South Korea: Beef Protest Intensified

The protest against importation of U.S beef has been intensified. Since last weekend the protest has been directed against the president Lee Myung Bak and police violence. More from CINA. Jamie from Two Koreas has collected some photo and vidoe links.


  • choyak

    I say we screwed up in the 50s. We (USA) should have not intervened and then the Koreans (not south or north) would be worshiping the same leader (Kim Jong Il). What is the reason that we sacrificed over 50,000 soldiers in that time. Why do we spend billions of dollars defending this. All of our USA soldiers should go home and when the invasion happens, let’s sit idly by. If we (USA) did not waste our soldiers, when speaking to residents of this country, we would need to speak to them in Japanese.

  • generalimissotaku

    i hear your sarcasm in the last message, had the united states not intervened in WW2 the entire china would not be communist due to the fact that the US were aiding the Soviet Union in its fight against germany..

    in fact if united states had not intervened in chinese internal affairs in the 1800s none of this would have happened

  • garretWalker

    yeah it is kind of disappointing that they don’t really respect us, considering that they’d be commies now if we didn’t help them.

    anyway, relating to the story, I found this article that was pretty interesting, its about how they are using mobile phones and such to organize these protests. check it out

  • BGIH

    If South Koreans want to strike due to the lifting of the ban on US beef, then Americans should protest/boycott the purchase of Korean automobiles. Many of the South Koreans are protesting not because they are worried about the quality of US beef, but because of their disagreement with the way USA operates. It seems fashionable now days to hate the U.S. Other countries forget that its the American taxpayer’s dollars that purchase things that make other countries rich. Kinda like all these countries are biting the hand that feeds them.

  • MK

    First, BGIH, you cannot compare US beef to Korean automobiles. Korean automobiles surpasses all regulations set out by US market and US beef creates health concerns to Korean consumers. They are genuinely worried about the quality of food they eat, and it is rather something Americans should learn. Only under 1% of US beef is tested for Mad Cow disease, and for South Koreans, this is just not acceptable. They are not protesting against US, they are rather protesting against their president, President Lee Myung-bak, who had made the decision to sign this free trade agreement on his own, without consultation. South Koreans feel that their voice should be heard. I encourage Americans to think about the ordeals President Bush had placed US in and perhaps, you would like to organize a protest as well.

    As for garretWalker, it’s funny how you bring up respect. If US government had any respect for its own people and the rest of the world, then they would enforce strict rules in their beef testings and this problem would not exist. US government has failed to protect their own people and S. Koreans are not willing to accept that.
    And seriously, do we still use the word “commies”?

    generalimissotaku, hmmm, I think you may need to go back to your history books. China is a communist country because of Soviet Union, US did not intervene… Only thing US had done was to lay some boundaries for trade purposes, which made things difficult only for Chinese government.

    Choyak, it is important to get your facts straight. The US did not intervene to save S.Korea but rather to fight the Soviet Union and China, supporting N.Korea. It was a different time then, and they did not spend billions of dollars. The money they did spend however, only benefited the banks in US, who loaned US government, the money with huge interest to go to war as they are doing now. If the intervention was actually for S.Korea, they should have interfered when Japan had colonized S.Korea for decades, prior to this war.

    People, clearly, the problem is simple. The beef you are eating in US is not safe, and instead of accepting the situation as you have done, South Koreans are protesting. Instead of criticizing, learn to voice your opinion and stop eating your beef!

  • R. Elgin

    Though much of the protest has been based upon bad sciences, rumors and plain fiction, and has acted as a trojan horse for other political agendas, “MK” is right in that the Korean public can insist that their government take additional safeguards for the food they import.

    Ultimately many Koreans are concerned that their president is attempting to accomplish much without listening to the voice of the public. Listening to such a democratically immature voice though is often times like herding cats — and dogs together.

    One serious problem the Korean Government faces is the lack of trust the people have for their government. This distrust, along with the greed and politics of the United Democratic Party, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions and the Korean Teachers and Educational Workers Union threatens to undermine the economic and political stability of South Korea.

    I am disappointed in the intellectual community since their seems to be no leadership or voice from them whatsoever regarding this current problem and many others — only the often anonymous voice of rumor-mongers and political agitators hold sway through on-line forums has been loudly heard.

  • R. Elgin

    P.S. This has gotten to be a really complicated topic to discuss as well since there are many elements at work — for better and worse — and it wants more words than the above to describe it in better detail.

    I would not be so quick to say that American should have never done this or that either; that is too simple and naive an observation to make.

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