National News

Asia Pacific experts are watching latest missile events with interest

Posted September 15

— Waikiki is bustling with tourists from Japan enjoying the shopping and tropic weather.

A visitor just arrived in Hawaii, but already heard about the latest missile threat.

North Korea fired it from Pyongyang aimed over Hokkaido, near where he is from.

"I am very nervous the missile hits Japan and there will have war between North Korea and United states and Japan," Kawai Tashi, Japan Visitor said.

Tashi has been in contact with his family by email, but doesn't want to be consumed by worry.

He only has four days in the islands and it's his first trip.

"First day, but I want to enjoy Hawaii," Tashi said.

Asia Pacific experts from the East West Center are watching the latest events with interest.

Denny Roy doesn't doubt that Japan is worried, given its reliance on the U.S. for its defense.

"It's been a long simmering crisis and it has spikes, but the spikes are getting more frequent, as we are getting to the end of an era," Denny Roy with the East West Center said.

If practice makes perfect, the closer North Korea gets to perfecting a missile that can carry a nuclear warhead, the more worried people will get.

Roy doesn't believe it's realistic to expect China will do much to lower tensions as its not in that country's best interest.

"China doesn't want to deal with a United Korea that is in the U.S. camp," Roy said.

Roy has been analyzing the politics of the region for decades.

The intensity of tough talk between world leaders is disconcerting to many, who think at some point, something has to give.

"We should be prepared for this crisis to reach a slow culmination over the next few months, as North Korea gets closer to achieving this capability, the United States reaction will be stronger as we realize the window of preventing that from happening is closing," Roy said.

For Japanese visitors like Tashi, a trip to Pearl Harbor's War memorial may take a different light as tensions in the Pacific become more strained.

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