SurrealityOctober 7, 2006
Mentions of “nuclear” and “North Korea” in Google news this week: 14,300
mentions of “nuclear” and “North Korea” in my Korean life this week: 0.
Seriously, the disconnect between what is experienced in the news and in my social reality, regarding an issue that could be of global import, is truly surreal. People here just don’t normally talk about North Korea, or any “threat,” or worry about an invasion, of get upset that Kim Jong-il is “gonna get the bomb.” Frankly, a lot of Koreans take no small bit of pride in the fact that a fellow Korean is daring to stand up to the global superpower. This isn’t just nationalist chest-thumping either. A plurality of South Koreans in one polls labelled the USA, and not North Korea, as the bigger threat to South Korea. And many simply feel there is hypocrisy in the demands of nuclear states with thousands of icbms to tell non-nuclear states that they cannot have any whatsoever. Others take what they call the “realist” view, in that, Kim Jong-il sees Iraq getting invaded and knows his only deterrent is the bomb. Thus, they say it is in his national interest, and regardless of what the world thinks, every nation is allowed to do what they feel is necessary to protect their national interest. Indeed, they say this is the “Bush doctrine” itself. Oof… seems like a huge gap indeed between these ostenible allies of South Korea and the USA.
That’s where a lot of people are at here in their thinking. I report, you decide;)