Lincoln, when accepting the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate from Illinois in June of 1858, delivered a famous speech, noted for the phrase "a house divided against itself cannot stand". He went on to say, "I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free." In a few short years a bloody civil war was fought to preserve the union.
Early this morning while thinking about the current tinder box in Korea, I found myself musing about Lincoln's words and divided nations. I realize that comparing North and South Korea to the Union and the Confederacy is probably considered a stretch in most quarters but Korea is as much a divided nation as the United States of America was in 1861. So I ask myself , how long can Korea exist divided?
North and South Vietnam could not co-exist. Vietnam is one nation today - again after a bloody war. East Germany and West Germany could not co-exist. Germany is one nation today after a cold war which had its share of bloodshed.
The Korean War was fought to a stalemate. Bloody though it was, it failed to settle the fate of a divided Korea. War is again rearing its head. How long will it be before blood is shed again. A Korea cannot exist half communist and half democracy.
My musing led me to wonder why we waged a bloody war in Iraq even though we mistakenly surmised that somewhere in Iraq's terrain, weapons of mass destruction existed but today, although we are sure weapons of mass destruction exist in North Korea, we are showing remarkable restraint. Is it because North Korea has a powerful friend while Iraq only had enemies?
I have the feeling that North Korea and South Korea will be one nation sometime in the future. How much blood will be shed to achieve this union is beyond my speculation. Neither will I speculate as to the type of government it will have. One thing I feel sure about, a house divided cannot stand!