The news about pregnant South Koreans going to America to give birth so their children will get the benefits of US citizenship - including cheaper education - or be exempt from the mandatory two-year military service, has dismayed many ordinary people who cannot afford to do so. Because of the high costs, estimated at US$25,000 per child, the practice is prevalent only among the high-income elite in South Korean society. The mothers' lack of remorse further upsets the majority of people. One woman, who was investigated by police for a possible violation of medical or travel regulations, reportedly refuted public criticism, saying more US-educated Koreans would be better for the country in the long term, given its low education standards. But the majority of the public appears to be against this seemingly unpatriotic behaviour. A website survey found that 66 per cent of respondents wanted to ban pregnant women from going overseas to give birth. Of course, every parent wants to give their child a better future. No one can blame them for that. But when the top tier of society uses such practices to avoid national duties, it is a different story. In fact, one presidential candidate last year was caught in the controversy when it was revealed that his daughter-in-law had given birth in the United States. He claimed it was not to seek US citizenship for the baby, but the scandal clearly damaged his reputation. When the leaders of a nation abandon it and try to obtain foreign citizenship for their offspring, many ordinary people may also try to follow in their footsteps. On the other hand, if the same leaders place their hopes in their society and remain loyal to their country, through good and bad times, ordinary people can follow their example, and become hopeful and patriotic. After all, South Korea is not such a bad place to live. One example of this is the growing number of overseas Koreans, particularly in China, who are doing everything possible to return.