It is true that North Korea (after warning South Korea to please stop military maneuvers) fired upon a populated South Korean island on the maritime border, killing a few military personnel and two civilians. A few days later there was another round of artillery heard in the same vicinity. North Korea has warned that if South Korea and the United States move ahead with their planned military exercise, retaliation will occur, and China has failed to condemn North Korea. The military here is on high alert.
However, while some of the South Koreans seem confused and hurt (after all, the younger generation continually votes to support North Korea with food aid and supplies, and they seem themselves as one homogeneous race) most seem to think that North Korea is acting like a bully just wanting attention. Maybe it is because of the language barrier, but I don't think that too many people here are seriously concerned about an all-out attack or collapse into war. That would not be in either country's best interests.
So, please breath easy that I am safe and will continue to be so. If the situation changes, I will let you know.
On another note, I have been sick for the last few weeks and just can't seem to shake it! When I went to the pharmacy a few days ago they put me on a regiment of oriental medicine (I know, I too thought that oriental was a politically incorrect word!) and said I couldn't drink caffeine or exercise. Now, I don't feel any better at all, and am wondering slightly about the merit of this medicine that they gave me. It looks like rabbit pellets, honestly. They said it wasn't exactly supposed to make me feel better, but was supposed to basically empower my body to make itself better. Well, if that's the case, my body needs to do a better job! Maybe a second piece of leftover pie will help the situation.
Also, a big thanks to Dean McArdle for giving me a shout-out on a nationally broadcast NPR show! If you can't be with your family on Thanksgiving, the next best thing is to be on the air waves! Check out the podcast of it and start listening at about 15:25.