An interesting old video of some North Korean dancers performing for tourists:
SEOUL, May 24 (Yonhap) — A U.S. history textbook for Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) has wrongly identified Silla Kingdom (57 B.C.-A.D.935) as Korea’s first national entity without mentioning the existence of Koguryo Kingdom (B.C.37-A.D.668), a South Korean civic group said Thursday.
VANK, or the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea, said the 2007 edition of the world history textbook published by Barons explains that Silla, formed approximately A.D. 500, was the first Korean nation, a close ally of Tang Dynasty.
No word yet on when VANK plans to launch spam campaigns against American textbooks that claim Confucius isn’t Korean?
The English subtitles say it was made by KBS, but the logo in the corner looks a lot like the History Channel:
“According to this viewpoint, the Sumerian tribe who established the Mesopotamiam civilization was the Korean race.“
From the Chosun Ilbo:
South Korea has for the first time in history officially decided to give cash to North Korea, in the amount of W400 million (US$1=W945). In 2000, the South Korean government secretly remitted about $500 million to Pyongyang prior to the first inter-Korean summit, but this will be the first time for Seoul to give Pyongyang money under an agreement reached in broad daylight. “We’ve decided to supply North Korea with building materials worth about W3.5 billion for the construction of a family reunion center equipped with video facilities. Among the expenses, we agreed to give Pyongyang about W400 million in cash,” a South Korean government official said Sunday. The reason, he said, is that some materials including LCD monitors needed for the video facilities are banned for export to North Korea under the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, which prohibit exports of goods containing more than 10 percent of American components or technology to states sponsoring terrorism.
So, instead of violating the export ban, they just give North Korea the money it needs to acquire the banned technology? Is that what this article is saying?
There is an interesting article today in the conservative Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo about how conservative viewpoints among South Koreans has increased since President Roh came to power in 2003:
When the Roh Moo-hyun administration came to power in 2003, most Koreans held progressive views on politics, society and the economy. But opinions have gradually swung towards the right since, and now a majority of Koreans hold views that clearly define them as conservatives.
The results of the first survey in March 2002, during the fifth year of the Kim Dae-jung presidency, was a mean value of 4.1 points, which indicates that most Koreans then held conservative views. In 2003, the first year of the Roh Moo-hyun presidency, the mean value was 1.8 points, closer to progressivism. But since then the rating has clearly moved back towards conservatism, with 1.9 points in 2004, 2.9 points in 2006 and 4.6 points this year.
Is it any suprise that several years of having a bumbling idiot of a president who identified himself as a liberal might drive people towards conservatism?
AsiaWeek, a San Francisco-based newspaper for the Asian American community, has apologized for printing an editorial called “Why I Hate Blacks” in its February 23, 2007 issue:
The editor of a weekly newspaper calling itself “The Voice of Asian America” on Wednesday apologized to community leaders and suspended a columnist who wrote a piece titled “Why I Hate Blacks.”
“At AsianWeek we take full responsibility for the mistake we made, apologize for the publication of the piece, and assure it will not happen again,” said Ted Fang, AsianWeek’s editor-at-large. “Promotion of hate speech of any kind cannot and will not be tolerated.”
He also said Kenneth Eng, 22, had been suspended.
The editorial, which can be read here, is pure crap. Here is one strange excerpt:
Contrary to media depictions, I would argue that blacks are weak-willed. They are the only race that has been enslaved for 300 years. It’s unbelievable that it took them that long to fight back.
On the other hand, we slaughtered the Russians in the Japanese-Russo War.
His historical example is quite strange. Apparently he thinks that Imperial Japan was the savior of Asians, who protected them from enslavement at the hands of whites? I’d like to see him go to Korea tell them to thank Japan for saving them from being the slaves of Russia…
Mr. Eng also generalizes about the intelligence of all black people based on his limited exposure to their race in high school:
In high school, I only remember one black student ever attending any of my honors and AP courses. And that student was caught cheating.
It’s a joke to think that AsiaWeek accidentally printed this article without realizing that its contents were racist. A mere glance at the title of the article would be enough to make any competent editor want to check its contents. Perhaps the editors at AsiaWeek assumed that none of their readership would be offended by an anti-black article?
I guess Ban Ki-Moon’s timely increase of aid to nations who ended up voting him into office as UN Secretary General didn’t have much effect on South Korea’s overall policy of not giving much foreign aid:
Korea’s aid to foreign countries ranks second to last among the 30 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). According to the “Development Cooperation Report” the organization issued on Friday, Korea’s aid to foreign countries in 2005 was $752 million. That was just 0.1 percent of Korea’s Gross National Income….This is far below the UN-recommended level of 0.7 percent of GNI and less than one-third of the average 0.33 percent of the member nations of the OECD. This shows how stingy the world’s 12th-largest economy is in helping countries in need. In the aftermath of the tsunami in South Asia in 2004, Korea announced one of the lowest aid amounts of $600,000.
Korea was itself the recipient of international aid during a time when many Koreans did not know where their next meal would come from. And it was such help that gave Korea the strength to emerge as a country with $600 billion in trade volume. At a time when we are capable of helping others, it is not a virtue to do so but our duty.
Well said, Chosun Ilbo.
I just found this English language Dokdo/Takeshima documentary on YouTube. I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, but here it is:
A few comments after watching the video:
Students asked about the issue
As the narrator describes “the level of knowledge” between Japanese and Korean students was “tremendously different.” To me, it looked like the Koreans were spitting out propaganda that had been drilled into their heads in school, while the Japanese were quite apathetic about the issue.
One guy acknowledges that Korea doesn’t have a stronger claim. The narrator then adds his personal analysis, stating that the official Japanese annexation of the islets in 1905 contradicts their earlier historical evidence regarding the islets, but he doesn’t offer any further explanation. The narrator also states that Koreans believe Japan took advantage of Korea’s weakened state in 1905 when they annexed the islets, and that Koreans have “rightfully argued” that Korea had no chance to protest the action because Japan had already taken control of the foreign affairs of Korea by treaty in 1905. He then draws the conclusion that Japan’s annexation of Korea in 1910 is a key piece of evidence in support of Japan not following proper procedure when they incorporated Takeshima in 1905. The narrators arguments don’t seem very strong..
A Japanese student says she thinks that both countries should have the right to peacefully pursue their territorial claim on the islets. The Korean students seemingly laugh off Japanese claims by stating that they should continue to own Dokdo because it is Korean, and then start singing a Dokdo propaganda song that they were taught in South Korea’s ultra-nationalist education system. The video then ends with random clips of displays of Korean nationalism. The ridiculous South Korean protestor who covered himself in bees as an act of outrage over Japan’s territorial claim is described as a performance artist. I kept waiting for some sort of conclusion to the video, but there was none. It just ended with some music and nationalist propaganda images.
I was left scratching my head and wondering what the point of the video was. The maker of the video appeared to have a pro-Korean bias, but he didn’t present any strong arguments.
A interesting music video created by a Japanese netizen that takes an anti-Japanese rap song by Korean singer G-Masta and adds English subtitles and extreme images of Korean nationalist propaganda/copying of Japanese products by Koreans:
I don’t know how accurate the images or translation of the lyrics is correct. Anyone know the translation is correct, and if this song was popular?
An interesting/bizarre articles from the Chosun Ilbo:
The Supreme Court on Tuesday sentenced to life imprisonment a serial child rapist who had earlier won a lesser sentence on claims that he suffers from so-called “Lolita Syndrome.” Supreme Court Justice Ahn Dae-hee overturned a Seoul High Court sentence of 15 years for the 39-year-old defendant identified as Lee for raping 12 schoolgirls from nine to 13 years old.
Lee pleaded for a sentence reduction in the appellate court claiming that he had developed Lolita Syndrome after being raped by his father at a young age. The appellate court had reduced his sentence to 15 years in consideration of the mental illness behind the pedophilia.
Bizarre. Even if this guy got messed up in the head because of his horrible childhood, I don’t think it’s an excuse to let him out of jail earlier…