Since the recent ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) test, I met many American friends who worry about North Korea Nuclear Weapon. Even today I found this question at Quora.com: Will North Korea launch its nuclear weapons or is it just to scare people?
I was born and raised in South Korea. Therefore, I feel responsible to share my experiences in Korea due to the recent news and threats from North Korea. We have been fighting against threats from North Korea Nuclear Weapon for a long time. I share one of my experiences to answer the question:
While I was in military service in South Korea in 1994, North Korea announced that they would bombard Seoul into the ocean of fire and moved military forces into the Demilitarized Zone. All drinking water and can food were sold out in grocery stores in South Korea. We prepared for the emergency state and were facing with North Korean soldiers at DMZ. We could not take off our boots and spent intense two days and two nights. On the third day, N. Korea’s threatening gesture ended and everything went back to normal. It happened during South-North Korean Conference about stopping North Korea Nuclear Weapon Development on March 19th, 1994.
(This is the link to Wikipedia-Korea describing what really happened. Sorry it’s written in Korean, so please use Google Translator to read it in English: Wikipedia – North Korea Nuclear Weapon Crisis the 1st)
North Korea has used negotiation as well as threatening all the time to get what they wanted. Also, they have been very practical and insidious. They will not do anything stupid which may destroy themselves. Definitely, they know that launching nuclear weapons is destroying themselves for sure. Currently, they are strategically threatening the world but they are not stupid to cross the line yet.
In my opinion, the reason why they are showing off is to fortify Kim Jung Eun’s political power inside North Korea. The power transitioning from his father was not smooth nor stable at the beginning. He tries to prove his leadership and to build up people’s trust. Probably he may want to prove his authority to the whole world especially to the United States.
Let me tell you. Korea War didn’t end yet. An armistice was signed but no peace treaty has been signed. We are technically still at war. I have grown up in South Korea as experiencing constant threatening from North Korea Nuclear Weapon. They have always carried hidden agenda behind their gestures. We need to see through their intention rather than just reacting to their every movement.
Don’t be scared and just do your work unwaveringly. If you got scared, that’s exactly what they want.
If you know anyone who needs this answer, please share it.