Louisville Medicine Volume 65, Issue 8 - Page 17

REVIEW It is almost amusing to read about this solitary crusader for peace as he spares no personal expense to host North Korean diplomats. He introduced them to the American way of life, and even took them on hunting and fishing trips, arranging for their medical and dental care, heaping them with ribs every chance he got, and even arranged to transport their Olympic team to Atlanta. Through it all, he developed an enduring friendship with Ambassador Han, and the ambassador for him. It appears that together they almost succeeded in arranging for the return of the U.S. Navy Vessel -The Pueblo. His unofficial visits to the Hermit Kingdom through China and his experiences with their security apparatus (including getting injected with truth serum) made me sit up and take note. He com- mitted to deals without first making sure that the United Sates was on board, and then would go about maneuvering to make it happen. It undoubtedly vexed diplomatic circles and even the White House. The book gives insight into the thinking of the North Korean leadership. Mr. Egan has a lot of common sense ideas which are brilliant in their simplicity. In an era of stagnant diplomacy, his ideas perhaps ought to be re-explored. He explains away his lack of success with the fact that diplomats would never want “the guy with the tool belt” to be the one who had “just solved the Middle East crisis.” In my estimation, the elitist system between rulers and the ruled may be only part of the problem. There appears to be a craving on Mr. Egan’s part for gaining acceptance into the corridors of power. His service appears to give a sense of fulfilment and meaning to his own life. The one question that remains unanswered is, “Do the North Koreans want peace just as badly?” In June of 2013, Dr. Jeffrey M. Bumpous and I participated in the 20 th World Congress of the International Federation of Oto-Rhi- no-Laryngological Societies (IFOS) Seoul, Republic of Korea. His late father had fought his way up the swamps of Incheon to the 42 nd parallel during the Korean conflict. We visited the military museum, and I took a picture of him in front of his father’s regi- mental standard. I wondered what must have been going through his mind as both of us peered through two pairs of binoculars across the DMZ in to North Korea. We crawled through a tunnel that the North Koreans had constructed to infiltrate the South. It stopped abruptly at a barred gate. The contrasts were schizophrenic. On the South Korean side, a carnival-like atmosphere prevailed. Children holding their parents’ hands and eating ice-cream, a giant illuminated Ferris wheel whirled slowly its lights flashing, A sign warning for the presence of land mines and a few armed soldiers was all that reminded us that the two countries were at war. A room with a diorama pointed to structures on the other side of the border. Some buildings competed with the tallest flag-staff for attention as they stood sentry, while the setting sun cast an orange glow to heighten the sense of drama. A few peasants could be seen walking or bicycling away from the DMZ in deference to the setting sun. No cars, no motorized vehicles as far as I could tell. What were they thinking when they looked toward the south? Did they think of the multicolored lights as propaganda just as we thought that their buildings were hollow shells? We visited an unused railway station. It had been inaugurated by President George Bush. If the South were to make up with the North, it would be possible to travel from the tip of the Korean Peninsula to the end of Spain by rail. Alas, those hopes for peace are a pipe-dream. For now, contemplating on t he story of Eating with the Enemy, in the company of a cup of tea, under a wintry sky in Kentucky will have to do. Dr. Gadre is a privately practicing otologist & neurotologist. January 2018 HSC Medical Billing quarter page ad GLMS FINAL.pdf 1 12/1/2017 11:14:52 AM C M Y CM MY CY CMY K Let us help you focus on your practice. • • • • • Increase your collections. Get paid faster. Successfully appeal denied claims. Reduce your billing costs by outsourcing. Eliminate your time managing the billing process. We want to be your medical billing partner! To request a quote, contact us today at hsccpa.com/medical-billing-services.com Brenda Wallace, CPA, CMPE 800.880.7800 ext. 1347 bwallace@hsccpa.com JANUARY 2018 15