Sunday, November 14, 2010

Inconsequential New York Korea Society

Once a venue for a robust platform for an exchange of views on South and North Korea, the New York Korea Society has become insignificant.
Now, it encourages new members to a private recpetion to the newly launched Sulwhasoo Skincare Boutique at posh Bergdorf Goodman. Obviously, the society is targeting the idle, upper class wife.
The Korea Society was always a graveyard of elephants for former US ambassadors, military, intelligence agents, and advisors and policy makers, as well as scholars.
Although an NGO or 501(c) non profit, it in directly receives government funding from Washington and Seoul. So, like a weather vane, it spins in the direction of gusts of political wind out of South Korea and the US.
The gathering of cobwebs in its programming is no more apparent than in the particular emphasis of Korean films and literature and arts and general culture. It goes without saying, making Korea more relevant to its American membership, Korea art and culture is a necessary ingedrient but not KS' exclusive crutch.
More damning is the society's two tiered membership: more substantive programmes are for an elite membership and more and more meetings of substance are by invitation only. [Edited i casts are for lesser mortals.]
GuamDiary has commented on the Council on Foreign Relations launch on a special report on US policy on Korea echoing the Obama administration's attempt to dress up a failed 60 year policy of 'rolling back' North Korea. At the time of its publication, the Korea Society invited its general membership to an informational meeting. Evans Revere a former KS president sheparded the report with assistance from a former high ranking military officer and a scholar who wrote it.
So when it is pushing overtly an American political agenda, it calls upon the general membership to recite prescribed prayers of affirmation and delivrance. Otherwise, the 'little people' are fed a pleasing and lotus eater diet of films and books and arts and crafts and music until the moment they are called to a rump parliament to rubber stamp political aims.

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