Apr 13, 2013 2:03 AM by Nathan O'Neal

Korean tensions hit close to home for Tucsonan

TUCSON - As tensions rise on the Korean Peninsula, some Tucsonans are keeping a close watch.

While there are more questions than answers about how real of threat North Korea poses in terms of nuclear warfare, James Baker, who was born and raised in Korea has his own take on everything.

Baker owns a Korean restaurant in midtown and has lived in the Old Pueblo for 32 years. He has family and friend back in Seoul in South Korea and recently caught up with his brother-in-law to ask how things were in the region.

"He said, we really don't care, there's nothing really happening," Baker said.

Baker said most of his family, himself included, believe the recent developments in North Korea's nuclear program are nothing more than a symbolic show of strength by its relatively new leader Kim Jong Un.

"Since he just became the leader of North Korea just last year, he's trying to show that he's capable... what he's capable of... and trying to show that he's a leader that can take charge," Baker said.

That's not to say that Baker doesn't worry about his family and friends, as all eyes focus on the country's every move.

"There's always concern that [Kim Jong Un] might go a little bit too far, push things a little bit too far and something might snap and happen... so we never know," Baker said.

The biggest likelihood , Baker believes, comes not from military tension but from human error itself.

"If there's both sides holding a gun at each other and someone accidentally fires... it could start a whole war," Baker said.

Despite Baker's feeling on the potential outcome of recent events on the Korean Peninsula, he said that he will continue to pray in the hopes that the tensions in the region will eventually blow over.


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