New Zealand Kore­ans re­main calm

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JACK­SON THOMAS

As ten­sions be­tween North Korea and the United States near boil­ing point, Korean New Zealan­ders are keep­ing a calm out­look.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un again sent shock­waves around the world, when he launched a bal­lis­tic mis­sile that flew over Ja­pan be­fore it crashed into the Pa­cific, on Septem­ber 15.

The move sparked global con­dem­na­tion, tighter sanc­tions im­posed by the United Nations and an in­flam­ma­tory re­sponse from US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

Im­mi­gra­tion New Zealand area man­ager Mar­celle Fo­ley said as of June there were five North Kore­ans and more than 26,000 South Kore­ans liv­ing in New Zealand.

While it ap­peared from the out­side that ten­sions were at an all time high be­tween the two nu­clear states, the Korean So­ci­ety of Auck­land be­lieved war was sim­ply not a pos­si­bil­ity.

‘‘Our view is that ac­tive con­flict is not a pos­si­bil­ity on the Korean Penin­sula,’’ a spokesper­son said.

‘‘Both the North and South are com­mit­ted to keep­ing it that way. As Kore­ans, we are all ready to do our part to keep peace at the top of the agenda.’’

Do­ing their part, from a mil­i­tary stand­point, was a tra­di­tion for Korean males aged 18 to 25. Un­der South Korean law ev­ery male must com­plete two years of manda­tory mil­i­tary ser­vice.

The Mil­i­tary Man­power Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Korea said it was con­sid­ered an ‘‘ex­pres­sion of loy­alty to the na­tion’’.

Once com­pleted, sol­diers were trans­ferred to re­serve units. These re­serves could then be called upon dur­ing an emer­gency or wartime.

How­ever, de­spite ser­vice be­ing near un­avoid­able for Korean res­i­dents, the rules change slightly for dual ci­ti­zens.

Hold­ers of a Korean New Zealand dual cit­i­zen­ship could re­nounce their Korean cit­i­zen­ship and in do­ing so, be­come ex­empt from manda­tory ser­vice.

This ment that if war broke out, dual ci­ti­zens could chose to stay in New Zealand and not an­swer a call to arms. Those who left Korea be­fore un­der­go­ing their mil­i­tary train­ing would not be called upon re­gard­less of cit­i­zen­ship.

Trump’s lat­est at­tack on North Korea came dur­ing his ad­dress to the United Nations gen­eral assem­bly on Septem­ber 20, In which he threat­ened to ‘‘to­tally de­stroy’’ the coun­try should JongUn’s nu­clear tests con­tinue.

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