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1st Anniversary of Cheonan Sinking

March 28, 2011

Sadly one year ago, 46 Korean seaman lost their lives when the ROKS Cheonan was sunk. Although the exact cause of the tragedy may never be fully known, a moment of remembrance for the brave souls who sacrificed their lives serving their country is imperative. The “conservative” Donga Ilbo has an editorial here and thinks that the culprit is the usual suspect. Conversely, the “progressive” Hankyoreh seems to lean towards thinking that North Korea might not be the real culprit. How can such a wide gap in perceptions be reconciled?

Students: Read the Donga editorial (remembering the newspaper’s ideological slant) and comment.

35 Comments leave one →
  1. soyoung shin permalink
    March 29, 2011 12:01 am

    No matter who real culprit is, we should always consider that we still remain isolated from each other as north and south. Moreover we often forget our situation and more and more has dulled. It is important that korean should be the one before fighting each other with divided opinions. It does not mean all have a same opinion. I hope Just find the way to go together as soon as possible, not a controversy. we don’t need to waste time to dipute each other. It is time to show power of our unity. At alst, I cherish the victim of the ROKS of cheonan….

  2. Sunny permalink
    March 29, 2011 10:49 am

    I don’t like Dong-a editorial. It is not important for north korea to apologize although they actually committed the crime. frankly it is no use saying who is culprit now. I think Dong-a’s editorial intend to spur the hospitality about north korea.

  3. Gabriel permalink
    March 30, 2011 10:20 am

    First of all I cherich all the victims of ROKS Cheonan. The incident is to be never forget among all Koreans. No matter who the culprit is, it is such a shame that the government is still remaining silence with out any reactions to the N.Korea. We should show our reactions strongly to the world because it is directly connected to the national power.

  4. Jingle Jangle permalink
    March 30, 2011 7:25 pm

    It’s time South Korea started to really analyse its relationship with North Korea. They don’t listen to anyone and cause many problems that make many people sad.

  5. March 30, 2011 10:54 pm

    It is not to use who is the enenmy of that incident.
    It’s time to reflect ourselves why we didn’t react effectively.
    We have experienced similar incident in YEONPYEONG-DO.
    That is wonderful reaction to culprit.
    So, It is important to remember not the enemy whether Northe or not
    but reflection and doing well.

  6. sososo permalink
    March 31, 2011 12:17 am

    There is nothing yet a discovered data. It is regrettable that it used as a political weapon without a clear evidence. It seems that only a bereaved family is hurt pretty seriously. Do not guessing, we should be investigated thoroughly. I do not like the government’s or media’s opportunistic deal. I hope the good relations with the North, but honestly I don’t know anymore what is the true and our future.

  7. MIN.Y.K permalink
    March 31, 2011 12:18 am

    I know well this accident.
    When I was in military, this tragedy happened.
    I was really nervous. All of army were prepared another North Korean militaty provocation. I had to put on my equipment all the time. I couldn’t talk anything about the accident.
    Affected by Cheonan Sinking, many changes happened.
    Minister of national defence was altered. New equipments was introduced in army.
    Truth is still questionable. however, deadman can’t revive.
    Many ROK’s navy was gone.
    I’m in honor of Cheonan Sinking’s hero indeed.

  8. terry permalink
    March 31, 2011 4:37 am

    I remembered variety of press companies’ aspects about this tragedy accident. At that time, we could easily perceive no more than one way that North Korea attacked South Korea. However, in surface showing several specious evidence and unsure suggest. Most of all, I couldn’t understand reporting that I saw CNN news through the Internet websites. The CNN report said that Chinese government forced North government to attack South Korea. So the USA government asserted that Chinese government should command his neighbor which North Korea to stop attacking. Unfortunately, nobody has known the suspect who made this terrible issue. we don’t know Which reporting is right. But we should distinguish different aspects more carefully. Any attempt to restrict what may be reported about public figures in the press could easily become a conspiracy to know ignorance people in the dark and to manipulate them

  9. Irene permalink
    March 31, 2011 9:15 am

    According to the news, 30% of antiaircraft guns in Seoul, Korea were malfunctioning in the simple tests because of using defective parts to reduce costs. Likewise, some experts said that the cause of sinking of Cheon-an warship was also worn out facilities, presenting information of broken radar. However, government and political parties just have concentrated on proving whether the North Korea is related to the accident or not. Even though revealing the North Korea’s responsibility is important, in my view, the current attitude of politicians seems to exploit this accident as one of the means of achieving their respective political purposes. Without considering political interests, this is time to concern about real problems, the worn-out equipments.

  10. Yang woochan - critical reading and writing2 permalink
    April 1, 2011 4:05 pm

    Since I recognized that Donga Ilbo was pro-governmental and deceived abot a important news matter, I have been negative about it.
    Although Donga is very famous newspaper company, Its article is not fact unconditionally.
    Cheonan Sinking accident is a painful wound in our national history.
    I keenly regret that the brave souls who sacrificed their lives serving their country close in my age.
    The cheonan Sinking accident’s sincere fact must come out into the world for dead military personnel.

  11. KSH permalink
    April 2, 2011 12:17 am

    My family read Dong-A ilbo and I am familiar with the color of this newspaper. But occasionally I read some articles on the internet too, and it is very interesting to observe the same occasion from a different point of view. For sure, media should remain objective and only deliever true fact. Nevertheless, there can’t be an article in which the opinion of writer is perfectly removed. If it is not too strong, it makes each media have its characteristic and speak for particular voice. In my opinion, what is more important is the appropriate attitude of reader. We ought to try to have sensible eyes that can see things with discernment. Reading various newpapers will help this.

  12. K.H.Chu permalink
    April 2, 2011 1:44 am

    First of all, I feel regretful over 46 sailors sacrificing themselves for our nation and people. This tragedy happened a year ago, but I can remember even until now how much this accident was shocking to me. At that time, I could think again that national security is very important especially for us because we are in the middle of military confrontation with North Korea. However, on one side, I came to think about this accident from another point of view. Many different kinds of media reported the incident extremely different ways with their own voice. Because of this, many people got confused at that moment and the exact cause of this incident still remains unclear to us. In my opinion, what is really necessary to us is to observe incidents or phenomena from an objective point of view. This is true that one media has different ideology and thought with one another. Accordingly, diverse media maintain political, economic and social issues in different ways. Therefore, it is important to us to see the root of the matter with critical eyes.

  13. April 2, 2011 6:01 pm

    First of all, I think, Korea people should have attitude to acknowledge about a real fact regardless their tendency and belief. Of couse, lots of animated discussions from diverse medias are important to develop the recognition of current affairs. However, people must assert their opinion along with approvals other people’s right opinion.
    Hankyoreh believe the fact they want. Most medias in all over the world and major medias in Korea reported the real culprit of Cheonan Sinking is North Korea according to accurate scientific invesigations. Therefore, Korea government should have solved this tragedy more intelligent, objective and cool-headed forward to North Korea. One year ago, however, conservative party and progressive party have only conflict and competition to win the election by using Cheonan Sinking incident. This attitude is guilty to victim’s familes.
    For these reasons, government and public should accurately recognize the real face of the North Korea and take an appropriate measures.

  14. Actor permalink
    April 3, 2011 11:30 am

    I was related to this accident indirectly because i was doing my duty in military when it occured last year. Dominant prevailing view is that North Korea attacked our ship through their weapon. Dong-A ilbo mentioned about this accident with same view. In addition, most of other newspaper firms has this view, and they handled not only this accident but political problems. Focusing policital problems exessively is not good situation. It is important for us to focus victims of this accident and memorize their honor rather than other sides.

  15. LJH permalink
    April 3, 2011 4:00 pm

    Of course, finding out course of the accident is important.
    But we focus on young sailors’s sacrificing themselves serving their country.
    At that time, we were very sad and we understood grief of the bereaved families.
    So we gave attention them. But, over time, we forget their grief. In fact, we forget the accident had happened.
    Thanks to their victims, we get along safely. So we must remember them and their sacrifice

  16. S.A. Lee permalink
    April 3, 2011 7:51 pm

    Cheonan Sinking was truly tragedy incident. I think Korean should keep taking care of the vitims of Cheonan Singking and do not forget them. But, in Donga editorial, I couldn’t recognize some sort of sorry feeling or cherishing. They just keep insisted on ‘We’re right, the culprit was North Korea.”. We alredy know the usual suspect was North Korea, but during invetigation, there was some weird evidences and the aurthorities wouldn’t explain enough to nod our hesds. I think that’s why some people start to became suspicious of North Korea is real culprit or not. Anyways, right now we should more focus on the victims and their bereaved families.

  17. Joo permalink
    April 3, 2011 8:27 pm

    I still have vivid memories of the incident that forty-six sailors drowned to death.
    At that time, we didn’t know that why this accident happened.
    Added to that, it is fact that nothing is certain.
    For that reason, I think that Dong-A ilbo’s article is precipitant behavior.
    These actions will be worsening our already unstable situation
    We need more we must effort to do not repeat it than there is no point in trying to place the blame.

  18. whosthisgirl permalink
    April 3, 2011 9:51 pm

    To be honest, I wasn’t fully interested in what was going on in Korea about the Cheonan sinking. Well, to be specific, I surely was like “Omg what happened in Korea? 42 soldiers were died by ship sinking out of nowhere!” but later on, this tragedy was more focused on the culprit is North Korea, I stopped being interested in. Since I was in Vancouver, I think it was just hard to hear various public opinion and the only thing that I could get the news was reading articles which didnt seem accurate and neutral. As everyone knows, always Dong-A, Chosun and Joongang (conservative press) spot North Korea as a culprit but conversely, Hangyeore, Kyeonghyang and Oh My News (progressive press) are telling that North Korea might not be the real culprit. Personally, I don’t think North Korea made Cheonan sinking, from what soldiers said and everything, it doesn’t really make sense. Also I still remember how public opinion was before the rulling party and powerful conservative press tried to kinda brainwash people to believe the culprit is NK. Dong-A is saying that more than 80 percent of South Koreans blame the North for sinking the warship but how could we believe this statistics? They always give us fake statistics and try to brainwash people lol. We still don’t know the exact cause of the tragedy thus, nobody can’t really say who the culprit is with accurate proof. So Dong-A and them should stop saying “the culprit is NK for sure and we have to show our angry to them” and trying to brainwash people.

  19. whosthisgirl permalink
    April 3, 2011 10:18 pm

    Todd, Sorry that I’m leaving a comment which is not related to cheonan sinking but since I don’t know how to suggest topics, I decided to leave a comment here.
    I’m not sure if you already watched a video on youtube, UCLA girl Asian Rant. It has been a hot news for few weeks. (Well, It’s pretty old news now though..) but since found it funny and EVERYONE – not only on youtube but also on Radio, TV other media was talking about this video, making tons of reponse videos. I think it would be fun to share our opinion about this video and the girl on our blog 🙂 Actually, she took her video down after it got a really big issue and this link is copy one Also, I heard she dropped her school. You can see the hella funny comments on her video and reponses too! Please check this out!

    • proftodd permalink*
      April 4, 2011 9:51 am

      Yes, I saw the video. My first comment is that she is completely thoughtless for her obviously ignorant and hateful comments. Secondly, she seems to be immature and unsophisticated for thinking the Internet provided her privacy. Although she made her comments alone in her room, she uploaded them on the Internet without seeming to realize that digital footprints do not go away easily. Third, although I do not think UCLA should discipline her – free speech and all – , I do think the school should strongly suggest she take cultural sensitivity/awareness training. Finally, I wonder about the level of interest this video has created. These kinds of thoughtless rantings by ignorant individuals can be found everywhere, across all ethnic boundaries. What specifically caused such a negative ‘overreaction’ to this video, especially the violent threats of injury or death to her and her family?

  20. veraB permalink
    April 3, 2011 10:27 pm

    It is not surprising that Donga and Hankyoreh are taking exactly the opposite line toward the ROKS Cheonan sinking as they were one year ago. At least, at that time, both seemed to be deeply sorry for the indelible tragedy. In the absence of hard evidence, I just cannot agree with both. Donga is persistently saying that culprit is NK, as usual, and those who not accepting this fact are false. This conservative side is again stigmatizing NK as enemy, supporting the incumbent party’s hard line toward NK. Without disclosing the information of what really happened in Cheonan sinking due to the national security, they are pointing fingers, allegedly, at NK. Also, those who are not in line with them are denounced and considered ‘the red.’ Conversely, Hankyoreh has not accepted the government’s statement of the incident but raised many skepticism and suspicion about NK’s provocation. It seemed to be a right thing to do but they poured out raw criticism, which contributed to tons of conspiracy theories on the Internet, though I cannot prove how much contribution mass media such as Hankyoreh had. South Koreans were reeling from the incident and the world media reported Korea as if the war between NK would break right off the bat.

    In this regard, I do not know which tunes to dance to… I want neither innocent lives to be claimed on their duty nor NK not to be branded as enemy. Lastly I would like to say that my thought and sympathy are with the 47 fallen soldiers, 9 innocent fishers of Gum Yang Ho(ship) who died or are still missing and all their bereaved families.

  21. Youtopia permalink
    April 3, 2011 10:29 pm

    These days, Korean people, especially the young, are not interested in politics. I think this is partly owing to the press. In the society, many press organizations exist and all of them have their own view about the current issues. As press organizations are run by individual or company, they just pursuit profit from the press business. As a result, the public are swayed by the press who are just seeking their benefits and it becomes harder to know the truth of current issues. The public has a right to know and the most important thing of the press is to pursuit the truth. In case of Cheonan sinking, although the result of this issue can hugely affect the atmosphere between North and South Korea, the press are publishing biased opinions. Just watching without doing anything is useless in fixing problems. The public should participate actively to reveal the truth of Cheonan sinking.

  22. Saebom Park permalink
    April 4, 2011 12:23 am

    First of all, I feel so sorry for being sacrified-soldiers at that time. However, I am not that sure this incident was occured by North Korea because there are some uncertain evidences and South Korean government has a lot of issues about political corruption. In the past, we have many problems about corruption especially in politics, so that I can’t believe some news between South and North Koreas. Of course, it is true that North Korea has been making a mount of faults to us such as attacking Yeonpyung island and killing our innocent citizens. What I can say surely is that we have to do and move with factual and certain evidences. If we insist with wrong information or made-up rumor, there would be lack of justification. So we have to take a firm stand on North Korea with positive proof.

  23. lalala permalink
    April 4, 2011 2:36 am

    Before anything else, I offer my condolences to victims of ROKS Cheonan. All Koreans will never forget them who died for our country. Actually I don’t like reading some newspapers which has a one-side view. When I read the newpapers, all the undisclosed facts seem to be true. They must not disturb the national state of mind. They should deliver the certain news. In spite of all the faults that N.Korea have made, I hope S.Korea covers up for N.Korea. I believe someday we will have nation unity, peace, and concord because South Koreans and North Koreans are the Korean race. You must hate the offense, but not the offender…!

  24. Dongki permalink
    April 4, 2011 9:42 am

    It is too bad that a tragic affair rose.But the tragic affair was not fully investigated by Goverment is too bad. Cheonan sinking give many assiginments to me. However, Korean goverment do not have will to solve questions. Instead of solving quetions, goverment is trying to remove trues to press North Korea. Of course, I understand the war bereaved have sorrow. But blindness and distortion are we do not absolve. Now, it is time to know hidden fact.

  25. Sylpid permalink
    April 4, 2011 9:45 am

    I was a soldier at that time. It was heartbreaking to hear that news.
    We and North Korea are cease fire countries. Without unification, somethings like this will continue. To settle this, we all have to try our best to unify with North Korea just like the Germans did.

  26. ananymous permalink
    April 4, 2011 8:47 pm

    I was in military at that time so I could really feel fear for another attack or possible war.
    People who suggest that the culprit should not be indicated as a offender must think that the incident broke out by military’s own faults like the battleship’s poor maintenence or by Korean government to press North Korea.
    But, I don’t want to accept both. Government is not a group of plotters. Hating that some people are using this catastrophe to provoke North Korea and to foster their ideology, I think North Korea committed it in fact ,and it is to be blamed.

  27. Choi Hui Young permalink
    April 4, 2011 9:31 pm

    I think this will be shameful history of our national security history. Of course it is real tragic affair but it can be a warning sign to all of our national defense. We have to take this case to strengthen our self-reliant defense. And also I feel sad about that political parties use this case as political dispute. Most of all, case about national security must be all-party support topic. But in this country political parties are divide two opinion that it’s done by North or it’s suspicious. It’s really shameful situation because Cheonan Sinking case is confirmed by neutral national research group. Now we have to unite all the power and fight against the enemy who threat our happiness and freedom.

  28. book permalink
    April 4, 2011 10:57 pm

    When I was high school student, I studied basic politics. At that time, I compared with conservative newspapers(Dong Ilbo, Joseon Ilbo) and progressive newspapers(Hangyeorae, Kyeonghyang). Through this comparison, I knew that each newspapers have different view about same events. Conservative newspapers seems to advocate government more than progressive newspapers. Of course, no one knows that which one tells true. So, readers have to see various newspapers in a critical view.

  29. April 5, 2011 2:18 am

    It is a real shame to say that Korea’s Democratic Party is not admiting that North Korea was behind the Cheonan sinking. The party has its freedom to say certain opinion, but it seems to me that the deaths are not clarified and the opposite idea is also not clearly shown. The people died of this event were mostly in my age, and I think it is very urgent to figure out the truth that is undeniable for anybody and grieve for the tragedy.

  30. Kim Soo Min permalink
    April 5, 2011 11:32 am

    I feel ashamed during reading ‘Dong-A’. Why they always make us seperate?
    I think the important things is just share one´s sense of bereavement. I hate black-and-white theory like this. A short time ago, I read an article about an interview of the victims’ familes. And I was shocked because the government did not make amends to them.
    At this point in time, a question about culprit is not important. I am totally disappionted such case.

  31. Wow permalink
    April 5, 2011 2:41 pm

    I think that we Koreans tend to be seperated and it’s very difficult to gather our strength. It has been almost 60 years since our nation was divided and still, we don’t have trust each other, between North Korea and South Korea. But, more seriously we can’t be one in the society of South Korea. Despite the situation where our nation was seperated, we divide people through their opinion, name them a communist or a conservative, and hate each other rather than put our power together to reunify our country. We have to stop just blaming and hating each other and think what will be helpful to our nation and the people.

  32. DIDI permalink
    April 5, 2011 9:56 pm

    At first, at that time, I was crying all day because they were on my age who are dead, could be my friend.
    I think we have to act more powerfully. I know the truth of this accident has not been clearly known. However, we have had these kinds of accident a lot before. North Korea is always preparing for the Korea war, so the accident of ROKS Cheonan must be occured by the North Korea sub. It’s time to show them how stong and prepared we are!

  33. Adam Lee permalink
    April 6, 2011 6:08 pm

    this reports reminds me of the memories last year. it was my second month in Korea, and i was shopping in a small mart when i saw the vidoe of the accident on TV. i couldn’t quite understand the reports but i was totally threatened by the scence. soon i realized naver changed thier main page into black-white color, and words like ‘Korea will never forget you’ could be seen everywhere in the city…
    since the truth has been proved, not matter it was an accident or military attaction, North Korea’s not feeling sorry really makes angry and worry about how relationship between the tow Koreas would turn to be.

  34. PCE permalink
    April 11, 2011 7:24 pm

    It seems to me that Dong-a is trying to break down the ralationship between South and North Korea. Of course, a possibility for North Korea’s crime cannot be excluded. But, it is essentially needed to analyze the cause of the ROKS Cheonan sinking from various point of veiw.

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