Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sunshine for Koreans

Tonight I sat at a local restaurant in central Seoul where news images on a large-screen TV silently showed of South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun's historic visit to Pyongyang, North Korea. I was very interested to watch so many other diners swiveled around watching the scenes of North Korea.

For the 49 million people of the South, the real lives of 23 million North Koreans can barely be imagined. But these people share language and culture, and a long history. Two Koreas, operationally distant and at-odds in recent decades, are much more alike than different, with a common background linking them together in special ways.

Reunification may be a common dream to both sides, yet it is difficult to see how such a thing might come about. In any event, this week's images of leaders from the two Koreas chatting in a common language has stirred the imagination of more than a few people.