All posts by Linda Son

Wednesday's Link Attack: North Korea, K-Pop, Dia Frampton

North Korea Reports Progress on New Reactor
New York Times

Earlier this month, the North’s state media reported that “the day is near at hand” when its new reactor will come into operation. The Web site “38 North” later published satellite photos that it said showed significant progress in building the new reactor. But it said it was unlikely to become operational for two to three years.

Six-nation talks aimed at ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons program collapsed in 2008 when North Korea balked at the American demand for intrusive inspections on its nuclear facilities. It has since raised tensions by beginning to restore the partially dismantled nuclear facilities in Yongbyon, test-launching a long-range rocket, conducting a second nuclear test and launching military provocations against the South.

Football Veteran Lee Young-pyo To Join Major League Soccer
Yonhap News

Lee, 34, retired from international play earlier this year, and ended a two-year stint with Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia in June. He said during the summer that he was mulling retirement.

Should he sign with Vancouver, it will be Lee’s sixth professional team. After starting out with Anyang LG Cheetahs, currently FC Seoul, in South Korea’s K-League, the versatile wingback has also played for PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League, Borussia Dortmund in Germany’s Bundesliga and Al Hilal.

Korean Pop Music Out to Conquer the World

The structure of Korea’s relatively small music market is such that telecom companies control a large proportion of revenues, he said, meaning bands have an economic incentive to look abroad.

And K-pop acts, often created and nurtured by savvy record companies like S.M. Entertainment, are being groomed for specific markets — learning Japanese, for example, and fitting in with Japan’s musical mores.

One recent success story has been the nine-member South Korean girl band Girls’ Generation, whose first full-length Japanese album sold over 500,000 copies in Japan.

McClure also argued that Korean pop acts, though often manufactured, were generally more professional than their Japanese rivals and produced a better sound.

K-Pop Translation on Smartphone App
Korea Times

Pop!gasa is at and the app is available to download through Apple’s App Store. It is priced at $0.99 and available for free for a limited time as a promotion.

The app is user-friendly, sorting translated lyrics by artist, title and by show. Lee and Kim want to provide a nest for K-pop fans all over the world and have included a comment function to their app, so fans can share their thoughts and ideas through Pop!gasa.

“We want the app to reach as many users as possible but it has legal issues and we have to pay for copyrights to the Korea Music Copyright Association,” Lee said. “When this app makes a profit, the first thing we will do is develop it for Android.”

Coming Soon to the Sidewalks: A New Look for Scaffolding
New York Times

To replace those painted plywood sheds supported by pipes and protruding bolts that can rip pedestrians’ coat sleeves, a team consisting of Young-Hwan Choi, Andres Cortes and Sarrah Kahn from Agencie Group, a design firm based in New York, gracefully melded recycled steel and translucent plastic panels into a structure that resembles an open umbrella.

“I would say it is a really elegant take on protecting you instead of from rain from debris falling from a construction site,” Mr. LiMandri said.

Some version of sidewalk sheds with scaffolding above them have been placed at construction sites since builders began erecting Gothic cathedrals and probably since the pyramids, said Dan Eschenesy, the buildings department’s chief structural engineer.

Babysitter Arrested After Mom Tells Son About Penn State Scandal
ABC News

The mother of the two boys found out about the alleged abuse after she told her oldest son about the Penn State sexual abuse scandal.

“She was trying to describe some of the acts that are basically no-nos,” said Tom Lorenz, spokesman for the Glendale Police Department. “The child began to cry and said, ‘Mommy, the babysitter has been doing this to me.'”

Margaret Cho Says She’s Like Susan Boyle With Dirty Songs on Ferguson

In talking about her latest project, Margaret Cho admitted that it’s a mix of stand-up comedy and original songs on ‘The Late Late Show’ (Weeknights, 12:30AM ET on CBS). Craig Ferguson was surprised to hear that she did songs, as she’s not well known for that.

Watch the video here: LINK

Police Say Two South-Side Deaths Were Murder-Suicide
Anchorage Daily News

Tae Won Ro, 40, was found hanging by a rope in the second-floor living area, and an autopsy showed he had strangled, police spokesman Lt. Dave Parker said in a written statement. A medical examiner found that Yoo Jin Kim, 33, died from multiple stab wounds, Parker said. She was discovered lying on the home’s third floor, surrounded by blood, said Detective Mark Huelskoetter.

Ro apparently killed Kim, then hanged himself, Huelskoetter said. Crime scene investigators found evidence that Ro had Kim’s blood on his hands when he went to the first-floor garage to get a rope, the detective said.


2 Koreans shot in Manila
Journal Online (Philippines)

Two Korean nationals were shot in two separate incidents in Manila — one in an ambush while he was driving his car and the other in a foiled robbery.

The first victim was identified as Jeong Mwan Choi, 39, a freelance tourist guide residing in Bustos, Bulacan.

‘The Voice’s Dia Frampton: ‘Don’t Kick the Chair’ Feat. Kid Cudi Lyric Video Premiere
AOL Music

She isn’t just a pretty ‘voice,’ but also one talented songwriter! Dia Frampton, who rose to fame as the runner-up on the inaugural season of NBC’s ‘The Voice,’ has a catchy new, Kid Cudi-assisted single out called ‘Don’t Kick the Chair.’ The Utah native puts the tune’s poignant lyrics in the spotlight for its brand-new video.

‘Don’t Kick the Chair’ also features an interlude by famed rapper Kid Cudi. “It was a pleasure having Kid Cudi on this song,” says Dia. “I’m a fan of his work and also am very happy with the positive lyrics he created. This song has a dark undertone, but overall, I wanted it to be optimistic.”


Video Roundup: Wonder Girls Robots, Boomerang Man, Joy Osmanski

Here’s a look at some of the videos we are watching this week at KoreAm.

Robots Dance to “Nobody” by the Wonder Girls
The “Nobody” dance by girl group Wonder Girls took the world by storm, causing all sorts of people to try out the neat choreography. Videos of police officers, soldiers and average Joes doing the famous dance sprung up on all corners of the Internet. This video shows another group doing the dance: robots. These robots are on par with the motions of the “Nobody” dance.

Gary Lee – An American Dream
Gary Lee, a graduate of USC, joined the Obama for campaign right after graduation and used his knowledge in electronic and social media to help the Senator. He shares a bit of his uplifting tale from his humble beginnings to working the the White House.Boomerang Trick Shot
A Korean man shows off his mastery of the boomerang. From knocking items off of people’s heads to striking balloons with a blindfold on, the man’s skills with the boomerang causes applause from bystanders.

Loyal Dog Guards Owner’s Grave
In eastern China, a loyal dog warms everyone’s hearts by staying beside his deceased owner’s grave, refusing to budge. The villagers would try to lead him back to the village with the food, but the dog remains near the gravesite.

Chinese Snake Charmer
Liu Fei, a snake charmer from Mianyang, China, goes above and beyond with his tricks and bag full of snakes. The elderly man can easily weave the reptiles in and out of his mouth and nostrils with complete ease.

Joy Osmanski Promotes ‘Wedding Palace’
Cast member Joy Osmanski visits Portland for the West Coast Screening Premiere of “Wedding Palace.”


Wednesday's Link Attack: Tear Gas Lawmaker, Jae Hi Ahn, Yeonpyeong

Redmond Man Charged in Alleged Revenge Killing
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Bellevue detectives say the 43-year-old suspect, Sung Ho Kim, planned to confront his victim, Jin Young Kim, whom he believed to be his wife’s lover. But investigators say Sung Kim pointed the gun at the man’s head and fired.

South Korea Approves Free Trade Pact With U.S.
New York Times

In a desperate attempt, one opposition lawmaker detonated a tear gas canister, throwing the National Assembly chamber into chaos. A scuffle erupted, but members of the governing party outnumbered their foes and, while sneezing and wiping tears, passed the deal in a vote of 151 to 7. In the 299-seat National Assembly, 170 members showed up for the vote Tuesday, most of them governing party lawmakers. The opposition members either voted against the bill or abstained.

Glass doors were shattered as legislative aides from the opposition parties tried to barge in, and security guards formed a human barricade.

Will The Tear Gas Bomber Be Charged?
Wall Street Journal

The ruling Grand National Party said in a statement that it would hold Mr. Kim responsible for his actions, calling the incident unacceptable under any circumstances, but didn’t say exactly what it would do in response.

GNP spokesman Kim Ki-hyun said the DLP’s Mr. Kim “committed an act of terror.”

“(Mr. Kim) no longer is qualified to be a member of parliament,” he said.

An aide at Mr. Kim’s office said there hasn’t been any notice about formal parliamentary proceedings or other charges being formally levied against the lawmaker.

Inside the Artist’s Studio: Jae Hi Ahn in Bed-Stuy
The L Magazine

Jae Hi Anh’s exhibition “Terrarium” opens at Brooklyn Botanic Garden (with support from the Brooklyn Arts Council Community Arts Grant, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and Puffin Foundation) on December 3rd and continues through February 26th, 2012.

Suejin Ahn Senior Profile Can you cook? If so, what are you good at?

Ahn: My roommate and I have been taking on some cooking challenges here and there because we live off campus and have our own kitchen this year. I don’t know if you would say that we are great cooks, but we get by. I guess one of the dishes that we can make is stir fry. I can also make some really good Quinoa salad. It is really good!

How to Visit Jeju Island on a Dime

Considering the ferry? Think again.

An inexpensive round-trip flight is easily cheaper than taking a ferry from Seoul to Jeju, or the KTX to Busan and then a ferry from there. Yes, ferries can be fun, but not as budget-friendly as you would think.

South Korea Remembers Yeonpyeong Island Attack

Thousands of officials gathered at Daejeon National Cemetery on Wednesday for a memorial ceremony alongside the families of the two soldiers who were killed in the attack.

Prime Minister Kim told them: “We will use all our power to establish a firm national defence posture to neutralise any North Korean determination to provoke.”

Later, the military plans to hold large-scale drills intended to simulate the North’s attack on Yeonpyeong to test the South’s readiness to deal with a similar attack.


Video Roundup: Another Flash Mob Proposal, Dancing in the Club, David Chang

Here’s a look at some of the videos we are watching this week at KoreAm.

David Chang visits “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon”

The celebrated Korean American chef and restaurant owner visits “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” Chang shows Fallon how to make a very simple cheese ramen dish. The chef also talks about his restaurant Momofuku and answers a few questions backstage about cheap eats in New York and elsewhere.

Flash Mob Proposal at the CSULB Pyramids

Dancing brought them together, so it was only fitting for Charles to ask his girlfriend of seven years, Valerie, to marry him through a dance. With the help of many friends and family members, Charles was able to organize the intricate flash mob and proposal at Cal State Long Beach Pyramids, where the two used to practice during their collegiate years.

Dancing in the Club

For those who have ever gone to the club but didn’t really know what to do, Ashley Riviera has the perfect tutorial. The 19-year-old with the over-the-top Filipina accent goes through a number of tips on what to do at the club including levels, speed and individual dance moves that join together to become club dancing.

DC Comics’s Jim Lee Talks about “Arkham City” and “The Justice League”

Jim Lee, co-publisher of DC Comics, sits down with G4’s Blair Herter and talks about one of the most highly anticipated video games for 2011, “Batman: Arkham City.” Lee discusses its difference from “Arkham Asylum” and takes a moment to talk about his next project, “The Justice League.”

4 Minute’s Offshoot in the USA

The K-pop girl group spent some time filming in Southern California earlier this year while they were in town for the annual Korean Music Festival. The offshoot features the five girls enjoying the fine weather of Santa Monica beach and downtown L.A. among other areas of California.

Streaker Runs Through Clinton’s Photo Op

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton erupted in a fit of giggles when a half-naked man interrupted her photo op. On November 12, Clinton was in Honolulu, Hawaii for the Asian-Pacific Economic Corporation summit. While being photographed with Hong Kong’s chief executive, Donald Tsang, a man streaked behind the two and caused witnesses to break out into laughter. The streaking man has yet to be identified.

Got a video you want to share? Email


Scared Sh-tless

Anticipation and fear can transcend any language or culture, as we can tell with this video of a young woman’s reaction to one of Taiwan’s steepest roller coasters.

The Driving Machine G5, located at Janfusun Fancyworld, was built in 2000 and boasts a drop of 179 feet. The young woman in the video chats a bit to the camera as the roller coaster cart starts to ascend and when it reaches the top and pauses, she’s already shaking with fear for the drop.

During the steep 89-degree descent, the young woman goes through a myriad of facial expressions and screams. We asked our resident Mandarin speaker at KoreAm what she was saying:

“I am so scared I’m going to poop my pants” shrieked the young woman. “I’m glad I’ve lived a good life [because now I’m going to die]” or something to that effect.

In the end, although on the brink of tears, she manages a chuckle or two as she survives the famous Taiwanese roller coaster.


Video Roundup: Chinese Lady Gaga, Asian Hairstyles, Jeopardy

Here’s a look at some of the videos we are watching this week at KoreAm.

Asian Hairstyle Tutorial

KT Tatara, a stand up comedian from Los Angeles, goes through nine different hairstyles he says all Asian men have. From the “B.O.Y.R.H.W.A.P.” to the “Virgin for Life” style.

Joon Pahk on Jeopardy
Following a strong two-week run as champion, Harvard physics professor Joon Pahk participates in the quarterfinals of Jeopardy’s tournament of champions.

Japanese Soccer Player Breaks World Record
On October 30, Ryujiro Ueda from the Fagiano Okayama team, headed a goal over 58 meters (190 feet). He broke the world record for longest headed goal.

Senior Citizens Sing a Cover of Lady Gaga
A group of retired senior citizens perform Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” in the local Changsha dialect. The group performed on Hunan TV, one of China’s most popular satellite channels.

Got a video you want to share? Email


Dumbfoundead Gets Personal and Professional with 'DFD'

by Linda Son

Rapper Dumbfoundead, a.k.a. Jonathan Park, released his sophomore solo album “DFD” on Nov. 1 to an overwhelmingly positive reception from fans. Currently, “DFD” continues to impress with a 5-star rating on iTunes with hundreds of positive reviews. The album showcases the Korean American rapper’s life and individual sound and the 13 tracks make up a more mature album where Park reflects on his past relationships and experiences.

Park said in an interview with that his previous solo effort, “Fun With Dumb,” was created while he was distracted by working different jobs. The 25-year old, who sometimes moonlights as a comedian, said “DFD” marks the first time he has fully committed himself to pursuing a career as an MC.

Your new album is titled “DFD” can you tell us why you chose that name for this album and if it holds a special significance?

It’s pretty much the acronym for my full rap name Dumb-Found-Dead. I wanted to shorten it and make it more grown. It can have different meanings as well (Don’t Fall Down, etc.). It’s all up for interpretation.

Where did you draw the majority of your inspiration and creativity for the creation of this album? Continue reading