SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Once or twice a year, the streets of South Korea’s busy capital freeze for several minutes at the sound of a siren.
Cars stop on roads. Pedestrians move into buildings and subway stations taking part in a nationwide drill aimed at preparing against a North Korean attack.
Millions of people take part in the civilian drills. But critics say the remarkable scenes mask aging policies that are failing to train South Koreans at a time when the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear and missile program is growing.
For many, there’s no real training, just people standing around in schoolyards or other gathering spots, staring into their smartphones, chatting amiably or just looking bored or frustrated.
A government survey indicates many South Koreans don’t even know their closest evacuation center.
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