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Yŏnch’ŏn: From Darkness To Ideal

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author talks about his field trip to Yŏnch'ŏn. Whenever he fell into inertia, despair, loneliness, or a struggle to overcome inertia, he visited the closed tunnel near Shintan-li station where hundreds of soldiers in the North Korean People's Army had been killed during the Korean War. He thinks about the aesthetics of unification in relation to the Stone Age relics in Junkok-li. The conviction that a stone with no apparent flaw can crack if you strike it with another handheld stone and its grain will surely reveal itself, gave mankind confidence and progress. It was imagination that brought about such progress. When imagination conceives a possible future, it becomes an ideal. The ideal is not a light but a challenge against darkness, against the world we cannot see. The grain is the means of finding a way in the darkness.

Keywords: Junkok-li; loneliness; North Korean People's Army; Shintan-li station; Stone Age relics; Yŏnch'ŏn



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