The U.S. government should learn more about the Korean culture before stepping in as a mediator in the current conflict between North and South Korea. That was the message of Euna Lee, one of two Bay Area Korean-American journalists who were imprisoned in North Korea for months last year, at a book reading in San Francisco last Tuesday.

Tensions between North Korea and South Korea are once again making headlines after the North attacked the island of Yeonpyong, and the South responded by firing back. But while Americans are trying to figure out what the United States can do to mitigate the tensions, Lee says there are aspects of North Korea that the U.S. government needs to understand first, reports Yvonne Chen for the World Journal.

From her experience in North Korea, Lee said she learned that the country does not want to be isolated by other nations, and she hopes to see more dialogue between the United States and North Korea. Lee said North Korea's development stalled in the 1950s and its citizens are eager to learn more about the outside world after being cut off from it for decades. (On a personal note, however, Lee said she does not want to return to North Korea.)