Local "correspondent" says int'l media is playing up danger of - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Local "correspondent" says int'l media is playing up danger of North Korea

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Former U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo Former U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo
North Korean President Kim Jong Un North Korean President Kim Jong Un

South Korea's government says a North Korean missile launch is highly likely. The South's military is on alert, but we've got a "correspondent" of sorts there telling us the U.S. could be more concerned about an attack than people actually living in South Korea.

"No one's worried about that. There are surveys taken by local media and people are asked, 'Do you feel unsafe about what's happening in the North?' They say 'No.'" -says former U.S. Congressman for Illinois's 16th District Don Manzullo.

Manzullo retired from a political career and now he's establishing relationships with South Korean leaders as President & CEO of the think-tank group Korea Economic Institute of America. He's been in Seoul for the last four days, noticing citizens aren't fazed by North Korean threats.

"Because they're so used to it. Plus, they're very comfortable with the umbrella that the United States is providing South Korea in a mutual defense pact." -says Manzullo over the phone.

Though North Korea isn't offering up comforting news.

"There are reports, fresh reports, coming out, that North Korea has indeed developed a plutonium bomb that is so small that it will attach as a warhead to a long-range missile." -he explains.

But, Manzullo thinks the nation's President Kim Jong Un's most powerful weapon is fear.

"This is how they do business in the North, they threaten people, they keep their own people under the verge of tutelage as though they were slaves."

The former Congressman says North Korea's used international media to launch that weapon.

"People here are very tired of hearing Wolf Blitzer and others and how they talk about how dangerous it is to be in South Korea."

Experts have speculated that the upcoming holiday, Founder's Day, is a likely time the North could make a move test-launching nuclear weapons. Manzullo says you can't predict what that country's going to do, but one thing is for sure in his mind. U.S. presence, like Secretary of State John Kerry traveling to South Korea this week won't help the North's cause.

"That's important, because the North Koreans like to make their biggest war moves in the press, and therefore anything that they see in the press showing a show of force certainly does not encourage them."

Manzullo returns to the United States this weekend.

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