Saturday, July 30, 2011

On the Home Front

I haven't been writing enough about Korea, though Koreans have many of the same problems Americans do: a plutocratic ruling class that continues to grab more power and money, and very destructive bad weather. The cartoon above contrasts the concentration of wealth that results from construction of high-rise apartment buildings in Seoul with the losses in basement apartments caused by the recent flooding.
Tenants who usually live in half basement apartments and residents in vinyl houses incur significantly greater amounts of flood [damage], but they have been excluded from receiving compensation from the government.
According to the Hankyoreh, fifty-nine people have died in Seoul as a result of this week's massive rainstorms and mudslides, with more rain to come. There's also concern about landmines still in place since the 1960s (to deter North Korean infiltrators), which may be exposed or detonated by heavy rain. My friends over there are okay, but many people aren't.