Protesters unfurled banners saying, “reunification, NOT nuclear annihilation,” “NO WAR,” and “who will keep us safe?” in front of the White House Wednesday, a day after President Donald J. Trump promised to respond with fire and fury towards any further nuclear provocation from North Korea.

Among the protesters was a 57-year-old man from Fairfax, who remembered leaving Seoul for America at 11 years old.

“My family left to avoid political prosecution,” H.K. Suh said in an interview Wednesday. “My mother and father made the decision, for a better opportunity here.”

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Suh has more than 100 family members in the Seoul area alone, some of whom serve as military conscripts. They are compelled to defend the country, mere miles from weapons pointed towards major population centers south of the 38th Parallel.

“It’s more unpredictable now,” Suh said. “Because of how the president could act, because we’ve never heard those words from the White House before.”

Suh now serves as the vice president of the National Association of Korean Americans, and said the latest round of defiance from the reclusive regime, let alone the response from Washington, marks an uneasy departure from past provocations.

“One misstep could lead to catastrophe,” Suh said. “I would say, ‘stand down Mr. President.’ Your rhetorical phases don't help, and will just inflame the situation further to a point of no return.”