All posts tagged: Reunification

S. Koreans. Germans. Reunification.

Picture: Kim Jong-Un is seen walking with an aid against the backdrop of a row of North Korean flags. The words “Kim kommt” is displayed across the screen. A screenshot from “Kim kommt: Kurswechsel in Korea? (Kim is coming: A Change of course in Korea?), a documentary by ARD TV’s Weltspiegel Extra. http://www.ardmediathek.de/tv/Weltspiegel/Weltspiegel-extra-Kim-kommt-Kurswechse/Das-Erste/Video?bcastId=329478&documentId=51930738 “It is a border we Germans still have memories of. With barbed wires, minefields, and orders to fire. Between brother cities which shoot each other. From firing drills by Kim Jong-Un in the North, and those by the South Koreans and Americans in the South. A border which has separated families for decades. Except for a few days of government-organised day meetings. Now the change is in the hope that this border may fall, like it did in Germany. As the two heads of heads of state will meet in no man’s land for a new start” (rough translation by self) Because of our shared history, South Koreans and Germans tend to know a fair bit about each other’s people, process of …

North Korea Human Rights Act

There’s a US NGO, called Human Rights Foundation, (HQ: New York City) which works on improving and promoting human rights in North Korea. One of HRF’s ongoing projects is called Disrupt North Korea, which in September 2015 created the Global Coalition for the North Korean Human Rights Act – a group of activists, academics and policymakers and technologists (including Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales) whose goal is to encourage South Korean lawmakers to pass the law. The North Korean Human Rights Act (NKHRA) has been held up at the National Assembly in South Korea for 10 years now. In fact, there is no NKHRA – it hasn’t been passed yet and different political parties have put forth varying versions. However, both Saenuri (majority) and New Alliance versions contain similar ideas – to systemise North Korea human rights programs by creating new government agencies and archives specifically designed for this purpose (in coordination with the Ministry of Unification and the Ministry of Justice). The US Congress, on the other hand, has enacted the North Korean Human Rights Act (USA) in 2004. Japan …

Answer 1. Do (South) Koreans Really Want Reunification?

Photo source: Yonhap News (Feb 22nd, 2014) Short answer: No. To be precise, it’s “Don’t really care“, not “Don’t want”. Reunification doesn’t carry the note of passion it used to in my parent’s generation – back then, if you were asked “Do you want tongil?”, and you said no, you were a complete treacherous, unpatriotic, heartless brat. But now, we’re too busy thinking about other things, the memories of having once been a single nation are fading, and most of all, Koreans most definitely do not want to carry the economic burden reunification will entail. Despite the avid propaganda from the South Korean government – Reunification will allow us to tap into the North’s invaluable mineral resources, we will gain direct access to cheap and disciplined (disciplined, for lack of a better word…) labour force, we are of the same blood and are one people – People’s enthusiasm has grown thin with the crazy outbursts of “We will see Seoul burst in flames if you don’t give us what we want and respect us” tantrum …