Political Party Seeks US Forces Withdrawal, Netizens Unconvinced

US SOLDIERS

The troubled United Progressive Party (UPP) is attempting to revise its position on a number of fundamental points, in particular its controversial policy of calling for the withdrawal of the United States Forces Korea (USFK). However, with infighting between inter-party factions rife, it is still unclear as to how the UPP can move forward. Netizens commenting on the Party Renewal Committee’s (PRC) statement remain unconvinced, with many reacting negatively to the UPP debate over the withdrawal of USFK.

Terms such as ‘Jwapa’ [left-wingers], ‘Jongbook’ [those with a pro-North Korean stance], and ‘Jongmi’ [those with a pro-US stance] appear frequently, suggesting that some netizens are not entirely comfortable with the left-wing party’s central policies. With almost two-thousand netizens making their feelings known when the article was reposted on Daum, the UPP have a considerable task ahead of them if they are to improve the party’s public image in the coming months.

From SBS:

UPP considers revising the full withdrawal of the United States Forces Korea party platform

Recently rocked by the series of scandals involving nomination fraud and the ambiguity over the pro-North Korean stance, the United Progressive Party (UPP) announced that it may drop the ‘withdrawal of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) from the party core platform as a part of the effort to soften the anti-American/pro-North Korean image.

The Party Renewal Committee (PRC) has announced that UPP is seeking to adjust the party stance regarding the United States and North Korea to be more on a par with the average citizen. Park Won-suk, chairman of the PRC, emphasized the need for a more pragmatic approach given the military threat posed by the North Korean regime. In the new party platform published on the 12th this month, the question of the USFK withdrawl was left open, subject to further discussions.

UPP Renewal Committee

Mr. Park concedes that ‘there are some in the party that have called for some revisions to our party platform. We are certainly open to debate on those issues.’ The decision to replace the popular folk songs usually sung at official events with the South Korean national anthem is also on the line.

Park believes that ‘the identity of the progressives cannot be defined by whether or not we sing the National Anthem.’ The former faction-in-power as well as the National Liberation faction is determined to secure the USFK withdrawl clause in the party platform, and that is bound to cause inflammatory debates

USFK in Panmunjum

However, the former faction-in-power made clear that they will not permit any unilateral changes to the party platform, opening up further possibilities for in-party fighting.

Comments from Daum:

fsmiss:

Fuck off you commie party ㅡㅡ

양심을행동으로:

I cannot believe that there are people still calling each other ‘jongbook’ [pro-North Korean] and what not here.. Do you honestly think that there are people who genuinely worship Kim Il Sung and admire North Korea..? Not unless you are bat-shit crazy… The conservative twats really must be brainwashed. Do they have any conscience? Why are they bringing up commies? You think half the population in South Korea are commies? According to sugu Koltong [‘conservative shitheads’], all you hear are left-wing, jongbook [pro-North Korean], commies, security, ideological attacks. They are full of shit.

tmvjswlqkq:

Just say one word, ‘Kim Il Sung is a bitch’ ke ke ke ke ke ke ke

훈민정음:

Are you saying jongmi [pro-American stance] is a bigger problem than jongbook [pro-North Korean stance]? Fucking crazy…

KIM.JISUP:

I cannot believe they have not even sung the National Anthem… They have been denying the existence of the state???

아장:

What America wanted was to set up Japan as the bulwark of liberal democracy, Korea was out of the question… So many patriots died defending our country and as a result South Korea was included in the American defense sphere… Don’t think so badly of the Americans here…. Their grunts may cause some problems but overall they are of great help to us…. America, South Korea and Japan are all in this together….. If one of us goes down, all of us go down….. One caveat is the conflict of interest in economic matters…. But if you throw that into the military alliance issue, you are mental…

orz3:

That is not the core issue here!!! No dynastic inheritance! No nuclear weapons in North Korea! Stop North Korean human rights abuses!!! If you put those in your party platform I will believe that UPP is not a jongbook [pro-North Korean] party!!!!!

뭘꼬러보노수키야:

Jongbook is far fucking worse than jongmi. We ought to beat to death anyone who says jongmi is the bigger problem.

후끈영계:

Get the fuck off to North Korea, what are you trying to say?

큰바우:

I heartily welcome the day of USFK withdrawal. But there is a precondition. I want us to develop nuclear missles so that we can save up on our defense budget and use that money instead on welfare. No foreign troop on our soil. I really look forward to that day. But I may not see that day come in my lifetime…

darkdjdot:

No matter how retarded the Saenuri party is, from the state perspective I prefer them to the Democratic United Party (DUP) that stands for universal welfare or the UPP‘s support of the North Korean regime.

풀내:

USFK‘s bases in South Korea are here to prevent communist countries invading us, so the withdrawl means that they want us to be invaded by the communists. Why do they want us wiped out?

공부만하자:

During the Vietnam War, all the ones who called for the withdrawl of the American troopers were communist spies. That was a valuable lesson to learn. Now that we know the true face of UPP, let us filter out the jongbook jwapa and move on.

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  • Jang

    This is one case I agree with the fanatical UPP. The only reason others want the U.S. to stay if money, just like the reason those same individuals don’t really want unification(to help their brethren up north). Sooooo selfish! America has gotten pissed on too many times despite everything it has done for S. Korea. It’s time to get out, in fact it’s past time. If S. Korea wants American to stay they should FULLY pay for their services. For some reason I think that if it was proposed that S. Korea will NOW pay fully, most would jump on board with the UPP.

    • Chucky3176

      South Korea pays half of the cost annually. Why do you think the USFK and Washington have not threatened South Korea with “you pay full or else we will get out by ___”? Because the US really don’t want to get out of S.Korea. Your leaders, despite all the rhetoric, once they get in power, change their minds because they get to find out what’s at the stake. The US is not about to give up their ambitions to stay #1, nor are they willing to give up their hegemony in Asia to China. America would have dropped South Korea like a cold potato long time ago, if they thought Korea was not in their best interest.

      • Mich’insaeki

        Don’t sweat it Chuck. In due time it won’t be up to the bubble-headed East Coast elite anymore and events will spin out of their control. Soon as the dollar reverts to its intrinsic value (0) there should be some major changes underway. Any day now. Short treasuries long gold.

  • Mich’insaeki

    YANGKEE GO HOME! Awesomeness. I been screamin that shit from the red tiled rooftops since the day I did my first bivouac in a Kangwon rice field in the middle of February. Looking up at the night sky and a million trillion stars I couldn’t help but wonder… n why the fuck am I here again?

    Bring the boys home, Hooah! Pumpin fists like a righteous mofo *양 키 고 홈!!!!!* HELL YEAH!!! Where dat demo at? I’m goin. Might forego the hanbok though, maybe throw on a tri quarter hat and some nice buckled shoes and pull a Bennie Franklin.

    They got my vote.

    You do a poll of US troops I bet you heuristically (LMAO) more US troops want out of the ROK than Koreans who want them out. Anytiiiiiiiiiiiiime baby. Bring the boys home. And our billion dollar annual cash injections too.

    • linette

      Thank God. It’s about time the USA stop being pee on by the South Korea. Protecting South Korea spending billions of dollars for nothing. The South Korea gov’t don’t even do enough to pay USA for this kind of services. I was wondering when USA gov’t will wake up and stop wasting USA citizen money and the safety of uSA soldiers. Bye bye South Korea. USA will come back went you stop being so cheap and pay the bill. You should start paying the bill for North korean refugees too. China shouldn’t have to pay billions your North Korean family. I am waiting for China to go to UN and request to have it done.

  • Ben

    Its sad the progressive party feels it must swing to the right to get some legitimacy back. Your platform wasn’t the problem, it was the cheating party members. It’s sad the party system is not strong enough to toss out a few bad apples and remain a viable organization. Really speaks to the personalistic, party-boss problem still prevalent in Korea.

  • RealKorean

    Yes, the US troops should leave, its only better for S.Korea to do so, so they can boost their military.

  • Jang

    I don’t understand why Koreans think they’re so much better than Filipinos, at least they were man enough to stand up and tell America to go home. All S. Koreans have to do is fill the Seoul streets up with candle light vigils or better yet violent protests worse than U.S. beef and I know Americans will proudly and happily go home. Grow some balls and protest everyday this summer, please!!! Unify Korea!!!

  • dim mak

    We should form an EAST ASIAN LEAGUE and crush North Korea together, then rebuild it from scratch as a new member of our glorious federation.

    Asian unity all day erry day.

  • Jang

    I only read the headline the first time but after reading the article it sounds like they’re speaking out of both sides of their mouths. Kind of like how S. Korean laws counter-dict each other. Yes you can protest, but you can be sued if you tell the truth.

    Here is what sounds like double speak…”, the United Progressive Party (UPP) announced that it may drop the ‘withdrawal of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) from the party core platform…”

    compared to…”The former faction-in-power as well as the National Liberation faction is determined to secure the USFK withdrawl clause in the party platform…,”

    Okay, so one leftest party says one thing and another says another thing. Just hit the Seoul streets, fill them up until the Presidential vote. Ahn Chul-soo should tell the Americans to go home, eat, pray, love!

  • C84

    I also think that the US should leave SK completely. Yes, I agree that the Philippines is a better country than SK in that they actually asked the US to leave, and got their wish! In truth, SK is deeply conflicted about what a US military withdrawal would mean. On the one hand, SK is unsure about NK and China. Deep down inside, SK cannot be pleased about the US military presence – who would be? It must be demoralizing and humiliating to depend on a foreign power for “protection.” If SK grew the balls to actually ask the US to leave, I see no reason why the US would continually deny the request. There are several positives for the US: This would also be would technically be the end of the “alliance” which means that the US would no longer be obligated to defend SK for any reason, and I think that would be a huge weight off the US. Additionally, they are cutting back on the size of their armed forces, and they’re engaged in many conflicts/missions abroad, so they would be very pleased to get troops out of a country where the troops are deadweights – they typically don’t deploy outside that country. There are also some Americans who feel that their country/troops has been unfairly treated/villainized by SK citizens/media, and they would be tremendously satisfied with a complete withdrawal. The downside for the US is that their influence on SK will decrease dramatically (and China’s influence conversely will increase exponentially), but I think they will consider that a small price to pay as long as they maintain their other bases in Asia.

    It comes down to this – as long as SK is “allied” with the US and hosts US troops, the NK issue will never be resolved, as China will continue to hold up NK as a buffer state against the US. The US is clearly encircling and trying to contain China’s burgeoning power (look at its plan to send 2,500 Marines to Australia, and even
    reaching out to Vietnam and other SE Asian countries). Obviously, China is cornered and feels very threatened. SK needs to either promise to be neutral or start leaning more towards China if China is to stop supporting NK.

    On the issue of reunification. There’s really no point to reunification as the political, economic, and ideological situations of the two countries are polar opposites, and it would be a monumental and possibly futile effort to try to reconcile those massive differences. However, the human rights issue and the constant threats (nuclear weapons, threats of war, etc.) need to be resolved, even if the two countries remain separate. Meaning, the totalitarian regime has to disappear. People need to start treating these two countries as separate, irreconcilable states, and not as two halves of the same state, as both states seem to imply perpetually.

    • Chucky3176

      Wishful thinking. But dream on.

      Phillipines is a better country? or a stupid country? They’re now begging the US to come back to help them protect against the Chinese. Yeah better country for sure. US also has bases in Japan, but that’s not been a peaches and cream either. It was only several months ago when the US even considered moving all of the US marines from Okinawa to South Korea, with Japan having differences with the US. I believe that option is still on the table, to get Japan think about their value of hosting the US marines. Since Japan didn’t want them anywhere near the mainland, they had to pay off Okinawa some serious money to continue to host them.

      If the US is about to leave Korea, they’re sure doing it the strange way. They’re increasing the military spending, beefing up the presence in Korea, moving more aircraft carriers to the Pacific, strengthening the alliance with Korea, and even talking about bringing back American nuclear weapons to Korea.

      You guys better get out there on the streets of Washington and do a better job of convincing your leaders to get out of Korea now. But I doubt the American leaders are going to be stupid enough to be swayed by policies of the leftist pro-NK quasi-Communist party called the UPP which has a minor support base who are rapidly losing their support with their own some serious stupidities.

      If your wish does ever come true though, the US has couple of obligation that they should be morally obliged to fulfill. Stop opposing South Koreans from developing nuclear weapons, and stop preventing South Koreans developing missiles that go over 600 KM. Not that South Korea wouldn’t develop them if the US ever leaves and stop the alliance and friendship, US should realize South Korea should have the right to defend themselves with whatever it takes.

      • dim mak

        Ridiculous, that would just provoke an arms race

        China would never accept a Korea with nukes, I bet Japan wouldn’t either

        • chucky3176

          I wouldn’t be sure about that if the US is out of the way in Korea and the US influence in Korean peninsula comes to an end. Things further complicate when Korea gets swallowed up by China’s influence, as some here are claiming will happen. With a China friendly South Korean government who is hostile to the US, China will be more open to a Korean peninsula with nuclear weapons. After all, do you see China doing everything it can to stop North Korea from obtaining the weapons of mass destruction? And what Japan does and thinks is irrelevant, since they sway little in the Korean equation. They will probably be under pressure to go nuclear themselves, but that’s their choice. There’s already a serious arms race in East Asia, if you didn’t notice.

          • dim mak

            That’s because north Korea is a client state with no real economic or political power, of course we have nothing to fear from them. I’m assuming south Korea has no intention of being in that position…?

            Right now nationalism in China is basically the same as the kind Japan went through during their Meiji era, just without the imperialist government. Regardless of what I think, there are no shortage of people who bunch Korea and Japan together on the hatelist. For both Chinese people and Chinese government to accept a nuclear armed Korea would take like 50 years of liberalization from us and a VERY pro-Beijing government from you guys.

            I don’t know how serious Koreans are about acquiring nukes, but I’m very certain it cannot be done anytime soon without serious backlash from China.

            Why do you want them anyway? I don’t see why Asians can’t be friends without everyone’s finger hovering over the button. It’s not like we’re gonna nuke you guys. Seriously.

          • chucky3176

            It’s not that South Korea wants nuclear arms. It’s the solution of the last resort. Your opinion makes sense as long as two Korea’s are divided. But all bets are off if and when Korea’s reunify, because all the normal analysis on the Korean peninsula goes out the window.

            And.

            Who’s “we” and “us”?

            Please explain.

          • dim mak

            Well I’m Chinese, and I’m assuming you’re Korean?

            If the Koreas do unify, then we don’t really have a problem anymore do we? The Americans will have no more reason to stay in Korea/Japan, and tensions with China will decrease because of it, paving the way to awesome East Asian Union. No nuclear posturing required.

            That’s what I envision anyway.

          • Frank Zappa

            sincerelly i think americans are in s.korea more for china than n.korea. so, i don’t really think that:

            -americans don’t want leave korea as keep remain as strategic base.
            -if ever, i’m pretty sure china will try, soon or late, to bully korea.. and, sorry for koreans, but there’s nothing they would be able to do in that case, except ask us troops to back again.

            talking about east asian union is an utopia, don’t relly think anyone would like it (nor american will ever allow). Anyway nowdays the more likely way to have this union is under the china’s red flag, and for sure koreans and japans would not agree

  • Chris

    훈민정음 (lol)’s comment should be translated the other way around.

  • tim

    I think that American troops should really be withdrawn. Without them, China would have no reason to hold up North Korea as buffer state against American bases, and so it will become very weak and vulnerable. Fair trade-off, that will eventually lift off any military threat and pave way for unification, and also remove foreign military, which is never good.

    Even now, China have far better relations, social and economic ties with south than north, even military cooperation.

    • Chris

      There’s always two sides to a coin.

      IE

      U.S. forces leave, regional tensions build up as S. Korea and especially Japan conservative forces feel they must militarize to match China.

      You can’t so easily predict international consequences, you never know how it would go.

      Besides, the layman’s understanding is that North Korea is a “buffer” to U.S. influence. This is ignorant of many international market dynamics; they *barely* prop it up, and each weapon test cuts more and more aid over the years. At this point, as has been documented, the CCP is starting to see North Korea as an economic black hole with the ability to sink the Asian stock exchanges with simple provocations.

      It is also naive to really think that having a democratic, unified Korean peninsula under US influence would really bother China that much. Yes, it would drive the hawks into sweats, but the economic benefits of having land access to the third largest economy in the region would far outweigh the ramifications of US reconnaissance missions and conventional forces being placed closer to the mainland. It’s not like China wouldn’t be able to combat the cultural influence from across such a theoretical border (North Korea has done it for 60 years), and from a strategic perspective the northern half of the peninsula doesnt offer the US that much more ability to perform aerial surveillance on high-importance Chinese military and government target, which there isnt much of outside of Shenyang.

      The fact that it would offer the US military a permanent staging point for ground forces into China is moot on two points, also: one, that the US would almost undoubtedly have little motivation to stage a ground-based invasion through what would be a heavily defended Jilin province (vs airborne/amphibious operations against central China, especially considering that the US would likely opt more for regime change than a full-on conventional war), and second, this would be no different from a unified Korea acting without US influence–a unified Korea would likely militarize just as much on the Korea-China border with or without US forces in Korea.

      tl;dr: it is just as easy to argue that US forces in Korea (and Japan) are just much of a stabilizer in the region as they are an obstacle to peaceful relations.

      • Justin_C

        a damn good reply from Chris – I see CIA train their operatives really well these days :P I joke, i joke….

        Yeah, not much to add – any conventional deployment of US force would come from either the CSG or the USMC Guam or Aussieland these days, far beyond the reach of Chinese daily surveillance areas, or even Central Asia (Kyrgyz or Turgiz). Unified Korea will spend as much if not more on national def but regional economic integration will temper the arms race eventually/hopefully.

        but the CCP internal political situation is hard to figure out as shown recently and that is a something that the ROK is probably very unprepared to handle.

      • tim

        I simply presented my thoughts and wasn’t going to engage in pointless debates. As for China, its external policy is pretty plain and stable: non-intervention and mutual cooperation, unless the partner intervenes in its own affairs. Unlike the aggressive and opportunistic American foreign and military policy, with constant twists and confrontations.

        “a unified Korea would likely militarize just as much on the Korea-China border with or without US forces in Korea.”

        – A unified Korea isn’t going to be under military threat, and surely it isn’t going to have 1.2 m + .7 m personnel.

  • Chucky3176

    South Korea shouldn’t be afraid of the North Koreans just because the US military leaves South Korea. Because we now have other Asian ethnics serving in South Korean military. If they get killed, North Korea will have to deal with other Asian countries.

    Here are couple of examples, 22 year old Japanese in right, and 21 year old Vietnamese in left.

    http://image.chosun.com/sitedata/image/201206/11/2012061100864_0.jpg

    Wait til you see Bangladesh, Pakistani, Uzbek, and Russian ethnics in the Korean military. North Koreans will have to deal with them too. Ah.. the beauty of “multiculturalism”.

    • dim mak

      Not sure if sarcasm

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