The political culture of 1592 remains intact today

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The political culture of 1592 remains intact today


Regarding the column titled “Paradox of our state,” (on page 8 of Korea JoongAng Daily Dec. 3 issue) I completely agree with lawyer Lee Woo-keun. May I add that in 1592, Seonjo was king. Early in his career Admiral Yi Sun-sin suffered several career setbacks due to the court’s jealousy about his honesty, initiative and intelligence - the very characteristics that can get someone in trouble today.

Pointless arguing and inner conflicts in the Joseon Dynasty resulted in government paralysis as the Japanese juggernaut approached. Eventually Admiral Yi became the commander of the Jeolla Left Navy. The commander of the Gyeongsang Right Navy at the time was Won Kyun. Won was a coward and a liar.

Due to political machinations and personal vanities, Yi was tortured and was nearly put to death by his own government. The political culture of 1592 remains intact today. If only we had another Yi.


*Ken Walton A Canadian teacher of English


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