Korean pastor, professor speak about recent tension with N. Kore - WNEM TV 5

Korean pastor, professor speak about recent tension with N. Korea

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
MT. MORRIS, MI (WNEM) -

The turmoil with North Korea has all eyes on foreign relations.

"No one knows what's going on in North Korea and the mind of their leader Kim Jung Un," Pastor Martin Han said.

He spends his days at Unity Presbyterian Church in Mt. Morris after moving to the United States many years ago.

"I was born in South Korea and lived there til I was 21. And then came here to the U.S.," Han said.

Han said he is concerned with the recent tension between the U.S. and North Korea because his brother still lives in South Korea. He said at the end of the day he doesn't think anything will really happen.

"I think President Trump is threatening North Korea so they can stop developing nuclear weapons and hope that it works," Han said.

All of this comes on the heels of word North Korea may be conducting their sixth nuclear test this upcoming Saturday. It is possibly fueled by the recent airstrikes in Syria and this week's bombing in Afghanistan.

Han said his brother, as well as many others in South Korea, are not feeling as much worry as many are in the U.S. because they are used to these types of situations.

"People in South Korea, believe it or not, they're very numb to this kind of situation. There has been this type of climate, critical situations for a long time," Han said.

As a pastor he reminds his congregation the U.S. needs to coexist with their neighbors to eventually reach world peace.

"The world is getting smaller and smaller and we cannot survive as American alone. We have to relate with others and concern other people and other nations, not just helping but we have to coexist with each other," Han said.

Byungil Ahn, professor of history at Saginaw Valley State University, has deep ties to South Korea.

"I was born and grew up in South Korea and I came to us for doctoral education and after I finished that I got at SVSU," Ahn said.

He left behind many relatives including his mother and uncles. Ahn said he speaks with them often and about what's going on. He said they aren't too concerned.

"A potential war is a possibility and that concerns people, but it's not really a major issue," Ahn said.

However, the students in his classroom are different story.

"They are worried and especially with our president. They think the war is closer than before and if that happens, because North Korea has a nuclear bomb so of course they are," Ahn said.

He said the most recent airstrikes in Syria, as well as this week's bombing in Afghanistan are fueling the fire. However, he does not expect war on the Korean peninsula.

"Well, the possibility is pretty low and Korea is different from Syria and Afghanistan," Ahn said.

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