Baylor graduate speaks out on life on Korean peninsula

Posted at 9:07 AM, Nov 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-27 10:36:44-05

Amid the continued up-and-down turmoil between the United States and North Korea, a Baylor graduate living in nearby South Korea says his life goes on normally in the shadow of the conflict.  

"Compare it to living in California and you're afraid of earthquakes," says Stephen Kim, who earned a Journalism degree from Baylor in 2006 and now teaches English in Seoul, South Korea. "The earthquake could happen, it might not, but you don't plan your life around it."

Kim is an American citizen from Houston who works in South Korea on a special visa as the son of Korean born parents. He's been living in Seoul since 2009.  While he says he doesn't generally fear for his safety, he and his fellow Seoul citizens do have disaster readiness drills from time-to-time.

"Once every few months they have these sirens go off for training purposes, where they give you advance warning, maybe one week ahead of time," Kim said. "Everyone's supposed to stop what they're doing, whether they're driving or walking on the sidewalk, etc. and it lasts for maybe five minutes."

Kim also believes the media blows the chances of danger out of proportion, and feed too much off of President Trump's and North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un's social media banter. He's also quick to respond to anyone concerned about his safety in the shadow of the ongoing conflict, and the chances of anything escalating into war.

"Almost any foreigner I know, they say their family always contacts them and says, 'Oh, be careful, be careful, be careful!' and then most of us, we're fine." Kim says. "We're more worried about America being attacked just as much as Korea."

"I'd like to say hello and don't worry about what you hear through the media," Kim added.

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