June 25th 1950, the not so famous Korean War started. It lasted for 3 years even though we had just gained our independence from the Japanese in 1945.

Heartbreaking, isn’t it? The small country, Korea, came together as one and fought for our own freedom and finally got it, yet a spark ignited within and the once united nation quickly became a bloody battle field.

But why? After 35 years under the Japanese, you would expect Korea to be stronger.

Sit back and don’t relax because I am about to do what I am best at: being blunt.

So what had happened? It first started before we gained our independence. We had been fighting and rebelling for about 30 years and was so close to gaining our independence when a small town in Japan got blown up by an atomic bomb. And instead of us earning the thing we were fighting for, we were given it.

I don’t mean to sound like an “ungrateful bitch”. Trust me, I appreciate the great help America gave. It just would have been so much better if we were able to earn our independence with our own strength and power.

That’s not a big issue, though. How were they to know that Korea was almost there? The real problem started when America felt like Korea owed them something. When the Soviet Union and America came into Korea and started treat us like their children, at first, it wasn’t bad; it was with a good intention. The two countries treated us like their children. But children have to do things for their parents whether it’s big or small: do the laundry, set the table, bring them a cup of water, and so forth.

And the two “parents” were getting a divorce. America and the Soviet Union disagreed with each other and fought in front of their child, in front of Korea. We were already doing everything the two required of us and now they were fighting. Terrified, the people of Korea scattered to who seemed more right, who seemed more strong; some stuck with the Soviet Union and others stuck with America.

Today, adults of Korea have different opinions about America. Many say that America is our ancestor. Many others disagree. You can see why, right?

But that’s not all because America is not Korea’s ancestor.

With their own greed, the Soviet Union and America made the Koreans turn their back on each other. There was the communist side and the democracy side and the “weak” Koreans who supposedly owed them the world were forced to choose a side.

Why couldn’t America have taken the fight else where? Why couldn’t the two countries just fight by themselves away from the land that already had experienced so much pain? Just… why?

Because of America, Korea went through a war that was not ours in the first place. Because the big powers fought, we were dragged into the fight as well. Because of all that, Korea is now a divided country that has halves that couldn’t be more different.

Without the so-called help of America, Korea would have managed one way or another. We would have eventually gained our own independence, we would not have had to go through a bloody war, and we would not be divided into two.

I know I may sound like an ungrateful bitch, but is it bad to think that?

Word of the Day: eigengrau
(n.) “dark light” or “brain grey”; the color seen by the eye in perfect darkness

4 thoughts on “Frank

  1. I really like this post Hanny and your in-depth explanation of the Korean perspective regarding the US. Reading about the role the United States played in dividing Korea, I didn’t think that your tone was that of an “ungrateful bitch.” You should change “was” in the fifth paragraph to “were” to be more grammatically correct. Also, be careful with your use of second person; for example, when you wrote, “You would expect Korea to be stronger,” the “you” tells the reader what she should expect even if the reader does not have enough context or knowledge to come to this conclusion. I appreciate the bluntness that comes through your writing, and I enjoy reading your blog!


  2. This is an excellently written and complex post Hanny! I would echo some of Nora’s thoughts and say that you don’t sound like an “ungrateful bitch”, you sound like an educated, passionate person making valid points. You managed to write this in a way where I could hear your voice and I learned some Korean history. I would have appreciated some evidence in the post to give it more credibility. I felt like some claims you made (such as “Without the so-called help of America…we would have eventually gained our own independence”) would have been easier to swallow if you had an outside source supporting you. How do you know that Korea would have eventually gotten independence (I’m sure you have an answer that is legitimate, I’d just like to have seen it)? Great post overall, I love your writing style and always enjoy seeing insight into your mind 🙂


  3. I love your bluntness, Hanny. I like that you’re unafraid of expressing opinions, popular or unpopular. It’s lovely. It’s greatly demonstrated in this post. Your explanation of the Korean war and the effect of Soviet-American tensions. You demonstrate your opinions clearly (as is to be expected of course) and are eloquent in doing so. I love harshness of your language. It adds to your tone.

    You’re a person of strong opinion, but I’m not. I tend to float between sides of arguments. And I kind of always want to know both sides. I wish you would have explored the idea of Korea without American involvement. I think it could interesting, a unified Korea, but it could also have negative consequence. Either way, this is a great piece. 🙂 Lovely job.

    ~michelle musili


  4. I love that you wrote about something so personal (and that you clearly feel a lot of passion about), and I think your analogy of parents going through a divorce is quite effective. I think the connection between some of the points in your argument could be clearer (keep in mind that not everyone reading your post is very familiar with Korean history), but I think the points themselves are strong and thought-provoking. Just be careful with the proofreading.


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