Korea--The Ireland of Europe?

It has been said that Korea is the Ireland of Asia. What does that tell the listener? That both are hot-headed and like to drink is the typical explanation.
I remember when I first heard it. I asked:

* What if you don't like Ireland? That means you probably won't like Korea?

* Do Korea and Ireland have close relations? Or if they are both hot-headed nations, could it be that they don't get along?

* Do people in Ireland describe Ireland as "the Korea of Europe"?

It isn't just the two countries.

I sometimes hear that (choose your favorite SKY university) is the "Harvard of Korea." Does anyone say that "Harvard is the Seoul National University of Korea"?

Chuseok is said to be the "Korean Thanksgiving." So...Koreans eat turkey and watch football?

Anyway, there's an article in the September 5, 2013 edition of the Korea Times with the headline: "Is Korea Ireland of Asia?"

Ireland--the Korea of Europe?

Also at my new blog.