Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The View From South Korea

An old college roommate of mine has lived in South Korea for several years. A linguist and academic, he speaks Korean (and Japanese). Here are some of his thoughts:

"The Korean take on the hostage taking/killing is as expected. Optimistic hope that he would be released, shock that he was not, the wail of the victim's mourning family now shared by the nation, rage at the usual suspects: USA and Japan, always to blame for anything. It was not so long ago that Japan got their hostages out alive. People here are grousing that the Japanese always get special treatment, that Koreans get the short end, and the Americans are the root cause of this evil. Renewed vigor in the street protests against sending korean troops to iraq."

Overall a sad situation. I am facinated that people are blaming Japan, purely of of historical grievance and spite. It's remarkable how the War takes on local color and morphs to fit regional issues. More updates as my buddy sends them.

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