Central Texans react to U.S.-N. Korea tensions

CENTRAL TEXAS - Americans are growing concerned with the prospect of an armed conflict with North Korea.

The situation is especially tense for Central Texas because 4,300 soldiers from Fort Hood are in South Korea right now.

On Tuesday a North Korean-run news agency said the country may strike the U.S. territory of Guam.

That report now increasing threats of a potential touch down on U.S. soil.

President Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's regime would face "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if it threatens the U.S.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday in Guam, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson defenses the President's comment calling it language the North Korean Leader would understand. He emphasized that was is not imminent.

"I think Americans should sleep well at night. I have no concerns about this particular rhetoric of the last few days. I think the president, again, as commander-in-chief, I think he felt it necessary to issue a very strong statement directly at North Korea. But I think what the president was just reaffirming is the United States has the capability to fully defend itself from any attack and defend our allies, and we will do so. And so the American people should sleep well at night," said Tillerson.

A new CNN poll reveals 62% of Americans believe North Korea poses a very serious threat to the U.S. That's up from 48% who said the same just five months ago in March.
Central Texans -- like the rest of the nation -- believe North Korea poses an eminent threat to the U.S.
"The actions of the United States are going to play a very important role in how that competition is managed going forward," said Dr. Peter Campbell.
Dr. Peter Campbell is an Assistant Professor of Political Science who teaches international relations at Baylor University. He says it's unlikely we weill go to war with North Korea, and says China should take the reigns.
"I honestly think that the Chinese will act before the United States has the opportunity to act in the region," said Dr. Campbell.
"I don't really think it's the United State's job to fight against North Korea. I think North Korea's neighbors and the countries around North Korea should be responsible for how they treat their neighbor," said Baylor Junior Ben Pennington.
Associate Dean for Social Sciences and Professor of History at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Dr. Rebecca Peterson says there are other factors to consider.
In a statement she says: "China is dominant in the region and must also be taken into consideration. China did support the increase in sanctions against North Korea, but has reacted negatively to instances of increased U.S. military activity in the region."
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has responded saying they look forward to resolving the nuclear issue through political means and avoiding remarks and actions that could aggravate conflicts and escalate tensions.
Baylor Senior Arianna Gomez says taking on that conflict might anger our allies.
"It could mean breaking diplomatic ties with a lot of countries that might not agree with his stance. I don't think it would be the smart choice right now to go to war with North Korea," said Gomez.
"When you are making nuclear threats towards a nuclear power the assumption is that if you attack that power with nuclear weapons, they will retaliate with nuclear weapons," said Dr. Campbell.
In total, 50% of Americans are in favor of the U.S. taking military action against North Korea, 43% oppose it.


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