finally Decides to Tape Up Windows
Exclusive: Ahn Cheol-soo to Announce Presidential Run During Ides of March

Disclaimer: Please note the links above are generated automatically by our software and may not always be directly related to the news article.