As some of you know, North Korea has been on a provacation rampage the past few weeks. They have broken the armistice with South Korea and the US, they have done nuclear testing, threatened war and most recently told foreigners to leave as they cannot guarantee safety. These threats have made world news and while all of them are true, the international media has sensationalised it alot.
I am just going to give my two cents on this topic. Some of it will be based on what I have read and some will be based on my experience in South Korea.
My general policy is that I will worry when the people of South Korea worry and there does not seem to be much worrying at the moment. Life just goes on. We haven’t have an evacuation drill in a long time, no one is storing up water or hording food. Life carries on. The reason for this is that this sort of provocation happens often with little if any follow through. Last year, for Kim Il Sung’s 100th birthday (15 April), there were two failed rocket launches but no actual war.
Some articles have said the shut down of Kaesung Industrial Complex means imminent war. (Kaesung is a joint industrial area where South Koreans and North Koreans work together. It is inside North Korea.) While it is concerning that North Korea has blocked access, it has happened before. In 2009, they blocked access due the US/SK military drills which they perceive as a threat to them. They blocked access in 2010 after the shelling of Yeongpyeong Island.
This is a tumultuous time for this are of the world. You must understand that Kim Jong Un is a new leader in North Korean terms. China has just under gone a leadership change. South Korea and Japan have newly elected leaders. This could just be Kim Jong Un trying to show he has power.
Secondly, it is Kim Il Sung’s 101st birthday. It is a national holiday in North Korea due to the deification of the ” Supreme Leader”. As with the rocket tests last year, the missiles could just be a test to mark this day.
Thirdly, the US and South Korea run joint military drills at this time very year. The military drills are considered a provocative by North Korea so they go on the defensive.
So basically, as so many have said, this happens alot thus there isn’t cause for too much concern. Just be careful looking at international news reports as there is a tendency to sensationalise.
Jared and I are monitoring things carefully. We keep an eye on the US, UK and South African embassy sites. Currently there is no increased level of alert. Life is going on as normal. Just to add that if there is a war, North Korea must know they would lose and that would be the end of the life they have been trying to maintain.
So there is alot more one could say on this topic but rather than bore you I will link a few interesting articles and videos on the topic.
I hope that helps calm people a bit and if you want to do anything, pray that the situation does not escalate and that all countries can come to a peaceful resolution. Thanks for you concern!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if-aEz4b3vM (This video is by a company called Eat your Kimchi. They are a Canadian couple who talk about all things Korean.)
I love this!!!
What can I say? I am pretty useles at this blogging thing. Anyway, here comes a few random thoughts.
Jared and I have begun the process of renewing for a second year. We are pretty happy here in Korea and are keen to make the most of it. We will only officially sign in January but it seems that our schools are keen for us to stay. We have been very blessed with our schools considering some of the horror stories we have heard.
We have been bracing ourselves for winter. I think we underestimate how cold it is going to get in Korea. It is only November and we are hovering around the 10 degree mark. December and January are going to be tough. I do, however, love all the winter woolens that are available. It takes every ounce of power not to buy a scarf every time I walk in a shop.
In terms of snow, the area we live in is very protected apparently so we will see very little snow. I have never seen snow so I will probably drag Jared to see some.
School is busy at the moment as things are wrapping up for the year. I did speaking tests all of last week and Jared is doing the tests this week. We also have to finish lessons and start prepping for winter camps. These will happen when we get back from vacation.
So thats a brief update of what we are up to.
I’m planning to write a few blogs on Korean life and how things are.. I have some ideas of what to talk about but if you have any questions feel free to message me and ask and I will try answer you.
Also a great website about Korean life from a waygook’s perspective (foreigner) is eatyourkimchi.com. It is by two Canadians, Simon and Martina. It is an hilairious view on Korean life. I love it!
Anyway, I will try write soon. Missing you all xxx
PS. Some of you may have noticed I have posted a few fitness/yoga things. I am trying to be alot healthier and am trying to get fitter. I follow a few fitness blogs to help me along. I have been set back recently by the flu but am hoping to get back on track.
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