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It’s Those Dang Ungrateful Koreans Again!

The movie Captain America will be coming to Korea soon, but it appears that the production company will drop the name “America” from the title and just call it The First Avenger.  That just doesn’t sit well with conservative commentator Dennis Prager.  In his National Review column he called this name change the final straw that “pushed [him] over the edge.”

I like townhall.com’s title the best (same article), “Ingratitude, Thy Name Is South Korea.”

Very lively comments section in both article links!

  • Q

    “The Karate Kid” turned into (the) “베스트 키드” in Korea. The damn Korean language dropped the definite article, some might complain.

    http://movie.naver.com/movie/bi/mi/basic.nhn?code=52103

  • slim

    It would suck to be lumped in with ne’er-do-well, blackguard states like Putin’s Russia.

    But Prager should be aware that LMB’s South Korea hasn’t really had any of the mindless mass eruptions that we saw so much of under DJ and Roh. (I consider the pathetic beef protests to be the last gasp of Roh partisans)

  • bumfromkorea

    I think this article would be even more of a rancid piece of hypernationalist whining if the Korean distributors did went ahead with 캡틴 아메리카, and the anti-American parts of the Korean society publicly boycott the movie because it symbolizes American Imperialism/Nationalism.

    … even though it’s about Captain America beating the shit out of the Nazis.

  • Charles Tilly

    Whether the damn things titled Captain America or the The First Avenger is oh so beside the point. The real point is is that this movie looks like crap.

  • Q

    Quick research reveals many mismatches of movie titles (Dang, I have not watched any of these movies.)

    “Bonnie and Clyde”was switched to “우리에게 내일은 없다.”
    “The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone” –> “로마의 애수”
    “Waterloo Bridge” –> “애수”
    “Legends of The Fall” –> “가을의 전설”
    “True Grit” –> “더 브레이브”
    “Another Year” –> “세상의 모든 계절”
    “Certified Copy” –> “증명서” –> “사랑을 카피하다”
    “High Fidelity” –> “사랑도 리콜이 되나요?”
    “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” –> “내 남자의 아내도 좋아”
    “The Men Stares at Goats” –> “초 (민망한) 능력자들”
    “The Kids Are All Right” –> “에브리바디 올라잇”
    “Little Miss Sunshine” –> “미스 리틀 선샤인”
    “The Other Boleyn Girl” –> “천일의 스캔들”
    “The Rebound” –> “사랑은 언제나 진행중”

  • PineForest

    bumfromkorea, how is it hypernationalist of the author to make the complaints that he does? If there were some film title that were altered to make the film more readily to Korean audiences, based on a specific word or phrase in the original title that was incomprehensible to them, that would be one thing. What reason might there be for removing ‘America’ from the title , other than a desire to pander to significant anti-Americanism among the Korean public?

    Of course I lived in Korea for a long time and have seen this anti-Americanism. It then become a perfectly legitimate question: why are American taxpayers funding the security of this nation? Why the fuck are we paying billion to support people who don’t appreciate it and want us out? It’s a simple and legitimate question and the least you can do is confront it head on.

  • Q

    Some movies did not drop “America” from the titles.

    “American Pie” –> “아메리칸 파이”

    “Once Upon A Time In America” –> “원스 어펀 어 타임 인 아메리카”

    “The American” –> “아메리칸”

    “American Gangster” –> “아메리칸 갱스터”

    Korean movie, “해운대” –> “TSUNAMI” in Japan.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    PineForest,

    Koreans pay about $694M a year to station U.S. troops. Personally, I’ve always wondered if the U.S. actually saves money to station the troops in Korea with Korean subsidies than station an equal number of troops stateside.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/apr/01/donald-trump/donald-trump-says-south-korea-doesnt-pay-us-troop-/

    Korea’s costs rise every year to a mutually agreed upon rate of inflation as per the cost sharing agreement signed with the U.S. in 2009.

    http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/130172.pdf

    However, even before 2009, South Korea has paid an annual rate to support the presence of U.S. forces in their country. I believe it started in 1991 at $150M a year.

    The Japanese pay up to 75% of the costs of stationing U.S. troops and sailors in their country and it is, on a defacto basis, considered a subsidy for the U.S. to “forward deploy” military assets to Asia rather have them stationed in some continental U.S. base.

  • cmm

    @5

    In your desperate attempt to defend the fatherland at all costs, are you intentionally missing the point or just going for a little misdirection?

  • cmm

    @9 shit, posted the same time as 7.

    @6

    why are American taxpayers funding the security of this nation? Why the fuck are we paying billion to support people who don’t appreciate it and want us out?

    What is “containment of China,” Alex? … Geopolitics for $200, please.

  • slim

    I’m sure they did some marketing tests, but isn’t a bit patronizing of Hollywood to prejudge Koreans as unable to handle such a “provocative” title? Did China get a pass?

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    As a fan of NRO, it saddens me to say that Prager’s column is one of the most fiskable Korea-related columns I’ve seen in a long time. Almost each and every point has a hole in it you can drive a truck through.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ kuiwon

    “퍼스트어벤저”? What’s that mean?

  • milton

    “Ingratitude, Thy Name Is South Korea” or “Ingratitude, Thy Name Is Privately-Owned and Operated l Movie Distribution Company”?

    If there had been a nationwide referendum in which South Koreans had voted overwhelmingly to remove the “Captain America” from the title of what looks like a pretty horrible movie, or of the South Korean government mandated that the name be dropped, or if South Koreans were protesting en masse against this movie, I might agree with Prager’s argument. But this is not a “South Korean” decision. This is a private business decision.

  • milton

    It’s also hilarious how Prager cites the infamous ten-year-old Gallup-Korea poll on South Korean attitudes towards the US. The latest Pew Global Attitudes survey showed that Korea now has one of the most favorable views of the US of any country (somewhere above 80%).

  • bibimbong

    It’s also hilarious how Prager cites the infamous ten-year-old Gallup-Korea poll on South Korean attitudes towards the US.

    i know, what a hack job at yellow journalism. if he wants to write a hit piece he get up to korean standards. who needs polls or even citations?

  • Q

    BTW, the governator will come back for a movie directed by a Korean 감독.

    Korean director Kim Ji-woon to helm feature which will mark former governor’s return to film. Arnold Schwarzenegger is ready to go back before the cameras in a modern-day Western called The Last Stand.

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/arnold-schwarzenegger-star-modern-day-209807

    Let’s see how the dang Korean movie dealers’re gonna switch the title. I’ll bet a dime on that the Korean title will be “막장 스탠드.”

    Just saying. ;)

  • Fullslab

    bibimbong # 16,
    I’m tring to find your “yellow journalism?” Are contending that there aren’t any “ingrates” in S. Korea?

  • Yu Bum Suk

    This is his last straw? Did he miss the American beef protests or the ripping up of American flags when Korea got arm-twisted into sending a contigent to Iraq? Has he heard Pucking USA?

    The decision of a marketing board – much like the one who figured out it would be a good idea to make such a stupid movie in the first place – is hardly anything to start ranting about.

  • Baek du boy

    #5 Q, maybe you are on to something. Some Korean film distributing market muppet is trying to earn his/her keep.

    I can think of many more films with revised titles.

    My main gripe is at dvd stores (around 2002/2003 don’t know if they still do this), regarding changing the title of a crap dvd to a sequel. Such as Memento 2. Or even changing pictures on the cover/back to mislead me into thinking I was renting a half decent film.

  • http://www.eslwriting.org rockon

    That US gripe about ingratitude is gettin’ lame.

    Conveniently pulled out of the hat like a wrinkled rabbit, it’s held up as the single justification for every US-ROK trade/business beef.

    Sure Korean society/trade rules/consumer attitudes may not be rational (pick your standard, btw). So what? Will anyone dare to argue that today’s US politics and economic management represent the benchmark of rationality?

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Koreans don’t live long titles, so Captain America: The First Avenger had to go. But, why The First Avenger, not Captain America? Anti-Americanism? Nah. Not even close. Chris Evans (Captain America) will star next year in The Avengers. The decision makes complete sense when you are aware of this.

  • iMe

    I know a little bit about this business of changing movie titles as well as TV shows, books, etc, and this is much ado about nothing. It’s a business decision made by a bunch of people who get paid the big bucks to sit around and contemplate these things.

    Take, for example, “Limitless” (2011) starring Bardley Cooper and Robert DeNiro. It’s an adaptation of a novel “The Dark Fields” and they shot the movie under that same title but changed it just a few weeks prior to its theatrical release in the US. But if the film ever gets released in Korea, it will be under the title “다크 필드” unless the distributors get an inkling that the film will draw more audience if they’d change the title to “See? I Told You White People Love Drugs!”

  • Q

    Some titles are products of sheer ignorance.

    “Legends of The Fall” –> “가을의 전설” Korean title was wrong b/c “The Fall” did not mean autumn in any sense. ^^

    What’s wrong with silly switches of words?:

    “The Kids Are All Right” –> “에브리바디 올라잇”
    “Little Miss Sunshine” –> “미스 리틀 선샤인”

    I do not expect too much from movie industry.

  • Keyser Soze

    WangKon

    From the previously cited politifact article concerning Donald Trump’s position on South Korea, RoK support for USFK:

    “The payments by South Korea fall into several sub-categories. Labor cost sharing, paid in cash, accounts for about 41 percent of the total. Logistics cost sharing, which is paid in kind, accounts for about 18 percent. And construction programs, which are a combination of cash and in-kind payments, account for the remaining 41 percent of the costs.”

    “Labor cost sharing” ; paying Korean KGS on-post workers. Korea gets immediate return on investment.

    “Logistics cost sharing, which is paid in kind”; not sure what this entails, but probably an indirect return on Korean investment here.

    What I am pretty sure of is that Korea has not subsidized USFK electricity since 1998, when Kim Dae Jung took office. The US taxpayer probably picks up the bill for water and trash collection, too.

    “And construction programs”. Who ultimately occupies the properties after USFK leaves (barring the usual environmental issues)? Well, USFK can’t very well pack up the buildings, tarmac and golf courses (USFK mission #1) so Korea gets delayed return on investment.

    So, Korea it would appear that Korea is willing to support USFK mainly as far as they perceive a near or relatively return on their money.

    Which sort of makes the Trumpster right.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Keyser,

    First of all, I do believe that Korea should pay more, along the lines of what the Japanese pay (for which I believe they currently do not). However, what do you mean by immediate, delayed and indirect “return on Korean investment”?

  • Keyser Soze

    immediate return: Koreans getting a paycheck to work for USFK

    delayed return: Koreans not seeing return on infrastructure investment until USFK property reverts to Korean hands.

    indirect return: Korean contractors profiting from providing logistical support to USFK. Admittedly, the most difficult to substantiate, but also the smallest piece of the pie.

    Anyway, to rephrase: Korea seems to focus support for USFK in areas where they hope to see gain.

  • bibimbong

    fullslab,

    I’m tring to find your “yellow journalism?” Are contending that there aren’t any “ingrates” in S. Korea?

    no, i’m saying if a hit piece was what he was after he should’ve taken a lesson from the country he finds so ungrateful: don’t use polls or citations, instead just say “it is known that _______” (say, “south korea is the most anti-american country in the free world”), then just make up some stats, add some random quotes from unnamed sources for support, and don’t forget some big color pictures. for this one, i’d suggest the mass flag-ripping at city hall during the beef protests. ;) then we’d have some really yellow journalism. this article does just a hack job of it.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Anyway, to rephrase: Korea seems to focus support for USFK in areas where they hope to see gain.

    I believe that’s exactly how the Japanese and Germans do it too… so, nothing unusual among America’s current stable of allies.

    Military bases need considerable civilian employee support staff and I don’t understand the logic of shipping a lot of civilian employees from the states to Korea, Germany or Japan. It would probably be more expensive too, and as a taxpayer, I’d have an objection to that.

    Yep. I’d imagine in many cases that home grown contractors are preferred over shipping U.S. contractors from the states to partially build and supply these bases. It would probably mean there are very little security concerns in the bases in Korea, Japan and Germany. There are economically and politically stable countries. I’d imagine in Iraq and Afghanistan, this would have to be done due to security/stability concerns, but it would be a lot more costly.

  • Railwaycharm

    @27 If Korea was not getting watchdog gains out of the USFK presence, they would be bleating. As for the land, that they have not owned since the the Japanese colonized them, yes they want that now. Wanting and having the cheddar to move the facilities south are two very separate things. As for the Captain Miguk thing…. at first I thought it was LDS. I don’t think it is that sinister. Change the plot around to have Admiral Shin throwing his star spangled shield from his turtle boat at the nasty Japanese, not Nazi’s, now you got some nationalism in spades!

  • DLBarch

    Re-title the damn movie whatever you need to to satisfy local pathologies…I, for one, couldn’t care less.

    Hollywood is the great equalizer in America’s international trade. If the local natives want to be f*ckin’ ingrates, let them be f*ckin’ ingrates.

    Of course, if the whole Korean ssagaji thang really rankles the NRO crowd, then the U.S. can always decide to go pack up and go home, and should. Let rich countries like Korea and Japan provide for their own defense, and stop treating the Americans as (poorly) paid mercenaries.

    DLB

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    DLB,

    I, for one, would like our allies to pay (and pay more) so we can have an extra mechanized infantry division and marine infantry division forward deployed without incurring undue (or any) costs ourselves.

    Two (of the three) combat brigades of the 2nd ID trained in Korea before they were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Then they got rotated back to Korea.

    Having allies pay more so we can pay less and have more is not making mercenaries out of our service members. It’s being smart about maintaining combat readiness and deterrence in a dangerous and unpredictable world.

  • PineForest

    Thanks for all the hot air, folks, but doesn’t anyone want to venture a guess as to how much the US pays? That was , after all, the main point of the article. We pay and pay.. but how much.

    US saves money by having troops forward deployed and partially paid for by Korea? I don’ t buy it. The US army could be shrunk if it weren’t for the perceived need to contain China, contain N Korea, avoid a EA arms race, whichever bait you want to bite.

    It’s ok that Korea only pays in areas where it hopes to get a return someday, because that’s what other allies do? So how many wrongs do we add up to equal a right?

    The whole thing stinks.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    PineForest,

    I honestly don’t know if the money/subsidies that Korea and Japan gives the U.S. military covers the costs of maintaining these units. Theoretically, what Japan contributes covers 75% of the cost. Thus, I wouldn’t be surprised if it covered a sizable chunk of the maintenance costs.

    Should we just reduce the size of the U.S. military? I think we should eventually. However, if we did at this time, where would these men and women find jobs? Today’s U.S. unemployment is over 9%. Reducing the size of the military right this minute may not be the best thing for our country’s economy at this time. Thus, any benefits you want to see in government expenditure reductions you’ll see a corresponding loss to tax revenue. It would be like a major corporation laying off tens of thousands of people.

    We should, most definitely, keep our 7th fleet bases in Japan. We need uninterrupted open sea lanes from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Unless you don’t mind any power that be getting frisky and interrupting our supply of oil from the Middle East with minimal military force. Many Americans don’t like spending money on the military, but I’m sure they wouldn’t like $10/gallon gas either.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    It’s ok that Korea only pays in areas where it hopes to get a return someday, because that’s what other allies do? So how many wrongs do we add up to equal a right?

    When Korea negotiates with the U.S. government, yes, they do want what’s customary with agreements with other U.S. allies with large military bases. I’m not sure what’s wrong with this. Are you saying that Korea should get treated differently than American’s other allies? Now, whether or not the U.S. gets a better deal from Germany or Japan is a different matter and I’m not sure what the answer is. Any ways, one thing I will say is that for much of 20th and 21st century history Germany and Japan were richer than Korea. Hell, both these countries are still richer than Korea. If Germany and Japan were paying the U.S. more for a longer period of time for the forces deployed, I’d imagine that is the main reason why.

  • 8675309

    wk936, #32:

    Two (of the three) combat brigades of the 2nd ID trained in Korea before they were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Then they got rotated back to Korea.

    Wrong. Only the 2nd BCT of the 2nd ID deployed from Korea to Iraq (in August, 2004) leaving the 1st BCT (Heavy) known as “Iron Horse” in place in Korea where it has been since the First Cav in Korea was reflagged as the Second ID back in 1965, which makes 1st BCT the only forward-deployed maneuver brigade of the 2nd ID. The other three combat brigades of the 2nd ID — 2nd, 3rd and 4th Stryker BCTs –are all home-based at Ft. Lewis/JBLM, WA at the moment. (Back in my day, we just called it “Lewis” — not this Joint Base Lewis-McChord crap.)
    wk936, #32:

    ” Then they got rotated back to Korea.”

    Wrong again. upon completing its tour in Iraq in July, 2005, the 2nd ID’s 2nd BCT — which included elements of the 1-503rd Inf. (Air Assault), 1-506 Inf. (Air Assault); 1-9 Inf. (Mech.); 2-17 FA; and elements from 2-72 Armor; along with a host of other support units — did not return to Korea as had been originally planned and where they had been since the 70s and 80s, but instead was brought back to Ft. Carson, CO where the entire 2nd BCT was reorganized, with its airmobile assets (1-503 & 1-506) transferred to other units (173rd Airborne BCT in Vincenza, Italy and the 101st Airborne Div. at Ft. Campbell, KY respectively.)

    The remaining units consolidated on 1-9 Inf. where the 2nd BCT went through one more OIF deployment back to Iraq in 2008, whereupon the entire 2nd BCT was absorbed by the 4th BCT of 4th ID — one of the tenant units of Ft. Carson — upon its return to Carson in 2008-09. To wit:

    “Upon completion of its year-long deployment to Iraq, 1-503 did not return to Korea, but instead relocated to Fort Carson, Colorado, with the rest of the brigade. It was redesignated on 1 October 2005 as the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, inactivated on 15 November 2005, relieved from assignment to the 2nd Infantry Division, and assigned on 15 June 2006 to the 173rd Airborne Brigade when the existing 1-508th Inf was reflagged. “

    wk936,#32:

    “Having allies pay more so we can pay less and have more is not making mercenaries out of our service members. It’s being smart about maintaining combat readiness and deterrence in a dangerous and unpredictable world.”

    I agree to the extent that maintaining equitable defense burden sharing with our allies around the world is just as important to our national interests as maintaining a credible deterrence is, particularly in Korea where little has changed. Likewise, it can be expected that our allies — especially the ROK — will try to minimize their share of their sharing of the defense burden in the same way the U.S. is and has been doing as can be noted here.

  • Arghaeri

    Since I pay my taxes to korea, I am very happy for the US to pay as much as possible.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Those of you who commented after my last are aware that the decision to release the movie as The First Avenger was made in order to better sell the Avengers movie that will be released next year…and yet you’re still hung up on how much South Korea pays for the USFK? Cognitive disconnect, much?

  • slim

    ” the decision to release the movie as The First Avenger was made in order to better sell the Avengers movie that will be released next year”

    If that were the case, they would change the name in every market, no?

  • bibimbong

    agree with slim, doesn’t it come back to the question why striking the name “captain america” with its obvious US military connotations makes sense in markets like russia, ukraine, and south korea? the answer seems to be in order to make the film have more appeal strike terms that are unappealing. languagewise the words “captain america” should be be pretty marketable since its english that most koreans would recognize and understand. problem is what they’re understanding is something unappealing, so “first avenger” makes sense. another thing to look at it the poster ads for the films, i mean there’s no way this one’s gonna fly in korea:
    http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/06/24/new-captain-america-poster-chris%20evans/

  • 8675309

    wk936, #32:

    “I, for one, would like our allies to pay (and pay more) so we can have an extra mechanized infantry division and marine infantry division forward deployed without incurring undue (or any) costs ourselves.”

    The likelihood of this happening (stationing extra divisions overseas) is next to nil in the near future. As far as the Marines go, they have never needed forward-deployed assets or permanently based units stationed abroad in order to fulfill their mission requirements as a matter of doctrine, which is why the only Marines you’re likely to see stationed overseas are Embassy Guards. Anyways, you won’t get a Marine division to garrison themselves overseas permanently namely due to the fact that: 1) The USMC only has three active-duty divisions to begin with — all of which are based in the U.S. — with a fourth division in reserve; 2) The USMC is already configured into agile and responsive MEUs and in conjunction with the Navy, ESGs, which makes them one of the most rapidly deployable forces in our deterrent arsenal.

    Another reason why we won’t see any new Army divisions — or rather BCTs — posted abroad is due to the sheer costs associated with maintaining a peacetime garrison, or a large ground-based deterrent force overseas. It’s not only that the costs are prohibitive, but the very idea of posting another combat unit, even on allied soil, is politically undoable — particularly with sensitive host countries like Korea.

    It is also unnecessary, as current Army doctrine since OIF started in 2003 is all about going “modular” and “expeditionary”– just like the Marines — i.e., deploying from the U.S. rapidly deployable, fully sustainable, self-supporting maneuver units, a.k.a. “Brigade Combat Teams” (BCTs), that can take advantage of Army Pre-positioned Stocks (APS) already based overseas with any heavy-lift requirements (for armor, mechanized units, etc.), met by using a fleet of APS-3 vessels — essentially Army cargo ships with roll-on, roll-off capability like the 15 LMSRs (Large Medium Speed Roll-on/Roll-off ships currently offshored worldwide in places like Diego Garcia.

    In any future contingency requiring the U.S. to bolster its presence overseas, or in Korea for that matter, the most likely chain of events will be as follows:
    1) CONUS units notified for emergency overseas deployment from anywhere from 8-72 hours;
    2) Units POM-processed (Prepare for Overseas Movement), shots, records updated, administrative issues dealt with, personnel cleared to deploy with unit;
    3) Deployable personnel board Tower Airline, or other charter flights for deployment overseas;
    4) Personnel greeted at a reception station in theater for orderly re-deployment and/or marrying up with equipment in Army Pre-positioned Stock depots in theater, or with equipment offloaded from AST ships;
    5) Personnel and equipment proceed to railhead or areas of operation for further orders.

    I’m currently reading the Korean-war memoir, “The Battle for Pusan” by former U.S. Army platoon leader, Addison Terry, who fought with the 2-27th Infantry “Wolfhound” regiment during “The Battle of the Pusan Perimeter.”

    Of interesting note was the initial chaos he described when his regiment — the first unit of the 25th Infantry Division to land in Korea from occupation duty in Japan — hit the Port of Busan only to be greeted by a sea of chaos as men and materiel being offloaded haphazardly from large Navy cargo ships ill-equipped to handle rapid unloading of vehicles and army equipment from deep within its holds.

    Terry also described a state of total confusion and disorganization when his men married up with their equipment, and all the mix-ups and SNAFUs that followed as they gradually made their way from the port to the railhead — where they were greeted with even more chaos — as they attempted to load their vehicles and heavy equipment onto flatbeds, and get their men on the right trains, in order to take them up to the front where the Battle of the Pusan Perimeter was starting.

    According to Terry, it was basically a clusterfuck from start to finish, helped not in the least by the language barrier and culture clash they encountered when dealing with Korean civilian laborers and dockworkers.

    Under the Army’s Pre-positioned Stock strategy though, those chaotic scenes from June-July 1950 are supposed to be a footnote consigned to history, replaced with scenes like this for any future contingencies requiring rapid deployment on the Peninsula.

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    I honestly don’t know if the money/subsidies that Korea and Japan gives the U.S. military covers the costs of maintaining these units.

    I’ll say you don’t know. It doesn’t come close. There are currently about 28,500 US troops in Korea. Do the math: US$694 million ÷ 28,500 = US$24,350 per head. That barely covers the wages for a Spec 4 in the Army, and certainly doesn’t come close to paying the operational, maintenance, and procurement expenses associated with that troop strength.

    Between what’s stationed here, and the supporting forces elsewhere, the defense of Korea ties up approximately 1/10 of America’s total forces. Does US$694 million cover that? Give us a break.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Relax Esq. Carr. Why is it that some people here can’t help but sound like they are talking through a blow horn all the time?

    My original point is that I think it’s likely that the ROK’s contribution defrays the cost of maintaining an active mechanized infantry brigade, a combat aviation brigade, several wings of airforce planes and supporting military personnel (which amounts to, as you say, about 28k people in uniform) so as to make it cheaper to station them in Korea than an equivalent number of troops in the U.S. I don’t believe I said that I think $694M pays for the WHOLE cost of running, equipping and maintaining the aforementioned military forces. Hell, I know $694M couldn’t possibly do that. So, the real savings here may not be in stationing troops in Korea, it may be in just demobilizing the aforementioned forces. However, demobilizing that many people and putting them into the civilian world probably has it’s own inherent problems, as I had mentioned previously.

    Also, I don’t think that 28k men in uniform is 10% of America’s armed forces (or even just the Army for that matter). Isn’t the size of the active (non-reserve) U.S. Army alone (not counting other branches of the military) nearly 600k? How is 28k 10% of 600k (and remember, not all of the 28k is U.S. Army)? Can you please explain YOUR math?

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    As far as the Marines go, they have never needed forward-deployed assets or permanently based units stationed abroad in order to fulfill their mission requirements as a matter of doctrine, which is why the only Marines you’re likely to see stationed overseas are Embassy Guards. Anyways, you won’t get a Marine division to garrison themselves overseas permanently namely due to the fact that: 1) The USMC only has three active-duty divisions to begin with — all of which are based in the U.S. — with a fourth division in reserve…

    Shh… Don’t tell the III MEF in Okinawa, where the Marines have been ensconced continuously for 66 years. And don’t tell ‘em III MEF is a “division”, ’cause a Marine Expeditionary Force is much more than that.

    Those Marines in Okinawa, by the way, are part of the US commitment to the defense of Korea. Korea doesn’t chip in a dime for ‘em, yet they are definitely scheduled to scramble to the peninsula in the event of trouble.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Brendon,

    Japan pays for them (~75%).

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    Um, yeah.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii

    let’s keep in mind korea has repaid it’s debt to the us with 3k korean troops dead in vietnam. bill paid in full. as for the us paying for korea’s defense, they a sucka bone every minute, now, ain’t there?

  • 8675309

    #44:

    Shh… Don’t tell the III MEF in Okinawa, where the Marines have been ensconced continuously for 66 years. And don’t tell ‘em III MEF is a “division”, ’cause a Marine Expeditionary Force is much more than that.

    Excellent point Carr — I stand corrected. (I knew there was a 3rd MARDIV based somewhere; I just never thought Okinawa had enough room for one. Now I understand why the Okinawans are so pissed off.)

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    let’s keep in mind korea has repaid it’s debt to the us with 3k korean troops dead in vietnam. bill paid in full.

    US troops dead in Korea – 53,686

    So using Pow Pow’s figures and logic, Korea is still 50,686 short.

    Step up there, PowPow!

  • cmm

    let’s keep in mind korea has repaid it’s debt to the us with 3k korean troops dead in vietnam. bill paid in full.

    Were these troops not highly compensated by the USA, essentially making them mercs?

    Also, don’t forget the other concessions, for example the building of KIST (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korea_Institute_of_Science_and_Technology) by the US engineers, which is a largely responsible for the development of Korea’s technological prowess.

    I think I’ve brought this up about 3 times here now over the years.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Were these troops not highly compensated by the USA, essentially making them mercs?

    No. Their compensation was scheduled on the US forces pay scale, but payment actually was made to ROKGOV, which pocketed most of the differecpnce between US and ROK pay.

    Uncle Sam also footed the entire cost of equiping these men and supplying their units with all unit weapons and equipment. In addition, the US paid for the modernization of the kit of the entire rest of ROK forces on-pen.

    And all that represents just the US underwriting of the spear and its pointy end. As you note, Uncle Sucker also underwrote, directly or indirectly, the entire ROK economy, including the education sector.

  • Wedge

    It’s great to learn new things on Marmot, such as no Marines are stationed on non-American soil (well, to be fair, Okinawa was American soil until 1972, and Nixon shouldn’t have returned it).

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    8675309,

    It gives you some insight as to how the Japanese feel about the Okinawans.

    Sperwer and Pawi,

    Wiki has ROK casualties in Vietnam at:

    - 5,099 KIA
    - 11,232 WIA
    - 16,331 total

    Wiki has U.S. casualties in the Korean War at:

    - 36,516 KIA (including 2,830 non-combat deaths)
    - 92,134 WIA
    - 128,650 total

    Personally speaking, I like comparing real rather than nominal rates to get an accurate picture of comparative loses (and gains), especially when trying to determine something like comparative contribution. As such, comparative rates in population should be considered. Since the U.S. population is roughly 6x the size of South Korea’s, casualties rates should be adjusted accordingly, if we are to compare how many deaths and maiming there are, it should be relative to population sizes. One death in a population of 100 is, of course, tragic, but one death in a population of 10 is a bit more tragic.

    For comparative purposes, 5,099 deaths in a population the size of Korea’s would be comparable to roughly 30,584 deaths in the U.S.

  • bumfromkorea

    But the real takeaway message we should get from this is…

    What the fuck? Why are you guys having a piss contest on who had more soldiers killed in each other’s wars?

  • Charles Tilly

    …well, to be fair, Okinawa was American soil until 1972, and Nixon shouldn’t have returned it…

    Here.

  • ecw

    For comparative purposes, 5,099 deaths in a population the size of Korea’s would be comparable to roughly 30,584 deaths in the U.S.

    In 1970, the US population was around 6.66170531X the size of South Korea’s*.

    So the 5,099 deaths would be comparable to 33,968 US deaths, which is close to the 36,516 Korean War US deaths figure and almost exactly the same if you subtract the 2,830 non-combat deaths.

    *Population data from here: http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/unpp/panel_population.htm

  • cm

    This write up scoffs at the NY Times charges that it was anti-Americanism that lead to changing of the name to “First Avenger”, instead of “Captain America”.

    http://news.donga.com/O2/sportsdonga_js/3/20/20110728/39147861/1

    It basically says nobody would have cared in Korea if the title was “Captain America’, and that the Paramount Pictures went overboard with sensitivity issues.