It all comes down to this: North and South Korea have never declared peace.
And yesterday as I started listening to Christmas music willingly (big key word there), I start hearing my Korean teachers around me start talking all fast and gasping and then run off to their computers. My one co-teacher comes up to me and tells me that North Korea has dropped about 20 bombs in South Korea, near Seoul. When I said it was crazy, her reply was "Oh, its okay. If we die, we all die together" and walked away.
Now, I should mention, the tension between North and South Korea isn't treated half as bad as it is outside the two countries.
When I got accepted into the EPIK program (before I was told I was on a waiting list), the news came that it was believed North Korea had sunk South Korea's warship with a torpedo attack. I was bombarded with news reports about the happenings of the attack and the UN and US government getting involved, and everyone's comments about how I'd be better off staying in Canada. I aptly replied to everyone, "war or no war, I'm making my way down there".
And now I'm here, on the opposite end of the deal. Shortly after my co-teacher told me the bombs went off, we actually started hearing news on news sites about what happened. South Korea had Marines training and apparently it provoked North Korea to set off some 200 artillery shells at a South Korean island close to North Korean borders.
Its weird. Back home everyone would be talking about it and people would be scared, but here, people just go about their daily lives. The only people that are truly worried are the foreigners here. Maybe I just don't notice it because the Koreans are speaking their language so I really have no idea if they are that worried. All I know, my co-teachers were glued to their computers because we found out about the attacks relatively earlier than most people. I heard stores from the other English teachers that their co-teachers kept drinking their tea and going about their business. And this is what I feel like doing.
Its comforting that people back home are worried, but, like a Korean, I'm just going to go about my own way and let everyone else deal with them.
My opinion- North Korea would be stupid for setting off a war. I highly doubt China would back them and with an angry Obama on the South's side, it wouldn't be good for anybody.
At least, I've finally registered with the embassy!