[KS] Re: Recent Posting on Kim and Nobel

C.E.Williamson uiliwill at nuri.net
Wed Oct 24 19:14:06 EDT 2001

REPLY sends your message to the whole list

Dr. David McCann: Yes, explaining myself is called for, but that would
more space than reasonable in this forum.  As for putting things before
National Assemply back in the 1960s - 70s and even today, it did not
work very well at that time did it?  The troubles of the First and
Republics are well evident and Park's coming to power was welcomed to a
large extent (the intelligentsia didn't like him and it took the blame
failures up to that point) to get out of the stagnation caused simply by
lack of understanding of the roles of the citizen and government. 
does not fall down to earth from the sky and anyone opposition leader
not bring democracy to a country where the people themselves have not
internalized the value system necessary to sustain democracy.  Lest we
forget, the early ROK started out with a document flown to Korea from
Harvard that the vast majority of Koreans even today have trouble

I certainly may be wrong in my observations of Korea and Koreans and of
DJ and even the meanies like Park Choung Hee, Chung Doo Whan, and Roh
Woo, but I sometimes really doubt that if the likes of Kim Young Sam and
DJ were elected to the Presidency back in the early 1970s, or before,
Korea would not have come as far as it has today.  While liberal
has been possible in the West, after it failed during the Chang Myun
further experimentation was severed until Korea was strong enough
economically....and to an extent militarily and politically too until
outside world, not the Undongkwon, urged (coerced?) Chun and Rho to step
aside...and they did!  Truely mean dictators would not do that.  I think
there is something to distinguishing between the Korean dictators bent
nation building and the those of the Grecco Roman character in the West.
Was I really mean on Monday morning to say what was on my mind?  I see
DJ as a functionary of the West.  he spent a lot of time there and has a
of political baggage.  The IMF was timely and swiftly recovered, yet
from large-scale unemployment, the only thing that has really changed is
disappearance of a few chaebols and the appearance of NGOs, another
encouraged by the West.  Oh, yes there is also a relently progaganda
toward computerization of the home and the knowledge-based economy.

 Time will tell whether the NGOs will encourage citizen participation in
reigning in government and controlling their government or whether they
merely vehicles to political stardom for their leaders.

Kim DJ has achieved positive relations with the North simply by buying
way to the S-N summit--nobody will say just how much capital has and is
going to North Korea gratis.  Yet, the estimated 3,000,000 deaths due to
starvation in North Korea has been hardly discussed here.  Most say in
private that the aid went primarily to North Korea's elite.  Any true
liberal democrat would not tolerate nor support a regime that is the
of such horible large-scale inhumane treatment.  Three million plus dead
the world did very little to resolve that problem.  I really wonder why.
Finally, I don't mean to be mean, perhaps the reader is overly


----- Original Message -----
From: "David Richard McCann" <dmccann at fas.harvard.edu>
To: <korean-studies at iic.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, October 17, 2000 1:21 AM
Subject: Re: Recent Posting on Kim and Nobel

> I take it there is irony meant by the use of the word hero, though in
> reference to what is not clear.  The writer seems to be asserting that
> the present president voted to keep people starving, prevent the growth
> of the economy, and block jobs, though it isn't clear whether the writer
> means to claim that actual votes on those three matters were presented
> to the Assembly and voted on.  Or is it just another way of saying
> something that means "opposition," roughly?  The writer claims that the
> present president opposed the ROK, which is an interesting and novel way
> to describe a political career.  However one reader might respond to
> that phrase, another reader might think Yes, the present president did
> oppose the truck that tried to run him down, and presumably did oppose
> in some way the men who kidnapped him from the hotel in Japan and were
> preparing to drop him into the Eastern Sea.  In that sense as well as in
> whatever sense the writer may have intended, Kim Dae Jung might be said
> to have 'opposed the ROK.'  But when the writer puts those little
> quotation marks around the word <cruel>, in case readers may have missed
> the point of his use of the term <so-called> in reference to Park, Chun,
> and Roh, it makes me wonder what that self-styled, so-called "Observer
> of Korean politics" has been doing all these years to wind up in such a
> mean temper this Monday morning.
> David McCann

More information about the Koreanstudies mailing list