August 15th has a lot of meaning for Koreans. It is the day Korea regained its independence from Imperial Japan in 1945. Koreans commemorate the day by displaying the Korean flag, called Taegeukgi. The day before Independence Day, on August 14th, Tiffany, a member of Girls Generation, a popular girl group, uploaded a photo taken after the SM concert at the Tokyo Dome in Japan in which she added a Japanese flag emoticon. Many Koreans were upset at the emoticon, so she deleted the post. However, on August 15th, she uploaded the photo again with a different emoticon. This time it was a rising sun emoticon, which is the military flag of Imperial Japan. This fueled the anger of Koreans towards her. It was most upsetting for Koreans that she uploaded the photo with an emoticon of the flag of Imperial Japan and not of the Taegeukgi. With hyped criticism, she resigned from her contract with the TV variety show, Sisters. Indeed, she made a huge mistake, but what is most disturbing is that Korean President Park Geunhye spoke ill of her during her Korean Independence address to the nation. Not only did she speak ill of her, the president was also slanderous. President Park Geunhye said Ahn Junggen, a freedom fighter for Korea’s independence, was killed by the Imperial Japan army in Harbin prison. However, Ahn Junggen did not die in Harbin prison but in Lushun prison. Also, the President failed to speak about the unresolved issue of comfort women. Japan has yet to acknowledge its crimes, nor has it apologized for the act. However, ironically, instead of the nation’s wrong address by President Park, many Koreans condemned the girl group member rather than show disappointment at the President’s address. Why did people only focus on Tiffany’s error? People need to reflect on the reason for their condemning of Tiffany. Was it out of true patriotism?
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