South Korea: What Me Worry?

While the rest of the world sounds very worried, the South Korean government is downplaying reports that North Korea may be preparing to test an intercontinental ballistic missile, according to reports in the country's online media.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday that such a test by the North would be "a very serious matter and indeed a provocative act." Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said a launch could lead to "severe action."

But in South Korea, three leading English-language news sites carried reports citing unnamed government sources who downplayed the missile test story, saying there is no "solid evidence" of a planned launch. Editorialists responded by blasting the government of President Roh Moo-hyun for being too conciliatory toward the North.

The conflicting response of government and media reflects the complexity of South Korean public opinion where fear of the North's nuclear arsenal and disgust with its human rights abuses compete against popular sentiment for unification of the peninsula and, as The Post's Anthony Faiola reported last month, resentment caused by the presence of U.S. troops in the country for the past half century.

The reports of a possible missile launch came as the government of President Roh Moo-Hyun was hosting 200 North Korean visitors to the city of Kwanju in celebration of the anniversary of the two countries' first summit meeting in June 2000. The government leaks seem calculated to defend its inter-Korean diplomacy by downplaying the North Korean threat without entirely dismissing it.

"Military and intelligence sources here said there is no solid evidence yet that leads the South Korean government to a hasty conclusion North Korea has completed fueling the missile and would test-fire it soon," the Korea Times reported.

Similarly, The Korean Herald said "North Korea's plans for a test launch could be for a satellite and not a ballistic missile."

According to the Chosun Ilbo news site, "the South Korean government believes that some in Japan and the U.S. are having a field day with the uproar over alleged preparations for a long-range ballistic missile test in North Korea, an insider said Monday."

"Many news services expected the launch over the weekend," one of the sources said on condition of anonymity. "But it is totally a matter of speculation to judge if North Korea really fueled the projectile and when the North would launch it."

Editorials: There's Certainly Cause for Alarm!

The Chosun Ilbo editors say the government's muted response to the missile launch story "inspires no confidence."

"We worry where the administration is leading our nation," said the Joong Ang Daily. "South Koreans are worried and angry because North Korea ignores our overtures and plans aggressive actions. But the president and his cabinet are quiet."

A missile launch, say the editors of Dong-A Ilbo, "will thwart the six-party talks system, strengthen the Bush administration's hardline policy and Japan's military power, and weaken China's role as a peacemaker. "

"The Roh Moo-hyun administration, which has been siding with the North, will be in a difficult situation receiving pressure from the international community. It could be forced to make a choice between the Korea-U.S. relationship and the South-North one."

They say the government "should restore the traditional cooperation with the U.S. and Japan and take strong measures against the North."

By Jefferson Morley |  June 20, 2006; 7:15 AM ET  | Category:  Asia
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Comments

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While I believe that journalists have the editorial freedom to write what they want, I believe that using a title written in racist tone like "What me worry" is overstepping the boundary.
Surely, a good jounalist can write good articles without resorting to stereotypical remarks.
If the jouralist is bitter about the Korean government's lackadasical reaction to this issue, he can state so in his article.
Such immaturity only speaks on his character.

Posted by: Gene | June 20, 2006 08:08 AM

Gene, apparently the roar of the breeze blowing over your head was distracting enough that you failed to understand the title of this editorial. Calling "What me worry?" a racist statement is perhaps the funniest - albeit unintentional - commentary I've read in a long, long time. Do me a favor and Google (as a verb) "Alfred E. Newman" (alternative spelling Neumann). Perhaps then you will undertand the author's intent. Then again, you may experience another "whooshing" sound...

Posted by: Ed | June 20, 2006 08:19 AM

I suspect North Korea is tresting US satellite imaging. They make a move and wait to learn if we "see" it or not.

Much of the disinformation over the past few years has been aimed at these cameras in space. There is now a technology of learning exactly what they can and can not do.

Posted by: Gary Masters | June 20, 2006 08:30 AM

Ed, you make the assumption that MAD Magazine is still a relevant publication, and more importantly, that readers today can make the connection. Further more, there is no reference to MAD Magazine or the "idiot kid" in the entire article that would hint the title refers to anything more than the author's own crude sense of humor.

Valid reference or not, it is bad taste.

Posted by: Franklin | June 20, 2006 08:36 AM

"So ungrateful, aren't they?!"

Sounds like parents complaining about their children reaching puberty... As though politics were like family business. All just wanting to hug each other. How infantile!

Divide them to better control them, and further one's political objectives. This strategy has been tried before.

But divide the Chinese, they all still remain Chinese. Divide the Vietnamese, they all still remain Vietnamese. Divide the Koreans, they all still remain Koreans.

That is what the grassroots (labor, students -- the future of the nation--, peasants, etc.) have been saying (in massive demonstrations!) for decades now, in Korea. "We are Koreans, first and last, and tend to be suspicious of liberators who overstay..."

Posted by: Robert Rose | June 20, 2006 08:48 AM

How is the original reference in "bad taste"? If too few of today's readers get it, then it's possibly guilty of being too obscure--but on its face it hardly seems "racist." Sure, an author needs to understand her audience, but a reader also has a responsibility to be prepared. If a reader comes across something he's unfamilar with maybe he should give some consideration to the notion that the author's motiviation was maybe humor and not racism. Then again, maybe Mr. Morley shouldn't be so niggardly with the more straightforward prose.

Posted by: Jason | June 20, 2006 09:00 AM

Can someone please explain how "What Me Worry" is racist? It's a common phrase that everyone uses. I seriously do not understand how you are getting from point A to point B here.

I personally believe we should pick up and leave Korea. No point spending billions of our tax dollars on defense of a country as econimcally powerful as South Korea. Same goes for Germany, Italy, etc. However, Jason, your "to be suspicious of liberators who overstay..." quote is incorrect. The South Koreans ASKED us to stay. We are not there against their will.

Although there has been a recent outcry calling for the US to leave, when the US announced a couple years ago that they were cutting back on the number of troops stationed over here and moving the remaining troops away from the DMZ there was an outcry against us withdrawing. So either we're there against their will or not. You can't have it both ways.

Posted by: Chris | June 20, 2006 09:29 AM

"So ungrateful, aren't they?!"

Where did this quote come from??? I don't find this anywhere Robert, except in your post. So you make up a quote and then use it to blast away. You're right, that is infintile. I suppose you spend much time in front of a mirror engaging in "conversations."

Posted by: John | June 20, 2006 09:45 AM

The title was apt for South Korea as it sums up many attitudes toward issues here.

My concern with Mr. Morley's article is that it a form of data mining determined by highly censored and or financially motivated opinions.

Korean newspapers are dependant on the chaebol for advertising, so they rarely speak out on corporate corruption for fear of losing money.

Another threat to quality journalism here is that dictator Roh placed the editors of 3 newspapers in jail without a trial in 2004 because they were flight risks. And what were their individual crimes? Well, they dared criticise Dear Leader Noh's appeasement platform and pay offs to the Nth.

My advice to Mr Morley is to be aware that things are not always as they are printed in the papers here. People are scared of the power Noh throws around...he is to South Korea's left what Park was to the right- only Noh pumps money into keeping the North's death factory gulags operating.

Posted by: Alex J. Powell | June 20, 2006 09:56 AM

Ok, so let me get this straight--we are going to quibble over whether MAD Magazine is relevant and "What Me Worry" is in bad taste while N. Korea is out there contemplating testing an ICBM that could set SE Asia on fire? I believe that we are experiencing some of the worst excesses of the DC Political Ruling Class here. Not bad intentioned per se, but has the potential to be so caught up in it's own issues that the world could go to pot right in front of it's eyes without as much as a nod. Desperately uncool. Perhaps if these sorts had read MAD Magazine like almost ever other single boy of at least two generations had, maybe they wouldn't be functioning in the hermetically sealed universe they seem to be.

Posted by: Brandon | June 20, 2006 09:59 AM

About the only way NK could "set SE Asia on fire" is if this missile broke up in midflight and dumped rocket fuel over everything. It certainly isn't anywhere near the threat level our administration is trying to portray it as (liquid fueled ICBM's went out of favor decades ago, being too vulnerable and take too long to prepare for launch), unless they want to use it as a convenient distraction for other, more pressing concerns.

Posted by: John | June 20, 2006 10:28 AM

John, let me suggest something. Next time you read Mr. Morley's WOR column, go and read the people he refers to, especially if you are to take part in the conversation, and comment on other people's comments. You remind me here of people who criticize Chomsky without having read the footnotes that support his arguments.

In this instance, all you had to do was to click on "resentment" in Mr. Morley's text, to find that the piece he referred to was not directly available there and then... You should therefore have typed "Anthony Faiola resentment" on that screen and clicked on "GO". Had you done that, you would have had access to Faiola's article, in which you would have found the following:

"U.S. officials in South Korea have declined to comment publicly on the anti-American demonstrations... But the situation has tried the patience of some U.S. lawmakers. Last October, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) blasted South Korea for "historical amnesia." In a Senate hearing, Clinton added that South Koreans were losing their "understanding of the importance of our position there and what we have done over so many decades to provide them the freedom that they have enjoyed."

This is what prompted my "So ungrateful, aren't they?!", which I think fair, and true to the spirit (and the letter) of the lady's remarks. Haven't you heard parents complain about their children's behaviour, moaning "after all we have done for them"...? I have. Haven't you heard American politicians, pundits and journalists alike repeatedly complain about ungrateful nations "after all we have done for them"? I have, ad nauseam.

Mr Morley concludes on a quote from the editors of Dong-A Ilbohis:

""The Roh Moo-hyun administration, which has been siding with the North, will be in a difficult situation receiving pressure from the international community. It could be forced to make a choice between the Korea-U.S. relationship and the South-North one."

They say the government "should restore the traditional cooperation with the U.S. and Japan and take strong measures against the North.""

While I was still wondering which nations the editors meant by "the international community"... those remarks prompted my "... Divide the Koreans, they all still remain Koreans." This still seems to me fundamental enough to explain briefly (within the limits provided by this forum), why the South Korean authorities (and the South Korean people) might view more favorably a viable South-North relationship than taking strong measures against the North, so as to maintain intact the traditional Korea-US relationship.

You may wish to disagree, but please don't be like Don Q., charging windmills on your old horse. That's bad for your blood pressure.

Posted by: Robert Rose | June 20, 2006 11:50 AM

So, maybe being able send a missile thousands of miles isn't such a big development when you live right next door?

Posted by: Johnny | June 20, 2006 11:52 AM

Maybe, if you're Korean too, if you have seen Vietnam reunified, if you have witnessed Germany's reunification in action, and if you know full well those missiles are intended for targets "thousands of miles away", as you say, not for the next door neighbour.

Mind you, I can very well see the reaction of those who are sitting "thousands of miles away", though, despite the fact they are sitting on the most formidable arsenal history has ever known, enough to destroy the planet many times over. But that's what being amongst the strongest in the world seems to mean, I am told. Which would tend to prove the use of force probably has its limits in world affairs, after all...

Posted by: Robert Rose | June 20, 2006 12:23 PM

I wonder based under what treaty or agreement the US and Japan think North Korea isn't allowed to develop missiles.

Ironically, the more the US tries to enforce its interests with saber-rattling and threats rather than sticking to international agreements, the more hostile nations will rely on threatening US security as a means of protecting themselves.

Posted by: Lagging | June 20, 2006 12:27 PM

I think that it's incredibly ignorant and insensitive of you, Mr. Morley, to use such a title as "What Me Worry?" for a North/South Korean piece such as this. I would like to say that the negative effects of this title would somehow be mollified if you did include a reference to whatever pop-culture phrase you might be alluding to, however, to millions of Koreans who deal with racism on a daily basis - myself one of them - I don't think that it would be enough. Moreover, I'm disappointed with your editors as well for letting such a title slide by without correction, especially an article that was to be featured in the Washington Post, a journal that I respect and regard to be extremely informative and otherwise politically correct.

I believe that many of the previous commentators on this issue are missing the point when they ask "Why the focus on the title?" The title, in its stereotypicism and ironic ignorance, represents all that is wrong with American culture today. We are so quick to judge others and put them in convenient boxes- this box is 'colored,' this box speaks English with egregious grammatical errors all the time - that we forget how much these actions and signs of intolerance are criticized in other cultures. I was born and raised in America by parents who were raised here since elementary school, so I'd like to believe that I'm just as American as the next blond-haired, blue-eyed girl sitting next to me in lecture, and yet I'm profoundly aware of what many Americans do not - or choose not - to see: blatant racism. We hold on so tightly to these beliefs and racial stereotypes that we see people of other cultures as different from us - not the same humans that we should regard them as, but rather, a sub-human, a non-American, something lesser. It is exactly this attitude that we must shun, for it keeps us from doing so many great things in the world and seeing other cultures as being as wonderful as our own American culture has become - which, through centuries of accepting and adopting countless peoples of varying cultures, should not have to box itself to fit a stereotype of cowboy-boot-wearing (of British origin), apple-pie-holding (of Dutch origin) jingoism. We're not so illiterate and different from you, America. In fact, many of us speak English just fine.

Posted by: Kristin S. Kim | June 20, 2006 12:35 PM

Robert, number one, if one has to do a web search for a link that is absent, that is not a footnote. Number two, I would think that if you are going to comment on such you would provide context instead of putting it in " ", which is used to let the reader know that you are quoting from a source and not making an analysis of a missing link.

Lagging, I believe the North Korea and Japan did enter into such a treaty after the uproar of NK shooting a missle over Japan in 1998 (?).

Posted by: John | June 20, 2006 12:40 PM

Robert,

Methinks you are barking up the wrong tree. My comments were towards Brandon, not your "so ungrateful, aren't they?" comment. So what if NK has a missile they claim (no proof yet) it can reach the West Coast? Do you think they could even hit a target with it as large as California (I don't), much less LA or SF? Then we've got the "nucular" question. If (and its a big if) they have an atomic weapon, rest assured it doesn't fit on top of this missile, and won't for years to come.

Any number of countries voicing their "concern" over this possible test launch can stop it any time they want, including the US and Australia, and there's very little NK could do about it.

This is all about making a lot of noise about a relatively minor incident; where was the uproar when the USSR was testing (successfully, mind you) and deploying thousands of more capable missiles?

Posted by: John | June 20, 2006 12:48 PM

Kristin,

If your "this is a racist title" argument is based on the fact that it's gramatically incorrect you're WAY off base here. It is a common phrase used by most people. Such as, "who me?" I've always used it. Most people I know use it. In fact, most phrases and slang are gramatically incorrect. Of course racism is prevelant. It's prevelant in Korea as well. Just ask the Chinese. However, if you're going to squeeze racism out of such a ubiquitous phrase then shame on you.

Posted by: Chris | June 20, 2006 01:03 PM

The link to the Anthony Faiola story was not pasted into this blog posting correctly. The link has been fixed above. The story in question can be found here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/20/AR2006052001051.html

Posted by: washingtonpost.com editors | June 20, 2006 01:16 PM

Most inexplicable thing about South Korea is why does it let China get away with the argument that crumbling of North Korea will automatically result in North Korean refugees flooding China. That is the biggest baloney that China has dished out and US/South Korea and rest of the world buy it hook, line and sinker.

North Korean refugees will NOT flood China anymore than crumbling East Germany or Soviet Union flooded refugees all over Europe. Thus South Korea should put pressure on China to stop all aid to North Korea so that North Korea becomes dependent only on South Korea and thus comes to agreement to discard its outdated Communist monarchy and unite in a Democratic Korea. Only China can let go North Korea just as only Soviet Union could let go East Germany.

Posted by: suresh sheth | June 20, 2006 01:18 PM

Gene, the first poster, is a South Korean troll, albeit one with vastly better English than the average South Korean (who's been thru 10 years of English abuse in middle school, high school and university). South Koreans have a bit of a reputation for doing stuff like that online. Then again, just about every nationality does such things but most keep it within their own borders/culture.

With that said, let's move on to the meat of the issue.
I spoke to lots of South Koreans about this issue when I was living in Seoul back in 2004-5, and their general viewpoint seems to be that:
0. SK is tired of worrying about NK. They've been in this state of readiness since the 1953 Armistice.
1. KJI has been posturing for years but hasn't done much. His father at least had the cojones to have a war.
2. KJI's goal is not war with Japan, China or SK but to extort financial aid from them, the US and the EU.

Personally, I believe that KJI postures for his ego rather than political gain for himself or NK. USA's Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia was on NPR this morning explaining that NK's current missile fueling offers NK no political advantage.

With that said, I agree with the blog that President Roh Moon-hyun's administration is far too friendly with North Korea, as does the opposition, conservative/old-school Grand National Party. While I'm glad that they're pursuing reconciliation thru economic partnerships and aid, I don't think they should be doing it with disregard to NK's activities.

Lenny

PS Please note that while I used to occasionally read the 3 Korean English-language dailies mentioned in that article, I'm not convinced that they represent the views of Korea(ns). More likely they represent what Korea(ns) wants foreign residents to believe or the views of the foreign residents who write for the papers, some of whom I met. Their translations of articles from Korean-language counterparts are more worthwhile.

Posted by: Lenny | June 20, 2006 01:50 PM

PS Please note that while I used to occasionally read the 3 Korean English-language dailies mentioned in that article, I'm not convinced that they represent the views of Korea(ns). More likely they represent what Korea(ns) wants foreign residents to believe or the views of the foreign residents who write for the papers, some of whom I met. Their translations of articles from Korean-language counterparts are more worthwhile.

The editorials Morley cited were translations of Korean-language editorials. I know because I used to be the one translating them at one of the papers he linked. The Chosun/JoongAng/Dong-A Ilbo's English-language editorials are, or at least are intended to be faithful representations of their Korean language counterparts and do accurately convey the positions of their editorial staff. The problem is that the three papers are the only papers that translate their material into English, although the Hankyoreh Shinmun also does so on a limited scale. Given how all three are very conservative in their politics and highly critical of President Roh, it can give foreigners who are unable to read Korean a somewhat slanted view of Korean public opinion, something I went into a bit more over at my own blog---see trackback.

Posted by: Robert | June 20, 2006 02:47 PM

Mad Magazine is totally relevant, and if you have never heard of that saying, you are not.

'nuff said.

Posted by: Todd | June 20, 2006 03:55 PM

FYI, the link to Anthony Faiola's piece is broken. Adding a (lowercase) L to the address linked to yields the correct URL.

Posted by: Elenita | June 20, 2006 03:58 PM

I'm a Korean-American and I used to read stacks of MAD Magazine as a kid. I do not think the title of this post is racist at all. I have no idea why Gene claims this, other than a dour childhood without a goofy magazine, but his assertion of racism is silly and adds nothing to the debate at hand about diplomacy and the nuclear balance of power.

I'd go on, but I have tried having a conversation with friends about Korea and its place in geo-politics many times over the years and I find that it is impossible for me as a person of Korean origin to be rational about this debate. Cold pragmatism can never replace how I feel about the US military in my homeland. After all, was it not the presence of the US military in Saudi Arabia that incensed Osama bin Laden to rage against the US?

Good luck with this conversation. May there be peace and reunification in our lifetimes.

Posted by: J. Lee | June 20, 2006 04:47 PM

John,

This is late. I think my comment about setting SE Asia "on fire" was a wee bit hyperbolic. However, the thing doesn't even really need to work for it to set off a tragic chain of events, tensions being what they are. A reasonable person couldn't possible believe that Kim J. and his scientists have really got it in them to manufacture a weapons program to bring the world to its knees....

Posted by: Brandon | June 20, 2006 05:01 PM

Well, I don't think the South Koreans need to be worried. If they don't have a Rumsfeld in charge of their defense department, they had a pretty good Army the last time I checked. North Korea is not going to drop a nuclear device on them, because the blast effects and radioactive fallout would be felt in the North. I believe both sides want to be reunited on their own terms. South Korea is valuable real estate. The Northern part of South Korea is within range of the North's artillery. Any war between the North and South would be conventional in nature. The South is in a good defensive position with their flanks covered by water. I don't think the North is capable of an Inchon type landing, but American Air Power could take care of that problem if it should develop.
You can call me Alfred, but I am not too worried myself. I think the North Koreans are ready for a deal, and it is past time that the Armistice to become a peace treaty. You need to listen to them, and, if necessary, explain the facts of life. You probably don't remember, but Eisenhower had some success with that approach. You have to approach foreign policy with a calm demeanour, an absence of rheoric, and force is always the last resort. We are not anywhere near a situation that would require force. The sky is not falling.


Posted by: P. J. Casey | June 20, 2006 05:36 PM

The American presence in South Korea is a relic of the cold war, and the Americans should simply withdraw their troops and let the South Koreans (who run a huge trade surplus) take care of their own defence. South Korea has the population and the wealth to mount a credible defence on its own.

From the viewpoint of the USA, the "alliance" with South Korea is a one-way street. South Korea does nothing for the USA and should be left to fend for itself, especially in light of anti-American demonstrations and public hostility as indicated by opinion polls. The USA owes them nothing.

Instead of spending money to defend a wealthy and ungrateful country like South Korea, the USA should be giving more aid to countries that really need it, especially in Africa and other areas where instability and poverty will bring danger in the future.

If India and Pakistan can live side by side in uneasy circumstances, without a US presence, so can North and South Korea. As long as the USA stays there, it will be a target for hostility from both North and South Korea. It's time for the USA to focus its attention elsewhere.


Posted by: John D. | June 20, 2006 08:34 PM

John D. is right. S Korea is a wealthy country and the need for US troops is long past. we should withdraw, and let S Korea deal with that buffoon in Pyongyang as they please. (I recognize the NKs may panic at this, as they will lose a pawn they've played for yrs. Obviously if pulling the troops could make war more likely it's a tougher question.)

also, 'what me worry?' is not racist. come on, people, there are enough real bigots in the world without trying to conjure them out of thin air.

Posted by: chris | June 21, 2006 10:00 AM

Chris is crazy. I'm Korean and I have to say a US troop withdraw from the demilitarize zone is a bad idea. The US troops stationed there serves as a buffer incase the North invades. They will be wiped out by the two million commi soldiers rushing the border but they will serve to slow down the attack so we can prepare for war. (Me worry long time.)

Posted by: Jay | June 22, 2006 08:45 AM

I'm Korean and I agree with Jay. I believe that withdrawing U.S. troops out of Korea would be really dangerous for South Korea. South Korea depends a lot on the USFK. Also, one of the reasons that North Korea can not attack South Korea is beacuse U.S. troops are staying in South Korea.

Posted by: MJ | June 25, 2006 11:05 AM

Well now the North Koreans have launched not one but (at least) six missiles, on the 4th of July... Since then, CNN has been spending hours trying to minimize the importance and impact of this "incident", in the US. New pundits have at last been found, who insist the North Korean threat has been exaggerated, and bla-bla-bla.

In the US media, some are already advocating an atomic attack on North Korea.

Now, what next?

Posted by: Robert Rose | July 4, 2006 10:54 PM

"The USA owes the Koreans nothing"


1. At the turn of the 20th century, the USA and Japan came to a secret agreement that allowed the U.S. to take the Philippines and Japan to annex Korea. Thus began a 45-year period of brutal occupation of Korea by Japan.

2. At the conclusion of the WWII, the USA and the Soviet Union came to an agreement that allowed temporary division of the Korean peninsula into North and South Korea. This division essentially persists to this day, 61 years later. Notice that unlike Germany, Korea was not an Axis nation and did not deserve punitive measures.

3. In 1950, the U.S. Secretary of Defense outlined the geographical boundaries of American defense against Communism in Asia. These boundaries included Japan but prominently excluded South Korea. This misled the North Korean leader Kim Il Sung to believe that the U.S. would not intervene if they invaded South Korea. Thus began a bloody war that cost millions of innocent civilian lives and devastated the entire country beyond recognition.

4. Of course, Americans came to the aid of South Koreans during the Korean War, but it can be argued that they were in many ways responsible for the war to begin with.

5. The present South Korean government is by far the least pro-American administration ever elected in South Korea. Virtually all the previous South Korean governments have unequivocally supported the U.S. position in various international stages, almost inviting ridicule. For example, South Koreans sent millions of its own combat troops to Vietnam to fight on the side of the U.S.A. and was the second largest contingent in Vietnam for a decade. The Koreans are the third largest contingent in Iraq today, after the U.S.A. and the U.K.

6. The South Korean government pays the U.S. billions of dollars a year for the cost of maintaining the American troops. The U.S. is not exactly losing money because it stations troops in Korea. South Korea also buys billions of dollars worth of military equipment from the U.S., virtually exclusively because their equipment has to be compatible with those used by the U.S. soldiers.

7. The U.S.A. did provide economic aid to South Korea until the 1960s but that amount is miniscule compared to the aid provided to other nations. For example, Israel, which is not exactly a poor country either, has received more economic and military aid that all other countries combined. Even today, it continues to receive aid from the U.S. Many scholars, including some from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, have suggested that it is the Jewish American lobby that has largely been responsible for such disproportionate favors bestowed on Israel and for the consistently pro-Israeli tendencies of the U.S. government. They have also argued that Israel is really the main beneficiary of the current War in the Middle East and the Americans are in effect spending hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of American lives to essentially eliminate the Israeli adversaries in the region. Almost everybody in the world other than the U.S.A and Israel agree that the U.S. would not be in this war if its foreign policies were not so pro-Israel. Jewish-American writers such as Jefferson Morley undoubtedly play an important role in shaping American popular opinion and thus help decide its foreign policy.

Posted by: John G. | July 6, 2006 12:56 PM

"6. The South Korean government pays the U.S. billions of dollars a year for the cost of maintaining the American troops. The U.S. is not exactly losing money because it stations troops in Korea. South Korea also buys billions of dollars worth of military equipment from the U.S., virtually exclusively because their equipment has to be compatible with those used by the U.S. soldiers."

It's actually closer to 500 Million U.S. dollars annually but keep on perpetuating the myth if it makes you feel better.

The Japanese pay triple the ammount but for some reason South Korea gets away with paying much less?
I live here and I've seen AFKN news drop/place little comments reminding the South Koreans of how little they actually pay when the Commie-loving Yuri's in control of Sth Korea start whining and giving tacit approaval of the militant students to attack General Mc Arthurs statue in Incheon.

The more pressing question right now is simply this:

## Did Presidnt Noh know about the Nth Korean missile launches and plan his Tokdo patriotism to coincide with it??

It's not a conspiracy theory- this really needs asking. Noh was so slow to react to the missiles that it has got people wondering if his Gov't new and deliberately timed a front.
Remember that his Gov't is in the black books with int' journalists groups for their manipulation of the South Korean press/throwing editors in Jail for writing about the reality of North Korean engagement.
I wouldnt put anything past Noh, for he really is deluded- Funny how Noh screamed that `Japan was the real threat' in Asia after the missiles were launched; when in fact Japan, has not blown up a South Korean passenger plane, started a sea battle in South Korean waters, murdered U.S. soldiers with axes, interfered in Sth K. politics by warning that Southerners should not vote for a conservative Government in the coming election, smuggled heroin, counterfeited U.S. currency, assassinated South Korean politicians and most importantly Japan has not fired missiles over its neighbours territory!

Noh and the Yuris are the real enemies to South Korea for they refuse to admit that their engagement with the North is a one sided cave-in to the whims of a military dictatorship.
This has to be the second worst Government in the last 50 or so years the ROK has existed
(bettered only by `2 Star')!!

Unification, according to the ruling Yuris means that any sin/crime the Nor'K's commit is overlooked- including and long term prisoners of war/abductess.

The world needs to wake up to what Noh Moo Hyun and Ban Ki Moon are all about...South Koreans are beginning to hate Noh- he has a 14% approval rating throughout South Korea now.

Ban Ki is now a registered candidate for the Secretary Generals seat at the U.N.- if he gets the job just watch the world implode as the U.N. caves in to any mass-killers demand.
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Seeing as how we are on the verge of war based in part on the appeasement of a dictator hell-bent on extortion, this quote seems only fitting...


So they [the Government] go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent."
W. Churchill


Posted by: Alex J. Powell | July 15, 2006 04:05 PM


we are angry north korea acting criminal
also south korea goverment supporting rice,money...to north korea
north korea not change.always prepare war.
south korean peoples almost bad situation
fatal fury and economical crisis...
help us ..

Posted by: citizen | September 23, 2006 10:45 AM

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