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Anti-U.S. barbs drawing blood there

Jan 10,2003
Rising anti-American sentiment in South Korea has begun to create a backlash here and abroad. The American business community asked that the subject be included in a report after an upcoming meeting in Hawaii, and U.S. media and commentators are also weighing in.

In a draft of a joint resolution to be adopted by the Korea-U.S. and U.S.-Korea business councils on Jan. 19, the American business community suggested language saying, "Anti-U.S. sentiment must not be allowed to hinder cooperation to defuse the tension sparked by the North Korea nuclear issue."

"It is unprecedented that American businessmen address anti-American sentiment here as a major concern," said Jeffrey Jones, former president of the American Chamber of Commerce and a long-time business legal consultant here. The situation was aggrevated further when some Seoul media misinterpreted the passage as calling for the suppression of anti-U.S. sentiment.

U.S. media are carrying strong reactions to the "Yankee, go home" sentiment. Ken Adelman, a former U.S. arms control chief and ambassador to the United Nations, said in a Fox News commentary Wednesday, "South Koreans can likewise be reminded that our 37,000 American troops in the DMZ, protecting them from invasion by the North, can be withdrawn should the new Seoul government no longer want them there."

Robert Novak, a conservative syndicated columnist, wrote Monday, "The real problem is South Korea's President-elect Roh Moo-hyun, who successfully campaigned on a clearly anti-American platform."

The Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the USA and the Korean business association in New York both issued statements urging Koreans to restrain protests that would damage bilateral trade and economic relations.


by Ser Myo-ja


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