Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Thoughts on North Korea as of 4/8/13

As many of you know, North Korea is a hot topic right now. I've been getting many concerned emails and questions about what is going on here. My parents have even suggested that I come home.

Do I feel threatened? To be truthful, I don't feel threatened. That doesn't mean there isn't a threat here, but I don't feel in any imminent danger.

Do you think war is likely? It's possible... but I don't think its likely. NK is always full of empty threatsThere is also the fact that the whole world would turn against NK if they attacked someone.  Even China, their ally, would become very upset with them. Now, I am by no means any expert when it comes to NK or politics, so don't take my opinions too seriously.  Now Kim Jong Un has a lot of pride and will want to save face.  However, I also believe that Kim Jong Un loves being a leader. If he starts a war, I can see no way in which he could continue to keep that position. (When they lose) He owns his own country now and despite the fact that it is falling apart, he is sitting pretty good himself. Why risk it?

How are other expats reacting? When talking to my other expat friends, I've found that they are share pretty much the same sentiments as I do. Their parents are worried about them but they themselves don't feel too much of a threat. However, I do frequent expat forums online and was surprised to see a lot of people already packing their bags.  I guess if you don't have any real attachment to the country, it's not worth even the smallest risk. I will say that at this time though, the US embassy has stated that they do not feel that there is a threat for us staying here and is telling people not to panic but to go on with their lives. They have even mentioned that people planning to visit Korea are safe to do so.

How are South Koreans reacting? Most South Koreans are just going about their daily lives. They've lived through NK threats year after year. Most of them are hardly casting an eye on NK. However, a lot of this is due to the fact that SK tries it's hardest to ignore NK. I feel like the citizens pretend it doesn't exist. Only the oldest generation remembers what Korea was like when it was one. So, the younger generations no longer focus as much on unification, but rather on their own lives. I believe they worry that if the two Koreas ever did become one, the economic stress on SK would make everyone's lives a lot more harder. SK love the lives they have now and they don't want anything to change. (not everyone's opinion of course)

If something were to happen, what are my options? First, if you are an expat in Korea, the best thing to do is to be safe and register with your embassy. The US site is:  They will be the ones to let you know if anything threatens your safety.


Gita Andreina Ang said...

Hi Jessica, I'm an International student who have been staying in S. Korea for a few months and I find your blogposts are really helpful.
Thank you :)

Nobby said...

Thank you for the empathic description of very very intelligible and easy-to-understand about North Korea.
I'm very anxious that this report serves as the last contribution?
How are you today, Jessica?

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