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BLOG: News from the Register bureau in South Korea

Tom Jackson • Nov 24, 2010 at 9:37 AM

(My son, Richard Jackson, teaches English in Andong, South Korea. When news broke about North Korea's latest military provocation, I asked him if people in South Korea are worried about what's going to happen next. His reply:)

The expats (but not me) are upset and concerned, but mostly expats into their first year. Old hands, like Susan, Casey (my friend) and myself are like 'business as usual. If you recall, North Korea sank a South Korean ship a few months ago and 46 sailors died. I think 2 marines died yesterday. What makes this incident unique is that they attacked civilians.


As for the Koreans I work with, nobody has brought it up or acted concerned. It's like the Julius Caesar maxim: I can die only once, but to worry about it is to die over and over again.  This is home, so the S. Koreans can't stress over it all the time. The government is of course concerned, but it's their job to worry.

I can explain to you why I'm not concerned. It's all about the money!  North and South Korea have numerous joint business ventures. The South sells and gives a lot of aid to the North every year. A full scale attack would dry that up. What the North is angry about is that the current conservative South Korean government is reducing that aid.


Again money reasons. China and Russia are major trading partners with SOUTH Korea. If North Korea attacks and disrupts that, what do you think is going to win the day? Communist solidarity or the almighty dollar? China is the world's second largest economy. I think we know the answer to that question. If North Korea cost them that much business,  Chinese troops would pour over the Yalu and install their own puppet government. 

Back in the 1950s, it was two impoverished countries fighting. Now it's one impoverished country and one really rich country.

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