South Koreans feel government response to N. Korea attack feeble

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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Seoul, Nov.28 (ANI): Many South Koreans believe that their government has given a limited and feeble response to the missile attack from North Korea.

They believe that the hour-long artillery barrage by North Korea on Tuesday deserved a stronger reponse.

According to the New York Times, the ferocity of the attack and the deaths of the civilians appear to have started a shift in South Koreans' conflicted emotions about their countrymen in the North, and not just among those who were shot at.

After years of backing food aid and other help for the North despite a series of provocations that included two nuclear tests, many South Koreans now say they feel betrayed and angry.

"I think we should respond strongly toward North Korea for once instead of being dragged by them," the NYT quoted Cho Jong-gu, 44, a salesman in Seoul, as saying.

He added: "This time, it wasn't just the soldiers. The North mercilessly hurt the civilians."

That is not to say that he or other South Koreans will really push for a South Korean strike; people south of the border are well aware that the North could devastate Seoul with its weapons.

But the sentiments reflect a change of mood in a country where people have willed themselves to believe that their brotherly ties to the North would override the ideological chasm between the impoverished Communist North and the thriving capitalist South.

The attack seemed to challenge one of the underlying assumptions of a decade of inter-Korean rapprochement.

The NYT quoted Hong Jae-soon, 55, a homemaker who fled Yeonpyeong with most of the island's other 1,350 residents after the attack, as saying: "We learned you cannot trust them." (ANI)

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