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Knoxville man concerned for Korean homeland

11:36 PM, Apr 1, 2013   |    comments
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Korean natives living in East Tennessee are watching developments in North Korea closely.

Dr. Kenneth Kim, 83, lived on the Korean Peninsula before it split between the North and the South. Following the end of World War II, he then lived in the area that is now known as North Korea.

It was then when communists invaded from the North on June 25, 1950 subsequently starting the Korean War.

"We were okay, but there were a lot of families divided," he said.

Kim spent three years as a refugee in Seoul. He was also in the Korean Army's reserves.

According to Kim, the experience he picked up from both of those wars molded the opinion he has on North Korea's modern day crisis.

"My prayer is no war and no tragedy," he said.

Kim told 10News while North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, is unpredictable, he believes others in the country can get him to use reason.

"They have two powers, one [are the] hardliners and the other is moderate," he said.

About 200 people attend the Korean Church of Knoxville with Kim. He said they typically talk about affairs in North Korea following service.

That said, they are not the only ones in East Tennessee curious as to what North Korea's next move will be.

Tennessee U.S. Senator Bob Corker told reporters Monday he believes China will play a big role in the situation.

"We have basically a nuclear North Korea and I think the country that can play the biggest role in this is China. North Korea is very dependent upon China for its economic well-being, which is not particularly good, but China is the biggest player in this. And, I met with Chinese leaders about this same issue, there is no question that the U.S."

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