Hostage Situations

What would you do if you were kept from your family for 41 years? The answer to that question still remains, but this week Jeon Wook Pyo escaped  from North Korea  back to his homeland of South Korea. Pyo reportedly was one of 25 fisherman abducted in 1967.

Many details surrounding  his escape  haven’t been confirmed, but if I were able to follow-up with Pyo  which I’m sure will come in the coming weeks from journalists all over the world,  my first question would be “In what ways did he adjust to his life is North Korea?”

Technically, he’s lived the majority of his life in North Korea. As I mentioned before, the two aren’t the friendliest towards each other.

In addition to Pyo escaping, BBC reported that South Korea shot a man trying to swim to it’s northern rival.  According to BBC,

The man was spotted by guards near the western border in Paju, north of Seoul, at around 14:20 local time (05:50 GMT).

Soldiers fired off warning shots and told him to return to the South. When he disobeyed the order and jumped into the river, he was shot dead by an army corporal, military officials told Yonhap news agency.

Defence ministry officials told the Associated Press that the man was carrying a South Korean passport which identified him as Nam Young-ho. He had been deported from Japan in June, the agency reported.

With two major issues this week focusing on the relations between North Korea and South Korea, it seems to be a good idea to visit the BBC’s website which has documented the relationships between the two countries and the 60 years filled with war.

Much has been said and speculated about the relationship between to two countries and their relationship with the United States.  Seattle Times Writer  wrote last week that reopening of a Kaesong Industrial Complex,  which houses South Korean businesses and North Korean workers  is a sign that North Korea may be willing to talk and eventually let American Kenneth Bae go. Bae has been held in a North Korea since November 2011.  He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for  him committing hostile acts against North Korea.

There has also been speculation that former Chicago Bulls Player Dennis Rodman, who has visited North Korea and claims to be friends with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could help free Bae.

I must respectfully disagree with Dickie’s theory that an industrial park is a sign that North Korea may be softening themselves to negotiate terms of Bae’s release. With the recent shooting death on the heels of Kaesong Industrial Park’s grand opening, it seems the complicated relationship between the two will remain.  Kaesong Industrial Complex is a business move for both countries, not necessarily a hidden political one. Though the park is seen as a sign of warm relations between the two countries, this past year saw threats of nuclear war from North Korea.  It seems Dickie’s point is that if North Korea will play nice with South Korea, however, a North-South Korean relationship does not necessarily make for a North Korean-American one.

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