Over time, however, sentiment has changed and South Koreans, especially young people, have become used to the bellicose rhetoric and nuclear bluster in the region.
Retailers in Seoul said there was no indication that people were hoarding food or goods in preparation for a conflict.
“There is no panic buying. None at all,” said a spokesman at the Lotte Mart supermarket.
After North Korea’s third nuclear test in 2013, the most talked-about term on South Korean web portals and social media networks was “Innisfree”, a popular cosmetics brand which had just announced big discounts.
“Usually, the farther one is from Korea, the more one expects there to be war,” said Andrei Lankov, a North Korea expert at Seoul’s Kookmin University.