U.S. and South Korean troops greet each other at a South Korean base

 near Seoul. A surprising recent survey at the South Korean Military

Academy shows 34% of all recruits consider the United States to be

Korea's main enemy.



Donga-A Ilbo, South Korea

South Korean Military Cadets Convinced U.S. is the 'Greatest Enemy'


"When asked, "Who do you think our biggest enemy is?," thirty-four percent of 250 respondents said "the United States," while thirty-three percent responded "North Korea."


April 5, 2008


South Korea - Dong-A Ilbo - Original Article (English)

On April 3, North Korea again threatened to take military action against South Korea. In addition, North Korea’s chief delegate to ongoing inter-Korean talks mentioned military "countermeasures," and the North's naval headquarters threatened to take measures against the South at any moment.


And lest one forget, in 1999 and 2002, North Korea triggered a naval confrontation between in the West Sea by crossing the Northern Limit Line. To prevent such incidents from being repeated, we must maintain our military strength and defense readiness to thwart any threat or provocation from the North.


But what's most important is that the public and government share a common view of the North’s true character, as this will greatly contribute to the nation's defense.


With this in mind, Kim Chung-bae, the former superintendent of the Korea Military Academy and the current head of the Korea Institute for Defense Analysis, has released a shocking survey that reveals a startling lack of just this kind of awareness among new students at the Academy.


When asked, "Who do you think our greatest enemy is?," thirty-four percent of 250 respondents said "the United States," while thirty-three percent responded "North Korea." Surprised by the response, the survey’s questioners asked what had created these views. Most of the students said they learned them from their teachers, all of whom belong to the Korean Teachers Union.


These are sobering results, and they indicate how education imbues children with pro-North Korean and anti-American sentiment. In particular, over the past decade, the former Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun Administrations played a key role in spreading distorted views about the North across all levels of society.


Their governments were at the fore of deleting the term "major enemy" from defense white papers while government agencies blindly pursued a policy of engagement. Separately, those who levied criticism against the North were labeled conservative and reactionary, and schools were no exception to this ideology.



In an effort to correct such errant thinking among students about national security, the former superintendent of the Korea Military Academy gathered a group of experts and published a new history textbook. The 64th class of cadets that was commissioned second lieutenants last month was taught using this book.


Now they no longer consider the United States Korea’s central enemy. But due to an order from the then-Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung banning the textbook, the book is still not being fully utilized.


People tend to hold on to things that they learn when they're young, and this nation saw a large number of young people exposed to a pro-North Korean and anti-American ideological education.


A change in administration doesn't guarantee that this vicious cycle is over. That's why we need to keep up the pressure and correct these distorted historic and national security views.













































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US April 18, 8:44pm]