Thursday, June 3, 2010

Not negligible

Ever since the sinking of the RoK ship Cheonan, sane people have been keeping one eye on the news. The Koreas have, legally speaking, been at war for 59 years now, and certainly our friend Mr. Kim up there, moribund though he may be, is capable of a lot of strange stuff. I've thought all along, though, that (whoever gave the order to sink the ship), the North Korean regime isn't crazy enough to initiate their own self-destruction. I still think that, and the South has taken a more-than-reasonable approach; twenty million people (in Greater Seoul) make for a pretty big chip to risk. So I'm not too worried. But I am paying attention.

Still, The New York Times calls the risk of war "not neglibible". It's just possible that some yahoo on either side of the border might start shooting over nothing, and we know that the North's government is perfectly content with millions of its citizens' dying... I guess a lot rides on China, which seems to be saying it's not going to support any more craziness KJI tries to pull. To put it indelicately, apparently they would pull their hand out of the puppet's... well, you know.

I, like every American who's got two brain cells to rub together, am registered with the US Embassy. We all get monthly bulletins in our inboxes, and the Embassy will contact us toot-sweet if we need to bug out. (I just hope I don't get the same Jeep as Frank Burns.)

Meanwhile, it feels rather like being in a tornado or earthquake zone and keeping alert. What's shocked me is that I (the second-most egocentric person I know [no, I'm not implying that you are the most]) am most concerned about my students; I'm mostly thinking how tragic an invasion or rain of missiles would be for them. That's not like me at all. Or... maybe... it finally is. And that, for me, is the upside of the Cheonan crisis.

1 comment:

Ron said...

It is nice to think of others. My most horrifying thought has been leaving my dog behind. Thinking of saying goodbye to her....well, it would be like leaving one of my children behind.