INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An Indianapolis family is home safe after their trip of a lifetime took an unexpected turn. The mother and son were in Japan when North Korea launched a missile over the country.
While it didn't spoil their trip, it did raise concerns.
"It was mind blowing for me, the culture there, the tradition," Josh Henderson said.
He won the trip to Tokyo on “The Price is Right.” He took his mother, Vickie Owens, to the game show as a surprise for her birthday, and took her on the trip with him.
"The food was good, the people were just wonderful," Owens said.
The day before leaving Asia, though, North Korea flew a ballistic missile over Japan for the first time. The duo says they heard what they later learned was a warning.
"Just alarmed me, I was a little scared because I'm like I'm away from the USA," Owens said.
Tensions only continued to rise this week when North Korea claimed it carried out its most powerful nuclear test with a hydrogen bomb.
"So this use of North Korean threats to achieve their national objectives is very common. Now what's new now is they've added nuclear weapons to their delivery system so that that requires some response," Mark Minton said.
Minton is a Professor of Practice in East Asian Studies and Diplomacy by the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. He spent more than 30 years as a career diplomat and served as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea.
“We have responded to this before the Clinton administration and the George W. Bush administration the Obama administration all negotiated with the North Koreans but it's an extremely difficult negotiation to get them to rid themselves of their nuclear weapons.”
Minton said his guess is North Koreans are trying to get back to the negotiating table.
"Recognition, financial aid and they want to see a reduction of US troops and military activities around the Korean peninsula. This is a very hard thing for us to put on the bargaining table. It'll be interesting to see what happens because they've upped the ante," Minton said.
But while tensions flare, Henderson and Owens aren't letting it overshadow their trip.
"It was amazing," Owens said.