Excerpt from Travels in China:A Great New China
I. To Beijing
October 1st is the National Day of the People's Republic of China, our brother and comrade nation. To celebrate the second anniversary of its establishment, and commemorate the great triumph of its founding, every organization in China, including the Federation of Trade Unions, invited people's representatives from friendly nations around the world. I had longed to visit China, and had the good fortune of journeying there as a member of the Korean delegation.
China is such a venerable nation! An ancient civilization with the longest history and earliest development, China built the Great Wall, created the written characters widely used throughout the East, and invented gunpowder. It also crafted the bronzeware of the Shang and Zhou dynasties, the lacquerware of the Han dynasty, the Sancai pottery of the Tang dynasty, and the splendid ceramics of the Song and Ming dynasties, housed in the best museums around the world. In this age-old nation with abundant resources and people, many outdated customs were interwoven with the nets of invaders to trap the population in bleakness and chaos. China had a deeply rooted feudalism, fierce warlords, and contemptuous foreigners demanding concessions. Great numbers of people, a quarter of the world's population, suffered over prolonged periods through multiple layers of oppression. [End Page 295]
China is Korea's nearest neighbor. We share deep ties politically and culturally, and groaned under the same weight of invasion by foreign capitalist powers in modern times.
The People's Republic of China! Youngest of the new nations. It feels like yesterday when the People's Liberation Army unlocked the gates of Beijing, long shackled by the eternal tradition of feudalism, and the army also emancipated Tianjin, carved up and occupied by eight powerful nations. It feels like yesterday when, defying the blockading warships from America, Britain, and France, the army crossed the Yangtze River to liberate traitor Chiang Kai-shek's capital Nanjing and China's largest city, Shanghai. After overturning like a mat an antiquated and repulsive China plagued by the toxins of feudalism and imperialist invasions, the new People's Republic of China has risen gloriously!
Who wouldn't bless the Chinese people who have accomplished this great victory and founding, and who wouldn't have the utmost respect and admiration for the Chinese Communist Party and Chairman Mao Zedong who led them! The People's Republic of China became an undefeatable bastion to repel the imperialist invasion in Asia, and emerged as a major political force to defend world peace. The nascent People's Republic of China is the new Promised Land for people around the world who love freedom and peace. Today's 475 million Chinese citizens are fighting in the trenches to aid the Korean people who stood up for their own national liberation to expel our common foe, American imperialists. So the hearts of the Korean delegation leaving for China were trembling with excitement and fraternal love.
At twilight on September 27, Hyun Hoon of the Korean General Federation of Trade Unions, Cho Pok-rae of the Korean Democratic Women's League, Jung Sung-un of the National Pacifists' Committee, hero Kim Pong-ho of the Democratic Youth Committee, Im Sŏng-hak of Democratic Korea, and I split into two groups, and left Pyongyang by Jeep. [End Page 296]
After a series of aerial defeats, the American air force bandits hovered high in the sky invisibly during the day, only whizzing above our heads once the sun had set. The sky turned so murky that not even a single star was visible. Almost every ten minutes, a roadside or mountainside gunshot or airplane noise warned us to keep our lights off.
We set out toward Sunch'ŏn and were passing the village of Sainjang when a pillar of fire soared up nearby with a roar that seemed to split the mountains, and the soil and rocks of the valley blazed in fireballs as if a furnace had burst. Americans had hung flares in the sky, as if for a lantern festival. In some places there were around six flares, allowing cars to proceed without lights, and giving the illusion of an innocent fireworks display. The chronicles of our ancestors who traveled to China warn against the peril of wolves and tigers during nights spent in no man's land. Afraid of losing people and horses to these beasts, our ancestors set bonfires and took turns on sentry duty the whole night. That day we had to follow such a night path without any light because of American imperialist beasts. Nevertheless, just as thwarting wolves and tigers with bonfires on the road to China is now a tale from the olden days, driving at night without headlights because of American beasts will soon be in the past.
When it was still light on the evening of the 28th we crossed the Yalu River by car with our embassy liaison, who had driven from Andong to greet us.
When we entered Andong to rest, we were vigorously welcomed by Chairman Seok of the local branch of the Anti-America Pro-Korea Committee and the leaders of the Andong Democratic Youth. Until we boarded our night train to Shenyang, I was able to observe the local scenes and customs of the people at the station, on the streets, [End Page 297] and in the alleyways. Later, lying in bed on a swiftly moving train, I reminisced about my youth.
It was about thirty years ago. I had wandered up to Andong in search of work when I was a boy of fifteen or sixteen. I spent a few days with laborers and beggars near the station, Jin Gang Shan Park, and the wharf where timber was shipped. Even among the hired workers, few wore intact clothes. As most people were starving, I got the impression that there was no distinction between beggars and bandits. I saw despicable Japanese policemen shove a youth who was lingering in front of a pawn shop, drag him into a sewer, and shoot him as if he were a thief. I also witnessed a Japanese dragging his getas and gorging to his heart's content at a Chinese melon shop. After stuffing himself, he spit out what he was chewing, complained that the melons were rotten, and kicked and beat the owner before ambling off without paying. Police overlooked such riff-raff, and no Chinese dared to even glance at the eyes of a Japanese man.
A survey of China's border city Andong reveals that today's China has been transformed into another world. Those sinister and arrogant foreign plunderers have vanished, and rags are no longer visible among the crowds filling the streets. Gone are the ubiquitous drunkards with their scuffles, and the hobos, opium addicts, and tramps loitering in alleys after sunset. I didn't see a single tissue littering the streets. Imprinted on my mind, like a memorable night of watching a film, are the new impressions of sauntering along Andong's streets, seeing people with sanguine faces wearing spotless and sturdy indigo clothes. Especially indelible was the frequent passing of men and women with upturned collars. In the past, goods were displayed covered with wire and nets, but now street stalls proudly presented produce that begged to be touched. Southern fruits, such as persimmons, tangerines, and bananas, once rarely seen in Andong, were now widely available.
The money used at Andong today is said to be in circulation everywhere, including southern and western China. Like [End Page 298] currency, products from every corner of the continent are distributed cheaply and widely, not by the hands of profiteering merchants, but through state planning. To feed his doted-upon concubine, an ancient Chinese emperor dispatched his cavalry to fetch soapberries from a thousand miles away. By contrast, in today's new China, everyone under the sun can enjoy a cornucopia of fruits and dishes from thousands of miles away as well as local produce.
People's lives have been enriched and made more colorful. People's trust in their sovereignty and their political consciousness to resist America and support Korea are in resurgence.
I read the September 29th edition of the Northeast Times in Shenyang, which reported that during the urban representatives' conference of the Northeastern provinces three months before, comrade Gao Gang entreated regional laborers to be frugal and ratchet up the production of grains to five million tons by the end of the year. Within three months, production was twice that.
The value accrued from this increased production and savings amounted to 4,200 rocket aircraft! In addition, it was reported that a popular movement to celebrate the National Day by making a patriotic contribution for planes and artillery was gaining steam. The sum collected had exceeded 997 billion wŏn, and was soon expected to surpass a trillion wŏn.
China obviously has an enormous population. However, this population did not emerge spontaneously after the founding of the republic.
China boasts ample resources and a vast land that predated the republic. Its woes stemmed from a system of governance, and labor akin to slavery. The infinite potential of the people springing from this truth is the source of the strength of people's regimes, including the great U.S.S.R. [End Page 299]
We arrived in Beijing at 7 a.m. on the eve of the National Day. When the train windows brightened, we had already passed Tianjin and were traversing horizon-less plains and grain fields. Most of the crops were sweet potatoes and peanuts, and the soil was sandy. Instead of straw and tile, roofs were plastered with loam and cement. Even the smallest puddles invited a flock of barnyard ducks, and fluttering in every village were pennants with the National Day motto and red flags with golden stars.
The Taihang Mountains soon emerged to the west, and the train careered under high walls around the city. The gray brick castle seems to have remained the same through the ages, even though an old tree rooted in a crevice is now drooping over it. We passed lofty gate towers and gazed at scenes of people bustling in markets beneath the castle gates. We had entered the outskirts of Beijing.
Beijing was the feudal land of Zhaogong of the Zhou dynasty, who christened the city Yanjing, the Chinese character "yan" meaning a swallow. Our Joseon dynasty also chronicled travels to Beijing in a book entitled The Record of Acts in Yanjing. Yanjing first became a capital 1,013 years ago (938 A.D.) during the Liao dynasty, and became a treasure trove as the capital of four successive dynasties: the Jin, Yuan, Ming, and Qing. Beijing houses the ancient palace, the Forbidden City of world-class elegance, numerous gate towers, Beihai Park, the Temple of Heaven, and the Summer Palace, which showcase distinctive ancient Eastern architecture and gardens with grand lakes.
The train sped underneath the southern exterior rampart of Beijing, and the station was located below the wall next to the Qimen gate. Greeting us at the station were Guo Moruo, the chairman of the Anti-American Invasion Chinese World Peace People's Defense Committee, and various Chinese dignitaries, including Vice Chairman Liu Yongil of the General Public Assembly. Also heartily welcoming us were our embassy staff, including Yi Joo-yeon. A band of merry girls in red ties embraced us with flowers after singing in Chinese about General Kim Ilsŏng. [End Page 300]
It was a fine day. Trees lining the boulevards were as verdant as in a park. Shortly after we arrived at the citadel, ubiquitous golden yellow roof tiles appeared in the air. Marble dragon sculptures on stone pillars pierced clusters of clouds like hairpins. Even without seeing the five suspended stone bridges and the infinitely serene and resplendent cinnabar and turquoise gate towers soaring majestically into the sky, you would know this was Tiananmen. We passed in front of it on our way to stay at the seven-story Western-style Beijing Hotel, which did not seem to fit into this metropolis yet.
At the Beijing Hotel, the atmosphere was one of an assembly advocating for world peace. A European lady delightfully offered us her hand in an elevator when she learned we were a delegation from Korea. We also met people's delegates from Vietnam who had visited Korea. White-faced European representatives and dark-faced Indian representatives, Mongolians and Burmese from nearby, and Pakistanis and Indonesians from far away, as well as representatives from the Soviet Union, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, the German Democratic Republic, and the U.K. Peace Advocacy Committee were present.
Although we could not communicate, our faces beamed with camaraderie given our common goal of democratic peace. Renowned peace activist and Soviet writer Ilya Ehrenburg and Chilean poet Pablo Neruda were also there, as well as Gusta Fučíková, the widow of Czech revolutionary Julius Fučík, who galvanized the revolutionary consciousness of the Korean people with his diary Notes from the Gallows. Their handshakes with our Korean delegation were especially impassioned and vigorous as if they were grasping the hands of the entire Korean people at once. They first inquired about General Kim Ilsŏng.
II. Chairman Mao's Banquet
On the evening of the 30th, Chairman Mao Zedong hosted the National Day banquet. The festivities were held at Hui Yin Tang of the former palace where Empress Dowager Cixi used to wallow [End Page 301] in her luxuries. Hui Yin Tang was also the historic site where the central government of the People's Republic of China was inaugurated two years ago.
The foreign delegations were guided to the main hall's left annex, decked with celebratory flags and filled with banquet tables of delicacies. The wives of General Zhu De and Vice-chairman Liu Shaoqi explained that the ambassadors from various nations were in the right annex. Filling the main hall were representatives from the Shaanxi revolutionary base, joined by the heroes of the People's Liberation Army and voluntary forces. Also present were exemplary laborers and farmers of the nation, leaders of political parties and social organizations, university presidents and faculty representatives from Beijing, representatives from the Chinese diaspora, outstanding individual merchants and industrialists, and representatives of ethnic minorities in China.
Facing the 1,400 domestic representatives was a stage decorated with flowers, national emblems, and flags. The Chairman's party was seated in rows beneath the stage.
Of all the representatives from China, my eyes were drawn to the people's representatives from the Shaanxi base. Most were old men with hoary hair who had taken part in the decade-long land reform from 1927, the anti-Japanese national salvation movement from 1937 to 1945, and the people's liberation war from 1945 to 1949. Some Koreans had also participated as representatives of the northeastern revolutionary bases. During the May 30 Riot of 1930, Korean farmers even took the initiative in organizing agricultural soviets in the northeastern regions around Jilin, including Helong and Wangcheng.
Abruptly, thunderous applause reverberated throughout the hall. Chairman Mao's coterie had entered. Everyone stood fervidly on tiptoe and peered at the chairman. He was a towering man with a radiant face. His serene, deep, and heavy eyes revealed his boundless intelligence and generosity.
Veterans of the Shaanxi base led the procession and raised a toast to the chairman's stage. Like their hands, which held [End Page 302] wineglasses, their faces were copper colored and scarred, bulging like crags and old tree trunks from their arduous struggle. Here were the perennially steadfast roots of the great People's Republic of China that could withstand any deluge. Despite the obvious evidence of their privations, their eyes greeted their leader with immeasurable pathos and the highest honor, some flashing with tears. When their wineglasses clinked with Chairman Mao's, some men were so overjoyed they spilled their wine. Observing from nearby, I was warmed by the scene.
I reminisced about the faces of our Korean brothers, which had turned dark as dirt and as menacing as rocks or tree stumps through our own arduous struggle for our fatherland. When our People's Army courageously pivoted to a counter-offensive, I met at liberated Ongjin peninsula countless laborers and farmers emancipated from prisons in Seoul, Taejŏn, Muju, Kimchŏn, and Hapch'ŏn, as well as fathers and grandmothers of partisans in the T'aebaek and Jiri mountains. They looked up at the republic's flag in tears, and asked when General Kim Ilsŏng would visit their region. Even at this hour, they are resolutely fighting our enemies over the corpses of their sons and daughters! They are battling bravely with indomitable spirit!
People who struggle must prevail! They must raise glasses in triumph! The day will come when our people in the T'aebaek, Jiri, and Halla mountains will toast, with celebratory drinks, victory with our supreme leader General Kim Ilsŏng under the flag and emblem of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea! That day must come! The triumphant toasts of Chairman Mao and the people's representatives from the Shaanxi base are infallible guarantees!
The foreign delegations from fourteen nations took turns shaking hands, making toasts, and offering the enthusiastic applause of fraternity and camaraderie from their fatherland's people to the chiefs of this nation, including Chairman Mao. From 7:30 p.m., the banquet continued convivially for two hours. [End Page 303]
III. The Scene of Tiananmen on the National Day
The new morning we greeted in Beijing was October 1st, China's Founding Day. At every window and on every table were sensuously blossoming national flowers of every color exuding the fragrance of autumn sunshine. Beijing is renowned for its fine autumn.
In a serpentine line, the foreign delegations meandered past yellow roof tiles and red walls before entering the imperial garden.
For how many centuries have those junipers been alive! Measuring several arm-spans, they covered the sky in rows and columns. Along with the yellow enamel roof tiles eroded by precipitation and wind, the antler-like branches of aged junipers whispered of the tumultuous history of this venerable palace. Today the place has been turned into a "cultural palace" for workers, and contributes to the cultivation and recreation of its true masters who constructed it along with Zhongshan Park across the way.
A resplendent cinnamon and turquoise gate tower floated gently through the shade of the cedars, with their thick branches and clusters of leaves. This was the Tiananmen that Chinese from every corner of this expansive continent have gazed at warmly, the Tiananmen that would rise like a dragon king's palace over the sea of 400,000 cheering people. We passed Tiananmen to enter its square, and ascended the western stage reserved for dignitaries.
The dignitaries' stage was colorful with bright ethnic dress and diplomats' regalia embellished with national medals. Across the moss green Jade River was the stage for the regular delegation. Past the newly paved boulevard covered with fresh granite were endless assortments of army corps and their bandsmen.
Nearby, I could see Tiananmen in its entirety. It is magnificent. Young daylight gleaming upon the five white stone bridges and their luminous marble balustrades across the Jade River infused the splendid gate tower with auspicious omens. Hanging at the center of the eaves above the layered roofs was the national emblem, and at the next eave was a line of red lanterns and a red banner proclaiming "Celebration of the National Day of [End Page 304] the People's Republic of China." In front was the chairman's stage. Suspended between the stage above and the castle gate below was a portrait of Chairman Mao more than five meters tall, and draped to the left and the right were the slogans "Long Live the People's Republic of China" and "Long Live the great solidarity of the people worldwide."
Fluttering peacefully on the hoisting pole at the opposite end of the square was the five-star flag, and floating in the blue air behind the stately buildings were gate towers decorated with rows of red banners.
Like the soaring beacon of a new nation, a transformed ancient civilization unfolded before our eyes.
The square shook with simultaneous ovations. Chairman Mao emerged above Tiananmen. Zhu De, Liu Shaoqi, Soong Ching Ling, Li Jishen, Vice-chairman Zhang Lan, Premier Zhou Enlai of the State Administration Council, Cheng Qian of the Military Committee of the People's Revolution … they appeared one by one to booming cheers.
After the proclamation opening the celebration from the Central People's Government Chief Secretary Lin Baigu, resounding gun salutes enhanced the performance of the military bands. Atop an automobile, Commander-in-chief of the People's Liberation Army General Zhu De passed Tiananmen in a dignified pose.
After inspecting in turn each solemnly deployed battalion, he stood in Tiananmen, and commanded the armed forces and militia corps across the nation. He proclaimed,
"Over the past two years, we have repelled American imperialists, obtained a colossal triumph, and wholly liberated our continental fatherland through the tandem strategy of our volunteer forces and the people's army of Korea. Americans invaded Taiwan because they couldn't accept their failure and envied China's victory, and they are agitating for the continuation of the Korean War to rupture the ceasefire negotiations and spark a new world war." [End Page 305]
General Zhu De's soft yet powerful voice resonated:
"In spite of the opposition from people around the world, American imperialists are intimidating their subordinate nations, fabricating a peace treaty with Japan, and publicly rearming Japan and West Germany. A crisis of war is imminent, and it threatens the security of our fatherland and the peace of Asia and the world. Thus I order you: Further hone your combat capacity and firmly guard our motherland for the construction of the national defense!
"Strive to learn more, and further master new technology and combined military operations so that we can build a potent and modern national army!
"Struggle to liberate Taiwan's Pescadores and Jinmen Islands to complete the unification of China! Guard the security of our fatherland! Guard the sacred land, sea, and sky of our fatherland! Struggle to preserve peace in Asia and the world!"
After Supreme Commander Zhu De concluded his stern command, the august armed forces began to branch out and march. At the vanguard were the military students of the People's Liberation Army who had become high-echelon leaders after their accomplishments in combat. They were followed by crème-de-lacrème students from the infantry school, tank school, artillery school, naval academy, air force academy, parachute unit, and militia corps. The crowd raved the most enthusiastically for the militiamen with bandanas around their heads, who were said to be representatives from the liberated districts in northern China.
People from various regions had voluntarily formed autonomous militias to ensure that not an inch of their blissful new motherland would be encroached upon again.
Appearing next were the cavalry, mechanized counteroffensive corps, motorcycle corps, and the armored corps.
Cannons of all calibers and tanks of all sizes passed by, overflowing torrents and undulations of steel. Steel did not flow on land alone. A formation of sharp metallic jets filled the sky above the square. Rocket aircraft followed. They were not outdated tanks [End Page 306] and planes seized from American imperialists and Chiang Kai-Shek. They were cutting-edge weaponry.
Needless to say, machines do not ensure victories. Revolutionary armies can trump their enemies who have a superior arsenal. But if the revolutionaries' weapons are also superior, that would be equivalent to a flying tiger! Science knows no borders. The great Soviet Union has demonstrated that technology advances further in a scientific society.
What a blessing for the world, that the military championing justice, liberty, and peace possesses arms superior to those of the war-mongers!
After the parade of troops, congratulatory processions of the people followed. The dancing and singing of the boy scouts evoked fields of flowers, and a platoon ascended Tiananmen to offer flowers to Chairman Mao. Meanwhile, another platoon released a flock of white doves. Another battalion held "Anti-America pro-Korea" signs embroidered with multicolored flowers. Unadulterated choruses of "Long Live Chairman Mao" and "Long Live the People's Republic of China" sung by 18,000 boys reverberated through Tiananmen under the doves.
The representatives of the auxiliary troops marched next. Entering the square were the ranks of 120,000 industrial and construction workers in Beijing, 30,000 farmers, 70,000 members of democratic parties and social organizations, 80,000 high school students, and 8,000 writers and artists carrying "Anti-America, pro-Korea" signs. They also carried hardline slogans opposing the rearmament of Japan.
They are fighters for their fatherland's freedom and world peace. They displayed the portraits of their leaders, including that of Chairman Mao. They also exhibited portraits of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin, as well as portraits of the leaders of the people's democracies, including Ho Chi Minh, Choibalsan, Bierut, Rakosi, and Gottwald. They not only committed themselves with public pledges of patriotism, but also armed themselves with a [End Page 307] noble internationalist ideology to fight for the liberation of people worldwide! When they raised their fists and roared, waves of red flags turned the square into a sea of scarlet, the palace walls shook, and the distant gate towers echoed thunderously. Even then, the whirling square remained orderly. The invincible potential of the people's democracy was linked with the Red Square of the Kremlin.
Against a clear azure sky, the red flags seemed fairer than flowers and brighter than fire. The long river of red flags flowed through every path extending from the castle gates. What a stunning scene! Beijing is truly beautiful.
We witnessed a remarkable Beijing today. Located on the plains, this ancient capital forged its every charm. Every gate and tower of the imposing Forbidden City, the vast lake of Longevity Hill, and Beihai Park and Zhongnanhai are all man-made.
When the marble Temple of Heaven and the picturesque corridors of the Summer Palace were first built, the cinnabar and turquoise artworks were more vivid than they are today. Nevertheless, Beijing's beauty in those days could not have surpassed its beauty now. From time immemorial, Beijing was never as splendid as it is today! We're seeing a Beijing more magnificent than in any other period! Has millennia-old Beijing ever before been filled with such a free and happy people? When did every citizen of this nation ever look up to a true leader who is also an esteemed comrade and teacher, standing on Tiananmen? When has Beijing greeted foreigners who sincerely adore this nation with friendship and goodwill? When have representatives of every class from every corner of this vast land gathered together in the capital of a great unified China to celebrate its National Day?
Today's Beijing is the true capital of this nation. It is a magnificent capital! The roof tiles of the Forbidden City may have collapsed and the marble sculptures of the Temple of Heaven may be dulled. However, the sweat and genius of the tens of thousands who constructed this city are finally being recognized. Although countless patriots have fallen in battle since the Taiping Rebellion, [End Page 308] the people have triumphed today thanks to the preeminent leadership of Chairman Mao and the Communist Party of China. Their noble blood is illuminating ten thousand generations!
Behold the calmly fluttering five-star flag! Who could not feel the brimming river of the blood of ardent Chinese patriots in those vivid crimson flags!
Let us further strengthen our support of Korea against America!
Let us firmly oppose the rearmament of Japan!
Long live the heroic Korean People's Army and the Chinese Volunteer People's Army!
Long live the People's Republic of China!
Long live the great solidarity of the people worldwide!
Long live General Kim Ilsŏng!
Long live Chairman Mao Zedong!
Long live the Supreme Leader Stalin!
The sinuous walls and soaring gate towers extending in every direction conveyed the explosive resonance of Tiananmen to the four corners of China.
The night sky in Beijing on the National Day was dazzling. Sundry searchlights shone skyward from every direction in the city. As if protectively fencing Beijing, these rays formed overlapping nets and a diadem in the air above Tiananmen. Inside this massive crown were sparks of fireworks. Because these fireworks were being set off to welcome visitors, they were truly spectacular.
Although China was the first nation to invent gunpowder, it was used only for construction and celebration, not war. Today's triumph commemorated with such brilliant fireworks is a meaningful victory for humanity, heralding a future in which mankind will honor the original intent of the Chinese inventors. Rather than using gunpowder for massacres, men will use it in perpetuity only for peaceful purposes like fireworks displays. [End Page 309]
After the National Day, I continued my sojourn through China with other foreign delegations, visiting major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Tianjin, Shenyang, and Harbin as well as the neighboring countryside under the guidance of our Chinese hosts. I also toured many factories. I met the families of the volunteer forces serving in Korea, as well as wounded soldiers recovering in hospitals after suffering injuries during their heroic battles in Korea. I listened to music and saw plays. I visited museums of history and art and exhibitions on land reform and trade in northern China. I met eminent writers and artists, and went to the renowned Great Wall.
Nevertheless, China is too vast and profound to see and comprehend in its entirety during such a short trip. However, the experience of the new social order achieved during the past five years in the Democratic People's North Korea enabled me to grasp myriad facets of the new People's Republic of China. [End Page 310]
Jun Youb (J.Y.) Lee has written two travel essays in Korean including Paran nal eul dalida, published by Sigongsa, and has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, OZY, and The Korea Times. He is translating Shin Gi Wook's Superficial Korea and has translated a Korean history book and samples of Korean fiction. He will start at Harvard Divinity School in fall 2018.