Monday, September 28, 2009
While Western countries with their individualistic and, from a Confucian perspective, self-centered ways of life provide important images of "otherness" for South Koreans, the principal source of such images for many years has been Japan. Attitudes toward Japan as an "other" are complex. On the most basic level, there is hostility fed by memories of invasion and colonial oppression, present-day economic frictions, and the Japanese government's inability or unwillingness to do anything about discriminatory treatment of the large Korean minority in Japan. The two countries have a long history of hostility. Admiral Yi Sun-sin, whose armor-plated boats eventually defeated the Japanese navy's damaging attacks in the 1590s, was South Korea's most revered national hero ("Korea and Japan").
The Origins of the Korean War, Chapter 1 (Class and State in Colonial Korea)
Saturday, September 26, 2009
"Next year will be the year when we will put in order what had happened in the past 100 years. We need to work on building a new 100 years of Japan-South Korea relations," Okada said.
The Japanese government has yet to respond to South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's invitation to Japanese Emperor Akihito, the foreign minister said.
"We have not any decision as of yet," he said. "It should be carefully considered, as the emperor's visit to South Korea should be politically neutral"("No bilateral talks with N. Korea without nuclear solution: Japanese FM" : Yonhap News).
"The new Japanese government has the courage to face up to history.'' These words ― uttered by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama during a summit with President Lee Myung-bak Wednesday ― were what all Asian neighbors have long wanted to hear from Japan (New Dawn in Asia : Korea Times).
And, most importantly, and not just with respect to unification, but I strongly feel that it is about time that Koreans should have the confidence to accept that it is ultimately the responsibility of Koreans to see what is happening to other Koreans in North Korea and to do something about it(rather than debating what the definition of Koreans means today or depending largely on Japanese media for news on North Korea).
While the words of Korean President Lee Myung Bak have taken a rather bellicose theme lately, don't let those words fool you. The administration's policy still reflects a country in denial still operating under the banner of a Don't Let North Korea Fail At All Costs Policy. The Yonhap article writes
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak earlier this week proposed a package deal in which the five other parties would provide the North with security guarantees, massive economic aid and other incentives in return for complete denuclearization, necessitating no further negotiations.
I fail to see how a Great People can let half her People live under constant torture and come up with all sorts of excuses and, yet, still claim to be Great. And, no, I don't believe I know what the South Korean government should do (nor do I believe that there is an easy way towards Unification), but what I do believe would be a tangible, first step is to accept that what is currently the state of things in Korea is unnatural, not normal, and that pleading either ignorance or apathy is immoral. Accepting that Koreans are ultimately responsible for themselves should be a given for a Great People.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
But, what is sure is that, I have never seen these many students enrolled and the class has actually been over enrolled to make sure that there will be enough room or as much space as available (That is the class is listed as being able to fit 64, but we can enroll up to 10% over this limit). And, I'm very excited and a bit nervous moving into this semester. So, from this point on, if you are on the waitlist and would like to see if you will get in, then check again Friday around 3pm. A final, manual adjustment will be made by the department then, where all those on the waiting list will be moved in -- provided that space exists. After Friday (the drop deadline), the waiting list will be moved back to an automatic adjustment process.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Though here, and it may come off as a surprise, but according to I believe the 2000 U.S. Census Data, Korean-Americans are actually the poorest income "group" among Asian-Americans.
This report provides a portrait of the Asian population in the United States and discusses the eleven largest detailed Asian groups at the national level, for example: Asian Indian, Cambodian, and Japanese.1 It is part of the Census 2000 Special Reports series that presents several demographic, social, and economic characteristics collected from Census 2000. The Asian population is not homogeneous. It includes many groups who differ in language, culture, and length of residence in the United States. Some Asian groups, such as the Chinese and Japanese, have been represented in the United States for several generations. Other groups, such as the Hmong, Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians, tend to be comparatively recent immigrants.
Of the total United States population, 11.9 million people, or 4.2 percent, reported they were Asian. This number included 10.2 million people, or 3.6 percent, who reported only Asian and 1.7 million people, or 0.6 percent, who reported Asian and at least one other race. Table 1 shows the number of people reporting a single race from among the detailed Asian groups and a tally of the number of times the group was reported
Sunday, September 20, 2009
- As table 1 shows on page 6, Koreans have not really lived in Manchuria for centuries.
Second, I know that Bruce Cumings devotes an entire chapter in Korea's Place in the Sun to argue against the labelling of Korean-Americans as a model minority group and trying to defend the diversity of Korean-Americans as a "group."
Though here, and it may come off as a surprise, but according to I believe the 2000 U.S. Census Data, Korean-Americans are actually the poorest income "group" among Asian-Americans. Of course, it's According to data from the U.S. Census bureau, we have that Korean-Americans are one of the poorer minority groups with an income below that of not only other Asian-American groups, but also of the average American household. 4:28 a.m4:51a.m. Sunday Morning here, and I'd rather not try to look it up now, but I remember seeing it from the U.S. Census Bureau website itself somewhere, sometime ago.
But, what's interesting is to see the parallels between what this paper finds and how it stacks up to how ethnic Koreans are perceived or how Koreans are expected to be in the United States. Considering that China too is a very diverse, multiethnic country and that, at least on paper, the Chinese have a similar definition of identity as that of the United States, I'd like to argue that it can be shown that the expectations or beliefs that Americans may hold towards Korean-Americans can indeed be validated. We can show by seeing if these same expectations can be confirmed from data found among ethnic Koreans living in China (Joseon-jok, 조선족). Hence, we have that:
In terms of achievement in standardized tests and percentages of high school and college graduates, the Koreans not only do better than any other minority group in China, they also outperform the Hans, the majority group in China. For example, 175.3 Koreans completed four years of college per 10,000 Koreans six years old and over, compared to 72.9 for the total Chinese population and 31.6 for all minorities (C. Lee, 1986)
Now, I couldn't get the primary source for this data, but based on what is said here, it wouldn't be to hard to say that Koreans as a people very much value education (I can also recall reading that another source puts South Korea as being the largest source nation of foreign students in both China and the United States). Recall that South Korea is half a country of less than fifty million. I'd also argue that by extension that this also quantifies the argument that Koreans have been most influenced by neo-Confucian values and institutions as well as a number of other conclusions. But, I'll leave that for either a future posting and/or to the reader..
With respect to why I changed the name of the title: The term model minority group is just one interpretation and not necessarily one I am in favor of. Though what I am saying is that it if can be argued a model minority group is defined by a certain set of desirable characteristics and these characteristics can then be found to describe a certain minority, then it could also be argued that this group constitutes a model minority group. Nonetheless, I feel I am treading on thin ice here and I feel the title takes away from what I'm trying to say here so that's the reason why I changed the title from "A model minority group." Anyways, I wrote the exact reasoning here.
Pyong, Gap Min. "A Comparison of the Korean Minorities in China and Japan." International Migration Review 26.1 (1992): 4-21.
Also, a draft copy of this week's presentation has also been uploaded.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The waiting list will now "be processed automatically each weekend during Tele-BEARS Phases I and II and nightly during the Adjustment Period." However, if necessary, I will visit Mr. Fong again before the add/drop deadline, and see if he can just raise the enrollment limit to the limits physical size of the classroom, so enrollment issues can and will just take care of themselves. Regarding the phyiscal size of the classroom, it can accomodate sixty-five to seventy students, and we as facilitators have made the conscious decision to take on that many students (of course with the sincere belief that realistically this class will not fill up). But, anyways, as more people enrolled, the limit of the class size has expanded and will continue to expand, if necessary. Moreover, the ratio of freshmen/sophomores to juniors/seniors can and will be adjusted.
I do understand that the add/drop deadline is just a week away, but I don't seriously think that there will be anybody that wants to take this course that won't be able to since (1) there are 48 enrolled with 1 on the waiting list while the physical size of the classroom stands at 65-70. (2) As I jested in class and earlier on this blog, this is a DeCal about Korea and not Japan or China, so I don't expect that the class will fill up. Of course, people have been been struck by lightning before, but anyways, I don't see why there won't be space. As to try and answer the naturaly question of why they don't just list the class with its real limits is beyond me; I would think it would eliminate excessive phone calls/visits/e-mails. Anyways...
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I understand that programs, such as DeCal's, are now being offered or tested at other UC campuses. I am going to make all my Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation files available (Not to mention audio podcasts, a full curriculum, and reading list all also available). I am doing this with the hope that similar courses can be offered at other universities. Provided that (1) due credit is given (2) Bruce Cumings book, Korea's Place in the Sun is read. Please contact me.
Attendance: I have received a couple e-mails already asking if it is okay to have missed the first lecture and, while attendance is 40% of the course grade as outlined in the syllabus, in the presentation today, I did talk about how hard it actually is to fail the course. It is up to you to be able to come up with some combination of numbers to hit the magic 70% to pass the course. So, space for the moment will not be what will prevent you from enrolling in this course. You will need to talk to Amanda about the exact details of this either in person or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, but if you are on the waitlist, don't worry we still have about twenty seats left.
"Bruce Cumings' research and teaching focus on modern Korean history, 20th century international history, U.S.-East Asian relations, East Asian political economy,and American foreign relations" (Department of History, University of Chicago).
Recommended Assignment: Please e-mail Prof. Bruce Cumings and see if he could make it to Berkeley. I mentioned in class today that I e-mailed him earlier this summer, asking him to see if he could come guest lecture at Berkeley, but his response was that "he will be busy this semester... and next semester." Perhaps sixty students asking him to come to Berkeley might change his mind. His e-mail address as listed on his webpage is here or email@example.com.
"My name is John Yeun, currently a senior studying Business Administration. I'm a Korean American who was born and raised in Southern California (Cerritos, Brea). I'll be here to help out with the DeCal while also learning more about Korea's history and modern day issues myself." (John Yeun)
"My name is Amanda Lee. I am a second year, intended Political Science and Economics major. I was born in Pennsylvania but I was raised in Pico Rivera/ Downey in Southern California. This is my first time teaching this Decal but I took this Decal for two semesters last year so I am familiar with this topic and area of study" (Amanda Lee).
"Born and raised in Southern California. Born in Northridge and raised in La Crescenta, near Glendale. Went to Korea from 2001 to 2005. Economics and Applied Mathematics Double Major" (Joseph Chang).
Thus the extraordinary occurrences of the past two years in Russia, that vast upheaval of Society, which has overturned what seemed most stable—religion, the basis of property, the ownership of land, as well as forms of government and the hierarchy of classes—may owe more to the deep influences of expanding numbers than to Lenin or to Nicholas; and the disruptive powers of excessive national fecundity may have played a greater part in bursting the bonds of convention than either the power of ideas or the errors of autocracy (of The Economic Consequences of the Peace by John Maynard Keynes).
Also, it has been pointed out that Mongolia is a state that does not enjoy economic development, which is geographically positioned in Northeast Asia (roughly). However, I would like to say that Mongolia was and has never been a state with Confucian institutions and I believe it is either Henry Kissinger in Diplomacy or Paul Kennedy in the Rise and Fall of Great Powers, who mentions that it is precisely those civilizations that adopted certain parts of Chinese civilization that were the ones that survived intact and independent. I would argue that Mongolia is not and has not been a state with Confucian institutions.
This is another installment in this natural order argument. Perhaps, it could become part of a lengthy paper one day... Earlier I wrote:
Monday, September 14, 2009
George W. pulled Bandar aside. "Bandar, I guess you're the best asshole who
knows about the world. Explain to me one thing." "Governor, what is it?" "Why
should I care about North Korea?" Bandar said he didn't really know. It was one
of the few countries that he did not work on for King Fahd. "I get these
briefings on all parts of the world," Bush said, "and everybody is talking to me
about North Korea." "I'll tell you what, Governor," Bandar said. "One reason
should make you care about North Korea." "All right, smart alek," Bush said,
"tell me." "The 38,000 American troops right on the border." ..."If nothing else
counts, this counts. One shot across the border and you lose half these people
immediately. You lose 15,000 Americans in a chemical or biological or even
regular attack. The United State of America is at war instantly." "Hmmm," Bush
said. "I wish those assholes would put things just point-blank to me. I get half
a book telling me about the history of North Korea." "Now I tell you another
answer to that. You don't want to care about North Korea anymore?" Bandar asked.
The Saudis wanted America to focus on the Middle East and not get drawn into a
conflict in East Asia. "I didn't say that," Bush replied. "But if you don't, you
withdrawl those troops back. Then it becomes a local conflict. Then you have the
whole time to decide, 'Should I get involved? Not involved?' Etc." At that
moment, Colin Powell approached. "Colin," Bush said, "come here. Bandar and I
were shooting the bull, just two fighter pilots shooting the bull." He didn't
mention the topic. "Mr. Governor," Bandar said, "General Powell is almost a
fighter pilot. He can shoot the bull almost as good as us." (I obtained this excerpt directly from this blog).
If the U.S. probably had a very public debate about fighting another Korean War, then I doubt U.S. public opinion would support it at all (meaning if another war did break out then I'd think another Republican would get elected to office, probably not too unlike that of, let's say, another President Eisenhower). Why else would both Republican and Democratic administrations --except for the first Clinton administration, oddly enough -- be so willing to accomodate North Korea? (George W. Bush's first administration doesn't count. During his first administration, there really was no U.S. policy towards North Korea -- I'd suggest reading "The Long Road To Pyongyang" (Foreign Affairs Nov/Dec 2007).
"But a look back at the history of the Bush administration's approach to North Korea highlights a somewhat different aspect of the White House's foreign policy. The portrait that emerges is not one of a confrontational, militaristic administration; what instead becomes apparent is an image of a White House with extremely poor conceptual strategies and decision-making processes" ("The Long Road to Pyongyang" : Foreign Affairs)
At any rate, if North Korea launched an invasion, then overnight the U.S. would have about twenty thousand dead Americans. What happened on 9/11 will pale in comparison to the loss of life if such an event were to truly occur. It is in this light that the U.S. should care. Basically, North Korea holds U.S. foreign policy hostage; that is North Korea can basically force the U.S. to be at war overnight.
If twenty thousand Americans died overnight, there'd be no way that the U.S. would let it just pass by (and no way that the North Korean regime would survive in tact of course). But, nonetheless, aside from general and genuine concerns of North Korean proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile technology, counterfeiting U.S. dollars, abducting foreign nationals, and, of course, probably the worst human rights violations in the history of the world, this is the prime reason, why we as Americans should care.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
This is the third part in this installment:
But, a couple points seem to have come up that needs clarification though I have bolded it. The natural order of things pertains to:
#1. The natural order of things on the Korean Peninsula is to have a single Korean state. Korea has had the same borders with the same homogenous group of people since 664 A.D. even without having to resort to the most ridiculous exercise of revisionistic or nationlistic history that has become the Balhae debate. So, imagine a country that has had one ethnic group... No minorities whatsoever for 1300 years... A country where the word, our is synonymous with the word Korean and them or they are synomous with the word foreign. For example, "Woori" or "Uri," are romanized terms that mean "our," but could just as easily mean Korean. For example, "Woori Bank" could also be interpreted to mean "Our (Korean) Bank" (not to get confused with the real Bank of Korea (한국은행), that is the real Central Bank of Korea). Or, perhaps, judging by the Lone Star fiasco, you may be inclined to think it could even mean Bank for Koreans.
And, of course, another example would be "our language" is often used to mean the "Korean Language" when speaking to other Koreans, of course. Though, I wonder what one Indonesian tribe may have to say about that now. Perhaps, the best possible example though and the most relevant one is that of "our (fellow) countryman" (우리 나라 사람). For example, let's say I introduce myself to somebody and they ask me if I'm Chinese. Then, I'd say, well I might say I'm American, but I might as just well say, "아니, 우리 나라 사람인데요" or equivalently, "No, I too am of our country," which if given a more liberal translation would just come off as, "No, I'm Korean."
What's my point?
My point is that Koreans have had a unified Korean state and lived in a homogenous society for so long that it is so unnatural to have two Koreas. For example, imagine a conversation that goes something like this, especially for those that are fluent in Korean, and you might come to appreciate exactly how ridiculous this division is.
South Korean (speaking in "Korean"): "Oh, hi. By chance, are you of our country (Are you Korean?)" (혹시, 우리 나라 사람이신가요?).
North Korean: "No, I'm not. I'm a Joseon person (North Korean) (아니, 조선 사람인데요)."
Could you imagine that? A definition of being Korean that excludes half of the Korean peninsula? There is a huge identity crisis going on in that part of the world right now. And, it's just downright unnatural when you look at the past 1300 years of history (well, of course, we can go back to 2333 b.c.e., but, of course, sources on that period are just not as reliable), but that's exactly what has been the case for the past sixty years. But, no one can say it.
Continuing on, in Korea either you're Korean("we") or an outsider (of course, "Chinese" would count here as well, too). If you go back far enough into Korean history, you'd actually see that Ming, yes, Ming Chinese emissaries in Korea were not allowed to even travel outside certain roads without Korean "interlopers" in not what is North Korea, but what was Joseon (a unified Korea)... Of course, it should also be noted how much Joseon admired and tried to emulate Ming China (not too different from that of North Korea emulating Stalinism or Maoism).
Anyways, take these xenophobic tendencies that have been created for over the past 1300 years (or more than 5,000 years, depending on your source) and then brutally colonize the country for thirty six years. Then, add in a devastating civil war (the Korean War) that wasn't allowed to see its natural conclusion - a war ending with there being two rival Korean states is definitely unnatural (or just look at the fact that the armistic isn't even a peace treaty, but a cease fire signed by China, North Korea, and the U.S.). That's at the heart of my argument. And, then what do you have left? A bizarre state that is North Korea today that builds dams to kill other Koreans and, of course, a South Korea left in denial. While the Sunshine policy has been discredited, what has remained consistent is the "Do Not Let North Korea Fail at All Costs Policy." It has been argued that the costs of unification are too expensive, but what I have been arguing from part I of this installment is that the costs of unification have already been paid -- during the Korean War.
Hence, I argued that Truman is as much to fault as is Stalin. I believe the Soviets thought the North Koreans to be as bizarre in a fashion not too unlike how the rest of America would find Berkeley or San Francisco to be bizarre. Thus, when Truman announced the aptly named Truman Doctrine in 1947, he should have promptly and directly told the Soviets that the U.S. viewed the Korean Peninsula to be in the vital interests of the U.S. or, if she hadn't, then not enterred the war. And, I believe here is where it gets controversial. The U.S. should not have enterred the war as she did and, if she did, then she should have made sure to get a single Korea and not half of one. For you see, the U.S. didn't liberate South Korea from Communism (at that point in time) as Communism was the ideology chosen by default since every idea, including Democracy with a market economy, had such a huge stigma against it.
What the U.S. did do was provide a market for South Korea (much, much later on), but that was not a sufficient condition for South Korean economic development, but rather just a necessary one. This then leads to the other natural order I initially argued that regardless of which government unified Korea, Korea would definitely not be the North Korea of today and over time come to see the wealth that South Korea enjoys today. But, anyways, that's for part IV it seems.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Jae-beom issued an apology Saturday when comments he made in 2005-2007 to an acquaintance in United States were revealed by fans. The singer wrote comments like ``Korea is gay. I hate Koreans. I wanna come back'' on his social networking Web site myspace, enraging fans who later commented that they were disappointed and some even felt betrayed by his posts.
The Korean-American singer at that time was an understudy at JYP Entertainment, the current agency of the seven-member group``I first came to Korea as a high school freshman. I didn't know much about Korea nor the language and the food was different,'' Jae-beom said in the public apology. ``The comments that I made were emotional expressions of discontent over my situation at that time … I sincerely apologize.''
Jae-beom debuted in 2PM in 2008, and the group has become one of hottest in Korea ("2PM Leader Jae-beom’s Past Comments Enrage Korean Fans Despite Apology" : The Korea Times)
"The Peace Dam is probably the only dam in world constructed with no reservoir"("North Korea Kills Six In South Korea with Flood" : ROKdrop ).
"North Korea built dams including the Mt. Kumgang Dam to inundate Seoul," he said, but the project was foiled by South Korea building the Peace Dam. "But North Korea believes it can decisively threaten Seoul if it opens the floodgates at times of heavy rainfall," he added. ("Was N.Korea's Dam Release a Shot Across the Bow? : Chosun Ilbo).
This is not the type of government that I
think should inwould even want to exist, let alone be the state of a unified Korean peninsula. let alone even an island.But, the point I was trying to make was, consider this article from the New York Times, though some are secondary sources, I doubt any would refute these facts; unless you really were like the spokepiece of North Korea, such as Kim Myong Chol, whose "work" frequently appears on Asia Times, such as "Rich lessons in North Korea's playbook." As for Stalin beling held responsible for the North Korean invasion, first consider U.S. failure to communicate its intentions and interests in the period leading up to the Korean War, then consider:
"We later learned from Khrushchev's memoirs that, far from initiating the attack, Stalin only slowly consented to Kim Il Sung's overconfident plan for a campaign that would be over before the Americans could react. Khrushchev's version has been reinforced by other Soviet witnesses in the years of glasnost."
But, most importantly, is the conclusion of this article written some 40 years after the Korean War broke out and nearly two decades from today:
What deserves our respectful attention is that Harry Truman's basic decision, with its human cost, especially to us and to the South Koreans, was right ("The Korean War, 40 Years Later; The Right Decision" : The New York Times).
While it may be the case that economists in yesteryear saw South Korean economic development as a miracle, in the heart of prosperous Northeast Asia, I would argue, it is in fact North Korea that seems to be the exceptional case and the miracle ("I'd blame Truman" : Breaking Down Borders: Korea).
I am sure this will be the story of Vietnam in a generation or two, but what about those of North Korea? Millions will have been and could still be suffering under this perverse communist regime that is North Korea. In this light, can it still be argued that if the Korean War is seen from a Korean perspective and not in the perspective of the cold war, was it really a success (post-1988)? I would argue no.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
But, I would have to argue that just because South Korea finds herself to be moderately wealthy, while North Korea has turned out to be a very bizarre state - though I will argue given the place (geography) and time (history) that North Korea finds herself to be in; it doesn't seem all that bizarre. But, not just the division of the peninsula, but the perverse nature of the North Korean state does actually lie in the hands of the United States. More so, I would like to say that it would be disingenious to argue that Joseph Stalin should be held any more responsible for the Korean War than Harry S. Truman.
The division of the Korean Peninsula was agreed during the Potsdam Conference. Although the Soviet Union should not have been in a war against the Japanese since they only enterred the war when Japanese defeat was all, but assured, it was not clear where and how the Korean Peninsula would be divided -- although a similar, parallel argument can be made about the U.S. invading continental europe only after German defeat was all, but assured after the Battle of Stalingrad, it was the Soviet Union, who assented, to the U.S. demand that the Soviet Union allow U.S. soldiers to land on the Korean Peninsula.
But anyways, you see, it was the Soviet Union who assented to the U.S. demand of division of the Korean peninsula. Note, that the U.S. refused the division of Japan when the Soviet Union asked if Soviet troops could land on Hokkaido. The Soviet Union, quite aware of which the more powerful country was at that time (and who also possessed nuclear weapons), assented and actually waited for the U.S. soldiers to arrive on the peninsula.
U.S. naivete not only wrongly interfered with the natural development of East Asia, but in particular with respect to Korea, the greatest tragedy was that by the U.S. interfering in what was basically a civil war, the peninsula saw all the carnage and destruction that would've played out anyways had the U.S. not interfered, but the wardid nothing to unify the nation ("Containment"). Moreover, the perverse state that North Korea finds herself to be in is a direct result of the natural order of things being prevented from occurring. Other Sinic nations experienced similar bouts of reconciliation, but with the fruits of unification.
I believe the U.S. during that period in time chose the wrong side. It was as if the U.S. in almost a John Bolton-esque fashion held so rigidly towards ideology that the nation was blind to what was really going on. The Civil Wars in the Sinic nations in East Asia were more a natural development of land reforms and a conclusion to societal fissures that had been building up for quite some time and, while Communism promised to be the "quick way" towards modernization, the U.S. belief in this communist bloc to be a monolithic one was misguided (and costly) to say the least.
Moreover, only after the U.S. signalled to Stalin that the U.S. did not care about the Korean Peninsula did Stalin give Kim Il Sung a green lightto invade the ROK armed with Soviet Tanks. Of course, the U.S. then abruptly changed her mind - or perhaps, it was just the case that President Truman who singlehandedly decided that the U.S. did care after all. As a result of this decision or perhaps indecision and miscommunication on the part of the United States, millions of Koreans and Chinese died along with many thousands of Americans.
Most importantly though, millions of Koreans would continue and still do continue to suffer in North Korea as a result of this indecision. While it may be the case that economists in yesteryear saw South Korean economic development as a miracle, in the heart of prosperous Northeast Asia, I would argue, it is in fact North Korea that seems to be the exceptional case and the miracle. Hence, I would argue that, if blame were to be assigned, then it would not be Stalin, but Truman who should be faulted.
Of course, the nation remained divided and while in 1988 with the Seoul Olympics the U.S. did ultimately enjoy the fruitful dividends to the war on the peninsula, the nation remains divided.It is in this light that I'd humbly argue that the U.S. interfered in the natural development of things. The fissures that were built up during thetimes leading upto the Japanese Colonial Period and during this periodwere never reconciliated.And, I would also think that the perverse state that is North Korea todaywould not and could not exist had it not been for the presence of a rich and prosperous South Korea. Hence, the logic behind the U.S. interferingin the natural order of things.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
And, from Wikipedia, this is a beautiful picture of the area before the fires. La Canada-Flintridge is also in the picture and is the middle-right part of the picture.