Two-Thirds of South Korean Seniors Sexually Active
Author: Jessica Yoon
Posted: January 10th, 2012
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A relatively high number of South Korean seniors are maintaining active sex lives but at what cost?

In a recent survey conducted by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare, almost seven out of 10 people over the age of 65 are sexually active, the Chosun Ilbo reported. However, of those sexually active, one in three are infected with a sexually transmitted disease.

The reason may be linked to the fact that more than a third of overall respondents said they paid for sex, with more than half of that group saying they did not use protection.  Continue Reading »

Man Commits Suicide After Attempting to Kill Wife
Author: Jessica Yoon
Posted: January 10th, 2012
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A Los Angeles man took his own life after attempting to kill his wife following a domestic dispute, according to news reports.

Jong Sun Park, 32, was found dead after an attempted murder-suicide at the Park La Brea apartments last Friday, the Korea Times reported. Park and his wife reportedly became involved in a major argument, which ended with the wife, believed to be in her late 20s, suffering blunt force injuries to the head.

Park then sent his younger brother an e-mail stating that he would sort everything out and kill himself. The sibling alerted police who broke down the door to the home and discovered Park had committed suicide by hanging himself, according to the Korea Times.

Park’s wife is currently being treated at a local hospital, according to KTLA, and authorities said she is still unaware of her husband’s death. The couple reportedly have two small children, who were staying with relatives at the time of the incident.

Park, who lived in the Los Angeles area, worked as a truck driver transporting imported goods to distribution centers around Southern California. Neighbors told the Korea Times they often heard his truck’s engine in the middle of the night.

Tuesday’s Link Attack: David Choe, Dia Frampton, Mark Keam
Author: Jessica Yoon
Posted: January 10th, 2012
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North Korea announces prisoner amnesty
BBC News

North Korea says it will grant an amnesty for prisoners to mark the birthdays of two late leaders.

State news agency KCNA said that the amnesty would begin from 1 February, in honour of Kim Jong-il, who died last month, and his father Kim Il-sung.

Wary of notice and trying to fit in
Los Angeles Times

In the shadows of Koreatown, dozens of North Korean defectors work to blend in with the larger South Korean culture, fearful of what would happen to relatives they left behind if they are discovered.

Doo-Ri for Macy’s Impulse – Sneak Peek
Fashion Etc

It’s only a matter of days before Giambattista Valli’s party-ready pieces for Macy’s Impulse hits stores, and already, the retailer has a successor lined up.

Doo-Ri Chung, designer of the Doo.Ri label, will create a capsule collection for the department store, set to launch February 15, 2012.

Tripitaka Koreana, preserving the wisdom of a millennium
Monsters and Critics

Gaya Mountains, South Korea – Halfway up a South Korean mountain lies a temple nestled in a forest that is home to a national treasure.

The Tripitaka Koreana is the most complete collection of Buddhist texts, laws and treaties in South Korea and one of the largest in the world. It consists of more than 80,000 engraved wooden printing blocks produced in the 13th century.

It’s a new Dia for ‘The Voice’ star
77 Square (blog)

Dia Frampton, who finished as the runner-up on the inaugural season of “The Voice,” never pictured herself auditioning for a television singing competition — let alone making the finals.

A Rising Tide of South Korean Golfers
New York Times

On Wednesday nights before a tournament, K. J. Choi visits the Korean Baptist church closest to the course he is playing, a practice that dates to when he was the PGA Tour’s first and only full-time player from South Korea. In the familiar hymns, sung in his native tongue, Choi experiences a connection, a communion, that he struggled at first to forge on the tour, where the courses and the language were foreign to him.

The echoes of home that Choi had to search for a decade ago, he will be able to find this week on the practice green and driving range at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, the site of the year’s first full-field tour event. Choi’s prayer, finally, has been answered; the door he cracked open in 2000 is being knocked down in 2012 by 11 players of South Korean descent, led by a baby-faced 20-year-old, Seung-Yul Noh, who is poised to become golf’s next rising star.

50 beautiful places to visit in Korea

Some 25 million South Koreans — about half the population — travel abroad at least once a year, but it’s safe to assume that most haven’t seen all the beautiful sights within the country.

Seoul only takes up a mere 0.6 percent of South Korea’s territory: here are 50 stunning photographs from the other 99.4 percent of the country that are all worth a visit.

Here are the flowery spring landscapes, sandy beaches, rocky mountains and quietly stunning historic sites on your new Korean travel bucket list. And just in case you were wondering, they are in no particular order. Feel free to add some suggestions of your own in the comment box at the end of the article.

What a North Face jacket means in South Korea

Consider the North Face jacket.

Originally designed for wilderness travelers, mountain climbers and winter sports athletes, this American outdoor jacket is more akin to a sleeping bag than it is a fashion statement.

Sure, it’s had its share of headlines in its home country, having been the subject of rampant reselling, counterfeiting–even armed robbery.

Recently in Korea, however, the explosive popularity of the puffy down jacket has brought about a string of controversy, throwing a light on the specifics of bullying in Korean schools.

David Choe @ Facebook Headquarters, Menlo Park
Juxtapoz Magazine

Back in the mid-years of the last decade, David Choe was commissioned to paint the offices of a burgeoning social networking site in Palo Alto, California called Facebook. Fast-forward nearly seven years and one world conquering company and one leading international contemporary were back together again this weekend, as Choe painted the brand new offices of Facebook in Menlo Park, CA.

As you can see below, even Mark Zuckerberg, who asked David to come back (perhaps as a good luck charm) to give the offices a feeling of spontaneous creativity, was on-hand to give Dave a tour of the new space. We can only imagine they discussed how the years have been good to both of them. Look at how much has changed. . . .

Legislative Session Preview: Mark Keam (Vienna, VA)

When Del. Mark Keam (D-35th) began his first term in 2009, most people wished him luck and warned he wouldn’t get anything done: the Democrat drew No. 100 among the state’s house representatives, making him the most junior member of a body controlled by Republicans.

The Ugly American
Inquirer News (Philippines)

A Korean-American who holds a top position at the US Embassy shouted invectives at a young Filipino woman whom he nearly bumped with his car last Friday.

Dean I. Chang, the American Embassy’s second secretary, cursed Princess Cordova, 22, after he got out of his Toyota Forerunner car with a Korean-looking woman, apparently his wife.

‘The Orphan Master’s Son’ an audacious, believable tale
Washington Post

A great novel can take implausible fact and turn it into entirely believable fiction. That’s the genius of “The Orphan Master’s Son.” Adam Johnson has taken the papier-mache creation that is North Korea and turned it into a real and riveting place that readers will find unforgettable.

12 to watch in 2012: Ins Choi
The Star (Toronto)

When the Soulpepper Theatre Company decides to present its first world premiere of a play by a Toronto author after 15 years, you know that writer has to be special. And Ins Choi certainly is.

Sh-t South Korean Girls Say
Asiance Magazine

Unless you’ve been living in an isolated nuclear shelter in preparation for the coming end of the world, you may have picked up on the viral video ‘Sh-t Girls Say.’ Now the video has spawned legions of copycats. From ‘Sh-t Black Girls Say,’ ‘Sh-t Gay Southern Guys Say,’ to ‘Sh-t Asian Girls Say,’ the movement is growing, and it’s fun to watch.

Being something of an Asian girl myself I’ve zoned in on the latter and loved the dead-on moments that play on AAPI stereotypes, but also know how to make you laugh. Having recently written a guide to life in Seoul for women, I bear some responsibility for a better understanding of an under-explored corner of the Sh-t People Say movement. So to make sense of what you hear on the streets of Seoul or your local Koreatown, here are just a few key phrases under the banner, ‘Sh-t South Korean Girls Say.’

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi Pleads No Contest In Shoplifting Case
Author: Jessica Yoon
Posted: January 9th, 2012
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An interesting new development has surfaced in the case of California Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, who was arrested for stealing almost $2500 worth of clothes while leaving the Neiman Marcus store in San Francisco last October. Hayashi claimed her distraction with cell phone calls was to blame for the crime that has landed her political career in jeopardy. However, newly released information has stated a brain tumor may have been the reason for Hayashi’s fault in judgment.

Although Hayashi was initially charged with felony grand theft, once in the courtroom, the prosecution reduced the shoplifting charge to a misdemeanor while Hayashi switched her plea from not guilty to no contest. The final verdict for Hayashi was three years probation, a fine of $180, and an order to keep a distance of 50 feet from Neiman Marcus. With the sentence finalized, Hayashi’s lawyer Doug Rappaport then revealed the unexpected news–Hayashi suffers from a medical condition that could have possibly influenced her judgment when she was caught.

According to ABC affiliate KGO-TV:

“Unfortunately, she’s been diagnosed with a brain tumor however, fortunately for her, it’s benign and it can be taken care of and addressed with medication which is exactly what’s happening,” he explained.

Adding to the confusion, in an email sent Friday, Singer acknowledged Hayashi’s brain tumor but said, “It did not play a role in her forgetfulness and distraction in accidentally walking out.”

This new finding just adds to the already puzzling ordeal that Hayashi has found herself in. Even with the inconsistency of comments made by Hayashi’s representatives, the prosecution at the district attorney’s office states their decision to change the charge to a misdemeanor has nothing to do with the brain tumor. Rather, Hayashi is a first time offender with no prior felonies and also admitted her guilt from the beginning.

Hayashi, the first Korean American woman elected to the California state legislature, is married to Alameda County Superior Court Judge Dennis Hayashi.

Friday’s Link Attack: North Korea, Artist Miru Kim, Korean Food Diet
Author: Jessica Yoon
Posted: January 6th, 2012
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South Korea Predicts Changes in Peninsula
New York Times

President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea vowed on Monday to “deal strongly with any provocations” from the North, predicting a “big change” on the divided Korean Peninsula following the death of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, and his young, untested son’s rise to power.

Rumor of N. Korean nuclear explosion prompts brief stock panic in South
Washington Post

A rumor that an explosion occurred at North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear facility set off a brief panic Friday in the South Korean stock market, illustrating one of the ways in which Seoul is vulnerable to its neighbor.

Inside North Korea: The day Kim Jong-il gave me a Rolex

As part of North Korea’s propaganda machine, Jang Jin-sung spent his career writing eulogies of Kim Jong-il, before growing disillusioned and fleeing to South Korea in 2004. Here he describes life as a member of the North Korean elite.

Miru Kim On How Pigs Used In Her Art Basel Project Got Sick
Huffington Post

One of the most talked about exhibits during Art Basel Miami Beach was Miru Kim’s “I Like Pigs And Pigs Like Me.” For the performance, Kim spent 104 consecutive hours naked in a makeshift pen with two pigs in Primary Projects’ window.

But this morning, Miami New Times’ Riptide blog reported that a local animal rights activist said Kim’s pigs wound up deadly sick and mistreated:

Lose Weight with Korean Diet – Part 1
Ask a Korean!

Given that weight loss is always high on the list of new year’s resolutions, the Korean figured this is a good question to open up the new year. Can Korean diet help you lose weight? Allow the Korean to put it this way: Korea is the thinnest country in the developed world, while America is the fattest. As of 2009, only 3.5% of Koreans over the age of 15 was obese. The same number in America was an astounding 34.3%.

Obviously, there are reasons other than diet that Koreans are slimmer than Americans. (For one, ready availability of public transportation in most cities, leading to more walking. Genetics, for another.) But it should be equally obvious that Korean diet and eating habits have a great deal to do with the svelte figures of Koreans.

‘Miss Kim’, January 19-29
Angry Asian Man

Miss Kim is a play about a Korean American woman coming to terms with being sexually abused by her uncle, family denial and betrayals, and somehow finding humor through it all. What’s even more unique about this Off-Broadway play is that the lead, Gina Kim, is telling her own story.

Ex-Major Leaguer Park Chan-ho comes home
Korea Times

Korean baseball pitcher Park Chan-ho, a former Major League Baseball All-Star who recently signed with a South Korean team, is the living proof that you can come home again.

World Champ Simon Cho returns to skating after back fracture; aims to win US title
AP via Washington Post

The fractured vertebra in Simon Cho’s lower back still hasn’t fully healed.
He’ll be competing this weekend in the U.S. Short Track speedskating championships nonetheless.

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