a blog by Ellen Davies

What I’m reading: The New Yorker on North Korea

What I’m reading: The New Yorker on North Korea

Over the weekend I read an in-depth article on the possibility of nuclear war with North Korea. Doesn’t that sound like a fun, light read? Ha! But stay with me. I was traveling over the weekend, so I had time on airplanes to read, a lot, and this article hooked me.

By Evan Osnos, author of the National Book Award for “Age of Ambition,” this article is as in-depth as only the New Yorker magazine can be. He writes about the history of diplomatic relations with North Korea, which consist of Americans trying to make sense of their propaganda and North Koreans trying to decipher our president’s tweets. Because there are no diplomatic relations between the two countries, and there never have been.

Osnos mentions an old saying in North Korea, which, when translated, means “You die, I die!” As Osnos writes, “It’s the expression you hear in a barroom fight, or from an exasperated spouse–the notion that one party will go over the cliff if it will take the other down, too.”

In other words, when it comes to nuclear war, the North Koreans only want to destroy us, and they don’t care if they destroy themselves in the process. They have been taught that the United States wants to wage war, so they see us as aggressors.

My other take-away from this article is how strikingly similar Kim Jong Un is to Donald Trump. Neither are prepared to be leaders. Both are surrounded by sycophants. Both have disposed of advisors who weren’t loyal–Trump by firing, and Kim Jong Un by literal firing squad.

Normally I try to avoid articles like these because I get upset. I feel helpless. I feel despair for our future. What am I supposed to do with this information?

I can turn to prayer and meditation. I can do what I can to educate others, because as citizens we need to know this–we need to understand the issues. Too often we don’t take the time to fully comprehend the implications of our leader tossing off epithets like “Rocket Jung.”

I can pray this prayer: I trust and have faith that God knows exactly how to resolve this situation peacefully, and so with my next exhale, I now give it completely to God.

Read the article. Let me know what you think.

New Yorker article on North Korea - Ellen Davies blog - With Heart and Humor - what i'm reading
From the magazine: Citizens over the age of sixteen are expected to wear a badge celebrating at least one member of the Kim family. (Photo by Max Pinckers)

The Risk of Nuclear War with North Korea 

by Evan Osnos

On the ground in Pyongyang: Could Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump goad each other into a devastating confrontation?

I like to share with my readers the things I’m reading. I do this because as a writer, I appreciate good writing. My reviews are not like what you’ll see in the New York Times book review–these are just my random thoughts.



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