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Local Korean-Americans React To Situation In North Korea

Soon Hong. (credit: Pat Loeb/KYW Newsradio)

Soon Hong. (credit: Pat Loeb/KYW Newsradio)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Many Korean-Americans retain ties to South Korea, so they’ve been watching the events there with interest — but not with too much worry. And they’ve grown accustomed to North Korean sabre-rattling.

Richard Kwang runs Joa Market in Mt. Airy, but his parents and in-laws are still in Seoul. So he called them when North Korea began its series of ominous announcements.

“They’re not much worried because…America’s going to help South Korea,” Kwang explains.

Several local Korean business owners agreed. Yoong at the Korean Barbecue House found it unlikely that North Korea would go further than threats.

“If they make war, they won’t get anything. Everybody loses. They know it, I think,” Yoong says.

Soon Hong, a program director for Korean radio, allows there might be some risk.

“They might be crazy, so they might pull the trigger.”

But Hong says the threats have come so often that they’ve lost their power. Kwang thinks the energy would be better spent on North Korea’s real problems.

“Many people have been very hungry and [have] low income, but they only want to make the army grow. It’s not right,” he says.

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