Ryu So-yeon Wins LPGA Rookie of the Year
Author: Steve Han
Posted: October 31st, 2012
Filed Under: BLOG
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Ryu So-yeon is set to become the ninth golfer of Korean descent to win the LPGA Rookie of the Year Award. LPGA recently announced that Ryu clinched the coveted award as she has already built a significant lead in the race.

The 22-year-old already accumulated 1,306 points, placing herself far ahead of American Lexi Thompson, who has 779 points so far.

LPGA announced that Ryu is set to win the award regardless of how she performs in the remaining three tournaments this season.  Ryu posted a Top 10-finish 14 times this season, including a victory at the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic in August. Continue Reading »

Wednesday’s Link Attack: North Korean ‘First Lady’ Pregnancy Rumors; Chef Roy Choi
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: October 31st, 2012
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Pregnancy rumors envelop North Korea
CNN.com

Is she or isn’t she? Pregnancy rumors and speculation are swirling around the world but the lady in question is saying nothing.

This could easily be about a Hollywood star but this time, we’re talking about the world’s most reclusive nation, North Korea, and its first lady.

Ri Sol Ju, the wife of young leader Kim Jong Un, has not been seen in public for around two months, according to North Korea watchers. A photo released by the state-run news agency KCNA shows her back in public and wearing a long coat that could be hiding a bump. Ri watched a football match and attended a musical concert with her husband Monday to mark the 60th anniversary of the Kim Il Sung Military University.

How Asian Americans Will Restore Balance to California
Huffington Post

Asian immigrants and working class APIs feel the urgency for change and our community organizations are uniting together to make it happen. APEN, 18 Million Rising, and MIV Action Fund, along with a coalition of 22 organizations, support the release of the first ever California API Voter Guide, which offers a comprehensive solution to get our economy back in balance and working for families. The first and most comprehensive of its kind, the API Voter Guide is available in five Asian languages in addition to English. Fundamentally, we know that change cannot happen without the meaningful engagement of Asian Americans — a population that constitutes 1 in 10 California voters.

After year and a half, StarKist CEO to exit
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Change continues at StarKist Co., one of the nation’s iconic tuna companies.

North Shore-based StarKist announced Tuesday that In-Soo Cho, who had served as president and CEO, is leaving to pursue new opportunities. Mr. Cho, a former Pizza Hut executive, had been running the business since March 2011.

On an interim basis, the role of president will be filled by Sam Hwi Lee, a former president of Nestle Korea who serves on the company’s board. Mr. Lee’s resume also includes time with Nestle USA, Dole Food Co. and Armour Foods Co.

‘LOLwork’: Meet The Husband-Wife Duo Behind ICanHasCheezburger
Your Tango

LOLwork will take us a look into the Cheezburger world with CEO Ben Huh and his wife Emily, the editor-in-chief (and mother figure at the office). So, we got all the details about their relationship and home and at work and how they feel about their new reality show on Bravo.

Ben, tell us how you two met. Was it love at first sight?
We met in Chicago. It was definitely not love at first sight. I thought Emily was in high school (Emily had actually already graduated from college and was working full-time), and Emily thought I was loud, and he was always eating all of the cookies she baked for everyone else. But we found their common love of modern art and the rest was history.

Roy Choi Waxes Poetic About Campanile
Zagat.com

“Campanile was like my first kiss. My first hand job. My first lay. My first hit. My first trip. My first step into manhood.” That’s a lot of love from Kogi’s Roy Choi, who posted a not on his Riding Shotgun blog about the closure of Mark Peel’s longstanding La Brea restaurant.

Choi says he never worked there but walking into the restaurant as a youngling changed everything for him. “I grew up around food but Campanile helped me move from immigrant to imma gent,” he quips. He even wrote a whole chapter in his forthcoming book, Spaghetti Junction: Riding Shotgun with an LA Chef, about Peel and Campanile.

Billy Corgan and Jeff Schroeder Talk Guitars
Gibson.com

What are your current go-to Gibson guitars?

Schroeder: I play a lot of Les Pauls, but I have a few different kinds of Gibsons that I play now. My main E natural guitar is a Les Paul Iced T Sunburst with a ‘60s neck that I really like a lot. It kind of looks like a Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin era guitar. I’ve also been playing a Goldtop reissue with a ‘50s neck and a white Les Paul Custom. I really like them all. They all sound different. They’re all really good for different applications

Defensive switch: Steven Kim’s choice to become a lineman has paid off for him, Burbank
Burbank Leader (Calif.)

Kim made the switch [to the defensive line] prior to his sophomore season, and he says the decision was one of the best he’s ever made. Since moving to defensive lineman, the 5-foot-11, 265-pound nose tackle has earned two consecutive All-Pacific League and All-Area honors while putting up impressive numbers for the Bulldogs.

“That is a kid that has worked very hard to learn the position and make himself better as a lineman,” Burbank Coach Hector Valencia said. “Every year he has improved and this season he’s a guy on our defensive line that other teams have trouble stopping. He has definitely become a force.”

Sys-Con LLC marks milestone
Montgomery Advertiser (Ala.)

Montgomery officials on Monday celebrated the 10th anniversary of Sys-Con LLC.

The Korean-American family-owned business, which built a $65 million building for Hyundai Heavy Industries, celebrated a decade in business with a ribbon cutting and open house at its new Stratford Square headquarters.

Best day and weekend trips from Seoul, by season
CNNGo

There’s just so much to see in Seoul, it may take a few trips to the Korean capital before a traveler’s mind turns to seeing places outside the city.

Apart from the terrible traffic on weekends, traveling around Korea is not as daunting as it may seem, with government-launched initiatives such a foreigner-only national bus tours, and convenient high-speed trains from central Seoul.

Tae Kwon Do Spirit: Y.K. Kim on Miami Connection
Crave

This month, Drafthouse Films is releasing Miami Connection in several theaters around the country. The 1986 movie was the pet project of Tae Kwon Do instructor and motivational speaker Y.K. Kim. He stars as the leader of a rock band who has to fight a gang of drug dealing ninjas. Drafthouse’s Zach Carlson discovered a print of the film and brought it back, premiering at Fantastic Fest to an enthusiastic crowd, who later enjoyed a performance by the film’s band Dragon Sound. We got to chat with Kim the following day.

Tuesday’s Link Attack: North Korea; K-pop Star Ga-in; Jamie Chung in ‘Sin City 2′
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: October 30th, 2012
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Asian-Americans one of greatest untapped voting blocs this year
Las Vegas Sun

At almost 10 percent of the population, Nevada’s Asian-American community easily has the numbers to bridge the narrow gap of votes that likely will determine whom the Silver State selects as president and in many of the congressional races.

But as the campaigns move to seal the deal with the groups they have spent the past six months courting, Asian-Americans are feeling like an afterthought.

“They always talk about the Hispanics and the African-Americans, and that’s fine — but we’re almost a quarter-million,” said Mike Vaswani, president of the Asian American Group, Las Vegas’ largest Asian-American organization. “We’re like everybody else; we care about the same issues. But we don’t see the candidates as often as they court the other groups. It’s disturbing — for the most part, we see you only in election years.”

North Korean leader’s wife re-appears
AFP via Google News

The wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has re-appeared after dropping out of the public eye for 50 days amid fevered rumours that she was either pregnant or had fallen out of favour.

North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Ri Sol-Ju joined her husband at a musical performance and a football match in Pyongyang on Monday.

“Marshall Kim Jong-Un, the supreme leader of the party and the people, came to the spectators’ seats, accompanied by his wife Ri Sol-Ju. At that moment, thunderous applause broke out,” KCNA said.

Has N. Korea shut down one of its gulags?
Washington Post

Human rights groups and defector organizations have spent weeks now investigating rumors about the closure of Camp 22, North Korea’s largest political prison camp, and the only thing proven so far is the North’s expertise at keeping secrets.

The Daily NK, an online newspaper in Seoul staffed largely by defectors, has run several recent stories — attributed to anonymous sources — saying the gulag was closed earlier this year. But the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), after studying the latest satellite photos of the camp, said the camp still seems to be operating, with fields well-tended and coal piled near loading facilities.

‘Sin City 2′ Adds Jaime King and Jamie Chung (Exclusive)
Hollywood Reporter

Jaime King and Jamie Chung have boarded Sin City 2, which began shooting on Monday in Austin.

Robert Rodriguez is directing the movie with Frank Miller, the comic book icon who created the Sin City comics that were published by Dark Horse in the 1990s. Rodriguez and Miller teamed up for the stylish 2005 hit adaptation.

Meet Ga-In, the K-Pop Sensation Whose ‘Bloom’ is Outcharting ‘Gangnam Style’ in Korea
Spin.com

Son Ga-In, a.k.a “Gain,” is by far Psy’s most exciting successor yet, a bleach-blonde singer who just turned 25 and was previously best known as a member of a popular pop quartet Brown Eyed Girls. These days, she’s currently focusing on a solo career; her eagerly awaited sophomore album Talk About S was released October 5. Billboard’s recent efforts toward tracking K-pop would put her recent peak at No. 2, but her addictive lead single “Bloom” has topped all the real-time ranking charts operated by a number of smaller Korean regional music sites, a phenomenon known as an “All Kill” among K-pop’s most enthusiastic followers. That’s exactly how “Gangnam Style” started, too.

SBS to host K-pop festival in U.S.
Yonhap News

A joint concert of several K-pop artists will be held in the United States early next month, a South Korean television station hosting the event said Tuesday.

The “2012 SBS K-pop Super Concert in America” will take place at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, a 15,000-seat outdoor theater, in Irvine, California, on Nov. 10, SBS said.

Yoon speaks softly, carries a big boot
ESPNBoston.com

But [sophomore kicker Justin] Yoon’s journey to Milton and his ascent to being ranked a top sophomore placekicking prospect in the nation is an unlikely one.

“I never really knew what football was until I was introduced in eighth grade,” Yoon said after Saturday’s victory. “That’s what it started with, basically.”

Yoon was born in Ohio, but his family is of Korean descent. His parents – father, Jiseop, and mother, Mihwa – currently reside in the Nashville, Tennessee area while Justin boards at Milton Academy. His father played soccer at Governor’s Academy in addition to being an Olympic figure skater. Jiseop also got Justin into soccer from a young age, perhaps the origin of his youngest son’s booming leg.

Jen Brill and Olivia Kim Wear Nice Heels With Duane Reade Socks
New York Magazine

New York style-scenesters and best friends Jen Brill and Olivia Kim are both regulars on the New York social circuit. And if you trail down to their feet on any party snap — beyond Brill’s trademark red lips or Kim’s chameleon hair — you’ll notice the heels they’re wearing from Cole Haan, shoes the ladies helped design.

The pairing may seem unlikely for the 84-year-old American shoemaker. Style leaders in Manhattan’s downtown neighborhoods and blogs, too, Brill is a brand ambassador for Chanel and creative consultant-for-hire, and Kim is Vice-President of Creative at Opening Ceremony. But when a pal who works at Cole Haan asked them to create the brand’s first-ever women’s collaboration for fall, they couldn’t resist. The first collection, full of jewel-toned Italian-suede “Chelsea” pumps, was a runaway success, in part because the women convinced friends like Chloë Sevigny, Lesley Arfin, Annabelle Dexter Jones, and Chrissie Miller to lend cool-kid cred.

Time Warner Cable To Carry Lakers Games In Korean
MediaPost

As the new Time Warner Cable regional sports network (RSN) gets ready to begin carrying Los Angeles Lakers games, the channel will offer viewers the chance to view them via secondary audio programming (SAP) in Korean. The network believes this marks the first time the option has been available in the U.S. for an RSN.

The RSN, which launched Oct. 1, will carry a slew of Lakers games in Southern California this year, starting Oct. 30, and is working with Radio Seoul on the initiative, which begins in November.

Palsaik Expands to OC, Wok Coco Cooking Celebes Cuisine
Eater LA

1) Buena Park: Palsaik Samgyupssal, the vaunted Korean temple of “8 colored” pork belly, is opening its second US branch. Due to a misunderstanding between the previous tenant and the city, construction has yet to begin. Still, ownership is targeting a year-end opening. 6681 Beach Blvd., Ste C

Bae Doona’s Hollywood Revelation
Author: Steve Han
Posted: October 30th, 2012
Filed Under: BLOG
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Photos courtesy of Warner Bros.

The South Korean actress makes her Hollywood debut in the ambitious and somewhat controversial Cloud Atlas.

by STEVE HAN

In the futuristic world of Neo Seoul in 2144, a genetically engineered Sonmi-451 finds herself enslaved as a restaurant server in an apocalyptic totalitarian society. Much of East Asia is now flooded, and Neo Seoul remains as the region’s last surviving land, but it has long been dehumanized by extreme capitalism.

Sonmi has been wired to live her brief existence on earth as a slave confined at a village. Then: She meets Hae-Joo Chang, the first pureblood who is kind to her, and learns that there’s a larger human world.

In Tom Tykwer and Lana and Andy Wachowski’s Cloud Atlas, the mysterious yet captivating character Sonmi is played by Bae Doona, a top South Korean actress making her Hollywood debut. Her cast mates include household names such as Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Hugh Grant.

“I’m a traditional Asian woman,” Bae told KoreAm, chuckling. “I’ve always been taught to be extra humble and polite. So adjusting to a new culture itself was a huge challenge for me.” Continue Reading »

Comfort Women Monument in New Jersey Defaced
Author: Steve Han
Posted: October 30th, 2012
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The side effect of the ongoing territorial dispute between Korea and Japan has made its way more than 6,000 miles to New Jersey.

The stone memorial to honor the Korean “comfort women” — sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II — was seen blocked last Friday by a four-foot-tall stake showing a political message planted on the flower beds.

“Takeshima is Japanese territory,” read the stake in Japanese.

The rocky islands located between the Korean Peninsula and Japan have been in dispute for decades. The islands are called Dokdo by the Koreans who are currently occupying the island, while Japan, which also calims the islands, call them Takeshima. Continue Reading »

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