That's a mistake I think that a lot of Western observers make is to assume that Korean nationalism is hundreds if not thousands of years old. When in fact nationalism is incompatible with Korean Confucian tradition.
If South Korea is going to survive, and keep the peace on the peninsula, its citizens need to start conveying support for their state.
North Korea not only wants unification, it absolutely has to have unification. That's really the only way this state can feel secure.
Even North Korean people who are not necessarily happy with economic policies are still loyal to the state itself. It's a military-first state, so whether it does very well on the economic front or not, is not central to public support for it.
People tend to overlook the fact that North Korea's economy collapsed at about the same time as South Koreans lost faith in their own state. The late 1980s and early 1990s were a time when South Koreans were questioning the very legitimacy of their republic.
Confucianism is all about tempering your instincts with intellectual discipline, with book learning.
People used to expect literary novels to deepen the experience of living; now they are happy with any sustained display of writerly cleverness.
I'm not a writer. I like being a reader.
Just after Kim Jong Il's death, the official news agency put out an article saying that under Kim Jong Il's rule, the people had been like naive children without a care in the world.
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