You've all probably heard by now. Yesterday afternoon, approximately 2:30 in the afternoon Korea time, North Korea fired off a couple hundred rounds of artillery onto the Island of YeonPyeong. South Korea responded with more artillery and fighter jets. The tense exchange lasted for about an hour before things quieted down to reveal plumes of smoke and people hurt. Later, two Korean marines died of their injuries, 15 soldiers are wounded and several more civilians who live on the island that was attacked were hurt (at least that's what's being reported on the Korean news stations here in Korea.)
On the streets where I live, you wouldn't know anything was up besides my favorite drama being cancelled last night to make way for the extra news hour. People are talking, of course. They are worried. The last major aggressive act by North Korea was towards a Navy vessel. This act was also towards a Korean Military garrison, but there were also many civilians living on that Island. One halmoni described how she was watching TV when suddenly her wall blew in and she was covered in debris. They didn't show that halmoni on the screen, but it made me wonder if that halmoni had been alive during the Korean War and if it had brought back memories.
In any case, I've done some initial information gathering from the natives and they tell me not to worry. They feel like this too will pass. That the South Korean leadership will think long and hard before they really do anything and in the end they won't because there's too much to lose. South Koreans, at least the ones I spoke to today, seem to understand that something has got to give someday, they just aren't ready for it today. Today they have to go to market, get their kids ready for tests, or get a special item on sale that they saw on a flyer. They've lived in a state of WAR for so long now that it's become white noise in their life, it seems.
What do you think Kimchi Mamas? It seems like everybody has something to say about the North and South Korea situation. What's this nation to do? Or maybe nothing is better? Maybe the ajummahs I talked to this morning have the right idea. Maybe I should have gone with them to check out the sale.
--by Jooliyah who is praying for the familys of the two South Korean Marines who gave their lives for their country yesterday.