Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Seoul Research, Week 1: Good Research Problem

I was initially frustrated as it did not look like I would be talking to enough people or the right ones, but thanks to keeps of generous folks and a great fixer, my two weeks here are going to be very fruitful even if elections next month mean that I only talk to a few legislators.   Indeed, I will need to shop this weekend for more writing pads! 

I still have time to do some tourism before or after interviews, so I did return to the War Memorial when it was open yesterday.  Good thing I did since at least one interview subject said South Korea had not been in Afghanistan--the displays at the War Memorial suggested otherwise!  What else have I learned there or elsewhere since my previous post?
  • The tour guide brings you to a memorial room first and then when the lights go on, you realize you are standing on glass over some bones (fake or real?).  
  • I felt kind of like I did at the Hermitage in Leningrad (it was Leningrad at the time) where the group behind us was German.  Yesterday, the group behind us was Chinese.  Without Chinese intervention, there would be no North Korea, and Seoul would have only been lost and taken once.
  • The coverage of a NK raid aimed at the Blue House made me realize I had taken a picture of the President's residence/White House equivalent.
  • Blue House
     The War Memorial also had some "4D" experiences-shaky benches and 3 movies for the invasion of Incheon that turned around the Korean War and for a film featuring a hypothetical F15 raid of NK

  • Really moving sculpture of a tear drop made of dog tags to mark the sacrifices and sadness that came with the international effort to reverse the North Korean invasion.

  • How about some more perspective sauce: gas masks in the subway stations?  Not for fire (ok, probably not) but for the WMD that Trump will demand NK gets rid of.

  • Great names for coffee places here:
Anyhow, things are going great.  And the South Koreans I talk to seem to be cautiously optimistic about the situation with Trump and North Korea.  Wishful thinking for the win?

1 comment:

Greg Sanders said...

Two things I found of interest at the War Museum:
First, I haven't been to that many countries that have had U.N. interventions, so my sample is admittedly limited. However, the War Museum, in addition to the cemetery in Busan, are remarkable for the vim of their appreciation for the U.N in a way I haven't seen anywhere else, including Turtle Bay.

In addition, in one of the side rooms, there was an interesting memo on the preferential contracting terms the Republic of Korea received as part of their support for the war in Vietnam.