North Korean academic says detained American called family and asked US to push for amnesty
AP via Washington Post
A North Korean academic says an American sentenced to 15 years’ hard labor has called his family and urged Washington to push for his amnesty.
Ri Gyong Chol, section chief of the North Korean Academy of Social Sciences’ Institution of Law, also told The Associated Press Sunday that Kenneth Bae informed his family on Friday that he couldn’t appeal his April 30 sentence.
Ri’s information came from authorities in charge of Bae’s case. Washington has called for Bae’s release.
N. Korea in dangerous nuclear showdown: US envoy
AFP via Google News
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is playing a dangerous game in his nuclear showdown with the international community, the US envoy seeking to tempt the isolated state back into talks said Thursday.
Glyn Davies said ahead of a tour of South Korea, China and Japan that it was becoming clear that the young Kim is the master dictating policy, including sanctions-busting nuclear bomb and long-range missile tests.
Juliana Redding Murder Update: Kelly Soo Park’s defense claims Redding’s boyfriend could be killer
In a key pre-trial hearing days before Kelly Soo Park stands trial for the 2008 murder of 21-year-old aspiring model Juliana Redding, the prosecution and defense effectively switched roles as Park’s attorneys sought to point to what they say is another possible murder suspect — Redding’s boyfriend.
The defense team is attempting to establish that former Santa Monica resident and surfer John Gilmore could very well have been the killer, instead of Park. Meanwhile, prosecutor Stacy Okun-Wiese voiced her intention to demonstrate Gilmore’s “innocence,” insisting Park is indeed the killer.
Park is accused of beating and strangling Redding, whose body was found in March 2008 in Redding’s Santa Monica, Calif. condo. Redding had moved to Santa Monica from Arizona in order to pursue a career in modeling and acting. She had been featured in Maxim magazine, where she won a “Hometown Hotties” contest.
District Attorney investigates complaint in Hollywood area council race
Southern California Public Radio
The District Attorney’s Office is investigating a complaint that campaign workers in a Hollywood area city council race illegally filled out ballots for voters.
The complaint was filed by the John Choi campaign against his opponent Mitch O’Farrell. According to the campaign, the O’Farrell camp mishandled ballots and outright voted on behalf of constituents in the Little Armenia neighborhood. The O’Farrell campaign denies all the allegations.
“This is the most blatant and widespread case of voter fraud I’ve seen in 20 years of political campaigns,” said Mike Shimpock of the Choi campaign. “They are literally stealing this election. This needs to be stopped.”
LA Catholic Archiocese grooming next generation of elementary school leaders
Southern California Public Radio
Tech-savvy and a skilled fundraiser, Jae Kim is exactly the type of leader the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles wants for its schools.
Last July, Kim became the first person other than a nun to be principal of St. John Chrysostom School in Inglewood. He’s outfitted the 85-year-old school with Wi-Fi, developed a financial plan that includes a rainy day fund and instructed teachers to post grades online.
Kim is part of a new generation of leaders whom the archdiocese is grooming. They’re being cultivated at a critical time for a Church eager to attract and hold onto the next generation.
Crazy, Stupid, Korean Love: On David Choe, Han, and “Unmarriageable” Koreans
I asked a few Korean Americans to elaborate on their “unmarriageable” status as professed by Choe. Aside from a universal sense of self-deprecation and wryness at an all too familiar topic, some responses specifically alluded to the personalities and relationships of their parents’ generation:
“It feels great because now I can tell my mom that it’s not my fault after all! It’s just because I’m Korean American. So, it’s your fault, mom. Your fault.” –C.K.
“My Korean father refused to marry my Korean mother, and abandoned her, pregnant and alone. I was sent away from the motherland, to be raised strangers abroad. But yeah, sure. That sounds great. It’s not like I’ve spent my entire life trying to prove I’m unmarriageable and unloveable.” –K.D.
“If I’m anything like my mother, I completely understand why a man would hesitate to marry me.” –V.L.
South Korean Men Cosmetics-Crazed
Their catchy tunes and sleek moves have helped sell billions of records.
Now, K-pop’s biggest stars are helping cosmetics firms sell makeup – to men.
Eager to achieve their pretty-boy looks and smooth complexion, South Korean men are increasingly turning to BB cream foundation and anti-aging products to achieve K-Pop perfection, spending $900 million a year on cosmetics, according to research firm Euromonitor.
South Korea is by far the largest in a growing global market for men’s cosmetics, accounting for nearly a quarter of sales in the skin care market.
Japanese First Lady in Korean Musical Furor
Akie Abe, the wife of rightwing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, came in for a storm of criticism when she said on Facebook that she went to see a Korean musical.
Last Wednesday night, Akie posted the seemingly uncontroversial comment, “I had an enjoyable time watching Korean musical ‘Caffeine’ currently on stage in Tokyo,” with a photo showing her in front of the poster. “Caffeine” has been running since April 25 at the Amuse Musical Theater in Roppongi, Tokyo, which is dedicated to Korean musicals.
But Japanese patriots were incensed by her “careless” conduct as the wife of the prime minister at this “sensitive time.”
Los Angeles Dodgers Rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu Consistently Good in First Eight Starts
Yahoo Sports [Contributor Network]
The Los Angeles Dodgers spent a lot of money on Korean import Hyun-Jin Ryu this winter. So far, he’s making them look awfully smart.
The initial scouting reports weren’t exactly impressive: an average fastball, an average slider and a potentially plus changeup. The reports almost didn’t warrant a six-year, $36 million deal and a $25.7 posting fee. He was nearly a $62 million commitment before even throwing a pitch in the majors. That’s what former No. 1 overall draft picks in the NFL used to get. In a league where contracts are guaranteed, the Dodgers were taking a considerable risk, no matter how deep their pockets are these days.
Hank Conger’s mother marvels at son’s MLB dream
Eun, born and raised in South Korea until immigrating to the U.S. in 1986, came from a culture that preaches studying hard, going to college, obtaining a degree and ultimately working a normal 9-to-5 job.
Draft night brought mixed emotions.
“It was half and half,” Eun said of how she felt to watch her son get selected in the first round. “I was happy, but then another side was like, ‘Aw, he should go to school.’”
But Eun can laugh about all this now. Her 25-year-old son is living out his dream in the Major Leagues, while serving as a backup catcher on the Angels and doing what only one percent of those who aspire to take on his profession actually accomplish. Better yet, he’s playing for a team whose home ballpark resides in Anaheim, a half-hour drive from the Huntington Beach area where Conger grew up.
Margaret Cho: I’d like to be a role model for minority women
From your early days, you often use your family as material in your stand-up — and your mother was the “headliner” in your latest tour. How did your parents and your cultural upbringing influence your career path?
Yes I think so, but what was remarkable was how much it really informed me as a person. I don’t know how Confucian I actually am consciously, but it seems to really have affected me because of my upbringing. I’m very drawn to Korean culture and food now that I’m older and have a more secure sense of my Americanness. There was a period where I wanted to avoid Korean things because they felt so close to home, but now I miss my home so much!
Asian American Literary Pioneers
May is Asian American History Month. As a recent U.S. Census report revealed, Asian Americans are the largest group immigrating to America in the last decade. It goes without saying that Los Angeles and Southern California is central to this, like it is with the Latino population. L.A. Letters celebrates all histories every month but nonetheless this week will focus on a few forgotten early Asian American pioneering poets that paved the way for the stellar contemporary writers mentioned previously in this column, like Sesshu Foster, Amy Uyematsu, Chiwan Choi, Traci Kato-Kiriyama, Edren Sumagaysay, Cathy Park Hong, and musicians and artists like Tracy Wannomae, Alan Nakagawa, DJ Rhettmatic, Prach Ly, and Yayoi Kusama, among countless others.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye issued a public apology on Monday over former spokesman Yoon Chang-jung’s sexual assault scandal which overshadowed her successful visit to the United States last week.
A sexual assault charge was filed against Yoon last Tuesday, as he was accused of grabbing the buttocks of a young female intern assigned to help him during his stay in Washington, D.C. He was sacked on Thursday.
Yoon, 56, was also allegedly naked when the woman came to his hotel room. Continue Reading »
For the first 2.5 years of our son Griffin’s life, we made a concerted effort to shield him from technology—the fear being that we didn’t want to turn him into a zombified couch potato like our nieces/nephews/friends’ kids were, thanks to their slavery to anything with a screen. I was aghast anytime I saw a toddler slumped in a stroller, his nose pressed up against an iPad.
My friends’ kids can’t sit patiently in a car unless there’s a DVD playing on the screen built into the headrest. My friends have accused me of being judgmental and naive when I’d gently theorize that perhaps the reason their kids couldn’t focus whenever the TV was off was because the TV was always on.
We made it seem as if we live without my wife’s cell phone or my old iPod, and restricted Griffin’s TV watching—we allowed him, at most, around 30 minutes of stultifyingly slow PBS cartoons a day. The lack of screens resulted in a son who begged us to read picture-books with him whenever he wasn’t busy drawing or playing the keyboard, and who had the rare ability to placidly sit in a car for hours without a TV on. Continue Reading »
South Korean actress-cum-boxer Lee Si-young’s win at the South Korean national team tryouts last month has sparked controversy after the Korean Amateur Boxing Federation (KABF) was accused of giving the star an unfair advantage to boost the sport’s fading popularity.
Lee, 31, edged out the 19-year-old Kim Da-som in a 22-20 decision in the 106-pound class to become the newest member of the South Korean national boxing team.
Although Kim seemed to have dominated the fight, the umpire, Jo Jong-deuk, determined it was Lee who landed more effective blows. Jo also said after the fight that at least a handful of Kim’s shots were open-handed blows, a term used to describe illegal hits with the inside of the glove.
According to KABF regulations, losers have 30 minutes to protest the decision but Kim’s party apparently didn’t raise questions until a day after the fight. Continue Reading »
Name: Harold Waterman
City: Monona, Iowa
Job: Graphic designer, owner of Studio 91 LLC, board member of Swing With The Legends Charity Golf Classic Milwaukee
Describe your background.
I grew up in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. I developed a passion for art at a very early age, as my Mother (and her side of the family) are very artistic. My aunt (who resides in Seoul, South Korea) is an accomplished painter as well.
If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?
What is one goal you would like to accomplish during your lifetime?
I would love to see my future grandchildren being born some day.
If you had to describe yourself using three words, it would be…
Passionate, driven, caring. Continue Reading »