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Korean Teachers’ Union Gets Some Competition

You may recall how the KTU recently made itself  famous in the Korea blogosphere: its “What a Wonderful World” video for the APEC Summit.  This led, in part,  to an acrimonious controversy over education reform and a silly GNP boycott  of the National Assembly.  On a somwhat more productive front, tt also led to the formation of an upstart rival:

The Korean Liberal Teachers Union, established last month by teachers opposed to the educational direction of the left-leaning workers union, attempted to have a meeting yesterday with its counterpart, but the workers union refused to take part.

The workers union had earlier alleged that the new union was being secretly controlled by the Grand National Party.

The new union yesterday filed a defamation charge against the workers union.

A few paragraphs down, we see what  fine role models the KTU  members are for  the nation’s youth:

One report claims that at a high school in Gyeonggi province, students were encouraged by workers union members to damage vehicles belonging to teachers who opposed the union.

Cho Jing-hyeong, parent of a student, is expected to give examples of remarks by teachers of the union gathered over the years, which he thinks are inappropriate.

The remarks include speeches made by workers union teachers that Korea would have been unified if not for actions of the United States during the Korean War.

Other remarks reportedly made by teachers include saying that smart families read the Hankyoreh “• a left leaning daily newspaper.

It’s somewhat unclear where the KTU’s madness ends and the anti-KTU witch-hunting begins, but it does suggest a need for the government to impose some disciplined ideological neutrality here.  Why the GNP boycotts the Assembly  instead of  simply campaigning on this issue is beyond me.

If there’s a bright side, it’s that our own debates over  school curricula seem prissy by comparison.  The evolution of modern Korean education might well put the entire intelligent design debate to rest.

Korean Teachers’ Union Update

The Trotskyites in the Korean Teachers’ Union have cut out a few f-words and gone ahead with their agenda of poisoning little minds to hate America:

The leftist union yesterday posted on its Web site a class plan and the video clip it will use in those classes. The video was a “cleaned-up” version of one shown in Busan last month and did not contain any foul language; the previous clip included curses directed at President Bush and President Roh Moo-hyun.

The new clip slightly alluded to the government’s positive stance on the APEC forum, although it still contained strongly negative statements on globalization.

In a press release, the union said it revised the contents in a wish for more people to have a peaceful and happy life by knowing the “truth” about APEC through “peaceful” classes.

It said the goal of the special classes was not to show that international organizations represented the interests of strong countries but to promote the fact they could contribute to global peace.

The government, however, said although the class plans were better than those presented in Busan last month, there were still some “vulgar expressions” in the video.

I wonder if they cut out the “What a Wonderful World” 9/11 sequence. I wonder why the South Korean Education Ministry allows this. I wonder why our military deployment in South Korea continues to effectively subsidize all of it.

KTU on 9/11: “What a Wonderful World”

Usinkorea just forwarded me links to the two APEC propaganda videos in question. These are produced by South Korea’s Korean Teachers Union, which has links to North Korea and some of its more obvious stooges in the South (home, then scroll down). You can see the one that’s caused all of the fracas here; more here.

And what are the kids learning in South Korea?

  • Repeated use of the “f” word is highly appropriate for children.
  • Corporations are evil, greedy, and starve children. And Donald Duck (you thought Trump, perhaps?) is taking control of them all!
  • Osama bin Laden–now that’s hilarious! Ditto Katrina.

Must see to believe. Given the way U.S. troops are being treated in South Korea today, one is entitled to question what kind of future a U.S.-Korean alliance still has, and what values and interests these countries share. I admit that I had to see this thing to actually recognize the sheer depravity of it.

Go watch it, now. And while you are, ask yourself these questions:

  • “Why is this part of a public school curriculum?”
  • “Why are U.S. taxpayers subsiding a government that’s teaching its people to love the North Korean regime and hate America?”

South Korea must return to sanity or pursue this terror-yukking and coddling of dictators without the help of U.S. taxpayers.

For more on the KTU, click and scroll.

Sometimes, a missile is just a missile

Every time North Korea tests a rocket, Hans Blix sheds a little tear and Ban Ki Moon’s fluffy white tail stops wagging, because North Korean rocket tests violate three U.N. Security Council Resolutions — 1695 (which bans “all activities related to its ballistic missile programme”), UNSCR 1718 (ditto, and requires N. Korea to “re-establish its pre-existing commitments to a moratorium on missile launching”), and 1874 (which bans “any launch using ballistic missile technology”).  North Korea’s official response is that it is launching peaceful satellites, not testing ICBMs.  You may be wondering if anyone on the Outer Earth is still fool enough to believe this.

There’s little reason to doubt North Korea’s claim that it simply wants to put a satellite into space.  [John Feffer, Foreign Policy in Focus]

Maybe John Feffer just needs more reason, so he can reason his way to what’s obvious to the rest of us.

North Korea exhibited the fuselage of what is presumed to be the long-range rocket it launched in December, and explicitly called it a ballistic missile, despite its claims to the outside world that the Unha-3 was part of its peaceful space development program, a report said Monday.

The report by Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun quoted North Korean sources as saying that the fuselage was displayed under the name “Hwasong-13″ among the exhibitions of the country’s missile lineup in an exhibition hall in Pyongyang. The Hwasong line also includes shorter-range scud missiles, which the country has produced since the 1980’s.  [Yonhap]

Well, you say, if they’re missiles, then they must be for strictly defensive deterrence.  No need to infer any malicious intent here, right?  So we now have this, via North Korea’s quasi-official Uriminzokkiri:

Uriminzokkiri roughly translates to “among our race only” and is aimed at South Korean norksimps. It is reportedly run from China, a country that selectively decides what speech should be permitted based on the state’s value judgments about its content.  Or so you may have heard.  (Hat tip)

If your memory is long enough, may recall that other norksimps in South Korea, the Korean Teachers’ Union, produced an equally sickening video for schoolchildren before the 2005 APEC Forum in Busan, featuring replays of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, set to “What a Wonderful World.”  A theme seems to be emerging.

I’m sure that all across the more progressive quarters of this world, there are fevered minds with room enough for the conflicting lunacies that the Jews and neocons pulled off 9/11, and also that on 9/11, nineteen great martyrs fulfilled a divine mandate of vengeance against toddlers, flight attendants, and office workers.  Similarly, there’s clearly some market in some quarters of Korea for fantasies of North Korea’s peaceful satellites destroying American cities.  I hope that market is a whole lot smaller than it was a decade ago.

If nothing else, it’s a useful reminder that the North Koreans aren’t just fucking around.  We already know what they’re capable of, morally speaking.  Faster, please.

The Death of an Alliance, Part 29: ‘Kick Them Out!’

A hat tip to an influential official in the U.S. government, who saw this post at usinkorea and e-mailed me this morning to say, “Josh: These continuing developments in South Korea worry people in Washington.” Thanks also to Antti, whom I presume is the Finnish blogger who helped with the translation:

Japanese bastards were expelled, and American bastards came in.

We thought it was liberation, but they were all same bastards.

Kick them out! Kick them out! USFK! Kick them out!

This is our land! USFK! Kick them out!

All those unspeakable atrocities of the Yankee army

In the name of the Korean race, now they are coming to an end.

Kick them out! Kick them out! USFK!

Kick them out! This is our land! USFK! Kick them out!

Getting rid of you bastards! And moving toward unification!

Making our own destiny with our own strength.

Kick them out! Kick them out! USFK!

Kick them out! This is our land! USFK! Kick them out!

The question Americans should be asking is, “Why wait around for that?” It bears repeating that South Korea’s prosperity and democracy would almost certainly not exist without the United States military and 33,629 soldiers who died to preserve a distant nation from an indescribably bleak alternative.

Yet South Korea today is one of the most anti-American nations in the industrialized world. These lyrics (it’s a generous description to be sure, even accounting for what’s lost in translation) may represent the most extreme anti-Americanism, but there’s ample statistical evidence to show that anti-Americanism and sympathy for the North Korean regime are widespread in South Korea, particularly among the young, and for no identifiable or rational reason.

Nor does South Korea’s uniquely nationalistic anti-Americanism correlate to anti-Americanism in such places as Europe or Canada, where it’s mostly politically driven. Unfortunately, I could find no data to measure the rise of Korea’s anti-Americanism over the last decade, but its presence was palpable when I began my four-year tour of duty in Korea with the Army in 1998. To be sure, many Koreans didn’t care for President Bush’s open revulsion at North Korea’s human rights record or history of diplomatic mendacity, but the data suggest a simpler, uglier explanation for what has come over Korea. In sharp contrast to polling data from other countries that have experienced a rise in anti-Americanism since 9/11 and Iraq, 72% of Koreans with anti-American views express a general hostility to America itself, rather than attributing their hostility to President Bush or his policies, or a combination of both. All of these factors have changed Korean government policy so substantially that the two countries arguably no longer share the same self-perceived interests or values.

Hate Goes Mainstream

Today, the most repulsive forms of hate–discrimination, violence, and political exploitation–have entered Korean’s society’s mainstream through its popular culture. Before there was “Kick Them Out,” there was “Fuck’n USA;” and “Go to Pyongyang.” More recently, a Korean pop singer belted out a blood libel that accused General MacArthur of authorizing mass rapes of Korean women in Seoul (we later learned the source of this alleged historical fact was a North Korean textbook).

Most recently, the far-left Korean Teachers’ and Educational Worker’s Union produced this viciously anti-American “educational” film for the kiddies in Pusan, before President Bush’s arrival for the G-8 Summit. One sequence shows the planes striking the World Trade Center on 9/11, with “What a Wonderful World” playing in the background.

Matters in South Korea have now reached the point that Americans can’t even safely go to some sporting events in Korean cities, presuming they’re even allowed in at all (in contrast, when the North Korean team visited Taegu in 2002, North Korean “journalists” attacked peaceful protestors for human rights in the North; the South Korean government apologized . . . to North Korea, and promised to “deal strongly” with any such demonstrations in the future).

What brought us to this point? As I observed it, anti-Americanism was a strong, but politically latent, force in Korea until the summer of 2002, when my tour ended. Around the time of my own departure, that latency ended. In June of that year, a tragic vehicle accident killed two young girls and unleashed a wave of hatred, bigotry, and violence that was primarily directed at American service members, ironically the same ones who were defending the rights of the South Korean people to speak, assemble, and worship freely. Just as ironically, Korea had the developed world’s highest rate of auto accidents resulting in injury or death–a staggering 700,000 accidents each year–in 2005. Following the accident, the U.S. Army fumbled the accident’s political implications by referring an obvious accident to trial, resulting in two acquittals that were legally more than justified, but politically a gift gift to anti-American and pro-North Korean groups, which suddenly found themselves able to launch massive anti-American demonstrations in Seoul. Far-left candidate Roh Moo-Hyun and his party were swept into power, and the wave of anti-Americanism, which included numerous violent assaults on U.S. service members in Korea, almost certainly gave Roh his narrow victory.

The Army learned many lessons from the 2002 incident, but the political magnetism of anti-Americanism remains irresistable to an emotional, insecure, and deeply xenophobic society. U.S. Forces Korea thus finds that the best it can do is arrest the decay of its public image. An improvement seems too much to ask for. One fatal accident in 2005 was handled with much more skill than the 2002 incident (which might have been much less of a political incident had the Army not decided to bring the case to trial on the eve of a presidential election). work in tandem to tell expedient lies about the U.S. military–lies I can refute from my own personal experience. And in any event, Americans have no monopoly on behavior of that sort, as any past resident of Korea can confirm. Most frustrating is the way Korean media consistently refuse to report incidents such as this one, in which U.S. soldiers saved the lives of Korean accident victims.

Not that any of this matters, at least for some. No reason is really necessary for those so are far beyond the point of reasoning that they insist on handing control of their prosperous democracy to North Korea, which has arguably created the world’s least efficient and most repressive system of government.

The Korean Government’s Game

South Korea’s leftist government, fearful of alienating its own anti-American base and willing to take political advantage of that base’s anti-American message, says nothing to contradict even the vilest of the lies, or to stop the most offensive bigotry (pictures). In one case, a senior ruling party lawmaker praised the “deep ethnic purity” of violent anti-American protestors who tried to tear down a statue of General MacArthur at Incheon on September 11th. Just last week, the same government conveniently forgot to send the police to the site where left-wing union thugs blocked the U.S. Ambassador was going to talk to local media about human rights in North Korea.

This makes the current alliance politically unsustainable in Korea, as it will eventually become in America. The Korean government, worried about the possibility of paying the cost of its own defense after a sudden U.S. departure, is starting to worry about the backlash in the United States, and recently hired a public relations firm to try to convince the American people that Koreans don’t hate America. But they’re not sufficiently not worried to use the persuasive power of office to persuade the Korean people not to hate America, or the soldiers Americans love.

An Epilogue

Recently, I approached a senior Korean diplomat in a Washington meeting and politely told him exactly what I, as one who had spent four years helping to defend his country, thought of American soldiers receiving the Jim Crow treatment. I explained what it would do to U.S.-Korean relations that 30,000 Americans are returning home from those circumstances every year. Trying his diplomatic best to disguise his annoyance, he said that it was a “sensitive issue” that he could do nothing about. What he can do is a matter beyond my own knowledge, but as to the sensitivity, I do not believe he knows how right he is.

There is much that the Korean government could do, if it had the will. The first step would be to repudiate anti-Americanism and stop taking political advantage of it. It could then confront its falsehoods and libels with truth, and invoke the rule of law against its violent and discriminatory manifestations. With Korea’s current government, however, this seems too much to expect.

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