An atmosphere of uncertain danger looms over the Korean peninsula following North Korea’s nuclear test. South Korea, divided from Asia major by the Demilitarized Zone, is at its peak when it comes to the economy. But as for reaching into the Asian continent, it shares a situation similar to that of Japan, an island nation. The divided Korea is beginning to turn into an isolated island of some sort again, and our view of the world is becoming similar to that of Japan. We have been divided for such a long time, and we derive artificial satisfaction from watching television shows and movies.

If we were born in an undivided Korea, how we see the world would have been totally different. We would have taken a train from Busan and travelled to Europe on a road trip. Our products would have been exported via rail through the Eurasian continent and would have arrived in Europe. We would have experienced the world firsthand.

Instead of using a huge sum of money to head into Beijing, we would have been able to travel through Mongolia to Central Asia. Through easy and frequent relationships with Asia, we would have grown closer through a cultural exchange. We would have completely avoided a small-country mentality, and been able to exert a stronger influence not just in Asia, but the world as well.

Korea is in an unprecented situation of utmost danger right now. Despite carrying on with our busy lifestyles, we are constantly reminded of how we have a ticking bomb on top of our heads when tensions intensify in the peninsula. But the bigger problem is that unless the two Koreas unify, disarming the bomb, we will be in a situation where we will not be aware when the whole thing blows over.

A wise person once stated that daybreak is closer when the night is darker. Should we believe that the dawn of unification will result from this touchy situation? How do we resolve this matter? Embargoes and policies against North Korea for the past sixty years created this situation: the nuclear arming of North Korea. What kind of solutions does the United States have in mind? The two entities facing each other in the Demilitarized Zone are the two koreas, but the real combatants in this situation are North Korea and the United States. United States does not have a strategy for the Korean peninsula at the moment. They do not have a strategy for unification as well. Though over two million Koreans live in the United States, Americans are not taking the effort to think about all other matters except for the North Korean nuclear threat.

Israel, a tiny nation in Middle East is not a very important place for America’s area strategy. Perhaps, oil-producing nations may be of more importance. But because of the six million Jews, Israel became an important partner of the United States. It is supported by American taxpayers’ dollars every year. Many Korean Americans come from families divided by the Demarcation Line, but the Department of State and the American Red Cross don’t seem to care. This is all because of the two million Korean Americans who have yet to act upon this problem.  The American government and the Congress only move when voters begin to take interest. The current situation in the Korean peninsula stemmed from the complacent Korean Americans as well. It is not too late. When Korean Americans begin to take this issue sueriously, we can turn this threat into an opportunity for peace.

Categories: Column / Opinion
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