Remember what I said earlier about the shared inferiority complex among Koreans? It’s rearing its ugly head again in the uproar over the Korean government’s attempt to resume imports of American beef. According to the NY Times:
This is a small country in a strategic location with a deep sense of grievance about being manipulated by the great powers around it. Chinese emperors demanded tribute from Korea; Japanese occupiers forbade Koreans to speak their own language; American, Chinese and Russian cold war rivalries divided Korea in two. While mostly approving of their alliance with the United States, South Koreans remain acutely sensitive to any suggestion that they must do America’s bidding.
Sigh. I don’t know when Korea will get over this whole complex. The sooner the better; this sort of knee-jerk nationalism and protectionism will get the country’s economy nowhere and fast.