Border city gov’ts give out manuals in event of crisis

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Border city gov’ts give out manuals in event of crisis

GOYANG, Gyeonggi - In the elevator of a residential apartment here, two residents anxiously read a sign on the wall.

Titled “Instructions in the event of a security crisis for Goyang residents,” the sign explains how they should respond in case of a military provocation from North Korea, as well as contact information for local city government officials. It also informs them of locations of underground refugee camps in the city.

“I think the sign would be helpful for us to calmly react in the case of a military emergency, because it gives us detailed information on the daily necessities we should bring and how we should react in a war,” Gwak Ji-man, a 49-year-old resident, said.

The signs, issued by the local government, were put up at some popular bus stops and bulletin boards of residential apartments in the city.

Tensions are running high in the northern Gyeonggi regions bordering the North, as Pyongyang is ratcheting up its warmongering rhetoric and actions against South Korea, such as its entry ban on the Kaesong Industrial Complex.

Local governments in the regions are hurrying to distribute manuals to residents in case of a skirmish.

Many residents are checking what they should do in the case of an emergency.

The Goyang City Government has distributed about 100,000 instruction manuals to residents since last month. Choi Sung, the mayor of Goyang, said he canceled his business trip to the United States, which was concerning bilateral relations, to prepare for a possible emergency state.

“Thorough preparation will be the best measure to protect the lives and property of residents in case of an unexpected emergency,” Choi said.

Paju and Yeoncheon, the neighboring regions of Goyang in Gyeonggi, are not an exception.

“Starting from this week, we will distribute leaflets with instructions in case of a national emergency,” O Bu-geun, an official of the Yeoncheon County Office, which has produced about 10,000 leaflets, said.

The Yeoncheon leaflet offers information on how to use a gas mask in case of a biochemical attack or a nuclear strike by North Korea, with some detailed images. It says people can notice a biochemical attack if a bunch of birds suddenly die and a lot of people show symptoms of high fever, stomach pain or vomiting.

“It’s not the first time that the North issues threats,” said Jo Bong-yeon, 56-year-old resident of Haemaru Village in Paju. “But the threats didn’t continue for this long, so I feel worried.”

“Although there is an underground bunker in our village, I prepared some materials in my house as well, such as rice, butane and some medicine,” Cheon Byeong-ho, a 56-year-old resident of Yeoncheon, said.

“We are preparing some daily necessities, such as drinking water and instant noodles,” Shin Geum-sik, head of a local community center in Paju, said.

By Jeon Ik-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]

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