Power And Nationalism Term Paper

Length: 5 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: History - Asian Type: Term Paper Paper: #54005835 Related Topics: Korean War, North Korea, Korean Culture, Korea
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Power & Nationalism

Koreans seems to have grown tired of the American presence in their country. Is this a fact? What are its causes and how has it come to this status? The American presence in the Korean Peninsula dates from the Korean War, which was the first major war after the Second World War. The war started in 1950 with the invasion of South Korea by the Communist North. The war had been predictable for some time, as the Communist threat had become more persistent in that part of Asia, with the Communists having gained power in China in 1949, however, the United Stats had previously stated that it held no interest in the area and that it would not intervene.

Albeit this, Harry Truman and his advisors decided to send air strikes in North Korea and gained a United Nations mandate to send troops under its emblem to the Peninsula. This was the only way to intervene, as the Soviet Union had boycotted the Security Counsel and did not use its veto. Yugoslavia was the only country to oppose United Nation help to South Korea. The first stages of the war proved disastrous for the American army: the overwhelming North Korean forces drove the combined Allied forces towards the South of the Peninsula, in a small region around the city of Pusan, where the front stabilized.

However, an inspired move by General Douglas Mac Arthur, who ordered an invasion in the North Korean territory, around the city of Inchon, reversed the course of the war and drove the North Koreans all the way back to the Yalu River. This proved to be a mistake, for China, who feared an American invasion of its territory, entered the war against the United Nation armies. Even if Soviet assistance was feared, this was only in the form of some MIG 15s in Chinese colors that helped gain air superiority for the Communists. The Chinese pushed the Allied troops back to the 38th parallel, former border between Communist North Korea and the Southern part of the peninsula. The war stabilized there for the later years of the conflict and negotiations carried on for the remaining part up to 1953, when a general cease fire was signed. No peace treaty has been signed even today and North Korean troops on one side and American and Korean troops on the other still defend the two territories.

This was the origin of the presence of American troops in Korea. As we can see, these troops still remain there, with the intent to protect the Democratic south from the Communist invasion. What rules do these troops abide by? The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that was signed between the Republic of Korea and the United States provides the legal basis for the troops stationed here. SOFA applies not only to the members of the armed forces, but also to civilian employees, invited contractors, technical representatives and their dependents, as well as to civilian and military personnel of the United States Embassy. It practically has the effect of a law by which the stationed Americans abide.

Although it is claimed to have "few privileges and a lot of requirements," SOFA was clearly designated to the best interest of the Americans living in Korea. It is first a mean to protect U.S. rights under U.S. constitution. Secondly, economically speaking, it makes it possible to import goods that are excerpted from duty taxes, which allows U.S. service members to purchase goods duty-free. This can prove a serious impediment to the Korean government, not necessarily because it could be considered an economic damage, but mainly because the goods that are purchased in a duty-free regime can then be sold on the black market. Of course, this is counter parted by the fact that a ration control system has been established, but does this system actually work? Who can guarantee that goods purchased cheaper will not later be sold at higher prices on the market? Of course, there are two plans to be analyzed here: on one side, the Korean government can surely not be pleased by what could be an increased factor of crime and traffic on the black market that can intervene in healthy economical processes. On the other side, however, the Korean people...


Could this be a cause for the increased anti-Americanism in Korea. If we look at it from the government's point-of-view, then the answer is affirmative, however, the population can't find it all that displeasing.

A second thing that Koreans find displeasing in the SOFA agreement is the fact that, even if the agreement acknowledges the right of the Korean government to exercise its laws on American citizens, the United States holds full custody of the presumed innocent until all proceedings are complete, including the appeals. This is a serious clause and could be one of the causes of Korean anti-Americanism. Let me detail a bit here. The fact that the Americans hold full custody over somebody who can be accused of a serious crime is a serious offence brought to Korean justice and one that they are most likely to perceive as such. Practically speaking, until all the proceedings have ended, they have no power over somebody who can be a criminal. This can lead to two things: on one side, to the fact that it is an offence to the Korean government and the second one, perhaps the most important, is that somebody who could be a murderer for example, could possibly walk free because of pressure from high American officials.

Let us take the following practical example, true unfortunately. This actually happened in Korea in June 2003. An armored vehicle of the American Armies crushed to death two Korean girls in a car accident. Court-marshaled, the two American soldiers driving were acquitted of the negligent homicide charges and this certainly led to a wave of anti-Americanism in the country. The official declaration that followed from the Korean government clearly stated its resentment for the situation, asking even for an immediate revision of the SOFA. Note that, most importantly of all, this was an official declaration.

A third issue I need to address as an argument for the growing wave of anti-Americanism in Korea is race. It is by no doubt that the some of the new generation of Koreans, those that have not lived through the War and have only read in history books about the threat of communism, are reticent to see Americans and probably perceive them as invaders. It will have been probably easier to assimilate someone of the same race. Suppose the Chinese stationed troops in Northern Korea. They probably would be seen more like 'our people' than if Russians did for example. It is the same case here. Although we do live in the 21st century, race and cultural issues are still to be discussed. The people from Eastern Asia have a totally different culture from the Western one. Different tradition, different human relations, different conceptions about time and space. It is difficult enough to have to do business with them and conclude a transaction, let us think how it is to have to try to cohabitate for half a century. It is probable that the American troops have sometimes stepped over these cultural differences in their attempt to promote American values, as they usually do wherever they are stationed. It is also probable that they have offended without being aware of it, unconsciously done so, but the Koreans are a sensitive people. You can bring high offences without knowing it. For example, shaking hands is considered unhygienic and is not practiced. However, this is the common practice for the Americans, but it can…

Sources Used in Documents:


Korean War History Guide. Can be found on The History Beat, on the World Wide Web at http://www.searchbeat.com / http://www.korea.army.mil/welcome/sofa.htm (for the SOFA agreement)

http://www.yonip.com/main/articles/declaration_on_current_situation.html (for a case of two Americans that crushed to death two Korean girls in a car accident)

Cite this Document:

"Power And Nationalism" (2003, November 26) Retrieved August 5, 2021, from

"Power And Nationalism" 26 November 2003. Web.5 August. 2021. <

"Power And Nationalism", 26 November 2003, Accessed.5 August. 2021,

Related Documents
Nationalism According to Hobsbawm the
Words: 854 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Government Paper #: 68079307

So denotes Hobsbawm in considering the era of revolutionary independence. Here, Hobsbawm asserts that nationalism "aimed to extend the scale of human social, political and cultural units: to unify and expand rather than to restrict and separate. This is one reason why Third-world national liberation movements found the 19th century traditions, both liberal and revolutionary-democratic, so congenial. Anti-colonial nationalists dismissed, or at least subordinated, 'tribalism', 'communalism' or other sectional

Nationalism Is the Political, Social
Words: 678 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Government Paper #: 88031013

This had a great role among the European people as it provided the people a sense of community. This means that Europeans felt a sense of belonging to a community. At the same time nationalism fosters a sense of tradition within the Europeans. Through nationalism a set of moral standards were impacted among the people that ensured that the people were morally upright and act according to what is

Nationalism in Geography Classrooms: Challenges
Words: 582 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Geography Paper #: 22248127

The various branches of the American military, for example, have their own form of nationalism that is represented by hard power and military supremacy. This does not mean that nationalism must be necessarily political in nature, but often the two are tied together due to the ease in which they go hand in hand. This can be said of geography as well, especially political geography. Often, political geography is mistaken

Nationalism Through Out Western Civilization
Words: 2113 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Drama - World Paper #: 27679202

This is because the ideas of self-determination would help inspire large numbers of people who shared a common identity and values. Yet, because they were being oppressed for whatever reasons these common ideas would fuel thoughts of self-determination. This is significant because this was the intention of all corresponding revolutions. However, this would morph into something more twisted. In many ways this would help fuel the rise of nationalism

Nationalism and Martyrdom: Symbolic Deaths
Words: 6813 Length: 25 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 54055180

" (Githens-Mazer, 2007) 2. Use of Figures Labeled Martyrs in the Contemporary Discourse Regarding the Nationalist Movement The concepts of nationalism and the effects of Nationalism on language are stated to be based on Joshua Fishman's essays entitled: "The Nature of Nationalism" and "the Impact of Nationalism on Language Learning and Language Planning." (Sharon, 1995) Sharon states that Nationalism is defined by Fishman (1972) as "the organizationally heightened and elaborated beliefs, attitudes,

Nationalism Contemporary Politics I Believe
Words: 2548 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Family and Marriage Paper #: 15114548

Figueiredo posits that ambiguity regarding the leader's intentions is the key factor which determines whether a leaders is successful in inciting and ethnic group to violence. Leaders who are "Gambling for Ressurrection" are unpopular leaders who have little to lose and much to gain by inciting conflict. However, Figueiredo astutely notes that unpopular leaders often hold little credibility among the citizenry, especially when the leaders are asking them to bear