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Local Korean pastor shares thoughts on Trump-Kim summit, North Korea relations

The Trump-Kim summit has also captured the attention of local Koreans living in the Coachella Valley.

“Everyone wants to get peace. Not war, no fighting.”

That’s what Reverend Choi Seung-Mok is wishing for at the Korean peninsula. As the head pastor of the Korean Methodist Church of Palm Springs in Thousand Palms, he’s been following the developments between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“The best situation is if North Korea give up nuclear weapons and then North Korea joins the world in peace,” Rev. Choi said.

He says while the Trump-Kim summit is encouraging to Koreans abroad, there’s huge skepticism due to trust issues.

“Most of them don’t believe North Korea, because they broke many promises,” Rev. Choi said.

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Reverend Choi says politically progressive South Koreans like current president Moon Jae-in, are pushing for warmer relations with North Korea, but those who are conservative, like Rev. Choi himself and many in the US, take a more hardline stance for the sake of national security.

“If North Korea doesn’t get rid of nuclear weapons, we have to get (nuclear weapons), that’s the conservative party’s opinion, and my opinion,” he said.

That’s because he says he values the freedoms he enjoys.

“I love my country, South Korea, and I know how important freedom of religion, and freedom of opinion (is), and etc.”

However, Rev. Choi says every Korean agrees, peaceful reunification is the ultimate goal and says as a devout Christian, he’s holding hope despite the obstacles.

“We doubt it can be worked, but we believe in a miracle through this summit and we pray for Trump,” he said.

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