North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's announcement of a planned missile strike on Guam has sparked fear among a lot of people, but the Christians in the Pacific island are unfazed and instead choose to respond to the threat with prayer.
In an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network News, Pacific Islands University's interim president, Howard Merrell, said the Koreans in Guam were the ones most affected by North Korea's missile threats. He called on Christians not to focus on the imminent danger and instead pray that Jesus' gospel will spread across the reclusive state.
"There are several congregations here in Guam that are predominantly Korean. It has a far greater impact on them because they have family, friends, loved ones in the Korean Peninsula," Merrell told CBN News.
"Rather than focusing on a danger that probably is not going to come to pass, I think a far greater focus should be prayer for the people of North Korea who live under an oppressive regime," he added. "We should pray for those that are in leadership, for people to live in peace and calm so that the gospel will have the opportunity to go forth unhindered."
As for the residents in Guam, Merrell said they remain calm as it is not the first time that they have encountered these threats. He said the U.S. territory has been torn by war in the past, and the people are prepared for such situations.
Meanwhile, the missile threats and recent standoff between Washington and Pyongyang have not deterred tourists from visiting Guam. South Korean travel agency official Won Hyung-jin said there were some customers who expressed concern over the situation but still did not cancel their trips to the Pacific island, ABC News reported.
Won, whose company has sent 5,000 tourists to Guam every month this year, said travelers have become used to the tension that North Korea apparently causes once or twice a year.
A third of the workers in Guam are employed in the tourism industry. Although the island's population is only 160,000, around 1.5 million tourists visited the country last year.