The threat of nuclear war with North Korea may not be a likely worry for many students at SHSU, but for South Korean students and other students on campus with family and friends in the Asian nation, the threat is getting more serious every day.
North Korea’s latest threats have put the nation on the United States’ radar. After North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un came to power in 2011, nuclear threats have grown.
Jong-Un claims to have nuclear warheads ready to strike against South Korea, and many missile tests attest to these claims. Although, many military experts say that it is highly unlikely that North Korea possesses the nuclear warheads, according to Fox News.
International student Seogyeong Park is from South Korea and said that while there is a threat from North Korea, life in South Korea is still relaxed.
“Korean people tend to forget easily, especially for North Korea’s threat,” Park said. Actually, many Koreans think ‘that’s just nothing, maybe they need rice, money, or something’. Especially, men think this way more than women do, since they trained a lot in army and they believe war will not happen that easily.”
Before Park came to SHSU, North Korea bombarded the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, killing two soldiers, two residents and injuring about 20 people.
“After that bombardment, it was tense, but soon the tension was decreased,” Park said. “I think until both countries communicate it won’t be changed, but as I said [earlier] a lot of Korean people live normally already.”
Park said she decided to attend SHSU because she wanted to experience different cultures that she couldn’t experience in South Korea. She is a double major in international trade and English.
Junior accounting major Brittany Cook also has ties to South Korea. Her childhood friend is stationed with the U.S. Army in South Korea. She said that he has been in South Korea for a little over a year.
“He’s coming home for a week in May, but then he’s going back until September,” Cook said. “He was going to stay, but when all of this started happening with North Korea, he asked to be transferred somewhere else.”
Cook said since tensions with North Korea escalated, communication with her friend has become scarce.
“He’s limited on what he can say,” Cook said. “It hasn’t gotten bad enough to where they’ve been put on lockdown, but we also used to talk on a daily basis and I haven’t talked to him in two weeks.”
Though President Barack Obama doesn’t believe North Korea has the capabilities to possess a nuclear warhead, he said that Jong-Un should stop threatening nuclear war.
“Now is the time for North Korea to end the belligerent approach that they’ve been taking,” Obama said. “Nobody wants to see a conflict on the Korean peninsula.”