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The Republic of Korea’s foreign policy is heavily influenced by its major involvement in global aspects and issues. It retains a goal of enhancing political legitimacy, military security, and economic development by maintaining close ties with the West; South Korea has greatly expanded its diplomatic horizons by launching its ambitious northern policy: Nordpolitik. First, Nordpolitik ensures there is less of a dependence on the West especially as Seoul’s Western allies greatly improved relations with Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and China.

Second, Nordpolitik is designed to expand and diversify trade relations on a global scale to cope with increasing trade protectionism from the United States. Intentional or not, the policy aroused anti-Americanism. The rising anti-US feeling has been accompanied by increasing demands for economic and political democracy. Lastly, Nordpolitik involves the pursuit of wide-ranging relations with socialist countries and contacts and dialogue with North Korea. It has often been observed that political leaders in P’yongyang and Seoul utilize their confrontational postures to sustain their political legitimacy. Seoul’s accomplishments are readily observed in sports, trade, and diplomacy. Seoul’s international trade record has been impressive.

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While encountering, along with other newly industrialized nations, mounting trade friction with the United States and other major markets, Seoul emerged in the late 1980s as the world’s tenth-largest trading nation. Economic reforms and the open-door policies of socialist countries, coupled with their recognition of Seoul’s economic growth has pushed economic trade and cooperation between South Korea and socialist countries into full swing.The Question of Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, and Assisted DyingIn the western world “death with dignity” is a euphemism for euthanasia or assisted suicide. Korea has not legalized euthanasia or assisted suicide but rather Korea has passed a law outlining the rules for withholding or withdrawing of medical treatment.

The bill addresses the needs of dying patients. Life-sustaining treatment, such as CPR, artificial respiration and cancer-fighting drugs, will be withheld from such patients. Such treatments can be stopped if a patient expresses the clear intention of not being willing to receive them while still being sentient. The patients can write orders for their physicians about life-sustaining treatments (POLST) or advanced directives (AD). If the patients become unconscious, doctors can check their POLST and stop treatment.

Or at least two members of a family can testify that a patient prefers death with dignity and at least two doctors should confirm it. When it is impossible to figure out what the patient thinks about life-sustaining treatment, it requires parental consent in the case of minors, and consent from all family members when adults are the patients. If a patient is without family, the bill said the hospital’s bioethics committee could make the decision. A survey has shown that nine in ten Koreans aged 65 and older did not want to receive treatment to extend their lives if they knew they were suffering from an incurable disease. They feel as there is no point in prolonging pain and suffering. Spending the final days at home are more desirable. Our population is aging rapidly and there is a high suicide rate among the elderly. The topic is becoming less taboo in our country.

Gentrification and its Human Rights ConsequencesGentrification is an ongoing, natural process of urban growth. There is no perfect way to respond, but measures such as inclusionary zoning and rent control can lessen structural injustices and soften the blow to older residents. Historically, Seoul planners have redeveloped “underutilized” areas without spreading the benefits through redistributive social policies. In 2015, the city sought to improve its reputation by implementing measures to “protect local residents from gentrification.” Renovation grants of up to $25,000 USD were awarded to building owners who agreed to temporarily freeze rents for small businesses. Mullae is an area with of concern with this issue and it was initially left out of that scheme However, last year several locals received a grant to participate in the government’s “city recycling” project, which aims to stem gentrification by reusing existing infrastructure.

Some community leaders complain that factory owners and artists have been left out of the discussion. They say it’s not clear whether the benefits will extend beyond a select few entrepreneurs.The Korean government would like to do everything reasonably in its power to reduce the hardships for previous residents but still allow new businesses to flourish.

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