My grandmother, who wanted to see North Korea again and be reunited with any remaining family members, prayed each day that she would first outlive Kim Il-Sung, and then Kim Jong-Il. She lived until the age of 95, unable to, in the end, outlive Kim Jong-Il. She was born near Pyongyang and escaped during the war, never to return home. She and the others in my family, are the inspiration for the novel I am writing.
The day that North Korea and South Korea reunify will be a day that I know I will spend in happy tears. I was not alive when the two were one country, and I was not alive when the DMZ first went up. But I have lived with all the family stories of life in North Korea, of relatives in North Korea, and the ramifications of the Korean War.
North Korea is the one place in the world I dream of visiting. I feel like then, a part of my heart will be whole.
It is an eerie feeling to think of a world without Kim Jong-Il…without the dictator. And wondering how that will change Korea.
It also makes me really feel like I need to hurry up and finish writing this novel.