Over at the Marmot's Hole, guest blogger Sewing notes that a second (and possibly third) Korean hostage has been killed in Afghanistan. Drudge continues not to report this on its headlines, but it is top news at ABC's website.
In the comments following Sewing's post, commenter Sonagi notes that Korean Netizens aren't buying the "government-inspired Korean media campaign to shift responsibility to Uncle Sam." In one comment, she writes:
This Yonhap story is claiming that the US is standing in the way of a hostage for prisoner swap:
Check out the message board at the bottom. The fish aren't biting.
This story on netizen reactions includes a couple of quotes from commenters who feel the US, as an ally of South Korea, should intervene actively to secure the release of the hostages. The most rec'd messages on the related board make no mention of the US. While browsing another news board, I did see one post blaming Bush and the US for the hostage crisis. I guess if you dig hard enough, you can find whatever you're looking for. I do admire the persistence of the Korean media in trying to foment public pressure on the Bush administration.
While I don't admire the Korean media's persistence, I agree with the basic thrust of Sonagi's comments on that thread.
UPDATE: Good post over at the Lost Nomad as well (short hiatus, eh, man?). One strongly emergent theme, especially since the death of the first hostage, is Why doesn't Korea enact its own military solution? I agree: this is a golden opportunity for Korea to act on its own behalf. It's certainly more expedient for politicians and the media to blame the US for whatever goes wrong (and it's mightily convenient that Noh and his cronies have, for the moment, explicitly ruled out a military option), but it would be nice for cooler heads in the Korean government to assess the situation with an eye toward long-term geopolitical results. As has been pointed out by nearly everyone in the blogosphere but me, Korea has frighteningly good special forces. Those guys could go into Afghanistan and make an unforgettable statement to the Taliban. At the very least, they'd have my blessing.
UPDATE 2: The story is headlining MSNBC.