Sunday, October 02, 2005


Censure on U.S. for anything and everything

A kimchiheaded ruling-party lawmaker is found.

Damned If They Did, Damned If They Didn't

A ruling-party lawmaker, Kim Won-wung, last week asserted that all the nation's misfortune was planted in a secret 1905 agreement between the U.S. and Japan, the so-called Taft-Katsura Agreement, in which Washington acknowledged Japan's colonial control of Korea. "We have to protest to the U.S. against this secret agreement, which was a serious criminal act under international law, and demand an apology for it," the lawmaker demanded during a parliamentary audit of our embassy in Washington. "We must seek a redress of past wrongs in Korea-U.S. relations." In the secret accord, signed in Tokyo in 1905, the U.S. and Japan acknowledged the latter's control of the Korean Peninsula and the former's control of the Philippines. Korea was at the time already in Japanese hands as a result of Japanese victories in wars with both Russia and China. Calling for the U.S. to be held to account for the agreement is tantamount to asserting that it should have intervened on the Korean Peninsula even if that meant risking a war with Japan. By the same token, one might contend that any colonies should demand a redress of injustices not merely from their former colonial master but from any country that acknowledged their control. That logic is not going to wash in the international community.
It is not difficult to find voices in and around the ruling camp that will portray the Taft-Katsura agreement as the source of all our ills. Some even argue that the nation's division into North and South can be traced back to the accord. A group of legislators from both the ruling and opposition parties that included Kim in July submitted a draft resolution to the National Assembly calling for a formal repeal of the Taft-Katsura Agreement and for apologies from Washington and Tokyo.
But the purveyors of this historical view also grumble about the U.S. intervention in the Korean War and want to topple a statue of U.S. general Douglas MacArthur in Incheon. It must be based on such views that Rep. Kim alone did not go along with the other lawmakers when they paid their respects at the Korean War memorial after the audit in Washington.
To blast the U.S. for failing to intervene in one instance and for intervening in another, for not seeing one attack on our sovereignty (by Japan) but seeing another (by North Korea) is tantamount to damning the U.S. if it does and damning it if it doesn’t. While anti-American acts may seem profitable gimmicks for our politicians and America-bashing is rewarded with popular applause, we should also think how such careless accusations make us look in the eyes of the international community.

takeshima dokdo dokto tokdo tokto
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