South Koreans in Memphis hopeful following Trump summit with Kim - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

South Koreans in Memphis hopeful following Trump summit with Kim Jong-un

Joseph Shin of Cordova Baptist Church (Source: WMC Action News 5) Joseph Shin of Cordova Baptist Church (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (NBC) -

A Memphis pastor from South Korea is weighing in on President Donald Trump's summit in Singapore with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. 

Joseph Shin of Cordova Baptist Church says the summit was something he never saw coming. 

"There's a lot of hope and excitement," Shin said.

Shin moved from South Korea, where he grew up, to Texas 17 years ago.

He now leads a group of 30 Koreans at Cordova Baptist Church.

Shin says he watched the meeting with anticipation and couldn't believe it was happening.

"Emotional, deeply. Because North and South Korea, you call them North and South Koreans but we are one country--we share the same culture and speak the same language--we are one people," he said. 

The issue is personal too for political analyst Mike Nelson who has a son and daughter-in-law living in Seoul, South Korea.

"At least for today, we're feeling less of a burden less of a fear that they may be in danger because of war," Nelson said. 

He also says that questions still linger after the president's summit. For example: What did it accomplish?

Political pundits have said the North's promises to denuclearize are vague and hardly enforceable, and the US squandered a true opportunity to negotiate. 

"I'd love it if all of us who were expressing doubts later had to eat crow because that would mean the world is a safer place and we are a safer country," Nelson said. 

For Joseph Shin, the first glimmer of hope in North Korea is something he'll take.

"We cannot expect him to change overnight but just step by step, gradually we want him to change and open his country." 

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