The threat of war is never far away for an East Liverpool native now living in South Korea.
Adam Ross, 27, teaches English to elementary school children in Yangson, South Korea. Living just five hours from the North Korean border, the threat of war is something he and others in the area deal with every day.
Ross is the son of long-time WKBN/WYTV photographer Anthony Ross.
After earning his B.A. in English from the University of Akron in 2009, Adam Ross wanted to fulfill his dream of traveling abroad and chose South Korea because of the unique culture and language. That is also where his met his wife, South Korean native Seonyeong Yun.
Ross said he’s heard numerous threats from North Korea over the past few years and although he follows the news daily and he takes all threats seriously, he still feels safe.
“It shows up on the news, it’s the first thing on the new every day,” said Ross. “In talking with other foreigners, we’ve come to expect these threats to come on an annual basis. Recently they have become a little more serious, but you just kind of get used to it after a while.”
Ross said that while North Korea is volatile and the threats have escalated, he said that living in a post 9/11 world has conditioned everyone to take the situation seriously, but people still have to live their day to day life, regardless.
“Sometimes you are afraid of various things happening. If your flying in an airplane you might be a little afraid or tense, but you go on with your life and you can’t let that hold you back because you never know when that kind of thing is going to happen,” said Ross.
Ross stays in close contact with the U.S. Embassy as well as his family here in the Valley.
“Of course they’re worried. They get concerned. I get a message every once and awhile checking to see if you’re o.k., ” said Ross. ” But you kind of go on with your life. You can’t let that hold you back.”
Surprisingly, Ross said living in a small town in South Korea is very similar to living in a town like East Liverpool.
“There’s so much more in small towns to see, the history and everything there is if you just, you know, go to the newest club or something downtown. If you wanted to study abroad, I would suggest going through your university, they have would have opportunities for you there,” said Ross.
Secretary of State John Kerry and his South Korean counterpart say North Korea will gain nothing by threatening tests of its missile or nuclear programs.
Kerry says the U.S. and its Asian ally won’t accept North Korea as a nuclear power. And he says its rhetoric is “unacceptable.”
Kerry is making his first-ever visit to Seoul amid strong suspicion that North Korea may soon test a mid-range missile.
South Korea’s foreign minister calls Pyongyang’s threats a “grave provocation” to the entire international community.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.