Name: Margaret Choi
Location: Torrance, Calif.
Describe your background.
I was born in L.A. and grew up in Torrance, California. I have two loving parents and an older brother.
What has given you the most pleasure in the last year?
Not having to go to school anymore has been a great relief. Not having any more classes, midterms/finals, or homework equals freedom.
What food do you absolutely HATE?
I absolutely hate mushrooms of any kind.
What would be your ideal vacation? Continue Reading »
S. Korea calls Japan visit to N. Korea ‘unhelpful’
AFP via Google News
South Korea Thursday criticised an “unhelpful” visit to North Korea by a senior aide to Japan’s prime minister, saying it weakened the united front needed to deal with Pyongyang.
Isao Iijima arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday on a visit that clearly surprised both Seoul and Washington, which have been working closely with Tokyo on coordinating North Korea policy.
On Thursday he met the ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-Nam, Pyongyang’s state media reported without saying what was discussed.
North Korea: Follow my leader
WESTERN politicians like to grandstand about North Korea, calling its leaders “mad”, “rogue” or “tinpot” (The Economist has been known to do this too.) In fact, North Korea is the world’s most rational despotic regime: a highly successful Communist absolute monarchy. Kim Jong Il, son of the country’s Stalinist founder, Kim Il Sung, failed as a leader by any of the usual standards—he enforced North Korea’s isolation and presided over a famine that killed between 400,000 and 2m people. But he succeeded in what counts. He lived a long time, died peacefully in late 2011 and passed power on to his son. In the same way that betting once raged about how briefly Kim Jong Il would last after his father’s death in 1994, so too are outsiders now calling time on North Korea’s fun-loving heir, Kim Jong Un (pictured). It may be a triumph of hope over experience.
Andrei Lankov is an arch-realist. The author of an incisive new book, “The Real North Korea”, he grew up in Soviet Russia, studied for a while at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang and now teaches at Kookmin University in Seoul. He is rare in having an unsentimental feel for the regime’s psychology of survival and for the mindset of those outsiders who would like to change North Korea but who, in the process, often succumb to wishful thinking.
North Korean cyber-rattling
AMERICANS have grown accustomed to North Korean nuclear petulance. Now they are learning to live with its cyber sabre-rattling. Earlier this month the Department of Defence delivered a report to Congress accusing the hermit kingdom’s expanding army of “cyber-warriors” of using foreign infrastructure, such as broadband networks, to launch cyber-attacks on American allies, most notably South Korea.
Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s fresh-faced dictator, is said to have 4,000 loyal cyber-warriors at his disposal. Brightest sparks at the sharp end of Songbun, the North’s rigid social hierarchy, are plucked from school to train as elite hackers. Following graduation they are often posted in China and Europe to wreak digital havoc, says Sun Chul Kim, a cyber-security expert at Korea University in Seoul.
According to American report, cyber-warfare is a cost-effective way for North Korea to boost its military capabilities, which may explain the keen interest Mr Kim has taken in it. Prominent web security analysts such as Rob Rachwald of FireEye, an American firm, agree that the tools used in a recent cyber-attack on South Korea could have cost just tens of thousands of dollars, compared to the estimated $1.3 billion the North spent on its rocket programme last year.
Ex-S. Korean sex slaves arrive in Japan for rallies
Elderly South Korean women that were forced into sex slavery by Japan during World War II arrived in Hiroshima Friday to hold a series of rallies to inform Japanese of the suffering caused by their ancestors, a Japanese news agency said.
Their visit came amid repeated offensive remarks made by Japanese politicians that distort history. In the latest incident, Osaka mayor and co-leader of the conservative Japan Restoration Party Toru Hashimoto said that then sex slavery was “necessary,” claiming that other countries also had similar systems in place during war.
In rebuttal to his remarks, two former sex slaves (euphemistically called “comfort women”), 88-year-old Kim Bok-dong and 86-year-old Kil Won-ok, suggested that he must not be aware of the suffering endured by South Korean women who were forced into sexual slavery by Japan, according to Japan’s Kyodo News Service.
Fighting to Clear His Family’s Name
Wall Street Journal
Nearly 50 years ago, Ahn Yong-soo’s life was turned upside-down after his brother went missing during the Vietnam War.
His brother, Sgt. Ahn Hak-soo, was one of about 320,000 South Korean troops deployed to Vietnam from 1965-73 in support of the U.S. and was on a mission near Saigon, now called Ho Chi Minh City, when he disappeared in 1966.
Sgt. Ahn’s whereabouts remained a mystery until seven months later, when he reappeared on a North Korean radio broadcast in 1967 extolling the virtues of life in the North. After the broadcast, Mr. Ahn and the rest of his family were put under surveillance by South Korea’s Defense Security Command, an anti-spy military body.
Cancer is No.1 cause of death in S. Korea
Cancer is the No. 1 cause of death among South Koreans, the Korean Medical Association’s institute said Thursday, citing data by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The Research Institute for Healthcare Policy said in a report that for every 100,000 South Koreans, 193.7 died from cancer in 2010. This is less than the 211.6 cancer deaths on average among the 34 member states of the OECD.
South Korea ranked as the fifth-lowest country in terms of the cancer mortality rate among the organization that includes the world’s most advanced nations as well as emerging countries, the institute said in the report.
Why tiger moms are great
Editor’s note: Grace Liu, a former corporate attorney, is a research officer at California State University, Fresno. She is the vice president of the Central California Asian Pacific American Bar Association.
(CNN) — It’s time for some tiger cubs to approvingly roar for our strict parents, their domineering ways and their inflexibly high standards.
The current depiction of tiger parenting is decidedly negative. Kim Wong Keltner’s book on “Tiger Babies Strike Back” and Su Yeong Kim’s report “Does Tiger Parenting Exist? Parenting Profiles of Chinese Americans and Adolescent Developmental Outcomes” suggest that strict Asian-style parenting produces an army of disengaged or emotionally stunted robots.
While I can’t speak for everyone, my own experience suggests that such upbringing also gives us the smarts to recognize our emotional and social deficiencies and to address them.
Trial opens for ‘female James Bond’ in aspiring model’s death
Los Angeles Times
The opening day of the murder trial of a woman accused of strangling aspiring model and actress Juliana Redding focused on a doctor the victim once dated.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Stacy Okun-Wiese said Redding, 21, was killed by Kelly Soo Park, an associate of a doctor Redding once dated.
Redding was killed five days after her father broke off negotiations on a business deal with her ex-boyfriend, Dr. Munir Uwaydah, prosecutors said in opening statements, and Park’s DNA was discovered on the victim’s neck and clothing and in her apartment.
MOVIE REVIEW: In a Vicious Sadist, the Faintest Glimmer of Soul
New York Times
Morally cunning and with a tone as black as pitch, “Pieta,” the 18th film from the South Korean director Kim Ki-duk, is a deeply unnerving revenge movie in which redemption is dangled like a cat toy before a cougar. The beast in question is Kang-do (Lee Jung-jin), a merciless bag man for a powerful moneylender who cripples slum-dwelling debtors to collect on their insurance claims. As cold to himself as to his clients, he lives in a comfortless flat where the entrails from the previous night’s chicken dinner still decorate the bathroom floor. So when a strange woman (Cho Min-soo) begins to stalk him, claiming to be the mother who abandoned him long ago, Kang-do barely hesitates: he rapes her.
Interview: ‘Top Chef’ Kristen Kish on Her Korean Fried Chicken Addiction, and More
Q: You may be a classically trained French chef, but you are also an admitted Korean fried chicken junkie. What are some other Asian dishes you can’t do without, and why? (And where can we get some?)
A: Korean fried chicken I absolutely love! I love Korean BBQ. My favorite place is Chung Ki Wa, just outside of Boston.
Japchae is one of my favorite noodle dishes and bi bim bap, when it’s right, is something I would eat for breakfast everyday if someone would make it for me.
South Koreans Sing Against Homophobia (VIDEO)
A few weeks ago I was invited to watch the taping of a video for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) in the second floor of a gym in Seoul. I was greeted with applause.
“I don’t understand,” I said to Lee Jong-geol, the general director of the LGBT group Chingusai (“Between Friends”), who had introduced me to the participants as an American writing about the LGBT movement in Korea. “I haven’t done anything. Why are they clapping?”
“We want as many people to see this video as possible,” Lee confided. “You can help with that.” The South Korean LGBT movement generally has trouble gaining recognition by Western media due to language barriers.
Economics, Game Theory and Jane Austen
Economist Michael Chwe has written a book called “Jane Austen: Game Theorist.” Do you need more of a reason to read this post? Video from Michael Chwe’s YouTube channel.
I’m a specialist in game theory, the mathematical analysis of strategic thinking. Probably the best-known game theorist is John Nash, who received the Nobel Prize in economics and was featured in the movie “A Beautiful Mind.”
I have published mathematical economics papers in journals such as the “Journal of Economic Theory.” But my latest book is built around the theoretical insights of Jane Austen. This popular and beloved writer used little mathematics or economics. But Austen’s novels, written in the early 1800s, anticipated by more than a century the most fundamental game-theoretic concepts, including the emphasis on choice, the theory of utility, and the theoretical analysis of strategic thinking. In fact, Austen’s novels contain game-theoretic insights not yet superseded by modern social science.
ANGRY READER OF THE WEEK: JOY OSMANSKI
Who are you?
I am an American, adopted from Korea, with a Polish last name. I am a daughter to unknown birth parents, daughter to the parents who raised me, sister, wife, stepmom, friend, artist, writer, coach, beekeeper, and admirer of my dog.
What are you?
Hungry. Oh, wait – Well, yes. I love food and love to eat it. Just discovered a new naengmyun place with friends, and that makes me very happy.
I’ve had so many jobs in my life, but currently, I’m an actor. Even on the days when I’m shaking my fist at the sky, I’m grateful to have found something I love this much. If I’m lucky, it combines all the elements that fire me up: great writing, working with wonderful people, and learning about someone else’s world.
Where are you?
A loft in Downtown Los Angeles. There’s a door to the bathroom and a door to the closet. Open spaces rock.
Cincinnati Reds: Jay Bruce and Shin-Soo Choo Create Debate for the Future
The Cincinnati Reds got the leadoff man they’ve been looking for in Shin-Soo Choo, but Jay Bruce and others could keep the team from re-signing the leadoff man.
Choo leads the majors in runs scored, on-base percentage and hit by pitches. He is also second in the majors in on-base plus slugging and fourth in walks.
There’s no denying that he has been getting on base and helping the team get on the board. Now the Reds will have to start thinking about how valuable he is to the team.
Over the weekend, a talk show host on 700 WLW, the radio affiliate of the Reds, posed a question to fans during a pregame show: What can the Reds do to afford re-signing Choo?
As North Korea heats up, South Korea and Japan should warm ties
Christian Science Monitor
Cooperation on missile defense between South Korea and Japan would help blunt threats from North Korea. But Japanese officials’ recent insensitivity to Imperial Japan’s painful role in World War II, including forcing South Koreans to become ‘comfort women,’ works against cooperation.
U.S. lawmakers lambaste Japan’s mayor over view on ‘comfort women’
Two U.S. congressmen strongly criticized an outspoken Japanese politician Wednesday for openly backing Japan’s sexual enslavement of Korean and other Asian women during the World War II.
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto reportedly said earlier this week that pushing those women into sexual servitude was a military necessity. More than 200,000 young women from Japan’s colonies are said to have been forced to serve as “comfort women,” an euphemistic expression.
“Mayor Hashimoto’s remarks that comfort women were ‘necessary’ are contemptible and repulsive,” Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) said in a joint statement with Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY).
SKorean women scoff at fired Park aide’s claim ‘cultural difference’ behind touching scandal
Associated Press via Washington Post
A South Korean presidential spokesman who was fired after inappropriately touching a woman during a U.S. trip blames a “cultural difference” with America. Other South Koreans say the fault for such incidents truly lies with a society that allows powerful men to get away with harassment.
Five months after the country elected its first female leader, Park Geun-hye, last week’s incident involving her spokesman Yoon Chang-jung marred her first trip to Washington as president. It also highlighted the gender divide that remains in South Korea, where women say they get paid less than men and are given fewer promotions.
There’s an “unspoken consensus” among influential South Korean men that they can avoid punishment for sexual harassment, office worker Joo Insun said. She added that a former employer responded to her own claims of a colleague’s misbehavior by scrutinizing her instead.
Man Sentenced For Throwing Fatal Beach Party Punch
A Chicago man was sentenced Thursday morning in connection with a beach party fight that turned deadly.
James Malecek, 19, waived his right to a trial and pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
A judge accepted the plea agreement, and Malecek will serve 145 days in jail beginning July 1.
Malecek punched Mt. Carmel high school student Kevin Kennelly during a July Fourth disturbance in Long Beach, Ind., in 2011.
Korean group petitions schools over textbook
Bergen County Record (N.J.)
The Korean-American Association of New Jersey is making a push for school districts with large Korean student populations to use textbooks that refer to the Sea of Japan as the East Sea as well.
The association recently presented Fort Lee school officials with a petition signed by members of the Korean-American community. Similar requests by individuals acting on behalf of the Korean-American community were made to Leonia and Palisades Park officials, said association Vice President Sonny Kim. More than 1,500 signatures of residents from the three towns were collected, he said.
“We knew it as East Sea, and we want our children to learn the correct term,” said Kim, who immigrated to the United States at age 4. “To us Korean-Americans, the correct name is East Sea.”
CD 13 Debate: Mitch O’Farrell Says John Choi ‘Foments’ Racial Division
Patch.com (Los Angeles)
The two candidates for the Los Angeles City Council District 13 seat met one last time Tuesday in the Elysian Valley.
Choi’s ability to represent beyond the local was his big theme. O’Farrell emphasized his proven experience working in the Council District 13 boundaries.
The campaign has become rough these last few weeks, with Choi accusing O’Farrell of voter fraud and O’Farrell focusing on Choi’s ties to labor and machine politics.
Once down on their luck, Washingtonville deli owners on rebound
Times Herald-Record (Middletown, N.Y.)
After losing their business and their home to the recession, the owners of the closed Lim’s Deli in Blooming Grove have reopened at a new location, this time in a tiny renovated building behind a sushi restaurant off West Main Street.
The new venture was made possible thanks to the support of a community that refused to see the couple, who gave out free coffee and breakfast sandwiches to those in need, put out on the street.
“Everybody came together, one helping hand led to another, and now it’s finally open,” said Lucille Cimorelli, who provided Yeon Suk Choi and her husband, Chun Suk Lim, the 450-square-foot building they now lease from her for a fraction of their former rent.
The gathering place features an upbeat name — Rainbow Deli — and a few new menu items, including a Korean Bulgogi wrap. Choi’s wise counsel, sympathetic ear and compassion, which won her many loyal customers over the years, are free, as always.
South Korea’s PSY to co-host MuchMusic Video Awards
CTV News (Canada)
The MuchMusic Video Awards are going “Gangnam Style.”
The music station has signed on South Korean pop star Psy as co-host and performer for the MMVAs bash in Toronto on June 16.
MuchMusic says the “Gangnam Style” singer will be making his live Canadian television hosting and performance debut at the street-level show that’s known for its wild antics.
Psy to perform on ‘Dancing With The Stars’ (American version)
In the previous season of America’s “Dancing With The Stars“, the contestants performed Psy‘s worldwide hit, “Gangnam Style“. However, in the current season, we’ll get to see Psy perform live as the show enters its final weeks of competition later this month!
According to YG Entertainment, Psy will be performing “Gentleman” on the 21st’s episode to cheer on all the finalists remaining on the broadcast airing through ABC.
Hyun-Jin Ryu plays catch with young Dodgers fan in the stands (Video)
Here’s a pretty cool scene that we don’t see every day: Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Korean pitcher imported by the Los Angeles Dodgers this season, playing catch with a kid in the stands during batting practice.
The young fan goes by the name of Deuce, and he’s a regular in the Dodgers left field pavilion. (And he’s got a pretty good arm, huh?) Deuce’s future trips to the stadium won’t be as cool as this one. According to Dodgerfilms, who captured and posted the video, the pair played catch for about five minutes until batting practice ended.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and champion figure skater Yuna Kim appeals for the children of Syria
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Olympic Gold Medallist and world champion figure skater Yuna Kim today made a heartfelt appeal for support for the children of conflict-torn Syria.
In a 30-second video message Kim, a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF since 2010, calls on viewers to, “Help UNICEF help the children of Syria.”
It’s probably safe to say this was the most humbling moment of Korean professional baseball player Jeon Jun-woo’s career.
The Lotte Giants player thought he hit a game-tying two-run homer in the 9th inning against the NC Dinos and flipped his bat with a flourish, raising his finger into the air in triumph and giving shouts-out to his teammates. The only problem is, the ball was caught at the warning track. FAIL! Continue Reading »
A youth minister from the San Francisco Bay Area was arrested last week after he was caught in a prostitution sting in Orlando, Fla., authorities said.
Samuel Yoon, 45, arrived at a predetermined location on May 8 expecting to have sex with a 14-year-old girl but was instead arrested by undercover detectives, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Police said Yoon, in town for a youth ministry conference, is a youth pastor at New Community Mission Church in San Leandro, Calif., and has no prior arrest history. Continue Reading »