[Letter to the editor]Insignificant Korea, know your placeI’d like to take issue with your Tuesday, April 10 editorial in which you pronounced the United States of America “arrogant.” In case you have forgotten, the United States, the nation that makes you feel so manly when you call her names, is the same nation that sacrificed nearly 40,000 of her sons and untold billions of her taxpayers’ dollars so you could have the right to abuse her so hypocritically.
She is the same nation that has coddled, protected and nurtured you at her own expense for more than half a century. She is the only nation on Earth to give a passing thought about your continued well-being and she is quite likely the only reason you continue to speak Korean today instead of Japanese, Chinese or Russian.
While you may feel like a big man now that you are wealthy, educated and “all grown up,” so long as you continue to depend on the United States to pay for your national defense and use her troops to protect yourself from the dangers of the real world, you have no moral right to call her arrogant. A simple “thank you” will suffice.
It is presumptuous beyond comprehension that a nation of people who continue to funnel billions of dollars in funding and aid to subsidize the growth and strengthening of their greatest enemy (while at the same time relying on someone else to protect them from that enemy) would have the gall to make such remarks in a public forum.
If you wish to sit at the table with the other adults remember this: The protected never has the right to abuse the protector. Your comments are reminiscent of a rebellious teen who, growing uncomfortable living under mom’s rules, takes pride in speaking ill of her to his friends, even in her presence, but who consistently forgets the myriad sacrifices she has made through the years to bring you up to your current state. And all the while, you feel no guilt holding your hand out and asking for more assistance.
Like such kids, you may think yourself brave when you get away with such ill-mannered remarks, but you are still too immature to realize that your wealth, your success and your very existence as a free people depend entirely on the nation you seem to now think yourself equal to.
In times of disagreement, mature nations do not engage in such petty name calling. You may criticize what needs to be criticized and speak harshly without giving offense, but until you stand on your own two feet and pay for your own national defense, until you take your place among the giving nations of the world instead of constantly vying for a place at the head of the line of receiving nations, you will continue in the role of the protected and have no place for such unfettered insolence.
Charles Kim, Seoul