[LETTER TO THE EDITOR]By any other name

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[LETTER TO THE EDITOR]By any other name

In light of the editorial “A question of priorities” (July 12) and the recent column “Korea’s chronic political illness” (July 1), I would like to set the record straight on the often misused term “regionalism.” The use of the term by the writer or translator to describe Korea’s “regional” disputes is out of line, in that the term, in this globalized era, more often refers to notable regional economic integrations such as the European Union.
Although there is no perfect translation for the term describing Korea’s political disputes that arise from territorial conflicts, a more concise definition to describe this unique phenomenon would be “territorial parochialism.” Webster’s dictionary defines parochial as “confined or restricted as if within the borders of a parish, limited in range or scope (as to a narrow area or region).” Hence, it would have been more appropriate to say, in the editorial, “When the promise to revive the economy has been neglected, how can we believe a pledge to overcome territorial parochialism?” Taking into account the developments of international society, it would be rhetorically awkward to describe Korea’s territorial conflicts as “regionalism.”

by Lee Seong-min
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