My life in the shadow of North Korean nuclear strikes

Anti-war protesters raise signs during a rally denouncing the joint military drills between the South Korea and the United States near the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, April 3, 2013. North Korea on Wednesday barred South Korean workers from entering a jointly run factory park just over the heavily armed border in the North, officials in Seoul said, a day after Pyongyang announced it would restart its long-shuttered plutonium reactor and increase production of nuclear weapons material. The letters read "Out, War weapons." (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Anti-war protesters raise signs during a rally denouncing the joint military drills between the South Korea and the United States near the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, April 3, 2013. North Korea on Wednesday barred South Korean workers from entering a jointly run factory park just over the heavily armed border in the North, officials in Seoul said, a day after Pyongyang announced it would restart its long-shuttered plutonium reactor and increase production of nuclear weapons material. The letters read "Out, War weapons." (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
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A MACKEM based in South Korea has spoken of living in the shadow of nuclear strikes.

North Korea has been causing concern across the globe after announcing a formal declaration of war on the South.

Michael is photographed with Korean girlfriend Min Ju Goo

Michael is photographed with Korean girlfriend Min Ju Goo

Though experts do not believe the communist country has the capacity to launch a nuclear-armed ballistic missile at the US, America has deployed warships with anti-missile capabilities.

Yesterday, reports emerged that South Korea had deployed two warships with missile-defence systems on the east and west coasts.

Michael Wheeler, 26, from Ashbrooke, has been living in South Korea for three years and says it’s business as usual.

“I live on the north-west coast, probably in the path of any amphibious attack en route to Seoul, but I, and many of the Koreans I’ve spoken to, aren’t concerned.”

South Korean soldiers prepare 155 mm howitzers for their military exercise in the border city between two Koreas, Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, Friday, April 5, 2013. After a series of escalating threats, North Korea has moved a missile with "considerable range" to its east coast, South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said Thursday. But he emphasized that the missile was not capable of reaching the United States and that there are no signs that the North is preparing for a full-scale conflict. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

South Korean soldiers prepare 155 mm howitzers for their military exercise in the border city between two Koreas, Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, Friday, April 5, 2013. After a series of escalating threats, North Korea has moved a missile with "considerable range" to its east coast, South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said Thursday. But he emphasized that the missile was not capable of reaching the United States and that there are no signs that the North is preparing for a full-scale conflict. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

The teacher says it’s a different story for the Westerners, many of whom teach English, who have more recently moved to the Far East.

“One of my friends has been here five months and thinks he’s going die,” he explained.

“But it’s so far detached from anything we experience back home it feels so real at first. I frequently see blogs and stories on my feed about foreigners expressing their concerns and fears of imminent annihilation.”

In recent weeks, the North has made specific threats to target US territory including the Pacific island of Guam, which hosts a US military base.

Former St Aidan’s pupil Michael added: “It’s said that the joint industrial complex north of the border in Kaesong is the real gauge of tensions – that was closed on Wednesday and South Korean workers were sent back.”

After speaking to Koreans, Michael said it’s not always been so fraught between the two neighbouring countries.

“It’s thought that a peaceful end could be achieved if real persuasion instead of intimidation is employed.

“The ‘sunshine’ policy of the early 2000s saw the greatest amount of communication and co-operation in years. It was even possible for foreigners to travel into North Korea on day trips.”