Local Guam native reacts to rising tensions - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Local Guam native reacts to rising tensions

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JACKSON CO. -- As tensions between the United States and North Korea continue to escalate, a southern Illinois woman worries about her family on the U.S. Island territory of Guam.

She tells News 3 she's more worried now than she's ever been before. She says the aggressive rhetoric between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump is unlike anything she's ever heard before. She also added that while growing up in Guam, threats from North Korea were somewhat normal, but says this time feels different.

Chilang Lawless, of Murphysboro, worries about her homeland.

"I'm very very scared and very worried. I can hardly sleep," she said.

She can hardly sleep, as threats between the U.S. and North Korea continue to focus on the island territory where much of her family still lives.

"I'm constantly watching to see what the updates are," she said.

The latest message from President Trump to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un didn't help:

"If he does anything in respect to Guam or any place else that is an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it and he will regret it fast."

It left Lawless even more on edge.

"He needs to watch what he says. I feel like he has kind of stirred up the pot," she said.

The Guam native says the more than 7,000 people and service members on the island worry for their lives.

"It is becoming more real now. I've talked with my family and they said they have never really seen it this tense before," she said.

She says service members, including her own family, deserve better.

"I'm very proud of them," she added.

Lawless struggles to understand why any country would want to threaten her island and its friendly people, called "Chamorro."

"Yes, we are, and you know when you make a friend with a chamorro you make a friend for life," she said.

Lawless hopes world leaders can learn from her island culture, and  peacefully settle their differences.

"I hope that they're all in collaboration and all on the same page and that some diplomacy is made," she said.

Lawless plans to keep in constant contact with her family in Guam to stay informed of any new developments.

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