How the Western media gets the Korean crisis wrong

13 May 2017

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Is the Singaporean mind Eastern or Western? This is obviously an existential question that Singapore has to grapple with. Yet there is amazingly little discussion of it.

The big danger that Singapore faces is that if the Singaporean mind remains primarily Westernised, it will miss out on the big Asian century coming our way. Since the Western (especially Anglo-Saxon) narrative is so dominant and so seductive, we get easily taken in by it.

Let me illustrate this point with a pressing contemporary issue: North Korea. The Western media provides a simple black (North Korea) and white (Western) portrayal of the issue. Most Singaporeans probably have bought into this simple black-and-white view. In so doing, they fail to understand that the North Korean issue is more complex and nuanced.

Kishore Mahbubani dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. This article was first published in The Straits Times on 13th May 2017.

Kishore Mahbubani

Founding Dean, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore