(SAVANNAH) The war of words between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is fueling fear of war for some in the Coastal Empire, but some members of the military community here say they are not worried that armed conflict is eminent between the two nations. Dr. Mohamed Mukhtar, a professor in the Social & Behavioral Sciences Department at Savannah State University says the President is sinking to Kim Jong-un’s level. “Our president is, is, is the one who’s talking like like the North Korean president. This rhetoric is not a healthy rhetoric. It’s going to lead us into crisis, catastrophe, and bigger not only US problems, but international problems. The language that our president is using, really is a very, very, fearful language. You know,, you know, things that the world has never experienced. That is what, that could be an atomic war or something like that?” Mukhtar said, adding that he believes Trump is raising concern not just in the U.S., but also among global leaders. ” He puts most of the leaders, internationally as well as here at home, in a predicament of a kind, where they cannot understand. What does he mean, this uh, fire and fury? Really, It is something. Unbelievable!” Dr. Mukhtar said.
A former Army Ranger says the rhetoric doesn’t mean every channel of diplomacy has failed, but the kind of threats North Korea is putting out there can’t be dismissed as just bravado. ” It’s all gloom and doom. I think that diplomacy could go along way, but I also think that a hard stance is the way to go. I served in the military a long time, I was with first Ranger Battalion.” said Steven Emberton, a 25 year resident of Savannah. Emberton says if there’s real evidence Kim Jong-un will launch missiles at the U.S. or Guam, the response has to be decisive. ” If it starts going that way then I think the only way to neutralize that is to, you know, overwhelmingly eliminate that threat. I think that there is a long way we can go before then.” said Emberton. In his experience, Emberton says active members in the military community do no get worked up over the rhetoric of war between world leaders. ” I think that active duty military personnel that are in those operational branches are keenly aware of exactly where we stand and are not as concerned as we are. It’s what they’re there for.” Emberton said.
An active duty service member who wanted anonymity says the President is doing the right thing. ” I think it’s good. I think we should, you know, eliminate the threat. If the threat is imminent, let’s eliminate it.” he said, adding that foreign threats of nuclear weapons fired on our troops have to be taken seriously and he backs any effort to keep nukes off U.S. soil. ” Well the thing is I don’t want the nukes to come over here and nuke us, that’s the biggest thing. Mom, I don’t want any of my sisters or brothers, dad or mom, to get nuked so I’d rather it be them than us.” said the service member.
Some, like Hawk Wright of Rincon, believe conflict is unavoidable when it comes to North Korea, as tensions have been rising for decades. “I mean that’s why we still have people in South Korea. It’s, it’s never going to end.” Wright said. U.S. Secretary of State State Rex Tillerson says he doesn’t believe there is “any imminent threat” from North Korea, including to the U.S. territory of Guam. Tillerson says that “Americans should sleep well at night.” He says that they should “have no concerns about this particular rhetoric of the last few days.” He downplayed speculation that the threats move the U.S. closer to a military option. Dr. Mukhtar says he finds some comfort in what Tillerson is saying. ” Like what our secretary of state was talking about, we have to deal with maybe diplomacy, look for some other options, the war option in today’s world, I think, is not a good option.” Mukhtar said.