World

North Korean War Talk: Just That?

OPB | March 30, 2013 10:43 p.m. | Updated: March 30, 2013 11:49 p.m. | Portland

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North Korea’s statement that it has entered a state of war with South Korea is drawing little reaction from Korean-Americans in the Northwest.

2010 Census data pegs Oregon’s Korean-American population around 15,000. Chuck Yu with the Oregon Korea Foundation says almost all have family origins in South Korea. Yu says North Korea’s volatility can be difficult to watch, but he doesn’t see the war proclamation as unusual.

“It is somewhat common, but I think the level of threat at this point is a little bit higher than what’s in the past.”

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John Kim from Vancouver Washington has lots of family back in South Korea. he’s hearing mixed response, on a generational divide.

“The younger generation, they general have a sense this is political posturing, a new leader trying to prove himself to the generals. The older generation being a bit more wary, having experienced some of the conflicts over the decades.”

Kim says he thinks anticipation is running high for how South Korea’s President, the first woman to hold the office, will handle the tension.

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