Freedom Confronts Tyranny: A Visit to the Demilitarized Zone

Nowhere on earth does the contrast between freedom and tyranny, and their corollary prosperity and poverty, reveal itself more vividly than on the Korean Peninsula.  South Korea has boomed, producing an ultramodern high tech society whose corporate giants vie for leadership in global industry after industry, and whose popular culture is consumed all over East Asia.  In the North, under the hereditary Stalinist Kim dynasty, a million or more citizens died in a famine, and widespread malnutrition has made the younger generation inches shorter than their Southern neighbors, on average, and the people have no access to foreign media or the internet. (See also A Holodomor for the New Millennium.) Last weekend I stepped onto North Korean territory, if only for a minute, and within the confines Demilitarized Zone, in the famous conference building straddling the border, where North and South Koreans can talk directly. It was a 45 minute bus ride from the center of Seoul. I was...(Read Full Article)