I’m concerned about the growing anti-US sentiment in Korea.
The other day I saw a headline in bold letters on the entertainment page of a Korean Newspaper that read: “Korean flag, porn?” A smaller line underneath it: “850,000 viewers insulted.” Naturally the article piqued my curiosity. But when I started reading I realized that the headline was misleading. A blockbuster movie entitled “Under The Korean Flag” is currently playing in Korea. In a short time it attracted the aforementioned attendance numbers, breaking all records. It attracted foreign distributors as well.
A major US-based Internet movie site listed the movie under the categories “War”, “Adult” and “Hard Core Sex”. It was clearly an honest mistake by someone who posted it without actually watching the movie. But the writer of the article gave the impression that the website was trying to deliberately insult the Korean people. I think this is a result of the prevailing anti-American mood in Korea right now.
A few years ago when the Winter Olympics were held in Utah, a Korean short track speed skater was the first to finish in the 1500m event, but he was disqualified when referees judged that he cut off another skater. The gold medal was awarded to that skater, Apollo Anton Ohno, a US athlete. At the time, all the Korean newspapers cried foul as if the US government somehow put pressure on the referees so the gold medal would go to an American. Korean soccer players later referenced the incident during the World Cup.
Korea is now a leading industrial nation. They are number one in the world in ship building and computer chip manufacturing. It is one of the few nations that manufactures automobiles. Samsung and LG are brands recognized all over the world.
Economically, South Korea is a grown man. But mentally and emotionally, it’s a teenager. Koreans are too sensitive and too easily upset, just like teenagers. They lack the calm composure of adults.
I wish that Koreans would act more like mature adults in their relationship with the US, neither totally dependent on the US like a child nor automatically reactive like a teenager, but able to deal with the US eye to eye, giving some and taking some.
I’m reminded of a sermon illustration Rev. Kim Dong Ho gave at our church revival. He shared how he sees notable differences in behavior between mutts and Jindo dogs, a native Korean species. When a large dog approaches, mutts run to inside the gate and bark like crazy towards the outside. Jindo dogs are different. They don’t get easily upset. They don’t pay too much attention to other dogs. It’s only when they’re bothered too much that they bark or bite back a couple times to chase the other dog off.
I think Korean people can learn a lesson from Jindo dogs.
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