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Overseas Koreans Agency commits to supporting K-Town Food LA project

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“We will tour the Korean community’s livelihoods and reflect improvements in our policies.”

Commissioner Lee Key Cheol has returned to the Korean American community in Southern California after four months. Lee, who visited Southern California last October for the 21st World Korean Business Convention — held for the first time overseas — spent two days on February 28-29, collecting public opinions from the Korean community.

On February 28, Lee discussed ways to promote Korea at the Korean Center Inc. in San Francisco and then traveled to Los Angeles in the afternoon to meet with the President of the Korean American Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles (KACCLA) to discuss projects promoting Korean culture and food.

Lee expressed his intention to support the K-Town Food LA project, which the KACCLA has been preparing since last year.

Lee Key Cheol (front row, fourth from the left), Commissioner of the Overseas Koreans Agency, emphasized the importance of the restaurant map project alongside Bong Hyun Kim, President of the Korean American Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, during a visit to LA Koreatown on February 28. [Hyoungjae Kim, The Korea Daily]

“The K-Town Food LA project is a very important project that will introduce Korean culture and K-food to LA residents and visitors,” said Lee, who met with Bong Hyun Kim, President of KACCLA at Concerto Restaurant in LA Koreatown. “As part of the Yoon Suk Yeol administration’s civil livelihood revitalization efforts, we will look for ways to provide concrete and practical help to the Korean community.”

According to KACCLA, the recently completed K-Town Food LA project includes an introduction to Koreatown; features of Korean and Chinese restaurants; first-generation and next-generation restaurants; and Koreans’ favorite restaurants.

In particular, the map was created and illustrated by Mikki Paek, a second-generation artist who gained attention for her illustrations of Koreatown’s history in the Koreatown Times.

KACCLA President Bong Hyun Kim said, “The restaurant map is available in print, as well as on the website and app, and if you scan the QR code, you can easily learn the history, features, and menus of Korean restaurants.” “I am encouraged that the Overseas Koreans Agency listened to the complaints of Korean small businesses and offered to help,” he said.

Lee also held a meeting with 20 Korean businessmen at Yongsusan Restaurant that afternoon. The participants celebrated the success of the 21st World Korean Business Convention held in OC last year and discussed the Overseas Korean Business Advisory Group program.

Lee, traveling to Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles since February 26, also emphasized the importance of “informing overseas Koreans about Korea’s political and economic developments” by listening to their opinions.

“It is important for the overseas Korean community to play an active role in including Korea’s development history in textbooks in the United States and other countries,” Lee said.

“The law has also established a remedy procedure to minimize the disadvantages associated with the problem of renunciation of nationality for dual citizens,” Lee said, adding, “We are currently considering lowering the allowable age for dual citizenship from 65 to 55. We will continue to work to properly inform the public about overseas Koreans,” he added.

BY HYOUNGJAE KIM, JUNHAN PARK    [kim.ian@koreadaily.com]