A lot of people from back home have been asking lately “Are you scared?”, “Are you worried?”, “Is everyone there freaking out?”.
In a word, no. I’ve done a lot of reading and talked to a lot of people about this. The Cheonan sunk in late March, and a team of international investigators have determined it was North Korea. There is a pile of evidence supporting it, and I believe it was them. So when the South formally accused the North of this, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) quickly denied they were involved. They also said any retaliation or sanctions against them could lead to an all out war. Okay, so that was slightly worrying when I heard it. Seoul and the Seoul district has 24 million people. That’s almost the population of Canada, and it is only 25 miles from the North Korean border. Artillery can reach the city and the loss of life would be catastrophic. Estimates are as high as a million dead in the first hour. Fuck.
But, in the end, with the Americans “unequivocally having South Korea’s back”, there is really no way North Korea would win that war. So why would North Korea sink this ship and create all this bullshit for everyone else?
In North Korea, there country is impoverished. The people don’t have enough food, water and generally they don’t have electricity. They can’t move about the country as they please. There is a complete military control, and their government has the people brainwashed. Kim Jong-il owns that place and everyone looks up to him. That is why they completely block out the rest of the world, so that people there don’t realize that outside their country is such a wide world. They are brainwashed to think they are the best in the world and everyone else looks up to them. They are lucky to live there… they think. So, the government needs to keep a stranglehold on the people. If the people learn of the outside world though, the government may topple into anarchy, losing the people.
That still doesn’t answer the question, why all the bullshit? Well, Kim Jong-il (DPRK’s leader) is in bad health, but his family has run the country the last 50 years. So he wants his Son (Kim Jong-un) to step into his shoes. First, his son needs the support of the huge military. Apparently it was him who set up the ship sinking to gain the support of the military. Then, when North Korea is faced with a time of international threats like this, they plan to get their people to come together with the government in the face of evil capitalist’s (aka America) who want to invade. When the country is united with a strong sense of pride, Kim Jong-un has a perfect time to step in as their new leader, keeping their family in power. Does that make sense?
The other huge factor in this situation is China, the liberal communist ally of North Korea. Their only ally. It also shares a huge border. Now, China has not (and probably won’t) condem North Korea for sinking the Cheonan. They probably won’t put any sanctions on them either. Because, if they cut all North Korea’s aid and trade, North Korea would eventually collapse. That would re-unite Korea, bringing the ideals of South Korea (and America) right to China’s border. Not to mention a massive wave of refugees. So, China has just chosen to stay quiet on the situation. And why wouldn’t they? Their country and economy is doing great, incredibly good. They are seeing success. The status quo is working for them, and they do not want to poke anyone to start a war.
So, thats the situation from my perspective, I hope it makes sense. There won’t be a war, it wouldn’t make any sense for anyone. Most Korean’s say there’s nothing to worry about, this happens at least once a year. They will only worry when there is a war. I’m with them.