North vs. South… What we’re really doing in the ROK

SK vs. NK... What we're really doing in the ROK

Photo courtesy of “Mike Stewart” on FaceBook.

 

I’ve had a number of concerned friends and citizens ask me, “So, what is everyone doing over there with all this ‘hubbub’ from North Korea?” Or, my other favorite: people I NEVER HEAR FROM are coming out of the woodwork to remind me to “be careful,” as if the next time I turn a street corner while wearing my headphones and listening to my “jams” (which ALL South Koreans do, by the way), some North Korean psychopath is going to jump out and slap me across the face with a “nuclear” weapon.

Now, I don’t say “nuclear” lightly. I’ve read the news, too. I know that the North Koreans have some weaponry up there that could cause some serious damage. I also know, thanks to the news, that there’s no way that what they have is advanced enough to reach American shores. Now, is it advanced enough to reach Seoul or my beloved Daegu? You betcha.

So let me get back to the point of where I began. Seemingly everyone I know, nay, the WORLD, is asking, “What the hell are the North Koreans going to do NOW?” And a few are asking, “Is it safe for our little Krissi to be over there with so much uncertainty?” And lastly, I come back to my personal favorite, “You be careful over there! Are you somewhere safe?!”

I’d like to take a moment to tell you what the SK public has to say about all this so-called “hubbub:”

Nothing.

Here’s the thing: Has anyone read in the news that this sort of behavior from NK is a little bit of a habit?! Because the South Koreans are used to this kind of BS. Every time there’s any major change in political office here in the ROK, the North Koreans get a little rowdy and start throwing around words like “nuclear,” “attack,” “hostile,” and “We-hate-America-and-those-stinking-Southerners.” This happens every few years like clockwork, and thus, South Koreans are not very worried about an “eminent attack.”

Now, I’ve spoken to my currently small circle of Korean friends about this issue. And they all say the same thing (I’m summarizing here): “I don’t think anything is going to happen. So why worry? They do this all the time.”

Now, let’s stop for a minute and consider the NEW circumstances outlining the current “tension.”

1. South Korea has recently elected a new national leader – Park Geun-hye – A WOMAN. (They beat us to this one, American women…) Historically speaking, it has been widely unacceptable for a woman to hold any position of power in Korean culture (or Asian culture, for that matter.) And for crying out loud, look at our world’s and nation’s history: women are just now coming into their own within the last 100 years. This isn’t surprising. However, perhaps Ms. Geun-hye’s current job title has rubbed the North Koreans the wrong way.

2. North Korea is currently being ruled by it’s youngest member of the Kim’s clan: Kim Jong-un. (Not an attractive fellow, is he?…) Now, Little Kimmie is young and malleable, and doesn’t understand the ways of the world. So to fix that, he has a bunch of pinheads trying to tell him how best to continue “running” his malnourished, sorrowful, sad country. Little Kimmie, being young and new to this “world ruling game,” just wants to be taken seriously. So, what does he do? He has his people test missiles and nuclear bombs and all that other stuff you’ve been reading about over the last year. And then, he threatens to use these things. But has he moved a single person into “combat formation?”

Nope. Not a one.

So, these two things being said, South Koreans can see there is TECHNICALLY a threat and a few new, unknown factors, but the reality is that Jong-un’s actions aren’t backing up his claims. And therefore, while the rest of the world watches with teeth clenched and eyes wide, the rest of us here in SK are just going about our daily business, visiting Dunkin’ Doughnuts and ordering our coffee.

So, are we worried? Not really. Should we be worried? Probably not. Most South Koreans feel that just like every time before this, all the threats will blow over and NK will go back to being their ignorant selves. Do we “whities” of varying nationalities have an exit plan, should something go terribly wrong? Not that I know of. Sorry to disappoint, but there’s no Underground Railroad to get the white people out of SK in the event of a prolonged bomb threat. And I’ll repeat, we really aren’t concerned about it.

So, just in case you were wondering, I’m fine. We’re all fine! Thanks for your concern, but we’ll be fine. :) I don’t mind your encouragement, but I just want to make sure everyone knows that we’re not worried yet. And you shouldn’t be, either.

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