Sunday, December 18, 2011

Death of Kim Jong-Il

So, news broke today about the death of Kim Jong-Il, the North Korean dictator. I've had a few friends in the U.S. message me and ask me what the atmosphere is like here in S. Korea since the news came out and what the S. Koreans think about it.

I didn't know until I got to work and it was on my CNN homepage - I think the Korean Yonhap news agency broke the news earlier than that in Korea. On my way to work, I didn't notice any big differences or hear any people discussing it. I'm not hearing any discussion of it in the office, either, but my Korean is limited (I'm not hearing his name pop-up, though, but I do wear headphones at work). There are no parties in the street (at least in Suwon) and people aren't cheering about it or anything. It's just another day. I have seen very few "outrageous" reactions by the Korean people to world news events in the four years that I've been here and most of those were over events sensationalized by the Korean media (i.e., they were "told" to be outraged and to have a reaction).

The S. Korean government, according to Yonhap, is keeping tabs on things in the DMZ and other volatile zones and putting the military on alert. They are definitely keeping an eye on what will happen in N. Korea during this time of leadership change and such. President Lee is also urging people to remain calm and go about their business as usual. I'm in an office building and can't see much of what is going on outside, but I'm not noticing too much of a reaction in my neck of the woods.

No comments:

Post a Comment