Cho Doo-hyeong, whose two sons both serve in the military, said he isn't too worried about their safety because he believes South Korean troops would prevail if war broke out.
"I'm not anxious because I believe my country will win. If war were to break out, let's have it and see who wins," the 52-year-old said on the phone. But he admitted that he may be feeling complacent because he hasn't seen real warfare before.
Concern may have peaked with the nuclear test. In an Asian Institute for Policy Studies poll of 1,000 South Koreans conducted Feb. 13-15, immediately after the test, 63 percent said it made them feel insecure. It has not followed up on the poll, which had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.
At this point, the economy weighs heavier on many South Koreans. Shoeshine man Jeong Yeong-soo said he's more worried about making a living than about war.
"North Korea could be making threats because of an internal power struggle or because the U.S. scares them. But I wish they'd just quiet for the time being so I can carry on with my life," Jeong said as he scrubbed a shoe with a piece of cloth wrapped around his hand.
Some South Koreans say the apparent calm among the local people is because they are complacent about national security.
"South Korean people are too indifferent about North Korea. So many people don't even know that the Korean War ended in truce and technically, we are still in the state of war," said Kim Jin-hwan, a 30-year-old employee at a bakery shop in Seoul. "If we are not interested in (North Korea), we cannot be well prepared."
Many foreigners appeared to be more affected by the war rhetoric. Parents of Japanese students headed for school trips in South Korea "are making many calls asking about safety," said Kang Soon-deog, director of research and development center at the Korea Tourism Organization.
Andrea Lee, CEO of Uri Tours, which has been arranging tours to North Korea for more than 10 years, said she has seen some cancellations recently, but she said that comes with the territory.
"It's always a rough time when tensions get high. But this is commonplace for us," Lee said. "We've been through these sorts of high tension periods."
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