Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Thoughts about the situation in Korea...

As I was up in Seoul, going about my business and trying to meet with some friends (ah that is another story)...life seems to be oddly normal considering the political firestorm that is going on between North and South Korea. The media has stated that we are on the brink of war. Yes, there is a cold war feeling that is ever present.

However, as we do know, there are no winners in using that kind of option...of course you all know what I am talking about...something we don't want to even contemplate...that thought of course is anything having to do with the use of nuclear weapons. For decades the US and the USSR (now Russia) lived with the 'red button' and the world had great hopes when the wall fell. The hope of all Koreans...whether they are in the North or in the South...is that one day they will be unified.

There is even a temple, Buinsa Temple, that is dedicated for prayer for unification of Korea. Unification of the North and the South is very much a part of the fabric of this culture, as it was in Germany...and having been there when they were two separate states, I can tell you that the feelings in this present time echo the past.

However, as I walked around the streets of Seoul on Saturday night, the youth were trolling the streets...revelling in their youth (as young people do)...and there was no thought of what the world leaders were doing. Perhaps in search of a good Soju bar, or a chance connection...or perhaps this is simply the calm before the storm. Even today in Daegu...there is not much talk of war. Though the world talks of it, through the media, and politicians...the everyman of the street is calmly going about the day doing what they do.

The consequences of even thinking of what a war would do to this peninsula...well it would devastate both sides. Though I am starting to notice things like how gas masks are located by the elevators of the building I work in. The remaining bits of my past life, in another world, where I realize the world will never be quite the safe place I would love it to be...but you can't be fearful of living. You just have to go out there...after all it isn't how you die...it is how you live your life...and I have never been comfortable with sitting in a corner.

Life in South Korea...Life anywhere...is risk....there is no such thing as security...my dear friends...that is all a painful illusion.

Some risks are just more visible than others...


lionmother said...

Will you think about leaving? It sounds like it might get dangerous there. I know Hillary Clinton will try to ease the tension. She is great at meeting with people who don't like her. She might change things there. I hope. Please stay safe!

Marilyn said...

I thought about it for a nanosecond...it is odd to say this...but it is far better to know who you are dealing with...rather than to have an unseen terrorist group...who cannot be reasoned with.

"The devil you know is better than the devil you don't."