Monday, April 17, 2017

Two years later, the people are within reach of community bunkers, including the school, along with fear and tensions.

22 November 2016
By Julian Ryall

Entrance to a bomb shelter on Yeonpyeong Island.

A South Korean island is on high alert for an attack after North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un made a rare visit to artillery batteries on nearby border islands....

..."When you consider what they have done before (click here), how close they are and the tensions at the moment, we feel we could die at any moment", he said. "That's how bad things have become."

Kim Na-yeon's sea-front bar was badly damaged in the 2010 attack and she says she now always leaves a small bag of essentials by her front door for the next emergency.

"When I was a child, this island was beautiful and peaceful", she said. "Now there are more soldiers than residents and it has been turned into a fortress."

Her children frequently ask her to move to the mainland to be with them - but she plans to stay, at least for now.

"My parents escaped from the North and they are buried here", she said. "This is my home town, it's where I grew up and I don't want to go.

"But it breaks my heart when I see the old people hurrying to the bunkers when we have an alert."

"We're living in a state of constant fear and it's a tragedy for everyone here", Mrs Kim said. "It's too sad for words that we have to live like this."