Wednesday’s Link Attack: South Korea’s Rocket Launch Success; Accused Oikos Shooter; 2NE1 Photoshoot
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: January 30th, 2013
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On 3rd Try, South Korea Launches Satellite Into Orbit
New York Times

South Korea succeeded in thrusting a satellite into orbit for the first time on Wednesday, joining an elite club of space technology leaders seven weeks after the successful launching of a satellite by its rival, North Korea.

South Korea has attached an intense national pride to the 140-ton, 108-foot-tall Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1, or KSLV-1, which was built with the help of Russian technology. Feeling besieged by China and Japan, both of which have successful space programs, South Korea has sought a technological prowess of its own.

That task gained more urgency after North Korea successfully placed a rocket into orbit on Dec. 12. Only a handful of countries have succeeded in independently launching satellites into orbit, with Iran also recently joining the club. After studying the debris of the North Korean rocket, which splashed into South Korean waters, officials here determined that North Korea, despite its backward economy, had built key components of its rocket.

Oikos shooting suspect to be treated at Napa State Hospital
Napa Valley Register (Calif.)

A judge today ordered the man accused of murdering seven people in a shooting rampage at Oakland’s Oikos University last April to be treated at the Napa State Hospital in a bid to restore his mental competency to stand trial.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Carrie Panetta said that based on reports by two psychiatrists who have examined 44-year-old One Goh she “had no other choice but to find him mentally incompetent to stand trial” and suspended legal proceedings against him at a previous hearing three weeks ago.

Panetta said the goal of the treatment for Goh at the Napa State Hospital will be to “progress toward the recovery of his mental competence” so he eventually can stand trial.

Asian-Americans hopeful on immigration reform
WBEZ (Chicago)

From blueprints to bills, the ideas from Washington this week on changing the U.S. immigration system have Asian-Americans in Illinois hopeful. In particular, this time around, they feel that their particular concerns may finally be addressed in a debate that has often focused exclusively on undocumented Mexican immigrants.

“I think that (Asian immigrants) come to the United States in different ways than Mexican-Americans might,” said Tuyet Le, executive director of the Asian American Institute in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. “So even the notion of being undocumented… psychologically, they may have had visas and overstayed them,” she explained, “So even those terminologies are different.”

Asians are about 10 percent of the 11.5 million undocumented immigrants, according to a 2011 estimate from the U.S. Office of Immigration Statistics. They come primarily from China, the Philippines, India, Korea, and Vietnam. Mexicans, by contrast, account for nearly 60 percent of the total. It is not known how many Asian immigrants in Illinois are undocumented, but Asian-Americans are one of the state’s fastest-growing racial groups.

Bringing two worlds together at Resurrection-St. Paul
Baltimore Sun

Winter break is usually just that: a break from school for students across the world. But halfway across the world, the beginning of winter vacation for 10 students in South Korea was spent traveling to the United States, and the rest of the school break was spent, well, in a school.

For nearly a month the students, ages 7-10, attended Resurrection-St. Paul School in Ellicott City, bringing together opposite corners of the world in the classroom.

They’re all students of Kwang Lee and Chun Hee Shin, husband and wife educators from Daejeon, South Korea. The trip was the first manifestation of a newly-formed partnership between Resurrection-St. Paul and Shin’s Success For All school — part day care, part after-school program — modeled in part after the Success For All Foundation at Johns Hopkins University. There, Shin prepares her students for international educational trips to sister schools like Resurrection St. Paul.

Hyundai’s Chung Taps Lady Gaga in Shaking Up Korea Inc.

[Hyundai Capital Services'] “Ted Chung is probably the most innovative CEO in Korea’s financial industry,” says Jun Yong Wook, dean of SolBridge International School of Business in Daejeon, Korea. “He showed that it’s possible to create new growth in the highly competitive credit card industry, something that hasn’t been done.”

Rob Kim Leaves Untitled Entertainment, Joins APA As VP
Deadline Hollywood

Former UTA agent Rob Kim is joining APA as a VP after a five-month stint at Untitled Entertainment. AtUntitled, Kim served as a literary and talent manager, and was to help set up and run the firm’s new dedicated television production arm. I hear he didn’t feel management was a good fit for him and wanted to return to agenting. Kim is expected to start at APA on Monday.

“We’re thrilled to have Rob join our ranks,” said APA EVP and partner Lee Dinstman. “His experience working with some of the top showrunners, producers and talent in the industry will be an enormous resource as APA continues to grow.”

K-Pop Sensation 2NE1 Dresses Up in Jeremy Scott, Givenchy, and Balmain for Complex
Complex Magazine

If you haven’t noticed, we love K-pop girl groups. They’re perfectly groomed by their labels’ respective training regimen, and know exactly how to tingle our hearts with sugary croons. Their cutesy antics and dazzling appearances also help a great deal. But often times, their actual talents as singers and performers come into question. High heels and coordinated mini skirts can dazzle a fan base only so far.

YG Entertainment’s girl quartet 2NE1 (a play on “to anyone”) breaks that mold. First appearing on the scene in 2009 with the label’s male counterpart Big Bang on a skull-drilling song “Lollipop,” the girls quickly rebounded on the disputed hype with a thumping club single “Fire.” Equipped with air horns, loud streetwear aesthetics, flamboyant rapping, and free-for-all choreography, the group stood out immediately in a market clustered with fembots. Thanks to the self-titled EP’s release, 2NE1 instantly became a hot commodity in the emerging K-pop market. With a successful follow-up, the official debut LP To Anyone, raking in 120,000 copies in sales, and each of the five singles selling an average of two million downloads, the clique of CL, Minzy, Dara, and Bom became international superstars. Psy who?

K-Town’s Jasmine Chang On When She Feels The Most American & Purse Spill
Schema Magazine

We asked her when she feels the most Korean, the least Korean, and the most blended. Here’s what she said!

“I feel the most Korean around my non-Asian friends. I could make up fake stories about the Korean culture and they will never know!

I feel the least Korean when i read the Korean newspaper. It’s so confusing “Como say HUH???!”

Actor wants play on Korean-Japanese friendship to bring hope in strained ties
Yonhap News

A top South Korean TV actor said Wednesday he hopes a Japanese theater play about friendship between Korean and Japanese people in the 1920s would help improve relations between the two neighbors today.

“Relations between the two countries are difficult at present and may get worse in the future,” said lead actor Cha Seung-won during a news conference in Seoul to promote the play. “I hope many Koreans come to wish for a bright future in the relations after watching this play though.

Park experiment nears end as Yun Suk-Young signs
ESPN Soccernet

Ji-Sung Park is free to go. The Asian backers now have a ready-made marketing replacement as South Korean left back Yun Suk-Young has been granted a work permit by the FA.

Now all he needs is a visa, and for an international player who played in London and won a bronze medal at last summer’s Olympic games, that should not be a problem.

It will be a relief that a genuine international class defender, who has age on his side, has arrived at Loftus Road because — let’s face it — the Park experiment has not worked thus far.

Former Investment Banker Enjoys Life More as Yoga Guru
Chosun Ilbo

Yoga instructor Leah Kim recently published “From Office Hell to Yoga Heaven” in the U.S. in both printed form and as an e-book. As the title suggests, Kim escaped her hellish office cubicle and found a mental and spiritual reawakening in the world of athletic stretching and breathing exercises.

Born in Chicago, Kim was raised in the U.S. and is currently living in the U.K., where she runs yoga classes and serves as a global yoga ambassador for Nike.

Kim majored in economics at the University of California at Los Angeles and became an analyst for an asset management company immediately upon graduating in 2003. However, it didn’t take long for her to realize she had not found her calling.

NK News

When Kim Il Sung ruled North Korea, the Flower Girl (the heroine of a popular North Korean theatrical piece) was the ideal of beauty: loyalty, purity and revolutionary ardor were her values. What remains of that today?

Koreans Are No. 1 Customers for Southeast Asian Prostitutes, Report Says
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: January 30th, 2013
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The largest number of patrons for prostitution in Southeast Asia came from South Korea, surpassing visitors from Japan and China, according to a recent research report.

The Chosun Ilbo published an article on Wednesday which stated that the Korean Institute of Criminology conducted field surveys and interviewed social workers in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines, and concluded that “Korean tourists outnumber all other nationalities in terms of the frequency of their visits to prostitutes.”

The Chosun Ilbo is quick to note that there is no hard data to support the claims “but a tally of tourists who frequent bars linked to prostitution and accounts of sex workers appear to confirm them.’ Continue Reading »

NJ Man Arrested For Buying Priceless Korean Artifact
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: January 29th, 2013
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A man from Fort Lee, N.J., is being held in a federal detention facility in connection with his purchase of a Korean relic which turned out to have been allegedly looted from the royal palace by an American soldier during the Korean War.

The New York Times reported that Won Young Youn, 54, paid a Michigan auction house $35,000 for the item, a plate that was used for printing currency in the time period just prior to Japanese occupation in 1910.

Youn is currently being held in a federal prison in Detroit and faces up to 20 years in jail on felony charges of possessing and transporting stolen goods.

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Tuesday’s Link Attack: Google Maps NKorea; Artist David Choe; Jamie Chung
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: January 29th, 2013
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North Korea’s Kim dashes early hope but U.S. still seeks change: Clinton

North Korea’s missile tests and menacing rhetoric have disappointed U.S. expectations that young leader Kim Jong-un would be different than his father but Washington still hopes to persuade Pyongyang to change course, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday.

“With a new young leader we all expected something different,” Clinton said in a town hall-style session put together by the State Department and broadcast worldwide. “We expected him to focus on improving the lives of the North Korea people, not just the elite, but everyone.

“Instead he has engaged in very provocative rhetoric and behavior,” she said of Kim, who took over his impoverished, isolated Northeast Asian nation when his father, Kim Jong-il, died in December 2011.

Outgoing South Korean Leader Creates Furor With Pardons
New York Times

With less than one month left in office, the departing president, Lee Myung-bak, of South Korea granted special pardons on Tuesday to political allies, a longtime friend and dozens of others who have been convicted of corruption and other crimes. The pardons ignited a rare quarrel between the country’s outgoing president and president-elect.

The office of the incoming president, Park Geun-hye, had warned Mr. Lee for days not to “abuse his presidential power” by granting pardons in his last days in office that would “go against the will of the people.”

Mr. Lee ignored that appeal. “This is not an abuse of presidential authority,” Mr. Lee was quoted by his offices as saying during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday. “It is carried out according to law and procedure.” His office said Mr. Lee noted that far fewer people have been granted presidential clemency during his five years in office than under his predecessors.

Google releases detailed map of North Korea, gulags and all
Washington Post

Until Tuesday, North Korea appeared on Google Maps as a near-total white space — no roads, no train lines, no parks and no restaurants. The only thing labeled was the capital city, Pyongyang.

This all changed when Google, on Tuesday, rolled out a detailed map of one of the world’s most secretive states. The new map labels everything from Pyongyang’s subway stops to the country’s several city-sized gulags, as well as its monuments, hotels, hospitals and department stores.

Four More North Korean Defectors Return To North Korea

Another case of a North Korean couple that escaped North Korea for South Korea and had returned to North Korea has occurred.

North Korea’s state-run media, KCNA, held a press conference for the couple and their daughter on the 24th, as well as four other female defectors who had defected to South Korea and then returned to North Korea.

Samsung takes over U.S. medical equipment firm
Yonhap News

South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday it has acquired a U.S. medical equipment firm as part of efforts to bolster its healthcare business.

Samsung Electronics America acquired NeuroLogica, a leading computed tomography (CT) company headquartered in Danvers, Massachusetts, the company said in a press release. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Samsung’s U.S. unit will control the U.S. medical equipment maker, which develops medical imaging products and portable CT scanners.

Election Day in Flushing, Queens: From the DREAM Voter to the Poll Workers’ Dream of Decent Work
Open City

On January 21st, Barack Obama took oath as President of the United States for his second term in office. In many ways, the victory of his second term cannot be extricated from the story of who voted for him and why. Among the factors was America’s changing demographics due to immigration, and the news media have already offered plenty of hypotheses on the preliminary exit polls that showed the growing Asian-American electorate greatly favoring Obama, in the range of 72 to 73 percent.

But a new set of findings released by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) shows that a higher percentage of Asian-American voters may have chosen Obama than previously expected, at 77 percent. AALDEF’s report, based on an exit poll of Asian-American voters in 14 states who cast ballots in the November 2012 presidential election, revealed many other trends and differences among Asian-American voters. The exit poll project sent hundreds of trained volunteers around the country, and they surveyed 9,096 voters in an effort to document Asian-American voter disenfranchisement as well as to analyze the factors that weighed in on their voting choices. According to Glenn Magpantay, director of AALDEF’s Democracy Program, most exit polls only survey a small proportion of Asian-American voters or only poll those who can speak English. But AALDEF’s survey is multilingual and conducted in 12 languages (English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Bengali, Urdu, Gujarati, Khmer, Hindi, Punjabi, Arabic, and Tagalog). Their poll promises a more nuanced view of voters, broken down by age, ethnic group, geographic location, and political party affiliation.

Hearing that there was a need for Korean-speaking volunteers, I contacted the project and was dispatched on November 6th to monitor poll site JHS 189 in Flushing, where the community demographics necessitate language assistance in Chinese, Korean, and Hindi/Bengali. I waited outside the school with a clipboard in my hands, along with three law school student volunteers and Peter Lee, a staff member from MinKwon Center for Community Action who was supervising the afternoon shift of volunteers.

Facebook Artist David Choe Launches New Gig With Porn Star Asa Akira
Daily Beast

A year after David Choe became the most surprising multimillionaire to emerge from Facebook’s IPO, the bad-boy graffiti artist is making the publicity rounds with a new pornographic podcast featuring porn star Asa Akira. He talks to Lizzie Crocker about anal sex, his new gig, and more anal sex.

South Korea shows off Pyeongchang
Associated Press via ESPN

South Korea began showing off its new snow sports mecca at the opening of the Special Olympics on Tuesday.

Pyeongchang, the once-sleepy hamlet in the mountains east of the capital, will also host the 2018 Winter Olympics.

But the arrival of 3,000 intellectually disabled athletes from around the world also has spotlighted South Korea’s long-criticized treatment of the disabled, who for decades were kept out of the mainstream.

Beer sommelier mixes up beer cocktails and pairs cuisine with boutique ales
Yonhap News

The Korean beer market is changing with a surge in imported beers, featuring brews from Belgium, America and Germany among others, widening the options for consumers. But understanding beer styles such as Trappist ale, saison and imperial stout isn’t always easy. That would be why a cicerone, or a beer sommelier, steps in. A cicerone ensures beer is served the right way and that you have the right brew for your meal, whether it be Korean or Western cuisine.

Knife Fight Official Trailer #1 (2013) – Rob Lowe, Jamie Chung Movie

Amazing Gangnam Style Flipbook Animation
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: January 29th, 2013
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The video that swept the world is now a flipbook sweeping the Internet.

YouTube flipbook guy etoilec1 from France made an amazing set of drawings of the entire “Gangnam Style” video by Psy. When people put in what looks like hundreds of hours of sweet, sweet love into something that was extremely popular a few months ago but less so now, we are somewhat obligated to take a gander, amirite? Trust me, it’s worth a look.

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