Koreas Agree to Reopen Industrial Park in North
New York Times
North and South Korea agreed on Wednesday to reopen a joint industrial complex, reviving the last remaining symbol of their economic cooperation in a sign that the two sides are inching toward a thaw after an exchange of bellicose rhetoric earlier this year.
The breakthrough came during what the South billed as a final round of make-or-break negotiations on whether to restart or permanently shut down the Kaesong industrial zone, a factory park in the North Korean border town of the same name.
For American in North Korea, The Wait Continues
Wall Street Journal
Kenneth Bae, the American being held prisoner in North Korea, has been looking for a lifeline from Washington. But it’s not clear if help will be coming soon.
Earlier this week, Mr. Bae, a tour operator and Christian missionary, spoke with Choson Sinbo reporters from a Pyongyang hospital he had just been moved to. Mr. Bae told the Japan-based, pro-North Korean newspaper that his health was deteriorating, and that he wanted the U.S. government to “actively work” for his freedom.
Although officials at the U.S. State Department have acknowledged Mr. Bae’s deteriorating health, the government has been cautious about making any commitments and promises about the 45-year-old resident of Washington state.
US signals willingness to engage NKorea on detained American
The U.S. on Tuesday signaled a willingness to engage North Korea to secure the release of an American sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in the authoritarian country.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf would not say whether the U.S. might send a high-level official to Pyongyang to seek freedom for 45-year-old Kenneth Bae.
But she told reporters the U.S. is “willing to consider a number of different options to secure his release.” She did not elaborate on what those options might be.
Paul Vallone gets big nod for council seat from former rival Kevin Kim
New York Daily News
Politics is again making strange bedfellows.
Former Democratic primary rivals Kevin Kim and Paul Vallone, who faced off in the bitter 2009 City Council race, may soon hit the campaign trail together as Kim formally endorsed Vallone for the open northeast Queens seat, the News has learned.
Scandal-scarred current Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Bayside) isn’t running for re-election after he was arrested as part of an alleged scheme to rig the Republican primary for mayor. He is free on bail and awaiting trial.
White People Think College Admissions Should Be Based on Test Scores, Except When They Learn Asians Score Better Than Whites
Should college admissions be based on simple quantitative metrics of academic skill such as standardized test scores and grade point averages? According to new research from Frank Samson, a sociologist at the University of Miami, white people sure think this is how admissions should work. That’s what they think, that is, unless they’re informed that such a system actually advantages Asian-American applicants rather than white ones:
The white adults in the survey were also divided into two groups. Half were simply asked to assign the importance they thought various criteria should have in the admissions system of the University of California. The other half received a different prompt, one that noted that Asian Americans make up more than twice as many undergraduates proportionally in the UC system as they do in the population of the state.
When informed of that fact, the white adults favor a reduced role for grade and test scores in admissions—apparently based on high achievement levels by Asian-American applicants.
Yoon honored for advancing MIT education: J. Meejin Yoon receives 2013 Irwin Sizer Award for the Most Significant Improvement to MIT Education
J. Meejin Yoon has been presented with the 2013 Irwin Sizer Award for the Most Significant Improvement to MIT Education. The award is named in honor of Irwin W. Sizer, dean of the Graduate School from 1967-1975.
As director of the undergraduate program in architecture since 2010, Yoon has brought an inventiveness to the program in ways that are expanding the whole notion of design and architecture within an institute of technology, according to her nominator Nader Tehrani, head of the architecture department. “She has meticulously restructured the pedagogy and sequence of studios,” he says, “‘bringing together a blend of architectural history, a connection to the arts and an equally critical link to science and technologies.”
Korean Artists Mark Liberation Day by Giving out Fans in New York
An association of Korean professionals working in creative fields such as dance, design and music has been handing out free fans at Times Square in New York since early this week in commemoration of Korea’s Liberation Day, which falls on Thursday.
Created by members of the association, called K/REATE, the fans are decorated with 16 images related to Korea’s national flag, or taegeukgi.
Based in London, New York and Seoul, K/REATE aspires to draw attention to social issues by coming up with creative, art-inspired solutions, according to its website.
China ends Japan’s dominance of Korean tourism market
China has overtaken Japan in visitor numbers to South Korea for the first time on record in the first half of this year, ending a long-held Japanese dominance of the market, according to Nomura.
Chinese travelers accounted for more than a third of total tourists in South Korea in the first six months of the year, outpacing Japanese visitors, which made up about one quarter of the total in the same period, Nomura said in a report this week.
Young Sun Kwon, economist at Nomura, said that although China’s economic growth slowed in the first half of the year, the number of visitors to South Korea still managed to surpass the number of Japanese visitors, which declined in the duration.
K-Pop Label Branches Out With Woollim Buy
Wall Street Journal
The popularity of South Korea’s music scene is moving beyond YouTube clicks, as domestic and global labels bid for K-pop groups and even entire K-pop labels as they seek to maximize their potential to monetize the genre.
Sony Music Entertainment recently signed a global licensing deal for emerging girl band Crayon Pop and Korea’s dominant K-pop brand, SM Entertainment Co., said last week it had decided to buy a smaller player, Woollim Entertainment Co.
While the Sony deal shows that K-pop is getting serious attention from major international labels, the SM-Woollim deal–announced Aug. 9 for an undisclosed sum–potentially signals a new trend within the K-pop landscape.
Roy Kim to Go Back to School in U.S.
Singer Roy Kim will wrap up his commitments in Korea and leave for the U.S. on Aug. 25 to study business administration at Georgetown University.
The news is sure to disappoint his growing army of fans. His first single topped the domestic music charts for six weeks after its release in mid-April, and he released his first full-length album in late June.
Father’s Office: The start of the burger renaissance in Los Angeles
Biz Journals (Los Angeles)
No substitutions. No reservations. No wait list. No doubt that we’re talking about Father’s Office.
In the year 2000, Sang Yoon took over Father’s Office, a bar and grill on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica dating back to the early 1950s. The bar was one of the early adopters of the California craft beer movement. Yoon, meanwhile, had come out of the kitchen at nearby Michael’s, one of the innovators of California cuisine.
Father’s Office took the L.A. culinary scene by storm. No place else in the country had adopted the term “gastropub.” The restaurant combined the lofty ingredients of haute cuisine with the tried-and-true hamburger.
Shin-Soo Choo’s tiebreaking 2-run single in 11th inning lifts Reds to 6-4 over Cubs
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Shin-Soo Choo hit a tiebreaking two-run single in the 11th inning and J.J. Hoover provided terrific relief work on his 26th birthday, helping the Cincinnati Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 6-4 on Tuesday night.
With no outs and the bases loaded, Choo jumped on the first pitch he got from Eduardo Sanchez (0-1) and lined it into the gap in right-center. Ryan Ludwick and Devin Mesoraco came around to score.
Sanchez walked the first two batters of the inning and Cesar Izturis reached on an error by third baseman Donnie Murphy to set up Choo’s clutch swing.
Shin-Soo Choo out of lineup
Shin-Soo Choo is out of the lineup today. Chris Heisey is starting in center field and leading off.
“We’re playing 20 days in a row,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “This is going to have something to do with how strong they are down the stretch. (Choo’s) playing center field and leading off. That’s a lot of work.
“I’ve always got to answer why guys aren’t playing. I wish it was like basketball: Did Not Play/Manager’s Decision. But I know you all need an answer.”
Korean American Society of Houston hosts Korean Festival
As the much-anticipated fall is approaching, Houstonians are starting to look for outdoor events they can once again enjoy without having to beat the summer heat. The fifth annual Korean Festival, hosted by the Korean American Society of Houston, is bringing a complete cultural experience on Saturday, Oct. 19, at Discovery Green in downtown Houston.
This year’s festival is an integrated cultural event showcasing the Korean culture through culinary, artistic and the theatrical expressions. Visitors with various interests of the Korean culture can all find a place at the event.
“Each year we choose a specific theme showcasing a unique aspect of the Korean culture,” said Yang Nam, Korean Festival director. “In continuing this tradition, we have chosen ‘Taste of Korea’ as the theme for 2013 and will feature some of the best culinary dishes of Korea.”
Drinking Culture in South Korea and Why it’s Important
Drinking culture in South Korea is a big part of life, and it seems like everyone in Korea drinks. It’s so omnipresent, that sometimes it can feel more like it’s part of your job! Why exactly is this? Well, let’s find out! (Plus tips on how to refuse.)
1) It’s always been important!
Back in the olden days (super specific, I know), Koreans used to drink alcohol to celebrate important holidays. On these holidays, people would drink alcohol during rituals as a way to show respect to their elders and ancestors. Drinking in Korea was more an obligation than something you did for fun. However, as time went on, ideas began to change and that resulted in…
A 16-year-old student became the youngest person to ever graduate from Florida International University when the teenager received his diploma on Tuesday, WSVN Miami reports.
Sky Choi could read Korean at the tender age of 3 and English at 4 years old and later became fluent in Latin and Chinese. Adding to his list of accomplishments, Choi also has a third-degree black belt in taekwondo, and founded a non-profit, The List Kids, to help newly immigrated children from Iraq.
In search of an academic challenge, Choi — whose middle name is Haneul, the Korean word for sky — was in a dual program at FIU at 10 years old while finishing up his high school studies, which allowed him to take college courses simultaneously. By the time he was 12 years old, Choi had began taking courses at FIU full time. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Asian studies. Continue Reading »
A professor from the University of Central Florida has been placed on paid leave following an “insensitive” comment made during a study session.
Hyung-il Jung, who teaches accounting at UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, told the Orlando Sentinel that he was conducting a review session of difficult material and, after seeing “the pained look in student’s faces,” he teasingly asked them, “This question is very difficult. It looks like you guys are being slowly suffocated by these questions. Am I on a killing spree or what?”
The phrase “killing spree” allegedly offended one of the students who took it as a threat to herself and fellow classmates. She then reported the incident to the university. Continue Reading »
Lambda Theta Delta, which boasts being UC Irvine’s “first and largest Asian Greek fraternity,” is under fire this week after a racist music video was posted on YouTube, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Four members of Lambda are seen dancing in what was meant to be a humorous parody of Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z’s recent hit, “Suit and Tie.” In the video, one of those students dons blackface as he mimics and mocks Jay-Z. UCI community members responded to the video with anger, and it soon spread across the internet.
The university is conducting an official investigation of the fraternity and those involved in making the video, according to UCI Vice Chancellor Thomas Parham. Continue Reading »
Koreans in America: The Textbook
A new college-level textbook edited by scholar Grace Yoo covers a span of more than 100 years of the Korean American experience.
story and photographs by Vivien Kim Thorp
On a warm spring morning on the campus of San Francisco State University, Grace Yoo, a professor in the Asian American Studies department, is lecturing 50 undergraduates. A requisite PowerPoint slideshow shines overhead. “Sa-i-gu,” she writes on the whiteboard with a squeaky marker. “That’s how you say April 29 in Korean,” she says, explaining the Korean way to refer to the 1992 Los Angeles riots. “Who can tell me what happened?”
Yoo has been teaching the course “Koreans in America” for 15 years. It’s the only Korean American studies class in the country that is offered every semester and can proudly boast of being consistently packed. However, despite its decade-and-a half-long history, this is the first time that students in the class will have an official textbook to accompany the course—and it happens to be created by their own professor.
Koreans in America: History, Identity, and Community is a college-level textbook tackling the broad topic of the Korean American experience. The 400-page book, which will be released officially this month (Yoo’s students got an early version), encompasses history, sociology, the arts, popular culture and current events. It comprises works by more than 40 scholars, activists, artists and professionals, and carries an introduction by legendary Korean American journalist K.W. Lee. Continue Reading »