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[Editorial] There is No Future for Anti-Americanism and Anti-Koreanism

[Editorial] There is No Future for Anti-Americanism and Anti-Koreanism

Posted August. 29, 2004 22:16,   


One theory has gotten into circulation recently, claiming that one of reasons that prompted reductions in U.S. forces in Korea was news footage from the U.S.’s NBC broadcasting company showing a GI bleeding from a stone thrown by a student activist in Seoul. An infuriated Donald Rusmfeld, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, ordered, “Pull them out” after seeing that. Moon Chung-in, the chair of the Presidential Commission on the Northeast Asian Cooperation Initiative, who revealed the story two days ago, explained it as due to “our reckless and trifling mistake.” But this cannot be passed up as a trifling mistake.

Practically speaking, Rumsfeld did not decide on troop reductions solely influenced by news footage. Anti-American sentiment has crossed the line since the death of junior high school girls in an accident caused by a U.S. army armored vehicle. It is logical to hold that such anti-American currents have preconditioned Rumsfeld’s decision.

There is another example showing that the U.S.’s attitude toward Korea has changed. “Anti-Korean sentiment has spread not just to the conservative wing of the U.S. Republican Party, but also to the Democrats,” said Christopher Hill, the new U.S. ambassador to Korea, recently. A new ambassador, who would conventionally share warm words, expressed concern. This is not usual.

It is troubling. Korea-U.S. relations are a major axis in Korea’s plans for future. The deeper the emotional discord becomes between the two countries, the heavier the burden becomes on Korea’s national security and prosperity. Aren’t reductions in the USFK creating a vacuum in national security?

The government and the public should face reality. Some civil-society groups, which have stirred anti-Americanism, should refrain from irresponsible provocation. Instead of verbally repeating that there is no problem in Korea-U.S. relations, the government should show some action that will earn public trust. Given things as they are, Korea-U.S. relations may well face a real crisis.