The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

April 8, 2013

Edgewood grad says Korea changes little

South Koreans believe threats from north rhetoric

Life hasn’t changed much in South Korea in the past three years, despite North Korea’s threats of military action, says Edgewood High School graduate Nathan Wickstrom.

Wickstrom, in his last semester studying international commerce at Korea University in Seoul, said in an email interview, “The reaction here in South Korea Isn’t markedly different than it was in 2010. The bombing of Yeonpyeong Island was perhaps more severe, because it resulted in human casualties. So far, the current situation has just been bluster, tit for tat one-upmanship. Korean lives have continued as normal. Getting to work on time is the most pressing concern.”

He said most people in South Korea feel the current threats are just rhetoric. “Perhaps they have become immune from living with the threat for over 50 years, or just hope for the better, but South Koreans do no foresee North Korea attacking, as it would ultimately lead to the country’s downfall,” Wickstrom said.

He said the average South Korean is very aware of the details of the situation. “Perhaps a main difference is that the North Korea predicament is in South Korean news year-round, not just when the threat seems dire,” Wickstrom said.

The crisis escalated in the American mindset because the Western media only writes about border issues when the rhetoric increases, Wickstrom said.

“Western news agencies only post the latest information when the situation is at the worst, making war seem imminent when in fact it is not,” he said.

Wickstrom said he has not been to the demilitarized zone but lives about two hours away in Seoul. He said he took a bus ride to Paju, which is close to the North Korean border, and got a feel for the border situation.

“During the bus ride, I noticed that the river we were driving next to was fenced in the entire way, with patrol towers jutting out from It intermittently. In the mountains there were several observation towers, which were apparently made for tourists to look across the border,” he said.

“I felt sort of a thrill, but never felt threatened being so close to the border. The outlet malls, restaurants and art galleries in the area rather just formed a strange juxtaposition between the heavily guard border and the modern, commercialized state of South Korea.”

Text Only
Local News
Good Friday Cross Walks and Easter Egg Hunts
Spring Comes Alive
Ashtabula Spring Cleaning
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
Saturday Fun in Ashtabula County March 22, 2014
American Red Cross Ashtabula County Heroes Breakfast
Rotary Club Dodge Ball Tournament
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
Ashtabula Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Events
End of year weather extremes
Christmas 2013
Harpersfield Barn Fire
Route 11 Rescue Plymouth Township
Ashtabula Fire
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN