Watch Your Bak

Korean President Lee Myung-bak really needs a summer vacation.  When you’re the titular head of a neo-Confucian polity, you’ve got quite a few ceremonial and ritual obligations.  Even in the 21st century.   In just the past four days alone, President Lee has …

  • congratulated Ban Ki-moon on his re-election as UN General Secretary.
  • exhorted legislators on the National Assembly’s foreign affairs and trade committee to expedite parliamentary passage of the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement.
  • met with junior scholars to hear about their concerns.
  • presided over a meeting of deliverymen “to check the livelihoods of the people.”   … And then shared their labor.

Here are 4000 words-worth of pictures:

The President knows with whom he should sit ...

How do you say "This side up" in Korean?

There they are again –those man-of-the-people gloves!  Careful observation will establish that the box of DVD burners President Lee is toting off the delivery truck has been manufactured by LG [fka Lucky Goldstar] Corp.  Besides being Korea’s #2 industrial conglomerate, LG has the added advantage of having been founded (in 1947) in Busan, formerly the capital of South Gyeongsang Province.  It should surprise absolutely no one to learn that Busan and South Gyeongsang are core constituencies of President Lee’s Grand National Party.  This photo opportunity is yet another shout-out to the GNP faithful, as well as free advertising for a generous corporate sponsor of President Lee.



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