S. Korea: From Allies to Critics; Emerging Nationalists See U.S. as Barrier to Reunification with North

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 8, 2005 | Go to article overview

S. Korea: From Allies to Critics; Emerging Nationalists See U.S. as Barrier to Reunification with North


Byline: Choong Nam Kim, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

HONOLULU - Americans are shocked to face criticism from South Korea amid the continuing North Korean nuclear crisis. South Koreans are determined to improve relations with North Korea, which is increasingly seen as one of the world's most dangerous states for violating international agreements, selling high-tech weaponry to pariah states and making brash declarations of nuclear might.

But South Korean students demonstrate against their country's 50-year-old ally, the United States, for what they see as interference in Korean reconciliation, while the government spurns a common strategy in dealing with Pyongyang. This situation can be understood only in the context of South Koreans' resurgent nationalism.

Last year when Beijing claimed that the ancient kingdom of Koguryo, which occupied northern Korea and Manchuria from 37 B.C. to A.D. 668, was a part of Chinese history, South Koreans responded with months of violent protests. Their anger now has turned to Japan after 40 years of diplomatic normalization.

Perceptions of the past have become a serious matter for Seoul's policy-makers in this age of globalization and regional economic integration. Their hostility toward Tokyo is ironic in a year dedicated to Korean-Japanese friendship. South Korean-Japanese relations have improved significantly since the countries co-hosted the 2002 soccer World Cup.

Many observers wonder why the two countries are heading toward confrontation. The disputes over the small rocky islets of Tokdo, which the Japanese call Takeshima, and the revisionism of Japanese history textbooks would appear to be minor problems.

One has to wonder why Korea and Japan haven't transcended their unfortunate history, while France and Germany have long since overcome the animosity of the past. France was occupied by Germany for a few years during World War II, though the national humiliation visited by the Nazis was limited. After the war, Germany was dedicated to healing the wounds.

In contrast, Korea was victimized by Japanese invasions in the late 16th century. In the 20th century, it was colonized for nearly 40 years. But because the Cold War and U.S. policy made Japan an anti-communist bastion in Asia, Japan had no opportunity to reflect on its historical wrongdoings, especially its brutality against its neighbors. Despite repeated apologies, Japanese politicians and textbooks continue to argue that colonial rule contributed to Korean development, a claim that inflames South Koreans.

Though Japan returned to industrial power, it never restored its moral legitimacy in Asia.

The suffering of Koreans under Japanese rule differed from that of colonies ruled by Western nations.

Westerners ruled their colonies with relatively small numbers of expatriates and left open the prospect of autonomous development, but Japanese military dictatorship in Korea was much more extensive and totalitarian, and included a massive bureaucratic presence. More than 52,000 Japanese officials were posted to Korea, occupying 95 percent of higher civil service posts. Even two-thirds of the senior clerkships were reserved for Japanese.

This can be compared with Indochina - Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia - where the French ruled a colony about the size of Korea with about 3,000 officials. In addition, the Japanese deployed two permanent army divisions. The number of Japanese police, public officials, teachers and civilians in Korea, a country of 21 million, was 704,000.

Without trying to heal the wounds, Japan's rightward moves toward a "normal state" tend to refocus on the glory and power of the old Japan by justifying its colonial rule, and presenting students with a picture of their nation as victim rather than aggressor.

Facing a "rising" China, it is understandable for Japan to emphasize nationalism. But, in the era of interdependence and globalized markets, nations that want to play a leading role in the international community should emphasize open rather than exclusive nationalism to promote understanding and cooperation with neighbors. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

S. Korea: From Allies to Critics; Emerging Nationalists See U.S. as Barrier to Reunification with North
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.