Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Kim Jong-un. All for Un; Un for none

I'm leaving Seoul in a few days to go back home.  It's the first time in two years when I can say that I'm glad to leave.

I've been working with a client here; helping them use innovation to become more competitive.  I like the country and I love the people, but they have a crazy neighbor.

The Rocket's Red Glare
Since I've been here there has been a "North Korean incident" every few months.  The current escalations led the US Defense Secretary to say that this peninsula is only an inch away from serious violence at all times.

The most recent incident rings of the worst jingoism.  A few weeks ago the North had a failed launch of a missile.  It has received its fair share of criticism and ridicule from around the world - and specifically from South Korea.

In retaliation the North has railed that it will rain down special actions on the South that will "reduce the rat-like groups and the bases for provocations in three to four minutes."  I have no idea what this means, but it does sound ominous.

In an interview last week the US Secretary of State said that she hoped the new North Korean president, Kim Jong-un, would change paths in the North and build himself into a great leader for his people by bringing his country into a new era.  I hope she's right.

Through all this I marvel at my Korean friends.  They are impervious to the crazy threats and actions from the North.  They go about their lives with Confucius stoicism - or is that fatalism.