chapter  6
Anti-Americanism in Korea and Germany: Comparative Perspectives
Pages 9

Americans, policy makers and public alike, are baffled by what they see as a rather sudden and recent surge of anti-Americanism in South Korea. Anti-Americanism is an expression of a deep-seated sense of anxiety regarding Korean identity. In 2002, South Korea sent 49,046 students to American colleges and universities. Interestingly enough, South Korea's Ministry of Education says that more than 90 percent of the elementary and middle school students are studying in the United States "illegally". The euphoric mood in South Korea due to successful economic recovery and World Cup success, suddenly soured by the news of accidental deaths of schoolgirls killed during an American military exercise. South Korea was founded upon the ideologies of nationalism and anticommunism. The long-term perspective, the current surge of anti-American sentiment in South Korea is a part of an effort to articulate a sense of national and cultural identity on the part of Koreans, who have had to go through major civilizational shifts.