민방위훈련 Civil defense drill
There was a 민방위훈련 (min-bang-ui-hun-nyeon) or civil defense drill yesterday, March 16 from 2 to 220PM. I heard about the scheduled drill last Saturday afternoon while we were listening to tbs eFM on our drive to Incheon Airport. I made it a point to put it on my cellphone’s reminder. I don’t want be caught in a bus during the drill.
Technically, the two Koreas are still at war. This is why every 15th of the month the government holds a civil defense drill. If the 15th falls on a weekend, then it is then held on the nearest weekday. During this time, sirens are sounded at 2PM. The ending siren is at 220 PM. However, on the months of March, August and October a “special” drill is held where traffic is controlled in addition to the air sirens.
Knowing that there will be a civil defense drill, I planned my Monday so that I’d be home before 2PM. Last October, I and two Korean friends took the bus to Itaewon. We forgot about the civil defense drill. Traffic was stalled and we had to endure standing in the bus for 20 minutes more listening to the reminders on what to do if South Korea was attacked.
The photo above was taken at 2:08PM. I got off the bus at 2:01PM. As in the photo, no transportation was allowed to run.