Mike's Journal: Day Two 6:00am - 12:00pm

April 7th 2016

When we woke up the urgency of the news stories had shifted. Outlets were now discussing a major crises in the Korean peninsula. China had not only closed the border, they had begun to evacuate the towns close-by “for the safety of the population.” The hell was going on.

The situation on the border with S. Korea was worse. They had mobilized their military and were trying to stem a tidal wave of refuges from the North. The army of the DPRK (Democratic – that’s how you know it’s a dictatorship) had stopped firing and instead were joining the panicked civilians trying to cross the border.

The South had set up official border crossings where refugees were being allowed through. There were photos of crowds of North Koreans pushing against chain link fences, narrow gaps where people were shoving through one by one. Aid stations where they were being checked. Quarantine pens where they were being held on the South Korean side...

Western outlets were translating the stories of the refugees from their Korean counterparts. It was clear there was some kind of biological outbreak. The North Korean refugees told stories of emaciated crazed individuals attacking livestock and people. Eating them. Fuck.

The North Korean military was pushing south, but not to attack, to run away. There was an image of a tank driving right into the DMZ and blowing up on an mine. One guy got out, on fire, and ran for the fence. Didn't make it.

Jesus. What the fuck was going on.

Still, that was Korea. I lived on the East Coast of the US, 7,000 miles away. I think, but around there. Sarah and I went in to work. It’s the last Thursday I remember.

On the train there were a few newspapers around – The Metro etc – and all of them had the “Korean Crises” as the headline. Huge font. Like it was 1942. There was speculation everywhere. Some newspapers starting using the word zombie in their news stories. Always qualifiers. "Zombie like illness" or "Driven to zombie-like cannibalism."

At 11:42AM word came through that the DMZ barricades had fallen. No one knew what the hell was going on. It was the middle of the night in Korea. We turned on the big TV in the cafeteria and gathered there to watch. That's why I remember the time. I texted Sarah - told her to turn on a TV. American troops were on the front lines. News stations were speculating, showing airstrike after airstrike in the 35 miles between Seoul and the DMZ. We ate our lunch, horrified by what was happening on the other side of the world.

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