Korea Quotes

Quotes tagged as "korea" Showing 1-30 of 118
Young-Ha Kim
“Novels are food for the leftover hours of life, the in-between times, the moments of waiting.”
Young-ha Kim, I Have the Right to Destroy Myself

Young-Ha Kim
“Why does nothing change, even when you set out for a faraway place?”
Young-Ha Kim, I Have the Right to Destroy Myself

“This country has not seen and probably will never know the true level of sacrifice of our veterans. As a civilian I owe an unpayable debt to all our military. Going forward let’s not send our servicemen and women off to war or conflict zones unless it is overwhelmingly justifiable and on moral high ground. The men of WWII were the greatest generation, perhaps Korea the forgotten, Vietnam the trampled, Cold War unsung and Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan vets underestimated. Every generation has proved itself to be worthy to stand up to the precedent of the greatest generation. Going back to the Revolution American soldiers have been the best in the world. Let’s all take a remembrance for all veterans who served or are serving, peace time or wartime and gone or still with us. 11/11/16 May God Bless America and All Veterans.”
Thomas M Smith

Christopher Hitchens
“I saw exactly one picture of Marx and one of Lenin in my whole stay, but it's been a long time since ideology had anything to do with it. Not without cunning, Fat Man and Little Boy gradually mutated the whole state belief system into a debased form of Confucianism, in which traditional ancestor worship and respect for order become blended with extreme nationalism and xenophobia. Near the southernmost city of Kaesong, captured by the North in 1951, I was taken to see the beautifully preserved tombs of King and Queen Kongmin. Their significance in F.M.-L.B. cosmology is that they reigned over a then unified Korea in the 14th century, and that they were Confucian and dynastic and left many lavish memorials to themselves. The tombs are built on one hillside, and legend has it that the king sent one of his courtiers to pick the site. Second-guessing his underling, he then climbed the opposite hill. He gave instructions that if the chosen site did not please him he would wave his white handkerchief. On this signal, the courtier was to be slain. The king actually found that the site was ideal. But it was a warm day and he forgetfully mopped his brow with the white handkerchief. On coming downhill he was confronted with the courtier's fresh cadaver and exclaimed, 'Oh dear.' And ever since, my escorts told me, the opposite peak has been known as 'Oh Dear Hill.'

I thought this was a perfect illustration of the caprice and cruelty of absolute leadership, and began to phrase a little pun about Kim Jong Il being the 'Oh Dear Leader,' but it died on my lips.”
Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

Rizki De
“Love has different shape, like this falling snow in winter”
Rizki De, Endless Winter in Korea

“If Korea were a person, it would be diagnosed as a neurotic, with both an inferiority and a superiority complex.”
Euny Hong, The Birth of Korean Cool: How One Nation is Conquering the World Through Pop Culture

Boris Johnson
“You know, sometimes I don't understand what's wrong with us. This is just about the most creative and imaginative country on earth—and yet sometimes we just don't seem to have the gumption to exploit our intellectual property. We split the atom, and now we have to get French or Korean scientists to help us build nuclear power stations. We perfected the finest cars on earth—and now Rolls-Royce is in the hands of the Germans. Whatever we invent, from the jet engine to the internet, we find that someone else carts it off and makes a killing from it elsewhere.”
Boris Johnson

“Every day the same things came up; the work was never done, and the tedium of it began to weigh on me. Part of what made English a difficult subject for Korean students was the lack of a more active principle in their learning. They were accustomed to receiving, recording, and memorizing. That's the Confucian mode. As a student, you're not supposed to question a teacher; you should avoid asking for explanations because that might reveal a lack of knowledge, which can be seen as an insult to the teacher's efforts. You don't have an open, free exchange with teachers as we often have here in the West. And further, under this design, a student doesn't do much in the way of improvisation or interpretation.

This approach might work well for some pursuits, may even be preferred--indeed, I was often amazed by the way Koreans learned crafts and skills, everything from basketball to calligraphy, for example, by methodically studying and reproducing a defined set of steps (a BBC report explained how the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il had his minions rigorously study the pizza-making techniques used by Italian chefs so that he could get a good pie at home, even as thousands of his subjects starved)--but foreign-language learning, the actual speaking component most of all, has to be more spontaneous and less rigid.

We all saw this played out before our eyes and quickly discerned the problem. A student cannot hope to sit in a class and have a language handed over to him on sheets of paper.”
Cullen Thomas, Brother One Cell: An American Coming of Age in South Korea's Prisons

Don DeLillo
“Too young for Korea, too old for Vietnam.”
Don DeLillo

Christopher Hitchens
“Even in former days, Korea was known as the 'hermit kingdom' for its stubborn resistance to outsiders. And if you wanted to create a totally isolated and hermetic society, northern Korea in the years after the 1953 'armistice' would have been the place to start. It was bounded on two sides by the sea, and to the south by the impregnable and uncrossable DMZ, which divided it from South Korea. Its northern frontier consisted of a long stretch of China and a short stretch of Siberia; in other words its only contiguous neighbors were Mao and Stalin. (The next-nearest neighbor was Japan, historic enemy of the Koreans and the cruel colonial occupier until 1945.) Add to that the fact that almost every work of man had been reduced to shards by the Korean War. Air-force general Curtis LeMay later boasted that 'we burned down every town in North Korea,' and that he grounded his bombers only when there were no more targets to hit anywhere north of the 38th parallel. Pyongyang was an ashen moonscape. It was Year Zero. Kim Il Sung could create a laboratory, with controlled conditions, where he alone would be the engineer of the human soul.”
Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

Lucy Gold
“Just —looking through the chocolate," I said as casually as I could.”
Lucy Gold, Bias

“It was easy not to like the other foreigners. I wondered how I'd fallen in with such a band of freaks. There were so many odd, wandering types--a host of bent Australians, warped British, tainted Canadians, tormented runaway Americans. (I considered myself fairly well balanced among this cast, but then look what became of me.) I'd expected it to a certain degree, but I was still surprised. Most of them seemed like misfits. Only a few content. But all of us found teaching work with astounding ease. It didn't matter that, on the whole, we were ragged and suspect because the demand for English in Korea was so great that almost anyone was accepted.”
Cullen Thomas, Brother One Cell: An American Coming of Age in South Korea's Prisons

Lucy Gold
“What are you doing?"
I twisted around to see Tai looking at me as he sipped coffee, standing behind me.

"Just —looking through the chocolate," I said as casual as I could.

"You never looked through them all before," Tai said suspiciously.

I swallowed, struggling to find something to say. It must've shown on my face, because one of Tai's eyebrows lifted slightly.”
Lucy Gold, Bias

“But,” began the Zainichi North Korean man, “even if we know all that stuff, isn’t it pointless if the people discriminating against you don’t?”

“What matters is that we know,” I said. “Those ignorant haters who discriminate based on nationality and ethnicity are pathetic. We need to educate ourselves and make ourselves stronger and forgive them. Not that I’m anywhere near that yet.”
Kazuki Kaneshiro, Go

Steven Magee
“Your enemy is not in the Middle East or Asia, it is your own government.”
Steven Magee

“Do you understand what I have not said and what you have not heard in this room that does not exist?”
Yongsoo Park, Boy Genius

“The seasons drift. Time is fluid and people change. But I have never lost faith... even if the world turned upside down I could still find you.”
Threads of Time

Shin Kyung-sook
“Tuổi tác không phải lúc nào cũng tăng theo chuỗi số tuần tự. Người ta có thể một ngày nào đó biến từ mười sáu sang ba mươi hai tuổi. Chính vào cái ngày đó ở nhà hàng đó, tôi, mười sáu tuổi, đã đột ngột thành ba mươi, hay ba mươi hai tuổi. Vào cái ngày tôi nhìn anh cả ngồi rã rời trong khói sườn nướng, đãi chị họ và tôi bữa sường trong khi chính anh không ăn dù chỉ một miếng, tôi tin rằng tôi đã ba mươi hai, đúng bằng tuổi của tôi bây giờ”
Kyung-Sook Shin, The Girl Who Wrote Loneliness

“Western governments invaded Iraq, dismantled Libya, interfered without success in Yemen and Syria. Yet North Korea causes all the trouble?”
Fuad Alakbarov, Exodus

Dmitry Dyatlov
“unless you want to go to jail, you're not working hard enough”
Dmitry Dyatlov

Steven Magee
“Your government appreciates your cooperation with being fearful.”
Steven Magee

Barbara Demick
“Liberty and love
These two I must have.
For my love I’ll sacrifice
My life.
For liberty I’ll sacrifice
My love.”
1 January 1823, Petőfi Sándor was born in Kiskörös, Hungary.”
Barbara Demick, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

Steven Magee
“The USA is turning into South Korea, as many people now wear COVID-19 face masks in public.”
Steven Magee

“The Snowy Road and Other Stories edited by Hyun-jae Yee Sallee

“What is a prayer? It is a heart without any lies” -Yean-hee Ching, Balloon

“Undoubtedly a pine caterpillar lives properly by eating pine leaves only.” Ick-suh Yoo, Purchased Bridegroom

“...One tends not to appreciate many things while he strives madly to cope with misfortune befalling him. Is it because misfortune makes one see things differently?” - Ick-suh Yoo, Purchased Bridegroom

“Nak-dong river duck in your arms!... What I mean is that you have assumed the role of poor mother hen for your wife.” Ick-suh Yoo, Purchased Bridegroom

“When one happens to find out that a treasure previously deemed to be precious is actually fake, one’s disgust is about to be measured by how dearly that treasure was cherished. Immediately casting away such a false treasure could make one happy for the time being.” - Chung-joon Yee, The Snowy Road”
Hyun-Jae Yee Sallee, The Snowy Road & Other Stories: An Anthology of Korean Fiction

“Language spoken by parents to each other: fluent Korean. I grew up hearing marriage as a foreign language—literally and figuratively. I grew up hearing the sound of Korean as a language of Korean-bound han syndrome, disappointment, fury, resignation, the sense of being trapped forever, resentment, guilt. Every other word: a door slammed.”
Seo-Young Chu, The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2018

“…she fell into the water from the sky…”

Jae-in Doe
Decedent is an Asian female.
Twenty-two she just had turned.
The cause of death we cannot tell
Despite the many things we’ve learned.

My Doe-type can be difficult to track.
Yet here I am, my voice-box playing back
From lips hydrangea-lavender in hue
His thoughts during our first few interviews.

The hair is shoulder-length, the color black.
The height and weight suggest she won’t fight back.
The fingernails are unadorned and short.
The eyes are brown; no makeup do they sport.
The skin appears unpierced and untattooed,

Yet scars of ruby-pearl seem to protrude
Like self-inflicted jewelry on each arm
And wrist—which means she’s vulnerable to harm.
The language of her flesh, as I assess her,
Reveals Confucian worship of professors.

Her deference Korean gives me right
To use her innocence for my delight.”
Seo-Young Chu, The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2018

Min Jin Lee
“(...) mas um Deus que fizesse tudo que julgamos correto e bom não seria o criador do universo. Seria nossa marionete. Não seria Deus.”
Min Jin Lee, Pachinko

Min Jin Lee
“Viver todos os dias na presença daqueles que se recusam a reconhecer sua humanidade exige muita coragem.”
Min Jin Lee, Pachinko

Yi Sun-sin
“Those who are willing to die will live, those who to try to spare their own lives will die.”
Yi Sun-sin

Won-pyung Sohn
“We have to be tougher in this tough world.”
Won-pyung Sohn, Almond

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