Russia: Online Reactions to Korean Skirmish

Tensions in Korea by gwydionwilliams on Flickr

Russia's maritime territory Primorsky Krai shares a border with China and North Korea, and people there followed the news of an exchange of fire between North Korea and South Korea on November 23 on the island of Yeonpyeong with special concern over the possibility of war.

All regional news sources were following the story. There was little support for South Korea [RUS], and the role played by the United States in the conflict was especially criticized. Some local politicians even said they were convinced it was South Korea who provoked the conflict [RUS].

Citizens of Primorsky Krai did not express as many fears as one might think. In other words, people didn't rush to redeem their holiday tickets for New Year's trips to South Korea [RUS]. And direct flights to Seoul and Pyongyang have not been canceled [RUS] from the airport in Vladivostok.

Local newspaper Vladnews, however, reported that North Korean citizens rushed to leave Primorsky Krai [RUS] after the skirmish. According to VladNews this created an unfavorable economic situation since workers from North Korea represented the cheapest labor force in the region.

In a comment following an article on local news website Vl.Ru about South Korea halting food deliveries to North Korea, one reader, samidinah (самидинах) supported one of the conspiracy theories:

[…] Южная провоцирует кимченировцев с подачи США.
[…] Россия уже никуда не лезет. Медвепут с […] (Обамой) уже обо всём договорились.
И скоро через нас будет осуществляться транзит пендырской армии.

…The South provoked the Kim Jong Il'ers on a tip from the United States.
…Russia is not interfering anymore. Medveput… has already agreed on everything [with Obama]. And soon the transition of the Pendyr Army will be conducted through us.

(Note: “Medveput” is a pejorative term for the president Medvedev and former Prime prime minister Putin tandem. And “Pendyr” is a pejorative term for “American”)

Another commenter, Mozg Cheloveka (Brain of a Human) replied on another Vl.Ru article about the conflict, expressing concerns [RUS] over the possibility of a new war:

Если начнется Ирак-2 (с вторжением америкосов в КНДР), то это будет пипец. Война в 200 километрах от Владивостока.

If Iraq-2 starts (with the invasion of Americans to DPRK), then we are all screwed. The war would be 200 kilometers from Vladivostok.

Another person commented sarcastically on how a possible war would affect the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Community (APEC) Summit that is planned to take place in Vladivostok in 2012. The budget for the APEC Summit is reportedly four times a big as the annual budget for the entire Primosky Krai region, and five times as big as that of the Olympic games in Vancouver. Zhaba (Toad) said [RUS]:

Эй, там, на распиле бабок саммита АТЭС! Пилите быстрее, похоже ваш саммит накрывается корейским медным тазом!

Hey there, to everyone stealing the APEC summit money! Steal it faster, it seems like your summit will fold up soon!

Life has moved on, and the Internet community in Primorsky Krai quickly switched to discussing the consequences of the recent snowstorm; APEC summit preparation and other vital topics.

It seems like only few believe in the possibility of a real war.

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