My condolences to Korea for the senseless death of Kim Sun-il

I was deeply troubled by the news this week of the abduction and subsequent beheading of Kim Sun-il, a 33-year old translator working for a Korean company supplying US troops in Iraq. Kim was just a few months younger than me. I grieve for his family and his countrymen who find themselves stuck in the middle of a conflict that isn't theirs.

I spent a year teaching English in Seoul and made many friends there. I found Koreans to be kind, generous and deeply spiritual people. As an American who lived as a guest in their country and was treated like a son, I feel a debt of eternal gratitude. I was shocked, saddened, angered and disgusted that terrorists would kidnap an innocent bystander and execute him just to get the attention of a foreign government that is aligned with the United States.
On the first videotape, broadcast yesterday by the Korean media, a voice off camera asks Kim questions and he replies in halting English.

He gives his name and birthplace, says he was born Sept. 13, 1970 in Busan.

He also describes U.S. President George W. Bush as a terrorist and says he does not like the United States because they are killing Iraqis.

"I saw George Bush attack here because of Iraqi oil," he said. "So I don't like George Bush or America."

"I like Iraqi people. The Iraqi people are very kind," Kim said. "I think they are poor because of war."

AP said the video was delivered to APTN on June 3, but was not aired because it was unclear if Kim was being held against his will.

However, the question remains why AP only released the videotape three days after Kim's kidnapping was made public on June 21.
It's horrifying enough to see our men and women coming home in body bags. It's another thing to see our friends being killed on account of our friendship. It saddens me further to think that Kim's death might have been preventable.
They have long complained about the highhandedness and the lack of cooperativeness among their envoys. The blunder appears even larger in light of the fact that the Japanese government succeeded in rescuing three of its citizens kidnapped by a group of Iraqi insurgents in April.
If only the Korean government hadn't waited three weeks to act on Kim's behalf, let alone reconsider its decision to send 3,000 additional troops to Iraq to help fight in an unjust war that was started by their friends.