Thursday, October 4, 2007
A Big Week For Korea
This week was a pretty big week in Korea. Wednesday was a national holiday that everyone described to me as "Korea's Birthday" but the calender called it a slightly more professional title, "Foundation Day". Either way we got a day off and that's always welcome. I used it to go out, like any good holiday. A few teachers got together for dinner and sojo, and then I met up with some friends in Itaewon.
Another big event strategically placed around this holiday was the North and South Korean Summit. It's only the second time these two countries have gotten together to talk peace. Strangely enough, the Korean War was never "officially" ended and so these two neighboring countries are technically still at war with each other. Even though many families are split between the countries dividing line, and desperately want to see each other, there is no legal way to do it.
The South Korean President,Rob Moo Hyun, made a symbolic gesture by walking into North Korea before being driven to the meeting location in Pyongyang. Every Korean I've talked to on this subject hopes for a unified Korean country in the future. Even though they recognize that taking on the burden of the north's poverty would have a hugely negative effect on the short term economy. Some South Koreans viewed this meeting as a publicity stunt to gain votes for the ruling political party in the upcoming December election, and while that may be true, some good seems to have come out of it.
I think it's pretty interesting how two countries can be so close, yet so different. Here is a satellite picture of the two countries at night. As you can see, the lights appear to be off in the north, except for Kim Jung Il's palace, and the really bright area, yup that's Seoul, where I'm living.
On another note I've added a world clock to the bottom of the page that I think is awesome, if it was smaller I would most definitely have it at the top of the page. And I've also realized that Picasa has the feature of embedding photo album sideshows into blogs. I'm sure I've been able to do this for a while but I hadn't realized it, but I think it's awesome. You can click and see my captions too, all while staying on this page. I will be taking advantage of it from now on. You can see what I'm talking about in my last post. I'm also happy to see the results of my last Poll. The combination of red and purple Skittles are two of the best tasting things you can put in your mouth at the same time.