Wisdom of Korea (2002, January -- Junue)


Y.S.Kim (2002.1.10)

I have many plans for the New Year. I would like to make my webpages more attractive to others. It appears that the sky is the only limit for creating new ideas and new styles.

What should be the network plan for you? Please send me interesting articles. Articles introducing your research labs (in Korea) could be very helpful to others. If you have constructed an interesting personal webpage, please let us know. We like to share the happiness with you.

There still seems to be a misunderstanding about our network. I often get requests from Korea whether there is a separate network for a particular engineering branch, such as electrical or mechanical engineering. If it exists, they should know about it. I keep telling them that our network is also for Korean engineers. It is in a developing stage. It will develop only if those engineers use this network, instead of looking for the program which does not exist.

Remember this. I was once a student at the Engineering College of SNU, and I am in a position to give "kihap" to all Korean engineers. In addition, my wife was also in the same class. She can also kihap them. If you like to know whether she is strong enough to exercise her seniority, you may visit http://www2.physics.umd.edu/~yskim/ewha.html to see what I am talking about.

Perhaps Korean engineers are reluctant to use our service because I have not yet declared my life-time presidency for engineering organization. If this is needed, I will be happy to do so. I am anxious to expand our service to include all Korean engineers.

As for my articles, I will complete my story about Rhee Seungman, and will start talking about Jewish people. Today, I told one of my colleagues I barely completed all deadline items for 2001. He told me I am far ahead of him. Everybody is busy and oeverworked these days. It is 5:16 AM now, and I stayed up all night. I know that you too will have another busy year.

Happy New Year!!


Y.S.Kim (2002.1.15)

This file is already too long. I will be brief tonight. As I said before, Dr. Chang Duk-Soo received his PhD degree from Columbia, and his study in the United States was supported by Kim Sung-Soo. After 1945, Chang was the chairman of the organizing committee for Hanmin- Dang (Hankook Minju-dang). The Hanmin-dang consisting of upper-class Koreans was a bona-fide political party. It is very unfortunate that this party got into a power struggle with Rhee Seungman while the the Korean government was being established during he summer of 1948.

Dr. Chang was also close to Rhee Seungman because both of them were able to read the world climate produced by the United States and the Soviet Union. I do not think he was powerful enough to prevent fifty years of Korea's political tragedy, but everybody agrees that he could have reduced the burden Koreans had bear due to the lack of political leadership. Dr. Chang's death in 1947 was a great loss for Koreans.

Next time, I will talk more about Kim Koo.


Y.S.Kim (2002.1.17) As you all know, Kim Koo was the president of the provisional Korean government stationed in Shanghai until he returned to Korea in October of 1945. We usually use the word "Imjung" for this organization. The first Imjung president was Rhee Seungman and he persistently sought the recognition of the Imjung as the legitimate government of Korea from the United States, but failed. In 1944, a group of Koreans in the Japanese army fighting in China defected to the Imjung. This made a news in the United States. Then the intelligence unit of the U.S.Army decided to train those Korean soldier for possible guerrilla war in Korea. Kim Koo was very happy to get American supports but was disappointed when the war ended before he could send his troops to Korea. Yet, he was expecting a triumphant return to Korea. But John R. Hodge, the commander of the U.S. Forces in Korea, did not recognize the provisional government and allowed Kim Koo and his team to return only as individuals with no official titles. When they arrived at the Yeoyido Airport, the U.S. Army trucks escorted them to their residences during the night without any ceremony. Hodge's position was that he was the ruler of Korea and had the full authority to negotiate with the commander of the Soviet troops stationed in the North. On December 28 (1945), the foreign ministers of the Soviet Union, the Unites States, and Great Britain got together and declared a five-year trusteeship (Shintak Tongchi) on Korea. This five-year plan was Stalin's plan for democracy in Korea. At that time the United States did not have any policy toward Korea, and Hodge was rigorously following Stalin's plan. This was a total insult to Koreans, and Hodge didn't even know that he was working against his own country. To make things worse, Korean communists were violently supporting Stalin's Shintak formula. Kim Koo's observation was that Koreans had to start a new independence movement, and he encouraged Koreans to stage anti-Shintak demonstrations. This was a total surprise to Hodge. He thought he could rule Korea by simply issuing orders, and that all Koreans had to was simply to obey his orders. He asked Kim Koo to stop the demonstration. Hodge was naive enough to threaten Kim Koo with death sentence. What did Rhee Seungman do? He was of course against Shintak, but stayed quiet while watching carefully what was happening in Washington. He did not want to offend the United States while Kim Koo is doing all the work for him. This is the reason why many people say Rhee did not do any work for independence. Another confrontation Kim Koo had with Americans was the murder trial of Chang Duk-Soo's death during the early months of 1948. Kim Koo was summoned to the court by Hodge several times, but he ignored. Then Hodge arranged an invitation letter from Harry Truman (the president of the United States) to come to the court. Kim Koo went to the court but he did not take the court hearings seriously. At one point, Kim Koo said "Yi gae-jashik-deul-a" to Americans. I do not thinks this was recorded in the court proceedings. However, I met in Washington the person who translated what Kim Koo said. According to him, he translated what Kim Koo said as "You son-of-beaches," but Americans could not believe Kim Koo could say this, and asked the translator to provide a more accurate translation. He then said "You sons of dogs." The translator was an American soldier of Korean origin and was a very pleasant person when I met him in Washington. Kim Koo was a loser, but his fierce patriotism left a lasting impact on all Koreans. Let me express my Kim-Kooism. This year, there will be a presidential election in Korea. Washington is the capital city for Americans, but there will be many Korean politicians seeking photos with high-ranking officials of the U.S. government. You will agree that they are ugly ugly Koreans. They say they all respect Kim Koo, but they do not have enough intelligence to learn a lesson from him?


Y.S.Kim (2002.1.31)

In January of 1947, George Marshal became the secretary of state of the United States and started managing the world. Of course, Marshall knew the limitation of the U.S. influence. Earlier, he was in China in order to arrange a compromise between the communist and nationalist factions, but he failed. He undoubtedly knew the limitations imposed by Stalin's Soviet Union. Yet, he was quite hopeful about the new foreign policy instrument, namely the United Nations. At that time, the United States was in control of all UN functions except its security council where five major powers could exercise veto powers. However, the UN General Assembly was under the U.S. control.

The UN building in New York was not built until 1954, and its functions were based on a old fair ground in Long Island. The place was called Lake Success. This place does not exist on the map these days. On October 24 (1947), the UN General Assembly passed a resolution calling for an independent Korean government for the entire territory of Korea (including the North). In January of 1948, a ten-member UN commission came to Seoul to conduct a general election covering the entire territory. However, the commander of the Soviet troops in the North did not allow the UN commission to his territory.

This was not un-expected, and the UN commission, in close cooperation with the U.S. occupation force in the South, went ahead with the election plan in the South. John R. Hodge, always faithful to his own country, offered a full cooperation to the UN commission. It was his personal decision to hold the first general election in Korea on May 10, 1948.

In the meantime, Hodge knew that, by pushing Stalin's Shintak plan, he completely lost political credibility in Korea. He also knew that Rhee Seungman was going to become the president. Thus, he told the Koreans in his military government to report directly to Rhee. In this way, Rhee became in charge of the Korean police. This is the reason why many people are blaming Rhee for the Cheju massacre which took place in April of 1948 before he became the president in August o 1948.

Kim Koo knew that the UN commission came to Korea to set up a Korean government covering only the South, formalizing the division of the country. However, when the UN commission asked Koreans to to file applications for the presidential candidacy with 1000 signatures (personal stamps), Kim Koo was the first one to file. Rhee Seungman forgot to do it because he did not think anyone else would dare to file the application. After hearing Kim Koo did, Rhee had to forge the signatures because he did not have enough time to collect them (after the deadline was over). Forging signature at that time meant that wood workers had to carve 1000 personal stamps.

We all respect Kim Koo as a man of principle. He was fiercely against the division of the country. However, was he a perfect ideologist or another politician. Based on what he did with the UN commission, we have to conclude that he was also a politician. Then, was he a good politician? My answer is definitely No. As a politician, he made a fatal mistake in April of 1948. I will tell you more about this next time.


Y.S.Kim (2002.3.22)

In January of 1948, the United Nations sent a ten-member commission to Seoul to supervise a general election to set up an independent Korean government covering the entire peninsula. At that time, the UN was an instrument of the United States. North Korean authorities backed by the Beria faction of the Soviet government said "Nyet" to the UN Commission, and the UN (or the United States) decided tohold an election in the South on May 12 of 1948.

In order to counter the UN/US move, Kim Il-Sung called for a nation- wide conference on a unified Korean government. Yes! There were many in the South who did not like the government covering the South alone. There were also many who were disillusioned by not-so-ideal American military rule. Therefore Kim Il-Sung's call for the national conference had an appeal to Korean nationalists in the South. But they did not know that the "one government" for entire Korea meant Kim Il-sung's one-man rule and Stalin's dictatorship.

Among the many nationalists in the South, Kim Koo was the most prominent person, and he decided to attend Kim Il-Sung's national conference in Pyongyang which started on April 19 (1948). On the other hand, all sensible Koreans knew that Kim Il-Sung's proposal was a counter move toward the UN-sponsored election in the South, and a group of college students blocked the roadway between Kim Koo's residence to the main street. Kim Koo then sneaked out from the back door and arrived in Pyongyang on April 21.

I have a video strip of Kim Koo's arrival in Pyongyang and a initial portion of his speech at Kim Il-Sung's national conference. This conference was a stage show tightly organized by Kim Il-Sung and his Soviet supporters. Kim Koo's role there was simply to boost Kim In-Sung's position. He then came back to the South with some lip-service promises from Kim Il-Sung, but this was the end of his political life.

Kim Koo's speech in Pyongyang started with a humble introduction of himself. He said he did not learn much when he was young and knows very little about the things. He then makes a number of proposals and got an enthusiastic applause. That was it, but nothing happened. Here is my point. If Kim Koo was going to say he did not learn much to Kim Il-Sung who learned even less, why couldn't he say the same thing in front of Rhee Seungman and accept the No. 2 position in the South. In this way, he could have saved his life in the South.

Indeed, this is precisely what Kim Koo did not want to say in the South. Instead, he decided to eliminate Chang Duk-Soo. In other words, Kim Koo was inviting his own death. Like Rhee, Chang was a highly educated person with a PhD degree from Columbia.

The people of the world, particularly Koreans, hate those who had better education than themselves. I know this from my own experience. This is the reason why Koreans say only negative aspects of Rhee. I do not have this kind of complex toward him, and this is the reason why I can write about him with a balanced view. I talk about him on my Princeton webpage: http://www2.physics.umd.edu/~yskim/princeton.html which is visited very frequently by non-Koreans thanks to the images Actress Brooke Shields.

Next time, I will talk about who engineered the assassination of Kim Koo. I hope very much I can pinpoint the person who initiated the idea of taking an action.


Y.S.Kim (2002.3.23)

Tonight, I will talk about two Koreans who played their roles in Korea's recent history. One is Dr. Cho Byung-Ha, and the other is Major Chang Eun-San of the Korean Army. Both of them were brilliant young boys in 1943 with exceptional mathematical talent. They were forced to enter the Japanese Military Academy to become "faithful children" of the Japanese Emperor.

The curriculum of the Academy did not include any courses on logistics. This is one of the major reasons why the Japanese army performed so poorly in the Pacific War. On the other hand, the curriculum was very strong in mathematics. The Japanese army copied their artillery system from France, and their officers had a good training in Lagrangian dynamics covering centrifugal and Coriolis forces caused by the earth's gravity and rotation. Naturally, those two Korean boys became fascinated by what they learned in the Academy. After the war was over in 1945, they came back to Korea with romantic dreams for their own country.

One of them was interested in constructing a strong artillery unit for the Korean army. He became the commander of the Korean artillery corps with 92 (mostly useless) artillery pieces in 1948. He was a very young man at age 23. His name was Chang Eun-San. The other was interested in building a nuclear bomb for Korea, and studied physics. His name was Cho Byung-Ha. Dr. Cho had many crazy original ideas in physics, but made his contributions to Korean science primarily through his organizational talent. I liked him very much because he was able to see that I also a talent along the same direction. He used to send me his Hew Year's greetings. To many Koreans, he is known as the first president of KAIST.

In 1986, I met Dr. Cho in Philadelphia and spent one evening with him. We talked about everything under the sun and moon, including one of the Korean ladies known to him, to me and to a third party. At one point, I asked him why Major Chang Eun-San was so swiftly executed in August of 1950. I was more specific. Was it because he attempted to flee to Japan when the North Korean army staged a three-pronged attack against Young-Chun, Taegu and Masan? Was it because he acted as "the chief of staff" for Kim Koo's assassination? Dr. Cho clearly told me it was due to both. He said he knew Chang Eun-San very well, but he did not want to elaborate on the extent of their friendship. From my point of view, I asked the right question to the right man, and got the right answer.

Next time, I will talk more about Chang Eun-San. Of course, I do not approve of what he did. Yet, I am mentioning these two scientists tonight in order to point out they were different from today's young Koreans. The first difference is that young Koreans in 1943 had very limited options, yet they were able to manufacture their own dreams for themselves and for their country. Of course, there were many Koreans they could blame, but they did not.

Those two Koreans, while attending the most prestigious school in Japan, did everything to prove they were smarter than their Japanese classmates. Today's young people constantly blame pro-Japanese traitors. When I ask them what kind of car they drive, they say "Honda." When I ask them whether they are willing compete with their Japanese colleagues, they say I am asking a meaningless question because Japan is an advanced country. This is not the answer Koreans like to hear. Indeed, they are the real traitors.


Y.S.Kim (2002.4.2)

On June 26 (1949), shortly after the noon, Ahn Doo-Hee delivered three bullets to Kim Koo from his 45 caliber pistol. He was a second lieutenant of the artillery corps of the Korean army, whose commander was Major Chang Eun-San whom I talked about in my previous mail.

After the event in 1949, Ahn lived long enough to tell the truth about the who was behind his "patriotic mission." He lived until he was beaten to death in 1995 or 96 by a man who called himself a patriot. This man received a four-year prison term for murdering Ahn Doo-Hee, but I do not know how many days he spent in jail.

Ahn Doo-Hee frustrated many Koreans by telling persistently that he was the one who originated the idea of eliminating Kim Koo without anyone's instruction. Naturally, reporters asked him about Chang Eun-San, but he used to give the following answers.

  1. Chang Eun-San was younger than he was though his army rank was higher. Thus, Chang used to call him "hyung-nim" at private meetings.

  2. He was far advanced in democratic and anti-communist ideology than Chang, and Chang used to get impressed whenever he heard lectures from Ahn.

When asked whether he was ordered to kill Kim Koo by Chang Eun-San, Ahn used to say "No" very firmly. In my opinion, Ahn Doo-Hee was telling the truth. There was something wrong with his vision of the world.

From Chang Eun-San's point of view, Ahn Doo-Hee was not an important person. Chang's original plan did not include Ahn. Chang's first attempt was to raid Kim Koo's motorcade while he was making a trip to a country city (I forgot the name of the city) in the spring of 1949. However, this plan did not work because the city officials had to cancel Kim Koo's speech under the pressure from the Korean government.

Chang's second plan was to send an assassination squad to Kim Koo's residence from the back fence. This plan failed because there were so many dogs balking. While Chang was making plans, he was approached by an officer in his unit. His name was Ahn Doo-Hee who volunteered to fire his pistol at Kim Koo. To Chang, Ahn was a bonanza and planned another option. He told Ahn Doo-Hee to join Kim Koo's political party called "Han-Dok Dang" and become closer to Kim Koo. However, Chang would not have used Ahn if his two previous options had succeeded.

Next time, I would like to talk about who were behind Chang Eun-San, and what happened to him while Ahn Doo-Hee was going through the court-marshall. Tonight, I would like to add some words to Ahn's character. For nearly fifty years, Ahn never told who was behind him. He of course knew Chang Eun-San, but he had a complex toward him. Chang was younger, higher-ranking, and better educated. Ahn did not know and did not care about who were behind Chang Eun-San. Ahn did not tell the truth because he did not know.

You may think Ahn Doo-Hee's character is somewhat rare and unique. No! There are many many Koreans who are like him. If you read my articles in the past, you should have noted I know many people, both Koreans and non-Koreans. Let us pick a specific person. I talked about Dr. Cho Byung-Ha last time. In 1986, I had a telephone conversation with a bright young professor (he is now a big shot) at SNU. At one point, we mentioned Cho Byung-Ha. He gave me an one-hour lecture on how great Dr. Cho was. I politely indicated to him that I also knew Cho, but I could not stop his lecture.

This was not an isolated case. Most of my colleagues in theoretical physics (mostly from SNU) know Steve Weinberg better than I do. They continue lectures on how smart Weinberg is even after I tell them that Weinberg and I had the same thesis advisor at Princeton. Like Ahn Doo-Hee who did not know who were behind Chang Eun-San, my younger colleagues do not know and do not care about my personal background when they talk to me.

This is the issue of one's scope. Ahn Doo Hee had a limited scope, and this is the reason why he became one of the most despised person's in Korea's history. According to my observation, SNU graduates have a very serious scope problem. This is precisely the reason why they cannot compete in the world and their university became the worst university in the world.


Y.S.Kim (2002.4.13)

On June 26, 1949, Kim Koo was gunned down shortly after the 12:00 noon. Koreans knew about it through the evening newspapers. In 1949, there was only one-hour broadcast program (from 12:00 to 1:00mp) during the daytime. The evening broadcast did not start until 6:00 PM.

From 8:30 to 9:00 PM, during the prime hours, the Korean Broadcasting System had to relay the Korean language program of the Voice of America produced in Washington, DC. From the radio broadcasting point of view, Korea was a very poor country.

The Voice of America used to present world news, and the hot item in 1949 was the Palestine conflict (just like now). However, Koreans did not know what Palestine meant at that time. They knew the word Israel from the Bible, but they thought it was only a biblical word. It was very impolite to the United States for KBS to interrupt this VOA program, but it had no effects on the Korean audience.

On June 26, at 8:30 PM, instead of the VOA program, I heard the national anthem followed by a special message from the President of the Republic of Korea. Rhee Seungman started talking about Kim Koo's death. He reported to the nation that Kim Koo passed away and said it was a tragedy for Kim Koo and also for himself. He expressed his grief in losing the closest partner in the independence movement. Both Kim Koo and himself were victims of changing events in the world beyond his control. Rhee noted that the assassin was arrested and promised that he will be punished according to the law.

His speech however did not eradicate the suspicion that Rhee was the one who ordered his army officers to eliminate Kim Koo. Since then, many people presented various theories. However, according to Kim Shin, Kim Koo's son, Rhee was not, but he knew about the plot. He used to visit Rhee often. Before Kim Koo's death, Rhee gave him a warning to him that some young people might do something to his father. After Kim Koo's death, there were talks about eliminating Kim Shin. Rhee offered Kim Shin to go to England to avoid a possible plot against him. From these, Kim Shin said there must have been a power stronger than Rhee. He did not specify which power was, but the only power greater than Rhee was the United States. Kim Shin noted also that Rhee told him to go England instead of the United States.

Here is my account of what really happened. Both Rhee and the United States knew what was going on. However, they did not order Chang Eun-San to carry out the mission. As for the United States, it does not have to order assassination of political figures in Korea. If it does not provide protection, Koreans take care of them. Park Chung Hee lost support from the U.S., and he died. Kim Dae-Jung's life was saved twice by the U.S. intervention. Then, who ordered the elimination of Kim Koo?

Let us look at the characters between Rhee and Chang Eun-San. Ahn Doo-hee used to claim that Chang was calling him "Hyung-nim," but Chang's real Hung-nim was Major General Chae Byung-Duk who was the Army Chief of Staff. Chae had a special reason to like Chang. He was a graduate of the Japanese Military Academy. He was an excellent student there and received the Emperor's award at the graduation ceremony.

On the other hand, he was a very bad Japanese soldier because he behaved like Koreans out of his nationalism. Furthermore, he was more interested in military machines than fighting in the battle fields. He was particularly interested in arms production, like machine guns and heavy artillery guns. Chae therefore liked Chang En-San who was interested in developing an elite artillery corps for the Korean army. In addition, both were born and raised in Pyongyang. Truly, Chae Byung-Duk was Chang Eun-San's Hyung-nim.

Chae's wife and my mother went to the same high school in Pyongyang, and I can say more about Chae. He was quite fond of Naeng-Myun (Korean (cold noodle), and was called Naeng-Myun General by his close friends. He had a thick Pyongyang accent. He used to call military jeep "deep cha." Those from Pyongyang cannot pronounce "J" properly. As you know, Kim Il-Sung's real name was Kim Sung-Ju, but he was called "Sung-Du" by his friends. If Chae was not able to correct his Pyongyang pronunciation, he was not able to order anyone to murder anyone else, not even Kim Koo.

Then there was the minister of defense between Gen. Chae and Rhee. He was the defense minister. His name was Shin Sung-Mo. Many people say that he was a "man of evil," and I have to agree with them. I cannot present an evidence that Shin ordered both Chae and Chang to kill Kim Koo, but he was quite capable of doing so. In 1950, Shin ordered Chae to die by going to the front line, and he also killed Chang Eun-San in Taegu. Shin was quite capable of murdering people.

Shin also did several other things which killed many Koreans. OK. He murdered Kim Koo! What did he do to Rhee Seungman? He is the person who completely eradicated the image of Rhee as a patriotic national father, and replaced it with that of a ruthless tyrant. I will talk more about him in my later articles. I also know about him. I once heard his 90-minute speech talking about himself.


Y.S.Kim (2002.4.16)

It was three month ago. I met an American gentleman at a hotel near Trenton, New Jersey. He asked me in Korean whether I came from Korea, and I said Yes in English. I asked him whether he has been in Korea. He said he worked for the KMAG (Korean Military Advisory Group) before the Korean War. He was very happy to meet a man who know what KMAG means. I then asked him what kind of advice he gage to Korean soldiers. He was assigned to the Korean Cavalry Regiment.

I then said Koreans knew how to ride horses long before Columbus discovered America, and there are no horse soldiers in the U.S. Army except those who pull hearses when generals die. He said Yes, but he said he was assigned to the cavalry unit because he likes horses. He is in his late 70s but talks like and behaves like a young boy. He lives in Kansas but came to New Jersey in order to participate in a Rodeo competition. A very interesting man indeed, and I have my picture with him in the "Korean Background" of my website.

Indeed, before 1950, the Korean Army had a cavalry regiment consisting of 500 horses. The idea was to patrol the mountainous regions of the 38th parallel with horses. This idea was totally outdated from the military point of view, and it was not worth paying any attention for the U.S. military advisors. Yet, Americans placed one of their men in this Korean unit in order to monitor what was going on Among Koreans.

Unlike the case of horses, in 1945, nobody in Korea knew how to fire cannons. Thus, there were many American instructors in the Korean artillery regiment. Their job of course included monitoring what was going on in the Korean unit. It is therefore impossible for Americans not to know what the commander of this unit was doing. As I said before, the commander was Major Chang Eun-San who acted as the chief of staff for the Kim Koo assassination operation.

After Kim Koo died, Ahn Doo-Hee got a life-time sentence. The deal was that Ahn's life would be saved if Ahn never tells about who were behind him. Chang went to the United States for study in the U.S. Army Artillery School. Because his disappearance from the scene, Chang Eun-San was not known to Koreans. I read the articles written by Kim Shin (Kim Koo's son) carefully because he indirectly implicates the United States for the cause of the death of his father, but I was not able to see Chang's name in his articles.

Here is the point, when the U.S. authorities issued an entry visa to Chang Eun-San, they had a full knowledge of what Chang did to Kim Koo. Let us assume that Americans did not order anyone to eliminate Kim Koo. Then, it is quite clear that the assassination was carried out with American permission.

On year later, on June 26 (1950), Ahn Doo-Hee was released from the prison. By July, when the Korean army retreated to the Pusan perimeter, Ahn became a major (a very rapid promotion from a second lieutenant). Chang Eun-San had to interrupt his study in the U.S. and return to Korea. He came to Taegue to find out the army environment became quite different. First, his artillery unit got completely wiped out during the first day of the Korean War. Second, his "Hyung-Nim" Chae Byung-Duk was replaced with Chung Il-Kwon on as the Army Chief of Staff on July 2. Chae was ordered to go to the front line without any troops by Shin Sung-Mo (defense minister). Chae visited military hospitals and mobilized about 150 troops with minor wounds. With them he went to Hadong (west of Masan) in order to gain some military results. There he was hit in head by a bullet from a Soviet-made Mosin-Nagant rifle fired by a North Korean soldier.

Thus, without his miltary unit and without his Hyung-Nim, and with Ahn Doo-Hee more prominent than he was, Chang Eun-San felt homeless. When the North Korean army staged a full-scale offensive in August, the American commanders were talking about a Dunkirk-type evacuation from Korea. I was in Chinhae at that time, and I could not sleep during the night because the evacuation might take place during the night.

Chang Eun-San bought a boat in Pusan and was trying to sail to Japan. He got caught and was shot to death for desertion. Chang was not the only one who attempted to escape to Japan, but he was the only one who was executed so swiftly. After coming back to korea, out of frustration, Chang was telling others he was Ahn Doo-Hee's boss when he was drunk.

Recently, I have added many e-mail addresses of those who are engaged in the east-Asian studies in the United States. My writings might help them because my stories are based on what I saw with my eyes and what I hear with my ears. For the new readers, I would like to attach my old article on Kim Koo's funeral procession.



Y.S.Kim (1995.10.20)

I met the other day a Korean college girl who wants to become a music composer. We noted that there are many outstanding Korean performers, but the world does not seem to recognize Korean composers. I then asked who her favorite composer is. She said Frederick Chopin [pronounced as "Shopang"]. I then asked her whether she plays piano. She said Yes.

I then told her that I am not able to read musical notes (we call them bean sprouts), but I still enjoy talking about classical music. We then continued our conversations for sometime. The point is that I could have done the same thing with girls from other countries. I receive these days many questions from our young people about how to travel freely around the world. Koreans like music, and this is one of our hidden assets when we travel around the world. By the way, I will be in Moscow next week, and Russians are also music loving people.

When I went to Poland last month, the first place to visit was the "Church of Holy Cross" across the street from the main campus of Warsaw University. I did so out of my respect for the people of Poland who maintained their Polish identity through a strong church organization. When Chopin died in Paris, he asked his friends to extract his heart from his body and bury it in Poland. I went to the church where Chopin's heart was buried.

After the service, a Polish lady (about age 40) approached me and asked me whether I know about Chopin, and I said Yes, and tried to tell her as much as I know about him. I then told her she looks like Hillary Clinton. She became so happy and asked me to take a picture with her. When you come to my office, I will show you my picture with this "gazza" Hillary (these days, you do not have to come to my office. This photo is in the "ladies" section of my website). If you have some knowledge of music, it is very easy and comfortable to live in this world, and Koreans are not behind in this musical culture.

I then walked (about 2 kilometers) to Warsaw's Frederick Chopin Park, and spent one hour there asking questions about this great composer. Chopin wrote many musical masterpieces for piano, and Koreans like to play them. He wrote many of them with specific titles, and many without titles. Those without titles are called "Etudes" or "Ballads." One of them can be converted into a band music, and is often played as a funeral march, usually for kings and presidents. In Korea, this funeral march was played on July 5, 1949 for the funeral procession of Kim Koo. There were two bands. One was the combined Army/Navy band, and the other was the combined high school band. They took turns to play this march. When Kim Koo's casket was lowered around 9:00 PM, the Army trumpeters played the last section of the Hymn "Until we meet again" (Dasi Man-nal Dae). The entire nation wept, and even the birds wept. I still have to fight my tears when I talk about that day.

Remeber this. When you travel around the world, you need travel equipments such as suit-case, credits cards, etc. You should also carry music with you. If you do not know much about music, learn! Einstein played violin, Weisskopf and Dyson play piano, and Feynman used to sing while playing bongo drums.


Y.S.Kim (2002.4.25)

After coming back to Korea in October of 1945, Rhee Seungman had to face obstacles after obstacles toward his life-time presidency. The first unexpected difficulty was the occupation of the Northern half of Korea by the Soviet Army. Due to the lack of a consistent U.S. policy toward Korea, the commander of the U.S. occupation army was following rigorously Stalin's plan for Korea's democracy (Shintak). Fortunately, toward the end of 1947, George Marshal, then the secretary of state, came up with the idea of a UN-sponsored general election over the entire Korean territory. Because of this, Rhee was able to gain a support from the United States. This is the way in which Rhee sold the country to the U.S., if I borrow the word "sold" from our young people.

Rhee's trouble was by no means over. Soviet and North Korean authorities refused to accept the UN formula, and the the UN-sponsored election was possible only in the South. Then, how about the communist organization in the South? As I said in my earlier articles, Park Hun-Young's communist organization was based on strong nationalism against the Japanese colonial rule. Park's organization, known to us as Nam-rodang, became a formidable political machine under the blessing of Lt.Gen. John R. Hodge (the commander of the U.S. Forces in Korea) who rigorously enforced Stalin's formula until July of 1947.

Under the instruction from Washington, Hodge had to change his direction. Toward the end of 1947, his job was to make preparations for the first general election in Korea. He personally chose the 10th day of May 1948 as the election day. What happened to the Nam-rodang communists? They were instructed by Park Hun-young to use all possible means to stop the election in the South. Park was in Pyongyang at that time. This means that those communists had to stage terrors toward administrative structure in the South. They threw bombs to police stations and assassinate local officials.

Thus, Hodge's job of preparing for the general election was to destroy the communist organization he so rigorously cultivated under the name of Jeffersonian democracy and Stalin's democracy (he did not know the difference). In order to destroy the communist organization, Hodge had to rely on Korean anti-communists. Rhee Seungman was of course the No. 1 anti-communist, and Hodge was not a complete idiot. He knew Rhee was going to become the president. Hodge then instructed Korea's top policemen, namely Cho Byung-Ok and Chang Taek-Sang report directly to Rhee. I talked about Cho, Chang and their daughters in my earlier articles.

It was an impossible job to detect communists among the ordinary people. Koreans simply would not tell authorities to arrest their friends and relatives. For this purpose, Rhee used those young people who came from the North after witnessing atrocities committed by Soviet troops and Korean communists in the North. These northern Koreans did not have relatives and friends in the South. They were very ruthless toward communists in the South. The 4.3 incident in Cheju Island was a case in point. In 1948, there were about 150,000 people there. The Korean police eliminated about 30,000 of them (estimate varies) there.

The communists were to be shot on site. Those innocent people were treated equally if they refused to tell who were the communists among their friends and relatives. This did not earn the hearts and minds of the people. Indeed, I know a man from Cheju, smart and gentle, and he knows I am very sympathetic to him, because his father was one of those innocent Koreans. Yet, this man still could not hide his hatred toward me whenever the moment of truth comes. He knows that I did not come from Cheju.

This indeed was the origin of the destructive regionalism in Korea. Koreans simply do not trust fellow Korean unless they are relatives or classmates. If this problem is to be fixed, it should be done by educated Koreans, but they are the most hopeless people. About a month ago, I read an article in SNU's alumni newspaper. I forgot the author's name, but he was talking about pro-Japanese traitors.

His reasoning is that France punished more than 50,000 French citizens for collaborating with Germans during the WWII German occupation. He argues that Korea cannot become an advanced country because we failed to punish those pro-Japanese traitors. I am not able to follow his logic, but his subsequent argument is more interesting. Since those pro-Japanese traitors are now mostly in their graves, we should punish their children and grand-children. If we cannot punish them, we should block their advancements in society. Again I am not able to follow his logic.

Here, I am not blaming the author of this article. The important point is that SNU's alumni editors printed his article and his idea is going to become popular among Korea's young people. If I tell them that they should compete with Japanese instead of finding reasons to screw up their fellow Koreans, they are going to tell me I am in my present position because my father and grandfather were pro-Japanese traitors.


Y.S.Kim (2002.4.27)

The UN plan (US plan) to hold a general election in the South had an overwhelming support from the people. Koreans, like any other people in the world, did not like the terrors staged by the communists. Korea's first general election, known as the 5.10 Election, was very successful with the 95% voter participation. The original UN plan was to elect 200 congressmen for the Constitutional Congress with a two-year term, and reserve 100 congressional seats from the North.

Koreans elected 198 congressmen. Cheju province had two election districts, but they could not hold the election there because of the continuing guerilla war after the 4.3 incident. Rhee Seungman was one of the elected congressmen. He won the election without opposition in Seoul's Dong-daemoon district. There was a man who attempted to run against Rhee in the same district, but he was persuaded not to run by his home-town people. His name was Choi Neung-jin. He was a nationalist and was bitterly against the composition of Cho Byung-Ok's national police. His complain was Rhee and Cho are too lenient to pro-Japanese traitors. Mr. Choi was executed in 1951 in Taegu. I do not know what crime he committed. I know two of his sons. They are OK and I like them. One of them was on the same plane with me when I came to the U.S. in 1954.

The first task of this newly elected congress was to produce the constitution of the country. There was a debate about how Korea is to be called. Chosun or Daehan. The author of the constitution was Dr. Yu Jin-Oh. In his first draft, the country was called Chosun, but he changed the word to Daehan later. Other than that, no congressmen, including Rhee, paid much attention to the content of the constitution.

On July 17, 1948, the Congress convened and Rhee, as the Chairman, read the constitution section by section. Every section was adopted with a big applause, and the Yu's writing became Korea's first constitution. Was the democratic process this simple? No! The day before, there was a serious constitutional crisis which is not well known to our younger people. I will talk about this next time.

The readers of my mails complain that I do not talk about ladies these days. They are asking me what went wrong. There is nothing wrong with me. I am still cable of producing great lady stories. I mentioned in this article Dr. Yu Jin-Oh. Let me talk about his daughters. He had two daughters and I were walking in opposite directions when we went to school in the morning, and I used to see them everyday. They were indeed neat-looking girls, but Korean boys and girls were not allowed to exchange verbal greetings at that time. However, when I saw them at different places, they used to send me a signal of happiness without words.

Indeed, Korean boys and girls were not allowed to talk to each other, but they were able to develop a ultrasonic frequency band to communicate. Whenever I travel, I meet many intelligent ladies who cannot speak the language I can understand. If you visit the webpage: http://www.physics.umd.edu/robot which is designed to disseminate my research products while providing public services, you will see a photo of Coca-Cola cans. Click on the cans. You will read my complaint that those cans do not have life. You will then see a photo of myself with a Russian lady who cannot speak English. You will then agree that we were communicating using an ultrasonic frequency band. When I was talking with her, I was thinking of Yu's daughters.

Many people in the world, including one of the prestigious tourist companies in London, are asking me how I am able to talk with so many ladies. My answer to their question is that I carry an ultra-sonic equipment which I inherited from my Korean background.


Y.S.Kim (2002.5.1)

Korea's first election was held on May 10, 1948, and the government was formally inaugurated on August 15 of the same year. Koreans had only three months to construct a new government. For Rhee Seungman, the most important task was to choose his cabinet of ministers, and he left the job of writing the constitution to Dr. Yu Jin-Oh. The problem was that Rhee and Yu had two different concepts of the constitution.

Rhee thought he was going to become the life-time president according to a US-style constitution. Until 1946, the US constitution did not have a term limit on presidency, and Franklin Roosevelt was elected to his fourth term in 1944. On the other hand, Dr. Yu was educated in the Japanese system, and his concept of government was based on the Japanese system modeled after the British system where the prime minister is the most powerful person in the government.

Without much thinking of what Rhee really had in mind, Yu composed the constitution based on the cabinet system where the president is a powerless figure head. The day before the presentation to the National Assembly, Rhee had to read the constitution and became very angry. He called in Yu and told him to rewrite the constitution. This was the way Korea's first constitution was born.

According to the this constitution, the president was to be elected by the National Assembly, but has all the power and responsibility in the presidential system like that of the United States. It was a kind of mixed-up system. This was the origin of Korea's endless battle on the constitution. Indeed, after the government was set up, there was a motion to change the constitution to the cabinet responsible system, but was defeated. In 1952, Rhee revised the constitution so that the president would get elected by popular vote, not by the National Assembly. In the same year, Rhee introduced the first "fixed-up" election In Korea. Indeed, the year 1952 was one of the ugliest years in Korea's political history. I will talk more about the politics of 1952 in my later articles.

Koreans keep saying French people are more advanced than Koreans because they were able to punish 50,000 pro-German traitors while Koreans were not able to punish any of pro-Japanese traitors. This logic has a very serious flaw. Before the German invasion, French people had their own judicial system. Thus, during the short period of five years, they were able to see the difference between what is right and what is wrong.

On the other hand, Korea's judicial system was created by Japanese immediately after Japan won the Sino-Japanese War in 1985, and it grew as a Japanese system. As I said above, Dr. Yu's first edition of the Korean constitution was modeled after the Japanese system. As for Rhee, he lived in jail for seven years. He could have been executed or could have lived in jail for the rest of his life. However, his jail term became reduced to seven years because of a young lawyer named Ham Tae-young. I assume he studied the law in Japan and was definitely pro-Japanese. Do you know who Ham Tae-Young was? He was Rhee's vice president during his second term. He was elected together with Rhee in the rigged election of 1952.

Indeed, before 1952, Ham was a totally unknown figure. I first heard about him from Pyongyang broadcast. I had a short wave radio at that time, and I would be lying if I tell you I never listened to what Pyongyang radio was saying about the governmental corruption in the South. The vice president at that time did not have any power, and his job was to preside wedding ceremonies for the prominent families. He became the vice president because Rhee Seungman wanted to pay back his debt to him. If you wish to be a good politician, you should know how to pay back political debts. I know how to pay back the debts. Thus, I must be a good politician! Did you know this?


Y.S.Kim (2002.5.19)

There are things I can do, while there are many more I cannot do. How many of you know I am a good cook? I am quite capable of producing good meals of my own design. On the other hand, most of you know that I can produce world-class lady stories, and I will tell you another story today. I just came back from Minsk after attending a conference on quantum computing and quantum communication. On Friday night, after the conference, I went to the Minsk opera house to see Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. The City of Minsk has an excellent ballet team and I enjoyed thoroughly even though I saw the Swan Lake many times before. If you are a Korean, you will really enjoy the "Spanish dance" in this ballet. The Minsk ballet team produced this dance in its own way. It was just great.

I know you are more interested in my lady talks. Before getting into this interesting talk, let us look at what happened in Korea in July of 1948. As I said before, the National Assembly adopted Korea's first constitution on July 17. Three days after, on July 20, the National Assembly produced Korea's first president according to the Constitution. Indeed, the democratic process was sailing smoothly with increasing momentum. Rhee Seungman was elected as the president almost unanimously. I heard the live broadcast of this election process, and there was one vote for Kim Koo, two votes for Lee Si-Young, and everybody else for Rhee Seungman. After the vote, I saw a lady of my mother's age weeping and then praying. She was so happy to witness Koreans producing their own president through a democratic process. About two hours later, the National Assembly elected Korea's first vice president. He was Lee Si-Young, who had been the vice-president in the Shanghai provisional government.

Let us look at the presidential election Americans went through in 2000. Americans went through very torturous months to determine who gets the electoral votes from the state of Florida. The vote was so close that the Supreme Court had to intervene. This kind of tie vote can happen among many million voters. Then how about Korea's first constitution where two hundred congressman vote for one president? The tie vote is quite possible. Dr. Yu Jin-Oh, the author of the constitution, indeed considered this possibility, and added a clause on the tie vote, which says that the elder person will be the president if the votes are evenly divided.

Koreans at that time were very proud of having this clause in their constitution because it reflects one of the exemplary aspects of Korean way of life based on Confucianism. I was only 13 years old then but I was very proud of being Korean after reading this clause. It has been more than 50 years. This is far beyond the imagination of young Koreans these days. When I tell this story, my younger friends are telling me Koreans could not have been this stupid.

I am not insisting that an old Korean (like myself) should be blindly respected by younger Koreans. My point is that those younger Koreans should learn how to respect themselves. For this purpose, it is not a bad idea to give some respects to their fellow Koreans. I will now start talking about the ladies.

When I go to Europe, I have to spend a night on the airplane and I become and look tired after landing at the Frankfurt or Paris airport. One week ago, I was on a transfer bus at the Frankfurt airport. There a girl of college age stood up and told me to take her seat. I was happy because this was the way I was educated in Korea, but I told her I am still young and proposed that we stand together. She was a French student going to Minsk on a special project. She became very happy when I told her I was a professor. We then had a photo together, and I will put the photo on my webpage. Young Koreans keep saying France is an advanced country while Korea is still backward. On the other hand, this French student was still practicing Korea's backward culture.

In Minsk, I met many younger participants. Among them were two young ladies from St. Petersburg. They were of course interested in what is happening in the United States. Then one of them pulled out her camera and proposed to have a photo with me. I of course invited the other lady to come in, but she refused. Later, I proposed to her to have a photo with me without the first girl. She refused again. Next day, I told her my story about Lee Kwang-Soo's Tolstoy connection (saying that Lee's romance stories are based on Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and that Koreans romance must the same as Russian romance). She found this story fascinating and proposed to have a photo with me. I asked her what made her to change her mind. She said "out of her respect for Tolstoy." You would agree that this was a beautiful answer.

There were two Japanese, one Korean, and one Vietnamese participants. I enjoy talking with Japanese because I feeling that I am giving "kidnap" to them. How? I have a deep knowledge of their history. One of them told me he came from Keio University. I then asked him whether he has "Ichi-man-yen Shats" (10,000-yen bill, about $100) in his wallet. He pulled out one of them carrying a portrait of Fukujawa Yukichi, who was the founder of Keio Univ. The story is longer, but I gave enough doze of kihap to him, but the behavior of those two Japanese was quite consistent with that of "advanced" countries.

How about the Korean participant? His behavior was quite predictable. I am older than he is, and my name clearly tells I am a Korean. Thus I should be completely ignored. I used to have a habit of talking (first) to Koreans I meet at scientific meetings, but the end result was always a disaster. Thus, I stopped talking first, and decided to insist on Korea's backward culture of demanding from a younger person to greet me first. Indeed, this is an outmoded culture, and it never happens. According to Korea's new culture, Koreans are strangers, if not enemies, at international meetings. While we totally lack respect for ourselves, how can we expect any respect from anyone in the world? This is precisely why Korea is not regarded as an advanced country.

PS: For Lee Kwang-Soo's Tolstoy connection, visit my "Ladies" page.


Y.S.Kim (2002.5.24)

Rhee Seungman wanted to become the president of his country since his high-school period, and his first step was to spend seven years in prison. After so many difficult years, he became the president on July 20, but the country did not exist until August 15, 1948. However, this was the beginning of another stage of difficult years for him. His worst enemy was his own lack of skill to run the country.

In the meantime. it appeared to the world that Korea's democracy was sailing smoothly. On December 12, 1948, the United Nations recognized Rhee's government in the South as the only legitimate government for the entire peninsula. Koreans had a big celebration on December 16 (as I remember). There was a big military parade. The parade included about 20 armored vehicles and an artillery unit which were not shown four months earlier in the 8.15 parade. Furthermore, there were six military airplanes carrying "Taegeug" mark. Koreans were so happy to see those planes. What kind of planes were they? They were Model L-4 trainer planes, like those used by American farmers to spray pesticides over their their farm fields. Yet, Koreans were so happy to see their own air force planes in the sky.

On January 1 of 1949, the United States sent its first ambassador to Korea. His name was John Muccio, but he was commonly called Bessame Muccio by Koreans. Korea's first ambassador to the United States was Dr. Chang Myun who served as the prime minister after Rhee was overthrown in 1960. Chang was then overthrown by Park Chung Hee in 1961.

On April 24, 1949, there was another military parade. The occasion was Rhee's birthday. While Koreans went through celebrations after celebrations, things were not moving properly within the government. Rhee's first political crisis was on his prime minister. Rhee appointed Mr. Lee Yoon-Young as his prime minister, but the National Assembly did not approve Rhee's appointment.

Who was Lee Yoon-Young? Did he have a daughter? Yes! He also had a son who was my high-school class mate. His house was about 300 meters from my own house. Why did Rhee appoint Lee? Lee was Cho Man-Shik's right-hand man in Pyongyang. As some of you know Cho Man-Shik was a highly respected nationalist in the North, like Kim Koo in the South. Rhee's intention was to show to Koreans in the North that he was also their president. On the other hand, many people argue that Rhee was afraid of other prominent Koreans. There was a heavy pressure from Han-Min Dang to appoint Kim Sung-Soo who was the head of their party. Rhee however staunchly refused. This was beginning of Rhee's feud with Han-Min Dang.

After the National Assembly rejected Lee Yoon-Young, Rhee sent Lee Bum-Suk's name, and he became Korea's first prime minister. Lee Bum-Suk was a brilliant organization man, and served as the commander of the Kwang-Bok Army in Shanghai. Two days after 8.15 in 1945, he flew to Seoul from Shanghai in order to accept the surrender from Japanese authorities in Seoul but was sent back by Japanese at the airport. I will talk more about Rhee's first cabinet in my next article.

Since I sent out my last mail, a number of my younger friends sent me complaints. They are telling me I should stop preaching Confucianism. They say that I was wrong in not saying my greetings first to younger Koreans. Let us assume that I am wrong, but I will not give up my Confucianism. I was able to penetrate into America's Yangban society only because I still retain my Confucianism. It is easy to understand what I am saying. For instance, I often say that I was liked by my old professors at Princeton. They like me because I treat them as elder persons in the traditional Korean way. This is what my American colleagues cannot do. This is also what my younger Korean colleagues cannot do.

If those Koreans cannot become Yangbans in the U.S., they have to settle with Korea's No. 1 (which means they got kicked out from the United States), or manufacture home-made Gamtu in the United States and place themselves above their fellow Koreans. If old people are crazy about Gamtu, it is understandable because they are reaching their Nomang ages. What disturbs me most is that our young people are also crazy about Gamtu. Please remember this. Koreans, without exceptions (including the highest man in the government), become bandits once they wear Gamtu. They are indeed ugly Koreans. For them, the easiest way to avoid this tragic course is to practice Confucianism which they pick up from their parents.


I have to leave for Denmark in a few hours, and I do not have time to write a new article. Yet, I still have many stories to tell. My webpages are designed primarily for non-Koreans, and the most popular photo on my site is that of Actress Brooke Shields. Who is next? Einstein? No! Ted Kennedy? No! It is one of the last photos on my "Korean Background" page, entitled "superman." Americans and Europeans find this page very interesting.

Before the web age, I wrote a story about him, and here is the story.


Y.S.Kim (1996.5.21)

You have read an interesting article written by Mr. Joon Shik You in our previous communication. He will be the first-year graduate student in the biophysics program of the Univ. of Maryland. I like him and he has many interesting ideas in physics. In his article, he pointed out that the qualification of a Korean high school teacher is measured by the number of students he/she has sent to SNU.

It is not fair to blame any single person for transforming Korea into an Entrance-exam Hell. However, if I am forced to name one person most responsible for this mess, I would mention the name "Kim Wonkyu." He holds the top record in sending students he sent to SNU. I knew him very well because he was my high-school principal. After he died in 1969, his family set up a private institute named after him. The business was quite profitable because the word "Kim Wonkyu" was synonymous to successful entrance examination.

Let us invite another interesting person to this conversation. You all know who Kim Hogil was. He was the founding president of Pohang Univ. of Science and Tech. He spent ten years until 1978 at the Univ. of Maryland. Kim Hogil was not only a brilliant man, but also had a colorful style of talking. He often told me he knew about me better than I do, and he gave many different stories about me. I do not remember all of them, but I would like to present one interesting version to you, because it tells Kim Hogil had a deep interest in the Korean educational system many years before he became the first president of POSTECH.

He told me that he knew about me before coming to the Univ. of Maryland in 1968 (I came in 1962), and studied about me more carefully after having direct contacts with me. He then said he carefully compared me (Y.S.Kim) with Dr. Kim Myungsun (my uncle whom I mentioned in my articles) and with Principal Kim Wonkyu. I then asked him where I stand in comparison with those two gentlemen. He bluntly told me that I am nothing compared with them, and that, If I (Y.S.Kim) have anything, it is because of their influence. When I asked how much he knows about those two Kims, he said he knows much more than I do even though he never met them. As some of you know, this is the way Kim Higil used to talk. He did not always sound logical, but what he said sometimes carried a deep meaning. If he studied Kim Myungsun and Kim Wonkyu and their influence on one particular person that carefully, he was indeed interested in becoming a great educator.

Then what led Kim Hogil to go through such a thorough investigation of my connection with those two Kims? Kim Wonkyu was a very outspoken person and used to bragg about his ex-students. You can now guess whose name he mentioned most often. Kim Hogil heard about me from what Kim Wonkyu's public speaches. Even though, he was known as the "Exam Czar" among Koreans, he never praised me as an efficient exam taker. When I was in his high school, he used to praise me for my extra-curricular activities on electronics and short-wave communication.

After I came to the United States, he started praising me for "judiciously" managing my life as an "exemplary citizen" of the world. Because he was not so familiar with American or Western life style, he often made up his stories according to his educational philosophy. The point is that his ideal student is not an exam-taker, but a person who can play leading roles in the world. Kim Hogil was one of the small number of Koreans who knew this, and this is presumably why he knew Kim Wonkyu better than I do.

You are then tempted to ask Kim Wonkyu why he created this exam mess if his ultimate purpose is not the exam. Since he is not around, let me answer the question for him. Tigers are known to be ferocious animals. However, since tigers do not have wings, they can play only a limited role in the world. Koreans use the word "tiger with wings" for a superperformer. When you are fully prepared for the entrance exam, you are like a tiger. After the exam, you should build your own wings. You can start this during your freshman year. It is not too late, and you should not complain. How about the knowledge you accumulated while preparing for the exam? Keep it and use it later. I am writing many articles these days, and they are based on the knowledge I acquired during my high-school period.

There seems to one phenomenon which contradicts common sense. It is natural for people to praise the exam system when they pass, and curse the system if they fail. However, in Korea these days, the exam system is thoroughly cursed by those who pass the exam, while those who fail stay silent. According to the Washington Post article (May 7, 1996), the average cost for the exam preparation in Korea is $30,000, perhaps the highest in the world. Thus those who passed the exam should know how fortunate they are. Let us ask Kim Wonkyu again how we can deal with this problem. He will say

Kim Wonkyu was a Spartan-style educator. We can agree that the death penalty is too severe, but we can start making progress if we stop complaining about the system. If you passed the exam, you are a tiger. Your next step is to build your wings. You would agree that Kim Wonkyu has a better solution to our problem than Harvard has.

I am sending this mail from Sweden! I am able to attach one of my old articles. I will be back to Maryland on June 10. YSK (2002.6.8)


Y.S.Kim (1996.6.12)

As you know, I have been talking about Korea's entrance exam system in my earlier articles, and my conclusion was that what we have now is the best system available to us. I am ready to change the subject, but many of you have different opinions. They say that the present system kills the creativity. If I say that I have been creative even though I was a good exam taker throughout my student life, you are not likely to be impressed. Thus, I would like to talk about one of wisest persons known to us.

As I said in my earlier articles, Koreans imported a bulk of Chinese culture during the Tang dynasty which lasted from 600 AD to 900 AD. Li Po (we call him Yi Taebaek) and Tu Fu (Tu Bo) lived during this period, and their poems are well known to us. Tang's strength peaked during the reign of Emperor Hyun Chung (Hyun Jong) around 750 AD. During this period, however, a strong man named An Lyu Shan (An Rok San) staged revolt, and this was the beginning of Tang's decline.

Tu Bo was 12 years younger than Yi Taebaek, but he was a late bloomer. He wrote most of his poems after the An Rok San revolt. Tu Bo is known as the person who opened up a new era in Tang's literature. On the other hand, Yi Taebaek was an early bloomer, and summed up all the previous poets of Tang. Then the question is how Yi Taebaek was able to achieve his creativity at a relatively young age.

Yi Taebaek went into a mountain to compose poems, but decided that he was not creative enough to be a good poet. While he was coming down from the mountain after giving up the hope, he saw a white-haired woman nearly 100 years old. She was rubbing a piece of metal against a rock. Yi became curious and asked her what she was doing. The old woman said she needed a needle to make her cloths and she wanted to reduce the metal to the size of a needle. Yi Taebaek then estimated how long the woman could live, and how long it would take her to make the needle. He then realized it was not too late for him to start all over again. He went back to mountain. He was still an early bloomer.

Our young people constantly complain that they cannot be creative because our educational system. Let us accept their logic that they cannot do much else when they are preparing for the entrance exam. Then, how about after the exam? Too late? No! The key variable is whether you ever made an attempt to be creative. If you have not, you are certainly not creative. If you try, there is no guarantee that you will be creative, but it certainly is a necessary condition for your creativity. Remember this. If you wish to be creative, the variable is not the system you are going through, but the variable is how much initiative you have. It is solely up to you, not anything else, certainly not your educational system.


Y.S.Kim (2002.6.10)

Since my last mailing, I got a response from a Korean student in the United States indicating that the Korean educational system destroys young people's creativity. He was asking me how he could be creative as soon as possible, certainly not later. His request was fully justified, and he was asking me this question on behalf of many young Koreans.

In order to make my story interesting, I will talk about an Italian lady I met in 1987 (15 years ago) at a restaurant called "Swiss Chalet" near the Harvard Square in Cambridge. This restaurant does not exist now, but some of old-timers who visited the Harvard campus will remember this popular place. The Italian lady was on a Harvard graduate program in journalism (I do not know how this program works). She gave me her mother's address in Genoa and asked me to write, and told me her future address was uncertain because she had to move around for jobs. She asked me to contact her when I visit Milan because she wants to settle down there. Her name is Arianna.

I have been to Italy many times, but it will be my first time to be in Milan when I spend four days there early next month. I thus wrote a letter to Arianna giving her my e-mail address. She sent me an e-mail telling me she indeed likes to see me and talk with me. She is now in Milan. She became a successful journalist and wrote three books. Like me, she enjoys developing webpages. In addition, she will be with a baby boy. The boy's name will be Leonardo, even though she does not expect her son will be as great as Da Vinci.

In one of my earlier mails, I talked about my high-school principal and said he is now becoming a popular figure in the world through my webpage. In 1949, he put Da Vinci's "Last Supper" in the main lobby of my high-school building. In so doing, he was telling his students to be creative. When I was 15 years old, my father bought me a book about Leonardo Da Vinci containing his paintings and the flying machines he built (artist and scientist). This book was written in Japanese (Koreans did not have enough resources to print this kind of books at that time).

Certainly these events were influential on me in producing a photo of my "last lunch" with Wigner on one of my webpages. In order to make this picture more interesting, I added Da Vinci's Last Supper underneath my picture with Wigner. In so doing, I am telling the world I stole Wigner and Einstein's genealogy from Princeton. Of course, I turn off many people, but many others are interested in hearing more about what happened to Princeton. This is the reason why I am so busy in attending conferences these days. You would agree that I have been creative here. The point is that creativity does not come from the open air. It always has its root in one's background.

I emphasized this point many times in my earlier articles. Consider the case of Victor Hugo. He had two different mothers from two distinct classes. This is the reason why he talks about two different worlds in his writings. Let us get to your case. I do not have exact statistical numbers, but I can say with certainty that Korea's per-capita investment is higher than that of any other country in the world. Do you think your parents spend that much energy to destroy your creativity? How about Korean resources? You can now read about books about Da Vinci, Hugo, and other characters in your own language. If you are studying in the United States, you are envied by all young people in the world. You reached this stage because the heavy investment Koreans made in you.

If you think your lack creativity, it is not because Korea has an out- dated educational system but because you refuse to look for creative resources in your background. Your refusal appears in the form of blaming others. I am not able to see how Koreans will gain creativity by punishing those pro-Japanese traitors. Nor am I able to see how we can make our young people creative by dismantling the existing system. (In the United States, the First Lady is advocating more exams in the the U.S. education system). If you really like to be creative, read my stories on the front page of my "Wisdom" site (you are now on this site).

This page is designed to remove from your body the devil suppressing your creativity.


Y.S.Kim (2002.6.13)

As an independent nation, Korea had to build armed forces. Koreans were very happy to see their own boys with rifles on their shoulders, because they were so used to see foreign troops in their land. From the Korean point of view, the ideal army was a combination of Japanese training and American weapons. By performing a series of military parades, the army was able to offer this kind of image to ordinary Koreans. Each time, soldiers appeared to be better trained, and, each time, new American gadgets were shown.

In order to encourage young Koreans to join the army, the Army staged a very effective campaign. Let us march northward! We shall have our lunch in Pyongyang, and dinner in Shin-Euiju! Through regularly scheduled broadcast programs, the army information officers used to give patriotic speeches, military music, and interviews with North Korean soldiers who defected to the South. The slogan was always "lunch in Pyongyang and dinner in Shin Euiju."

I remember the names of the three army officers who used give to exciting broadcast speeches. Among them, the highest-ranking man was the chief information officer. He was Colonel Kim Hyun-Soo. He was a very effective propaganda man, but his problem was to believe in his own propaganda: the Korean army is invincible. In the morning of June 29 (1950), he was at the KBS broadcasting studio near Deok-Soo Palace. When North Korean soldiers came to seize the studio, Col. Kim scolded them and tried to give kihap to them. He was gunned down and he died instantly.

These days, there are still many who insist that the South started the Korean War in 1950. This confusion was caused mainly by Kim Hyun-Soo's "lunch in Pyongyang..." broadcast program, and a photo of John Foster Dulles standing at the 38th parallel one week before the 6.25 day. North Korean propaganda agency was kind enough to send me this photo, and I put it on my webpages entitled "Korean background - Korea's recent history" and "Princeton." Why Princeton? Dulles was one of the distinguished Princeton graduates and was a very controversial secretary of state. Go to my Princeton page, and ignore both Brooke Shields and Einstein. Click on "P-rade" on the left column. Dulles is a prominent figure there.

Do not laugh at Col. Kim Hyun-Soo. There are still many who believe in their own propaganda. Japan's Tojo Hediki (the prime minister who started the Pacific War) was a brilliant propaganda man. He also believed in his own propaganda and led Japan to the disaster. SNU people believed in their own propaganda and transformed their university into the worst university in the world. If you see a mistake-making person in history, do not laugh. See whether you are any better than he or she was.

Next time, I will start talking about the mistakes Rhee Seungman made.


Y.S.Kim (2002.6.19)

Around 1930, a Korean pharmaceutical company called "Yuhan Yanghaeng" developed a pain relieving medicine called "Youngshin Hwan." The company made spherical pills of diameter 7 mm. The medicine worked very well for Koreans, but they were reluctant to take them because they were so used to traditional herb medicines. In order to market this new Western-style medicine, the company hired to comedians to advertise. Their names were Shin Bul-Chool and Whang Jae-Kyung.

Whang later became a Christian minister and, after 1945, served as an announcer for the Voice of America Korean program. I knew him, and his children and grandchildren are doing well in the United States. On the other hand, Shin Bul-Chool continued his career as a comedian. When asked by Japanese authorities to change his name, he called himself "Ohara Nehara." His anti-Japanese feeling led him to become a leftist. When Americans came to the South, he said the "red" will prevail because the red color is above the blue in the national flag. He was right in view of the world-cup game of 2002. However, the red meant communists at that time.

He went to the North, and continued making fun out of Americans and the pro-American government in the South. He used to pinpoint the contradictions in Rhee Seungman's character. As I said before, I had a short wave radio, and I still remember the frequencies of the Pyongyang broadcast. It used to send out powerful shortwave signals with frequencies of 4.4, 5.7, and 6.25 MHZ. I used to be a regular listener of Shin Bul-Chool's programs. Since I started talking about Rhee Seungman, many young people told me how ignorant I am because I do not know any negative aspects about him. It is now my turn to challenge them. How many of them had the benefit of hearing Shin Bul-Chool?

Among the many comedy programs I heard, I will mention one of them tonight. A small business man in the South makes money, and the local official likes to get a share from him. The official makes a number of gentle gestures to get the bribe from the business man, who stubbornly refuses to give away his profit. As the last resort, the official threatens to do "Eui-bub Cheodan" (Ya inom-a eui-bub cheodan ha-get da). This word means "to punish according to the law," and this word was invented by Rhee Seungman.

That is right. Rhee was a highly educated man and quite knowledgeable about the philosophy and principle of laws. However, he gets an unambiguous "F" grade in application of laws. Americans obey their laws because they firmly believe that the laws are created to protect them. On the other hand, Rhee was not able protect anyone. In particular, he was not able to protect himself. He thought the law was an instrument for punishing people according to "Eui-bub Cheodan."

Let me talk about my experience with the American immigration law. Ten days ago, during the tight security process at the Frankfurt airport on June 9, I lost my resident alien card (green card) at the last check point, and I did not know it until I was on the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The Korean common sense dictates that I should stay several days at an airport detention center and would not be able to travel abroad at least one year or until the green card is re-issued. My experience was quite the opposite.

At the airport, the immigration officials did everything to process necessary paper work swiftly. Two days later, I went to the immigration office to apply for the replacement of the card. There, I filled out a short form, and an intelligent-looking lady took care of the matter within 15 minutes including a compute check of my old record. She then put a stamp on my Korean passport for re-entry visa valid until I get the replacement card. Thus, I can visit next month Italy, Hungary, and France. My experience convinced me again that Americans make their laws to protect them and others. You sometimes wonder why Americans tell others (including Koreans) how to make and practice their laws while they are none of American business. I now know why.

I will explain how Rhee failed in applying laws to Korean and himself next time. Tonight, let me talk about the Korean ingenuity of marketing the Western-style medicine. You would agree that it was very creative to come up with an idea of hiring comedians to market the strange product to those who were so used to In-sam and other traditional medicines. I learned a lesson from this drug company and then from American TV commercials to advertise my research products.

If you read my research papers, I am telling you I am smarter than you, and I know you do not like to hear this (my articles in this jobmail program also tells you that I am smarter than you, and many people dislike what I say). In order to break this barrier, I use a peculiar communication system. For instance, attractive women on my webpages. Many people already know my trick, and they are telling me I am very creative in tackling this difficult problem. If I am creative here, I learned my first lesson from the two comedians and their Korean drug company. If you like to be creative, you should learn how to learn lessons from others.

Today, I received many e-mails from my Italian friends. To them, I am a "South Korean." You should know what they said in their mails. Let us rejoice!


Y.S.Kim (2002.6.27)

Rhee Seungman wanted to be a life-time president. In a way, he deserved but did not make it. How did he then fail? In order to find the answer to this question, let us look at those who were life-time presidents. The life-time president best known to us was North Korea's Kim Il-Sung, but we all know how he managed his country and his people. Another life-time president is Queen Elizabeth II of England. She is a very interesting character. Let us talk about her.

In 1952, when she succeeded her father as the monarch of England, the chief of staff of the Korean Navy sent her a telegram congratulating her. It was quite appropriate for him to do this because Britain was and still is regarded as a navy country, and Korea had a history of Admiral Yi Soon-Shin. It was also a joke because the Korean Navy at that time had only three frigates built by Americans before World War II. Queen Elizabeth was kind enough to send a reply to the Korean Navy chief thanking him.

In either case, this event was a major news item in Korea. To Koreans, the young queen of England was like an angel in the heaven. In May of 1998, the same queen visited Korea, and Koreans wanted treat her like their own queen. They arranged a visit to Kyung-ju's palace and wanted to tell her Korea once had two famous queens (you should know who they were). Queen Elizabeth declined, and she asked Koreans to treat her as an elderly lady from England with Korean courtesy. Instead of the palaces, she visited folk villages to see how the life-style of Korean Canterburians.

Indeed, during the period of her reign, the world became quite different. Britain also became quite different as the world became different. There used to be and still is a sharp distinction between the ruling class and "working" people in Britain, like the old Korean society. Unlike the Korean case, Britain's ruling and "working" classes have different ethnic origins.

During her reign, the "working-class" people have been advancing to the main stream in the British society, and the Queen had to adjust herself to the changing society. Not an easy job. Why do we need a queen or king? This is the constant question being raised in her own country. In order to save her position, she was forced to do what she did not like.

Princess Diana is a case in point. Queen Elizabeth was completely turned off when Diana said her husband, the Queen's son and Prince Charles, is not smart enough to be the king in one of her TV interviews. When Diana died in 1997, she really wanted to stay away from all the events. However, Tony Blair, the prime minister, forced her to make a statement of sympathy, and she did. When Diana's hearse passed through, she lowered her head.

Indeed, Queen Elizabeth had to go through decisions after decisions to save her position. All the decisions had to with Britain's changing social structure. Korea's Rhee Seungman was perhaps too old to change his life style, but he did not really understand what he had to do in order to become the life-time president. In will continue my story of Rhee next time. Tonight, I will attach an article which I wrote about Princess Diana in 1997.



Y.S.Kim (1997.10.30)

Geoffrey Chaucer wrote a book entitled "Canterbury Tales" in 1387 AD. You should read this book if you wish to understand Britain and British people. Chaucer was an English diplomat who travelled to France and Italy which were more advanced countries at that time. Before joining the government, he studied physics, chemistry, and biology. It is not difficult to see his physics background in one of his Tales.

Two women and three men spend a night in a room with three beds. Chaucer makes permutations of these five people to generate very entertaining stories. Chaucer was not the only British physicist interested in permutations. Most of you have read Dirac's "Principles of Quantum Mechanics," but not many of you studied Chapter 9 of his book (4th Ed.) in detail. There, Dirac discusses permutations of similar particles. I published a paper on this subject in the American Journal of Physics, Volume 48, page 1048 (1980).

My paper was based on a homework problem when I was taking first- year quantum mechanics 40 years ago from Michel Baranger at Carnegie Institute of Technology. I was a senior (4th-year undergraduate) then. Before coming to Carnegie, Baranger was Feynman's student at Cornell and is now at MIT. If you read Feynman's 1971 paper on the quark model (Phys. Rev. D, Volume 3, page 2706), it is not difficult to see that Feynman was interested in Dirac's chapter on permutations and introduced it to his students. It is also possible that Baranger told Feynman about Dirac's permutations.

On his 70th-year celebration, Baranger was kind enough to invite me to join the feast, and I drove to Boston to spend two nights there. While I was coming back to Maryland (on Oct. 25 and 26), I spent one night at a hotel in Connecticut. In the lobby, I met a man from Liverpool (England) while drinking coffee. I asked him whether the Diana incident is an addendum to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. He said this question might offend some British people, and advised me not to relate Diana to Canterbury when I go to England. He added however that I might be an excellent student in his class. I then asked him whether he is a professor. He said he is retired, but was an English teacher (professor) at a small college in Liverpool. He then continued telling me about Chaucer and his Tales. I learned enough from him to tell you the following story about the Tales.

Princess Diana was a perfect character for Canterbury Tales, and all English people have been like this ever since God created England presumably several hundred years before the Christ. They were like that at Chaucer's time and during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Queen Elizabeth II could not cover them up. The man from Liverpool was of course asserting that Englishmen are like those in Canterbury Tales because they are smart and creative.

He then told me that Christianity, Royal Family, Cambridge, and Oxford are all covering up the real British character. As in Korea, those who knew how to write were separated from the real people. Chaucer knew how to write but was creative enough to make a link to the real people. The question then is whether that kind of obscene literature was allowed among those who could read and write at that time. Absolutely NO! However, church authorities were thoroughly corrupt, and Chaucer was largely talking about the lifestyle of the clergy people at his time. As we witness in Korea, a corrupt government cannot punish corrupt individuals.

By the end of the 14th century, the Catholic church in the Western world completely lost its moral authority, and many prominent scholars had to look for other ethical guidelines. This trend led Thomas Aquinas to study the Korean and Islamic philosophy. Did he then become a Moslem? No. What did he do then?


Y.S.Kim (2002.6.29)

Yesterday, I went to Princeton to attend a small meeting of some "distinguished" Americans. I was surprised to see that so many of them had detailed knowledge of Korea, and one of them had a Korean daughter-in-law. He showed me photographs of his half-Korean grand children. I told them Koreans are great people but Korea has the worst government in the world. Then a lady from Israel (about age 30) disagreed with me. She thinks Israel, her own country, has the worst government in the world. She was referring to her government's inability to solve the terrorist problem.

I then said there is a sharp ethnic difference between Israelis and Palestinian, and I told a story I read from one of Harvard magazines about ten years ago. I said first the story must be true because it was written by a Harvard researcher on the Arab-Israel problems. The story goes like this.

At one of the restaurants in Jerusalem, waiters and waitresses from both Israeli and Palestine territories work together harmoniously during their business hours. After the restaurant closed at 10.00 PM, those waiters and waitresses sit down and eat their supper. However, they sit down at different tables. Then they go home, and the number of people remaining becomes smaller. Eventually, two Jewish people and three Arabs. Among the two Jews, one of them was a man and the other was a woman, and they decided to do what people normally do not do while being watched by others. The presence of their Arab colleagues was totally irrelevant to them.

I then said this kind of separation between the people cannot be cured by the best or worst government. The Israeli lady vehemently denied my story even though I said it came from a Harvard magazine. She said things are bad, but not that bad. I do not know whether the story is true, but I know there is a country where it is true. You should know which country I am talking about. You will recall that I mentioned earlier a young Korean physicist whom I did not meet while attending a conference held in Minsk last month.

For a given Korean participant at a scientific meeting, the presence of other Koreans is totally irrelevant. This is a well-established culture among Korean scientists, and I mentioned this many times before. There are many other examples I can mention. About five years ago, I made a long-distance call to a Korean visitor to ask about the situation in Korea because he said he knew many high-ranking people.

The conversation was not smooth but not hostile. He then suddenly hung up the phone while he was talking. Several months later, he called me because he had some urgent personal request from me. I then asked why he hung up the phone in our previous phone conversation. His reply was that his American colleague came to his office and he had to talk to him. I then asked him why he did not tell me before hanging up the phone. He said he did not feel it necessary because I am a Korean and he was an American. I then hung up my phone. Most of the Korean students in the United States tell me they do not wish to talk to me because I am not famous enough. They even tell me I am so foolish not to understand them. Do they know how to speak English to talk to those famous Americans?

The day before yesterday, a Korean physicist came to my office and asked me why I am talking about "life-time president" so often these day. He was of course referring to my earlier claims that I am the "life-time" president of the Korean physical society. He was interested in knowing on what basis I have been and still am making the claim. Of course, I know how to maintain my communication system, and I have a strong memory power to remember the names of my younger colleagues. But the decisive factor is Koreans' lack of respect for fellow Koreans. Koreans listen to me not because I am a Korean, but because I have many American and European connections. Indeed, I constantly curse those Koreans who attempt to use their foreign influence to dictate other Koreans, but I am one of those whom I curse. In other words, the Korean scientific community, if it exists at all, it is a very very sick society in which Koreans cannot live with fellow Koreans.


Y.S.Kim (2002.7.26)

When I go to Europe, they think I came from Japan, but they realize that I came from the United States from the way I speak English. In either case, I take the American side whenever Euro-American issues come up. I also become embarrassed when Americans are only 99% bright.

I was in Paris on July 14 and watched on TV the annual French military parade. I saw this event several time before including one real thing on the street. People say this is a kind of fashion show, and it is at least partially correct. The parade consists not only of French soldiers but also many civil service workers such as policemen, firefighters, nurses, and others. The parade is important enough to be headed by the president of France.

This year, two American units were invited to join the parade. One of them was a company of Westpoint cadets in their uniforms. I do not know why they were invited, but French people always have in mind that they helped Americans in their independence war. The other American unit consists of four fire engines from New York City. They were invited for their heroic role in the rescue efforts after the 9.11 event in 2001.

As you know, I am not an American citizen, but I raise an American flag outside my house on July 4 every year to celebrate the Independence Day with Americans. You do not have to be a pro-American traitor to do this. This is a matter of etiquette.

Let us go back to the Americans in Paris, the flag carriers headed the Westpoint unit in the parade. There were eight flags. One was an American flag, but I cannot recognize any of the seven flags. I was eager to find the tri-color French flag, but could not find it. How about those fire engines. Each fire truck was carrying two flags in its front. I was able recognize both of them, and they were both American flags. I and my American friends were awfully embarrassed. Those Americans should know how important the July 4th is to them. Then they should also know how important the July 14 is to French men and women who invited to come.

One Frenchmen said they were not bothered because they are so used to the the way Americans behave in their country, but they were angry in their hearts. Americans need cooperation from Europeans in their war against terrorists. Those American units certainly did not want to offend French people, but their problem is that they are only 99% bright in dealing with foreigners. France has been and will be a very important "foreign" country to Americans. Indeed, during the past 50 years Americans have been debating about how to conduct their foreign policy, but the effect of their isolationism (inherited from George Washington) still remains strong.

Before talking about what is wrong with Americans, let us look at us. In terms of isolationism, Koreans are much worse than Americans. Korea has been under the American influence since 1945, but Korean students in the U.S. still refuse to learn English. Most Koreans in the U.S. do not know they are in the United States. Much much worse than Americans in Paris!

To make things worse, some Koreans in Korea do not know they are in Korea. For instance, when an international conference held in Korea, Korean organizers ask their foreign colleagues to write and sign invitation letters. It is thus uncommon for foreign scholars to get invitation from non-Koreans for the conference to be held in Korea. Those Koreans are totally lost in the world.

Wisdom of Korea (2002, July -- December)


Y.S.Kim (2002.7.26)

When I go to Europe, they think I came from Japan, but they realize that I came from the United States from the way I speak English. In either case, I take the American side whenever Euro-American issues come up. I also become embarrassed when Americans are only 99% bright.

I was in Paris on July 14 and watched on TV the annual French military parade. I saw this event several time before including one real thing on the street. People say this is a kind of fashion show, and it is at least partially correct. The parade consists not only of French soldiers but also many civil service workers such as policemen, firefighters, nurses, and others. The parade is important enough to be headed by the president of France.

This year, two American units were invited to join the parade. One of them was a company of Westpoint cadets in their uniforms. I do not know why they were invited, but French people always have in mind that they helped Americans in their independence war. The other American unit consists of four fire engines from New York City. They were invited for their heroic role in the rescue efforts after the 9.11 event in 2001.

As you know, I am not an American citizen, but I raise an American flag outside my house on July 4 every year to celebrate the Independence Day with Americans. You do not have to be a pro-American traitor to do this. This is a matter of etiquette.

Let us go back to the Americans in Paris, the flag carriers headed the Westpoint unit in the parade. There were eight flags. One was an American flag, but I cannot recognize any of the seven flags. I was eager to find the tri-color French flag, but could not find it. How about those fire engines. Each fire truck was carrying two flags in its front. I was able recognize both of them, and they were both American flags. I and my American friends were awfully embarrassed. Those Americans should know how important the July 4th is to them. Then they should also know how important the July 14 is to French men and women who invited to come.

One Frenchmen said they were not bothered because they are so used to the the way Americans behave in their country, but they were angry in their hearts. Americans need cooperation from Europeans in their war against terrorists. Those American units certainly did not want to offend French people, but their problem is that they are only 99% bright in dealing with foreigners. France has been and will be a very important "foreign" country to Americans. Indeed, during the past 50 years Americans have been debating about how to conduct their foreign policy, but the effect of their isolationism (inherited from George Washington) still remains strong.

Before talking about what is wrong with Americans, let us look at us. In terms of isolationism, Koreans are much worse than Americans. Korea has been under the American influence since 1945, but Korean students in the U.S. still refuse to learn English. Most Koreans in the U.S. do not know they are in the United States. Much much worse than Americans in Paris!

To make things worse, some Koreans in Korea do not know they are in Korea. For instance, when an international conference held in Korea, Korean organizers ask their foreign colleagues to write and sign invitation letters. It is thus uncommon for foreign scholars to get invitation from non-Koreans for the conference to be held in Korea. Those Koreans are totally lost in the world.


Y.S.Kim (2002.7.30)

While Rhee was so successful in making his case in the United States, he disappointed many Koreans during his twelve years of presidency in Korea. Let us analyze what went wrong.

Before continuing my story, let me respond to those who sent me the question "Why are you so interested in Rhee Seungman? He was just another evil-minded politician." My answer is very simple. My experience in the U.S. follows exactly what Rhee went through in the United States. As I said many times, I often become disappointed with my Korean colleagues. I assume that Rhee also went through many disappointing experiences with Koreans, especially Korean politicians. Nobody wrote about Rhee's troubles in Korea from his own point of view. I am keenly interested in Rhee because I am also keenly interested in understanding myself.

Rhee was interested in making Korea like the United States. He was also interested in remaining in power as until his death. He failed in both. What went wrong then? He failed because he did not know how to protect himself.

In the U.S. Army, each year, about fifty colonels become promoted to the rank of one-star general. These baby generals have to go through a special course at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. What do they learn? They learn how to protect themselves against politicians. The most famous American general who got screwed by a politician was Douglas Macarthur, as you know. What kind of plain training do soldiers get in their basic training course. They learn how to shoot and how to throw grenades. However, basically, what they learn is how to protect their own lives.

What is then the most important duty of researchers? To protect and prolong their research lives. I have a very good record along this line, and even my enemies (I have many of them) agree with me on this point. Indeed, I am in a position to tell young Koreans how to behave as research persons.

Then what is the most important job for a politician? To keep his/own position. Rhee was able to stay in power long enough, but he staged a number of ugly shows to do so. I will talk about all those events in my future articles. Today, I would like to point out where he made the most serious professional mistake.

Koreans had their first election on May 12, 1948. The election was very honest and Koreans earned a very high praise from the world community. The Korean government was inaugurated on August 15 of the same year. During the three-month period between these two events, Rhee was the absolute ruler of the country. He was powerful enough to dictate the author of the constitution to rewrite the constitution overnight.

It is not an easy job to set up a government within three months, and Rhee did it. But, why was he so negligent about the constitution with which he planned to rule the country. He lived in the United States long enough to know how what constitution is. Especially, he should have known that the constitution can throw the president out of his office.

Indeed, he totally failed to foresee what the Korean constitution might do to him. He should have studied the constitution and made enough provisions in it to assure his life-time presidency. In 1948, the members of the National Assembly did not know what the constitution was about. They were ready to say Yes to everything Rhee said. Because he failed to see this point in 1948, he had to go through struggles and struggles in order to stay in power, and he failed.

In this article, I talked about Rhee, but the most important person to me is myself. To you, the most important person is yourself. Koreans tend to by fuzzy about whose interest should come first. Rhee simply forgot what his own interest was while the first constitution was being drafted. Unless you have a clear-cut picture of your own interest in your research, you are not likely to become anyone in your field.


Y.S.Kim (2002.8.2)

In said in my previous article, I said Rhee's most serious mistake as a politician was not to provide enough protection for himself when the constitution was being written. Today, I would like to defend him by saying that he has so many other things to worry about and he thought his life-time dedication to the country's independence would be appreciated by all Koreans. He thought he was selfless while not worrying about his own welfare.

You would agree that he was quite different from the present-day Korean politicians. Their philosophy is very simple: to make as much money as possible while in power. In either case, Rhee's most urgent problem was to construct his cabinet. Let me list the names of the first ministers of Korea.

I will have to talk more about some of the above-listed personalities. Among them, Ahn Ho-Sang was the most interesting person. He received his doctoral degree from Germany's Jena University. He became the education minister because Koreans at that time had an unconditional respect for Germans as superior people. Mr. Ahn initiated the student defense corp (Hak-do Hogook-dan) modeled after the Hitler Jugendt Hitler youth organization). Koreans at that time believed in Fascist- style education, and I am a product of the Korean Fascist education system.


Y.S.Kim (2002.8.7)

In 1945, more than 80% of Koreans were farmers. Although Rhee did not worry about his own position in the Korean constitution, he carried out a respectable amount of research on Korea's land ownership. In 1945, most of Korean farmlands were owned by a small number of Korean land-owners and the East-Asia Development Corporation, which was an agency of the Japanese government to buy up all Korean farm fields in Korea. Korean farmers were slaves.

Rhee was of course aware of this, and did his research. I do not know how long he did, but I would venture to say that he got the idea while he was in Shanghai in 1920 as the president of the Korean provisional government. In Shanghai, the Chinese agricultural reform was a big issue among Chinese intellectuals. Those Chinese agricultural reformers then earned an alliance from the 8th Army of the Chinese army (known to us as the Palo Goon) to become the dominant political force in China. This was how the Chinese Communist Party was formed.

Rhee was of course aware of the land reform carried out in the North. On March 3, 1947, the Provisional People's Council of North Korea (agency of the Soviet Army) confiscated all the lands from the land owners without compensation, and distributed to the farmers working on their respective fields. The farmers had to pay tax in the form of a major potion of the grains they produced. The land reform in the North was for Stalin and Beria to replace the Korean land owners.

Now the question was how to carry out a civilized land reform in the South. Here was Rhee's theory. Buy up all the lands from the landlords, and sell them to the farmers. The question is whether the farmers have money to buy? The answer is No. Thus, the government has to buy for them. Then does the government have money to buy? The answer is again No.

Thus, the solution is for the government to issue land bonds (Jika Jeung- kwon) to the land owners. The land owners can invest their landlords into industry. The government can collect taxes from the industrial companies which will make much more money than the land owners can, and to redeem the land bonds to the bond owners. The theory makes sense, but it is only a theory.

In this way, Rhee wanted to free the capital locked in the Korean farm lands and transform it into a moving capital which can be circulated. Brilliant idea! Rhee had in mind Kim Sung-Soo as a man to carry out this job. Kim came from a rich land-owner family and was able to build Korea's textile industry using the agricultural capital from his family. He later invested his money to a university known today as Korea University.

What Rhee did not know was that Kim Sung-Soo did not want to become the finance minister in Rhee's cabinet. He wanted to become the prime minister more powerful than Rhee under a cabinet-responsible constitution. Rhee's problem here was that he did not have a domestic power base.

The person who worked very closely with Rhee's land reform plan was his first agricultural minister named Cho Bong-Am. People seem to be afraid of talking about him even these days. I do not know why. In any case, I will talk more about him and will tell you whatever I know about him.


Y.S.Kim (2002.8.14)

I welcome articles from the readers. These days, I receive many mails who saw my webpages. I like them because they tell me what I do not know and I cannot see. I am very happy to include four interesting letters in this mail.

First. This letter is from Professor Choung Mook Lee of Postech. Prof. Lee makes corrections to the list of Rhee's first cabinet members. He was my classmate when I was a freshman and SNU's Engineering College, and lived in the same Washington area for 20 years. I was so happy to receive his letter. Please send me letters like this.

Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 12:10:34 +0900
From: C.M.Lee (cmlee@postech.ac.kr)
To: yskim@physics.umd.edu
Subject: Re: Rhee's first cabinet members

Dear Prof. Kim,

I have been enjoying reading your messages for some years. Your self-confidence and memory power are absolutely impressive. It almost seems like you have a collection of old Koran newspapers in the years of 40's and 50's at your hand, which I believe is not true.

I read your article last week and was wondering if Mr. Chang Gi Yeong of Hankook Ilbo could have been the first Communication Minister, which led me to search for the real facts.

The results of my finding was that the minister of Society was Jeon Jin Han, that of Communication was Yoon Seok Goo, not Chang Gi Yeong(This Chang is not the one who was the founder of Hankook Ilbo but was the one who obtained a bachelor's degree in the U.S., served in the U.S. Army Corp of Communication during the second world war, and was the second minister of Communication), that of Health was Goo Yeong Sook and that of Transportation was Min Hui Shik. Mr. Huh Jung was the second minister of Transportation.

I appreciate very much of your free service for providing the internet system for us in Korea to use it as a channel for advertising job openings. I am always wondering how you can keep up with your busy schedule of teaching, researching, travelling and socializing with foreign ladies, creating photo album and , not the least of all, telling us the not-well-known old episodes of the Rhee's era in Korea. As you may recall, I entered Seoul Gongdae in '54 with you and your wife (Han Seung Bok) and lived in the Washington area for about 20 years.

Wish you and your family a good luck and good health!

With warm regards,

Choung Mook Lee, Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Pohang University of Science and Technology
San 31 Hyoja-Dong, Pohang 790-784


You will recall that I brought many photos from my last European tour. I added them to my website. While attending a conference in Paris, I was bored, and I went to the City of Nice in Mediterranean France and spent two days. With the photos I took there, I added "Cote d'Azur" to my style page.

After less than two weeks, I received the following e-mail from a Frenchman who studied in Nice (his name and e-mail address are scrambled for his privacy). We all know that communication is a very powerful tool in telling others about what I am, and I seem to know how to use it, but I still have to define its limit. Otherwise, it may destroy myself. While I am talking about myself, I am also talking about you.


Date: Fri, 09 Aug 2002 13:13:35 +0200
From: Maurice de Priest (maurice.depriest@math.se)

Dear Prof. Kim,

I love your homepage and the pictures from Nice (I am a French mathematician, living in Sweden. I was educated in Nice); I also work on foundations of quantum mechanics.

Maurice de Priest
Professor i matematik
XXX Tekniska Hogskola
"Es ist aus Pflicht, nicht aus Neigung" - Emmanuel Kant


I received the following letter from a Korean scientist. In my recent articles, I said Rhee's worst mistake was not to make an arrangement to protect himself as the life-time president. Yes! As Confucius said, you should worry about yourself first, and then everything else. I am a firm believer of this doctrine, and my webpages seem to reflect this philosophy. This letter also tells me that I should add more Korean ladies to the webpage. If you are a Korean lady, and if you wish to contribute your own image, please let me know. I would also be very happy to pose with you. Here again, I scrambled the name and address of the sender to protect his privacy).


Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 12:05:30 -0500
From: xyz@downstream.somecorp.com
Subject: Enjoyed your web site.

During my lunch hour recess, I got across your web page. My first impression of "some ego-centric person's self satisfying hobby" slowly gave way to a genuine interest to a personal journey you depicted nicely with good looking pictures and entertaining stories.

I myself is a little bit younger than you are (born in 19xx) and have been working for XXX Research Co. for XX years as an electrical engineer. I do envy your rock solid positive attitude since my inclination is in between adaptive mode and complaining mode. Curiously missing in your web-site is your view on religion: could you share more about the bible related conversation you had with the attrative Korean lady in the photo?



There are many young people who like to write articles like myself. Of course, they like to become better writers than I am. I am very happy to include the following letter from Dr. Choi. He received his PhD degree from Northwestern University and holds a prestigious position in England. We have been friends for sometime. I am encouraging young Koreans to open their eyes to the world. With or without my encouragement, Dr. Choi is doing very well. When I started communicating with him about eight years ago, he was an impossible-to-talk SNU graduate. I am very proud of him.


Date: Tue, 2 Apr 2002 11:23:51 +0100
From: Sang-Kyung Choi (sang-kyung.choi@npl.co.uk)
Subject: My impression of Paul Klee

Dear Professor Kim,

I keep reading your articles, and I have to say that it's like reading a newspaper novel, a genre that I believe is still to be found in Korea. The weekly installment always ends on a tantalising note, and it seems to me your articles are similarly structured. Or is it the structure of the Canterbury Tales you have in mind?

If you don't mind and are not busy, I would like to recount a little story of my own in appreciation.

I had a few days off during the recent Easter holidays, and took the opportunity of visiting an exhibition of the works of Paul Klee. To be honest, I've never cared much for his paintings that appeared in the art textbook I studied in high school. What can I say? I am not an artist. So I was in two minds as to whether to visit the exhibition. But I concluded that it's not often that one has the chance to observe a well-structured display of a master's life through his works. A trivial reason clinched the matter: I found that Klee had lived in various places, including two places, Bern and Munich, where I too had also spent parts of my life. I guess I wanted to see if the places where he had lived would come through in his paintings.

With the help of a written guide, I went around his paintings arranged in more or less chronological order, and then watched a 30-minute video biography, which gave me a better understanding, I think, of Klee's motivation for pursuing his kind of art. Although Klee was an excellent draughtsman from an early age, he couldn't get the hang of painting, and this depressed him as a young man. But at some point, he began to paint in a style that tried to 'analyse' colour. He also created paintings that gave prominence to the line, which Klee used as a 'narrative line'. So it looked to me that he made best use of two talents of his, an analytical mind and a gift for drawing, to create his own world of art. Klee had been trained as a musician, and the written guide pointed out certain paintings that especially reflected a 'musical' structure.

Despite my initial misgivings, I came away from the exhibition highly impressed by Paul Klee. It occurred to me that he shared the sort of philosophy with you regarding creativity, and I was looking forward to inviting your comment when you would visit London. But I suppose I have find a new topic.

Sincerely Yours,

Choi Sang-Kyung


Y.S.Kim (2002.8.14)

During World War II, Japanese authorities imposed a tight rice distribution system. They demanded rice donations from Korean landlords in terms of "Gong-Chool," and enforced a rice rations in cities. They of course sent the best crops to Japan to feed their ruling class and their soldiers on the front-line.

After 1945, Americans moved in. Before 8.15, the population of Seoul was 500,000, but it tripled to 1,500,000 by the end of 1946 because of the influx of Koreans who used to in foreign lands, refugees from the North, and those from the South who were seeking better opportunities in the capital city.

How to feed them? It was very easy for Americans because the United States had surplus grains. The U.S. military authorities also imported rice from IndoChina. We used to call it Annam-mi. American generals were political idiots in dealing with communists, but they did a very good job in feeding Koreans.

After the Korean government was set up in 1948, Rhee's government was totally unprepared to supply rice to Seoul citizens. The target of complaints was of course the agriculture minister, Cho Bong-Am. He had no solutions and had to resign. He also had pressure from the politicians from the rich land-lord class.

Cho Bong-Am studied at Fudan University in Shanghai. He was strongly influenced by Chinese agricultural reformers who later became communists. It is possible that Cho met Rhee Seungman while both of them were there. Fudan University is an elite university, and Cho of course had a pride (bad habit for all Korean intellectuals). From his point of view, Rhee was the only one with whom he can work, but no one else. He did not get along with anyone of his own age.

After the forced resignation, Cho thought Rhee betrayed him, and ventured to run against Rhee in the 1952 presidential election. Let me continue the story next time. Today, I will talk about Cho's capitalism.

In my earlier articles, Cho Bong-Am was the author of Rhee's land reform bill. The key of his idea was to unlock the capital buried in the farm fields and circulate it to develop industry. He got this idea while studying at Fudan University in China. I suspect this idea came from France, because Chou Eun-Lai studied there.

During the era of Louis XIV, there was a finance minster named Jean Baptiste Corbert who was instrumental in developing industry in France from the capital available from French landlords. There is now a governmental building in Paris dedicated to him. I own a stemware set named after Corbert manufactured by a French crystal company called Baccarat. I sometimes mention "Baccarat" to impress French ladies.

Due to so many unforeseen circumstances, Cho's theory did not work. Korea still does not have a comprehensive program to protect the interest of their farmers. I am worried about the future of Korea's evaporating agrarian base under foreign pressure to open up.

However, there was also an unforeseen capital from the Korean farm lands. It is the work habit of Korean farmers. First of all, they work hard. I can list many other items. The last but not the least important, they are eager to study and learn. Those farmers are the ones who built Korea's modern industry.

Korean students always complain about their background, and they constantly blame those pro-Japanese traitors. I heard yesterday from Japanese NHK radio explaining the Korean word "Chin-Il-Pa" as one of the words most commonly used in Korea. The announcer pronounced this word exactly in the Korean way, and I laughed. He then explained the content of this word in detail, and said that this word could be said "Shin-Nitsu-Ha" in Japanese. Of course, Japanese are laughing at Koreans even though the story was said diplomatically.

My advice to younger people. Stop complaining. Exploit the capital already available to you. Learn lessons from humble Koreans, such as Korean farmers. They are also the ones who produced world-class athletes! Many people complain that I work too hard. Some young Koreans tell me directly I have to work hard because I have an inferior brain. If you are a Korean, you should know this. Genius is a son/daughter of hard work. If you do not know this, you must have an inferior brain.


Y.S.Kim (2002.8.26)

Rhee's land reform bill was written by Cho Bong-Am, the first minister of agriculture. However, the idea behind the bill came from Rhee Seungman. How do I know? Here is my answer.

Cho Bong-Am had to resign in the fall of 1948 because he could not supply rice to the citizens of Seoul. On the other hand, Rhee forcefully and effectively carried out the land reform with his second agricultural minister named Lee Chong-Hyun. Rhee could not have taken this dictatorial measure unless the idea was of his own.

According to Rhee's land reform bill, the landlords had to give up their lands and were given land bonds in which the government promises to pay back after twelve years. In the meantime, the government was going to develop industry and collect taxes to pay back. The bonds, in the meantime, could serve as circulating money. This kind of theory works only in an expanding economy without inflation. Otherwise, the landlords were simply giving up their lands without compensation, and the situation was not different from what happened in the North.

Of course the landlords knew this, and were staunchly against Rhee's land reform. Lee Chong-Hyun, the second agricultural minister, came from the North after losing his farm lands under the North Korean land reform which was carried out swiftly in March of 1946. Thus, he did not have any personal conflict with Rhee's land reform. He simply wanted to become powerful by pleasing Rhee.

According to my recollection, the land reform bill was the first legislative item Rhee presented to the National Assembly in 1948, but the Assembly, largely controlled by well-to-do land owners, did not pass the bill until 1950 after Rhee completed the reform.

This means that Rhee was politically strong enough to override the objections from the land lords and from the National Assembly. On the other hand, this caused a complete separation between Rhee and the prominent political party called Hanmin Dang (Hankook Minju Dang) consisting of well-to-do Koreans. The Hanmin Dang was Rhee's indispensable ally in his fight against communists during the U.S. military rule.

Let us go back to Cho Bong-Am. He knew all these. Then he should have known that Rhee was his ideological comrade, and his forced resignation had nothing to do with his ideology. Why didn't he wait for Rhee's second call? If the well-to-do Koreans were Cho's enemies, he was sharing the same enemy with Rhee.

Furthermore, Cho should have known the political reality at that time. Rhee had a strong backing from the United States. Cho should have known also that Rhee had enough power to kill him. Indeed, this happened in 1959.

After his resignation in 1948, Cho thought he could be a better president than Rhee and was working on his own political base among Korean farmers. He was pretending to be a communist and was trying to re-construct the communist organization originally set up by Park Hun-Young. In 1952, the National Assembly under a forceful pressure from Rhee, had to pass the constitutional revision (by stand-up vote) in which the president was to be elected by popular vote. Here again, Rhee was Cho's political comrade. This was precisely what Cho wanted. He decided to run against Rhee in 1952.

Cho of course lost in 1952, but he received enough votes to continue his political life and was drawing supports from young people. He ran again in 1956 with his own political party called Jinbo Dang (Progressive Party). By that time, Rhee's regime completely lost contact with the people, and Cho was gaining respect from many reform- minded young people. One of those young supporters later became the president of Korea and the first Korean to win Nobel prize.

In 1959, Cho was sentenced to death for his collaboration with North Korean communists. Was Cho a communist? My answer is No. How do I know? I like to talk about this next time.


Y.S.Kim (2002.8.29)

I forgot the exact date. Cho Bong-Am was sentenced to death in his first trial, and the sentence was executed the day after. According to the Korean law, Cho had the right to appeal his case to higher courts, but his right was ignored by the government.

Of course, the government was wrong, but people could not speak out because Cho was a threat to national security. Cho's mistake was to give a false impression to the people that he had studied at the "Communist University" in Moscow. In so doing, Cho attempted to earn sympathy from Korean farmers who had a leaning toward Park Hun-Young right after the 8.15. Even these days, it is not uncommon for Koreans to cheat their school backgrounds, especially the foreign school backgrounds as was the case of one of the prime-minister to be. The fact was that there was no university in Moscow with such a name.

As I said before, he studied at Fudan University in Shanghai. He was sympathetic to Korean farmers and was earnestly interested in helping the farmers. You do not have to be a communist to be sympathetic to farmers. I do not think I was a communist, but I was and still am sympathetic to farmers. For instance, during the academic year 1961- 1962, I was a post-doc at Princeton University with a stipend of $6,000. I sent $1,000 to SNU's Agricultural College to do research on farmers. The researchers concluded that the stable rice price is the key to a healthy development of farm economy. Even these days, the rice price is determined solely by the city people with political power. Naturally, they like the lower price, and farmers get screwed. If the farmers cannot say anything about the commodity they produce, they would surely lose their interest to produce.

Cho was convicted to be a communist who had a link with the North Korean Workers (communist) Party, but no-body trusted the evidences the government presented at the court. The judge who sentenced Cho to death was Kim Kap-Soo. Under a heavy pressure from Korea's intellectual community, the judge had two write an article in the "Sasang-Ge" magazine.

In his article, Kim said he was personally very sympathetic to his personal life. He said he even met Cho personally, and noted that he did not have a thumb in his right hand. He assumed that Cho lost it during a hard labor. He also noted that Cho did not have a wife. He concluded Cho never received a love or sympathy from anyone, and this is why he was so hostile to the establishment.

The judge then said he was not against Cho's ideology of equal prosperity for all. He came to the death sentence for him purely for national security concerns. He never mentioned the possibility of the evidence implanted by the government. He then said he did not know that the government would execute him so swiftly without giving Cho an opportunity to appeal. I was and still am quite upset at this statement. This is the clear-cut evidence that Cho was not a communist.

The judge was saying that he could have a second thought if he knew his word the last word for one person's life. This is totally unprofessional. If the judge gives a death sentence to anyone without a firm conviction, he was a murderer. He did not seem to know this when he was writing his article for Sasang-Ge. The point is that today's judicial system is not better. Korea's law people do not know that they are committing crimes. This is the reason why the government and society are so rotten. It seems to be impossible to find a clean man to become the prime minister.

Cho's national security threat was his threat to Rhee's Seungman's presidency. He had a real chance to win in the 1960 presidential election. As for Rhee, he was a King Herod. Herod was the king of Israel when Jesus was born. After he heard that a new King was born, he ordered all male infants be killed. Rhee definitely had a Herod complex and was behaving like King Herod.

I am not defending Rhee's Herod-like behavior, but I have to confess that I also have my own version of the Herod complex. I very often condemn "Korea's No. 1" people. My younger friends are telling me that I am only revealing my Herod complex. Let me not dispute. What is clear to me is that my unusual hard work habit is a product of my Herod complex.


Y.S.Kim (2002.9.7)

Each year, during the month of August, many young Koreans come to the United States for graduate education and postdoctoral research. As a senior Korean scientist, I would like to welcome to the United States.

To many young Koreans, I am known as a person who preaches them to attend their departmental Christmas parties and not to buy Japanese cars (**). I am also known as a person with a website with many photos of nice-looking ladies around the world.

However, my most important role in the Korean community is to maintain and expand this world-wide network system. Japanese do not have a system like ours. One advantage of running this system is to be able to share my ideas with other Koreans. The ultimate aim is to develop a Korean wisdom with which young Koreans can compete in the world.

With this purpose in mind, I have been recently writing articles about Dr. Rhee Seungman who was mostly responsible for setting up the country called the Republic of Korea, and you came from this country. After the present series, I intend to write about Jewish people. You should know about them if you wish to compete in this world.

Since the United States appears quite different from Korea, Koreans in the U.S. have a tendency to cling together and never learn what is happening outside their own community. For instance, one graduate student told me that it is impossible to learn English in the U.S. His reasoning was that Korean students always have to live together and walk together. I then asked him whether he can walk alone. He said No, because Americans are strange people.

Here is the basic problem. His problem is that he is a strange person to himself. He was born and raised as a Korean. Then he has been blessed with the basic Korean values. Those Korean values are exactly the same as those of Americans. I can list many, but I will list only two today.

  1. Koreans are hard-working people. The United States reward its hard-working citizens. This is the reason why Korean immigrants are doing so well.
  2. Koreans are familiar with the virtues contained in the Bible. The United States has its constitution, but it has a super-constitution which can over-write everything in the constitution. It is called the Bible, particularly the Gospel of Matthew. If you are not familiar with the Bible, it is OK. All the virtues are contained in Confucianism.
If you rigorously follow these two rules, you will stand out in America. I guarantee!

Speaking of my website, it is becoming very popular among the scientists of the world. I thinks I can make it more prestigious than any other professional journal in my field. The site contains a page explaining my Korean background. You will be interested in an images of Sonja's book on military art. I am warning my non-Korean friends not to play foul games on me.

Recently, I expanded my Korean page to make it interesting to young Koreans who like to compete in the world. If you go to my Korean page, you will note that I become very happy wherever I meet Korean students.

Last week, I added the title "Longing for Democracy" to my Korean page. Koreans had their first general election in May of 1948. At that time, It is based on my elementary school album edited in the spring of 1948. my brain was growing rapidly, and this is the reason why I am able to write my own version of the early days of Korea's democracy.

At the same time, in 1948, I was beginning to realize that girls are different from boys. Many people agree that I am OK in my lady business. If you also think in this way, you may be interested in finding out how my lady business started from the same "democracy" page.

Speaking of you, if you are a new comer, you should set up your social security number so that you will get paid. After that, you should send your e-mail address to Dr. Eun-Suk Seo to get connected with our network system. Her e-mail address is es83@umail.umd.edu. You will do all right. This is what your country wants, your parents want, and you want.

** I did not tell them not to buy Japanese cars. When Korean students complain about those pro-Japanese traitors, I ask them whether they drive cars made in Japan.


Y.S.Kim (2002.9.9)

As I said before, Cho Bong-Am died from a death sentence in a country where the criterion of death sentence is not clearly defined. Then who is responsible for his death. The answer is that he was responsible for his own death. I am saying this because his death teaches many lessons to research scientists these days. At least I learned lessons from his case.

Cho should have known that the new Korean government was dominated by the upper-class people, and he had no friends among them. The only friend he had was Rhee Seungman. To Rhee, he was not only his first agricultural minister, but also a liaison man between Rhee and the lower-class people who constituted the majority of the Korean population. Cho had a great opportunity to work with Rhee in the latter role. Instead, because of the temporary set back in his Gamtu, Cho Bong-Am burned the bridge between him and Rhee.

To Rhee, Cho was the second person to refuse to work him. The first person was Kim Sung-Soo who wanted to be the prime minister more powerful than the president under the cabinet responsible system. Indeed, Rhee's biggest problem was to find competent persons to run their respective ministries. In an effort to find the people, he even set up a self-nomination box in front of the central government building. He was encouraging those competent people to nominate themselves for government jobs. Nothing worked out. This is the reason why he had to resort to those yes-men. The worst yes-man was Shin Sung-Mo who also studied at Fudan University in Shanghai. I will talk more about him later.

Cho's second mistake was that he did not know that Korea was a colony of the United States. Even these day, Korean politicians should get permission from Washington before running for the president. Without American protection, Korean presidential hopefuls are taken care of by their fellow Koreans. There are many examples. The first one to die due to the lack of American support was Kim Koo. Mr. DJ's life was saved several times by Americans interventions. Park Chung-Hee lost his life because he lost the American support. Park did not know how much Americans dislike those who intend to develop nuclear weapons. It is widely believed that Chang Joon-Ha (the founder of the Sa-Sang-Ge magazine) was killed by Park Chung Hee's agents. Chang also lost his life due to the lack of American support.

Chang was an anti-communist and a champion of freedom. He even received a Magsaisai peace prize for Korea's democratic development. Why didn't American provide a protection to him? I will talk about this in a later article. Cho Bong-Am's mistake was to exaggerate himself as a communist. Americans certainly did not and still do not want a communist president in one of their colonies. Why couldn't he see this point?

The most crucial mistake Cho made is shared by many Koreans. Gamtu or Death. Cho was fighting for the Gamtu, but he got the death. If you think only those old people are the ones who were obsessed with Gamtu, you are wrong. I know enough about young Korean physicists to call myself to be the life-time president of the Korean physical society. I also know why their success rate is so low - perhaps the lowest in the world.

Scientific research requires your dedication of 25 hours per day. The dedication may require delays in your promotion and career advancements. If the Gamtu is the overriding factor in your life, it completely blocks your future as a research scientist. There are things I can do and their are many more things I cannot do. Definitely, I am not able to do anything about the growing Gamtu instinct of our young people.

Let me say a few words about burning the bridge between you and your friends. This is also quite common among young Koreans. I am of course quite familiar with Korean graduate students at the University of Maryland. When they complete their PhD degrees, I offer my congratulations to them. I then ask them where they are going, most of them say they have positions in Korea. I then propose to maintain friendly relation with them even though they are in Korea. Their answer in most cases is that I am not needed because they have so many American friends. Fine. What they do not know is that Americans do not remember anything, including their own students, unless they produce contract money. When they come back to Maryland, they become cold-shouldered by their dearest American friends. Then they come to my office to say cordial greetings. I throw them out from my office. I can understand why Rhee was so angry at Cho Bong-Am.


Y.S.Kim (2002.9.12)

Koreans had their first general election. It was a honest and peaceful election. Since then, Koreans added new elements in their election system. Money election, rigged election, regional election, and dirty tricks. On the other hand, we do not hear these days about political assassinations or a whole-scale election frauds. I regard this as a great accomplishment. For this, Koreans struggled vigorously, and many people lost their lives.

The latest political assassination I can think of is the death of Chang Joon-Ha. He was the founder and the editor of the SaSangGe magazine. He got into a personal feud with Park Chung-Hee, and became one of Park's two most hated persons. The other person, as you know, was Kim Dae-Jung. Kim survived Park's plots because of the US intervention. Chang was killed by Park's agents in 1975 (this date may not be accurate, please let me know).

Then, how did Kim get the US-support, while Chang did not. This is the question. Let me tell you my conclusion first and tell the long story later. Kim learned a lesson from Cho Bong-Am's death, and studied thoroughly about the Unites States, while Chang regarded US-produced PhDs as junk (useless) doctors. I will talk more about Chang and his contribution to Korea's democracy perhaps next time.

As for Korea's first election, I would like to invite you to the image entitled "Longing for Democracy" in my "Korean Background" page. I constructed this page only after I received a copy of my grade school album ten days ago from my friend, and I am still adding items to this page. Many people laugh after seeing this page. They say that I have been pampered by ladies since my childhood. Then, I decided to add the photos of myself being pampered or admired by the ladies of the world. As of today, there are thirteen photos. Except one photo, they were chosen from the files already in my computer system.

There was a surprise. I expected (perhaps you too) that most of the photos would be those of Russian ladies. This was not the case. Italian ladies outnumber Russians. I know and I told you why Russians ladies are so kind to me, but I do not know why Italians have to be so close to Koreans. What do we have in common with Italians? Like us, Italians love to sing. Is this the only reason? Indeed, this presents to us a new research topic. Please let me know if you had an experience with Italians.


Y.S.Kim (2002.9.25)

Five years ago, there was a presidential election in Korea. As usual, the election process started with a large number of presidential candidates. One of the newspapers listed them with the property value each candidates owns, school background, birth place, age, etc. The list included also the politician each candidate respects most. Most of the candidates list Kim Koo as their favorite man. One of them listed Marcus Arelius, and another candidate listed Chou Eun-Lai.

Who was Chou Eun-Lai? He was No. 2 man in Mao's communist China. While Mao was a bull-headed dogmatist, Chou had a deep understanding of the world. He was also a pragmatic politician and brought in many able people to the Communist Party. China is now prosperous country because of him. There are many Chinese who dislike Mao, but I have not seen a single Chinese who disputes Chou's role in shaping up today's China.

As you know, the Panmunjom cease-fire agreement was signed on July 27, 1953. In 1954, there was a conference in Geneva on possible unification of Korea where China and the United States were the main players. The United States was represented by the secretary of state named John Foster Dulles, while Chinese delegates were headed by Chou Eun-Lai. Chou tried to shake hands with Dulles, but Dulles refused. Dulles was also a dogmatic man and used to say "Neutralism is immoral," which means that you have to be pro-American to be morally sound. What Dulles did not know at that time was Chou Eun-Lai was a pro-American Chinese.

There were many pro-Americans in the world whom the United States fought bitterly against. The most tragic case was of course Vietnam's Hoh Chi-Minh. Ho was begging for American help in gaining his country's independence against the French colonial rule. Park Hun-Young is known as Korea's No. 1 communist, but he was more nationalist than communist. Park initially sought American supports. I am not the first one to observe Americans turning away pro-American nationalists in the world.

Indeed, when Henry Kissinger went to China in 1971 in preparation for Nixon's historic visit to China, he asked Chou Eun-Lai what his thinking about the U.S. Involvement in Vietnam. Chou's advice was that the United States should seek cooperation from nationalists in each country. Those nationalists work for their own country and people, but they are not anti-American. They respect the United States.

Did Chou Eun-Lai leave a lasting impact on the U.S. foreign policy? It does not appear in that way, but there definitely is a sign. The easiest way to look at is to see what Colin Powell is doing these days. Powell was brought in by Henry Kissinger.

These days, Korean leaders have to deal with a growing anti-American sentiment among young Koreans. It has a deep root, but it is not incurable. The first step, which is usually the entire process, is to understand the problem. I am not the first one to see this. The first Korean who attempted to tackle this problem was Chang Joon-Ha who was the founder and the editor of the legendary magazine called SaSangGe. He did not handle this problem skillfully, and this is the reason why he lost his life.

I seem to enjoy special relations with many people in the world including intelligent ladies. My special relation with this SaSangGe is so important that it will require several articles to explain it. Should start next time? Then how about Rhee Seungman stories? As for Rhee, I added to my website a frame with two photos. In the first photo, I boast off how smart I am before an Austrian lady (as Rhee did in 1933). The second photo shows the same lady very close to my side. For your convenience, I added this frame to my "Longing for Democracy" page on my "Korean Background" page.


Y.S.Kim (2002.10.1)

I brag about some of the things not many Koreans have. As you know, I have a skill of telling interesting stories to ladies around the world, and Koreans seem to envy me for this talent. However, there is another talent somewhat beyond comprehension of present-generation Koreans. I can give "kihap" to Japanese.

If I have this talent, I was not born with it. I developed it by doing a systematic research on Japan and Japanese. Japan's Kurosawa Akira was one of the greatest films makers in the 20th Century. He made 30 movies, and I saw 23 of them. I know many Japanese men and women, but I still have to meet a Japanese who watched more than three of Kurosawa's films.

What is so great about Kurosawa? You can always learn lessons about Japan from his films. Perhaps his most famous movie is "Sichi-nin-no Samurai" known as Seven Samurai in the United States. In this film, Kurosawa vividly describes the conflict between Japan's farmers and Samurai worriers. Samurai as well as armed bandits take away the grains Japanese farmers worked so hard to produce. But the farmers are smart enough to hide their products from the eyes of the bandits or the worriers. Farmers prosper while those bandits and worriers perish after fights.

Here, Kurosawa unknowingly talks about Korean farmers before 1945 under the Japanese colonial rule. Yes, Japanese introduced modern technology to Korean farms, and Korean farmers were able to produce more grains. Japanese then took the grains from the Korean farmers in terms of donations to the state (this act was called "Gong-Chool" by Koreans). In order to minimize their donation, Koreans farmers used to under-report their harvests. Then, Japanese officials accompanied their police used to search each house for hidden crops.

Of course, the Korean farmers knew how to cheat and made extra money. What did they do with the money? Many used to lose their money while gambling (playing cards), but also many invested their money into their children's education.

Toward 1940, many young Koreans went to Japan for higher education. However, Japanese authorities drafted all those Korean students to their army and sent them to the battle fields in China. We call this group of Koreans "Hakbyung." After the War, they came home, but they were jobless. Most of them had to teach in their home-town high schools. How about those whose home-towns are in the north of the 38th parallel? They had to teach in high schools in Seoul.

Indeed, most of my high school teachers were either from the Hakbyung group or from other groups of people who studied in Japanese universities. But those Hakbyung people were the torch carriers in Korea's intellectual life.

As many of you know, Kim Hogil was the founding president of POSTECH. He spent ten years at the University of Maryland, and ee were very close to each other. He used to tell me he knows me better than I do. He also used to tell me and others that I am nothing. He then added that, if I have anything, it is due to my uncle (one of Korea's fascist educators) and my high-school principal. Let us assume that Kim Hogil was right. Then there is a slight inaccuracy. My high school principal did not teach me in class, and I never had substantiative conversations with him.

Indeed, the people who gave me the direct influence were those Hakbyung Koreans. They studied with their Japanese classmates, and they used to tell me how they were. This is precisely the reason why I am advocating my own crazy idea that we should get ahead of Japan. I know that not many people pay attention to what I says, but I am very proud to be in my position.

Those Hakbyung people later formed a core of one of the universities in Seoul. It is Kyung-Hee University. Kyung-Hee started as a kind of school in Manchu to educate young Koreans. The name of the School was Shin-Heung Training School. After 1945, it became Shin-Heung College in Seoul. In 1949, it started collecting those Hakbyung people and changed its name to Kyung-Hee, but there was a pause during the Korean War (1950-53). My high-school teachers then became the professors there after 1954.

Yes, the Hakbyung group was a product of Korean's agricultural capital, and that capital was then re-invested to the education of the children of Korean farmers. Initially, Kyung-Hee started as a university for the students from underprivileged families. The university has since then been raising its standard and is doing very well these days. If I watch the progress of this university carefully, there is a good reason.

Another program produced by the Hakbyung group is the legendary magazine called SaSangGe. If I watched carefully what was happening to this journal, there is also a good reason. These days, those Hakbyung people are voiceless, and I regard myself as their spokesman. I will tell you more about the rise and fall of the SaSangGe next time.


Y.S.Kim (2002.10.16)

Let me summarize what I said last time. By 1940, many young Koreans went to Japan for college education, but Japanese authorities drafted them to their army and sent those Koreans to their Chinese battle fields. After they came back to Korea in 1945, most of them had to teach in high schools, but they later advanced themselves to university positions.

In addition, they also formed an intellectual base for the magazine known as SaSangGe. The founder of this magazine was Chang Joon-Ha. I never met him, but his brother was in my high school class. He now lives in New York. While Chang was the owner of the magazine, his chief editorial assistant was a man named Keh Chang-Ho. He also was my high-school classmate, and I have a great respect for him. Keh was the person in charge of collecting articles and making the books. You will be surprised to hear that he carried out this job while he was an undergraduate student at SNU (1954-58). I will talk more about him later.

Chang Joon-Ha was one of those Hakbyung Koreans who had to fight for Japan in China, but he was the leader of the Koreans who defected from their Japanese unit and walked all the way to Shanghai to join the Korean Provisional Government. For this, he was widely respected by Koreans. While following closely the editorial style of the Japanese magazine "Chuo Koron" (Choong-Ang Kong-Ron -- or central forum), Chang's SaSangGe magazine was aiming at younger Koreans. Every issue contained his preface saying that this magazine is dedicated to future leaders of Korea. Of course, the meaty articles were written by his Hakbyung comrades.

The principal theme of the magazine was that Koreans have to decide their own form of government. Thus, the article carried many articles critical of Rhee Seungman's government. On the other hand, he was careful enough not to attack Rhee personally because he had a great respect for Rhee, and Rhee knew it. This is the reason why his magazine flourished during the Rhee era.

I would say that the most impact-making article was written by a Polish writer named Marek Flasko. Its title was "The Eighth Weekday," was very popular in the Western world. The SaSangGe editors published a Korean translation in their magazine. The article was in the form of a romantic story. A Polish boy and a girl love each other, but, in Warsaw under communist rule, they could not find a place to make love. In this story, Flasko describes how boring and how static the life is in the socialist world. This article was very popular among Koreans because the story was romantic and anti-communistic. But, the true reason was that the article says the stuffy Korean society toward the year 1960 was exactly like that of Poland which was known to Koreans as an evil communist country. Koreans were longing for a change.

This is the reason why people say the SaSangGe led to the 4.19 student revolution. There was another faithful reader of the magazine who was led to believe Korea needed a new form of government. His name was Park Chung-Hee. He combined the SaSangGe's ideology with what he knew about the 1936 military take-over of Japan to design his own government. This is the reason why Chang was so angry at Park Chung-Hee.

Another important task the SaSanGe carried out was to criticize the United States for not carrying out an ideal job in helping Korea. I would venture to say that Chang Joon-Ha did not receive an American protection because those articles were viewed as anti-American to Americans. Do you like to know what Chang said about the United States?


Y.S.Kim (2002.10.16)

I spent the first eleven years of my life in a farming/fishing village called Sorae. If I talk like a spokesman for Korean farmers, there is a good reason. This village can produce many interesting stories, including the story of the first Presbyterian church in Korea.

The village was on a beautiful beach, and there were many American houses. On one of my webpages, I have a number of photos I took at the Mediterranean beach of Nice (known as French Riviera or Cote d'Azur). On this webpage, I say my Sorae beach was hopefully still is more beautiful than the French Riviera. You are invited to visit this page . If you open the Sorae frame, you will see Americans palying a volley ball and American houses on the beach. One of those houses was Dr. Underwood's villa.

During the Pacific War, Americans were not allowed to come back to the beach, and all the houses were empty. What happed to the furniture and appliances? Nothing happened for three years until Japanese authorities auctioned them off in 1945, before building their military bunkers.

The Koreans in Sorae were convinced that Americans would come back, and this is the reason why those villagers did not touch anything in those American houses. Toward the end of 1944, my maternal grandmother invited me to her room and showed be a photo of Franklin D. Roosevelt. She told me that Roosevelt would be the ruler of Korea within a year. I told you my own story, but this was what all Koreans expected from the United States.

Five months later, in February of 1945, Roosevelt met Joseph Stalin in the Crimean city of Yalta and asked Stalin to attack Japanese troops in Manchu. While being regarded as the ruler of Korea, Roosevelt did not know Korea as national entity. I have a photo of Roosevelt talking to Stalin in Yalta on one of my webpages. There, Roosevelt is almost begging, while Stalin is thinking about how much price he is going to charge to Americans. To see this photo, go to the above-mentioned "style" page. Toward the bottom of the left frame, you will note "Korean Background," Open this page and click on "Korea's recent history." You will then find this Roosevelt-Stalin photo.

This was the beginning of the division of Korea. Americans in this way imported communism to Korea. The word "communism" was very remote and strange to Koreans. This is the reason why the North Korean communist party is called the "workers' party."

During the three years of the American rule in the South, Lt. Gen. John R. Hodge, the U.S. military governor, thoroughly disappointed Koreans by providing a breeding ground for communists in the South. He amply demonstrated America's complete and thorough ignorance of Korea.

Yet, Koreans looked toward the United States as an ideal country, and we still do. This is the reason why we keep getting disappointed. In addition to the form of government, the United States was regarded as a scientifically advanced country. The "made in USA" sign meant "made in heaven."

During the Pacific War, Japanese authorities did not have enough resources to maintain railroad locomotives. After Americans moved in Koreans were expecting shiny and powerful railroad engines. Indeed, Americans brought their locomotives to Korea, but they were much weaker than those poorly maintained Japanese engines. To make things worth, the steam boilers on those US-made locomotives used to explode.

I can mention many other examples. While being the most advanced country in science and technology, the United States appeared to Koreans to be utterly incompetent to provide technical or industrial assistance to Koreans. I will mention the worst example next time. This was also what Chang Joon-Ha's SaSangGe talked about.


Y.S.Kim (2002.11.5)

I came back from Germany last night, and I am still tired. My story will be therefore short and light-contented. I had a business in Weimar. I heard about this city when I was in high-school in connection with Germany's Weimar republic and Weimar constitution. Otherwise, it is known as the city of Goethe and Schiller and other cultural items. I am thinking of holding a conference in 2005 there. Before coming back, I spent a weekend in Hamburg.

Hamburg is an old city with a rich history and with many nice-looking ladies. Sometime ago, a Danish king secretly came to Hamburg, and shared a bed with the best-looking Hamburg giel. The king died while in bed. The problem for Danish and Hambrug authorities was how to make up the story to hide this not-so-clean story. I once heard how they did, but it is worth elaborating the story here.

Wherever you go in Germany, you can see that Germans keep their places in good order. They are known as very diligent people. Then how about Koreans. We think we are also a hard-working people. The question then is whether this hard-working tradition originated from farmers is transmitted to Korea's college graduates? The answer is YES and NO.

In one of my earlier articles, I mentioned how Kyung-Hee University was created. I also explained why I feel close to this university. I can say more today. As you know, the word Kyung-Hee is the name of the palace being reconstructed in Seoul these days. My high school used to be there. This is the reason why the university's name is Kyung-Hee.

Together with Hanyang University, Koreans used to call Kyung-Hee a "Woogol" university (cow-bone university). This means that the school was constructed from the agricultural capital from Korea's farmlands. In 1995, I met a graduate of Kyung-Hee (about 40 years old) at a Korean restaurant in Beijing (China). He was telling me how happy he was to be a graduate of Kyung-Hee. I just listened without telling him why I was intensely interested in his story. He studied civil engineering at his university. While working for a construction company in Korea, he was assigned to go to Saudi Arabia. As far as he is concerned, all the construction works at Saudi's oil fields are his creation. He came to China to become in charge of China's construction projects. He said further that his success and satisfaction come from his original purpose of working for the farm village where he was born.

If you visit my style page, you will see many nice-looking ladies around the world, and I intend to add a number of German ladies this week. This page also has a section on my Korean background. Recently, I added two photos at the end. One is a photo of Seoul hours before North Korean army came in June of 1950 (taken by an Associated Press reporter). Since then, Seoul went through a complete destruction. The second photo was taken in 1975.

Who made this difference? I have to give this award to the graduates of those Woogol universities. The administrators of those universities put up lofty slogans, such as the world-class university, forward-looking university, and the university which will lead the new century. Yet, their best products are those who are willing to serve their country. Korea's educational system will become if the top administrators understand what they are doing.

What does this Wooglism have to do with Germany? Their higher-education system is of course designed to produce highly educated people including philosophers. But its main emphasis has been and still is to produce those who can server their communities in Germany. This is the reason why Germany is always in good order. Korea's educators should take down those useless slogans and should concentrate on producing Koreans who can help, not exploit, fellow Koreans.


Y.S.Kim (2002.11.18)

Around 1960, Professor Edward W. Wagner of Harvard University was the most influential academic person on Korean affairs in the United States. Shortly after Park Chung-Hee's military take-over, many people questioned whether Americans were doing all right in Korea. Professor Wagner was one of them, and published an article in the Foreign Affairs, which used to be a very influential monthly magazine.

Wagner's article was entitled "Failure in Korea," and its content was quite predictable. The United States completely and thoroughly failed in establishing a democratic system in Korea. His article dealt mostly with governmental policies and why those policies did not work. Of course, Wagner's article was accurate and to the point. However, he disappointed many Americans and Koreans because he did not suggest any alternatives.

If you are a Korean, you do not have to rely on Wagner or other foreign scholars to see why Americans failed in Korea. The most serious problem in the Korean-American relation in 1960 was the complete lack of trust between Americans and Koreans at the people-to-people level. In 1960, I was a graduate student in the United States. At that time, the United States had a draft system, and my American friends had to live in danger of getting drafted to the army. They were so afraid of draft because they might have to go to Korea. They used to regard Koreans as backward people and burglars who would come to their compound to steal things from them.

How about Koreans. As I said before, Koreans expected Franklin Roosevelt would become Korea's ruler after the Japanese defeat in the Pacific war. However, the Soviet troops marched into the North at the invitation of Korea's hoped-for ruler (Roosevelt). Indeed, North Korea is a product of the United States.

As I said many times before, the American military governor did not know Stalin's democracy was quite different from the democracy practiced in the Unites States. For this reason, the South wile occupied the U.S. troops, became a breeding ground for Korean communists.

After Japanese left in 1945, Korea needed industrial products to replace worn-out and obsolete equipments set up by Japanese. American authorities of course knew this, but Americans would send things from their junk yards. As I said before, the made-in-U.S.A. steam engines on rail-road locomotives used to explode. This indeed was a very ugly show put up by Americans.

Before 1945, the South used to get electric powers from the hydro generating stations in the North. After Kim Il-Sung cut off the power supply in May of 1948, Koreans thought Americans would solve the power problem by bringing in power generating ships. Indeed, Americans brought two generating ships. They were called "Jagona" and "Eletric." However, their combined output was only 5 megawatts. The South needed about 200 megawatts at that time, and the coal- burning stations in the South could provide only 50 megs. The physics building of the University of Maryland uses 5 megs during the peak summer hours. Here again, Koreans were thoroughly disappointed.

Before the 6.25 (1950), Korean soldiers used to parade on the streets of Seoul with U.S-made weapons and equipments. However, they were proven to be totally useless before the Soviet tanks. Americans sent to Korea their best combat units including the First Cavalry Division and the First Marine Division. However, their combat performances were less than excellent against the second-or third- class communist army (Chinese and North Korean), assuming that the Soviet army was the first-class communist army.

Koreans were of course disappointed at the inconclusive conclusion of the Korean War in July of 1953. At that time, I was a high-school student and participated in the demonstration against the cease-fire being worked out by Americans and the communists. Koreans felt betrayed, and we had to demonstrate in front of American troops with loaded machine guns.

After the cease fire, Koreans were quite hopeful about the U.S.-led industrial reconstruction. This was where American disappointed Koreans most, and Koreans decided to turn away from Americans. This is the reason why Park Chung-Hee had to make a peace-deal with Japanese so hastily. However, the ultimate solution was for Koreans to turn toward themselves.

Next time, I will talk about the SaSanGe's role in shaping up the Korean view toward the United States.


Y.S.Kim (2002.11.19)

During the 1950s, American boys were afraid of getting drafted to the army because they were afraid of going to Korea. Thus the morale of U.S. troops in Korea were at the bottom. Yet, they were living very richly compared with Koreans. This difference created many Korean thieves who would get into the American compounds to steal things. When they were caught by Korean police, they donated reasonable dividends to them to get free. Korean police were not particularly eager to punish them.

Of course some of those Korean thieves were caught by Americans. Then those Americans would brutally beat up Korean men and barb the hair off from Korean women. Koreans used the word "lynch" to describe this treatment. The origin of this word comes from the American treatment of their black citizens during the segregation era. It was not uncommon for white Americans to hang to death those petty black thieves without due legal process. This act was called "lynching."

The lynch incidents were quite common since Americans came in 1945, but Koreans were afraid of speaking out publicly, while enjoying the stolen commodities. Toward the late 50s, Korean newspaper started reporting the lynch cases. Then the SaSangGe magazine took up the issue and spoke strongly toward Americans. This of course provoked a strong nationalism among Koreans.

Koreans later solved this problem by disciplining the police near American bases, and forcing Americans to agree on the SOFA (Status of Force Agreement). According to this agreement, the crime committed by American soldiers are to be punished according to the Korean law. In 1975, one of the American soldiers received a death sentence in a Korean court. Was the sentence carried out? Well, you know the answer. Koreans question the effectiveness of this agreement these days. But, what if without the agreement?

Here comes a more serious story. Before 1945, the North had power generating stations and fertilizer factories. Farmers in the South used to rely on the fertilizers produced in the North. The division of the country cut off the supply of fertilizers in the South. In my earlier articles I discussed at length Korea's agricultural reforms and the ministers of agriculture. However, if you are a farmer, which is more urgent? Fertilizer or what the reform program?

After the 1953 cease fire, the construction of a new fertilizer factory was the No. 1 item in the US-led industrial reconstruction program. Indeed, on the paper, Americans allocated large sums of money for this project, and an American firm called "Macro Carbide" was contracted to build the factory in Choong-Ju. Again, Koreans were quite excited and hopeful about the fertilizer supplies to the farmers from this American-built factory.

Alas! The construction process was nothing more than repeated delays and repeated cost over-runs. I know the factory went through a test run and produced about ten bags of urea-based fertilizer as late as 1962, but I do not know how many bags were delivered to the farmers. If delivered at all, the number must be very close to zero. It was a total disaster. It was widely known that most of the money allocated to this factory went to the American company executives who paid enough dividends to the (U.S.) Republican Party to keep their contract intact, but Koreans had no power to investigate them.

It is generally agreed that the Choong-Ju factory was the ugliest show put up by Americans in Korea. It is understandable if those money- loving American executives were totally apathetic to the livelihood of Koreans. From the American point of view, it was the loss of credibility around the world as the leader of the free world. Those business people did not serve their country well.

This kind of American behavior was quite common around the world, particularly in the area where people cannot speak against Americans. William Lederer was an American writer, and he wrote in 1959 a book entitled "Ugly Americans," based on the behavior of Americans in "underdeveloped" countries. This book shocked many Americans, but for the business people, their business has been as usual: to make money. What else could be in their mind? This is still the most serious problem for the United States.

In Korea, the SaSangGe magazine took up this issue, and questioned what American intention in Korea was. However, Americans are not tolerant to this kind of question raised by non-Americans, even though they are tolerant to diversified opinions among themselves. This presumably was the reason why the United States did not offer protection to Mr. Chang Joon-Ha. It is widely believed that Chang was murdered by Park Chung-Hee in 1975 (this date could be inaccurate).

Indeed, the SasangGe made one important contribution, namely Korean nationalism in the following form. Koreans were so disgusted with Americans that they decided to construct a fertilizer factory with their own resources, instead of shouting anti-Americans slogans. This became the Naju fertilizer factory, often called the second factory. Then, did Koreans have enough engineers to manage the construction and maintenance of this factory? In 1998, I wrote an article about this problem. There I promised to say more, and I am saying more tonight. I would like to invite you to read my 1998 article about Korea's chemical engineering.



Y.S.Kim (1998.10.11)

I just came back from Berlin after spending three days there. Yesterday was Saturday. I spent four hours at the Cecilienhof palace in Potsdam. In July of 1945, Stalin, Truman and Churchill had a conference there. Because of the election defeat, Winston Churchill was replaced by Clement Atlee during the conference. On August 1, 1945, Stalin, Truman and Atlee produced a paper widely known as the Potsdam declaration. Many people say that those three politicians thoroughly messed up the world including of course Korea. I seem to agree with them.

After Potsdam, I went to another historic place. One of the three major universities in Berlin is Freie Universitaet Berlin, and it was set up by Americans in the U.S. zone after 1945. It was necessary because the Univ. of Berlin, known today as Humboldt University, was located in the Soviet zone of Berlin. The third university is the Technical University of Berlin where Eugene Wigner studied chemical engineering.

Just south of the relatively small campus of Freie Univ., there is a short street called Faraday Weg. It was a rainy afternoon, but I was very happy to walk along the street. Why? There are laboratories belonging to the Fritz Haber Institute of Chemical Physics. Do you know who Haber was? During the first decade of this century, he invented a method of combining nitrogen from the atmosphere and hydrogen extracted from the water to produce synthetic fertilizers. It is not difficult to see why the Haber process does not require any raw materials because water and nitrogen are free. It may require some amount of electricity to extract hydrogen atoms from the water.

You would agree that Haber's invention was much greater than the development of nuclear bombs. Indeed, after hearing about the Haber process, Kaiser Wilhelm II said "We can now start a war." The Kaiser was not the only person impressed by this process. As I said before, Japanese authorities were interested in converting the Korean peninsula into their food-producing factory. They started building a nitrogen fertilizer factory in Heung-nam. Do you know where Heung-nam is? In order to provide electric power needed for the Haber processes, Japanese authorities built a hydro-electric power station with capacity of 300 megawatts. They had to build a dam which created Chang-jin Lake not far from Heung-nam. Thus, the Heung-nam fertilizer factory was able to produce chemical fertilizers without any raw materials.

Inspired by this brilliant idea, many young Koreans started studying chemical engineering. Indeed, until 1960, you had to study chemical engineering if you entered SNU's Engineering College. I entered this College in 1954, but I was not in the Chem. Engr. department. Let us not talk about myself. The point is that Fritz Haber was the grandfather of the Korean engineering tradition.

We do not know exactly what happened to this fertilizer factory after the country was divided, but I recall reading in 1956 an articles in a Japanese magazine "Chuo Koron" saying that the Heung-nam industrial complex was completely demolished by repeated B-29 bombings by the U.S. Air force during the 6.25 conflict which lasted from 1950 to 1953. Japanese were interested in the Heung-nam industrial complex because they built it. Indeed, in 1945, the Japanese government was working on a surrender formula which would allow them to keep their imperial family and the Korean peninsula, but the Potsdam declaration called for an unconditional surrender from Japan.

After the division of the country, what did American and Korean (South) authorities do to supply chemical fertilizers to our farmers? The story is not too beautiful. In a future article, I hope to talk about this unfortunate page of Korean-American relation in connection of Korea's isolationism.


Y.S.Kim (2002.11.23)

The SaDangGe magazine also carried many articles on economics. At that time, Korean economy only knew Marxist theory, and Keynesian theory was new to them. The issue was how to apply the Keynesian theory to underdeveloped economies. I did not understand those articles.

One of the major contributors of the magazine was Prof. Koh Seung-Je. He was a senior professor of economics at SNU's Commerce College. I did not read his articles carefully, but I was able to hear from him directly while he was visiting Columbia University during the years 1960-62. At a small meeting of Koreans, I asked him why Korean economy was so stagnant even after Americans poured in more than two billion dollars to Korea.

Prof. Koh became quite excited and spoke passionately about the solution he had for Korea's economy. He noted that Americans brought tons and tons of aid materials on huge ships. When they go back to the United States, those ships are empty. Since Americans bring things to Korea and bring back nothing, they are indeed giving us things free. In this way, they are helping us.

No! He said. The basic trouble is that those returning ships are empty. If Korea's economy is to have life, those ships should carry things made in Korea. At that time, sending things from Korea to the United States was a totally strange concept. I asked him whether he said this in one of his SaSangGe articles. He said Yes, but he said nobody understood what he was saying. Prof. Koh was advocating an export industry which Park Chung-Hee later implemented.

I have an interesting story to tell about Prof. Koh's SaSangGe connection. While Mr. Chang Joon-Ha was the owner and publisher of the magazine, the daily editorial work was carried out my former high-school classmate named Keh Chang-Ho. As I said in one of earlier articles, I have a great respect for him. Like me, he loves to make ventures.

In the fall of 1954, Chang-Ho was a freshman at SNU's College of Arts and Sciences (in the department of political science). At that time, the College of Commerce conducted a supplementary entrance examination to fill the vacancies in its sophomore class. Chang-Ho was bold enough to take the substitute exam for his friend, and his friend became a sophomore. Later, this illegal act became known to newspaper reporters and the newspapers made a big case out of this.

You would agree that this is a very serious case, and Chang-Ho was subject to possible expulsion from SNU. Prof. Koh Seung-Je became the chairman of committee in charge of disciplinary action against Chang-Ho. Prof. Koh reviewed the case, including his high-school record and what he was doing for the SaSangGe magazine. The verdict was very simple: full pardon! It is safe to say that Prof. Koh was wise enough to make a friend in the journalistic world.

Chang-Ho is still a happy man while doing whatever he wants do do. When my ex-class mates gather, they talk about him, but they never talk about me. The question is why you do not hear about him these days. I will address this issue next time. I will be talking about Korea's isolationism.


Y.S.Kim (2002.12.5)

I came back from a trip, and I am still tired. I will thus write about a topic which does not require deep thinking. A lady talk!

While I was boarding a Lufthansa plane in Warsaw (Poland) last Sunday (December 1), I spotted a lady speaking English to flight attendants while others were speaking German or Polish. This lady's seat happened to be next to mine and we sat together. I asked her whether she came from the United States. She said No. She came from Romania and lives now in Frankfurt with her German husband. I felt like but did not ask her why she was not speaking German to the Lufthansa (German) people.

She asked me where I came from. She then asked me North or South. I told her there used to be one Korea and I was on the North before 1945. I told further that Koreans in the North had an honor to welcome the Soviet troops. I then asked her whether she heard from her parents about the Soviet troops who occupied Romania after the Stalingrad battle. She said Yes! She said Russians are not bad, but those troops were somewhere between humans and animals. I then asked her whether those troops suddenly disappeared one night. She said she vaguely remember hearing about it. I then asked her where those troops went? She then asked me whether those troops went to Korea. We laughed. The Soviet army had two army divisions consisting of former convicts, and they were used for carrying out the dirtiest jobs like fighting against never- surrendering Japanese troops. They fought in Stalingrad, marched into Ukraine, and then Romania.

I asked her whether she likes Nikolai Chiachescu. She laughed and asked me whether I like Kim Il-Sung. She said Chiachescu and Kim Il-Sung were very close friends. I told her I like Kim Il-Sung because I look like him. She said she does not look like Chiachescu and does not have to like him. We laughed. I did not tell her, but I should tell you there was another Korean ruler who liked Chiachescu very much. His name was Park Chung-Hee. Park never met Chiachescu, but he copied Chiachescu's Romanian constitution. Park's Romanian constitution is known in Korea as Yushin Constitution.

After a pause, I asked her whether she heard a delightful waltz entitled "Waves of Danube." She said Yes, and said it was composed by Josef Ivanovich who was a Romanian. I was impressed because she was the first Romanian who knew the composer was a fellow Romanian. We agreed that it is because Romanian names end with "u" and his name sounds like a Russian name. She asked me how I knew this with my Korean background.

I gave her my web address "www2.physics.umd.edu/~yskim/style.html" and told her to click on "Music" on the left frame. She will then see 12-year old Korean girls dancing to the "Waves of the Danube." This photo was taken in 1948 with magnesium flash (they used to explode the magnesium powder). At that time, I did not know who the composer was. Perhaps I did not care. I simply liked the music. From this, I added my knowledge to it, to the extent that I could impress this Romanian lady. She promised to look at my webpage.

Korean students always complain about their own educational system. The system teaches many things for examinations. You cannot dislike everything you learned. You must have some items consistent with you bodily rhythm. Keep them to your heart. From them, develop your small knowledge to big knowledge. I have done this, and this is the reason why I am able to talk to ladies around the world. You can do the same or better if you do not curse your background.


Y.S,Kim (2002.12.29)

Many people asked me whether I have plans to publish a book based on my earlier articles. They seem to be interested in a printed book possibly in Korean. I do not have time and financial resources to make this venture, but I have a better idea. Construct webpages.

Indeed, I have been doing for two years. If you are interested in a collection of the articles, the book is complete and will stay complete in the future. The best aspect of my book is that you do not have to buy it and you do not have to carry it around. You are now reading the book on the webpage. You will note that the book is still in the form of collection of raw data. My future plans include an integration of my articles with my collection of photos. This is the basic strength of web-based books.

There are many other things to do, I used to write my articles just before sending out job announcements. I do this usually during the late night hours when my university computer is idle. Like you, my physical condition is not great after the midnight, and I have a tendency to make errors. Perhaps, tonight, you would allow me to write in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Let me get into the article I was interested in writing. It will deal with the development of Korean nationalism under the influence of the United States. Koreans lived under the American rule for nearly sixty years but we did very well. Koreans became wiser with a few exceptional cases. One of those exceptions is Seoul National University. When I started writing my articles in 1992, I said SNU should be shut down. Ten years later, Koreans elected their president whose personal opinion on SNU is the same as mine.

I often meet my American friends who visited Korea in recent months. They are telling me they heard about me from my Korean colleagues. They say that I was No. 1 student in Korea's No. 1 high school. They are wrong. I know many high-school geniuses who openly tell me and others they are smarter than I am, for good reasons. What those people do not have is Korea's agrarian background. Perhaps some of them had, but they did not keep it. As I said repeatedly in the past, I spent the first eleven years of my life in a farmland, and then was taught by the Hakbyung intellectuals who also had the same agrarian background as mine. They were born about fifteen years earlier than I was.

In case you did not know, Korea's modern industry is a product of Korea's agricultural capital. There are many universities in Korea and you know how they were built. Korea has strong armies on both sides. Americans think they can build a strong army in a different country with money, but their idea seldom works out. They failed thoroughly in Vietnam. Yes, Americans poured in money into the Korean army, but the army's fabric is a product of Korean farmers.

Since 1990, Koreans made a rapid progress in establishing a democratic system for the government. This was not done by the politicians who say useless things in the newspapers. This achievement was made by silent Koreans. I have been saying we should get ahead of Japan for many years. Indeed, in democracy, Korea is now ahead of Japan, and the gap will grow in the future. We should however keep in mind that Koreans did not construct democracy in ten years, but it took us fifty years, mostly painful years.

I said this in one of my earlier articles, but I will say it again. Koreans now have a firm conviction that they deserve the form of government they choose. This is not a trivial ideology. This does not exist in North Korea. It is not clear whether Japanese have a clear-cut concept on this issue. Before 1945, they believed that their emperor was a God. After 1945, Japan has been run by the "Todai" dynasty (Todai means Tokyo University). Whenever I meet Japanese, I say Todai is worse than the worst university in the world. They agree with me even without asking me which country has the worst university (you should know which country has the worst university in the world). I then ask them why they cannot get rid of their unproductive dynasty, Some of them say it is because of Americans, but of most of them say "I don't know."

I also said this before. The single most contributing factor in Korea's ideological development was the magazine called "SaSangGe," whose intellectual base was the Hakbyung group consisting of those Koreans who went to Japan higher education but were forced to serve in the Japanese army. Indeed, they were the ones who put Korea ahead of Japan, speaking of democratic institutions. This story seems to be similar to the case of Moses who took out the best things from Egypt. When I say we have to get ahead of Japan, it due to my Hakbyung influence.

I am not the first Korean to talk about getting ahead of Japan. In 1961, after completing the reconstruction of North Korean industry, Kim Il-Sung said his country's (N.Korea) industrial output would surpass that of Japan within ten years. Indeed, the North was ahead of the South in post-war economic reconstruction at that time. The person responsible for N.Korea's economic planning was a Korean man named Chung Joon-Taek who studied in Japan. Chung's background is about the same as that of the Hakbyung group in the South. Kim.I.S. was influenced by Chung when he said about getting ahead of Japan. It appears that I have to add a few paragraphs about Kim Il-Sung.

Kim Il-Sung was nobody until he was set up by Stalin and Beria of the Soviet Union. Of course he was surrounded by the Soviet advisors. However, after 1957 when the revisionists (headed by Nikita Khrushchev) took power in the Soviet Union, Kim was no longer Moscow's favorite boy. On Kim's side, the industrial reconstruction was designed and carried out without by non-Soviet people. By 1962, Kim Il-Sung kicked out all Soviet advisors, including many Soviet citizens with Korean ancestry. Among those Koreans was Lee Sang-Jo who was one of the N.Korean representatives at the Panmunjom cease fire negotiation. He was representing the Soviet Union. I once heard a speech made by a Korean with Soviet citizenship who was ordered by Stalin to go to Pyongyang to teach Kim.I.S. Marxism and Leninism. He said Kim did not have enough brain to understand the fundamentals of communism. He was also kicked out.

After the house cleaning, Kim Il-Sung concluded the mutual defense treaties of equal content with Moscow and Beijing in 1961. However, these two communist giants had the problems of their own and were quarreling against each other. Using this opportunity, Kim was developing his version of nationalism. Kim's ideology consists of two elements. The first one was a strict isolationism, and the second element was an imitation of Christianity. Kim was born and raised in a Christian family. In his later years, he used to invite Korean clergy men from the United States to conduct prayer services for him to go to heaven. After each prayer, Kim Il-Sung used to say "Amen" very loudly. Kim was not interested in Marxism but his brain was thoroughly configured to Christianity during his childhood. Thus, his Juche ideology is like the story of Jesus. The Juche ideology says Dangoon was God and Kim Il-Sung was Jesus.

Do not laugh to much. In the South, there was a similar religion. Here also Dangoon was a God, and Park Chung-Hee was a Jesus. How does that sound to you?

It is not clear how many Koreans in the North believed Kim Il-Sung was a Jesus because most of them did not hear about the real Jesus, but Kim's isolationism took a firm ground in the North. Koreans are traditionally isolationists because the big neighbors do not offer anything good to us. This is true also in the South where the United States played the role of big brother since 1945. In the North, the isolationism grew very safely because the country was totally isolated from the outside world. In the South, the ideology became quite mixed up. Let us analyze the isolationism in the South. Read the following article.


Y.S.Kim (2002.12.29)

In July of 1953, the United States was getting ready to sign the cease-fire agreement with the communists at Panmunjom. It was a fatal blow to Koreans' desire for unification. The government mobilized students to stage anti-cease-fire demonstrations, but I knew that it was useless. Koreans had a more immediate problem. American troops were ready to go home, and the Korean army had only 300,000 troops with sub-standard fire power and commanding structure. Rhee's government became desperate and decided to expand military training to high-school students. I was one of 30 students from my high school to receive the first taste of the training. We were camping at the ShinSunDae beach in Pusan.

The night before the cease-fire day (July 27), I had the overnight (non-slip) duty with my classmate named Keh Chang-Ho. I talked about him in my recent articles. He was the central figure in the SaSangGe's editorial office while he was an undergraduate student at SNU. Among my classmates, he was known as a politician while I was a mathematician. However, they did not know that I also had a political sophistication. All night, we talked about everything under the sun and moon. Among the topics we talked about was the American influence in Korea.

I asked him the following question. Is Korea going to remain under American influence in view of the American failure to win the Korean War, and also in view of the growing nationalism throughout East Asia? At that time, I was well aware of what was going on in China through my short-wave radio. To many of you, Bruce Cummings represents the ultimate wisdom for Korean affairs. The growing nationalism in East Asia is his favorite subject. I do not know how old Cummings was in 1953, but I was interested in his subject perhaps before he heard about Korea.

Chang-Ho was somewhat surprised at my question. He thought I was a thorough pro-Americanist. Did you know I was the first Korean boy to wear blue jeans? Chang-Ho had a better foresight than I did. His answer was that, although China is waking up, it would take at least one century for Asians to formulate their nationalism, and the United States would remain as the major, if not dominant, power in Korea. He knew that I was making preparations to go the U.S. and told me to go ahead with my plan. He was right.

We also noted what Americans were doing in Korea during the War. The North-American continent is very rich in natural resources, but there are no tungstens. The best tungsten reserves were in the Korean peninsula. These days, young Koreans do not know the difference between the 38th parallel and the cease-fire line. The difference is very simple. The 38th parallel is straight but the cease-fire line is not. This transition was also made by Americans. What was the purpose? The best tungsten reserves were in the south of the cease-fire line. Americans could not afford those natural resources to go to the Soviet side.

In 1951, Americans set up the Korean Tungsten Corporation (Daehan Joong-Suk Gong-Sa) with its headquarters in Pusan, and ran 24-hour operations in digging tungsten mines and transporting the raw materials to the United States. The mines were guarded by black American soldiers with scary look to Koreans. By 1955, Korea's tungsten reserves were completely depleted and were transferred to the strategic stockpiles in the United State. Did Americans pay to these precious stones? You should know the answer. This is precisely what colonial powers do to their colonies.

Thirteen months after I had the overnight duty with Chang-Ho, I was a freshman at the Carnegie Institute Technology (now called Carnegie- Mellon) in Pittsburgh known as the hometown for America's steel industry. The largest steel company was the US Steel, and the company was rich enough to buy Korea at that time. However, by 1975, Korea's steel company called POSCO was talking about taking over the bankrupt US Steel. I do not know what happened since then. These days, Korea is one of the major exporters of much more precious stones than tungsten. They are semiconductor chips.

I think I explained enough about my version of nationalism. Let me expand the question of isolationism. I met my friend Keh Chang-Ho again in 1965. He came to Washington and stayed in my house several days. He became quite different. He confessed to me that he made a misjudgment. Because Americans appeared so stupid during the period between 1954 and 1965 (his first visit the U.S.), he thought Koreans trained in the U.S. would be totally useless for Korea's development. He told me further he did not know how much Korean students have to work for their PhD degrees in the United States.

Chang-Ho's thinking was important because it was SaSangGe's thinking. It is very easy for Koreans to develop the tendency to distance themselves from Americans if they see only Americans who are in Korea. I once complained to one of my American friends why Americans look so ugly in Korea. He reminded me that I once complained about the uncultured Soviet soldiers who came to Korea in 1945. He then asked me whether bona-fide American diplomats want to go to England or France or to Korea. Furthermore, in Korea, American soldiers are not diplomats. They are only waiting for the day to go home.

The Hakbyung intellectuals were trained in Japan, and they were not capable of understanding the United States. Based on the Americans they observed, they developed the prejudice that American are incompetent to solve any problems. They thought that American students only go to parties, and the degrees were given to all who contribute money to their universities. This prejudice was the cause of the down-fall of SaSangGe. My friend Chang-Ho is smart enough to know this, and this is the reason why he decided live quietly. He is OK!

In spite of what I said above the SaSangGe's contribution should not be underestimated. It made its unique impact on the development of Korea's democracy and in the formulation of Korea's nationalism. However, the nationalism cannot survive unless it takes into account the boundary conditions, Korea's sports people, business people, and music people have been capable of extending their nationalism well beyond their national boundary. How about Korean graduate students? I do not know about other countries. In the United States, Korean graduate students refuse to learn English. This is the extent of Korea's isolationism. Frankly I do not know how to solve this problem. Perhaps the only way is to close down the universities producing those useless students.

I am not Korea's first nationalist, but I may be the first one to attach the word "boundary condition" to the word "nationalism." If I apply this word to Korean nationalists, Rhee Seungman was the first nationalist who understood boundary conditions, and Kim Il-Sung was the worst nationalist. The nationalism without boundary conditions is a self-destructive isolationism.

How was I able to invent the magic word "boundary condition." I did not invent this word. Most of you are scientists, and have experience of solving partial differential equations. Solutions of those equations do not make much sense unless we impose proper boundary conditions. In the scientific literature, there are many non-sense papers because they did not handle the boundary conditions. properly. If you visit the Dashen-Frautchi fiasco from my robot page , my professional career starts with worrying about the boundary conditions. I almost got thrown out from the United States because of my paper of 1966 which I mentioned in the DF webpage.

Richard Feynman was the most creative American physicist in the 20th Century. He used to come up with brilliant physical ideas with wrong mathematics. In one of his papers, he used a wrong boundary condition. My colleagues laugh when I point this out. I like boundary conditions to the extent that I apply them to Korea's nationalism.

Happy New Year!!