San Antonians weigh in on North Korea, U.S. tensions

Dr. Larry Hufford is an international relations professor at St. Mary's University. He teaches courses like causes of war and conflict resolution. He's witnessed tension between the U.S. and North Korea for decades, but is surprised at how fast it's escal

SAN ANTONIO - The rising tension between the United States and North Korea has a lot of people on edge.

But how much should you actually worry?

Dr. Larry Hufford is an international relations professor at St. Mary’s University. He teaches courses like causes of war and conflict resolution. He’s witnessed tension between the U.S. and North Korea for decades, but is surprised at how fast it’s escalated lately.

When asked if people should be concerned, Hufford said, “They should be concerned because it seems to be amateur night in foreign diplomacy. We should not be on the brink of nuclear brinkmanship.”

Hufford is specifically talking about the response from President Donald Trump Tuesday when he threatened “fire and fury” against North Korea.

“We don’t need to respond as, ‘Look he’s crazy, so I will match his craziness.’ We simply don’t need to do that,” said Hufford.

Hufford said what the U.S. needs to do and what North Korea wants, is to be recognized as a legitimate independent nation and a commitment from the U.S., that it will not invade North Korea for the purposes of a regime change. He says any sort of a misstep could lead to a war, even if nuclear weapons aren’t involved.

“You would have the biggest humanitarian crises in the history of the world. It would make Syria look like a Sunday school picnic,” said Hufford.

Lisa Lujan is a bartender who now calls San Antonio home, but she just moved to the Alamo city three years ago from Guam. A U.S. territory that North Korea has just threatened.

“We are a small island and I do worry every day,” said Lujan

Lujan’s mom and other relatives still live in Guam and Lujan said she’s doing her best to keep everyone calm.

“We just need to keep the peace. We just need to keep the peace in this world. It’s a scary thought,” said Lujan.

And if you ask veterans at VFW Post 76 about their thoughts on what’s happening between the U.S. and North Korea, you’ll get different responses.

Vietnam veteran Johnny Ornelaz fears the rising tension could lead the U.S. into another war.

“There’s going to be a great loss of humanity if it happens,” said Ornelaz.

Roberto Rangel was stationed in South Korea in the early 90s and has witnessed tensions rise in the past when the U.S. has conducted military drills in South Korea. He’s concerned diplomacy just isn’t going to work.

“If it hasn’t worked by now, I honestly don’t think it’s going to work,” said Rangel.

Hufford said people should try not to let the rhetoric worry them, but recommends people pay attention to what’s going on between the U.S. and North Korea and share their concerns with their members of congress.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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