This Spring in South Korea

I am merely an expat here in South Korea, so I would never claim to speak for a nation. But here, for what it's worth, is my sense, looking from without, living from within, This Spring.

Every Spring in South Korea comes the Yellow Dust and the “danger” from the North. The US and SK play some stupid war games. North Korea gets all pissy and tries to shoot a missile, mostly unsuccessfully. The US froths. China sort of wags a finger. American cable news networks go bugnuts, but South Koreans just shrug. Because Kim Jong Un may or may not be crazy, but he is fairly predictable. Life goes on.

This Spring, though, is different.

To most Koreans, Donald Trump is not predictable. Or knowledgeable. Or honorable. At all. And that is seriously annoying the hell out of South Korea.

This Spring, when Trump says he wants South Korea to pay for its own security, South Koreans wonder if he knows what the hell Korea means to American interests. When, This Spring, he falsely claims that Korea was once a part of China, they are both deeply insulted and seriously freaked. Like, does this guy know anything about the region? Will he have our back or will he sell us out? Will he seriously start a war that nobody wants simply because he doesn't know what the freak is going on? Is he really that much of an idiot?

As for my students, they mostly think he is a bad man. Seriously, they think he is a bad man and want to know if I voted for this bad man. And they are bewildered that so many Americans voted for this bad man. They love America! They love Obama. Trump angers and confuses them. And every time, This Spring, when he mentions Korea, he reinforces that he is such a bad man.