S. Korean students worry as N. Korea ends peace pacts

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- As the latest developments in the Korean peninsula bring tensions high between North and South Koreas, the threats have Koreans concerned, including some students at UW-Eau Claire.

This week, North Korea canceled its non-aggression pacts and shut its border with South Korea, cut off its hotline to Seoul and threatened the U.S. of a pre-emptive nuclear attack.

But it's nothing unfamiliar as the north has fired off plenty of threats against Seoul and Washington over the years.

"They still threaten us the same way but I think these days, North Korea and South Korea have not good relations, bad relations," said Soyoung Lim, a 19-year-old student studying public relations at UWEC.

Lim's family lives in South Korea. Her father is in the business of manufacturing weapons in the country.

She also has family in North Korea after getting separated during the war.

"I talked about the situation with my parents a few days ago. They were also surprised but they are glad because I am here," said Lim.

She said she worries about her distant relatives in the north and her family in the south.

"If we had a war, we will be the first ones who will be killed, you know?" said Lim.

In South Korea, they are strengthening military preparedness.

Already, the United Nations Security Council has approved new, tougher sanctions against the regime.

"The strength, breadth and severity of these sanctions will raise the cost to North Korea of its illicit nuclear program," said US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice. "These sanctions will bite and will bite hard."

And while most students at UWEC may stress over exams and assignments, students from South Korea are thinking about their family's well-being and the state of their nation.

"Actually we are situation in the war, and we are just having a rest, and nobody knows when the war will happen," said 20-year-old Joowon Kim who is studying politics at UWEC. His parents and brothers live in Gwangju, South Korea.

The two Koreas are technically still at war as they both agreed to a truce, not a treaty in 1953.

But now the north is threatening that a second Korean war in unavoidable.

Still, these college students are wishing for peace.

"I hope there is still unification between North Korea and South Korea and there will be no concern of war and we can just get along together because we are the same ethnicity," said Kim.


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