In recent weeks, news about the Korean peninsula have taken a dramatic turn with North-South goodwill and even unprecedented DPRK-US diplomacy. My heart flutters at the idea that a peace agreement could finally end war in my home after 6+ decades of armistice, the last remaining conflict of the Cold War.
Still, in much of the world, mass discourse on the Korean “situation” is pitifully one-dimensional: military, or at least political. I wanted to bring a new, unexpected angle. One which can inspire the average person.
It is prohibited for citizens of either Koreas to attempt any form of communication across the border. This is why my subject Won, a violinist, chose Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 for a joint performance between the two Koreas: “Thy magic reunites those Whom stern custom has parted All men will become brothers." He is still trying today.
Won's story can set off a domino effect. It challenges the notion of manmade division anywhere. And if nothing else, it calls to reduce tension for just one evening, with bows pointed to the sky instead of guns, in what is said to be the most militarized border in the world.