LATimes -- S. Koreans Shrug Off Nuclear Threat
When Lee Jin Ju pauses to think about the nuclear crisis brewing over the Korean peninsula, she knows exactly whom she fears.
"George Bush," replies the 22-year-old accounting student without missing a beat. "He's a war maniac."
Lee doesn't like North Korea's Kim Jong Il much, either. "But we're not afraid of him. He's a Korean like us. Even if he does get the bomb, he's not going to use it against us."
This is a sentiment echoed by many Koreans -- even some conservatives -- and it is complicating U.S. efforts to forge a consensus on North Korea among its allies. There is a tendency, particularly among the young, to shrug off the current situation as the creation of a hysterical White House. Many South Koreans see their estranged brethren to the north more as objects of pity than of fear, and the Americans less as saviors who defended them against communism than as potential troublemakers.
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