One of our biggest foreign policy problems right now is our foundering relationship with South Korea. It’s bad enough that North Korea is behaving the way we’d expect a member of the “axis of evil” to behave, but it’s worse that we can’t count on South Korea to take our side when we try to bully Kim John Il into doing what we want. In one of those cases where small things make a big deal, I think that the race where short track speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno won a gold medal after a South Korean was disqualified might have something to do with the growth in anti-Americanism on the peninsula. When judges disqualified the South Korean skater after a theatrical move by Ohno, the press in South Korea went wild about how unfairly they were being treated (it didn’t help that we were the home team for the ’02 Winter Games, either). The incident inflamed the passions of the South Koreans, and I believe that some of the current resentment toward America stemmed from it. There’s nothing we can do about it — I just find it odd the way things work.

Update: I realize that there are lots of other grievances that South Korea has with the United States, many of which involve the behavior of US soldiers on Korean soil. I just thought the connection between Ohno’s controversial medal win and our relations with South Korea was interesting.