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- Koreans can often view the world through a nationalistic lens and they will feel a sense of responsibility [for crimes committed by other Koreans].
- Koreans are an impatient people and yearn to be as good as they imagine advanced peoples to be. But they are too hard on themselves when their country falls short in their own eyes.
- [F]eelings, I'd already noticed among my Korean friends, were not something to be kept in check by reason. They were justification for whatever came out of your mouth or made you swing your fist.
- Countries are different, but people are people, and the Koreans are the same as anyone else. Their rise out of poverty in the face of such circumstances to democratic capitalism underlines the theme of our age.
- If Descartes had been Korean, he would have said: "I am in charge, therefore I am."
- Koreans are under enormous pressure to succeed at work, school and in relationships, and to care for their families, fueling an abysmal suicide rate that is the highest in the OECD group of developed countries. About 40 Koreans commit suicide every day, making it the nation's fourth-highest cause of death in 2012. The relentlessness of these tragedies may be numbing, but the nation was shocked last week when a 29-year-old reality show contestant, in a bathroom at the guesthouse where filming was taking place, hanged herself by a hairdryer cord.
- [A]t the time Japan annexed Korea in 1910, the actual conditions of life in the peninsula were extremely bad. This was not due to any lack of inherent intelligence and ability in the Korean race, but to the stupidity and corruption which had characterized the government of the Korean dynasty, and to the existence of a royal court which maintained a system of licensed cruelty and corruption throughout Korea. Such was the misrule under which the Koreans had suffered for generation after generation that all incentive to industry and social progress had been destroyed because none of the common people had been allowed to enjoy the fruits of their own efforts.
- Alleyne Ireland, The New Korea (1926)
- The magnificence of the courage and fortitude of the Korean people defies description. They have chosen to risk death rather than slavery. Their last words to me were: "Don't scuttle the Pacific!"
- Koreans in general are very generous about misrepresentations when it’s another Korean doing the misrepresenting.
- South Korean nationalism is something quite different from the patriotism toward the state that Americans feel. Identification with the Korean race is strong, while that with the Republic of Korea is weak... Koreans in both the North and the South tend to cherish the myth that of all peoples in the world, they are the least inclined to premeditated evil.
- In Germany, it's, let's say it's 5:59 and you're heading for the bakery or whatever and it's due to close at 6. The German will walk right up to that door and close it right in your face, they will lock it on the other side of that glass door with a shrug, like "sorry". A Korean would never do that, ever. And, and this is what I like about them.
- Koreans are wonderfully tolerant of a foreigner with differing views when the discussion is in Korean, and no foreigners of importance are around. They lose their tempers when they see someone exporting information which — however widely discussed in the Korean press — is thought best kept "in country."
- "Oh, no, they really do all look alike,"–the same Blackglgama hair, the same high-boned pie-plate face, the same tea-stain complexion, the same sharp-focused look in 1 million identical anthracite eyes. They are a strange northern people who came to this mountain peninsula an ice age ago... They don't like anyone who isn't Korean, and they don't like each other all that much, either. They're hardheaded, hard-drinking, tough little bastards, "the Irish of Asia".
- P. J. O'Rourke, Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks, "What's Funny About This?" (1988), New York: Grove Press. p. 45
- Encyclopedic article on Koreans at Wikipedia