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South Korea honors American war vets

I have always respected the fact that there is a large number of Koreans who remember the sacrifices that many non-Koreans made during the Korean War.  Almost every year I see at least one bus filled with veterans on the streets of Seoul – they are here as honored guests.  According to WCF Courier (October 6, 2012) - more than 320 Korean War vets from Iowa will be honored by the South Korean government with “peace medals”.

“Its a Korean event,” Morris said. “They are the ones expressing their appreciation for those who served in the Korean War 60 years ago.”

UNI ROTC students will help host the event. UNI President Ben Allen will deliver a greeting.

“One of the things that has impressed me over and over is the appreciation that the South Korean government has given our Korean veterans over the last 10 to 15 years,” Morris said. “The vets I have been associated with have all indicated how much they appreciate their appreciation for what we did. I don’t know of any other country in my lifetime that has expressed that appreciation as well” for Americans’ sacrifice.

“I like to say, ‘”The Forgotten War” is now remembered,’ ” Morris said.

  • PineForest

    Too bad they can’t just honor their trade agreements and their business dealings with companies like Lone Star instead.

  • Elowel

    [quote]Too bad they can’t just honor their trade agreements and their business dealings with companies like Lone Star instead.”[/quote]What is more important?

  • TheKorean2

    It’s quite ironic that South Korean still honors its Korean war veterans. You don’t see Japan, Vietnam and other countries doing that.

  • CactusMcHarris

    #3,

    You might want to rethink that – Vietnam was a winner, and winners bestow honours upon its soldiers. I’m sure there’s an annual parade or three in Hanoi.

  • TheKorean2

    Cactus, you don’t see other countries like Japan, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. appreciate and honor the American fallen as South Korea does.

  • enomoseki

    Funny thing is, most of americans still can’t tell the difference between North and South and some believes both North AND South are the enemies of US of goddamn A.

    Hilarious shit.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    enomoseki – Some South Koreans also consider the US of goddamn A to be their enemy.

  • TheKorean2

    Yu Bum Suk, some South Koreans? Where?

  • hacker

    So TK you call Yu Bum Suk on an unsubstantiated comment but not enomoseki, what’s up with that? Unless you are already biased to the answer why not challenge the “most” from him just as much as the “some” and the “where” from YBS?
    According to The Korea Advanced Youth Association (한국청소년미래리더연합) 19.9% of youths polled (2,500 middle and high school students at over 400 schools across korea) chose the United States when asked about enemies only 2.2% behind N. Korea. Now that had to come from somewhere. I would like to see enomoseki’s proof wouldn’t you?

  • enomoseki

    Considering the fact that some Koreans have a reason to think USA is their enemy, since they think USA is an obstacle to Korean unification.

    That still doesn’t change the fact that most of americans think both North and South are communist nations and enemies of USA.

  • jk641

    That still doesn’t change the fact that most of americans think both North and South are communist nations and enemies of USA.

    Please stop talking out of your ass.

  • dww

    I’ve never heard an American refer to S. Korea as either communist or an enemy of the States. Not once.

  • hacker

    So lay some proof on us oh wise and powerful enomoseki, we humbly await. Otherwise I’m with jk641.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    “Yu Bum Suk, some South Koreans? Where?”

    You missed the poll of young people, many of whom considered America to be Korea’s greatest enemy? I can’t be arsed to google it for you – maybe you could.

  • jk641

    I think enomoseki was referring to Shia Labeouf, who was confused about North and South Korea and once called Korea an “enemy country” on a talk show.

  • broona

    Dww, I agree with you, although I get asked if I’m from the north or the south when I share that I’m from Korea. I take this to mean that they are sharing the little bit they know about the geography of Korea, and not necessarily that they are trying to assess if I’m a communist.

  • broona

    Of course they could’ve thought I was a bad-a** and that I shot two of my superiors to defect to South Korea before immigrating to the u.s.

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

    hacker,

    Why don’t you call him TK2? We already have an original TK.

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

    Yu Bum Suk,

    The strange thing with Korean polling is that over the past 30 years or so many young people do have a negative attitude towards the U.S. but the opinion of 30+ year olds stays consistently in the positive. It just tells me that these youngaes get older, have kids, get a job and pay their taxes and grow-up and dispel a lot of nonesense of their youth.

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

    Yu Bum Suk,

    Why do you have to overly focus on this vocal, naïve, but minority portion of the electorate?

    Remember this?

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2010/12/06/more-koreans-dislike-china-like-america/

    Did you forget this or is your memory just selective?

  • broona

    Wk, haha, she didn’t say south was a communist enemy; she said north was America’s ally. Hahahaha

  • jkitchstk

    “The 320-plus veterans from across the state(Iowa) were approved by the South Korean consulate to receive the medals, all of whom were notified this past week by the South Korean Chicago consulate, Morris said. The recipient or a family member must be present at the event(Arts Center on the University of Northern Iowa campus) to receive the medal.”

    Whoopi! Would it be that difficult for the S. Korean government to send each veteran a medal without making them travel about 250 miles to receive it? I’ll bet that only 50% of the 320 will be able or want to attend. 500 miles(roundtrip) x $3.75 per gallon = $1.875.00

  • jkitchstk

    If you click on “enlarge photo” you can even pay for a print of the “framed thank you plaque from the government of the Republic of Korea.” Is this not a money making endeavor by S. Korea, up to 28.95 for a 16×24.
    http://wcfcourier.mycapture.com/mycapture/enlarge_remote.asp?source=&remoteimageid=4381159

  • hacker

    WangKon936 – My bad missed the TK, TK2 thing. Will be vigilant in the future.
    Your link referred to 79% finding the US favorable, that still leaves 21% that found the US either unfavorable or no opinion, which still follows relatively close to those 19.9% cited from the school surveys. A minority yes but still answers the “some” and “where” that TK2 (ok?) questioned YBS on.

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

    hacker,

    People are not automatons. They have opinions you can’t control (unless you have state control on the level of North Korea). You can please some of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

  • Arghaeri

    Why do you have to overly focus on this vocal, naïve, but minority portion of the electorate?

    Wankon, how on earth does a mention the simple fact that “some” koreans feel that way an “over” focus.

    In the context of the discussion its arguably not even a focus, just a passing comment, let alone an overfocus.

  • Arghaeri

    500 miles(roundtrip) x $3.75 per gallon = $1.875.00

    Wow, we new american cars were shit hungry for fuel but 1mile per gallon thats phenonemal.

    Throw in a burger at either end at two dollars per calorie and thatz easily another 1,000 bucks. No wonder veterans are having such a tough time.

  • Arghaeri

    People are not automatons. They have opinions you can’t control (unless you have state control on the level of North Korea). You can please some of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

    What a response, however suggested controlling their opinion.

    You seem to have rather over focussed on this simple observation that not all SK people have a good opinion of the US. :-)

  • Arghaeri

    “whoever”

  • hacker

    WangKon936 – Of course I understand people are not automatons and opinions are like A**Holes everybody has one. But your comment is more like a Texas two-step in avoiding what I was pointing out when TK2 asked about the “some” and the “where” S Koreans considered the US of being an enemy. There is that minority and you can’t deny it exists.

  • bumfromkorea

    500 miles(roundtrip) x $3.75 per gallon = $1.875.00

    That’s the funniest stupid angry math I’ve seen on the internet since that one time when an idiot tried to claim that Rush Limbaugh had 131 billion listeners.

    Stupid Angry Math:
    15 million listeners (weekly) x 365 days x 24 years (on air)= 131 Billion listerners

    I loved it when someone quipped “I didn’t realize Martians were Republicans. I knew Moon people were, but geez.”

  • bumfromkorea

    I think there is a huge difference between “dislike” and “enemy”, and if the poll question was designed by someone who knew what they’re doing in terms of… even basic statistics, the numbers would look quite, quite different.

  • hacker

    Bumfromkorea – the original survey that I referred to clearly used the word “enemy” not “like” or “dislike” which came from WK936′s. Now whether they knew what they were doing or not I don’t know. As for the statistics, anything can be skewed to meet ones agenda.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    WangKong, I was thinking of this – http://asiancorrespondent.com/58157/south-korean-students-rank-nations-enemies-north-korea-america-japan/ – poll just last year in which 20% of high school students thought America is Korea’s greatest enemy, almost as many as chose NK. I wonder what the vets would think of that (and of Korean teachers).

  • jkitchstk

    #32,
    Sorry to burst your bubble but no 80 year old veteran is going to spend $187.50 on gas for 500 miles(round-trip) to go get a medal/plaque either. You’ll only see vets showing up from the Waterloo/Cedar Falls vacinity and maybe a few from Cedar Rapids and Des Moines since there is probably a convenient bus there and back, that’s it.

  • TheKorean2

    hacker, you can’t accept the fact that some Americans think both Koreas are enemies of America. There are Americans who think like that. As for the polling, that was when Anti-Americanism was high.

  • hacker

    TK2 – I never said I could not accept the fact, and I do know there are, that “some” Americans think both Korea’s are enemies of America I said I disagreed with “most of American’s” which you seemed all to willing to accept. As for the polling, anti-Americanism was high last year?
    You were the one who asked the questions “What S Koreans” and “where” to which I provided the who and where.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    TheKorean2, Anti-Americanism was much higher when Bush was in power. That poll was taken three years after he left office.

    enomoseki was probably thinking of this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQhIMFy-stM&feature=player_embedded

  • Arghaeri

    Bumfromkorea – the original survey that I referred to clearly used the word “enemy” not “like” or “dislike” which came from WK936′

    I think that Bum’s point, they probably didn’t have the option of dislike only “who is the greater enemy” in which case they have to answer america even though they don’t consider tjem a serious enemy, but rather just don’t like them much.

  • Arghaeri

    What bubble, the one where your claim that american cars can only manage 1 mile per gallon or your revised version where they can manage only a whopping 10 miles per gallon.

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

    Did some research on nations that got U.S. military aid after WWII and that still exist today. Other than Korea, didn’t come up with much. The government of South Vietnam is defunct and who knows what will eventually happen in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s hard to find a good comparable to Korea, but I did find one: Kuwait.

    Out of countries that the U.S. has saved from conquest, Kuwait is probably a better ally than South Korea. However, they are richer than South Korea on a per capita basis and, as a very small country in a very turbulent area with virtually no military to speak of, have a bigger incentive than South Korea to be a nicer ally. Saudi Arabia is a horrible ally. Ruled by a family that keeps that oil rich country underdeveloped so 19 of their citizens crash three airplanes into our country. Saudi Arabia does buy a lot of our weapons. Any ways, I digress.

    Kuwait paid $16 billion for their own liberation. That, plus what the gulf states and the other coalition countries paid (including South Korea at about $250M), the U.S. only paid $7B total for Operation Desert Storm. Kuwait also gave a medal to U.S. vets. It’s called the Kuwait Liberation Medal.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuwait_Liberation_Medal_(Kuwait)

    Kuwait probably pays more to the U.S. to station troops on its soil and allows the U.S. to do more (including offensive operations such as the 2003 invasion of Iraq) then I can imagine South Korea allowing.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    WK, Kuwaiti *citizens* are richer, and so are most foreign professionals who work there, but there are a lot of other Arab labourers residing there who are very much third-class citizens.

    I’d suggest Poland, a recent recipient of US military aid, as America’s model ally amongst democracies – since I don’t consider Israel to be a democracy.

  • cm

    82% of Koreans view Americans favorably.

    http://www.pewglobal.org/database/?indicator=2&country=116

    79% of Koreans view the United States favorably.

    http://www.pewglobal.org/database/?indicator=1&country=116

    Even at the height of anti-Americanism in 2002 – 2003, over 60% to 72% of Koreans viewed Americans favorably, while 52% to 46% (or about half) still viewed the United States favorably.

    Now can we just drop the nonsense that Koreans hate Americans? Based on these numbers alone, South Korea is one of the top pro-American countries in the world currently.

    Heck, S.Korea would be lucky to even get 46% of Americans thinking favorably of Koreans. It’s just a typical case of a jjakk-sarang, where Korea lovingly looks over to America with love in their eyes, but get no interest back from America.

    I’ve not checked the numbers of American attitude toward Koreans in this same poll. But I think it’s pretty much predictable that a lot of Americans still continue to confuse South Korea with North Korea.

  • commander

    A lot of these opinion polls are poorly worded, sometimes leading to erroneous conclusions. In addition, the opinions of many people, especially young college students, can be easily swayed by current events especially of the negative variety. A poll taken at the height of the US beef protests or during the rash of US Army misdeeds (rapes, etc.) obviously would have a different result than say even if the poll were taken today, when Japan is being vilified in the media and the US-related issues are in the background. That is not to say that Japan would be viewed as the enemy, but I would think that America would be viewed in a more favorable light.

    I would not be surprised if a poll were framed in the context of the Korean War, the opinion toward Americans would be highly favorable.

  • cm

    commander, that’s why you should look at the polls throughout the years and look at the pattern.

  • hacker

    cm/commander – you know all this stemmed from 2 comments whereby “some S. Koreans” considered the US an enemy and “most” Americans couldn’t tell the difference between N and S Korea and “some” believe both were enemies. Both questions were challenged. Yes, there are is a percentage, be they young or old, that view the US as an enemy as early as last year and yes there are some Americans who probably could find Vermont on a map let alone N or S Korean. I never thought there was a hate fest amoung Koreans towards Americans though.

  • commander

    Another point of ambiguity is whether you are talking Americans (people) vs. America (the country and the political policies). I know cm linked both polls, but in the discussions the two are often blended. There is a difference that people may not pay close attention to and that confuses the issue. I think I made the same mistake in my post.

    By the way, in the poll, what is going on in Argentina that makes them view Americans so unfavorably? Low of 24% in 2008, high of 39% in 2010. Contrast that with Korea and Japan, consistently above 70%.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    WK (#42) wrote concerning Saudi Arabia:

    “Ruled by a family that keeps that oil rich country underdeveloped so 19 of their citizens crash three airplanes into our country.”

    That seems to make the 19 just poor pilots. Bad training maybe? But I know what you meant: poverty causes terrorism . . . or something like that. I disagree. Islamist radicalism has little to do with poverty. By that, I mean that poverty doesn’t create terrorists. Ideology does. Of course, Islamism itself does cause poverty, but primarily because its economic policies reject modern economic theory and practice.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • lirelou

    I’m afraid that some of our posters are going to have to revise their view of Americans having absolutely no idea of where Korea is, or what Korea is. K Pop has made the New Yorker. Can mobs of star struck American fans of Korean girl groups be far behind. Indeed, some may wish for the good old day, when Ma and Pa Kettle had no idea of where Korea was.

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/10/video-john-seabrook-on-k-pop.html

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

    Couple things.

    Yu Bum Suk @ #43, I didn’t distinguish between American democratic allies and non-democratic allies. I did imply that the best American ally would have to be from outside the Anglosphere, otherwise America’s best ally would have to be the UK, hands down. Also, I implied that these allied would have to be picked from the countries that the U.S. had a direct hand at liberating, rather than conquering (i.e. Japan is out). The U.S. did not “liberate” Poland per se, but Poland would not have been able to leave the Iron Curtain without the U.S. Additionally, Poland has had a history of having hungry wolves at both flanks. The sterile Germans to the west and the crazy Russians to the east. If I was Poland, I would hold on to the U.S. for dear life.

    cm @ # 44, I have a feeling that the percentage of Koreans who view the U.S. favorability doesn’t really matter to some commenters. They might view the entire country through the lens of negative experiences they have had with a small selection of Koreans from the hagwon boss who may have ripped them off to the in-law that didn’t accept their marriage, etc. Koreans are a vocal lot. Even if the minority is vocal, there will always be observers of Korea who don’t take the country as a whole (too much mental work) and just go with the vocal minority that best suits their prejudices.

    I have to maintain that Korea is among the best U.S. allies that has been liberated by said country, after WWII and is not part of the Anglosphere. I mean, they take thousands of 20-somethings a year from our lower rung colleges and universities and give them descent jobs with descent wages in exchange for a skill they were born with and that the vast majority of Koreans don’t really need. This doesn’t cost Uncle Sam a dime and many of these kids use the money they earn to actually pay Uncle Sam back! Imagine that. If that’s not being a good ally, I don’t know what is!

  • Yu Bum Suk

    WK, While even Labour governments of late have embraced the US, a lot of Brits have a dim view of the US in general, and despise the fact that Blair sent troops to help in the invasion of Iraq.

    As for anti-Americanism in Korea, are all you guys saying its very small Americans? If so, it may be that many Koreans are sparing you their true feelings. As a non-American I hear a lot of disparaging remarks about America, and isn’t it interesting how when there’s the slightest problem with American imports the fangs come out, while nobody really cares about problems with stuff like Canadian meat. If the recent Canadian E-coli outbreak had happened at an American plant I’m sure it would be all over the Korean news.

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

    Yu Bum Suk,

    Poland’s list of shitty choices in the 19th century: Prussia, Russia or Napoleon? Hold on to Napoleon for dear life!

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

    Well Yu Bum Suk, there are what people say, who people vote for and what governments do.

    Similar to the U.K., Koreas grumble, they vote for people who don’t necessarily vote for what they grumble about regarding overseas issues and those voted in governments implement actual policy. Yeah, it doesn’t make sense, but that’s how the world works. However, when that grumbling turns into rioting, then it’s a different issue.

  • cm

    If I grumble about FTA with US, does that make me anti American? If I grumble about America’s wars in the Middle East, does that make me anti American? Must I always agree and support 100% of what America does and thinks, to not be considered anti American?