Life goes on in South Korea amid mounting rhetoric

A mother visits her son's grave in a war cemetery in South Korea
A mother visits her son's grave in a war cemetery in South Korea Photo: ITV News

Despite North Korea's latest barrage of rhetoric warning foreigners to leave South Korea in case of "all-out war," life is going on as usual in the South.

Memories of the Korean War, which claimed millions of lives, are never far away. But South Koreans are also used to outbursts of this type and the hustle and bustle in the capital Seoul today is testament to that.

Meanwhile, the eyes of world powers are on the east coast of North Korea following reports that a number of Musudan missiles have been moved there.

ITV News' International Corresponent John Irvine reports:

The reports that North Korea is preparing some of its mid-range missiles is worrying for South Korea and its allies.

The US has positioned two of its Aegis-class guided-missile destroyers in the western Pacific and deployed a missile defense system to its Guam military base.

Japan has also set up a Patriot anti-missile system around the capital Tokyo.

Units of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles stand in front of a housing complex, at the Defence Ministry in Tokyo
Units of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles stand in front of a housing complex, at the Defence Ministry in Tokyo Credit: REUTERS/Issei Kato

Admiral Samuel Locklear, the commander of US forces in the Pacific region, told Congress today that the Musadan missiles theoretically pose a risk to Guam, but not to Hawaii or the US mainland.

He said the US military believes the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is less predictable than his father or grandfather, who always appeared to factor into their cycle of period provocations "an off-ramp of how to get out of it".

"And it is not clear to me that he has thought through how to get out of it. And so, this is what makes this scenario, I think, particularly challenging," Locklear said.