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What Do Foreigners in South Korea Think and Feel about the North Korean Nuclear Issue?
Written by Cho Seo Young | Published. 2017.11.01 19:12 | Count : 1416
North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test last September 9th2017. It was an unprecedented case to test their hydrogen bomb. The North Korean military provocation has become drastic as the political confrontation between the Trump and the Jung-Eun Kim regimes intensifies. The missile firing is also seen as a show of NK’s missile capacity to launch missiles toward Guam. There are possibilities of additional provocations as the US government continues to insist on the discontinuance of the oil supplies to NK --- a move which will strike a fatal blow to them. North Korea’s military provocation has threatened Northeast’s security and has even become a worldwide problem.

Many Koreans take a complacent attitude towards the North Korean nuclear issue. In contrast, the international press reports that the South Korea is in great danger as North Korea repeats its nuclear tests. To verify the truth of these reports, I interviewed Kenny Loui and Norman Marcia, foreign professors of Namseoul University, and Stephanie Powers, a foreign teacher in Tanbang Middle School. I wanted to know what the foreigners living in South Korea think and feel about the North Korean nuclear issue. 

A common feeling shared by these foreign interviewees is that they don’t feel threatened about this issue, contrary to what people expected. They shared a common belief that the South Korea and US alliance, together with the rest of the international society, will protect South Korea’s national security. They even commented about the firm stance toward the policy on North Korea, saying that it is a wrong policy which causes for the international community to have animosity toward NK.  According to Prof. Kenny Loui of Namseoul University during the interview, “North Korea’s ‘brinkmanship diplomacy’ has been ongoing… but it is ultimately a failed tactic that continues to antagonize South Korea and its neighbors in Asia.”  

In connection with the resolution of the conflict caused by NK’s military provocation, they shared the idea that in order to solve this problem, diplomatic efforts should be extended towards NK; although each interviewee showed quite different strategies on the specific measures to compromise the incompatible goals of North Korea and the international society. 

(Professor Norman Marcia)
During the interview, Professor Norman Marcia shared his opinion about North Korea’s nuclear power, “Unfortunately, the world has to accept North Korea as a nuclear power and engage it with the purpose of limiting additional weapons and making its program more transparent.” This interview reveals the need to ‘accept’ NK as a nuclear power, and that the international society should concentrate its efforts on limiting additional weapons. 

(Professor Kenny Loui)
Professor Kenny Loui and Stephanie expressed more on this issue, “In brief, there will have to be negotiations and compromises on both sides. Thus, we must be reliant on our diplomats…, and in the long run, encourage the reunification of the Korean peninsula.  The North Korean leadership ought to think less of themselves and their ambitions and more about the welfare and wellbeing of the people under their aegis.” They further stated, “Maybe, there will be ways to make this situation better, but we believe that reunifying Korea is the ultimate solution.” Succinctly, this means that South Korea’s goal should be to establish peace in the Korean peninsula through reunification.

In conclusion, the foreigners living in South Korea feel safe even under North Korean nuclear threats. They share the same opinions and beliefs that South Korea and the international community should diplomatically seek ways to lessen the global tension caused by North Korea. With whatever efforts they may be, it is time for the world to take bigger steps to regain world peace.



Cho Seo Young
3rd Grade
Tanbang Middle School

Cho Seo Young  student_reporter@dherald.com

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