View Full Version : Protests over "Mad Cow Disease" Threaten to Overthrow South Korean Government

06-10-2008, 07:29 PM
Never has any disease made such a lasting impression on international politics since the Spainish Flu (http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/06/10/asia/korea.php).

06-10-2008, 07:56 PM
What the hell? He accepts American Beef Imports, so the nation goes psychotic?

That's it. I've given up on that entire region.

06-10-2008, 08:16 PM
Never has any disease made such a lasting impression on international politics since the Spainish Flu (http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/06/10/asia/korea.php).

At first, I don't know what to think about this. At a glance, it seems like an overreaction and society letting fear running rampant. However, when one examines the article, I see why the South Koreans would be concerned. Why buy tainted meat? For economic purposes? Would you rather your country have an extra hundred million dollars per year, or be safe?

I see the reason for their concern, and this is a perfect example of the citizens taking control of a situation. I wish America was that riled up, at times. Anyways, I believe that their actions are justified, if only for the purpose of "erring on the side of caution."

Web Rider
06-10-2008, 10:14 PM
I can understand their worry, IF US meat was actually tainted, we had what, one, two cases in the entire country? I know the article only mentions one in 2003. Of course, the world health orginization said US meat was OK. So really, GET OVER IT South Korea.

Half of those nimrods want to rejoin with the north, nobody under 20 remembers the communists trying to conquer them....

06-10-2008, 10:40 PM
At a glance, it seems like an overreaction and society letting fear running rampant.I've been watching this story develop for the past month and I still have a hard time seeing it as anything other than mob fear. I don't know how xenophobic South Koreans are compared to North Koreans, but I think that may also be playing a role here -- a general distrust of the United States or globalization in general.

President Lee isn't popular right now for other reasons including a stalling economy. He's seen as catering to corporations and appointing people like Lee Yoon Ho, head of a research institute for LG and VP of a organization representing Samsung, Hyundai, and other corporations, to the position of Minister of Commerce. In short, his electorate have lost confidence in him and decisions he makes including repealing the beef ban.

It seems mad cow has become a rallying cry against the S. Korean administration driven by fear and distrust.

Jae Onasi
06-10-2008, 10:48 PM
Well, the World Organization for Animal health ruled American beef as safe, but I understand the leery feeling the Koreans have about mad cow disease. If someone gets infected with the prion that causes mad cow disease, it may cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/cjd/detail_cjd.htm), which is incurable. However, there is a certain level of hysteria going on in S. Korea over this issue.
I wish all the US had to protest was whether or not we should import Kobe beef.

South Koreans can be (speaking in generalities) quite racist. One of my good friends who was studying in Japan decided to take a side trip to Korea with her boyfriend. They got arrested and accused of drug-running based solely on the fact that she's black and he was white. They finally got released after a day or two, but I think they had to get the US consulate involved to do it.

06-10-2008, 11:22 PM
I've read and heard from others that being black in SK is often a big disadvantage. I looked into the whole teaching english overseas thing awhile back and read that minorities (ie non-white people) had a much harder time being placed on average than their caucasian counterparts. Also recall that mass public protests in SK usually have tended to involve the young more than old and have been a kind of right of passage or a kind of national sport, especially w/regard to the US. Wouldn't lose any sleep over this.

06-11-2008, 12:29 AM
Ah yes, another case of something being blown way out of proportions, all thanks to vague propoganda...

06-11-2008, 02:13 AM
South Koreans can be (speaking in generalities) quite racist.

While I'd be a tad leery of calling most people...er...'racist'...the South Koreans are known to be the most unified in terms of having the same ethincity and language, therefore being the most homogenous. According to many economists, the more homogenous the nation, the more inner stablity that nation has (since everyone comes from the same background, there won't be that much conflict...at least compared to less homogenous countries such as the United States).

Didn't think about the flip-side of the coin, though.