Monday, February 11, 2008

Anti-Americanism in Korea (Were you surprised?)

Courtney's post made me interested in searching for information on what perceptions Koreans have about America today. From Korea Journal, I found an interesting article which could spark some debate esspecially among our class members who are are Korean and those in our class who have spent extensive time in the country. The title of the article, The Evolution of Anti-Americanism in Korea: Policy Implications for the US, pretty much says what the main jest of the article is about. We spoke in class about the stark lack of knowledge of Korean history which most Americans exhibt and this fact alone contributes heavily to stimulating Korean citizens' thoughts as to why American unilateralism and consistant interferance into unification affairs is completely unwarrented. The article describes how there are differing factions among anti-Americanism groups in Korea and the peak of of organized anti-American sentiment occured during the Gwangju Uprising when many Koreans believed (and still believe) that Americans and their military forces sanctioned the uncivilized actions of their authoritarian military government just for the Americans' own security sake going against the American ideal of democracy. It is apparent that this need to stick to America's security imperative instead of its ideal of democracy continues to hold true as last summer's siege of the Red Mosque in Pakistan proves. Like the Korean public after the Gwangju Uprising, Pakistanis were adament that the US knowingly sanctioned the military's storming the mosque and killing the protesters because the US gave their authoritarian military president the green light to do what it takes to stifle terrorism and radical Islamic factions all in the name of security on the part of the US no matter if the actions inhibit democracy or not.

This article reccomends that the US pay more attention to the root causes of why Anti-Americanism exists and persists in Korea in order to make better policy concerning Korea and the whole of East Asia. Getting into such a habit will help the US to improve its image and fundamental way it conducts itself in the world which has needed a make-over for some time.

1 comment:

Justin-B형 said...

Yeah I think that the South Korean Public have a kind of Love/ hate relationship with the united states. Before I went there I thought it was all directed toward the The US government but after the 04' elections (when Bush was elected for a second term) I think Koreans, and other allied nations began to associate the American government with the American people. I also think that you can get a taste of true feelings on korean blogs and forums where there is definite anonymity. There is some a lot of resentment there. On the flip side I don't think it is as bad as our media makes it out to be.

ps. Wow, a comparison between the Pakistan red mosque massacre and the Kwangju massacre...I never thought about that.