South Korea - On the Verge of War? - Vikingess Voyages

Sunday, April 7, 2013

South Korea - On the Verge of War?

Living in South Korea has become a bit intense lately, with mr. Kim in the North rattling his saber and coming with new threats every week. The distance from the Korean border to Seoul is just around 31 miles, which means that in theory the North Koreans could reach Seoul within an hour or two, and it seems more and more likely that the North will do something aggressive towards what it regards as "US's puppet"; South Korea.

Still, the situation at my campus has not changed a lot. My oppas and eonnis (senior students we call as brothers and sisters) seems to be quite calm despite what the foreign students perceive as a rather tense situation, and even the military students who are here through an agreement set up by the Korean government seem to be taking things lightly. As with my experience in Japan during the period after the tsunami and the Fukushima incident in March 2011 it does seem like foreign media are making a lot more fuzz about things than the local media does here.

I am very fortunate to have Dr. Cha Young Koo as one of my teachers here at the GIP. He is a former Deputy Minister for Policy of the Ministry of National Defense, and has a lot of knowledge and insight when it comes to both the South and North Korean military. As long as he keeps calm, I will too.. And so far he has assured us that it at least is highly unlikely that North Korea will be using their nuclear weapons against the South - that would be suicide, something that even the young Kim must be realizing.

However, as a student of Kyung Hee's Graduate Institute of Peace Studies I do fear that mr. Kim, who seems to prefere weapons and warfare over peace like his predecessors, might send a symbolic missile in the direction of my school to show his opposition to those who might hope for a future peaceful unition of the two countries. The decisions taken by the involved parties this coming week will indeed be very crucial for our future here at the school.

A statue at my campus symbolizing peace

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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  1. I was worried for maybe two days. But I was quick to realise that a lot of what is being reported in the world is just a load of propaganda, and I'm not buying it. Seeing Canadian and American reports on the situation is really annoying.
    And as you mentioned, everyone's calm. Some even laughing about the whole thing. I feel perfectly safe here in Seoul.

    1. Yeah, many of my friends are like 그냥, NK makes threats all the time..
      I'm glad you feel the same way, it would be awful if the war mongering of NK should ruin our stay here..! ;)

      I found this interview quite informative regarding the whole situation:

    2. Thanks for sharing that link. It's the most sensible thing I've heard about the whole thing so far.

      Unfortunately for one of my exchange mates, his parents were worried sick and he had to go home this weekend. It makes me so upset that some people are as scared as they are. From what I know, there had only been one country to tell it's citizens to leave S. Korea and they changed their mind two days later. So how serious can it be if no one's leaving the country and people are still coming in everyday?

      N. Korea won't attack the South with all us foreigners in the country cause if a foreigner dies here at their hands, their country will get involved. I don't think they're stupid enough to get the whole world ready to attack them.

    3. No prob;)
      We had the same problem with the media when I was in Japan.. My second semester at Ritsumeikan more than half of the students decided not to come back to Kyoto after the vacation, because they or their families feared radiation.. Not too surprising though, with all the exaggerated reports of the foreign media><
      I doubt that NK would actually go to war.. It's more likely they'll send us some random missile.


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A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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