Thursday, July 12, 2012

Koreans Fear Candidate for New KEI Head

A July 11 Hankook Ilbo article entitled "Uproar Over 'Comfort Women' Comments of Candidate for New Head of US Think Tank on Korea" says that Koreans are worried that the Board of Directors for the Korea Economic Institute (KEI) in the United States will select Illinois Representative Donald Manzullo to be the new President of the institute. Former president, Ambassador Jack Pritchard, stepped down on June 29, and Abraham Kim is currently acting as the interim President. (LINK).

The article explains that the uproar is because Representative Manzullo was one of the congressmen who spoke out against the 2007 US House of Representatives Resolution 121, which asked the Japanese government to apologize to former comfort women and to include curriculum about them in Japanese schools. The article quotes Representative Manzullo as having said the following:
Why must the US House of Representatives act as a jury to decide if a Japanese apology is sufficient for Koreans to accept? We are not the United Nations, and we are not a court.
The above quote is simply my translation of the quote in the Korean article. I am not sure of the exact quote, but I did find the following written quote from Mr. Manzullo HERE.
I question whether the United States House of Representatives is the proper forum to address historical grievancess between third parties. While House Resolution 121 is well intentioned, I fail to see how it will do anything to provide closure to the survivors of this situation, and I fear this resolution could pit ally against ally and American citizens against each other.
The Hankook Ilbo article says that someone with the Korean Embassy in the US said he had heard that Representative Manzullo would be the next President of the KEI.

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