Tension has risen between North and South Korea after “overwhelming evidence” that the North did in fact, torpedo a South Korean ship on March 26 2010. This tragedy led to the death of 46 South Korean soldiers and my half marathon being cancelled due to the “somber” mood all the runners would be feeling. This mood of course would have nothing to do with the marathon course being up a mountain. The fact that the race was announced after the incident occurred, still confuses me.
On to more important issues, can’t I just live somewhere where there isn’t a war going on? Is that really too much to ask? I know I’m American and we are known for dabbling in other people’s issues, but I want nothing to do with this!
A lot has occurred within the past week since this “overwhelming evidence” has come out. Hilary’s come over to South Korea to show U.S support, all ties between North and South have been severed and every Korean I speak to, have different opinions on what’s going on.
The opinions I’ve encountered these past couple of days include:
1. North Korea is crazy, this is just a war of words, it happens every couple of years.
2. North Korea is crazy and Seoul, then Geoje (where I live) will be the first targets of attack. Seoul being targeted for obvious reasons, its Seoul- and Geoje being attacked due to the two major ship yards, Daewoo and Samsung that are located here.
3. North Korea is crazy but is the ship sinking incident being abused by the ruling political party? It is one week before major elections in Korea (June 2).
All three of these theories in which my safety rests, bring up good points, and the overwhelming consistency is that North Korea is crazy.
I’ve asked my co-teachers and students about this issue the past two days and none of them seem to be in a fret about what’s going on, either that or they have no idea. I questioned my elementary school boys today if they thought there would be a war, what they would do, and how they felt about it.
Me: “Would you be scared if there was a war?”
Student 1 (smiling): “No because if we have war, we won’t have school.”
Me: “What would you do if Geoje was attacked?”
Student 2, Kaka (singing R. Kelly song to answer) : “I believe I can Flyyyyyyy”
Student 1’s opinion on war is not uncommon. These kids spend so much of their lives at school that even war sounds like a good option out of it. And Kaka brings up a good point because if something intense were to occur I would fly the hell out of here in heartbeat.
My boss seems to think it’s becoming more and more of an issue because of the upcoming election. June 2 is election day and a holiday so people actually go and vote.
The politicians here whore themselves out like nothing I’ve ever seen. They have floats going around town announcing their praise, supporters dressed in their colors walking around gathering support- they even stand on the corners and bow to cars driving by. It’s an odd time to be in Korea and I’m interested to see what comes from these elections.
As a foreigner I feel like I must be asking many questions, yet finding information on my own since I can only take what I hear as half-truths. I do not feel scared for my safety or concerned for war as of yet but I’ll definitely be keeping up on my news.