DAEGU, South Korea-- Two self-styled anti-American vandals set fire to an English academy Tuesday morning in Daegu. According to the Dong-A Ilbo, the pair detonated a homemade bomb; however, according to Yonhap, there was no bomb and the two suspects simply set fire to the academy. Others have reported it was a molotov cocktail. As yet, the details are as blurry as the suspects’ photos, released by Daegu police.
Fortunately, the elementary-level hagwon wasn’t open when the bomb went off at 7:07 a.m., likely a crucial element in the crackpot plan to avoid hurting fellow Koreans.
The blazing academy, located in Manchon-dong, was reported by a nurse working on the ninth floor of the same building. Smoke came out from downstairs floor, she told reporters, and papers were seen scattered.
The papers she saw were anti-American flyers that read:
The US committed brutal crimes against the Korean people over the past 100 years. Worse yet, it is moving to cause a nuclear warfare in this country. It is time that we severe malign ties with the US. Yankees, you should be ready to leave.
Below, it was signed by an anti-American, anti-fascist committee.
Though a simple education academy, speculation on the reason for the attack seems to be the academy’s name. It is written on the building, in Korean, as American Culture Center, and below that, in English, Independent Center for American Studies.
In addition to the fact that the academy employs non-Americans, the word independent is noticeably lacking in the Korean translation of the title, which perhaps would have suggested to these would-be anarchists were sorely lacking in their target research.
Whether it’s the work of North Korean insurgents trying to stir up anti-Western opinion in the South or simply very unconventional native South Koreans acting alone is anyone’s guess at this point.