April 19th, 2017

South Korea…

♥s Trump.

15 Responses to “South Korea…”

  1. Cornflour Says:

    The Weekly Standard article is based on editorials and reports from three South Korean newspapers: Dong-a Ilbo, Chosun Ilbo, and Hankook Ilbo.

    The first two are very conservative. The third is a middle-of-the-road, mostly apolitical newspaper that publishes more feature articles than hard news.

    The major left-wing newspaper is Hankyore. The Weekly Standard doesn’t cite any editorials from the Hankyore, so here’s a link to one:

    Unsurprisingly, the love for Trump that The Weekly Standard found on the right, is not to be found on the left. The new majority, and the party of the presumed new president, will be from the left.

    P.S. I don’t wish to paint myself as some kind of Korean expert. For two years, I worked for a Korean university. I have no first-hand knowledge of either their government or military. Korea is an interesting and peculiar place that I liked very much, but it would be terribly naive not to recognize the widespread anti-Americanism that waxes and wanes with domestic political issues.

  2. blert Says:

    Trump is most likely going to play cat and mouse with Kim’s economy.

    Kim is able to stay on top by way of carrots and sticks.

    The correct strategy is to take away Kim’s ability to hand out carrots.

    This is usually described as the ‘indirect approach.’

    Kim’s hard power comes by way of Seoul — and its proximity.

    Increasing Beijing’s paranoia about Kim is also to the good.


    Is it not curious that the MSM utters not one word about Iran’s atomic program being fused with that of North Korea ?

    Iran’s Syrian gambit is open and on the record.


    Tehran is merely repeating with Pyongyang what it had going with Damascus.

    I pray that McMaster is a genius… but the evidence is that he’s an entirely conventional thinker… being in fulsome denial about global jihad… and functioning as an apex puppet for the Deep State.

  3. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    Are you saying that the Korean left is in the majority? How widespread is the anti-Americanism and upon what IYO is it based?

  4. J.J. Says:

    Consider the mind of a South Korean. Especially one who is less than62 years old. No memory of the war. No direct experience of being saved by the U.S from having to live as the North Koreans do. So, all these years you have seen American military and their families living in your country almost like occupiers. If you have a bent of mind toward Communism or extreme nationalism, the presence of Americans could be irritating.

    Consider that not all GIs are choirboys when on leave and off base. I saw this when I was in Japan in the 50s. I sometimes had duty to round up sailors for the last liberty boat out to the carrier. I saw hatred and displeasure on the faces of some Japanese when our drunken sailors were stumbling down the street toward the pier. I have often wondered how we would feel if we had a foreign army on our soil “protecting us” from Canada or Mexico. (Not exactly the proper analogy, but something to think about.)

    So, I’m not surprised that all South Koreans don’t love us. It is the nature of human nature.

  5. Cornflour Says:

    Geoffrey Britain Says:
    April 19th, 2017 at 5:27 pm
    Are you saying that the Korean left is in the majority? How widespread is the anti-Americanism and upon what IYO is it based?

    Geoffrey Britain:

    Yes, the left is currently in the majority — or at least plurality. During the 2016 elections for the National Assembly, a plurality was won by the Minjoo Party (aka Democratic Party of Korea), which is left-wing, though not far left. Presidential elections will be held next month, and that party’s candidate, Moon Jae-in, is expected to win. In Korea, the left is typically anti-American and favors negotiation and peaceful reunification with the North.

    Within the confines of a blog comment, your second question is much harder to answer. The roots of anti-Americanism date to the Korean war. Many communists lived in the South, and worked against the Americans and their allies. Of course, this is no longer a common living memory, but it’s mined by both sides for political purposes. After Korea became a democratic country, with freedom of the press, the left resumed open attacks on the US. It’s not an exaggeration to say that anti-Americanism is its organizing principal, and its rhetoric is only slightly less restrained than the comical bombast from the North. The long-term presence of American troops feeds into the left’s view that the country is “occupied” by imperialist Americans. In more recent years, younger Koreans look at the Kim regime as their crazy, but lovable, uncles. They feel a sentimental kinship with those in the North. Newspaper polls commonly show that young people regard the US as a greater threat than North Korea.

    That’s an inadequate and superficial answer to your second question, but honestly it would take a few books to do it right.

  6. AesopFan Says:

    “In more recent years, younger Koreans look at the Kim regime as their crazy, but lovable, uncles. ”

    Looks like Korea has its share of Fake News Peddlers too.
    My lovable uncles don’t kill other kin in either bombastic or 007 modes.

  7. AesopFan Says:

    An interesting overview of Trump’s foreign policy.

    I only hope he really IS this smart.


  8. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I have zero sympathy for ingrates. 36,574 Americans died and 103,284 Americans were wounded preserving the liberty generations of S. Koreans have enjoyed. Tens of thousands of grief stricken American families suffered grievous loss in sons, brothers, fathers and husbands.

    This July, America will have spent 64 years protecting S. Koreans from enslavement… and provided over 39 BILLION dollars in military aid alone to S. Korea.

    I understand disgust with individual ‘ugly’ American behavior but anti-Americanism condemns all Americans.

    That leads me to ask why we don’t let S. Korea fall to the North? Would our national interests really be that harmed by allowing S. Korea its self-determination? Given the majority’s ingratitude, by what right do we expect even one more American to go in harms way for them?

    Pull our troops out, cancel the treaties and let them reap what they’ve sown. Then issue an ultimatum to Kim; abandon all nukes and allow full inspections to verify, when he refuses, nuke Pyongyang.

    Otherwise, the alternative will be far worse.

  9. Cornflour Says:

    Geoffrey Britain:

    South Korea’s physical, industrial, scientific, and political infrastructure are all derived from American government investment and education; but if not for the hard work of Koreans, it would have all been for nothing. Look at what we’ve spent on Iraq and Afghanistan. Koreans who don’t resent Americans accept this, but understandably emphasize all the work that they did. I never talked to a single person who expressed gratitude for what Americans have done. Most were somewhat offended that I even asked them to consider the idea. This is a deeply ingrained part of Korean culture. To admit that Korean’s achievements aren’t entirely their own is to invite shame. At all costs, that must be avoided. This is a topic I was able to fully discuss with only two close friends. Small sample size, I know.

    Here, I’ve been referring to the issue of post-war reconstruction. As for the war itself, I never met anyone who’d seriously consider thanking American soldiers who died in Korea. The Korean perspective is a world away from that outlook. Of course, in this matter, exceptions are made for ritualistic ceremonies.

    Withdrawing US forces from Korea would have important geopolitical consequences for both northeast and southeast Asia. Nonetheless, after returning from Korea, I’ve supported the idea of an orderly withdrawal. Given enough time to expand its military, the South is fully capable of defending itself. Unfortunately, for the US, it may be too late for that strategy to matter. The North’s primary target, for nuclear missiles, is now the United States, not South Korea. Withdrawing from South Korea wouldn’t change Kim’s plans. Staying in South Korea provides the US with a base for an eventual attack on the North. So, we stay.

    In terms of pure strategic logic, my opinion is that the attack should be sooner rather than later. The more fission — or fusion — bombs developed by the North, the worse the war will be. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the new South Korean government will quickly realize this. If so, they could soon ask American forces to withdraw. The US would then be forced to attack North Korea from bases in Okinawa. In an earlier comment, I noted that Americans have no appetite for this kind of war, and that the confrontation will continue to be pushed down the road until the continental US is attacked, or until China decides to intervene in North Korea. Currently, I think we’re at the mercy of China.

    My opinions are those of an amateur. No one has ever paid me to develop military strategy or foreign policy, and no one ever will.

  10. Roy Says:

    This is how I would do it if I were the president.

    I would tell the South Korean government to have a referendum on the question of whether the US goes or stays in SK. There are three possible outcomes to this:

    1, They refuse to have the referendum. We Leave.

    2, They have the referendum and the vote is for us to go. We leave.

    3, They have the referendum and the vote is for us to stay. We stay.

  11. Roy Says:

    PS: I would do the same for Puerto Rico except the referendum would be for statehood or independence from the US. (Only those two choices.)

    The three possible outcomes are:

    1, They refuse to have the referendum. They are on their own.

    2, They have the referendum and the vote is for independence. They are on their own.

    3, They have the referendum and the vote is to join the union. They are now – or soon will be – the 51st state.

  12. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    I don’t dispute the hard work of S. Koreans.

    Nevertheless, when someone saves your life from enslavement, you’re indebted to them. A refusal to acknowledge that debt is to reveal yourself to be unworthy of the sacrifices that were made in rescuing you from a mortal threat.

    Cultural attitudes do not negate that obvious rationale. In this, Korean culture is deficient and needs to adopt a higher morality. Since they haven’t, they have confirmed their unworthiness.

    No doubt revising our treaties would have negatives but unless American security is directly at stake, ungrateful ‘allies’ are no allies at all. Partnership is a two way street.

    As for then not being able to launch a S. Korea based attack upon N. Korea, tactically that is a non-starter for a variety of reasons.

    Americas choice is simple, remove the pit bull now or suffer a far greater wound later.

  13. Cornflour Says:

    Geoffrey Britain:

    OK, we get that you want to nuke Pyongyang. I’m just saying it’s not going to happen any time soon, no matter how logical the strategy may be.

    As far as South Korean culture and psychology goes, you keep wanting them to be something they’re not. Koreans are one of the most homogeneous nations in the world, but they’ve had long periods when the peninsula was split into separate kingdoms. The kingdoms would war with each other and would sometimes call in outside countries as patrons.

    From 1910 to 1945, the Japanese ruled Korea as a colony. They almost destroyed Korean culture and even the language. After the Japanese were defeated in WWII, Korea dissolved into conflicts — primarily between Communists and anti-Communists. From the Korean point of view, Americans were called in as patrons to support them in their war against the Communists. We failed them. Now we tell them they should be grateful? And we refuse to leave their country? How arrogant. I’m not saying this is moral or objectively accurate. I’m just telling you how they think. You don’t have to like it. (This is obviously a rough generalization. Lots of people, lots of different attitudes. etc. etc.)

    You’ve called the North a pitbull. Here’s another dog story. I went duck hunting with my labrador retriever named Uncle Sam. I shot a duck and sent Sam into the water to go get the dead duck. Instead, Sam came back with a rotten fish. I was mad and didn’t give Sam a cookie, so he started barking at me and eventually bit me a few times. Sam’s a big dog, so I was afraid to hit him. I said “good dog,” and gave him a cookie. He then quieted down, but we’ve had an uneasy relationship since that day. He doesn’t seem to know his place.

  14. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Cornflour’s talk with GB reminds me of when I try to explain Japanese views of US occupation and WWII to Americans.

    There’s just insufficient cultural and language specialization for people to get it.

    And that’s why they keep getting unfinished wars like Iraq 2 to deal with. Nukes can destroy nations and leaders, yes. But Lucifer isn’t going to die if you nuke him. Something a disciple of Christ would understand.

  15. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Cornflower using a parable like Jesus of Nazareth, reminds me of the master teaching the disciples stuff the disciples can’t or won’t understand.

    I haven’t forgotten Cornhead or Cornflower or perhaps both, calling me crazy here. That’s another example of what people do when they don’t get something.

    As for Koreans, if the US wishes to develop some kind of generational trust or honor relationship, they need to start calling themselves Patriarch Sam and Father Sam, instead of Uncle. Koreas and such cultures understand family relationships and hierarchies more than political agreements they don’t like. They will accept help from families, that they would refuse to accept from strangers, because it causes them to lose face. Obviously white people isn’t going to be accepted as part of a Korean clan. They have difficulties even accepting Japanese into a Korean clan… but there are plenty of North Korean defectors which the US can take in, and thus provide them honor and thus shame the South Koreans into accept that Father Sam is more gracious and honorable. This provides social cachet and makes the other Korean patriarchs take notice. The anti Americans, to attack this, would have to undermine the Korean family hierarchy, which would make them persona non grata.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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