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Reporters on the Job

Less Sunshine in Seoul? Staff writer Robert Marquand has been struck by his impression that the virulent anti-Americanism he saw in Seoul, South Korea, in 2002 and 2003 has dissipated. "You don't feel it on the street," he says. Bob notes that there are far fewer American GIs around, as they've moved out of their central headquarters in Seoul. But he says that also, there is probably more concern about the North's missiles than there used to be.

One evening, Bob took a walk out to the main square in front of City Hall. Two years earlier, 100,000 Koreans had gathered there to chant anti-American slogans in the wake of the killing of two schoolgirls by large US military trucks. Other tensions over US policy contributed to the anger as well.

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Bob got talking with a young woman whose tongue-in-cheek T-shirt caught his eye. "It had a North Korean star on the front of it, and writing on the back that said, 'Hysteria is the answer,' " Bob says.

The woman, a teacher, told Bob that she didn't used to worry about North Korea, but that now, she is starting to, as she feels the North has a lot less to lose than the South does. "She may be a member of the 'post-sunshine policy' generation," says Bob, referring to the South's policy of engaging the North. "As her friend said, 'On the outside, it doesn't look like anyone is worried, but on the inside, they are.' "

Follow-up on a Monitor story

Tough Times for a Different Russia: Participants at the "Different Russia" conference held in Moscow Tuesday and Wednesday had to make their way past squads of riot police, with dozens of barking dogs, says correspondent Fred Weir (see "Dissidents Push for a Different Russia," July 11, 2006). Nearby, a few dozen youths with the Kremlin-financed youth movement "Nashi" taunted people for "throwing mud" upon Russia. And the online newspaper Gazeta.ru reported that on Tuesday a key participant, former Russian prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov, was punched in the face by a pro-Kremlin protester shouting "Death to the Orange!" – a reference to Ukraine's 2004 pro-democracy "Orange Revolution."

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor


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