Friday, October 28, 2005

North Korean Presence

I have class with people from North Korea. I think that is really cool. I had never met anyone from North Korea before, and now I live in the same dormitory as a large group from there. North Korea is place that I feel like alot of Americans don't really know anything about. I certainly don't know much about it. The little bit I know is information about their nuclear programs, which I'm sure is inaccurate, and the rest is related to their participation in the 6-party talks. All I ever hear about in relation to North Korea is Kim Jong Il and nuclear weaponry. It's nice to see some real people, and to have some faces to humanize the country.

Everyone I've seen here from North Korea is male. How could I notice that? How do I know when I'm seeing someone from North Korea? It's simple, really. Everyday, these men wear plain colored, button shirts, and solid colored pants. Most of them are also carrying briefcases. These are not the identifying characteristics, however. Rather, the thing that really tips me off is the red flag pin with the face of Kim Jong Il in the center that is pinned on the shirt of every man from North Korea.

North Korea and China have relatively good diplomatic relations, so it's not surprising that this is the place I'm meeting North Koreans. I'm sure these men are functioning as goodwill ambassadors, to some extent, too while here. The people in my class and in my dorm are really nice, so maybe at some point I can ask about the pins (after already establishing a comfortable relationship). I just wonder what they were told before coming here, and if they all met beforehand.

I really like that I have the opportunity to meet people from a country that has been the target of world criticism, especially from my own country. It's nearly impossible to gain access to their perspectives within the US, so being here is actually giving me more freedom and access to information. Ha, that's funny, because China just blocked Wikipedia. I guess I'm just experiencing a change in the kind of information I have access to.


At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Teach Tong said...



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