My friend Dr. David Pence believes that a “big need” exists deftly to initiate this discussion
Rose of Sharon is the woman who ends John Steinbeck’s novel [Grapes of Wrath] by nursing a poor man after her new-born child died at birth. Rose of Sharon is also the Korean national flower and the title of an immensely popular novel by Kim Chin-Myung written in 1994. That bit of popular culture tells us a lot about “nuclear Korea” and the many continued ties of South Korea and the North. Don’t tell the Europeans, but national memory and identity toghether with religion are the most powerful basis of group loyalty.
The novel explains what many South Koreans feel about a nuclear North Korea. “That bomb is not aimed at us.” In fact, it is “our bomb” against two very big whales that swim about us—China and Japan. Regional nuclear weapons are not aimed across the seas at the United States. They are employed in regional theatres to establish regional hegemony. Iraq and Iran would aim weapons at Israel. Korea (if united) would aim weapons at China and Japan and North Korea (as a protectorate of China) at Japan alone.
Nationalism is real and often we can learn about it better in novels than from foreign policy experts trying to “move beyound the anachronistic traditions of religion and nation.”
My friend’s analysis seem to me to be worthy of discussion. In the meantime, we should factor into the Rose of Sharon analysis the revelation that North Korea appears to be engaged in eugenic murder. Joshua Stanton writes at One Free Korea: