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The primary difference between North and South Korea

Stashed in: Korea, The Oatmeal, NK

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This kind of says it all, really...

I read this quite a long time ago but I think the narrative takes you right up to the Korean War.

What's the main point of it?

It's an historical novel.

No I mean is its point that Korea should not have divided?

I was just reading through the comments.  Here's a good one.

"First there was one, then none, and at last two…

One Korea, The Occupied Korea, The Divided Korea (North vs. South) 

This is the story of Korea, the irony was that I picked the strangest time to read this book, almost a week or two after I started “The living reed”, North Korea declared that it was preparing for a war… 

The peculiar history of a country which fought for its independence and yet was deceived in every step… Now that I know, I’m even empathetic with people in N. Korea, for those who still believe they are fighting the holy war to free their country…

I definitely recommend this book to everyone, given the current political situation; it sheds some light on what’s actually going on... (But obviously if one wants to know it all, should do some in-depth research on Korean history.)"

When reading Living Reed it seemed to me that there was no opportunity for unification.   

Why no opportunity for unification?

Because Russia, China and Japan, and ultimately the U.S., had their own geopolitical agendas.

How about now? Same?

NK is its own worst enemy now.  Vox has a nice article on the NK "internet".


If you went to North Korea and asked people about the internet, most of them would probably have no idea what you were talking about. Most of the country is still mired in poverty, much of it rural. In Pyongyang, though, the privileged capital city, and perhaps in one or two other cities, North Koreans with good office jobs or coveted university slots might assume that you were talking about Kwangmyong.

Kwangmyong, which is Korean for "bright star," is North Korea's officially sanctioned intranet. It is a closed network that runs on pirated Japanese versions of Microsoft software and looks sort of like the real internet but isn't. Rather, it runs rudimentary email and browser tools that are restricted to a hand-picked collection of "sites" that have been copied over and censored from the real internet.

This network is accessible by the handful of computer labs at major North Korean government offices, universities, and a small number of cyber cafes in major cities. (Internal travel is forbidden without permission in North Korea, so most citizens never see Pyongyang or can visit its cyber cafes.) But you need a computer to access it, and that's only possible with official permission. Outside computers are illegal (except for the very highest elite, for whom many official rules do not apply); the only acceptable computers are produced by Morning Panda, a government-run company that makes only a few thousand computers every year.

Morning Panda?! They have sullied the panda name, using it to keep people away from information!