Without pride in his/her people, a writer will never be regarded by them as a great writer, and a people that has no pride in its members will soon disappear from the stage of history. This has been true in the past and is equally true today.
Where I live, in the northern Jiandao region of China, bordering North Korea to the south and Russia to the northeast, there are memorial stones in every village, on every hill. They serve as a final resting place for the Korean people who settled down in northern Jiandao. Ninety-eight percent of anti-Japanese fighters and 93 percent of those who participated in the National Liberation War are buried in this place. As such, northern Jiandao was once red with the blood of countless Koreans who had fought for their nation on Chinese land.
I am first and foremost a Korean writer, a proud descendant of the Korean people.
The stories I write reflect the entire history of Koreans in Jiandao, how we were uprooted and displaced, how we settled down in a foreign land, and how we continued to fight for our people. That is, I would not be a writer if not for that history, and now I hope to speak for my fellow Koreans.