Friday, November 26, 2010

The North Will Rise Again

So I'm a couple days late with this, but thought after talking to the family on Thanksgiving figured I'd at least mention the attack on South Korea. I was in a meeting out of the office when North Korea started firing artillery shells on Yeonpyeong-do, a small island near the boarder. Just before the end of the meeting someone mentioned that there was breaking news and told what was happening. Preliminary reports were that 4 people had died.

At this point, I had no idea where Yeonpyeong-do was, or what exactly this meant. My coworkers and the others in the meeting were somber, but didn't seem particularly perturbed. I guess you get used to this kind of threat.

In the car, we listened to the radio. I could heard either shots or explosions or something (I'm guessing now it was the South returning fire), but couldn't really follow what was happening. I was told that civilian houses were on fire and that this marked the first attacks on civilians since the armistice. My coworkers weren't saying a lot and I didn't press, but I found this situation a bit disturbing. During my time in Korea, I've not really worried much about the North. I've always had the opinion that the North knows restarting a really fight would be it's last act and the South knows restarting it would do too much damage to justify.

I don't buy that Kim Jong Il is crazy. You don't last that long running a country if you're crazy. Your father who ran the place for almost 50 years doesn't select you as a successor if your crazy. But instability due to another succession? I can see crazy things coming from that.

I got dropped of and went home to read up on what was going on. I looked into the US embassy evacuation plans and all that jazz. Then....well then I stopped thinking about it. Went to the rock gym, had dinner, met a friend for drinks.

Seoul was as bustling as ever. On the streets you couldn't tell anything had happened. And that's pretty much how it's been since. I went to work the next day asked if anything had happened and checked to see CNN's take. And that's pretty much it. Life goes on here.

For a good take on the situation I recommended checking out Ask a Korean!

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