Monthly Archives: May 2017

贝一明的演讲:图书里面的小说: 文学寓言在曹雪芹的“红楼梦” (6月 24日)


“韩中 红学家的对话”

2017年 6月 24日 (星期六)


(首尔市 钟路区 祠稷路 8-23-1

9点 开始

10:50 AM

Emanuel Pastreich (贝一明)

“The Novel in the Painting An Allegory of Literature in Cao Xueqin’s Hongloumeng

图书里面的小说: 文学寓言在曹雪芹的“红楼梦”





Launch of Buam-dong Mug cup

Launch of Buam-dong Mug cup
부암동 머그컵 출범식 
buam mug cup

Sunday, June 11, 2-5 PM
6 11 (오후 2-5

야나문 카페

Janamoon Café
종로구 자하문로 240 2
02 394-0057

In recognition of the beautiful scenery and unique history of our neighborhood Buam-dong, we invite you to join a small gathering to celebrate the launch of the new Buam-dong mug cup. Please join us for a cup of coffee and celebrate our neighborhood together with friends.
부암동의 아름다운 경치 및 역사를 기념하는 새로운 부암동 머그컵 출범식으로 초대합니다.
시간이 되시면 커피 한 잔 동네 친구들과 함께 합시다.

정가:     Price 9000 Won Read more of this post

Aju Business Daily News Brief


May 25, 2017


Aju Business Daily News Brief


Kim Haesun & Emanuel Pastreich


“Odd Relationship between Moon and Trump”


Read more of this post

Symbolic acts in Korean society

There is an increasing awareness of class issues in Korean society today, even if people do not actually employ the term “class” (gyegeup 계급) in conversation. The issue of class comes up indirectly in terms of how people of high ranks treat those that they see as below them.

The media was filled with reports yesterday (May 25, 2017) about the arrogant manner in which the conservative assembly man Kim Moo Sung rolled his suitcase towards a young man assigned to assist him without even looking at that man, let alone thanking him.

kim mooseung

The incident was introduced in English overseas as well. The term employed for this behavior is “gapjil” 갑질 which is translated by Koreans as “abuse of power.” But I suspect that what is really implied is the increasing emergence of class distinctions in Korean society–something Koreans are more hesitant to name.

Today (May 26, 2017) there were reports about the arrival of the nominee for Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa coming to work with a simple backpack. She was praised, by contrast, for this unpretentious approach.


It was also that same day that President Moon Jae-in announced that in contrast to previous presidents, he would pay for his food and basic expenses from his own personal income and not depend on taxpayers. This creative move (in part based on precedents established by Mayor Park Won-Soon, earned him many favorable comments on line. The furious battle of comments on-line has become the place where politicians are made or broken, as opposed to the floor of the National Assembly.

Yet there was something rather disturbing about the new obsession with symbolic interpretations of acts. The hearings on nominees for government positions, such as the nominee for prime minister Lee Nak-yon (former governor of Cholla Namdo Province) focused on the manner in which his wife had used an incorrect address twenty years ago to allow her children to attend a better school and the question of how his son had avoided military service.

Of course such questions are legitimate. And yet, I cannot help but be concerned that so much of the discussion comes down to such symbolic acts, rather than actual policies. It would be far more useful to concentrate on what policies the governor, or other candidates, promoted, rather than focus on his personal habits. In part, that should be the focus because policy, and how one governs is what impacts citizens. Also, we need to recognize that there are cases in which people may make questionable personal decisions but be effective and dedicated administrators. To assume that the details of personal virtue are paramount renders us myopic.

The question that needs to be asked is whether it is possible to have a politician who is not careful in his or her actions, or even commits acts which are unethical, yet supports good policies and has that political skill to implement them. Or, by contrast, could there be politicians who are upright and follow the rules carefully, but support terrible policies, or who are not capable of governance, or of implementation of policy. The answer, I believe, is that both can be true and that it is a mistake to assume that personal behavior is the primary issue to debate in the nomination process.

“韩军服役制度可圈可点” 中央日报




2017年 5月 16日




最近经历美国对外纠纷的人主要是穷人,因为美国不是义务兵役制。服兵役成了穷途末路的人们养家糊口的手段,而非所有国民应履行的义务。笔者个人认为,不能因为人穷就要响应“为国家献身”的呼吁。  Read more of this post

The Asia Institute “Post-peace march account” in The Korea Times

The Korea Times

“Post-peace march account”

May 21, 2017


Meenakshi Pawar


On May 15, the Asia Institute and the Korea Peace Movement ― both deeply concerned about the fast deteriorating situation on the Korean Peninsula ― brought together their first peace march in downtown Seoul. Institute members feel they must raise their voices before it is too late and our children and dear ones are vaporized in the coming nuclear fire, and inform authorities that something must be done to address the growing concerns of citizens.

A broad section of Korean society participated in the march, including academics, business people, housewives, school teachers and students. Professor Emanuel Pastreich, director of the Asia Institute, opened the event. In his speech, he emphasized that no matter how small we are today, we must take the first step in the right direction. It takes an act of bravery to resist a wrong in society. Having gone through so much pain and suffering in the past few months because of the fear of nuclear war, we can no longer sit quietly in our homes and hope for this terrifying situation to return to normal. He said if others are preparing to wage war, we must come out in the streets and start waging peace. Read more of this post

Asia Institute Seminar: “India’s Strategic Interests in East Asia”


Asia Institute Seminar

Saturday, June 17, 2017

5-6:30 PM


Rahul Raj


Sejong University


“India’s Strategic Interests in East Asia”



Introductory Remarks:

Emanuel Pastreich


The Asia Institute



Asia Institute Chungmuro Office

8th Floor

24, Chungmuro 11-gil Jung-gu Seoul, Korea


중구충무로 11길 24번지 8층

02 2277-7132



India has taken a deeper interest in East Asia as it strives to define its new global role. This seminar will consider what India is looking for, who are the different parties competing to define India’s strategy and what are the prospects for the future.

Although India’s engagement with East Asia dates back to thousands of years, much of the developments in the realm of the business and strategic relations developed in the post-1990s to project itself as a regional power when it opened its market and launched its “Look East Policy”. Under this policy, it initiated forging several economic and commercial ties and also enhanced security partnerships with like-minded countries who are concerned with the increasing influence of China in the region. In the early years, the Look East Policy was primarily focused on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). India has since expanded the geographic domain of its policy to include Korea, Japan, China, and Australia.

As the power balance is moving from the western hemisphere to Asia-pacific region wherein the rise of China and the US’s pivot to Asia define the foreign policy debate in many countries, New Delhi has also crafted its foreign policy to stay abreast. The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi led government soon after its emphatic victory in 2014 re-crafted the India’s “Look East Policy” to “Act East Policy” wherein it has sought to actively engage the Asian partners both from the economic as well as security perspective. This can be gauged by the fact that Asia has become one of the most focused areas of the present government. The Modi government has forged and revitalized several strategic partnerships and also tried to put impetus in the existing partnerships with countries which had lost its sheen due to India’s own policy paralysis in the last few years. The strategic interest is not only confined to military but it also includes economic interests. India is the second biggest market with its rapidly ballooning middle class wherein most of the Asian tigers including Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, and many others have huge strategic interests in the world’s fastest growing economy.



A newly dug grave


“장점 많은 대한민국 군 복무 제도” (중앙일보 2017년 5월 13일)


“장점 많은 대한민국 군 복무 제도”

2017년 5월 13일

임마누엘 페스트라이쉬



많은 한국인 친구가 ‘의무징집제가 없는 미국이 부럽다’고 내게 말한다. 한국에서는 젊은이들이 수년간 군 복무를 하느라 학업도 뒤처지고 지루하거나 어떤 때는 위험한 작업을 해야 하는데 ‘미국 사람들은 군대에 안 가도 되니 얼마냐 좋으냐’는 뜻이다. 충분히 이해되는 말이다. 또 나는 지난 수년간 병사들에게 7차례의 강연 기회를 통해 우리 병사들이 겪는 고초를 목격했다. 하지만 나는 오히려 대한민국 징병제가 부럽다.

최근 미국의 대외 분쟁을 경험하는 사람들은 주로 가난한 사람들이다. 미국은 징병제가 아니기 때문이다. 군대에 가는 것은 더 이상 모든 시민이 수행해야 할 의무가 아니라 다른 대안이 없는 사람들의 호구지책이 돼버렸다. 나는 개인적으로 사람들이 가난하기 때문에 ‘국가를 위해 목숨 바쳐 희생해 달라’는 호소에 부응하는 일은 없어야 한다고 생각한다. Read more of this post

Institutional decay in the United States

If you are trying to understand the significance of the recent firing of the FBI director James Comey by President Donald Trump,  and the related political games taking place in Washington D.C., you would be better off reading through Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century and staying away from the sensationalist and unenlightened reports in the mainstream press. This unbelievable conflict is a product of the complete degradation of the government institutions in the United States, which no longer serve as legitimate institutions dedicated  to service or country, but rather function like mercenary armies for the wealthy. Some of those super-rich may have good ideas, but the trend is clear and negative.

The problem is that Trump and his billionaire friends view the government with complete contempt. So great has the gap in wealth in the United States that government can no longer serve its purpose and cannot take any action whatsoever against one the rich elite. The super rich have become an untouchable ruling gentry. Piketty suggests that disparity in wealth will reach such a serious degree that society is torn apart and we see here that one must be aligned now with a billionaire have any political standing.  The entire Federal government, perhaps, is falling apart not just because of the incompetence of its employee but rather because of its inability to compete with wealth and power of the billionaires–they are now trying to develop the next generation of cartels. The media increasingly takes a courtier mentality in approaching Trump, Kushner, Gates or Buffett. Treating them as enlightened souls because of their class status.