Korean Culture · Uncategorized

Those ‘crazy’ North Koreans?

Here much of the press haven’t been sure how to respond to the recent news that North Korea has detonated another hydrogen bomb. On the one hand, the view that North Korea is a failed state, with a leader with a ridiculous hairstyle has been very successful and seems to be related to making as much fun of him as possible. Yet in actual fact, the President seems to have played his hand very well recently and its becoming harder and harder to see him as someone ill-prepared for leadership.

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The reports coming from the country show a people very different to the that depicted of them as oppressed and unable to show any independent views. According to a recent New York Times op-ed page, we don’t take them seriously enough. Far from being cocooned in the hermit kingdom and cut off from the outside world, many North Koreans are well-versed in global politics. They are well aware of of their national interests and are dedicated to safeguarding them, a dedication that is based on a keen understanding of the outside world.

For example, a North Korean official asked the journalist about Hilary Clinton’s book “It takes a Village,” which the journalist had not read.

The press seems unsure over whether North Korea has even got a bomb, however, according to Wit’s article, North Koreans are in this for the long haul. They feel that their country and their government’s survival is at stake.

It shouldn’t be surprising that North Koreans are realists. for decades, Americans saw Mao Zedong as an unstable realist, yet he was prepared to talk with President Nixon and Henry Kissinger after his relationships with Moscow deteriorated. Whilst no member of America’s current administration under President Obama has visited Mr Kim, its not unthinkable that the regime will look to building some relationship  with the US if they don’t get what they want from China.

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