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[Opinion] Not Easy Being a Nation

Posted December. 30, 2006 07:17,   


If you type in “nation” in the daily papers section (Dong-a, Chosun, etc.) of the press news database KINDS, 62,860 articles turn up for this year. Such a figure represents an average of 6,286 articles per year for each daily paper and an average of 17 articles per day that contain the word “nation” in it. In particular, politicians tended to use the word “nation” whenever they felt useful. It appears that everyone is concerned about the nation, but strangely, the role of a nation becomes more difficult.

Every time the weak-hearted nation hears something like, “I feel as though I cannot carry out the role of president,” or “I do not wish to become the first president who did not finish his tenure,” tension is heightened in fear that the proverbial driver will let go of the steering wheel while driving. Although it was the nation who put the president in the driving seat, there were only a few days that went by without the nation’s people worrying. Hearing the president state that he cannot fulfill his duty after all the requests to vote for him makes it difficult being a “nation.”

This year has seen national mental and physical distress. The nation was ripped off with “Sea Story” and was wounded by the real estate game. There is now “Gangnam nation” and “Not Gangnam nation” and a river that cannot be crossed between them. It was not easy paying taxes in a state of a bad economy, and it would be ideal if the state’s households were run better. Jobs were disrupted by violent demonstrations, and provincial offices and police buses that were built with tax money were burnt. The religious person who cut his hair for improvement of the law on a cold day was our nation, too. We had to listen to the tranquil argument that North Korea’s missiles and nuclear program are “not targeting us” in a time of distress.

High officials and ruling and opposition party representatives’ New Year message introduced the nation yet again. With the presidential election next year, how many more times will the word “nation” be used? The nation might be the boss when asking for votes; however, normally it is just made up of servants. Maybe if the nation did their job well, the people would get treated better. Hopefully, the nation will not be disgraced into poor people in the coming year.

Editorial Writer Lee Jin-nyong jinnyong@donga.com