[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]U.S. involvement not all good

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[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]U.S. involvement not all good

In Michael Blais’s letter, “U.S.-Korea ties seem shaky” (April 6), he says that the Korean-U.S. alliance and the relationship between Korea and Japan are coming apart.
His premise is based on what he says is the present Korean administration’s goal of kowtowing to China, and on Korea’s apparant antagonism toward the United States.
Such reasoning is both skewered and unneccesarily alarmist. He offers no evidence that this is in fact, happening.
It is true that Korea is re-evaluating its alliance with the United States and Japan, and so it should. But to say that this examination will splinter ties is utter nonsense.
Let’s examine the facts.
Korea is questioning whether it needs U.S. troops here, and it is reaching out to North Korea to come to the negotiating table. Does this constitute breaking a U.S. alliance?
Here are more facts: When Japan colonized Korea in 1910, the United States stood by and did nothing.
When Korea gained independence in 1945, the United States promoted Syngman Rhee to president.
The United States pulled its troops out of Korea prematurely in 1949, giving the green light for the communist North to attack.
When Chun Doo Hwan’s thugs massacred innocents in the 1979 Gwangju uprising, the United States did nothing.
The United States also backed a succession of brutal, repressive leaders in Park Chung Hee, Chun Doo Hwan and Roh Tae-woo, who trampled on human rights while the United States did nothing.
The question should not be, “Why is Roh Moo-hyun reevaluating his nation’s relationship with the United States?” It should be, “Why has it taken Korea five decades to do so?”
The answer is easy: Past Korean regimes, from 1948 to 1988, were right-wing and repressive and had no inclination to alter the staus quo.
Finally, Korea has a leader who has the guts to break Korea out of its little brother/big brother relationship with the United States. Korea is finally begining to look at past U.S. involvememt without rose-colored lenses. This is both healthy and necessary.
In no way does this constitute a crumbling of ties. It simply means that the United States needs to respect the differences and needs of Korea.
And Korea will no longer be a doormat for the United States.
I suggest Mr. Blais do some serious research into Korean history of the past 100 years to find out why indeed the the present adminstration is examining, and attempting to alter, the staus quo with the United States.
While the United States did fight for Korea in the Korean War, there are many other aspects of U.S. involvement in this country that are less than stellar, and must be brought to light.

by Mark Dake
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