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  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view GyeongjuGET's profile
    Posted April 4, 2013 by
    South Korea
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    North Korea crisis: Your views

    What Tensions?


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     U.S. teacher GyeongjuGET has worked in Gyeongju, South Korea, for the past two years. Despite global unease over spiralling tensions on the peninsula, he says he and his colleagues remain unmoved by the tensions. "Reactions are non-existent at the moment," he said. "My co-teachers and I have never discussed it and it never comes up among Koreans in general conversation."
    - sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer

    I am currently teaching English in Gyeongju, South Korea. I have been here for almost two years and there has never been a time where teachers have came to me with any concerns about the north. Daily life goes on as normal. Once in a while I see jets flying overhead that are either Korean or possibly U.S.. I also see helicopters which I presume are coast guard maybe once a week, but other than that, there is no panic whatsoever here. Gyeongju is located in the middle of Gyeongbuk province between Pohang, Daegu and Busan. We were the original Silla capital and apparently a lot of fighting occurred near here in the 50's. As of now though, everyone is still light-hearted and goes about their daily routine. I have read the articles about how people even in Seoul don't seem to be worried, so a small city like Gyeongju makes it seem that people are ignorant that they are on the brink of war. For me personally, I was 2% scared the other day when I thought I heard air raid sirens going off on my way home from school. Just in case, I packed a light bag, ready with my passport, some cash and a change of clothes ready to go if I need to get out of dodge. Chances are I would have to go to Busan to get an international flight out of the country or head to Pohang in a worst case scenario. The nearest U.S. military presence we have is in Daegu, about an hour bus ride from my city. Overall, not too worried; KJU is like that dog that doesn't stop barking in the middle of the night and when/if he actually does bite, he will be put to sleep in the matter of days, not years like in our other "wars."
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