From: Chapel Hill, NC, USA
ORIGINAL: Gräfin Zeppelin
Not to hijack the thread but - How is the real mood there with the North having a change?
Busan is probably a little different to Seoul (being on the front line so to speak) but as the SthKorean people have been living with this for most of their lives they just go about their business as if nothing is happening.
I'm sure at the top levels and along the DMZ things are different, but for the public - it's situation normal. Sure there is a little more worry and uncertainty about the near future but they think that things will pretty much remain the same. There may be instability in the coming months and the chance that Little Kim will try to assert some power with an act of defiance but they'll take that in their stride too. As I tell my parents, the news you get seems to be a lot more sensational than the mood of the people or situation here.
For my part I think that wet behind the ears Kim will take over but have to share a bit more of that power with his family and others of the military elite. The coming months will be interesting and only marred if he needs to placate some of the hard liners. (No I don't doubt he is of their ilk too).
There is no doubt in my mind though having lived here for years & talked to literally 1000's of people that the World does not want this conflict to ever weaponize. While Koreans on the street might seem to be complacent about this, if there developed a situation of tit for tat that escalated - The single minded, fervent ,patriotic nature of the hostilities would end both countries. Lose-Lose is a common thread in daily life here ...And I mean there would be extermination on a scale never seen before. Ever.
I've been through a variety of tense situations, the sinking of the Patrol Boat and nuclear tests. These were much more talking points than this. And even in those situations - the world would have been amazed by the quiet calm of the people here. Like battering down before the storm. It is quiet resilience.
Actually, just as a side-bar - when I first came here and the air raid sirens went off (it was a test) I thought - damn I've just got here and I'm toast. But as I looked out onto the streets people were going about normally - I hope that "Cry wolf" never becomes real.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
So to sum up - Kim Jong Il's death has meant no noticeable change ...
Thanks alot for writing this, I am a very curious person and imo there is no substitute for news from people acualy being there.
"Good times will set you free" - Jimmy Buffett
"They need more rum punch" - Me
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