April 05, 2013

Battlefield Korea

Some of my friends across the world have inquired about the current scenario in the war zone that is the Korean Peninsula. So far life goes on as usual, although the Canadian Embassy did issue a special bulletin about the tense situation:
The Government of Canada's travel advice for the Republic of Korea remains "Exercise normal security precautions". However, we advise Canadians to continue to monitor developments closely as tensions on the Korean Peninsula could escalate with little warning. 
Tensions have increased on the Korean peninsula as a result of North Korea's ongoing nuclear weapons development program. In April and December 2012, North Korea attempted to launch two missiles into orbit, and on February 12, 2013, performed a nuclear weapon test. Additional tests cannot be ruled out. On March 11, 2013, North Korea issued a statement declaring that the Korean Armistice Agreement is invalid. While past threats made by the North to nullify this agreement have gone unfulfilled, further provocative action could occur. Canadians in the Republic of Korea should be vigilant, monitor developments and follow the advice of local authorities.
South Koreans are astonishingly nonchalant about the possibility of being annihilated by the North. Most folks continue to spend their days absorbed by their smartphones, labouring for long hours at the office, reconstructing their facial features, or playing video games. This situation has been playing out for sixty years, so it has become background noise for the citizens of the South. Worrying about the daily trivialities of life already takes up all their waking hours, leaving little room for thought about the larger issues that affect us all.