m a r k a n d e y a

A New Definition of National Borders

Posted by Brian on February 28, 2005

There’s an absolutely ridiculuous advertisement on page 9 of today’s Korea Herald that features some of the worst rah-rah nationalism ever exploited by a Korean company.

Just for some background, a while back someone at KTF thought it might be useful to extend their wireless service to cover the Dok Island (aka Dokdo). It was a largely symbolic move, of course, as the island is largely uninhabited, save for a token contingent of soldiers (there to ward off the Japanese invasion, I guess). With that done, KTF set into motion an “highly-charged, nationalistic” ad campaign boasting of their coverage there, and the ads have continued to pop up occasionally since then. Today, with Dokdo once again in the news, KTF offers their latest entry in the series.

Below a full-color picture of Dokdo, the white text reads: “The land where Japanese phones work is Japanese; and the land where Korean phones work is Korean.” Below that is some more boilerplate mumbo-jumbo on Dokdo.

But let’s think about that first line. In a wired world where roaming services allow cell-phone users to cross borders with their cell phones and make calls from nearly anywhere; where a Japanese person can take their Japanese-made phone with a Japanese service-provider and travel to Korea and still be able to call home, does it make any sense at all to make such a statement? KTF itself offers its own roaming services that allow Korean customers to use their phones in Japan. So why one earth would they say such a thing?

Oh yea… simple-minded nationalism sells well here (as it does elsewhere, of course) 


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