What South Koreans think of North Korea

Around the world, the mainstream media hypes up all the words that get thrown around. Words like ‘state of war’ and ‘sea of fire’ because they sound dire and life threatening in the face of a country that has technically still be at war for nearly 60 years. Now we have people parroting such things when someone says “I’d like to come to Korea to teach English.”  The fact that no tours to the DMZ have been canceled, the fact that no warnings from any embassy have been issued should be a good indication that this is all talk when you read anything about what North Korea says.  Not that I needed this, but nothing simply reaffirms in how the media hypes up news just so they can make money from people who make ignorant comments and spread poorly worded news casts and articles that simply do NOT reflect the truth.

Now, all that talks about people outside of South Korea.  What do people inside of South Korea think?  Glad you asked because I was curious too.  I did a quick little survey to give you a bit of insight to a typical Korean person who can speak English ranging from fluent to reasonably well.

What do you think of North Korea? 북한에 대해서 어떻게 생각하세요?

Female 1: “I think North Korea as a very poor brother who I have to take care of. Also he is very strange like middle school boys.”

Male 1: “I have been thinking many times about north Korea is our first ever enemy ever since I serve in military service in 2007 this is because they treat us like enemy so far. I didn’t realize how is big shit going on between North Korea and our country before enter the army. But now I know all they did is totally wrong and we have strongly believe that It will not change unless North Korea stop making problems for us”

Female 2: “people is starving and leaders enjoy rich life. for example leaders driving benz and bmw. when i was in china a few years ago some north Koreans escaped at theirs home and begged for theirs life and family. But i couldn’t any more so i gave some food. i think north Korea is not nation North Korea throw their people out.”

Do think there will ever be a war? 앞으로 또 다른 전쟁이 일어날 것이라고 생각하시나요?

Female 1: “No. I don’t think so because it is not a simple thing any more as both North Korea and South Korea will get huge damage after all. Every one knows it even north Korean people.”

Male 1: “North Korea want to uphold their construction of their own society and figure already out how strong we are with our ally such as UN and USA etc. We both know what will happen if we are under the war so my opinion is that it will not happen.”

Female 2: “No. Never occurrence. Now is not 1950s. South Korea have been strong army and correspondence is growth up than 1950s If war start, all of nations is attack North Korea.My thinkings”

What are your first thoughts every time you hear something big in the news about North Korea? 북한에 대한 소식을 들을때마다 당신은 주로 어떤 생각을 하시나요?

Female 1: “it is just one of normal things to me. We had too many similar cases with North Korea over 5 decades.”

Male 2: “At the begging of time was so scared when something is wrong but I am used to hear that and know that it is their strategy to make us feel scared so now I am not as scared as I was before”

Female 2: “There you go again But we don’t undo to air-raid alert”

If there was one thing you could say to Kim Jong Un, what would it be? 만약 당신이 김정은에게 말할수 있는 기회가 생긴다면, 뭐라고 한마디 하고 싶은가요?

Female 1: “open your world to the world if you want to live longer or people in your county wont be stand any more.”

Male 1: “If there was one thing i could say to Kim Jung Un I wanna say that don’t forget who we were and what we did together before divided into North Korea and South Korea. We fought all together to keep our history and our citizen against of past enemies such as China and Japan. Now you have a power and right to let this conflict pull down. It is your choice and do something . finally I hope you are better guy than any other people though”

Female 2: “we are anymore alone If you communication we will talk with you but if you threat anymore we will fight for south people and nation and peace”

So there you have it.  Real thoughts from people who have lived here all their lives.  The people interviewed are from all walks of live, from early 20’s to early 40s, teacher, ex-military (mandatory server for men in South Korea) and a student.  The only editing was for some obvious typos but otherwise the grammar and structure was left in tact as I received it.

Tell me what you think.  And then tell me where your information comes from.

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Author: DragonDon

Having a love of travel has lead me to move to South Korea in 2010. Moving to an Eastern culture from a Western culture is a wild experience and there is never a dull day!

21 thoughts on “What South Koreans think of North Korea”

  1. I don’t know much about this Korean conflict and only read what is given in the news… but an attempt to compile the south korean opinions on north korea is good and practical.. please write extensively and let the world know of what is happening there in reality.

    1. I make occasional references in my blog about it. If you click on the ‘North Korea’ word tag on the right, you can get more bits and pieces of what I see and hear while I am here. The Wikipedia entry is probably the closest thing to a non-biased view as you’ll get. I found a PDF of events with North Korea, I am thinking of putting together a better formatted/more readable timeline of events for people.

  2. The one thing I wonder about North Korea, which nobody in the media over here seems to mention, is this: What does Kim Jong Un actually want? I have a feeling those military seniors around him may be the ones pulling the strings.

    1. In order to post such an answer, they would first have to KNOW such an answer. Given how much info that does not come out, best anyone can do is guess based-on the pattern of history. One thing is for sure, despite them saying the opposite, the Kim family wants to stay in power. A war would NOT help but the act of seemingly war-like is popular to people who don’t know any better.

      1. That why you saw all those ‘destruction of Imperialists’ type of videos aparently from North Korea. Rather laughable and I predict that, while they may be effective against an ignorant population, once the truth is known it will be the worst thing they could have done to their people by lying to them.

  3. This is really interesting. The media haven’t really given us many views from the actual people of South Korea about this.

    1. No, the mass media wants to sell news, not truth. Occasionally these ideas line up but not very often. Truth is usually way more boring than hype, or better still, truth is more damaging to the originators than hype.

  4. Thank you for following my blog so I could find your blog! Very interesting! You see some people here in the US are really worried. Talking World War 3 and other things. You make me realize how little we question and how much we just follow.

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