South Korea expresses concern over hate crimes after Atlanta mass shooting

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March 24 (UPI) — South Korea is raising concerns about the rise of hate crimes in the United States a week after eight people, including six Asian Americans, were killed during a mass shooting at Atlanta-area spas.

South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong said Wednesday he harbors “deep concerns” about “racist hate crimes” in the United States, Newsis reported.

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“The increase in hate crimes against Asian communities is a matter of safety for [Koreans] in the United States,” Chung said. “The government will be devoting great attention to the issue and will cooperate closely with related U.S. government agencies to prevent incidents and keep safe” Korean citizens abroad.

South Korea will “actively support the efforts of the U.S. government to firmly stand against hate and violence, without being silent,” Chung said.

U.S. officials in Georgia last week identified four out of the eight victims as Koreans or Korean Americans. One person in the group of four had South Korean citizenship, while the rest were naturalized U.S. citizens, according to the JoongAng Ilbo.

Reports of racist incidents that have targeted Korean Americans have riled the South Korean public in the aftermath of the Atlanta spa shootings.

Various news stories, including a report of a handwritten threat to a Korean American widow in Southern California has gone viral on the Korean Internet.

On Tuesday, the Orange County Register reported the note sent to Yong Choi, a resident of a senior community, stated the death of her husband Byong was “one less Asian to put up with.”

“Watch out! Pack your bags and go back to your country where you belong,” the note read, according to the report.

Yong Choi’s daughter, Claudia, said that her father, who came to the United States in the late ’60s, was “very civic minded.”

“He voted in every election and would help in every election as a volunteer,” Choi said.

National organization Stop AAPI Hate has reported nearly 3,800 racist incidents over the past year.