ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on June 14th, 2008 at 6:11 am

Memory of Shim Mi-son & Shin Hyo-sun Hijacked By Anti-US Beef Protesters

This should pretty much lay to rest any claims that the anti-US beef protests are not anti-American:

It appears that on June 13th, the sixth anniversary of the deaths of Shin Hyo-sun and Shim Mi-seon, killed after being struck by a US military armored personnel carrier, will become the main focus of the candlelight vigils which have been going on for over one month.

On the 12th the “Citizens’ Committee on Mad Cow Disease” announced that the 37th candlelight vigil to be held in front of Seoul City Hall on the 13th against the importation of US beef would incorporate a memorial ceremony for Hyo-sun and Mi-seon.

The sixth anniversary of Hyo-sun and Mi-seon’s deaths will easily excite anti-American sentiment among the citizenry, and the Committee will, on the 13th and 14th, intensify its calls for banning the import of US beef. [Korea Beat]

Read the rest over at Korea Beat but this just confirms my prior statements that the forces behind the US beef protests would next move to use their new found political power to go after USFK. I do have to say it is absolutely disgusting what these groups are doing once again demagouging and hijacking the memories of Shim Mi-son and Shin Hyo-sun for their own partisan political purposes. Then again these are the same people that would regularly hold up signs showing the dead girls bodies at their anti-US protests against the wishes of their families.

Once again these anti-US groups could care less about what the families of these two girls think and are ignoring their requests to not link the US beef issue to the memory of their daughters. These people have no shame, but considering their past actions it is not surprising.

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  • Greg
    12:32 am on June 14th, 2008 1

    I wouldn't be surprised if these anti-US groups were paid by North Korea or China.

  • Cloying_odor
    2:43 am on June 14th, 2008 2

    I suspect next week we will have a protest organized by the Peoples Organization against No Gun-ri, Mad Cows and LMB.

  • Benicio974
    5:07 am on June 14th, 2008 3

    Disgusting? Absolutely!

    However, it is clear that they are winning the propaganda contest, by a landslide, going on right now.

    I know it sounds unAmerican, but sometimes 'free speech' is not so desirable!

  • Cloying_odor
    6:31 am on June 14th, 2008 4

    Yes it can be undesirable when you have North Korean agents running free in South Korea organizing this stuff with impunity. All thanks to Mr. Roh and his "let's perform felatio on Kim Jong Il sunshine policy". The government needs to do some serious house cleaning.

  • Hamilton
    7:11 am on June 14th, 2008 5

    Benicio974, there has always been a difference between free speech and screaming just as there is between Democracy and mob rule. Korea is moving toward mob rule.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    9:36 am on June 15th, 2008 6

    The two girls families clearly said they did not want the beef protesters to memorialize the girls and they went ahead and did it anyway:

    Not only did they do it but they clearly linked the beef protests to the two girls as seen in the pictures here on the anti-US site Green Korea:

    In the background of the shrine they constructed you can clearly see the pictures of the two girls right next to propaganda images of crazy cows. These people are disgusting and should be ashamed of themselves.

    The fact that many protesters are anti-Lee is because Lee is pro-US. Roh was the one who put all the effort into the FTA and he was protested for it with many of the same claims being made now about mad cow disease. How come the beef protesters weren’t able to get the turn out then that they have now? It was because the anti-US groups hadn’t mobilized to support the beef protesters because Roh was there man.

    LMB gets elected and is obviously pro-US and did things such as limit the power of the unification ministry and axe a lot of leftists from the government and pushed hard for the FTA just like Roh did.

    However the anti-US groups through their support behind the beef protesters because LMB was not there man. They spread the lies and disinformation which they excel at over the Internet and broadcast media, and worked the general public into a frenzy against LMB.

    After 10 years of liberal rule many in the Korean public do not expect their president to appear to be a lap dog of the US which LMB is not but the Korean left has successfully portrayed him as with lies and a bit of bumbling from LMB as well.

    Anti-Americanism is clearly what is driving these protests and to say that anti-LMB sentiment is driving the protests is just avoiding the fact that the protesters are anti-LMB to begin with because he projects a pro-US image.

    If the anti-US forces behind the protests can successfully neuter LMB I fully expect them in the future to go after USFK over the Camp Pollution and USFK funding issues which are still hanging out there with no resolution if USFK begins to push the Korean government to resolve these issues.

  • Mark
    9:52 am on June 15th, 2008 7

    Do the people of South Korea realize the irreparable damage that has been done to the ROK/US relationship by the beef ban protests, and which will be done by the prospective protests over the burden of military cost sharing and base relocation? Do they realize what the consequences will be?

  • bulgasari
    1:17 am on June 15th, 2008 8

    This should pretty much lay to rest any claims that the anti-US beef protests are not anti-American.

    How? Every year since their deaths there has been some sort of vigil organized on June 13 (except in 2006, as that was the date of Korea's first World Cup game!). Those protests took place at Gwanghwamun or Cheonggyecheon, the same places (along with City Hall) that the current protests are taking place. Even if there were no protests right now, there would have been a candlelight vigil in memory of the girls, just like there has been every year.

    I do think that a kneejerk dislike of the US is responsible for some of the protesters taking part in this, (and for the anti-beef feelings in general) and that some of the groups helping organize these vigils are anti-American (there are 1700 different groups – as if they all agree with each other!), so it would be of no surprise that some of these groups would try to swing things in a more overtly anti-American direction. The problem for them is, people aren't buying it. After the protest yesterday (photos of which show loads of anti-Lee Myung-bak placards) they marched to Yeouido to have a vigil in front of KBS, and today they had a funeral for the man who set himself on fire. There are loads of photos from Saturday's protest here, and still all I see are anti-LMB placards, and no sign of yesterday's photos of the two girls who were killed.

    It's actually the other way around from how you've put it in this post. It's not a surprise that there would be a vigil for the girls this year, as it's taken place every other year in almost the same place. When the protesters don't begin anti-USFK or overtly anti-US protests in the wake of this vigil for the girls, it will prove that these protests aren't as anti-American as you think.

    I honestly think that people think the girls deaths are so… yesterday. How ridiculous would it be if someone tried to get people to protest and call for Ohno to be stripped of his "stolen" medal from the 2002 Olympics? I think that's likely what most people think of the tank accident… for now. There are lots of other fish to fry and things to keep the civic groups busy. They've got a president to impeach, after all.

  • usinkorea
    1:37 am on June 15th, 2008 9

    I'd say the problem isn't with the speech that is flowing freely —- it is with the receptive audience.

    In general, I've always disliked how much people (at least in the intelligensia) tend to view individuals as tools easily controlled. I believe more in free will and the power of choice — and in this context — the choice way too many people in Korea tend to make is listening and agreeing at least tacitly with what these numbnuts have to say.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    3:51 am on June 15th, 2008 10

    Very rarely are there any consequences because the American media rarely every shows what is going on in Korea which causes the US public to be woefully informed while our own US government nearly always give in to demands from Korea. Case in point the US government now appears to be giving in to the 30 month beef ban.

    If the US government banned Korean cell phones due to the remote possibility of causing brain damage the protests would stop very quickly just like when China did the same thing in response to the Great Garlic War a few years back.

    That is why the average Korean does not protest China because there are consequences. Even when Chinese students sponsored by their embassy are running through the streets of Seoul beating Koreans they do not protest because of these consequences.

  • usinkorea
    6:22 am on June 15th, 2008 11

    How come the beef protesters weren’t able to get the turn out then that they have now? It was because the anti-US groups hadn’t mobilized to support the beef protesters because Roh was there man.

    I have some nuanced differences with you in this comment.

    I don't think the key is the effort the anti-US/pro-North groups put forward – at least not the most significant key.

    I think the main key is the willingness of Korean society as a whole to join in —- the mood of Korean society today as compared to when Roh was in the Blue House.

    Take for example the Pyongtaek riots of 2005 and then again when the government forced squatters off the land in 2006 (or was it 2007?)…

    In both those cases, The Priest (numbers I and II) and other groups probably put forward as much effort to get the ball rolling then as they did with Cows Gone Wild!!

    But the society was not ready to support them.

    And it certainly wasn't because of the issue at hand: The priest easily got Maehyang-ri Hysteria going back in 2000.

    And that incident was as miniscule as the 2000 water dumping and Cows Gone Wild!! – but it was still taken up greatly by the society as a whole.

    Why? —- because of the mood of the times. 2000 was NK-SK Summit euphoria…

    2002 was World Cup Fever.

    And 2008 is "Thank God that asshole Roh is out of office!!"

    Now average Koreans and elements of the press can join hands with the anti-US civic group leaders again — without fearing it will rise above the street level —

    —- or at least they know it will not infect the Blue House again….

  • Mark
    6:53 am on June 15th, 2008 12

    GI Korea,

    Korean anti-Americanism does have one consequence which, imo, will lead to others. Americans(who pay attention)across the political spectrum have lost faith in the viability of the alliance. In a voluntary alliance there must be a critical mass of public support for the relationship to be effective. Korean anti-Americanism has convinced many Americans that Korea no longer has a critical mass of support for continuation of the alliance. As a result America's position in Korea has become untenable. "The center cannot hold." From my perspective USFK must be withdrawn. Once American forces are withdrawn the alliance will become a hollow shell. Korea will be alone in facing the future challenges which are sure to come.

  • Far East Economic Review On Korea’s Misinformation Age
    4:59 am on June 26th, 2008 13

    [...] neuter Lee Myung-bak before shifting the attention of the protests towards these groups’ real agendas which are anti-US and pro-Pyongyang. However, this strategy may have backfired because since the shift in message [...]


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