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Color from Shadows: A Narrative of the Life and Work of Hyun-Sook Lee Kim of Korea

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Currently the vice president of the Korean Red Cross, Lee was raised in post-World War II Korea in a Confucian society marked by extreme poverty, heightened tension and militarization due to the political division between the North and South. As a student at the Hanshin Theological Seminary, Lee studied globally conscious theology which focused on politics and international affairs. She is the youngest member of the Presidential Advisory Committee for Reunification and the chairperson of the Advisory Committee of the Reunification Ministry.
    Color from Shadows:   A Narrative of the Life and Work of Hyun-Sook Lee Kim of Korea By Allison J. MeeksPeace Writer Edited byEmiko Noma 2003 Women PeaceMakers ProgramJoan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice *Do not cite or use without permission from theJoan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice  2 Table of Contents  Heading Page # Acronyms 3  Dropped Apples 4  Tough Elegance 5  Outside the Walls 8   Dictatorship 9   Naming 12   Hearing, Speaking, and Seeing in a New Family 13   Dictatorship II  15   Hotline 17   A Common Education 20   New Media 22  The Fifties 24   Dear President Bush 27   Across the Divide 30  Foreign Forces 33   Direct Dialogue 36   Just the Beginning 39    3 Acronyms AFSC American Friends Service CommitteeDMZ Demilitarized ZoneDPRK Democratic People’s Republic of KoreaKCIA Korean Central Intelligence AgencyNCPKP National Council of Peace on the Korean PeninsulaNGO Nongovernmental OrganizationSOFA Status of Forces AgreementWMP Women Making Peace  4 Dropped Apples It was a London autumn in the late 1950s. The school principal from Korea passed by apark and within it, a large apple tree. He was curious because there were several apples that hadfallen to the ground, but nobody gathered them. The man continued on, encountering smilingEnglishmen and women, saying “Hello” or “Good morning,” even to this stranger from a distantland.The principal returned to Korea and shared his experiences with his young students at amorning gathering.It was so impressive to him. At that time our economic situation was harsh afterthe end of the Korean War. If you find any apples under the trees, you take it forfood. At that time people were still in the middle of suffering from the scars of war and poverty. Why was he smiling like Englishmen?However, when I heard the story of this principal, I felt that we Koreans were sobad and inferior. Why don’t we smile? Why do we always look angry? Why dowe pick up dropped fruit under the tree without any hesitation? 1  Hyun-Sook kept these thoughts in her mind. But when she was older, she had the chance totravel to Britain for a year. She, too, observed the pleasantries and the lack of want in Britishsociety.The social welfare system was well-organized; they did not need to get angry likeus. Now in Korea, our society has developed toward economic prosperity andpeople are starting to laugh. It means that we are OK now. We are no longerstarving. So, these days, we never take any dropped apples, you see? 1 All quotations not cited in the text are taken from interviews with Hyun-Sook Kim Lee between September 29 andDecember 5, 2003.
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