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Trump rankles proud Koreans by reminding of their humiliating past

Discussion in 'Asian Politics' started by reedak, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. reedak

    reedak Member

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    1. The following are excerpts from Michelle Ye Hee Lee's 19 April 2017 article headlined "Trump’s claim that Korea ‘actually used to be a part of China’" at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...to-be-a-part-of-china/?utm_term=.246ed67690c8

    (Begin excerpts)
    ....Trump’s inartful retelling of Sino-Korean history sparked widespread outrage among Koreans, who are particularly sensitive to the U.S. president’s rhetoric amid heightened tensions between North and South Korea. Leaders across the political spectrum criticized Trump’s characterization, calling it a clear distortion of history and an attempt to undermine Korean sovereignty... (End excerpts)

    2. In 108 BC the Han emperor Wudi conquered the northern part of the Korean peninsula. The Han empire proceeded to administer Lelang Commandery, the area around modern Pyongyang for nearly 400 years. Lelang was one of the Chinese commanderies which was established after the fall of Wiman Joseon in 108 BC until Goguryeo conquered it in 313. Though disputed by North Korean scholars, Western sources generally describe the Lelang Commandery as existing within the Korean peninsula, and extend the rule of the four commanderies as far south as the Han River (Korea). However, South Korean scholars assumed its administrative areas to Pyongan and Hwanghae region.

    Compared with the 35 years of Japanese colonial rule (1910-1945), 400 years are certainly a long period and difficult to erase from memory. Hence, Trump’s retelling of Sino-Korean history is not untrue, only that he was insensitive enough to remind the proud Koreans of their humiliating past. Following decades of economic progress and prosperity after the Korean War, Koreans have become increasingly arrogant. They have forgotten that much of their wealth stems from the "Korean Wave" of pop culture across Asia, particularly China.

    The arrogance of Koreans knows no bounds. They quarrel with the Chinese not only in the interpretation of history but also over the names of city and food. In the past, they got China to accept Shǒu'ěr 首爾 as the Chinese way to refer to Seoul, instead of Hànchéng 漢城 ("Han City"). Naturally, calling their capital "Han City" rankled, since "Han" is the name of the main Chinese ethnic group. In contrast, Shǒu'ěr 首爾 both sounds like "Seoul" and has a felicitously appropriate meaning (viz., "head" [shǒudū 首都 means "capital"]) + "thus; so").

    Now the Koreans have a more laughable demand. They decreed that Kimchi shouldn't be called pàocài 泡菜 ("pickled vegetables") in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and want it to have a new Chinese name "xīnqí" ( 辛奇 ) to differentiate it from other pickled vegetables.

    3. There is a parallel between the complexity of Sino-Korean history and its Anglo-French counterpart. Like Sino-Korean relations, the historical ties between Britain and France are long and complex, including conquest, wars, and alliances at various points in history. From the 1340s to the 19th century, excluding two brief intervals in the 1360s and the 1420s, the kings and queens of England (and, later, of Great Britain) also claimed the throne of France. The claim dates from Edward III, who claimed the French throne in 1340 as the sororal nephew of the last direct Capetian, Charles IV. Edward and his heirs fought the Hundred Years War to enforce this claim, and were briefly successful in the 1420s under Henry V and Henry VI, but the House of Valois, a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, was ultimately victorious and retained control of France.

    Calais was annexed by Edward III of England in 1347 and grew into a thriving centre for wool production. The town came to be called the "brightest jewel in the English crown" owing to its great importance as the gateway for the tin, lead, lace and wool trades (or "staples"). Calais was a territorial possession of England until its capture by France in 1558.

    4. Trump’s inartful retelling of Sino-Korean history rankled Koreans as it brought back humiliating memories of ancient Chinese rule in the northern part of the Korean peninsula. Similarly, if Trump were to suggest that France "actually used to be a part of Britain", he would definitely spark widespread outrage among the French too.

    When the news of the loss of Calais reached Queen Mary, she was reported to have exclaimed, “When I am dead and opened, you will find Calais written on my heart." It won't be surprising that Emperor Han Wudi would say something quite similar if he could return to this world: "When I am back and opened, you will find Lelang Commandery written on my heart."

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2013/04/korea-chinese-history

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lelang_Commandery

    http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/main_pop/kpct/kp_koreaimperialism.htm

    http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/12/31/korea.entertainment/

    http://shanghaiist.com/2014/01/13/south-korean-china-kimchi.php

    https://munchies.vice.com/en_us/article/koreans-dont-want-to-admit-theyre-eating-chinese-kimchi

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_...imchi_means_pickled_vegetables_and_korea.html

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calais

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pale_of_Calais

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Calais_(1558)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France–United_Kingdom_relations

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_claims_to_the_French_throne

    http://www.wardsbookofdays.com/7january.htm
     
  2. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    Some of it did.....
    Duke of Guise took it back....bummer.... mind you Calais is a dog hole
     
  3. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    Sensative huh..... pull your big boy pants up kids. Don't have to like history but you don't get to change it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
  4. The Sage of Main Street

    The Sage of Main Street Member

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    Globals Gobbling Garbage

    Why should we let the Multiculties force us to be sensitive about the feelings of parasites whom we saved from both Japanese Fascism and NoKo Communism?
     
  5. Aus22

    Aus22 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Roedak or you information. Most countries are proud of their history. But not so keen to admit foreign rule. The USA as a British colony for a long time. Korea is particularly sensitive of times when it was ruled by Japan and China. They don't want to become a puppet of any nation n not even the USA.
     
  6. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    Understandable but history is fixed. Better to remember it lest you find yourself reliving it.
     
  7. The Sage of Main Street

    The Sage of Main Street Member

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    Cliches From a Simple-Minded Empowered Clique

    Which version of history do you want us to remember? I remember the remembering (not fighting in Vietnam would be like the appeasement at Munich) and it was dead wrong.
     
  8. Old_Trapper70

    Old_Trapper70 Well-Known Member

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  9. Aus22

    Aus22 Well-Known Member

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    Versions of history vary. But it is usually the history of the winning side that prevails as in Vietnam. The history of the losing side is soon forgotten.
    The problem in the Korean war was that there was no winning or losing side as it ended in a draw with the same boundaries as before the war. Each side therefore uses its own version of the history of the war.
     
  10. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    I disagree - history is written by writers who tend to filter what they think is relevent for the audience that they want to reach or for an agenda they want to achieve - Churchill and Julius Caesar being classic examples of that!
    Anyone can write a "history" of anything and use whatever inferences or snippets of information they choose to bolster their narrative. A lot of history written nowadays is like the internet - written by and read by people with the same sort for filters that they would use to choose a television program; if it doesn't fit their worldview they will disregard it.
     
  11. The Sage of Main Street

    The Sage of Main Street Member

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    Draw Play

    But I'm not referring to different versions of history; pushy pundits can get two different lessons from the same version.

    Here is something original that I figured out on my own, so don't ask for a link. Stalin purposely provoked Hitler into invading, then he ordered a fake retreat to draw the Nazis in deeper. Stalin made it look like Russia would fall in a matter of weeks. That not only made Hitler eager and careless, it drew America into the war because Germany would definitely wage a preemptive attack against us if it conquered Russia.
     
  12. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    Sucking foes in is not new for the russians.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  13. Aus22

    Aus22 Well-Known Member

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    The Scotsman I was referring to popular history not that of professional historians. If you go to popular historical sites in London or Paris you will see celebrations of their victories. London has a square name after a victory, with a statute of Nelson. Paris has monuments to Napoleon and a museum dedicated to his victories. Vietnam has a museum dedicated to its victory in the American war with captured American planes and other equipment. In a sense this is gear to its local audience. It doses not tell the whole history of these wars. Even Churchill Histories a bias not saying much about the opposition to him even in his own country. Julius Caesar was written by Shakespeare and scholars have detected errors in its presentation of Roman History
    The various accounts of the Russian German war prove this. Whether Stalin suck in Hitler is hard to prove. We will never get Hitler's account.
     
  14. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    Even Lincoln historians wrote a favorable one to him.
    History, mainly contemporary history is written by the winners. Sometimes it gets revisited.
     
  15. ThirdTerm

    ThirdTerm Member

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    Trump is obviously mistaken. Korea has never been a part of China since the founding of Sila in 57 BC. Korea was only colonised by Japan from 1910 to 1945. The Chinese actually set up military outposts in northern Korea prior to the founding of Sila but they had never controlled the Korean peninsula.
     
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