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Anti-Korean Sentiment Emerges From American Intellectuals

Anti-Korean Sentiment Emerges From American Intellectuals

Posted October. 28, 2005 07:38,   


There are signs of anti-Korean sentiment among Washington D.C. intellectuals.

Unprecedented mockery and criticism against Korea has appeared, and anti-Korean sentiment, usually seen among Republicans, is showing signs of spreading to Democrats as well. Even pro-Korean people do not deny the recent spread of anti-Korean sentiment in Washington.

On October 21, Peter Brooks, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation blatantly criticized Korea in an article printed in the Los Angeles Times. The former deputy assistant secretary of defense in the first Bush administration mentioned the controversy over the statue of Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Korea and wrote, “There is nothing worse than an ingrate. This week`s international prize for ingratitude goes—hands down—to South Korea`s anti-American crowd.”

In the latest edition of Reason, a right-centrist monthly journal for intellectuals, Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the CATO Institute, referred to the Republic of Korea as a Washington’s welfare queen. He also wrote that the U.S. Forces in Korea is “expensive for America, unpopular in Korea, and unnecessary for both countries.”

There has been a wave of criticism on Koreans’ negative sentiment toward the U.S. in just 10 days since Senator Hillary Clinton mentioned the “historical amnesia” of Koreans on October 25.

There has been criticism against former Korean governments from the U.S. before. However, this kind of strong criticism against Korea is rare. One Korea expert said, “It seems that some American intellectuals find it hard to accept the controversies over the statue and the survey results that Koreans regard America as a more dangerous country than North Korea.”

Of course, Korea still has its backers in the U.S. such as Republican Congressman Dan Burton, who sent letters to his colleagues saying that “despite the controversy, the U.S.-ROK alliance should remain as the country’s dynamic bilateral relationship.”

However, pro-Korean figures of congress and think tank members are sharing their opinions about the article by Bandow and some of them agree with Brooks saying that “although he went too far, he makes sense.”

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com