Local experts weigh in on North Korea threat

We spoke with Idaho Sen. Jim Risch.

BOISE – Different leaders from across the nation are addressing the threat from North Korea, including experts from Idaho.

Idaho Sen. Jim Risch said he can’t overstate how serious of a situation this is and people do need to pay attention to it.

“This is probably the most serious threat I’ve seen since I’ve been in the Senate,” said Risch.

Risch was elected to Congress in 2008 and sits on both the Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees.

While he said this shouldn’t be taken lightly, he says a threat from North Korea isn’t new.

“First of all Americans should not be afraid,” said Risch. “They should rely on a government that has been very, very good with protecting Americans here in the homeland.  We’ve been under a serious threat for well over a decade.”

“It is something that has been going on bedeviled a number of past administrations from Clinton to George Bush to the Obama administration,” said Steven Feldstein, who worked for the State Department in Washington, D.C. and is now a professor at Boise State University.

Like many political leaders, Feldstein doesn’t believe there is an immediate threat to the mainland United States.

“But for the allies we care about. Citizens in Seoul, South Korea, in Japan in Tokyo, Guam which was directly referenced,” he said.

Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, sent KTVB a statement on the issue.

“Because of its increasingly aggressive actions, North Korea was included in the recent sanctions legislation that was signed into law. The Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over economic sanctions, has held hearings about the threat that North Korea poses, and we will continue to evaluate whether further sanctions legislation is necessary.”

© 2017 KTVB-TV

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