Friday’s Link Attack: NK Missile, World Bank, DMZ Wildlife
Author: Linda Son
Posted: April 13th, 2012
Filed Under: BLOG
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North Korea’s failed rocket launch raises fears of nuclear test
The Washington Post

In the aftermath of North Korea’s failed attempt to fire a rocket into orbit, leaders in Washington and Asian capitals moved Friday to condemn the authoritarian nation while also containing its next move — a balance that has proven elusive during previous confrontations.

The failure raised fears that North Korea could try to salve the wound to its national pride by conducting a new nuclear test.

Candor and Celebration on North Korean TV After Failed Rocket Launch
The New York Times

As my colleagues Choe Sang-hun and Rick Gladstone report, hours after a North Korean rocket disintegrated within minutes of launching on Friday, the country’s state media took the unusual step of admitting the failure.

Britain’s Telegraph added English subtitles to video of the announcement on North Korean state television.

The three-stage rocket, which North Korea said was carrying a communications satellite but outside observers called part of a missile test, flew for just over a minute before crashing into the Yellow Sea, Japanese officials said.

Later on Friday, North Korean state television returned to more regular programming, showcasing a mass celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birthday of the country’s founder, Kim Il-sung, grandfather of the new leader, Kim Jung-un.

US cancels food aid to North Korea after missile launch, warns of more sanctions
World News via MSNBC

The United States has canceled a proposed food aid deal with North Korea following over its attempt to launch a long-range rocket taking a satellite into orbit.

Senior administration officials told NBC News the deal with Pyongyang is off after the rocket was fired. It failed shortly after launch and landed in the sea off the South Korea coast.

“We are not going forward with an agreement to provide them with any assistance,” White House National Security Council spokesman Ben Rhodes told reporters traveling with President Barack Obama to Florida. He added that the U.S. and its allies will “take additional steps” if there are more “provocative actions.”

SK Netizens Express Fatigue With NK
The Wall Street Journal

As the world zoomed in on North Korea’s failed rocket launch Friday morning, South Koreans generally brushed off the event as they tend to do when the North grabs the headlines.

But the discussion online illustrated some of the frustration and fatigue with North Korea felt in the South.

Daum, the country’s second biggest portal site, opened a discussion page about the launch.

Here’s a selection of some of the posts:

“The money that was sent by (former presidents) Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun is shred into pieces in the air… We should take this opportunity to send all the North Korean sympathizers (in the South) to the North.”

“Thanks, we enjoyed your 800 billion won worth of fireworks.”

Why Jim Yong Kim Wants to Run the World Bank
The New York Times

This week, I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the Obama administration’s nominee to head the World Bank. Dr. Kim is the president of Dartmouth College and a public health expert. He is a physician and anthropologist, a founder of the nonprofit Partners in Health and a former World Health Organization official.

Dr. Kim is also the front-runner for the World Bank job, given that Europe customarily supports the American candidate for the bank, and the United States supports Europe’s candidate for managing director of the International Monetary Fund in turn.

But that does not mean that Dr. Kim’s nomination has met with universal praise. Commentators have questioned whether he has broad enough experience for the post, and questioned a decade-old book in which he critiqued the bank’s development approach. There has also been broad criticism of continued American leadership of the multilateral institution.

Bergen County politicians join Korean Americans in denouncing Senate’s treatment of Phillip Kwon

Bergen County politicians joined members of the Korean American community today in expressing outrage at the controversial rejection of Phillip Kwon’s nomination to New Jersey’s highest court.

“Every single day I get an email or a phone call or something from a Korean American, and non-Korean Americans, who are offended by this process,” State Sen. Kevin O’Toole said, referring to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s 7-6 vote to block Kwon’s nomination.

“That should never happen again,” he said. “And I’m hoping by having this discussion right here and right now, that it will never happen again.”

O’Toole and Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan convened the press conference to address the concerns of North Jersey’s growing Korean community, who have expressed concern with the political back-and-forth that lead to Kwon’s rejected nomination.

WABC/Ch. 7’s Liz Cho goes into the OR to uncover tales of organ donors
New York Daily News

Growing up in a house where dad was a pioneering transplant surgeon, Liz Cho was used to hearing about operations — and, yes, occasionally having a photo from the operating room mixed in with family vacation shots.

Because of that background, it was a no-brainer that Cho would be the choice to host “Connected for Life,” a special tied to National Organ Donor Awareness Month that stems from a partnership between WABC/Ch. 7 and New York Presbyterian Hospital.

“It was very much a part of my life growing up,” she says of organ donation.

“Connected for Life” airs Saturday at 7 p.m. It eyes how New York lags in donations and what can be done to improve the situation. Cho and executive producer Nancy Geraghty Kennedy provide a look through the eyes of the parents of an 18-month-old boy waiting for a new heart and the family of a 24-year-old man killed in a car accident whose organs were donated to others, including his former Little League coach.

Transmission LA: AV Club: Roy Choi, Mike D + Gangster Food Love
LA Weekly

It’s not as if Roy Choi (Chego, A-Frame, Kogi, the world) doesn’t have lots of things to do in his off hours, what few there are of them. But if Mike D (Beastie Boys, the world) asks you to cook some food, you’d probably do it to. Or, to quote the chef, “I don’t know where you come from but in my world if Mike D steps to me, I listen.”

What Mike D asked Choi to step into, so to speak, is Transmission LA: AV Club, a 17-day festival at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. As part of the festival, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from April 20 through May 6, Choi will run an outdoor pop-up restaurant, each day with a different original addition to the Kogi menu. Or, as Choi put it, “I want to extend what we do on the streets one step further into an exploration of flavor and straight gangster love.”

How wildlife is thriving in the Korean peninsula’s demilitarised zone
The Guardian (U.K.)

A thin green ribbon threads its way across the Korean Peninsula. Viewed from space, via composite satellite images, the winding swath clearly demarcates the political boundary between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Its visual impact is especially strong in the west, where it separates the gray, concrete sprawl of Seoul from the brown, deforested wastes south of Kaesong. In the east, it merges with the greener landscapes of the Taebaek Mountain Range and all but disappears.

From the ground, the narrow verdant band manifests as an impenetrable barrier of overgrown vegetation enclosed by layers of fences topped by menacing concertina wire and dotted with observation posts manned by heavily armed soldiers. That a place so steeped in violence still teems with life seems unimaginable. And yet, the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, is home to thousands of species that are extinct or endangered elsewhere on the peninsula. It is the last haven for many of these plants and animals and the centre of attention for those intent on preserving Korea’s rich ecological heritage.

Forget RoboCop: Robo-guard Patrols Korean Prisons, Foresees Trouble
PC World

While there are a number of robots in fiction created to fight crime or hang out with the heroes of the plot line, few ideas for robotic cops have surfaced in real life. But prisons in South Korea are now testing a robot designed to make the roughest of cell blocks safer for both guards and prisoners.

Robo-guard displays its smarts in the way it interacts with humans: As it patrols corridors containing inmates, it can sense how a person is feeling. If it senses any abnormalities, it will transmit its data in real-time to the control center for further action.

Detention, Your High School on Skittles and Red Bull
Boston Globe

All the better to be beaten into submission by Joseph Kahn, who directed and co-wrote this movie and happens to be Korean-American and, beginning in the early 1990s, happens to have made an indigestible number of melt-in-your-mouth music videos.

Once upon a time, MTV had a feature called a rock block, in which it played a bunch of clips by a single artist. “Detention” is a Joseph Kahn rock block. Being forced to submit to it is like being assaulted by a bag of Skittles. But, eventually, a kind of clarity sets in – for us. The movie itself is never truly clear. If it’s also never intentionally bad, its unintentional badness keeps blasting into shockingly clever places.

This is ostensibly a prom-bound tangle of freaks and geeks. (The cast includes Josh Hutcherson, Spencer Locke, Shanley Caswell, Aaron David Johnson, Marque Richardson, and Principal Dane Cook). So-and-so likes such-and-such and on-and-on. But Kahn and his co-writer, Mark Palermo, toss in a 1992-bound time machine built inside an enormous animatronic bear; a bullying jock who’s also part housefly; a school-massacre detour; and a “Scream”/“Saw” horror-farce called “Cinderhella” that basically explains how a Lady Gaga slasher franchise would go. The kids wind up having to go back three decades in order to save themselves from themselves.

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