arirang news

South Korean citizens calm despite war of words between Pyongyang and Washington Updated: 2017-08-11 20:00:49 KST

For years, the cycle has repeated -- provocations by North Korea followed by responses from South Korea and the U.S. -- and warnings from both sides against the other.
It would seem that tensions now are at a never-before-seen level, with Pyongyang threatening to lay seige to Guam with its missiles, and President Trump's warning of "fire and fury."
But it's not the first time North Korea has hinted at an attack against South Korea and the U.S.
In 2013, the North denounced a South Korea-U.S. joint military exercise and threatened to strike Guam and Hawaii with its Musudan medium-range missiles.

"The threat's coming from right across the northern border just 50 kilometers away from here in Seoul. But both in 2013 and now, the citizens here are calm as ever. With so many similar comments regularly coming out from their northern neighbor, South Koreans take it as the 'usual bluffing.'

"When I read articles, I do get a little bit worried because the North is quite detailed about its possible attack. But, we've seen many provocations and they never developed to an actual war. Most people think North Korea is just acting hostile and so do I."

"I don't care much. Throughout the years, the North and the South have stayed divided, and though there've been numerous missile provocations, nothing has happened. I became used to it."

"The North frequently says it will turn South Korea into a "sea of fire," but that can happen only when it's firm about life and death. The matter of war is not that simple."

Experts say Koreans are fairly calm because they've been exposed to continual threats for over six decades and many factors make the chance of a full-scale conflict quite low.

"If North Korea does strike Guam area like it has announced, then the U.S. will strike back, which will put the North in a dangerous position. The Pyongyang regime knows it will collapse if a war breaks out, so it's expected to take prudent actions. Tensions will rise for a while, but they won't lead to physical conflicts."

Amid the war of words between Pyongyang and Washington, South Koreans shrug it off and get on with their lives over which is always looming the threat of conflict.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.
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