When we think of the threat of North Korea (however great that may really be is debatable), we usually fear for those enemies of theirs close by in South Korea and Japan, and of course their current Undesirable #1: The United States.
It’s tough enough being on separate continents, but when your loved ones live in a country that could be the first target of North Korea’s ever-growing nuclear arsenal, emotions become even more fragile. Despite having lived in Japan for almost a year now, I still worry about my dad and my younger brother living on the east coast of the United States. However, when the North Korean military began firing test missiles into the Sea of Japan, it became clear to me how my father fretted for my safety.
I opened my Facebook newsfeed to find an article about Japanese school children participating in drills shared by dad:
His own words accompanying it read “Having grade school flashbacks. Strange to see this happening, er, many years later. Thinking about my little girl.”
In our last few posts, Martin, Yuka and I asked South Koreans, Japanese, and US military members for their thoughts on the current events. This time, I reached out to my dad and asked what having a family member so geographically and politically close to the heart of the issue means to him.
“[It] means remaining informed and alert to the activities that occur in the region,” he explained to me. “In some respect, there is an understanding that the rhetoric used is just saber-rattling in nature and intended more for internal audiences in North Korea, not the rest of the world. Other actions are more deeply concerning,” he said implying North Korea’s capability of deploying nuclear missiles. “Even chemically- or biologically tipped missiles- given the apparent instability of Kim Jong Un, it is especially concerning should he gain this capability to deliver a weapon over distance. I worry that given that their accuracy is poor even an action intended as a show of force may go awry and spark a much larger conflagration that engulfs those nations and could impact my daughter significantly.”
North Korea’s most recent missile test failed, exploding seconds upon launch.