In response to Amanda's question from the comments section of my last post, and due to the fact that some people may want to know what it's like to witness the N. Korea situation almost first hand, here's a post on just that.
To put it simply, no one in S. Korea, including Sara and I, is worried about N. Korea. At all. People don't even talk about it. Everyone here seems to agree that the North is simply trying to engage in some kind of international pissing contest. Occasionally, Koreans will ask me, "Are you worried?" And I reply with a very quick, "Of course not." They usually then say, "Me either." That's about the extent of any discussions about N. Korea.
The two major points about the North are that 1) they threaten some kind of military action in response to a nonissue about once a week or so, and have for years. Because of this, no one in South Korea takes them seriously anymore, though they do have an exceptionally large army. 2) The DMZ (the border between N. and S. Korea) is the most heavily guarded and armed border in the world. They ain't gettin' in here.
Though I believe that Kim Jong Il is crazy enough to make good on some of his threats, he would be silenced so quickly by the US, Korea, and Japan, that the North wouldn't have the time to do any sort of real damage. I think, also, that he honestly doesn't want to start any wars. He just wants to be taken seriously. Maybe he should try losing the platform shoes and unspiking his hair.
Bottom line: The media makes North Korea sounds a lot scarier than they are. Kim Jong Il likes to shout a lot, but he carries a toothpick, not a big stick.