Sunday, March 27, 2005

a look at the future

Can the Koreas look forward to something like this if the DMZ ever disappears?

Readers of this blog know of my exasperation about the confused attitude many South Koreans (especially of the younger generation) have about their "brothers" to the north. On the one hand, they'll yell the rhetoric about k'a-t'eun min-jok (same people/nation/race/etc.); on the other, they show no real willingness to act on that rhetoric, bring down the DMZ, and drive a massive campaign to feed NK. Instead, South Koreans moralize about other countries' roles in NK's woes, especially the US, without looking at their own role in their "brothers'" starvation (this while South Koreans continue to fatten up to look more and more like me).

As I've written before: there are historical reasons for the "one people" rhetoric. In a sense, such rhetoric is justified. But the damage done over the last half-century has caused enormous political, cultural, ideological, and even linguistic rifts between the two Koreas. As the older generation dies out, two sets of younger generations face each other across the DMZ with very little in common. We are no longer looking at one people. While both governments pay lip service to the idea of reunification, it's painfully obvious that both sides have completely different ideas about how that reunification should occur, and under whose banner.

As long as Kimism is allowed to continue in the North (and as long as the South Korean government continues to coddle it and soothe its tantrums), South Korea will indeed have a reason to wave its victim mentality around: it'll be the victim of its own inability to make strong, convicted political decisions.

[In case anyone thinks I'm letting the West off the hook, I'll refer you to my long posts on Andrew Natsios's book, The Great North Korean Famine. Check the links out on my sidebar, at the bottom.]


No comments: