Mayor of Incheon Blames North Korean Shelling on Little Eichmanns Coming Home to Roost

song-young-gil.jpgI’ve often said that in the eyes of many “progressive” South Koreans, it’s just not physically possible for North Korea to do wrong, and Incheon Mayor Song Young-Gil has done much to confirm our worst fears. A day after the North Koreans shelled Yeonpyeong Island — which, by the way, is undisputed South Korean territory — Song tweeted out that the attack was provoked by South Korean military exercises.

Song also uploaded some pictures and said that North Korea shelled a market on Yeonpyeong because it was a South Korean intelligence facility a decade ago. Apparently, certain reactionary Netizens interpreted Song’s comments as a justification of North Korea’s decision to shell Yeonpyeong and its choice of targets.

You don’t say.


[It’s OK, ma’am, he had it coming. AP photo.]

Anyway, after Song’s tweet generated controversy, he deleted it. Flushed it down the memory hole. Trotskied it.

Song was elected just last June, in a mid-term election that came less than three months after the sinking of the Cheonan. The Democratic Party pretty much ran the tables in that race, which came not even three months after the North Koreans sank the Cheonan, and when DP politicians were already circulating insane conspiracy theories that blamed pretty much everyone but the party found responsible by a multi-national investigation. Disturbing as it was not to see the DP hounded out of the political mainstream for its zany and frankly unpatriotic conduct, the DP did later take a beating in National Assembly elections, which are harder to write off as being the consequence of local issues.


[“Whoa. It says ‘Made in Kaesong.'” AP photo of DP leaders Sohn Hak-Kyu and “Comrade” Chung Dong-Young]

Oh, and did I mention that the good people of Yeonpyeong-Do are Mayor Song’s own constituents? It takes some poking around, but as it turns out, Yeonpyeong-Do is part of Ongjin County, which was merged into the municipality of Incheon in 1995.



[AFP, AP photos of legitimate military targets]

You really have to love a guy you can always count on to stick up for the people who got him where he is today. It’s times like this when I can only shake my head and wonder which Korean regime will collapse first. If the Pendulum Principle of Politics is correct, Song’s party will probably nominate South Korea’s next president. And when that person is actually elected — most likely while riding the wave of some incomprehensibly silly issue — we should really ask ourselves why we’re supposed to defend people who can’t even decide whether they should be defended.


  1. I thought about adding this to the review of the reaction of the Korean teachers I teach as I was nodding off last night:

    It is significant that a majority of the ones who spoke out (about 5 out of the 35 or so) first mentioned that South Korea was holding military exercises and maybe that is why North Korea did what it did — and only 1 of the other teachers felt the need to rebutted that argument.

    The mentioning of the SK drill was said in such a way to offer a significant excuse to the North — to downplay the significance of the attack. A couple of the excusers did feel the need to add that the North’s actions were “wrong” but the overall idea was that the South Korean artillery practice was a cause and the North Korean shelling of the island was the (logical) effect…

    (It is also significant that these are the views of South Korea’s educators.)

  2. A fun fact about all those outlying islands of Ongjin County now being part of Inch’ŏn… it makes it the longest (or widest, depending on your POV) city in South Korea. (Honolulu has a similar claim to fame, since the City and County of Honolulu includes a chain of islands over a thousand miles long.)

    But the guy’s a tool for not standing by his constituents like that. The only possible justification I can see for what he said is if the constituents on those islands had been complaining to municipal or national authorities about the various military drills interfering with their livelihoods. Really, that’s about it, but even then…

  3. Good Evening,
    Can you please pass on to Incheon Mayor Song Young-Gil that I think he’s an asshole.

  4. oh this is good.

    How clever of you to say the U.S. should control South Korea, really digging the spin. And to effectively assert the last word every time, they maintain the upper hand so it seems. In the end I still can’t decide whether continued calm responses are surely a good thing or if we could ever in good conscience commit what is necessary to deal with the regime.

  5. This takes the cake. These people have Juche stamped on their foreheads and kimchi for brains. Its pavlovian. They conclude apriori that the Norks are like mindless brutes without the capacity to reason, therefore, if they kill ROK citizens, it must be the ROK’s fault, and more precisely, the ROK military. I think you nailed this one, OFK.

  6. Clarification: By “these people” I am referring to SK Leftists and NK sympathizers, and noodle hads like Mayor Song Young-gil. The majority of Korean people that I personally know are very patriotic and are absolutely horrified by this action and place the blame squarely where it belongs: on Pyongyang.

  7. A couple more of the female teachers I teach (in their 20s to early 30s) said that they thought the sinking of the ship was not done by the North, because the military parts the South Korean government apparently showed the media that were said to be torpedo parts had Korean writing on them, and North Korea was too smart to leave Korean writing on them.

    Another said that “they heard” that the ship was probably sunk by an American submarine by accident and covered up by the Korean government.

  8. Everybody knows you’re a teacher usinkorea. You’ve prefaced nearly every comment you’ve made on K-blogs for the past ten years with something like “the adult students I once taught thought this…, the Korean teachers I teach now think this…when I was a teacher teaching adult students in Korea…” Okay, we got it.

  9. I was reporting the response to the event by a specific group of about 40 Korean adults for the benefit of those outside of Korea who are curious about how South Korean society is reacting.

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