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Wed Nov 20, 2019, 01:25 PM

US diplomatic blunderers in South Korea compared to Alice Roosevelt


(JTBC News- 11.19) Alice Roosevelt riding a stone horse statue at the Memorial for Empress Myeongsong, acting as if she were "riding a carousel at an amusement park." The picture is from the Cornell University Library collection.

Alice cavorted around Seoul being treated like an American princess after Teddy Roosevelt had already sold out Korean sovereignty to the Japanese at the Treaty of Portsmouth September 5, 1905. The great powers bargained away Korea's sovereignty to Japan to serve their own imperial interests. Russia actually was the only power to resist the Japanese, but that was because they had wanted to make Korea a Russian domain. The Russians lost the Russo-Japanese War and had to sign the Portsmouth Treaty arranged by President Roosevelt, in which Japan's dominance in Korea was acknowledged. Later in September 1905, King Gojong still thought the US might be of help to avoid the Japanese takeover of Korea when President Roosevelt's daughter, Alice Roosevelt, visited Korea. Other high ranking US diplomats who had been traveling with Alice through other Asian capitals didn't bother to come. Korea's fate was already cast.

Alice attended a formal dinner presented in her honor by the "Emperor," and rode in his palanquin through the streets of Seoul. Her memorable faux pas was to jump on the back of a stone horse statue at the memorial mound of Empress Myeongseong who in 1895 had been assassinated by the Japanese. At least Alice had an excuse. She was immature, so the editorial goes. Alice wrote that Emperor Gojong of Korea, small in stature, cut a piteous figure. Here we are more than a hundred years later.

What is the excuse of the US Ambassador to Seoul Harry Harris, who is among those who have been jawboning Korean officials for weeks? Secretary Esper? Mr. DeHart? It isn't the 1950s or the end of the Russo-Japanese War during the heyday of imperialism. South Korea is no longer run by the conservative heirs of pro-Japanese dictators and their cronies. The "experts" are giving team Trump in Asia very bad advice. South Korea isn't going to "get over" it's dispute with Japan in the manner they have in mind. Nor will it cave to US extortion. And that is what it is being called in South Korea, extortion. The behavior of US officials is described as "shameful."

Esper, Harris, DeHart, along with Chairman JCS General Milley, USFK Commander General Abrams, and others are making unreasonable demands with no basis in existing agreements. Ambassador Harris has been buttonholing members of the Korean National Assembly, particularly the opposition members making the absurd demand for five times the current South Korean cost sharing contribution to US defense costs in Korea. Also, they are pressuring South Korea to cave in to US demands to participate in, what is in effect, a new defense alliance with Japan and other US allies against China throughout the Indo-Pacific. The US is blatantly taking up for Japan in the continuing political and economic dispute between the two countries. It's pretty clear that without some concessions by the imperial minded Abe, the GSOMIA agreement for sharing military information will lapse on the 23rd as scheduled. The Chair of the Intelligence Committee in the National Assembly, Lee Hye-hoon, referred to Ambassador Harris' repeated demands as rude and unreasonable. The US cost sharing demand has been dead on arrival since September. US diplomats and generals must be stone deaf.

The South Korean government has no intention of allowing the US or Japan to dictate their foreign policy. The South Koreans have repeatedly confirmed their commitment to the alliance with the United States but they are not capitulating to absurd or unreasonable demands.


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Reply US diplomatic blunderers in South Korea compared to Alice Roosevelt (Original post)
soryang Nov 2019 OP
Iliyah Nov 2019 #1
braddy Nov 2019 #2
soryang Nov 2019 #3
braddy Nov 2019 #4
marble falls Nov 2019 #5
soryang Nov 2019 #6
soryang Nov 2019 #7

Response to soryang (Original post)

Wed Nov 20, 2019, 01:29 PM

1. Pissed . . .

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Response to soryang (Original post)

Wed Nov 20, 2019, 01:35 PM

2. So Korea can just kick us out, that will solve all their problems with us.

 

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Response to braddy (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 20, 2019, 01:42 PM

3. Actually that threat is actually implied on the US side

Esper said earlier today, that he will not say what the US will or will not do, when asked by a reporter whether the US is going to withdraw forces from South Korea if their government doesn't meet new US cost sharing demands.

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Response to soryang (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 20, 2019, 01:46 PM

4. I'm sure that South Korea will do whatever is in their best interests.

 

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Response to braddy (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 20, 2019, 02:08 PM

5. .... and that the Trump "administration" will do the same, but not in the US's best interests.

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Response to soryang (Original post)

Sat Nov 23, 2019, 11:07 AM

6. More details on the Harry Harris act in Seoul

The US ambassador who sees only what he wants to see
Posted on : Nov.21,2019 16:34 KST Modified on : Nov.21,2019 16:34 KST

Hankyoreh

...On Nov. 7, Harris invited Lee Hye-hoon, chairperson of the National Assembly Intelligence Committee, to his ambassadorial residence. The reason for the invitation was not shared beforehand. Viewing it as an “occasion for our first introductions 11 months after becoming chairperson,” Lee said she went “lightheartedly, figuring we would just be ‘saying hello.’” Meeting her not at a luncheon or dinner but in a conversation over tea that lasted for over 30 minutes at 2 pm that day, Harris “started going on about ‘5 billion’ [the amount demanded by Washington for South Korean’s share of defense costs] as soon as I said ‘nice to meet you’ and sat down,” Lee recalled.

“I didn’t count, but it felt like 20 times at least,” she remembered. Every time she attempted to steer the conversation toward a different topic, Harris would begin talking about “5 billion” again.

“I was taken aback, really astonished,” Lee said. “I’ve seen a lot of ambassadors over the past decades, but this was a first.” It was an arrogant and impolite display from the US ambassador toward the chairperson of the National Assembly Intelligence Committee.

In diplomatic circles, Harris’s reputation precedes him. Reporters have lambasted him as “expressing his thoughts unfiltered and saying really unpleasant things,” “saying things that had me thinking ‘this guy seems to hate Koreans,’” and “acting like the [colonial Japanese] Governor-General.”


http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/917952.html?fbclid=IwAR2p-T2UXHysOGZIAgqlegsKGYwSFXYYZ434oMndKzZ648TteNCH3zjaqVk

The former admiral's pet project, the Indo-Pacific Alliance is going nowhere in Seoul, along with the absurd demands for 5 billion dollars from Seoul to pay for it.

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Response to soryang (Original post)

Sun Nov 24, 2019, 01:24 PM

7. This scene was uploaded by JTBC on youtube on the 22nd


(Source- JTBC News 11.18) South Koreans demonstrate against US military cost sharing demands outside US embassy while negotiating teams meeting. Signs say, is this an alliance or highway robbery? Chyron reads "Opposition to US extortion of taxpayer money. Opposition to US humiliating negotiations."

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