Can't believe it has been nearly two years since I went on a media press trip to Seoul...feels like yesterday. This is a city on alert 24/7...an attack can happen at anytime. I can only imagine what the atmosphere in the city must be like now. During my stay, I recall the daily war practice sirens and the US military aircraft flying constantly overhead. At that time, the Ritz-Carlton Seoul and the Grand Hyatt, where I was staying, were quite well protected and only open for government officials and the media. The US military personnel are seen as celebs in the city- seen patrolling at every other corner. Every time an American soldier in uniform went past (I bumped into a few in coffee shops), you could not resist but wanting to shake their hand and say "very proud of the work you guys are doing...thanks for keeping us safe and may god bless America!". Let's pray for peace and harmony...and stability. That's all the world needs right now.
You realise that South Korea is technically at war when you see the large numbers of American soldiers at almost every street corner in Seoul (around 35,000 are based here) - spoke to a few at the local Starbucks (they proudly had their military uniforms on) and they told me they are ready for an attack anytime. Most buildings are built with a helipad and notices for emergency shelters (as shown below) can be seen everywhere around the city.
The most nervous border in the world, followed closely by India Pakistan. From my hotel window at The Ritz-Carlton Seoul, everyday could see helicopters and fighter jets doing sorties...just speechless...they fly quite low too. Never seen that over a major city before. When you meet a US Military personnel on the streets, you can't help but go up to them and shake their hand. Very proud of the US Military and for how they are keeping the world a safer place.
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