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Students react to recent news from North Korea


North Korea’s December rocket launch and their underground nuclear test in February have concerned the U.S., but senior communications and art history major Kaila Willard said she doesn’t take North Korea’s threats seriously.

“I don’t think it’s a realistic threat. I trust our security, and I think our government is probably on top of that,” Willard said.

North Korea might be heightening their nuclear capabilities, but U.S. officials do not foresee a nuclear strike, according to an Associated Press article published by The Washington Post.

They predict Pyongyang may take other militaristic action involving artillery attacks or shelling of South Korean islands that “could actually present a more serious threat in triggering a conflict,” according to the Associated Press.

Sophomore Katie Ingram said nuclear war terrifies her, but she is comforted by her notion that world leaders are wise enough to know the catastrophic effects of such acts of violence.

Source: The Atlantic Cities

“I think there are a lot of threats to scare us, but yesterday [at the Boston Marathon] makes it a lot more real,” Ingram said, “That could happen anywhere. Just like Newtown, and the shootings on campus.”

Willard also said the recent murder-suicide off-campus and Monday’s act of terror in Boston make her fear the threats of terrorism and violence more so than the recent news from North Korea.

“The fact that they don’t know the motives behind [the Boston bombings] makes it really scary,” she said.

According to ABC News, the totalitarian nation launched two rockets in the past year. Their nuclear tests in February led to an increase in U.N. sanctions, and ABC News said they might be planning another missile test.

Freshman music education major Amanda Staub said she doesn’t worry about the threats and tries not to focus on it. She also said she only turns on the news if “something big is going on.”

“I think it’s [North Korea’s threat] something to worry about, but in college I think a lot of people live in their own little bubble and don’t worry about what’s going on nationally or internationally. Personally, I worry about it, but I don’t watch the news here,” Staub said.

Source: Project Quinn

Staub isn’t the only student who doesn’t watch the news daily. According to a Pew research study, about 40 percent of adults under the age of 30 regularly read daily news or newspapers compared to 62 percent of older adults.

“I think social media has changed how people interact about the news,” Ingram said.

She said the easy accessibility of news from friends via Twitter and Facebook has made seeking out traditional news less common.

Ingram said she thinks that different students seek out news from traditional outlets depending on their course of study here at Maryland. For example, journalism or government and politics majors may be more inclined to read the news than students studying other fields.

Ingram often finds out what is going on in the world by scrolling down her newsfeed to read the political rants from her more “outspoken Facebook friends.” From Facebook, she may or may not choose to research the topic further. 

Willard also said she doesn’t seek out the news regularly.

Journalism & Environmental Science and Policy Double Major
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