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The Korea Liberator splits

October 18th, 2006 . by Matt

korea liberator

The three members of The Korea Liberator, James, Joshua, and Richardson have decided on a friendly parting of ways, citing differences of opinion regarding the focus of the blog. All three will continue to blog at their own, individual blogs.

James at NoVaPolitics.

Joshua at OneFreeKorea.

Richardson at DPRK Studies.

I will continue to enjoy their writings individually.

11 Responses to “The Korea Liberator splits”

  1. comment number 1 by: KidfromOhio

    Am I the only one that find it hilarious that there was a division on a site with a banner about….. unification? lol.

  2. comment number 2 by: Richardson

    If one has a superficial understanding of Korea, that might be true; but it would only be perceived irony based on ignorance.

  3. comment number 3 by: ponta

    There has been a fundamental shift in Asia, in that in a post-Cold War world — where our interests are not driven by desire to confront the Soviet Union, a post-9/11 world in which our priorities and passions are more heavily invested in the Middle East — you can make case that our investment in Asia has declined. Thus, only the countries that have close alliances with the United States are those that have made a decision that an alliance with the United States is in their interests, and have courted us accordingly. The countries that have done this are Japan, Australia, and Singapore.

    Interview: L. Gordon Flake, Executive Director, Mansfield Foundation
    I think this point is very important in understanding the US policy.

  4. comment number 4 by: Gerry-Bevers

    Good grief, Richardson. The division on your site is somewhat ironic, and such perception has nothing to do with one’s depth of understanding of Korea.

    By the way, I question your depth of understanding if you think that “Dokdo” is historically Korean territory and that it is better to continue the US-ROK military alliance than end it.

  5. comment number 5 by: Richardson

    The division of the site had a lot more to do with the volume of posting that we often saw (as in 10+ post per day) than anything else. An amicable split with continued close association vs. split by war makes the ‘irony’ entirely specious. I thought that was obvious, but guess not. I didn’t agree fully with the wording in the last post, but as James is co-blogging at my site, that only adds to the incompatibility of the earlier comparison.

    As I wrote in the post, The Coming East Asian Arms Race, and the longer version at ATol, South Korea Must Choose Sides, I believe it would be a monumental mistake for USFK to be either withdrawn or significantly reduced. Now that North Korea has gone ‘nucular,’ this is truer than ever. Such an arms race could erase the relative regional stability that the U.S. presence has perpetuated for the past six decades, which is undeniably counter to U.S. interests. It’s the result of inept, shortsighted analysis.

    As far as Dokdo, well I have to question your objectivity, motives, and what appears to be obsession. It makes me wonder about omissions that don’t favor your position. Nothing I’ve read so far has changed my mind. But in the end, I don’t really care enough about it to take your bait and go into more detail on Dokdo; I recognize a waste of time when I see one, and I avoid it.

  6. comment number 6 by: Gerry-Bevers


    I can understand your desire to become a regional expert on Asia or North Korea, but I think your arrogance will be an obstacle to your achieving that. Instead of pretending you know what your talking about, I suggest you learn to ask more questions and pay attention to the answers you get. I have been told that being a good listener is the key to success.

    I am not a good listener or an expert at anything, but I am pretty good at spotting a fake. You are probably still a young man, Richardson, so give yourself five or ten more years before you start acting as if you know what you are talking about.

    My reference to “Dokdo” was not bait for a debate, not only because I have grown tired of that debate, but also because I doubt I would learn very much by debating you on that issue. No, my reference to “Dokdo” was bait to get you to reconfirm what I already knew about you, which is that you have a tendency for arrogant pretense.

    I think you are smarter than I am, Richardson, and I like what you write, but I do not like your arrogant tone.

    By the way, I do not want to turn this into a debate. I have said what I wanted to say, so feel free to defend yourself if you want to or say what you want about me, then let’s forget about it.

  7. comment number 7 by: Richardson

    There is more than a tad of hypocrisy in such advice coming from you, Gerry.

    If you think I’m wrong about the arms race scenario, follow the link to the post and debate it rather than falling back on a logical fallacy (attaching authority rather than the fundamentals of the premise).

    You’ve dropped the Dokdo reference to me on a few occasions. I’d call it baiting.

    There is a difference between a matter-of-fact tone and arrogance.

  8. comment number 8 by: Gerry-Bevers


    Korea does not provoke countries she fears, which means she does not fear Japan. Korea is only using Japan as a kind of straw man, which she stands up and then knocks down with great bluster in an attempt to try to bluff the countries she does fear. For example, did Korea really need to send an armada out to defend “Dokdo”?

    If the US military left South Korea, Korea would not go nuclear because both the US and China would be against it, but especially because China would be against it. South Korea fears China, and if South Korea went nuclear without Japan going nuclear, China would obviously assume that South Korea would be pointing her nuclear weapons at her. So, as long as Japan does not go nuclear, South Korea would not be able to go nuclear, either. And Japan would have no excuse to go nuclear as long as the US was there.

    By the way, if the US left the Korean peninsula, China would probably put even more pressure of North Korea to give up her nukes since she would not want to give South Korea any excuse to get some of her own. In fact, the US could negotiate with North Korea to pull her forces off the peninsula if North Korea verifiably gave up her nukes, and China would be a good country to put in charge of that verification since it is unlikely the North Koreans would dare to kick the Chinese out.

    That is my argument against your arms race scenario.


  9. comment number 9 by: ponta

    Can I ask a question ?. I have read your articles you mentioned above, they are impressive and well written.
    As a Japanese , I have no interest in whether USFK leave Korea or not.
    (my opinion is strategically Japan should not count on South Korea as a buffer region too much , with or without USFK) But I am curious.

    I can see the Korea’s interest in having USFK remain in Korea, but I find it a bit hard to understand the US interest.
    Is it that the US does not want Japan and Korea to go nuclear so that the U.S. can hold the hegemony? ( my opinion is that Japan will not go nuclear unless the US troop withdraw from Japan completely.)
    Or is it that Korea’s security has somehow impact on the stability around Korea and the instability somehow has impact on the US economy?

    I understand the US policy in international relation swings from Hamiltonian to Jeffersonian, from Wilsonian to Jacksonian, but that does not
    help me understand the US intention in this particular case.
    I’d be happy if you could be of help.

  10. comment number 10 by: Richardson

    The Coming East Asian Arms RaceTry this;

    For Americans, the notions that a withdraw is a deserved payback for the rampant anti-Americanism in South Korea, or that the few billion we spend on defense there is a catastrophic waste, need to be discarded. The potential cost of a war would be far greater in both American lives and in dollars, the benefits of continued peace immeasurable.

  11. comment number 11 by: ponta

    Though I think Japan should not count on South Korea as a buffer region too much, I for one think that it might be better for Japan that UFSK remain in Korea despite the suggestion that Korea might get closer to Japan if UFSK leave Korea: yes the suggestion is a possible scenario but , come to think of it, it might be also possible that due to Korean hatred against Japan, she might get closer to China.

    Yes I have read the article, it was interesting. But there are some parts that I don’t think I understand .

    The potential cost of a war would be far greater in both American lives and in dollars, the benefits of continued peace immeasurable.

    Here do you mean the war between South Korea and North Korea? (Correct me if I am wrong. )
    Let’s suppose it is the war between South and North.
    Now the world is hoping that China will pressure North Korea, some hope that China get North Korea under her control because that is much better than KJI regime, and if successful, there is lower possibility of the war, which will decrease the need for the US to stay there.

    Still, it is possible the war might take place for some reason..
    Yes the cost would immeasurable if the U.S. is as committed as she was in Korean War.
    As I see it , the more the US is committed, the more the cost will be for the US.
    US will be somehow intervene but this time I don’t think the US is committed as much as she was.

    With the war time control transferred to South Korea, there will be little the US can do.(O’Hanlon is a senior fellow in foreign policy studies is arguing , in essence, that the control should not be transferred to South Korea because dividing commands make it impossible to work effectively. On the other side of coin, if the US approved the transfer of the wartime control, knowing this situation, it is likely that the US is not committed as much as this author is talking)
    In case of the tragic event, it is likely that South Korean ground force, not the US troop, enter into North Korea, because North Korean people are so brainwashed to hate Americans that American appearing in the North will make the situation worse.(I think I have read this argument in an interview with an American expert probably in a blog somewhere) Besides, there might be oppositoin among Americans to let American young men land in North Korea.
    And of course there is Iraqi on which the US should be spending more.

    I might be wrong about the calculation of cost-benifit for the US.
    .I’d be happy if you would provide your insight