- Click here for Korean politicians in Washington.
Koreans in Washington
|Five senior Koreans in this photo were the old timers in the Washington Korean community (photo from the 1969 Korean Christmas party). These days, you can enjoy all kinds of Korean food.|
This is a photo (in 5 parts) of the Korean Christmas party of 1969. I am not in this photo, because I was away for a sabbatical leave. Until 1969, the Korean community was like a big family. The Korean population started its rapid increase in 1970, after Koreans learned how to use the Kennedy Immigration Reform Act of 1965.
There are now about 200,000 Koreans living in the Greater Washington area. In 1945, after Japanese left Korea, there were 200,000 Koreans in Pyongyang, while the population of Seoul was 500,000. The number of Korean residents is still growing in the Washington area.
- Koreans love parties. They like to meet and talk about everything
under the sun and moon. Indeed, Koreans transformed the entire city of
Annandale, Virginia (15 kilometers southwest of Washington) into a Korea town
of "eat and drink." You are invited to the
Yahoo Directory of Korean restaurants in Annandale.
- The word "Gamtu" is used by Koreans for the head or boss of an organization.
In order to have a Gamtu, you have to create an organization first.
Koreans are Gamtu-loving people. This is the reason why there are so many
- Koreans are church-going people. Whenever I meet Koreans, they ask me
which Korean church I attend. There are now more than 200 Korean
churches in the Greater Washington area.
White House Briefing for Korean American Leaders, co-hosted by the Council of Korean Americans (CKA) (June 7, 2012)
- The most important address in Washington is the White House. The
president of the United States is of course the central figure in the White
House compound, but there are many brain men and women advising the president.
Those brain people have their offices in the Executive Office Building (now
called the Dwight Eisenhower EOB) withing the compound. They have been
and still are mostly graduates of the so-called Ivy League Schools (Harvard,
Yale, Princeton, etc. plus Berkeley and Stanford).
When I came from Princeton to the Washington area to join the faculty of the University of Maryland in 1962, this Executive Office Building was a castle strictly forbidden to Koreans. Fifty years later, in 2012, things are somewhat different. There are many bright young Korean-Americans working in this or nearby office buildings. Two blocks from the Executive Office Building, there is a huge building serving as the headquarters of the World Bank. From July 1, 2012, a Korean man with his Harvard background will become the president of the World Bank.
- On June 7, 2007, the Council of Korean Americans arranged a White House briefing
for Koreans in the Executive Office Building, and about 150 Koreans and Korean
Americans were invited from different areas of the United States. Many came
from Chicago and California.
- Click here for the agenda for the
Many government officials came and explained the President Obama's policies toward Korea and Korean residents in the United States. One of those officials is now being mentioned as a candidate for the next Supreme Court justice. Here is a photo of this person. The lady on his right is asking him whether he is interested in that position. He avoided the question by saying that what wants is a vacation. Everybody laughed and applauded.
Side view of the White House, seen from the Executive Office Building.
- Entrance to the Library. This room is now used as a meeting room.
- Ceiling of the Library.
- The White House seen from the Library, on the fifth floor of the Executive Office Building.
- This lady came from San Jose (California). She is working for the Adobe software company. She studied at UC-Berkeley and Columbia University. She gives the image of bright, cultured and courteous Korean Americans.
- Click here for my Washington webpage.
- Karl Marx said
The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways.
The point however is to change it. According to Nelson Mandela,
education is the most powerful way to change the world. Koreans
believe in their children's education. This is the reason why
there are and will be so many Korean Americans who could play major
roles in changing the United States. The United States maintains
its world leadership because Americans constantly change their country.
|Eisenhower Executive Office Building (top), and the World Bank Headquarters.|
|The man in the middle is being mentioned as a candidate for the next seat in the Supreme Court.|
Korean Bell Garden (May 2012)
- Many Americans come to this park for rest and relaxation. They hold wedding
receptions and graduation proms.
- The opening ceremony of the Korean Bell Garden took place on May 19, 2012.
Needless to say, this Bell Garden is to tell all the visitors that Korea is
an important to country to the United States. It also reminds Korean Americans
that their Korean root remains strong. We expect many Korean events will
take place at this Bell Garden.
- I went to the opening ceremony and took some photos.
- The Park and Lake at the Botanic Gardens.
- Many American Events take place here, including wedding receptions and high school proms.
- Entrance to the Bell garden says Hanguk (Korea) and Miguk (America).
- One year earlier, in June of 2011,
the Bell Tower with the Bell looked like this, and
Korean deities were guarding them.
- The Korean Ambassador is giving a speech at the opening ceremony held on May 19, 2012.
- The Korean King and Queen in front of the Bell Tower.
- Many Americans came to celebrate this Korean event. We knocked the Bell, but our fists were not strong enough to generate a sound.
- The ceiling of the Bell Tower is like this.
- Model Korean village is 500 meters meters front of the Bell Tower. Korean children walk around the pond at the village.
- A group of dancers came from Korea to
celebrate this event, and I had a photo with them.
They told me they are graduate students at the Music College of
Seoul National University. They are doing their researches on Korean
traditional music, and they expect to get PhD degrees in music.
September Korean Festival (2010)
- Every year during the month of September, Koreans hold the Choo-Suk Festival
in Annandale lasting three days and three nights. I went there with my
camera and spent two days and one night there. Let me show you some
- Balloons and Festival booths.
- Korean children with blinking horns.
- Song and Dance on night stage.
- Tae Kwon Do. How can you miss this scene in a Korean festival?
- Chase Booth. As Koreans become affluent, financial companies come to Korean meetings like this in order to collect money from Korean.
- At the Festival of 2010, the most notable places were those selling
Pyongyang food items. Even more interesting was that those booths were
run by the defectors from the North.
- Pyongyang Cold Noodle, prepared by the defectors from the North. The lady standing with me in this photo is from Pyongyang. She is trying to impress an American man.
- Pyongyang Sausage, prepared by also by the defectors. Some came from Pyongyang and some from Hamheung. They crossed the Tuman River to China.
- Traditional Korean Dress still
common in the North. My mother was dressed like these young ladies when
I went to the church with her on Sundays.
- Where was my church? I made this page in 1984 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the first Presbyterian church in Korea. My friends are telling me to update this page and make it compatible with internet technology, and I will.
- The village of Sorae, where this church is located, can be seen from the South. The West Sea area noth-west of Inchon attracted our attention recently. This photo was taken from Baeknyun Island (by Yonhap News). You will see a small island called Wol-Raedo is blocking the view under the mountain. My church was there! You can see the place if you are on a helicopter or airplane. Likewise, I could see Baeknyun Island from the top of the mountain or half-way to the top.
This Gazza (faked) Kim Il-sung appeared in Pyongyang on
October 14, 1945 and set up his dynasty.
- Kim Koo as the president (Dae-Tong-Ryung, the same word we are using now).
- Yi Seung-Man as the prime minister (Chong-Ri Daeshin).
- Kim Il-Sung as the minister of army (Yook-Goon Daeshin).
Gen. Kim Il-Sung was in our hearts and minds, along with Kim Koo and Yi Seung-Man. Unlike Kim Koo and Yi SM, he was not able to come back to his country. Instead, Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union sent a young man named Kim Sung-Joo, who changed his name to Kim Il-Sung the day before he appeared at the public meeting welcoming General Kim Il-Sung. The meeting took place on October 14, 1945, and he gave his "Triumph Speech." Pyongyang's "Arch of Triumph" was built at the spot where this young man spoke.
Click here for more about this young man who in 1954 was totally strange to Koreans.
The 8.15 Day
On this day of August, Koreans hold meetings. Some of them are ceremonial,
and some of them are just for fun. The meetings become richer as Koreans
become more affluent. I go to those meetings and meet interesting people.
Let me introduce some of them to you.
- Rhee Jhoon-Goo came to
Washington in 1956, with an important Korean skill: Tae Kwon Do.
He started teaching Americans how to practice this martial art,
with a single sheet of mat. He is now one of the most influential
men in the Washington area. Initially he marketed his art using the
Japanese name "Karate," and his training center was known as
"Jhoon Rhee Karate Studio." As the Karate was gaining popularity among
Americans, he was able to increase the number of his Karate shops.
Then he changed the word "Karate" to "Tae Kwon Do." You would agree
he is a patriot, and also a brilliant businessman.
In September of 2010, a group of American congress people gave him a party to celebrate his 80th birthday (image from the Korea Times).
At last 8.15 meeting (2010), he told me that he is now commending 67 Tae Kwon Do studios including many in Russia. As you can see, he was wearing many medals, and the biggest medal is a Moscow peace prize. He was the pivotal person who transformed this unique Korean art into a worldwide sports item.
- Korean Ladies in Korean Dresses.
Many Korean ladies come to this meeting in traditional Korean
costume. They are beautiful and I take photos. In this photo,
I am with young Korean students. When I asked them how they got those
beautiful dresses, they said they all rented them from one of
the rental companies. This was something new to me. Renting
"Hanbok" in America? Perhaps I should also rent a Hanbok
when I go to next year's 8.15 celebration.
- I look better with a more
mature Korean lady with her traditional dress. She is the head of
one of the numerous Korean organizations in the Washington area.
There are many Korean organizations, alumni associations, social
clubs, scholarship funds, as well as Korean churches. They like to
gather together and like to be among themselves. Usually, Korean
women are driving forces for those groups.
- I look OK with these American Opera
Singers. These young artists came from the Washington
Opera Company and participated in the Korean celebration by singing
the songs popular among Koreans, such as
I have enough music background to put up high-level talks with these young artists. I had a lengthy music talk with this singer. I asked her whether she came from Italy. She said No, but her parents came from Italy. I then asked her whether she was born as a singer. She was very happy to say Yes. She became impressed when I told her I have been Milan's LaScala Opera Theater.
- I look better with a more mature Korean lady with her traditional dress. She is the head of one of the numerous Korean organizations in the Washington area. There are many Korean organizations, alumni associations, social clubs, scholarship funds, as well as Korean churches. They like to gather together and like to be among themselves. Usually, Korean women are driving forces for those groups.
- With Korean Marines, I look
healthy and strong. Korean marine veterans appear at Korean meetings
with their uniforms and sometimes
with the flags.
I become very happy when I see Korean navy sailors or marines, because my father was the chief logistic officer for the Korean navy at its beginning stage. He was in charge of feeding and equipping those young Koreans. The Korean Marine Corp started as a battalion of rifle carrying navy sailors. They were equipped with 270 Arisaka 99 Japanese rifles known to Koreans as 99-shik sochong.
- I have many more people to introduce. Please come again.
This page is maintained by Dr. Y.S.Kim, Professor of Physics Emeritus, University of Maryland.
Right after his high school graduation in 1954, he came to the United State as a freshman at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now called Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh. He then went to Princeton in 1958 for graduate study. After receiving his PhD degree in physics in 1961, Dr. Kim spent an additional one year there as a post-doc. He came to the Washington area to join the faculty of the University of Maryland.
- Click here for his home page.
- His Einstein page.
- His Princeton page.
- His Style page.
I received my PhD degree from Princeton in 1961, seven years after high school graduation in 1954. This means that I did much of the ground work for the degree during my high school years.