Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Regarding National Anthem and national flag issues...

This is a comment for Justin's poisting. It's too lengthy to be a comment, so I just put it as a new posting. Thank Justin for raising a good issue.

Let me clarify this issue by adding some more facts.

-South Korea agreed not to use National flag in Soccer match between two Koreas in 1990, Basketball match in 2003. However, it was not a national competition but friendly match.

-South and North Korea agreed to use the "unification" flag and Arirang when they are marching ‘together’ in the entrance parade in Olympic games (Sydney, Athen), Asian games (Pusan, Dohar) and so on. However, it is only for the entrance parade. When South or North Korea acquired some medal, they played National anthem and displayed national flag.

-South Korean government allowed North Korea to use North Korean national flag in 2002 Pusan Asian game, 2003 Taegue Summer Universiade, 2005 Eastasia Soccer in Taegue and so on. That means South Korea accepted North as an independent states. Why can’t North Korea do the same thing?

-If North Korea can’t allow South Korea’s national flag and anthem because they are still at war to each other, how could North Korea allow US national flag and national anthem on Feb 26 in New York Philharmonic’s performance?

-What I’m trying to say is that it’s not South Korea’s problem, but North Korea’s. And it is not South Korea but North Korea who is trying to make exception against FIFA rules. Two Korea’s are going to have game to each other, and not parading together. It is natural to use their national anthem and flag.

-I know that North Korea have some difficulties to acknowledging South Korea as an independent state, because South Korea had the same problem during the military government. At that time, South Koreans regarded North Korea as not a state but an illegal political entity that occupying ‘our territory’ temporarily. I think North Korea still maintaining this perspective.


Justin-B형 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justin-B형 said...


Thank you so much for responding to my post. I really feel special because you responded with a full posting!

Also you have my compliments on your arguments. I clearly understand what you are saying and feeling about this latest event with North Korea.
Also, you must forgive me when I stated:
"play under the "unification" flag and Arirang replaced partisan national anthem"
It was getting late and I think I lost my mind temporarily. I am well aware that this was done only upon entrance of the Asian and Olympic games. You mentioned the soccer match in 1990 and the basketball match in 2003,lets not forget the inter-Korean unification soccer match 2002.9.7 as well. Anyway, Forgive my error.
In my posting what I was trying to convey, albeit poorly, was sympathy for the south Korean position but at the same time bafflement at the lack of consideration of the possible diplomatic reverberations that may follow this incident if it carries on further.
I really do appreciate your attempts to clarify this argument but your clarifications have partisan tone.
In other words, they communicate, especially your final point, ("That means South Korea accepted North as an independent states. Why can’t North Korea do the same thing?") a quid pro quo intent.
Which I don't think this situation needs.
Yes,I agree that it is puzzling why the US national anthem was played and the US flag was flown during the New York Philharmonic's concert. Perhaps, it is because the "educated elite" were only allowed to attend where as in a football game anyone maybe present.
But an even larger issue that is puzzling to me is why North Korea in 2007/8 invited the Philharmonic at all.
Perhaps,I think, his (Kim Jong Il) actions in this case can best be described as potential propaganda. I also think that another possible answer to why the US anthem can be played but not the South Korean can be found also in your same quote: "That means South Korea accepted North as an independent states. Why can’t North Korea do the same thing?"
The day Kim Jung Il and North Korea recognizes The South as an independent state is the beginning of the end for his regime. Having the South Korean National Flag flying over Pyongyang would be essentially recognizing south Korea as an Independent state. That could be a very powerful symbol that may be problematic for the regime; Especially if the South Wins (and they probably will.)

Inyeop, at the end of the day is this not just a football match? Aren't we talking about a 90 minute game?
Do you think it would be unreasonable for the South Korean Delegation to agree to concede the use of their national anthem and national flag, considering that North Korea has suggested that they would do the same?
Do you really think that it is worth risking an international incident over a game?
In the spirit of "flexible reciprocity" and cooperation, don't you feel that this is just a small sacrifice for a Larger cause?