Even as North Korea threatened full military action, the South Korean public widely continued to support the blasting of anti-North Korea propaganda by loudspeakers at the border, the Korea Times, a South Korean news outlet, reported Friday. South Korean citizens said they believed the odds of war breaking out were low, and said the North Korean government needed to be taught a lesson.
"I have a son serving in the military right now," Lee Kyung-soon, a Seoul resident, told the newspaper. "It worries me about his safety, and I want things to quiet down so that my son can return home safely. But, in the bigger picture, the South has to show the North that enough is enough. Stopping the loudspeakers in response to the attack will make North Korea even more spoiled."
Tensions have risen between the two countries since two South Korean soldiers were heavily wounded by land mines Aug. 4 near the fortified border zone. South Korea has complained of the incident to the United Nations, and in response, has been blaring anti-North Korea propaganda near the border. North Korea has threatened to blow up the speakers and is now threatening full-scale war. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been conducting high-level emergency meetings and has sent commanders to the front lines in preparation of a possible conflict.
South Korean residents along the border region were evacuated following shelling between the two countries Thursday, as both countries were placed on high alert.
South Koreans were skeptical the tensions would lead to a larger-scale conflict, according to the Korea Times. "If you look carefully, they don't want a war either," said another Seoul resident, who also said he believed the broadcasting should continue. "What they want is a stable regime, and all these actions are taken because they think the South is disturbing that."
South Korea said North Korea sent a message Thursday around 5 p.m. threatening military action if Seoul didn't stop the propaganda broadcasts within 48 hours, CNN reported.