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GVSU alumnus and President of Republic of Palau committed to deterring North Korea's nuclear threat

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The Republic of Palau is an island nation on the frontline of geopolitical tensions in the western Pacific Ocean. Its President is a Grand Valley State University graduate. While visiting with the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan, he spoke with WGVU about his country’s role in dealing with the North Korean nuclear threat.

“When you’re small the effects of a hydrogen bomb doesn’t sit too well with any island resident.”

Republic of Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr. is troubled by North Korea’s threat to launch a nuclear missile targeting the U.S. territory of Guam. Palau is located 800 miles northeast.

“Whatever happens to Guam definitely will affect us.”

Remengesau says the threat must be addressed by the world community. For its part Palau will collaborate with United States under a special friendship treaty.

“Palau is willing to offer its land for installation of very sensitive aerial radars to be built in Palau, obviously for surveillance and monitoring purposes. But that’s the kind of leadership and support that Palau wants to be a part of the solution, part of the ways that the United States and Palau can play to safeguard, not just Palau, but the region and we’re doing that.”

President Remengesau maintains a U.S. presence must be felt in the Pacific balancing peace in the region.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.