[Letter to the editor]Mistaken parallelReading Professor J. Schouweiler’s “Acknowledging past wrongs” [Viewpoint, March 10], I could barely contain my shock at the absurdity in his fallacious argument.
First of all, it must be kept in mind that categorical distinctions exist between the Japanese occupation of Korea in 1910-1945, which is equal to Hitler’s fascist domination of Europe, and the Korean military’s participation in the Vietnam War during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
What did the Japanese militarists do against the pacifist Joseon Dynasty?
They dethroned Emperor Gojong by force, orchestrated the murder of Queen Myeong-seong, concluded by compulsion what they called a protective treaty putting Korea under Japanese rule and spread false propaganda to the outside world that their forced rule over Korea was done upon the Korean people’s request.
It was through that series of brutal actions that Japan achieved complete colonization of Korea under imperialist rule.
What, then, did the Park Chung Hee government do in the Vietnam War? South Korea sent military troops to Vietnam in defense of South Vietnam to defend it against a Hitler-like invasion from communist North Vietnam.
Having suffered, like the South Vietnamese, our own heartbreaking history of fratricidal conflict during the Korean War, we could not forget that our nation narrowly survived, thanks to the dispatch of allied nation’s troops by the United Nations.
Lee Kwon-suck, Gwangju, Gyeonggi