Tag Archives: china

Peter Hahn School

China Formally Arrests Korean American Aid Worker

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim
jamesskim@iamkoream.com

Chinese authorities formally arrested Peter Hahn, a Korean American aid worker who lived near the country’s border with North Korea, on Friday, according to the Associated Press and Reuters.

Hahn, 74, was being held by authorities since November when they detained him on charges of embezzlement and possession of fraudulent receipts. A formal arrest, however, means a more serious situation than criminal detention.

Hahn’s lawyer, Zhang Peihong, told Reuters he believed Hahn was being targeted due to his Christian faith and because he ran a non-governmental organization. He maintained that the charges were “just excuses” but that the formal arrest would make the case difficult.

“I am not optimistic about the case’s prospects now that he has been arrested,” Zhang said. “The charges clearly have no merit.”

Hahn’s staff is also under investigation, including two U.S. nationals and three South Koreans. Chinese authorities have been expelling hundreds of Christian missionaries this year, according to Reuters, along with trying to curb the flow of North Korean defectors. Hahn helped defectors more than a decade ago, according to Zhang, but no longer did so.

Hahn and his wife, Eunice, ran a vocational school, located in the border town of Tumen, and a Christian aid agency that provided supplies and a local school to North Korean poor across the river. Other aid projects in his Tumen River Area Development Initiative included plans to build factories for food processing, fertilizer and bean paste.

Since the detainment, the Chinese police have allowed Hahn to see a doctor regularly, and U.S. consular officials have been able to meet him as well. Eunice Hahn had tried to deliver a letter to her husband through a U.S. diplomat with Christian messages, but Hahn had not been allowed to read it.

Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Economic Journal

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YG to Produce Films and Dramas with Yuehua Entertainment

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo
reera@iamkoream.com

After launching their cosmetics line Moonshot and fashion brand NONAGON, YG Entertainment is now setting its eyes on the film and television industry.

According to Korean news outlet Hankyung, the K-pop giant is currently in talks with Yuehua Entertainment, a Beijing-based talent agency, about co-producing films and dramas. If both agencies agree to move forward with the collaboration, then joint productions are expected to begin in Korea and China simultaneously as early as next year.

YG and Yuehua already have an established partnership as they have previously collaborated in producing the rookie Chinese-Korean boy band UNIQ, which debuted in October with their song “Falling in Love.”

Both companies have been aggressively investing in expanding their businesses overseas. Yuehua opened a subsidiary branch in South Korea after signing a free trade agreement last month and sealed a partnership with Pledis Entertainment, which manages K-pop artists, including Son Dam Bi, After School and NU’EST.

Earlier this week, YG held a press conference to announce the partnership with Chinese instant messaging platform, Tencent QQ, which now has rights to exclusively stream YG artists’ songs in China. According to YG Entertainment representative Kim Sang Ho, the company is also reportedly receiving several investment proposals from Chinese business groups.

With CL preparing for her American solo debut, it looks like YG Entertainment is aiming to expand beyond Asia.

Photo courtesy of Hankyung

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Danielle Kang Wins a Buick Three Days After Her Birthday

by REERA YOO

Danielle Kang got herself a sweet belated birthday present after Thursday’s opening round of the Blue Bay LPGA in China.

After making a hole-in-one at the 17th hole, Kang won a new Buick LaCrosse, three days after her 22nd birthday. It was a memorable birthday for the golfer as this was the first time she celebrated it since her father died of cancer last year.

“I think it was a gift from him,” Kang said.

She added that her birthday felt especially long this year due to the time change. Since China is 12 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Time, Kang received birthday wishes from all over the world over the course of two days.

“It was the longest birthday of my life, actually,” Kang told the media. “I went to sleep and then I woke up, and it was still my birthday. We drove in a car, got to the hotel and then I went to sleep, and it was still my birthday … I had a full day of birthday.”

 

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Chinese Fisherman Killed in Clash with South Korean Coast Guard

by STEVE HAN

A South Korean cost guard shot and killed a Chinese fishing boat captain during a scuffle after the ship was stopped for suspected illegal fishing activities, according to reports.

The 80-ton boat, led by the Chinese captain, was spotted fishing only 90 miles west of the Wandeung island on the western coast of South Korea by a coast guard. When the guard tried to seize the Chinese boat by boarding it, four more Chinese fishing boats reportedly surrounded the South Korean ship, which prompted a violent clash.

During the scuffle, a South Korean officer started firing warning shots, and one of the bullets hit the 45-year-old Chinese captain in the stomach. He was transported by a helicopter to a hospital in Mokpo, a city in the southwestern tip of South Korea, but was soon pronounced dead.

The Chinese fishermen were using homemade weapons to resist South Korean officers who boarded their ship, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency. The Chinese fishermen reportedly took the helmet off of one officer and tried to strangle him.

Violent clashes between Chinese fishermen and South Korean coast guards have been common over the years. A Chinese fisherman stabbed a South Korean officer to death in 2011, and in the following year, a Chinese fisherman was killed by a rubber bullet fired by a South Korean officer.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said China is “deeply shocked and dissatisfied with the violent actions that resulted in the death” of the captain. He added that South Korea should have dealt with the situation in a “serious and sincere and proper” way.

The bilateral relations between South Korea and China have improved since President Park Geun-hye took office last year. Although China’s support of North Korea still leaves its ties with South Korea contentious, it is already South Korea’s No. 1 trading partner. In July, both Park and China’s President Xi Jinping urged citizens of their countries to join forces in their historical disputes against Japan.

However, there are still ongoing political conflicts between the two countries. China still remains reluctant to protect North Korean refugees who flee to its country with the hopes of going to South Korea. The recent agreement between South Korea and the U.S. to deploy American army’s missile system in South Korea also strained the relations between the two East Asian countries as China considers America’s missile program a threat to its security.

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PSY, JYJ and EXO Headline Electric Incheon Asian Games Opening Ceremony

by JAMES S. KIM

South Korea knows how to party, and the host country put on one heck of a show to kick off the 2014 Incheon Asian Games earlier today at the sparkling new Incheon Asiad Main Stadium. The three-hour event marked the beginning of the 16-day games, which will showcase around 10,000 athletes in 36 sports.

Celebrities and stars kept the ceremony in high gear for all 60,000 people in attendance. Boy band EXO began the festivities with performances of their hits “Growl” and “Wolf.” Opera singer Jo Sumi sang “The Song of Asiad,” based on a poem written by renowned poet Ko Un, and the always-popular “Arirang.”

The crowd went crazy for My Love from the Stars‘ leading man Kim Soo-hyun and fellow actor Jang Dong-gun. Who better to convey a message of togetherness among Asian countries than these two pan-Asian stars?

Well, perhaps, international superstars PSY, JYJ and South Korean actress Lee Young-ae, who is widely known for her role in the hit Korean drama Daejanggeum.

Xiah Junsu, Yoochun and Jaejoong of JYJ took the stage in what had to be an incredibly rare Korean television appearance since breaking away from TVXQ years ago. There was no question the guys still have it–they performed “Empty,” then the official Incheon song “Only One” as South Korean sports legends, past and present, carried the torch around the stadium.

 
After the torch passed from athlete to athlete, including baseball slugger “the Lion King” Lee Seung-yeop, golf superstar Inbee Park, speed-skating icon Lee Kyu-hyuk, basketball legend Park Chan-sook, and then tennis giant Lee Hyung-taek, Lee Young-ae and two children lit the flame to mark the beginning of the games.

To close the performances, PSY hearkened back to 2012 (has it already been that long?) with a signature nothing-held-back performance of “Gangnam Style” and a remix of “Champion,” the latter a collaboration with Chinese pianist Lang Lang.

 
The show definitely wasn’t 2008 Beijing, but it didn’t have to be.

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China Executes 2 SKoreans for Drug Trafficking Crimes

by JULIE HA

Demonstrating its absolute, zero-tolerance policy for drug crimes, Chinese authorities this week executed two South Korean men convicted of trafficking drugs from North Korea.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry confirmed that the two citizens—a 53-year-old surnamed Kim and a 45-year-old surnamed Baek—were executed on Aug. 6, after being sentenced to death this past March by the Intermediate People’s Court in Baishan City, in Jilin Province, reported the Korean news site, The Hankyoreh.

Their crimes date back to 2011, when Kim was reportedly caught smuggling 14.8 kilograms of the methamphetamine, philopon, into China. Authorities said Baek purchased 12.3 kilograms of it.

Jilin Province, located in the northeastern part of China and sharing a border with North Korea, is notorious for drug trading between the two countries.

South Korean authorities apparently tried to appeal to the Chinese government to stop the executions, but to no avail. “The government provided all consular support starting from when the two men were caught,” said South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Noh Kwang-il, according to The Hankyoreh report. “After they were sentenced to death, the government also made requests at various levels to have the death penalty waived on humanitarian grounds.”

The executions were consistent with China’s harsh policy on drug offenders. Citizens from England, Japan and the Philippines have also been executed for drug offenses in the last five years, according to The Hankyoreh.

Another South Korean, arrested in the Shandong district in eastern China for drug smuggling in 2009, is currently awaiting execution, according to the International Business Times.

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29 NKorean Defectors and Five Guides Arrested in China

Above photo: Demonstrators stage a rally at the Chinese Embassy in Seoul to protest China’s policy of arresting North Korean defectors in 2012. Source: Los Angeles Times

by JAMES S. KIM

An activist group for North Korean defectors confirmed the arrest of 29 North Korean defectors and five guides in China, reports the Chosun Ilbo. It is said to be the largest arrest of North Korean defectors and guides recorded so far.

The individuals, who were divided into two groups, were arrested between July 15 and July 17, said the newspaper. Kwon Na-hyun, speaking on behalf of the activist group, said that 20 defectors were arrested in Qingdao, Shandong Province, and nine others in Kunming, Yunnan Province, as they made their way through an established escape route to Southeast Asia. Of the guides arrested, one of them, Na Su-hyun, 39, was a former North Korean defector who has a South Korean passport. The South Korean consulate general in China is expected to visit Na.

“Nine of them left for Kunming [from Qingdao] on July 14, because it would have been dangerous if all 29 defectors traveled together,” Kwon told the Chosun Ilbo. The defectors are being held in Tunmen, a town close to the North Korean border, and they face almost certain deportation.

Voice of America reports that the group of North Koreans consisted of four families, including a couple in their 60s and others in their 20s and 30s, as well as a 1-year-old baby.

The South Korean government apparently learned of the arrest on July 16 and is in the process of negotiating with the Chinese government for their release. A Seoul official told Voice of America that Beijing was very reluctant to release the North Koreans to South Korea. Meanwhile, China has not publicly commented on the issue.

Beijing’s policy for years has been to send North Korean defectors back, citing its border treaty with Pyongyang and illegal immigration problems as a whole. Instead of classifying them as refugees or asylum-seekers, the Chinese government classifies them as illegal economic migrants subject to deportation.

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Pic of the Day: Man Stuck in Korea After Son Draws on Passport

by JAMES S. KIM

Children do the cutest things. They also sometimes have the worst timing.

A Chinese man is stuck in South Korea after his 4-year-old son made the passport his canvas. Unfortunately for the father, the markings rendered his passport unrecognizable, and authorities apparently told him it is unlikely he will be able to travel home.

The drawing crudely and charmingly depict stick-figure animals and people, while the photographs of his father now include extra whiskers and thicker lips.

The father, identified only as Mr. Zhang, had originally posted the photo on Chinese social network site Weibo, asking for help, according to the Telegraph.

“It is so depressing,” he wrote of his “naughty” child’s masterpiece. “What am I supposed to do now I cannot go back to China? Solutions? Help???”

As with everything on the internet, though, the story may be too good to be true. According to a few sharp-eyed individuals, the picture looks like a Photoshop or even a MS Paint job, and they present some condemning evidence.

Kotaku pointed out several points that don’t add up. Among them: no smearing or proper depth perception of the ink, and the passport’s most important bits of information were coincidentally doodled over or crossed out. Of course, the father could have further defaced his passport after his son drew on it so that he could upload it to Weibo.

Image via Kotaku