Posted by: rbbadger | May 31, 2010

The Grey Lady on South Korea

The New York Times has a couple of excellent articles on South Korea in the wake of the Ch’ŏnan sinking.  After the sinking took place, President Lee Myung-bak commissioned a study done by a number of outside experts to determine who was behind the sinking.  Many people have since come terms with the fact that North Korea probably did it.  But that does not mean that the nation is, as a whole, gearing up for a resumption of hostilities against North Korea, much less beginning anew the Korean War.

In his article, Martin Fackler looks at the mixed feelings that many Koreans have towards North Korea.  On the one hand, there is anger towards the north for this.  On the other, there is the sense that the South must continue to engage the North, “whom they view as impoverished if sometimes dangerous relatives”.  You can see his article by clicking here.

In another op-ed piece, B.R. Myers looks at the surprising lack of indignation against the North by South Koreans.  Professor Myers lost one of his students who was killed aboard the Ch’ŏnan.  Despite this, he hasn’t noticed much anti-North Korean sentiment on the part of his students.  He takes a look at the complicated cultural and historical realities behind the response of many South Koreans to the sinking of the Ch’ŏnan, some of which are tied in with how the government in the 1980s manipulated fear of North Korea to advance its own ends.  You can read his article here.

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