I had a chance to talk to my old friend in Korea, Lee HL2DC, recently. I have known him for 47 years through ham radio. When we met for the first time, he was a student studying electrical engineering in Pusan. I was a young student specializing mechanical engineering then. His call was HM9DC at that time, I believe. At that time, we have exchanged photos. After a long interval for about 15 years, we met again on the air in early '80s. He used to work for Sansei Electrical Eng, later LG Electronic Co. In mid '80s, he had been in Tokyo with his family for a couple of years when he was working at the branch there. He and his family used to visit us here twice. He was a tall and handsome guy who spoke pretty good Japanese.
He has already retired from a subsidiary of LG for a few years, where he had worked as the president. He has been settled down in a suburb of Seoul. On my inquiry about the territory issue, he told me it was not a serious and important matter for him as well as his neighbors. It would be settled down as the ongoing Presidential Election was over, as he said. He meant it had been risen in relation with that election. We agreed to have it solved by patient negotiation of diplomacy, not by patriotic ardor. He also told me, when I mentioned about the very hard situation our electrical companies were located at, we, Japanese, tended to take our small flaw or problem as a serious trouble. In his opinion, we should rather esteem ourselves since we have diligence and intellectuality. It might mean just a bit of encourragement to me. However, I still felt thankful for his words.
He approved the FTA with the US. It is not a positive approval. He seems to think they should accept it as the globalism is inevitable not oly to Korea but any countries in the world. He thinks those against the FTA are left winged people. He told me with subtle smile that 60% of the stock owner of Samsung is from the US. It was already globalized, as he told me. But I could notice a bit of cynicism in his smile. He also added that Korea should do well in economy with the US because they need the military back up by the US against the North Korea. I didn't dare to tell him what the globalism causes in the world. Korea is in a really critical situation. When North Korea collapses, it could be a huge burden for Korea to care for the refugees from there. There could be a possibility that the military party in North Korea goes mad and resorts to force if it is negligible. The domestic economy is not very promising as well.
We have talked about families, retirements and even health problems. Whenever we meet on the air, he always invite us to visit Korea. Korea is an important neighbor country. And we have such a good friend as Lee. We should consider visiting him in his home land not so far from now. Promising seeing him in person soon, I gave him 73.