South Korea Raises Alert Level, But Few Panicking

Civilians Remain Calm Amid Latest War Rhetoric

Raising the level of official war panic even higher, South Korea has announced that it is instituting a “vital threat” alert, believing North Korea may soon test launch a missile.

Warnings about an imminent test launch or indeed an imminent war have been coming on a daily basis for weeks now, but South Korea’s government warnings aren’t having any serious impact on civilian life in the nation.

Indeed, while the initial stories caused a blip in the stock market, the atmosphere on both sides of the border, at least among civilians, is that of ambivalence, convinced that as with so many other cases nothing will come of it.

Japan’s government has also announced a “high alert” related to the prospect of the missile test, which everyone seems to agree will happen at any moment, but which is unlikely to actually target anything and may indeed spell the end of the latest round of tit-for-tat escalations.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.