CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago’s Korean population is eagerly watching the coverage leading up to the summit.
CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross has local reaction.
Many first-generation Koreans gather at the HANA Community Center to offer help to other Koreans.
“HANA means one,” said Inhe Choi of the HANA Center said her organization is the merger of two Korean-American advocacy groups.
And she hopes the word “HANA” will eventually describe the unity between North and South Korea, and the tone of a history making meeting between the politicians involved.
“We believe that this talk can really get us on a path toward that vision,” said Choi.
She estimates there are 80,000 Koreans living in Chicago.
Her organization helps out 15,000 a year with things like social services, adding the majority have ties to South Korea.
Some separated from family in North Korea by military conflict and politics for more than a generation.
“Just yearning for that moment to see their family members so they’re just so excited about this historical moment,” said Choi.
There is the fear these talks may not exceed the depth of simple photo opp, or a meeting between emotional leaders could increase rather than decrease tensions.
But one word, besides HANA describes the feeling for so many.
“Hope is the word I wold use to describe the mood among Chicago Korean-Americans,” she added.
Choi believes if people rather than politics are the focus of talks, things will ultimately be successful.