KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Concern continues to mount over the possibility a regional war could break out between North and South Korea and one Knoxville soldier told 6 News about his experience serving in the volatile area.
Pfc. Nicholas Maxwell, 21, has been stationed in Seoul, South Korea since June.
The Knoxville native said the recent string of threats made by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have led to ramped up military efforts by the U.S.
"A lot of things around here have intensified militarily-wise," Maxwell said via Skype.
Maxwell, a Karns High School graduate, is an artillery soldier working with the multiple launching rocket system (MLRS).
"Our job is to put as many artillery rounds downrange as possible and take out as many of the North Korean forces as possible," Maxwell said.
It's a role that leaves his mother Lisa Maxwell, back in Knoxville, fearful for her son's safety.
"It's really scary," Lisa Maxwell said. "I really thought that it was going to be calm over there."
Lisa Maxwell said her worries are only matched by her pride for her first-born child.
"I'd rather have him having our back than anybody," Lisa Maxwell said. "He's very athletic, very smart, just extraordinary."
Nicholas Maxwell has two more months left in South Korea and said he plans to remain focused on his faith in God and his duties within the U.S. Army.
"As a soldier you've got to be ready for anything so I've been ready for whatever they're throwing at us," Nicholas Maxwell said. "I'm backed up by God."
Nicholas Maxwell said he will be leaving South Korea for Oklahoma June 2.