CNN Seoul Correspondent
Despite its declaration of war, North Korea is just not on the minds of many South Koreans.
People on the streets of Seoul have been calm, and going about business as usual. No sign of fear.
And overnight - at 4 A.M. - 200 South Korean soccer fans were fixated on a movie screen, watching a soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona.
North Korea's threats were not keeping these South Koreans from cheering on the first Korean, in fact the first Asian, playing in the European championship finals.
"Park Ji-Sung! Park Ji-Sung!" The crowd chanted his name while waving the red and yellow flag of his team, the world-famous "Man U".
I asked one fan for his thoughts about North Korea and his eyes seemed to glaze over as he tried to re-channel his thoughts to a subject that he obviously had not been thinking about. A long pause. "I don't have any," he finally said.
I'm getting a lot of that as we gauge reaction in the streets.
Even non-soccer fans aren't discussing North Korea. The news everyone is talking about is the suicide death of former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun.
It's not hard to understand if you put yourself in the shoes of a normal South Korean. After the two Koreas fought a war in the 1950s, the two sides have faced off in one of the world's most hostile borders. And since that time, North Korea has made more than its share of threats against the South.
How many times has North Korea threatened war on the Korean peninsula since the two Koreas battled from 1950 to 1953? Just off the top of my head, I can recall at least three in the past decade.
North Korea seems to comes out with belligerent statements every time joint U.S.-South Korean troops conduct their annual military exercises.
In 1994, North Korea even threatened to turn Seoul into a "sea of fire." Then in 2008, in typical North Korea fashion, they upped the ante and said South Korea would become "a pile of ashes."
So what's one more declaration of war?
By contrast, a former president being investigated for receiving millions of dollars in bribes, who then leaps off a cliff to his death - now THAT is news.
A typical evening scene since the suicide, especially in the Seoul city center, is thousands of South Koreans lining up at the numerous alters across the country to pay their last respects to the late president.
Calmly reading the evening papers or talking and texting on their cell phones, South Koreans join a very long winding line of mourners, with a black ribbon of mourning taped on their chest. After what could be hours, they get to lay flowers and bow in front of a black-ribboned picture of the late president. When it gets dark, volunteers appear and hand out candles to the mourners. The line becomes a procession of lights. This lasts until the wee hours of the morning.
So it's not unusual when people on the streets respond to our probing questions about the North Korean threat by saying they would prefer to talk about the late president Roh. Or soccer.
By the way, despite Park Ji-Sung's efforts, Barcelona beat Manchester United by 2-0.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with