“In a country really close to South Korea, there’s a guy who’s always making threats”

Illustration by Ruth Silbermayr-Song

Illustration by Ruth Silbermayr-Song

Y, his 9-year-old niece, her mother and I eat dinner together. Y’s niece has just asked me about the positive aspects of having a different citizenship.

We start talking about something else. She says: “I’ve read in the news that in a country really close to South Korea there’s a guy who’s always making threats. I think he wants to bomb South Korea or something like that.”
I: “You’re right. The guy is from North Korea.”
Her mother says: “You know, North Korea is really poor.”
She: “But why would he want to bomb another country?”
I: “Actually, maybe he doesn’t really want to bomb South Korea. If he makes threats like that, many other countries will tell him that if he doesn’t bomb South Korea, they’ll send food to his country.”
She: “Oh, so he does that in order to receive something.”

She thinks about this and then goes on: “But aren’t South Koreans afraid?”
Y says: “If one of your classmates tells you every day that he or she is going to hit you, will you hit him or her first or will you just ignore him or her?”

Has a young kid ever asked you about politics? I’d love to read about your experience.

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