ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on June 25th, 2008 at 7:28 am

America Ranked Greatest Ally & Threat to South Korea

» by in: Korean War

Just in time for the 58th anniversary of the start of the Korean War comes this poll:

The Ministry of Public Administration and Security said Monday that a survey of 1,016 middle and high school students showed nearly 57 percent didn’t know the war started on June 25, 1950.

Moreover, 51 percent did not know that the war started with North Korea’s invasion of the South. About 14 percent picked Japan as the nation responsible for the war; 13.4 percent, the United States, and 11 percent Russia. About 2 percent even said it was the South invading the North.

While the United States is regarded as the main ally of the country, 28 percent said it was the key “threat” for national security, 4 percentage points higher than North Korea.

Only 56 percent said they felt threatened by the North’s nuclear weapons development, adding that the chance of another Korean War taking place was very low.  [Korea Times via The Marmot's Hole]

Normal caveats apply when it comes to Korean polls, but even if accurate I can’t say I’m surprised by how little historical knowledge Korean students have considering how they continue to fail their national history exams.

To be fair I have to wonder what percentage of American students know who started World War II with America?

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  • Mark
    8:12 am on June 25th, 2008 1

    I thought Koreans liked to brag about their test scores.

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  • Gerry
    2:31 am on June 25th, 2008 3

    I had to read the article twice to make sure the poll wasn't taken in the US. (I think US students would have scored higher)This is absolutely ridiculus. All the more reason the US should leave. We only have a little more than 25,000 troops in Korea now. Lets bring it down to 15,000 next year, and 5,000 the year after. The remainder is negotiable.

  • Mark
    3:47 am on June 25th, 2008 4

    Gerry, if we try to leave, North Korea would conduct more missile tests and nuclear shenanigans, South Korea would beg us not to go and suppress all the mad cow hoopla, and the command sponsored types and USFK employees with vested interests in the alliance would side with the South Koreans in saying that a permanent presence in Korea is absolutely necessary.

    Not gonna happen. Fast forward 55 years and you'll see the same thing in Afghanistan and Iraq…the US in shackles.

  • Korea Beat
    5:04 am on June 25th, 2008 5

    Self-imposed shackles, perhaps. After all, we chose to invade and might elect a man who says it would be fine to be in Iraq for 100 years.

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  • shattered
    9:25 am on June 25th, 2008 7

    "To be fair I have to wonder what percentage of American students know who started World War II with America?"

    Good question but not the same thing. How many Americans on a daily basis, whine and bemoan the struggles they endoured because of WWII. What about all the Americans that claim they pulled themselves from eating garbage to "techo superpower" etc after WWII. None.

    Korean don't know about the origions of the Korean war, because if their teachers can't brainwash the students into thinking that the USA is to blame, then they just wont disguss it.

  • Leon LaPorte
    9:36 am on June 25th, 2008 8

    "To be fair I have to wonder what percentage of American students know who started World War II with America?"

    - I thought it was those Damn Dirty Apes!

  • Leon LaPorte
    9:38 am on June 25th, 2008 9

    …or perhaps it was those tricky time-travelling Romulans. It's a good thing Wonder Woman was there to save us. :shock:

  • Danny
    10:50 am on June 25th, 2008 10

    What can be done to improve the knowledge gaps here?

  • SomeAirman
    12:54 pm on June 25th, 2008 11

    No see you all have it wrong…AMERICA started the north korea war, when it invaded the north, or actually at the time, KOREA…After many months of fighting, korea became split after one man who led the korean government at the time, surrendured, yet the freedom fighters who kept fighting american oppression, created their own faction, and the country became split…of course, they had the help of russia and china, to help fight the american rule, but eventually the fighting ended with the armistice…So in the end, america started it all trying to take over the world….

    Ok, seriously, i hope that the thoughts of those on the poll, specifically those who didnt know how the war started, dont think the rubish i just typed..

  • Korea Beat
    2:46 pm on June 25th, 2008 12

    More important than knowing the precise day is knowing the general timeframe. The article didn't say anything about when students thought the war ocurred.

    As far as the "main ally, main enemy" thing, that to me is the only interesting finding here (ignorance of history being the natural human condition). It shows the deep ambivalence about America which I think it's better to try to understand — not agree with, but understand — than just mock. If I were Korean I might think, sure, the US rescued us, but we only needed to be rescued in the first place because the US and Russia split us up. And obviously the US did so for its own national security reasons, not the pure goodness of its heart.

  • shattered
    4:26 pm on June 25th, 2008 13

    "If I were Korean I might think, sure, the US rescued us, but we only needed to be rescued in the first place because the US and Russia split us up. And obviously the US did so for its own national security reasons, not the pure goodness of its heart."

    Yep.. like I always said. No good dead for Korea goes unpunished. America should have let russia gobble up Korea. Japan saved Korea from getting gobbled up by Russia and earned eternal hatred from Korea (and endless "immitation")

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    8:53 pm on June 25th, 2008 14

    If I were Korean I might think, sure, the US rescued us, but we only needed to be rescued in the first place because the US and Russia split us up. And obviously the US did so for its own national security reasons, not the pure goodness of its heart.

    And why was Korea split up? Because they got rescued from Japan by the US defeat of Japan during World War II. The Russians saw an opportunity to gobble up territory at the end of the war. The Russians only joined the war against the Japanese in the last days of World War II simply to gobble up territory and they gobbled up North Korea.

    If the Russians hadn't occupied North Korea, Korea would be one nation which would have avoided the entire Korean War. The US involvement in the Korean War was of course not because of the goodness of our hearts but it was darn close because it was a war choice launched by President Truman to make a stand against the forcible spread of communism.

    If Truman had let South Korea collapse and be united under communism what would have changed today? Not much, the united Korea would be dirt poor and equivalent of a old communist Eastern European country at best and then collapsed with the fall of the Soviet Union and possibly absorbed by China at worst.

  • shattered
    1:05 am on June 26th, 2008 15

    "If Truman had let South Korea collapse and be united under communism what would have changed today?"

    The world would be a better place.

  • Hamilton
    2:16 am on June 26th, 2008 16

    "The World would be a better place."

    I disagree, Kim IL Sung would have applied his very efficient management style to the South as he did in the North. After all the Southern purges, don't forget all the North Koreans who fled him, he would hold a unified Korea. A bigger just as hungry, backward nK focused on Japan would exist today. More people to put in the Gulags, more resources to build and export ballistic, chemical and nuclear technology. No the world would not be a better place.

  • GI Korea
    4:16 am on June 26th, 2008 17

    I think a united communist Korea would be similar to the backward Eastern European countries that collapsed after the fall of the Soviet Union. I suspect the gulags would just be bigger because of the size of the puring needed in South Korea after the war.

    I think the cult of Kim would still have been established and based of course around ethnic nationalism as well as a Japanese threat instead of the American threat it claims to be under today.

    Notice the North Koreans began developing their nuclear capabilities after the Cold War because I believe the Soviets would not allow the North Koreans to obtain nuclear weapons under their patronage.

    I am interested to hear others opinions on this.

  • Mark
    4:21 am on June 26th, 2008 18

    Since we're doing 20/20 hindsight here, I'll say that had we not become bogged down in counterinsurgency in Afghanistan and Iraq, we'd own Iran and North Korea right now.

  • shattered
    4:41 am on June 26th, 2008 19

    "More people to put in the Gulags"

    So what? All the bark and dirt you can eat. LOL

  • ChickenHead
    4:45 am on June 26th, 2008 20

    Mark,

    I say we bomb Iran and make it a one-front war!

    That would simplify things.

  • Mark
    4:50 am on June 26th, 2008 21

    All in good time. Pakistan as well. :twisted:

  • Gerry
    5:15 am on June 26th, 2008 22

    The US had little if any interest in Korea at the end of the war with Japan. The Russians were the aggressors in taking North Korea at the end of the war and establishing the 38th paralel, the Russians and US met an impass as to who should control Korea, then the Russians urged Kim Il Sung to do what he needed to do to harass the South, while building a Stalinist regiem. It was the beginning of the end at that time. Sing Man Rhee was no better, in that all he wanted to do was attack the North (To unify the country). The US would not provide Rhee the military resources to do so. Even McArthur wanted nothing to do with Korea, as he was rebuilding Japan and was thought of as an emporer, and was thouroughly enjoying the ego trip. Song convinced Stalin he could take all of Korea in three weeks if he had the tanks and aircraft. Stalin was actually reluctant, but provided the military hardware anyway.(No Russian troops) China was aware (ref: mtg May 1950 Beijing, Mao and Sung. Russian archives)and offered seven divisions, but Song turned him down because of past chinese history. Even so, 45,000 veteren chinese troops of Korean ancestry were transfered to the NK army. (so much for the "just protecting chinas buffer zone"). Then came the invasion (that intell on the US side, saying something was up,was ignored by McArthur) led by Russian t-34 tanks and YAK bombers. The SKs had nothing to stop them but fought as well as they could. Same with the US troops. The origins of the Korean war had little if nothing to do with the US and its "political" ambitions.

  • Hamilton
    12:21 pm on June 26th, 2008 23

    It is ironic that no one in the poll identified the greatest threat to South Korea which is the Korean Teacher's Union. That is the one that potentially will bring the house down.

    GI Korea, I somewhat agree with your assessment but would increase the scope of disaster and regional misery. Some regimes like nK are very very efficient at crushing their people. When their economic methods fail they find an enemy to blame which would be Japan and the US. The old Soviet republics just never had that level of ruthlessness. The norks kill everyone they can that disagrees with them and locks the minor "criminals" in gulags to work as slave labor for the state.

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    [...] last week where a survey was released that showed the majority of Korean students did not know who started the Korean War or when it occurred?  Well this just goes to show American students are just as ignorant about [...]

  • carl hungus
    7:33 am on July 1st, 2008 25

    Good God. Why do we have anything to do with these egomaniac ingrates? The sooner they are left to wallow in their own slime, the better. Quit giving them visas as well. Tell the Norks to help themselves, we won't pitch in this time.

 

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