Travel broadens the horizons of the mind and gives on an understanding of the mysteries of the universe. Being a journalist, I have always had this yearning to visit far off lands to learn first-hand about other people and other cultures and peoples.
The more exotic the destination, the greater my curiosity, and the richer fulfilling of my travel experience. Thus when I got an opportunity to visit the Republic of Korea, popularly known as South Korea, there was no way I could say no. This golden chance came about through the courtesy of Arirang TV, which is an English language media network based in South Korea and managed by the Korea International Broadcasting Foundation.
South Korea, the country is almost three quarters mountainous with a continental monsoonal climate and extremely friendly and hospitable population that is extremely hard working taking great pride in their nation’s economic and technological progress.
South Korea is famous for its spectacular rise from one of the poorest countries in the world to being the 11th largest economy in the world the fourth largest economy in Asia. It still remains one of the fastest growing developed countries in the world.
It has become a developed, high-income country in just one generation –a world record, given its tragic 20th century history– and joined the ranks of the elite countries membership in the OECD and also the G-20.
This is largely due to South Korea’s rigorous education system and the establishment of a highly motivated and educated populace. This is the factor that has spurred the country’s ultra-advanced technology boom and astonishing economic development.
The week-long visit to the country was packed with visits to historical places, an in-depth interaction with the friendly Korean people in the string of cultural spots and melting pots to savour the Korean way of life. No visit to South Korea would be complete if one does not get to visit the corporate headquarters of one of the South Korean companies that have now become world known brands like Daewoo, Hyundai, Kia, LG, Samsung etc. The list can run into pages. These corporations are a true testimony to the resilience of the Korean people of how they suffered brutal colonisation for more than 45 years and a devastating three years of civil war that ended in July 1953 divided the Korean peninsula into two states.
A visit to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) also known as the 38th Parallel thus serves as a sobering reminder that this is still an unresolved issue even after 60 years as no lasting peace treaty was signed between the two Koreas. (By Zahid Hussain Karani)
Shuja ullah Khan, Chief Editor, (email@example.com) WhatsApp +923132434567