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80,000 rally against U.S. beef in South Korea

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To borrow a sentiment expressed here not too long ago on the same issue, looks like it's not only the Japanese protesting against U.S. beef ay?

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Oh, for cryin' out loud, nobody's forcing any Koreans to buy U.S. beef, though if it's available, a whole of Koreans would buy it.

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Right or wrong, an 80,000 person protest is pretty freaking amazing.

Taka

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Yes, 80,000 is indeed amazing. It amazes me that so many Koreans are ignorant enough to be afraid of beef from the US, where incidentally only 3 cases of BSE and 3 cases of vCJD (BSE in humans) has ever been recorded. Same goes for Japan...

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Pretty freaking amazing it is....as a study in the power of the media in creating mass hysteria. I'm wondering how many of those protesters have Marlboro cigarettes in their pockets, an import from America that will kill more people in one year than mad cow will ever kill in Korea.

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superlib, Oh thanks. You just broke my irony meter. Do you have any idea how hard those things are to get?

Taka

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The Koreans love protests. It's their right, given to them by the evil Americans. This is indisputable. If not for us, Kim Jong Il would be ruling the entire peninsula.

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yea, 80,000 for beef is pretty mind blowing but at the same time its pretty pathetic just over beef.

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Korea and Japan need to undergo a merger - Koreans riot over something as stupid as beef, but people in Japan will roll over and take anything from the government.

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Yeah, the masses riot, the Korean elite quietly send all their money and children out of the country, and the problem is that Japan isn't sufficiently sorry about what happened 60-70 years ago. And I say that as a Korean-American. Roh Moo Hyun promises to not cowtow to America and redistribute wealth and power from Seoul to other parts of the country. The citizenry elect him, he tries to do these things, and they riot. Lee Myung Bak has a long history of being cozy with the US and Japan and being a little sleazy and he promises economic growth at all cost. The citizenry elect him and when it turns out he is a little sleazy and cozy with the US and Japan, they riot. Maybe they just want to run amok because I certainly see little rhyme or reason to this behavior.

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Right or wrong, an 80,000 person protest is pretty freaking amazing."

No, right or wrong, an 80,000 person protest is over doing in regards to an import! Something is not being said.

Hey, just don't eat beef. Its not good for you.

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I agree with the other sentiments expressing awe at the sheer number of people. However, it is rather ridiculous how quickly things heat up and cool down in South Korean over issues involving the US. Politicians in South Korean know exactly how to get support from the population, especially the younger members of society. Just bad mouth the US and basically you are in. Of course, once they are in, all of that is forgotten both on the part of the politician and on the part of the electorate for the most part. That is, until someone comes up with another 'scandal'.

If people don't want to eat US beef in South Korea, they don't have to. I certainly wouldn't suggest forcing it on them. I have eaten it and I think it is pretty good. I like Japanese beef better though. In fact, if they don't want US beef in South Korea, all they really have to do is not buy it. If there is no one purchasing the US beef, eventually it won't be sold.

I think that is the problem though. I think South Koreans will end up liking and buying US beef and I have a feeling that is what really frightens those in the South Korean local beef industry.

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It has nothing to do with beef. Even the protest organizers admit that their real goal to to get the American military out of their country. They are using the beef issue to drive a wedge into the issue of American presence in South Korea.

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Just don't eat beef, whiny losers. It's not hard to not put dead bits of cow in your mouth. Most people do it every day. If you must eat meat, eat chicken or pork (or fish) instead. I can't believe people are so spoilt and concerned about such trivialities.

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As with Japan, protectionist sentiment plays a role in this. The concentrated domestic producer interest will almost always trump the diffuse domestic consumer interest in the political realm.

It's tempting to say "screw 'em" and adopt a beggar-they-neighbor trade policy wherein their exports are prohibited on trumped up safety grounds as well. But such a policy would deny American consumers and producers of valued Korean goods and marginally undermine American competitiveness. Such demonstrations should be met with a concerted information campaign (to put the infintesimal risks into context) and patience.

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I lived in SK for a number of years and lectured at a university in Seoul. The protest culture there is such that people get worked-up over the smallest things and suddenly there are thousands of people involved. I was there after 2 middle-school girls were killed in an unfortunate accident involving US military maneuvers; there were months of protests. The US is the most popular demon in SK and it's mostly the Korean government's fault as they have encouraged that attitude for decades as a way of deflecting interest away from local concerns. No protests ensued when a number of people died from eating at stalls on the street when it was found that a number of these places were getting food from trash bins and serving it to customers. Koreans doing atrocious things to Koreans is ok because it's "all in the family" and they'll be apt to believe the most insensate things, such as "fan death", even supposedly educated people....

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Maybe there is more to it than just the beef. I know when I had an 11 hour layover there, it was not the friendliest place. :)

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It's not about beef, any more than Takeshima is about an uninhabitable rock in the middle of the ocean. There's a lot of pent up anger and frustration in Korea, a lot of it frankly due more to insecurity and hubris than any actual wrongs suffered. They have developed a deep-rooted fantasy of Koreans being smarter and better than those lazy Americans or those decadent Japanese and constantly live in disappointment that life refuses to imitate art (if D-Wars can be called that) at the nation-state level, so they tend to get pissed off and riot over stupid crap that they perceive as disrespectful to the Korean culture and people.

I really don't understand what this crap is all about, and I was born in Korea. No, Korea is not special and you can wish about magical dragon warriors all you want, it won't make Korea the center of the universe. Yes, we got our asses handed to us by the Japanese 100 years ago. Yeah, we have to bend to Washington, just like every frigging body else. But other peoples, other nations get over these things, why can't we? What does rioting and hating on your supposed closest allies accomplish? It's totally irrational.

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Koreans in America eat american beef everyday and they are all healthy and well.What is the problem?Communist hand behind the scene.

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maybe we should just send the beef to NK instead....

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Looks like those korean people don't quite understand this new "CEO" President's idea.80,000 rally...sounds stupit enough..just for beef. to me. if you hate US beef that much, Easy, just don't buy it.

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"Koreans in America eat American beef every day and they are all healthy"

Yeah, but they're Korean-Americans - they're immune to BSE. Koreans in Korea are highly susceptible to BSE. Only Korean beef is safe for them.

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Sorry but I think that leaving aside the merits of the arguments, whether they be The Liancourt Rocks or US Troop presence or freakin beef, Koreans in general need to chill out. They don't have to get hysterical over everything. Maybe a little less red pepper in the diet. I dunno.

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BSE has been used as an excuse to set up trade barriers far too long.

There's at least 80,000 Koreans not interested in the facts and want to keep imposing higher prices for beef on fellow Koreans.

Korea is just one of many countries with a domestic industry that is unable to compete against the US product. Kudos to the Korean government for finally coming to grips with one of its lopsided and unfair trade policies.

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These 80000 fail to see the risk of communism is billion times more deadly, more dangerous than the "imaginative"BSE.Or these 80,000 are all NK supporters?

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Well... why can't we here in the US come together as a society and unite people together and rally against buying al products from a communist country called China that is aggresively building a massive military aimed directly at us as they say they see us as their only furture threat???

Maybe S. Koreans are a little more on top of things as a society and cares more about the issues than people here in the US that could give a rat's butt about anything but their day to day existance and well being and have no interst in what the future holds and at the same time throwing national security and morals out the window..... Not that I do not like China or anything... but hey, S. Korea seems to be using a united voice....

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