Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years: Version 2.0!

Monday, April 2, 2012


Today around the water cooler I was roped into a conversation about the Korean - American FTA.

It's generally a subject I avoid talking about with coworkers.  Too many people get all butt hurt over it, and it generally results in bad feelings all around.

But today I was pleasantly surprised: most of the peeps involved actually had smart things to say about it as opposed to simply mouthing leftist platitudes about the denigration of all things Korean at the hands of their cruel American overlords.

Too often the narrative of big powerful country taking advantage of poor victimized Korea serves as the assumption for most opinions dealing with anything from the bad 'ol USA.  Sure, the history of subjugation is still keenly felt by many Koreans, but how about starting to live in the now, where Korean corporations are busy with their own imperialist experiments in places like Vietnam, the Philippines, and the south pacific?

There were a few who thought the FTA was terrible as it would mean the end of the Korean countryside and agriculture.  But more than a few said farmers could adapt and diversify crops while pointing out that Korea isn't able to produce enough food for its current population as is anyway.  There were also voices stating the irony of the left protesting the FTA when the deal had in effect been the baby of the Roh Moo Hyun administration in the first place.

It near brought a tear to my eye.

Now the more interesting question would be how many of those involved in the conversation joined the beef protests a few years back.

Time for some Max.

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