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More North Korean refugees in the U.S. calling the 'Bluegrass State' home

By
Elizabeth Shim
A North Korean woman walks her dog in a small village near the North Korean city Sinuiju, across the Yalu River from Dandong, China's largest border city with North Korea. North Koreans, 186 in total, have resettled in the United States since 2006, two years after the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 was signed into law. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
A North Korean woman walks her dog in a small village near the North Korean city Sinuiju, across the Yalu River from Dandong, China's largest border city with North Korea. North Koreans, 186 in total, have resettled in the United States since 2006, two years after the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 was signed into law. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- The North Korean refugee population in the United States is still small, and their No.1 state of residence isn't New York or California – it's Kentucky.

North Koreans, 186 in total, have resettled in the United States since 2006, two years after the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 was signed into law by President George W. Bush. Radio Free Asia reported on Monday the refugees now live in 18 states, and 26 of the 186 settled in Kentucky.

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Next, California is home to 25 recent arrivals, followed by New York at 19, Colorado, 17, with Arizona, Virginia, each home to 15 new North Korean defectors. The remaining population is divided among Washington, Idaho, Texas, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Maryland and Massachusetts, each state home to less than 10 North Koreans. In 2014, the United States granted asylum to 15 North Koreans, and five resettled in California and three in Utah. Others have taken up residence in Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky and Georgia.

On Tuesday, local time, South Korean President Park Geun-hye left for the United States on what is her second official visit to Washington, D.C., Voice of America reported.

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President Obama is to welcome Park to the White House on Oct. 16, and for the first time Park is to visit the Pentagon.

Park also plans to visit the Korean War Memorial, the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where she is to deliver a speech regarding South Korea's foreign and security policies.

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