Remember those six South Korean sailors who were killed in a bloody naval clash with the Norks in the Yellow (West) Sea during last year's World Cup? USFK remembers them. The US 7th Fleet remembers them. The Marmot's Hole sure as hell remembers them. Even Condoleezza Rice remembers them. The South Korean government, on the other hand, apparently does not. The Chosun Ilbo editorial staff writes:
The resentment and fury felt by the families of the six naval officers killed in the West Sea clash a year ago make us wonder whether we live in a country that fulfills its basic duties for its people. The families say that the government has not kept one promise - and that it has failed to send even one letter or make even one telephone call of condolence. "But the commanders of the UN forces, the U.S. forces in Korea and the 7th U.S. squadron all sent letters," one father said. "Which country did my son die fighting for?" No one can answer him.Later in the same piece:
In a telling anecdote, it is said that Condoleezza Rice, the White House's national security adviser, asked a Korean government official if he knew the names of the two middle school girls killed last year by a U.S. armored vehicle. He answered yes right away. Then she asked if he knew any of the names of the sailors killed in the West Sea battle. The official stuttered, unable to answer the question. This embarrassing incident shows us how ridiculous our country may seem to the world.
No mass protests in front of Seoul City Hall. No NGOs screaming for justice. Not even a single fuckin' letter from the government to the families of those young men who paid with their lives the price of freedom. You can be sure as hell the North Korean government sent letters to the families of its sailors that died - shit, it probably sent them nice, shiny medals (which they can't eat). But the Noh Administration can't even send the families of those killed ONE SINGLE FUCKIN' LETTER! Given the current political climate, I wasn't expecting much - Heaven forbid Noh should ruin Kim Jong-il's kibun for the day. But Jesus, how can a government show such contempt for its own fighting men like this? As I've said before, I love this country. But today, I'm truly ashamed to be a resident of the Republic of Korea.
UPDATE: That other Korean daily, which we shall not name in this blog for so shamelessly snubbing the Marmot, reports in its editorial that Lieutenant Lee Hi-wan, who lost a leg in the battle, has returned to active duty as a researcher at the Korean Naval Academy. Still no letter, however.