10 April 2013

Missile-Free Korea

Just a quick and probably poorly thought out post to ease the minds of any family members/friends back home who are feeling uneasy about the situation here in South Korea.

Yes, North Korea released information Tuesday that urged all foreigners to evacuate South Korea.  South Koreans take this with a grain of salt, no foreigners I know here have taken the threats to heart.  Basically, as my Albatross+ girls stated it, it's the same old stuff.  Psychological provocations from the North to rattle citizens of the South.

No standard issuing notices have been made from North Korea to any commercial aviation or maritime operations.  Nobody can just go to North Korea and ask what's going on, we rely on satellite imagery and press releases and statements made by Kim Jong Eun (or, as my kids refer to him, Pig Boy).  So what is truth, what is propaganda, what is useful and what is relevant?  No way to know, really, is there?

"North Korea has unleashed a torrent of dramatic threats against the United States and South Korea in recent weeks, including that of a possible nuclear strike. But many analysts have cautioned that much of what Kim's regime is saying is bluster, noting that it is believed to still be years away from developing an operational nuclear missile." - This CNN Article

DMZ tours are still operating.  The closure of the Kaesong Industrial Complex is mostly hurtful to the North, seeing as the manufacturing there is a major source of income for them.  Yes it lays off many South Korean workers (some 53,000 Koreans from both sides are employed there), but in the long run is it worse to lose a week of work, or a week of industry and income for your entire failing nation?  There is very little building tension or change in the environment here in South Korea.  The US Embassy's unchanged security message for citizens living in Korea can be read at this link.  They say they are not recommending that US citizens who are visiting or living here in Korea take any special safety precautions at this time.  No imminent or direct threat is assumed from the people up North.

Sorry if this sounded PSA-y, but I know a lot of people have been worried and wondering about it, so where better to hear how many foreigners here feel than from a foreigner here that you know (me)!?  All's well in South Korea, carry on and stop watching so much alarmist news!  I'm more scared by foreign news than I am by the South Korean news that I read every day... so that's saying something, isn't it?  Just look at the title of this article if you want proof: "NK Trying to Scare Foreigners in South."

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