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Two walls

Posted October. 21, 2017 07:46,   

Updated October. 21, 2017 08:05

한국어

American author Don Winslow’s novel “The Power of the Dog” describes drug trade organizations’ illicit transaction centered in Mexico spanning from the south of the United States to Colombia. The novel takes its title from a quote in the Book of Psalms: “Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs.” A movie “Sicario (Hitman),” made by Denis Villeneuve who directed “Blade Runner 2049,” also borrowed a similar motif with Winslow’s book. With its plot on drug smuggling and contract killing, the movie vividly portrays the bleak and warlike atmosphere near the U.S. and Mexican borders.

Those very borders are where prototypes for U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed wall are being built as revealed on Wednesday. Erected in the southern border in San Diego, California, eight models of what could be a potential border wall are between 5.5 and 9.1 meters high, and are composed of concrete and steel reinforcements. If these prototypes continue to be taking shape as a complete border fence to cover all 3,000 kilometers, it will indeed become “the Great Wall” of the modern day.

In ancient days, walls were built to defend against the invasion of foreign powers. Hadrian’s Wall in ancient Rome was constructed to separate the Romans from the “barbarians,” and the Great Wall of China was also made to protect people from the “savages.” In other words, which side of the walls people lived practically decided whether they were barbarian or not. U.S. President Trump seems to have come to a decision that the illegal entry into his country through Mexico has reached a point where it can now be considered as foreign invasion in terms of economy at least. In fact, the movements of the Germans and the Huns were both military invasion as well as economic migration.

Things appear to have really changed as the United States and Mexico, the two neighboring countries which once adopted the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), now discuss an exit from the agreement and the construction of walls. However, turning one’s eyes toward the east, barbed-wire fences and mine fields that divide the Korean Peninsula into the south and north remain as the most robust wall in the world. This zone is the only iron curtain that still exists today after the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany. Recently, Trump’s possible visit to the heavily fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating South and North Korea during his visit to Seoul next month has been the subject of conversation. Yet in reality, we are building up mental barriers even higher while failing in tearing down the existing physical barriers. That said, we may still have a long way to go until we can finally break down these two walls.