Regarding the latest nuclear testing, he said "It seems like North Korea's brinkmanship. They just want to blackmail or threaten other countries so they can get bigger aid or they can use or get bigger influence in other countries."
North Korea's rhetoric has fluctuated in recent weeks. At the beginning of January, the nation's leader Kim Jong Un struck a conciliatory tone on relations with the South, saying that removing "confrontation" between the two sides would be important in bringing about their reunification.
However, on February 1, North Korea's state-run media declared that "peaceful reunification can never be expected on the Korean Peninsula and the Korean nation can never escape disaster unless the U.S. imperialists and the South Korean regime are eliminated." On Sunday, the country announced that its leader had made an "important decision" to strengthen the nation, although it was unclear.
Despite provocations of a nuclear test, Seung Il Hong, editor at Forbes Korea, described the response of the South Korean people as "calm" and noted that stock markets in Korea and abroad had been stable.
"If Kim Jong Un attempts to do a nuclear test again, it will be the third time. I think the average Korean person has become relatively insensitive to North Korean nuclear tests," he said.
Hong also pointed to the efforts of South Korea's president-elect Park Geun-hye who has called for shortening the required military service for men from two years to 1.5 years, as an indication that Koreans are not distressed over the provocations.
South Koreans differentiate between the North Korean people and its leadership, Hong said.
"Most of the Korean people don't seem to think the North Korean people are the enemy," Hong said. They consider the government hostile to South Korea, he added.