Local Korean community react to North Korea's attacks

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - North Korea has made it clear there will be no backing down.

North Korea warns that the US and South Korean military exercises planned for next week will push the Korean peninsula to the "brink of war".

The news is causing quite a lot of fear overseas and right here in Richmond as well. Members of the Korean community are speaking out. The attacks have been the center of prayer and the topic of discussion at this church, one of the most prominent Korean American churches in the region.

Youth Pastor Gihun Kim grew up in the states but has relatives and friends in Korea.

"I saw images of fire and the explosion on video I was pretty scared at first because I haven't seen that before I've heard of scares I haven't seen actual footage like that so I think my first reaction was fear, I was cared for the country for people I know are out there right now," said Kim.

Kim's friend, Robert Young, was born and raised in Richmond but knows of the constant fear the South Koreans have being in such close proximity with North Korea.

"Because Seoul is geographically located so close to the boarder and if war even does break out experts are pretty certain that Seoul will get pretty heavy bombing and most of our relatives are living in Seoul," said Young.

North Korea fired artillery, Friday, in an apparent military drill within sight of the South Korean island, Yeonpyeong.

It came as the top US commander in South Korea toured the island to survey the wreckage that left 4 South Koreans dead, Tuesday.

"They're always living under that threat not just a week ago but everyday they know kind of in the back of their minds if something does happen they're in direct line of fire," said Young.

"We are the same people we share the same culture we share the same language and though they be qualified as being under the axis of evil, we do have concerns, we would like to be reunited as a country and as a church we pray for safety for no attacks and no war," said Kim.

Thirty thousand Americans are stationed in South Korea.

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