Sioux Falls leader weighs in on Korean tension - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Sioux Falls leader weighs in on Korean tension

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Monday's move shows just how serious the United States is taking North Korean threats.

While the Pentagon is adamant that we are not at war, North Korea's leadership seems to be fishing for aggression.

KSFY News sat down with one man in Sioux Falls weighs in on the tension, something that's become very surreal for millions.

For Sioux Falls City Councilor and USF Professor Dr. Kermit Staggers, the tension hits close to home. As a former member of Air Force Intelligence, having lived on the Korean Peninsula, this is something he's watching closely.

"The rhetoric is much harsher than I've ever heard it before. Threatening to bomb the US with nuclear weapons. This is kind of over the line from what they've previously done," Dr. Staggers said. "Let's hope it stays rhetoric and doesn't result in action."

Dr. Staggers was an Air Force Intelligence Officer living just miles from the DMZ in the early 1970s. Bells and artifacts around his home serve as a constant reminder of his time there.

What amazes him now, he says, after having visited just a few years ago, is what a difference a few decades has made for South Korea.

"When I lived there it was basically a third world country. Now it's basically up there on the scale of the U.S.," Dr. Staggers said.

More than 33,000 troops are stationed in South Korea, ready, though any war is the last thing that country needs.

"They don't want to have a war either because they'd have so much to lose. You have this primitive country, North Korea, making these threats against this economically advanced country, South Korea," Dr. Staggers said. "Maybe this will be just temporary, once again just to show (Kim Jong Un) is a tough guy, and then later on it will change. now it's not good, it's not good."

During our interview, we talked about Kim Jong Un's visit from former NBA star Dennis Rodman a few weeks ago. Staggers said Rodman probably didn't help the U.S. Foreign Policy but probably didn't hurt it either.

He hopes rhetoric will stop and the North Korean leader will begin to operate like a normal government leader, however there's no way to tell for sure.

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