Monday, May 19, 2008

Bad taste

This Hankyoreh article last week noted that "There will be several events honoring the victims and embodying the spirit of the [Kwangju] uprising..." According to Brian, (in the comments here) what he saw in Kwangju this weekend "was pretty much wall-to-wall Mad Cow stuff [...] I was hoping for a little solemnity, but was surprised to see everything on the night of May 17th basically be a rally against American beef."

Not to be outdone , the Hankyoreh gives us this cartoon, from May 17:

President Lee Myung-bak is loading troops on the “Back to the Fifth Republic” personnel lorry, troops that include his attempt to seize control of the media and his “politics by public security,” that is, using the public security apparatus to enforce politics to his liking.

Chun Doo-hwan, who was president for the duration of the Fifth Republic, notes that he “never got in fights with the teenagers.”
Of course he didn't.

For those who don't know, these photos were taken in high schools in Kwangju after the end of the uprising. Here is a banner showing the faces and names of students killed during the uprising from my visit to Kwangju three years ago:

For the Hankyoreh to have Chun Doo-hwan say “I never got in fights with the teenagers” in a cartoon the day before the anniversary of an uprising which saw at least 20 teens killed, all in order to criticize Lee Myung-bak, is in pretty bad taste.

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