North, South Korea exchange recalls previous historic meeting
Los Angeles Times
REPORTING FROM SEOUL -– Though brief, Tuesday’s meeting between North Korean and South Korean leadership families smacked of another historic get-together more than a decade ago that led to one head of state winning the Nobel Peace Prize.
New North Korean Leader Meets South Koreans and Assumes Leadership of Party
New York Times
South Korea had said it would send no official mourners to Kim Jong-il’s funeral, which angered North Korea as a sign of disrespect. But Kim Jong-un’s meeting with the private delegation of mourners, which included the former first lady of South Korea and a top businesswoman, appeared to be cordial.
The South Korean visitors, Lee Hee-ho, the widow of former President Kim Dae-jung, and the chairwoman of Hyundai Asan, Hyun Jeong-eun, which had business ties with North Korea, were the only South Koreans allowed by the government in Seoul to lead private delegations to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, to express sympathy over the death of Kim Jong-il on Dec. 17.
From Dear Leader to Marilyn Monroe, defector mocks Kim
North Korean artist Song Byeok once proudly drew the “Dear Leader” in propaganda paintings. But he was sent to labor in one of the reclusive state’s notorious prisons after hunger forced him to try to flee.
Now a defector living in the South Korean capital, Seoul, Song has turned to mocking a ruler who led his country into famine, isolation and economic ruin.
“The day I finished this, he passed away,” Song said of his painting and the death of Kim on December 17.
Did Kim Jong-il death ruin breakthrough deal on North Korea nukes?
The Christian Science Monitor
The death of Kim Jong-il has disrupted an American plan to encourage North Korea to curb its nuclear arsenal, and the uncertainties surrounding the “dear leader’s” replacement mean US officials have little choice for now but to sit tight.
Before the announcement of Mr. Kim’s death Sunday, the US was on the verge of completing a deal to exchange humanitarian assistance for North Korean steps toward denuclearization.
But as Kim’s replacement and youngest son, Kim Jong-un, tries to establish himself in his father’s place, it will likely be months – and potentially tense and surprise-laden months – before the North Korean leadership will be ready to reengage diplomatically, many North Asian analysts say.
North Korea Presses South to Implement Economic Pact
New York Times
In its first interaction with visitors from South Korea since the death of its leader, Kim Jong-il, North Korea on Tuesday called for the implementation of the inter-Korean summit agreements, which would have brought massive South Korean investments had the South Korean leader, Lee Myung-bak, not scuttled them.
Recalling a Trip to North Korea Before the Death of Kim Jong-il
New York Times
Mun Ho-yong placed the bouquet of flowers at the foot of the towering outdoor portrait of Kim Il-sung, the founder of North Korea. Then he turned to the Chinese businesspeople and tourists, and to the foreign journalists. “Now please bow to our leader,” he said.
Most of us had set foot in North Korea for the first time just hours earlier. We had no idea what protocol to adopt when faced with the “Great Leader,” as North Koreans call him. So we followed Mr. Mun’s lead. We bowed.
2NE1 and SNSD ranks in SPIN’s 20 Best Pop Albums of 2011
Girl groups 2NE1 and SNSD are receiving worldwide attention.
The two groups, who are leaders in K-pop’s Korean Wave thanks to their unique performances and refined music this year, have been favorably noticed by famous foreign magazines. SPIN, a popular music magazine in the United States, announced their 20 Best Pop Album of 2011 on December 22 (local time) and the two groups were listed.
Five arrested including two members of Hawthorne Fire Department arrested after drug investigation
The Gazette (Hawthorne, N.J.)
A month and a half-long narcotics investigation resulted in the arrest of five Hawthorne residents, two of whom are members of the Hawthorne Fire Department, on Dec. 21.
At sentencing, Choi apologizes for slaying three in a Tenafly home
“We have three individuals who no longer walk the earth,” said Judge Donald Venezia. “You brought havoc to three individuals and to a community. Anything less than a life sentence and I’d be condoning what you did. There’s no way you’re getting a break. You did not give Mr. [Han Il] Kim a break.”
Before being sentenced, Choi apologized via his Korean translator.
“I’m very sorry to the victims and their families,” he said. “I’m sorry to my own family.”
James Kim: Recent College Grad Feels Pain Of Uncertain Job Market
Kim, 23, is one of the “Millennials”- a group defined by a 2010 Pew Research study as 18- to 29-year-olds who are mostly newcomers to the American labor force and who, more recently, have become the last hired and the first to lose their jobs.
According to the study that surveyed 50 million Millennials nationwide, only 4 out of every 10 participants said they had full-time work, and the unemployment rate among the group was 37 percent – the highest it had been in over 30 years.
Ji Hyun Kim: New Face
The Telegraph (U.K.)
Who’s that bright and breezy young tenor playing Gastone in the current revival of La Traviata at Covent Garden?
He’s 28-year-old Ji Hyun Kim, currently a hard-working member of the Royal Opera’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme.
Perilla, ggaennip, shiso: By any name, a fine addition to garden
It’s telling that with such limited ground — not even 20 square feet — the gardeners at the Korean Resource Center have dedicated a majority of their space to the perilla plant, a member of the mint family known as ggaennip in Korea and shiso in Japan.
‘Brazen’ contracting scam: Records provide a window into audacious swindle
The plan was straightforward but effective: A tight team of savvy contractors and government employees allegedly inflated invoices by $20 million, approved them and split the proceeds.
And they lived large — on the taxpayers’ dollar. Porsches, real estate, flat-screen televisions and Cartier watches: The men bought it all with impunity, prosecutors say.
The Strangest Man in Ikea
Taeyoon Choi isn’t at this Ikea, the second largest store location in the world, to buy a coffee table. He’s not there for delicious meatballs and lingonberry sauce, either. He’s in Ikea to create crazy-weird experimental noise machines.
7 best ski and snowboard resorts in Korea
Given that almost three-quarters of Korea is covered by mountains, it’s no wonder thousands of tourists fly in every winter to hit the slopes.
Now that it’s finally snowing, even in Seoul, here’s where to find the best snowy runs in Korea.
UNM students deface El Morro rock
Santa Fe New Mexican
Dana Choi, a Korean student at The University of New Mexico, admitted to etching the words Super Duper Dana’ into rock at El Morro National Monument in October. His graffiti covers a portion of an inscription that reads Pedro Romero 1758.’ Although officials at monument won’t talk about how they plan to erase the markings, the restoration costs have been estimated at nearly $30,000.