Santa Monica Pier is 25km from downtown Los Angeles.  It is a place frequented by locals and tourists alike. (E. Lee/VOA)
Santa Monica Pier is 25km from downtown Los Angeles. It is a place frequented by locals and tourists alike. (E. Lee/VOA)

LOS ANGELES - During the last days of summer holidays at the famous Santa Monica Pier, many residents and tourists in Los Angeles find it difficult to imagine a potential nuclear threat brewing on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. However, it is on the mind of Lital Gilad.

“Yeah, I am worried. I think it is a real threat and it’s on my mind. I have kids and obviously I don’t want anything so bad to happen,” said Gilad.

The saber-rattling continues between North Korea and the United States, and tensions appear to be rising. North Korea claims it has an intercontinental ballistic missile that can carry a nuclear warhead as far as the western United States.

WATCH: Life Goes On in Los Angeles Despite North Korean Threats

“I think that’s the scariest part about the situation, that there is no level-headed person in between,” said Scott Gibbons, a tourist from Australia.This potential threat however, has not ruined Gibbons’ vacation.

“Anything can happen at any time, and if you worry about it too much then you’re not going to enjoy your life,” Gibbons said. 

Visitor Felicia Walker, shared a similar sentiment when asked whether she was worried about North Korean missiles.

“Somewhat. But I am very strong in my faith, so I believe everything is going to be OK,” said Walker.

About 20 kilometers away from the Santa Monica Pier, on the edge of downtown Los Angeles, is the neighborhood known as Koreatown.  It sits in a county with the largest Korean population in the U.S.

Resident Young Ja Bae is worried about North Korea’s nuclear program and threats of a missile attack. 

Korean businesses of all types can be found in Kor
Korean businesses of all types can be found in Koreatown, just west of downtown Los Angeles. (E. Lee/VOA)

“We should attack first. We have to do something. They [North Korea] don’t know what they’re dealing with. We’re not going to let it happen,” said Bae.

Daniel Son is more concerned about his relatives in South Korea.

“I think they’re in a greater risk than we are, because South Korea is really close from North Korea,” said Son.

Son’s friend, Chinese-American David Lee, said he is not worried.

“Even though North Korea are strong on military, I feel like they will not be dumb enough to actually attack here because if they attack here, the entire world will be into a chaos,” said Lee.

As to whether U.S. President Donald Trump has this situation under control, the opinions are as mixed as the ethnic makeup of Los Angeles.

“Yes, I believe it,” said Bae who has confidence in the U.S. president.

However, Lee was more doubtful.

“He is definitely not the best candidate to solve the conflict between nations,” said Lee.

For the moment, life goes on as usual in Los Angeles, as residents and visitors watch and wait for more news from Washington and across the ocean.