Wednesday’s Link Attack: Activist Claims Torture; Foreigner-Only ‘K-Shuttle’; Chloe Flower
Author: Linda Son
Posted: July 25th, 2012
Filed Under: BLOG
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South Korean Activist Says He Was Tortured in China
New York Times

“For the last two months of my detention, they persistently demanded two things as a condition for my release: I admit to violating the Chinese laws and I never talk about the abuse I had suffered in their hands when I returned home,” Mr. Kim said. “I rejected them.”

“Even when the Chinese security officials handed me over to the South Korean officials at the airport for my expulsion, I angrily demanded that they apologize for the torture and abuse,” he added.

South Korean Police Tire of Abuse by Drinkers
New York Times

In May, large banners went up around the city announcing a crackdown on drunken violence. It is intended to prompt the drinking public to behave more responsibly, to reassert police authority in a country that remembers, resentfully, when the police served as henchmen for Japanese colonial masters and military dictators, and to challenge South Korea’s general tolerance of misbehavior by the intoxicated.

The Mythical Rise of Asian Americans
Project Syndicate

Asian Americans remain a relatively rare sight in leadership positions, even in the corporate world, where one would assume that their education and ambition would be most beneficial. If hard work was all it took to rise into the upper echelons of power in corporate America, one would expect to see many Asian American faces at the top, perhaps especially in financial services, accounting, technology, and health care.

Study after study shows the reverse to be true.

Korean American fest comes to L.A.: Festival spent six years in Gotham
Chicago Tribune

A newly formed affiliate of the Korean American Film Festival New York, the noncompetitive Los Angeles fest features four feature-length films, including 2010′s “Magic and Loss,” plus 13 short films in both narrative and documentary formats. A centerpiece of the fest is a program of five works, ranging from a musicvideo to a 81-minute feature, that look at Korean-American viewpoints on the L.A. riots.

Korea launches official foreigner-only national bus tours

The “K-shuttle” is a foreigner-only bus that trundles out of Seoul to 10 different cities around the country.

Visitors can choose to go on a package tour or just pay the fare to one of the destinations, which are Busan, Gyeongju, Andong, Wonju, Pyeongchang (host of 2018 Winter Olympics), Gangneung, Buyeo, Jeonju, Gurye and Yeosu, home of Expo 2012.

South Korea’s Han to miss Olympics with injury
Yahoo Sports

South Korea midfielder Han Kook-young has been ruled out of the London Olympics with a left foot fracture. Team officials said Han was taken off the 18-man squad after undergoing scans on Tuesday, and will likely be replaced by Jung Woo-young. The 22-year-old Han plays for Shonan Bellmare in Japan’s J-League.

The Debut of K-Town: Come And Get Your Cousins
Hyphen Magazine

The show is awful in the way I think all reality shows are, because the conversations were so obviously staged and I’m naive enough to think reality shows are not supposed to be this way. And at its best, K-Town is gut-wrenchingly hilarious. At one point, Jowe actually goes around introducing himself to girls as “The Prince of K-Town,” and Jasmine calls a poor unsuspecting dude Colonel Sanders to his face. Neither the mundane conversations nor the most scandalous moments come off very authentic, so it’s hard to take the show too seriously.

Author Don Lee Addresses The Young Asian American Experience
Here & Now

If you’re Asian-American, have you suffered stupid questions like: What’s a good place to eat in Chinatown? Do you know Kung Fu? Do you eat dog meat? The perceptions, stereotypes and realities of three Asian-Americans play out in Don Lee‘s new novel, “The Collective.” Here & Now’s Robin Young sat down with Lee, part of the conversation is transcribed below, followed by an excerpt from the book.

Sneaky Dunkin’ Donuts Scented Buses Spike Sales in Korea, Could You Resist
The Inquisitr

Buses were imbued with the intoxicating aroma, and what do you know? It worked, and quite effectively. Blog TheNextWeb posted a clip chronicling the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee-scented bus initiative (ugh, could you imagine if White Castle started doing that?) but the site points out that DnD took a leaf from Disney’s book in making buses smell good.

District Commons’ Boo Kim on His Neighborhood Gems
Eater DC

It should come as no surprise that the man responsible for taking care of guests at District Commons appreciates a restaurant with great hospitality. In the latest edition of Dining Confidential, District Commons’ general manager Boo Young Kim shares his favorite neighborhood spots, including Saigon Saigon, Busboys & Poets and Honey Pig.

Chloe Flower Interview: More Than Just Classical Music

Gumship conducts a Q&A with Chloe Flower, a Korean American pianist who appears on rapper Nas’ latest album.

Video Roundup: Watermelons in Slow Motion, Jeremy Lin, Clara C
Author: Linda Son
Posted: July 20th, 2012
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Here are some videos we’re watching this week at KoreAm.

Rubber bands vs Water Melon – The Slow Mo Guys
Two weeks ago, we dug up an old video of three Korean guys wrapping rubber bands around a watermelon. After hundreds of rubber bands, the pressure within the watermelon built up and the summertime fruit exploded. The video went so viral that the Slow Mo Guys reenacted the experiment and captured the explosion in slow motion.

Jeremy Lin That I Used To Know
Disgruntled New York Knicks fan Noc expressed his disappointment that his team failed to sign basketball star Jeremy Lin by creating a parody to Gotye’s summer hit, “Somebody That I Used to Know.”

Wife Surprises Her Husband That She’s Pregnant
After numerous unsuccessful attempts to getting pregnant, Nica and Jorge were worried that there weren’t any results. When Nica, however, found out she was four weeks pregnant, she was ecstatic. To celebrate, she gave her husband a poem to announce her pregnancy and recorded the touching moment when he read it aloud. Before he could even finish the poem, he kept asking in happy disbelief, “Really?”

Crazy Asian Mom
The phrase “Tiger Mom” has become widely used to describe a strict way of upbringing children by Asian parents. In this very real video, you hear a mom shrieking at her son for getting answers wrong on a math test. While this video is loud and a little frightening, there’s an added bit of humor with the soft piano music playing in the background.

Excel GUNDAM(エクセル・ガンダム)
You don’t have to be a fan of Gundam to be mesmerized by this video. This fast-forwarded video shows a user creating a picture of Gundam in Microsoft Excel. In five minutes time, the user amazingly recreates Gundam, which probably took him forever to create in real time.

DS2DIO puts together one-of-a-kind collaborations unseen anywhere else. They combine dancers and musicians to perform together onstage that gives the appearance of a theatrical play. This time around, DS2IO put Clara C. with dancer Jullian Meyers and together, they performed to the song “Offbeat.”

If you have more videos you’d like us to see, email

Friday’s Link Attack: North Korea’s Changes, Steven Yeun, Chef Sang Yoon
Author: Linda Son
Posted: July 20th, 2012
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Kim to reform North Korean economy after purge

Impoverished North Korea is gearing up to experiment with agricultural and economic reforms after young leader Kim Jong-un and his powerful uncle purged the country’s top general for opposing change, a source with ties to both Pyongyang and Beijing said.

N.Korean Army Chief ‘Refused to Go Quietly’
Chosun Ilbo

A gunbattle broke out when the North Korean regime removed army chief Ri Yong-ho from office, leaving 20 to 30 soldiers dead, according to unconfirmed intelligence reports. Some intelligence analysts believe Ri, who has not been seen since his abrupt sacking earlier this week, was injured or killed in the confrontation.

North Korea Accuses South of Plot to Destroy Statues
New York Times

North Korea said Friday that it has arrested a man sent by South Korean spies to destroy statues of Kim Il-sung, the country’s founding president and the grandfather of its current leader, Kim Jong-un.

Asian Americans take higher profile in congressional races
The Christian Science Monitor

A record number of Asian-American candidates are running for the US House and Senate this fall, and they have a message: It’s time for a seat at the table that reflects their numbers in American society.

Just 5.8 percent of the US population is Asian, but only 12 out of 535 members of Congress, or 2 percent, claim Asian heritage, two in the Senate and 10 in the House. Now the numbers may be starting to catch up. Including Pacific Islanders, 30 Asian-American candidates launched congressional bids this cycle, compared with 10 in 2010 and eight in 2008, according to the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies in Washington.

Co-accused in 2011 murder arrested
City News Toronto

Toronto police have made a second arrest after a man was fatally shot at a parking lot last year.

Officers were called to Victoria Park and Finch avenues around 10:15 p.m. on May 26, 2011.

John Kang, 21, had been shot in the chest. Police said Kang was with a friend, who drove him to hospital. The pair was helped by at least three Good Samaritans, police said.

The Walking Dead: Love Will Continue To Blossom For Maggie & Glenn
Access Hollywood

“I think where we are going to pick [back up] is two people, living with an entire group, where the key is survival and survival means needing the person next to you,” Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn told at Hyundai Undead: “The Walking Dead” 100th issue release party at Petco Park at Comic-Con 2012. “And, if you have someone you love, needing them even more, and I think the bond only gets stronger.”

‘The Day He Arrives’ is at loose ends in Seoul

Films with a filmmaker protagonist tend to be exercises in self-indulgence waiting to happen. That’s anything but the case with “The Day He Arrives.” Seong-jun (Yu Jun-Sang) has made four films. They were enough of a success that when he’s sitting by himself in a restaurant, three film students recognize him. That success is far enough in the past that he’s now reduced to teaching film at a provincial university, as he somewhat sheepishly explains to pretty much everyone he encounters, and there aren’t exactly any directing projects in the offing. Even if he doesn’t admit it to himself or others, he’s a man at loose ends. The verb in the title of “The Day He Arrives” doesn’t refer so much to a traveler reaching a destination as to a man finding himself — or hoping to.

The Enabler: Getting an education in Koreatown
Los Angeles Times

In the course of a recent soju-soaked week of K-Town immersion therapy the Enabler learned a lot: that DGM is still mind blowing and now has an English menu; that a gooey concoction called corn cheese is the signature dish of many beer bars in the area; that the chicken wings at the Prince are as addictive as everyone says they are; and that soju will sauce you up even though its alcohol content hovers around 19%.

Q&A with Sang Yoon, visiting chef at the upcoming Hawaii Food and Wine Festival
Honolulu Magazine

In the next few weeks, Biting Commentary will chat some of the celebrity chefs cooking for the festival. Today, it’s Los Angeles chef Sang Yoon, chef/owner of two Father’s Office restaurants, which ignited the whole gastropub movement in the US (and, according to Esquire, dishes out the best burger in the nation), and modern Southeast Asian restaurant Lukshon. ]

Korean says his dog has given birth to a cat!
The Daily Mail (U.K.)

If the claims of a South Korean man are true, his pet dog’s offspring is going to grow up purring and meowing.

For he insists that his dog, which has not been named, gave birth to a CAT earlier this week. And he was happy to show off what he says is the dog’s kitten when he revealed the litter to the world in these photographs.

The Snuggie Version of Beyonce’s ‘Countdown’
Author: Linda Son
Posted: July 18th, 2012
Filed Under: Video of the Week
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When you get to YouTuber kkpalmer1000′s channel, you can tell right away that he is a fan of Beyonce. He has three videos uploaded and they all tie into the R&B crooner in one way or another. His very first video is a dance tribute to Beyonce’s song “Love on Top,” uploaded five months ago. Continue Reading »

Wednesday’s Link Attack: North Korea, Jeremy Lin, K-Town Reality Show
Author: Linda Son
Posted: July 18th, 2012
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Parsing the Meaning of ‘Marshal’ in North Korea
New York Times

Yet for those trying to parse North Korea’s intricately choreographed public statements for signs of palace intrigue, nothing is negligible, especially at a time when analysts believe significant leadership changes are afoot in the reclusive nuclear-armed country.

Analysis: Signs emerge Kim leading NKorea his way
AP via Google News

Seven months after inheriting the country from Kim Jong Il, the 20-something leader suddenly began appearing in public with a beautiful young woman. Dressed in a chic suit with a modern cut, her hair stylishly cropped, she carried herself with the poise of a first lady as she sat by his side for an unforgettable performance: Mickey Mouse grooving with women in little black dresses jamming on electric violins.

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un Takes Title of Marshal
New York Times

The announcement of Mr. Kim’s new, seemingly redundant title — he had already been the supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army — was made two days after the dismissal of the chief of the military’s general staff, Vice Marshal Ri Yong-ho. On Tuesday, North Korea announced the promotion of a little-known general to vice marshal.

Reading North Korean tea leaves

Global Public Square speaks with Charles Armstrong, director of the Center for Korean Research at Columbia University, about a surprise change in military leadership, nuclear plans and a mystery woman in North Korea.

North Korea’s Missing Man: The Post-Kim Jong-il Era Begins In Earnest
Council on Foreign Relations

The North Korean announcement of Vice Marshal Ri Yong-ho’s July 15 removal from all posts due to “illness” at a meeting of the General Political Bureau of the Central Committee “deal with the organizational issue” is the first purge of a senior figure in North Korea since Kim Jong-un assumed his father’s posts last April. It is all the more striking because Ri Yong-ho’s ascension to the top rung of power at North Korea’s September 2010 party conference placed him as the apparent guardian of the plan to implement a transition to a third generation of Kim family leadership.

Asian-American vote cannot be ignored
The Las Vegas Sun

But what was less noticed was the Reid campaign’s quiet, sophisticated outreach to the Asian-Pacific Islander vote, especially with the endorsement of Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, whom Reid all but credited with his victory.

With all the chatter this cycle of how important — potentially determinative — the Hispanic vote could be in the presidential election, we who chatter often forget that Asian-American voters could also be important. And if races for president and U.S. Senate — and maybe a congressional race — are close enough here, every demographic will be seen as crucial — and, thus, pandered to.

Cardinale to Dems: you want diversity in second seat? Bring back Phil Kwon

Veteran state Sen. Gerald Cardinale, (R-39), Demarest, said he has a good candidate for the second available state Supreme Court seat: rejected former Deputy U.S. Attorney Phil Kwon.

“I’d like to see him come back with Kwon,” said Cardinale, referring to Gov. Chris Christie. “If I were in his seat, I would say to the Democrats, ‘You guys rejected him and now you’re going to reconsider him.’”

With Jeremy Lin Exit, Some Asian-American Fans Feel Betrayed By Knicks
Wall Street Journal

A few weeks of Linsanity was enough to make a dent in decades of myths and misperceptions, to stretch out tired old stereotypes. It was enough to forge a brand new reality, in which the biggest hero in Gotham wasn’t Batman, but a charmingly goofy nerdthlete with a self-deprecating sense of humor and a killer instinct on the court — our own Dork Knight, if you will. It was enough to turn oblivious parents, ambivalent spouses and sarcastic little sisters into instant — Linstant? Uh, okay, I guess we can’t do that anymore — sports maniacs.

Jeremy Lin’s Knicks Departure Leaves a Slew of Angry Responses
Our Chinatown (N.Y.)

Some posted that Lin is a “sellout chink,” telling him to “die slow you traitor, NY made you who you are when everyone else (including Houston) threw you in the trash,” and that his departure was a “total slap in the face of every NYK fan in the pursuit of the unholy dollar.”

La Jolla Playhouse gets heat from Asian Americans over casting
Los Angeles Times

The La Jolla Playhouse has been receiving a barrage of negative criticism from members of the Asian American community over its casting choices for the new musical “The Nightingale,” featuring songs by the “Spring Awakening” team of Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater.

“The Nightingale” is adapted from the Hans Christian Andersen story and is set in ancient China. The workshop staging for the La Jolla Playhouse, which began performances earlier this month, features a mostly non-Asian cast, with the lead role of a Chinese monarch played by a white actor.

Tough Times for Tiger Moms as Asian-America Meets ‘Jersey Shore’
Wall Street Journal

“I think we as Asians have a tendency to embrace our own ‘model minority’ hype,” he says. “To me, that one-dimensional, positive stereotype is as bad as the images in the mass media that depict us only as ninjas or dragon ladies or asexual IT guys. Yes, the interest in the show is Asians going wild — you better believe that when we took it around to the networks, the old white execs we showed it to were popping their eyes out. But in reality, K-Town’s about the fact that all the stereotypes, good or bad, don’t fit when you’re talking about real people. Our cast doesn’t represent all Asians. They simply represent themselves.”

YouTube Reality Show Spotlights Korean-Americans
Voice of America

The latest entry to that genre is “K-Town,” which follows a group of young Korean-Americans in the predominantly Korean area of Los Angeles known also as K-Town. Unlike “Jersey Shore” and “Shahs of Sunset,” “K-Town” will be shown on YouTube, which has become a trendy outlet for Asian-American performers of all ilks.

TLC orders Pete Rose reality series
Entertainment Weekly

With a working title of Pete Rose and Kiana Kim Family Project, the show will follow the 71-year-old Rose and his thirtysomething model fiancée Kiana Kim (who has posed for Playboy) through their daily lives as they try to blend their families. There are some challenges along the way. A few family members are apprehensive about the relationship. And while Rose is based in Las Vegas (where he signs baseball memorabilia) or is on the road making public appearances, Kim and her two children live in Los Angeles.

Prepped to perform
Victoria News (Canada)

Violinist Eehjoon Kwon, 17, was introduced as the 2012 Splash Young Soloist at last Wednesday’s partner appreciation breakfast held at the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour hotel.

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