From almost 7,000 miles away, it can be hard to grasp the looming threat 50 million residents of South Korea may feel as tensions with North Korea are ramping up.
To offer some perspective, consider this: If Atlanta were Seoul, the capital of South Korea, than Kennesaw would be on the border between the two countries. And Chattanooga, just 120 miles outside the city, could stand in for Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea that is home to an arsenal of missiles and other weapons of mass destruction.
In short, it would be like hanging out on the rooftop at Ponce City Market knowing that deadly weapons could be headed your way at a moment’s notice from Rock City.
Using MAPfrappe, which allows you to compare two regions of the globe and adjusts for the distortion that is caused by changing longitudes on a Mercator map, the AJC was able to illustrate just how precarious the nearly 10 million residents of Seoul would be in a conflict in using Georgia’s geography.
In the above map, the blue line represents the border between the two Koreas − positioned the equivalent distance from Atlanta as the Korean border is from Seoul.
Atlanta’s suburbs press right up to the line, with the residents of Kennesaw in the very shadow of the Demilitarized Zone, the heavily fortified buffer that has separated the two countries since the Korean War ended in 1953.
With Pyongyang more than 7,000 miles away, the prospect of a war on the ground in the peninsula is rather intangible to most Americans, nearly two-thirds of whom can’t identify North Korea on a map.
But for the 50 million residents of South Korea and the nearly 25,000 American troops stationed there, any conflict between North Korea and the United States raises fears of mass casualties from more traditional weapons and fighting.
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