[Pexers Write-Ups] A Soldier’s Story Pt 4 – A Seoulite Goes Border Patrolling #Justice4KHJ #Pray4KHJ #SupportTBoKHJalbum #TheBestOfKHJalbum
Arts Credit. @oaewma06
A Seoulite Goes Border Patrolling
Whether Kim Hyun Joong choose this assignment himself (as border patrol in Paju) or was randomized it doesn’t matter now. What matters is that he is in there and must be receiving additional training. What followed is a slew of fanrts,serious and comedic showing him in the new uniform in the absence of pictures.
Is a native of Seoul like him ready for an active duty as border patrol? No matter how hard working,disciplined,inured to infighting he is to the urban jungle nothing will compare to border wilderness.
Will the recent training suffice? At the border further training must be fitted according to posting such as the terrain, time of day, different seasons and varied factors not necessarily less important and urgent than the others.
No country friendly or hostile sworn enemies towards another has no issues regarding borders. For borders mean separation and recognition of national sovereignty of one from the other whether out of historical reasons,resulting political and military agreements.
Borders are seen by respective countries in their own perspectives and requirements thus may emphasize a certain approach or approaches. particularly in the age of terrorism,drugs,illegal migration and the like. South Korea first and foremost is protective of its way of life and the progress it has attained so far. It has often been said it stands to lose more in the event North Korea makes true its threat of annihilation. North Korea on the other hand,do not want defectors coming from their side crossing to the other (if they make it through sniping, landmines and getting caught). What the defectors’ reveal to the world are bad for their image.
Compared to becoming border patrols in the US where they are applied for, receive 18 months of intensive training and are rewarded with hefty salaries and benefits when hired, SK gets its border patrols from conscription, paid poorly and had only 5 weeks of basic training. Yet immediately face danger upon placement. Judging from the numerous border incidents through the years, getting assigned there is no joke. Short of five days before HJ arrived in Paju, a North Korean soldier described to be in his teens defected into SK.Instead of the usual interrogation they fed him ramen first. Hyun Joong missed a real life border drama -it could have been his first.
But there is no rush. By this time he must have seen the tunnels dug from NK to SK. Using the tunnels the NK authorities can deploy troops and materials and can be in Seoul in less than an hour.Can that realization bring a surge of patriotism in soldiers enough to be ready for combat?
Many SK soldiers feel they are fighting people who speaks the same language, from same racial stock, common historical traditions separated by the bridge of no return and other borders, ideology and economic realities. The difficulties of continuing training and active duty drain the newcomers that many suffer from mental health issues. Fortunately, Paju has initiated a program called Camp Health offering mental health counselling for soldiers.
There are videos on the life of an SK border patrol. In the absence of pictures in your mind put HJ in there. Maybe you’ll have an idea what he is going through.
You may yet see him posted standing guard at the Dorasan Train Station. But not likely: focusing his binoculars across the border while at the Village of Panmunjom, putting on his camouflage face painting and leaves on his helmet, nor inspecting the perimeter barbed wired fences.
For sure he’ll enjoy your letters, so continue sending them. Don’t forget the chocolates!
Arts Credit. @oaewma06