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What is up with the S. Koreans?


Henry

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Ever since we beat them in the short track, they've hated our guts. Now they're mad about a James Bond film?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A38405-2002Dec25.html

In Koreas, Latest Bond Movie Provokes Outcry, Calls for Boycott

By Joohee Cho

Special to The Washington Post

Thursday, December 26, 2002; Page A28

SEOUL -- James Bond dodges bullets in the Demilitarized Zone in his latest movie, but "Die Another Day" is already getting zinged by protests from both North and South Korea.

The movie is a "dirty and cursed burlesque aimed to slander [North Korea] and insult the Korean nation," North Korea said huffily through its propaganda channels. In South Korea, the film faces calls for a boycott when it opens Dec. 31.

Protesters contend that the movie portrays South Korean soldiers as inferior to the U.S. military, depicts the country as third-world and underdeveloped, and is offensive to Korean culture. Buddhists here have joined the fray because of a sex scene set in a Buddhist temple.

"You don't see a Hollywood hit movie where you have a hero like James Bond having sex in a Christian church," said Chung Han-Shin, in charge of public relations at Jogye Buddhist order, the largest in South Korea.

In the latest adventure, Bond is taken hostage and tortured in North Korea before being released in a hostage exchange. He later chases an illegal arms deal from Hong Kong to Cuba to London in a quest for revenge against North Korean renegade Zao, played by Korean American actor Rick Yune, and also manages to prevent a catastrophic war.

Criticism here started in Internet chat rooms and e-mail early this month by viewers who had seen the movie in the United States or heard about it. The online buzz came at a time of rising anti-American sentiment in South Korea. The acquittal of two U.S. soldiers whose armored vehicle killed two teenage girls in June sparked large protests throughout the country.

South Korean actor Cha In Pyo became a hero of sorts for turning down a role in the movie as one of the villains. The Hollywood role, a coveted ticket to stardom for most actors here, "distorts Korea's image, portrays North Korea as a group of evil forces, and [its] contents were too demeaning of South Korea," Cha told reporters.

In an effort to head off the boycott campaign, 20th Century Fox, which distributes MGM films, previewed the film in Seoul last week a few days earlier than scheduled.

"It's a movie. Not reality. Viewers must understand that it's fiction," said Lee Joo Sung , president of 20th Century Fox Korea. Lee said the controversial contents of the movie had been misquoted and exaggerated as word spread.

"North Korean criminals in the movie are no different from Iraqi, Cuban or Russian terrorists, who easily commit mass murders in Hollywood action movies," complained newspaper JoongAng Ilbo in Seoul

Technically, North and South Korea have been at war since 1950, but a mood of reconciliation has swept the country in recent years.

Critics also say the movie portrays South Korea as a U.S. colony. "The scene where U.S. intelligence agency orders South Korean army to mobilize immediately, that didn't sit well with me," said Kim Hyun Jin, 33, a Korean American living in Atlanta. "It made me embarrassed as a Korean."

© 2002 The Washington Post Company

I'd like to note that in the previous three Bond movies the bad guy was French, American and Russian, in that order. Why are S. Koreans so darn touchy about this one?

(And ASF, Don't say it's because of Israel or I'll have to hit you with a tack hammer. ;) )

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It's because they're too stupid to realize the big picture. I'd love us to just move out of South Korea for good so they can get raped and pillaged by the commis in the North-- and only then will they understand why we're there.

S. Korea has ridden our coattails to prosperity and now they want to cast us aside like old shoes. It's the ignorant, brainwashed youth in that country that despises us the most since they dont understand the true impact that we've had on their country (the positive far outwieghs the negative).

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Interesting article in the NYtimes editorial section suggested we pull out too. The reasoning was fairly simple.

1) Many S Korean don't seem to want us there.

2) So long as we have 30,000+ troops there, we are obligated to defend them. N. Korea obviously has a Nuke, and the means of delivering it as far away as S. Korea (further too). However, if our troops aren't there, the obvious threat is that we will pull an Israel and bomb their nuclear facilities. The Nukes won't reach us, and that type of arrangement is just the way we should keep it.

If we pulled our troops, it would be interesting to see N. Korea use the nuke blackmail threat.

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Originally posted by Hokieskin

It sounds like the S. Koreans are touchy about the movie bc it makes Korea look inferior. Wouldn't you be upset at a Korean movie that made America look stupid? I hope you would.

Do you mean to tell me Americans are never made to look inferior in by the media in the international community? It happens all the time and noone cares. This is a BOND movie for crying out loud.

I was noting it because it is yet another case where the S. Koreans have decided they don't like Americans, don't like our policies or culture, and every little thing we do is wrong.

I'm just not sure where this anti-American sentiment came from.

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Originally posted by Henry

I'm just not sure where this anti-American sentiment came from.

The media.

My parents lived in South Korea for 2 years - never once did they come across anyone who was Anti-American.

When I was visiting them - everyone I saw wanted to come up to me and speak English with me. They were very pro-American - most likely because they knew that it was the American forces that was keeping the North Koreans from coming over the mountains.

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henry.........let's buy fewer Hondas (whoops....hyundais!)............sort of bring home the notion of where the balance tips in the "global economy".....kind of a Jesse Jackson approach to changing perceptions and actions........

anyone who has been in that part of the world soon realizes it is one huge military garrison........I can see how the youth of S. Korea would desire change....I can also see the wisdom in their actions of pointing their criticisms at the US and not N. Korea!!!!!! It may not be the most principled or noble approach, but it does bear certain advantages in respect to one's mortality!!!!

also...don't think for a minute that this is all spontaneous...

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Uh, James Bond is British. The Bond Series is a british production.

As for the S koreans- **** them.

Send our troops home to defend our border- terrorist sneak in from Canada and Mexico.

Let N Korea take them over. They'll go back to the stone ages. Then we can ban their hyundias, kias, samsungs, etc..

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Originally posted by Rdskns2000

Uh, James Bond is British. The Bond Series is a british production.

The James Bond movies are produced by MGM, which is an American movie company. Just ask Louis B. Mayer. Oh, wait. You can't. He's dead. ;)

BTW, I think EG may be onto something here. The news media may be guilty of creating the impression of an inferno where there only exists a mild brush fire. Which wouldn't be the first time they've done so. Angry protestors and raucous pickets tend to "play" a lot better on TV newscasts than peace and calm and quiet.

EDIT: Just to clarify, the angry protestors and raucous pickets I referred to above was in relation to the allegedly widespread anti-American sentiments of South Koreans, sentiments that were supposedly fomented by the deaths of two South Korean girls in an auto accident involving a U.S. serviceman. My comment had nothing to do with North Korea or U.S. foreign policy vis-à-vis North Korea.

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Is there anyway you can post that article because the link asked for a password.

Ive seen the movie and am somewhat confused. The bad guys were North Koreans and in my opinion were not made out to be stupid. What are South Koreans so pissed about exactly?? The fact the movie showed that they cant defend their own country??Well thats a fact.

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Korea is a no win situation no matter what we do or don't do. If it were up to me I would pull our troops and then bomb North's Korea's nuclear facilities into rubble. Wait for the North to mass it's troops to cross the DMZ and nuke them. Then I would point the entire triad of our nukes at China and fire at will.

That's why they call me buck cause I don't give a F$#@.:laugh:

Sooner or later we will have to fight China for this planets natural resources. I say the sooner the better for us while we still have a nuclear advantage because we could never win a conventional war with them. Of course the best way to wipe them out is to create a dna specific virus that wipes out Chineese people only. Don't be surprised if we havent been working on it in secret for years now. I will sorely miss the food though. Damn I love chineese food, but just think about the millions of dogs and cats we will save.

***Disclaimer**** This whole post has been a joke. Anyone who takes it serious needs to lighten up Francis.:silly:

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This is a complex situation all the way around.

The South Koreans have (IMHO) been falsely led by the North Koreans during the last decade to believe that reunification can occur through appeasement. I think they're being led down a false path that is meant to work only to the North's economic benefit. This has led to a bit of Korean nationalism in the South, that in turn led to the election of a new SK leader who used a lot of anti-American rhetoric.

Adding to this, unfortunately, have been some untimely and tragic incidents involving our military stationed there. We tend to forget that the largest permanent oversees force that the U.S. maintains is on the DMZ, and that's been the case for 50 years. That force is maintained at around 37,000 men (and by rule it's all men who are over six feet in height, BTW), which is not an insignificant footprint in that country. Recently, one of our vehicles ran over several schoolgirls on a road as I recall, which led to protests. And by treaty, the South Korean courts can't prosecute the Americans responsible for that accident, which doesn't help the anguished family members who are of course plastered all over the media.

We can't simply pull out of there. NK is one of the most radical, brutal and repressive and aggressive regimes in the world today. And if you look at a map, they are about as centrally located as you can get as it relates to our interests in the region. The Japanese, for example, are extremely nervous about the NK's and their nukes, and have a huge interest in keeping us in the region for that reason. We don't want that area to start a big arms race to protect themselves if we pull out, so it's better to stay and put up with the insults.

The South Koreans will come around in time. I just hope that the North Koreans come to their senses with their irresponsible rhetoric.

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One interesting point not brought up by our media was brought to my attention by a S. Korean in my office. I don't know if this is true, but it would explain some things.

Have you wondered why N. Korea volunteered that it had Nukes? According to my coworker, as part of the agreement not to develope nukes, the U.S. was supposed to give oil (that part has been in our press). However, we were also supposed to help them build a damn which would provide them with hydroelectric energy. Evidently, the funding for this never materialised this year. It was rather a big deal over there in the press that the U.S. had reniged on some of our part of the deal.

Does anyone here know anything more about this?

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First of all, nice post Redman. Secondly, I suspect that our intelligence community knew about the rekindling of the NK nuclear program well before NK's 'confession'. That is more than likely why we haven't poured another billion dollars into their coffers this year. The US has put all of its eggs in the appeasement by economic assistance basket, and I think rightfully decided it would not spend another cent assisting NK once it became apparent they were lying to our faces and could not be trusted. Although I totally agree with Redman's assessment, its puzzling to me that we claim diplomacy and 'negotiations' are the answer (if we can't trust a word they agree to, what is the point of any future agreement?). Personally I believe we are just buying some time and that once the Iraq situation is well on its way to being resolved, you'll see a much harder line taken with N. Korea. I also predict that Pakistan is going to find its newly forged 'ally' status on thin ice if it doesn't decide which side of the fence it wants to play on, and decisively demonstrates their choice.

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Thanks for putting up the article Henry. All i know is that if everytime Canada was made fun of in a movie I boycotted said movie I would have missed some damn good movies...South Park for one. Take a joke people.

I personally think the US should do what all leaders do...delegate. Let China and Russia figure it out. Japan can add their two cents if they so desire. See how these "great" countries can deal with international problems without US involvement.

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