If you didn't know already, North Korea has just recently launched a "missle" or a satellite into orbit.
( You can click here if you would like to read the entire article which was written before the launch.)
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea declared Tuesday it is making "brisk headway" in plans to send a satellite into orbit as part of its space program, a launch regional powers fear is a cover up for testing a long-range ballistic missile capable of striking Alaska and the western United States.
South Korea's Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee challenged North Korea to prove its intentions were peaceful, telling lawmakers the North "should clearly present evidence that it is a satellite."
Either way, Seoul would consider any launch a "threat" because the technology for launching a missile and a satellite are similar, he said.
Surprisingly I heard very little about the launch. In fact, I didn't even realize the even had already taken place until the day after. I feel that South Koreans, at least the ones I am contact with, don't worry too much over North Koreas actions. They have lived with them as their hostile neighbors for either most of their life or all of their lives. The Koreans my age, don't even know what life would be like without this feeling of a constant threat at their doorstep, and because of this, they don't find it alarming like a foreigner might. This is only my opinion, and I can only go off the small pool of Koreans that I have conversations with in this small bubble on top of a hill sepereted from the rest of the world. I have had several people ask what the reactions here in South Korea have been so I decided to provide you with the writings of an actual Korean who writes at a blog called Ask a Korean. He is mostly writing about the response of South Korea's government and media, but you might find it interesting never the less. Here are some excerpts if you feel more like grazing, otherwise you can find the entire anaylsis here.
Strictly speaking, my personal view is that the media, including Korean ones, are taking treasonous actions. Treasonous action is nothing complicated; it is, literally [in Korean], an action that benefits the enemy. The following is why I think so.
First, the media is providing the stage for Kim Jong-Il’s play. Kim Jong-Il can trot around with that crude missile is thanks to the capitalist media that incessantly chatters for him.
Second, the media, beyond serving its function of providing information, is terrorizing Koreans. Television only showed the missile news all day Saturday – it seems that the media is firing the bullshit cannon on behalf of Kim Jong-Il. It is not difficult to realize who gains from the atmosphere of fear resulting from such chatter. Further, although all three network television stations clamored in their special programming, the ratings did not even hit the average for the same time period from January through March. In other words, Koreans do not even care now.
Third, the media is assisting North Korea’s technical analysis. With North Korea’s technology alone, it would be difficult to figure out the post-launch status of the missile.
Honestly, without the analysis from America, Japan and Korea, aided by such cutting-edge equipment that cost billions of dollars, I am not sure if North Korea would even know where its rocket went. Kim Jong-Il is in the cat bird seat in that respect – he just needs to launch, and there are all these great people who know to bring over the newest equipment possible to let him know exactly where, how, and why his rocket failed.
In fact, there is not much Korea can do against North Korea’s action. This is the difference between “closed society” and “open society”. Because of the many factors to be considered, Korea simply cannot respond in the thuggish way to North Korea’s thuggish action. Because of the backing from China and Russia, taking North Korea to the United Nations is difficult as well. Then what must we do? Should we simply sit and chatter as we do now? Is that all we can do?
I believe that for Korea’s benefit, the media must ignore Kim Jong-Il’s theatrics. A show requires a passionately reactive audience to be successful. Kim Jong-Il must be loving it now, since other countries are creating such reaction. One can tell how much he is enjoying this episode from the way he tricked the whole world on Saturday. I cannot be the only person who got screwed with high blood pressure from having to stand by on his day off.