Sibling Rivalry: The Korean Conflict Dissected

By Sarah Keating

Elm Staff Writer

Every holiday presents an excuse to buy a new dress and impress the family. To improve my cultural literacy, I turn on the television. I like Fox News because the anchormen are just so much better looking when they lean to the right. Amidst the Obama hating and black Friday forecast, the men clad in red and elephant patterned ties, make mention of North Korea bombing a South Korean island.

What a surprise. Some communist country has control of massive amounts of fire power and dumps it on some unsuspecting, but usually democratic country which always happens to be allied with the US.

Like any aspiring beauty pageant queen, I wish for world peace. North Korea is raining on my parade by flaunting and flexing its nuclear muscles. Why is a country that cannot even afford to run traffic lights at night or feed its impoverished population interested in annihilating their South Korean neighbor? Why is North Korea’s dictator pouring all the tax revenue into nuclear weapons?
Communist North Korea is unable to compete against the bounties of democratic South Korea. Lacking infrastructure, healthcare and dependable imports and exports, North Korea is a struggling country. In stark contrast, Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is one of the largest cities in the world. The country is booming, competitive in world markets and a manufacturing powerhouse. South Korea’s successful nature makes North Korea grind its calcium deficient teeth in jealousy.
It is equitable to the classic example of the sibling rivalry: two brothers. The older one is a handsome, All-American football player who drives his Thunderbird convertible with one hand and wraps the other around his girlfriend, the homecoming queen. Then there is the younger pipsqueak of a brother who is overshadowed by this brother’s All-American status. The younger lad establishes himself as anti-mainstream as his headphones blast Goth punk rock while he paint his nails black. Moral of the story? If you can’t follow in the golden child’s footsteps, then turn around, paint your feet red and run in the other direction.
And that is exactly what North Korea is doing. It’s communist reds are running in the complete opposite direction of the golden democrats of South Korea.  North Korea seems to be falling to shambles as South
Korea practically westernizes itself.

Being true westerners, my parents valued education. The kind that comes packaged in an all-girls boarding school where social studies pertained to human rights, not crashing local college parties. There
was a large population of Korean students who called themselves the “Korean Mafia.” One afternoon, on the short bus ride to golf practice, I decided to impress GeeMin, a friend of mine, with my geographical skills and asked her if she was from North or South Korea. She looked at me disgusted and shrieked “ I from KOREA.” That was the fateful afternoon I learned about public embarrassment.

Luckily another International Student sitting next to me gave me a four-minute Korean Studies Therapy session, explaining that South Koreans do not acknowledge North Korea as a Korea because the two countries are such extreme opposites. North Korea does not allow its citizens to leave the country; much less enroll in American schools. No wonder there is tension between the countries. North Korea has to trap its citizens within its boarders fearing the lures of South Korea’s democratic freedom. To ask a South Korean living in America if they were North Korean is an incredible insult.

How do countries settle a dispute? They phone a friend. Who is North Korea’s best ally? China. Bummer.  These red soldiers prove a daunting enemy for South Korea and the United States since China is basically the US’s banker. Looks like “protecting U.S. interests in foreign lands” explains yet another sticky situation the US finds itself in.
No-bama’s healthcare and Britney Spears pose enough issues for our country. Should this Korean situation turn into a war, the US efforts would be channeled into protecting our ally, South Korea. Can we afford to dole out more of our taxes, personnel and weapons despite the fact we are currently involved in two other wars? As my friend Charlie so wisely says, “No, we can’t… just asks our banker; China.”

Looks like the United States is not the only country victim to a War of Northern Aggression. The American Civil War returned the country to a unified North and South but does Korean unification even have a chance?

Perhaps the holiday season will inspire kindness. North Korea could ask China to build a second great wall, this time between North and South Korea. China could employ import American workers, decreasing unemployment and our Chinese debt. A true toast to the holiday spirit.

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