It has now been more than 24 hours since North Korea tested a nuclear weapon for the sixth time.
The nuclear tests were strongly criticised by the international community with President of South Korea Moon Jae-in, President of the US Donald Trump, and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe all releasing strongly worded statements.
While politicians seemed to all be on the same page, how was the news of the test received by the media in South Korea?
Articles in Korea's main three newspapers looked at things from differing viewpoints.
They point to the fact that China is supposedly providing North Korea with crude oil free of charge while also hurting South Korea economically due to their response to the installation of the THAAD missile system.
An article in the HanKyoreh suggested that North Korea’s nuclear capability is gradually surpassing that what the international community can handle.
At the same time, they realize that while Moon Jae-in’s policy has been to try to open up a dialogue with North Korea, the North Korean reaction means that his hand may be forced into different action.
An article in the JoongAng Ilbo meanwhile suggested that people should no longer confuse their hopes with the reality of the nuclear crisis. They suggested that the sixth nuclear test was an intentional attempt to enhance its negotiating power with the US.
They suggested that a possible solution could be to strengthen Korea’s alliance with the US and hasten the deployment of the THAAD anti missile system.
But, what about the people of Korea? Comments sections were understandably also buzzing after the tests.
After an article on Naver News discussing President Moon’s strong stance after the attack, many people called for the strengthening of military options, especially between the US and Korea.
User Tlsd*** said that ‘Obama and China didn’t do anything for a long time. Abe was using North Korea for his own political gain. We need a strong and new alliance between Korea and the US to solve the problem.’
Curry3pointshot agreed. Putting the blame on the past policies of the US and China, they said that ‘Obama and Xi Jin Ping need to do some self-reflection. We need hold a strong position with Korea and the US.’
In another popular comment, user Ffa0*** called for more military strengthening, saying that ‘we need to reinforce the navy, air force, and missile capabilities.’
An article in The Korea Times perhaps best summed up the thoughts of the people in Korea. Titled 'Fearful, yet people dismiss chance of war' the article pointed to an increase in anxiety, but not many people thinking that the chance of war is likely.
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