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In the News: A Perspective on North Korea from a Korean-American International Student

Joined: 4/29/2013
Posts: 1
I live kind of a strange life as I am part of a small but growing community of Korean youth who live in our parents’ motherland but hold American citizenships. We attend English speaking international schools located in Korea that are geared towards sending graduates to American universities. Many of us speak English better than we do Korean, and we definitely identify more with western culture than that of the general Korean people. As a result, we have a bit of a complicated perspective when it comes to the recent threats from North Korea.

In South Korea, there is a tangible feeling of apprehension, but it is a familiar one that has permeated our daily existence. We have been desensitized to this ominous presence a few hundred kilometers north of us, always more potentially dangerous than actually dangerous. South Korean people go on with their normal, first world lives, despite the fact that we can theoretically be wiped out by our northern neighbors at the press of a button. As an international student, I am also exposed to the ironically more fearful perspective of the West, even though America is much farther away from here. I see the Twitter posts of my fellow American citizens, kids I will attend college with one day, that express fear and spew hate towards “the gooks” and “evil Koreans.” I feel resentment for those sentiments, but oddly understand the ignorance. North Koreans and South Koreans speak the same language. Though we ourselves can spot differences in our physical appearances, we generally look the same. We share thousands and thousands of years of history and have only in modern times been separated by the politics of larger and more powerful entities. In truth, North or South, the people are the same.

If you ask an average South Korean about how they feel about the average North Korean, the answer will be pity. We both have common ancestors. Some are actually distant relatives. The fact that the people in North Korea are suffering from oppression and starving to death hurts our hearts. But we ourselves forget their pain. We are too concerned with maintaining our first world existence. It is far simpler to not think about their suffering, along with not thinking about the danger of their leader’s threats. In this collective ignorance, both from the west and the east, we have forgotten about the true victims: the North Korean people. We have everything whereas they have less than nothing. Disregarding all the fear mongering, on both sides, as well as the political and economic sanctions, I believe the best way to resolve this conflict is to think about those North Koreans who are suffering and find ways to help, not hate or destroy.
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Comment by etiquetteguy

Joined: 6/22/2009
Posts: 52
Great perspective on a very relevant topic. Brilliant in its brevity!
Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 9:56:25 PM
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Comment by Girlboxer1970

Joined: 1/15/2013
Posts: 79
Nice Essay! Thank you for sharing!
Posted: Saturday, May 25, 2013 6:02:31 AM
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Comment by Nate DeRose

Joined: 12/11/2012
Posts: 90
Congratulations! You’ve been selected second place for the April writing contest: "In the News"

Check out the full report here:

Don’t forget to share your story and show your accomplishment on your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media!

Thanks for submitting, and we look forward to your future submissions.
Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 4:05:48 PM
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