North Korean immigrant Mr. Gwanghyeok Choe, image courtesy of @nkiacollaboration
Sarah Yooyoung Cho, image courtesy of NKIA Collaboration
North Koreans in America (NKIA)
South Bay Giving Church
SC: A church where North Koreans attend service every Sunday. North Koreans don’t come to receive assistance from the church because Giving Church doesn't have much to give, but rather they come for the sensation of being part of a family. There's a potluck lunch every Sunday and both North Koreans and South Korean members bring food. I think this church portrays a mini-unification between the two Koreans in the United States.
City of Hope
SC: North Koreans are amazed by the Medicare and insurance in the US. Although North Korea promises free medical care for everyone, treatment is still hard to obtain. Yes, doctors are available when you need them, but they will give you lists of medical supplies to bring back for treatment. So, if you cannot afford the medical supplies, you cannot get treatment. There are humanitarian organizations that build hospitals in Pyongyang, but it is unlikely that it will benefit the common people. First, it's more difficult to get a travel permit to go to Pyongyang than [it is] to cross the border into China. And common people cannot go to Pyongyang without a permit.
I submitted an appeal with CA state court to have one of our defectors who had recurring cancer receive treatment [at the City of Hope in Arcadia]. I don't think they know, but I am very happy with the service that our defector is getting from them. Thanks to the CA state medical board and LA Care, too, who approved out-of-network treatment!
Wilshire / Vermont and Wilshire / Western Metro Stations
Koreatown, Los Angeles
SC: Two defectors and Pastor Kim coordinate peace rallies every Tuesday and Wednesday to advocate democracy and human rights for North Korea. We display small picture galleries for people to see.
Header image courtesy of NKIA