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June 2, 2008 Permalink

South Korean Protests over U.S. Beef

South Korea now says it will delay resumption of U.S. beef imports, after its earlier announcement last Thursday that it was ready to resume those imports. Agriculture Ministry spokesman Kim Hyun-soo says his ministry decided to delay a final step, but did not elaborate, or make any reference to the past weekend's protests. (11 photos total)

South Korean protesters struggle with riot police as they march to the presidential house during a rally against US beef imports in Seoul on June 1, 2008. (AFP PHOTO/JUNG YEON-JE)
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112 comments so far...

I love this idea. I hate seeing a great picture in a newspaper or news website and having to squint to make out all the details.

Posted by Jeremy June 2, 08 03:49 PM

Yeah this is pretty awesome. I love the pics.

Posted by Bill June 2, 08 06:50 PM

See what lengths people will go to, to get their daily dose of beef :)

Posted by gcm June 3, 08 06:30 AM

You shouldn't jump to conclusions like that.
Not everyone is a animal-loving carnivore.
South Korea to Delay Resumption of US Beef Imports
They're afraid of mad-cow disease,
Thus DO NOT want US Beef.
They're protesting AGAINST imported beef.

Posted by Steve June 3, 08 08:42 AM

Great site! This is now going to be a daily visit!

Posted by bmb June 4, 08 09:26 PM

love the pics, their police don't play!

Posted by Robin June 5, 08 11:03 AM

heh, all they're worried about is mad cow? One mad cow case in our entire country's history of extreme beef consumption.... wow why are they so worried about it?

Posted by matt June 5, 08 12:34 PM

Good God these people are insane. Must be all that mad cow disease we gave them.

Posted by Dana June 5, 08 01:01 PM

The importation of US Beef is damaging their internal production, many farmers are going bankrupt. That's why they are protesting.

Posted by Vitor June 5, 08 01:45 PM

Wait, what? Have they never heard of Supply and Demand? Wouldn't the easier choice be to simply not purchase Imported Beef?

Tens of Thousands don't want US Beef.
Tens of thousands don't buy US Beef.
US Beef rots.
Suppliers no longer buy US Beef.

Why yes, that DOES sound better than a water cannon to the face.

Posted by Quatto June 5, 08 03:12 PM

Tens of thousands protesting, yet millions are still unaware of the problem, or, even aware, have to buy whatever is cheaper. If US Beef is cheaper than what is produced there, people, in general, will buy it. I don't know if you guys perceive that people with little money don't have much choice.

It' s amazing how in South Korea so many people sometimes go out on the streets protesting. It's much more frequent than most places. A lesson to many countries, wich unfortunately are plunged in apathy.

Posted by Vitor June 5, 08 04:47 PM

The current protests in South Korea against US beef are not just because of mad cow diease. It's more than that; against the current president Lee. He just started his term this Feb. However, his policies made many troubles with the people. Some candidates for the cabinet had problems in their integrity. President Lee also was heavily attacked due to his low integrity.

Actually, the direct reason of this protest is the negotiation regarding the resume of US beef import, which suspended during a couple of years due to mad cow diease. However, South Korea government allowed US to export all types of beef without restrictions. For example, cow whose age is more than 30 months could be imported, these cows are known to be susceptible to mad cow diease. So, many people got angry about that; they believe the government failed to protect people's health. However, it's also true US demanded so stubbornly.

It's not just because of the US beef. It's against South Korea President and USA. Well, many young people in South Korea believe that US is so arrogant. That's another reason, too. There are quite complex reasons for the current protests.

Posted by Jean June 5, 08 06:33 PM

@Jean, I agree that "many young people in South Korea," although not just young people, "believe that US is so arrogant." But this protest has little to do with US. There has been and will be tons of anti-US activity in South Korea, but as I have attended this anti-Mad Cow protest for several days, I never heard a single voice against US itself. People are simply there to "catch mouse(a nickname for our president)."

In some sense, Lee is great. He's like the only guy who can bring up such immense national unification in less than 100 days in power. :D

Posted by Anonymous June 5, 08 09:00 PM

All this show for a disease that "might" come here and no protest for the bird flu virus (A.I.) that is rampant on the peninsula, including Seoul!!!!! To date, bird flu virus has killed 230 people worldwide, while mad cow disease has killed 200. Even the odds are staggering, there were 3 cases of mad cow amongst the 100 million cows produced for meat in the U.S. I have lived in Korea for 7 years and it is clear that most of the protestors are uninformed and this is simply a knee-jerk reaction.
They are more concerned about their relatives who are still farming the same way they did 50 years ago and are losing to better equipped and more modern American farming methods. It is the reverse of the auto industry where Korea is a clear winner and America is a clear loser. No one protests that situation!?!?!

Posted by PJ June 5, 08 11:44 PM

Koreans in general like to protest just about everything!!!! I lived there for 18 months and there was a protest of some form or another on a WEEKLY basis.

Koreans in general are protectionist and nationilist!! Whether it be the technology that drives their economy to the food they put in their stomach they want control of ALL of it.

The price of beef in Korea is by far the highest of all OECD countries and most Korean farrmers want it to stay that way. The Korean media has to be most to blame for this. Story after story sites that Koreans will get mad cow disease if they eat US beef and die if they sleep with a fan on etc......

For such a developed country a majority of people are very simple minded and short sighted and could care less about the rest of the world.

These protests over a luxury food are taking place less than 100 miles from where potentially millions are starving to death.

We as Americans should be downright angry about this. Our government signed a totally lopsided Free Trade Agreement with Korea in which Korea benefits far more than we do (this has yet to be ratified). One stipulation was to resume beef imports and now that this has occured we can see the true intentions of the average Korean. This is happening while the quality of life and employment of the average American isdiminished by such lopsided trade deals. Samsung, LG, Hyundai, KIA, to name a few benefit while our farmers and our industries get the shaft.

In all fairness Korea has only been truly democratic for the last 20-30 years and has only really been open in any kind of significant way to foreigners in general since 1988. Many eople still have that fire in their blood to fight for things.

I just wish they would act more like the capitilists they claim to be and chose not to eat the beef if they don't want it. It worked for them with Walmart and Carrefour (both foreign retailers that came to Korea and failed).

This whole protest is just supid and senseless.

Posted by Joseph Y. June 8, 08 10:13 PM

This whole protest is just supid and senseless.
-joseph y.

joseph living in korea for 18months does not really make u a korean person nor someone who fully understands korea..and ur above comment obviously tells us so.

please refer to jean's comments and please, re-consider ur thougths about US govt signing a "lopsided" treaty...US never ever does that. Not saying Koreans are not stubborn and nationalistic at times (yes they are), but your comment is just...uncalled for.

In general, it's not a good idea to say something or anything is stupid and senseless. That was a very insensitive comment. Please update your knowledge in current events and consider both sides of the arguments at all times.

Posted by Yvette June 9, 08 06:06 PM


The chance of a Korean person dying from Mad Cow Disease from US imported beef is extremely low. Really. A Korean probably has a higher chance of dying from a car accident or getting struck by lightning.

Whether or not the people participating in these demonstrations realize it or not, this is more about politics than common sense. While I will agree that President Lee did not think this through and assumed that the public will be okay with lifting the ban, the level of quasi-science coming out from the anti-US beef faction is senseless.

Posted by Chris June 9, 08 07:06 PM

I appreciate your comments and I am sorry to offend you personally. I certainly don't want to come across like someone who thinks they know everything about Korea.

I do feel it is stupid and senseless to require your young men who are in their 2 year required public service to fight with the public they are supposed to be serving. All over an issue that could easily be confronted and solved by using both brains and wallets. Not water cannons and fire.

While I do admire the fire and willingness to protest unjust issues. I cannot understand this one. Or the protest by Taxi drivers a few years back who claimed that shutting their headlights off while stopped allowed them to preserve their car batteries. Or the protest by mothers against the use of seatbelts and car seats for their children, or etc.....

You know that there are people tin Korea who just protest because they have no lives and nothing better to do. As is the case in most countries. I do think it is more prevelant in Korea. This is consistantly mocked in Korean cinema.

I am too apathetic and beleive too much in free markets to do little more than type this blog and attempt to be aware of what is happening in this world and spend my money accordingly. I admire the average Korean for getting out there to fight. I just wish they would fight for causes that are just and based on fact and science and not on preserving a protectionist economy that supports xynophobic old world ideas at the expense of their own well being.

I wish more American's would be willing to take a water cannon in the face to fight for causes. In fact I wish a group of Americans would take so much pride in their American made products and their American way of life to protest the Korea USA Free Trade Agreement and other such lopsided FTA's that have diminshed the quality of life in this country.

However, I think most people here realize that choice, and the ability to have access to the best goods and the higher quality that open markets create, is a far superior reward than an arrest record, a bloody nose, and a plate of overpriced Korean beef.

Peace out!!

Posted by Joseph Y June 9, 08 08:39 PM

It appears there a lot of issues at play here...combining together in these rather unusual and large demonstrations:

1. Genuine concern over contracting Mad cow Disease. Remedy is to stop eating need to's a persoanl choice

2. Korean character appears to need someone to hate. Go ahead, find your issue and hate us all you like. Today it's the beef, yesterday it was the war in Iraq, tomorrow it will be something else. i feel sorry for you. Strong indicator of an intellectually bankrupt society.

Posted by Brian June 10, 08 01:41 AM

all those will the truck in the inside get out?

Posted by rudy June 10, 08 01:17 PM

"For such a developed country a majority of people are very simple minded and short sighted and could care less about the rest of the world. "

- Joseph Y.

I've lived in both countries, and I think that describes the U.S. better than it does South Korea.

Posted by Firecracker George June 10, 08 05:13 PM

Isn't it time for the US to get out of this country. If an economic powerhouse like S. Korea needs protection from a neighboring third world nation of millions of starving people, than it obvious that it is not allocating it tremendous resources correctly. I think most Americans can figure out this has very little to do with Mad Cow disease (not sure what the average Korean actually believes so i won't speculate). More people will likely die in the riots than could ever contract a disease that has been found in 0.0000003% of US cows. I know for sure that more Americans will die in Korean KIA's and Hydunai's than Koreans will ever even get a sniffle from a mad cow.
And one thing America has learned, the hard way many times is that protectionism and fear of change never work. Eat the beef or not, its a personal choice, as is my choice to buy a LG washer or not.

Posted by Matt June 10, 08 06:41 PM

Good post Matt.

I have been living here in South Korea since 1996. What you have to understand here is that these types of protests are the norm here. They never have protested about the Iraq war though, or about the actions of the U.S. that don't involve Korea.

The Koreans will tell you that this is not about the U.S. but is about their own governments policy. This is simply hogwash. This is all about the U.S. and the new FTA.

As a Canadian who has seen it's share of protectionist measures from the U.S. (yes, the U.S. has its own problems with protectionist programs) and can sure tell you that the protests are from a group of people who don't have a clue as to what is going on.

As Koreans can have a choice as to which beef they can buy (don't worry, they do have choice as there's New Zealand and Australian beef here) you too can have a choice as to which car, mobile phone, computer or thousands of other products to buy. Just don't buy anything made in Korea, as Korea is a country that makes a deal and then wants to roll the rice twice. If you take a look at history you will quickly learn how Korea deals with trade issues.

120 years ago, Korea entered into a trade deal with Japan, but soon after, Korea rejected the deal saying that Korea was somehow forced into it. A few years later, Japan annaxed (invaded) Korea.

Guys, do the the world a favor and stop buying anything Korea. Much of what Korea makes can made in China and if you are looking for better quality, Japanese products are among the best.

As a side note, I would never eat American beef if given a choice. It's usually not the best and I personally don't trust it. Not so much because of BSE but because the overall state of the industry.

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch June 11, 08 12:46 AM

Everyone. I am a Korean middle school student. I have been watching the protests in the news. However, our nation's president is making us do protests.
Once, he has said that Koreans eat pufffish, which are actually poisonous. Koreans can live after eating US beef you know.
This was the actual start of the rally. Say that president Bush of the US said this.
"We should go to the Iraqi war because more people die from car accidents anyway"
However, as a Korean, I think that this is just embarassing.
If you have any questions, please send an email to

Posted by hjlee June 12, 08 06:33 AM

No to US beef? Tell the guy wearing the NY Yankees cap!!! Silly Chinese.

Posted by JackMac June 12, 08 12:09 PM

I was born in Korea and I moved to the U.S. when I was 10 yrs old (I am now 28yrs old). I've lived in both countries, visited frequently, and I believe I understand both cultures fairly well.
My take is: if the Korean people want to protest, let them. If they are angry at the government, so be it. Are we witnessing some sort of ethnic cleansing? Gross violation of human rights? Should the rest of the world care and intervene? Should other countries protest on their behalf? Clearly no. Also, should Americans be angry that Koreans do not want Amerian beef? Do American's want Korean cars? Perhaps Hyundais and Kias have improved their reputation and market share, but again that is just simply the capitalist market working within the American soil. Right? Do you honest believe that the Korean people still will not buy American beef when they realize it is safe (and they will realize in due time)? If it is cheaper and better, I am fairly confident it will sell - cars or beef.
Also, people always get upset at protectionist policies - why is that? Every country, just like everyone, wants the best deal for themselves. Of course, Korea will want to keep THEIR farmers happy. Of course, US wants to sell more of their beef. It's natural. We want our government to give us, the people, the best end of the deal.

Posted by BK June 12, 08 12:25 PM

eh les mecs sortez de votre pays, il y a une (vraie) vie en dehors des USA.

Posted by Spinoza June 12, 08 12:40 PM


These anti-American mob scenes are frequent in Korea. They use us, depend on us for their economic survival, but refuse to reciprocate for the exports they flood us with. They will not import US goods without 30% and higher tarrifs.

They hate America while they use us.

The demonstrations are based, as always on deliberate lies about the US. In this case, they have spread rumors that the US wants to export beef Americans won't eat themselves. That's a lie. The rumors that the beef is unsafe are also based on deliberate misrepresentations.


Posted by Mizarfive June 12, 08 01:51 PM

Another KUDO for an incredible site! Great content and amazing photos!

Posted by Bob Earl June 12, 08 02:12 PM

The tomato scare in the United States goes to show that people can quickly become fanatical about their food sources. People were willing to dump Florida's and Mexico's millions of dollars worth of tomatoes as unsafe. Are the Koreans any different? It's interesting to see their democracy at work. I trust the issues will be resolved soon with the U.S. beef industry impressing the Koreans with the safety of it's beef supply. It is safe to consume U.S. beef.

Posted by Adrian Soto June 12, 08 04:05 PM

To: Post #28,


Posted by James Whitten June 13, 08 10:30 AM

To Post 28 and 31, count me in.

I already changed my mind buying a SAMSUNG LCD HDTV for Fathers day.

I can understand why this happens. Koreans I know (about 20) are more selfish than Americans and don't treat others equally. They take advantage on every opportunity.

Posted by Poor American June 13, 08 04:32 PM

Where will Koreans get beef that is safer than USA beef is from mad cow? England perhaps? Oh sorry, no, mad cow started there. Canada? Oh no, sorry, they have had more instances than USA. Europe? Same problem. Does Korea have heaps o' cowboys runnin cattle on big ol' spreads? Uh no, sorry Korea really doesn't even have a beef industry to speak of .

Posted by Dong June 14, 08 02:26 AM

To Post 28, 31, and 32. count me in.

I boycott Korea when the products are crappy and not worth buying at its price.
... Just like I boycott GM cars.

Posted by Harry June 14, 08 05:27 AM

I'm an American who has lived in Korea for 15 years. Although I worry about the impact of the KORUS FTA in the field of health care, I was really looking forward to its impact in the supermarkets. In one respect, the man to blame for all this is Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), who is the guy who told Korea that unless it resumed unrestricted US beef imports, the FTA was dead. I agree with Baucus in the sentiment, but expressing as an ultimatum gave the anti-FTA forces in Korea a simple way to scuttle the agreement, not to mention plenty of ammunition for the argument that Korea was intimidated into agreement by the big bad Americans. Just stop beef imports and the FTA is dead. They have skillfully exploited the opportunity. By the way, anyone who thinks this protest is spontaneous is crazy. This is a well financed and professionally run campaign, presumably by the industries that will be most impacted by the FTA. I agree wholeheartedly, however, that Americans should BOYCOTT KOREAn products, especially automobiles and most definitely any food products, until restrictions on beef imports are lifted.

Posted by hanguk June 14, 08 10:13 PM

I'm not an American, actually I'm Australian, so the boycott of US beef actually is good for the Australian beef industry. Also I'm married to a Korean and have lived in Korea for a number of years.
To the American public, what I can say is this. The problem with the US Korea relationship is that the US is actually TOO nice to Korea. They literally spit in your faces, whilst the US tries to accommodate these people. As an ally, Korea is a low quality ally. Allies help each other out, as seen in the relationship between the US and Australia/Britain/Canada for the past 50 years. Korea is a sponge, all they do is take, take and take, offering virtually nothing in return. Their Iraq contribution is pathetic.
The FTA is good for them, not good for the US (facing huge trade defecits). The US needs reliable trustworthy allies and trade partners . Korea is not one of them.
Those who say the issue is not about being anti- American are liars. They lie because they want to continue to see Korea riding the US gravy train.
Rather than give jobs to Koreans, the US needs those jobs for its own citizens. Rather than subsidizing Korea, the US needs that money for its own schools, and hospitals.
I have many American friends, and don't like to see Americans being Shafted (Taking it up the rear), by a bunch of ungrateful, racist, fools.

Posted by Joe Peters June 14, 08 11:46 PM

Just because a guy is wearing a NY cap doesn't mean a thing. Could be his favorite team, and it could be because there's Korean on that team. Also, it's a Korean at a Korean protest, not a Chinese person.

As for the Korean middle school student, please express your freedom; you can eat whatever food you want. Your president doesn't tell people what to eat. Puff fish
º¹°í is a fine dish. I eat it all the time and if it wasn't for this fine dish I probably would have left Korea many years ago.

Most of the foreigners here in Korea have the same opinion of the guy from Australia who is married to a Korean. I'm sure the U.S. can find a better friend.

Posted by Anonymous June 15, 08 08:39 AM

Don't want our beef, than keep your cars (Kia,Hyundai) at home!

Posted by Mike June 15, 08 09:09 AM

I resided in South Korea, for several years. Demonstrations in South Korea, have little if anything, to do with American beef imports. South Koreans are GREEDY. South Koreans want to export, but not import. If United States Government officials had any common sense, they would place high tariffs on South Korean imports. Over the years, the United States Government has pampered the South Koreans by agreeing to anything the South Koreans demanded. South Koreans are simply, greedy, spoliled, pampered, individuals. I'm convinced, Senator Obama's Administration isn't going to pamper the South Koreans.

Posted by Pointman June 16, 08 11:26 PM

I agree with Mike. But, Iwould also place high tariffs on all, South Korean imports to the United States.

Posted by pointman June 16, 08 11:34 PM

Joe Peters has it right. South Koreans spit in the face of Americans and Americans keep giving. As one South Korean intelligent agent put it, The United States, is being "taken to the cleaners" in South Korea.

Posted by pointman June 16, 08 11:39 PM

exporting to other countries/markets is an entitlement for koreans. not only consumer electronics and cars, but also culture. but being told/scolded that they should import is treated like an attack on their sovereignty or disrespecting them. commercial transactions are rarely seen in the context of win-win, they are always seen as zero-sum -- and anything short of shafting the other side is seen as weakness. some will say that koreans just love their own stuff and choose not to buy imported goods, but that can't be put to the test until the BS non-trade barriers are removed. even so, eventually citizens in other countries/markets who see their jobs disappearing while koreans protest against perceived bullying will want action. the samsung and LG empires (as well as the large numbers of koreans working at their suppliers) won't be too happy if their numerous producds become part of the response against visible korean trade practices and protests.

Posted by bill buckner June 17, 08 04:34 AM

The protests have died down here in Korea for the time being.

It's not the right thing for the U.S. to add extra taxes on Korean products just because of how Korea and Koreans act. The best thing to do is just stop buying Korean products. When Koreans start to lose jobs (they have being losing them to China) because Americans choose to buy better made Japanese cars, and other products that can be made in China, then I'm sure they will have no problems eating American beef.

I'm not one who would through my support behind U.S. trade policy, but what has been going on is we are really now seeing the true double face of the Korean people.

I was here when the U.S. Army accidently killed two teenage girls on a narrow road with a moble bridge and the protest were even worse. I'm not placing blame, but you would think that anyone in their right minds would move to the side of the road as any sane person could easily hear and feel the vibrations of such a device rolling down the road. Anyway, the two America soldiers were aquitted which led to more protests and my car was vandalized twice. I'm not in the military and I'm not American.

When I leave here, I will avoid buying anything Korean.

And a further note: My Korean wife who is a Korean government worker was given a memo back during the IMF crisis advising workers not to eat at American restaurants as these places have to pay royalties to the U.S. This act is actually illegal. Governments are not allowed to encourage its people from buying products that are imported or operate legally. Also at the time, Korean teachers were telling their students not to buy Japanese pencils. The Korean Teacher's Union is one of the main groups that are behind the beef protests.

The more you know about Korea, the more you just want to ignore this place.

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch June 17, 08 05:22 AM

There are a lot of opinions out there, but the truth is elusive. I think the problem is that what we see in the press, usually isn't the belief of the majority, just a few squeakers. As far as protesters go, I'm sure that they don't all have the same opinions (about beef, US, etc.) and many are just looking for something to do. It's good to see that the Koreans can protest without fear of retribution.

The US can use some protectionism of its own, before our experienced people and industries are gone or else there may be a severe unemployment spiral coming. Competing countries have a history of dumping cheap goods on us until our industry is gone (Japanese steel for one) and then jacking the price. Without enough real jobs, things will get nasty in the US.

Posted by Concerned June 18, 08 09:26 AM

I see everyone has there own opinion on this but seeing every paper saying "korean protesters scuffle with police". Look their doing peacefull candle light vigils. Know what enough talk just watch....

Korean president

Posted by Jon June 18, 08 07:36 PM

I'm a Korean-American and I find these protests retarded, idiotic, pathetic, moronic, and embarrassing, and I think that it's sad that a country like Korea, with the level of scientific, technological, and economic wealth that it has, nonetheless has a populace many of whose members are falling for this mindless hysteria.

It makes me angry that they are doing this when there is no reason to worry about the safety of US beef.

In fact, the anger and frustration I feel with news like this are not easy to describe in words here.

Posted by The_Incredible_HUK June 19, 08 09:33 AM

Yvette: so WHAT is it that people who have lived a short time in Korea who are not Korean don't fully understand Korea? Please tell us. I'm not being sarcastic - my native Korean friends tell me this all the time even as they never have any refutation for any of the fact-based arguments I give them when I criticize certain actions by people in Korea. And when I ask them what I don't understand, they won't tell me.

Posted by The_Incredible_HUK June 19, 08 10:26 AM

Yvette: so WHAT is it that people who have lived a short time in Korea who are not Korean don't fully understand Korea? Please tell us. I'm not being sarcastic - my native Korean friends tell me this all the time even as they never have any refutation for any of the fact-based arguments I give them when I criticize certain actions by people in Korea. And when I ask them what I don't understand, they won't tell me.

I get this all the time. If i say something about Korea to Koreans, I am told that I don't understand korea. There is some truth to this, but I really think that those who are outside of the box just see things differently, however, from my experience and knowing what I know about Korean education, Koreans rarely think and debate about things. Go to a university here and see how much debate goes on. Here, you listen and comply, and from a young age, young children are told from their teachers that Korea is something special and those who are not Korean will never understand Korea. Kind of true cus I really can never understand this place though I do know it very well.

Look back to 2002 Salt Lake when a Korean skater was disqualified. To the Koreans, it was rig by the Americans, but the Korean skater made a mistake at not one Korean actually knows the rules of the event. they just see it as something completely unfair.

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch June 19, 08 11:29 AM

Nicholas, Koreans from Korea (those who are raised there as opposed to those who leave for other countries at early ages) grow up in a system which teaches history and an outlook of the world in a very simplistic manner: them vs. us. It makes sense given Korean society's history of racial and cultural homogeneity. This happened in Japan too.

But a consequence of this is that Koreans learn that Korea was a victim, and while Koreans WERE victimized on a number of occasions, Koreans nonetheless end up thinking that Koreans are always being victimized when any "outsider" criticizes them.

Posted by The_Incredible_HUK June 19, 08 02:30 PM

Why don't we just get the hell outta there? Oh, and get our military out of there too - DMZ & all. Perhaps at that point, there will be something to bitch about as dear Brother #1 up north confirms a unification ceremony upon South Korea... Up for that?

Posted by CCRider June 21, 08 02:35 PM

Now going a little off topic here, a unified Korea will be a big problem for the stabalization of Asia. Remember that Asia owns much of the U.S. debt, and a stronger Korea with an axe to grind would cause problems for the U.S. China would love to have more power and Japan will fel threatened which will change Japan's military policy.

The U.S. military is in South Korea for the interests of Americans.

I do however agee with you, but can you imagine what would really happen?

Anyway, the time is not right for the U.S. to talk tough on Korea and the North, as Iraq is not yet settled and then there's Iran.

Posted by Anonymous June 22, 08 02:11 AM

American eat the cattle under 24month olds. Because the cattle over 30month olds has the high risk of BSE(mad cow ). if the Korea goverment import the cattle under 24month olds, Korean don't be angry like this. The problem is that the Korea governmnet import all the parts included Specified Risk Materials of BSE .
That is why.... Korean is so angry like that. Do you think American cattle is safe??

OTTAWA, June 23, 2008 - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a cow in the Province of British Columbia.

I know that if we feed Canadian cattle for 100 days, the cattle become American Cattle . Are you safe???

Posted by seung June 24, 08 06:18 AM

Do you know why the Korean, we are so angry????
IF you want to know the reason, please study about BSE.

the cattle under 24month olds distribute all over USA. The cattle under 24month old is safe from BSE.

But The KOrean government will import the us beef over 30month olds and Materials (SRMs) include the brain, skull, eyes trigeminal ganglia, spinal cord, vertebral column (excluding the vertebrae of the tail, the transverse processes of the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, and the wings of the sacrum) .

If the KOrean government import US beef under 24 month olds, we will welcome it and eat.

I want to know....
Do you know if you feed Canadian cattle for 100 days in USA, the cattle become US BEEF!!!

OTTAWA, June 23, 2008 - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a cow in the Province of British Columbia.

Posted by seung June 24, 08 06:50 AM

this is so not about beef...

Posted by Anonymous June 25, 08 12:00 AM

¼º, are you saying that Americans do not eat beef that comes from cows older than 24 months? Do you have any proof? As far as i know beef from younger cows is more expensive, and beef from older cows is more expensive.

True, American farmers buy cows from the U.S. and can feed them for 100 days, and the U.S. marks it as "U.S. beef".

Canada inspects 1 out of 110 cattle for BSE. I don't know the numbers in the U.S. but I can tell you this, and wait for it; Japan has found 26 case of BSE because they test every cow that is slaughtered, whereas in Korea, not one case of BSE has been found. Do you know why? It's because Korea until just a couple of months ago has never, ever tested any of their Korean cows for BSE!

You are also wrong here about Korean's welcoming U.S. beef from cows younger than 24 months. I live here in Korea and read the papers every day. U,S, beef producers said that they will export younger beef, if that is what the Koreans want. Sure, the U.S. farmers would like to export the younger beef because it is cheaper, but Americans are fairly smart people; they will sell what their customers want.

It turns out, as usual, Koreans are very anti-American and eat up the myths that are spread by a few and obsorbed by the masses.

Do you rememer back a few years ago about the ¸¸µÎ (won-ton) scare? Reports of factories using bad food to make them, and one factory own killed himself because of it but not one person was made sick. Many people lost money, yet not one protest. Korea has not had one person sick by BSE, and look at the protests. The Korean army has persons shot and killed by their superiors, and no protests. A Korean army vehicle runs over a woman and kills her in Incheon, and no protests, but when two Korean middle school girls are accidently killed by a U.S. Army vehicle, Koreans protest. The world has become tired of this.

Korea has become known as a country of whiny babies.

Next patient please.

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch June 25, 08 04:42 AM

Some facts to dispel the garbage that we hear from some of the Koreans. When a Korean says that Americans don't eat beef from older cows, the ignorance causes my hair to stand on end.

June 12, 2008
Do Americans eat U.S. beef?

You bet. Ninety-five percent of the beef that is consumed in the United States is U.S. beef. We eat U.S beef and we eat it a lot.
Is the U.S. beef exported to Korea different from the beef that is consumed domestically in the United States?

No. U.S. consumers eat the same beef that is exported to Korea and every other country. The United States only has one food-safety inspection system for all beef, domestic and exports. By law, plants that do not meet these standards can not produce beef at all.
Do Americans eat beef from cattle older than 30 months?

Yes we do. About 20 percent of all the beef we consume in the United States comes from animals over 30 months of age. U.S. consumers eat beef and products from all cattle of all ages. Processed products and ground beef can be made from cattle of any age.
Does the U.S. export low-grade beef and dangerous beef parts to Korea that it does not sell domestically?

No. The United States would not export any product anywhere for human consumption that is not deemed by U.S. authorities to be safe, wholesome, and fit for human consumption in the United States. All beef that is exported to Korea is also consumed in the United States. It is the same beef.

Is beef from cattle older than 30 months dangerous?

No. Tissues that could potentially carry BSE are removed from cattle prior to processing and are not allowed in the food supply. Once these tissues are removed, meat from cattle over 30 months of age is perfectly safe.
Do Americans feed U.S. beef to their children?

Yes they do. In fact, most Americans believe it is very important for children to consume protein and significant portion of our protein comes from beef.
How many U.S. cattle are tested for BSE?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has been looking for BSE for over 20 years. In 2007 alone, we tested over 40,000 animals. This current testing rate is 10 times the standard testing rate established by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
Are many patients with Alzheimer's disease in the United States actually variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) patients?

No. Symptoms for the human variant of BSE are clearly different from the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
Have there been any cases of vCJD cases contracted in the United States?

No. There have been about 200 cases of vCJD in the world (most of these in the U.K.), but zero cases associated with beef consumption in the United States.
Are Koreans more susceptible to vCJD?

Over 2 million Koreans live in the United States and are eating U.S. beef, and there has never been a single case of a Korean diagnosed with vCJD.


It's from the U.S. embassy's website, and though we can't always trust all the information to be true, I think most with a reasonable mind can read that ¼º (seung) has some of his facts wrong.

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch June 25, 08 05:10 AM

I should also get my facts straight. Korea has tested for BSE, and has been given the lowest ranking score. The U.S. and Canada get the highest mark. Also keep in mind that here in korea, butchering is not what it is in other countries. There are many places where you can take your cow, duck, chicken or dog, and have it cut up for you. And please don't let me get into the area where they beat the dogs first before butchering them.

Seoul, meanwhile, will increase the number of tests on cattle raised in the country so it can receive a definitive BSE classification from the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). South Korea is currently classified as a "undetermined risk" country.

Under OIE rules, a country must receive a minimum 240,000 points for examining cattle in a seven-year period to be given a "negligible" or "controlled" risk classification.

As of last year, South Korea accumulated 95,000 points despite checking 8,300 animals in a one-year period.

The United States and Canada fulfilled their observation and testing quota and received a "controlled risk" country designation in terms of BSE in May 2007. This classification effectively permits the export of most beef parts.

You see, the U.S. and Canada has passed standards that are safe for export, but Korean beef isn't.

I just wonder what Koreans will be saying about American rice when exports start shortly. I will be happy to be paying less for rice, as here in Korea it's $50. for a 20kg bag, whereas in Canada, I can buy korean style rice for $26. that was grown in the U.S.

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch June 25, 08 05:43 AM

I am an American who has lived in Korea for a number of years and am married to a Korean. Personally, I believe a lot of what you have been seeing is a mixture of nationalism and anti-Americanism. Although, I will concede there have been many well intentioned people in the earlier rallies who were there because they felt there really was a health risk involved in importing U.S. beef. It’s my opinion that those who continue to instigate this movement have more sinister motives for prolonging their effort to totally renegotiate the beef deal. The political left must be fully aware of the significant negative impact this would have on Korea/U.S. relations. Apparently, they hope to gain some political mileage out of the damage this would do to President Lee and would ingratiate their leftist/progressive core constituency. I am glad to see that the three main conservative newspapers in Korea have been trying to stand up to this element. For those who do not know, the militant elements of this movement have been trying to institute a boycott against these newspapers—these are the same people who claim to be the pro-democracy, freedom of the press and speech types; how’s that for irony?

If the leadership of Korea doesn’t make a sincere effort—or believe it themselves—to inform its people about the positive role the United States has played in the establishment of peace and prosperity for this nation, the Korea/U.S. alliance will erode sooner than letter. Additionally, Americans need to become better informed about what is happening over here—this includes our government. It seems to me the United States needs to rethink its relationship with the Republic of Korea, and the average Korean needs to understand that corporate hostility toward a benefactor and ally will treated accordingly, all things considered. Having said this, there are still many people over here that have good feelings toward Americans; unfortunately there number is dwindling.

Posted by Michael June 26, 08 03:01 AM


Correction: …their number is dwindling.

Posted by Michael

Posted by Michael June 26, 08 06:52 PM

Just like to express a fact. I currently live in South Korea as part of the US military. On a weekly basis we are notified of no fewer than 5 planned protests for the weekend about random subjects. Sorry I can't give you an example I stopped caring about 3 months ago. I guess the weekend is when people are out of work and have free time. Koreans love to protest, not a doubt about it.

Now my opinion, if you don't want to get "mad cow" disease then don't eat US meat. The problem is like everyone else is saying, the farmers are trying to protect their commodity. The reason is if even if you said "80% of US beef is tainted with mad cow disease" their are a ton of hungry people who would buy the meat and take that 80% chance of getting mad cow disease.


Posted by JinSkorea June 28, 08 10:46 PM

P.S. I also believe our military should not help this nation, especially when they have the military to thwart an attack and their economy is also in top shape. Should I also mention that the people are ungratefuly/uninformed of the sacrifices we made for them? That's the biggest reason we should leave.

Folks I believe in helping people out, don't get me wrong. However as soon as they turn their back on you then it is time to go. If N. Korea attacks them then so what, let them defend themselves. We are not the World Cops/Army of America. We have been in this nation for 50 years, its time for us to remove South Korea from the bossom and make them drink from a big boy cup.

Posted by JinSkorea June 28, 08 10:52 PM

During the World Cup 2002, South Koreans had a great fondness for Turkey. They showed on TV how Turkish troops were sent to the South to defend the South Koreans (most Koreans I know were totally unaware of this fact) from the North. Korea also has a soft spot for Turkey as there is some link to the Turkish race, as they are somehow remotely related. They (Koreans) did not show the same affection to the American soccer team, even though 50.000 Americans died in defend the South. And please let us not forget the Canadians, Brits, Thais and about a dozen more nations that helped out.

The U.S. should pull out; however, Korea has a history of never taking their own road. I don't want to go into details, but if one knows about Korea's history, you will see how Korea has most often been controlled by others and when not, they were always divided.

Yes, more than 50 years and the conflict is still a part of the Korean life, but as I said before, the U.S. won't leave as it still serves America's interests even though most Koreans show little gratitude.

It is time folks, that countries that trade with South Korea to take the time to be more selective of the products you buy, and maybe by not purchasing Korean products, then maybe the attitude Koreans have may improve for the better.

The placards Koreans were carrying during the last protest, read "Mad Cows Out. U.S. Troops Out." Ah, and what Koreans have written on this site said that this issue was only about food safety, but as we see, it's not about BSE really, but more of a show of anti-Americanism.

I was at a restaurant the other day, and here in Korea there's no U.S. beef and there really hasn't been any since 2003, and the waitress served us a special appetizer and mentioned that it was made with Australian beef and not U.S. beef, so we shouldn't be worried.

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch June 29, 08 01:00 AM

The Koreans have been good to me since I have been living here. They are friendly and open. It does, however, upset me when I think of how they have dumped their products on the US market and restricted our products. They are emulating the successful Japanese and that's all there is to it. Remember how the Japanese protested rice and vehicle imports (and anything else that wasn't "home grown") from entering Japan? The Koreans are copycats: just look at their cars!! When it comes to trade they are copying the Japanese.

Posted by James Edward Simpson June 29, 08 02:03 AM

I’m looking forward to the arrival of American beef at Korean food chains like Lotte Mart and E-mart. This American and his son are going to buy the first batch. I hope MBC—the Korean TV station that spreads misinformation—is there with their TV cameras when I test eat sample meat.

Posted by Michael June 29, 08 05:28 AM

this is rediculous...

just so all the westerners (americans know) the only reason why this protest is going on is not because we, koreans, are afraid of mad cow desease.... it is because we are tired of Americans and America's increasing involvment in korea... that is why when Rice came to korea even more protesters protested over the meat issue... we dont like pres. Lee because he doesnt listen to the people and because we are tired of korea always being the "dog" or "slave" to america... thank you for helping us in the 1950s but now america is just rediculous... and plus america is not even the top country anymore anyways... china is... we koreans need to foster good relationship with china and japan... i think the best future for korea is to become great allies with china and japan... and plus china isnt even communist anymore its just a name... and the world superpower is asia... and korea can become superpowers with china and japan

Posted by tae hyung kim June 29, 08 06:21 PM

I think Kim Tea-hung's comments speak for themselves. This is the type of person who is at the center of these increasingly violent protests.

Posted by Michael June 29, 08 10:11 PM

i served for two years in korea and i swear i will never go back there. a bunch of racist, nationalistic xenophobes. we should never have helped in during their civil war...should have left them to the north koreans.

Posted by Anonymous June 29, 08 11:27 PM

The comment by Mr. Kim Tae Hyung is not surprising. The entire time I lived over in that RASCIST country that was the feeling I got. I had young students of mine say they hated America. I had students of mine say that they wished September 11th would have "destroyed all of New York." These were small kids simply voicing what there parents think. Korea is the only country Walmart has ever failed in. As a resident alien in Korea I was teaching their children English and I was physically assualted twice for being an American grocery shopping. All of that being said I made great Korean friends. Life long friends. Friends who after serving two years in the military and riot brigade for the Korean government would get out and could not find a decent job. One friend told me of the ridicoulous interview questions he had to go through. "What did your father do? Are you religious? Would you work 7 days a week etc.." Drunken womanizing narrow minded people Korean men are. I remember all of the drunken business men passed out in their own puke ALL over the streets. I remember how taxi drivers would refuse to serve me. I remember how I paid double for my cell phone minutes etc...... All for being an American. Having remembered that I still had a positive outlook of Korea until recently. This whole riot is against America and hard working American people and Mr. Gim has summed it up. Let me sum something up to Mr. Gim. I just pulled all of my money out of Daehan investments. I have removed all of the Korean investments from my 401K and I will make sure from this point forward I will NOT buy anything Korean made. I also encourage anyone who is reading his board and is as irritated by this as I am, to pressure their elected officials to destroy the Korea USA FTA and to move towards getting our troops out of this ungrateful country of IDIOTS (babos)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Joseph June 30, 08 01:53 AM

The misspelling on Kim Tae-hyung's name was not intentional. I did not intend to demean this young man in any way by misspelling his name. Hopefully, his view of Americans will change with an increase in years.

Correction: Kim Tae-hyung

Posted by Michael June 30, 08 03:30 AM

tai hyung kim i understand that you dislike our country but as an american citizen i can tell you that we do not see you as being slaves to us not to mention that the beef you are protesting is safe i eat beef from my own country and have never gotten sick from it what you are really protesting are people who are working hard to make a living and as for america not being # 1 well id say that alot of cultures take turns holding that distinction our current administration is awful but i see alot of hope for our future with the new elections and i do believe that the american people are as a whole not as bad or even close to as bad as what i hear you saying stop judging me when you look at george bush because he is a temporary problem and if im not mistaken we didnt just help you in the 50s weve been helping ever since one mad cow doesnt make all cows mad just like one bad president doesnt make all americans bad stop being so hatefull

Posted by nicole endel June 30, 08 03:47 AM

I did business with a Korea once and as has been stated several other times here they are greedy and aren't satisfied until they screw you. I gave the man a well below market price which he agreed to. Then after the work was completed he
refused to pay the balance on the contract saying my price was too high. Ultimately I had to settle for 50% of what he owed since it was more than what i would have left after the lawyers got through with me. Since then I have avoided buying anything Korean even if I had to pay more for it. Like many others have pointed out the protests have nothing to do with safety of the beef they just want to ensure their own beef doesn't have to compete in an open market.

Posted by Skydyver June 30, 08 07:34 PM

I am a Korean-American who is very proud of the GOOD and BEAUTIFUL aspects of Korean culture but I think these protests are harmful not only to ROK-USA relations, but to South Korea's image as a whole.

I am willing to challenge ALL KOREANS IN KOREA to a debate on this. But if you agree, be warned: come w/ facts otherwise you will be sorely and soundly defeated.

Posted by The_Incredible_HUK July 1, 08 09:09 AM

Kim tae Hyung, you Koreans in Korea STOP drinking Starbucks, buying IPods, wearing Levi's, and stop watching American movies and listening to American music. Stop sending your won-jung-tchool-san pregnant women here so they can get US citizenship for their babies, stop sending illegal alien Koreans (including prostitutes), stop sending crazy, spoiled, irresponsible, drunkard/drug-addict yoohaksengdul, and stop exporting your products to the American market. In response, the USA can withdraw all troops from Korea and perhaps even cancel the FTA agreement. As for being allied w/ China and Japan, good luck... LOL. An ignorant statement by a native Korean which reflects a piss-poor understanding of current political events in Asia. I am a Korean-American and love Korea but you anti-US Koreans in Korea are extremely ridiculous and childish. Grow up, PLEASE.

Posted by The_Incredible_HUK July 1, 08 09:23 AM

I applaud the Korean's desire to ban American beef. It is their nationalistic prerogative. I've followed this story for a few weeks and I have concluded that I will never buy Korean products again.
Capitalism is that easy! Vote with your money!

Posted by shew July 1, 08 08:50 PM

I'm in China fairly often, and most don't have much love for Koreans. The reason being, is that when they enter an agreement with the Koreans, often the Koreans what to make changes and want to get a better price. In fact, when my vendors see me and know that I¡¯m not Korean, they are very relieved.

I am one of the few foreign investors in Korea. I am the only non-Korean who owns and operates a business in my tax region. 70% of my business is selling to Korean companies, and when I get an order, they often want to change the deal.
Later this year, I will sell my business and the re-locate to Europe.

About half of the shipments I import are checked by customs and they always find something wrong. Country of origin markings is one reason. I have a document that said that "china" or "R.O.C" was fine, but suddenly they changed their minds. Now, items that i import have to be marked "Made in China" but items made in North Korea are only marked with "PDRK". Often I have to pay bribes or have my items re-printed at a great expense.

I find that Koreans suffer from a victim mentality, and blame others without taking a close look at themselves.

Not one Korean has made any logical rebuttals on this subject. You can clearly see what the problem in Korea is; and that is they are basically deluded. Not all, but far too many.

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch July 2, 08 04:27 AM

I am a Korean-American U.S. Army Officer living in Seoul. I like Korea and I love the U.S. But Americans need to wake the hell up. The majority of Americans have no idea about the details of the FTA and for that matter no idea on trade at all. The same statement applies to Korean citizens as well.
The Korean Government is abusing the Korea-U.S. Alliance to the point it will soon be broken. Make Koreans understand that nobody is asking Korea to be thankful about the Korean War anymore, they need to be thankful to American consumers who have twice the spending power as the average Korean consumer.
As for Kim Tae-Hyung.. your statement is embarassing. You think that an alliance with China and Japan will go beyond economic issues? America is a true friend to Korea, in every way shape and form, we have spilled together blood in Korea and Iraq, we have shared economic progress, and tried to understand you when you turn on us. You want to be friends with countries that have spilled korean blood many many times thruout history? Fool!!!
Dare I mention the VA Tech Shooting? After the incident Korea sent a diplomatic mission to the U.S. to prevent backlash against Koreans. All I can say to that they are mistaken if they think they Americans will judge a whole nation based on one kid. How insulting to think that the U.S. will stoop to the level that Koreans often do.
Also as an American Army Officer I have had the pleasure of serving with
"volunteer" Korean Soldiers and must say they are fine examples of soldiers and citizens. It seems the true patriots of Korea and examples to society reside there. I distinguish them from the 2-year conscript army soldier who couldn't defend Korea from an invasion of chinese school girls. Trust the U.S Army folk (koreans). We wouldn't be in your country if there was truly no credible threat penisula. Peace is only maintained when the threat of retaliation is real. So I guess you also have to thank us for the last 50 years of peace as well.
I'll stop my rant here. Long Live the day when Korean-American Friendship becomes a two-way street. Until then stop buying Korean products and lets find another country to take under our wing.

Posted by U.S. Soldier July 2, 08 07:24 AM

Talk about ungrateful people. If it wasn't for the US South Korea would be unified under North Korea. Pull the US troops out oof South Korea.
Boycott the South Korean car and electronic companies. You know who they are.

Posted by Arch July 2, 08 07:16 PM

I like that part about the 2 year consripts couldn't defenf Korea from an invasion of Chinese school girls. Mostly they are too busy playing with their cell phones and MP3 players.

The protests are still going on. Things turned violent the other day, followed by a group of nuns and religious leaders. Also now the auto workers union has now brought up the beef issue.

Please, please help me to get out of this country as it's driving me insane!

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch July 3, 08 07:25 AM

I know its less about eating US beef (although some groups are calling for a boycott now), but the irony is a bit much. Many Japanese restaurants in the US (at least in LA) are operated by first and second generation Korean Americans. Do they consume and sell US beef?.....oh yeah, in large quantities. Do they buy a lot imported Korean beef? thanks

Posted by Peter July 4, 08 07:54 AM

They could never use Korean beef in the U.S. as Korean beef has not met safety standards for export.

And, also in Korean restaurans in N.Y. Koreans eat U.S. beef and sell it and there has been no shortage of business.

Just yesterday at a McDonalds here in Korea, they have posted signs with photo copies of their import declarations of the beef they use, to show Koreans that the beef they use is not U.S. beef. McD's has been using Australian beef for many years, as with most McD's in Asia.

This weekend there will be a protest with foreigners residing here against the Korean protesters. I doubt if the numbers will be high, but it might send a message though it won't really sink in. I have learned that there is no way to bring reason to the people here.

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch July 4, 08 12:42 PM

FYI, read the following articles:

So much emotions, but not much thinking prevail here. I am surprised that some of you take it personal that Koreans protest against Korean government. I am a US citizen, and most people in the middle class prefer to eat organic beef, as far as I can tell. Maybe I am biased, but at least my argument is supported by the dropping rate of beef consumption in the US. Not because of so called Mad Cow disease, though. I do eat US beef, but I also prefer organic beef. I don't blame you guys to be emotional, but please calm down and think twice.

Posted by Beef Lover July 4, 08 05:26 PM

In response to Beef Lover:

Many of the posters here live in Korea. and after a while the utter nonsense of the protest wears on us. We can only take anti-american insults at us for so long. Also many of us are korean-american and utterly embarassed by the protesters mob-like mentality. KBS, MBC and many other top tier Korean TV organizations are broadcasting lies about American beef. They go as far as to say that "the U.S does not eat its own beef and that we import beef for our own consumption" Also that Alzheimer's patients ate too much beef which is why they have Alzheimers.

In lieu of this nonsense and the fact the no one in the U.S. has ever contracted BSE or Mad Cow Disease, and the fact that Korea has a 10 billion dollar trade surplus with the U.S., and all we wanted was a measly 950 million dollar market for high-quality U.S. Beef, and nearly the entire country rejects the US - Korea alliance,

I say to you.....

Stop buying Korean products, LG, Samsung, Hyundai, Kia, Daewoo, let their economy suffer and help the Korean Govn't get a handle on this situation by showing the korean protesting mob that protesting the U.S - Korea alliance is synonomous with personal ruin. IMF anybody?

Posted by U.S. Soldier July 6, 08 10:11 PM

IMF? I was in Korea during that time. Fears ran wild that it was a plan by the U.S. to take over the Korean economy. School aged chidren were burning foreign band label clothing in the streets to encourage people from buying foreign brands.

There is a new Korean history book that is taught in middle schools where students are led to believe that the IMF crisis was caused by many rich Koreans going on shopping sprees in Hong Kong and Europe. No mention to the fact that it was caused by Samsung, Hyundai and Deawoo which at the time owed $6 for every dollar in assets. The banks were instructed by the government to keep lending money.

Two weeks before the crisis, the minister of fiance said that there was enough in reserves to cover the loans but that wasn't true at all.

As U.S. soldier pointed out, the lies in the media are happening. The one that gets me, is the one that they say that the U.S. exports only the old and low quality beef. I always say that the U.S. doesn't export beef; private U.S. companies do the exporting, and that they will export exactly what their customers want.

Koreans can choose to buy whatever beef they want. Australian beef is doing well here, and now they can have U.S. or Canadian beef.

Logic never works here in Korea.

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch July 8, 08 09:30 AM

The U.S. government forbids mad cow testing in the United States. That alone should give at least some credibility to the Koreans who at least know of it's existence and the risks while Americans are fast asleep. WE should be outraged and in the streets.

I personally have chosen to boycott American beef. I've become a vegetarian.

It's not safe to eat beef and the government is not looking out for our well being (on so many fronts). Ignorance is not safety.

Posted by Bob Solem July 15, 08 03:29 PM

No they don't Bob. Maet processors are forbidden from doing their own testing. The U.S. inspection government agencies do the testing. As I have understood things, the test that producers wanted to carry out would have not been good enough.

That said, there is room for much improvement in the inspection process.

Over the years, I'm sure almost every American has eaten beef from an infected cow. There's much that Americans have not been told, but i have to say this; How many Americans have become sick from BSE? That's right, maybe 3 but those could have contracted it in the UK or Europe.

The Koreans were full of misinformation.

Just a question for you Bob; Have you decided to boycott American beef because of BSE or because you are a vegetarian?

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch July 15, 08 08:18 PM

I am a Korean American, and I have read this entire page of comments, which, I must say, took quite some time. This whole beef business is quite annoying and embarrassing. Even my parents and grandparents, who are, like most Koreans, incredibly patriotic (to Korea, not the U.S., since Korea is the motherland for them...), are also equally annoyed and embarrassed by the beef protests. My dad says that Koreans are being misled and idiotic, and that Americans should just boycott all Korean goods. All of my elder relatives agree that Korea has become too greedy, and Koreans need to suffer and realize that they owe a lot to Americans. How do Koreans trust their own beef? American beef has to go through inspections, and though both gov'ts are not perfect, I would trust the U.S. over Korea.
As for the Korean media being misleading, it is far too true! My parents stopped watching the Korean news that is broadcasted in LA because of it's misguiding information. I just find, in general, Koreans never check their sources. (Remember fan death? I could not understand how fan death could ever occur. So I researched it. and guess's impossible to die from a fan. The only found "deaths" in the history of all fan use were in Korea. now, that should speak for itself.

Posted by naarah July 16, 08 09:16 AM

I am glad I stopped in here to find out so much information. ON Korea.

I am not Korean but American. I surely will not buy Korean made articles,cars etc. I try not to buy China made articles either.

Posted by JackieMn. July 23, 08 04:54 PM

i see this blogger only supports anti-koreans...

Posted by bobbybill August 7, 08 08:15 AM

I thought that I would read a post like yours. It's not about being anti-Korean at all. This blog suppports all opinions, just like yours.

If you can read Korean, you will find that blogs in Korea are far more anti-American and anti-foreign than anything you will read here. Some of my comments might first read like they are anti-Korean, however my comments are from my experiences from living and working in South Korea for more than 12 years. My wife and daughter are Korean and so are most of my friends.

Korea as a whole is anti-foreign, and that is also one reason why South Korea is losing foreign direct investment.

Are you saying that if people conclude that Koreans are acting acting poorly regarding U.S. beef imports, that these people are anti-Korean? If so, the comments regarding Koreans are then very much valid.

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch August 7, 08 09:51 PM

Mad Cow disease doesn't happen, except in Canada and Britain.

There haven't been more then 3 infected cows or steers in the whole of America.

America doesn't have to test, because THERE ISN'T ANY.

Canada and Britain hav PROBLEMS, and should be blacklisted.

Korea should be made to accept a proper deal, not favorism deal with America, and should be happy.

So should everyone else.

Idiots taking advantage of America, and badmouthing us too..

Posted by Best People September 1, 08 09:03 PM

Right. Only 3 confirmed cases of BSE in the U.S. Why? The U.S. only tests 1% of the cattle that is slaughtered, and though only 3 confirmed caes exisit, there has probably been more over the years.

No, you are very wrong in saying that BSE only happens in Canada and Britian.

Ireland 1.300

Spain 412

Switzerland 453

France 900

And even 2 in Hong Kong.

Actually, most counties in Europe had many cases of BSE.

Japan test every cow it slaughters and has found 26 cases. Where did these cows get their feed? It is mostly imported from Canada and the U.S., so I would guess that the same feed that has been fed to Canadian and American cattle could also cause BSE.

The good news is that the U.S. and Canada have taken action to deal with the problem and that I am sure that cattle younger than 30 months is safe. However, I would say that there have been many cattle over the years that entered the food system did contain BSE though only a very small amount.

One should really be very concerned about food safety these days and should always trust the government bodies that control it. In the past few years there have been too many mistakes made. E-coli is a better threat than BSE.

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch September 10, 08 06:28 AM

Correction. One should not always trust government bodies.

There have been cattle with BSE that have entered the food supply though the number is not that great and not near the numbers of Europe.

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch September 11, 08 05:54 AM

Now that clouds cleared we know who turned out to be true. U.S. Beef is almost selling like hot cakes.. By the way, all history, ideology, war, commerce, etc. aside, I want to tell you good American friends that most Koreans think favorably of America. In fact, according to the survey on 'favorable views of the U.S.' conducted this year by Pew Global Attitudes Project based in the U.S., Korea took the No. 1 spot with 70%!!! Amazingly high, don't you think? Compared to Britain at 53%, Germany 31%, France 42%, Japan 50%, China 41%... (See it for yourself at

Posted by Korean September 24, 08 04:30 AM

So, the fact of the matter is, what you see in the media is not everything. And please don't jump to conclusions and act hastily like simple-minded, easily-misled people who fall prey to purposeful media outlets. People who took to the streets during this disorderly incident--they're just a really small percentage of the entire Korean population.

And let's stay good friends. We need to unite against Kim Jongil & cronies (and similar regimes all over the globe) till the world's a better place without them.


Posted by Korean September 24, 08 04:55 AM

True not all Koreans took part in the protests. However, I live here in Korea and the feelings of a great many people here are the same. They don't want U.S. beef and were singing the same tune as the protesters.

The teachers union were spreading false information to students and Korean teachers were spreading the same crap in the classrooms.

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch September 25, 08 03:05 AM

It's a shame that Korea left such a bad impression on many foreigners. I would guess that Koreans near them played a bit of a role in it. Their negative views of their own country partly rubbed off on their foreign friends. True, Korea has things to resolve. It will improve, though.

(A lot had happened in the previous century on this peninsula. With enormous consequences in many dimensions. Ideology--for one--matters. To a great extent. There are more than a few people with a far too strong nationalistic flair who are sympathetic to Korea up north. These people may very well chant anti-American slogans and always pit Korea against America, which becomes a foe to defeat.

They will knowingly or unknowingly manipulate the general public and turn the country upside down sporadically. This will go on until Korea goes through unification, after which the people will have the same one interest for their nation. This is one of many aspects in which Korea can be viewed.)

Finally, I want to remind some of our foreign friends that there are two sides of every coin. As much as there is the negative side there is also the positive side. Sure, they don't always maintain an equilibrium, but the good things are still there.

Hope that your stay in Korea will end up being pleasant, my dear friends.

Posted by Korean September 25, 08 04:01 PM

I enjoyed the comment: "The price of beef in Korea is by far the highest of all OECD countries and most Korean farrmers want it to stay that way."

A close friend (in the United States) spent a summer going from house to house, trying to convince people to help stop any more nuclear power plants from being built in the U.S. He said he was working for an organization - something like the "Nuclear Power Opponents For Safety" or some such such name. He says that now, some 30 years later, he has finally realized:
"I thought I was doing something meaningful ... ends up I was probably unknowingly working an oil company organization. I was just being used, so some jerk could make money. Those oil guys were probably laughing their asses off.
In the end, there wasn't a single death resulting from the leak at 3 Mile Island. It was all a big scare. But we do know that coal and oil burning power plants spew a constant stream of mercury and other dangerous products across the landscape.
I thought I was helping save the world, but I was just helping the oil and coal companies build an artificial hysteria, to try to protect their scam, and keep us all in fossil fuels forever."

Sounds like the Korean beef producers are similar. Only one case of mad cow has been reported in the U.S. And Americans probably consume more beef than anyone else in the world. Sounds pretty safe to me.

Posted by Jbmb November 6, 08 11:41 PM

Yes, it is safe of BSE for the most part but E-coli has been a recent problem.
Still, people here in Korea still talk about U.S. BSE and my eyes roll. Shoking how people can be sucked into such unfounded notions. But then again, north of the 38th, the people there have followed the same propaganda for years.

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch November 11, 08 05:25 AM

I agree with what Bob Solem said. It is true that there is corruption and
woeful dishonesty with regard to meat safety in the US. If anybody actually read books, there is plenty of info about the unsafe practice of the beef Industry. So I side with the Koreans on this issue. It is Us, Americans, that should be protesting the US over unsafe food and beverage practices that has corrupted the core of America the last 50 years(furious at Corrupt government). It is not debatable whether you like to admit it or not. It is like debating the earth is flat or round.
What disgusts me, in this forum, is that America's self-righteous feeling of betrayel, by Korea from the Beef ban, has turned into a bloodbath of racism and self-indignant claims of Counter-racism by the Koreans(boycott this boycott that). Koreans will buy nice products like any country as long as it is safe, reliable and priced reasonabally. If the product is perceived to be dangerous, (melamine, mercury), then protective measures is the right step. Why would Americans be angry over that? Do you truly think that American beef is safe? That the stupid ungrateful Koreans(you labeled that) just spit in your face? Then, you retaliate by boycotting Hyundai and LG? Why don't you look in the mirror. New Jersey is the worst polluted state(I live in). The Water isn't safe to drink(fluoride, mercury and MSG). the Air isn't fit to breathe. The Cows are on Hormones and fed garbage quality materials. Don't we as American also have the right to ban toothpaste and toys from china which are Unsafe? Or, are we being ungrateful the the Chinese?

So If the meat is unsafe, Korea bans beef, the US then forces by threat to withdrawal the FTA. The FTA was basically like throwing a bone to Korea
after gaining dominance of the South Korean Peninsula. This is a little digression but it connect to my argument. It is interesting to hear an ignorant American on this board retort that the ungrateful Koreans should have been taken over by the North. Well dummy, perhaps things would have gotten better.
At least a unified Korea is stronger than a split one (how tragic). So the issue goes to US presense in Korea. Why the hell is the US there? what purpose? obviously the US owns Korea. It is a pawn on the world chessboard(don't ya think?). The US isn't not going to give up control of its piece or its bitch. why would they do that? yet, Korea has the 11th biggest economy, twice the size of North Korea. I think S.Korea can handle its military business quite nicely thankyou.
Resentment, that is the answer. the US threatens to pull the FTA (Korea should look at that as an empty threat and look elsewhere for economic adventure).
Even though, the beef is unsafe and not inspected well enough. Yes, now I see why some country in asia, or any country, would be pissed off. Yes, Korea sees the US as a bully, not an ally. An ally would help unify a country and look for the countries best interest. Well is the US like that? not quite.

Posted by K November 14, 08 07:07 AM

Whew, Just got done reading all the comments. @ K, what can i say, i think you have taken too many PETA and other leftist organization's messages to heart. (Zeitgeist maybe). Be weary of the information from them, these aren't Zhu Xi benevolent people, everybody who has that much control over the way people think have agendas as well. That is not to say they do not make some valid points. Im not going to argue about the US engaged in a global chess game of world economic domination. What i can say that it is unfortunate that you live in a polluted place like NJ, but you live in a capitalistic, or atleast partially, society which means if someone is doing something that you dont like vote with your money, boycott the polluters while supporting the environmentally responsible companies, write the companies explaining your actions and why. You also have access to an unrestricted internet, probably the greatest tool in individual empowerment ever created. (Sever decline in information costs and spread of thoughts and idea).
In any case, i support the FTA and heard about the strong opposition in Korea but i wasnt sure of the details untill reading this blog. Personally i will now boycott Korean products (except I will still go to this one awesome Korean restaurant, which btw uses US beef). From what i have read, people arent boycotting Korean products to do some sort of counter racism but to highlight something they take for granted, our lenient trade relations with them. Boycotting is certainly the way to go as taking political action would send the wrong message and reinforce what the drivers of the protesters are saying. In any case, what we have going on right now isnt so bad anyway, the US consumer gets cheap products from abroad, sure producer surplus is being lost to korea and isnt getting the same amoung back from Korea, but the over all gained consumer surplus off sets that plus some, ending up with a net gain to the economy (international econ theory) On top of that the surplus in their current account (exports) will just be reflected as a decline in their capital account (foreign direct investment and other long term investments) And the opposite is true for US, so a widening trade deficit isnt all that bad. Whats kind of funny is that these protesters are actually preventing extra wealth in their own economy, and would be getting that wealth being the consumers of beef. What bugs me alittle is some of the expats living in Korea right now saying they have been attacked and property has been damaged. You can sure as hell bet that if an American shot up a Uni in Korea there would be anti-American protests for weeks. K are you saying we should take no action against unfair racism towards us? Or are you saying that that racism is merited even though i am sure that U.S. solder and Nicholas hasnt taken part of this "global chess game of world domination"?
And finally, I do truly believe that US beef is safe, i believe that i could eat it my whole life and not ever get sick from it. However, i do not eat beef not because of health reasons but because of the farming practices and the way the cows are treated. Plus what kind of Montanian would i be if i didnt hunt my own meat.

Posted by MinisteroftheSpecialSauce December 6, 08 11:32 PM

I'm with post #28. South Korea relies heavily on the U.S. purchasing its goods, but their people appear to have no interest whatsoever in being a partner of the U.S. nor any respect whatsoever for the U.S.

When will we finally start cutting off countries that treat us this way!?! Even a child shuns those peers who disrespect them. Have you ever seen a partnership suceed where one party constantly disrespects the other?

It's really very simple. If you disrespect the U.S., you are on your own...good luck.

Posted by John Smith December 18, 08 11:13 PM

The U.S it not always the almighty. True, South Korea oews much of its freedom to the 16 UN back nations that protected it from the North, the point is, is that South Korea has many other countries to trade with, as their exports have increased greatly to many other countries in recent years.

South Korea often fails to see that trade is important to them, and even I, who is not American will think twice before buying anything made in Korea.
And please don't think that South Korea only has issues with the U.S. Sure they are more vocal when it comes to the U.S. but they are basically a nation that thinks the whole world is against them.
A few years ago, I remeber protesters burning foreign made products, and I mentioned to people here in Korea that how would they like it if people in other countries started burning Hyundais and Samsung products? Their response was that other countries don't understand Korea. I then said that if you can't sell your products to other countries, then what economy would you have? And that was pretty much the end of the conversations.

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch December 20, 08 11:12 PM

I did a tour in Korea 25 years ago,most of my time was spent on the DMZ.
The ROK sodiers who were in it for the long haul were great to work with,going on what post #76 said is true,it disturbs me to see so much anti-American activities
going on over there after what I went through on the DMZ for that country.
After getting shot at countless times,having a friend wounded and other things I care not to talk about.
We knew that the North liked to stir things up between us and the ROKs but it never went that far when I was over there.
I wanted to go back one day,I saw how Korea has grown over the years and was proud that maybe,just maybe I had a very very small part in it.
Now I'm mortified,my opinion of Korea as a hole has been deflated.
Merry X-Mas too the many Korean friends I made while over there.
1/9 Manchu and Graduate of ROK White Horse Division Ranger Course

Posted by Manchu December 24, 08 10:17 PM

Good post Manchu.
Times have changed much in 25 years. I first came here 22 years ago and the feeling towards the U.S has changed. Still there are many who are thankful to you but not so much for your government. South Korea has to find its own position in the world and in often cases they need to throw stones towards Japan or the U.S. just to make them feel a sense of control but it really make them appear in the worst of light.

Your efforts are not in vain. Deep down they know that their security comes from what you and others have done but don't show it in the best of ways.

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch December 28, 08 01:46 AM

I am a native Korean, living in Korea. I just found out this page, and feel deeply sorry. Some Koreans were too irrational, emotional (in a twisted way), and violent. One thing non-Koreans do not know is that many of the civil (at the surface) organizations are run by extremists who believe in violence and support (though not in public) North Korea rather than their own South. In a way, the cold war era is still going on in Korea.

The sad thing is that they seem better at influencing public opinion, which may imply that many Koreans are emotional as they often use very emotional propaganda. So, I think ultimately it is an issue of education, in a broad sense.

But please know that there are people who think a lot like many of you. Those Koreans, me included, believe in freedom and responsibility, peaceful democracy, and rational culture. We may not be majority, but are not a small minority either. I believe Korea will get better. I hope you to, too.

Posted by Free Korean February 15, 09 05:55 AM

Mr. Kalmanovitch, I certainly cannot discredit your many years here in Korea and every post you've written was very thoughful. However in those many years of doing business here in Korea, I was wondering if you have every tried to do business in Korea as the Koreans do business? If you have, then by all means please excuse this post.
It just seems to me that most of the people on this blog come to Korea with a clashing mentality or just a different mentality and since Korean mentality is so different, it is simply regarded as "stupid" or "idioctic". Be mindful please, all, that if you are in any other country, living and residing within that country, it seems odd that one would live out the way they do with no knowledge or willingness to learn how the idigenous live and operate in that country.
"Do in Rome as the Romans do" is the quote. Though simple and simplistic, I know, it serves to show nonetheless that any foreigner in any foreign land should exepct 'differences' NOT 'an ungrateful country of idiots' (post 68)

- As for the whole US Beef issue, I will be the first to admit I am not all that well versed in the issue. However, I don't think it is wrong to demand the best. Voting with our money (post 74) isn't always the option. As US Soldier pointed out that the average US citizens' spending power is double that of the average Koreans' spending power (post 76) that just points out the fact that this isn't always what works.
- In response to those who feel that Koreans are Racist. I agree. I was born in S.Korea but was raised for the majority of my life in America surrounded by many Koreans. I am very grateful for the luxuries that I've had in America and thankful of the chance I have to live in Korea and learn my families culture and history. With that said I believe I can say that I know a little about the issue surrounding Koreans being racist. Personally for me it falls under the same category as an African American calling one another the "N" word. I, as a Korean, know that for the most part Koreans are racist. But do I like to hear that being said from someone else. Not really~ I guess it would also be simliar to how in America there are those who are still anti-African American. It's known to be there, do people like for it to be highlighted by another, not really. ie. The common racist joke thrown out non-chalantly. Everyone laughs but really does anyone not laugh and say, "Hey, you racist?' Even that comment being a joke in it of itself. This is in no way an excuse, but I do have to point out as some others did that the majority of recent history in Korea has been of foreigners invading the land. And so as some of you see, I too see that Koreans do have this sense of a victims' mentality. But is that so bad? If a woman is raped once, then even in that one time can one think that she will 'get over it' anytime soon or that she would imagin to think that maybe it was her fault? How about if it happened again and again? I'm sure that Koreans living in Korea may feel little similar to this.
(I apologize to anyone who I may have offended in anyway by using such a horrific and graphic event. But I hope it will show the same intensity in the comparision made). Again this isn't an excuse, but rather trying to point out a different perspective.
- Then for those Koreans who have ulterior motives. I agree with Michael (post 58) that there are those who have 'sinister motives' to usurp the peoples' minds and decisions. Why? Isn't money always the issue? Korean farmers risk losing money. But as BK said, "Of course, Korea will want to keep THEIR farmers happy. Of course, US wants to sell more of their beef. It's natural. We want our government to give us, the people, the best end of the deal" (post 26). That's not such a far-fetched or unreasonable answer is it? May I also point out that this isn't only Korea based. Why would one think that way? Just as Mr. Kalmanovitch points out Koreans needing to look at themselves before 'blaming others' (post 75), I believe a healthy does of that same prescription is needed in this blog as well. Of course it's easy to point out all the things that one does not agree with. However I fail to see in this blog any specific good things admist all the incredibly specific, even sometimes unbased slander on the Korean people (post 67). So this is to say that a white person can walk with any fear along the streets of South Compton L.A. or any all African-American community? The reasoning is that there is a reason to fear. Just as Koreans have a reason as well. Who is to judge whether it's finally time to let go and move on? You, Anonymous?
- As I can see that my post is getting ridiculously long ^^ I will end with this.

Of all the opinions stated here it seems most mean well and try to utter in a comment or two of how Korea is 'Good' and 'Beautiful' (post 72). But it all also seems only surface, almost sarcastic. It just seems that way to me. Here's why. Of all the posts 102 post has to deal with the aforementioned issues I've written or deals with some negative aspect of Korea, but of the 105 posts 3 people have in almost a pleading way asked for people to reconsider. What I find funny, no rather sad, is that none of those three written by Korean (posts 93, 94, & 96) have any comment. As if he/she was talking to a brick wall. I wonder if any watched the "Korean President" video (post 45). I hope bobbybill was wrong to say that this 'blogger only supports anti-koreans' (post 88).
A little does of humility and more understanding of another culture I think will go a long way. If you paint with dark colors, the picture will seem dark and overshadow and dim even the most brightest color. However paint with many bright colors and even the darkest color will seem to shine.

(For those who may not understand the last line - if you only focus on the negative everything will be negative, but focus on the good and you'll see the good in even the negative)

Posted by ~Trying to show a different perspective February 25, 09 03:30 PM

105. jalhanun jisida narapalameogumeyen jotnya?
you are so banana you seems like crazy about u.s beef well, eat that all up

Posted by micanjalo February 26, 09 02:31 AM

I do my business here in the same style as Koreans do. Truth be told, I don't really have any problems here and do accept the way things are. Sometimes I just don't want to be part of or to be associated with South Korea. My wife is Korean and so is my my daughter, who is also Canadian, and this is my home for now. My wife is much more interested in leaving Korea. She has a high level government position, and when she tells me the goings on in her department, it just makes my head spin.

I really don't want to trash Korea. It is their country and not mine. Not much I can do to change things here. The purpose of my post was to share with many Americans how things are here.

Some of the posts here by Koreans and Americans clearly show that there is still much ignorance on both sides.

Just read that the U.S. will now bad downer cows from entering the food supply. That's good news. Really, the U.S. does have a problem with their beef supply but not really about BSE, which I had pointed out before.

Posted by Nicholas Kalmanovitch March 15, 09 06:43 AM

nice photos

Posted by Anonymous May 6, 09 10:47 AM

Because of these trade agreements and treaties countries are FORCED to subsidized goods, meanwhile farmers in the states are FORCED to take out huge loans thus locking in their debt and slavery, America produces enough food to fatten the world but as the UN policy goes, food is used as a weapon, in this case, an economic weapon to shatter family farms elsewhere as they have been destroyed here, then meanwhile the corporations tell us they want to go "green" and encourage vegetarianism yet we are eating Monsanto genetically modified crops and cows dipped in dope. Does anyone wonder why everyone has cancer nowadays? cancer used to be 1 in 30 now its 1 in 3, perhaps the slave owning monsantos have an idea.

Posted by Vini May 23, 09 08:42 PM

Are you the Christopher Bullock who went to ETSU in 1983-1987? If you are
then hello and hope you are doing great.

Posted by Stephanie Bucy May 8, 10 07:14 PM

just wanted to add..koreans are not driven by makng money..they worry abt their contry and quality of products...most veg..meat etc is made organic in korea...

it is not like in us or china where fertlizers hormones are used to make more profits and effect health of I can understand this protests..

I wish americans could see through this...and understand we should be doing same...there is so much corruption in US govt now and standards for fact american standards for food and car emissions is so much lower than south korea..
I think everyone should learn from south koreans...they taking the hard path but the right one.......

Posted by nikita patel November 28, 10 02:48 PM
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