Expatriates living in Maritimes react to North Korea, U.S. tensions
Published Saturday, August 12, 2017 5:27PM ADT
For some, the overheated dispute between North Korea and the United States may seem half a world away,but there are several Maritimers who have real personal concerns about family and friends back home.
President Donald Trump’s "fire and fury" and "locked and loaded" comments, as well as Kim Jong-un's threat to fire on the U.S. territory of Guam, are causing a great deal of concern in the region.
“Threatening is very bad. United States government is very bad,” says Youngjon Namgoong of Song’s Korean Restaurant in Halifax.
Namgoong left South Korea 11 years ago to make Canada his new home. He now says he is concerned about the family and friends he left behind.
Professor of International Development at Dalhousie University, Robert Huish says he believes there is cause for concern at this point.
"This has to be the most dangerous moment we've seen between North Korea and the United States,” Huish says.
Tensions are usually heightened with political escalation and military aggression when the U.S. runs annual military exercises with South Korea around this time of year, but this year it is under a new U.S. president.
"This time there is a total failure of diplomacy from the White House and Pyongyang that has put us in a very dangerous situation,” says Huish.
Young, who owns an Asian grocery market, says he is not so alarmed.
He says the attention North Korean tensions are receiving now are only bringing to light a long standing conflict of crisis.
"Between North and South Korea and the States, we had that type of tension since the last 60 years after the Korean war,” Young says.
The name of Young's grocery store is “Heiwa” which means "peace" in English - something he says he hopes will finally come to the region.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Marie Adsett.