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GIs go Grand Theft Auto in Itaewon, one gets shot

Yongsan, we have a problem:

An American soldier was in stable condition Sunday after being shot by South Korean authorities during a late-night car chase, police said Sunday.

According to Seoul’s Yongsan Police Station, police received calls shortly before midnight Saturday that two American soldiers, including the injured, were threatening civilians with an air gun in the multicultural district of Itaewon.

The two U.S. soldiers were approached by Seoul police near Itaewon Station, but they refused to identify themselves and fled in a vehicle, leading to the car chase through the capital city.

When they came to a dead end in southeastern Seoul, police fired off a warning shot and three rounds of bullets as the vehicle tried to rush through police officers despite warnings. The car’s driver was hit by one of the bullets and another officer was slightly injured in the process, according to police.

BB guns, high-speed chases, running down police officers… I’d say that’s a pretty full night on Freedom’s Frontier.

Read the Korean-language reports here and here.

(HT to bumfromkorea)

UPDATE: Here’s some video footage (HT to the Sanity Inspector):

UPDATE 2: Here’s GI Korea’s take on it. Commenter Bobby Ray’s analysis of the situation is worth reading.

UPDATE 3: The woman in the car is reportedly the wife of the staff sergeant. When you think about it, causing mayhem in the heart of a foreign capital is a rather adorable couple thing to do. I just hope they were wearing couple shirts when they did it.

The couple, BTW, will be appearing at Yongsan Police Station for questioning today. The private who was driving the car—a.k.a. the guy who got shot—is unable to appear for question due to his shoulder wound. When this braintrust made it back to base, they apparently told US military authorities that an Arab gunman had shot the one guy and stole their car.

No word yet on whether they were drunk, high, sociopathic or just criminally stupid.

UPDATE 4: TK writes this on his blog:

So, to reiterate: a foreign army is occupying the middle of the city, and some of them are dumbasses who were threatening civilians with guns, engaged in a late night car chase, tried to kill a police man and got away with only injuring him in the process. And Koreans cannot do anything about it unless USFK voluntarily turns the soldiers over, and good luck getting that to happen.

Try putting the shoe on the other foot here, and imagine something like this happening, say, in the middle of Manhattan around once a month. How fast do you think somebody in America to say, “fuck these people”? How long do you think it would take before a celebrity singer, who lets his emotion run high and does not quite think things through, makes a song about killing them?

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

  • Madar

    Won’t they be surprised when they find there is no load saved game or restart button in real life. Hopefully, when the pull out in Afghanistan is complete and suspend general combat operations, they will be able to up the quality of new recruits. No more high school drop outs, or whoever they are bringing in now.

  • will.i.aint

    when the pull out in Afghanistan is complete and suspend general combat operations, they will be able to up the quality of new recruits. No more high school drop outs . . .

    It’s damn near impossible to join the US military without a high school diploma (or equivalent). This has especially been true when the economy isn’t going well.

  • will.i.aint

    It seems odd that the Yonhap English language report makes no mention of the assailants purposely trying to hit the police with the car. The Korean language Dong-a report not only said he was hit by the car as the assailants tried to flee from the alley – it says they tried to hit the officer four times.

  • yangachibastardo

    F&F Itaewon Drift

  • JG29A

    It’s easy as fuck to get that “equivalent”, though, even if you stopped going to classes at 15 to get high.

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    Probably wasn’t easy for these Itaewon joyriders . . .

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • http://atlantarofters.blogspot.com The Sanity Inspector
  • creo69

    Kimchi for breakfast for a decade or so will straighten the driver out.

  • bumfromkorea

    내가 살던 고향은 인천교도소… 된장국에 꽁보리밥 그립습니다…

  • weiguk

    and complete with the expected apologist spin. Oh what was that bad old korean cop doing shooting at those part-time altar boy soldiers? oh woe is me. That blog has gone down the toilet.

  • Jang

    About five years ago some Irish guys were drinking in Helios, Itaewon at around closing time. Right after being served drinks the staff says everyone must leave. Of course the patrons wanted to finish their beers so bouncers got out their pellet guns and shot two of them. The cops were called and stood outside laughing about it and the bouncers went about their business. A foreigner threatens to shoot a BB gun and they get shot at with real bullets.

  • bumfromkorea

    No, a foreigner tries to run over the cop (4 times apparently) with his car and end up busting the cop’s leg, and they get shot at with real bullets.

  • congee

    Agreed. But if it was a couple Canadians caught smoking pot, wow, look out!!!

  • Jang

    “a foreigner”
    That’s right, if a Korea had done it…
    “Update 2″ and “Bobby Ray’s analysis”
    Bobby Ray mentions the Korean rules but if they had been followed and the incident were taken one step back then the cops wouldn’t have ever been informed that someone “threatened” to shoot an air gun. But since it was “a foreigner” then of course the Korean rules aren’t followed.

    “4 times”
    You mean the policeman just had to put himself in front of the car the last time or “the foreigner” badly missed the first 3 times?

    Korean cops are fearless of auto/vehicles, just look at the video. I’ve seen them leap out at them in busy intersections for routine traffic violations in an attempt to stop them. They have a special gene that protects them from auto injuries. Most people don’t put themselves in front of a vehicle even if it illegally turns left or points an air gun at someone etc… Korean cops on motor-cycles do the same, they’re poorly trained. This weekend a kid pointed a gun(fake?) at me while he was walking up the mountain, he was holding it at his chest and to the side but when I walked by him well…but I didn’t call the police.

  • will.i.aint

    Busting the cop’s leg? I’ve read every English and Korean language report available regarding this incident and this is the first that I’ve heard about the police officer suffering a broken leg. Please provide a citation.

  • bumfromkorea

    “임 순경은 미군들에게 조사에 응할 것을 요구했지만 이들은 차량으로 전진과 후진을 반복하며 임 순경을 벽 쪽으로 밀어붙이며 위협했다. 이 과정에서 미군 차에 치여 임 순경은 왼쪽 무릎 아래를 다쳐 결국 깁스를 해야만 했다.”
    http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2013/03/04/2013030400111.html

    “이 과정에서 임 순경은 공포탄 1발과 실탄 3발을 발사했다. 차에 치인 임 순경은 왼쪽 무릎 등을 다쳤고, ㄹ일병은 실탄에 어깨를 맞았으나 생명에는 지장이 없는 상태다.”
    http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/society/society_general/576336.html

    “R일병의 차가 골목을 빠져나가려 하자 임 순경은 실탄 3발을 발사했다. 그중 한 발이 R일병의 왼쪽 어깨에 박힌 것으로 경찰은 판단하고 있다. 임 순경도 이 과정에서 왼쪽 무릎과 발등 등을 차에 들이받혀 현재 병원에 입원 중이다.”
    http://m.kukinews.com/view.asp?gCode=soc&arcid=0006951361&code=11131200

  • bumfromkorea

    Yeah, a kid pointing a toy gun at you is exactly the same situation as two full-grown men (soldiers, no less) pointing and reportedly shooting people with air guns. God, these Koreans are so racist, it must’ve been the soldiers’ big noses that got them calling 112 on the poor guys.

    Clearly the training was at fault here. What’s wrong with these Korean cops, so racist that they’re picking on these poor soldiers? Boys will be boys, especially when they’re the members of the professional military group representing their country in a foreign land.

    Just so you know, there’s a thick coating of rust on your moral compass. You might wanna get that all straightened up before you start talking about why those Koreans with damaged cars are complaining when they shouldn’t have parked their cars where the poor soldiers (victims, really) were trying to escape from the power-mad Korean cops hellbent on killing them for no good reason.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    TK wrote that? Well, no wonder.

    Look, the US wouldn’t need the presence of a foreign army on its soil in the first place. The US is not “occupying” South Korea. The US is here because the SK government wants, nay, needs them to be here. It allows SK to save a shitload of money on defense by outsourcing it to someone who can do a much better job. 30,000 US troops > SK army. Do you think that if the US left tomorrow and the Norks knew they wouldn’t come rushing back to defend the South that the Norks wouldn’t attack? Of course they would. The SK army for all its fancy toys and the 600,000 or so troops is a practice army. They dig ditches, clear snow, do lots of practicing alongside the Americans but when push comes to shove, they are untested. And that is why they need the US, because for a country with a top 12 world economy and a major threat on its border, 50 miles from its capital city, they spend a shamefully low amount on defense. They’ve been able to build a thriving economy because they can use the money they save on defense to better uses. And god bless them! By outsourcing to a more competent provider they are being smart. But it also sort of makes them hypocritical when they start the sort of bullshit talk TK and other progs love to engage in. You want the US out? Man up, pay for your own defense and stop hiding behind the US’ back and under its nuclear umbrella.

  • will.i.aint

    The news reports vary widely on this (obviously):

    http://m.yna.co.kr/mob2/en/contents_en.jsp?cid=AEN20130303001151315&domain=3&ctype=A&site=010000000

    When they came to a dead end in southeastern Seoul, police fired off a
    warning shot and three rounds of bullets as the vehicle tried to rush
    through police officers despite warnings. The car’s driver was hit by
    one of the bullets and another officer was slightly injured in the
    process, according to police.

  • bumfromkorea
  • CurfewViolator

    “And Koreans cannot do anything about it unless USFK voluntarily turns the soldiers over, and good luck getting that to happen.”

    And of course the obligatory bullshit line of evil “SOFA” that allows us to escape unscathed from any repercussions from the ROKs. Everyone knows that getting onto the camp is automatic amnesty. Guess the soldier’s we have coming out every month on the SJA report are fake personalities generated by the Ministry of Truth.

    I generally enjoy seeing some of the bullshit that comes out on his blog, but to see him totally fall hook, line and sinker for this constantly beat over mantra disgusts me.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    But the bullshit of it is that the ROK CAN DO something about SOFA. It can end the agreement today, ask the US to leave and take control of the command of its forces tomorrow. The US would oblige them. But the thing is, the ROK chooses to do nothing because the leadership here knows whats up, even if people like TK do not. It would be expensive and risky, and this is something that the regular South Koreans do not want, even though they will bitch and moan about the evils of SOFA and American “occupation.”

  • Anonymous_Joe

    UPDATE 4: TK writes this on his blog:

    So, to reiterate: a foreign army is occupying the middle of the city, …

    So, to reiterate, a foreign army is in the middle of a city by the invitation of the host country. The foreign army would withdraw at the request (see precedence Philippines, Panama, Iraq) of the host country. The home country’s citizens of the foreign army would welcome the request.

    and some of them are dumbasses who were threatening civilians with guns, engaged in a late night car chase, tried to kill a police man and got away with only injuring him in the process. And Koreans cannot do anything about it unless USFK voluntarily turns the soldiers over, and good luck getting that to happen.

    Koreans cannot do anything about it unless USFK abides by its SOFA, which (under its SOFA as pertains to this incident), USFK undoubtedly will. Good luck with getting Koreans to understand that the U.S. – Korea SOFA already spells this out and quit believing otherwise.

    Try putting the shoe on the other foot here, and imagine something like this happening, say, in the middle of Manhattan around once a month.

    Try putting the shoe on the first foot and getting even educated Koreans to prove this is happening say once a year, let alone once a month.

    How fast do you think somebody in America to say, “fuck these people”? How long do you think it would take before a celebrity singer, who lets his emotion run high and does not quite think things through, makes a song about killing them?

    Probably longer than for the celebrity singer on the other foot to be invited to the White House.

  • http://twitter.com/TheRealTruth6 The Real Truth

    Though it wasn’t standard protocol, I’m glad the cop shot the moron. I hope the cop isn’t punished, and I hope the bullet hole serves as a lesson to other morons on base who can’t stop themselves from committing crimes off base.

  • Charles Tustison

    공기 총 is not very specific. Some English reports say an “air rifle” but even then, there is a big difference between a CO 2 rifle and the high powered air rifle’s used to hunt in Korea.

    This is not the first incident of a USFK member doing bad things with an air rifle. Back in Feb 1989, Tech SGT John D Wilson sat on his balcony in Kunsan with an air rifle shooting whatever people were going by. This incident made the national press in Korea and resulted in a weaker SOFA that was less capable of protecting soldiers who make honest mistakes.

  • palladin9479

    It’s TK what else did anyone expect. I used to read his blog but then he actually began believing he his own BS. Now it’s mostly an outlet for him to express his political beliefs in the guise of “answering” questions.

  • palladin9479

    “just [s]criminally[/s] stupid.”

    Just dumb people doing dumb things. Being in the service does not instantly remove youthful stupidity.

  • hardyandtiny

    Bobby Ray done gone classic.

  • hardyandtiny

    must have been the SSG’s car, otherwise you could drop them off and head for the hiils.

  • Mrs_Choi

    I would love for these clowns to be turned over to Korean authorities. I would love for the US armed forces to leave and never come back. But, FFS. Nobody is occupying anybody around here. Let’s not be silly.

  • cm

    TK has gone over the deep end.

  • cm

    Racism charges unjustified. The soldiers in the car tried to run over the cop, they deserve what they got. They will get punishment, end of story.

  • TheKorean

    The problem with SOFA is it takes a lot of time to change and edit it, as the two parties need to both agree. Many Koreans like myself are frustrated with the incompetence in the South Korean government to do anything. So most take up to the streets and protest. Many Koreans feel the USFK is an occupying army since most of these cases (since 1950s) are never equally judged.
    The South Korean armed forces isn’t a “practice army”, you fool. So a more than million “practice army” that has been in American wars since Vietnam is incomparable to some 28,000 US troops in Korea? You got to be joking.

  • cm

    TK, realistically, the US will never agree to forfeit their troops to the same criminal justice system as the regular South Korean citizens. So then what’s the other choice? The only other choice is to ask the US to withdraw their troops, this problem then is solved. There’s no point bitching and moaning about this to the Americans. That should be done in front of the South Korean parliament to pass the law asking the US military to leave.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Your English is failing you and you’re flailing for an argument.

    1. It is certainly a practice army. When the most combat that 95% of the army ever sees is with snow or in simulation, that is a practice army. The US army is a combat tested army and there is the difference.

    2. You complete misunderstand the word occupation. SOFA and American presence were not forced on SK by an invading army. SK was unable to defend itself in the 1950s and has been unable to do so ever since. SOFA is a result of this weakness but it can be ended today. You’re throwing big words around – OCCUPATION – but you want to RENEGOTIATE the terms of SOFA? If the US was truly occupying South Korea wouldn’t you want to kick them out? But you know that kicking out the US, losing the nuclear umbrella would spell doom to a feminized, spoiled society where what it meant to be a man has long ago been forgotten. Do you think your 700,000 or so practice soldiers would stop the North? Who would stop them? The boys in pink with their handbags?

    3. Those Koreans who truly feel the US is occupying them are morons. Again, man the fuck up, start paying for your defense and ask the Americans to leave.

    I fucking dare ya. The minute you do, watch the capital fly out and the miracle on the Han evaporate.

  • TheKorean

    If course, there’s no choice. But this isn’t easy. If USFK leaves, SK needs a credible deterrent against likes of NK and China and nuclear might be that option. However, US prevents South Korea from enriching and reprocessing and if she does, it can damage the ROK-US alliance.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    The US would be crazy to hand over its own troops to a legal system where the idea of “rule of law” is replaced with the idea “make a political statement.” This is one of the most corrupt legal systems in the world.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    It’s hilarious to see that you are fighting against someone who is clearly not me. Have fun.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    “by the invitation of the host country”

    That part made me laugh. Thanks.

  • Jang

    S. Korea can do it in 6 months, during that time America will withdraw it troops while still being under the umbrella. After 6 months no more umbrella. Grow some and while you’re at…Has there ever been a S. Korean soldier face charges in another country while serving there? NO! When S. Korea starts handing over their soldiers to the justice system of other countries when they’re suspected of crimes then call me.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    You stopped reading? I never noticed. Must have been the other 5,000 readers that are visiting the blog every day.

  • TheKorean

    Reread my comment again, if South Korea does reprocessing and enrichment, its going to hamper ROK-US relations. I don’t think neither countries want that.

  • cm

    Forces advocating the revamp of SOFA need to explain what they really want (other than wanting the US troops to be subjected to ROK legal system 100%, as I explained, they cannot have that). We need concrete suggestions to resolve this. Holding the US military hostage and then going on to bitching and whining at them is not solving the problem. Perhaps the best thing South Korea to do is to negotiate with the US to produce nuclear weapons, with the goal of eventually withdrawing the US forces from Korea. But having nuclear weapons isn’t the answer for everything, since South Korea will still need to keep a strong conventional force. The bottom line: ROK will have to end up spending a slew of money if the US leaves – not to mention the huge hit to the international credit rating thus subsequently the high cost to the economy. Of course the other choice is to just shut up, swallow the pride, and put up with the minor annoyances that don’t add up to a hill of beans. Just recognize the fact that ROK has reaped the benefits with the US military in Korea.

  • Jang

    No, it’s going to change relations. Don’t tell me you’re afraid of change now are you? I keep hearing S. Korea is going to change, change, change, change, until my ears ring. It’s about time to grow up S. Korea/Koreans.

  • Jang

    Koreans so often think negatively using words like “hamper relations” Expand your English language for once and whenever you catch yourself doing so, do the twist and think positively by using “change relations,” but shock the world and really do it.

  • creo69

    Why don’t Koreans just grow a pair of you know whats and start managing their own defenses. Problems solved.

  • cre069

    Good point…Koreans should grow a pair of you know whats and start to take care of their own defenses. Americans have enough work to do at home.

  • yangachibastardo

    Sorry dude but the vision of some drunk Irish guy having his ass pelleted at Helios is indeed hilarious…

    Other than that i would tend to agree with Salaryman and cm and yes S. Korea should go nuclear.

    Let me add one note: i don’t think the key point here is the difference level of competence between S. Korean and American trooops.

    It is highly unlikely that 28k soldiers, even if they’re the most hardcore in the world, could really stop a NK invasion.

    Their real value lies in the fact they are 28,000 American citizens working as a human shield for the South. By stationing so many troops there, and in the heart of the city, America send a message loud and clear she’s serious about the alliance. Serious to the point of risking the lives of a significant number of her own soldiers.

    Under the current status quo bombing Seoul is pretty much a direct act of war against America.

    That is a deterrent imho very difficult to replace

    (the same logic applied during the Cold War with the troops in W.Germany, i doubt anybody thought they would have made an actual military difference in case of a Soviet invasion)

  • yangachibastardo

    Jang seriously get a life…if i were the cop i would have aimed straight at the crania of the 2 dumassholes

  • lastnamekim

    So, what? Are the cops supposed to bust out foam bullets just because the assailants are going around town shooting at people with a bb gun and recklessly speeding around town (almost running the officers down)? When cops tell you to act civil and you act like a video game driver, you should expect to get warning shots..with REAL bullets.

  • lastnamekim

    I’d have to agree with Yangachi here that the presence of the troops is more symbolic and not the fact that the 28K-30K is here to actually physically defend against one of the world’s most dangerous and suicidal troops.

  • fe525929

    diaff please

  • fe52952952992

    diaff cretin

  • fe5295929

    fuckwit, please foad

  • wangkon936

    If this happened in America, the cops would have put at least a cap in one of those guy’s heads. In other words, at least one of those guys would be dead.

    I really don’t know what everyone is complaining about. It’s not like anyone knew those guys were U.S. soldiers while they were going on their little spree in plain clothes.

  • wangkon936

    Okay, than maybe more recruits that have an ASVAB score of greater than 35-45. These guys are complete idiots. I don’t want any of them outside the borders of the country to give the rest of us Americans a bad name to our more educated and civilized allies.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Really? I did not specify which TK I was responding to in the above post, but I think the general thrust of my posts has been to destroy the “argument” you posted on your blog as cited in the entry by Robert Koehler.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    The money the ROK saved thanks to being protected by the US went a veeeeery long way to fueling the economic miracle of the last half century. Too bad these retarded progressive forget this.

  • TheKorean

    Yes it will. Go google US govt. position on nuclear weapons in South Korea. Don’t blame on Koreans for the crap these people did.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    4900 of whom are there to simply witness the car wreck that is your complete lack of intelligence mixed with brazen arrogance.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Is the US army here as a result of an invasion against the wishes of the Korean government? Typical idiot prog.

  • TheKorean

    And South Korea still needs to spend more on military regardless if US leaves or not. The military spending has increased over the years and it will grow more since the region is becoming unstable due to disputes and etc.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    By the way, who the hell are you?

  • Jinro Dukkohbi

    Speaking of the SSG’s car – was that Opirus really his? Doesn’t sound like the typical GI-hoopty car to me, so will they be adding carjacking/stolen vehicle to the list of crimes these idiots committed as well?

  • Bob Bobbs

    What ever happened to the good ol’ days when GIs used to steal the Colonel Sanders statue from outside the Itaewon KFC?

  • jef

    If the US is willing to let SK to arm themselves to the teeth with nuclear and long-range missiles, both of which SK claims to be capable of developing, then, yeah, I’m pretty sure we all got ourselves a ball game. But, is the US really ready for that? In the midst of the China-Japan feud over an archipelago in the South China Sea, which triggered Japan’s ‘military aid’ shopping spree on Southeast Asian countries as well as China upping their nationalistic rhetoric and boosting their military budget, the US publicly urging, supporting, or even condoning SK to equip themselves would send heck of a bang in the region and the US knows damn too well about it.

    So, I’m asking: do you really think it’s ever gonna happen in near future?

  • cm

    Imagine the flack that would have caused – Korean cop kills GI’s in Korea. Or what would have happened if the GI’s in the car had killed the Korean cop or if they had killed/maimed a Korean pedestrian with their BB gun. This story could have turned out far worse than how it ended up. I can’t imagine what would have been like if anything had seriously gone wrong.

  • jef

    One thing I find somewhat funny is, you seem to see the overall picture (of the US-ROK relations) relatively well, yet at the same time, you choose to ignore a bigger one completely, Far East Asia. In other words, the woe won’t be completely on SK in case the US decided to withdraw their troops from the soil as the US, in their foreign policy realm, would end up with sacks of trouble with China, North Korea, and Japan–and I’m pretty sure you know it quite well, too. So I get to wonder: Is it some sort of cherry-picking?

  • wangkon936

    jef,

    These guys just can’t think that far even if it’s just one intermediate step. Don’t expect that much from those who advocate that without thinking of the natural consequences.

  • wangkon936

    Especially since those GI’s were driving the car like a weapon in itself. If you are driving a car like a deadly weapon and are a danger to yourself, your passengers and pedestrians, then you deserved to be stopped, with a gun if need be.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    The U.S. has already agreed to forfeit their troops to the same criminal justice system as the regular South Korean citizens. The SOFA only covers American troops on duty and in the performance of their duty.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    In this thread and not just this specific comment, Salman has been spot-on.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Yes, “by the invitation of the host country.” See Salman above, and you’ll understand who really are laughing.

  • jinu4ever

    Not really, USA wasn’t lending any great amount of money to Korea during Park Chung Hee’s rule. USA’s gained more out of staying in Korea then the other way. There’s no need to credit USA’s “protection” of Korea for Korea’s economic performance.

    We didn’t invite USA military, USA invited themselves. Some Koreans are happy with it, some aren’t. Why on earth would USA accept an invitation by Korea to station their troops here.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Without the USFK presence in Korea, the man man (whichever was in power at whichever time) in the North would have overrun the South.

    As far as the U.S. accepting the invitation, the U.S. finds it less expensive to keep the 23,000 tripwire troops, which are more of a deterrent than the whole of the ROK’s 700,000 man military, here than deploying, redeploying, fighting a war, and then accepting another invitation to stay.

  • jef

    Shocking the world as in triggering possibly the biggest arms race since the Cold War by nudging China, Japan, North Korea, and even Taiwan with “hampering relations” and causing instability in the entire region, you mean? Yeah, sure. Why not?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    The US presence allowed you to save a lot of money, so yes, you were subsidized BIG TIME. It also brought down risk big time and allowed home and foreign capital to invest.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Obviously the US has an interest to be here. They arent here out of altruism. But does that interest mean they would refuse to leave? Of course not. Besides, Korea is not the only place they can station soldiers so how would they be giving up NE Asia? Thing is, if US wants to fight China, is Korea the best place for the troops, what with 1,000,000 soldiers + 5,000,000 reservists in the DPRK between the relatively small US contingent here and China?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    The US need not condone or urge, at least publicly. They can simply be presented with a fait accompli

  • Jang

    Just to be sure, there weren’t any GI’s committing “Grand Theft Auto” as the title/headline says correct?

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    The fact that you are hitching your wagon on that nutjob is plenty laughable too.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    TK, his comment is valid here, and your ad hominem on Salman, whom I have no lost love for, does nothing to diminish it.

    The problems are that you not only wrote a factually wrong blog post about the SOFA but also continue to do so. OK, you have an agenda. You want the U.S. out. That’s cool that you feel so strongly about it. What’s not is your continuing factual misrepresentations as a means to that end.

    You are going to be shown to be factually wrong in what you wrote about the SOFA. Why don’t you write in your blog what the SOFA actually says and whether the U.S. has held to it?

    I am continually stunned by the ignorance displayed by Koreans en masse about their own issues and how people who should know better perpetuate that ignorance. (And before you or RK take a shot about American ignorance on some issue, remember that Americans are not holding candlelight vigils or violent demonstrations. Moreso, I am not, perhaps intentionally, misrepresenting such tinderbox issues in my blog, TK,)

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    Read my most recent comment on the other thread. I do NOT want the USFK out. Look up my previous comments and posts on this topic. And the fact that you continue to make this about USFK distracts from the main issue: that these assholes are assholes. All other issues are distractions, and you continue to engage in them because you cannot look straight into the main issue and admit the fuckup. You would rather talk about Koreans’ “ignorance en masse.”

    There is nothing factually wrong about what I wrote. But then again, that’s not the main issue.

  • Bob Bobbs

    You describe them as occupiers, but you want them to stay? That just does not add up.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    For fuck’s sake, I am the same guy who wrote a lengthy defense of invading Afghanistan, analogizing it to Korea: http://askakorean.blogspot.com/2009/10/ask-korean-news-thoughts-on-afghanistan.html I’m also the same guy who continued to defend the presence of USFK, even as I was describing USFK crimes: http://askakorean.blogspot.com/2011/12/recent-spate-of-crimes-by-usfk.html (look at the comments.)

    I have a very public blog that very publicly states my opinion on Korea-related matters. So how about you read a little bit of it before you ascribe every fucking motive on me? Oh wait, never mind–that would get in the way of justifying your racism against Koreans, right?

  • Anonymous_Joe

    TK, the ignorance that I refer to is your and every Korean whom I have ever talked to about the SOFA. Your (singular) statements have been proven false by today’s counter-example.

    Why don’t you write a blog post about the real workings of the SOFA?

    (As far as referring to your opinion about the USFK, I”ll take you at your word and no longer think your opinion is different. The problem is that when you use “occupy” in the context of “foreign army”, it connotes something different from “occupy” in the context of “bathroom”.)

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    There you go again. You just/can’t/stop/talking/about/SOFA, can you? You just cannot focus on the main issue here. Why is it so hard for you to focus on the fact that these guys are assholes? Why is it so hard to condemn these assholes, and end the discussion? Why compels you continue steering the discussion toward the supposed “ignorance en masse” of Koreans? Do you seriously need to make yourself feel superior that badly, that you need to use the instance of a police getting nearly run over by a car to talk about how stupid Koreans are?

  • Bob Bobbs

    My racism contre les Coreens? Mais non, monsieur. Stop swearing at me.

    Under the Hague Convention, the position of an occupier is outlined thusly:

    Art. 42.Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army.The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.

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

    Words like ‘occupy’ and ‘hostile’ suggest a rather adversarial attitude between the parties. I do not think this describes the current state of US/ROK affairs, and it is disingenuous of you to use these terms while simultaneously claiming to be in favour of the continued presence of US forces in South Korea.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    I thought I was writing in English; I did not realize I was writing in the legalese in the mold of the Hague Convention. The word “occupy” is defined in the dictionary, in relevant parts:

    – to take up (a place or extent in space)
    - to take or hold possession or control of

    Here is what I wrote: “a foreign army is occupying the middle of the city[.]” There is no mention of any hostility. In fact, I made it crystal clear in the past that I support the presence of USFK in Korea.

    So what’s disingenuous–my use of the word “occupy” in a manner that is 100% correct according to the dictionary, or your attempt to twist my words into something I never said? Just fuck off.

  • jef

    Among many other things to follow by the minute the US leaving the SK soil, First thing will be the rearmament of Japan, highly likely with nuclear, nudged by SK going nuclear that without a doubt will happen, which most likely push China to a new level of arms race with practically everyone in the region, and by the very notion of that Taiwan and the South China Sea lane turn into another theater of war, be it real or psychological. And with just a right spark somewhere, we end up in WW3.

    So, no, I really don’t think the US has been stationing their troops in SK just because it’s just a fait accompli since WW2.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    You must be new here. I mean that in a good way–you are not infected by the stupidity of this space yet. You will learn to lower your expectations soon.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Things like the Hague Convention are indeed written in English. The term ‘army of occupation’ has been used in many contexts: to describe the US occupation of Texas after the war with Mexico, to describe the American and Allied administration of Japan after the Pacific War and Germany after 1945, and, off the top of my head, to describe the British presence in Northern Ireland in the language of the IRA who see themselves as committed to their removal by force.

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

    More recently, an Iraq War veteran writes in the Guardian of the ‘invasion’ of Iraq and being part of its ‘occupation’ thereafter:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/01/occupying-iraq-us-army-veteran

    At what point did the US ‘invade’ South Korea?

    When you use the term ‘occupy’ you frame the US presence in Seoul as being in this manner. I do not recall there ever having been a war between the US and South Korea. The US and South Korea are, in the language of their own leaders, ‘blood allies.’ Describing the US Army as ‘foreign’ is an insult to the memory of those who served and died in the Korean War. It is language like this which I find inconsistent with your protestations of love for America, as do many others on this board.

    If you want to go back to sources like the Webster dictionary, you will find this:

    ARMY OF OCCUPATION
    :
    an army sent to hold and exercise a military government in the
    territory of the enemy after his subjugation in war usu. to ensure
    compliance with peace terms

    At what point did the US subjugate South Korea in war? In your definition above, although the first meaning listed in the dictionary means to take up the place of, it is reasonable to suggest that the second meaning of ‘occupy’ involves the use of force. At what point did the US military forcibly occupy Seoul? You are going to be hard-pressed to prove that the term ‘foreign army of occupation’ is neutral and a mere statement of fact, especially when you refer to them with swear words and false analogies.

    As for GI crime against Koreans, I would like to point out that the ROK employed similar SOFAs during its participation in the invasion of Iraq, that the Korean definition of crime is far too expansive at it includes, as far as I know, things like parking and speeding tickets and that these numbers are often falsified and exaggerated in the Korean press which, like you, tailors facts to fit their agenda:

    http://populargusts.blogspot.ca/2013/02/incorrect-statistics-portray-americans.html

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    “To prove what you thought, I will reject what you wrote, and instead rely on a bunch of things that you had nothing to do with.”

    That’s also how you prove 이병헌 was actually 이병현, right? What a joke.

  • Arghaeri

    Follow the precedent of the Phillipines, are you trying to be ironic. 48 years and several hundred thousand dead Filipinos. Some precedent you choose.!!!

  • Bob Bobbs

    Google searches for Lee Byung Hyeon show many images with the same person labelled as Lee Byung Heon. See for yourself: https://www.google.ca/search?q=%EC%9D%B4%EB%B3%91%ED%98%84&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=4oM&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=x3c2UbWZLsTkqAG7joDoCw&ved=0CDIQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=697

    To say ‘a foreign army is occupying the middle of the city’ is clearly, as I said in another thread, a call to arms to resist this invasion. Other native speakers of English on this board agree with me. It is only you and some other deluded Korean/American/where-are-you-guys-actually-from types who insist that it is a dispassionate statement. Last year’s Occupy movements were movements of resistance, not co-operation. They were resisted with force by the state and corporations. If I occupy your capital city, I take it. I don’t live there unmolested.

    I am relying on everything thing I could find online to show you that your understanding of the term ‘foreign army of occupation’ is incorrect, and that you the Korean media often refer to one person by two names.You are wrong on both counts, as I have demonstrated without resorting to personal attacks and bad language.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    What a neat little bullshit there–if people disagree with you, they are the “where-are-you-guys-actually-from types.” Keep talking, because I’m done.

  • Bob Bobbs

    But you are an American who calls himself The Korean. How else am I to react?

  • http://profiles.google.com/bdhatwork bdh bdh

    “Not really, USA wasn’t lending any great amount of money to Korea during Park Chung Hee’s rule. ”

    are you kidding?

  • Anonymous_Joe

    TK, it’s easy to call them assholes: they’re assholes. You brought in all the rest, and so are the Korean papers, netizens, and media.

    As far as “ignorance en masse”, look at everyone screaming, wrongly mind you, about the SOFA. YOU KNOW BETTER, and you’re still doing it. Within a day of writing your post, you were proved wrong.

    As far as your use of the word “occupy” goes, you wrote that you don’t want to lawyer the use of the word, and then you start lawyering. Yes, occupy has the meaning you cited. Occupy also has the meaning that everyone else perceived in the context you used it. You wrote it, and you’re responsible for the ambiguity. How do judges rule in ambiguity in contract law? Yes, that’s right, against the writer of the contract. Everything in your post led the reader to believe that you meant “occupying” and “foreign army” in terms of “occupying” and “foreign army”.

    Finally, you’ve got to stop beating that dead war horse that ex-pats aren’t condemning those asshats. Show me one (serious) poster who isn’t, let alone this multitude.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Words have meaning through context. In the context of an army, the principal connotation is one of an invader. Lawyer tricks wont save TK

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    The nut-job is me? Well, at least I’m not a stinking coward who backtracks on his words 24 hours later. You’ve been destroyed in this thread by many people, and now you resort to arguing that by using ‘occupy’ in the context of a ‘foreign army’ you really meant something akin to Bob occupying his seat. But the fact is, you failed: as a lawyer you failed by writing a terribly ambiguous post, and you fail again in trying to weasel out with some cheap lawyer trickery. You are pathetic on every level.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    And the context is that, for years, in this space and otherwise, I have been a vocal advocate of USFK staying in Korea. But I know that with you, only the context that favors you matters.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    24 hours ago the main issue was the USFK occupying Seoul, now the issue is that these guys are assholes? Who ever came to their defense? This was never an issue, never a bone of contention anywhere in this or any other thread. I myself said the USFK needs to make them regret being born. No one ever defended them so their assholery was NEVER an issue. NEVER

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    You brought in all the rest

    Like shit I did. Read my post again. It was entirely focused on why Koreans (including Psy) might feel that they have been wronged by the USFK, and used this car chase as an example. It did not bring up whether USFK should stay; it did not bring up why USFK was in Korea, and it did not bring up SOFA. It was you and the commentariat who brought all that up, IN RESPONSE TO MY POST THAT DID NOT REFER TO ANY OF THOSE THINGS, as you falsely ascribed to me a motivation that I never harbored (i.e. wanting USFK out.)

    The question is: why? Answer me that.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    The primary context is the context of the sentence: The USFK is occupying central Seoul. The immediate connotation for 99% of people is one of an invader taking territory and holding it by force. The wider context is you and your support of the left, well known for its stance against SOFA, against the USFK and against the US, especially Roh, a populist who stoked fires of hatred for 5 years. Your stated and explicit support of people “taking to the streets” further enriches that context.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Arghaeri, there’s no irony. When the PI told the American military to leave, it left. The precedent is that they told them to GTFO and they got GTFO.

    By your reasoning, I suppose that when the ROK finally grows a pair (not anytime soon, mind you, with the latest saber rattling coming out of the DPRK) people will say that the US finally left Korea after over 60 years and millions of dead.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    You are seriously telling ME what I intended with the sentence that I myself wrote? Do you even realize how ridiculous this is?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Despite your pompous nickname – “THE” Korean – you are just a little weener, not the WHOLE KOREAN NATION.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    How convenient you fail to include the meaning that DOES suggest force. But youre playing lawyer again. Foreign armies occupy territory by force. This is not legalese it is basic use of the verb – to occupy – in the context of a foreign army as the vast majority of people, LAY people, use the word.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Running again? You should do a marathon, or a sprint. Ive never seen a guy run from so many battles as you.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I gauge your intent by what you say. I have no way, and wouldnt want to anyway, of getting inside that “mind” of yours. Your words tell me what you wanted to say. That’s what language is used for – for communicating information with others. For language to be effective we need to use words properly so that we are at least on the same page. You failed, whether on purpose or not, by employing words in a way to make the meaning of your message at best vague, at worst clear and hostile and patently wrong.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    But the thing is, you really don’t want the USFK out. I mean, you’re not (grossly) stupid, and you know the USFK guarantees the existence and prosperity of your country. All you want is a convenient target for your little leftist barbs, and an excuse to have a good old time throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails when you get bored. That’s the curious modus operandi of Korea’s left – very masochistic, if you ask me

  • Anonymous_Joe

    This is what you wrote:

    So, to reiterate: a foreign army is occupying the middle of the city, and some of them are dumbasses who were threatening civilians with guns, engaged in a late night car chase, tried to kill a police man and got away with only injuring him in the process. And Koreans cannot do anything about it unless USFK voluntarily turns the soldiers over, and good luck getting that to happen.

    What did you mean when you wrote “…Koreans cannot do anything about it unless USFK voluntarily turns the soldiers over, and good luck getting that to happen”? If your statement was not in context of the SOFA and as the SOFA applies to this situation, did you mean that the USFK would blatantly flout Korean law?

    Let’s put this to rest: I have already written that I accept you at your word about your opinion about the USFK and won’t state otherwise again. I apologize, and I assure you that my misunderstanding of your position was unintentional. You should cease and desist ascribing to me otherwise, also.

    Now let’s discuss your statement about “…Koreans cannot do anything about it unless USFK voluntarily turns the soldiers over, and good luck getting that to happen.”

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    I meant what I wrote. Can Koreans do anything about those soldiers unless USFK voluntarily turns the soldiers over? No. Can USFK refuse to turn over the soldiers if it feels like? Yes. From Koreans’ perspective, does it feel like a roll of dice as to whether the USFK will actually turn the soldiers over whenever something like this happens? Absolutely.

    Now, answer me:how is it that you can summon so little outrage against these assholes who nearly killed a police officer, but so many words and so much energy to argue against me about something I never said?

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Wow. I am trying to be more diplomatic, but Salman is seeing your (the Korean’s) post as it is.

    I don’t have a problem so much with the Korean’s initial misstatements as with his inanity in clinging to them.

    To the Korean, you should post in your blog about the reality of “Koreans cannot do anything about it unless USFK voluntarily turns the soldiers over, and good luck getting that to happen” and post it in Korean also. Unless, of course, it doesn’t fit your real agenda.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    TK, we are outraged. Stop posting otherwise.

    Again, USFK turned over the soldiers. We all wrote that there was no doubt that would happen. You turned it into some Schrodinger’s-cat-God-playing-dice-with-the-universe probabilistic outcome at best. In the stated context, you turned it into a “good luck getting that to happen” in the meaning of a hagwon owner paying on its contract

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    TK, we are outraged. Stop posting otherwise.

    It’s totally fair game for you to distort my words and continue to question my motives, but I’m not supposed to call you out based on your conduct here? Answer me: how is it that there is huge discrepancy between the effort spent denouncing the USFK soldiers who nearly killed a police officer, and the effort spent trying to “disprove” something I never said? If that is not because of the discrepancy in outrage, what is the reason?

    We all wrote that there was no doubt that would happen. You turned it into some Schrodinger’s cat probabilistic outcome at best.

    I said that because it was a probablistic outcome. There was no doubt? Absolutely no doubt at all? If you said: “USFK will likely turn them over,” I would think that’s a rational thing to say–ever since the Armored Car Incident, USFK was scared straight into not trying to make bad matters worse by not turning its soldiers over. But “no doubt”? That’s incorrect. Again, it was still entirely up to USFK as to whether or not it would turn the soldiers over, and it could have chosen not to turn them over. From Koreans’ perspective, at best, it is like predicting the weather–they could give a reasonable guess, but they have zero power over it. All they can do is to wish for luck.

    Now, tell me why this is so much more important than a policeman who nearly died.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Answer me: how is it that there is huge discrepancy between the effort spent denouncing the USFK soldiers who nearly killed a police officer, and the effort spent trying to “disprove” something I never said?

    Because no one is disputing the asshatery of the USFK soldiers. You have made your asshatery the subject of this thread.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    All I did is to write things on MY OWN BLOG. I did not post on this thread until you started leveling charges at me, some of which you already admitted to be false. So how did I make the subject of anything in this thread?

    And again, why is whatever I wrote more important than two USFK soldiers nearly killing a police officer?

  • Anonymous_Joe

    TK, I know that people know your real name and occupation, so I am trying to avoid calling you out directly, but you need to stop.

    You wrote and have defended “a foreign army is occupying the middle of the city”, which everyone but you interprets as a “military occupatoin”. You made the stink about Koreans inability to bring the soldiers to Korean justice “unless USFK voluntarily turns the soldiers over, and good luck getting that to happen.” The statement is irresponsible and inflammatory given Koreans’ already fallacious perception of the process, which Korean media, as well as you, stoke.

    As far as my misstating your position on USFK in Korea. I apologized as soon as you told me otherwise. Drop it. With this and your stubborn clinging to your insistence of appropriate usage of “occupying” “foreign army”, and “good luck getting that to happen”, you sound like a school boy.

    All I really want to say about this is that you have an opportunity to correct a widely held, inflaming, and dangerous misperception held by Koreans en masse and perpetuated by the Korean media. Rather than do something about it, you are party to it.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    You keep running away from my question: why is this more important than the two USFK soldiers nearly killing a police officer? And what is the point of this threat about real name and occupation? Is that supposed to scare me or something? What are you going to do — call my office? Good luck getting through the receptionist.

    Everyone but I interpret “occupy” as “military occupation”? It’s been two full days since I posted that on my blog. Nearly 10,000 unique visitors visited the blog during that time. That post has 33 comments now, and exactly one commenter interpreted the phrase that way. Since I corrected him, no one else commented that way since. Even GI Korea, who was critical of the phrase “good luck getting that to happen” on his own blog (based on wrongful understanding,) said nothing about “military occupation.” Shoot, I’m sure this page also has been seen by more than 10,000 people at this point. But as to the topic of “occupying,” it was you, Salman and Bobbs here, and THAT’S IT on this thread. Cloudfive specifically took objection. Three people, with one objection: that’s “everyone” to you?

    And you can’t even point out what was inaccurate with my writing “good luck getting that to happen”! If you think what I wrote is false, show how it’s false. If you can’t do that, you should have apologized for leveling false charges and move on. Instead, you came up with another transparent lie about how I made an issue of this. Who do you think you’re kidding here?

    As for your misrepresentation of my position on USFK, you continued to question my motive even after your “apology”.”Unless, of course, it doesn’t fit your real agenda.”–> these are your words. What is supposed to be my “real agenda”? What was the point of your apology if you went right back to questioning my motive? You think that comes across as mature?

    Lastly, I return to the most important point: why is what I wrote more important than the incident itself? Why do you devote so much time on this, while giving only a passing mention to how outrageous this entire episode was?

  • TheKorean

    US did occupy Southern Korea after the division in 1945 and many Koreans resisted the occupation. No Koreans ever invited US to be divided into two Koreas which the Americans did in 1945, jointly with the Soviets. hahaha

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Well, I see, then it would have been better to be unified and led by the great Kim Il Sung. Yes? The idiocy from your end of the spectrum is never-ending

  • TheKorean

    Where does Kim il Sung fit the picture? Many Koreans at that time resisted the division, especially from the nationalists and they also were against the trusteeship of joint US-Soviet. Go research for yourself.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    You don’t get to live in a fantasy. Take away the US and the USSR gets you whole. And Kim Il Sung would have been the leader.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Nice selective editing of history. The US and the Soviet Union administratively divided the peninsula for the purpose of facilitating the surrender and disarming of a large Japanese Imperial Army; both also had in mind jockeying for position, less over Korea itself than Japan and Europe. The division was not originally intended by either to result in political division (temporary or permanent). That it did was the result of a very complex process, to which Koreans themselves contributed in a largely negative fashion by demonstrating (as they had in the run-up to Japanese colonization) that they were incapable of creating a stable state capable of playing an independent role in contemporary international politics. When you are a failed state, it’s really annoying to whine about how you get handled.

  • Arghaeri

    The Filipinos rebelled against the Spanish in 1896 and declared independence in 1898 following which the U

  • TheKorean

    Don’t you know the provisional government? LOL

  • wangkon936

    Agree with Sperwer’s first part, but not with his second part.

    The Koreans were “incapable of creating a stable state” because the Japanese killed, imprisoned or drove away most Koreans who were capable of doing so. The southern part of Korea was like the U.S. in 1783 (or France in 1789 or India in 1947), disunited and novices in creating strong central governments.

    Besides, most of the Korean communists were in the south and were causing quite a stir in 1945. That might be some of the “largely negative fashion” that you might be referring to.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    If a bunch of (in most cases) self-appointed power seekers unrepresentative of everything but their own interests, constantly involved in intrigues to remove (even by murder) one another and who accomplished nothing is your idea of a functioning govt. the joke is on you.

  • wangkon936

    If people don’t know already, TheKorean and The_Korean are two different people.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Even assuming arguendo that the blame japan card is playable here, it doesn’t as you efffectively admit undermine the allegation that Koreans were incapable or creating a stable state.

    And surely, the reason was NOT their unfamiliarity with strong central government. Korea had had a highly centralized government for millennia; (btw, the colonies did not create a strong central government in 1783; Lincoln and the Republicans did that in 1860-65).

  • wangkon936

    Well, there really wasn’t a Korean government at the time the U.S. invited themselves in. However, someone had to give the Russians pause as they chased the Japanese army out of Manchuria.

  • Arghaeri

    So what exactly was Rochambeau doing then, taking his troop on a little seaside holiday.

    and I guess those 3000 french at the battle of savanna were just special observers, and the French fleet were just out on a training exercise.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    As a moderator, you should have TheKorean change his name on this board to avoid confusion.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Is this a serious response?

  • wangkon936

    “And surely, the reason was NOT their unfamiliarity with strong central government. ”

    Let’s be honest here. What you say just doesn’t make a lot of sense. At the time of the Protectorate was started, in 1905 and the time that the Japanese were defeated, 1945, was 40 years. Hardly anyone who was a government official in Joseon Korea was alive by 1945. Anyone who would of had experience or would have wanted to job and had a good resume were “taken care of” by the Japanese. All Korea had in 1945 were communist nuts or nearly senile pro-Americans like Rhee.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    It’s argument by factoid.

  • wangkon936

    I can ask, but I can’t make. Rob has the keys to that.

  • wangkon936

    TheKorean. Please slightly modify your name or adopt a gravatar to avoid confusion with The_Korean. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    I think you overstate the case; people like Rhee (who was hardly senile), Yun Chi ho, Phillip Jaisohn and many others who had served in the old regime were still around, and you surely won’t deny that the Koreans who worked for the Government General weren’t familiar with the working of very centralized government

  • wangkon936

    Phillip Jaisohn? I’m sure he was a good doctor and a good Korean patriot, but what experience does he have in running a government?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Not really, since the US was not a state when Rochambeau was fighting in the 13 colonies and same can be said about the battle of Savannah. The Revolutionary War preceded the American state – by definition since it was a War FOR Independence implying that independence was yet to be achieved. So its argument by ignorance, I suppose,.

  • wangkon936

    At least George Washington ran an army for four years and Benjamin Franklin and John Adams were statesmen and ambassadors for a few years.

  • wangkon936

    There would be no American state as we know it without French royal support.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Really? He had been involved in Korean politics since 1884, when we joined the Gapsin Coup and was then a minister in the shortlived Gapsin Government. Later, he was an adviser to Gojong, and with a wealth of experience as an reform and later independence activist. But if you are trying to make the point that he, and most of the others, were ill-fitted to manage a modern state, that begs the question who among Koreans, if not the best that the system had produced (such as No 1 passers of the exams, Jaisohn and Yun, were?

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Why are you addressing me? I was agreeing with you by pointing out the lack of substance in Arghaeri’s observation.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    You cannot make that statement with 100% certainty. There is a Canadian state and an Australian state, both achieving statehood without a revolution. Additionally, the lack of French support does not necessarily cancel out an eventual American victory

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    And Yun eg had been minister of Foreign Affairs (after serving in a subordinate capacity for some time) and previously a county magistrate, among other offices) There were plenty of others with comparable experience. Again, it seems, though, that even the best that Korea produced weren;t up to the task of undertaking the governance of a modern state?

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    There is no way to know this. What might be better said, and more to the point, is that there would be no American state but for the tens of thousands of colonials having taken up arms against His Majesty’s government.

  • wangkon936

    Philip Jaisohn was 20 years old in 1884.

  • wangkon936

    Okay, then what other administrators did they have to support them? I’m not saying that Korea didn’t have able people, but in 1945 a sudden stable government was very difficult.

    Another reason why there was so much instability was that many of the exiles coming to Korea were not known by the Koreans themselves and didn’t have the immediate legitimacy to govern Koreans so quickly after Japanese collapse.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Listen, how many (countless) examples are there of well meaning people starting up governments only to be worse than the previous regime or simply so incompetent as to run the whole thing into the ground?

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    So? Paek Sŏn-yŏp (白善燁) was 29 when he was made a brigadier general, having already piled up a distinguished record of achievement as a lt col and colonel as one of Korea’s few effective field grade fighting officers beginning with the NORK invasion.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    That’s sort of my point, except that the people who actually were vying to start up govts in post-war Korea weren’t often particualrly well-meaning, in my estimation.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    There were very large numbers of Koreans who worked in the Government General who were competent administrators. That’s not really the issue (except for those who regard them all as “collaborators”); that’s why USMGIK kept them on,despite the complaints of the untainted overseas Koreans, who (as you say) had reltively little legitimacy (or even widespread recognition). The problem was not at the administrative level, but at the political level. Still, and again, all this just goes further to demonstrate the failure of Koreans to put together on their own a government that the occupying powers could take seriously; they couldn;t mobilize the avaialble talent and resources in a convincing and effective manner.

  • wangkon936

    Sperwer, Philip Jaisohn was kicked out of Korea in 1884 because the coup he was a part of failed. You, of course, know this. So, how much Korean government experience could he have attained from passing the civil service exam at age 18 to age 20. He returned to Korea later and was active from 1895 to 1898.

    Could Philip Jaisohn have been an able leader and administrator in 1945? I’m sure he could have. At age 81 I’m sure he would have needed help. How many trained Korean officials were there at the time? Not a lot and of the ones that had some training, many were administrators during the Japanese occupation. Some would call those people collaborators. I don’t really fault the Americans for picking many of them to work with. There were not a lot of alternatives. The Japanese didn’t allow anyone else to have experience other than Koreans they felt they could trust to some degree.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    You know what they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I never trust well-meaning people, they always tend to stick their noses everywhere. That turns bad quick when they are running the government.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Iron Law of Oligarchy

  • wangkon936

    Yes, and Paik Sun-yup was a fine general and was only 29 years old when the Korean war started. Korea could have used at least 10 more Paik Sun-yups then perhaps the ROK army at the time wouldn’t have had so much “bug out” fever.

    I also feel bad for American too. If only America had a Vietnamese, Iraqi or Afghani version of Paik Sun-yup those wars would have not been as costly for America IMHO.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Look, if you’re grasping for some acknowledgment from me that Korea didn’t have a class of political leaders – and that’s what we’re really talking about, not administrators to make the trains ron on time, of which theere were plenty – I agree. In fact that’s my point. And it’s pointless to blame the Japanese for it. Of course, the inability of Koreans to participate fully in politics was constrained severely by colonialism. But the fact that such inexperience explains (in part – another factor was the nature of the sort of “politics” in which ex-pat Korean nationalists did engage) their failure to form an effective postwar govt doesnlt change the fact that they failed to do so and that action accordingly had to be taken by others.

  • wangkon936

    I would argue that they didn’t have the available talent to mobilize in the time table that was required.

    North Korea, with Soviet backing, was moving rapidly to gain influence in the south. I suppose if there wasn’t a North Korea to begin with or Russians on the 38th parallel, then the time table would have been a lot more forgiving.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    I think the solution to VN, Irag and Afganistan was not to have gotten into them in the first place. I have mixed feelings about Korea, but on balance I think the decision to intervene was correct

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Unfortunately, no one really controls the timetable; you just have to work with it

  • wangkon936

    LBJ was hell bent on getting us into Vietnam. Blame him.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Actually Eisenhower made the initial decision to get involved in VN, and the first US advisers were sent on his watch. Kennedy upped the ante. LBJ was stuck with the end game.

  • wangkon936

    Sperwer,

    I’m sure if the Brits had the chance to hang, torture or exile 3/4′s of the people who signed the Declaration of Independence then it would have taken American MUCH longer to coalescence into a central government.

    Do you now see my point?

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    I’ve seen your point all along, but it’s really beside the point. What should General Hodge have done? Sat around a pot of maggeolli with some sympathetic Koreans playing let’s blame the Japanese? Or get on with things? The issue is not some imagined cogenital incapacity of Koreans for self-government (ok, it was for a minority of Japanese colonialists), but that at that time and place they weren’t able to pull things together and the circumstances did not afford much leeway.

  • wangkon936

    Sperwer, Kennedy would not have escalated things via a manufactured Gulf of Tonkin.

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/sep/30/would-jfk-have-left-vietnam-exchange/?pagination=false

    I think once things just got too costly, Kennedy would have gotten us out. He wouldn’t have put over 500k American lives in danger. That was done under LBJ’s watch.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    This is the guy who green-lighted the Bay of Pigs, right?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Well, one could make the case that things would have worked out better with Hamilton strung up by his gonads and the Federalist Papers never being written

  • wangkon936

    Without the Federalist Papers, the Consitution would never have been unanimously ratified by all the 13 states and there would be no “United” States as we know it, at least not by 1788.

  • wangkon936

    “…but that at that time and place they weren’t able to pull things together and the circumstances did not afford much leeway.”

    Unfortunately, Korea occupies a geography where outside influences sometimes go beyond the ability of the Korean people to control the situation at all times.

    Anyways, setting up a solid and totally new government is hard, not easy. American had a tough time from 1783 to 1788 even without the agitation of Communists provocateurs and aggressive and squirrely neighbors like uncle Kim Il Sung in North Korea. We had Canada. Thus, not a fuck was given.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    And that’s my point. The constitution was a mistake. The one we got, anyway.

  • wangkon936

    Yes, and that was 2k Cubans who paid the price. Better them then us.

    Kennedy was given credit for deescalating the Cuban Missile Crisis, however.

  • wangkon936

    SMS,

    I take it you’re a Libertarian then?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    The utilitarian side of me is libertarian, the idealistic side is anarchistic. I’m caught in the middle.

  • wangkon936

    …but you are a salaryman? Hahaha… so you are a realist like the rest of us!

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Yep, that’s what I am.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I’m a salaryman only in the day time. When I’m fighting statism I change into AnCap-Man. Much like Superman, though my cardio fitness beats his by a mile

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    That anyone lost their life because of that ill-considered adventure was a tragedy, not a convincing reply to the episode’s illustration of the fact that Kennedy was as likely as Johnson to make bad decisions (even if he made a good one in the missile crisis.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    Some great historian once said that the principal utility of the study of history was as a corrective to bogus historical analogies. He might have added dis-analogies. At the time of the American revolution the colonies had long been one of the major pivots in the struggle between the French and British empires for “world” hegemony, beginning with the First Intercolonial war and continuing through the Fourth, aka the 7 Years’ War or the French and Indian War. The colonists were very muuh as the mercy of forces beyond their control. By the time of the Revolution itself, there also was plenty of internal division among the colonists; it’s probable that a majority actually were Loyalists, and there were large numbers who fought for the Crown in loyalist colonial regiments or regular British regiments. When the war ended Canada was not “Canada”, but an integral part of the most powerful empire in the Western world, filled not only with royal troops but large numbers of Tory expats. What most clearly distinguishes the American and Korean experiences is that tens of thousands of American colonials had the skills to and took up arms against the colonial power.

  • Bob Bobbs

    That’s well-said, although the utility of comparing cultures across centuries and continents sometimes escapes me. I’ve never thought of the UEL as ‘expats’ before, cruising round the circuit of embassy dinners and wine tastings before sending their kids off to the International School and buying imported cheeses at outrageous markups. And 1776 was not 1867, it’s true, but it was Canada.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    You must know a different breed of UELs than the ones I know, i.e., my family, founders of Bath and proud participants in the re-invasion of 1812. ;)

  • Bob Bobbs

    They had expensive tastes, it’s true.

  • Bob Bobbs

    They had expensive tastes, it’s true.

  • wangkon936

    Sperwer & Bob,

    I don’t have a lot of time so just a few quick hits. Personally, I think the importance of learning history as a discipline declines if one is inclined to believe that the historical lessons of other cultures and countries cannot be applied to another. There are many historians that would agree with me as well.

    Yes, Canada in 1783 was part of the powerful British Empire. But it was still a fledgling colony with vast territories to manage, a large influx of Tories it had to assimilate, a not always friendly Native American population and a still hostile Québécois population that would still rather be a part of France than Britain..

  • nannasin smith

    it had shot the one guy and stole their car.
    LM317

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    No, my main point WAS the about the error of using historical analogies, further compounded by rendering them into “lessons”, both in practical politics and normative judgment-making. Doing so does violence to the singularities that are the stuff of genuine history, as a mode of thought, and invariably results in violence and misjudgment in the latter realms of practice because it necessarily involves trying to refashion the cloth of one socio-cultural entity to fit over the procrustean bed of lifeless abstractions that has been made out of the lived experience of another. This is why co-called “nation-building” by one country in another is such a clusterfuck.

    I’m not going to address the rest of your remarks, except to observe that they are of the special pleading type that really doesn’t advance either historical understanding or the solution of contemporary problems. It’s just more “would-a, could-a” of the sort that is at the heart of what I consider the dead-end of Korea’s culture of defeat and victimology.