Local Korean War vets not worried over North Korea threats

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un continues to threaten a nuclear attack.
Published: .
Updated: .

There's a lot of talk among local veterans about the threat, if any, North Korea poses to the United States and its allies.

Some said they see the situation as an increasing threat, others said North Korea's leader is "all talk."

What these veterans all agreed upon, though, was what they said would be the necessity to act swiftly should any of North Korea's threats be carried out.

"I felt like it was my duty," explained Mike Owens of his decision to fight in the Korean War.

Owens didn't have to go back then. He was married and had a baby on the way, but he went anyway.

"I just hope we don't have to go back," the 83-year-old Korean War veteran said.

Owens said he wasn't sure what the chances of the United States getting involved in another active conflict with North Korea would be. He has been watching the increased threats from North Korea's leader Kim Jung-un with the concern of someone who's been there and done that when it comes to fighting a war against North Korea.

"We solved a problem over there once. It's been what, 60 years ago?" asked Owens. "And now, it's come back to haunt us again."

"He's a bunch of hot air. That's what I think he is," added 84-year-old Damon Monschein, also a Korean War veteran.

Monschein said he isn't worried.

"If this guy was going to do anything, he wouldn't be talking about it," he explained.

Still, Monschein said the situation has got to be tense for U.S. troops stationed in Korea right now.

"I wouldn't want to be on that DMZ zone over there," he added.

Even veterans who were stationed in South Korea after there was a truce explained how intense it was when they were there.

"You could see the tension. I mean, you felt it everyday," said Tim Mahone.

Mahone was stationed in Korea from 1976-77.

"The war, I think, basically came to an end, but the tensions have always been there," said Mahone. "It's much more intense right now, because now we're talking about a nuclear strike."

Nuclear power, said Mahone, in the hands of a man many don't know much about.

"What is this man?" asked Paul Dupont, who was also stationed in Korea after the war ended. "What is on his mind, whether he wants to attack the south. He's talking about attacking the United States. Hopefully he's not stupid enough to do that, because, um, he's going to get his butt kicked if he does."

Ask any of the men Eyewitness News talked to about the growing tensions with North Korea and they would tell you, if they could, they'd be signing up for the job.

"If I was 30, 40 years younger, I'd go back again," said Owens.