1. American View of Korea and Koreans since 1945

  2. True purpose of American Troops in Korea:
    to keep China and Japan divided.

I am proud of my National Origin,
in spite of the American bias against Koreans.

    Young Suh Kim
    Professor of Physics, Emeritus
    Universty of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.
    home page.

I would be less than fully honest if I say I received no discriminations against my national (Korean) origin while in the United States since I came here in 1954. Click here to see how Korea appeared to Americans.

However, my stories are about a limited number of Americans and Europeans. The United States has been very nice to me.

How can anyone insult me by saying oriental boy?

Korea was an unknown land to Americans before the Korean war started in in 1950. They did not realize the scale of the war could become in in 1950. They did not realize the scale of the war could become comparable with those for the two world wars they fought earlier.

  • In 1945, when American troops went to Korea after Japan surrendered, Americans thought Korea was a part of Japan.

    It took some painful years for Koreans to set up their own industry and then their democracy. Until recent years, news from Korea was not pleasant to Americans. My American friends used to say directly to me

    The best solution to the Korean problem is to get out of Korea
    after giving the country back to Japan.

  • Korea appeared to be a hopelessly backward country to Americans, but Koreans had a long history with a number of strong assets they can bragging about.

    The most important asset was and still is their passion for education. Traditionally, Koreans had to study hard and pass exams to move up along the social ladder. This passion for education transformed their country from the war destruction of 1950-53 to one of the ten strong countries in the world.

  • In Korea, their universities are still educational institutions, while they are largely research institutions in the United States. In USA, the promotion in academic ranks depends on the quaintly and quality of the papers published in respected journals. In Korea, until recent years, the research was an unknown parameter in their universities.

    Some of my Korean friends think I am a failed professor, because I never became the chairman of my department or the dean of the college.

    Does this mean that Korea is a backward country?

    Until recent years, Korea's secondary school (high school) system has been highly selective. Young boys and girls had to be with gifted talents to enter the elite high schools they choose.

  • I attended one of those elite high schools in Korea, and I used to upset my American friends by bragging about my Korean high school background. Let us see how strong my high-school class was.

    1. In 1948, my entering class consisted of 360 boys. The Korean war lasted from 1950 to 1953. The campus was destroyed and we had to move from one city to another. Only 240 of those boys graduated, and most of them went to colleges. Many of them came the United States for undergraduate and graduate studies.

    2. Yet, my war-damaged class produced three Harvard PhDs, two Princeton PhDs, one MIT PhD, and one PhD from the UC Berkeley, plus many others.

    3. You would agree that I went to the No. 1 high school in the world.
      Click here to see who agrees with me on the issue of the best high school in the world.

  • How can anyone insult me for calling me "Oriental Boy." What kind of high school did he/she attend in the world?

    When Americans insulted me for my Korean origin, I remained silent since there were no other ways. However, my true answer to them was and still is

    What kind of high school did you attend?

    While these events happened occasionally without any consequences in my life, I have to mention one serious event that shaped up my career positively.


  • In 1965, while I was struggling as an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, Princeton found the genius of the Century. His name was Roger Dashen. He was a fresh PhD from the California Institute of Technology, and was appointed as a full professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton (institute created for Albert Einstein). His appointment was based on his PhD thesis which produced the numerical value of the neutron-proton mass difference (the neutron is slightly heavier than the proton), using a theoretical mechanism called "bootstrap dynamics."

      The bootstrap dynamics was one of the theoretical schemes for constructing formulas relating one observable number with another observable number. This scheme was once a domineering subject in physics, but disappeared completely. The word "bootstrap dynamics" does not exit on the Wikipedia page. It is gone forever.

  • I became very unhappy to hear that someone other than myself is a genius. I had and still have my Herod Complex. I had to eliminate him. I carefully examined his paper reporting his calculation of the neutron-proton mass difference, and found a big mistake there. In 1966, I thus published my paper reporting his error in the same journal where his paper appeared.

    In the same year, the University of Maryland considered my promotion to an associate professor. During this process, my paper on Dashen's calculation of the neutron-proton mass difference became an issue. Toward me, the reaction from American physicists was

    Dashen is a genius, but you are only a Korean.
    How can you be right? Go back to Korea.

    Thus, my position at the University was in danger. I needed help from some authorities. I thus contacted Sam Treiman who was my thesis advisor at Princeton. He asked me to come to Princeton and explain the situation, and I did. However, he could not understand my explanations, and told me "never come to Princeton again."

    My first understanding toward his hostile behavior was his prejudice against Orientals (Koreans). He used call me "Oriental" to me and to others.

    However, I came to a more precise conclusion. If Princeton people thought Dashen was a genius, there was a brain problem. Then I was able to connect this brain problem with Princeton's age-old problem.

    What was Princeton's problem?

  • Eugene Paul Wigner (Nobel 1963) was a Hungarian-born physicist who studied in Germany. He was a history-making physicist and received his Nobel prize in 1963. However, he was totally isolated from the rest of Princeton. Princeton's younger professors (including Sam Treiman) routinely said "Wigner is gone."

    From my experience with the Dashen case, known widely as Princeton's Dashen-Frautchi Fiasco in the world of physics,I came to the conclusion that Wigner was isolated because Princeton people (except myself) lacked the brain power to talk with Eugene Wigner.

  • Thus, after my catastrophic separation from Sam Treiman, I decided to construct my new route to Princeton through Eugene Paul Wigner, by talking directly to him.

  • The story is very long. Let me state my conclusion first. I am known in the physics world as Wigner's youngest student at Princeton because I published papers with him during the years 1988-1900, many years after I left Princeton in 1962.

    How did I approach him? Here I had to use the wisdom I inherited from my Korean background. Korea has a long history as a kingdom. The best way for Koreans to move up on the social ladder (or class rank) is to tell the king what he wanted to hear. Here is a story from their recent history.

    So, how did I become Wigner's youngest student?


Approach Wigner. How?

  • When I was at Princeton as a graduate student and a pot-doc (1968-62), Wigner was totally isolated from the rest of Princeton. After I left Princeton in 1962, It was even more impossible to approach him. Then, how was it possible for me to talk with him?

    Here comes a piece of wisdom from my Korean background. Korea has a long history as a monarchy. North Korea is still a monarchy. In this king-centered system, the only way to move in the social ladder is to tell the king the stories he wanted to hear. Here is one of those stories from Korea's recent history.

    Thus, the best way to approach Wigner was to tell Wigner the stories he wanted to hear. Wigner got his Nobel prize in 1963. He was happy with his prize, but not 100%, because the prize was not for his 1939 paper which was dearest to his heart.

  • Thus, the best way to approach him was to tell him that his 1939 paper alone deserved one full Nobel prize. The empty words were not enough. I had to show the scientific reasoning.

    In one of the 1986 papers I published with my younger colleagues, I included this table:

    Contents of Einstein's E = mc2
    Particle Variables Massive/Slow between Massless/Fast
    Einstein
    Energy
    Momentum
    E=p2/2m Einstein's
    E=(m2 + p2)1/2
    E= cp
    Wigner Helicity
    Spin, Gauge
    S3
    S1 S2
    Winner's
    Little Group
    Helicity
    Gauge Trans.
    This table clearly defines Wigner's position in Einstein's genealogy. Indeed, this is the story he wanted hear.

  • Wigner became very happy and asked me to publish papers with me. I published six papers with him during the period 1987-90.


American View of Korea and Koreans

  • Korea was an unknown land to Americans before the Korean war started in in 1950. Americans did not realize the scale of the war could become comparable with the two world wars.

    When American troops went to Korea after Japan surrendered in 1945, Americans thought Korea was a part of Japan.

    It took some painful years for Koreans to set up their own industry and democracy. Until recent years, news from Korea was not always pleasant to Americans. My American friends used to say directly to me

    The best solution to the Korean problem is to get out of Korea after giving the country back to Japan.

    Yes, Korea appeared to be a backward country toward Americans, but Koreans had a long history with a number of strong assets,

    The most important asset was and still is their passion for education. Traditionally, you have to study hard to move up along the class ladder in the society.

    To Koreans, their universities are still educational institutions, while they are also research institutions. In USA, the position in academic ranks depend on the quantity and quality of the papers published in selected journals.

    On the other hand, until recent years, Korea's secondary school (high school) system has been highly selective. Young boys and girls had to be gifted with talents to enter the elite high schools they choose.

    I attended one of those elite high schools, and I used to upset my American friends by bragging about my high school background.

    The Korean War lasted from 1950 to 1953, my school campus was destroyed, and we had to move from one place to another to hold school classes. My class started with 360 boys in 1948, but only 240 of them were able to graduate, due to the war.

    Yet, this class of mine produced three Harvard PhDs, two Princeton PhDs, one MIT PhD, and one PhD from the UC Berkeley. I was the No.1 boy in this class. Who could be above me in the world?

The World run by yellow-skinned people?

American troops in Korea to keep China and Japan separated.