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    Posted April 18, 2013 by
    Andong, South Korea
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    North Korea crisis: Your views

    News in the West vs. Life in Korea

    I have been living in Korea for only two months, right around when tensions began rising due to North Korean activities. Since moving here, I have received more and more messages from concerned friends and family, all asking if I am safe, and it's like living in this stressful environment. The answer could not be futher from their expectations.
    I live in Andong, a quiet city located to the east of Seoul, but still pretty close to Noth Korea- it was even taken by them at one point during the Korean war. There is even an American base stationed here, and several times a day, you can hear American jets flying by. Yet despite all of this, none of the local people give the North Korean threats much attention. I have seen only a handful of reports in the news about activity across the border, and it is never breaking. Rather, it is shrugged off like bad weather, and they simply say "They've always talked like this." When I asked my boss about it a few weeks ago( I work as a teacher) she replied "No one cares here. They should just have a nuke- everyone else has one." While I don't share her feelings on that issue, it is striking to hear how Americans perceive what the mood is like. I'm sure people in Seoul feel more stressful, but in my town- like any other town- people just dont seem to give it any thought. A few friends don't even believe me when I tell them the tranquil mood of the place, thinking I am just putting their minds at ease, but it is true: People don't care. Whether rightly or wrongly, they simply don't care. North Korean vitriol is nothing new. The nukes the North have could kill a lot of people, and then the North would be destroyed, so they just go on with their lives.
    I can't speak to the "actual" situation, but people here seem to think that the North will shrink back once they have deemed their point proven. As long as the West waits, the North will disappear once they have decided their new leader is perceived as strong.
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