Anti-American sentiment in Korea

Anti-American sentiment in Korea

Anti-Americanism in Korea began with the earliest contact between the two nations and continued after the division of Korea. In both North Korea and South Korea, anti-Americanism after the Korean War has focused on the presence and behavior of American military personnel (USFK), aggravated especially by high-profile accidents or crimes by U.S. servicemembers, with various crimes including rape, assault among others. One of the most famous incidents was the road death of two 13-year-old girls as a convoy passed their village in 2002. [cite web |url= |title=Road deaths ignite Korean anti-Americanism|accessdate=2008-04-11 |publisher=International Herald Tribune |date=August 1, 2002] The on-going U.S. military presence in South Korea, especially at Yongsan Garrison (on a base previously used by the Imperial Japanese Army from 1910-1945) in central Seoul, remains a contentious issue.

While protests have arisen over specific incidents, they are often reflective of deeper historical resentments. Robert Hathaway, director of the Wilson Center's Asia program, suggests: "the growth of anti-American sentiment in both Japan and South Korea must be seen not simply as a response to American policies and actions, but as reflective of deeper domestic trends and developments within these Asian countries."Citation
title= The Making of "Anti-American" Sentiment in Korea and Japan
date=May 06, 2003
publisher=Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars|accessdate=2007-12-05
] Korean anti-Americanism after the war was fueled by American occupation and support for authoritarian rule, a fact still evident during the country's democratic transition in the 1980s. [cite web |url=|title=Anti-Americanism Grows in South Korea |accessdate=2008-04-11|publisher=New York Times |date=July 12, 1987] Speaking to the Wilson Center, Katherine Moon notes that while the majority of South Koreans support the American alliance "anti-Americanism also represents the collective venting of accumulated grievances that in many instances have lain hidden for decades."

No Gun Ri Massacre

No Gun Ri massacre was a massacre during the Korean War in which between eight and about 150 South Korean civilians were killed by soldiers of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment between 1950-07-26 and 1950-07-29 near the village of No Gun Ri. This incident gained widespread attention when the Associated Press published a series of articles in 1999 that subsequently won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.cite web| title =2000 Pulitzer Prize Winners — Investigative Reporting: "Bridge at No Gun Ri"| work| url =| accessdate=2006-07-15] The village is located in Hwanggan-myeon, Yeongdong County, Chungcheongbuk-do, in central South Korea. The 1999 Associated Press articles alleged that refugees at No Gun Ri were strafed from the air and machined gunned at close range by U.S. soldiers under direction of military policy. The AP reporting was partially based on a falsified firsthand account by Edward Daily. Army records suggest that Daily was never a machine gunner and was not present at No Gun Ri.cite news| first =Joseph L.| last =Galloway| authorlink = Joseph L. Galloway| date = 2000-05-22| title =Doubts About a Korean Massacre: American soldiers allegedly slaughtered hundreds of innocent refugees at a place called No Gun Ri. A new review of the facts challenges that claim| work = U.S. News & World Report| url =| accessdate = 2007-04-14 ] The AP later corrected the false Daily claim and other details of the No Gun Ri articles. In 2001, the U.S. military responded to the AP account with a report that included detailed aerial photographs taken on August 6, 1950 and September 19, 1950.cite web| author = U.S. Department of Army Inspector General| title = Report of the No Gun Ri Review| year = 2001| month = January| url =| accessdate = 2006-07-15]

Yun Geum-i Murder Incident

A U.S. Army Soldier named Kenneth Lee Markle murdered a prostitute Yun Geum-i (윤금이) in 1992. This incident led to the South Korean public demanding a revision of the Status of Forces Agreement in South Korea.

Highway 56 Accident

On June 13, 2002, a U.S. military truck fatally crushed two 14-year-old South Korean girls, Shim Hyo-sun (심효순) and Shim Mi-seon (심미선), in Euijeongbu, Gyeonggi-do. The incident provoked anti-American sentiment in South Korea when an US military court found the responsible soldiers, who were sent back to the USA immediately after the decision, not guilty. This prompted hundreds of thousands of South Koreans to protest against the U.S Army's continued presence. [ cite news
last= Lim
first= Jason
title= Saying Sorry Across Cultures
publisher= The Korea Times
date= 01-21-2008

Apolo Ohno 2002 Winter Olympics controversy

In Salt Lake City, Utah, Apolo Anton Ohno emerged as a popular athlete among US fans for reportedly charming them with his cheerful attitude and laid-back style. He became the face of short track speed skating in the US, which was a relatively new and unknown sport at the time, and carried the medal hopes of America in that sport.cite news | first=Jim | last=Caple | coauthors= | title=Apolo's great name sucked us into short track | date=2002-02-23 | publisher= | url = | work | pages = | accessdate = 2007-02-16 | language = ] Ohno medaled in two events, although there was some controversy associated with the results.

In the 1500 m race, Ohno won the gold medal, with a time of 2:18.541. During the 1500 m final race, South Korean Kim Dong-Sung was first across the finish line, but was disqualified for blocking Ohno, in what is called cross tracking. [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Ohno disqualified in 500, U.S. falls in 5,000 relay | date=2002-02-23 | publisher= | url = | work =Associated Press | pages = | accessdate = 2007-02-16 | language = ] [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= Arirang News | title=Korea Picks up First Gold in Torino | date=2006-02-13 | publisher= | url = | work =The Chosun Ilbo | pages = | accessdate = 2007-02-16 | language = ] Ohno was in second place with three laps remaining, and on his third attempt to pass on the final lap, Kim drifted slightly to the inside where Ohno raised his arms and came out of his crouch to signal that he was blocked. Fourth-place finisher of the same race, Fabio Carta of Italy, showed his disagreement with the decision saying that it was "absurd that the Korean was disqualified." China's Jiajun Li, who moved from bronze to silver, remained neutral saying: "I respect the decision of the referee, I'm not going to say any more." Steven Bradbury of Australia, the 1000 m gold medal winner, also shared his views: "Whether Dong-Sung moved across enough to be called for cross-tracking, I don't know, he obviously moved across a bit. It's the judge's interpretation. A lot of people will say it was right and a lot of people will say it's wrong. I've seen moves like that before that were not called. But I've seen them called too."cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= St Petersburg Times | title= Ohno finishes second, then first as winner is disqualified | date=2002-08-24 | publisher= | url= | work = St Petersburg Times | pages = | accessdate = 2008-03-14 | language = ] [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= ESPN | title= South Korean DQ'd; officials promise protest | date=2002-02-23 | publisher= | url= | work = ESPN | pages = | accessdate = 2008-03-14 | language = ] The disqualification upset South Korean supporters, many of whom directed their anger at Ohno and the Olympic International Olympic Committee. A very large number of e-mails protesting the race results crashed the Olympic Committee's email server, and also thousands of accusatory letters, many of which were death threats, were sent to Ohno and the committee. [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Skating union rejects protest of South Korean's DQ | date=2002-02-21 | publisher= | url = | work =Associated Press | pages = | accessdate = 2007-02-16 | language = ] [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Ohno disqualified in 500, U.S. falls in 5,000 relay | date=2002-02-23 | publisher= | url = | work =Associated Press | pages = | accessdate = 2007-02-16 | language = ] [cite news | first=시연 | last=김 | coauthors= | title='빼앗긴 금메달', 경기는 끝났지만... | date=2002-02-21 | publisher= | url = | work =Yonhap News, Oh my News | pages = | accessdate = 2007-02-25 | language = Korean ] Ohno shared his thoughts on the Koreans' hostile reaction by saying, "I was really bothered by it. I grew up around many Asian cultures, Korean one of them. A lot of my best friends were Korean growing up. I just didn't understand. Later on I realized that was built up by certain people and that was directed at me, negative energy from other things, not even resulting around the sport, but around politics, using me to stand on the pedestal as the anti-American sentiment." [cite news | first=Gary | last=D'Amato | coauthors= | title=Ohno begins trek to Torino at Trials | date=2005-12-12 | publisher=Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service | url = | work =The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | pages = | accessdate = 2008-03-21 | language = ]

In popular culture

The Host

The 2006 Korean monster film The Host has been described as anti-American. The film was in part inspired by an incident in 2000 in which a mortician working for the U.S. military in Seoul dumped a large amount of formaldehyde down the drain. In the film the dumped chemicals engender a horrible mutated monster from the river which menaces the inhabitants of Seoul. [cite web | url= | title=South Korean movie monster gobbles up box office | author=Jon Herskovitz | work=Reuters | date=2006-09-07 | accessdate=2006-11-02] The American military situated in South Korea is portrayed as uncaring about the effects their activities have on the locals. The chemical agent used by the American military to combat the monster in the end, named "Agent Yellow" in a thinly-veiled reference to Agent Orange was also used to satirical effect.cite web| url= | title=TIFF Interview: The Host Director Bong Joon-ho | author=Scott Weinberg | | date=2006-09-13 | accessdate=2007-01-12] The CGI for the film was done by The Orphanage, which also did the CGI of "The Day After Tomorrow". [cite web| url= | title=Oh Strange Horrors! | author=Barbara Robertson | work=CGSociety | date=2006-07-27 | accessdate=2007-01-12] The director, Bong Joon-ho, commented on the issue: "It's a stretch to simplify "The Host" as an anti-American film, but there is certainly a metaphor and political commentary about the U.S." [cite web | url= | title=Korean filmmakers take center stage to bash trade talks | author=Heejin Koo | work=Bloomberg news | date=2006-09-07 | accessdate=2007-01-13] Because of its themes that can be seen as critical of the United States, the film was actually lauded by North Korean authorities, [cite web | url= | title=North Korea lauds S. Korean movie 'The Host' for anti-American stance | work=Yonhap news | date=2006-11-16 | accessdate=2007-01-13] a rarity for a South Korean blockbuster film.

Fucking USA

"Fucking USA" is a protest song written by South Korean singer and activist Yoon Min-suk. Strongly anti-US Foreign policy and anti-Bush, the song was written in 2002 at a time when, following the Apolo Ohno Olympic controversy and an accident in which two Korean middle school students were killed under the wheels of a U.S. Army vehicle; anti-American sentiment in South Korea reached high levels. [ [ Through the East Asian Lens (May 7, 2003) ] ]

US beef imports in South Korea

The Government of South Korea blocked most imports of US beef in 2003 because of fears over mad cow disease (BSE). [ cite news
title= South Korea relaxes US beef ban
publisher= BBC News
date= 18 April 2008
] The United States Department of Agriculture had identified two BSE-infected cows, and only one that was born in the USA (one of the animals actually came from Canada). [ cite news
first= MIKE
publisher= United States Department of Agriculture
date= January 24, 2006
] When Lee Myung-bak was inaugurated some 5 years after the BSE infections in the US, he agreed to relax restrictions on beef imports from the US, while still banning the most risky parts of cattle (brain, spinal chord). This caused an outbreak of anti-US sentiment and even calls for impeachment.


ee also

*Demonstrations at Yongsan Garrison
*Axis of evil

External links

*How the World Sees America videoblog: [ South Korea]

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