Samsung to Respond to Allegations of Lethal Chemical Exposure of Its Workers
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: April 15th, 2014
Filed Under: BLOG
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Hwang Sang-ki, with his daughter Yu-mi, before her death in 2007 from leukemia. Image via Electronics Take Back Coalition

The increasing profile and growing public outrage over allegations of lethal chemical exposure of workers at Samsung Electronics Co. has prompted the company to say that it will be releasing its official response to the issue soon.

It will be Samsung’s first public statement on the deaths of dozens of its workers from leukemia and other rare cancers, which family members and activists claim was a direct result of lethal chemical exposure at its chip-making plants. Samsung’s breaking of its silence, seven years after the allegations first arose, follows a recent storm of attention in the media. An extensive report from Bloomberg Businessweek released on April 10—the same day Samsung released its flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone—told the story of Hwang Yu-mi, a woman who at age 18 went to work at a Samsung semiconductor plant in 2003 and was dead from leukemia by age 22. The article also detailed her father’s ongoing struggle to expose the truth about what happened to her and the larger movement he launched to call attention to the dangerous use of carcinogens at electronics factories.

A movie based on her story, titled Another Promise, was released in February this year, and Empire of Shame, a documentary detailing a further 57 cases of leukemia and other blood-related cancers across several Samsung plants—including that of Yu-mi’s coworker—premiered in early March. Samsung declined to discuss specific cases for the Bloomberg article, saying in a statement that it spent about $88 million in 2011 on the maintenance and improvement of its safety infrastructure. Continue Reading »

Korean Adoptee Seeks Bone Marrow Match
Author: Chelsea Hawkins
Posted: August 21st, 2013
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Photo via Boston Globe

A Korean American adoptee from the Boston area is trying to reconnect with the Korean community — but this isn’t about understanding her ethnic roots, this is a matter of life and death. Mandy Manocchino-Putney has been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and is on an urgent search to find a bone marrow donor.

Unfortunately, there are a limited number of donors among non-white communities and the possibility of finding a match is quite slim. While Caucasians have a 93 percent chance of finding a donor among the 10.5 million currently in the registry, Asian Americans only have a 73 percent chance.

According to the Boston Globe, the problem that faces Manocchino-Putney is one of genetics. Successful bone marrow donors must come from the same genetic background. Continue Reading »

Friday’s Link Attack: Japan’s North Korea Visit ‘Not Helpful’; Tiger Moms; Shin-Soo Choo
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: May 17th, 2013
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S. Korea calls Japan visit to N. Korea ‘unhelpful’
AFP via Google News

South Korea Thursday criticised an “unhelpful” visit to North Korea by a senior aide to Japan’s prime minister, saying it weakened the united front needed to deal with Pyongyang.

Isao Iijima arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday on a visit that clearly surprised both Seoul and Washington, which have been working closely with Tokyo on coordinating North Korea policy.

On Thursday he met the ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-Nam, Pyongyang’s state media reported without saying what was discussed.

North Korea: Follow my leader
The Economist

WESTERN politicians like to grandstand about North Korea, calling its leaders “mad”, “rogue” or “tinpot” (The Economist has been known to do this too.) In fact, North Korea is the world’s most rational despotic regime: a highly successful Communist absolute monarchy. Kim Jong Il, son of the country’s Stalinist founder, Kim Il Sung, failed as a leader by any of the usual standards—he enforced North Korea’s isolation and presided over a famine that killed between 400,000 and 2m people. But he succeeded in what counts. He lived a long time, died peacefully in late 2011 and passed power on to his son. In the same way that betting once raged about how briefly Kim Jong Il would last after his father’s death in 1994, so too are outsiders now calling time on North Korea’s fun-loving heir, Kim Jong Un (pictured). It may be a triumph of hope over experience.

Andrei Lankov is an arch-realist. The author of an incisive new book, “The Real North Korea”, he grew up in Soviet Russia, studied for a while at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang and now teaches at Kookmin University in Seoul. He is rare in having an unsentimental feel for the regime’s psychology of survival and for the mindset of those outsiders who would like to change North Korea but who, in the process, often succumb to wishful thinking.

North Korean cyber-rattling
The Economist

AMERICANS have grown accustomed to North Korean nuclear petulance. Now they are learning to live with its cyber sabre-rattling. Earlier this month the Department of Defence delivered a report to Congress accusing the hermit kingdom’s expanding army of “cyber-warriors” of using foreign infrastructure, such as broadband networks, to launch cyber-attacks on American allies, most notably South Korea.

Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s fresh-faced dictator, is said to have 4,000 loyal cyber-warriors at his disposal. Brightest sparks at the sharp end of Songbun, the North’s rigid social hierarchy, are plucked from school to train as elite hackers. Following graduation they are often posted in China and Europe to wreak digital havoc, says Sun Chul Kim, a cyber-security expert at Korea University in Seoul.

According to American report, cyber-warfare is a cost-effective way for North Korea to boost its military capabilities, which may explain the keen interest Mr Kim has taken in it. Prominent web security analysts such as Rob Rachwald of FireEye, an American firm, agree that the tools used in a recent cyber-attack on South Korea could have cost just tens of thousands of dollars, compared to the estimated $1.3 billion the North spent on its rocket programme last year.

Ex-S. Korean sex slaves arrive in Japan for rallies
Yonhap News

Elderly South Korean women that were forced into sex slavery by Japan during World War II arrived in Hiroshima Friday to hold a series of rallies to inform Japanese of the suffering caused by their ancestors, a Japanese news agency said.

Their visit came amid repeated offensive remarks made by Japanese politicians that distort history. In the latest incident, Osaka mayor and co-leader of the conservative Japan Restoration Party Toru Hashimoto said that then sex slavery was “necessary,” claiming that other countries also had similar systems in place during war.

In rebuttal to his remarks, two former sex slaves (euphemistically called “comfort women”), 88-year-old Kim Bok-dong and 86-year-old Kil Won-ok, suggested that he must not be aware of the suffering endured by South Korean women who were forced into sexual slavery by Japan, according to Japan’s Kyodo News Service.

Fighting to Clear His Family’s Name
Wall Street Journal

Nearly 50 years ago, Ahn Yong-soo’s life was turned upside-down after his brother went missing during the Vietnam War.

His brother, Sgt. Ahn Hak-soo, was one of about 320,000 South Korean troops deployed to Vietnam from 1965-73 in support of the U.S. and was on a mission near Saigon, now called Ho Chi Minh City, when he disappeared in 1966.

Sgt. Ahn’s whereabouts remained a mystery until seven months later, when he reappeared on a North Korean radio broadcast in 1967 extolling the virtues of life in the North. After the broadcast, Mr. Ahn and the rest of his family were put under surveillance by South Korea’s Defense Security Command, an anti-spy military body.

Cancer is No.1 cause of death in S. Korea
Yonhap News

Cancer is the No. 1 cause of death among South Koreans, the Korean Medical Association’s institute said Thursday, citing data by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The Research Institute for Healthcare Policy said in a report that for every 100,000 South Koreans, 193.7 died from cancer in 2010. This is less than the 211.6 cancer deaths on average among the 34 member states of the OECD.

South Korea ranked as the fifth-lowest country in terms of the cancer mortality rate among the organization that includes the world’s most advanced nations as well as emerging countries, the institute said in the report.

Why tiger moms are great
CNN Opinion

Editor’s note: Grace Liu, a former corporate attorney, is a research officer at California State University, Fresno. She is the vice president of the Central California Asian Pacific American Bar Association.
(CNN) — It’s time for some tiger cubs to approvingly roar for our strict parents, their domineering ways and their inflexibly high standards.

The current depiction of tiger parenting is decidedly negative. Kim Wong Keltner’s book on “Tiger Babies Strike Back” and Su Yeong Kim’s report “Does Tiger Parenting Exist? Parenting Profiles of Chinese Americans and Adolescent Developmental Outcomes” suggest that strict Asian-style parenting produces an army of disengaged or emotionally stunted robots.

While I can’t speak for everyone, my own experience suggests that such upbringing also gives us the smarts to recognize our emotional and social deficiencies and to address them.

Trial opens for ‘female James Bond’ in aspiring model’s death
Los Angeles Times

The opening day of the murder trial of a woman accused of strangling aspiring model and actress Juliana Redding focused on a doctor the victim once dated.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Stacy Okun-Wiese said Redding, 21, was killed by Kelly Soo Park, an associate of a doctor Redding once dated.

Redding was killed five days after her father broke off negotiations on a business deal with her ex-boyfriend, Dr. Munir Uwaydah, prosecutors said in opening statements, and Park’s DNA was discovered on the victim’s neck and clothing and in her apartment.

MOVIE REVIEW: In a Vicious Sadist, the Faintest Glimmer of Soul
New York Times

Morally cunning and with a tone as black as pitch, “Pieta,” the 18th film from the South Korean director Kim Ki-duk, is a deeply unnerving revenge movie in which redemption is dangled like a cat toy before a cougar. The beast in question is Kang-do (Lee Jung-jin), a merciless bag man for a powerful moneylender who cripples slum-dwelling debtors to collect on their insurance claims. As cold to himself as to his clients, he lives in a comfortless flat where the entrails from the previous night’s chicken dinner still decorate the bathroom floor. So when a strange woman (Cho Min-soo) begins to stalk him, claiming to be the mother who abandoned him long ago, Kang-do barely hesitates: he rapes her.

Interview: ‘Top Chef’ Kristen Kish on Her Korean Fried Chicken Addiction, and More
Asia Society

Q: You may be a classically trained French chef, but you are also an admitted Korean fried chicken junkie. What are some other Asian dishes you can’t do without, and why? (And where can we get some?)

A: Korean fried chicken I absolutely love! I love Korean BBQ. My favorite place is Chung Ki Wa, just outside of Boston.
Japchae is one of my favorite noodle dishes and bi bim bap, when it’s right, is something I would eat for breakfast everyday if someone would make it for me.

South Koreans Sing Against Homophobia (VIDEO)
Huffington Post

A few weeks ago I was invited to watch the taping of a video for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) in the second floor of a gym in Seoul. I was greeted with applause.

“I don’t understand,” I said to Lee Jong-geol, the general director of the LGBT group Chingusai (“Between Friends”), who had introduced me to the participants as an American writing about the LGBT movement in Korea. “I haven’t done anything. Why are they clapping?”

“We want as many people to see this video as possible,” Lee confided. “You can help with that.” The South Korean LGBT movement generally has trouble gaining recognition by Western media due to language barriers.

Economics, Game Theory and Jane Austen

Economist Michael Chwe has written a book called “Jane Austen: Game Theorist.” Do you need more of a reason to read this post? Video from Michael Chwe’s YouTube channel.

I’m a specialist in game theory, the mathematical analysis of strategic thinking. Probably the best-known game theorist is John Nash, who received the Nobel Prize in economics and was featured in the movie “A Beautiful Mind.”

I have published mathematical economics papers in journals such as the “Journal of Economic Theory.” But my latest book is built around the theoretical insights of Jane Austen. This popular and beloved writer used little mathematics or economics. But Austen’s novels, written in the early 1800s, anticipated by more than a century the most fundamental game-theoretic concepts, including the emphasis on choice, the theory of utility, and the theoretical analysis of strategic thinking. In fact, Austen’s novels contain game-theoretic insights not yet superseded by modern social science.


Who are you?
I am an American, adopted from Korea, with a Polish last name. I am a daughter to unknown birth parents, daughter to the parents who raised me, sister, wife, stepmom, friend, artist, writer, coach, beekeeper, and admirer of my dog.

What are you?
Hungry. Oh, wait – Well, yes. I love food and love to eat it. Just discovered a new naengmyun place with friends, and that makes me very happy.

I’ve had so many jobs in my life, but currently, I’m an actor. Even on the days when I’m shaking my fist at the sky, I’m grateful to have found something I love this much. If I’m lucky, it combines all the elements that fire me up: great writing, working with wonderful people, and learning about someone else’s world.

Where are you?
A loft in Downtown Los Angeles. There’s a door to the bathroom and a door to the closet. Open spaces rock.

Cincinnati Reds: Jay Bruce and Shin-Soo Choo Create Debate for the Future
Bleacher Report

The Cincinnati Reds got the leadoff man they’ve been looking for in Shin-Soo Choo, but Jay Bruce and others could keep the team from re-signing the leadoff man.

Choo leads the majors in runs scored, on-base percentage and hit by pitches. He is also second in the majors in on-base plus slugging and fourth in walks.

There’s no denying that he has been getting on base and helping the team get on the board. Now the Reds will have to start thinking about how valuable he is to the team.

Over the weekend, a talk show host on 700 WLW, the radio affiliate of the Reds, posed a question to fans during a pregame show: What can the Reds do to afford re-signing Choo?

Cancer in Korean Americans On the Rise
Author: Chelsea Hawkins
Posted: February 28th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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Photo via AMC News

A new report has found that cancer rates in Korean Americans are on the rise, largely due to a knowledge gap.

Cancer is the leading cause of the death among Korean Americans and the problem is exacerbated by the fact many Korean Americans do not get pre-screening which can catch the malignant disease before it spreads, according to a report from George Mason University.

The reasons many Korean immigrants fail to get adequate treatment in the United States is largely attributed to language barriers and a lack of understanding regarding preventative care. The study found only half of Korean Americans diagnosed with colon cancer surveyed knew about colonoscopies; overall, 80 percent of the U.S. population is aware of colonoscopies and their role in catching colon cancer early on. Continue Reading »

Friday’s Link Attack: LA Riots Film, CS Lee, Gold Medalist Yang Hak-seon
Author: Linda Son
Posted: August 10th, 2012
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AHSC helps Asian immigrants afford breast cancer care
KATU (Portland, Ore.)

AHSC helped Young Mee Kim with interpreting, setting up appointments, paying for treatment and getting the support she needed during her recovery process. “Through AHSC this was all resolved so I felt a bit more relieved and could focus on just my fight with this disease,” Kim said. “If it wasn’t for AHSC I’d be in a very difficult situation and my recovery would probably have taken longer.”

Leigh Ann Hahn: Polyglot L.A. Is A Grand Performance

“My goal when I was a child was to be blond-headed and blue-eyed like all the other kids I hung out with, but that was never going to happen. “So eventually I realized I didn’t necessarily want to change, but I did want to blend in. The idea of living in Los Angeles was really appealing to me because Los Angeles is a polyglot community.

A Korean American zenith [OPINION]
The Korea Times

This November, the Korean-American community needs to choose the best candidate to represent its unique needs and views in the Oval Office for the next four years. It isn’t much of a choice. There is only one candidate who, throughout his career, has consistently supported and committed to Korean-Americans. During his first term as president, Barack Obama has set a historic precedent in making Asian-American issues a priority for his administration.

1992 riots the centerpiece of Korean American Film Festival
Los Angeles Times

Continuing through Saturday, the first Korean American Film Festival Los Angeles features 24 movies (including narrative and short films and documentaries), with its centerpiece program of five movies focusing on the Korean American perspective on the riots 20 years later. All screenings take place at the Korean Cultural Center, 5505 Wilshire Blvd.

Courtroom tension boils in Apple-Samsung showdown

It was the end of a long week in court in the Apple-Samsung legal war, and Samsung attorney John Quinn was trying to block his adversary, Apple attorney Bill Lee, from showing the jury a document. As Quinn made his argument to U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, he slipped in a reference to Koh’s pre-trial order blocking sales of some Samsung products — a subject Koh had forbidden the parties from discussing in front of the jury.

Minority Business Leaders: Shinjoo Cho
Philadelphia Business Journal

Shinjoo Cho did not take a traditional route to her job as technical assistance and outreach manager for the Philadelphia Department of Commerce. A native of South Korea, Cho studied piano performance and pedagogy (the art of teaching ) at the Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, N.J.

K-Town Episode 5: Korean Speed Dating and SCARLET SMASH!
San Francisco Weekly

As much as I love K-Town, I must quibble with the show’s refusal to coherently tie up loose ends. In Episode 5, there’s no mention of Young’s lapdance imbroglio, though, I’ll let it slide because it opens with some of his own impromptu dancing while Prince Jowe impressively beat-boxes Wu-Tang Clan’s “Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit.”

Asbury Methodist Church welcomes Rev. Hyekyung Pauline Kang as its new pastor

Rev. Kang is a first generation Korean-American. Since 1985, when she began her theological studies at Drew University, she served as a pastor for children and youth in various churches until she took a full-time position in 2002 as educational minister at Korean Community Church in Englewood.

Yang Hak-seon vaults from poor beginnings
The Hankyoreh

The nineteen-year-old seemed trepidacious. His Kakao Talk profile read, “Yang! Hak! Seon! Shoooow your coooourage!!!!!” Such was the urgency. A few days before, he had dreamed of being shunned by his cohorts at the Taereung Athletes’ Village, national training center for South Korean athletes, for failing to win a medal. Even the springboard at North Greenwich Arena was causing problems: the springs were too strong for his body weight. Chances of gold? Ninety-nine percent. And even that was just a possibility. Nobody could say for certain. But the Korea National Sport University student was as courageous as he had to be on the Olympic stage. More than that: he was flawless.

Korean Coca-Cola More Harmful Than Made-in-USA
Korea Times via New America Media

A consumer group claims that Coca-Cola produced in South Korea has 24 times the amount of a harmful substance than that manufactured in the United States.

Consumers Korea released a statement Friday citing a report made by the U.S.-based Center for Science in the Public Interest, that Coke made in Korea had 96 micrograms (ug) of the chemical 4 methylimidizole (4-MI), far exceeding amounts in the soda produced in China at 56 ug, and Japan, 72 ug.

Soft autonomous robot inches along like an earthworm

Now researchers at MIT, Harvard University and Seoul National University have engineered a soft autonomous robot that moves via peristalsis, crawling across surfaces by contracting segments of its body, much like an earthworm. The robot, made almost entirely of soft materials, is remarkably resilient: Even when stepped upon or bludgeoned with a hammer, the robot is able to inch away, unscathed.

The INNERview #20 “C.S. Lee” A famous Korean American Actor at Hollywood Part.2

Arirang TV’s INNERview meets with top celebrities and renowned Koreans in the arts, sports, and entertainment, as well as renowned personalities from abroad who have come to visit Korea.

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