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‘This is their life and their future’: Koreans in Spokane reflect on historic summit

UPDATED: Mon., June 11, 2018, 10:05 p.m.

In this image made from video provided by Host Broadcaster Mediacorp Pte Ltd., U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walk together during their official meetings at the Capella Hotel in Singapore, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. (Host Broadcaster Mediacorp Pte Ltd via AP) ORG XMIT: TOK107 (AP)
In this image made from video provided by Host Broadcaster Mediacorp Pte Ltd., U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walk together during their official meetings at the Capella Hotel in Singapore, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. (Host Broadcaster Mediacorp Pte Ltd via AP) ORG XMIT: TOK107 (AP)

The historic summit meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has Koreans in Spokane closely watching the outcome.

Chung Lee, who is owner of Kim’s Korean Restaurant in Spokane, moved to the U.S. from South Korea more than 35 years ago.

“Everybody is interested in the summit right now,” she said. “I’d like to see peace with America and Korea. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

Hyuki Ahn, who is the Jecheon, South Korea, society president of the Sister Cities Association of Spokane, said she has been talking with siblings in South Korea daily about the summit.

“We are all nervous. We don’t have high expectations, although we have high hopes,” she said. “We just hope President Trump knows what he was getting into. I expect he has experts that know about the issues to give him good advice and I hope the president kind goes into it slowly. This is a real serious event that’s unfolding now.”

Ahn said for people who are not Korean, it’s just an issue for the moment. But, Koreans are worried they could be affected by the summit discussion.

“This is their life and their future,” she said. “I think the summit talk is very important because we are really covering a lot of people.”

The summit meeting is a good start between the U.S. and North Korea, she said.

“It feels like there is a big change coming with this,” she said.