Monday, September 29, 2003

South Korea, Saudi style

I would expect this from Saudi Arabia but not from South Korea.

The United States is trying to persuade South Korean educators to tone down anti-Americanism in textbooks, standardized tests and lessons in middle and high schools.

Although anti-American sentiment, which reached a peak last year, is declining, the U.S. Embassy in Seoul is worried about how the United States is being presented in the classroom and it intends to do something about it.

"We are moving pretty aggressively on this," a senior U.S. diplomat here said in an interview.


The embassy was particularly alarmed by a test that members of the Korean Teachers and Educational Workers' Union, an alternative union not recognized by the state, gave their students soon after the war in Iraq began in the spring.

"It's so anti-American, it's amazing," the senior diplomat said about the multiple-choice quiz, an English translation of which the embassy provided to The Washington Times.


One of the possible answers to another question asks rhetorically: "If the war against Iraq started because the country has [weapons of mass destruction], then doesn't this mean that the United States, which possesses the greatest amount of WMD in the world, should be attacked by U.N. forces?"


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