Not long after North Korea fired artillery at South Korea on Sunday, the president of South Korea sat down to watch a movie with his wife.
According to the Yonhap News Agency, shortly after the artillery launch, the newly-elected President Yoon Suk-yeol sat down in a Seoul theater to watch the film Broker.
While some criticized President Yoon for watching the movie at that time, he defended himself.
"There's nothing to be suspicious about,” Yoon told the press, per Yonhap. "If a multiple rocket launcher was the equivalent of a missile, then we would take steps accordingly, but a multiple rocket launcher is not equivalent to a missile, so we took the step that was needed.”
According to the Associated Press, South Korea’s military revealed over the weekend that “it detected several flight trajectories believed to be North Korean artillery.”
“While bolstering our military's surveillance and vigilance, South Korea and the United States are working closely and maintaining a thorough readiness posture,” the South Korean joint chiefs of staff said Sunday, per a separate Yonhap story.
Per CNN, South Korea will “dramatically” increase its defenses due to concerns about North Korea ramping up nuclear testing.
“Our government will strengthen capabilities to better implement the US extended deterrence and will dramatically enhance response capabilities of the Republic of Korea military to deter North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats,” Defense Minister Lee Jong-Sup said this week at a security forum in Singapore.
The South Korean government also vowed to work closely with its allies, the United States and Japan.
“We remain open to future diplomacy–and fully prepared to deter and to defeat future aggression,” U.S. defense secretary Lloyd Austin said at the same forum, in Singapore, per CNN.
Broker, a Korean-language film written and directed by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, won the Ecumenical Jury Award and the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival in May. That latter award went to actor Song Kang-ho, who previously starred in the South Korean film and Best Picture Oscar winner Parasite.
The Hollywood Reporter called the film “an egalitarian work in which every one of the key cast makes an indelible impression, right down to the adorable baby boy who’s the story’s catalyst.”
The president wasn’t the only one who saw Broker this weekend. The film, per Variety, was number one at the South Korean box office over the weekend. After the Covid pandemic sidelined the South Korean box office for much of 2020 and 2021, many viewed the weekend performance as a sign of a rebound.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.