‘LA Koreatown not as good as the real thing‘
U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim weighed in on a question of the ages for many Korean-Americans from Los Angeles and frequenters of L.A.’s Koreatown: How does K-town in L.A. match up against the real deal?
He made his opinion known on the U.S. Embassy’s “Ask The Ambassador” video-blog, April 20.
Kim is uniquely qualified to opine on this weighty topic because he grew up in the largest Korean community in the U.S.
He also worked as a public prosecutor in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, before his time with the U.S. Foreign Service.
“I like it. I like it a lot, in fact,” Kim said about the K-town of his hometown.
“It has great Korean restaurants, churches and just a flurry of fun activities in Koreatown but, you know what, there is really no substitute for the real thing.”
What? No he didn’t.
Like margarine to butter or store bought kimchi to home made, Kim said that L.A.'s K-town is just not as good as Korea itself.
He touched on other questions, too, like being a "gireogi appa" or “goose dad,” a Korean man whose wife and children live in another ― usually English-speaking, country, and misconceptions of Korea and Koreans.
“Being a goose dad is much more difficult than I thought it would be. Because there are so many goose dads in Korea I didn’t think it would be this difficult, but I really miss being with my family,” he said, adding that his family will be joining him this summer.
Kim said that although there are some misconceptions about Korea and Koreans, there is no widespread prejudice.
He said people outside Korea respect Korean accomplishments, listing Hyundai cars, Samsung phones and K-pop, while showing photos of PGA professional golfer Choi Kyung-ju and 2010 Olympic figure skating gold medalist Kim Yu-na.
“So I don’t see prejudice. What I do see is the opposite,” he said.