Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The sound of a North Korean attack

I WAS sitting at my desk in the office when I heard it: the shrill, demented wail of an air raid siren. My blood went cold. Was this it? A flash in the sky and a moment to gasp before a nuclear firestorm burnt me to a crisp?

No, North Korea wasn't attacking, but how was I to know? I soon learnt that the authorities do a test of the siren around this time every year - another reminder that peace on the Korean peninsula is not regarded as exactly stable and secure.

Of course, considering they do it every year and people are so used to it, one wonders whether anyone would take it seriously should an actual attack occur.

It's funny how even such an awful, threatening signal can become banal to those who hear it.

I hope that complacency is never shattered.

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