[Marxism] Cyber One Korea

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Mon Jul 26 15:29:50 MDT 2004


>I am rather astonished that Yoshie is "encouraged" by the large 
>number of S Koreans wanting to  communicate with their countrymen 
>and women of the north, apparently the real reason for the 
>popularity of the gambling site. I have been under the impression 
>for years that unification is the deepest desire of the Korean 
>people, North and South. In fact, I have been led to believe that 
>that desire and the desire to rid the peninsula as a whole of 
>American troops has been the mainstay of N Korean diplomacy and the 
>chief goals of the regime, as well as many, many in S Korea; 
>further, that this two-fold emphasis is what has held the feet of 
>the S Korean regime to the fire with respect to maintaining and 
>expanding the Sunshine Policy (for eventual reunification of the 
>country). It is the slow turning of these worms that is helping to 
>convert the 30,000 US troops in S Korea into 30,000 hostages because 
>it is evident that the S Korean people will not tolerate their use 
>as a military force against their compatriots in the North, making 
>the troops useless as an offensive threat but nevertheless 
>un-withdrawable by the US for broader geopolitical reasons (at least 
>for now).
>
>David McDonald

Several qualifications:

1.  Opinion polls show a clear generational divide in South Korea, 
South Koreans younger than 50 expressing more positive opinions about 
China and North Korea than the United States and those older than 50 
expressing the opposite attitudes.  See "Changing Korean Perceptions 
of the Post-Cold War Era and the U.S.-ROK Alliance," <a 
href="http://www.eastwestcenter.org/stored/pdfs/api067.pdf">April 
2003</a>.

2.  "The Pentagon is moving 3,600 U.S. troops from South Korea to 
Iraq this summer, a shift that highlights the stress on the U.S. Army 
and promises a significant change in the way the United States helps 
defend the Korean peninsula" (Josh White, "U.S. Troops Moving From S. 
Korea to Iraq: 3,600 to Leave in Shift of Defense Plan," 
<em>Washington Post</em>, <a 
href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A34653-2004May17.html">May 
18, 2004</a>, p. A15 ).  Moreover, "A U.S. plan to cut the number of 
its troops in South Korea by one-third by the end of 2005 will force 
the South to shoulder more responsibility for defending itself 
against any North Korean military aggression.  The U.S. plan calls 
for withdrawing 12,500 of the 37,000 U.S. troops stationed in South 
Korea, according to a statement released Monday by the U.S. military 
in Seoul" (The Associated Press, "U.S. Plans to Reduce Troops in S. 
Korea: Washington Seeks to Withdraw 12,500 Troops by End of 2005," <a 
href="http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5155285/">June 8, 2004</a>).  The 
change is dictated more by Washington's need for more US troops to 
continue its occupation of Iraq than by the strength of South Korean 
sentiments against US bases and troops in South Korea.  At the same 
time, Seoul is stepping up its participation in the occupation of 
Iraq: 
<http://montages.blogspot.com/2004/07/philippines-and-south-korea_14.html>.

3.  Unification of the Korean peninsula is proceeding on South Korean 
terms, mainly taking the form of more South Korean investment into 
North Korea.

Yoshie




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