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2 Koreas - JDA

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Tom Mueller
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2 Koreas - JDA

Just realized that I posted this to the wrong forum, so I am re-posting to the correct forum.  Sorry.

WOW ! I just finished watching JSA, Joint Security Area.  North Korean soldiers were murdered at the DMZ and there are two stories to explain what happened.  South Korean soldier (Sgt Lee) admits that he killed the North Korean soldiers but it was in self-defense.  They had kidnapped him and he killed them to get away.  The North Korean soldier (Sgt Oh) says Lee busted into the North Korean barracks and started shooting.  The evidence shows that some of soldiers look shot execution style.  During integration, Pvt Nam (Lee's friend and fellow SK soldier) attempts suicide when he finds out he has to take a polygraph.  The movie then shows the actual events.  Lee was lost in the woods on the NK side and had stepped on a mine (He couldn't leave), Sgt Oh and his colleague Sgt Jung find him and eventually help.  The movie then shows Lee and eventually Nam regularly visiting the NK side.  They become friends. This is best part of the movie - they discuss their lives and share things with each other - even have disagreements (but nothing that leads to a shootout).  It shows soldiers fighting on two different sides - are people - people that can be friends and brothers. This would be a great addition to my class because I think it would get us past the Government vs Government discussion.  We can see them as people - yes I know it is fiction, but it is a start.  One of the things that could also lead to a discussion is when the NK soldiers discuss the tension and conflict, they focus on the United States as the one they are fighting.  What would happen if we did ease tensions?  I am not saying it is right or wrong to do it - I am just saying imagine it.  What do you think would happen?  As the movie continues we see that another NK soldier and this leads to the killings.  I will not discuss the end because I do not want spoil it for anyone.  However there are two scenes that stuck with me.

1) When the shooting is over.  It is Sgt Oh that tells Lee what to say - he gives him his alibi

2) When Lee and Oh are in the court room.  Oh attacks and calls him names, etc.  He strangles Lee and Lee looks to become incapacitated. However later we find out that there are no marks on Lee's neck.  Lee had faked his "unconsciousness". 

They were still brothers. 

Thank you for this opportunity to watch this film.