Kim Jong Un ramps up rocket engine production, one of his major targets is meant to be preparing for the worst. The South Korean capital, Seoul, is in range of the North's missiles and artillery. And while this week's seen a number of several defense drills around the metro area from diffusing mock bombs in the subway to practicing anti-terror operations, Wednesday's exercise is entirely voluntary.
As Reuters Christine Kim reports, many in the capital treat it like an annoyance.>> Behind me is an ongoing civic defense drill. We can hear the siren going off, and all the traffic behind me is supposed to stop. The traffic lights usually start blinking instead of showing their usual red, yellow, and green.
Now, pedestrians as well as all members of the public are supposed to go inside shelters near. In our case, it would be those subway stations right beside me here. Usually though, people ignore the drill and go about their everyday business like behind me, people are walking as usual.
>> After weeks of tough talk from Pyongyang, some residents do believe the drills are worth taking part in, but most say when you live as close to North Korea as they do, taking cover is futile.>> South Koreans don't really regard the North Korean threat as a huge problem to worry about in their daily lives.
Most people rather think if North Korea is going to attack, everyone in Seoul or the vicinity of this inter-Korean border will die quickly. Shall we say, most people in South Korea are resigned to whatever may happen in case an actual war breaks out.>> Seoul may be living through a summer of high tension with the North but drills to prepare for military attacks have been running since 1975.
Even after a lifetime of these exercises, many residents say they still don't know where they're supposed to run if war breaks out.