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Oh, for Christ’s sake people, it’s Joe Biden!

Uncle Joe apparently pissed off some folk during his visit to Korea:

In particular, his words of warning against betting against the United States during a meeting with President Park Geun-hye last Friday prompted several domestic media outlets to criticize him, interpreting them as a check of China and Korea’s increasing economic and political dependence on the world’s most populous nation.

So, what exactly did Biden say this time?

“I want to make one thing absolutely clear. President Obama’s decision to rebalance the Pacific Basin is not in question. The United States never says anything it does not do. Let me say that again. The United States never says anything it does not do,” he said.

“As I said in my visits thus far in the region, it has never been a good bet to bet against America. It has never been a good bet to bet against America. And America is going to continue to place its bet on South Korea.”

It’s the “betting” part that has rubbed folk the wrong way as it came off as Biden coercing President Park to support the United States over China. Leading the complaints is—sit down for this—Korea’s opposition Democratic Party, which complained that if Biden’s intent was to threaten, his comments would be regarded as the “rudest comment in the history of summit diplomacy between the two countries” since George W. Bush referred to Kim Dae-jung as “this man.”

Chief among the complainers was DP chief Kim Han-gil, who likened Biden to a “drunken uncle.”

OK, that was pretty funny.

He also said Biden showed not even a minimum of respect in dealing with the president of a host nation. Ever the optimist, I prefer to see this as a positive thing—at least Kim acknowledged Park is the president, which is more that we can say for others in his party. Nor did allude to Park getting assassinated, which again, is more than we can say for others in his party.

Kim also didn’t like Biden grasping Park’s hand and leading her around—no, not because the whole White Male/Asian Female thing reminds of him of all those evil English teachers, but rather because he took it as the Veep showing off American power.

Well, at least the Dong-A Ilbo’s Choe Yeong-ae got it—it’s just Joe being Joe. And besides—with Park being single, at least Biden didn’t ask her if her husband liked her working full time.

photo credit: Barack Obama via photopin cc

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

  • seouldout

    When asked about the grave insults Pres. Park added the greatest offense was Biden didn’t give her a spread-eagle view of his cock and balls.

  • ryuNchoosk

    There wouldn’t be a video showing the old dirty man Biden “grabbing” PGH’s hand now would there? What a pervert!

  • Wedge1

    The guy is O’s assassination insurance.

  • stereotype

    What is wrong with his speech? I see nothing wrong. Talking of rude comments, Korean presidents have a long of them against Japan. Whereas, I cannot remember any against China. China should be the role model for Japan in dealing with Korea.

  • Cham

    Christ, the sensitivity. If anything the betting remarks are a compliment to South Korea. Some things really do get lost in translation.

  • brier

    DP chief Kim Han-gil, has got some issues he needs to work. At least the we get to see the DP’s forehead wrinkle with perplexity in discovering a new this insult to Korea. Thanks Kim Han-gil and enjoy China.

  • Wedge1

    This one was good for a hearty chuckle: “The United States never says anything it does not do. Let me say that again. The United States never says anything it does not do.” Tell that to Brigade 2506, Marsh Arabs, Syrian nerve gas inhalers, Montagnards, numerous Indian tribes, et cetera ad naseum.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    By “says”, I think he meant by treaty. For examples, in the Brigade 2506 debacle, they had a covert agreement and in Syria,the President stated his intentions. Those intentions forced the Syrians to accept the Russian solution because the U.S was moving to implement those intentions.

    It’s very bad business for the U.S. not to do what it says in treaties, which are the official pronouncements of the United States.

  • DP

    That’s Kim Han-gil, leader of the liberals, who wrote this: http://populargusts.blogspot.kr/2013/05/one-politicians-take-on-foreign-english.html

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.

  • http://www.kylelivinginkorea.com/ Kyle

    I feel like people can’t get upset if it looks like Biden was showing off US power with the hand holding thing when the ROK government keeps asking the US to delay the move of US forces.

  • RElgin

    Kim Han-gil is lacking in every way imaginable, except for crass manner and love of contrary behaviour. He would make the perfect drunken aunt.

  • ChuckRamone

    The comments section here is always like a fucking zoo of retards, malcontents and trolls.

  • bigmamat

    LMAO…that’s it.

  • Jen Lee

    Just want to add that “Bush calling Kim Dae-Jung by “this man” refers to an actual happening where Bush publicly snubbed Kim at a joint press conference during Kim’s state visit to the U.S. in 2001 – see http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=us_international_relations_31&scale=0#us_international_relations_31

  • wangkon936

    How do I like this comment 100xs?

  • e5262fawe

    I’d gladly smash your fucking face in and rip your stomach wide open with a chainsaw, fucker.

  • seouldout

    Certainly catchier than “Korea – Sparkling”.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    What he says means nothing. Even what Obama say mean nothing. SK should push for “Mutual Defense Treaty” with the US. Without it, SK is a dead meat.

  • bumfromkorea

    I love making fun of Biden’s foot-in-mouth disease as much as the next person, but I’m not sure I understand why what Biden said was a faux pas.

    I would have loved it if Biden indeed asked President Park anything about her husband, though. That may have been my favorite Biden-gaffe of 2013.

  • Bob Bobbs

    It may be Machiavellian to refer to a country with whom you supposedly have a ‘blood alliance’ as one on whom you ‘bet.’ A true alliance wouldn’t require such calculations. Maybe the Koreans are just jealous that Biden is the only one in the room allowed to ‘bet’ in Korea- I bet he rocked the roulette table at the Walker Hill Hotel that night.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    “I want to make one thing absolutely clear. President Obama’s decision to rebalance the Pacific Basin is not in question.”

    The President does not just get to decide how East Asia is balanced. The US can use sticks and carrots in other parts of the world, but East Asia’s economic and military power is increasingly growing beyond the control of traditional US foreign policy. East Asia is rapidly changing and the US needs to rethink how it approaches foreign policy in the region. The assertion that “it has never been a good bet to bet against America” might not be necessarily true in the near future.

    As far as Joe Biden’s bro antics, they are cute in America. But they really shouldn’t send him abroad. Isn’t this why we have a secretary of state?

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Most of the comments on this particular thread are more relevant than normal. Except for, of course, your comment.

  • atwood

    It’s the U.S. that keeps the simmering pot of festering hatred that is East Asia from boiling over. That hasn’t changed and probably isn’t.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    I know that it is always cool to America bash because each individual country wants the U.S. to do its country’s foreign policy exactly as each country would do it. Why is the U.S. there? Why isn’t the U.S. there? Too much…. Not enough…. Too late.

    Here in Korea, how commonly do you hear about U.S (which I think of as the best defense spending value in Korea’s budget) out of Korea from the same people who sign We the People petitions and want the U.S. to swat Japan over Dokdo?

    Speaking more generally, both China’s and Korea’s consumers need to take a collective breath and be thankful for the Pax Americana.

    (I might still be stewing over this.)

  • Pingback: ONE FREE KOREA » Open Sources, December 11, 2013

  • djson1

    Yeah, I don’t know why this is such a big deal (if it is at all). Next topic!

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Perhaps you’re right. Though in the future I believe it will be a much trickier balancing act than it has been in the past.

  • Guest


    Documents released on Wednesday by the National Transportation Safety
    Board, which held a daylong hearing on the crash, show that inexperience
    and Korean culture played a role in the way the pilots handled the

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Here is the excerpt from the NYT article (link, see above) that mentions the role of Korean culture:

    Interviews with pilots indicate that Korean culture may have played a role in the crash. (Asiana is based in South Korea.)

    Captain Lee told investigators that any of the three pilots on the plane could have decided to break off the approach, but he said it was “very hard” for him to do so because he was a “low-level” person being supervised by an instructor pilot.

  • Wedge1

    Cue TK response defending the minjok in five…four…three…

  • Wedge1

    From Yonhap: “The pilot of an Asiana passenger jet that crashed at the San Francisco International Airport last July found non-automatic landing “very stressful,” according to a newly-released document.”

    Anyone who finds a manual landing “very stressful” has no business being pilot-in-command of an aircraft.

  • Bob Bobbs

    I know what you mean, but it seems that people like the FAA don’t see it that way. They certify Asiana, and by extension its pilots and training program, to land at US airports. Blame them, all the other airlines that have decided to use the same seemingly-low training standards and all the governments that let them land in their airports. It’s a long list.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Oh no, The town drunk is representing the US. Send Perry instead.

  • oranckay

    I’m glad I wasn’t his interpreter.

  • Taita

    Wasn’t he supposed to be the foreign policy ‘expert’ ?