The Korean team has apologised to China after a political statement made by the Korean team at the Asian Games in China, reports Robert from the Marmots Hole.

The Korean delegation to the 6th Winter Asian Games in Changchun, China has officially apologized for an incident Wednesday in which the South Korean female short-track skating team held up signs that read “Mt. Baekdusan is Our Territory” as they were being awarded the silver medal for the 5,000-meter-relay.

Strangely enough, this seemed to have upset the Chinese. The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded the next day by calling in an official from the Korean embassy in Beijing to issue a strongly-worded protest. The Chinese said the signs were a political slogan that harmed the territorial integrity of China. The Chinese also protested that there were no existent territorial disputes between China and Korea, and the Korean side had hurt the feelings of the Chinese people.

Anyway, following the Chinese dressing-down of the Korean embassy, Korean team head Bae Chang-hwan dashed off a letter to the Asian Winter Games organizing committee and the OCA explaining that the ceremony was just an impromptu act by young athletes, not a premeditated political act. Bae then expressed regret to the organizing committee and the OCA for having caused a mess.

changbai
The controversial claim that says “Mount Bekdu is our land!”

Let us not comment on the silliness of South Korea claiming the whole of Changbai shan (Bekdu san in Korean) when they are not even in control of the northern part of Korea that actually has the mountain. North Korea and China are sharing the mountain, without any problems, it seems.

Robert followed up with a report of a netizens war between Chinese netizens and Korean netizens. Chinese netizens started making photoshops of the athletes with humorous changes to the signs, like “Planet Mars also belongs to us!” (Robert translated it as “Mars is our territory!”, but I think he needs a Chinese character refresher course :) ).

Mars is ours too!!!

I cruised over to MOP and found some more pictures.

sobs

This one says Koreans are big SB’s (SB is Chinese slang that means stupid and refers to a female sexual organ). Go check out MOP if you want to see some more – some are funny.

Now I will contribute my own photoshop in Chinese as an honorary Chinese netizen.

changbaishan

Points to anyone that can read that.

Posted by Matt, filed under diplomacy, finger chopping wacky. Date: February 4, 2007, 8:47 am | 40 Comments »

40 Responses

  1. pacifist Says:

    How laughable!

  2. Sonagi Says:

    Dokdo is Japanese territory. How many points did I get? Koreans need to translate the term “blowback” into the Korean language. Blowback describes perfectly the uproar over public displays of nationalism like this one.

  3. Matt Says:

    Dokdo is Japanese territory. How many points did I get?

    Lots and lots.

    Koreans need to translate the term “blowback” into the Korean language. Blowback describes perfectly the uproar over public displays of nationalism like this one.

    How about 反發 반발?

  4. hls Says:

    Some people just do not learn. So what can we expect to witness at the Beijin Olympic games?

  5. stumpjumper Says:

    Look at their smiles! It is priceless.
    You got to give it to them for being patriotic though.

  6. Durf Says:

    That Mars picture is great. I love goofy Internet battles like this.

  7. GarlicBreath Says:

    They are grinning like fools because they are heros for the republic. They are happy and will be treated well in Korea for their childish actions. Making childish claims during international sporting evenets is par for the course for Koreans. Remember when that loser Choi Seong-guk started running around during a world cup qualifier with Japan with a shirt that said “takeshima (Dukdo) is Korean”.

    Its good that China made Korea bend over and beg for forgiveness. It seems that the nations that lend a hand to Korea get it bit, and the nations that treat Korea like a dog, get more respect. Japan and the USA need to open their eyes and learn from China.

  8. thor56 Says:

    Dokdo Urinun all over the world and universe.
    http://www.yuko2ch.net/warosu/

    Enjoy.

  9. OneFreeKorea » “Koryo Is Our Land!” Says:

    […] I may have underestimated the Chinese sense of satire.  Very bad news for the Communist Party.  Humor and Communist parties have traditionally not gotten along very well.  ht:  Occidentalism. […]

  10. HanComplex Says:

    I think they’re just being misunderstood. How dare anyone think otherwise.

    When it comes to international sporting events, Koreans are the most modest and fair. Childish? No way. They would not resort to tauntingflag-waving or pompous display of nationalism at these meets. They’re too refined for that. Nor would they do something juvenile like plant a Korean flag on a pitcher’s mound during a baseball game. Also, you won’t find Korean athletes arguing over a clear offsides call in soccer, nor fall silent when an anomalous call is in their favor. Heck, even their little league baseball team recognize the Taiwan team is far superior and bow in gracious defeat. Even their Northern brethren’s women soccer team are striking paragons of femininity and never resort to violence. These are just some examples of why they set the world standard in sportsmanship and athletes of every nation, especially Japan, should learn from their virtues of modesty and fair play.

    That’s why this incident with those Korean female athletes is just a misunderstanding. They’re just not culturally, psychologically capable/predisposed of doing these terrible things they’re accused of. The nerve of some of you people here.

  11. minami562 Says:

    Dokdo is Japanese territory.
    I laughed out loud when I read that, and now my roommate thinks I need professional help. Thanks a lot.

  12. empraptor Says:

    I like some of the other ones found off a link at Marmot. Second girl from the left can stay in China but the other ugly girls should leave – something like that.

    The one on Mars is funny too.

    Maybe the girls were confused about which nation they were representing. If they were from NK, they’d be half right.

  13. learnkorean Says:

    Mt. Baekdusan is China Territory. The whole Mt. Beakdusan.
    Chairman Mo ( he was drinking toooo much tea )gave part of it away when the Great leader of NK asked for it

  14. Sonagi Says:

    It’s Changbaishan, not Baekdusan! And the real East Sea is here.

  15. myCoree Says:

    Mt. Baekdu is our territory.”
    As a Korean, I don’t know the exact meaning. When I saw the happening on TV, I was really angry of their crazy and thoughtless action. It seems to me that they demonstrated the spiritual meaning of that mountain to Koreans which is as important as Fujiyama to Japanese. That happening was a result from the recognition difference on the history of 滿州Manchu[東北, Dongbei] area. It was very childish and improper action as GarlicBreath said. But, most of Koreans blame their thoughtless and foolish act.
    As for East Sea(Sea of Japan), I am one of Koreans who don’t care about the name of the sea and don’t have much interest in it.
    As for Dokdo, this island is surely Korean territory. The more I learn about the island, the firmer I have a belief that this island surely belongs to Korea historically and internationally. When I first visited this site(Occidentalism), I was shocked at some feeling that I am very much brainwashed and deceived. But as I learned more about it, I realized that I am not so much brainwashed or deceived as most (pro-)Japanese here think about Koreans(including me). I think many Japanese are ignorant(greedy and treacherous, if not) about that island and the sea surrounding it.
    As for nationalism and racism, I have a different idea. Korea is so-called one-race country. They should keep their identity as a whole one to survive in this fierce era surrounded with four big countries. If their nationalism collapses, they will lose their uniting force and be scattered and forgotten in history. Inside Korea, there are severe regionalism(地緣), ties of blood(血緣) and school(學緣). I regard them as their own survival method. Why don’t you think it as a big form of those trends?
    Globalism! This ideology will be necessary to fight against the invading aliens from Mars. If then, will you criticize that it has the same form with Korean nationalism?

    Have a nice day.

  16. pacifist Says:

    myCoree,

    As to Dokdo, if you believe to be Korean territory, please let us know why do you think so.

    I think there is no evidence for Korea. They even didn’t know about the island. How do you prove that they knew the island?

    I’m very interested in your opinion.

  17. Sonagi Says:

    @pacifist and mycoree:

    Possession is nine-tenths of the law. The sooner Koreans realize this and STFU about Dokdo, the better.

  18. ponta Says:

    Sonagi

    Possession is nine-tenths of the law

    That is not true when the other party is protesting, and Japan has been protesting.

  19. pacifist Says:

    Sonagi,

    Posession or ownership is not identical to occupation.

    If Japan striked back and occupied the island, do Korean people recognise that Japan posessed or owned the island?

    If this theory is admitted, there will be wars everywhere in the world. China may invade Korean peninsula and Taiwan.

  20. tomato Says:

    But as I learned more about it, I realized that I am not so much brainwashed or deceived as most (pro-)Japanese here think about Koreans(including me). I think many Japanese are ignorant(greedy and treacherous, if not) about that island and the sea surrounding it.

    You’re nothing but racist calling the Japanese greedy and treacherous. You’re no better after all, myCoree. Guess Koreans can never get along with their neighbors, China and Japan.

    Now don’t start crying so the nice people here can sympathize with you…that was the lamest attitude I ever saw given that you had thrown all that nationalist nonsense out in the first place.

  21. nigelboy Says:

    I think many Japanese are ignorant(greedy and treacherous, if not) about that island and the sea surrounding it.

    I could of swore it was Korea who used military force to take the island, kidnapped/injured/killed the Japanese Fishermen, and used them as ransom.

    This is again, one of many “historical” events that they do not teach in post war Korea.

  22. Fantasy Says:

    As for nationalism and racism, I have a different idea. Korea is so-called one-race country. They should keep their identity as a whole one to survive in this fierce era surrounded with four big countries.

    MyCorée:

    That’s what us Germans thought at one time in history. You know the outcome…

  23. Fantasy Says:

    As for Dokdo, this island is surely Korean territory. The more I learn about the island, the firmer I have a belief that this island surely belongs to Korea historically and internationally.

    MyCorée:

    This may or may not be so – I do not know. But Gerry Bevers, Ponta, Tomato, Pacifist, et al. certainly have put forward arguments to the contrary. On the other hand, there are certainly also arguments in favour of the Korean claim.

    In a situation like this, is up to the ICJ (International Court of Justice, based at The Hague / Netherlands) to weigh the merits of the opposing views on this intricate question of Public International Law against one another, in order to arrive at a fair and even-handed resolution of the dispute. This process is called the RULE OF LAW.

    BTW, there was a similar dispute in the 1970s between the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and Norway, regarding the delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zones in the body of water between these countries. The dispute was resolved by an ICJ judgment. And that was the civilised way to go about it.

  24. stumpjumper Says:

    As for nationalism and racism, I have a different idea. Korea is so-called one-race country. They should keep their identity as a whole one to survive in this fierce era surrounded with four big countries.

    Wow, this is a scariest statement I have heard in a while. This kind of ideas usually lead to an end of a country.

  25. wiesunja Says:

    if you have some evidence to refute the above, please let us know

    Hi, I am Korean. I do not know what the word “evidence” or “proof” means. Is this something that is necessary to claim that Dokdo is Korean territory? We Koreans just grow up thinking that because we learned that Koreans are the master nationality and superior people on the planet, whatever we say is the absolute truth. On the other hand, foreign people are all inferior to Koreans so their opinions do not matter because they are all lies anyways. Koreans never lie, just because we are superior. Thus, if we say Dokdo is Korean territory, then it has to be true. However, Japan is always wrong so whatever they say is a lie and we Koreans do not need to listen to them. After all, having more than one opinion is such a foreign concept to us Koreans. We cannot understand how that is possible. There is only one correct view and that is the Korean one. This is what the Korean way of thinking is.

  26. stumpjumper Says:

    wiesunja:

    Nice try. Do better job next time.

  27. tomato Says:

    stumpjumper:

    Well, basically, I think wiesunja’s got the point right on.

    Now about the one-race thing, I sort of recall the Nazi slogan: “one race, one Reich, one leader”. Seems like some guys here aren’t so much amused by comparing Korean nationalism with German Nazism, but I fail to see significant disparities between the two. They’re both based on racial supremacist ideologies and trash particular races as inherently evil. Japan is clearly the scapegoat of Korean nationalists, like the Jews were with German Nazis. I would need more convincing to the contrary to believe that Korean nationalism and anti-Japan have nothing to do with racial supremacist thinking. Comments like MyCoree’s seem to basically support my doubt.

  28. Ocebey Says:

    Tomato
    Well the different part is that the Germans back then used the fact there were some germans speaking people in some part of other countries to annex these parts. They had talked about doing it and about it beeing rightfull quite before the war even started. I don’t see any koreans talking about annexing part of China, Japan or the US because there are some Koreans there.
    Also using Japan as an equivalent of the Jews is both insultive to the Jews and innacurate. There are no important enough Japanese community in Korea to make this kind of comparaison.
    Now you could compare the trashing of Japan that the Koreans do to the trashing of France that the Germans did before second world war for exemple. But the exemple you’re trying to make here is innacurate. It seems you’re just trying to make yourself seem like a victim just the way the koreans do when they compare themselves to the Jews.
    Face it… Both side have no right to use this analogy.

  29. claire Says:

    wiesunja. your sad and pathetic.

    Seems like some guys here aren’t so much amused by comparing Korean nationalism with German Nazism, but I fail to see significant disparities between the two. They’re both based on racial supremacist ideologies and trash particular races as inherently evil. Japan is clearly the scapegoat of Korean nationalists, like the Jews were with German Nazis

    now a japanese person wants to compare himself with the jews and koreans with nazis… is it just me that finds that funny?

    tomato, give it a rest. don’t you ever get tired?

  30. wiesunja Says:

    wiesunja. your sad and pathetic.

    Well, Claire..I guess the truth hurts a bit too much, doesn’t it? But then again, since you Koreans claim to be superior to any other country in Asia, or even the world, comments like mine shouldn’t really bother you, would they?

    If they did, then that might indicate an inferiority compl…oh, never mind.

  31. tomato Says:

    Oceby,

    I heard that kind of argument before. Sure, no ethnic Japanese inhabit Korea as the Jews did in Germany. I guess next you’ll argue that the Japanese are not getting extermninated. Or that the Koreans don’t use the swastika. But you’re getting too much into the details here. What I am talking about is ethnocentric ideoloigy coupled with strong hatred of other ethnic groups. Isolating Nazism in the way you do might make Germans feel immunized, but racial/ethnic/religious hatred is an ongoing problem in the world. Nazism was one of them.

    Claire, it’s not funny. It’s amazing how you disregard your kin’s ethnocentric comments and attack those who found them to be absurd.

  32. lirelou Says:

    The symbiotic relationship between modern Korean nationalism and Japanese fascism have been explored before. I cannot find one excellent article by a Korean Ph.D. on the Manchukuo state and its influence on Korean nationalism, but this piece on East Asian nationalism by a Prof. Prasenjit Duara explains his views of why Chinese and Korean nationalism differ: It can be found on the web at:

    http://www.eaps.uiuc.edu/readings/duara_nationalism.pdf

    “…formal independence allowed the Chinese state some institutional continuity that contributed to the education and institutionalization of nationalism. Two organized nationalist movements led by the KMT and the CCP … allowed nationalism to flourish particularly as a mobilizing ideology against the Japanese occupation. Thus, nation-building proceeded apace with the state-building process… Korea, which became a Japanese colony formally from 1910, lacked this institutional autonomy…. (and) while there is evidence of considerable resistance by “righteous armies” to the initial Japanese colonization of Korea during c.1905-1911, the modern nationalist movement was characterized by much ambivalence. …the enthusiastic response by youth in Korea (and Taiwan) to the military recruitment drives by the Japanese Imperial Army in the 1940s, although a complex gesture, is testimony to this ambivalence.

    The spread of nationalism in East Asia not only entails a comparative approach, but also an interconnected one because of the central role of Japanese imperialism in the first half of the 20th century. Nationalism in the region during this period was shaped both directly by Japanese imperialism and cultural influence as it was by the opposition to it. Japanese adventurers, soldiers, advisors, businessmen and teachers pursued economic, cultural and imperialistic projects in China and Korea, while Chinese and Korean students, businessmen, professionals and political exiles learnt lessons about the virtues and evils of modernity in Japan.”

  33. stumpjumper Says:

    tomato:

    Well, basically, I think wiesunja’s got the point right on.

    I usually throw straight balls, so I don’t get sarcasm sometimes. When I read wiesunja’s post, I didn’t see his name and I only saw the “I am Korean” part and it wasn’t obviously written by Korean person, so…,but honestly, I believe there is no need to aggravate each other like that to prove a point. Anyway, that is why I said “Nice try”.

  34. sakovich Says:

    I know, I know, it’s picky but instead of Dokto, those girls should call it Takeshima if they thought it was Japanese territory. All they’d have to do is change the first sign on the left to the one for Take, or bamboo.

  35. kteen Says:

    My goodness, you folks sure have a lot of time to go around degrading korea. shouldn’t you be working?
    If this whole ‘degrading korea’ thing is your work, man i feel sorry for you.

  36. ponta Says:

    If this whole ‘degrading korea’ thing is your work, man i feel sorry for you.

    If this whole “degrading Japan” thing is Korean
    work, man I feel sorry for them.

  37. MOROQ Says:


    日本人から中国人へプレゼント!
    韓国のサイトを効率よく攻撃したかったら
    田代砲を使いなさい!
    http://tasiro.e-city.tv/

  38. London Korean Links / Hallyu and nationalism stories Says:

    […] The Korean women’s speed-skating team apologize for their impromptu protest about the ownership of Mount Paektu. Follow some of the Marmot’s links for the background. There are some fun photoshops of the protest here and here […]

  39. hinomaru Says:

    Hi!
    these are very funny.
    I’d like to intorduce some of these pictures in my weblog to japanese.
    if you have any problem or comments,please leave it in my weblog.
    when there are some problem,i will delete those immedeately.
    thank you in advance.

  40. fiona_loveroy Says:

    oh c’mon guys! what’s so surprising about it?
    It’s just common knowledge now that korean think everything is invented by them or belongs to them…
    sushi is theirs, chinese medicine’s theirs, dokdo is theirs, japan’s theirs, china’s theirs, whole asia’s theirs, who america’s theirs, who europe’s theirs, whole planet’s theirs, mars’ theirs, the whole universe’s theirs….
    well, I guess we just can’t really talk sensibly with them on anything~