North Korean threats: South Korean reaction

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) watches what the country's media said was a drill of drone planes at an undisclosed location North Korean leader Kim Jong-un continues to threaten his southern neighbour

North Korea has continued to unleash threats against the US and South Korea, including a vow to restart operations at its main nuclear complex.

Pyongyang has also continued to refuse access to workers from the South into a joint industrial zone in the North.

Here, readers in South Korea tell the BBC how they are reacting to the increasingly hostile threats coming from the North.

Sung Jin Kim, Seoul, South Korea

I am deeply concerned by the current tensions in the Korean peninsula.

Although the threats from North Korea are not at all new, they seem to carry more weight and severity.

Sun Jin Kim

Many people now recognise that Kim Jong-un is a young leader who is bolder than his father. Hence, the situation is very unpredictable, and since his regime is very new, there is not much history to fully analyse and recognise his motives and values.

I believe that currently there is no analyst who can exactly predict North Korea's actions.

Considering the international pressure it is receiving, North Korea may start a relatively small battle, such as the Yeonpyeong island incident [when North Korea shelled the island in November 2010].

Opinions are divided here and many people are not taking the situation seriously. I just hope that our government is well prepared for any situation, since it has failed in the past.

I also believe that we should always take things seriously and not trivialise the threats. All we can do is wait and be sufficiently prepared.

I truly hope that there is no loss of life any time in the future and that we avoid any war or battles. It is unbearable to think that the lives of my loved ones could be irreversibly changed.

Joy Kim, Seoul, South Korea

Joy Kim

This tension has existed for more than 50 years, so I don't see the difference this time.

Many people here just see it as a case of empty threats.

When Kim Jong-il was in power, he made a lot of similar threats and nothing much really happened.

With Kim Jong-un, he is a new young leader and wants to make an impression, but I don't think anything will come of it.

We have a new president ourselves [Park Geun-hye] who is trying to take a strong stance on the matter.

But she is struggling to establish her own government at the moment.

A lot of what is coming out of the North is political - Kim Jong-un may well be testing our new president.

As for [stopping South Koreans from crossing the border to work at the jointly run] Kaesong industrial zone, I don't really see that as a problem for South Korea.

It will not really effect us economically. Again, I think it is more of a political move by the North.

James Self, Ulsan, South Korea

James Self

These escalations are a growing concern for people living in South Korea.

Of course this has happened in the past, but this time it might be different because there is no real way of telling who in the North holds the power.

With Kim Jong-il in charge, there was a history of sporadic rhetoric and some incidence of violence against the South, but even so the feeling was that we at least knew what and who we were dealing with.

But Kim Jong-un is untested and unprepared. There's no way of knowing what internal issues are prompting this latest round or rhetoric.

It appears to be spiralling out of control.

The North and its new leader may be painting themselves into a corner that could end in a disastrous miscalculation that results in further suffering for the peoples of Korea, both south and north of the border.

Ingrid Holguin, Seoul, South Korea

Ingrid Holguin

Almost every year, the north has a fit and starts making threats and every year they push everyone else's patience a little further.

But they never go for a full-on war.

As a teacher here in Seoul for four years, I've learned to take their threats with a grain of salt.

They have yet to develop the capability to actually go forth with a nuclear war at this time and their closest ally, China, has also been pressuring them to stop their threats.

From what I have gathered through talking to friends, co-workers and students, it is not in the North's best interest to go to war.

Interviews by Stephen Fottrell.

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