Korea could be such a force to be reckoned with in the region if only the North and South could work more together than with outside forces, says our Editor at the end of a one week tour.
Today, we wrapped up our week-long tour in Ojukheon – the birthplace of the woman who many consider to be the mother of Korea, Shin Saimdang, and her son, Yulyok Yi Yi, a famous scholar and statesman.
As a result, both are immortalized in Korean currency – Lady Shin on the 50,000 note and Yi Yi on the 5,000 note.
As a symbol of their enduring contributions to Korean history, several shrines have been erected at the expansive property in Ojukheon and today we came across many ordinary Koreans eager to connect with this aspect of their strong ancestral heritage, which the country has gone to great lengths to preserve architecturally for the benefit and enjoyment of many generations to come.
At the same time, Korea is currently at the forefront of the global digital revolution, as our visit earlier this week to the Digital Media City (DMC) strongly signified.
The state-of-the-art media entertainment cluster is located on over 569 000 square metres of land in an area known as Sagam-dong. From there, Korea hopes to become a major international gateway and millennium city that includes a World Cup Stadium, a World Cup Park and an Eco Village.
Through the DMC, South Korea is also seeking to position itself in the knowledge-based market of the 21st century through its advanced IT, human resources and entertainment capabilities as already demonstrated through the global phenomenon dubbed Korean Wave.
No matter where we turned this week, it was hard not to notice Korea’s tremendous potential for a whole lot more than the home of Psy and Gangnam style dance, K wave and for the filming of Avengers 2.
With that in mind, it is a shame that the North and South can’t find it in their hearts to unify. Korea could be such a force to be reckoned with in the region were they to work more together than with outside forces.
But for the moment at least, this is not meant to be.
In the meantime, one can only hope that good sense will some day prevail based on the limited insight I was given this week into the way of life here in Seoul.
Special thanks to the Korean Foundation for affording me this invaluable opportunity this week; to ordinary Koreans for their warm and friendly embrace and to a very special group of very influential journalists who made the tour a complete success.
Hope to return to Korea in the near future, but for now, it is ‘Annyeong’ (Goodbye) from Seoul.