Despite tension with the North, South Koreans live normal lives

7NEWS talks to resident in Seoul, South Korea

DENVER - Despite the movement of missiles and threats from an unpredictable leader in North Korea, it's business as usual, in the massive South Korean city of Seoul.

"We go to work as usual by public transportation. You can see people waiting in line to by morning coffee at Starbucks," said HaeJoo Kang, a longtime resident.

Even with dire warnings from the North, she spotted tourists in the streets of Seoul Wednesday.

"You may think it's weird, but I'm not so worried about my safety." said Ms. Kang.

Kang isn't overly alarmed because these threats been part of her life since she was young.

Still, she said some recent events are disturbing - like the closure of an industrial complex in the North. A place where North Koreans and South Koreans had worked side by side.

"The factory complex was the symbol of cooperation between North and South Korea. Now the symbol was broken," she said.

While the future here is unpredictable - like many South Koreans, Kang still hopes for a unified North and South.

The White House says North Korea's threat of nuclear war and warnings to foreigners to evacuate the South Korean capital of Seoul is "more unhelpful rhetoric" that only escalates tensions and further isolates the communist regime.

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday that the U.S. is taking "prudent measures" to respond to stepped-up rhetoric from Pyongyang, including repositioning missile defense assets and the stealth bomber flights that were part of joint military exercises with South Korea.

Addressing the latest North Korean saber-rattling, Carney said: "It is unhelpful, it is concerning, it is provocative."