The so-called war of words involving North Korea, South Korea and the United States, raises an important question for our time: how do we define violence? Many people have pointed to the threat of violent conflict, but I believe that it has already taken place. In Buddhism, violence is thought of not just as physical action, but in terms of our thoughts and words as well.
The dangers involved are now on clear display in the escalating crisis in North Korea as the United States seeks to strike a delicate balance between deterring an unknown adversary and reassuring a nervous ally. What's more, the drama plays out in full view of an international audience, some of whom are watching for clues about the utility of nuclear weapons in the 21st Century.
As an expat living in South Korea, the North Korean threat is always present. I would be stupid not to take notice. Lately, the threats have been more jarring than in years past. However, like many Koreans, most of the expat community shrugs it off, likening the threats to whining from a petulant child.