"Lee Myung Bak Out! Oh, and that beef too!"

Protests against the import of U.S. beef and current president Lee Myung-Bak continue these days in Gwangju. Apparently in Seoul the protests have become much more violent. The protests here so far have been very peaceful. Just some chanting, singing and candleburning. They go on most nights downtown, and they mostly seem to concern themselves with yelling about Myung-Bak.

According to a book I am reading right now, student protests are “traditional” in the spring in Korea. Which makes me wonder if this issue arose at a poor time, or if Koreans are really concerned about American beef. I still am not bothered by the protests. If Koreans want to exercise their right to freedom of speech I encourage it. I often wish I was more vocal about things I have a problem with back home.

Interestingly, we met a guy in the photo group last weekend who imports beef internationally. I thought he was joking. We asked what he thought on the issue, and he didn’t have a problem with importing beef from America. Beef in Korea is just too expensive because cattle are raised on much smaller farms.

There you go, American beef is okay, but then we read about Kroger pulling ground beef from their shelves because of an E coli outbreak. I think I am going to go vegetarian.

Anyways, we picked up the buttons above at a rally for a dollar. All pictures of American cattle have a sunflower behind one ear, unfortunately I don’t know why. Check out the video Lindsay took.


  1. Summer says:

    I was thinking of you both a couple of weeks ago. I had coffee with one of my Korean friends, and he and I had a wonderful discussion about Korean politics. He was explaining about why protest is so important to Koreans (who were subjects to their rulers, to the Japanese, to the Americans, etc.). He also discussed the significant generation gap between young Koreans and their elders. I asked him about the beef issue, and he gave me loads of info. Most importantly, he believes Korean outrage has more to do with the new president’s leadership style and the Korean refusal to be subjugated than with actual concern over American beef–not that there isn’t also some worry over its safety in addition to this frustration.


  2. Jimmy says:

    Whit – are we going to do our vegetarian challenge again?


Comments are closed.