Dark clouds hang over the peninsula

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Dark clouds hang over the peninsula


A cloud consists of small water droplets or ice. When wavelengths of light pass through a cloud, the colors disperse. Among the substances that make up clouds, the smallest particles give off a blue light and the largest, red.

When light passes through such particles in the clouds, all seven colors of visible rays are dispersed and then combine again to form a white color. This is why a cloud in the sky appears white.

A cumulonimbus, more commonly known as a storm cloud, creates a slightly different phenomenon. As this type of cloud is denser, less light passes through it and the amount of light that is dispersed is less, too. Thus, the underside of the cloud appears dark.

This is why we also refer to cumulonimbus as “dark clouds.”

A dark cloud is a natural phenomenon but it is often used as a metaphor for crisis, when a difficult situation looks likely to lead to a calamity. In fact, in many cultures and languages, a dark cloud is used to symbolize a looming crisis. Common examples in the media are: “The stock market is under a dark cloud” or “A dark cloud hangs over the Korean national team.”

These days, dark clouds are hovering in the sky over the Korean Peninsula. This is the result of North Korea’s second nuclear test. As soon as the South Korean government announced its participation in the Proliferation Security Initiative, North Korea prepared for extra missile launches in the east and west coast, escalating tension on both sides.

A Chinese saying goes, “When there is a long way ahead, one realizes the importance of a horse.”

For a person who sets out on a long journey, what is most needed is a horse to ride on. That means, one looks to the source of power to overcome a crisis.

We need to think seriously about where we can get our power to overcome the nuclear crisis that North Korea has brought upon us. We need to enhance the South Korea-United States alliance to secure a direct deterrent against North Korea and we need to have our own capacity to control a crisis.

A tree with deep roots can bear many fruits and a stream with a deep spring can endure a drought and reach the ocean. We need to cooperate to find the cause of the crisis and regain the power to overcome it.

It is time to gather everyone’s wisdom and willpower.

The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.

By Yoo Kwang-jong [kjyoo@joongang.co.kr]
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