KOREATOWN : Candlelight Vigil Protests Violence

More than 200 Korean-Americans attended a candlelight vigil at City Hall last Sunday, calling for an end to the violence that has left five Korean-Americans dead and six others seriously wounded in the Los Angeles region since Feb. 5.

Most of the victims were shot during robberies, many of which took place in Koreatown. Two other Korean-Americans were victims of a carjacking.

Angela Oh, president of the Korean-American Bar Assn., said that while the media focus on the possibility of a second citywide riot, Korean-American merchants are dealing daily with the threat of violence. She called on the police to work with merchants to develop preventive measures at high-risk locations.

Those killed were:

* Hyung Soo Kim, who was beaten Feb. 5 outside his market at 6200 S. San Pedro St.;

* Young Deuk Chon, shot in a Koreatown restaurant's parking lot while delivering fruit Feb. 13;

* Han Sang Chon, shot Feb. 15 at his market at 4122 S. Hoover St.;

* Nam Suk Koh, shot at his Long Beach market Feb. 27;

* Jung Sam Woo, shot--allegedly by a 12-year-old boy--at Woo's bicycle shop in Monrovia on March 11.

"This is a desperate situation that won't go away until we can make our city's institutional leaders accountable and demand that they give us a safe environment to do business," said Bong Hwan Kim, executive director of the Korean Youth & Community Center.

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