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What You're All Dying to Know

...and what I don't know about it

Well, everyone has been in a tizzy over the recent nuclear tests by North Korea. Kim fired missiles a few months ago, once again turning the nation's eyes to the Korean peninsula. Then nothing happened. And now, again, N. Korea has fired. And everyone wonders, what will happen now?

Here is my understanding of the problem (and to be honest, my location in Seoul has not bettered my knowledge of this topic. I have the same access to the English-speaking news that you all do, and access to the Korean-speaking news that I do not understand, which renders it useless). For years, Kim has threatened that he would interpret any sort of UN sanctions as a declaration of war. As most of the American media says, this could be as it has always been empty rhetoric.

The Pyongyang government wants to see these sanctions lifted, as it sees its actions as defensive against the West, which would like to see a regime change, but has not declared so formally.

The North knows that it cannot launch a nuclear war without swift retribution, and indeed claims that it wishes to see a "nuclear-free Korean Peninsula." But fearful of appearing weak or submissive, the North has also said that another launch could happen.

So, in short, when asked what I think about this, I have been saying that I don't. While it alarms the recesses of my mind, it is not an out-and-out worry, and I hardly think of it day to day, particularly as time goes on. I worry more about getting paid on time, or how exactly I'm going to teach TOEFL speaking and essay to certain classes at my new job. So to my friends and family NOT living in Korea: that's all I have to say about that.

Posted by lrbergen 07:35 Archived in South Korea

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