Libmonster ID: JP-1437

The Eighth Pacific-Asian Conference on Korean Studies (PACKS) was held on December 15-17, 2006 in Delhi, the capital of India. The Forum of Korean Studies of the Asia-Pacific Region has become a representative international event, which is held on a regular basis every one and a half to two years in various countries of the region. It was organized by the Delhi State University. Jawaharlal Nehru (GNU). Former Indian Foreign Ministers Salman Haidar and Shashank, as well as ROK Ambassador to India Choi Joon Il, participated in the opening and closing ceremonies of the conference, demonstrating a high level of scientific and political representation.

The conference was held in 13 sections (linguistics, literature, history, politics, economics, art, religion, sociology, culture, education, geography, anthropology, business and administration), where 94 reports were presented. A total of 102 participants from 17 countries took part in the forum: India, Kazakhstan, Russia, USA, Canada, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand, Bulgaria, Italy, Uzbekistan, Argentina, Benin. Most of the participants were from India and Kazakhstan. Russia was represented only by the author of these lines.

Before starting to report on the actual conference, it seems appropriate to say a few words about the development of Korean studies in India. The forum organizers were proud to note that GNU was the first university not only in India, but also in all of Asia, where the study of the Korean language began (apparently, without taking into account the countries of North-East Asia). One of the pioneers in this field was the chairman of the organizing committee of the conference Vyajanti Raghwan, who came to Korean studies in 1977. Fluency in the Korean language demonstrated-

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Lee and two other members of the organizing committee, Jeetendra Uttam and Ravikesh Mishra. A large group of university employees made interesting presentations in various sections of the conference. Speaking about the development of Korean studies in GNU, it is necessary to note the constant support of various educational centers in South Korea and, above all, Seoul State University, where many Indian colleagues took training courses and internships.

The leading Indian university started functioning in 1969. The study of the Korean language began here in 1976 at first in the form of one-year courses as part of pre-graduate practice, and since 1977-in the form of two-year courses. Despite the fact that this program was interrupted due to various difficulties between 1986 and 1988, in 1995, with the financial support of Korea Fondation PK, the program was upgraded to the bachelor's level and 25 students were enrolled in the Korean language department, which made up the first graduate of young Korean studies in 1998, and the course itself was upgraded up to the master's level. Currently, the university has 60 students studying Korean as part of a bachelor's degree, 15 students studying as part of a master's degree, and 7 students studying at the School of International Relations, of which two are preparing PhD theses. The faculty of Korean studies is represented by three full-time teachers in the Korean Language Department, one in the School of International Relations, one senior researcher, one visiting professor from the Republic of Kazakhstan and four hourly teachers.

Following GNU, Korean was taught at public universities in Delhi in 2002 and Chennai in 2006.

Returning to the conference, we note how its participant, Professor Emeritus Shin Yong Ha of Seoul State University, assessed this forum, comparing it with similar events held by other regional Korean studies associations in Europe and America. He stressed that Korean studies within the framework of the PAX are distinguished by a no less rigorous scientific approach, but at the same time by a greater objectivity and adequacy of research. This feature is based on fundamental differences in the historical experience of the states of the above-mentioned regions, primarily the fact that almost all the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, except Japan, have experienced the burden of colonial or semi-colonial dependence and exploitation by foreign imperialist powers. Due to these differences, researchers from the Asia-Pacific region are more likely to use true historical facts in their research. Therefore, they reject, among other things, as scientifically untenable statements and assessments about the civilizing mission of imperialist Japan, which have become quite widespread among a number of scientists in America and Japan in recent years. According to such pseudo-scientific ideas, according to Mr. Shin Yong Ha, the Japanese invaders carried out colonial modernization in backward Korea, which was incapable of independent progress, which later became the source of the economic breakthrough of modern Korea.

Starting with the review of the conference reports, it should be emphasized that it was not possible to cover all the materials due to the volume of the latter. This review focuses on the following sections: politics, history, religion, and sociology.

The "Politics" section. A characteristic feature of this largest section (15 reports) was the increased interest in various aspects of studying the DPRK (7 reports), including its nuclear program (3 reports). At the same time, attention was drawn to the fact that the majority of participants ' speeches were more friendly in their intonation towards the DPRK as a whole and more neutral in their attitude to its nuclear activities than, for example, in the classrooms of Washington think tanks, where the author had the opportunity to spend a lot of time during a scientific trip to the United States.

Vyajanti Raghwan (India), in her report "The United States, India, and North Korea: Systematizing Nuclear Deals," noted that both India and the DPRK have managed to maintain the independence of their national nuclear weapons policies. Comparing the agreements in the nuclear sphere that Washington finally agreed to with both states (the "Framework Agreement with the DPRK of 1994" and the "Agreement of July 18" with India (18.07.2005), and noting many specific differences, the scientist draws attention to the "striking similarity" of one fundamentally important factor - in both cases, the United States agreed to recognize the legitimate energy needs of these states and the need to assist in meeting them. Among the elements that bring the Korean and Indian situations closer together is the Chairman of the organizing committee of the conference-

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Rene called the general practice of Washington, which tends both to ignore the internal factors of development of the two countries under consideration, and to rush to action without carrying out proper preparatory work. Among the key elements of the problem, she also highlighted the consistently important role of China, but with the opposite sign in each case: as an ally for the DPRK and a rival for India. From a long-term perspective, there will inevitably be serious problems associated with different interpretations by the parties of any agreements that will be reached in the future. The Indian counterpart expressed understanding of the position of Pyongyang, which insists on recognizing the need to build light-water reactors in the DPRK, and, given the steadily growing energy needs in the world, stressed the futility of attempts to prevent any countries from gaining access to the"peaceful atom".

GNU Professor Prabhakar's thoughts in the report "The North Korean nuclear test and Japan's Response" were interesting. The author of the study pointed out the need to take into account the peculiarities of the mentality of the Japanese leadership and society, which form the phenomenon of"threat perception". From Tokyo's point of view, Japan is now surrounded by unfriendly nuclear-armed states: China, Russia, and now the DPRK has joined them. Therefore, it is important to understand that the perception of the fact that North Korea has created nuclear weapons in Tokyo is completely different than in Moscow, Beijing, and Seoul, which are confident that North Korean nuclear missiles are not aimed at their countries. Hence the unprecedented harsh and emotional reaction of Tokyo, which imposed unilateral sanctions against Pyongyang until the relevant UN decision.

However, the mechanism for implementing these sanctions raises many questions. For example, the current legislation does not allow North Korean vessels to be inspected. Therefore, Prabhakar suggests, this will be done in Japanese waters by the US Navy with the permission of Tokyo. In the light of recent events, according to the Indian scientist, it is possible to expect that a new, younger and more confident generation of Japanese politicians may go to the revision of the pacifist constitution in the near future. The question is, how far? It is obvious that a nuclear choice or a change in the Japanese constitution will cause a sharply negative reaction from neighboring states. Therefore, a more reasonable choice for the Country of the rising Sun would be to increase its own constructive role in strengthening regional stability, which implies increasing efforts to improve relations with its neighbors. Thus, the nature of the Japanese side's participation in the resuming six-party talks on resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue should become an important test for Japanese diplomacy, the professor concludes.

The work of this section was not without pleasant surprises for the author of these lines. One of the speakers was a fellow student on an internship at Pyongyang University. Kim Il-sung in 1979-1980, now director of the Shen Chinchan Center for Korean Studies at Peking University. In his speech "The influence of the American factor on the "solar policy"", the Chinese colleague made an interesting observation. It was the traditional policy of Pyongyang in the mid-1990s of the last century, designed to enter into a direct dialogue with the United States and push back Seoul, which at that time met with a response from the Clinton administration, which was primarily concerned with the task of total non-proliferation of WMD and the desire to stop the DPRK's nuclear program at all costs, developing a new "breakthrough" approach. The fact is that the success of the North Korean policy of "rapprochement with America and limiting South Korea" at that time put the Kim Yong Sam administration in the unenviable position of an outsider and an outsider in the DPRK-US-ROK triangle. Such a foreign policy failure gave the new president, Kim De-jung, who came to power, additional serious arguments for a radical revision of the approach to Pyongyang, later called the "solar policy".

The participants were attracted by the report of the GNU Professor L. Zainichi Koreans in Japan: Strangers in their Own Land", which critically analyzed the problem of 600 thousand Koreans, most of whom live in Japan already in the third and fourth and even fifth generation, but who are still deprived of the right to citizenship and continue to be discriminated against in "their country". ("Zainichi "means"permanent resident of Korean nationality" in Japanese.)

Considering the roots of the problem, L. Varma notes that after the defeat of Japan in World War II, out of 2.3 million Koreans who were then in Japan, 600 thousand decided to stay in it-

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This is due to various reasons, including property reasons. However, under the Foreign Registration Act of 1952, those born in Japan were stripped of their Japanese citizenship, although they should have been given the right to choose Japanese or Korean citizenship. At the same time, L. Varma points to the strengthening of modern trends that can improve the situation of Koreans in the near future. Among them, the following stand out::

- Tokyo's desire to consolidate its status as a responsible member of the international community, adhering to international norms, including in the field of human rights;

- unfavorable development of the demographic situation in the country, which is expressed in negative population growth. The UN predicts that Japan's population will shrink from the current 127.7 million to 100.7 million in 2050, which will require importing a labor force of 640,000 people a year.

The growing processes of globalization and the above-mentioned trends, according to the Indian colleague, will force Tokyo to change its attitude towards" its " long-naturalized Koreans, who will favorably differ from new foreigners. This process has already begun. As part of the growing number of mixed marriages, 10,000 Koreans are granted Japanese citizenship every year. But in a specific Japanese society, a foreigner who has obtained citizenship is still a foreigner.

A certain concern about the prospects for preserving the independence of national economies in the era of globalization was voiced in the report of J. R. R. Tolkien. Uttama (GNU) " The International political economy of Korean development: Shifting the center of gravity from the interests of national capital to international capital." He undertook a serious analysis of the interaction of the changing correlation of global and national factors in the modern economy in the report. The results of the study led the author to re-focus on the question of the uneven, often unfair distribution of benefits and losses in the process of globalization between world economic leaders and its other participants.

J. Uttam came to a reasonable conclusion that after the end of the cold war, new trends prevailed in the world economy, reflecting the increased expansion of large transnational capital. South Korea was one of the many countries that fell under the roller of globalization during the 1997-1998 monetary and financial crisis. During the Cold War, Seoul managed to manage its own advantages of a "developing state" within the framework of the main paradigm of the world economy at that time, as well as its status as a "frontline" state, and achieved impressive success in strengthening the national economy. However, with the end of the cold war, South Korea's strategic value in the eyes of the West declined, and the South Korean economy also became one of the objects of the" model of regulatory capture".

During the discussion that followed the report, Uttam noted that although he was not a supporter of the "conspiracy theory" put forward by Mahathir Mohammadam when he was Prime Minister of Malaysia to explain the 1997-1998 Asian crisis, he saw no reason to deny that the crisis was caused by more powerful transnational financial forces. When asked by the author of this article if the slogan "Let's defend India's independence from imperialist globalization!" on the walls of the GNU administration building is in tune with these arguments, the professor replied: "...yes, many students in India see the vigorous spread of the globalization process as the "second edition of imperialism and colonialism"." Returning to South Korean stories, J. R. R. Tolkien Uttam stressed that Kazakhstan was forced to pay for the rapid overcoming of the financial crisis by losing a significant degree of control over the national economy. He recalled that when he first visited Seoul as a student, foreign participants were not allowed to buy more than 12% of shares in Korean businesses. Now the situation has changed dramatically not in favor of the national capital.

I repeat that this report caused a lively response in the audience, especially among representatives of many Asian countries, who vividly discussed the need to adjust the objective process of globalization of the world economy in the direction of reducing the gap between winners and losers, the need to find more balanced and local-specific models compared to the concept of the "Washington Consensus".

In the "History" section (12 reports), the speech of Professor Park Tae-kyung of Seoul National University "Memory of Viet Nam" drew attention to the sharpness of the problem statement-

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the Nam war among the Korean population." The recent decision of the Government of the Republic of Korea in response to the US call to send its troops to the warring country of Iraq, and, most importantly, the passive compromise position of the majority of Koreans, prompted the speaker to analyze this material. This is the second time in the history of the Republic of Korea, when Korean soldiers went to fight and die in a foreign country. The first time this happened was during the Vietnam War, which saw hundreds of thousands of South Korean soldiers pass through, many of whom laid down their lives in it.

Studying the phenomenon of mass perception by Korean society of the fact of South Korea's participation in this military intervention, the author noted that participation in the war brought Korea significant economic benefits. In the relevant sections of almost all textbooks, it is emphasized that President Park Jung-hee's decision to send troops to Vietnam provided the country with a chance to get the contracts needed to implement the economic development plan in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The scholar agrees that Korea did receive massive economic assistance in accordance with the 1966 Brown Memorandum. But he is shocked that Koreans do not properly remember the sacrifices made by the nation in the Vietnam War.

Trying to understand the roots of distortions and deformations of the perception of the Vietnam War phenomenon that have developed in popular culture, the speaker highlights the massive impact of American pop culture on Korean society. Following the interpretations that came from overseas, Korean literature, cinema, and music became dominated by the idea of this war as a series of adventures that took place in exotic places. According to the scientist, the result of such massive disinformation that took place in the previous period was the current relaxed and purely mercantilist attitude of a large part of the Korean population to the participation of their soldiers in the Iraq War, as another way to earn money.

Park Tae-kyun believes that the lack of historical memory, a distorted view of the Vietnam War caused the weakening of the humanistic principle, national immunity in the face of external pressure. All this reduces the threshold of public opinion resistance in cases of "temptations" to participate in new wars in Asia.

In the section "Religion" (12 reports), the attention of a number of participants was drawn to the purely Korean religion "Tonhak" (literally "Eastern teaching" - A.V.). The "cross-analysis" of this phenomenon was fruitful, carried out by the Indian scientist Brahm Swarul Agrawal from Jivaji University and the American professor from Syracuse University in New York, J. R. R. Tolkien.. By Callander. Both of them recognize the extremely important role of this intellectual breakthrough in the spiritual and socio-political life of Korea at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries.

Brahm Swarul Agrawal in the report " Tonhak Ideology and Rebellion: The Korean people's Response to the challenges of Modern times " calls this teaching one of the revolutionary ideologies of the East-the epochal response of the Korean people to the challenges of the new era. He claims that the exclusively "Korean" Tonhak ideology, which was born on local soil, became a socio-cultural doctrine that woke up the downtrodden, deceived masses at the end of the Lee dynasty. Contrary to the postulates of Christianity and Buddhism, the statement that God does not live in distant heaven, but in every person, that salvation is possible in this life, and not in the next, has made a real revolution in the minds of the destitute, impoverished masses. Tonhak and the resulting Cheongdoge teachings became a concentrated expression of the main task of Korea at that time - to decisively purge the foundations of an obsolete traditional feudal society and open a new era of freedom, equality and national security. Despite the inability of the Tonhak founders to offer a practical program for social renewal, and despite the defeat of the rebellion itself, they shook the frozen foundations of the hermit kingdom to the core. At the same time, the Tonhak ideology has become an important spiritual and intellectual phenomenon not only in Korea, but also in the entire East. It symbolized the instinctive and determined rejection by the peoples of the East of the relentless onslaught of the new wave from the West, the gradual introduction of modern foreign ideas and institutions into their societies, but at the same time adaptation to the requirements of the new era.

An American scholar in his report "Saving the Nation: Tonhak-Cheondoge through a nationalist lens" concludes that this doctrine has undergone a fantastic evolution in its development: from a small local sect that originated in the provincial hinterland, remote from the main philosophical trends, to religious and political movements that are widely used in the world.

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spread among the urban population, which to a certain extent became an integral part of the national projects of the current South and North Koreans.

The early Tonhak was formed under the influence of several historical factors. Among them, the speaker highlights the weakening of the central government's control over religious activities at the end of the 19th century, increasing pressure from foreign teachings such as Catholicism and Protestantism, the Tonhak uprising in 1894, the split of the Tonhak into several sects in the first decade of the 20th century, and Japanese domination of the Korean Peninsula until 1945. At the same time, he emphasizes that even today, in the era of rapid modernization and globalization, the Tonhak doctrine was not completely ousted from the political life of Korea, it did not become only the property of history. Although the number of adherents of this religion is declining in modern South Korea, the leaders of the early Tonhak and the 1894 uprising itself remain inspiring symbols of the anti-government resistance and pro-democracy movement. They were often appealed to by activists of the struggle for democracy in the Republic of Kazakhstan during the military dictatorship, especially in the 80s of the last century. Moreover, one of the main political dissidents of this era, and then President of the Republic of Korea, Kim De Joon, found the roots of Korean democracy in Tonhak . A significant part of the expert community believes that although the Tonhak Revolution of 1894 itself was anti-democratic and failed to achieve its goals, it nevertheless gave rise to a spirit of national resistance, which the Korean people showed in various forms during the period of anti-colonial struggle, and in the form of dissident student movements against the dictatorial regimes of Park Jung-hee (1961-1979) and Jung Doo - hwan (1980-1988).

No less interesting is the fate of this exercise in the atheist North Korea. Here, compared to South Korea, it has become a smaller but more openly politicized force. The DPRK government openly uses it to promote its own program in the field of inter-Korean relations. Officially, the North Korean association "Cheongdoge" has 150 thousand members. The Tonhak Uprising and its activities under Japanese colonial rule are regarded by Pyongyang as an important part of the struggle of the oppressed masses against Japanese colonial and feudal oppression. After its liberation in 1945, Cheongdoge found its place in the political structure of the DPRK. Kim Il Sung, and later Kim Jong Il, were guided in their activities by one of the fundamental principles of this teaching - "Heaven (or heavenly kingdom) on earth", using the desire of the masses for salvation, as well as in practical plans for the unification of the peninsula on North Korean terms. It is known that both leaders of the DPRK have repeatedly expressed high marks in the address of "Cheondoge", and (we will add from ourselves. Kim Il Sung's claim that he "worships the people like the sky" has become a textbook.

Thus, the vital forces and creative potential of this teaching are not exhausted. Moreover, today it can and does contribute to the process of reconciliation and rapprochement between the two parts of a divided Korea.

T. Srikanth, an Indian scholar from the J. Nehru University, presented a topical and even politically pointed report on "The Proselytizing aspirations of Korean Evangelicals: their impact on Korean foreign policy", which notes that the East Asian region is less affected by the influence of religious fundamentalism than many others, and the countries of this part of the world are not affected by religious fundamentalism. The world media rarely focuses on sectarian conflicts around the world. However, Korea is an exception to this rule. This is all the more surprising since almost half of the population of South Korea is almost indifferent to religion, and in the world Korea is considered a secular country. But this is where conservative evangelical groups have formed one of the most aggressive proselytizing forces in the world. Suffice it to mention that Korea ranks second in the world after the United States in terms of the number of evangelical priests sent abroad to spread the "message of the Lord God". At the same time, the speaker stressed that in the modern world, where the problem of crisis and the search for national identity has become more urgent than ever before, and their revival and implementation of the latter occur in close connection with national religions, aggressive, often unceremonious proselytism of Korean pastors can easily cause serious damage to Seoul's foreign policy goals, especially in the Middle East.
The author cites numerous testimonies of how missionaries of the Evangelical Church of Korea, following the national business, are actively moving to this region. Here, as from-

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It is known that a zone of broad interests of many South Korean chaebols and other companies has been formed, including in the field of capital and infrastructure construction. It is also well known that the traditional religion of Islam, which has taken the form of fundamentalism in some countries, is very strong in this region.

Therefore, it is not surprising that the overactive efforts of Korean evangelicals to spread Christianity in Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, and other countries in the region are viewed with concern by their Governments and public opinion, often as a direct threat. This thesis is confirmed by the deportation of several hundred Koreans from Afghanistan on August 4, 2006, which was a signal that the patience of local societies in relation to the aggressive proselytizing of Korean pastors is exhausted. In addition, the calls and plans of a number of conservative Christian groups in Korea to reach out to Iraqi refugees through their missionary activities have reinforced the belief in the region's countries that Korean evangelicals have aggressive intentions towards Muslim values. An Indian scientist draws attention to the fact that the region of the Near and Middle East is already full of "combustible material". Therefore, one careless, poorly calculated step on the part of impatient Korean religious activists is enough to cause a powerful explosion of anti-Korean sentiment and actions that can cause irreparable damage to both Seoul's economic and political interests in the region and Korea's image in the Islamic world as a whole.

I think that the conclusions reached by my Indian colleague are very relevant and also apply to other regions of the world, including the CIS countries, where the proselytizing activities of Korean missionaries representing various branches of Protestantism are also very active, sometimes offensive.

The section " Sociology "(8 reports) focused on the presentation of the representative of Monash University of India, Mohita Roman,"National identity and pride: Korean issues in politics and discussions in the Korean media".

The increased interest in this topic is explained not only by the emotionality, but also by the high political relevance of this problem both in the internal life of Korea and in its relations with Japan. As you know, the Comfort Wymen corps ("comfort women") was a system of marching brothels created by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, where about 200 thousand women were forcibly recruited from occupied countries, the vast majority of them Korean. It is also known that post-war Japanese governments for a long time refused to accept the involvement of the state in this crime, trying to present it as the result of unseemly activities of private individuals, and these women themselves as ordinary prostitutes. And only in 1993, under pressure from neighboring countries - victims of Japanese militarism - and the weight of numerous testimonies, Tokyo was forced to admit the historical truth and make a public apology. But the point in this question was not put. The persistent refusal of the Japanese authorities to even consider paying compensation to former "sex slaves", the silence of this fact and other criminal acts in the history textbooks caused serious doubts among the public of the countries of the region about the sincerity of the remorse expressed.

These doubts were unexpectedly confirmed in early 2007, when Abe, who had recently assumed the post of Prime Minister, perhaps under the influence of annoyance at the US Congress holding special hearings on this historic issue and making recommendations to Tokyo to take a more constructive approach in dealing with its consequences, returned to the old uncompromising Japanese position. That is, he again began to reject the fact of the existence of the very phenomenon of "comfort in Japan" and the involvement of Imperial Japan in it. The storm of indignation that broke out immediately after this among not only the Asian countries of the region (China, the two Koreas, the Philippines, etc.), but even Australia, which is close in foreign policy, forced S. Abe to take back his words after a month of perseverance.

However, the impact and consequences of the scandal were, and to a large extent remain, enormous. The fact is that this issue, together with other problems of the historical past, including the recent revision of history textbooks in the direction of whitewashing, constantly occupies a large place on the agenda of neighboring countries, not so much because of its historicism (resentment and unhealed wounds of the past), but because of fear for their own future. Tokyo's unwillingness to sincerely repent of the sins of the period of militarism is perceived by the peoples

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In this regard, it is necessary to consider the situation in the East Asian region as evidence of the psychological readiness of the Japanese political class to repeat something similar in the future under favorable international conditions. In summary, it is safe to say that these disputes are not about the past, but about the future of East Asia.

After such an extensive, but appropriate, in our opinion, explanatory commentary, we will begin to present the main conclusions of the report of the Indian scientist.

M. Roman notes the extremely important role of the media of the Republic of Korea, and later of other countries, in attracting public attention both inside Korea and in the world to this problem, which was "noticed" only in the late 1980s (One of the culminating points of the efforts of numerous Korean and international organizations, including the UN, aimed at eliminating the problem). The aforementioned hearing in the US Congress should also be considered a historical injustice in relation to Comfort Vimen.) The Indian researcher focuses on another kind of phenomenon - the fact that this tragedy was hushed up, primarily in Korea itself, for more than 40 years, which aggravated the tragic situation of these women at that time. As M. Roman figuratively emphasizes, life in the marching brothel itself turned out to be only the starting point in the chain of suffering of their inhabitants, and the return of" fallen women " home after the end of the war meant not getting rid of painful trials, but the beginning of their new stage.

For a variety of reasons, women who returned to their homeland not only could not hope for any rehabilitation and state support, but also for the sympathetic attitude of their compatriots. They actually became outcasts, pariahs. This phenomenon also reflects the peculiarity of the traditional Korean mentality: deep-rooted double standards in the field of sexual behavior towards men and women, high moral requirements for the behavior of the female half in the Confucian world. In this regard, the author recalls the presence in the traditional costume of a Korean woman of such an element as a special small knife, with which she was supposed to commit suicide in case of loss of honor. Traumatized by the period of Japanese colonial rule, the national pride of Koreans also contributed to the formation of philistine views of these women as a shameful sore on the body of society.

However, along with such traditional psychological factors, there were other powerful forces at work. The author of the report points out the strong positions of former collaborators in the administrations of all post-war dictatorial regimes. Many of these pro-Japanese elements were involved in recruiting Korean girls into the Imperial Army's marching brothels. Naturally, they did everything in their power to ensure that this information did not come to the surface.

Another important factor that worked against the former comfort Wymen was the very authoritarian nature of the Korean generals ' regimes, as well as the mobilization nature of the catch-up economic development model chosen by dictator Park Jung-hee. It is no secret that the South Korean "economic miracle", especially in its early stages, was largely based on almost free female labor: harsh exploitation and disenfranchised position of the fairer sex. The emergence of a discussion about the rights of "fallen women" from Japanese brothels was obviously impossible in the political atmosphere of those years. For these and other reasons, Park Jung-hee, when concluding the treaty on the foundations of relations with Japan in 1965, not only did not mention the issue of "comfort in the future", but even agreed to include in its text a clause on the rejection of claims in relation to problems of the historical past, which deprived his successors of the opportunity to raise these issues at the at the state level in the future. Later, democratic circles called this step a betrayal of the victims of Japanese militarism, selling out their interests in exchange for large-scale Japanese economic assistance, which Korea urgently needed at that time, which was on the path of accelerated modernization.

Only the democratization of South Korea, which became a reality with the departure of military regimes, the press finally gaining freedom of speech, the formation of civil society, and the gradual change in the status of women created the prerequisites for discussing and trying to solve this problem.

However, the movement for the protection of the rights of "sex slaves" that has emerged and gained strength cannot yet boast of serious materialized results. The Japanese side's refusal to pay any compensation to Comfort Vimen remains categorical. These women themselves are at an advanced age, and their number is gradually decreasing. Some critics

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In this regard, the Japanese authorities claim that it is precisely this factor that Tokyo relies on-they say that with the death of the last representative of this category of women, the problem itself will disappear. (How can we not recall the ominous formula attributed to I. Stalin: "no man , no problem."). The position of the leadership of the Republic of Korea also does not inspire human rights defenders with its inconsistency. The disbanding of the Korean Government foundation for human rights, Comfort Vimen, in 2007 significantly undermined the public organizations ' confidence in the effective support of their activities by the authorities. Now they are forced to rely only on their own resources, the support of foreign partners and the media that continues to be active in this area.

Concluding the review, we repeat that the limited volume of this material, unfortunately, does not allow us to acquaint the reader with many noteworthy reports.

The excellent work of the organizing committee should be noted. The hosts of the conference chose a comfortable boarding house in Manesar, 50 km from Delhi, where all the necessary working conditions were provided. At the same time, on the first day of the forum, participants were invited to the campus of J. Nehru University, where they had the opportunity to meet representatives of both the university administration and students.

In conclusion, we believe it is necessary to emphasize that the Eighth Asia-Pacific Conference on Korean Studies has become a major and very useful international forum. The results of the conference reflected a significant expansion of both the geographical scope of Korean studies in the Asia-Pacific region and the thematic diversity of the issues under consideration. A high professional level was noted in most of the reports. PACKS-8 demonstrated the wide opportunities that open up in the process of extremely interesting comparison and mutual enrichment of views, national schools, and historical experience of scientists representing both the "East" and "West", focusing on the study of various aspects of the past and present of Korea.


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