Many in South Korea fear they could be in the direct firing line of their northern neighbour’s massive military. The news of the alleged nuclear test has sparked protests in the capital Seoul. Demonstrators said they were scared North Korea would detonate another atomic device.
South Korea has engaged in a so-called sunshine policy with Pyongyang, a sort of pact to try to bolster economic and social ties. Now it says that engagement could be in jeopardy. But Japan, with its strong ties to Washington, is considered most threatened by a nuclear North Korea. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has won popularity with his tough stance towards Pyongyang.
The escalation in tension has left many in Japan worried over what will happen next. “I am very surprised for it had been an unthinkable thing for me. It’s a bit scary, “ said one woman in Tokyo. Japanese military planes have been collecting air samples to determine levels of radioactivity. Working out what exactly North Korea detonated is central to the international community’s response.