Since this is the topic on everyone’s mind back home let me enlighten you on how it all feels this side of the world.
Everyone is pointing to North Korea as the ones who ‘shot first’ with the whole Bombardment of Yeonpyeong. Maybe the did, maybe they didn’t. I wasn’t there, I can’t say who’s in the right or wrong. What I do know is that South Korea planned some ‘air exercises’ of this island (that’s been in debate for ages) and if I were to take a guess, I think that North Korea did fire first but only after South Korea ‘pushed the limits’ of their nerves by being in that area as well as giving North Korea reasons to push back from the corner they’ve put themselves into.
As for the general populace, life goes on. I’ve not spoken with any locals but the general consensus among the English teachers is that this is really nothing new. Maybe more ‘fire exchange’ than in the past but there has always been skirmishes over this island. Unless there is a drastic change in level of activity, it’s just one more notch in history of ongoing Korean War. (You did know that it never ended right?)
North Korea’s only ally (China) is even staying somewhat neutral. They have neither approved nor condemned the incident but at most said ‘the two should work harder at coming to peace’.
I’ve signed up with Canadian Government branch for registered Canadians abroad. They keep track of such things and email updates on events like this. Their last email said that neither country has raised any ‘alert levels’, a pointed indication that this is nothing more than two children fighting over one toy for the sake of pride now more than anything else.