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The Suyanggae archeological complex is located in Aegok-li, Danyang County, Chungbuk Province, Korea (128°20'00"E, 365˚7'15"N, elevation 132 m). We investigated two Suyanggae Paleolithic localities (1 and 6). A total of 31 samples (18 localities) were analyzed for radiocarbon (14C) ages in three paleolithic cultural horizons of Suyanggae Locality 6 (SYG-6). The purpose of this paper is to report all dating results of SYG-6. It was found that ranges of 14C ages (BP) of cultural layers of SYG-6 are known to be 17,550 ± 80 ∼ 20,470 ± 70, 30,360 ± 350 ∼ 44,100 ± 1900, and 34,870 ± 540 ∼ 46,360 ± 510 BP for cultural layers 2, 3, and 4, respectively. We compared these age data with those of the previous study associated with Gunang Cave near Suyanggae Locality 1 (SYG-1). Based on the chronological information of the three archaeological sites, early humans lived in a rather cold environment from approximately 30,000 to 46,000 BP and disappeared between 30,000 ∼ 20,000 BP and then settled again in SYG-6 site during LGM period. This study demonstrates that archaeological study is important not only for understanding human occupations with their cultural development but also establishing climatic signals to which they have been adapted as a part of the human evolutional process.
The New Right movement that arose in the early 2000s in South Korea was a response to a change in ownership of Korean nationalist discourse during the preceding decades. Although nationalism was the preserve of the South Korean right wing from the trusteeship crisis in 1945 through the end of the Park Chung Hee regime, a historiographical revolt in the 1980s that emphasized the historical illegitimacy of the South Korean state allowed the Left to appropriate nationalism. With the loss of nationalism from its arsenal, the Right turned to postnationalist neoliberal discourse to blunt the effectiveness of leftist nationalist rhetoric. An examination of New Right historiography on the colonial and postliberation periods, however, shows that despite the recent change in conservatives’ stance on nationalism, a preoccupation with the legitimacy of the South Korean state remains at the center of right-wing historical narratives. The New Right represents old wine in new bottles.
The Covid-19 pandemic triggered the first global public health emergency since 1918, the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, and the greatest geopolitical tensions in decades. Global governance mechanisms failed. Yet, East Asian countries (with caveats) managed to control Covid-19 better than most other countries and to increase their cooperation toward economic integration, despite their position on the security frontline. What explains this East Asian Covid paradox in a region devoid of strong regional institutions? This Element argues that high levels of institutional preparation, social cohesion, and global strategic reinforcement in a context of situational convergence explain the results. It relies on high-level interviews and case studies across the region.
Shells from Neolithic shell midden sites have been routinely dated in Korea, but they have not been calibrated based on the correction values (ΔR) for the marine reservoir effect (MRE). A lack of proper calibration has left dates on shells incomparable to those on terrestrial samples, and thus unusable in building the chronological sequence of shell middens. Here, we report the two new ΔR values of a pre-bomb (pre-1950) blue mussel from the south coast. We applied the two new and the two previously reported ΔR values to the three dates on marine shells from the Bibongri shell midden in southeastern Korea. Our ΔR adjusted calibration and the comparison to dates on charcoal and bone remains clarify an ambiguity in the stratigraphy and the Early Neolithic chronology at Bibongri. Our contribution is to provide the ΔR values that can be further applied to other Neolithic shell middens along the south coast.
This chapter investigates how South Korean citizens’ petitioning to redress grievances against the state and constitutional adjudication have developed since the end of the 1980s. While de jure there existed a constitutional review system since the founding of the Republic in 1948, it was only after transition to formal democracy that infringement on fundamental rights could be de facto appealed in the Constitutional Court, which was established in 1988. Through an analysis of caseload statistics from the Constitutional Court, the chapter explores how citizens have been making use of the constitutional appeal system for claiming their rights. The study also qualitatively examines shifts in the logic and outcomes of constitutional adjudication of fundamental rights claims concerning major social issues such as gender equality, sexual autonomy, and freedom of conscience.
Based on a neo-Confucian vision that the monarch’s mandate relied on listening to his people’s grievances, the Joseon state (1392–1910) empowered subjects regardless of gender or status to petition the sovereign regarding grievances not rectified in lower courts. While Joseon-era women are usually considered to have been silent subjects outside the home, their petitioning activity shows that women, irrespective of their status, had the same legal rights as men to appeal grievances to the state. This chapter parses women’s linguistic practices in claims-making to show how their petitioning rights complicated gender dynamics of Confucian society. The gender hierarchy was reinforced through women’s narrative strategy as they appropriated discourses of domesticity. At the same time, I posit that women as legal agents were re-gendering legal identity by constructing a sense of personhood via their petitioning. Through gendered claims, women struggled to defend not only themselves and their sense of morality but also their entire family.
This chapter examines how the growth of multiple visa categories created to accommodate labor shortages within South Korea’s restrictive immigration regime has led to the development of noncitizen rights hierarchies. I focus on three visa categories that represent the largest migrant groups in Korea: migrant workers, co-ethnic migrants, and so-called marriage migrants. Migrant claims to rights overlap with those made by citizens in their fundamental conceptions of human dignity and their appeals for state protections. But the scope of their claims has tended to be specific to their migrant subcategories or visa statuses: labor protections for migrant workers, equality among co-ethnic migrants, and state protections for marriage migrants. Even within the single national context of Korea, the struggle for rights by one migrant group does not necessarily make their claimed rights universal, or even accessible, to others.
Public interest lawyering in South Korea has emerged as a response to inadequate rights protections. During the democratic transition, Lawyers for a Democratic Society (Minbyeon) was the primary network of lawyers who advocated for civil and political rights, especially on behalf of workers, students, and dissidents. In the 1990s, lawyers increasingly worked with nongovernmental organizations to promote social and economic rights in the areas of labor, consumer advocacy, environmental rights, and gender equality. Most recently, a small number of public interest lawyers’ groups formed to focus on the rights of minorities, such as migrants, refugees, people with disabilities, and sexual minorities. Meanwhile, bar associations, law firms, and law schools have sought to promote pro bono activity as a professional ethic. This article examines the emergence of public interest law entities since the early 2000s to identify patterns in institutional development and sustainability, especially in modeling and diversification. These case studies uncover an increasingly institutionalized infrastructure for legal mobilization in Korea.
Outdoor air pollution continues to be a challenging health issue, even as countries experience economic growth. By exploiting a unique transboundary setting in East Asia, we study the impact of an increase in particulate matter (PM) concentrations on fetal deaths. Due to the westerlies in the mid-latitudes, residents in South Korea at times experience intermittent exposure to high levels of air pollution. Using such atmospheric setting, we estimate a reduced-form impact of high PM events on fetal deaths, which captures in utero exposure to pollution. Controlling for local weather and pollution trends, regression results indicate that high PM events in Beijing lead to a significant increase in daily fetal mortality rates in Korea, by approximately 7.4 per cent. This research finding provides lower-bound estimates of not only negative spillovers manifested in fetal health but also the impact of pollution on the health of the Chinese population and calls for a need to tackle transboundary air pollution via international cooperation.
East Asian religions are marked by diffuse spirituality and close ties to the state (e.g. Confucianism). When the state was weak, however, independent sects gained an appeal, which created a niche for Christianity. On the other hand, a resurgent state brought repression of these groups. Early modern Japan is the most vivid example, but also in China at the same time in milder form. The Taiping rebellion is a nineteenth-century example. Missionary incursion sparked resistance (the Boxer rebellion) but also acculturation (Western education). Japanese nationalism coopted Christianity through WW II, but its appeal has been limited since. Korea exemplifies how persecution of Christianity, first by its Confucian monarchs, then by the Japanese and then the communists, only strengthened its appeal.
Although rights-based claims are diversifying and opportunities and resources for claims-making have improved, obtaining rights protections and catalysing social change in South Korea remain challenging processes. This volume examines how different groups in South Korea have defined and articulated grievances and mobilized to remedy them. It explores developments in the institutional contexts within which rights claiming occurs and in the sources of support available for utilizing different claims-making channels. Drawing on scores of original interviews, readings of court rulings and statutes, primary archival and digital sources, and interpretive analysis of news media coverage in Korean, this volume illuminates rights in action. The chapters uncover conflicts over contending rights claims, expose disparities between theory and practice in the law, trace interconnections among rights-based movements, and map emerging trends in the use of rights language. Case studies examine the rights of women, workers, people with disabilities, migrants, and sexual minorities.
Starting from estimates of fiscal distribution within each of 53 countries, we can begin mapping a history of how redistribution has evolved historically, and to project some influences on its trends in the next few decades. There has been a global shift toward progressive redistribution over the last hundred years in all prosperous countries. The retreats toward regressive redistribution have been rare and have been reversed. As a corollary, the disturbing rise in income inequality since the 1970s owes nothing to any retreat from progressive government redistribution. Adding the effects of rising subsidies for public education on the later inequality of adult earning power strongly suggests that a fuller, longer-run measure of fiscal incidence would reveal a history of still greater shift toward progressive redistribution, most notably in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. See Appendix B for detailed sources and notes.
Most accounts of East Asian economic growth have focused on the role of developmental states in successful industrialization. This article expands and challenges that framework by showing that rural policy was different from industrial policy. A key finding is that for more than a century, East Asian states have relied on mass mobilization campaigns rather than on technocratic planning and market-conforming institutions to achieve rural development. Based on case studies of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China, the author argues that three main factors explain the rise of campaign states: revolutionary traditions, rural populism, and policy learning. A brief assessment of outcomes illustrates the payoffs and costs of campaigns and the practical considerations that drive them. The author’s analysis offers a new perspective on the East Asian model and disputes the widely held view that campaigns are tragic exercises in social control, demonstrating instead that they were central to the region’s rural transformation.
Current threats might include in particular the proliferation of nuclear weapons and terrorism as well as international crime, policing the oceans, the antics of cybergeeks, securing energy sources, climate change, economic challenges, and the protection of allies. Singly or in groups, these problems and issues scarcely justify the maintenance of a large military force in being, and complacency is, in general, a more fitting response than agitated, and particularly militarized, alarm. Proliferation has been of little practical consequence, and alarmed efforts to prevent it have proved to be very costly and may hamper the forging of a permanent normalization in Korea. Counterterrorism policy has been driven primarily by public opinion, not by an apt analysis of the threat. Cybergeeks may be able to commit sabotage, steal intelligence, or spread propaganda, but any military disruptions are likely to be minor and call more for a small army of counter-cybergeeks than for a large military. One possible use of American military forces in the future would be to deploy them under international authority to police destructive civil wars or to depose vicious regimes. However, this would not require a large number of troops and is unlikely to become routine.
Previous studies have reported the basic reproduction number (R0) of coronavirus disease from publicly reported data that lack information such as onset of symptoms, presence of importations or known super-spreading events. Using data from the Republic of Korea, we illustrated how estimates of R0 can be biased and provided improved estimates with more detailed data. We used COVID-19 contact trace system in Korea, which can provide symptom onset date and also serial intervals between contacted people. The total R0 was estimated as 2.10 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.84–2.42). Also, early transmission of COVID-19 differed by regional or social behaviours of the population. Regions affected by a specific church cluster, which showed a rapid and silent transmission under non-official religious meetings, had a higher R0 of 2.40 (95% CI 2.08–2.77).
Chapter 4 observes the development of soju in Korea during the Chosŏn period, which is characterized by its localization with regard to methods and culture. This period is important to the history of soju, because the spirit spread rapidly throughout Korea and settled into its role as an important Korean alcohol, along with other kinds of alcoholic beverage that had been consumed since antiquity. Soju evolved, leading to its documentation in a variety of sources, including cookbooks that provided households with recipes using soju, medical books containing guides for medical applications of soju, and official documents testifying to the governmental use of soju in domestic and diplomatic gift-giving, an important political activity in premodern government. Soju continued to spread as well: from Korea, the spirit traveled to countries like Japan, as either a diplomatic gift or a trade commodity, creating the opportunity for its transformation into a local Japanese beverage still popular today.
Chapter 5 explores the great transformations that soju has undergone during the contemporary period, which spans the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and the consequences of that change for the societies that have consumed the spirit. During the period of Japanese colonial rule (1910–1945), new distillation methods introduced to Korea from Japan fundamentally changed the methods of distillation from the traditional still to continuous distillation using large machines. Even after the end of Japanese colonialism, and the Korean War (1950–1953), the Korean government supported factory-manufactured soju made from potatoes because the country lacked grain. Only in the 1980s did the government begin to promote traditionally distilled soju as a minsokchu (national folk liquor), part of its policy of promoting national culture. At the same time, the modern form of industrial soju continued to develop in variety, contributing to the popularization of soju at cheaper prices, at different levels of alcohol content, and with a variety of tastes. With these developments underway, producers began to export soju to other countries, in the long run making it into a global brand. With these dramatic changes in its production, distribution, and consumption, people began to debate what constituted traditional soju.
Chapter 3 examines cross-cultural contacts between the Koryŏ dynasty (918–1392) in Korea and the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368) in China and Mongolia (and the broader Mongol Empire), in order to refine our historical context to make clear the kind of Sino-Korean interactions that made the transfer of distilled liquors to Korea possible. As its suzerain state on Koryŏ’s border for nearly 150 years, the Mongols were able to exert considerable influence on Korea. This opened the way to a wide range of cross-cultural interactions, from the stationing of Mongol soldiers on Cheju Island to trade to court relations and intermarriage, situations that created opportunities for the exchange of such things as liquors, concepts of drinking culture, and still technologies, laying the foundations for soju’s development. Such a process is not excusive to alcohol; we see similar patterns in a variety of cultural artifacts (even Korean foods and national dress). Cross-cultural interactions between the Yuan and Koryŏ realms provided Koreans with access to genuinely cosmopolitan societies in Eurasia, so the range of influences went well beyond China or the Mongols. In this way, soju provides an excellent vehicle for understanding both the extent of Eurasian influence on Korea and also Korea’s place in Eurasia under the Pax Mongolica.
This article examines the early development of South Korean intercountry adoption to Sweden. It focuses particularly on two disruptions in the movement of children between the two nations, drawing on archival sources in Sweden, South Korea, and Denmark. The article demonstrates that South Korean–Swedish adoption was deeply bound up in the shifting Cold War relations within and between the Korean peninsula and Scandinavia in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Further, state actions and strategies during this time reveal that both governments actively utilized their Cold War foreign policy and positionality to shape adoption to meet their respective national interests. This study extends US-centered adoption scholarship by revealing broader implications of Cold War geopolitics in cross-border adoptions to Scandinavia and, more importantly, significant ways in which intercountry adoption challenged, altered, and constituted the Cold War relations and nation-building projects of both sending and receiving states.
Challenging the myth of premodern Korea as ethnically homogenous, this study focuses on immigrant marriages in Chosŏn Korea following Japanese invasions (Imjin War, 1592–1598). By examining household registers and genealogies, I investigate the status of women who married into the families of Japanese and Ming Chinese immigrants and the social consequences of such marriages. The results unexpectedly indicate that immigrant families rarely intermarried, preferring integration with local families. As a means of acquiring social and cultural capital, Korean brides from elite families were vital to the success of immigrant families in forming social networks and in producing candidates for the civil service examinations, with failure to obtain such a bride proving a potential long-term obstacle to social advancement. There is a noticeable difference between families of Chinese and Japanese origin in this context due to the preference shown by Korean families for the descendants of Ming generals over Japanese defectors. Contributing to a growing number of studies that question whether the Korean family was fully “Confucianized” in the seventeenth century with a consequent decline in the status of women, this study argues that women possessed social and cultural capital and held particular value for immigrant families.