Camden's woes and delights to be featured on South Korean TV

A trio of journalists from Korea is spending this week chatting with Camden residents and taking in local scenes that often make the news: abandoned homes, a closed downtown library, crime tape.

The Korean Broadcasting System, the largest South Korean television network, is reporting a piece on how the economy has affected U.S. cities. It picked Camden as its focus.

Producer Yurie Kim, who is based out of the network’s Washington, D.C., office, said that the team had read all about Camden’s troubles and thought Koreans would be interested.

The team has met with business owners and residents and toured various city sites. It will meet with Mayor Dana L. Redd later this week.

After visiting the downtown library that shut down last year due to a large city budget gap, Kim said: “It’s like a whole city abandoned its residents.”

Not all encounters have been negative. When team members met civic activist Mary Cortes at her home in Cramer Hill, she greeted them with a smile and immediately handed them an envelope.

“Here’s some music for you,” she exclaimed.

The journalists looked confused.

“Yes, Puerto Rican music,” she said, giving them some Boleros to listen to.

Cortes then went on to give them an earful about the city’s recent property tax increases.