two terrible news shook Korea on the eve of Obama’s swearing-in, one violence in the Real World and other a breach in Electronic Security, both with much concerns from everyday people in South Korea .
the story can be rounded-up in a sentence : 6 died by fire while police tried to raid a demonstrating crowd in downtown Seoul, who were ordered to vacated the premise for rebuilding plans . but this bloody consequence is rooted in historic-deep repression, political factors AND real-estate bubble :
- suppressed citizens of military regimes
- cabinet reshuffling by unpopular presidents
- land development for greed (on both sides)
every free nation has their moment of winning independence .
in the case of modern (South) Korea it began in 1994 with the first president reallyelected by the people . (which in turn turned out to be a disappointment, but that is another story)
prior to this in the eighties, the world saw news clips of demonstrators bloodily getting banged on their head and droven away .
(prior to this, no outside world heard of demo- what ? because the military regime was more tight as the conspirators were immediately jailed)
it was a decade of these demonstrations which eventually led the military dictators to step down (with more than enough money stashed aside for their retirement)
but in a country repeatedly ransacked and conquered, this image always stays-on perhaps more-so psychologically, hence still oppressed in some way, or they’d like to believe .
soon after, Korea developed quickly much debt to those restricted hard-working days . and land developed everywhere and there were lots of demonstrations like this . sometimes it was the owners of the land, and sometimes like in this case it was the people who were renting the residence and shops within .
for the military and police alike in this free Korea try to refrain from citizen-bashing, these stand-ins usually took days and even months to clear . add to this, the police had information that the demonstrators had fire-igniting bottles stored up . but on this occasion the police, anti-terror unit to be exact, raided 3~25 hours (depending on the new source) after the outbreak . why ?
in another round of unpopular Presidents, the current Lee, barely a year in office, reshuffled his cabinet few days ago to “redeem” his popularity . along with this a new Police Chief was appointed in Seoul, and it is widely suspected that this Kim, who is hard-liner punishing former “candle rallies”, tried to show off his handling power as he was about to step into office (in two days time).
for the immense population living in a small land-mass as the Korean Peninsula, land, and the buildings that go on it for living and business alike, is a matter of livelihood as well as the object of endless greed, for a lot of money is at stake .
like London and Paris, the now massive Capital of Seoul is dissected horizontally by the Han River . and the old downtown right North of it across NamSan (South Mountain). and South of the river was merely a vast plain where weeds grew for decades after the Korean War . as the industry was gaining weight in the late 70’s and real-estate Boom was in the making, everyone buying lots South of the river . which eventually saw one of the largest blocks of apartments-after-apartments in the whole-wide KangNam Region, there-after into satellite cities around Seoul literally made-up of apartments, such as BunDang(South of Seoul), SangGae(NorthEast), IlSan(West), KwangMyung(SouthWest). etc.
you might want to hear a popular hit song by mix-blooded SooIl Yoon name “Apartu” released in 1982 and extremely popular as Karaoke even today .
as those first apartment complexes were aging into the end of the Century, another mass redevelopment boom hit, this time : building high-rises, making more people richer just by sitting in the buildings they built on these eurekas . then the turn came around in the Millennium, to rebuild downtown areas where historic house protection were not in effect . the site of this mishap, YongSan was targeted as one such area destined for mass development .
each of the people who were renting the premise were offered approximately W15,000,000~W20,000,000 which is a tad expensive award considering it is to aid in “moving fee”. thus, they wanted more, knowing well the developers AND the owners had a lot more to gain from it all . but all the while putting up a “livelyhood-at-stake” sign up-front .