Wednesday, April 3, 2013

So ... What Is Going On with North Korea?

Kim Jong Un and North Korea have kept themselves in the headlines lately
While reading the news, I've noticed that Kim Jong Un and North Korea have been stepping up their ridiculous rhetoric over the past few weeks. As a result, North Korea has been dominating the news, occupying the top story spot for most of the past two weeks.

As a result, people all over the world have been wondering what is going to happen next. After all, I and everyone else would rather have peace on the Korean Peninsula. 

As an expat here in Korea, I've known quite a few folks to be receiving phone calls, e-mails and even facebook messages from worried friends and family members. No one in my family has contacted me personally, but that's because they probably haven't been paying attention (they tend to get their news locally on TV, and my family's not known for following international conflicts).

In related news, I'm staying relatively close to the Osan Air Base.  Just about every morning I hear different planes wizzing over my apartment building.

The truth is that life has been continuing as usual. Locals and expats alike are still going to work and heading home. They still find their way to the bars to get drunk. They still eat out at restaurants, and so on. There isn't any sort of widespread panic or chaos, and on average, expats are more "worried" than the locals, who have been hearing flaming rhetoric from their northern neighbors their entire lives. People are calm because threats of total destruction are normal for the south. So they continue to do what they normally do.

That said, it doesn't mean that nothing will happen. North Korea could still torpedo another ship or shell another island. They could even shoot rockets or invade. However, it appears to be unlikely that a full-scale war will happen, since Kim Jong Un would have nothing to gain and everything to lose after such a move. At the same time, we still have to be alert -- which is what people are. All Koreans know what is going on and are paying close attention. They just don't let it disrupt their lives.

As for me, I'm ok. All I can do is sit and wait to see what happens next. Let's hope for the best, shall we?

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