The New York Times has the kind of article I like--a review of an issue/event that includes a bit of history to remind readers to be skeptical of today's optimistic headlines.
During border talks decades ago, the sides took the competition over protocol and appearances to the extreme, with North Korean military officers secretly adding inches to the legs of their chairs so they would look taller than their counterparts across the table from South Korea and the United States.Of course, they can't mention everything in every article, but I would just like to add the previous battles over the seating arrangements at such meetings.
In those cold-war-era meetings, the sides usually exchanged invectives and retorts. But they also sometimes persisted in silence — for over 11 hours in one session in 1969 — challenging the other side to speak first.
In the best-known contest of pride on the divided peninsula, North and South Korea once engaged in a race over which country could raise its national flag higher over the heavily fortified border. That battle was eventually settled with the North beating the South; today, the North’s flagpole stands over 500 feet tall, beating the rival South’s by roughly 200 feet.
From March 1998:
Jung Yeon-Je/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images