Ok, so this is a rather serious TL;DR we’re talking about. No fun and jokes here. The question asked us to talk about the North Korea situation and what it’s like here in South Korea.

We’re not knowledgeable about the political situation here. We’re just talking about our experiences. If you want more technical/knowledgable info, this isn’t the place for it.

Ok, so now that that’s out of the way, I’d like to go back to our point from the video about how often we hear these threats from North Korea, and about how – to people outside of Korea – the situation seems a lot worse than it actually is. We think this is mostly thanks to the Western Media’s habit of making things seem worse than they actually are, because big, scary headlines sell more newspapers and get more viewers.

The problem with the fear mongering is that, if you’re viewing the situation from the outside, it’s difficult to get an accurate look of what things are like on the inside. From what everyone’s been telling us, things are scary here in South Korea…from an outsider’s perspective. As a result, people are worried about coming to South Korea now. Thoughts like “Should I visit? What happens if the war starts!?” or “maybe I shouldn’t teach in Korea because North Korea’s gonna bust things up.” Thoughts like this totally suck for South Korea, because it’s not necessarily fair. And, really, if we had followed that advice when we first started our careers, our lives would be totally different now, and we wouldn’t have experienced so many awesome things from living in this country. Should our lives have been put on halt until North Korea stopped making so much racket? Should yours? North Korea has been annoying for a long time and probably will continue being annoying for a long time. Our lives can’t just be put on hold until North Korea gets their act together.

And what about people living in South Korea? Should their lives be put on hold as well? From an inside perspective of South Korea, things are no different than they normally are. People are still going to work. People are still going to play. People are still living their lives like they’ve always been. North Korean threats are things that we’re all used to by now. North Korea is just really freaking annoying; they’re like your noisy obnoxious neighbour that you have to learn to live with. You just wish they’d shut the f**k up once and for all and stop embarrassing you when you have friends or family over for dinner.

So, that’s basically it. North Korea is annoying. They make threats all the time. They love talking about destructive water. Should we worry about them? Well, if we want to count a threats-to-action conversion rate, North Korea’s not doing too well. Could they do something, though? That’s not even worth thinking about, in my opinion. Meteors could hit as well. I feel more of an immediate threat driving in taxis than I feel threatened from North Korea (because taxis here are craaaazy). When it comes to how we feel about North Korea, we’re not going to live in doom and gloom and fear because of what seems like a small possibility. We’re going to keep on living our lives, and it seems like the people of South Korea are doing the same as well.

  1. north korea has shitload of people starving and suffering from diseases and all they do is care about their leader, who resembles a berkshire pig, kim jong-un. i feel bad for the north korean soldiers too because they usually don’t get fed that well either. plus, you know about the ones who are in the marching band? since they have to raise their legs so high, their intestines are damaged from their legs hitting that area so much. if you ever watch 이제 만나러 갑니다 on channel A,
    you will get a better info on it.

  2. The last half of this video: http://youtu.be/P_qMxq_ljg8 may be a little relevant to this TL;DR

  3. The N Korean army has mostly obsolete weapons. The reason for calm is that all males serve in the army and know that N Korea can’t really mount a successful conventional attack. All the saber rattling is really for domestic consumption. If they ever used their nukes, they would be taken out in a number of minutes so they aren’t going there.

  4. oh~ very informing!!! i like heraring from your point of view and what you actually experience around than what the media portrays!!
    urgh i absolutely get annoyed when people only think of idols who are in the army or just idols in SK when it comes to war!! they should feel sorry and be worried for everyone!!!


    We’re not knowledgeable about the political situation here. We’re just
    talking about our experiences. If you want more technical/knowledgable
    info, this isn’t the place for it.

    /DISCLAIMER:” – Source: The above blog post

  6. I love K dramas too. And I also have no one to talk to about them living were Ilive. I love to make top ten list’s of my favorite dramas, actors and actresses with other Kdrama fans. And talk about bad and good endings. it would be great if Martina could set up something for us to be able to dis about our favorites.

  7. CNN was reporting that North Korea had broken the Armicies Treaty. Over the perceived threat of the US and South Korean troops practing some drills. In the US the media is consantly reporting on North Korea’s and Iran acuiring nuclear capabilities. Politicians here also like to make larger issues for political gain. So between the media and the politician they keep people scared. My opinion we need to get rid of all nuclear weapons that exist. And the US has more of them then anyone. I don’t think war will ever happen unless North Korea has some natural resource the US wants to get their hands on

  8. The truth is, North Korea makes threats of war to scare its own people. At this point, no one takes them seriously, and they themselves know they aren’t being serious because they are acutely aware that they have zero chance of surviving an actual war.

    BUUUT, (cue the evil music) North Korean people don’t know this. So what they do is, North Korean regime constantly reminds their own citizens of enemies (US-led) planning imminent invasions, so therefore they must prepare for war. They must sacrifice in this time of national emergency. They must obey the orders so to fight off the enemy. No time to ponder about the sorry state of their country, war’s coming! We must all stand behind our dear leader to fend off our enemy and prevail!

    This is why North Korea must stir up trouble at least every few years. Because their people must be in a constant state of emergency so as to disallow them any opportunity to build up discontent (and to direct any built-up discontent toward the “enemy”). North Korean regime can never allow their people to have peace or prosperity, because they know their days will be numbered once people truly realize what have been happening to them. But I think and hope that North Korean people realize this farce sooner than later. Imminent invasion that never comes will eventually get people to stop believing their government’s threats.

  9. Thanks guise! From what articles I have been reading, the experts agree with you. I wish the media were more careful about how they report things.

  10. I’m going to apply for that same program! Maybe we’ll see each other there?

  11. TL;DR HOW YOU GUISE STARTED TO LIKE K-POP? I dunno if you mentioned before soooo i hope you can answer this on next week tl:dr (again u.u sorry for my english)

  12. My husband is in the US Army and we are stationed here in Seoul. I’ve been wondering what S. Korean’s are thinking and feeling when it comes to the North’s temper tantrum. I have a biased look from the Army perspective and only know what the army tells us (I’ve pretty much refused to watch CNN because they seem to be making it worse and making me worry).

  13. the media has trends, and recently its been all bad news about gun control and this kind of stuff. people dont really pay attention to that but if you look back at all the news throughout the past decade or more, you’ll see something like seasonal trends in the news and media.

  14. Thank you so much for addressing this. I’m hoping to teach in South Korea and my family and friends have been freaking out about it. I recently saw my grade 5 teacher for the first time in 10+ years and he was very worried and tried to talk me out of it. I keep telling people that it’s not that bad, my life in South Korea will not be overshadowed by North Korean threats but most people won’t listen since I’ve never lived/visited there myself. With this video, I can tell my family that I have confirmation from two people who live there that it’s fine.

  15. Guys, without North Korea……there might have never been an Eat Your Kimchi. O.o

  16. Thank you so much for making this video. As I become more aware of the news, it scares me more and more and I’ve been seeing a lot of articles about North Korea. It all sounded so serious and end-of-the-world-ish, you know? I’m relieved to hear that it’s being distorted. When I first started introducing my family to Kpop, all they could talk about in response was North Korea and the things they heard in the news about it. I’m looking forward to sharing this video with them so they know that South Korea isn’t actually living in fear. It’s just really, really nice to hear :)

    But, you’re right, soldiers will inevitably be killed on all sides. I’ve got an uncle who’s almost done serving as a firefighter in the Middle East, so I’ve gotten a small taste of being scared for people near the front lines. I hope and pray that the fighting will end and for the soldiers caught in the middle of all of this.

  17. I know you’ve talked about this in a live broadcast… Stay safe!!

    ♥♥ ♥ ♥

  18. The north is pretty much the equivalent of a 5th grader hiding behind a tree swearing hes going to throw a truck at you…

  19. i love your lighthearted question and answers, but, i honestly wish you would do more serious ones like this. theres nothing wrong with serious timez. :P

  20. thank you for posting this! I was getting worried because I have some friends who live in south korea, even though they did try to reassure me I still couldn’t help worrying XD
    so thanks again! :)

  21. i heard simon say world war 3 and i dont really know but i just that it would be funny if world war 3 was kpop fans fighting each other hahahahahah ……like…… ohhh big bang its the best ohhh nooo wtf super junior id the best….. and then they start acting all crazy and they start pulling each others hair…….lololol…… this is like the kdrama answer me 1997 ……… bad ass

  22. They should try to get along…aren’t them all Koreans people? I mean, even here in Italy North and South have some contrasts, but it’s not like we’re going to bomb each other…We came out from foreign dominations just 150 years ago and with great sacrifice…I wish they’ll come to undestand how important is to be united as a nation…

  23. Hey guys, I was curious to whether or not you deal with hate, like full on anti-nasties. How do you deal with them? Has it ever held you guys back? Are there alot of haters? If you could say something to all the haters what would it be?
    ~Courtney (Maryland, USA)

  24. Can I ask a TLDR question?

    Well I will anyways:
    You know how Koreans have maknaes and hyungs and noona and oppas? I was wondering what are some of the roles that go along with them like I heard that instead of the guy paying on dates (like it is where I live), the eldest person pays?
    I’m so curious yeah~

  25. I feel like the whole North Korea – South Korea conflict is very similar to the United States – Soviet Union conflict during the Cold War.
    It was really just a big he-said-she-said of “Oh if you nuke us, we’ll nuke you” so nobody actually had the audacity to nuke the other country but there were plenty of threats. The fact of the matter is, if North Korea were to bomb South Korea, China and America would be on them so fast, they wouldn’t even know what hit them. So no worries ^_^

  26. For me personally, the reason I worry about people in Seoul (or used to worry, I’ve realized for a while that NK is full of shit when they make these threats) is because I heard they have things like missiles pointed directly at Seoul and they only have to push a button and Seoul could be destroyed or whatever. Not sure how true that is tbh but I think one of the worst things a country can do is purposefully kill innocent civilians. The people in the army, although it’s awful if they die, chose that profession (well in South Korea there’s the mandatory 2 years, but still). Civilian deaths matter a lot more because they had absolutely no choice in whether or not they wanted to participate and it’s a lot easier for the average citizen to relate. We can imagine sitting in our own home one second and without warning we are dead from a missile, or something like that.

  27. Simon and Martina!!!!!Have you seen the latest kpop news? more and more idols are getting caught either selling or taking marijuana …what are the laws or how does south Koreans feel about drugs such as marijuana?

  28. Since St.Patricks Day is coming up, I was wondering how Korean’s celebrate it? Is it a big festival, like it is in New York and Ireland, or do they even notice it?

  29. Just wanted to say thanks a ton guys. You have given me the courage and excitement to leave my small PA town to go teach in Korea. I never would have been able to gain this much passion and love for the country had I never come across your videos. I am so excited to go and even though I’m a little bit nervous, you have made Korea seem so much more real and less like another “foreign country.”
    Thanks guys, you mean so much to me. You have affected my life without even knowing it. Love you <3

  30. I should show my parents this… I told them that I want to go to S. Korea buuuut they are worried about N. Korea, how the people in S. Korea are, where i’m going to be at, if i’ll get lost, ect… ect… blah blah blahhhhh even though I told them everythings allright and not all people are mean and weirdos, they are still skepitcal about some stuff (they get that not all people are bad though). So if I show them this maayyybeee they will be less worried ^^ [I hope]

  31. Wait. Simon, you’re a grown man in SK, don’t you need to have military training for 2 years? Or are you past that age, or is it because you are a foreigner? Love EYK! Say hi to the whole team for me! (Yes the includes Spudgy and Dr. Meemersworth too!)

  32. Reminds me of people’s worry on Japan and radiation. I’ve met many Japanese exchange students. They never mention it as a worry and I’ve told them I will be studying abroad there. These include people from the northern part of the main island and the university I will be going to is on the other narrow side of where the accident occurred, only a couple hours away. I read up on reports, scientific reports that stated that the radiation levels are low in the ground and water, low enough to not be much of an issue (some even claimed spending an hour in sunlight exposed you to more radiation). Yet when I talk about it with foreigners, especially, I’ve noted, my South Korean friends, they all ask me if I’m worried about radiation. The media made it such a big deal, but in reality the threat is a lot smaller. That doesn’t mean I’m gonna go to the reactor site and roll around in the ground. I wouldn’t go up to the DMZ and hurl insults at North Korea either. But both problems aren’t as big as others make it seem. :/

  33. maybe it’s their plan to get us lax about it? then one day they threaten again and actually do it; then people aren’t prepared for it because they keep thinking the north wouldn’t actually do it. and they’ll be all like, “hah!! think i wouldn’t do it? take that!” lol/ then what would we do?

  34. Hi, my question for TLDR is:
    Why did you go to Korea in the first place? I know you both were teachers, but was it always your plan to become teacher in another country, so you searched for a job there? Or did you even got hired from Korea? and why Korea? Martina likes manga/anime, drama and music from Japan and Korea since teenageyears, so it could have been Japan instead.. *I’m so curious yeeaaaaah!!!*

  35. N. Korea is like a Chiuaua. A mean, yappy little dog with a lot of bark and not much in the way of bite.

  36. …you may be safe but apparently here in NZ we’re screwed :)

  37. Hey Simon and Martina, what do Koreans think of foreign musicians promoting in Korea?
    Do Koreans really look down on non-Asians in the KPOP music scene, and is it true that Korean entertainment companies won’t take a non-Asian?

  38. i am not exposed to anything other than western media really living in california so usually when i watch the news i do it for entertainment! LOL i really do laugh at it sometimes from watching maybe 3 different channels i can get the actual truth about 1 story lol

  39. Hi S&M.What are your feelings on Sasaeng fans ? And what happens to them ? Cause I heard the police do nothing because they dont wanna ruin those kids future. Plus How major is the problem ?

  40. Thanks for this TL;DR regarding insider’s perspective on North Korea’s threat. YES, as an outsider w/ family in South Korea, it has been pretty scary.

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