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Posted : 2008-04-06 18:03
Updated : 2008-04-06 18:03

34 Percent of Army Cadets Regard US as Main Enemy

By Kim Yon-se
Staff Reporter

A poll shows that 34 percent of first-year army cadets called the United States the main enemy of South Korea, a former superintendent of the Korea Military Academy (KMA) said.

Kim Choong-bae, president of the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, disclosed a past survey of 250 KMA entrants to single out "the country's main enemy'' while serving as the military academy's superintendent in 2004.

Kim was quoted by a newspaper as saying, "While the majority ― or 34 percent ― picked the U.S., 33 percent said they regarded North Korea as the main enemy.''

He said the result was unbelievable, stressing the respondents were those who were supposed to be military officers. The KMA did not make the result public during the Roh Moo-hyun administration, which ended last February.

Kim hinted that he had been forced not to notify the public of the result, expressing uneasiness about contents of some high and middle schools textbooks.

Citing his meeting with the 250 cadet freshmen, the military expert argued that the hostile sentiment against the "ally" is due to "inappropriate'' education in schools.

In addition, according to a survey of a group of conscripted soldiers conducted by the Ministry of Defense, about 75 percent of them said they have anti-U.S. sentiment.

Various polls on college students or elementary school students have shown that major enemies of South Korea include North Korea, Japan and the U.S.

Meanwhile, North Korea had been found to label the U.S. and Japan as its main enemies. There has been no document or official commentaries from Pyongyang which describe South Korea as the main enemy of the North.

North Korea had reportedly defined the U.S. a "mortal enemy'' and Japan a "longstanding enemy,'' some military officials said.

kys@koreatimes.co.kr

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