Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts honor veterans
Los Angeles Daily News
[Pfc. Samuel Sungjune Lee], a Korean-American soldier who died less than two weeks before his 20th birthday while serving in the Army during the Iraq War, was unknown to the members of Boy Scout Troop 777, based out of Koreatown.
But his service and death carried special significance to the group, which had made it tradition to seek out all Korean-American soldiers buried at the cemetery to pay tribute. So far, they had found five.
Slain Qns. woman blew boyfriend’s life savings gambling: landlady
New York Post
A Queens man who allegedly stabbed his girlfriend to death was furious with her for gambling away his life savings and leaving him thousands of dollars in debt, his landlady said yesterday.
Feuk Youn Yoon, 56, and Yunhee Shin, 57, were fighting in his basement apartment on 214th Street in Bayside just before he allegedly killed her, police said.
Firefighters responding to calls reporting a small blaze in the home found Shin on the bed with two knife wounds to the neck and Yoon in a closet trying to hang himself.
30 North Korean officials involved in South talks die ‘in traffic accidents’
The Telegraph (U.K.)
Thirty officials of the North Korean regime who were involved in talks with South Korea have been executed or died in “staged traffic accidents,” according to a human rights report.
Theater artists find depth in search for families
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Sun Mee Chomet and Katie Hae Leo, both adoptees, talk about their search for their relatives in Korea.
S. Korean student graduates Harvard as ‘highest ranking undergraduate’
A South Korean student has graduated from Harvard University as a “highest ranking undergraduate,” the first time a Korean student has won the honor.
Economics major Jin Kwon-young, 20, and one other graduate were assessed equal best of 1,552 students who graduated from the prestigious university in a ceremony on Thursday.
The Harvard Business Student Who Landed a Spot on the Home Shopping Network & Created Her Own Skincare Line
By age 25, Grace Choi had already invented four medical devices. By age 26, her first consumer retail invention in jewelry was picked up by the Home Shopping Network, following a televised nationwide search by TV personality Kelly Ripa. And now, as a Harvard MBA, she’s debuting her all-in-one cosmetic skincare line: Grace Choi Porcelian Skin BB Cream.
Asian-American Week: Korean-American Pop Star’s Popularity Extends To New York
He’s a singer, dancer and rapper but his fans say that still doesn’t begin to describe Jay Park’s talent.
The 25-year-old Korean-American phenom has millions of fans across Asia. But if you want proof of his popularity in New York, look no further than a line for his recent concert in Midtown that wound around the corner and stretched for several blocks 8 hours before the show.
“I guess I’m a really dedicated Jay Park fan,” said one fan who waited for over 24 hours for tickets. “I don’t want to take the chance that anyone else got those front-row seats. I’m making sure I’m here first.”
A Rapper Ravaged By An Online Firestorm
Wired‘s Josh Davis speaks with NPR about his recent follow-up article on the Tablo online witch hunt. Stupid Koreans.
Earlier this month, 12 people who posted false accusations online were put on trial in Korea for criminal defamation against Tablo. They could face jail time.
Meanwhile, Tablo has recorded a new album about his ordeal, named Fever’s End. It’s put him right back at the top of the charts, but after such an experience, he’s still not ready to perform publicly again.
SDSU’s Kang has big personality to match game
San Diego Union-Tribune
Soon, [Alex] Kang will turn pro after his final season at SDSU, but this week he is a critical player in the Aztecs’ hopes to win their first NCAA championship in men’s golf. The national tournament begins Tuesday at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. The top eight teams after three rounds of stroke play will advance to single-elimination match play. The champion will be decided on Sunday.
Conger misses callup opportunity with injury
The messages began rolling in for Hank Conger on May 11, the day Angels catcher Chris Iannetta underwent right wrist surgery and John Hester was called up to take his place on the roster.
“People were like, ‘Where you at? Why aren’t they calling you up?’” Conger recalled.
And that’s when the Angels’ prospect catcher would have to explain that he’s on the Minor League disabled list, rehabbing a right elbow injury that dates back to the second series of the Triple-A season and has had him on the shelf for more than a month.
B.J. Penn doesn’t think Frankie Edgar deserves UFC Title rematch with Ben Henderson
Appearing on Thursday’s MMA Uncensored Live on Spike TV, former UFC Lightweight Champion B.J. Penn discusses why he doesn’t think Frankie Edgar deserved a rematch against Benson Henderson.
Visions of the Hermit Kingdom
Wall Street Journal
Chances are, you aren’t going to North Korea any time soon. But armchair travelers can take a virtual tour with “Architectural and Cultural Guide Pyongyang,” edited by Philipp Meuser (DOM Publishers, $49.95).
It’s a two-volume set, the first of which contains photographs and descriptions from the North Korean government’s Pyongyang Foreign Languages Publishing House. The contract required Mr. Meuser to run the images with the official captions, without critical commentary. So volume two provides more photos, history and context, with essays on topics like urban planning, mass gymnastics and propaganda posters.
Here are some videos we’re watching this week at KoreAm.
Heejun Han – Right Here Waiting – Top 12 American Idol
Korean American Idol Heejun Han sings the Dick Marx 1989 classic, “Right Here Waiting” as contestants are forced to sing a song from the year of their birth.
Dia Frampton Covers 2NE1′s “Lonely”
Dia Frampton, who stared on NBC’s “The Voice,” sits down and sings a cover of 2NE1′s hit “Lonely.” The acoustic cover fills the room with English lyrics to the K-pop song.
Interview with Dia Frampton
Dia answers questions about her upbringing, what to expect in the future and many more since she appeared on “The Voice.”
Ben Henderson’s Signature Moves
Fuel TV slows down some of Ben Henderson’s famous moves from his UFC fights. The fighter then explains the moves in detail.
Rolling in the Deep – Guzheng Edition
It doesn’t get more old school than the guzheng, the ancestor to Korea’s gayageum. This particular guzheng player meets old school with new school by plucking the strings to Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.”
The Adventures of Kim Jong Un
College Humor animates a hilarious cartoon about North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and his adventures running the country.
Japanese Hand-Crank Vending Machines
After the tsunami in Japan, vending machines became extremely important for the Japanese people as they recovered from the disaster. Vending machines carried items essential for living and the vending machine company Sanden recognized this instantly. Sanden created a vending machine that ran on a hand crank just in case power goes out so that people still had the chance to get needed items.
Sungha Jung – Isn’t She Lovely (Ukelele Version)
Famous for his amazing guitar arrangements, teenager Sungha Jung, brings another arrangement, Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely.” Instead of arranging for the guitar, however, Sungha plays the song on the ukelele.
Kobayashi Gets Cheesy at SXSW
At SXSW (South By Southwest), Japanese eating machine Takeru Kobayashi broke yet another world record. In one minute, Kobayashi scarfed down 13 grilled cheese sandwiches. The category for eating grilled cheese sandwiches in a minute was new and set on Sunday. Previously, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut ate 49 grilled cheese sandwiches in 10 minutes.
North and South Korean Diplomats Scuffle
On March 13, at the United Nations building in Geneva, Switzerland, North Korean and South Korean diplomats scuffled with one another. A number of people and cameras were caught in the middle and in the end, one diplomat repeats, “Please save North Korean refugees.”
If you have more videos you’d like us to see, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Korean Leader Threatens ‘Retaliatory Strike’ Against South
New York Times
The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered the military to launch a “powerful retaliatory strike” if provoked by the South, the North’s state-run media reported on Sunday.
Mr. Kim’s statement, issued during a visit to military units on the country’s southern coast that faces a string of islands manned by South Korean marines, comes a day before the United States and South Korea are scheduled to begin a massive joint military exercise.
North Korea Stance on Nuclear Plan Unchanged
New York Times
North Korea said on Saturday that “nuclear weapons are not the monopoly of the United States,” a day after an American special envoy reported after two days of talks with North Korean officials that there was little change in their negotiating style on their nuclear programs under a new leadership taking shape in Pyongyang.
The talks, intended to start the process of ridding North Korea of any nuclear weapons, ended without any concrete results.
Business dispute, La. gun battle eyed in Norcross shooting
Jeong Soo Paek arranged for store space in a strip mall in Conyers, obtained business permits from the city and made plans for the grand opening of a spa. He just needed more money, police said Friday.
But police said when his two sisters and their husbands wouldn’t repay money he had given them so they could open their own spa in Norcross, Paek fatally shot them and then turned the gun on himself.
Paek had planned to open his own spa this week, Norcross Police Chief Warren Summers said. “Obviously, that didn’t happen,” the chief said.
Paek had borrowed money from someone else to fund the spa in Conyers and needed more to cover additional costs, Summers said.
“There may have been some discussions about money” with family members, Summers said. “There was some part of the discussion that led to the shooting.”
Dr. Ken Jeong’s Stripper Inspection
Before Ken Jeong was jumping out of trunks naked and straddling Bradley Cooper’s head while beating him with a crowbar, he was a doctor. Today’s story is about Ken’s discovery—at his bachelor party—that being a physician sort of sucks when you’re trying to get a stripper who’s worried about her gallbladder or being pregnant to sit on your face.
Choe Is Sully Police Officer of Year
Connection Newspapers (Fairfax County, Va.)
There were smiles all around when PFC Roy Choe was honored Tuesday night as the Sully District Police Station’s 2011 Officer of the Year. He was selected by the station’s Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) and feted in front of his family and colleagues.
“This is a great night, especially for Roy,” said Second Lt. Ryan Morgan who wrote the letter nominating Choe. “I supervised him, the past year, and he can be best described by his selflessness and devotion to duty.”
“He is one of a very few Korean officers in our agency and has done an outstanding job for the Sully District and Police Department, as a whole,” added Lt. John Trace, assistant commander of the Sully District Station.
K-Town, Little Tokyo Lose in Redistricting Vote
On Wednesday night, the Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission voted 16-5 to approve a map redrawing boundaries that will remove Little Tokyo from the 9th Council District and divide Koreatown into the 10th and 13th Council Districts.
The vote came after an eight-hour session in City Council chambers that left few happy with the newly drawn council district map. Every 10 years Los Angeles City Council lines are redrawn to account for changes in the population as tabulated in the Census. The goal is to have equal population in each of the 15 districts. The new district map must also comply with the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Grace Yoo, executive director of the Korean American Coalition, said KAC and other Asian American organizations, including the Korean American Bar Association, are seeking to file a lawsuit to fight the proposed district boundaries. The map now goes to the City Council, which will cast the final vote.
“I know what a lawsuit takes, they’re causing such an injustice, such a cheating and scamming of democracy that as someone who believes that our American system of government is better than any other. I have to do my part to defend democracy,” said Yoo.
South Korean journalists focus their cameras on Camden
Cruising the city in their silver Honda Odyssey van, a trio of South Korean journalists looked around Camden in awe.
The poverty. The abandonment. The open-air drug markets.
“In Seoul, because it’s the capital, we have some crime. But we do not have this kind of serious crime,” said Yurie Kim, Washington-based coordinator for the Korean Broadcasting System, the largest South Korean television network.
The group was in Camden this week to tape a 50-minute documentary on the effect of the economic downturn in the United States.
Store Owner Fights Back After Several Robberies
FOX 31 Denver
A botched robbery sends a would-be criminal to the hospital after the store owner takes matters into his own hands.
At 7:00 pm Saturday night, two would-be robbers walked into the Cambio de Cheques at 7001 West Colfax in Lakewood, sprayed mace in the face of the store’s owner, Yong Pak, and demanded money.
According to police, Pak grabbed his own gun and fired it at one of the suspects hitting him in the leg. The suspect suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Neighboring businesses tell FOX31 Denver, the owner of the check cashing store has been robbed three times over the past few months and last night the store’s owner finally had enough.
Huh edges Allenby in playoff to triumph in Mexico
American rookie John Huh won his first PGA Tour title in only his fifth start by beating Australian Robert Allenby in a marathon playoff at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico Sunday.
Huh, who had never competed on the U.S. circuit until this year, sealed victory at the eighth extra hole to deny the 40-year-old Allenby a first PGA Tour win since the 2001 Pennsylvania Classic.
New UFC Champ to Visit Ancestral Home with Korean Mom
With the champion’s belt around his waist, [Benson] Henderson ran to the audience and hugged his Korean mother Kim Sung-hwa to share the joyous moment. Henderson wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the Korean national flag on its right shoulder, and the U.S. star spangled banner on its left shoulder. A tattoo on his left arm showed his name written in Korean characters, which he said shows his family background.
Angels’ Hank Conger is working to be a finished product
Los Angeles Times
Young catcher is trying to stick with the big league club for good, but after a rough patch last season and with the likelihood that the Angels won’t carry three catchers, he might be headed back to triple A for more seasoning.
Tampa Bay Rays excited to get look at top shortstop prospect Hak-Ju Lee
Tampa Bay Times
Realistically, SS Hak-Ju Lee knows he needs more experience in the minor leagues. But when the question was asked Saturday about the majors, the promising 21-year-old prospect couldn’t resist.
“I’m ready now,” he said.
The talented South Korean is a nonroster invitee to camp, and manager Joe Maddon and other Rays are excited to get their first look at him.
New Diet Fad Causes Lemon Imports to Surge
Given the explosive popularity of the “lemon detox diet” among women in their 20s and 30s in Korea, lemons are selling like hotcakes. Since the diet was introduced here last year, it has become an instant hit. It requires dieters to drink two liters of water diluted with 180 ml of squeezed lemon juice a day, while dramatically cutting their intake of food.
Hologram Piece – Casper Kang
Mixed martial arts fighter Benson Henderson won the UFC lightweight title last Saturday, scoring a unanimous decision victory over Frankie Edgar at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Henderson proved to be too much for his smaller opponent as he delivered a number of stunning blows including a vicious kick in the second round that broke Edgar’s nose and sent blood gushing.
“I wanted to use my size to my advantage,” Henderson said, according to the Associated Press. “Making weight is really (a struggle) for me … so I want to make sure my opponents feel that pain when we have 25 minutes inside this octagon.” Continue Reading »
Robot Prison Guards Roll Out
Wall Street Journal
As it seeks to become a leader in robotic technology, South Korea is about to put a new type of droid through its paces: a robot prison guard.
Under a project sponsored by the Ministry of Justice, trials of the robots will be held for a month at a jail in the city of Pohang, southeast of Seoul, from March. The robots are designed to patrol the corridors of corrective institutions, monitoring conditions inside the cells. If they detect sudden or unusual activity such as violent behavior they alert human guards.
Did the Novel ‘Native Speaker’ Foreshadow The Liu Fundraiser Scandal?
Wall Street Journal
A councilman from Queens, an Asian immigrant who’s traveled the striver’s path to success, rises to New York’s political heights with the support of a multicultural coalition of voters. His reformist zeal and unique ability to unite fragmented factions — blacks, Latinos, Asians and labor — make him a media darling and a serious contender for what some call the second-most powerful office in America: mayor of New York. But when an Asian American agent is sent undercover to probe the roots of his success, allegations of an illicit immigrant money ring surface, threatening to derail this rising star’s ambitions.
You might recognize this as the story of city comptroller John Liu, who’s gone from Flushing, Queens councilman to putative frontrunner in the race to replace Mayor Bloomberg in 2013 — only to have that status rocked last week by the high-profile arrest of one of his major fundraisers, Oliver Pan, over alleged financial improprieties. Liu, New York City’s chief financial officer and the first Asian-American to hold citywide office, said in a statement that he was “saddened” by the allegations: “If it is true, then the conduct was clearly wrong and my campaign was not told the truth.”
Uncannily, however, the controversy also happens to mirror the basic plot of a novel written in 1995: Chang-Rae Lee’s acclaimed PEN/Hemingway award-winning debut, “Native Speaker.” Reached in Princeton, where he’s a professor of creative writing at the university’s Lewis Center for the Arts, Lee admits to being a bit spooked by the seeming coincidence.
Martin Scorsese Gives a Thumbs Up to UCI Professor Kyung Hyun Kim’s Cinema Book
It’s not often that an academic tome–even one related to film–snags a forward written by legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, whose latest movie Hugo coincidentally opens nationwide today.
But Kyung Hyun Kim, UC Irvine’s associate professor of East Asian languages & literatures and film & media studies, won those bragging rights, and like else everything in Hollywood it all started with the right connections.
U.S. ambassador to Seoul confident of enduring ties with Korea
U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Sung Kim expressed confidence in the resilience of the ties between his country and South Korea, saying he believes the friendship between the U.S. and the country of his birth will survive any challenge.
In his second blog post since taking office earlier this month, the Korean-American ambassador said two of his main missions here are to “strengthen and deepen” both the bilateral alliance and people-to-people ties. He is the first Korean-American to serve as Washington’s top envoy to Seoul since the sides established diplomatic relations 129 years ago.
Tales from Asia: Benson Henderson’s tour through Korea and Japan
Last week, I was honored to be asked by the UFC to represent them in Korea and Japan. This is my first time overseas, which these days seems to put me in a minority. But I am looking forward to the great events and festivities that are lined up.
The main purpose of this trip is to visit with many of our American troops here in Korea. These men and women do so much for our country, and have to spend so much time away from their loved ones to accomplish that. We sometimes take that for granted.
I also wanted to take this trip for a very personal reason. I am a second-generation Korean-American, and I am visiting my mother’s home country. My Oma (mom) is accompanying me on this trip. Over the weekend, she will get to see many of her family members for the first time in years, and I will be meeting them for the first time EVER! Being able to share this trip with my Oma makes it so much more special.
I never really thought I’d come visit Korea until I was much older and retired, but the UFC has made it a reality. As I am writing this, we are driving through a very beautiful and slightly overwhelming downtown Seoul.
Half-Korean mixed martial artist proud of heritage
Ben Henderson, a U.S. mixed martial artist born to a Korean-American mother and an African-American father, speaks only little Korean.
But that hasn’t stopped him from tattooing Korean characters onto his lithe, yet chiseled frame: his own name, as well as the words for “power,” “glory” and “warrior.”
In an interview with Yonhap News Agency Thursday, Henderson, a Colorado native, said he takes great pride in his heritage.
“I am very proud to be part-Korean, to have Korean in my blood,” Henderson said in a phone conversation Thursday. He was visiting the demilitarized zone (DMZ) as part of an ongoing tour in South Korea, and he’s also scheduled to visit U.S. troops and spend some time with his mother’s family. This is his first trip to his mother’s homeland.
“I think Koreans… have a lot of pride,” he said. “I think that’s where I get it from, from my Korean side.”
UC Berkeley student briefly sets up tent on Chancellor’s lawn, moves to Sproul
The Daily Californian
While most UC Berkeley students chose to head home for the Thanksgiving break, senior Alex Kim decided to do something decidedly different early Thursday morning.
Kim cancelled his plane ticket home and instead lugged camping equipment and his pet cat Obi to Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s front lawn around 5 a.m. There he pitched a tent in solidarity with the Occupy Cal movement that has shaken the campus over the last three weeks.
Interview with Two Brothers Making Products They Love
Terrence and Kevin Kim are two Korean American brothers from New Jersey who had a dream. Instead of going down the usual post-college-graduate path that most 22-year-olds follow after their education is complete, the brothers decided to pack up a suitcase each and head for Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China.
Fast forward to the end of 2011, and the brothers have traveled all around China and Korea to experience the cultures of both countries by visiting factories, fabric markets, and sight seeing. Influenced by the traditional art, architecture, fabrics, dyeing, monks, etc., they decided to make their dream a reality.
Student kills mother, keeps body at home for 8 months
A high school student is suspected of having killed his mother and keeping the body hidden for eight months at their home after being pressured by her to get higher exam scores.
Gwangjin Police in eastern Seoul said Thursday they have requested an arrest warrant for the 18-year-old high school senior, identified as Ji, on suspicions of murdering his mother, 51-year-old Park. Ji is suspected of having stabbed his mother to death at their home in eastern Seoul at around 11 a.m. on March 13. The body was kept in her room for eight months.
According to police, Park kept telling her son that he must enter a top-class university and should rank first in nationwide exams. When he obtained lower scores than her expectations, she didn’t give him food or forced him to stay awake at night to study. Being afraid of her scolding, Ji had fabricated grade reports since middle school. His fear grew as his test scores fell after entering high school.
New research reveals the reasons we shop on Black Friday
Sang-Eun Byun, an assistant professor of consumer affairs at Auburn University in Alabama, surveyed hundreds of shoppers at Zara and H&M and found that the limited availability of goods in those stores excited the customers. Even though it wasn’t Black Friday, she said her findings hold true for any shopping situation in which high-value goods are scarce.
Ordinarily, Byun said, shoppers are turned off by crowds. But when crowds create a sense of competition — such as when hundreds of shoppers are rushing to collect marked-down goods — they generate a different feeling entirely. Competition creates what’s called hedonic shopping value, or a sense of enjoyment from the mere process of buying goods.
“At certain levels, consumers enjoy arousal and challenges during the shopping process,” Byun said. “They enjoy something that’s harder to get, and it makes them feel playful and excited.”
North Korea Warns South on Maritime Drills
New York Times
North Korea warned on Thursday that any military clash on a disputed maritime border could escalate into an attack on the presidential office in Seoul, threatening to engulf the South Korean leadership “in a sea of fire.”
The threat came one day after South Korea conducted military drills near Yeonpyeong, a front-line island west of Seoul. The display of firepower was timed to mark the first anniversary of the North Korean artillery attack on Yeonpyeong, which killed two marines and two civilians.
Hines Ward’s status unlikely to change
Hines Ward’s reduced status does not look as though it will change any time soon, which begs this question: Are we watching the final games of the brilliant career of the Steelers most prolific and decorated receiver?
Golfer Kevin Na Thanks Fans with Charity Tournament
Korean American golfer Kevin Na, who won his first U.S. PGA title on his 211th attempt and his eighth year on the Tour early last month, will hold a charity tournament under his name near Los Angeles on Dec. 8.
Marijuana plants worth $3 million found in Rosemead home
Pasadena Star News (Calif.)
Looks like a mullet is required to be a member of the Asian Boyz.
Deputies looking for Asian Boyz gang members wanted in a machete attack also discovered 1,400 marijuana plants worth about $3 million growing in a house on Wednesday.
In addition, authorities seized Ectasy pills and methamphetamine at a house next to the pot grow. They arrested a man and two teens for the assault plus two other people for the drug possession.
Sgt. Steve Kim of the Sheriff’s Asian Gang Team said 30 deputies served search and arrest warrants at five Rosemead locations at 6:30 a.m.
Being a TNA Knockout means everything to Gail Kim
It’s been a strange couple of months for current TNA Knockouts Champion Gail Kim. Back in August the Canadian-born grappler controversially went against instructions and eliminated herself from the Divas Battle Royal match on the August 1st episode of Monday Night Raw. A few days later Kim announced on Twitter that she had quit WWE, however, she was not permitted to leave.
What followed was a stunning standoff between WWE and their former Women’s Champion, which saw her forced to sit out the remainder of her contract. Kim’s decision to eliminate herself caused quite a bit of controversy, with some figures in the wrestling world who called her actions unprofessional, although Kim stands by the decision she made.