By CHRISTINA CLARK
I’ve been hearing a lot about North Korea lately. I mean, who hasn’t? On Thursday, April 4, Google Trends marked the term “North Korea” as its “peak search interest.” Nothing was searched more than “North Korea” on that day on Google. There is a lot of Google-ing to be done. So that should say something about how important this whole thing is to pay attention to.
But on the other hand, should we really be? Is there reason to start digging a bunker in your backyard? Should you be stocking up on non-perishables like a “doomsday prepper” or an “extremecouponer”? (By all means, keep a thousand cans of food on hand, at all times. You never know what’s going to happen next.)
I mean, if you want to be super prepared for what happens when the Doomsday clock strikes midnight, prepare away. Building a massive luxury bunker should be on everyone’s to-do list. But is this the time to be worried? This is completely up to you, but personally, myspidey-senses are not tingling.
It may help that I have several American friends in South Korea teaching English. One has even stated on Facebook that the media needs to stop scaring her grandmother, that nobody there is alarmed. In a story from an NPR “All Things Considered,” they spoke to a 76-year-old South Korean man, simply named as “Hong” in the preview story.
“It’s like a joke. It’s like a playground bully. I don’t take it seriously. It’s nonsense,” he said in the interview.
In another blog on NPR by Mark Memmot on April 9, Frank Langfitt is quoted telling “Morning Edition” that “people here [Seoul, South Korea] think the verbal attacks are designed to bolster North Korea’s new, inexperienced leader, KimJong Un, as he tries to develop support at home.”
Another theory being posed is that North Korea might actually claim a “victory” and stand down.
If North Korea actually launches anything, they will be met with readied power. Japan is on alert and obviously the United States is taking these threats seriously. As far as I’ve heard, the United States has a well armored military. I’m not worried about any lack of guns, bombs or otherwise from “our” side. A surprise attack is less likely these days as well, as all activity is pretty well monitored (especially if you’re warning people you’re going to do something rash).
I am no expert on North Korea, but I know that they have been secluded from international media and only hear what their leader deems acceptable (usually news generated by their government). There are many practices and rituals honoring their leader that is a part of their everyday existence. There are awful things to be said about their prison camps, and its not the North Korean people who should be blamed, but their poor leadership in its seemingly crazy behavior.
Kim Jong Un feels the need to threaten the rest of the world to make himself and his country feel important. Just as Hong said about North Korea, Kim Jong Un is a playground bully.