Well, that didn't take long. From last night's Korea Times:
A court rejected the application Friday for an arrest warrant for a Chinese student who was accused of assaulting a Korean man.
The decision was made one day after police detained him for kicking and hitting a 49-year-old Korean protester with a Chinese national flag, and hurling concrete tiles in a clash between Chinese students and anti-Chinese protestors during the Olympic torch relay in Seoul last Sunday.
The court said it decided against issuing the arrest warrant, as he was repentant over his misdeeds. In addition, his chances of fleeing the country or destroying evidence were slim as he lives in a campus dormitory.
Staggering . . . both his actions and the reaction. Concrete tiles? It wasn't but a few days ago that the Korea promised firm action against the violent and ugly behavior of Chinese protestors at the Olympic Torch Rally in Seoul, and threatened tougher visa rules for Chinese students. The Prime Minister said, according to the Vice Culture Minister and as quoted in April 30th's Chosun Ilbo:
Our national pride has been hurt considerably by the incident, so legal and diplomatic measures to restore national pride will have to follow.
(Hahaha . . . Minister of Vice Culture.) Doesn't look like the issue is being pushed, though. ROK Drop rightly alludes to the hypocrisies between this response and the one that comes when Americans soldiers behave violently. And you may recall the December 2006 story of nine foreigners in Busan who were detained for putting on a performance that poked fun at Korean culture, but who were ostensibly busted for violating the terms of their visa. You'd think this guy could at least be held for that. *sigh*
On the topic of demonstrations, thousands attended a candlelight vigil held in Seoul last night in protest of the import of American beef to South Korea. There's another one scheduled for tonight. Gordsellar has two interesting write-ups on the issue here and here. Local media has been drawing parallels between these beef protests and the widespread anti-American ugliness that crescendoed in 2002 and 2003, and as an American and a foreigner in Korea, I hope things don't go in that direction again. I'm also very pleased that these beef protests are quieter and less poop-dependent than the one they had in Gwangju last year:
AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO IS SERIOUSLY ASKING WTF? HAS THE MOB MENTALITY LAW TAKEN OVER HERE IN KOREA ALSO.
SO THE BUSAN 9 SHOULD HAVE THROWN ROCKS AND THEN ISSUED AN "I'M SORRY" SO THE US ARMY SOLDIERS SHOULD NOW RIOT IN MASS WITH FULL COMBAT LOAD AND THEN ISSUE AN "I'M SORRY"