Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

South Koreans are calm about the threat of war with North Korea

South Koreans are calm about the threat of war with North Korea 0
South Koreans are calm about the threat of war with North Korea 0

People buy goods at a supermarket in Seoul, South Korea on August 21.

At a restaurant in the bustling Sinchon area of Seoul on Saturday afternoon, families, couples, and groups of friends gathered to eat, drink, and chat loudly.

Two days earlier, North Korea shelled the border with South Korea, and just one day later, leader Kim Jong-un declared a state of war and ordered the army to be ready to fight.

Despite those threats, Korean people still seem very calm and do not seem concerned about tensions at the border.

`No, no one around me is really worried about the possibility of war. I guess it’s the same as people living in earthquake-prone areas. It’s not that they’re indifferent but they’re

Sales from Korean retailers also showed no signs of panic.

`It seems like we weren’t warned about war so we weren’t really prepared for it. Personally, I think this is just a show of inter-Korean politics,` said Kim Min-gyeong,

There was a time when threats from Pyongyang made the whole world confused.

In 1994, tensions on the Korean peninsula were high amid suspicions that Pyongyang was seeking to equip itself with nuclear weapons.

`The current situation is no longer the same as when Kim Il-sung passed away. I was in another country at the time and even though I was young, I was still seriously thinking about whether to return to my country if war broke out.`

However, over the past two decades, with North Korea regularly issuing tough words, Ha and other Koreans have gradually become less worried.

`Nothing new. We just thought ‘there they go again’. In my mind war really wasn’t seen as an option,` she said.

South Koreans are calm about the threat of war with North Korea

People evacuate to a temporary camp in Yeoncheon, South Korea, after North Korea shelled across the border, on August 20.

Besides, South Korea’s position on North Korea is said to have softened since former president Kim Dae-jung proposed the `sunshine policy` in the late 1990s, based on increased interaction

According to a recent survey by Albamon, an online part-time job recruitment website in Korea, 48.5% of university students think that Japan is the biggest threat to Korea, while only

`Whenever we hear North Korea say they will destroy us, we guess they want us to give them something. They have done it many times before,` said a 24-year-old student.

However, the reality is that there is still a fear of war hidden deep in the hearts of many Koreans, even though this possibility is very small.

Some South Koreans say their calm attitude comes from the fact that repeated threats have become a part of their lives.

`It’s not that I don’t care about security, but Korea is where we live, so all we can do in this situation is just let things go,` said Lee Ho-jeong, a

Yoon Yeo-jeong, 35, said she has learned how to deal with fear, when there are few options.

`There’s no point in worrying. Living with stress like this is something I have to accept as a Korean,` she said.

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