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VICE News

North Koreans in Los Angeles are facing discrimination — in Koreatown

Los Angeles isn’t always the friendliest place for a North Korean.

by Dexter Thomas
Jun 12 2018, 12:19am

North Koreans living in Los Angeles had a lot to worry about, even before the Trump-Kim summit was announced.

Los Angeles’ Koreatown hosts the largest population of North Koreans in the United States. But while iving in an area where so many residents also speak their language can make easing into American society less daunting, they can also face discrimination — from other Koreans.

“Some North Koreans, they hide the fact that they're from North Korea,” says Sarah Cho, founder of an organization that helps defectors start their new lives in the US. She says that while many South Koreans are curious and helpful to newly arrived North Korean immigrants, others can be abusive.

VICE News spent time with a small group of North Koreans now living in Los Angeles to hear what they think about life in Koreatown, life back home, and the Trump-Kim summit.

This segment originally aired June 11, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.