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Global Left Midweek - January 2, 2019

Portside
AMLO Sworn in as Mexico's President, An Assassination in Oaxaca, Mass Protests in Serbia, The Vests Persist, Cuba's New Constitution, Migrant Workers in Korea, Unrest in Iran, Global Year

Here’s What Kim Really Wants Out of His Meeting With Trump

Christine Ahn Fortune Magazine
To the U.S., steps toward denuclearization have been the starting and ending point for negotiations with North Korea. But for the North Koreans, it has always been about trying to secure a guarantee to merely exist.

Diplomacy With North Korea Has Worked Before, and Can Work Again

Tim Shorrock The Nation
The war hawks are wrong when they say that past negotiations, like the 1994 Agreed Framework, didn’t make a difference. August 2017 was a reminder of the scariest, and riskiest, days of the Cold War. All month long, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un engaged in a bitter war of words that escalated into tit-for-tat displays of military might and ended with mutual threats of mass destruction.

New South Korea leader Moon Jae-in willing to meet Kim in North

Justin McCurry The Guardian
As a former chief of staff under South Korea’s previous liberal president, Roh Moo-hyun, Moon is expected to consider goodwill measures towards the North, including the reopening of the jointly run Kaesong industrial park and the resumption of aid. Moon has also pledged to rein in the power of the chaebol – once-revered companies that are now seen as a symbol of the country’s domestic ills of corruption and inequality.

North Korea and the Korean War: A Dissident Draftee Remembers

Mark Solomon Portside
The Korean War was central to the militarization of our society and to the creation a national security state. It was an essential element in fostering racism, sexism and in the cutting of social programs - creating growing inequality. Today, the threat of a cataclysmic war between Washington and North Korea cannot be discounted. It is vital for the US public to know that North Korea has been asking for a peace treaty with Washington and Seoul for sixty-four years.

South Korean Protests Growing

SooKyung Nam Socialist Project
For the sixth straight weekend, hundreds of thousands of Koreans came out in Seoul (and with other Korean cities estimates approaching 2 million people on the streets) to demand the resignation of President Park Geun-hye. The below essays were written just after the fourth demonstration weekend.

labor

South Korea: Independent Union Leader Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

Yi San Labor Notes
South Korea's unions, once one of the best organized segments of the global labor movement, have suffered setbacks since the late 1990s, when the government made it easier for employers to lay off workers and hire casuals. Fewer than one in 10 workers is now unionized, the country’s lowest level ever. South Korea’s government and business leaders want to put Han away because he represents a pivotal segment of what is left of labor militancy.
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