‘It would be just another war in another place’

Students react to the tensions that surround the U.S. and North Korea

The White House announced President Donald Trump will embark on a trip to five Asian countries and participate in regional summits this November. He will visit Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines and the U.S. state of Hawaii on an 11-day trip.

“The president’s engagements will strengthen the international resolve to confront the North Korean threat,” the White House said.

This October also marks the 55th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Fifty-five years later, the United States finds itself in a situation that both resembles and deviates from the crisis of 1962.

“It is insane that two men, sitting on opposite sides of the world, should be able to decide to bring an end to civilization,” said President John F. Kennedy in response to the crisis, on Oct. 27, 1962.

As tensions with North Korea rise and as rhetoric between the leaders of both countries becomes more inflammatory, citizens across the country and campus express feelings of concern, fear, patriotism and approval.

Tyler Aldinger, a second-year communication studies major weighed in on the issue.

“I think we should go over there and blow them the hell out of there… I don’t like what they’re doing over there (in North Korea),” Aldinger said.

Aldinger, however, did elaborate and does not believe the North Korean regime has as much firepower as it’s letting on.

Students at Wilkes also consider the political affiliations and implications associated with the escalating tensions between both countries.

Alluding to President Trump, senior environmental engineering major Purvit Patel stated that the situation involving North Korea is a delicate one, and one that must be handled through proper diplomacy.

Taking the North Korean communist regime into consideration, Patel said, “People in North Korea live in fear every day, it doesn’t make sense to threaten a nuclear holocaust.”

Patel wasn’t the only student to voice concerns involving North Korean conflicts. Sophomore political science major Joshua Bradley also weighed in on the matter.

“The North Korean situation is obviously something very complex. We’ve been in this situation before … It’s reminiscent of the cold war, especially considering radical ideologies and nuclear arsenals … although not necessarily what citizens want to hear … I believe the best solution is to wait it out,” Bradley said.

Bradley also discussed the potential negative impacts on the entire Southeast Asian peninsula, namely South Korea, and “target cities,” such as Seoul. He believes that this could, in turn, lead to a humanitarian crisis, as neighbors on the peninsula would be unwilling to accept refugees from South Korea, stemming from ideological, social, and political tensions stemming from the 1940s.

Although Bradley’s concerns were not domestic, he expressed concern for US servicemen who could potentially be deployed to the immediate area, especially north of the 38th parallel.

Bradley also alluded to the notion that history is watching, and how the future generation will perceive a potential violent conflict with North Korea.

“For younger generations, it won’t be a mentality shift, to them, it would be just another war in another place.”