≡ Menu

Korea Times, USFK squabble

You know a disagreement is pretty ugly when journalists are dropping lines like this:

“USFK officials have acted and treated us as if they are occupation forces,” a reporter from a daily newspaper said, calling for strong action such as a layoff of officials responsible for the ban.

Now, USFK’s wrongdoings PR-wise could be embellished here, but something seems wrong when Gen. Thurman hasn’t done a single press briefing since taking over. Assuming that’s true, of course.

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • Hamilton

    “He did not even utter a word in front of the Korean press when he visited the Ministry of National Defense on April 13 with U.S. Ambassador to Korea Sung Kim upon the launch of the North’s rocket.”

    Every report I read in the papers said that the missile never entered South Korean air-space. Why would he speak on a US State Department (and PACOM) issue or area of responsiblity? He was there out of solidarity.

    ““USFK officials have acted and treated us as if they are occupation forces,” a reporter from a daily newspaper said, calling for strong action such as a layoff of officials responsible for the ban. ”

    Good luck with that, more US officials get layed off for saying too much than too little. Maybe some mentoring from GEN(R) McCrystal might loosen him up….

    “Locklear did not even offer a handshake with us last week. I don’ t think it is a good idea to boycott the USFK’s press events and releases as there are hardly any of them and the office may rather welcome such a move.”

    The Korean press did manage to hack the Admirals comments. I think KT is a little infatuated with themselves the PACOM Commander was not in Korea for very long. I suspect he wasn’t here for the Kalbi and handshakes with KT.

    I’m not in media but I think that boycotting a source that provides info, however infrequently isn’t a good idea for a news organization. It seems the Choson Ilbo, Yonhap, Airirang, and the Korea Herald might be able to find the time so I don’t have a problem with that strategy.

  • http://populargusts.blogspot.com/ bulgasari

    The United States Forces Korea (USFK) is accused of forcing media to report under its guidelines, and when they don’t, denying them access.

    Fiends!

    In an unrelated question, has the Ministry of Strategy and Finance allowed Evan Ramstad to regain his access to them?

  • jkitchstk

    “But the USFK Public Affairs Office (PAO), however, raised the issue with the Times’ defense correspondent over the article, arguing that it should have been a human interest story. “
    It sounds like the KT lied to USFK.

    “It then didn’t invite the correspondent to an ensuing important media event on April 17, a press conference by Admiral Samuel Locklear, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command.”
    Waa Waa!! Doesn’t the KT understand that there are repercussions for lying?

    “Thurman’s predecessor Commander Gen. Walter Sharp attempted to normalize relations with the press after being criticized for unilaterally refusing to hold a press conference at least four times. “
    KT: General Sharp sir, would you please have a press conference with us?
    Gen. Sharp: No, not at this time.
    KT: Waa waa, the General refused.

    “Sharp postponed the meeting with local journalists on Jan. 29, Feb. 23, April 27 and Aug 8 in 2010 without giving any specific reason.”
    Once I had a scheduled interview with the ROK military but they canceled it without reason. Whaa Whaa!!

  • Creo69

    What? Like he owes them something? Anything? Please.

  • Lliane

    I don’t get it, they wanted to ask him about what he thinks about Dokdo, the Corea Sea, the Korean Wave and Kimchi ? Cause that’s what they do with about any respondent anyway. Gen. Thurman probably doesn’t have yellow fever nor a teenage girl.

  • Wedge

    In just about any other country this guy would be the laughingstock of the newsroom for being such a whiny be-yotch.

  • Wedge

    Of course, the editor would be fired for running the story as well.

  • Q

    The Korean reporter must have read too much Manga. Japan Focus: Nationalism and Anti-Americanism in Japan – Manga Wars, Aso, Tamogami, and Progressive Alternatives

    Japanese popular culture, however, also sees the contextless use of anti-Americanism and vague but nonetheless meaningful images that glorify Japan`s 20th century wars. Morikawa Joji’s Hajime no Ippo (Fighting Spirit) is a popular boxing manga currently running in leading boy’s weekly Shonen Magazine. In one chapter, an elderly Japanese trainer recalls his youth during the American occupation.

    The future trainer, Gen, and his friend encounter an American officer – a man they had seen brutally beating a much smaller Japanese boxer in an earlier exhibition match – chasing down a young woman in his jeep. The pair are no match for the American, but they begin a strict training regimen in hopes of challenging him in the ring. Morikawa represents their “passionate feelings” with a war image.

    The boxers were not pilots. They did not fight in the war and Japan had no air power early in the occupation, all aircraft having been destroyed following the surrender. This is a fantasy image included at the beginning of a chapter and has nothing to do with the narrative. It very clearly, however, relates a vaguely conceived “war” with postwar acts of defending Japanese honor. There are grounds on which American occupation era behavior can be criticized, but glorifying Japanese bravado in the Asia-Pacific War is a distraction at best.

    When the final battle takes place, Japanese revenge is carried out with predictable brutality. Readers are treated to “x-ray” drawings of the American’s ribs and internal organs being destroyed by the smaller Japanese fighter’s blows.

    Morikawa says nothing about the war and nothing substantive about the Japanese-American relationship. These images are more or less a dead zone of historical awareness. Evident, however, is a lingering sense of Japan’s victimization at American hands. The manga expresses frustration at Japan’s defeat and a sense that Japan was victimized in war – with hundreds of thousands of civilians killed in incendiary and atomic bombings – and during an occupation that stripped away the nation’s sovereignty. Even in works of popular culture that show little historical awareness, the past can be an open wound.

    http://www.japanfocus.org/-Matthew-Penney/3116

  • weevil

    The Korean defense ministry refuses to allow foreigb media into its briefings and most times doesn’t even publish a schedule. Korean newspapers and journalists perpetuate their own cosy system that benefits them so they don’t have a leg to stand on.

  • ubercake

    Doesn’t the KT regularly run articles from “Weekly World News” and “The Onion” as stated fact on their front-page Web site constantly?

  • slim

    Never get in a fight with an outfit that buys ink by the barrel, is the received wisdom on making an enemy of the press.

    But the KT deserves its own special ring of hell for years of near daily journalistic malpractice and malfeasance, so this one will be fun to watch.

    In the guilty pleasure sense, I can’t wait to until that “Fools Die” managing editor Oh weighs in on this. You just know it will be cringeworthy.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    “We’re here to save your ass, not to kiss it”.

    That’s all he need say.

  • weevil

    Well Korean publications and jouros might have a leg to stand on if they didnt maintain their cosy relationships and clubs aimed at shutting out foreign media and critical reporting. The defense ministry here effectively bars foreign media, doesnt inform them of briefings and Korean media happily collude.

  • Wedge

    Does anyone read the guy Q above? I sure as hell don’t.

    Looks like our KT hero is still at it today:

    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2012/04/264_109542.html

  • Q

    I admit it was too long to be readable to some readers. Let me make the popular manga shorter:

    an American officer [...] brutally beating a much smaller Japanese boxer in an earlier exhibition match – chasing down a young woman in his jeep.

    they [two Japanese boxers] begin a strict training regimen in hopes of challenging him [American officer] in the ring.

    When the final battle takes place, Japanese revenge is carried out with predictable brutality. Readers are treated to “x-ray” drawings of the American’s ribs and internal organs being destroyed by the smaller Japanese fighter’s blows.