The China Variable in the North Korean Conflict

Lately it seems like everywhere you look you’re faced with a new story about North Korea’s latest antics.  They just can’t seem to put a top on it.  Now as things are heating up at the border of North and South Korea, many questions are coming to head.  What is going to happen?  Can North Korea back up their threats?  How are they allowed to act this way in this day and age, in that region of the world?  It’s just crazy.

I know for myself, I have many times wished the UN nations would just cut through the bull and go in and remove the government.  It absolutely goes without saying that the Korean people would appreciate this gesture – on both sides.  Make no mistake about it.  North Koreans are not in full support of the regime there.  They have been beaten into submission by a tyrannical government much in the same way circus animals are.  They are impoverished, hopeless, and disillusioned, and the only choice they are faced with is to support those who are causing their grief.  Floods of people are daily trying to make the trek across the border at all costs.  Life simply has no meaning unless they put it all on the line to change things.

Be thankful if you are from a country that allows you freedoms of choice, career and family.  Be grateful that that the biggest issue you may face is whether or not the stock market will be up this month.  These are not the real issues in life.  The reality of North Korea reminds us all of that.

South Korea cares deeply for their family across a thinly drawn border.  They are all Korean, and one thing you learn about Koreans when living here, and if you’re Korean yourself – Koreans love everything Korean.  Especially their own people, heritage and history.  

Were you aware that the South Korean government has many programs in place to encourage North Koreans to somehow make it to their side?  For example, if you are North Korean born and make it to the South, even if you fled the country at some point in history, you are entitled to financial support and housing on the government’s coin.  Yes, this is true.

So why is it like this?  Would Koreans undermine their own ethnic and cultural bonds for a reason that is unclear to entire world?  No.  Of course not.

Let’s not forget that it’s history that shapes our present and helps to direct our futures in many cases.

As a North Korean descendant, I too would like to see the day when reunification happens.  

The history and experiences my own family lived to tell are salty and inhumane at best.  To be honest, most of the stories have been left untold.  It’s difficult to get a nephew or son to appreciate the circumstances when he was raised in the safe confines of America.  Let alone sharing them with other Americans.  With no vantage point or appreciation, it’s just pearls before swine.

History tells us of another force that shaped and affected the Korean war.  That being China.  

Their alliance with North Korea is sadly overlooked, yet holds possibly the greatest reason why North Korea is in existence today and why reunification is likely not going to happen.  There may be a bigger picture that doesn’t actually deal with the Koreas, but with other initiatives of other nations.  Let’s not forget about this China variable as we are presented with the latest and greatest of the Hermit Kingdom.

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