Can There Ever be Peace in the Korean Peninsula? Author J.A. V Simson Addresses This in Her New Novel

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"Korea, Are You at Peace?" takes a firsthand look at a regional political-tinderbox.

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Could Korea become a flashpoint for the onset of World War III?

When most Americans think about Korea, they think either of war, dictatorship or fear of nuclear weapons. Such a lack of understanding is rampant in the U.S., so author J.A. V. Simson wrote “Korea, Are You at Peace?” to bridge the knowledge gap.

Simson spent two years in South Korea teaching biology on U.S. military bases. She took time to travel around the country and discovered a grim history of past oppression, political strife and military struggles.
“My time in Korea offered me a better understanding of this very misunderstood region of the world,” Simson said, “I also came to realize the effects of the devastating war between North and South Korea and of the Japanese occupation that preceded it.”

Simson discovered a book by the Victorian traveler Isabella Bishop, who traveled in Korea in the 1890s. By interweaving her own story with Bishop’s experiences, Simson shows the transformation of culture, politics, and power in Korea during the twentieth century. Both authors also explore the troubled status of Korean women while themselves facing challenges as foreign women traveling alone.

The Pulitzer Prize winning novel, “The Orphan Master’s Son” by Adam Johnson, has painted a stunning fictional story of the often-confusing North Korean culture. Simson’s book “Korea, Are You at Peace?” offers a factual backdrop that puts the tragedy of current Korean cultural dichotomies into perspective.

Simson stresses the aftermath of the Korean War—the lack of an actual peace treaty between North and South Korea; problems in the demilitarized zone; threats of nuclear attack from the North; the unsettling effects of American military culture on local people; the unstable political landscape.

Could Korea become a flash point for the onset of World War III? “Korea, Are You at Peace?” explains why that fear could become a reality.

“Korea, Are You at Peace?”
By: J.A. V. Simson
ISBN: 978-1-4582-1038-8
Retail price: $14.99
Available at and

About the author
Jo Anne V. Simson has a Ph.D. in anatomy and cell biology. She was featured in the Smithsonian’s American History Museum exhibit “Science in American Life” from 1994 to 2011, has numerous academic publications, and is professor emeritus of the Medical University of South Carolina. She is currently sole proprietor at Writing Life and has published several short stories as well as a previous nonfiction book.

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