[EDITORIALS]Pondering a centennialKoreans marked Monday the centennial of emigration to the United States, the melting pot of races and cultures. The history of Korean emigration to America began with 102 people; after 100 years, the number has grown to 2.2 million. The immigrants, whose first venue was Hawaii, are now living all across the United States.
The growth of the number of Korean immigrants in America and the active economic, defense and cultural exchanges between the two countries clearly portrays the current and future U.S.-South Korea partnership.
Today, the United States is not simply a foreign country to South Korea; it is a new venue where millions of South Koreans are living their daily lives and a new place and a community with an expanded culture.
It is a proud development that Koreans have expanded their space in the United States, the country with the world's strongest economy, culture and military, not to mention Koreans' achievements in globalization. Throughout the past 100 years, South Korea and the United States shared a history of hardships. Hundreds and thousands of young men from both countries fought together in the Korean War, Vietnam War and Gulf War. The sacrifices show that the two countries' relationship is a blood alliance, not only in rhetoric but in reality.
In the last century, South Korea has developed a democracy, a market economy and human rights, thanks to the firm South Korea-U.S. alliance and the U.S. security umbrella and economic cooperation. South Korea is also proud of those achievements.
This year is also the 50th anniversary of the U.S.-South Korean military alliance. And yet, Seoul-Washington relations are under strain because of North Korea's nuclear aspirations and problems associated with the Status of Forces Agreement.
It is natural that South Korea wants more status in the international community and wants to improve the quality of its alliance with the United States based on the developments of the last century. But such goals and ideals should not have a negative impact on the bilateral alliance and Koreans' new and expanded view of the world.