More than 100 persons met last night with D.C. police officials to discuss an increase in crime in the far Northwest Washington area, including the slaying last Friday of a 42-year-old Korean grocer.
Three persons have been charged in the death of Young Ja Cha, who with her husband operated the Sherman Market at Columbia Road and Sherman Avenue NW.
Last night's meeting was organized by police to instruct business owners, many of whom are Korean immigrants, about ways to fight crime and to ease what some observers have said is growing tension between the area's Koreans and blacks.
Assistant Police Chief Isaac Fulwood told the gathering that language is the greatest barrier between the two groups and said the department has recently added two employes, one a police officer, to assist Koreans in their contacts with police and area residents.
"Whenever you have a new kid on the block there are always problems of communication," said Fulwood, " . . . but I don't believe there is any racial tension."
Several black residents at the meeting, however, suggested that relations are strained, but that they could be eased if the business owners would hire some blacks. One businesswoman, Julia Reis, countered that "Blacks don't understand our predicament. We come here to the United States with nothing and we work 16 hours a day, six days a week in order to survive. We cannot afford to hire anyone .