COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - For years and years, at his church in Downtown Columbia, Korean Community Presbyterian Church, Reverend Dong Yung Kim has been praying for the same thing over and over again.
"Never we skip the praying for the unification of our country," he said.
Rev. Kim moved to the United States from South Korea in the 1980s and has worried about many of his family members back home ever since, with the Korean War still technically dividing the North and the South.
"Many people [have] forgotten, but real families separated," Kim said. "Think about it. Husband and wife separated. Mother and father and children separated. And also, we are brothers and sisters, but we hate each other. We shooting each other. That's wrong!"
Now, it seems his prayers are being answered. North Korea and South Korea have reunited in friendship, peace, and a goal of denuclearization.
"I couldn't sleep. I mean, just, I really not crying but tears coming down when they finally got together," he said of the Korea summit.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – who was also stunned by the news – said President Donald Trump might even deserve the Nobel Peace Prize if he meets with Kim Jong Un and seals the deal.
"To the people of South Carolina, this is a big deal. This is a game changer when it comes to Asia. It's a game changer when it comes to our national security. If we can get North Korea to give up their nuclear program and really mean it this time, then the world is a lot safer, and the one person that deserves the most of the credit would be President Trump," Sen. Graham said.
Graham said the deal would mean a safer America, it could mean the U.S. might reduce its 30,000 troop presence in South Korea, and it would be an official end to the Korean War – a war in which many South Carolinians died.
"If [this] happens, it will be because Donald Trump took a strong position against North Korea," Graham said. "We're not there yet. I'm skeptical, but I'm cautiously optimistic."
Kim shares those feelings.
"As the expectation is high, but also is the skepticism," he said.
To be worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize, President Trump will need to secure a specific timetable of North Korean denuclearization, he said, but what's happened so far is an incredible start.
"This really can teach the people a good lesson. How we can work together in harmony to promote peace and unity and prosperity," Kim said.
Meanwhile, Rev. Kim said he and his congregation will keep praying, and he said he hopes there will be a day when he can lead mission trips from Columbia to North Korea.