YEONG Jum Kim doesn't mention the war when he speaks with his family over the internet.

"We don't worry, because North Korea always threatens our country," the Mackay-based South Korean said.

Like most travellers, Mr Kim and his family discuss the novelties of a new culture, such as food, and how his English is improving.

Sitting on a park bench earlier this week with fellow South Korean student Jaeh Oon Choi, Mr Kim was relaxed, and happy about a job offer he'd recently accepted at a Mackay meat-packing plant. Both are students at Mackay Language College, and have been practising English in Mackay.

"I have been here for four months, it's beautiful, fantastic," he said.

On Thursday evening, Prime Minister Julia Gillard reconfirmed Australia's support for South Korea during a phone call with President Park Geun-hye.

The North officially ended the 1953 armistice with the South last month, and has since been observed moving mid-range missiles to the country's east coast.

Ms Gillard told Mr Geun-hye Australia was concerned about North Korea's increasingly "provocative actions and statements", saying they posed a threat to security in the region.

But Mr Kim said the latest developments didn't worry most South Koreans.

"If (war happens) they will lose the war because we are more powerful than North Korea and we have allies."

While international observers cite an increased American military presence as the reason for the North's renewed aggression, the two travellers said a reduction in food aid was to blame.

"North Korea wants more food money," Mr Choi said.

Neither has ever met a North Korean, but Mr Kim said he used to watch them across the border during his time in the army.

In South Korea, two years of military service is mandatory for men aged between 18 and 35.

Both Mr Choi and Mr Kim said while unlikely, they were concerned they would be forced to return to the army.

"I am a reserve soldier so if a war happens I have to go to Korea and be in the war," Mr Kim said.



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