PiU (samedi) wrote,
PiU
samedi

Conflict in East Asia

If you've been following the news recently you've no doubt heard about North Korea's artillery shelling of Yeonpyeong Island on the afternoon of 23 November. If, by some chance, you aren't aware of what's happened you can get a quick summary of events from any number of sources -- such as Yahoo News and BusinessWeek. Before the start of classes today one third grade boy got my attention to talk about events:

"Teacher, did you watch the news?"
"I didn't watch the news, but I heard about North Korea."
"Yes. There was a big 폭팔 (explosion)."
"That's right. 무서워? (Is it scary?)"
"No ... it's exciting!"

I have to admit though that the scariest thing (in my mind) to come out of North Korea over the past week has been their synchronized swimming team at the 16th Asian Games. But that's probably because I'm not a big fan of plastic smiles and nose clips.

In addition to affairs between North and South Korea, there also appears to be some tension developing between South Korea and Taiwan due to the disqualification of a Taiwanese athlete from the Taekwondo competition. While checking out Asian Games photos on DayLife (which I highly recommend) I came across the following:


South Korean students and a woman go into a Korean school in Taipei on November 23, 2010 which was hit with eggs several times the past few days as anti-Korean sentiment increased after a taekwondo row at the Asian Games. Taiwan's taekwondo star Yang Shu-chun was disqualified from the Asian Games in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou last week, setting off a wave of anti-Korean ire across the island where irate fans have blamed South Korean judges for kicking her out of the competition. Organisers of a Taiwanese film festival said on November 23 that South Korean pop groups would not be invited to perform.


Doing a quick web search shed some additional light on the situation, with the BBC reporting on the incident that led to her disqualification and China Post offering information on the aftermath in Taiwan with this article. The general idea from the latter source is that some Taiwanese internet users believe Yang Shu-chun's disqualification was an attempt to make the quarterfinal easier for Korean competitors by removing one of the stronger competitors in the sport.

The technical committee member who disqualified Yang is Hong Sung Chon, an ethnic Korean from the Philippines, while the World Taekwondo Federation's Secretary-General, Yang Jin-suk of South Korea, has reportedly been unable to give a consistent explanation for why the Taiwanese athlete was disqualified. From the China Post article:

The egg-throwing incident was the latest of a series of anti-Korea moves launched by angry Taiwanese, who have called for a boycott of South Korean goods, foods, television programs and entertainers.

Dozens of posts from Taiwanese users were also posted late Friday and early Saturday on the Facebook page of Cheongwadae, South Korea's presidential office, before being removed, with most users blasting the country for its unfair treatment of taekwondo star Yang Shu-chun.


And for those wondering, later news articles (for example, this one from Taiwan News) indicate that the man responsible for the school eggings has been caught by police. Apparently it didn't take much work, as he was standing outside of the school on Monday morning, once again throwing eggs past the main gate.
Tags: north korea, sports, taiwan (台灣)
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