Chief Nuclear Envoys From North and South Korea Meet
New York Times
The chief nuclear negotiators of South and North Korea met on Friday for the first time since 2008, raising cautious hopes that after months of recriminations the countries are inching toward broader talks on ending the North’s nuclear weapons program.
North Korea flouts ban on luxury goods, South Korea charges
Los Angeles Times
North Korea spent $10 million on items such as fine whiskey and American cigarettes, imported via China, in the first half of the year, South Korean officials say. The allegations come as North Korea is seeking international aid to feed its people.
‘Korea’s Got Talent’ sensation, Choi Sung Bong, opens up about his bitter and painful past
After his audition on ‘Korea’s Got Talent‘, Choi Sung Bong has been named the ‘Full Force’ of Korea, and earned attention from international media sources like CNN. It wasn’t until very recently however, that he conducted his first formal interview.
During a phone interview with Herald Media, Choi was asked what other interests he had other than singing. Choi responded, “When I was younger, I met a lot of people in the adult entertainment business. I haven’t had the chance to talk to ordinary people. I want to learn how to associate with normal citizens.”
Foreign interns get inside look at inter-Korean relations
Here’s a look at what it’s like to intern for South Korea’s Ministry of Unification.
Kelly Heo, a Korean-American studying public policy at Duke, added that it was a valuable chance to see the situation from multiple angles.
“I started by wanting to get closer to my culture. But as I went on, I realized the United States is more involved than I thought. It was interesting to see it from both perspectives,” she said.
Kenneth Choi Brings Nisei Soldiers to the Big Screen in ‘Captain America’
Here is a nice in-depth profile of actor Kenneth Choi, who plays Japanese American soldier Jim Morita in the new “Captain America” film opening today.
For actor Kenneth Choi, dropping out of college was one of the best decisions he’s ever made.
As an unhappy accounting major at Purdue University bound for a life replete with tax forms and budget analyses, Choi dreamt of fulfilling his childhood dream of becoming an actor until finally, he was done with just dreaming.
“Eventually I said, you know, ‘I’m going to give it a go, I’m going to try it’ and so I dropped out of school, I packed up all of my belongings, which was not much, [I] saved up enough money to buy a one-way Greyhound ticket and I came out West,” said Choi.
Interview: Introducing Aziatix
Comprised of three Korean-American artists Flowsik, Eddie Shin and Nicky Lee, Aziatix garnered a surprising amount of attention domestically and overseas since their debut last March.
Produced by former R&B group Solid member Jae Chong, who also masterminded JYJ’s first global album “The Beginning,” Aziatix dropped their first single “Go” on iTunes on March 28 and their first EP on May 17. The EP went on to claim number five on the iTunes R&B/Soul album charts in the United States.
Manchester United offer Park Ji-sung a new two-year contract
The Guardian (U.K.)
Manchester United’s manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has revealed the midfielder Park Ji-sung has been offered a new two-year contract by the club.
The 30-year-old South Korean, who joined United in 2005, retired from international duty after last season’s Asian Cup in an effort to prolong his club career.
He has been rewarded with a contract extension and Ferguson expects him to extend his stay at Old Trafford. “We have offered him a new contract and I am sure he will sign it,” said Ferguson.
Kimchi Chronicles Celebrate Seoul Food
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful little girl born in Korea to a Korean mother and an African-American G.I. father. Due to hostile attitudes towards children of mixed heritage, she was denied a birth certificate, orphaned and at age 3, adopted by an African-American family and raised in Northern Virginia. At age 19, she miraculously found her birth mother and in 1999 met and married her prince charming, three-star Michelin chef Jean-Georges. But wait, just when you think the story couldn’t get any better, the same Korean government that did not acknowledge her because she was half black when she was born, in 2011 embraced her as one of their daughters and made her an ambassador for Korean culture.
Chicago Area Restaurant Ttowa takes Korean cuisine to unexpected places
Chicago Daily Herald
Dining at Ttowa is a pleasant experience. The servers are both genuine and informative, making what could be an intimidating experience to those unfamiliar with such fare seem as comfortable as the every day. Just remember to BYOB.
The U.S. government’s case against Korean American Stephen J. Kim continues to drag on in the courts, tapping his family’s financial resources and testing their resolve.
Kim, 43, recently told the JoongAng Daily that the case has been a financial and emotional drain on him and his family.
The U.S. government claims he divulged classified information to a journalist in 2009 when Kim was serving as a senior adviser to the U.S. State Department on arms control. He was indicted last August on charges of disclosing classified national defense information.
Kim said the whole ordeal has been crushing. “The legal process is protracting without progress,” Kim said as he left a courtroom in Washington on Tuesday. “My life and the career that I have built have stopped too.”
Kim was in court for his fifth appearance since the indictment but the main legal proceedings are not expected to start any time soon.
Abbe Lowell, the main lawyer for Kim, said the case is likely to take a long time to resolve. And until the case is settled, Kim said, “I can’t go beyond 25 miles out of Washington, can’t travel and can’t go meet people close to me,” Kim said.
Kim said his family in Korea has nearly gone bankrupt to help pay his legal expenses – he said his parents in Korea sold out their house – and he is only making ends meet by living with the help of acquaintances.
According to those with knowledge of the case, Kim may have to pay around $1.5 million to the lawyers until the case is closed. His acquaintances have set up a website in an effort to raise defense funds for Kim.
Kim emigrated to the United States when he was 8 years old and earned degrees from Georgetown and Harvard and a doctorate from Yale, according to the New York Times.
It took more than seven years but Markus Min Ho Kim finally recovered more than $400,000 stolen from him by his foster parents, according to news reports.
Kim, 25, entered the New York state foster care system more than a decade ago after his father was sent to prison for fatally stabbing his mother. He was to receive the insurance money from his mother’s policy when he turned 18, but his foster parents swindled him out of it and moved to Florida, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
Radhames and Asia Oropeza, both now serving three-year prison sentences, convinced Kim in 2005 to put the proceeds of his mother’s life insurance policy into two certificates of deposit.
They told him the CDs would protect his money and that he would earn $1,000 a month just from the interest. Kim would later say his foster mother signed the documents, too. He thought she was there to help.
But after a few months, the interest checks stopped coming. Kim called the bank and eventually found out the CDs had been closed.
What federal prosecutors would later say: The Oropezas withdrew large amounts of money from the certificates of deposit and spent it on real estate investment properties. Kim’s name was forged on the documents.
“I was distraught, to say the least, and I needed their advice,” said Kim, at a news conference. “It was probably one of my biggest mistakes. I wanted to trust them more than anything.”
Kim, now working as a stagehand in New York City, emigrated with his biological parents to the United States from South Korea when he was 5 years old. In New York, his father owned a jewelry store; his mother ran a beauty salon. In 2000, Kim’s mother, Ji Sun Kim, was murdered. Kim’s father, Yung Hu Kim, was convicted of the crime and sent to prison in New York, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
Anthony Kim happy to be contending
Golf beat writer Bob Harig talks to Southern California native Anthony Kim about what he’s done to turn his game around following a surprising 5th-place finish at last week’s British Open.
Once considered among the best of a group of up-and-coming young American players, Kim, 26, has clearly not been the same since undergoing thumb surgery last year following a tie for seventh at the Quail Hollow Championship.
“I’ve found my game, it’s just I haven’t brought it to the tournaments,” Kim said Sunday. “I’m excited that this is the tournament I brought it to. Obviously other tournaments are very important, but to play well at major championships is what I work for. So to be able to put up some good rounds, probably my best rounds I’ve played all year, at the British, is pretty rewarding.”
Why Mayor Kang should run for Congress
Orange County Register
After tearing apart the campaign prospects of [Irvine, Calif.] Mayor Sukhee Kang last week, I thought I would address some of the reasons that might motivate the mayor and perhaps others to support his bid for Congress.
Congress pays better. This might sound like a bad reason to run for Congress. But for Mayor Kang, who treats the part-time job he has now as a full-time gig, he might feel more appreciated collecting a six-figure pay check from the federal government.
Sung Kim vows efforts for denuclearization of N. Korea
The nominee to become the new U.S. ambassador to South Korea said Thursday that he will play a bridging role between the allies in resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis and preventing the communist nation’s provocations.
Park scores second in consecutive friendly in US
Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung netted his second goal in a consecutive pre-season friendly match in the United States, Thursday.
The first Korean English Premier Leaguer notched the team’s fifth goal in its 7-0 triumph against the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field.
Margaret Cho Talks Latest Album ‘Cho Dependent’ And Its Serious Indie Cred (VIDEO)
The Huffington Post
Cho enlisted many top talents from the world of indie music, including Andrew Bird, Jon Brion, Ani DiFranco, Ben Lee and Tegan and Sara to write and perform with her on the album. “Cho Dependent” was nominated for a 2010 Grammy as Best Comedy Album. The result was a very unique sound — Cho may be the only musician who cites both David Bowie and “Weird Al” Yankovic among her primary influences.
APA Spotlight: Tammy Chu, Co-Founder Adoptee Solidarity Korea
Tammy Chu was born in Seoul, Korea and adopted to the U.S. She studied Cinema and Photography at Ithaca College. Her award-winning first short documentary, Searching for Go-Hyang, was broadcast on PBS, EBS (Korea), and screened at film festivals internationally.
Tammy has been living in Korea for several years and is a co-founding member of Adoptee Solidarity Korea, an adoptee activist organization based in Seoul.
Half-Korean Pro Basketball Brothers Get Korean Citizenship
Two half-Korean basketball players playing in Korea’s top division basketball league have acquired Korean citizenship, the Justice Ministry announced on Thursday.
Moon Tae-young and his elder brother Tae-jong, who were born to an American father and a Korean mother, received dual citizenship status in accordance with the revised immigration law, the ministry said.
Kenneth Choi Talks ‘Captain America’ On The Red Carpet
Name: Lucy Hyerani Sung
Location: Gicumbi District, Rwanda, East Africa
Occupation: Peace Corps Volunteer – Secondary Science Education
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Queens, New York until I was 12 years old and moved to Los Angeles.
What is your hidden talent?
Adapting recipes to work in Rwanda. So far made kimchi, wang mandoo, jigaes, sujaebi – all cooking done on a charcoal stove, by flashlight/candlelight, and without a fridge. Rocks are also a kitchen utensil.
Why did you decide to join the Peace Corps?
I first heard about Peace Corps during high school and like many others, fell in love with the idea of living and working in another culture. It wasn’t until college when I got involved in more service work that I realized time commitment and integrating into a community is essential to make successful and sustainable changes.
Peace Corps is a 27-month commitment and majority of volunteers are placed in rural areas – it was the complete package for me. Now I am serving as a PCV in Rwanda as a chemistry teacher in secondary school. My village is tucked away in a valley near the Ugandan border and I’m surrounded by tea fields, one of Rwanda’s main exports.
What’s a typical day for you in Africa?
I wake up at 5:30 a.m. (without an alarm!) and boil water. After washing up and feeding the cat, I prepare myself for the day: reviewing lesson plans, last-minute grading, ironing clothes. The school I work at owns four cows and if I want milk that day, I greet the umushumba (cowboy) and get a liter of still-warm fresh milk.
I take a short walk to my school and spend the morning exchanging a few words of “Amakuru?” or “A gandi?” with the other teachers and school staff members. I walk into my classroom where my students yelled, “GOOD MORNING, TEACHER!” with great gusto and I begin that day’s lesson in chemistry. An hour and a half break for lunch means I eat something that doesn’t involve cooking since lighting charcoal alone takes 30 minutes. In the afternoons, I either teach chemistry at my school or English at the local health center. I am also working on a few secondary projects to help finish the basketball court and library at my school.
I spend my free time visiting neighbors, cooking, or doing laundry by hand. Friday is market day in my village and I buy my food for the week which usually includes a pineapple for 30 cents and 1 kilogram [2.2 pounds] of potatoes for 20 cents. The sun begins to set around 6 p.m. and by then I’m back home where I’ll cook my dinner and do lesson plans. By 10 p.m., I’m sound asleep under the mosquito net.
What is the kindest thing that someone has ever done for you?
When my parents divorced, my dad moved to Hawaii and I spent a summer in Waikiki. I was at the beach and got sucked into a whirlpool. After yelling for help, a Japanese man saved me. Unfortunately, I never saw him afterwards and I don’t know what happened to him!
Which bad habits of other people drive you crazy?
Incorrect English. Rwanda is in a transition period switching from a French language system to English. Many Rwandans say “Just” to mean “Yes” and “Not” to mean “No.” It is frustrating when I ask students, “Did you finish homework?” “JUST, TEACHER!” “Do you understand?” “NOT, TEACHER!” Also, r’s and l’s are used interchangeable. It is a plobrem when students write about erections in Amelica and Rwanda.
If you can travel any place in the world, where would it be and why?
I’m fascinated with flat, barren places. Something about the continuous stretch of nothing is captivating and hypnotizing. That said, Mali, Mongolia, Namibia. I’m also dying to eat something other than oatmeal, beans, and potatoes so I’ll be happy to be back in Koreatown too.
Who is your favorite actor/ actress in Hollywood?
What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Fried crickets in Cambodia and sorghum beer in Rwanda. Both super dislike.
If you had a time machine that could take you back in time- what year would you go to and why?
When Bieber was first heard on the radio in Rwanda – so I could stop it.
If you can be any Korean food, what would you be and why?
Why be a Korean food when you can eat Korean food?? But if I must, maybe shikhae since it’s simple yet so round and bold in flavor.
What is your favorite thing to do in summer?
Beach, BBQs, beer.
Who is your favorite dead politician?
JFK and Sargent Shriver! They created Peace Corps. This year marks Peace Corps 50th Anniversary. Since 1961, we’ve been in 139 countries and number more than 200,000 volunteers. Continue Reading »