PERSONAL REACTION: When a jet from a Seoul-based airline crashed this weekend in San Francisco, South Koreans took it personally.

THE RESPONSE: The president issued a statement of regret. Asiana Airlines' chief apologized not just to passengers and their families but to all of South Korea. Along with sadness, average South Koreans expressed embarrassment about how it would reflect on their country.

KOREAN PRIDE: South Koreans take great interest in the global profile of local companies and of ethnic Koreans on the world stage. Many feel pride, for instance, seeing Samsung billboards in New York's Times Square. And when a company's stumbles draw international attention, there's a collective sense of national shame.

 

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