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Mabuhay! I'm an Asian American writer (Back Kicks And Broken Promises, Abbott Press, 2012), martial artist and teacher who was born in The Philippines, raised in Hong Kong and ended up in New Jersey.

02 January, 2012


I try to keep up with the news and each parties' and countries' political ideologies but I don't always know what's going on. Regarding North Korea, though, I've kept up with Kim Jong-Il's death and the appointment of his son, Kim Jong-Un, as the North's new supreme leader. I also recently saw a headline that said the North's government reaffirmed hostile relations with South Korea. That, to me, is just plain silly. It's bully talk and sounds like the person who has nothing better to say.

There are, what, three Communist countries (I told you I don't always do my best of keeping up with world affairs as I should) left in the world - Cuba, China and North Korea? It's always hard to change ideologies. Just think of yourself when someone's tried to change your mind or you've changed your mind on your own and there's that awkwardness and discomfort as you get used to your new way of thinking. With China continuing to grow as an economic and military and, consequently, world power, I can see why North Korea wouldn't want to change. The North Korea government likely sees its own growth and strength through China's. I could be way off on this but it makes sense to me if North Korea's leaders felt this way. However, who really wants to be in conflict all the time? Families are torn apart because of the North-South divide. Wouldn't the two countries just get stronger if they unified? 

Look at Germany. I was talking with friends about this recently. I'm sure there are poor parts of Germany but, overall, I think it's safe to say that Germany is thriving. It's one of the strongest countries in Europe and the world and its government's voice has influence on the rest of the world. With the democratisation of the eastern part of the country came solidity and respect from the global community. Hope ensued as well. As a football fan, naturally it comes to mind immediately, but Germany hosted the World Cup in 2006. I believe FIFA, the world governing body of football, said it's the most successful (meaning in attendance and revenue and global participation) World Cup it has held. If the Koreas unified, they could accomplish things like this in addition to uniting families, gaining global respect and support (financial and  otherwise) and, more importantly, peace. Like I said, who really wants to be at risk of death and in conflict all the time? 

I don't know. For those of you who read this and possess far more intelligence and political science education than I do, I probably sound like a fool. And, perhaps, I am but these are my thoughts. If Korean unification is not a good thing, teach me why. With many Korean and Korean-American friends and as a Taekwondo student and teacher of more than twenty-six years, in a way, I feel a little Korean. So, when there's news of Korea I take an extra special look and pay a little more attention. The Koreas have a wonderful and storied history, amazing people, an intelligent and beautiful language, fantastic cuisine and culture. Let's not keep them apart. Let's put them together and make their history and future even more beautiful.

(I'll be putting this post through a translator program so I can post a Korean version in honour of my Korean friends. I just hope the program does an accurate job translating the text.)

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