News Release

Olympics: How NBC, Pence Get Korea Wrong


CBS Marketwatch reports today: “NBC was forced to fire one of its Olympic analysts after he inexplicably said Koreans are grateful for Japan’s role in their economic development — while ignoring the one-time imperial power’s brutalization of the peninsula. The Peacock Network was left red-faced by weird comments of corporate bigwig Joshua Cooper Ramo, whom 30 Rock worked as a commentator for coverage of opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Pyeongchang on Friday.” See Twitter feed of D.C.-based Korea specialist @TimothyS, who has been critiquing NBC’s coverage, including the comments by Ramo, a Henry Kissinger protege.

CHRISTINE AHN, christineahn at mac.com, @christineahn
Founder of Women Cross DMZ, Ahn recently appeared on The Real News segment “Trump, Pence Rain on Koreas’ Olympic Unity Parade.” Last month, her group backed “inter-Korean dialogue and the Olympics truce.” Ahn just tweeted: “The U.S. can’t be ‘open to talks’ with North Korea while maintaining its hostile ‘Maximum Pressure’ policies of decapitation strikes, isolation and hurting innocent lives. Thank goodness for [President of South Korea] Moon’s charm offensive; it’s not the U.S., but South Korea, working Maximum Engagement.” Regarding the U.S. and Japan, she stated: “How ironic the two countries with large and heavy military footprints on Korean soil in the last century can’t even celebrate Korean unity.”

CHRISTINE HONG, cjhong at ucsc.edu, @kpolicyo
Hong is an associate professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz and an executive board member of the Korea Policy Institute. She wrote the piece “The Long, Dirty History of U.S. Warmongering against North Korea” for The Progressive. She said today: “The Olympics have introduced welcome respite from the Trump administration’s reckless hurtling down the pathway of war against North Korea. Yet, through both words and deeds, including the deployment of nuclear-capable B-2 and B-52 bombers to Guam, this administration has signaled its desire to conduct a so-called limited strike against North Korea — an action that positions millions of South Koreans, supposedly a historical U.S. ally, as permissible collateral damage. Even as Trump in his recent State of the Union address has sought to take a page out of the George W. Bush interventionist human rights playbook by pointing to the suffering of ordinary citizens under ‘the cruel dictatorship in North Korea,’ the human rights issue that should concern us all right now is the prospect of aggressive war by the United States.”