Written by Myong Sool Chang/ Translated by JaeMin Woo
Tension is building up on the Korean peninsula as North Korea repeatedly threatens to provoke a war. North Korea is now raising anxiety even further as it prevents the entrance of South Korean workers to the Kaesong Industrial Zone, which was thought to be the last bastion of peace.
According to the Korean media, North Korea has announced that it will "respond as it was claimed by the supreme command, using a series of military actions" on the 4th. Moreover, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that it will send missile defenses to Guam to respond to potential provocation.
On that day , the spokesperson of the general staff department of North Korea also announced that considering the tension around the Korean peninsula, it is “not about the possibility of the war, but rather about the timing of the war".
South Korean Ministry of National Defense and experts from the U.S. believe that these threats are part of a strategy. Through purposely creating the air of anxiety and uncertainty, the new Kim Jong-un administration is seeking to strengthen Kim's leadership abilities and maximize their leverage in future negotiations. Experts are also expecting the threats to intensify even more from now on.
As the threats from North Korea become more severe, the citizens in the South are becoming increasingly alert. A housewife from Gangman in Seoul, who voted for Park Geun-hye during the last election, said, "I feel insecure every day. I hope Park's administration does not make any statements that can stimulate the young North Korean leader.”
The Chosun Ilbo, one of the major conservative newspapers in South Korea, reported in the article "The Citizens of Seoul are in Fear" that an anonymous worker of a stock exchange firm told them, "The war is a reality. It's not all about pride and hostility.” Additionally, the newspaper recorded that Kim Yung-mi from the Song-Pa district said, "I question whether or not the administration has any firm policies towards North Korea."
M, whose family is currently visiting Korea, said, "I pay close attention to the Korean news to find any possibilities of provocation. A war on the Korean peninsula can be a devastating catastrophe to not only Korea and Korean communities in the U.S. but also the entire world. I pray daily that this does not happen.”
Media around the Boston area are spotlighting the threats from North Korea in an unprecedented manner. They are watching closely as the intensity of the threats is constantly increasing. Boston.com, a website of The Boston Globe, made the AP's report of Kim Jong-un clearing a way to use nuclear weapons as the headline on the night of the 3rd.
The Boston Herald, a conservative newspaper, headlined a picture of Kim Jong-un on the 4th. It also included an interview with Cedric Leighton, a former U.S. Air Force Intelligence officer. In the interview, Leighton pointed out that "as of now, the North Korean threats lack credibility.”
Moreover, he said, "The threats are not realistic because we cannot conclude that North Korea has developed a small nuclear warhead" and asserted that negotiation with North Korea is required in order to loosen the tension. On the editorial page, the Boston Herald also mentioned that North Korea has been receiving compensation for 60 years through a series of brinkmanship tactics ever since the armistice and advised that the U.S. should end this compensation.
These reports from the Boston Herald clearly show that North Korea can be another Iraq and Afghanistan, in which the U.S. can wage a war without having to worry about its effect in the mainland.
NECN, which falsely announced Governer Deval Patrick's participation in re-election, reported the reactivation of the Yongbyun nuclear reactor and the Korean society's response to North Korean threats, including interviews with Dr. Sung-Yoon Lee from Tufts University and Rich Kim, a 2nd generation real estate broker.
However, NECN revealed the limit of its perception by stating that the Korean community in Allston only contains 6 restaurants and several Korean businesses interspersed between a music shop and a check-cashing store, when in reality; there are 11 restaurants and 30 other businesses.
An anonymous Korean from Lexington said, "The press that does not know much about Korean society in its own town cannot have a clear perception about North Korea. I hope both the authorities and media do not make hasty judgments.”
ⓒ 보스톤코리아(http://www.bostonkorea.com), 무단전재 및 재배포 금지