Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

What to do when the shells hit Seoul
JoonAng Daily ^ | December 10, 2010 | Cho Kang-su, Choi Joon-ho

Posted on 12/09/2010 5:02:24 PM PST by Pan_Yan

Like most Seoulites, Hong Jin-ah, a 27-year-old graduate student, had never given a second thought to a North Korean invasion. Despite the rogue country’s close proximity to Seoul, most people here have grown deaf to the threat it poses.

But after Pyongyang leveled Yeonpyeong Island on Nov. 23 with dozens of artillery blasts, many here are now making contingency plans.

Hong was stumped when she considered where she would go if a war broke out. She turned to her smartphone for an answer. Her search for bomb shelters in Hapjeong-dong, western Seoul, turned up nothing. Next she checked a blog called “Find a Bomb Shelter in Your Town,” which also yielded little help.

Hong then took her search to the Dasan 120 Seoul Call Center, a citywide information hotline. “I live in Hapjeong-dong. Where should I evacuate to if there is a war?” Hong asked the receptionist. The answer she received was what most people already know: Head to the nearest subway station or basement.


There are 25,000 emergency evacuation facilities in South Korea and 3,919 in Seoul. There are no public air-raid shelters in the capital.

“Unlike on Yeonpyeong Island, there is no need to build extra air-raid shelters in Seoul, since subway stations and basements under large buildings can act as evacuation shelters,” said Kim Hye-kyung, the Seoul civil defense attache. “In the case of air raids by North Koreans, those shelters [in Seoul] are good for two to 10 hours.”

According to the National Emergency Management Agency, there is enough space in Seoul’s underground facilities (subway stations, basements, etc.) for 2.7 times the city’s population. The agency came to the conclusion by calculating that each person would need 0.825 square meters (8.9 square feet).

“To prepare for war, the Park Chung Hee regime encouraged construction companies to build basements when putting up new buildings,” said Yoon Myung-o, professor in the University of Seoul’s Department of Architectural Engineering. “Since then, most buildings were made with basements. Now, Seoul has more underground space than any other city [in Korea].”

Seoul’s 4,000 shelters are scored on a 1-4 grading system (with 1 being the most protective shelters), which is determined by landlords and local government offices. In Seoul, there are 1,481 “grade 2” evacuation shelters - which are largely tunnels, subway stations and basements of buildings. There are 2,246 “grade 3” shelters, which are basements of commercial buildings and underground roads. There are 192 “grade 4” shelters under smaller buildings. There are no public “grade 1” shelters that can withstand a chemical, biological or nuclear attack in the capital.

According to guidelines from the National Emergency Management Agency, shelters considered “grade 1” must be equipped with enough food and water for at least two weeks, generators, and communications equipment.


A go-bag is an easy-to-carry kit that’s been prepared in advance consisting of essential living items. It is common to have a go-bag for those who live in areas prone to natural disasters such as tsunamis.

It is also not a bad idea to pack a go-bag if your neighboring country is run by a tyrannical dictator who routinely threatens to turn the streets of your capital into “rivers of blood.”

So, what to pack?

Start with the essentials: Food, shelter, communication.

Pack a mylar blanket. It’s light-weight, inexpensive and can fold to fit into your pocket. Also consider a radio, whistle, pocket knife, U.S. dollars, maps, a compass, water, food, personal hygiene products, prescription medication, extra keys to your vehicle or apartment, and your ID and passport.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: korea; nkorea; seoul
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-30 last
To: sionnsar; Hoodat

40 foot?

When I screw up I don’t do it half ass do I?

40 inch oak

21 posted on 12/09/2010 6:37:32 PM PST by IMR 4350
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Tailback

22 posted on 12/09/2010 6:50:17 PM PST by sushiman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: bgill

As mentioned: the threat has been so loud and in-your-face for so long many don’t perceive it.
I used to date a South Korean for a while. Whenever I asked about the latest scary NK threat, she’d just roll her eyes and ask why I bothered paying any attention to their nonsense.

23 posted on 12/09/2010 6:57:51 PM PST by ctdonath2 (+)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver

The thing is, crack NK commandoes will lob Sarin and VX gas mercilessly into the Seoul subway stations, once they are full. They know every station, and have trained for it...I am certain they are already on SK soil, assleepers, as we speak.

24 posted on 12/09/2010 7:56:14 PM PST by AmericanInTokyo (**George W Bush** bears as much responsibility as CARTER, CLINTON and OBAMA over N. Korean nukes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Repeal The 17th
You had me interested ‘til you got to the kimchi breath (such a turn-off).

It certainly is. When I was in Korea (1961-62) and living in the standard building there, a quonset hut, one of the guys could come back from eating kimchi, and--this is a bit of an exaggeration, but not much--you could be at the other end of the quonset hut and smell the kimchi.

For those unfamiliar with it, kimchi (at least the stuff that I came across) was made basically of cabbage, with a few other vegetables, such as red peppers, mixed in). It was usually placed underground until it fermented to a certain "flavor." The smell of it on someone's breath was breathtaking.

25 posted on 12/09/2010 8:21:32 PM PST by OldPossum
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: OldPossum

Oh, I forgot to note that onions were also a primary ingredient.

I had an extremely cute Korean girlfriend when I was there and she was always careful to not eat kimchi on those days when she went out with me.

26 posted on 12/09/2010 8:30:38 PM PST by OldPossum
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: OldPossum
"I had an extremely cute Korean girlfriend when I was there and she was always careful to not eat kimchi on those days when she went out with me.

When I was there, I just ate kimchi myself and there was no problem with the Korean girl's breath.
27 posted on 12/09/2010 9:11:39 PM PST by Right_Wing_Madman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Lazamataz
Of course you do, Laz ......................... FRegards
28 posted on 12/10/2010 12:10:29 AM PST by gonzo ( Buy more ammo, dammit! You should already have the firearms .................. FRegards)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: sushiman

Nobody at our local Korean restaurant looks that good. :-(

29 posted on 12/10/2010 10:48:43 AM PST by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan; All

I’ve got one for each member of the FAMILY!

also two of these for the FAMILY

30 posted on 12/10/2010 11:19:44 AM PST by GOYAKLA (Flush Congress in 2010 & 2012)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-30 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson