Tensions with North Korea felt in Valley

April 7, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Tension with North Korea is hitting close to home for some here in the Valley.

Action News spoke with several members of the Korean community on Sunday. Some see the provocation from the North simply as empty threats. Others fear this could trigger an all-out war.

The threat of a North Korean nuclear missile reaching the US mainland is unlikely but not out of the question, according to military experts . And the rising tensions in the peninsula have the Korean community in the Valley on edge.

"It's not easy to predict about North Korea," pastor David Park said.

Worshipers at the Korean Presbyterian Church of Fresno gathered Sunday to celebrate the church's 40th anniversary but also to pray for peace.

"Right now what I'm seeing is their outcry that they need some type of economical aid," missionary Julian Kim said.

Kim has traveled to North Korea several times for missionary work but the current situation has postponed his next visit indefinitely.

"I don't know what's going to happen with current crisis. Hopefully they're easing the tension so we can go in there and provide some medical help to those who need it," Kim said.

As the north flexes its military muscle, experts say the biggest concern comes from the unknown - Pyongyang's unpredictable leader, Kim Jong Un.

"Young man, inexperienced. Only 27 years old, he could miscalculate the situation and trigger, that we are afraid," retires Fresno State political science professor Marn Cha said.

Cha says North Korea's nuclear weapon's program is the country's only way of exercising its foreign policy.

Still, many are hopeful the crisis will de-escalate.

"I think the situation will subside by itself, as soon as the joint military exercise between the U.S. and South Korea is over, Cha said.


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