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National boycott of Die Another Day urged in South Korea

12-Dec-2002 • Die Another Day

Yahoo News are reporting that a protest is being organised in South Korea against the false image of a "US colony" that they fear "Die Another Day" projects about their country:

The boycott call, being spread via online chat rooms and e-mail, comes amid widespread anger over the acquittals of two U.S. soldiers involved in the road deaths of two Korean girls.

One scene from "Die Another Day" that has drawn anger shows a U.S. intelligence ordering the mobilization of the South Korean army.

"Have we become a U.S. colony?" a protester of the movie wrote on the web site of the Coalition for Economic Justice, a major civic group in Seoul. "Let`s boycott the movie to protect our national pride."

The film does not open in South Korea until later this month, but critics say they either have seen it in other countries or have seen advance screenings here. Though the boycott call is spreading via the Internet, where people remain anonymous, the tone and slang of the messages suggest the movement is predominantly young people.

There has been rising anti-U.S. sentiment following last month`s acquittals in U.S. military courts of the U.S. soldiers whose armored vehicle hit and killed the girls. The acquittals sparked nationwide protests by thousands of ordinary citizens.

Critics of the Bond film also say it goes too far in depicting communist North Korea as a menace to world peace at a time when inter-Korean relations are warming following a historic summit in 2000.

Many South Koreans believe that U.S. President George W. Bush`s policy toward North Korea is uncompromising and a threat to inter-Korean reconciliation efforts.

During a press conference in Seoul last week, Rick Yune, a Korean-American actor who plays the North Korean character in the film who goes to extremes to reunify the Koreas, tried to quell the controversy. The enemy in the movie is not North Korea, but the individual he plays, Yune said. v He also said the movie has nothing to do with Bush`s characterization of North Korea in January as part of an "axis of evil," because the story was written four years ago.

Meanwhile, a South Korean actor Cha In-pyo has become a hero in South Korea because he refused to play the role of the North Korean, saying the movie would distort the image of both Koreas.

The Koreas were divided in 1945. The United States keeps 37,000 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.

Thanks to Umpire for the alert.

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