Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A dangerous flashpoint or just an imaginary line?

Close to two years of work in a South Korean Multinational Company and I haven’t taken a short recee of the country’s map.

So I key in these characters - www.wikipedia.org in my Mozilla browser ….. Loading ...

A small note before the link opens : Wikipedia.org is this magic potion that provides a wealth of information on diverse topics. It gives me a much required breather from the otherwise mundane coding, simulating and dumping data and waveforms. Thanks to all those million friends who post details on this well organized site!

Without further digression , this is what I had on my desktop -

Korean peninsula - A peninsula in east Asia, more like an outgrowth from an otherwise regular boundary, divided into two by an imaginary line – the 38th Parallel.

That gives us some important thing to discuss - I guess we just cannot dismiss this 38th parallel (38’N latitude) as one of those imaginary lines etched on the globe for easier zone demarcations. The continued antagonism between the two halves (North and Soth Korea) that lie on either side of this line would force one to see this peninsular region as one of the most dangerous military flashpoints in the modern world.

The golden rule of “opposites attract” does not work between these two halves – irony that this rule, most say, works with people but not for nations made of people. So where does the problem lie? Probably, nations are not just about people but comprise much more, on the contrary, they are just void and don't include people at all.

On the northern side of this line, lies a Communist nation led by an eternal monarch, armed with an arsenal of nuclear weapons, chemical and biological warfare means, an arsenal that has siphoned into it all time and money to raise itself to the stature of the most potent storehouse of destruction looked at with global trepidation. The North Korea has been outcast by its neighbors and the losers of course are the nations’ people who form the impoverished lot, for whom every passing day is like an era, for whom even the basic amenities are denied. Shrouded by unemployment, malnutrition, global and internal negligence, all that remains with them is the sobriquet they have been christened with “a part of the Axis of Evil” with comrades like Iran and Iraq.

So if that was the description of the international pariah,we get onto the contrasting southern region of the peninsula – South Korea, one of the fastest growing economies in the world with a respectable standard of living for its people, even more respectable than India (sadly) following democratic institution of government. Samsung, Hyundai and LG are names enough to tell tales of the nation's growth.

So why this contrast , why this divide ? BLAME it on their FOREFATHERS!!!!!!

For centuries, Japan, Russia and China have jostled for control over the Korean peninsula. Not to forget the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-05 which led to Japanese colonization of the peninsula, a massacre of millions of Koreans that has left an indelible scar until this day.

Come Second World War (1939), USSR (Russia) invaded the North and drove Japanese out of the peninsula. Until this time, 38th Parallel would have just remained an imaginary line without much significance, but with USSR and USA using it as a boundary between the North and the South with the former taking control of the North and latter over South, differences had to grow.

Under USSR’s communist regime, developed a strong military force in the North which wanted to dwell further down into the peninsular region. After all , the QUEST FOR POWER never ends.

The Big Brother, the United Nations backed strongly by the USA had to intervene to drive the military North forces away. It is said that the UN resolution asking for expulsion of the North military forces from the south consisted of 14 member nations and a huge battalion of 3,00,000 troops. Three years of extensive war, the period 1950-53 saw the rapid advance of the North Korean forces into the South Korea inspite of mammoth efforts by the US led forces to restrain the advance. With US led forces trying to retort, came the grand invitation for China to enter the battlefield. It ordered the USA to retreat as it was concerned about USA hitting the North region close to its border with North Korea.

No one listens the first time – that’s the BIG folly and China had to intrude.

With fostered support from China, North Korea took to the war front with renewed enthusiasm. And like any other war, the Korean war took a huge toll, statistics reveal that 2 million soldiers in total, lost their lives. In reality, what the figures are , none of us know.

Now what more remains to be done – call the 38th parallel the most fortified border, a military flashpoint , a demilitarized zone , the same way Indo - Pak conflict and Israel –Palestine issues have been addressed.

Technically, the Korean war did not come to a close in 1953, the two nations signed an armistice (please refer to the DICTIONARY for the meaning of this word as God alone knows what this term stands for – armistice and MoUs are violated even before the ink on the paper dries) with the UN and decided that 38th parallel will be the border between the two.

North Korea went on to accumalate nuclear weapons and huge stockpiles of missiles , used every iota of infrastructure to strengthen the arsenal even forgetting electricity supply to its people , such a shame that today it barters stoppage of nuclear proliferation programme in exchange for global sanctions/economic reforms and free electricity from the USA for its people.

It pulled itself out of the Non Proliferation Treaty in the year 1993 to add to the then global woes, fired a missile right over Japan into the Pacific Ocean in 1998, signaling its arrival into the infernal picture of nuclear warfare, an arrival of no less than a behemoth.

All that happened thereafter - rounds of talks between some six nations – a rigmarole which led to nowhere but an impasse, with the North Korea firmly disapproving intrusion of any sorts from IAEA agents to check its nuclear supplies or any attempts to stop uranium enrichment before it obtained promise from USA on economic and social reconstruction reforms. The USA on the other hand asked North Korea to get more docile on nuclear policies first before it expected reforms of any sort from them.

That’s just a deadlock, a deadlock unresolved till day leaving us again with this question - Is the 38th parallel only an imaginary line or something more than that? The deadlock will remain unresolved, the questions will remain unanswered as nations are just not made of people. In fact, they are devoid of people, they are only full of vengeful, barbaric animals in an endless conquest of power on an inevitable and certain road to global catastrophe.

1 comment:

CK said...

Hey read ur blog..cool so u have also started. Its a nice thing naa..Brings out some creativity in an otherwise monotonous lifestyle we have.

Ur blog was interesting, loads of stuff i really had no clue abt. And quite a lot of history thats not covered in our dumb school books. Great start..Keep it going.
And hey thanks for ur comments on my latest blog. Do keep visiting it.. planning gto be more regular in updating it.