Northern Exposure Dept.

Slowly, with the help of its southern brother, North Korea may be changing from an iron-curtained isolate into an actual international player that does more than manufacture, say, counterfeit Viagra. The biggest tool shaping that changeover: Kaesong Industrial Park, a South Korean-run manufacturing facility on North Korean soil.

What's most crucial about this place, to me, is that it is a way for the North and South to go eye to eye in a non-military environment. Instead of staring each other down over a conference table, they can roll up their sleeves and get to work on projects together. They're dealing, however marginally, with another country as people, and no longer have to see themselves as pariahs of the world.

I was most fascinated a few months ago when the New York Philharmonic, with Lorin Maazel at the helm, journeyed to Pyongyang and performed there. The resulting concert was filmed, and it is one of the few classical concert films I can see myself owning for that reason. I hope there is at least as much footage of the audience as there is of the performers.

Tags: Korea links

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This page contains a single entry by Serdar Yegulalp in the category Uncategorized / General, published on 2008/08/20 20:13.

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