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Koreans wins big at Olympics. But do they actually believe it?

That’s sort of what Evan Ramstad asks at the WSJ’s Korea Realtime blog:

Maybe the Korean Olympic Committee was low-balling expectations. Or maybe South Koreans just can’t see themselves as world leaders in sports. After all, no matter the evidence to the contrary, they don’t see themselves that way in business or economics or politics.

But as The Who sang the athletes out of the closing ceremony on Monday morning Korea time, the tally on the medal board could not be denied. South Korea had 13 gold medals, fifth-highest total of the Games, and more than more populous countries like Japan, France, Italy, Brazil and Spain, let alone giants like India and Indonesia.
[...]
Even so, a government sports official could be counted upon to again declare that South Korea was at last among the world’s great nations instead of recognizing that it has been there for awhile now.

You do hear rhetoric like that—i.e., about Korea becoming or joining the ranks of the developed—quite a bit. Part of it is political, but I think a lot of it is that Korea grew so quickly, a lot of folk still don’t seem to believe where the country is in the global pecking order now.

(HT to Wangkon)

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

  • Jay

    Korea’s won a few more gold medals than other countries, but the overall total of medals, 28, put it in 9th place. That’s behind Japan, France, Australia and Germany. Not much depth.

    http://www.london2012.com/medals/medal-count/

    It is interesting that 5 of Korea’s medals were in shooting events. One of the benefits of a militarized country in which every man needs to serve?

    http://www.london2012.com/country/south-korea/medals/index.html

  • Wangkon936

    IMHO, still in the middle of the pack were it matters:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29_per_capita

  • Madar

    I agree. I had an argument with a well educated Korean last year about the fact the Korea was a developed, not a developing nation. The Korean siding with developing, the reason? because, that was what she learned in high school 30 years ago! (She was angrily adamant about it, too.) I have also been told that some government officials still push the developing nation bit because they get some perks and bennies if Korea is still believed, internationally, to be in that category.

  • Christian

    According to what source is Spain populous than South Korea?

  • jkitchstk

    Sure S. Korea won, it now has a new hero in Park, Jong-woo. S. Korea…where heroes are made just by breaking rules.

  • Evan Ramstad

    Good editing Christian. I changed my post to Germany instead of Spain. The developing vs. developed argument plays out in many ways in South Korea. In the stock market, for instance, South Korea is considered by one global indexer (FTSE) as a developed while the other (MSCI) says it’s still developing. Some managers of mutual funds tied to developing markets like it that way because they can invest in companies with developed market traits. And certainly some Korean companies and government regulators like straddling that line because there benefits to being a big fish in the smaller pond of developing-market investors than a small fish in the ocean of developed-market investors.

    As Robert points out, the constantly-climbing-and-never-arriving meme is useful politically, too.

  • pawikirogii

    ‘Korea’s won a few more gold medals than other countries, but the overall total of medals, 28, put it in 9th place. That’s behind Japan, France, Australia and Germany. Not much depth.’

    always got some jerk looking to take a shit on korea. did you get a fork instead of chopsticks, jay?

  • Keith

    I’d say on the whole Korea is almost developed. On the one hand some aspects of the place are very developed on the other hand, corruption in business and politics is third world level.

    When it comes to the olympics however you rate the countries, and their are many models that you can use. Korea does well on all counts, if you look factors such as mean or median income, population total, population density, demographics such as age and sex, past performances, as well as obviously the medal count and home team advantage can’t be kept out the equation. Korea has done very well indeed.

    One of my students told me that Koreans don’t really count the other medals and that only really gold counts which doesn’t strike me as very fair. I propose some kind of weighted system is fairest. A really basic one might be to give a gold a score of 8, silver a score of 4 and bronze a score of 2. A very simple system that gives us these results for the top 5 teams.

    (G*8) + (S*4) + B*2 = Total

    If I didn’t get the numbers wrong that would give us:

    1) US (46×8) (29×4) (29×2) = 542
    2) China (38×8) + (27×4) + (23×2) = 458
    3) GB (29×8) + (17×4) + (19×2) = 338
    4) Russia (24×8) + (26×4) + (32×2) = 358
    5) SK (13×8) + (8×4) + (7×2) = 150

    So with this weighted model Russia comes out ahead of team GB, but the rankings are very similar and GB got a bit more gold. If you factored in population this would make SK look even better. They have nothing to moan about.

  • Keith

    This is also something quite interesting for anyone interested in alternative ways of looking at medal count and countries’ performances in the games. Interesting stuff

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/datablog/2012/aug/13/alternative-olympic-medal-table-winner-russia?newsfeed=true

  • slim

    Korea is one of the few post-colonial, developing countries to escape the middle-income trap and flourish as a democracy and market economy. Hosting the Olympics, the World Cup and the Expo are feathers in her cap.

    LMB’s Dokdo trip was classic, third world demagoguery, behavior we’d expect from a Chavez or a Putin. (Although it was Medvedev who went to the Kuriles.)

    I’d dock the ROK points for media censorship and other by-products of the National Security Law, still dodgy mass media, police incompetence and the inability to get traffic safety right.

  • http://www.dayvmattt.com Dayv Mattt

    Honestly, Korea did really well. Why is “developed” vs “developing” even coming up? I’m just tired of it. There are “developed” and “developing” areas in every country. There are parts of Canada I am sure would be HELL to live in, as I am sure is the case in parts of the US. North America is corrupt as well, it’s just that we don’t call it corruption anymore. We call it white collar crime.

  • Q

    slim, could you find any difference between you and 2ch and rightwing Japanese asshats, unless you added some GRE vocabulary in your phrases?

  • cm

    Q, please tone down the anti-Japan rhetoric that you espouse in just about every thread.

    I think Koreans will believe Korea is a sporting power, when Koreans start winning gold medals in big events like swimming, gymnastics, and track events, where the big boys compete. Winning golds in archery, judo, shooting, and fencing doesn’t have the same sexiness as winning golds in bigger media filled events. Being an Asian country with no Black athletes that can compete in track and field events is also a definite disadvantage.

    But bottom line is, Korea doesn’t need to be a big sporting power on the rankings for international bragging rights. Instead, I think it would be better to take the money that are spent on few elite athletes, and use it to promote sports amongst the general Korean population. You have all these big fat studious kids in schools with glasses who can’t even do 10 situps or 5 pull ups. Statistically, Koreans are getting bigger, but also at the same time, they are getting pathetically weaker.

  • PeterDownUnder

    Sorry guys but just out of curiosity because I heard this from my lecturer today.

    Which industries or businesses are being killed by the Chaebol and stiffling SMEs and entrepreneurship in Korea?

    I know of the bakery incidents recently but what else?

  • WangKon936

    Keith,

    I agree. There should be something more given to gold and silver medals when doing the total medal count.

    PeterDownUnder,

    A lot of industries. Contract manufacturing for one. Chaebol keeps buying subcomponents from Japan. When smaller businesses go looking for capital, they can’t find it because the Chaebol eat up too much borrowing capital from Korean banks thus these same banks have to charge higher interest rates to smaller companies. Chaebol also eat up talent that would otherwise go to smaller companies. Thus, you see a country without a lot of middle sized contract manufacturing businesses, without a lot of entrepreneurial tech companies, etc. Korea is a team with a stellar starting line-up but virtually no bench.

    Food services was considered one of the last areas that ordinary Koreans could save up some money and start a business. When the daughters of Chaebol lords started to get into it w/baking, the population nearly revolted because they saw it as big business muscling into one of the few places where the little guy could try to make it.

  • WangKon936

    PeterDownUnder,

    Chaebol getting into food services upsetting the populace:

    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2012/02/123_103840.html

  • WangKon936
  • WangKon936

    Chaebol making it harder for SMEs to find financing:

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/74c19446-c593-11df-ab48-00144feab49a.html

  • WangKon936

    Keith,

    There is still a lot of corruption in Korea. However, having said that, I would say that no matter what, Korean corruption is still very different from the third world simply by the fact that Korea is not a third world country. Sure teachers, government officials and bureaucrats, etc. get bribed. However, kids still get educated, the budget is surprisingly balanced, the streets are cleaned and the trash is picked up. There are a lot of first world countries where they have a problem achieving any of the aforementioned.

    If I had to make a guess, I would say that Korea’s corruption is balanced out by Korea’s high degree of social order, stable government and other factors. I don’t think you can take a look at one fault (i.e. corruption) and then compare a nation to the third world simply by that one fault.

  • Keith

    I agree, I was simplifying things because I’m writing on a ‘blog comments’ section and not writing any kind of thesis or anything like that.

    I would take exception to ‘high degree of social order’, have you travelled on the metro recently? Getting on or off a carriage can be horrendous at times. Personally I hate people pushing and shoving, and you get a lot of that on the metro.I didn’t renew my COSTCO membership because I was fed up with having ajummas ram their trolley into my ankles! First world in tech stuff, public transport is world class. Developing world’ in corruption, third or fourth world in manners!

    PS. Anyone who needs ‘instructions’ in the correct use of an escalator, has absolutely no business using one.

  • Lastnamekim

    “…when Koreans start winning gold medals in big events like swimming, gymnastics, and track events, where the big boys compete.”
    Hey, cm, I guess getting gold and silver medals in swimming (in ’08 & ’12), silver and bronze in men’s all around gymnastics in ’04 and one gold in men’s vault in ’12, and a gold in the marathon (not including Sohn Ki Jeong) in ’92 don’t count in your tally?

  • JQ

    Keith, where do you come from? From the US, Canada, or UK ?
    If you still believe those countries are better than Korea, you must live in your insular world.

    I prefer the cheap and first world Korean metro with pushing and shoving people to the third world public transport of the US and the second world public transport of Canada and UK. I am willing to pay some inconvenience to enjoy the cheap and first world Korean metro.

  • Q

    Personally I hate people pushing and shoving, and you get a lot of that on the metro.I didn’t renew my COSTCO membership because I was fed up with having ajummas ram their trolley into my ankles!

    I agree with Keith about the public transportation and ajummas at shopping malls. It’s annoyning to native Koreans too. LOL!

  • WangKon936

    Yawn… call me when an ajumma pulls a gun to my head and mugs me.

  • Keith

    @ JQ, I’m from the UK. Some things about those countries tower over Korea, in their general ‘splendidness’. I grew up in the country, in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Why did I move to Korea? I fell in love with a Korean and hated my boring job there. I didn’t flip burgers, except to pay the rent at uni. I was making an OK salary, but I was bored to tears. That is why I ended up in Korea – and I don’t regret most minutes of it (10 years+).

    Not enough money there (UK), so I put up with the Korean discount. I doubt that any reasonably well educated Korean who was very wealthy would put up with Korea over (the really nice bits) of the UK. My problem is that I’m not rich! If you’re rich, the UK is actually one of the nicest places to live in the world. All the rich Koreans don’t put up with it either, they move to Hawwai or somewhere else, and who can blame them?

    Not being funny, but I grew up a country boy. In the sticks. It was lovely, the countryside, the clean air, the feeling of living in a true community. I’d move back there if I had enough money. Very expensive these days.

    A crisp, early October evening, the sunlight darkening on the hills, the frost on your breath, exhausted riding a bike home to the pub for a pint and then, a great dinner. It’s lovely.

    When I make a bit more cash, I’ll be out of here. Just like most Koreans.

  • Sperwer

    @24

    Shortly after I first arrived in Korea, an ajumma wacked me between the knees with her umbrella, then bent over and scooted between my legs to get to the ticket counter st Seoul Station ahead of me. That elicited some surprise from the bystanders. I picked her up by the scruff of the neck and gave her a toss, like Aragorn does with Gimli at the battle for Gondor. That provoked even more surprise, but no other response

  • PekingMan

    @Keith: HERE HERE! The UK is full of gorgeous villages and parts of towns filled with large houses much, much prettier than in most of Korea, not to mention clean air, lovely pubs etc. It is the Britain I love but as you say it is for the rich.

  • slim

    I’m fortunate to spend 3-4 weeks a year in Yorkshire, with Leeds as a base for lots of day trips to nearby dales and highlands or further afield. One of the things that the UK has done so well that you never find in Asia (save small parts of Japan) and seldom find in the US is zoning to preserve the greenery and landscapes of villages and market towns. Of course there is still urban blight and a lot of down-on-their-heels city areas, but I’m still trying to figure out where Britain hides all that soulless suburban sprawl that is such a feature of bigger US and Asian cities.

  • melonbarmonster

    Korea certainly overachieves considering the discrepancy in factors like infrastructure, # of athletes, financial support. I follow football/soccer mostly and I’ve read that Korea’s football infrastructure from youth and up is 1/20 the size of Japan’s.

  • WangKon936

    slim,

    God has seen it fit to curse Korea and Japan with lots of mountains and hills and little arable land, thus making green space very scare indeed (in relation to living space and food growing space).

  • Q

    Korean Olympic athletes got very enthusiastic cheer from K-pop singers at the welcoming festival. VIDEO: KARA – Mister.

  • WangKon936

    Q,

    What great sports for doing it in the rain. Now, if they would just wear shear white t-shirts dammit!

  • Q

    AFP seems to believe it — “China, Koreas are big winners in London”:

    China proved they’ve arrived as a genuine Olympic super-power, and both Koreas impressed — but Japan were top of the flops among Asian countries at the London Games.

    South Korea were the only other Asian team in the top 10. North Korea, finishing 20th, had their best Games in 20 years

    Japan, who are bidding to host the Games in 2020, had high hopes of emulating their record total of 16 gold medals. But after a near-wipeout in the judo, they ended with just seven.

    South Korea rubbed salt into the wound when they beat Japan, their fiercest rivals, 2-0 for men’s football bronze.

  • pawikirogi

    wany urban sprawl? come visit san jose here in cali. ugliest place on earth.

  • Dogbert

    God has seen fit to punish the Bay Area with pawi.

  • pawikirogi

    well, i’m not causing the sprawl. ugly stuff here, man! sj is sf’s ugly step sister without the pee smell.

  • JQ

    @Keith, I think you prefer the grass land in UK rather than lush forest in Korea. I definitely prefer Korean lush green forest to simple grass land in UK.

    UK is one of the worst country in the world in terms of preserving forest. Forest cover in UK is just 13% of land mass. Korea has 64% forest cover. I would prefer clean air from lush green forest in Korea rather than from simple grass land in UK.

    Looks like you left UK more than 10 years ago so you are homesick of UK. I can feel you are exaggerating UK in your imagination. Now go back and confront the reality of UK for 1 year and then you will realize the true UK and you will miss Korea again.

    “Some things about those countries tower over Korea, in their general ‘splendidness’” – I have no idea what you are talking about. You are living with the past memories, maybe some splendid memories you had learned from the old textbook. The world has dramatically changed.

  • slim

    JQ — Illogical babble…

  • JQ

    slim – Ignorant babble…
    I gave the painful truth to you so you don’t have a proper answer.

  • pawikirogi

    give em hell,jq.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Q: Yeah, there are a lot of differences between Slim and 2ch asshats. BTW, I don’t mind tough talk with a lot of commenters, but there are certain long-time commenters to whom I prefer a bit of respect shown. Slim would be one of them.

  • slim

    Mighty kind of you, Robert.

    For the record, and I’ve said this many times, I accept the status quo of the Sea of Japan, mainly because, as others note, Korea has controlled those rocks for nearly 60 years. Like most thinking people viewing this from afar, I have lost 90% of the relatively high respect I had for Lee Myung-bak for his senseless stunt. I wonder if all the smart people have quit the Blue House and the Foreign Ministry.

    Also for the record, Q has no business calling anyone, even a 2Ch knuckle-dragging NipponoNationalist, an “asshat”. Look in the mirror, Q, you pathetic twit: You are not measurably different than the worst of them by any measure: Moral, intellectual, logical, factual. ZERO DIFFERENCE. In fact, your constant gleeful posting of Fukushima news makes Q arguably worse. Q makes some of the loathsome PRC fenqing and 50-centers look respectable.

    The recent subject matter here at the Hole has made it flypaper for K-nutizens. Q alone was way more than enough. There is a place for mindless drones and I think it is called Korea Sentry.

  • dogbert

    well, i’m not causing the sprawl. ugly stuff here, man! sj is sf’s ugly step sister without the pee smell.

    So you’re saying Dionne Warwick was wrong?

    @JQ: Not to worry — keef will never leave Korea.

  • Year of the Dragon

    #7 Pawi

    There are 35 Australians taking medals home.

    there are only 28 Koreans taking medals home.

    (Population of Australia 20 mil / Population of Korea 50 million)

  • Arghaeri

    Yawn… call me when an ajumma pulls a gun to my head and mugs me.

    Whadda you whinging about, don’t your right to bear arms keep you safe and cosy from all that :-)

  • Arghaeri

    riding a bike home to the pub for a pint

    A truer exemplar of british culture you may never see – a brit rides HOME to the pub for a pint.

  • Arghaeri

    forgot the smiley :-)

  • Keith

    JQ. I’ve only seen a little ‘lush forest’ in Korea. The land is more cultivated in the UK for sure, but there are also beautiful forested areas too, and the best ones aren’t just a bunch of pine trees either, some nice deciduous forests are around.

    I have been here just over ten years, but I do go back every year or two to see friends and family, I know the state of the place. The cities are ruined in the UK due to government mismanagement on a truly grand scale, feral children playing in garbage and that’s just the political classes!

    Fortunately, nature is stronger than man in many places in the UK. Where my parents’ house is located is simply stunning. Unfortunately the baby boomers (like my parents) voted tory and for the right wing labour so the place is getting ruined, their generation’s choice of politicians (Thatcher and other scum) have basically ruined the country for now. It’s rather sad, but the ‘empire’ can strike back, the people are fundamentally a decent lot.

    Korea is the best place for me for now, in the future? who knows? The future might lie in Europe, or somewhere in Asia. Even Britain if the populace stop electing cretins.

  • Wangkon936

    Total medal count of the two Koreas:

    - 17 golds
    - 8 silvers
    - 9 bronze

    34 total

    That would put them ahead of France in total count but only up a notch to 8th.

  • http://osnabrueck.wordpress.com Jens-Olaf

    And not to forget, there are old sport nations without any medal this time, like Austria.

  • Paulio

    I think the nicest place I visited in Korea was Namhae, which for some reason didn’t seem to get many mentions when I was there.

    Beautiful coastal scenery.

  • pawikirogi

    two jap. members of pms administration visit yasukuni. no outrage yet from the creep brgade.

  • JQ

    Keith. The first impression of Korea at my first visit in 10 years was that there were immensely many trees throughout the country. So I did some research of Korean reforest movement.

    Between 1960s and 1980s, the Korean people planted more than 11 billion trees, so that they could increase the timber volume in the whole Korean forests by 25 times during the last 50 years.

    If you visit Korea every several year, you can clearly observe the change of Korean forest because the timber volume in Korean still-young forests has been recently increasing almost twice every 10 year.

    Korea is considered the only country in the world which succeeded in the nationwide reforest movement after the world war 2. Forest experts consider the Korean success in the nationwide reforest movement as the modern day miracle .

    The three great accomplishments Korea has made are democracy, industrialization and reforest movement. It would take several month to have decent green grass land, but it would take at least 30 years to have decent green forest.

  • silver surfer

    @51

    You can see how the forests might look after several decades by looking at the relatively few older trees that have survived mainly in monasteries. Good for Korea for replanting after the Korean War.

    In the UK, sad to say, the forests and hedgerows get nibbled away year by year. More planting and more protection are needed to preserve a beautiful landscape created over centuries.

    Our prehistoric ancestors, however, were responsible for cutting down the trees on most of the mountains.

    Re the Olympics: Korea’s medal count and inroads into new sports is all the more impressive in that they’ve done it without the boost to sports that comes from hosting the Olympics – as we’ve seen in the UK, and, before that, Australia.

  • Keith

    The nicest place I’ve been in Korea is the absolutely beautiful national park near the east coast ski resorts. It really is very nice indeed. The ‘pension’ we stayed at was rather grotty, but the barbecue grills there are very good. (http://www.agoda.com/asia/south_korea/pyeongchang_gun/goodstay_elf_pension.html?type=1&site_id=1430286&url=http://www.agoda.com/asia/south_korea/pyeongchang_gun/goodstay_elf_pension.html&tag=2550b559-b2eb-4660-baaa-d9e4a7f5008b&cklg=1) but the scenery around those parts is very nice.

    Silver Surfer, Korea hosted the summer Olympics in ’88, they’ve still got the stadiums to prove it. If only the truck drivers and taxi guys would stop watching TV when driving Korea could possibly even catch up on the cycling medals in Rio. All those hills could bode well for Korea in the future!

  • R. Elgin

    . . . Korea is considered the only country in the world which succeeded in the nationwide reforest movement after the world war 2. Forest experts consider the Korean success in the nationwide reforest movement as the modern day miracle .

    Yes, the effort to reforest the southern part of Korea is a *tremendous* success. There is now growing concern as to the impact of global warming upon trees in Korea and rightly so. There are potential problems with pine beetles that could wipe out over 90 percent of several species of pine trees here — just like what has happened in America — all due to global warming.

    This is one of my biggest concerns because it is very real and the Korean Government, despite the success of reforestation – has a very poor record in environmental issues. A return to the countryside by more affluent Koreans might help raise awareness and conservation efforts though.

  • Richard Hankin

    on another matter….http://lightbox.time.com/2012/08/14/change-in-the-gobi-mongolias-economic-boom/#1
    Mongolia’s bright(maybe) future

  • doug
  • redwhitedude

    So the Olympics are over. There is some question as to how medal table should be ranked. It seems like in the US it is by total medals while other s do it by gold medals. Korea did well but I wish they could have racked up more medals.

  • Q

    A f*ckhead was found at Korea vs. Japan game in the London Olympics. LINK:PHOTO for slim. (H/T: Kiel)

  • Hamel

    Q: are you in an excitable mood today? It seems like it.

  • redwhitedude

    Q,
    I really don’t understand why Japanese would use such a flag? Can’t they just use their national flag?

  • CactusMcHarris

    Q,

    Just as a PSA, because, honestly, you seem stuck in a rut, and I don’t want you banned, in spite of your fixation for Nippon as all things bad, there are fuckheads found in any national rivalry. You should have seen the vitriol (in kilolitres, at least) that was present at the US / Canada soccer game. It’s not any different than what you’re describing, although I imaging the references to Dokdo are extremely limited.

  • Wedge

    Q: That’s got to hurt the ubernationalistas like you a lot, eh? Whitey waving the rising sun? Not easy to shoehorn that into the “evil glow-in-the-dark short pirate” narrative, is it?

  • Wedge

    Speaking of LMB’s recent shitting all over the Korea-Japan relationship, does anyone have any ideas? Low ratings? Saenuri Party issues? Brother in trouble? All of the above?

    As Slim said, that’s behavior befitting a third-world tinpot dictator. All I know is that as the de facto possessor of said guano-covered rocks, putting this issue in the minds of untold people around the world as a dispute DOES NOT serve Korea’s interest, at least not in the international arena (perhaps scapegoats for domestic consumption are more important). In the meantime, China chuckles to itself.

  • Gerry Bevers

    Sperwer wrote (#26):

    I picked her up by the scruff of the neck and gave her a toss, like Aragorn does with Gimli at the battle for Gondor.

    I am getting sick and tired of all the misinformation on this blog. In the movie, Aragorn tossed Gimli at the Battle of Helm’s Deep. Neither you nor any Korean has even one map or document to prove otherwise.

  • abcdefg

    Would people stop using the word “narrative” please?

  • John

    @66

    There are documents all over the internet. It’s time to type in “google.com” in your browser. There’s even a dated 1600 or 1700 (can’t remember which century) Dutch map listing Dokdo as Korean territory.

    Derpin it all day bro.

  • Q

    씨*놈들 혓바닥을 뽑아다 레드카펫으로 깔라버릴까보다.

  • hardyandtiny

    “I really don’t understand why Japanese would use such a flag? Can’t they just use their national flag?”

    Why, what is wrong with the flag?

  • WangKon936

    hardyandtiny,

    When many Asians see this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rising_Sun_Flag

    They see and feel the same thing that Westerners see and feel when they see this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_symbolism

    or this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Cross

  • WangKon936

    It is ironic when Westerners fail to see that the Kyokujitsu-ki (Rising Sun flag) is offensive to many Asians, but at the same time are offended there are Nazi bars in Korea, Taiwan and Japan.

  • Makarov

    Because many westerners are hypocrites who doesn’t give a fuck about the atrocities in Asia. It’s always all about the black racism, nazi holocaust to them.

    Go figure.

  • Wedge

    Wangkon: I’m not offended by any symbols. To me a Hitler bar in Pusan is more amusing than anything else. It displays ignorance, not evil intent.

    I also believe the right to offend is part of the First Amendment. Thank God the U.S. doesn’t have hate speech laws like a lot of our “democratic” brethren. It’s bad enough we have political correctness, but PC with enforcement powers is a thousand times worse.

  • Arghaeri

    They see and feel the same thing that Westerners see and feel when they see this:

    Very little, in case of the second example. I don’t think most westerners have any strong feeling about typical military symbols / ensign and the Rising Sun fits into that category being the ensign of the japanese navy.

    The Nazi symbol however is not a symbol of germany but rather a political symbol of the extreme right eugenics Nazi party, and therefore symbolic of a particular nasty bunch of people, and not representative of the germans per se.

    Rightly ir wrongly that is the percieved difference.

  • hardyandtiny

    WangKon936

    Why would they feel that way? I think you have the wrong perception of how Westerners feel about the Nazi flag. Getting your ass handed to you in war or being colonized is not the same as being exterminated simply because you don’t fit a prototype.
    Get real, the Koreans were ready to get on board with the Japanese and kill everyone until Captain American came along.

  • pawikirogii

    folks in the us high up now starting to say what pawi has said all along.
    this is up to japan. they want good relations with korea? show contrition. remove class a war criminals from yasukuni. revise textbooks to show the horror of japan’s war machine. have japanese king go to korea and issue an actual apology and not words of regret. don’t matter how many hardyntidy creeps there are in this world, it ain’t up to them, japan.

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201208170013

  • WangKon936
  • WangKon936

    H&T,

    Well, if you don’t think so I’m not gonna argue against you.

    However, the second part of what you said, “Get real, the Koreans were ready to get on board with the Japanese and kill everyone until Captain American came along.” I’m gonna call bull-shit on that.

    Please read this:

    http://www.k2.dion.ne.jp/~rur55/E/epage12.htm

    http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/43182154/1944-korean-rebellion-within-japanese-army-testimony-lieutenant-cheon-sanghwa

    And, if you have the time, this PhD thesis:

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2010/08/10/japanese-pm-naoto-kan-apologizes-in-tears-to-korea/#comment-389248

  • Arghaeri

    Arghaeri,

    Oh yeah? What about this?

    http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40716000/jpg/_40716791_sun203ok.jpg

    Eh, indeed what about it?
    Its first example not second, and yeah shows westerners feel so little about it they wear it for fancy dress parties.

  • YangachiBastardo

    My 2 cents about the developing vs developed in Korea: it goes along the generational lines.

    I think only a cretin would claim a typical college-educated Korean worker in his/her 20′s-30′s live a developing country lifestyle

    The situation of the elders on the other hand is indeed appalling and way worse than Europe