Watch these videos of John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan speaking against the Berlin Wall — an authoritarian symbol blocking freedom of communication and movement.
Memorable, effective words:
Two American Presidents were able to strike public relations coups with speeches in Berlin. In both cases they had limited ability to influence the Soviets, though they had great ability to speak to the people on the front lines of the Cold War. I understand their words resonated strongly with them.
Few wanted the division through Europe, particularly separating Berlin from West Germany. Probably everyone questions the motives of those who did. The wall’s existence — barring millions of people from something so basic as walking from one place to another — leads you to question what civilization means if it could lead to that.
The Korean Demilitarized Zone cries out for a similar public relations coup. I don’t know from whom, how to put it, or who has the authority, if needed, or credibility, or rhetorical skill to voice it. I can’t think of what one could say that would influence the people with their fingers on the launch buttons for the missiles aimed at Seoul.
The DMZ is a stain on the fabric of civilization like the Berlin Wall. Few people want it and the motives of those who do are suspect.
Yes, getting rid of it will need time and planning.
Nonetheless, the opportunity exists. Someone could capitalize it, though it could carry some risk. We could all benefit.