Why Are We Still In South Korea?

Why Are We Still In South Korea?

Why Are We Still In South Korea?: We’ve remained in South Korea since the Korean War mainly out of a sense of loyalty & committment. South Korea is of minimal strategic importance to us. Furthermore, while the forces we have in South Korea do help keep the peace, South Korea is capable of defending itself against the North without our help although a war between the North and the South would probably be incredibly bloody.

That being said, our relationship with South Korea has continued to sour over the years. There are now constant protests, Americans are not allowed to eat in some restaurants, and their have been assaults on American soldiers. Anti-Americanism has even become as issue in the elections, just as it did in Germany.

Now, Marc Miyake of the “Abode Of Amritas” has pointed out one of the most offensive cartoons I’ve seen in a long time. It depicts an American soldier raping a South Korean woman as her husband stands by and watches. Here’s a panel from the cartoon that appeared in a “major Korean publication” that gives a good feel for what the whole thing is like…

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You can see the entire cartoon by clicking here & Marc has posted a translation of the cartoon here.

Why shouldn’t we just pull out of South Korea at this point since obviously a large portion of their population doesn’t want us there? The South Koreans are capable of defending themselves and we have 37,000 soldiers we could station somewhere else. Moreover, it would likely lead to an increase in the number of weapons South Korea is buying from us since they’d certainly need to increase their defense budget if we left. I also think leaving South Korea would send a great message to the rest of the world. If your country hates Americans, that’s fine and dandy. But don’t come crying to us when you get in trouble. Let’s make sure North Korea is out of the nuclear weapons business and then let’s get out of South Korea.

***Update***: The anti-American candidate, Roh Moo Hyun, has been elected in South Korea. Here are a few clips from an article in the Washington Post about Hyun’s election…

“Riding a tide of public resentment toward the United States, a former labor lawyer who supports continued dialogue with North Korea won a narrow victory in South Korea’s presidential election Thursday.

Roh Moo Hyun, 56, campaigned on a vow to draw at least symbolic distance between Washington and Seoul….

But Roh’s campaign clearly struck a chord in South Korea, where demonstrations outside the U.S. Embassy have drawn increasingly large crowds, signs on stores tell U.S. soldiers they are not welcome, and U.S. servicemen are under curfew restrictions because of anti-American scuffles involving soldiers.

…Roh, who had once called for removal of the U.S. troops (a statement he has since retracted), rode that sentiment. But he also tried to reassure voters worried about losing the backing of the United States. Roh pledged to “meet with President Bush and Kim Jong Il.”

Like I said, it’s time to let South Korea handle their own affairs.

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