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Korean War veteran reacts to peace talks between North and South Korea

Posted at 9:59 AM, Apr 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-28 10:01:51-04

No North Korean leader has ever done it. 

Kim Jong Un stepped into South Korea with a handshake for its president Moon Jae-In.

Both countries vowed to remove nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula during a historic meeting.

President Donald Trump applauding the meeting today, says he plans to meet with North Korea soon but promises he wont be "played."

"The United States has been played beautifully like a fiddle because you had a different kind of a leader," President Trump said.

The news is sending shock waves around the world, including Korean War veterans living right here in Palm Beach County, who sacrificed their lives 65 years ago.

Many of them say they never would have thought to see this in their lifetime, including Dr. Kuang Kim of Singer Island.

From his living room tv, Dr. Kim watched history unfold in his homeland on Friday.

"I never thought this would happen," he said.

After a decades long career as a medical doctor in Milwaukee, the 91-year-old retired doctor now lives in South Florida and still does consulting work for the local West Palm Beach VA.

But 65 years ago, he was on the front lines during the Korean War, working the medical unit, or MASH, for the South Korean and American armies.

“It was a very frightening experience, people dying left and right," he said.

His family was originally from an area in what is now North Korea and as was the case for many families, the war ended up tearing them apart.

“I though all of my family was dead, my family thought I was dead," he said.

While he's happy about the peace talks between North and South Korea, Kim has some lingering skepticism.

“But after that, the UN goes out, the United States goes out of Korea," he said. "What about a revolution? Which is very easy for the communists to do. And that's what I don't trust." 

He says he's not so sure about the communist regime suddenly turning their back on ideologies they’ve held for decades.

"If you unite as a democratic way, I don't think the communists are going to like that," he said.

As the peace talks continue, Kim hopes the chance to see his Korea reunite as one will come in his lifetime.

“I'm hoping that maybe I could go back one of these days, when the countries are united and maybe look at my land one more time."

Kim Jong Un is the first North Korean leader to set foot onto the south side of the DMZ since 1953.

There's a chance President Trump will meet with Kim Jong Un later this year.