North Korea may not be able to attack the U.S. with a nuclear-tipped missile, but it can reach 28,000 U.S. troops in South Korea as well as other nearby bases. For some there with ties to this area they says it's life goes on as usual. But many also think it's an issue not to take lightly.
All eyes are on North Korea after more threats of attacks on the U.S. But it isn't just on the home front where the concern lies. "Present a real and clear danger and threat to the interests certainly of our allies, starting with South Korea and Japan," said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
That's also where thousands of U.S. troops and their families are currently stationed, including some originally from here in the Quad Cities area. Brie Sauro Matthews, who currently lives in South Korea says, "We are going on with our normal lives. It is good to be prepared, but I think if it were a real, immediate threat, family members would be sent home." Her husband is an Army ammunition civilian stationed there since 2009.
Heather VanHorn, whose brother is an aircraft mechanic stationed in Osan, South Korea says, "My brother called us and said if anything were to happen, they would ship out the families as fast as they could first, but it's hard to tell."
Former Rock Island Arsenal Commander and retired Colonel Al Kruse says North Korea's threats have to be taken seriously.
"A rogue dictator, which this gentleman is, are the hardest ones to plan for because you don't know what they're going to do," said Kruse. He also says it's all a "what-if" game as defense officials scramble to figure out ways to respond if needed. "We need to make sure we protect all our U.S. citizens and those in harms way in many cases within ten miles of the border," added Kruse.
If it were to ever come to talk of war, Kruse added that all of the military has an evacuation order that would get all of the non-combatants out of the country.