Korean Football Player Under Fire Following Dokdo Protest

Park Jong-Woo holds a sign proclaiming South Korean control of Dokdo following the London Olympics football match Source

In the latest of a series of events that inflamed tensions between South Korea and Japan, football player Park Jong-Woo appeared during the celebrations following his team’s victory over Japan in the bronze medal Olympic match with a sign saying “Dokdo is our land” written in Korean. The International Olympic Committee, which has rules prohibiting political statements from Olympic athletes, decided to withhold Park’s bronze medal and prohibit him from attending the award ceremony. The IOC has referred the final decision of whether to strip Park of his medal to FIFA.

While South Korean online reaction initially focused on the details of the Dokdo dispute, talk quickly turned to how Park would be treated by South Korea’s Military Manpower Administration. Star athletes in South Korea are able to enter a different branch of the military when they fulfill their mandatory military service. The separate duties allow these top athletes to continue their career, which would otherwise be interrupted by the two-year engagement in the military. Officials from the Military Manpower Administration, which oversees South Korea’s conscription system, have said that it is now unclear whether Park is legally eligible for special treatments.

South Koreans have long struggled with issues related to the draft, which is near-universally despised by young men but which is also considered a badge of honor and a prerequisite for becoming a full citizen. In the past, the country’s most popular politicians and celebrities have lost everything when it came out that they lied to avoid the draft or enabled a family member to do so. Interestingly, another member of the South Korean team which won in London, Park Chu-Young, had until recently also received criticism for delaying his military service. Park had received a 10-year residency visa from Monaco in connection to his work with the football team AS Monaco. The visa, which excused Park from military service until he turned 37 years-old, was offensive enough that many Koreans called for him to be removed from the national team.

From Newsis via Daum:

Military Manpower Administration: ‘We will look at the outcome of the IOC investigation and make a decision about Park Jong-Woo’s military service’

International Olympic Committee officials have withheld the bronze medal from Park Jong-Woo, the South Korean football player who played a role in his country’s victory over Japan during the August 10 match at the London Olympics. The IOC made the decision after Park performed the so-called ‘Dokdo Ceremony’ during his team’s rejoicing following the victory. A representative from South Korea’s Military Manpower Administration stated that they are now investigating how the withholding of the medal may affect Park’s eligibility to receive an exemption from military service.

On August 13th, an official at the Administration said that ‘now is not the time to give an answer rashly…our plan now is to wait for the IOC decision and then have a meeting with the relevant authorities to decide on the matter.’

The official added ‘since we do not know whether Park’s actions will result in a warning or a full stripping of his bronze medal we will wait for the IOC decision. Making a judgment at this point would not be appropriate.’

According to the Military Service Law Enforcement Ordinance, Section 47, Article 2, any athlete who receives a gold, silver, or bronze medal at the Olympic Games or who has a first place finish in the Asian Games will be able to serve out his military obligation working as an employee of the Department of Art and Sports.

Personnel in the Department of Art and Sports receive 4 weeks of basic training before working for 34 months as an athlete or a director within the department. From the athletes’ perspective, this arrangement is equivalent to receiving an exemption from the military, since they are able to maintain their career during this time.

It had been announced earlier that every athlete who participated in the bronze medal victory at this year’s London Olympic Games would receive special treatment if they had not yet completed their military service. However, with the uproar over Park’s ‘political’ protest during games, it is now unclear whether he will be able to receive the benefit.

The Military Manpower Administration is now in the midst of an investigation about how to respond to Park’s situation. Since there has never before been a case where an athlete was stripped of his or her medal, the law simply stated that the person who ‘received the award’ for first, second, or third place would also receive the benefits during military service. There are no supplementary details concerning what to do if the award is later revoked.

In this situation, even if the IOC ultimately decides to strip Park of his medal, his ability to receive military benefits will be decided on the basis of legal interpretation. It is also impossible to ignore South Korean domestic opinion, which has demanded that Park receive his benefits.

The South Korean team rejoices after winning the bronze medal match at the London Olympics

Comments from Daum:


Of course he gets an exemption.. an investigation is pointless!!


Why does the IOC have to come into this? did Park sell out his country? Of course Dokdo is our land. The Ministry is just watching to see what everyone else does before making a decision. Silence your nonsense and just give him his exemption


Jeez,, just the fact that we are having this conversation is ridiculous…


What is there to investigate
You could give him a medal and it still wouldn’t be enough


What could possibly be the relationship between an IOC decision and benefits for military service? Pathetic Military Manpower Administration! This is so painful to watch!


Just having an investigation implies that Dokdo belongs to Japan, idiots


Hey dummies,
You got pissed off and didn’t even read the article.
If you want to improve our nation’s power then you have to start with the fools inside of our country..
You get all fired up and talk nonsense


The guy who commented above, let’s start by fixing you, I hope you’re some foreign bastard. This is our chance to fix history~ pro-Japanese collaborators hurt our country’s development. Let’s get a list together of collaborators and run them out of the country~ Tool of the monkeys, yellow bastards, confess who you are~this is our chance to fix things

파란 바다에서:

Hey Manpower Administration sons of bitches, how exactly is this an issue for investigation? IOC, don’t base your decision on what Japan says. The military service law is obviously a domestic law. The Manpower Administration doesn’t know who it is accountable to and just looks for someone else to make a decision. Park gets bronze medal treatment+the People’s Medal+prize money+a pension+the Order of Merit for National Foundation+the Park Jong-Woo Memorial Building+a stamp in his honor.


Military Manpower Administration, to which nation do you belong??? You’re not with the Japs are you??


This wasn’t something that Park did for himself.. Think about who he did this for. What’s wrong with the Manpower Administration deciding to give him the benefits?


Perhaps its because our government is so pro-Japanese but we seem to be unable to give anything better than this to a patriotic hero.


Are you kidding me!!

A tweet from Comedian Kim Mi-Hwa:

Always like this! A politicized event like the Olympics, run by a politicized IOC deserving of protest is now trying to dump responsibility on Park Jong-Woo.. Why are we discouraging our athlete after his excellent performance.


Park Jong-Woo, you’re the best. You and Koo Ja-Cheol put in the best effort. I look forward to you always being a good player.


Of course it’s a defenseless and unsupported athlete who suffers.. what did the other athletes do? Just stood and watched? Ah, of course, you were concerned that you might be stripped of your medal and lose the chance to do your military service with a four-week training, instead having to do the full two years? You isolated Park even more, get out of here


Exactly what I wanted to say [Kim Mi-Hwa]~~
The unfortunate fact is that Japan just has to get angry and then our parents [South Korean government] discourage their children. Only our country would do such a thing


Park.. at that moment you were a true Korean hero


Germany has to conquer Europe again. Then they will know how we feel. Senseless European bastards and bitches, come to your senses! This is how Hitler got his greedy ambitions

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  • Joey

    A bunch of rocks with lots of bird shit. Serious business.

    • Aya

      The question there is not in the islands themselves, but in waters that surround it. Fishing grounds.

      • Ruaraidh

        Joey is right, they are effectively worthless. Rocks incapable of supporting a human population cannot expand a nations territorial waters. So no fishing grounds, no gas fields, just some chest thumping and dick pulling. If the dispute was settled the angst would just shift onto some other meaningless thing, because Takeshima/Dokdo is a symptom of a problem not the cause of one.

    • jeremy

      It’s not only a fishing grounds, but it’s also a strategic sea route for Korea.

      • Ruaraidh

        What and if Japan had one or both of the islands they’d use it as a u-boat base to prey on Korean shipping? The Lioncourt rocks are just that, tiny rocks in the sea that shipping would be advised to steer well clear of.

  • runningduckyliciousrub

    if dokdo was koreas land and they were so sure of it, this guy wouldn’t have paradeconfirmed it during the olympics now would he…

    • Sojubang

      True! Suppose he was trying to rub salt in the wounds for them by bringing up this unrelated non-sport issue, but why claim something that apparently is already seen as yours. Then again this is a fan placard, so suppose he didn’t have many choices in what particular political statements to choose from and was probably heat of the moment. In retrospect though he probably should have just stuck with the Korean flag or just a general “go korea” etc message to avoid the consequences, he must have known what he was getting himself into by showing that. The only other possibility is that he might have thought that only Koreans would pay any attention to it as its in Hangul but that would have been a very naive point of view.

    • Ian

      Exactly what I told several students the other day! Their argument was that it wasn’t a political statement… Dokdo is Korea’s. What’s political about that? To which I said, “Well, then where are all the ‘Seoul/Daegu/Pusan/Incheon belongs to us’ signs?”

  • hun

    I usually side with the nations who want to prove their sovereignty by international courts, if it was really theres what exactly is the problem with getting the dispute settled with instead of prolonging the situation where nationalists are adding fuel to the fire? It’s like the China Vs Philippines-Vietnam Spratley dispute where P&V wants to bring the issue internationally but C refuses to anything and claims it indisputable. The same with Korea vs Japan about Dokdo/Takeshima, Japan wants to put it in international courts, but Korea refuses. China and Korea can boast/claim all they want but I’m not believing them until they go to international courts or have other countries backing their statements, which means no one but themselves are.

    • Yohan

      Because that would mean to legitimize Japan’s claims for Dokdo even if the court would rule in favor of Korea. Dokdo is administered by Korea so it’s Korean land and Japan just needs to accept that. Besides that the Japanese claims are weak at best anyway.

      • hun

        Even if it legitimizes Japan’s claim, in the end(like you’ve said) Koreans still get the islands. What seems to be exactly the problem here then? If Korea succeeds in the international courts then Japan loses credibility/face and you keep the rocks. It’s a win-win situation for Korea if you ask me but in the end, Korea wants international support instead of international courts(decision maker). Doesn’t something seem fishy when a country doesn’t want to get a dispute solved?

      • Phil

        Before the surrender that ended WWII Japan indisputably controlled the islands. After the war, Japan surrendered various territories, but did not surrender these island. If they used to be part of Japan, and were never surrendered by Japan, it seems simple to say that by law they would still be part of Japan. “International Law” sometimes doesn’t mean a lot though as obviously Korea controls them now. The Korean government won’t send the matter to an international decision-maker because it would probably lose.

        Korea’s claim is basically what we see here. “Dokdo is out land”. Why? Because they say it is. That is why these demonstrations are so common and every Korean school child is taught to say it. The strength of the claim is entirely based on saying it as often as possible to let Japan know that any move on their part would be very costly, essentially just daring them to fight. They know Japan won’t go to war over something so insignificant so they “win” by default.

        Unfortunately, it poisons the whole relationship between Korea and Japan. These countries have a lot to gain from each other as allies, but every time they try to sign a partnership agreement it gets sidetracked by this thing and general Korean historical grievances. It is irrational decision making. In the end both sides lose by not settling this.

        • Yohan

          That’s so completely ridiculous! With that argument UK can probably go and claim every single little island rocks outside the US east coast, India or Australia unless it was specifically mentioned in some treaty that they gave away that specific rock. When Japan lost Korea they lost all of it and there is no reason why they should be allowed to keep the occupation of even a small part of Korea such as Dokdo!?

  • Eddie

    Jesus, Korea and Japan need to just start launching missiles at each other. Whoever comes out on top, that’s who it belongs to. This pointless political debate will never resolve the issue. Just like with China and Taiwan. That’s never going to get settled until the red army starts marching into Taipei.

    • Yohan

      But Korea has already won that battle, there are no Japanese people on Dokdo only Koreans. The Korean flag is raised there, not the Japanese one. So why should we fight for something we already have?

      • Crystal

        Yeah, Dokdo currently has only 3 Koreans living there. That’s why it belongs to Korea. /sarcasm

        • Yohan

          Yeah and the ROK army, it’s controlled and administered by the government of Korea. Japan doesn’t have any presence on Dokdo. How many Koreans do we need to move in to satisfy you?

  • FYIADragoon

    And they wonder why they’re still the joke of the “Big 4” in Asia.

  • AmericanBoy

    Foolish man. Keep your disputes over some rocky islets at home. The rest of the world just laughs at you.

  • 참을 수 없는 존재의 가벼움

    Why FIFA should award bronze to Park and Why Dokdo issuse cannot be treated by ICJ fairly.

    The quadrennial global athletic event should be held in honor of soprtsmanship, separated from politics.

    The IOC refered what was a seemingly political campaign for Korea’s territorial claim of the Dokdo by a soccer player, to the football governing body.

    At first glance his action seemed to infringe on the sprit of sportmanship. This has a point.

    However, the troubling banner saying Dokdo is Soth Korea’s territory in footballer Park’s victory ceremony can be written in Korean. This means vast global audience in the stadium or in front of TVs hardly understand the exact meaning of the slogan.

    The controversial move can be understood as impromptu expression of a player who cannot contain himself in euphoric moment of victory.

    Of course, to prevent the next Olympic from possibly being tainted with political wrangle, he may be punished by deprivation of the bronze medal to make an example of the troubled player.

    However this decision would go too far as the controversy around the incident is enducational enough to teach player Park not to do that again.
    Thus, it is enough for the FIFA to issue a statement to an effect that a similar recurrence would be subject to severe punishment.

    Seondly, some say that international courts are a good venue for determining which country the disputed Dokdo belong to.

    However, the ICJ, a UN judiciary arm, cannot be a neutral, and fair judge of this case.

    Apart from whether the court can have jurisdiction, whatever decision was made by the legal institution, there would be slim chance of either of the parties concerned accepting the ruling, as was the case with other territorial disputes. The ruling could turn dormant animosity between Seoul and Tokyo into a permanent instablitiy in Northeast Asia.

    For South Koreans, the referral of this issue to the ICJ is itself completely unacceptable as the hardly inhabitable islets is undoubtedly within their nation.

    In addition, many Koreans suspect that any international ruling regarding the islets can be influenced by a country’s power on the global stage amid ambiguity of historical data presented by both sides.

    but all Koreans think the former colonizer, who still denies war atrocities committed against Korea, glorifies its historical textbooks, may have a wider arrange of concoted data, while Korea lost too much historical records during its still traumatic suppression by the brazen country.

    Japan may suggest a flimsy excuse “how many more do we have to apologize for what our ancestors did?” That is a delicate gambit implying that they offered sincere apology in the past.

    That’s not the case, as best illustrated in Japanese leaders’ remarks that Korean comfort women voluntarily offered sex to Janpanese soliders, and that Japan’s colonization is a vast economic boon for the colonized because it modernized them by building railroads and electricitu grids etc.

    In these regulary erupted senseless remarks, how can Seoul believe that Japan is a reliable neighboring country for a future-oriented relationship. It’s impossible.

    some say that Seoul needs to dismiss some abnormal politicians’ references as an aberration.

    Is it really an aberration or a reflection of subconciousness of the samurai country?

    Can westerners accept a similar thing if a powerful German politician would say Hitler’s tragic Jewish Holocaust is a voluntary collective suicide? Can they brushed off things as trivial when France’s Alsas-Lorraine is claimed as a German territory or the disputed territory need refering to what was then PCIJ?

    In a nutshell, the feeling South Koreans have when Japan stubbornly las claim to Dokdo is like
    French people’s resentment over the 1870 German emperor’s coronation in the Versallies Palace in the aftermath of German victory in Franco-Prussia War.

    • Sojubang

      As far as i’m aware, FIFA don’t have the power to strip or award medals only the IOC does.

      The basic source of the issue is, any political statement is not allowed at the Olympics due to the rules. If the rules are broken a punishment is given, whether that is match fixing or political statements. Whether England play Germany and a player holds up a placard about defeating them in world war 2 or whether a US player decides to hold up a reference to Bombing Japan. Even if not written by the player themselves, choosing this to show this shows that they believe in the issue and want to display their opinion on it on the international stage, no matter what language its in.

      Basically as with other rules, it can’t simply be a situation of you made a mistake this time but next time don’t do it. Otherwise anyone tested positive for doping or fixing matches etc could claim the same. The punishment must be the same for each occurrence, whether the first or the fifth time as long as its the same no matter what country is involved.

      As this sign was basically a middle finger to Japan, I would actually be interested to know whether actually giving a middle finger gesture to them would have given a lesser or equal punishment?

    • Ruaraidh

      No matter what language a political statement is written in, it is still a political statement. There’s no getting around that he broke the rules, no politics at the Olympics. If I wandered around Seoul screaming pro north propaganda in Gàidhlig, do you think the Korean courts would accept that it’s not political because very few people would understand it?

      I’ve said this before but there are two islands and two countries with roughly equal claims, they should just have one each. Obviously though the problem isn’t really about the worthless Lioncourt Rocks, it’s about a greater national enmity.

  • 참을 수 없는 존재의 가벼움

    Another proper analogy is drawn that victimized American natives in the US westward inexorable expansion are claimed to offered their cheirshed land to “conquistadors with alleged advanced civilization” for their departure from “backwardness”.

  • Gabrielle

    I think France should claim Liancourt rocks to spice things up a little…. Mwahaha

  • Daniel

    me thinks thou doest protest too much

    • Ruaraidh

      You misunderstand the meaning of the original quote, methinks.

  • somesojuslammer

    Again why are North Koreans allowed to spout their ideological bullshit about great leaders to the cameras and Dokdo is so much worse?

    • Yohan

      Yeah, and how come all the American athletes are allowed to spout their religious bullshit about great God and Jesus to the cameras? Religion should be banned the same as politics from the olympics! The North Korean worship of the dear and great leaders is nothing but a religion anyway.

      • somesojuslammer

        I’m not even American, but I have no problem with them thanking god.

        The dear leaders/dokdo are political issues, and should be lumped together.

        • Yohan

          My comment wasn’t aimed at you personally, sorry if it seemed that way. But really, what is the difference between religion and politics? Personally I find religious displays much worse and more offensive than politics.

  • 참을 수 없는 존재의 가벼움


    Hvae you ever read the above article clearly stating “the IOC has referred the final decision of whether to strip Park of his medal to the FIFA?”

    Your argument has a loophole
    you saying is

    He violated the rules
    Without punishment a similar thing will happen
    Thus punishment is necessary

    The second proposition is refutable by saying that a warning statement is enough and oversized punishment will backfire and damage the authority od the governing body.

    • Sojubang

      Sorry, you are right there, I didn’t spot that in the article on first glance.

      Yes, I did over exaggerate a little, however I’m simply saying that broken rules require punishment. Whatever is seen fit by the deciding bodies involved (in this case as you rightly said FIFA), I mean that it should be the same for anyone who does that in the future.

      Meaning to say, If they don’t strip the medal, then any other team who does this in the future should also not have the medal stripped and should just get a warning against the particular athlete.

      Example: In the next Olympics if Japanese athletes decide to hold up signs claiming that “Takeshima is our land” in Japanese, you’re saying that in that case they should also get just a warning? That would be fair if you are saying that in this case just a warning should be given also.

      Just my opinion on what would be fair in all cases, not only let an athlete get away with it because he’s Korean whereas if he was another nationality he wouldn’t be allowed.

      I’ve got no say in the Dokdo/Takeshima issue and I’m not siding with anyone on that, however from the point of view of the Olympics rather than a nationalistic standpoint what is the fairest outcome?

      On another note, just something I’d point out why not just hit the reply button above the post in question, instead of putting in a new post, then everyone knows which comment you are referring to.

      • Sojubang

        Sorry, the reply button is below the post.

  • 참을 수 없는 존재의 가벼움

    Plus in your refernces of other adverse effects when penalty is not imposed, there is an logical exaggeration.

  • TheNoob

    If Korea is so sure about Dokdo being their land then they should settle it once and for all in the international courts and stop using its own citizens as pawns to push a political cause. A stupid little rock island being studied as part of a school curriculum is ridiculous. Get over it already!!!

  • Chucky3176

    Basically, Koreans are acting out of spurt of the moment emotion, rather than the brain. Here’s what I wrote at Koreansentry, regarding this.

    I’ll go over what the problem with this is again. We are seriously losing the war on the campaign for international public opinion. There have been several Koreans who took out ads in New York and California to say Dokdo is our land. So it’s not true what xcreature is saying, that we don’t care what the whites think. Koreans very much care what others think about this issue, and definitely want recognition from other countries that Dokdo belongs to Korea. This is the problem. Who cares what other countries think? Who cares what Japan claims? We have the fucking island, and unless Japan attacks and take the island by force, there is no way in hell that ownership is going to ever change. Why the hell do we need acknowledgement from others so bad, that we started pissing off the third party countries? Do we have to make enemies abroad because we need to make a pointless point? Look how Japan is portraying Korea to the world – as a crazy nationalist country who’s out of control. And many people are buying into this Japanese strategy and we are helping them!

    • Aya

      I’m pretty sure Japan has little to do with this view, Korea is pretty much sealing this “image” by itself.

      • Zappa Frank

        indeed an overnationalistic country is the impression that we can get from articles here on Koreabang. Seems that Koreans hate everyone in the world, noth commies, chinese, jappanese, americans, europeans.. there’s no country they don’t complain about. They hate even other Koreans that are not “pure race” or have different ideas..

    • TheNoob

      The fact of the matter is, no-one in the international community really cares and its bemusing for the international community to see South Koreans to go into such lengths to try and “spread the word”. Most governments from other countries would stay well clear out of any land disputes between 2 country and the citizen of other counties, unless they have some interest in the Asian regions, won’t care. Also Koreans are going about this in the wrong way, my analogy would be a Kid already holding onto a toy but another kid quietly tells the kid with the toy that its actually his toy. But the kid with the toy would start yelling and screaming to the kid and the kids parents and then its own parents that its his toy….doesn’t that look just a bit childish? As I said before, why can’t the matter be settled in the international courts? The Korean government has rebuffed previous efforts, twice to try and settle this in the international courts.

    • Paul M

      I hear you. The Dokdo issue is something Koreans need to keep quiet on. Neither side has sound legal rights to claim the islands. However, Korea has a police/military presence on the islands so Korea has de-facto sovereignty of the islands. Japan knows this and knows it can not do anything about this short of aggressive military action.

      However I wish Korean law-makers/politicians would really make a massive push on the comfort women issue as this is something they are on solid grounds with. I have a feeling the Japanese government are also aware of this and use inflammatory rhetoric about Dokdo as a distraction.

  • 참을 수 없는 존재의 가벼움

    Chucky’s instigating remarks a real illustration of the belligerence Japan has in deep psyche.

    Japan’s pacifist constitution is a cover for its aggresiveness that is unraveling by ultrarightist Japanese politicians’ attempts to exapnd its scope of military operation –an anathema for the rest of the world except for Washington, japan’s master, who is trying to use its underling to check a rising China.

    • hun

      -Japan hasn’t been aggressive since WWII.
      -They can’t even have an offensive military.
      -You’re spewing propaganda bs. Don’t try to brainwash ppl into thinking this issue is a conspiracy with United States-Japanese cooperation.
      -The Japanese nationalists are only a minority, rednecks of America if you will and everyone hates them.
      -The US has a military base in South Korea, pretty sure they’re US’s bitch too.
      -What’s wrong with keeping China in check? They’ve been the most aggressive asian nation by far these past years, bullying smaller countries but pull away when confronted by stronger nations.

      • 참을 수 없는 존재의 가벼움

        My above comment is a response to Chucky’s comment.
        Actually, I made an aggressive reply and the feeling you might have with my comment is the same as one I had when I looked at the Chucky’s comment.

        And I have never said America’s attempt to keep China at bay is wrong, though such a move will certainly heigthen the military tension between the G2 nations.

      • C84

        If the US wants to keep China in check with Japan, I’m sure it can do whatever it wants and no one can do anything about it. Just don’t involve SK in it, because then China will blame us and hold us responsible for what the US is doing by continuing to support NK. This is why I have continually argued against the US alliance, I just don’t think it is productive at all towards resolving the NK situation. Yes, right now, SK is also the US’ lapdog, but they do it out of 1) fear of NK/China and 2) because they feel like they need to somehow repay the US for its involvement in the Korean War – that repayment is subservience (look at how it send all those soldiers to that pointless Vietnam war). What is in the US’ best interest is NOT necessarily what is in SK’s best interest.

  • 참을 수 없는 존재의 가벼움

    Why do this website’s operators allow such a inciting posting which serves only to widen differnces in ideas instead of narrowing them?

    • Matt

      I agree. This website’s operators should delete 참을 수 없는 존재의 가벼움’s comments so as to “narrow” the difference in ideas…

    • somesojuslammer

      They post trending stories, regardless of the differences they widen/close. Deal with it.

    • hun

      So the moderators are only allowed to post articles that places Korea in good light? Why do you sound like a communist?

    • Sojubang

      If you are talking about the article: Its just popular news, its generally factual and of some interest, no matter what the topic is. The top comments are translated to give an idea of what Korean netizens are talking about on the particular article, would take them quite a long time to translate every comment on the post, so they just get the top voted ones.

      If you’re refering to the comments: It would be a pretty boring place if everyone was impartial and agreed with each other. Besides that, Daum and Naver etc allow anything to be posted, whether its blatently racist or just opinion. Most people here are just giving their opinion, some generalize, others don’t, and some disagree or agree with the statements.

      You can always read an English language newspaper website instead, such as Korea Herald if you aren’t happy with either of these things.

      • 참을 수 없는 존재의 가벼움

        I want the this website to have a sound debate, not just end up as an outlet only for personal opinions. The dialogue is about making a commond ground for mutual understanding, the narrowing difference in ideas in other words. From this perspective, I think a commentator’s article is contrary to the purose of a sound debate based on reasoning and rationality.

        Some failed to comprehend the differnece between compromise via discussions ( in my terms “narrowing differences in ideas) and forcing opinions on others.

        But I realized that some people just wanted to express their own voices rather than discussions.

        And When I wrote a comment using a smartphone, there was no reply button on the mobile phone version of this website. But I will do make a reply using PC when I need to make a comment next time.

        • Matt

          “I want the this website to have a sound debate, not just end up as an outlet only for personal opinions.”

          But that’s precisely what the comments section is—an outlet for personal opinions. It may naturally spawn debates, but this is merely the consequence a public forum. Either way, none of it is consequential, so I don’t think you need to be too concerned about its contents…

        • C84

          It’s just typical of blogs to come up with the most inflammatory things about whatever country/topic its focused on. Look at ROKDp and Koehler, they take every single little negative topic that has anything to do with ROK, no matter how irrelevant or a stretch (I’m not making this up – the penis size of SK men are the smallest in the region or an ethnic Korean-American shot people in the US, even if he hasn’t lived in SK since he was a child) because they like to stir the pot. I don’t really know about this website, but about the other blogs – sometimes I do get the feeling that those blog owners have a chip on their shoulder and this is their way of lashing out. Like those anti-law school blogs based in the US.

          • Sojubang

            As mentioned in the about and FAQ sections, they choose the most popular posts on various Korean sites, its not a pick and mix of topics that would make Korea look the worst. Its a pick of whatever is popular at a particular time. At least I’m assuming so anyway. Can’t speak for those other blogs as I don’t personally read them. Although anyone with a mind of their own would realize that its not a complete view of Korea.

        • Sojubang

          Fair enough, I have not tried to access the site via mobile, so I didn’t know about the reply option being unavailable.

          Regarding your comments, lots of people have a different understanding of different particular topics, I wouldn’t be bothered by it.

          People are entitled to voice an opinion, whether that opinion makes sense or not or whether they are in agreement with your views or not. Besides that, literally anything could be written here, as in general its a free for all on the net.

          I would say that personal opinions are an equally valid part of a debate/ discussion, they can always be countered if you disagree. Although, you can’t expect to change peoples mind completely even if you think they are wrong.

          • 참을 수 없는 존재의 가벼움

            You can’t say that “I can’t expect to change peoples mind completely even if you think they are wrong.

            Becasue, in accordance with your arguement that any one have the right to speak their ideas from their own respectives, I also have the right to say what I think is right, or more desirable.

            This is the Achilles heel of a kind of relativism that allows all kinds opinions to be equally repsected—a view that I don’t much agree with.

            Anyway I no longer expect that open-minded discussions with the least prejudices against interlocutors will be helpful in finding a common denominator. Good to talk with you.

          • Sojubang

            참을 수 없는 존재의 가벼움:

            I meant that in the way of “don’t expect to” rather than don’t attempt to, peoples mind can be changed if they are willing. You can simply show your own point of view, and open them up to that.

            Anyway, I’ve gone a little bit off the main topic now, apologies.

    • 참을 수 없는 존재의 가벼움

      I want this space to have a sound debate, rather than end up as an outlet purely for personal opinions. Dialogue is about making a commond ground via discussions.
      Some failed to comprehend the differences between compromise through debate (in my terms ” narrowing the differences in ideas” for a deepr mutual understanding) and forcing an opionion upon others.

      From this perspective, I thought that some comments were too instigating, and had too emotionally charged slanders, so it is unfavorable to others.

      And when I wrote comments using a smartphone, there was no reply button on the mobile version of this website. But I will use a reply function using PC when I need to make a comment.

      • Brett Sanbon

        Dolphin Browser HD has a function that lets koreaBANG recognize your phone as a PC, so you can reply to people. I don’t know if it is on Apple, but I have it for my Samsung.

        • 참을 수 없는 존재의 가벼움

          Thank you for your tips. I am gonna take care of it.

          • runningduckyliciousrub

            go suck a dick old man

  • ish

    I hear The Malaysians are going to Acquire Dokdo as well, those folks are just claiming everything right about now….TEEEEEHEEEE ^_^;

    • =_=

      Dasar Idiot! Loe In Don ya? XD
      The one who claiming everything is you and your folk, not us! you damn stupid bloody hypocrite!

  • Chucky3176

    Here are the reasons why it will be foolish for South Korea to agree to take this case to ICJ.

    1. South Korea holds the island in possession, there is no benefit in winning this in court, in exchange for the risk of losing the decision. Of course, things might have been different if Japan held the island in possession.

    2. South Korea’s position has always been that this is not a disputed territory, it is part of Korea unquestionably. By taking this to ICJ, then that’s admitting the island is a disputed territory.

    3. The chances of losing the case at the ICJ is just too great of a risk.

    – Japan’s influence on the world politics is much greater than Korea’s.
    – Japan has Japanese judges in the ICJ, Korea doesn’t.
    – In the past, ICJ have honored the decisions to former colonial powers, on territorial disputes involving colonial takeovers by colonial powers. Korea’s crux of the case is that Korea was a colony of Japan, so it was forced to sign away the possession. In the ICJ, Korea’s colonial Japan argument may not be a guarantee to a win.

    – Finally, this man, Hosaka Yuji, makes a very good argument that Korea has done a poor job preparing its position.


    Hosaka Yuji is a Japan born historian who has been doing research in South Korea, on Dokdo for decades who says the island rightfully belongs to Korea. He became a naturalized South Korean citizen couple of years ago.

    Basically what he’s saying is that, Korea has neglected research on Dokdo, and has neglected to concentrate on honing skills to debate the Japanese who have meticulously honed their debating positions and gathered up their own evidences that support their position favorable to Japan. They have also done a far better job with their public relations to convince other countries that Takeshima belongs to Japan. Yuji says that far more people outside of Korea-Japan region, believe that the island belongs to Japan.

    I agree with his assertions that Korea have totally neglected the long term strategy in favor of chanting “Dokdo is Korea’s”, putting up signs, and taking out ads, and other meaningless propaganda with very poor results. Japan on the other hand has meticulously and carefully built their own case around this issue which they can use in the ICJ. No matter what the truth is, or no matter what evidence you have, if you don’t have a lawyer who has prepared for the court case, you are going to lose. And compared to Japan, Korea is very ill prepared.

    I still say there’s no danger of Korea losing the islands to Japan, but if Koreans want acknowledgement from other countries that Dokdo belongs to Korea, then it has to do a far better job with research studies, gathering up information for debating, and learn to engage the Japanese on the debates, instead of just emotionally going off in anger and doing reactionary actions based on emotionalism rather than strategy. To others who are not involved in the two country’s dispute, emotional reactions will not work, will only make them question Korea’s position as skeptical and dodgy. Presenting facts and details in a rational way will always trumpet over emotional arguments.

    This is why Korea may lose in the court. Simply because it’s not ready, ill prepared to present its case, and it will be unwise to take the case to court in exchange for very little benefits if Korea wins.

    • Patrick

      Very well said.

    • Ralph

      Very well put, Chucky. Dokdo is Korea’s, historically and in actuality. And no country could ever entertain the idea of having part of it’s territory subject to the vagaries of a court. Let the Japanese bluster all they want, the fact remains that Dokdo is Korea’s.

      • Ruaraidh

        Actually quite a few countries have had territorial disputes settled in the international courts.

        Who really cares though, all this wailing and posturing over a couple of skerries is totally stupid. It would be like Scottish people self immolating or driving their cars into the Irish, Danish or Icelandic embassies over the status of Rocabarraigh.

        The only significant value the Liancourt rocks have is to politicians who want to stir up a bit of nationalism and editors who want to sell more newspapers.

        • Chucky3176

          Actually no. The islet is an important focal point to which country controls the resources like the carbon hydrate rocks which are potential energy breakthrough for the future. Then there are the rich fishing grounds, and potential for natural gas. For Korea, it’s also a matter of historical colonial memory of what happened when it was weak in 1905. Korea is determined to not to give one inch of rocks to Japan ever again.

          • It’s certainly the last little hangover of Japanese colonialism, yes. This is probably the one (huge) reason Dokdo/Takeshima is an issue for Korea and that’s completely understandable. Gas and fish? Irrelevant.

          • Ruaraidh

            The thing is, it’s somewhat ambiguous over which country has claim to the islands, it’s not as if they are 100% Korean now and for the whole of history. As far as I’m concerned both countries have a claim that is about equally tenuous. What aspects of Korean culture have come from Liancourt rocks? Any poets, heroes or kings born there? It is not integrally Korean like actual parts of Korea, which have contributed to Korean culture and history.

            As for which country controls any potential resources in the area, that argument is totally vacuous, the Liancourt rocks can neither extend Korean or Japanese maritime territory. From the UN law of the sea: “Rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf.”

            The fact is if an earthquake caused the rocks to sink beneath the waves forever, Koreans would just find another thing to get worked up over and blame the Japanese for. I’m not saying Japan isn’t being stupid too, they should stop certain politicians from making stupid statements about comfort women for a start…

          • Chucky3176

            ““Rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf.””

            That is not the definition of an island. As long as it’s surrounded on all sides by water and it was formed naturally, it is considered an island subjected to international territorial and maritime laws. You don’t think the Japanese haven’t studied what the implications are if they lose the claim?

          • Yohan

            @Ruaraidh, so if I find a small island somewhere that didn’t contribute to anything or anyone to any specific culture it’s up for grabs? There should be many many of those little islands all over the world.

          • Ruaraidh


            That’s clearly not what I’m saying, if anything quite the opposite. The point I actually made is that those skerries are not some integral part of Korea, or any other nation for that matter, and pretending that they are is disingenuous. They are an irrelevant pair of rocks with no cultural or economic value.


            United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – Part VIII


            Regime of islands

            1. An island is a naturally formed area of land, surrounded by water, which is above water at high tide.

            2. Except as provided for in paragraph 3, the territorial sea, the contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf of an island are determined in accordance with the provisions of this Convention applicable to other land territory.

            3. Rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf.

          • chucky3176

            Ruaraidh, are you aware that Seoul and Tokyo have held seven rounds of EEZ talks so far but little progress has been made because of Japan’s claim to Korea’s eastern most islets?

            Seoul proposes a median line between Dokdo in the East Sea and Japan as the EEZ boundary while Tokyo maintains its position that the line should be drawn up between Dokdo and Ullung Island.

            Central to this EEZ division issue, are the Dokdo islands which both countries claim. It has everything to do with territorial argument.

          • Yohan

            I don’t understand you, you just said again that such rocks don’t belong to anyone so then they would be up for grabs by anyone who wants them. In this case Dokdo is a part of Ulleung, which I guess is Korean even though I’m not aware of any kings, poets or any other significant contribution to Korean culture originating there. So maybe Japan or someone else could claim that island as well? I’m sure we can find thousands of rocks within Korea that doesn’t have any cultural or economic value, shouldn’t we care if Japan wants to take them?

          • Ruaraidh

            Legally the EEZ should fall between the Oki islands and Ulleungdo, the Liancourt rocks should have no impact on this. However despite being uninhabitable and having no EEZ they do project an insignificant 12 nautical mile territorial sea, I’m not 100% certain on this though. Therefore regardless of who owns Liancourt the resource allocation is pretty much the same.

            Ulleungdo had it’s own kingdom 우산국, which is definitely of cultural value. More importantly though, it is capable of supporting a sustainable human population, and is therefore an island proper rather than just a skerry. Again, comparing an island that has supported a presumably (proto) Korean population since before 100BCE, with an uninhabitable rock is disingenuous.

            Also please note that never do I say that because Korea has a poor claim, the rocks should therefore go to Japan. It would be nice if Japan and Korea could share the rocks between them.

          • Chucky3176

            Ruaraidh, Korea made that island habitable. There is a lighthouse, an abode with an address, and even fresh water. And then there are the matter of precedence. Both US and Canada have used uninhabitable islands in the Artics to stake their EEZ’s.

          • Ruaraidh

            I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that chucky, it’s more about if an island can support a genetically viable population without any support from a mainland. As a yardstick, other islands that fall just at the edge of being too small to be permanently habitable include St Kilda (21km) and Pitcairn (47km). Dokdo is less than 0.2km, and also has essentially no flat, usable land.

            I’m honestly don’t know about the arctic islands you mention, Aleutians, Eskimo and other ice people live all over the Canadian and Alaskan islands though, so they probably are habitable.

          • Chucky3176

            Ruaraidh, the EEZ goals are more in line with Japan’s thinking, rather then Korea’s. For Korea, Dokdo represents the first Korean territory that got annexed by Japan in 1905. At that time, Japan’s colonial goal was to take Dokdo, then Ullungdo island nearby, then onto the mainland. So for Koreans, Dokdo is a symbolism and a very unpleasant reminder of a time when Koreans let Japan walk right into the door. That’s why it’s an emotional issue for Korea.

            For Japan on the other hand, is the EEZ issue. They are just as bad as China when it comes to their ambition of expanding their maritime territory. For instance, this is their current EEZ administered area.


            But Japan wants to expand it using EEZ issues, and this is the area after they get what they want.


            Japan’s ambition to expand their territory is not only just as bad as China’s goals, but may actually be worse than China’s plans. Yet we don’t ever hear about Japan’s plans. Why? That’s because China is the bad guy and Japan is the good guy, in the west. But to me, they’re the different sides of the same coin.

          • Yohan

            @Ruaraidh, I’m not comparing Dokdo to Ulleungdo, Dokdo is a part of Ulleungdo and included in that territory since the times of Usan-guk.

          • Ruaraidh

            Yohan, both countries claim the rocks to be part of some Japanese or Korean administrative region. Neither country has ever populated the islands, because they cannot support a population. The description of Dokdo as part of Usan-guk is based only on a name, with no description of the island in question to prove it even referred to Liancourt rocks in the first place.

            People have never lived on the island year round, its always just been a pair of rocks, sometimes visited by Koreans and sometimes by Japanese. Korea currently has a base there, despite the fact that their claim is really no better or worse than that of Japan. Having the rocks isn’t enough, it’s all about getting the rest of the world to recognise them as Korean, just so you can rub it in Japan’s face. The problem is the rest of the world doesn’t really give a shit, and the more Koreans cry and moan about it to us, the less sympathetic to your claim we are likely to be. The only issue that makes Korea look like a bigger nation of bitches than Dokdo is the Sea of Japan naming dispute.

          • Brett Sanbon

            In Korea’s defense about Sea of Japan, I don’t think the Chinese or Koreans ever called it that until Westerners arrived. Throughout the peninsula’s history, they’ve always called it the East Sea. Its kind of a kick in the nuts after all East Asia has been through with Japan and all. Same with Dokdo.

          • Ruaraidh

            I didn’t mean to imply it bothered me what they called it, just how they would like to impose their name on the rest of the world. Another example is the Arab states trying to rename the Persian Gulf.

    • Chucky3176

      Poll: Japanese Want Economic Revenge Against Korea

      Dokdo visit by LMB, the Olympic Dokdo fiasco, have angered the Japanese people. In a poll done by Nihon Gaiza, 33% of Japanese want to exact an economic revenge against South Korea, including raising of tariffs against Korean products. This comes on top of the news that Japanese government is thinking about dropping the currency swap with South Korea that Japan had since two years ago.

      The Poll Results: 33% want economic revenge, 22.4% want expelling of South Korean embassy in Tokyo and diplomatic cutoff,17.2% want closing Japanese embassy in Seoul, 18.7% want stopping of foreign policy cooperation with Korea, 6.3% want to stop all exchanges with Korea, 10% miscellaneous, and only 2% said Japan should stop any actions to worsen the relations.

      I highly doubt any of these measures will do much to hurt South Korea that much.

      • Mirror On the Wall

        Japanese Right Wing groups threaten to physically attack Korean tourists in Japan as anger towards Korea grows in Japan.


        • Ruaraidh

          There’s a pretty massive difference between threatening Korean tourists, and not being able to rule the possibility out some other people attacking Korean tourists.

      • Peter

        Which korean products? Shin ramyun? I dont see any other korean products in Japan.

        Just like the other post i commented on by you, you search for the worst of the news from your targetted country. You go out of your way to skew the truth.

        The Reaction in Japan? Bemusement.

        • Peter

          My mistake, the kimchi I bought today was from korea, it tasted pretty good, cheaper than most other brands sold in Japan.

          • chucky3176

            That’s right Peter. There are no Korean products in Japan. So Japanese wanting to boycott Korea… good luck to them. It’s not going to hurt Koreans at all since Japanese don’t buy anything from Korea other then what you just mentioned, kimchi and sea weeds. lol. On the contrary, Peter, there is bemusement in Korea, with Japanese threats of economic boycotts. Now I hear they’re threatening to hurt Korean tourists. Well that’s a good way to kill off what’s left of your tourism. lol.

          • Sojubang

            Actually, Japan makes up about 5% of Korean exports. However, they also make up about 15% of Korean imports. (according to 2010 statistics)

            The value of Korea’s total import and exports are pretty close, so money wise Japan would stand to possibly loose out in the instance that Korea retaliated likewise to the “economic damage” caused by Japan if they did increase tariffs.

            It is just a poll though, generally they tend to not amount to anything.

          • Ruaraidh

            Sojubang is right, the bilateral trade between Japan and Korea is significant, and an increase in tariffs or an embargo (which technically is just an infinitely high tariff) would hurt both countries. Excepting pretty specialised cases, economic embargoes are a sword that cuts both ways. In the event of a mutual tariff increase, the effects would be a reduction of overall economic efficiency and price rises in both countries.

            The people in the poll quoted by chucky probably didn’t know the first thing about economic embargoes, and likely wouldn’t have claimed they supported one if they did.

          • Chucky3176

            Really? I didn’t know Korea sells that much to Japan. Come to think of it, I can’t think of any products that Korea sells on the Japan market. So I have to say they’re probably some agricultural and food stuff products like kimchi, apples, flowers, etc etc. If those exports get halted because of tariffs, then that should be a welcoming news for Korean consumers who will see the supermarket prices to come down a little.

            Let’s face it, Japanese market is not in the same league for Korea when it comes to importance, as American, EU, and Chinese markets. The leverage Japan has on Korea is 0, compared to the leverage US, EU, and China has on Korea. After all, you can’t hurt me when you’re not buying anything significant from me.

          • Peter

            Your tourism.

            With a name like Peter, do I sound reprisentative of the Japanese nation?

            You seem to want to group common enemys, the japanese, the arrogant west. Whats that about Chucky?

          • Chucky3176

            There are no Japanese people with the internet ID named “Peter”?
            It seems to me I didn’t mention anything about the “arrogant West’. Where’s that coming from, Peter?

          • Ruaraidh

            Japan is South Korea’s third largest export market, and its second largest import supplier.

            South Korea is Japan’s third largest export market, and its fifth largest import supplier.

            As I said, the trade is significant, and likely includes a great deal of intra-industry trade in machine parts and electronics. A tariff increase would hurt both countries a lot, but looking at the stats it would probably be worse for Korea.

          • Brett Sanbon

            “…trade in machine parts and electronics…”- Exactly!

            This is one of the largest areas of trade between the two countries. Many components of Korean made machines/electronics are sourced from Japan and vice versa.

          • Chucky3176

            So what does South Korea sell to Japan that makes Japanese market so important for South Korea? I’m sure it will hurt Korea if Japan decided to close off their market to Korea, but I’m also sure it won’t be the end of the world. Korea can sell their screws and nails to somewhere else and still survive. According to this article, the Korean export market to Japan was only worth $20 billion a year for Korea before the Japanese tsunami disaster.


            If Japan wants to completely ban Korean products, then that’s their choice. But don’t forget, it was Japan who badly wanted in, on the China-Korea FTA. Koreans are very skeptical of FTA with China, but any hostile economic attacks on Korea by Japan, will only drive South Korea to closer to China. Like I said, Japan is no United States, and they are no China. They are sadly mistaking if they think they can threaten Korea economically because they think they have any leverage here.

          • Paul M

            I know Japan buys a lot of fish from Korea. It sounds daft but I remember hearing on the news a while back that Japan’s waters are becoming increasingly overfished.

          • Peter

            apologies Chucky, I mistook your comments on the football post regarding the team GB defeat with the generally feeling I get on this site from other korean views as the west being arrogant.

    • Gabrielle

      I agree with you, but for the sake of the truth about ICJ:
      “- Japan has Japanese judges in the ICJ, Korea doesn’t.”

      Not only it’s not always true, judges change regularly, but also, if in A country vs. B country’s case, A has a judge on the bench and B doesn’t, B can add a judge of it’s own nationality on the bench.
      Furthermore, up to 7 ad hoc judges can be add up to the case.

      Finally, if Korea really wants to have judges on the bench, they should push for Korean judges to apply at the ICJ (you know, acting instead of whining).

    • Jusan100

      “2. South Korea’s position has always been that this is not a disputed territory, it is part of Korea unquestionably. By taking this to ICJ, then that’s admitting the island is a disputed territory.”

      But Japan does dispute this and like this footballer tells the whole world that these rocks are disputed.
      Do you mean “lets pretend Japan doesnt dispute this” and then like this footballer advertise to the whole world that there is actually a dispute?

  • ddd

    ha, idiot.
    also, I say the island belongs to whoever America gave the island to after WW2, since they were the ones that won the war in the pacific.

  • k

    i dunno know about islands and who owns what but i do know that the soccer player in the picture sure is a hottie….love the biceps

    • We need more of this! Here’s to preaching love, not hate.

  • chucky3176

    Japan has decided to take this island issue to the International Court of Justice.


    Japan also knows very well that the 1965 normalization treaty with Korea stipulates that Japan will not take the issue to the International Court of Justice. What they have done is broken that treaty. If they continue to press this matter, Japan is risking a complete breakdown of the 1965 treaty with South Korea, in which case, the diplomatic relationship between the two countries may also be null and void.

    If this becomes the case, then the whole political dynamics of North East Asia will change. It will force South Korea to the side of China and Russia in a mutual alliance of convenience. Because all three countries have territorial problems with Japan and the temptation will be too irresistable for the three countries to try to isolate Japan.

    And the Chinese government mouth piece media has already noticed this and they are ready to back Korea and Russia.

    http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20120 … 25-rcdc-cn

    I hope Japan knows what they’re doing.

    • chucky3176
    • Cleo

      I don’t know. I think Japan wants to sneakily trick the Koreans into treating this matter as one with two sides where both sides are accepted as civilized and treated equally when only one side is the baby rapists and making the Koreans the one who essentially elevate/promote Japan onto a position of a legitimate party to this matter -… that sounds like a trick to me.
      It’sne – if you’re not here to help Korea fight back the Japanese encroachment, then get out of their face because if they can, they will mow right over you to protect the peninsula and we need them to do this.

      In real life, do you negotiate with a caught thief and offer him several meetings so we can come to mutually beneficial terms. China already tried that by sharing oil drilling near our Fisherman’s Wharf. Japan is taking loud action “buying” Fisherman’s Wharf from themselves AND now claiming that they have several Japanese who will testify that they have lived on China’s Fisherman’s Wharf. WHY would Korea go to a court for Dokdo when it sees how Japan is behaving with a country that suffered worse than Korea and is much softer on the Japanese than Korea?

      In real life, the police don’t treat criminals as equals, you know? The cops don’t beg pardon before stopping or arresting a criminal. They just do it. They hunt and stop the bad guys – shoot to kill if they have to. This is not a dispute. This is a thieving attempt that was not completed because a second atomic bomb was dropped on Japan. David Chan would still be alive if Japan had not built a lighthouse on China’s Fisherman’s Wharf. He died in September, that lighthouse was built in July of the same year. That lighthouse is basically his grave marker.

      The bad thing is that those islands are located in strategic locations that would allow Japan to step that much closer to both China/Taiwan and Korea. Okinawa was not created WILLINGLY by the Kingdom of RyuKyu (aka “9 dragons” as in “Kowloon” as in the Chinese Emperor was here, get it?) It’s not an accident that the natives still consume bitter melon stir fried with pork. The same reason we eat a dish of various meats that was once served to a young emperor running from the Mongolian invaders.

      Japan is definitely up to something. There is no way after all these years they are offering NHK World News for FREE on Time Warner cable television.

  • Cleo

    The majority of international English-language headlines misuse the word “deport” when describing Japanese illegally putting their hands on Chinese citizens on Chinese soil and holding them against their will. Needless to say, the Chinese don’t owe Japan for the airfare, Japan owes those Hongkongers the cost of their boat passage and they should be sued for kidnapping.

    Don’t think this is innocent Queen Min desperate to save her country and frustrated that foreigners don’t understand the seriousness of the situation. This is not the bribed journalists writing lies after Iris Chang’s “voluntary” suicide one year after her son was born. That was nice how that happened right after those notes in her car and mailbox.

    We don’t care what international press says. They don’t get a vote. They either help to stop Japan or they can expect that EVERY action used to demean, discourage, mischaracterize Korea and China and encourage Japan to remain on its chosen course of action will make them just as culpable and they will get payback when Japan is ultimately defeated and Japan has to be defeated. The Koreans and Chinese didn’t eat so much crap after the war if they didn’t think Japan was coming back to finish us all off.

    This is NOT Queen Min frightened and alone with no access to foreigners like Japan’s WONDERFUL foreign ministry and their many many foreign contacts.

    It’s not going to happen like that this time. You don’t get to use Korea like that again.

    Try the South – it “seems” the Thai and Vietnamese have no problem with you and PI seem to be indifferent to the yakuza marriages and spawn, right? It was ONLY a coinicidence that PI had a tiff with China in the South China Sea AFTER Japan informed PI that Japanese ships would be sent – for what? A friendly visit? Expats voluntarily entered POW camps after they saw what the Japanese did to Filipino children. You think people LOVE you?

    • Jusan100

      I love it when someone mentions Queen Min…
      It usually shows they have no idea of Korean history.

      It is a source of embarrassment to most Korean people these days that Japan occupied Korea without any resistance. I’m sure many people have heard unsatisfactory excuses as to why this was the case. The excuse given to me most often is “there was no-one to lead the Korean people”. Anyone with more than a basic knowledge of Korean history will know that none of these answers will do. The Korean people often rebelled against their leaders. The class system was only abolished with the Gabo reform of 1896. Around 95% of the population were in the lower classes of peasants (sangmin 75%) and slaves etc.. (Cheonmin – slaves, kisaeng etc..) and outcast “untouchables” (baekjeong). Everyone not surprised by the lack of resistance to Japan will surely be surprised by these rebellions, quite recent to the period (see the wikipedia article on the origins of the Donghak rebellion):-

      1. In 1812 Hong Gyeong-nae led the peasants of Gasan in the northern part of Korea into an armed rebellion and occupied the region for several months. An army was sent to quell the rebellion and the revolt was only put down after a savage scorched-earth campaign. All over Korea, all the way to Jeju Island, peasants continued to defy the king in Seoul, the local nobility and wealthy landlords.

      2. In 1862 half a century after the peasant rebellion led by Hong Gyeong-nae was put down, a group of farmers in Jinju, Gyeongsang, province rose up against their oppressive provincial officials and the wealthy landowners. This uprising was the result of the exploitation of destitute farmers by the local ruler. The rebels killed local government officials and set fire to government buildings. In order to appease the rebels, the government hastily revised the land, military and grain lending systems. It was an ineffectual attempt at reform, as many yangban in the central government were themselves deeply involved in such corruption. The revolt in Jinju triggered peasant uprisings elsewhere all over Korea; groups of farmers rose up with arms and attacked government offices in principal towns. Many government officials were executed. The uprisings were generally crushed by government troops. In 1862 the peasants of San-nam and surrounding villages took up arms against the elite, but were brutally butchered by troops. In subsequent years, peasants rose up in small groups all across Korea until 1892.

      3. The Donghak Peasant Revolution, or the 1894 Peasant War (see wikipedia for a brief description).

      That’s about 50 years of rebellion against the ruling/upper classes!
      I would suggest that the Korean peasants had had enough of their yangban rulers and with the defeat of the Chinese by Japan, the Gabo reforms introduced by the pro-Japanese cabinet removing slavery and the class system, the peasants finally saw some prospect of hope in their lives.

      No-one relates to the peasants these days everyone likes to believe they were related to the Yangban class. It seems like no-one in Korea has any peasant ancestry anymore even though only about 5% were from the higher classes. How about the assassination of Queen Min? Everyone now says what a terrible thing the Japanese did but in the 1894 Peasant War the peasants involved wanted to destroy all the upper classes including her.

      • Jusan100

        BTW I’m English and have no particular like for Japan. One of my Grandfathers was captured at Singapore and forced to work on the Burma railroad. Since the war Japan has never shown any aggression to anyone and thats good enough for me (better than my country).
        The deciding factor, for me, in this arguement is that Japan and Japanese posters seem quite rational whilst Korea and Korean posters just seem to depend on a lot of emotional rubbish.

        Im sure it’s a Korean saying “tell a lie 100 times and it becomes the truth”. I’m sure many Korean people believe that but what they don’t realize is that most other people don’t.

        • Chucky3176

          A Japanese coach in the Korean national team that won the bronze medal and his family gets death threats in Japan because he helped the Korean team win the bronze.


          Yes, very rational, aren’t they?

          • Jusan100

            Are you kidding me? I’m from England. People have been killed over football here.
            This is exactly what I mean about Koreans being emotional. There are always exceptions and you find one exception and think this disproves the general situation. I mean look at all the ranting above. It’s common on almost any English language Korean blog. Do you think it does Koreans any favours?
            Is this story the best you could do?
            First of all I’m suspicious of any story in the Korean press that mentions Japan – most people on this blog can see why. Can you show me a Japanese newspaper version of this story? or better still an English newspaper version.
            How does anyone know the nationality of their Olympic coaches or even their names? Is he the main coach? After 35 years of watching football, twice a week in the UK, I have never heard the names of any of the minor coaches. Players, manager, head coach that’s it. Isn’t it curious that South Korea would use a Japanese coach? They couldn’t find a South Korean coach so had to rely on Japan?
            His family in Japan gets death threats? How does anyone in Japan even know who his family are? If he helps coach the Korean Olympic football team then presumably he lives in Korea (with his immediate family?) and has done so for the last 4 years while training the Korean team.
            I think this is probably falsified to propagate anti-Japanese sentiment like so much of the Korean media.
            It’s illegal to burn any countries flag in South Korea but you wont get arrested for burning a Japanese flag, even outside the Japanese embassy.
            Done an English search on the coach’s name Ikeda Shinobu there is nothing relating to this in any English media. I also can’t find anything recent about this using a search of his kanji name 池田 司信 so as far as I can see the story is only in the Korean press.
            It certainly wouldn’t be the first time the Korean media has lied to try to make Japan look bad and to make it look like a foreigner supports Korea.

          • chucky3176

            An exception to the rule? I don’t think so. By the way, your excuses for this very Japanese type behavior tells me where your bias lies. There are no Japanese language stories on this because they would never report hate attacks in their media. Go to Youtube, and see how the Japanese have recorded their work of assualting Korean school children and Korean tourists to Japan.

          • Jusan100

            But there are no English language stories either!
            Get real! Do you seriously think every Japanese newpaper is right wing? Even the Akihata Shimbun? The Japanese communist party newspaper. You are not living in the real world.
            Here is the real world of Japanese newpapers:-
            1.Yomiuri : conservative (high quality paper) 10,042,075
            2.Asahi : Left (high quality paper) 8,093,885
            3.Seikyo : Buddhism 5,500,000
            4.Mainichi : Liberal/left (high quality paper) 3,974,559
            5.Chunichi Shimbun/Tokyo Shimbun : Left (high quality paper) 3,475,049
            6.Nihon Keizai : Economy (high quality paper) 3,034,481
            7.Tokyo Sports : (Sports) 2,228,000
            8.Sankei : Right (high quality paper) 2,191,587
            9.Nikkan Sports 1,970,000
            10.Nikkan Gendai : Left (Tabloid) 1,681,500
            11.Akahata (Red Flag) : Communist Party bulletin 1,680,000
            12.Yukan Fuji : Right (Tabloid) 1,559,000
            13.Houchi Shimbun : (Sports) 1,428,000
            14.Sankei Sports 1,367,734
            15.Hokkaido Shimbun : Left (high quality paper) 1,209,231
            16.Daily Sports 963,000
            17.Chunichi Sports/Tokyo Chunichi Sports 942,034
            18.Nishinippon Shimbun : Left (high quality paper) 852,943
            19.Chugoku Shimbun : Left (high quality paper) 719,194
            20.Shizuoka Shimbun : Left (high quality paper) 717,000
            21.Kobe Shimbun : Left (high quality paper) 562,011
            22.Kyoto Shimbun : Left (high quality paper) 506,841
            23.Kahoku Shimpo : Liberal (high quality paper) 504,953
            (These are just the morning newspapers -circulation 2007)
            A semi-famous ex-Japanese footballer turns coach and has death threats given to him because he takes part training an olympic team. You have already seen how politics in the olympics is taken seriously.

      • Brett Sanbon

        “Everyone now says what a terrible thing the Japanese did but in the 1894 Peasant War the peasants involved wanted to destroy all the upper classes including her.”

        So you are saying that the Koreans should regard the Japanese as their saviors for doing away with the queen?

        Its kinda like clothes you were going to throw away, but then your brother starts wearing them and you want them back.

        • Jusan100

          Thats pretty much it but don’t forget that the population was 95% peasants or slaves.

          50-100 years of rebellion.

          “So you are saying that the Koreans should regard the Japanese as their saviors for doing away with the queen?”
          That’s a bit strong though. 95% of the population were peasants or worse; slaves and outcasts. Japan taking control of Korea abolished slavery, abolished the class system and did many other things that could only benefit Korea (see Gabo reforms). I think you have to look at Taiwan which was in the same situation as Korea – ruled as another Japanese province. They are very pro-Japanese even though there was some bloodshed during the occupation.
          Literacy jumped from around 4% to around 40% in Korea.
          Life expectancy jumped from the 30’s to the 50’s in Korea.
          The only concept of a school in Korea before the Japanese occupation was to learn the civil service exams and you effectively had to be a member of the upper classes to be in a postion to study.

          I was fortunate enough to work as the private secretary to a minister in Kim Dae-Jungs government for three weeks. He grew up during the Japanese occupation. He told me a completely different story to the popular opinion. I checked it out, I started talking to older Koreans, my friends’ Father’s mainly. One was a plastic surgeon (plastic = burns/trauma, cosmetic = well, cosmetic). I got the same story from other old Korean educated guys.
          Why do young guys have a different view of Japan?
          That is a very interesting question. You could write abook about it and I might do that. South Korea is a young country. I mean “South Korea” ROK. With the split of the country and the Korean war there needed to be someway to instill loyalty/nationalism to the new country. One way to do this was to instill hatred of the Japanese. It’s complicated but alot of shame was felt by the Korean people for the Japanese occupation – dont forget the Japanese have been shamed for WWII and Korea fought with the Japanese, whether they wanted to or not, at that time in history most people in Europe and beyond were drafted for military service or labour (one of my Grandfathers was forced to join the airforce as bomber crew and my other Grandfather was forced to join the army and was a Japanese POW after the fall of Singapore). Only the USA did not have to draft all its labour, continually throughout the whole war. I beleive that USAF members had only to fly 25 missions. Wing Commander Guy Gibson the leader of the dambusters raid was sent to the USA to raise support for the war effort giving lectures “During questions one young lady asked `Wing Commander Gibson, how many operations have you been on over Germany?’ ‘One hundred and seventy-four.’ There was a stunned silence.” (Sir Robert Thomson’s autobiography).
          I’m not detracting from the USA in WWII, it certainly could not have been won without them – they just had more manpower.
          Part of the nationalistic feeling can be seen when there is any mention of the Yasakuni shrine in Japan. Always the Koreans mention that enshrined in that shrine are 14 category A convicted war criminals (none have any direct relationship to Korea other than it being another province of Japan at the time). Yasakuni jinja is a shrine to all Japan’s war dead, it would not be offensive to me if I was asked to go there, I would be unhappy about some of the people enshrined there but at the time they lived, I can understand them (somewhat). What is offensive to Koreans is that Koreans that served Japan are enshrined at Yasakuni jinja, 21,181 Koreans (and 27,863 Taiwanese).
          That Japan, of course no longer exists, it’s modern constitution was written by two Americans (Milo Rowell and Courtney Whitney).

          Anti-Japanese sentiment in South korea did not start until the late 50’s.
          A good indicator of this is the zainichi Koreans (한국계 일본인 -“zainichi” means “wanted to stay”), the Koreans that worked in Japan during the war and how many wanted to return to Korea afterwards. If you believe the modern feeling that Japan raped every woman and brutalized every Korean man you would expect every Korean man,woman and child to want to return to Korea after the war – wouldn’t you? According to Ryang, Sonia (2000). “Koreans in Japan: Critical Voices from the Margin” there were 2.4 million Koreans in Japan at the end of WWII. The USA occupation allowed the repatriation to Korea of any that wished to go. Around 650,000 chose to stay in Japan, thats about 27%.

          None of all this is as important as to why Japan occupied Korea. It wasn’t because Korea was a nice place to live, as all those peasant rebellions tell us.
          It was because Russia wanted a pacific area seaport and was prepared to do anything to get it. Japan was scared to have it’s whole west dominated by Russia. Russia has a pacific port, Vladivostok but it is iced up 3 months of the year – useless if all your enemies know your fleet cannot refuel for 3 months of the year.
          Russia had troops stationed in Seoul, in fact the Russian legation was the largest building in Seoul at the time, I’m doing all this from memory but as I remember the Russian legation eventually became the HQ of the Japanese government in Seoul. Russia was also building a railroad through Manturia to try and force China to give up Dalian (?) as a sea port.
          There was the Russo-Japan war.
          The Sino-Japan war.
          These wars were designed to stop Russia/China and importantly stop Korea being manipulated by these countries.
          Without the Japanese occupation of Korea, Korea would now be a Russian province – no question! Stalin would have moved large populations around the Soviet Union.

          I ask every Korean to consider what would have been better.

          I was going to finish this post here but then I thought about one other thing. The recent demand for the Japanese Emperor to make an apology.
          According to this Wikipedia article (and from a Korean point of view):-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan

          Japan has apologized for the general war including in Korea 14 times.
          Japan has apologized to Korea individually for its colonialism and the war 15 times.
          Japan has apologized for the comfort woman situation in Asia (includes Korea) 5 times.
          Japan has apologized to Korea individually for Korean comfort women 4 times.
          These apologies do not include the compensation paid to comfort women under the 1965 treaty (Japanese: 日韓基本条約 (Nikkan Kihon Jōyaku); Korean: 한일기본조약, 韓日基本條約, Hanil Gibon Joyak), that the South Korean government withheld from individuals and instead invested it in industry. A treaty which exempts Japan from any further payment obligations to South Korea.
          It also does not include the setup of the Asian Women’s Fund which included a personal signed apology to individual comfort women from the Japanese Prime Minister at the time (Murayama).

          The Korean President suggested that the Japanese Emperor make an apology.
          Why is anyone asking Emperor Akihito to make an apology? He was 12 years old at the end of the second world war.
          Is that what is means to make a sincere apology? An apology from someone that had absolutely nothing to do with it?

          Now I think… knowing a Koreans mind, that an apology means “give us lots of money, give us everything we want forever otherwise we then claim your last apology was not sincere”.

          Over 30 apologies Japan, please don’t do it again. If a person refuses one apology then they do not deserve another.

          • Brett Sanbon

            Well, your definitely thorough. Cant take that from you.

            If you ever write a book, be sure to let me know and Ill pick up a copy.

      • Name

        What you have written there like if it was a fact to ‘SUPPORT’ your claim, is actually something that Korean kids have to literally recite in middle school, and actually DISPROVES your claims.

        Gabo Reformation was modeled after Meiji of Japan and definitely learned some from Japan, but it doesn’t mean that Japan is the rightful innovators of Korea. If you want to say so, then the Meiji itself was also a rip-off of German Empire and English Industrial Revolution. Then here, Japan always claim it wasn’t a copy but a renovation, hey, isn’t that the Gabo Reforms? Japan claims that they built electric facilities, lights, streetcars, roads, buildings(they always talk about the Seoul station, which is one of the very few purely Japanese work. the rest were all built by US or Korea and Japan just took them); no, they were entirely by the Daehan Empire and American companies. Daehan Empire had more than 200 companies by 1904, and was nominated as one of the cleanest cities on Asia back then.

        Then, Japan made the Eulsa Treaty which didn’t even have the Seal of the Emperor and only that of the minister of Foreign Affairs. But during the Gwangmu reformation of the Daehan empire(the one which made so many things like what is mentioned up there), the Gwangmu definately stated that the Emperor has all the final and essential rights to diplomatic actions, military, economy, and etc. which meant that without the confirmation of the Emperor through the seal, even if the minister or the prime minister signed it or the ministry voted it, the Emperor can veto the entire thing. And if you look for the data, the Eulsa treaty doesn’t have the Imperial Seal but only that of the minister. Japan just sneakily used this to justify their annexation, but anyone with the right brains know that this was a fraud.

        Also, do you know why the last Donghak Peasantry revolution happened? It was because Japanese army stayed in the Palace and according to Jun Bong Jun; ‘shocked the King and disgraced the Royal Palace’. The first one was to RESTORE the government system to the centralized way it used to be by revolting on the far edge of the nation(By the last century, the once highly centralized government cracked into pieces and got the form of a feudal government, which was a big fallback.)The second one was to get rid of the Min Cabinet and restore the old cabinet because the Min cabinet ACTUALLY TRIED TO OPEN THE DOORS to the foreign world, NOT to destroy the corrupted government. The actual motto of the Donghak Revolution was
        ‘1. Save the confucious values of Courtesy and Respect to the Elders(忠孝), 2. ELIMINATE THE WAE AND THE YANG and clear the King’s measures.(WAE MEANS JAPAN AND YANG MEANS THE WESTERM IMPERIALISTS), 3. Proceed to Seoul and bring 權貴 their fall.(權貴 means corrupt politicians) So here, where can you find that the Donghak Peasantry revolution was to get rid of the government and the king? Isn’t it the opposite, as they say that they should restore the government to its previous forms and clear the King’s measures? It was all about restoration, not renovation. If you want to know the truth, look for the historic datas back then such as the 全琫準供草(the records of judicial court upon Jun-Bong-Joon) Here’s a brief part of a translated version(Translated from Chinese into Hangul.), see it yourself.

        서광범: 네 이름이 무엇이냐?

        전봉준: 전봉준(全琫準)이다.

        서: 전명숙(全明淑)이라는 자는 누구냐?

        전: 명숙은 나의 자(字)다.

        서: 전녹두는 누구냐?

        전: 사람들이 나를 그리 부른다.

        서: 왜 난을 일으켰으냐?

        전: 어찌하여 날보고 난을 일으켰다 하느냐? 작란(作亂)을 하는 것은 바로 왜놈에게 나라를 팔아먹고도 끄떡없는 부패한 너희 고관들이 아니냐?

        서: 관아를 부수고 민병을 일으켜 죄없는 양민을 죽게한 것이 난이 아니고 무엇인가?

        전: 일어난 것은 난이 아니라 백성의 원성이다. 민병을 일으킨 것은 기울어져가는 나라를 구하고자 함이요 백성의 삶에서 폭력을 제거코자 했을 따름이다.

        서: 그리하면 지방의 방백수령을 혼내주면 됐지 왜 서울에 입성코저 했는가?

        전: 국체를 무시하고 궁궐을 침범한 왜놈들을 응징코저 한 것이다.

        서: 그럼 서울에 살고 있는 외국인을 다 내쫓고자 했는가?

        전: 아니다. 외국인은 통상만 하면 되는 것이다. 헌데 왜놈들은 군대를 주둔시켜 나라를 집어삼키려 하고 있다는 것을 그대들은 아직도 모르고 있단 말이냐? 어찌 뿌리가 썩었는데 가지를 친다함이 의미가 있을손가?

        서: 너는 동학의 괴수(魁首)냐?

        전: 나는 의를 펴고자 일어났을 뿐이다. 동학의 괴수라 함은 가당치 않다.

        서: 동학엔 언제 입당하였느냐?

        전: 삼년전이다.

        서: 왜 입당하였는냐?

        전: 사람의 마음을 지키고(守心) 하늘님을 공경하는 것(敬天)을 가르치기 때문이다.

        서: 동학의 주의(主意)가 무엇이냐?

        전: 보국안민(輔國安民)이다.

        서: 그렇대면 그대는 하늘님을 공경하는 것 보다는 보국안민이라는 정치적 목적을 위해 동학이라는 조직을 이용한 것밖에 더 되느냐?

        전: 동학은 본시 우리 해동 조선땅에서 일어난 것이며 그 도학(道學)에 종교와 정치의 구분이 있을 수 없다.

        서: 송희옥(宋喜玉)을 아는가?

        전: 면식은 있을지 모르나 나는 그 자를 알지 못한다.

        서: 송희옥이 전라일도 도집강(都執綱)이요 너의 가까운 친척이라는데도 알지 못한단 말이냐?

        전: 그는 본시 부랑자로 홀왕홀래했을 뿐 나는 그를 알지 못한다.

        서: 송희옥의 기서(奇書)에 의하면 너의 재차 기포는 국태공(國太公) 대원군과의 밀약에 의한 것이라는데 그것이 사실이냐?

        전: 어찌 척양척왜가 대원군 한사람의 주장일까보냐? 그것은 만백성이 원하는 바이다. 내 창의문에 써있는 몇구절로써 그런 억측을 일삼는 것은 참으로 가소로운 일이다 대원군은 우리의 의거가 해산되기만을 효유했을 뿐이다. 우리의 의거는 대원군과 하등의 관련도 없다.

        서: 너는 대원군을 서울 운현궁에서 만난 적이 있다는데?

        전: 유언비어일 뿐이다. 나는 대원군을 만난 적이 없다.

        서: 동학에 남접 북접이 있다는데 그 구별은 무엇이뇨?

        전: 그것은 호남과 호서의 지역적 구별일뿐 동학이 두개인 것은 아니다. 동학은 삼십년전 경주에 살던 최제우(崔濟愚)로부터 시작하였고 동학의 모든 접주는 최법헌(崔法軒)으로부터 비롯된 것이다, 최법헌이 팔도(八道)의 접주의 직책을 총괄한다.

        서: 최법헌이 누구인가?

        전: 해월 최시형이다. 이름은 최경상이다.

        서: 그럼 너도 기포의 허락을 최법헌으로부터 받았는가?

        전: 진리를 펴는데 무슨 허락이 필요한가? 충의(忠義)란 본심(本心)이다. 그대 발 등에 불이 떨어졌는데 그대는 그것을 허락을 받고 치우겠는가?

        — 《전봉준공초》(全琫準供草)

        Though it is true that the Hong-Gyeong-Rae was an anti-king, its only one example.

        We do not deny that Joseon was corrupted during the last century. But the history of Joseon was 500 years. The time when Joseon starts to fall was the 1800s. Before that, Joseon was a highly effective and centralized government(Thanks to Sejong the great) and the heaven for Confucius scholars. There was no hereditary noble class nor noble class(this no more becomes a truth by the last century, but there are four more centuries!!!) officially in Joseon, as a Confucius driven government, didn’t allow someone stupid to become a part of the ruling community. Even a son of the Prime Minister couldn’t become a part of the noble class if he couldn’t pass the exam(though they were mostly educated to their limit, the point is that it still required effort and had its doors open to the peasant and commoner levels.) and even a peasant could become one to work in the government if they were smart enough. This system originated in China, but hey, what in East Asia wasn’t originated in China except for some Japanese artworks and religion? Joseon wasn’t as bad as what Japanese propaganda-based people think, its just that only the last 25% of its history became corrupt. The rest 75% was quite stronger and better than most Japs imagine. Also, the reason why Koreans hate Japan for assassinating Queen Min is not because they killed Min, but because they killed the Queen(and it was an empress after all…). An empress of a nation was killed by a foreign bandit! and more than that, it is 99.9% likely that there was the Japanese government behind the assassination considering that Japan hated Empress Min because she favored Russia over Japan. How would Japan feel if Tenno Akihito or the Queen was killed by Koreans?!!!

        Conclusion: your ‘FACTS’ are one-sided, as it only collects the factors that agrees with you and ‘FORGET’ what disagrees with your belief. When one says ‘FACT’, it should contain the both sides of the story.

  • Yu Bumsuk

    How I wish they’d make him spend all two years of his military service guarding Dokdo.

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