A report of the life of South Koreans living close to the North Korean border.
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So what is it like to live in the shadow of potential aggression from North Korea? In South Korea of course, people have lived with this threat for decades. And they know that in the event of war, they'll take the first casualties. So how do they cope with that knowledge and how far does it shape everyday life? The BBC's Justin Webb took a trip to the border.
We’ve come to a village. It doesn't look much to write home about actually - just concrete buildings and the fields all around us. But it is at the edge of the most dangerous unstable border in the world. It is a pretty strange place. This is the border between North and South Korea. When the dogs stop barking, you can hear in the distance the voice of North Korea. That sound is propaganda. It is coming out of giant speakers and it's being blasted at these people all day, although I have to say it's a pretty minor nuisance compared with a threat that war would bring. It's estimated that the North Korean guns, that we can't see from here but their base just a few miles across the border, could fire five hundred thousand shells in the first hour of a conventional war. So even a conventional war would be just devastating for everyone who lives here.
So there’s a village center right by. In case of an emergency or in case of a drill, we would make an announcement through the radio speakers asking the people to gather at the shelter.
We’re talking to the mayor, Lee Hagki. It doesn't feel like a normal life.
We don't necessarily live here because we want to live here or because we like living here. It’s just that this is our home, and that's why we're here. Actually, it very dangerous to live here because of all the land mines that are near the farmlands. And people have to go there to work. And we don't know where all the mines are and there are a lot of them.
We've come outside the shelter now and village life is carrying on very much as normal. There are a couple of women sitting here sorting through beans on the ground.
They are drying the beans so they can make soybean paste later.
Does she ever think of leaving because of the threat?
I'm just going to keep living here.
Because it's her hometown is what she said.