A Korean American high school student who used to live on his own is now headed to Harvard.
Chan Kang, 20, is a senior at Walt Whitman High School in Huntington Station, Long Island, N.Y. His parents divorced when he was young, and his father brought him to the United States from South Korea when he was 17. Soon after, however, his father abandoned him and left him to fend for himself.
North and South Korea name date for talks on restoring ties
Los Angeles Times
North Korea and South Korea indicated Friday that they would hold working-level talks on Sunday to discuss the reopening of a closed-down industrial park and the restart of tourist exchanges and reunions of separated families.
In a possible breakthrough, Pyongyang on Thursday made a surprise proposal to hold talks on the recently shut joint business park and other issues. South Korea quickly accepted, a move that could result in the first high-level talks since Kim Jong Un took over the leadership of North Korea after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il in late 2011.
In accepting Pyongyang’s proposal, South Korea’s unification ministry suggested the two countries hold ministerial-level talks on Wednesday in Seoul.
U.S. hails inter-Korean talks, still early for U.S.-N. Korea meeting
The Barack Obama administration on Thursday welcomed upcoming talks between the two Koreas on their joint economic projects, but it emphasized that Pyongyang should lay the groundwork for any resumption of negotiations with Washington.
“We welcome news that South Korea and North Korea have agreed to talks on Kaesong Industrial Complex and other issues,” State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said at a press briefing. “We support and have always supported improved inter-Korean relationship.”
Woodland Park spa owner charged with running brothel
The owner of a Woodland Park massage parlor was arrested Wednesday on charges she was running a brothel out of the business.
Jung Sook Kim-Pacent allegedly oversaw Kay Spa, which had been the subject of numerous complaints to police during February and March, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes said in a statement.
Most of the complainants advised police that the McBride Avenue spa seemed to serving an exclusively male clientele, and that is was open at odd hours stretching into the evening.
KBS Presenter to Tie the Knot with Much Younger Man
KBS anchorwoman Jeong Se-jin will wed one of her college juniors, later this month. The 40-year-old will exchange vows with the banker who is 11 years younger at a Catholic church in Seoul on June 21.
The news spread when Jung sent wedding invitations to her colleagues on Wednesday. The couple plan to live near Yeouido.
Mansudae Art Studio, North Korea’s Colossal Monument Factory
Perhaps the world’s biggest art factory, Mansudae employs roughly 4,000 North Koreans, including some 1,000 artists, handpicked from the country’s best academies. These favored few are the only artists officially sanctioned to portray the Kim family dynasty, and their primary task is to churn out propaganda paintings, murals, posters, billboards, and Soviet-style monuments deifying the country’s Great, Dear, and Supreme Leaders, also known as Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, and Kim Jong Un. But Mansudae does more than just set the stage for North Korea’s self-celebration. The studio also runs a thriving multimillion-dollar side business: building statues, monuments, museums, sports stadiums, and at least one palace, for a long list of countries across the world, many of them in Africa.
2PM Returns After Scandal and Japanese Focus With ‘Grown’ LP
Established boy band 2PM made their overdue return to Korean with their new album “Grown” in May. The record has topped domestic album charts for weeks now, despite almost two years since their last K-pop release–a time when the K-Pop Hot 100 hadn’t even existed. Though, the long wait was unsurprising given the circumstances of a drunk driving scandal and 2PM’s major success in Japan.
In late July 2012, 2PM rapper/dancer member Nichkun was involved in a hugely-controversial drunk driving incident. He was arrested for drunk driving following a collision with a motorcycle while driving home after a few drinks that gave him a blood alcohol level of 0.056%–above South Korea’s legal driving limit. Confusing and conflicting reports came out–as is typical in Korean pop scandals (i.e. Tara’s bullying scandal)—about the condition of the cyclist he hit, but he lived. It now seems to be agreed that both the star and cyclist were at fault. According to label JYP Enteratinment (home to Wonder Girls, 2AM & miss A) the drive was short.
‘Gentleman’ tops 400 mln YouTube views
The video for South Korean rapper Psy’s new single “Gentleman” has drawn more than 400 million views on YouTube, the global video-sharing website said Friday.
The video recorded 402.1 million hits as of 11 a.m., jumping to 16th place on YouTube’s all-time list of most-viewed videos.
The milestone was reached 55 days after its release on April 13 and 29 days after the video broke the 300 million mark on May 9.
Are Pets Replacing Children in South Korea?
Wall Street Journal
When Shin Ye-eun, 33, is not working at her job at an international clothing company, she spends much of her time with Betty, her three-year-old English bulldog. The unmarried, childless Ms. Shin feels a maternal sort of love for her dog.
“I love her like my child. She is my child, and I know she knows that,” she said.
The number of pet owners in South Korea recently passed 10 million, or about one in five people, for the first time. The increase in pet ownership is taking place while fewer South Koreans are getting married and having children, and some analysts suggest the two phenomena are related.
In South Korea, factors such as the high cost of raising and educating children and intense competition for top white-collar jobs have resulted in more adults staying single for longer and having fewer children when they do wed. More South Koreans of child-rearing age appear to be turning their nurturing instincts towards pets.
Why Chiwan Choi Is the Jay-Z of Poetry
Poet and publisher Chiwan Choi had just finished a reading in Highland Park and was riding the bus back to his downtown L.A. apartment when something changed.
It was one of those picturesque days when the city seemed too perfect; the sky looked as if it had been painted by Rembrandt. Choi was excited, because the reading at Avenue 50 Studios had been packed, hinting at an epoch when poets were respected and idolized.
He found himself thinking that he was reaching a point of success as a poet. And that’s when he realized, “Wow, I’m done.”
S. Koreans confident against Uzbekistan in World Cup qualifier despite recent poor play
Reeling from their disappointing draw against Lebanon in a World Cup qualifier earlier this week, members of the South Korean men’s national football team said Friday they remain confident ahead of their next match against Uzbekistan.
South Korea only managed a 1-1 draw against the underdog Lebanon in the final Asian qualification round for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. For the next contest, South Korea will host Uzbekistan next Tuesday at Seoul World Cup Stadium at 8 p.m.
It will be South Korea’s penultimate World Cup qualifier. For the finale, it will host Iran in Ulsan, about 410 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on June 18.
Taekwondo master shares timeless art with students in Chester
Oberserver-Tribune (Bernardsville, N.J.)
Taekwondo is to South Korea like baseball is to the United States.
So when Jung Taek Jeon was just 5 years old, it was perfectly natural that he would begin learning the self-defense art for fun as Korea is the birthplace of taekwondo.
More than three decades later, Jeon, 40, has reached near perfection of his art and has committed his life to teaching the technique to young and old.
Saving the cranes: Hope flies in North Korea
With his index finger, Hall Healy traced the eastern coast of North Korea on a map, coming to rest just above the 38th parallel.
The cranes land there on their winter journey south in the demilitarized zone that buffers North and South Korea, Healy said. There are about 4,000 species of plants and animals within the swath of mountainous land guarded by soldiers on both sides.
“It’s an irony of war,” said Healy, 72, of Glencoe. “It’s a park because no one’s allowed in there.”
Healy, chairman of the Wisconsin-based International Crane Foundation, has been engaged for years in the effort to protect the migratory cranes in North Korea and restore their habitats. Since 2008, the group has been raising money and coordinating efforts to help a farming community on the Anbyon Plain, roughly 60 miles north of the DMZ.
U.S. hails inter-Korean talks, still early for U.S.-N. Korea meeting
The Barack Obama administration on Thursday welcomed upcoming talks between the two Koreas on their joint economic projects, but it emphasized that Pyongyang should do its homework before any resumption of negotiations with Washington.
“We welcome news that South Korea and North Korea have agreed to talks on Kaesong industrial complex and other issues,” State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said at a press briefing. “We support and have always supported improved inter-Korean relationship.”
N. Korean broadcaster starts real-time Facebook broadcasting
North Korea’s state broadcaster started real-time Facebook broadcasting as the communist country moves to expand its propaganda efforts into the social networking realm, official sources said Thursday.
Sources, who keep tabs on the North, said that the Korean Central Television (KCTV) can be viewed on its new Facebook account (www.facebook.com/KoreanCentralTV). The account is the broadcaster’s official international fan page with all materials posted in English.
The exact date of when the station started providing live services cannot be determined, but an image posted on the site showing the North’s flag and Juche Tower has a date of Nov. 23, 2012.
North Korean teen defectors give glimpse of life as ‘ggotjebi’; repatriated from Laos
BEFORE they were detained in Laos and sent home, a group of young North Korean defectors smiled and teased each other as they told an activist how some of them were beaten with sticks for trying to steal noodles in their homeland.
They talked about a South Korean movie they saw, and wondered if prison cells there were really as clean as the film depicted.
The South Korean activist said the encounter provided a brief glimpse into the lives of North Korea’s “ggotjebi,” an underclass of vagrants who stay alive by begging, scavenging and stealing. It’s not clear how many exist, or what will become of the nine defectors repatriated last week.
They range in age from 14 to 22, according to two activists who said they were familiar with the defectors. Most are believed to be orphans found roaming around a Chinese border town by a South Korean missionary who took them in.
Large number of N. Korean children suffering from stunted growth: report
Roughly one in three North Korean children are suffering from stunted growth caused by malnutrition, a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) showed Thursday.
The organization under the United Nations said in its 2013 food and agriculture report that the North’s figures for slower-than-normal-growth stood at 32.4 percent, which was higher than the average for other Asian countries, excluding Japan. Numbers for the whole of Asia stood at 26.8 percent.
Michelle Rhee’s group finally drops anti-gay honoree
After more than a month of mounting pressure from gay rights and education groups, it was an appeal from an 11-year-old activist that finally got Michelle Rhee’s education nonprofit StudentsFirst to drop Tennessee state Rep. John Ragan and rescind his “Reformer of the Year” designation.
As Salon previously reported, Ragan was the sponsor of Tennessee’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, a measure that would have banned teachers from discussing sexuality that is not “related to natural human reproduction” in the classroom and would have forced educators and school therapists to “out” students they suspected of being gay to parents or guardians.
Asian leader charges latest Obama CA trip evidence that POTUS taking Asians “for granted” here
San Francisco Chronicle
Faith Bautista, who heads one of the nation’s leading Asian-American advocacy groups, charged Wednesday that President Obama’s trip to California this week suggests that he is taking “for granted” millions of Asian voters who have overwhelmingly supported him.
Bautista, president and CEO of the National Asian American Coalition, made the comments in a scathing letter to the San Francisco Chronicle today.
Her remarks come on the heels of a Chronicle story reporting concern from Democratic leaders about the President’s latest fundraising foray in California.
Ken Jeong: 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me
Ken Jeong, 43, stars as Mr. Chow in The Hangover Part III, in theatres now. Here, he reveals his secrets to Us!
1. I used to be a full-time physician; I still have my medical license.
2. I run nearly every day, just a small distance to clear my head.
ARTICLE: Ken Jeong Talks Hangover’s Nude Scenes and Playing With the Asian Stereotype
3. It was my idea to jump out of the trunk naked in The Hangover. My wife (doctor Tran Ho) approved, saying, “This will be the feel-good movie of the year. Every guy will go home feeling good about himself.”
4. I am a coffee drinker.
5. I hate dressing up unless I have to, and I can’t stand shopping for clothes.
Sang Yoon and Neal Fraser To Compete on Top Chef Masters Season 5
Bravo has annouonced the lineup for Top Chef Masters’ 5th season, and L.A. has a few horses in the race.
Sang Yoon, of Father’s Office and Lukshon, and Neal Fraser of The Strand House and Fritzi Dog, will be part of the 13-chef cast competing for money for a charity of their choice. Yoon will compete for Worldwide Orphans Foundation, and Fraser will compete for Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Richard Sandoval, who owns a ton of restaurants nationally and is based in L.A., will also be competing, trying to win the prize money for C-Cap – Careers Through Culinary Arts Program.
Koreans’ challenge on LPGA: Turn success into recognition
The chances of an Asian-born player winning the Wegmans LPGA Championship are about as good as Thursday’s forecast for rain. Well, maybe not 90 percent strong, but showing up without an umbrella would be downright foolish. Same for betting against the Asians.
Asian-born players have won the past eight LPGA majors. The tour brought in three of its top-ranked Korean players – World No. 1 Inbee Park, No. 3 Na Yeon Choi and No. 9 Jiyai Shin – for a pre-tournament press conference at Locust Hill Country Club. They have combined for $20 million in earnings and 24 victories, including five majors.
Why the collective success?
“I don’t know,” said Park, smiling. “It’s in our blood. I think maybe we have dominant blood.”
Seven of the top-10 players in the world are Asian. Four of those seven are South Korean. Their straight, consistent games and even-tempered demeanors are ideal for major conditions. American Stacy Lewis’ victory at the 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship was the last time a non-Asian player won a major.
Michelle Wie believes her game is on an upswing
Michelle Wie saw something last week during the ShopRite LPGA Classic just outside of Atlantic City that she hasn’t seen in awhile — her name high up on the leader board.
With an opening-round 68 — just her fourth score in the 60s in 32 rounds this season — Wie was in contention to win for the first time since winning the 2010 CN Canadian Women’s Open. During two blustery days that followed, Wie remained in the mix for the title before eventually finishing in a tie for ninth.
In years past, a tie for ninth wouldn’t have given her much reason to celebrate. But Wie was pleased with her first top-10 in 20 starts.
LYDIA KO PAIRED WITH IDOL MICHELLE WIE
Phenom Lydia Ko — who last year at 15 became the youngest player to win an LPGA title but still has amateur status — will be playing her first two rounds of the LPGA Championship in a group with Michelle Wie. They tee off at 12:37 p.m. ET Thursday and 7:37 a.m. Friday.
Ko, now 16, is a native South Korean who moved to New Zealand when she was a child and represents that country. She said she’s long idolized Wie, an American of Korean descent who became famous for her youthful golf success.
Ko said when she saw Wie at last year’s U.S. Women’s Open, she immediately ran over to get Wie’s autograph. When they were playing in a group together earlier this year, Ko acknowledged a case of nerves, but she’s getting better about that.
Ben Henderson to meet T.J. Grant
Lightweight champion Benson Henderson will defend his title against T.J. Grant on Aug. 31 at UFC 164 in Milwaukee, promotion officials announced Tuesday night.
Henderson (19-2) will be making his fourth title defense after beating Frankie Edgar in February 2012. In his most recent defense, on April 20, Henderson needed a split decision to hold off former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez.
Grant earned a shot at the 155-pound champion with a first-round knockout of Gray Maynard on May 25 at UFC 160 in Las Vegas. The former welterweight is 5-0 as a lightweight and 21-5.
1,000 Women File Complaint Against Park’s Ex-Spokesman
Around 1,000 women including members of rights groups and the United Progressive Party filed charges against former presidential spokesman Yoon Chang-jung at the Seoul Central District Court on Tuesday.
Yoon stands accused of molesting an embassy intern during President Park Geun-hye’s U.S. visit to Washington last month.
They argue that Yoon not only abused his power when he molested the intern but that he defamed the woman and tarnished Korea’s image in a self-justificatory press conference in Seoul after he was fired during the presidential trip, which made the scandal worse.
S. Korea trying to verify report of N. Korea aiding in Syria conflict
South Korea has been trying to verify a media report that North Korean military officers were helping the government forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo, a senior Seoul official said Wednesday.
A Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, citing the director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdelrahman, reported early this week that “between 11 and 15 Arabic speaking North Korean officers in Aleppo” were aiding the Syrian army to ward off the rebels.
“We have been independently investigating whether there are North Korean military officers in Aleppo,” said the official at Seoul’s foreign ministry on the condition of anonymity.
How ‘Comfort Women’ Court Ruling Led To Kyoto Dinner Tiff
Wall Street Journal
The latest flare-up in the long-simmering disagreement between Tokyo and Seoul over “comfort women” was triggered by a key South Korean court ruling in South Korea in 2011, which set off a series of events that seriously damaged bilateral ties. Based on conversations with people familiar with the events, JRT reconstructed the latest chapter in this decades-old saga.
As the population of surviving former “comfort women” shrank fast, South Korea’s constitutional court in August, 2011 ordered the South Korean government to reopen negotiations with Japan and help the women settle their disputes, saying that failing to do more violated the basic rights of these women.
It’s Hip to be Asian in the US
Voice of America
Asian Americans growing up in the United States, especially in Southern California, are having a different experience than their counterparts 20 to 30 years ago. There is a growing sense of Asian American pride and a unique cultural identity that has made it “hip” to be Asian in the U.S.
On any evening, after 9:00 p.m., college students and professionals pack the Factory Tea Bar. But the bar serves no alcohol; there is only sweetened tea, often served with ice, milk and an import from Taiwan: large chewy tapioca pearls called boba.
“The boba place is unique to Asian people and so, if you want that Asian comfort, you come to a boba place,” explained Tiffany Porter, a U.S-born Chinese-American, “and so you can feel at home with a lot of other Asian people.”
Making a Case for Cosmetic Surgery
Wall Street Journal
Is cosmetic surgery about more than just a pretty face? A TV show in South Korea argues that for some people, not only their looks but also their lives can be radically improved by going under the knife.
Since its premiere two years ago on female-targeted cable network Story On, “Let Me In,” an English/Korean portmanteau roughly translated as “let women be beautiful,” has invited women with “abnormal” facial or body features to undergo surgical procedures to alter their physical appearance – and increase their self-esteem.
The accounts of their emotional struggles and their stunning transformations have drawn record ratings, along with controversy about the portrayal of plastic surgery in a purely positive light.
At a recent press conference for the launch of the show’s third season, the production team challenged the accusation that the series encouraged more women to undergo potentially dangerous cosmetic surgery.
Lee Byung-hun and Lee Min-jung to Wed in August
Actor Lee Byung-hun and actress Lee Min-jung will get married on Aug. 10 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul, the actor’s agency BH Entertainment said Wednesday.
The couple revealed that they are romantically involved by posting messages on their websites in August 2012 and will tie the knot exactly one year later.
New York’s Met to Show Shilla Treasures
Over 100 artifacts from the Shilla Kingdom will be on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for four months from late October this year.
The museum has a dedicated 180 sq. m Korean gallery on the second floor but will allocate a 650 sq. m hall on the first floor for the exhibition. The hall is next to the Greek and Roman galleries, the most visited galleries in the museum.
It is the first show of Shilla-era artifacts in the West and also the first time a Korea-themed show is being mounted at the hall.
Chinatown dim sum palace Empress Pavilion evicted, closes doors after almost 25 years
Los Angeles Times
After almost 25 years in business, Empress Pavilion – the 600-seat Chinatown dim sum palace in Bamboo Plaza – has shut its doors for good.
Empress Pavilion opened in April 1989, an enormous Hong Kong-style restaurant decorated in shades of pink, burgundy and aqua, on the second floor of Bamboo Plaza, and its dim sum immediately “packed them in,” noted Ruth Reichl, then restaurant critic of the Los Angeles Times and former Gourmet magazine editor.
The original owners sold the restaurant in 2007 to a group of employees, including majority partners Ricky Chan and Joe Lee, chefs who were determined to continue the tradition of Empress Pavilion and keep the staff of more than 100 people. “Some of the ladies pushing the carts have worked here since the beginning,” said Stephanie Chan, a spokeswoman for Empress Pavilion and the daughter of Ricky Chan.
Chef Chat, Part 1: Matt Pak of Koagie Hots and the Golden Grill Food Trucks, on the Korean Tapas Restaurant He Would Have Opened
Korean food is full of flavor and texture, its tastiness so addictive that it brought national attention to LA’s @kogibbq truck, whose claim to fame was Korean barbecue-stuffed tacos. In Houston, we have our own Koagie truck, only it’s not serving Korean barbecue tacos. The brainchild of chef Matt Pak, Koagie Hots is doing Korean barbecue (bulgogi) hoagies, Korean barbecue-topped hot dogs, and kimchi fries, and as far as addictions go, I’m seriously hooked. I find myself craving it late at night, which is exactly when Koagie Hots is available to serve.
The bright red truck is open six days a week — Tuesday through Sunday — and you’ll usually see it parked across the street from Anvil in the Boondocks lot, serving piping hot, super tasty food until 3 a.m. Its sister truck, The Golden Grill, is also on the food truck circuit, though it’s more often out on catering gigs.
This week, we sat down for a chat with Pak to find out how he ended up choosing the food truck path and what it’s like to own not just one but two different food truck concepts in Houston.
EOW: Tell me a bit about yourself.
MP: I grew up in New York, moved, lived in Vegas for a while, Arizona, and then I came to Houston and worked at Benjy’s — both in the Village and on Washington — for about four years as a sous chef under Mike Potowski.
ANGELS NOTEBOOK: Chemistry works for Hank Conger, C.J. Wilson
San Gabriel Valley Tribune
C.J. Wilson’s earned-run average with backup Hank Conger catching is 3.62. When starter Chris Iannetta catches Wilson, his ERA is 4.82.
Having been behind the plate for all but three of the pitcher’s 12 starts this season, including Sunday’s solid outing in a 5-4 loss to the Houston Astros, Conger has essentially become Wilson’s personal catcher.
By his own account, the quirky lefty has historically been opinionated about his battery mate. Matt Traenor, who played just 89 games for the Texas Rangers over Wilson’s last two seasons there, became an unconventional favorite. Despite his clearly defined role as the No. 2 catcher, Conger is the preferred option due to chemistry with Wilson that is obvious in the pitcher’s mind.
“It’s pretty simple that my ERA is better,” Wilson said. “A lot of my numbers are better.”
U.S. Skater Will Boycott Disciplinary Hearing On Tampering
U.S. Olympic speedskater Simon Cho will boycott a hearing next week that could result in his receiving a lifetime ban from the sport, NPR has learned.
Cho is the short-track bronze medalist (Vancouver, 2010) who in October confessed to sabotaging the skate of a Canadian athlete during an international meet in Poland in 2011.
In a letter to the International Skating Union (ISU), Cho’s father, Jay, says that his son’s decision to skip the hearing “is not because Simon is not confident in his recollection of events.”
Simon Cho claims he was ordered by former American short-track coach Jae Su Chun to tamper with the skate blade of Canada’s Olivier Jean. Chun strenuously denies the allegation, but he resigned after revealing that he failed to report the incident after learning about it. Chun has been suspended from officially coaching in the U.S. through the 2014 Olympics.
Stars come out to congratulate UFC champ Benson Henderson for black belt
UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson already has a shiny gold belt for his UFC championship. On Monday, he received his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Even as fighters win championships, they still covet the black belt because of what it means in how they’ve progressed in one area of the sport.
The black belt was also special to Henderson’s coach, John Crouch. He contacted a wide group of friends, from NFL player Larry Fitzgerald to actor Ed O’Neil, to say congratulations to Henderson. Though the stars are fun to watch, it’s particularly moving to hear from Henderson’s mom and his wrestling coaches.
Kevin Kim Will Take A Pass On Running For Dan Halloran’s Queens Council Seat
New York Daily News
Former City Council candidate Kevin Kim will not be joining the throng of Democrats vying for embattled Queens Republican Dan Halloran’s seat in September.
Our Lisa L. Colangelo reports:
Kim said Monday he will not make another run for the seat he narrowly lost to Halloran during the bruising and racially charged 2009 general election.
He would have been the first Korean-American elected to the City Council.
“After serious consideration, I have decided not to run for City Council this year,” Kim (pictured) said in a statement. “Words cannot describe how grateful I am for the outpouring of support I received from so many people in the community.”
New generation of defectors expose North Korean abuses
Reuters via Yahoo News
From the streets of Seoul to the European parliament, a new generation of North Korean defectors is stepping into the limelight, telling their personal stories to highlight the human rights abuses in their homeland.
It’s a major change for the defector community, especially in South Korea, where for years they lived on the margins of society. Most did menial jobs and kept quiet, avoiding attention for fear of being labeled a “Red” or a “Sympathiser with the North”.
Not any more.
“I plan to speak out as much as possible,” said Hyeonseo Lee, who on a recent Friday evening addressed a street rally in Seoul for an event called North Korea Freedom Week.
Exclusive: China tried to convince North Korea to give up nuclear tests – source
China told an envoy of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that Pyongyang should stop conducting nuclear and missile tests, but the North showed little sign of heeding the request, said a source with knowledge of the talks held late last month.
Kim dispatched Choe Ryong-hae, vice chairman of the country’s top military body, to explain North Korea’s recent actions but he got a lukewarm reception from his Chinese hosts, said the source, who has close ties to Beijing and Pyongyang.
U.S. gov’t agency rules in favor of Samsung over Apple
A U.S. government agency on Tuesday ruled in favor of Samsung Electronics Co. in its patent disputes with Apple Inc., putting a ban on imports of some devices used for iPhone 4 and iPhone 3G.
In a much-awaited decision, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued an order prohibiting Apple from importing wireless communication devices, portable music and data processing devices, and table computers.
The unglamorous lives of Korean drama actors
“Three years ago, I was cheated out of more than 2 million won, too (USD$1,774). The producers fled the country, and the broadcasters kept refusing to take responsibility for the money. There was no one I could go to and complain about it. I’m not sure that the actors are going to get their money this time either…”
Veteran actor B followed this statement with a long sigh. He has more than twenty years experience acting in Korean dramas. While TV viewers might not recognize his name right away, his face is familiar.
With the unpaid wages for actors in “Rascal Sons,” a television drama on MBC, a major South Korean broadcaster, in the news again, a Hankyoreh reporter met with B for an interview. During the interview, B talked about the three biggest heartaches that actors face. There is the uncertainty about not getting paid for completed jobs, the exploitative behavior of casting directors, and the last-minute scripts that make acting similar to a live broadcast.
I Wasn’t Beautiful Enough To Live In South Korea
Coming to Korea as a Cuban/Filipino/Korean-American, I was excited at the idea of finally being amongst the majority, at least in terms of my looks. Though I don’t consider myself ugly, I can’t pretend it was always easy to grow up as the only Asian in a sea of white friends. However, I quickly learned that despite sharing the genetic traits of many Koreans (round face, high cheekbones), I would not be accepted as a true fellow Korean.
In a culture where so many people strive to look the same way, any slight difference in appearance rapidly singles you out. In my case, I was too tall, too fat, and too dark — traits that are not typically considered beautiful by Korean standards. In many ways, being partially Korean actually made my experience more difficult than that of my foreign white friends. Whereas Koreans admired their white skin, small faces, and upturned noses, I remained a vaguely Korean-looking girl who didn’t quite stack up.
1st K-pop group with French member
A new record label, MGMC Korea Limited, has recently formed the first “international girl group” which features a non-Asian member.
Olivia, who is French, is one of the members of the four-member girl group, The Gloss.
The other members are Grace, a Korean-American from Chicago, and Sol-E and Liz, from South Korea.
According to reports, they were scouted after extensive auditions throughout South Korea, America and Europe.
Dodgers’ Ryu Gives Sales of Baseball Merchandise a Boost
Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin has been credited with giving sales of baseball merchandise in Korea a lift.
“Sales of items related to the sport were fairly flat. But as Ryu has continued to put in solid performances, they have been picking up since May,” said one industry insider who deals with domestic distribution.
According to large discount store E-Mart, sales of baseball products climbed 6.7 percent in May from one year earlier, but were up a staggering 198 percent from April. In contrast, on-year sales in April slumped 12.5 percent.
U.S. Open will have strong Cal flavor
San Francisco Examiner
Michael Kim atoned for Cal not winning the NCAA title by earning a spot in the U.S. Open.
Kim might have had the longest trip to get to Merion next week for the second major championship. Cal ended its dream season by losing in the NCAA semifinals on Saturday. Kim was in Ohio on Sunday to receive the Jack Nicklaus Award as the top Division I player — presented by Nicklaus himself — and then he returned to Georgia for qualifying.
He had rounds of 67-66 at Hawk’s Ridge in Ball Ground, Ga. to tie for medalist honors and earn one of three spots.
Kim won’t be the only Cal golfer playing in the national championship. Max Homa, who won the NCAA individual championship last week, survived a playoff in a sectional qualifier in Newport Beach to make the field.
A South Korean’s Soundless Journey Through Junior Tennis
New York Times
A 15-year-old from South Korea has emerged as one of the world’s top junior tennis players without ever hearing the sound of a ball being struck or a score being called. He is deaf.
Duck Hee Lee of Jechon City, South Korea, suffered twin losses at Roland Garros, losing in the first round of junior singles and doubles. But last week in Budapest, Lee won five singles matches to collect the Epitok-Abris Cup, defeating Dennis Uspensky of Atlantic Beach, N.Y., in the final. In April, he won the Asian Junior Closed Championship in his age bracket, defeating Ken Onishi of Japan in the final.
Speaking through a translator who is also his sports agent, Lee, ranked 29th by the International Tennis Federation, said he reads the lips of his doubles partner to learn what strategy is being pursued.