A Curious Phone Call…
Just today I had a lot on my mind when I was looking into the past presidents of South Korea, and I was amazed by the disparity between a conservative president, a progressive president, and the reasons for why South Koreans would love em or hate em. I felt that there were an infinite amount of things that I can research on newspapers, books, or the internet, but there are certain pieces of testimony or dialogue that I can hear from someone in person. Someone’s individual thoughts highlight their biases, their reasoning, and an individual, one-of-a-kind opinion.
I asked him about his thoughts on the three presidents shown above: Kim Dae-Jung, Roh Moo-Hyun, and Moon Jae-In. He explained that they were 진보, or progressive presidents. They push for change, and tend to listen to the people, in favor of being against conservative values. A lot of 보통, or regular citizens favor progressive presidents, who challenge existing policies. In terms of the Sunshine Policy, where South Korea unconditionally provided aid for the North Koreans, he mentioned that Kim Dae-Jung started it, Roh Moo-Hyun progressed it, and Moon Jae-In finished it, although there is a lot more work that needs to be done.
My uncle brought up an interesting statistic, saying that its estimated at around 70 to 30 ratio in terms of the general population, where 70% are for reunification, and 30% are against reunification. The main reason stated would be that 번화, or 부자들 or the richer population do not agree to the increase in taxes that derive from helping North Koreans post-reunification. In terms of the younger population, they are more skeptical about the situation, as their emotional connections are not as strong as the older generation, so my uncle put them at a 50:50. It’s this portion of the population that need convincing, as they are going to essentially receive the passing torch for completing this reunification process.
sourceAs a brief continuation of the Silk Road + Korean Transportation System connection, he mentioned that the 자유로, or the Freedom Road will have another highway called 자유로 2, or Freedom Road 2 that stems from South Korea into the Paju region, ending in North Korea. This gets me excited in that real conscious efforts are being made towards a unified Korea.
Two Beers and a Rigorous Conversation
Last week, my dad brought over some of his friends that played golf with him, and we also had an interesting conversation about Korea as a whole while drinking some beers. He emphasized South Korea being separated from other countries geographically. To better visualize this, he imagined that South Korea instead of looking like this,
My dad’s friend stressed South Korea becoming a metaphorical island, thus leading to conversation of North Korea becoming a bridge into Asia once they reunify.