South Korea Concerned Over US killings

By IANS

Wednesday April 18, 03:33 PM

Seoul, April 18 (IANS) South Korea Wednesday hoped there would be no backlash against Koreans in the US following a university massacre blamed on a South Korean student.

A senior official expressed the concern even as President Roh Moo Hyun expressed shock over the Monday tragedy in the Virginia Polytechnic Institute in the town of Blacksburg.

According to DPA, the South Korean government said Wednesday it would work out measures to prevent any harassment of South Koreans in the US.

‘The government will work out measures to prevent a backlash on South Koreans living in the US and minimize the impact on the South Korea-US alliance,’ an official was quoted as saying by the national news agency Yonhap.

South Korean Cho Seung Hui went on a shooting spree in the university, killing 32 people before shooting himself dead.

Cho had moved to the US with his family at the age of 8 and lived in a Virginia suburb of Washington. Fifteen people were also injured in the shooting, the deadliest in US history.

President Roh Wednesday expressed the hope that the Korean-American community and all US citizens would overcome their grief.

‘I and the entire South Korean nation were severely shocked by the tragic incident at Virginia Tech,’ Roh told reporters here after meeting visiting Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi.

Roh also met Wednesday his aides and Foreign Minister Song Min Soon to discuss measures to deal with any fallout over the massacre.

On behalf of all South Koreans, Roh expressed condolences to the families of the victims of the shooting. ‘We feel a deep bitterness.’

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5 Responses to “South Korea Concerned Over US killings”

  1. johnib Says:

    Police arrived at the Centreville home of the parents of Cho Seung-Hui after dark on Monday night. The parents were informed that their son was the key suspect in the Virginia Tech shootings. The police had warrants to permit a search of the parents’ home. Neighbors reported seeing “flashes like lightening” from within the home as police photographers apparently took pictures inside the house.

    Police identified the suspect’s father as Cho Seong-tae, 61. He and his wife, Cho Seung-Hui’s mother, own and operate a small dry cleaning and laundry in northern Virginia.

    Having learned that their son was the prime suspect in the murder of so many people at Virginia Tech, the Korean American parents of Cho Seung-Hui were terrified, in shock, and ashamed all at the same time. Peace and Freedom has learned, though a source that asked for anonymity, that as soon as the police left the residence, Cho Seong-tae and his wife, began to make preparations to go into hiding at the Republic of Korea (South Korea) embassy in Washington D.C.

    Several people in the Korean American community in the Washington D.C. area told us the Cho’s and their daughter are having several fears and feelings. They are shocked, amazed and ashamed. They have lost face.

    Asians often see themselves as part of a vast group dynamic. The family, the village, the church or other community unit is primary.

    The key cultural concept that Americans often forget, misunderstand or flat have never heard of is the Asian concept of “face.” Many Americans do know that “loss of face” means a loss of self-image or pride. But that is only the Junior High School level of understanding.

    Asians believe in losing face in terms of dishonoring the family, the group, the country or the culture.

    Therefore the Virginia Tech shootings are on the agenda of South Korea’s President Roh Moo Hyun. This is a good lesson in understanding Asian culture for Americans.

    John E. Carey

  2. honestpoet Says:

    You know, I was worried about a backlash as soon as I heard the shooter identified.

    I really feel for this family as well as the families of the victims. In addition to losing face in this horrific way, they’ve also lost their son to suicide.

    Obviously, we need to get better not only at identifying the mentally ill (apparently he had been sent to the counselor after his writings, depicting violence, had frightened fellow students), but at dealing with them before they become violent.

  3. johnib Says:

    Thanks for your input.

  4. honestpoet Says:

    You’re welcome. I really enjoy your blog.

    The irony, it seems to me after reading some new press releases, is that his birth culture is flailing itself for this, but it seems it might be the two primary pathologies plaguing our culture, Christianity and its polar opposite, hedonism, that created the monster he became. This article (and I’m afraid my html is so weak I’m going to have to make you copy and paste the address…sorry)

    http://www.newschannel5.tv/2007/4/18/967306/Va–Tech-gunman-sent-package-in-middle-of-massacre

    says that in a videotaped diatribe he railed against them both.

    I think it’s time our culture really examined itself.

  5. honestpoet Says:

    BTW, when I called Christianity a pathology, I meant the kind that’s self-righteous, hypocritical, judgmental, all that jazz, which can be enough to drive just about anyone nuts, especially when it’s combined with what passes for popular culture here.

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