Monday, April 1, 2013

Thoughts on being in a "State of war" with N. Koera

We are coming off our spring break here at KIS; Aysem (@aysem_bray) and I stayed here in Seoul to simply rest, recharge, and work on a few projects. So, being here in Korea, you can imagine how surprised I was to receive a frantic Skype from my mother asking about the war between North and South Korea. The "war" went by rather unnoticed here in South Korea. For those of you unfamiliar with the antics of North Korea, let me simply say -- they're crazy. Period. End of story. And as one of my psychology professors once said, "Don't try to understand someone who is insane, because... Well... They're crazy." But, if you look at what is happening with N. Korea, you can see some logic at play; it is just a very, very strange logic.

The first thing to understand is that N. Korea and S. Korea have been at war since 1950; in 1953 they agreed to a truce, not peace. So when Kim Jung-Un, the new great leader, says that N. Korea is at a "state of war" with S. Korea, it really is old news. They have always been in a "state of war." The second thing to understand is that N. Korea really wants to get the US and S. Korea to the bargaining table and ridiculous threats have worked in the past. Third, Kim Jung-Un is trying to establish himself as the legitimate ruler of the country and like grandpa and dad -- he isn't afraid of the S. Korea and the US. Finally, and this is my opinion, the new S. Korean president is a woman. Mrs. Park will hopefully prove herself to be a tough lady who will not bend to the threats of the North, but is it surprising to think that a reclusive country shut-off to the modern world for the last 60 years would be sexist? Not really. There you have it -- North Korean threats of war explained in a nutshell. But, like my psychology professor said, "Don't try..." You get the picture.