South Korean group describes everyday life with threat of war

POSTED: 5:39 PM May 03 2013   UPDATED: 5:55 PM May 03 2013
CHOIR 2
BRISTOL, Va. -

All eyes have been on North Korea as threats of missile attacks on both the U.S. and South Korea have been made over the last few weeks.

Friday we caught up with folks visiting our region from South Korea who say the threat of war is simply a scare tactic and while everyday life is normal, they're ready when threats become a reality.

The sights and sounds of traditional music from South Korea can be heard in Bristol thanks to the Korean Children's Choir. They've traveled all the way from Jeju in South Korea to Bristol for a performance at the Paramount.

Threats of a possible missile launch and nuclear war by North Korea have been escalating for weeks. We caught up with the choir's manager, Scott Gilstrap, to hear more about the rising tension between North and South Korea. "For almost the whole population of Korea it's normal. But maybe for younger people it's scary for them because this is new to them, since they're younger they don't know what's going on," added Gilstrap.

He says he's not worried for his safety but military exercises by the U.S. and South Korea have become routine. "They do air drills and they want everybody off the street. If they've got people driving they want people to stop and try to get out," said Gilstrap.

Billy Kim helped bring the Korean Children's Choir to Bristol. He says as of right now there's a war of words between Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, and those in South Korea. It's even impacting a factory right on the border. "Now [North Korea] got mad at South Korea for some reason, they pulled out all 53,000 workers so everything is at a standstill," added Kim.

But there is the hope tensions will one day settle. "With the North Korean shortage of food, shortage of gas, oil, and I don't know if they can survive. We hope soon there will be unification," said Kim.

You can catch the Korean Children's Choir Friday at 7 p.m. at the Paramount Center for the Arts in downtown Bristol. Admission is free but they will accept donations.