Local Korean Americans watching overseas events closely - FOX 13 News

Local Korean Americans watching overseas events closely

Posted: Updated:
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -

Tough talk from North Korea's young leader has Korean Americans in metro Atlanta concerned. Kim Jong Un's regime has warned foreign companies and tourists to evacuate South Korea because it says the two countries are on the verge of a nuclear war.

The Korean American association of Greater Atlanta says there are more than 100,000 Korean Americans in metro Atlanta and about half of them live in Gwinnett County.

Korean businesses line Buford Highway, and the South Korean flag flies proudly beside the stars and stripes outside the Korean American Association of Greater Atlanta.

"I was born and raised in South Korea. That doesn't mean that South Korea is my only country. I see the whole Korean peninsula as one Korea," said Travis Kim, the organization's president.

Kim says Korean Americans in metro Atlanta are keeping a close watch on news out of North Korea, especially, after Kim Jong Un's regime threatened a nuclear war with the south, and could test a mid-range missile Wednesday.

"I hope that these are all threats and talks, and hopefully there's no stupid action to follow, but who knows. That's what worries me," Kim said.

Kim hoped the young North Korean leader would be open to change since he has a western education, but he says inviting former American basketball player Dennis Rodman to visit contradicts his recent sabre rattling.

"He's also known as kind of freedom of, I guess, individualism. It's a very odd figure to be visiting North Korea," Kim said.

Kim says the national organization is not sitting idly by during this Korean crisis of words, and has already contacted leaders in Washington with its concerns.

"We have already contacted the White House and publicly announced statements about these radical announcements and the threats by the North Korean government," Kim said.

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