South Korea: Under Constant Threat

I don’t often consider South Korea and the position they’re in. This is a country that lives under what is, for them, a threat that borders on apocalyptic.

This is a fully modern country, one that has superfast internet, an incredibly advanced computer industry, a fully exportable music culture, a television culture that pretty much dominates, and a car industry so good that it’s edged into the already cluttered US market.

South Korea is for real. South Korea is a country that ranks 13th in GDP (both kinds). My point being, these guys are like anybody else living in the Western world. In a lot of ways, they might as well be in the US, or the UK or Germany or whatever. Except for that crazy hermit kingdom above them.

Here’s a quote with some perspective:

While North Korea’s massive forces are largely primitively equipped, Pyongyang possesses the capacity to launch a catastrophic artillery strike on the city of Seoul.

Most of the artillery pieces—numbering in the thousands—are already in place, camouflaged and dug in. Neither the U.S. military nor South Korean forces can hope to eliminate those weapons before they obliterate the city—which by some estimates would take less than two hours. By some estimates, the city could be hit by over half-a-million shells in under an hour.

Holy shit.

And this threat is from a country with a leadership that makes threat and random attacks for political cohesion. North Korea had nuclear bombs! They have a whole bunch, hundreds, of ballistic missiles, not to mention an insane amount of chemical weapons.

And this is a country that’s entirely unstable, with a leader that kills his people on a whim. Maybe he’s not going to start any wars. I mean, they’ve managed to keep everything chill for a long time. There’s at least some kind of reason not to freak out.

But then I think about South Korea. I try to imagine living under that kind of threat. If you live in Seoul, the North Koreans can, on a whim, just decide to murder the fuck out of you. It’ll only take a few hours. Again, it hasn’t happened yet. Logically, it probably won’t happen without warning.

Still. That has got to be stressful.



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