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A blip on the radar, or a sign of shifting opinions?
September 19, 2002 10:55 PM   Subscribe

A blip on the radar, or a sign of shifting opinions? Can recent events in the Republic of Korea be taken as an indication that the special relationship between the US and South Korea is changing, and that public sentiment amongst Koreans is turning against America? [more inside]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken (43 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
There's always been some friction between US Forces and the locals, what with the 37000 US troops that have been stationed here for decades, protecting against the threat of invasion from North Korea. In the wake of Bush's 'axis of evil' speech, which came at a time when the sunshine policy of Kim Dae Jung (the South's president, outgoing in December, who won the Nobel peace Prize in 2000 for his efforts) was seeing tangible sucesses, and at a time when new revelations about the 'My Lai of the Korean War', Nu Gun Ri, were coming to light, many Koreans began to think the Americans were less interested in peace than in finding a reason to keep those 37000 troops in place. When Kim visited Bush in 2001, apparently in hopes that the rhetoric could be toned down, he was reportedly given the cold shoulder. (link)

There have been a long series of incidents - hit-and-runs, murders, rapes [Warning : Graphic and disturbing image of rape victim, halfway down page.] - involving US soldiers and Korean nationals over the years. Some would say it comes with the territory. But recently, sentiment turned sharply negative when two 12-year old girls were run down and literally flattened by a US minesweeper during training exercises, an accident in which the USFK admitted it was negligent. This week, there was an altercation between 3 US soldiers, three Korean students handing out leaflets while on their way to a rally (or memorial service - reports vary) to commemorate the dead girls, and one 65-year old lawmaker (who was imprisoned and subsequently released in the late 90's for visiting North Korea) with them. It's still unclear what really happened, but tensions are high, and some foreigners I know here are concerned about being caught up in similar events.

This week has also seen Japanese PM Koizumi visit Pyongyang, opening up the possibility of diplomatic relations between Japan and North Korea
for the first time. North Korea has admitted (recently discussed here on MeFi) that it kidnapped Japanese citizens, and has announced it will allow IAEA nuclear inspectors into the country. The fifth reunion between families separated by the Korean War half a century ago (which was never formally declared over) has taken place, and plans are afoot to build a permanent reunion facility. The DMZ has been opened to South Korean minesweeping troops, and rail and road links should be re-established by Christmas.

This latest is perhaps the most important : although no one is speaking in anything but hushed tones of reunification yet, the possibility of an uninterrupted rail link from Japan and Korea through China and Russia to Europe has massive dollar signs floating in the eyes of all concerned.

Koizumi has made a personally risky but successful move towards rapprochement in the region, and the Bush administration, for the moment, has been left on the sidelines. Although Japan is still disliked by many Koreans thanks to decades of brutal colonial rule and unresolved matters like the 'comfort women' - tens of thousands of Korean women kidnapped and forced into sex slavery during WWII by the Japanese army - it is the role of the Bush Administration in their affairs that many Koreans are beginning to resent more actively. It would be unfortunate for the last of the goodwill to drain away [user:metafilter12, pass:metafilter123] unremarked and the opportunity for peace in the region to be lost, but with Bush's current focus on oil-wars, it appears that this may indeed be the result.

[Apologies for the length - once I got started, I couldn't stop. I hope some will find this useful or interesting.]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:57 PM on September 19, 2002


Here's a video of the events immediately following the subway altercation (in Korean, with some English).

I'm not sure where to begin to respond to that dissertation above, so I will stick to your two original questions:

"A blip on the radar, or a sign of shifting opinions?"

Without a doubt: a blip on the radar. There have always been pro-North Koreans, and pro- North Korean protesters (during regimes under which protesting or professing pro-North Korean sympathies was legal). Second question:

"Can recent events in the Republic of Korea be taken as an indication that the special relationship between the US and South Korea is changing, and that public sentiment amongst Koreans is turning against America?"

Absolutely not, much to the chagrin of leftists and wonder chickens. The United States and South Korea have been allies for more than five decades, and that fact is not likely to change just because some Korean leftist university students like to burn American flags, and vandalize private property.

The military, and especially the economy of South Korea has been, and still is, dependent upon and cooperates with the United States more than any other nation in the world. There are far more people in South Korea who support the United States presence than those who don't.

Sadly, that doesn't stop terrible accidents from happening, or prevent idiots from slapping or spitting on American G.I.s in the subway, and generally promoting and fanning the flames of hatred where none exists.
posted by hama7 at 12:52 AM on September 20, 2002


You may be right, hama7. I wouldn't disappoint me if you were, to be honest. But I suspect that if recent developments with North Korea and Japan continue apace (which I grant is only a faint possibility, given Kim Jong Il's reliability record), and if anyone but Lee Hoi Chang wins the upcoming South Korean presidential election, things are ripe for a sea change in the balance of power here. And there are question, I think, as to the role, if any, that America will play.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:22 AM on September 20, 2002


Bad link above. Should be: "promoting and fanning the flames of hatred"

Besides, the American military is in South Korea at the request and approval of the South Korean government. Any time the South Koreans want the U.S. out, all they have to do is ask, and the U.S. would be more than willing to oblige. Which leads me to my next question:

From your statements above, Stavros, I cannot tell if you are asking about changes in SK public attitude toward the U.S. military presence, or a rise in more vague and malevolent anti-Americanism, (which leftists and a good many Canadians like much better). Which?
posted by hama7 at 1:28 AM on September 20, 2002


I don't really know much about a rise in anti-US sentiment in places other than Korea.

As far as Korea goes though, in recent times I see a rise in dislike for, if not America per se, at least the posturings and threats of the Bush administration and the perceived arrogance of the USFK towards the locals, both amongst people I know personally and in the media. Students are students, and Korea loves its protests, it's true. So whether this is temporary or a sea change, I don't know.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:34 AM on September 20, 2002


OK, another one of these issues where there's a lot going on that needs to be unpacked in order to understand it.

First thing that hits me over the head, though, is that Base21 is a North Korean-funded organization. Without wanting to justify the US presence in the ROK - let alone excuse the often-boorish and very occasionally murderous behavior of US troops there - it's impossible to take Base21 seriously on this or any issue.

Their rhetoric is straight Kim Il Sungism. That said, there are legitimate and articulate voices in the ROK against the US presence, which has to be experienced to be believed.
posted by adamgreenfield at 1:46 AM on September 20, 2002


I think a reasonable amount of ire at the discomfort of having the largest United States military base directly in the center of Koreas biggest city is reasonable. It's like having a South Korean base in the center of Manhattan. (a point Jeff Jones made in his book "I'm afraid of Korea" [available in Korean only as far as I know])

If I had my druthers, I'd support moving Yongsan to a more rural location like Kanghwa island or to other existing base locations like Uijongbu or Osan. Doing so, however, would provide even less deterrence to Kim Jong-Il's goal of turning Seoul into "a lake of fire".

Comparisons can be drawn to anti-U.S. military sentiment in Okinawa, where numerous crimes by American G.I.s have been thrust into the spotlight in recent years. I think outrage and resentment is to be expected , and I certainly do not support or condone any wrongdoing by U.S. troops at all, ever, especially when they are guests on foreign soil. Curfews for military personnel should be strictly enforced, and crimes dealt with severely.

I hope there are some other opinions on this.
posted by hama7 at 1:58 AM on September 20, 2002


I didn't know that, adamgreenfield. Oops.

Apologies to all misrepresenting - such was definitely not my intention, and I would have flagged the link as North Korean-funded if I'd been aware of it. I guess I should have paid a little more attention in my link-gathering for the post.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:59 AM on September 20, 2002


No worries, stavros - it certainly doesn't invalidate the larger point.

I remember many a night in Itaewon squirming at the behavior of my ostensible comrades. It wasn't pretty; frequently enough I wanted to crawl into a hole.

The misogyny, the alcoholism, the black-on-white hatred among the US troops (and vice versa): just the sheer amount of shit that went completely without comment there...unbelievable. hama7's right.
posted by adamgreenfield at 2:08 AM on September 20, 2002


Sadly, that doesn't stop terrible accidents from happening, or prevent idiots from slapping or spitting on American G.I.s in the subway, and generally promoting and fanning the flames of hatred where none exists.

Could you imagine the outcry here if it were shown, of course by way of Korean Military outposts in the states, that Korean soldiers were treating us as though we all looked the same(I'd support moving Yongsan to a more rural location like Kanghwa island or to other existing base locations like Uijongbu or Osan.), its government indifferent to the allegations, but willing to appease? Terrible accidents to you and the US military are one thing. I'm supposing that the presence of thousands of American men who are learning the exotic priapic rights of the pop-cultic fetishizing of Asian women all the while being trained by the way of the gun isn't helping matters any. Obviously the point of a US military installation and those who man them isn't to get in touch with the indiginous culture unless it's cervical in nature. Hell yeah I'd see a double standard if I were Korean. As an American, with plenty of cynical vet friends who have expalined to me the nature of shore leave, I say hell yeah. It's understandable.
posted by crasspastor at 2:26 AM on September 20, 2002


I think a reasonable amount of ire at the discomfort of having the largest United States military base directly in the center of Koreas biggest city is reasonable.

I live in the center of Tokyo and seen maybe two or three obviously US military guys on the street in ten years. Maybe this is why Anti-American base feeling in Japan is mostly at the abstract level (except in Okinawa of course).
posted by dydecker at 2:40 AM on September 20, 2002


crasspastor: that Korean soldiers were treating us as though we all looked the same

Not sure what your point is there, sir. Was appearance mentioned?

I'm supposing that the presence of thousands of American men who are learning the exotic priapic rights of the pop-cultic fetishizing of Asian women

This must be a personal thing? I don't get it. Again: precedent?

isn't to get in touch with the indiginous culture unless it's cervical in nature.

I agree that deplorable behavior on the part of some people is inexcusable, but to say that such behavior is normal is ridiculous. And in fairness, activities that take place between consenting adults is not really our concern.

dydecker: Good point. And the Yokota(?) base is there, isn't it?

I never saw any American servicemen when I lived in Osaka, except one from Hiroshima, where there is a huge U.S. military installation (with very few problems, as far as I know).
posted by hama7 at 2:51 AM on September 20, 2002


dydecker, you have obviously been lucky enough to avoid Roppongi, Shibuya - even, increasingly, and bizarrely, Hiro-o - on the weekends.

Those parts of town are rife with 19-year-old 11B's, doing their thing. Weirdly enough, though, they don't seem to treat Japanese women with nearly the contempt with which they addressed Korean women. Not, of course, that "respect" is precisely a hallmark of their comportment, but there is a noticeable difference.

To my eyes, anyway.
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:32 AM on September 20, 2002


I agree that deplorable behavior on the part of some people is inexcusable, but to say that such behavior is normal is ridiculous.

...and BTW, hama7, here I'll depart with you, and ratify what crasspastor's saying. It's endemic, institutionalized, and (most offensively) functional.

Anyone ever read Cynthia Enloe's "Bananas, Beaches and Bases"?
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:35 AM on September 20, 2002


This is interesting. At 8:42 pm, Reuters Alertnet released a story headlined "Bush may drop N.Korea from 'axis of evil' - Japan PM". Two hours later, the story was withdrawn.

This sort of thing always gets my cilia wiggling. I'm sure it's meaningless, but I thought it was germane, sort of.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:50 AM on September 20, 2002


here I'll depart with you, and ratify what crasspastor's saying. It's endemic, institutionalized, and (most offensively) functional.

I'm not sure what you're saying here. Are you talking about prostitution? And if that is the case, one could argue (without the "racial" bias), that the same conditions exist in Australia, (and many other countries including Holland) to a much greater degree. The "shore leave" mentality does not exist in an Asian vacuum.
posted by hama7 at 3:54 AM on September 20, 2002


I'm not talking about prostitution at all, but of the vile, toxic admixture of sexualized racism endemic to the occupation troops of imperial armies.

Since I have no personal experience, though, of the British Raj, or the Imperial Japanese occupation of much of East Asia, or the German occupiers of south-west Africa, I'll confine my comments to what I've seen with my own eyes: normal American kids out on the town in Roppongi and Itaewon.

Even this, tame as it is compared to (say) Nanking, is enough to make me sick.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:05 AM on September 20, 2002


Even this, is enough to make me sick

Believe me, you are not alone! I don't have the stomach for those places, so I never go there.

Comparing modern-day Roppongi or Itaewon to the Japanese mass murder and rape of civilians in Nanking is neither fitting nor appropriate, nor is the comparison to imperialism.

I really understand what you are saying, but I think to equate a meet-market singles scenario to mass sexual military enslavement does a disservice to your original argument.
posted by hama7 at 4:19 AM on September 20, 2002


Hmm. I hardly think Itaewon is a simple meat market.

But let me restate that to address a truth in your point: I think there's a continuum of these behaviors, that runs from peacetime Itaewon (and Subic Bay, and...) on the shallow end, to the organized use of rape in campaigns like the former Yugoslavia and, yes, Nanking. IMO what we see are differences of degree, more than of kind.

(Yes, this is one person's interpretation, and it's not likely to be a widely-shared one.)

I'll let my comments about imperialism stand stet, though.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:33 AM on September 20, 2002


Thank you for your comments, adamgreenfield.

I hardly think Itaewon is a simple meat market.

Well, there are lots of sleazy people there meeting other sleazy people for the sole purpose of having sex. Did I miss something?

That's not criminal, in that the participants are consensual adults, neither rape victims nor rape perpetrators.

I'm sorry, but I can't see any comparison between militarized forced sexual enslavement or Yugoslavian terror-rape campaigns and two drunk people screwing.
posted by hama7 at 4:52 AM on September 20, 2002


You know, after living in Korea for 4 years out of the last 8, it might finally be time for me to go have a look around Itaewon, just for, you know, anthropological interest.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:09 AM on September 20, 2002


You are a married man, anthropowonderchicken. (And frankly it's depressing).
posted by hama7 at 5:18 AM on September 20, 2002


I'll confine my comments to what I've seen with my own eyes: normal American kids out on the town in Roppongi and Itaewon.


I agree with you that the behavior of soldiers offpost is frequently not very pretty, but to be fair, I have seen the same behavior (i.e. misogyny, racism, alcohol abuse, etc) in bars near military posts in the states too (and in Europe).


I have even seen the same behavior from non-american soldiers.


I don't want to seem to be minimizing problems caused by out of control soldiers, but the problem is rooted more in the availability of lots of women and cheap alcohol in a system that reinforces (almost by definition) aggressive behavior.
posted by stupidcomputernickname at 5:22 AM on September 20, 2002


I remember many a night in Itaewon squirming at the behavior of my ostensible comrades. It wasn't pretty...

I spent a week staying in Itaewon on my last visit to South Korea - I can certainly vouch for the deplorable behaviour of the (I assume) off-duty USFK troops. On the other hand, the behaviour of the Korean girls they were chasing was not what their mothers would have expected either. It seems to be a fairly simple equation: too much testosterone, too much money, too much ego all add up to trouble in any country. When US troops were stationed in Australia during WWII, the complaint was that they were "overpaid, oversexed and over here"

Meat market is about right. Stavros - don't bother, you aren't missing anything.

To get back to the original point - I have seen a gradual shift in Korean students away from the US and towards other markets, notably Australia and Canada. This is partly due to marketing efforts by other countries, but the US has responded without succeeding in regaining their market share. If the youth of Korea (particularly the well-off youth) are turning away from the US for their education, I think that is a sign of shifting loyalties. The continuing shift towards Australia in the face of significant new restrictions on Korean students obtaining visas is particularly telling here.
posted by dg at 5:54 AM on September 20, 2002


Ok, I'll say it and take the heat for it. It's the Army, dammit. In my time in the AF, I found in both Korea and Germany that the level of hostility toward Americans was inversely proportional to the distance of the nearest Army post. You could literally watch the locals expression change when you told them you were Air Force. I'm not saying this to tar all soldiers with the same brush, and God knows there are some stupid airmen out there, but the dumbest, most chauvinistic comments I heard in Korea came from Army troops; sometimes with their senior NCOs standing beside them and nodding their heads.

If I had my druthers, I'd support moving Yongsan to a more rural location...
It's still there? I thought they were supposed to be minimizing it 6 years ago, moving to TaeJon or somewhere. Do they still have that insane golf course, too?

The level of hostility is a different order if they are attacking GIs, though. I've come out of the subway in downtown Seoul in the middle of an anti-American demonstration and the crowd just parted around me and kept marching. In the 80s and early 90s, I could wander around the streets of Seoul, Pusan, or Kwang Ju late at night by myself with less fear than in any American city. The few times I was confronted with "yankee go home", after a short conversation in my broken Hangukmal and a few shots of soju, we were buddies.

In my experience, students in most countries can distinguish between the government of the U.S., which they loathe, and individual Americans, whom they generally like. (Except for that cute punk girl in Amsterdam that spit in my face when I asked for her name. Sigh.)
posted by norm29 at 6:14 AM on September 20, 2002


I lived in Korea from 1969 to 1971 (not military) and everything that's being said here about anti-American feelings now was true back then. My family spent several weeks living in a small room in back of a nightclub while waiting for permanent housing, so I got to see a lot of the misogyny and racism firsthand. A lot of US soldiers treated Koreans like second-hand citizens that only existed for their personal pleasure.

I visited Korea again in 1989 right in the middle of huge anti-American protests, and watched US and European businessmen at my hotel treat every Korean woman they met like meat, so clearly not much has changed.
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:56 AM on September 20, 2002


We are all tribal, though we think otherwise. I had been in Korea during the earliest days of the war; my son weas there a few times with the Marines; my second son has lived there for some three years, teaching, and married to a Korean woman.

What need noting is that the East is going increasingly to reflect the mighty potential of mainland China, and this dominant force will alter attitudes.

Any country with a strong presence of "foreigners" will begrudge that presense and often use that "other" group as the source of all their problems.

N. Korea will have to do business with the South, even if they don' re-unite: their economy is a total disaster, and they will turn to capitalism, as Russia was forced to do, and as Cuba will do soon after Castro no longer is in charge.
Though I dislike Bush, I don't view him as the source for tensions in Korea. They were there before and will be there after. Note the post(above) on Germany and Bush.
posted by Postroad at 8:13 AM on September 20, 2002


This discussion's gone in a different direction, but I must take issue, stavros, with some of your characterizations: Last winter, the "Sunshine Policy" was not, in fact, showing fruitful progress, but was widely considered to have stalled -- and really hadn't made any progress since January 2001, with the advent of the Bush administration. Far from being "bypassed", or unilateralist for that matter, current American policy is to allow S Korea and Japan to take the lead in resolving regional issues. This is deliberate courtesy.

Are there really that many Koreans who are more concerned with the 37,000 American troops than the one million N Korean troops? I can understand "Do not poke the wild animals" sentiments, but there is value to permitting local governments to take a moderate line while the US remains in back as enforcer in case things deteriorate. My vote is for blip rather than crisis.
posted by dhartung at 10:27 AM on September 20, 2002


Well, dhartung, you're right in one sense - the sense one gets from reading the papers and such. As far as tangible results, Kim DJ's policy was meeting some resistance, politically, both at home and abroad. The Americans were in part responsible for the chill. Back in January, in fact, I was bemoaning the fact that America was deliberately blocking Kim's attempts at reconciliation, mentioning what would be an unsuccessful trip to Washington to beg Bush to pull his head out of his ass.

But in a much more important sense, you couldn't be more wrong, and this is the problem with getting your information from the media. No newspaper article will be able to convey the deep change in the feelings of the people of South Korea in the last 5 years. Since Kim DJ has been in power, the very possibility of reunification and peace has actually become real. A couple of days ago one of my Korean colleagues, a PhD in history, looked at the front page of the newpaper I was holding, upon which was a picture of the raising of the North Korean flag at the Busan Asian Games which begin next week, and remarked 'A couple of years ago, the publisher of that paper would have gone to prison.'

People, Korean people, are not afraid to talk about it these days. The recent goodwill soccer match between the South and the North saw the flying of neither national flag, but a blue-on-white 'reconciliation' flag, bearing an image of the entire peninsula. There was outcry amongst old-style hawks, but the man on the street was in tears of happiness about it. (Koreans do tend to burst into tears a lot, but still.)

When I first came here, before Kim DJ's election, you could still go to prison for saying anything positive about North Korea, and when I asked my adult students their opinion, they would demur, and almost reflexively scan the ceiling for cameras or mikes, or so it appeared to me, in fear of being reported to authorities perhaps, or at least tagged by their peers as commies. It was a frightening, and yes, orwellian state of affairs.

This place has transformed in the brief time DJ has been PM, and his sunshine policies with regard to North Korea have made it possible at the only level that really matters, amongst the people, for reunification to happen. With a democratic tradition of precisely 14 years now, this is an amazing accomplishment, and one I'm not surprised you haven't grasped from your (clearly wide ranging) reading.

As far as '[America's] deliberate courtesy', what bullshit that is, I'm afraid to say. Even a cursory glance at the record will show that they've manipulated the process at least as much as that asshat Kim Jong Il has, and 'courtesy' has never for a split second been part of considerations. It is to laugh.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:37 PM on September 20, 2002


Are there really that many Koreans who are more concerned with the 37,000 American troops than the one million N Korean troops?

Sorry, missed this. The short answer is : yes. And this (another self-link, and a rant) is in part why.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:40 PM on September 20, 2002


It was a frightening, and yes, orwellian state of affairs.

Odd choice of words for a person living not even 50 kilometers south of the most cruel and tyrannical Orwellian, Stalinesque dictatorship on the face of the fucking planet. :)
posted by hama7 at 6:00 AM on September 21, 2002


The simple fact of the matter is that South Koreans are no longer terrified of NK.
Stavros has said it rather better than I can but I can toss in my two cents from the opposite end of the country.
I suspect that when invasion was imminent, when tunnels were being dug, when infiltrators were landing on the coasts, people here appreciated having Uncle Sam around for protection. Now that the North is "almost friendly", they just see a lot of guys in crew-cuts screwing their women and running over their kids.

PS When I'm in Seoul, I'm glad I have a beard. That way people know who I ain't.
posted by Octaviuz at 7:41 PM on September 22, 2002


I suspect that when invasion was imminent, when tunnels were being dug, when infiltrators were landing on the coasts

You must have overlooked the sinking of a South Korean ship by North Korean aggressors (in South Korean waters!!) during the World Cup shenanigans. Leftist South Koreans have always been active, and that doesn't make the tyrannical North any less a malevolent, murderous, terrorist threat.

Stick your head in the sand, and cower behind your beard, whoever you "ain't" but with that attitude, be reminded that the fascist murderers will have the last laugh.
posted by hama7 at 6:50 AM on September 23, 2002


screwing their women

And um, that's pretty much racism, as far as I'm concerned, shame-ster. Who is "their"?
posted by hama7 at 6:52 AM on September 23, 2002


You must have overlooked the sinking of a South Korean ship by North Korean aggressors (in South Korean waters!!) during the World Cup shenanigans.
I'll concede my error on that one. (It was front page news for quite some time but I failed to mention it in my earlier post)

Leftist South Koreans have always been active, and that doesn't make the tyrannical North any less a malevolent, murderous, terrorist threat.
Stick your head in the sand, and cower behind your beard, whoever you "ain't"
I'm a teacher
but with that attitude, be reminded that the fascist murderers will have the last laugh.

Despite my mistake, you clearly are looking at a different country than the one that I've been fortunate to live in for the past few months. I just tell it like the people who live here and know what they're talking about see it.
I'm aware that North Korea is a totalitarian dictatorship but I think that engagement (NOT appeasement) is the right path. I'm not necesarily advocating that US troops leave the South (I generally oppose isolationism), I just think that until the US becomes more sensitive to our hosts here there will continue to be resentment.
posted by Octaviuz at 4:49 PM on September 23, 2002


And um, that's pretty much racism, as far as I'm concerned
Yeah, down with miscegenation, that's what I always say.
posted by Octaviuz at 4:52 PM on September 23, 2002


I just think that until the US becomes more sensitive to our hosts here there will continue to be resentment.

I couldn't agree with you more on that point, sir. As I said above, *no* misbehavior by U.S. troops should be tolerated, ever. This is especially important as they are guests on foreign soil. I don't think we have a disagreement, actually, now that you've posted again.

engagement (NOT appeasement) is the right path

Yep, I'm with you on that one too. I'm not sure that the Sunshine Policy, well-intentioned though it may be, is doing much of anything except appeasing.

Yeah, down with miscegenation, that's what I always say.

I think you are kidding here, and even if you aren't, it aint none of my business. I'm sorry about the nosy "racist" remark I made above, but I would feel strange saying "our" women when talking about my own ethnic group, wouldn't you? So, I wouldn't apply it to other groups, but maybe that's just me.

Thanks for your comments.
posted by hama7 at 7:37 PM on September 23, 2002


maybe that's just me
No, it actually isn't just you.
As an accomplished practitioner of mis-speech, I've become adept at foot from mouth extraction. You're right, I stand corrected (I believe that's the second time I've said that to you, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship).
I still agree more with Seoul and Tokyo than with Washington on this question but I believe our areas of agreement exceed those points on which we disagree. (BTW, I know StWC lives here, what's your connection to this story?)
posted by Octaviuz at 10:13 PM on September 23, 2002


this could be the start of a beautiful friendship

I hope so too. Are you in Pusan? I think you said you were in the opposite end of the country?

Take care, Octaviuz. Thanks.
posted by hama7 at 12:25 AM on September 24, 2002


Long dead thread, but an addition nonetheless.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:51 AM on September 26, 2002


Great link stav. I think it should go up front.
posted by crasspastor at 1:16 AM on September 26, 2002


You may do the honors, if you are so inclined, CP. My once-per-year post limit has been met already :-).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:23 AM on September 26, 2002


The "addition" link is a good one, and I'd post it myself if the front page hadn't become such a fiasco lately.

U.S troops out? I think the majority of "troops out" supporters are U.S. troops themselves.
posted by hama7 at 7:00 AM on September 27, 2002


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