A Korean man vacationing with his family at the Grand Canyon in Arizona was arrested last week on assault charges after slapping his 15-year-old son, according to the Korea Times.
A park ranger on duty was observing an argument between the man, surnamed Choi, and his son and saw Choi slap him three times on the cheek.
Choi, 45, told the ranger that his son was disobeying him and Choi’s wife confirmed that corporal punishment was normal in their family. Continue Reading »
North Korea fires short-range rockets, sources say
North Korea has fired 25 short-range rockets from its east coast into open water, in what appears to be a “provocative” action, a South Korean Ministry of National Defense spokesman said Sunday.
“We evaluate it as a firing demonstration in response to the joint drill between South Korea and the U.S. We are currently additionally analyzing its intention,” said spokesman Kim Min-Seok, warning, “North Korea should halt any actions that can stir military tension and create uneasiness to the neighboring countries.”
South Korean officials said earlier that the North had fired only 10 rockets.
Years After Abduction by North Korea, a Reunion
New York Times
The parents of a Japanese woman abducted by North Korea in 1977 were allowed to see their North Korean-born granddaughter for the first time last week at a secret meeting in Mongolia, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.
The meeting in the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator, between the parents of Megumi Yokota, who disappeared in Japan on her way home from school when she was 13, and her daughter, Kim Eun-gyong, now 26, according to Japanese news media, appeared to be a good-will gesture by North Korea toward Japan.
Ms. Yokota, who died in 1994, according to North Korea, has been the subject of foreign and Japanese documentary films and also manga comics, making her perhaps the best-known of more than a dozen Japanese citizens known to have been kidnapped by North Korean agents in the 1970s and ’80s.
China to preserve Japan’s WWII military brothel as ‘war crime evidence’
China is taking steps to preserve buildings once used by Japan’s Imperial Army as a notorious military brothel during World War II as “war crime evidence,” state media reported Monday, the latest step to call attention to Japan’s wartime sexual enslavement of women.
The southern city of Nanjing is drafting plans to preserve the seven buildings in Liji Alley of Nanjing City, Xinhua news agency reported, describing the Japanese wartime military brothel as “the largest of its kind in Asia.”
“It’s of great historical importance to have these buildings protected for the whole world to remember the crimes of war,” Jing Shenghong, a history professor with Nanjing Normal University, told Xinhua.
Historians say up to 200,000 women from Korea, China and other Asian nations were forced into sexual servitude at front-line Japanese brothels during World War II. Those sex slaves were euphemistically called “comfort women.”
N.Korean Soldiers Patrol Border in S.Korean SUVs
North Korean soldiers are patrolling the border dividing the peninsula in South Korean SUVs. Those present at inter-Korean family reunions at North Korea’s scenic Mt. Kumgang resort last month report that North Korean soldiers were seen escorting South Korean families in Hyundai Galloper SUVs.
One source said, “North Korea is having a tough time producing its own military vehicles and so they’re using cars from Hyundai Asan” — the South Korean business that ran package tours to Mt.Kumgang until 2008. It is not clear whether that was a form of aid or merely cars left behind when the company left.
South Korean products have generally been growing more popular among North Koreans. The top item on the wish list of newlyweds is South Korean rice cookers, while wealthy North Koreans feed their newborns South Korean baby formula. South Korean cosmetics, meanwhile, are a popular way of bribing border guards for traders returning from illegal trips to China.
Chinese man put under arrest for forging evidence in alleged espionage case
A Chinese man was formally detained Saturday pending trial on charges of forging Chinese immigration records to help Seoul’s main spy agency frame a North Korean defector for espionage, court officials said.
The 61-year-old ethnic Korean with Chinese nationality, only identified by his surname Kim, is suspected of forging immigration records purporting to be the defector’s and handing them over to the National Intelligence Service (NIS) last year.
The Seoul Central District Court on Saturday approved the prosecutors’ request for an arrest warrant for the Chinese man after holding a hearing, the officials said.
O.C. Assembly candidate Kim aims to unify Asian voters
Orange County Register
When Republican Young Kim kicked off her Assembly campaign at October’s state GOP convention in Anaheim, she introduced backers from the local Korean, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Chinese and Filipino communities in the district.
Talking to me last month about the Asian factor – 20 percent of the district’s voters – she said, “I plan to let them know that we have one Asian running.”
As she challenges incumbent Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton, it will be interesting to see how her Asian strategy works for a couple reasons.
First, several of those Asian groups – particularly Koreans, Vietnamese, Chinese and Filipinos – are distinct from one another and don’t necessarily identify closely with each other. Nationwide, Vietnamese and Filipinos are each evenly divided between the two major parties, while Democrats have a 16-point advantage among Koreans and a 23-point advantage among Chinese, according to the 2012 Asian-American Survey.
‘Exposure’ suspect arrested in Chandler
A Chandler man was arrested Friday on suspicion of multiple counts of indecent exposure and public sexual indecency to a minor in connection with a series of incidents since October 2012, authorities said.
Police believe John Y. Kim, 41, is responsible for at least four public incidents of sexual indecency, the first of which occurred near Willis Junior High School in Chandler.
The latest was Friday morning, when Kim exposed himself to a group of women near Hamilton and Erie streets in Chandler, according to police.
Clover Hill Community Raises Money for Kim Family
WHSV.com (Harrisonburg, Va.)
The Clover Hill community is coming together one month after the Dry River store shootings.
Store owner Jae Kim is in critical condition and his wife is dead. People in the Rockingham County community hosted a benefit to help the Kim family pay for Jae Kim’s medical bills.
Paul Kim, Jae’s son, shared his father’s progress. Kim says his dad is slowly getting strong enough to get out of critical condition. Kim is thanking everyone for the support.
“I can’t thank you enough for all the support and all the prayers they offered my dad you know and my mom as well,” said Paul Kim.
As the Clover Hill community gathers to support the Kim family, Paul Kim and his sister say they’re touched by all the work.
Supporters: Claims against accused Rancho Bernardo coach are ‘absurd’
ABC News San Diego
A group of people rallied Thursday in support of a Rancho Bernardo High School coach accused of racism and bullying.
The supporters said accusations that basketball Coach Jim Choe is racist or bullied his players are “absurd.”
“I wasn’t sure if it [accusations] were even real,” said former player Scott Fuller said.
Fuller said Choe was like a “second father” to him and taught him “how to deal with situations.”
“Everything he’s ever done for me has helped me further myself,” Fuller said.
Starting career in law in US
Since the global financial crisis in 2008, law school grads have found it tougher to get a job as an attorney in the already competitive U.S. job market.
Yoon Chae of Baker & McKenzie LLP, Vivian Choi of Shearman & Sterling LLP, Sam Kwon of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Yu Jeong-seok at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP share several things in common.
The young lawyers in their late 20s or early 30s graduated from top law schools in the U.S., grew up in more than one country and developed communication skills that enable them to work in the international environment.
The Man Behind Korea’s Nationalist Ads
Wall Streeet Journal
If you’re confused about the ads in major U.S. newspapers plugging Korean food, culture and national interests, you aren’t alone.
The New York Times ran an ad in its Wednesday print edition last week that featured Korean beef dish bulgogi, puzzling an editor at U.S. news outlet NPR. It’s not the first from the same source: others have promoted Korea’s milky rice brew makgeolli and Seoul’s sovereignty over islets also claimed by Japan.
For the man behind the campaign, the intention is simple: to spread awareness of Korea overseas.
Seo Kyoung-duk, a general studies professor at Sungshin Women’s University in Seoul, says he has worked for decades to publicize Korean culture and political positions abroad, especially with ads in major newspapers. The print and online editions of The Wall Street Journal have also published some of Mr. Seo’s ads.
South Korea’s next big economic leap: innovation
Globe and Mail (Canada)
Suzy Mortemer looks at the camera through a heavy veil of makeup. She wears her hair midnight black on the left, platinum blond on the right. On the YouTube video, her eyes pop out behind striking circle lenses – cosmetic contact lenses, popular in some Asian countries, that make the iris appear larger.
She pulls out a bag of “natural cocoon peeling silk balls.” The contents are, she explains, a tidy passel of exactly that: silkworm cocoons, designed to be heated in water, worn on a finger like a glove and used to scrub away dirt, dead skin and facial makeup. “I’m kind of creeped out by it, guys,” she says. “Like, no joke, there’s all kinds of organic matter on these. They are actual cocoons.”
But there’s a reason Ms. Mortemer, a California makeup reviewer, is trying them out, along with a cocoon facial soap she’s also pulled from a box of other beauty products delivered by Seoul startup Memebox. “Because it’s one of the top-selling products in Korea right now. So why wouldn’t I want to try it?”
Hoon Lee on Banshee’s Season 2 Finale and His Hope for Season 3 [SPOILERS]
Last night, Banshee wrapped its second season with two major character deaths and an unclear sense of what’s next for the show’s transgender computer hacker, Job. We spoke to Hoon Lee, who plays the character, to get his best guess on Job’s future and what it was like to finally have a big action sequence this season.
Job finally got his bloody action sequence this season. How was your Jason Bourne moment?
There isn’t anyone in Banshee who doesn’t get into serious scraps. I was assuming it was going to happen. It was really fun to shoot. It was hot in that old factory, and we shot it in the basement with gigantic lights. I got to stretch some muscles a bit there. The camera crew was amazing. One guy was literally doing everything I was doing, backwards.
Korea’s K-pop stars have to dance around… the censors
Public Radio International
K-pop (Korean pop) has dominated the Asian music market for several years, making South Korea seem like the perfect place for any young artist dreaming of producing a mega-hit. That is, as long as the musician can maneuver around the censors.
South Korea was ruled by a dictatorship in the 70s and 80s and music was frequently banned as subversive, if it could be seen as challenging authority or the status quo. With democracy came the lifting of bans on both Korean and foreign music, which led to an explosion in creativity and eventually the mass export of K-pop.
But in spite of the relative freedom enjoyed today, even artists represented by big record labels face considerable hurdles navigating South Korea’s multi-layered censorship system.
First, there’s the television networks. They have strict guidelines against artists performing too sexually or “controversially.”
In Orioles debut, Suk-min Yoon feels ‘nervous’ but looks solid throughout short outing
After dealing with a month of uncertainty, a new team on a new continent, and plenty of work visa-related hoops to jump through, Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon finally made his Orioles debut Saturday afternoon.
It lasted 11 pitches.
“I knew I’d be nervous, but I pitched nine years in Korea, so overall I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I’d be,” said Yoon, who signed a three-year, $5.75 million deal in mid-February but couldn’t pitch stateside until securing his work visa in Canada this week. “I waited a long time to throw, so overall, I’m relieved. I’ve been working hard for this day to come.”
Yoon’s first pitch was clocked at 91 mph on the stadium radar gun, whose recordings always seem a little exaggerated, but it gave Yoon some confidence.
Shin-Soo Choo should prove more than capable leading man for Rangers
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Veteran left-hander John Danks was on the pitching mound for the Chicago White Sox on Sunday afternoon.
And lefty hitter Shin-Soo Choo was in the leadoff spot for the Texas Rangers, right where manager Ron Washington wants and needs him.
Washington has said it more than once this spring, but his announcement was worth repeating.
“Choo will play against everybody, unless there’s a time where I decide to give him a day off or I DH him,” Washington said before Sunday’s 14-8 Cactus League win.
On the Line: Eddie Choi of Milk + Honey, Part One
Finding time to meet Eddie Choi wasn’t easy. Running a highly caffeinated business and being the father of twins keeps him busy. Yet we were able to sit down one late morning around the corner from his operation at Blackmarket Bakery to fill in the gaps.
Recount the moment when you realized you wanted to open your own coffee shop.
I went to a farmers market in LA, and a farmer was selling organic coffee beans from Costa Rica. I remember learning from that person about how organic coffee beans are much better quality than regular beans. So I tried to find a coffee shop that uses USDA certified organic beans. I couldn’t find one in LA until I heard about Urth Cafe in West LA. I tried their coffee and loved the atmosphere in the cafe. At that moment, I wanted to open my own coffee shop.
Best culinary tip for the home cook:
I would have to say plan your meal for the week, and prep them in advance so you know what to make throughout the week.
The co-founder of frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry was sentenced to seven years in state prison for beating a panhandler with a tire iron in 2011, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Last November, a jury found Young Lee, 49, guilty of beating Donald Bolding in June of 2011, after Bolding flashed a tattoo on his body of a stick-figure couple having sex as Lee was in his car with passengers, including his fiancee, who is now his wife. Lee initially drove away from the scene, but returned shortly after and beat Bolding, who suffered a broken forearm and other injuries, according to prosecutors.
After his conviction he was held without bail because the judge said he presented a “significant threat to the community” for threatening a witness in the case. Continue Reading »
Top K-pop girl group 2NE1 is under fire from Muslim groups after it was revealed that one of their songs uses verses taken out of the Quran.
The Korea Muslim Federation demanded that record label YG Entertainment to “swiftly delete” the lyrics in the song “MTBD” or revise the song and make an apology to all Muslims, according to the Chosun Ilbo.
The questionable content consists of an audio sample of children reciting verses from the Quaran, providing background vocals to CL’s rapping. The 8-second snippet is reportedly from Sura 78, Verses 32-34 of the Quran, which describes heaven. Continue Reading »
Dialogue is only way to change N. Korea: Gregg
North Korean officials believe time is on their side when it comes to stand-offs with the Obama administration in its final years, a former U.S. ambassador to Seoul said.
Donald Gregg stressed negotiations are the only way to denuclearize the communist nation.
“I think the North Korean regime is quite stable and if we want them to give up nuclear weapons at some point we have to have dialogue with them,” he said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency earlier this week.
Gregg, who served as the top U.S. envoy in Korea from 1989 to 1993, traveled to Pyongyang last month, his sixth trip to the reclusive nation.
Man arrested for growing marijuana in downtown Seoul
Yonhap News via GlobalPost
A 45-year-old man has been arrested on charges of growing massive amounts of marijuana on the rooftop of a building in downtown Seoul and selling it, police said Thursday.
The suspect, only identified by his surname Lee, is under suspicion of cultivating marijuana plants for over four months from August 2013 at a massive growing facility on the rooftop of a six-story commercial building in central Seoul, said the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA).
The amount would be enough to provide a maximum of 3,000 people with the illegal substance, according to SMPA officers.
Four Korean American women one step closer to public office
Korea Times US
Four Korean American women are up for elections this year in California.
Ann H. Park, who has been a prosecutor with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office for 20 years, is running unopposed for the seat of Los Angeles county superior court judge. According to the Federal Election Commission on Monday, Park was the only candidate to run for Office No. 82 by the end of candidacy declarations last Friday.
She said her initial goal in running for office was to promote the political growth of the Korean American community. Now that the seat is hers, getting voters to the polls is most important – the more votes she receives, the more strength she’ll have in the post, she said.
Complicated relationship: Asian-Americans and affirmative action
Southern California Public Radio
State legislators are considering putting a question on the statewide ballot that asks voters whether they want affirmative action back in higher education. Supporters of the SCA 5 legislation sponsored by Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, say this would allow schools to freely recruit talented students from underrepresented groups such as African-Americans, American Indians and Latinos.
By contrast, Asian-Americans comprise the largest minority group in the UC system. And some in the community worry that SCA 5 — which passed the Senate in late January and faces a vote in the Assembly — poses a threat to their children’s ability to get into the state’s universities.
Chinese-American-led organizations such as the 80-20 National Asian American PAC have pressured Assembly members to reject the measure in its current form, jeopardizing the supermajority vote it needs to pass. A Change.org petition to stop SCA 5 now tops 109,000 signatures.
‘Where Are You From?’ And Other Big Networking Racial Faux Pas
Mindy Kaling made headlines at SXSW this week when she said: “I’m a (bleeping) Indian woman who has her own (bleeping) network television show, OK?” Kaling was asked why her character was the only doctor of color on “The Mindy Project.” Her frustration at being posed “the race question” is shared by many people of diverse backgrounds. The definition of being American is ever-evolving, yet people of color are regularly forced to clarify their origins. This, despite the fact that Hispanics and Asian Americans make up about half of today’s American adult second generation.
So what’s the best way to approach ethnicity? If you’re dying to figure out if someone is of Korean, Vietnamese or Chinese heritage, is it ok to ask the first time you meet them? This topic is incredibly nuanced. There’s no right way to ask, though there are plenty of wrong ways.
I wish I could say this is a no-brainer. But just last weekend, I was asked at a party: “I don’t want to be a jerk, but are you Indian? Pakistani? Sri Lankan?”
CL to appear in Psy’s MV
2NE1’s leader CL will become the third muse for Psy’s upcoming music video, following 4 Minute’s Hyun-a and Brown Eyed Girls’ Ga-in.
As Psy’s comeback gets closer, fans have been eyeing on who will show up in his new music video.
The singers who had made previous appearances in “Gangnam Syle” and “Gentleman” videos all have risen to global stardom.
15 countries buy rights to ‘Man from Another Star’
The rights to broadcast or air online ‘Man from Another Star (별에서 온 그대)’ has been sold to 15 countries, including Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, Israel, Belgium, Myanmar, Cambodia and Japan.
SBSContentsHub said that it is also in talks with Mongolia, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The Korean television drama, starring Kim Soo-hyun and Jun Ji-hyun, was almost simultaneously viewed by Chinese fans because of its rapid online distribution in China.
How Girls’ Generation Are Fading
Wall Street Journal
K-Pop group Girls’ Generation late Wednesday extended its reign on the genre, after the music video accompanying the group’s latest single surpassed 10 million views on YouTube in just 13 days.
Girls’ Generation is the first K-Pop act to achieve the milestone this year, according to national media. A spokesman for Google, which owns YouTube, declined to confirm the claim.
The single “Mr. Mr.” was released late last month and has been met with a mixed reception from critics and K-Pop fans.
‘Far East Orlando’: How My Kid Got the Lead in ABC’s Asian-American Sitcom
Wall Street Journal
Back in January, ABC put into development a pilot based on “Fresh Off the Boat,” the bestselling memoir by celebrity chef, restaurateur and raconteur Eddie Huang, whose hip-hop hustler attitude and brashly garrulous persona have transformed him into a social media superstar and an in-demand foodie icon: He’s been the host of the Cooking Channel’s “Cheap Eats” and an ongoing food travel show for Vice Media, and was even awarded a prestigious TED Fellowship (and got booted from the program after being caught ditching sessions, whereupon he publicly dismissed it as “Scientology science camp”).
The memoir focuses on Huang’s childhood with his two younger brothers, his hardcore mom and his Americana-obsessed dad. The adults have been cast for months — and quite perfectly, with Randall Park (“Veep”) taking on the affable role of Mr. Huang and Constance Wu playing his tough as nails but hilariously culture-shocked wife. But the production had been stuck on the pivotal role of Eddie himself … until now.
So here’s where I drop the biggest “disclosure line” of my career. After a long and crazy casting process, my son, 10-year-old Hudson Yang, has been cast as young Eddie.
Korean guitarist’s treasured item put on display in Hollywood
Yonhap News via GlobalPost
One of Hollywood’s most famous rock-and-roll landmarks is displaying a guitar owned by a South Korean rock musician, the artist said Thursday.
Kim Se-hwang, a 42-year-old guitarist with South Korean rock band “N.E.X.T.,” said his treasured electric guitar has recently become one of the memorabilia items displayed in the flagship Guitar Center store’s front windows in the heart of Hollywood.
The music store hosts Hollywood’s RockWalk, a hall of fame honoring musical artists. Kim is the first Korean guitarist ever honored by the center.
Jamie Chung is effortlessly on trend in a tummy-baring crop top and circle skirt for wine launch
Daily Mail (U.K.)
It is this season’s favourite look, a tummy flaunting two-piece, and everyone wants to wear it.
Made popular by the likes of reality star Kim Kardashian and Victoria’s Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio, the cropped top and matching skirt combo has now been endorsed by actress Jamie Chung.
Attending the launch of Brancott Estate’s new wine, Flight Song, at the Ph-D Lounge bar in Manhattan on Wednesday, the Sin City: A dame to Kill For starlet looked flawless in her variation of the outfit.
In the Mets Locker Room, an Old Slur Resurfaces
Wall Street Journal
In the New York Mets locker room Monday morning, I was talking with Jeff Cutler, a 30-year old Japanese American from suburban Boston who serves as the interpreter for Japanese-born pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.
We were talking casually about Asian communities in America when we heard a voice behind us.
Cutler and I turned around. It was Dan Warthen, the Mets pitching coach.
“I’m sorry I called you a ‘Chinaman’ yesterday,” Warthen told Cutler.
“It’s OK,” Cutler replied.
“I didn’t mean to insinuate –- I know you’re not Chinese,” Warthen said. He paused. “I thought it was a pretty good joke, though.”
“It was,” Cutler said, with a small laugh.
Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo featured in bizarre New York Times ad for bulgogi
Texas outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is a massive star in his native South Korea, having taken his country to a silver-medal finish in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and a gold medal in the 2010 Asian Games, as well as an MVP in the 2000 World Junior Baseball Championship. But in the United States, he’s not exactly a marquee or recognized name.
Apparently, however, Choo is hoping to change that through some good old-fashioned media exposure. Or at least, that would seem to be the rationale behind his appearance in an utterly strange endorsement for the popular Korean dish bulgogi that appeared buried deep in the international section of Wednesday’s print edition of The New York Times. That, or Choo is just a really massive fan of beef.
As destiny decrees, Choo an ideal leadoff man
Shin-Soo Choo is an accidental leadoff hitter, having arrived in the role by the pure happenstance of once being on an Indians team so desperate for top-of-the-order production that it briefly resuscitated the career of a then-38-year-old Johnny Damon.
For the better part of his big league career, Choo was cast as a No. 3 hitter, a guy with the power, plate discipline and productivity to naturally slide into that prime-time position. But while his mid-2012 desperation move to the No. 1 slot by then-Tribe manager Manny Acta was purely experimental — you might even say accidental — it’s hard to argue with the overall result, particularly after it earned Choo a seven-year, $130 million commitment from the Rangers on the open market.
“That’s human life,” Choo said with a smile. “You never know. [In 2012] I was thinking, ‘Really? I’m a leadoff hitter? I’ve never hit leadoff.’ You know fate? Human fate? This was my fate.”
Our Dean of Bread: Dean Kim
Like most people who bake bread for a living, Dean Kim gets up at an ungodly hour and goes home when the rest of us are already in our pajamas. But he wouldn’t have it any other way. “How many people do you know look forward to punching out?” he says. “To me, it’s a different thing. I love being there; I don’t consider it work. It’s crazy—I’m being paid for doing something that isn’t work to me.”
As the owner and head baker of OC Baking Co., Kim is arguably the most celebrated bread baker our county has ever seen. In the less than five years since he opened it, his OC Baking Co. has become the go-to supplier of bread for about 100 restaurants, including Anaheim’s THE RANCH. Kim is humble about his success. “I don’t think I’m the best baker in the world,” he says. “I have a lot to learn.”
He credits the close-knit OC chef community for its support, but it’s the bread that sells itself. If you had a dinner roll at an Orange County restaurant and marveled at how the crust crackles just so, the crumb fluffy and flavorful, chances are it was made by Kim and his crew at an anonymous industrial office park in Orange cradled by the 91, 55 and 57 freeways.
Student finds her identity through art
Daily O’Collegian (Oklahoma State Univ.)
Her alter ego’s name is Janet.
She tucks her black hair into a blonde wig, widens her eyes, elongates her nose and lightens her skin with makeup techniques she said she learned from YouTube. She photographs and paints Janet for her art series to demonstrate what she calls an identity crisis as a Korean American.
Jini Kim, an Oklahoma State University fine arts senior, had two identities growing up. The first identity is herself as a Korean. The second one is herself as a Caucasian American, Janet.
“I create Janet because she’s a literal interpretation of the identity I used in school and social situations,” she said. “It’s kinda a way that I saw my own self whenever I was in these social situations.”