S. Koreans still love the N. Korean citizens. They feel sorry for them because they have such an oppressive regime. They will not reunite with them because they want nothing to do with the politics and government in N. Korea. When North Korea acts up, the S. Koreans don’t blame the N. Koreans, but the N. Korean government. And even at that, they don’t really take the N. Korean government’s threats that seriously. the S. Korean people basically ignore any threats coming out of N. Korea. Life goes on as usual. When I first got to S. Korea, things coming out of N. Korea drove me crazy, and when I bought a car, I used to think, “If the N. Koreans come over the border, I can grab my kids and as much as we can, get in the car and drive south!” However, the S. Koreans don’t think that way. They actually don’t think the N. Koreans will ever come back over the border to try to take S. Korea by force again. They usually ignore any bluster coming out of N. Korea.
As far the S. Korean people and the N. Korean people, many of them are relatives. I knew a man who had an older brother still living in N. Korea and a girl whose uncle was there. That dividing line between N. and S. Korea split families up because someone just happened to be located in a different place in the time it happened. There is a big fence between the two countries, and then a patch of land they call “the demilitarized zone.” No one goes in the demilitarized zone. It is supposed to belong to no one, and it lies wild and fallow. On the fence up a Peace Park, there are scores and scores of ribbons S. Koreans put there with messages of love for the N. Korean people. Many of them talk about wanting to be united again, but under the current circumstances, S. Korea would never do it.
Not long back, there is a thing called “the moon pie,” It is a favorite of the S. Korean people. It is a kind of sweet snack sold in their grocery stores. It has gram crackers, marshmallow, and chocolate in it. It is kind of like a smore, but it is packaged up and round. S. Korea was importing those into N. Korea. The N. Koreans loved them too. However, the Communist Party in N. Korea decided they were a symbol of the over indulgence that they think takes place in all Democratic nations, so they stopped importing them. The S. Koreans felt it. They had been happy the people in N. Korea were able to enjoy those moon pies. They had a very sweet response.
A big group of them met up at Peace Park, the park at the border between N. and S. Korea. they brought lots of moon pies and other snacks. They also brought balloons. They put the moon pies and other snacks in the balloons in large number and floated them over into N. Korea hoping the people could pick them up and enjoy them. This is not the only thing they have done.
When everyone knew that there was a big rice famine in N. Korea, the S. Korean government gave N. Korea a huge care package that was mostly rice. It was a lovely gesture, but I know Communist regimes, and the majority of the N. Korean people would have been very lucky to get any of it. It was probably only eaten by members of the Communist party or sold for a higher price with the Communist party benefitting.
Besides all this, the S. Korean government allots money just especially to help the N. Korean refuges. In the university where I was teaching, there was a special center set up funded by the S. Korean government with the whole purpose to help repatriate the N. Korean refugees into S. Korea. At times, there were N. Koreans in my classes, and they are a lot different after having lived in a totalitarian stat all their lives than the S. Koreans. The programs the S. Korean government sets up to help them are really needed.
Needless to say, S. Korea is concerned about N. Korea. They still love the N. Korean people. They don’t like the government. It is because of the government politics they will not unite with them. S. Koreans love Democracy, and they are doing a good job at Democracy and the Free Enterprise system. The only S. Korean I ever saw worried about N. Korea was a girl I got to know in the States before I every went to S. Korea. The girl was always watching the news saying, “There is a mad man in charge in N. Korea, and I have to keep up on the news because if he drops a bomb on S. Korea, I need to know.” She is the only Korean I ever met who thought like that. When I moved to S. Korea, the Korean population basically ignores the threats coming out of N. Korea. Maybe there has just been so much bluster without anyone backing the words up. However, the S. Koreans very safe. When I first got there, I saw military drills, and there were test sirens occasionally, but even those sirens have stopped. They still have military drills, but no more where I was. The S. Koreans have figured out that the N. Korean government is only bluster, and they aren’t afraid of them. They just ignore the N. Korean government and continue about their business. However, they always keep their relatives in mind who are living in N. Korea.