'I Worry Every Night About War': Minnesotan on US-Korean Talks

March 09, 2018 07:05 PM

A Minnesota woman is paying extra close attention to the talks surrounding a possible meeting with President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jung Un.

On Thursday, South Korean and U.S. officials announced the two world powers would meet to discuss the possibility of de-nuclearization. 

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RELATED: South Korea: Trump to Meet With North's Kim by May

It would be the first time a U.S. president has ever met a North Korean leader.

"I am walking history and victim of Korean history," said Hyon Kim, a Minnesotan who came to America from North Korea when she was in her 20's. 

Kim came to the U.S. from South Korea in her 20s, but still has family in North Korea. Now she lives in Roseville and works with the Midwest Alliance for North Korean Refugees, educating Minnesotans about the plight of people and bringing them to safety in the U.S. 

"I worry every night about war. I have family in North Korea, I have my loving friends in South Korea and war means death," Kim said. 

Thursday marked a day many thought would never come. It's a face-to-face meeting between two world powers that could end the nuclear weapons program. 

"I guess anybody that's within range of North Korea nuclear missiles has some interest in this," said Andrew Latham, a political science professor at Macalester College. 

Latham knows both President Trump and Kim Jung Un haven't been shy about taking jabs at each other.

"There's a real possibility there will be misunderstandings," he said. 

The North Korean leader has made threats against the U.S. talking about the "nuclear button" on his office desk. Trump responded saying he has a button too that is a "much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my button works!"

"You put both of these guys in the same room given their interpersonal history and somebody says something wrong, and then somebody says rocket-man, and then somebody says something else and somebody storms out of the room, that's not a productive meeting," Latham said. 

"I am concerned about how things will turn out," Kim said. 

Kim admits she's glad the meeting is taking place, but whatever transpires, she hopes loved ones and refugees are safe.

The White House says the president won't hold this meeting unless North Korean leaders take "concrete steps" to address promises made.

Those include promises by North Korea to denuclearize, stop its nuclear and missile testing and allow joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises.

The time and place of the meeting hasn't been made official. 

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Brett Hoffland

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