South Korean man dies after beef protest. This is rediculous.

United States
June 11, 2008 5:31pm CST
Let me begin by saying that I am sick and tired of the South Korean people protesting and killing themselves over American made products. It seems as if they just want Americans to buy their products while they ban America products. Consider the facts: Korea is the fifth largest producer, and the ninth largest consumer automotive market in the world. We now have an $11-billion deficit in automotive trade, which is 87% of the total trade deficit between our two countries. In 2006, Korea sold 700,000 vehicles in the United States; the United States sold only 4,556 in Korea. How would they like it if we stopped buying their automobiles and electronic products such as Samsung flat screen televisions? They need to think twice about biting the hand that helps feed them. I always thought the South Koreans were our friends. A lot of Americans lost their lives defending South Korea again North Korea and Communist China during the Korean war. How about showing some respect? Here is the article that made me start this discussion. What is your opinion? Lloyd Monday, 9 June 2008 A South Korean man has died in hospital two weeks after setting himself ablaze in protest at a deal to resume US beef imports. Lee Byong-Ryol, 40, had received treatment for serious burns at Hallym University Medical Centre in western Seoul since he doused himself with paint thinner and set himself on fire on 25 May. He was taking part in a street rally in Jeonju, 240km south of Seoul, denouncing the agreement made in April to reopen the country's markets to US beef. An official at the intensive care unit said that Mr Lee had been in critical condition with serious burns over 87% of his body. Tens of thousands of protestors have taken to the streets in recent weeks. Demonstrators have called for another big candlelit rally tomorrow in Seoul. At a protest in the capital last week, a 56-year-old man attempted to take his own life in a similar way but is not in a critical condition, according to police. Last year Heo Se-Ok, 56, set himself on fire in protest at the country's free trade deal with the US and died two weeks later.
1 person likes this
3 responses
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
12 Jun 08
These two guys might be extreme in their protest... but we have similar problems with free trade all around the world these days. Your examples are very simple. But selling 700,000 vehicules to the United states... only feed the people in the factory which build them. That's a drop in the ocean. What about the rest of the country? Those two guys setting themselve on fire over US beef would be farmers. And they see the import of US beef as the last nail in the coffin. They probably don't get as much as they would like for their cattle as it is... and with the import of US beef... they will go broke. This is not about governments. It is about the little people losing their job and their business when they cannot compete with import. France has to deal with that sort of things everyday since the Berlin wall came down. The open market with Eastern Europe is killing the French people. On top of that they have products coming in from just about every country in the world. The French farmers and producers are on strike over it every 5 minutes.
• United States
12 Jun 08
Many people throughout the world believe that the streets of America are paved with gold. However there are many people here just like the Korean farmer living paycheck to paycheck. Trade between countries should be fair. Just because we are the United States doesn't mean we should be taken advantage of. The protests in South Korea just may backfire. Many in the U.S. Congress want South Korea to live up to the trade agreement they signed on to. Some Congressmen are now talking about renegotiating the trade agreement to the benefit of American exporters. Only time will tell. The might have just opened a can of worms they won't like. Lloyd
• Australia
12 Jun 08
Some Congressmen are now talking about renegotiating the trade agreement to the benefit of American exporters. This is hardly news. The US like any other country... tries to negociate the best trade agreement for itself. Australia has been battling and negociating with the US over its wheat and beef export for decades. The US keeps under cutting Australia to steal its export market. It is a tough world out there... and it is everyone for itself. But when one country start to be unfair about it... you have terrorism and war. You need to find the right balance to keep everyone happy. You talk about selling 700.000 vehicules in the US. You don't seem to realise that the US has business involvement in just about every country in the world. They buy and own everything they can put their hands on... destroying the local business in the process. Why do you think the world loves America so much? lol
@KrauseHome (35514)
• United States
15 Jun 08
I agree with the others that say that the Free trade issue is a problem all over the world, and people are doing things like this in protest all of the time. It is truly a shame that things cannot go back to being Based on the bible like they were first intended, and everyone just all get along. People all over the world should realize we need to rely on each other no matter what the trade situation and product is. When we tend to act out on things such as this, we are only endangering ourselfs and not helping out anything else as well.
• United States
16 Jun 08
You are right that the Free trade issue is a big problem. A recent study shows that the average monthly income of 70% of workers in Mainland China is between 800 yuan (US $97) to 2,500 yuan (US $302). Employees in Chinese cities and towns earned an average of 14,040 yuan (US$1.692) last year, an increase of 13 percent from a year earlier, according to statistics jointly released by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security and the National Statistics Bureau. With salaries like that, it's no wonder American jobs are being exported to China on a daily basis. How can we possibly compete with those types of wages? Then you add one-sided trade agreements to that and you see why American workers are loosing their jobs and our wages have gone down. I agree with you. I don't see how endangering one's self helps out anything. Lloyd
@lisado (1230)
• United States
14 Jun 08
That is the craziest thing I've ever heard of! Setting themselves on fire?!? What are they hoping to achieve with that? If they really want to protest there are other and better ways to do it. This just makes them look like a nut case and they end up living in terrible pain that they might or might not recover from. I didn't realise the auto trade was that upside-down. I still wouldn't go and set myself on fire in the street because I didn't like it. There are other ways to protest and get things done. That is just crazy.
• United States
15 Jun 08
Not only is it crazy, it shows a lack of understanding of how things really work in the global economy. Many think that trade with the United States should should only work in their favor. I'd wonder how they would feel is they witnessed massive protests here in the U.S. protesting imports from South Korea. The trade policies between the U.S. and South Korea are very tilted towards the Koreans. The last thing these protesters really want to do is awaken the American people regarding these trade policies. Lloyd