Experts fear that Tuesdays launch demonstrates Alaska is within the regimes firing scope, but many locals say their concerns are closer to home

Alaskas leaders say North Koreas test of intercontinental weapons proves the necessity of achieving beefed-up missile defense in this frontier country. Thats the legislators, anyway. Many Alaskans say theyre more worried about bears than bombs.

I was surprised they were able to get a missile to actually launch, Robert Church, a physician, said Thursday as he parked his mountain bike at a popular Anchorage park. Cottonwood seeds floated to the grass all around him. Im concerned about the threat, but I dont have a lot of confidence in the North Korea scientists making a functional rocket that could reach Alaska.

Experts say the Tuesday launch demonstrated the ability of North Korea to set Alaska within firing scope. Alaskans like 45 -year-old Church, who grew up during the cold war, living closer to Russia than to the continental United States, have heard it all before.

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