Korea Is One

Part of the Global Perspectives on War and Peace Collection. Since the Korean War in 1953, the 38th parallel has separated North and South Korea. This video captures the struggle for reunification in 1989.

0:00Copy video clip URL The piece opens hopefully with the fact that the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989. In July 1989, large masses of North Koreans, young and old, demonstrate for reunification, shouting “Korea is one!”

0:47Copy video clip URL At the 38th Parallel, a bird flies over the forested mountains, peacefully unaware of the turmoil in the nation’s cities.

1:52Copy video clip URL A passionate and angry mob of students chants slogans and gestures, moving as one, as part of their march for reunification.

2:43Copy video clip URL Military tanks arrive, lighting firecrackers and emitting gas. At the same time, police in riot gear approach from another other side, causing the crowd to panic and flee. Images of the military confrontation continue onscreen while a voiceover explains, “Our struggle to unite as one is gruesome. To go to see our sisters and brothers at Panmunjom, 20 representatives and all vanguards tied their waists to each other. And we became one. The tied waists became chains of reunification that can not be disconnected again. Who dares to block our way? Who stops our cries? We are one. We cannot be two, which means death. Our motherland is one, from Baekou to Halla.”



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