In an interview with the Chosun Ilbo, former US Ambassador to Korea Thomas Hubbard discussed the death of middle school girls Hyo-sun and Mi-seon 10 years ago.
To sum up, he said he regrets not pushing then-US President Bush to apologize directly instead of sending an apology letter, but at the same time, nobody on the Korean side stood up and explained to the Korean people the importance of the Korea—US alliance. He said he understood an election was coming up, but it was regretful that no Korean officials or politicians did any explaining, and everyone just stood back and tried not to get entangled in the mess.
The Chosun used Hubbard’s interview to pen an editorial, too, that questioned whether Korean politicians have since gotten the courage to tell people why the alliance is needed.
GI Korea has a post on the 10-year anniversary of the girls’ deaths. The Hankyoreh has a (very worth-reading) piece, too, although I was saddened that I couldn’t find any editorials on it.
The only thing I’ll say is that I think for a lot of Americans connected either personally or professionally to Korea, the 2002 protests were a major turning point—few of us ever looked at the Korea—US alliance—an “alliance forged in blood”—in the same way again.
UPDATE: Be sure to check out Matt’s excellent post on the anniversary here.