A deadly earthquake rocked China over the weekend, leaving more than 180 dead and thousands injured. But in the midst of the disaster, one journalist remained steadfast: Chen Ying abandoned her own wedding in pursuit of the story.
The young woman can be seen in the brief video clip below calmly darting around and interviewing people in the city of Yaan, located in southwestern China’s Sichuan province, while wearing a full wedding dress, veil and all.
Photo via JoongAng Daily
Three Chinese women were caught attempting to enter the United States illegally by way of a Korean jumbo jet.
The women, in their 20s and 30s, boarded a “flight from Incheon to Hong Kong on March 27 but could not be accounted for after boarding,” Chosun Ilbo reports.
They boarded an Asiana Airlines flight in Vladivostok, Russia and were apparently hiding in a compartment above the rest area for the cabin crew at the back of the Boeing 747-400 plane. Continue Reading »
A journalist incarcerated in China for almost four months says he still has no regrets about his risky work reporting news about North Korea.
by JOHN CHA
illustration by INKI CHO
THE LAST THING Lee Sang-yong wanted to do in his life was to spend 114 days in jail. A Chinese jail, no less. He was ready to head home to Seoul on March 29, 2012, following a three-year stint as a correspondent for an Internet newspaper, the Daily NK, when Chinese intelligence agents nabbed him in Dalian, a port city at the tip of Tsingtao peninsula, about 200 miles west of Dandong.
“I’d just gotten off the bus from Dandong on my way to see my colleagues there. Four plain clothes men came up to me and handcuffed me, my hands behind my back,” Lee, 28, described, during an interview in Seoul. “The handcuffs were so tight. It hurt so bad, I couldn’t think of anything else.”
He had no idea what the gruff Chinese intelligence agents wanted and wondered if they had made a mistake in identity. He would later find out that they knew exactly who he was and that he was a journalist from South Korea. They drove him back to Dandong and put him in a small cell with 20 or so people in it. It was so crowded, he had to sleep sitting up. For meals he was given a Chinese bun and a bowl of clear broth three times a day. Continue Reading »
S. Korean President Issues Warning to North
Voice of America
In a farewell speech to the nation six days before leaving office, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Tuesday warned Pyongyang its missiles and weapons are taking the North “closer and closer to a dead-end.”
Lee alerted his compatriots to hastily prepare for reunification of the Korean peninsula. The president asserted that “even though the North Korean regime is refusing to change, its citizens are quickly changing and nobody can block that.
However, there is no outside evidence of any citizen protests in isolated North Korea which human rights advocates describe as one of the world’s most repressive states.
North Korea threatens South with “final destruction”
North Korea threatened South Korea with “final destruction” during a debate at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday, saying it could take further steps after a nuclear test last week.
“As the saying goes, a new-born puppy knows no fear of a tiger. South Korea’s erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction,” North Korean diplomat Jon Yong Ryong told the meeting.
Jon’s comments drew quick criticism from other nations, including South Korea, France, Germany and Britain, whose ambassador Joanne Adamson said such language was “completely inappropriate” and the discussion with North Korea was heading in the wrong direction.
Some Chinese Are Souring on Being North Korea’s Best Friend
New York Times
Beds shook and teacups clattered in this town bordering North Korea, less than 100 miles from the site where the North said it detonated a nuclear test that exploded midmorning in the midst of Chinese New Year festivities.
“I’m worried about radiation,” said a 26-year-old woman as she served customers in a bookstore here. “My family lives in the mountains close to the border. They felt the bed shake on the day of the test. I have no idea whether it is safe or not, though the government says it is.”
At home and abroad, China has long been regarded as North Korea’s best friend, but at home that sense of fraternity appears to be souring as ordinary people express anxiety about possible fallout from the test last Tuesday. The fact that North Korea detonated the device on a special Chinese holiday did not sit well, either.
North Korea uses cash couriers, false names to outwit sanctions
Kim Kwang-jin says that when he worked for North Korea’s state insurance company in Singapore in 2003, he stuffed $20 million into two suitcases one day and sent it to Pyongyang as a special gift for then leader Kim Jong-il.
He received a medal for that, Kim Kwang-jin said.
North Korea, sanctioned by the United States since the 1950s and later by the United Nations after its nuclear tests, has been shuffling money for decades from illicit drugs, arms and financial scams and is now more expert at hiding it to fund its weapons programs and its leaders’ opulent lifestyles.
As Families Change, Korea’s Elderly Are Turning to Suicide
New York Times
Even with the explosive growth of suicides in South Korea, the case of the 78-year-old widow was shocking enough to merit attention in the recent presidential election and hand-wringing in the news media.
Rather than quietly taking her life at home as many South Koreans do, the woman staged her death as a final act of public protest against a society she said had abandoned her. She drank pesticide overnight in front of her city hall after officials stopped her welfare checks, saying they were no longer obligated to support her now that her son-in-law had found work.
“How can you do this to me?” read the suicide note that the police said they had found in a purse next to her body. “A law should serve the people, but it didn’t protect me.”
Korean Pastor Tackles Prejudice At Home
Korean-American pastor Peter Chin leads an African American church, and lives in a predominately black neighborhood. It hasn’t always been easy, but in this holiday rebroadcast, Chin tells host Michel Martin how he’s worked through diversity issues with his family, his congregation and himself.
Martial arts skill trumps gun in Newton road rage conflict
A road-rage rumble that erupted along a quiet Newton street Thursday afternoon pitted one driver carrying a sawed-off handgun against another armed with his championship martial-arts skills.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert prevailed.
He put the other driver in a chokehold, landed a couple of strikes to his head, and wrestled the gun away, all before the police arrived, according to court documents.
Reds look at Choo in CF to start spring training
AP via Yahoo Sports
Shin-Soo Choo has made 10 starts in center field over eight seasons in the majors. He’ll get a chance to win the job during his first spring training with the Cincinnati Reds.
If that doesn’t work out, the defending NL Central champions will have to do some rearranging.
The Reds traded incumbent center fielder Drew Stubbs to Cleveland for Choo in the offseason, looking for a stronger bat at the top of the lineup. They haven’t had a consistent leadoff hitter for years.
Shin-Soo Choo draws crowd at Reds’ spring training
Shin-Soo Choo drew quite a crowd on the first day of camp.
Twenty-five members of the South Korean media, representing 12 organizations, were at the Reds’ spring training complex to cover him.
They followed his every move — from the batting cages for early work to outfield practice to batting practice on the field. Most of the contingent will spend five days in Goodyear. During the season, however, only one reporter follows Choo.
Conger aims to secure role as backup catcher
Hank Conger probably thought it would happen sooner.
But now, as he enters yet another Spring Training, he’s suddenly 25, heading into his last option year, coming off three straight seasons of being deemed primarily a Triple-A catcher and hoping to finally stick full-time in the Majors as a backup to Chris Iannetta.
“Everyone I’ve talked to, the biggest hurdle is Triple-A to the big leagues,” Conger said. “That’s definitely one thing I always remember. For me, [the last three years were] a big learning curve. But right now, I feel like I’m ready to try to overcome that next step.”
United and Chelsea set for summer bidding war over South Korean starlet Son
Daily Mail (U.K.)
South Korean star Son Heung-Min is set to become the subject of a bidding war between Manchester United and Chelsea this summer.
The 20-year-old has become one of the rising stars of the Bundesliga this season, following a succession of outstanding performances for Hamburg.
And Sir Alex Ferguson and Rafa Benitez are both interested in bringing the £10m-rated attacker to the Premier League, according to the Sunday People.
FIFA Dashes Korean Teen’s Dreams of Playing for Barca Youth Team
Teenager Lee Seung-woo has been banned from playing for Barcelona’s youth team after FIFA deemed him underage.
The world governing body of football said on Monday that the 15-year-old violated the rule stating that players have to be at least 18 years old to be eligible for international transfers.
Linkin Park Design New Boots with Sebago
Linkin Park have teamed up with the shoe company Sebago for a smartly designed new boot, dubbed the Jungle X, which is on sale now.
Made of a mix of leather, canvas and a Vibram rubber outsole, the black boot was designed by the band and retails for $250. Ten percent of the proceeds will benefit Hurricane Sandy victims via Linkin Park’s charity, Music for Relief.
Samsung Reboots Smart TV
Wall Street Journal
Did the smart TV just get smarter? Samsung Electronics hopes so.
The world’s top manufacturer of television sets on Tuesday unveiled an upgrade to its “Smart TV” series, after recent models got less than stellar reviews.
The new F8000 series TVs have screens measuring 46, 55, 60, 65 and even 75 inches diagonally, and Samsung said their “Smart Interaction” functions have been improved to better interpret viewers’ verbal commands or hand gestures. Previous models could only read one-handed command gestures.
China’s patience with North Korea wearing thin
Associated Press via Google News
China’s patience with North Korea is wearing thin, and a widely-expected nuclear test by the latter could bring that frustration to a head.
Beijing signaled its growing unhappiness by agreeing to tightened U.N. sanctions after North Korea launched a rocket in December, surprising China watchers with its unusually tough line, which prompted harsh criticism from Pyongyang.
And while China isn’t expected to abandon its communist neighbor, it appears to be reassessing ties a year after new North Korean leader Kim Jong Un took office. The question is for how long China, itself under new leader Xi Jinping, will continue to back North Korea’s nettlesome policies.
South Korea’s path to internet mastery
The National (United Arab Emirates)
Less than two decades ago, just a small number of South Koreans had access to the internet, in stark contrast to the current situation where almost all of them enjoy the fruits of the Web.
Even in 1998, the number of internet users was only seven per 100 people. South Korea lagged behind other countries in ratings by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) of computer ownership and internet usage, implying Koreans had low levels of information utilisation skills.
The government recognised this as a major modernisation challenge as the world leading economies, such as the United States and Japan, were in the forefront of developing their information and communication technology (ICT) sectors. Numerous reports pointed to ICT as a crucial driving force for economic growth.
Brazil Carnival honors South Korea, Korean immigrants
AFP via Global Post
With samba music and allegorical pageantry, the Brazilian Carnival pays glowing tribute this year to South Korea’s ancient culture and technological prowess, and to 50 years of Korean immigration.
Friday, South Korean popstar Psy was a star guest at Carnival celebrations in the northeastern city of Salvador, wowing the crowd with his “Gangnam Style” hit that made Internet history last December by clocking more than one billion views on YouTube.
Book review: ‘Radical: Fighting to Put Students First’ by Michelle Rhee
Jennifer Howard, a former contributing editor of Book World, is a senior reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education.
If you are, have been or might soon be the parent of a school-age child in Washington,you have an opinion about Michelle Rhee, who ran the city’s public schools from 2007 to 2010. In a town full of divisive personalities, Rhee polarized opinion more than any other public figure I can remember, with the exception of a handful of officials. (Here’s looking at you, Marion Barry.) Either you admire her do-whatever-it-takes attempts to overhaul a system that had become a national embarrassment, or you loathe her as a power-mad, union-busting, school-closing dictator who trampled over teachers, parents and public servants.
I’m a Washingtonian with school-age children who are not currently enrolled in D.C. Public Schools. I watched, closely but from the sidelines, as Rhee set about the overhaul she describes in “Radical.” Her supporters and detractors could probably agree on one word to describe her: formidable. There’s no whiff of regret in “Radical.” By her reckoning, Rhee came in to do a difficult and politically dangerous job, and she did it the way she thought it needed to be done. Once she couldn’t do it effectively anymore, she moved on to bring her message of “radical improvement” to the national stage.
‘Walking Dead’: Steven Yeun’s Glenn is beating heart of AMC series
Los Angeles Times
Yeun’s amiable nature is familiar to fans of AMC’s hit zombie series. As Glenn Rhee, he functions as a likable everyman, the closest thing to a romantic hero in an unrelentingly brutal apocalyptic world.
“Steven is the heart of the show,” said Glen Mazzara, the “Walking Dead” executive producer who’s set to leave the series at the end of this season. “Everybody loves that character; everybody’s rooting for that character. He may be tortured and sensitive, but he’s always a hero.”
Chan-wook Park has a lot riding on blood-filled ‘Stoker’
Los Angeles Times
In a high-tech bungalow on a back corner of the 20th Century Fox lot, the South Korean auteur Chan-wook Park is chiseling his opus as the clock ticks toward 9 p.m.
Park, the toast of Asian cinema and hero to hordes of genre-film enthusiasts, is editing “Stoker,” a coming-of-age Gothic thriller starring Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman. It’s his first film in the U.S. and first in English. For hard-core fans of the director’s blood-spattered Korean work — including “Oldboy,” the 2004 Cannes Grand Prix winner being remade by Spike Lee — his arrival on the shores might be compared, with less exaggeration than you may think, to the landing of the Beatles.
Shin-Soo Choo on center field: I’ll try
Shin-Soo Choo admits moving to center field is a process.
“I’m not comfortable there yet,” he said. “At the major league level, I played 99 percent of my games in right field. I’ll try. I’ll work on it this spring training. We’ll see how they’re thinking. If they’re not (happy), somebody else will be playing in center field.
“I’ll try the best I can.”
Wie, Webb and Ko headline class field
Canberra Times (Australia)
Fading star Michelle Wie will become a “wasted talent” if she can’t succeed this year, New Zealand teenager Lydia Ko has the all-round game to avoid the same pitfalls and become a future champion, while legend Karrie Webb is the woman to beat.
That’s the opinion of former Australian Open champion and ABC commentator Jane Crafter ahead of the Australian Women’s Golf Open, at Royal Canberra from February 14-17.
Think Young, Play Hard: Lydia Ko
ON WINNING THE LPGA TOUR’S CN CANADIAN WOMEN’S OPEN AT AGE 15
I’m not sure it has sunk in–even now. In the moment I didn’t think it was that amazing. The experience to me was just putting together one good round after another. But when I saw it on paper, my name as the champion, I thought Wow, this is really what I’ve done.
ON BEING A TEENAGER
My three best friends don’t really know what I’ve done on the course. It doesn’t matter to them. Two of them live in Korea, so we stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. We talk about Korean TV and hip-hop music. My favorite right now is the group BigBang. It has good-looking guys.
K.J. Choi wins award for charitable service
K.J. Choi, who has supported relief efforts worldwide as well as programs to help Korean communities, was named recipient of the Golf Writers Association of America’s (GWAA) Charlie Bartlett Award on Wednesday.
The award, named for the first secretary of the GWAA, is given to a professional golfer for contributions to the betterment of society.
“Although I feel that I haven’t done that much, I am honored to be recognized for my actions,” Choi, who will be honored at an awards dinner in Augusta, Georgia, the week of the Masters, said in a statement.
Why Do Koreans Eat So Much Kimchi?
Kimchi is Korea’s representative food. It’s delicious, healthy and it goes good with everything. And Koreans eat it pretty much everyday, for pretty much every meal. It can’t be THAT good can it?! Find out why Koreans eat so much kimchi!
In addition to being super healthy and uber delicious, kimchi goes perfect with all Korean food. And pretty much 99% of the Korean population eats it pretty much everyday at every meal. That’s because Koreans need that fresh feeling in their mouth. No joking… they NEED it! So even if they’re not eating Korean food, non-Korean restaurants in Korea will serve SOMETHING that will give that fresh feeling (i.e. pickles, pickled radish, etc.).