Concerns in Hawaii and Guam grow over North Korean threats

Concerns in Hawaii and Guam grow over North Korean threats
Published: Apr. 3, 2013 at 9:35 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 4, 2013 at 10:26 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The North Korean government has approved what it calls a "merciless" military strike against the United States and today the United States Defense Secretary said the threats present a "real and clear danger."

Yes we've been here before with North Korea posturing and threatening violence. But this time there's a bit more caution with North Korean reportedly seen moving a missile to its East Coast.

"North Korea might see Guam as a target that they might consider hitting as opposed to Japan, United States or South Korea which would be clearly suicidal," said Denny Roy, Senior Fellow, East West Center.

The United States is sending missile defense systems to Guam, which is an American territory.

"We want to be very cautious and there is a quiet caution in the air but the community is not hunkering down, we're not stockpiling food. We're not getting our houses in war preparation," said Mana Silva Taijeron, a former Senator and reporter in Guam and is glad to know the U.S. has their back.

"It feels good to know that the US government is taking it seriously and they are sending more assets our way," said Taijeron.

Locally people with family on Guam have heightened concerns.

"I am very concerned about that. I think any threat should be taken seriously," said Tasha Tydingco, a University of Hawaii student from Guam.

Experts say North Korea may have non-nuclear missiles capable of reaching Guam, which is about 2,000 miles away, but the accuracy is questionable.

"I don't think the people of Guam anymore than the people of Hawaii should worry about North Korean missiles striking them anytime soon but of course the rise in tensions is something to be concerned about," said Roy.

"They've always been making threats and nothing has really happened so I'm not that worried about it," said Hae Lee, who is from South Korea and still has family in Seoul.

Some local South Koreans aren't biting on the North's bluff saying they've shown this hand before.

Still the local chapter of the Korean Freedom Federation is planning a rally at the state capitol next week denouncing North Korea and its leader.

Members of the Hawaii Korean Chamber of Commerce have also expressed alarm believing this is more than the typical "huffing and puffing" coming from the North.

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