North Korea South Korea
South Korean Relationship Korea Is the only country In the world that Is still In the ceasefire state. After the fall of the Berlin Wall In 1989 (History Channel Korea remains the only country that is divided into two states with different political systems. There has been constant tension between South Korea and North Korea throughout the history.
Although there have been some years, under different diplomatic policies of the government, during which North Korea and South Korea displayed less hostile attitudes towards ACH other and hosted peace summits (Horseshoes, 2007) with the purpose of making the relationship better, the North-South relationship has worsened over the years with events such as the bombardment of Honeymoon and constant threats from North Korea to engage in nuclear and missile tests. Such events prompted many South Koreans to turn their backs at North Korea.
In the past, there have been many movies with the theme of friendship and alliance between South and North Korea but the realities of the two Korean governments’ politics do not seem to align with the hopeful messages conveyed through the movies. Joint Security Area Is a mystery thriller film released In 2000 In South Korea. It Is considered one of the most successful Korean movies and was nominated to many international film festivals. Directed by Chain-wok Park, the movie tells a story of an investigation surrounding a shooting incident at the North Korean border house that resulted in deaths of two North Korean soldiers.
A rifle was supposedly fired by Sergeant Lee So Yuk, who claims that he was kidnapped by the North Koreans and shot the North Korean soldiers while trying to escape back to South Korea. The North Korean soldiers, forever, claim that there was no kidnapping and the shooting was an act of terrorism by Sergeant Lee. Later in the movie, Sergeant Lee’s flashbacks reveal that Sergeant Lee and Private First Class Name Sung Ski had gotten lost and ended up on the North Korean side of the border while patrolling at night.
The two South Korean soldiers had been discovered by two North Korean soldiers and become friends. It was on one of the North Korean soldier’s birthday that the two South Korean soldiers crossed the border to meet their friends and celebrate. Unfortunately, Sergeant Lee ND Private Name were discovered by another North Korean soldier and, In panic, Private Name shoots both the North Korean soldier and one of their friends. The North Korean friend who was not shot helps Sergeant Lee and Private Name escape back to South Korea with an alibi of being kidnapped.
While the genre of this move is a thriller with a rather heavy setting of the demoralized zone in Korea, the theme of the movie Is a heartwarming friendship of the four soldiers. There are also some comical elements that highlight the unbiased and pure friendship of these young men. Despite the comical elements, throughout the movie, there is a dark underlying tone that represents the sorrow and the sad history of the divided country. The most striking scene of the movie is the last scene that shows an accidentally taken picture of the DMZ North-South border that has all four soldiers in it.
It is quite disturbing to realize that the four young soldiers who built and treasured friendship were forced to point their guns at each other and turn enemies because of the political and the audience because throughout the movie, the audience realizes the friendship as terminated by the political hostility that has started such a long time ago, yet still going on. This movie was made and released during the Democratic government under the former president Kim Dad-Gong. During President Skim’s term, the North- South relationship had improved significantly.
Under the “sunshine policy,” president Kim created optimism surrounding the North-South relationship (The Economist, 2009). Following the launch of Gumming Mountain tour business that allowed South Koreans to have a tour of the beautiful Gumming mountain in North Korea, while automating the economies of both North and South, South Korea also sent emergency relief to support the North Korean citizens living in poverty. North Korean government seemed to open up in a response to South Koreans kindness.
Thus, movies depicting the reconciliation and friendship between the North Korea and South Korea was more relevant at the time of Joint Security Area’s release. The movie conveys the message that North Korea and South Korea are, in fact, one nation that shares the same heritage and sad history, rather than enemies. Today, however, a vie with the theme of friendship between the South Korean and North Korean could seem ironic and even receive angry responses from the public, especially given the current high tension between North Korea and South Korea.
After the bombardment of Honeymoon island in 2010 by the North Korean army that resulted in deaths of two soldiers and two civilians, South Koreans’ anger towards the North Korean government significantly escalated. Despite the intense tension between North Korea and South Korea, movies depicting the possibility of friendship between North Koreans and South Koreans still came very popular. Korea is another example of a movie that illustrates the possible friendship and cooperation between North Korea and South Korea.
Released in 2012 and based on a true story, this movie tells a story of a new Table Tennis team that was formed in 1991 under the name of “Korea” for the International Table Tennis Match. The “Korea” team consisted of both North Korean and South Korean men and women table tennis players who play against the Chinese team together. This movie follows the usual plot of sports movie that focus on the players’ efforts, sportsmanship, and friendship but what is unusual about this movie is that the friendship is established between a North Korean and a South Korean player.
Although the characters have conflicts at first, they manage to find the common ground and build strong relationships both as a team and as friends. The movie not only illustrates the friendship and love between the North and South Korean players but also highlights the underlying sorrow of the team members who have to go back to different parts of the country after the tournament and will probably never get to see each other again. One particularly memorable scene from this movie is a scene of a young couple having a date at the zoo.
The South Korean girl confesses her feelings towards the North Korean boy. The North Korean boy, even though he also has feelings towards the South Korean girl, rejects her and says that he will never be able to see her again once the tournament is over and is scared of the inevitable heartbreak they will both have to experience. Throughout the movie, the North Korean and South Korean players share the same interests and talk about South and North Korean players sharing the same interest conveys the message that South Koreans and North Koreans are, in fact, not very different in their interest and emotions.
Just because they have different cultures and live under different government, it does not mean they North Koreans and South Koreans have to hate each other and alienate each other. Looking at the diplomatic relationship between North Korea and South Korea in the early asses, friendship between the South and North Korean players did not seem entirely impossible. In the early asses, the North and South Korean governments were cooperating to maintain peace and in 1992, Inter Korean Basic Agreement was signed between North Korea and South Korea.
In the early to mid- asses, North-South reunification seemed to be on many people’s political and personal agenda. Even those who are not politically involved or active viewed North Korean and South Koreans as people of one nation, sharing the same heritage. There was a children’s song with lyrics highlighting the hope for reunification of the two states. The sympathetic view towards North Koreans and hopes to become one country again have changed significantly since then. Today, many South Korean people have hostile perception towards not only the North Korean government but also towards the North Korean citizens.
The three main possible reasons for the change in attitude towards North Korea and reunification are the economic burden reunification can bring upon the working class South Korean citizens, the constant threat posed by the North Korean government on South Korea and other countries, and the instability and brutality that Kim Gong Uri’s succession has brought. First, an increasing number of South Korean citizens are concerned about the burden of extra tax South Koreans might have to pay to support he North Koreans, the cultural differences, and the economic gap as the possible consequences of unification.
Even if extra taxes are not collected from South Koreans, as more tax dollars are used to support the North Koreans who need assistance adapting to the democratic society and support to escape the poverty, less dollars will be available for uses that benefit South Koreans, such as cleaner parks and better school buildings. Many South Koreans who oppose the unification argue that there are so many people living in poverty in South Korea and the government would help those people first, if anything, before helping the North Koreans and make efforts for unification.
The second reason why South Koreans have hostile attitudes towards North Korea is that the North Korean government continues to pose threat upon South Korea and the international community. The North Korean government has conducted multiple missile and nuclear tests despite the disapproval of the international community (Davenport, 2013). Some people interpret North Koreans behavior as a protest to South Korea and the United States for not providing material support anymore. The bombardment of the Honeymoon Island was reported by many global media as the worst attack against civilians in 20 years (Foster, 2010).
The third reason that contributes to the hostility towards North Korea not only from South Korea but also from other countries around the world is the instability of the North Korean government that has exacerbated since Kim Gong II passed away and his son, Kim Gong Un became the supreme leader of North Korea. In people and threatening other countries (Henley, 2014). Constant threat from the new Kim Gong Un government The tension between North Korea and South Korea goes not seem to alleviate.
Recently, the North Korean media has started to verbally attack the South Korean president, Park Gun-hey based on her gender. The most recent propaganda published by the North Korean media described president Park as a “cold-blooded animal,” “little girl,” and “Park the bitchy” (Braining, 2014). The verbal attack on a country president is likely to worsen the hostile feelings many South Koreans already have against North Korea. The diplomatic policies regarding the relationship with North Korea is very hard to decide on and the effects of such leslies are even harder to determine.
It should not be a one-way policy with one state putting in all the efforts while the other state takes it for granted. Both states and governments must work to maintain peace and cooperation. There are still many people who believe that North Korea and South Korea share the same heritage and history and will be united one day. Even if the unification does not work out, the least North and South Koreans can do is to realize that North Korea and South Korea are parts of the same country and put in the maximum efforts to find ways to cooperate and co-exist.