Wake-up call

With tensions rising in Korea, the world gets a timely security lesson

On Day 2 our international media tour of South Korea, tensions heightened somewhat on the peninsula shared with North Korea, although it was hard to tell.

Some of the journalists taking part in the distinguished guests tour.
Time for a selfie during the tour of the national museum.
I make friends with a visiting group from the Philipines.
This morning the media team took part in a tour of the National Palace.
A visit to the Donga Media Group which employs 300 journalists.
Pan fried Korean beef being prepared at the table during last night’s dinner hosted by The Press Association of South Korea for the visiting journalists.

On a day when South Korea reportedly shot down a North Korean drone, the eyes of the international community shifted somewhat away from the obvious tensions along the Korean Peninsula to Manchester, London, which was rocked overnight by the devastating news of a terrorist attack that left at least 22 dead and 59 injured.

Like the rest of the world, we awoke on Tuesday (Korea time) to news that a lone suicide bomber struck at an Ariana Grande concert in what British authorities are calling the worst attack to have occurred in the United Kingdom since the July 2005 terrorist attack on the London transport system.

Sadly, most of the victims of this latest London attack were young children – the youngest being six years old – in what has been a grim reminder of the frailty and vulnerability of us all.

Certainly, we all need not take our security for granted, whether we are living under the nose of a communist dictator, attending a major pop concert or simply strolling along Mason Hall Street in Bridgetown.

However, for the moment, Britain is the one on heightened alert.

Overnight, the threat level there was raised to severe, with the British Prime Minister Theresa May calling the attack on Manchester “appalling, sickening, and cowardice”.

Ironically, our team of visiting journalists, and I dare say the average person here in Korea, have had more information to go by on the British terrorist attack miles away than North Korea’s latest provocative move that occurred right on our doorsteps.

It appears as though while we were innocently and naively moving around Seoul on a guided tour of the Korean Traditional Palace (Changdeokgung), the Donga Media Company and the National Museum of Korea, North Korea, under the command of its supreme leader Kim Jong Un, was busy launching an unidentified projectile across the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that divides it from the South.

The move came two days after Pyongyang test-fired a ballistic missile – its second missile test in seven days.

In response, South Korea’s military fired warning shots, according to the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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