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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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.
ANGRY READER OF THE WEEK: JOY OSMANSKI
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
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?
A potential candidate for prime minister of Japan and mayor of one of Japan’s largest cities drew the ire of many after he said women who were forced into sexual slavery in World War II served a vital role in helping the country’s war efforts.
The mayor of Osaka, Toru Hashimoto, made the controversial remarks on Monday speaking to a group of reporters, according to the New York Times.
“When soldiers are risking their lives by running through storms of bullets, and you want to give these emotionally charged soldiers a rest somewhere, it’s clear that you need a comfort women system,” he said, according to the New York Times.
When pressed later, he insisted that brothels “were necessary at the time to maintain discipline in the army.” Other countries’ militaries used prostitutes, too, he said, and added that in any case there was no proof that the Japanese authorities had forced women into servitude.
Instead, he put the women’s experiences down to “the tragedy of war,” and said surviving comfort women now deserved kindness from Japan.
South Korea presses North for talks on crisis at joint industrial zone
South Korea on Thursday warned North Korea of serious consequences if it rejects an offer for talks about the dire situation at their shared manufacturing zone where Pyongyang has halted activity amid recent tensions.
The South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-seok urged the North to respond to the offer of talks by noon Friday, saying South Koreans inside the zone, the Kaesong Industrial Complex, are facing “serious difficulties due to lack of food and medical supplies.”
Kim said that if Pyongyang turns down the offer, Seoul would have no choice but to take “grave” measures regarding the zone. He did not specify what those measures would be.
Top US general foresees ‘prolonged provocation’ by North Korea
Christian Science Monitor
Belligerence by North Korea, coinciding with Kim Jong-un’s ascent as leader, is likely to continue for a ‘prolonged’ period, Gen. Martin Dempsey said Wednesday after a trip to China. He believes China’s military to be as ‘concerned’ as the US about North Korea’s actions.
S.Korean software mogul wins parliamentary seat
AFP via Google News
Popular South Korean software mogul and former presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-Soo has finally won elected office with a thumping by-election victory in Seoul.
Running as a liberal independent, Ahn won 60.5 percent of the vote against 32.8 percent for his ruling party rival in Wednesday’s ballot for a northeastern district of the capital.
“Please watch my new start,” Ahn said in a statement after his victory.
Is L.A. City Council Candidate John Choi a No-Show?
Los Angeles City Council District 13 candidate John Choi is getting slammed by his opponent, Mitch O’Farrell. He says Choi has shown a disturbing “pattern” of being a “no-show” at important candidates’ forums.
“Voters deserve the right to hear about our experience, our ideas, and to ask the tough questions and evaluate for themselves how we deal with complicated issues,” O’Farrell says in a recent press release.
CD 13 is one of the most coveted political jobs in Los Angeles, where either Choi or O’Farrell will represent the Tri-Hipster Area of Hollywood, Silver Lake, and Echo Park and find himself in perfect position to run for higher office. The Choi campaign says O’Farrell is full of malarkey.
“John has been to multiple forums this election, attending many during the primary, and is fully accessible to voters,” Choi campaign consultant Mike Shimpock tells L.A. Weekly via email. “Perhaps Mitch should spend more time talking to voters instead of documenting our schedule.”
Glass ceiling: Asian Americans still under-represented in Silicon Valley leadership
San Jose Mercury News
We put these same questions to leaders including CEO Meg Whitman, CEO Tim Cook and COO Sandberg, whose Silicon Valley workforce in HP, Apple and Facebook is largely Asian American but whose leadership teams posted on their web sites are conspicuously lacking in Asian Americans.
While the proportion of Asian American high tech workers in Silicon Valley has grown from 38 percent in 2000 to over 50 percent in 2010, their representation on senior executive teams is only 11 percent. In board rooms, their presence has declined from 8.8 percent to 8.3 percent. And even though Chinese Americans constitute the largest Asian group, their board representation has dropped from 5 percent to 3 percent.
Asian American women appear to face a double-pane glass ceiling. Women are 17 percent of boards and 16 percent of senior executives in Silicon Valley, but Asian American women are less than 1 percent in both. These are red flags missing in the public conversation about the corporate glass ceiling.
Korean Group: No Remaining Objections to Proposed Comfort Memorial
Patch.com (Fort Lee, N.J.)
Following a now nearly month-long controversy surrounding the proposed Fort Lee Comfort Memorial, Korean American Civic Empowerment (KACE) is now striking a more conciliatory tone and deferring to local groups on some aspects of the design to which it previously objected.
The Fort Lee Korean American Vietnam War Veterans originally proposed the memorial honoring 200,000 women forced into sexual service by the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War. KACE, based in New York and Hackensack, says that it became involved because the proposed wording of the monument was “inappropriate.”
The controversy deepened when KACE president Dongchan Kim said in a letter that the council would “face a strong opposition from the Korean American community” at the polls should the wording go unchanged.
Dr. Billy Kim: The first Asian elected as president of the 40-million-member Baptist World Alliance
Jackson Free Press (Miss.)
Born in 1934, Kim was raised in what is now North Korea during a time where “war” and “home” were synonymous in his country.
“I wanted to be a politician at first,” Kim told the Jackson Free Press. “I wanted to change the lives of poor people. I felt like politicians were capable of doing that.”
Born into a poor family and the eldest of three siblings, life in Korea was difficult for Kim and his family, especially during the long Korean War of the 1950s. Kim went to work as a houseboy for the U.S. military under Sgt. Carl Powers. Undoubtedly, it was fate that brought the two men together. Powers was responsible for changing Kim’s life and introducing him to Christianity.
“I was able to attend college in the U.S. with the help of an American solider I worked for,” Kim said. “All he asked of me was to spread the word of Christianity, human values and democracy around the world.”
Cho Yong-pil Makes Koreans ‘Bounce’ Again
Wall Street Journal
Move over Psy, here’s the real “oppa.” Singer-songwriter Cho Yong-pil has knocked Psy from the top of the chart with his first album in a decade.
The 63-year-old made his comeback Tuesday with his 19th album ‘Hello.’ The showcase in Seoul on the same rainy day drew some 400 people from the media and thousands of fans.
Mr. Cho for the first time recorded songs written for him, and partnered foreign engineers such as Tony Maserati and Ian Cooper. The result: an entirely new sound.
P!nk Remains Atop Hot 100, PSY Enters Top 10
K-pop star PSY blasts into the Hot 100′s top 10 (No. 12 to No. 5) with “Gentleman,” which wins top Streaming and Digital Gainer honors following its first full week of availability. The song follows his breakout U.S. hit “Gangnam Style,” which became the first video ever to reach 1 billion views worldwide. (It now stands at 1.6 billion.) “Gangnam” peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 for seven weeks last fall (before YouTube data began contributing to the chart) and has sold 4.5 million downloads.
“Gentleman” bounds into the Hot 100′s top 10 fueled primarily by a 60% gain in streaming, as it tallies a second week at No. 1 on Streaming Songs with 13.9 million U.S. streams. It had registered 8.6 million streams in the U.S. in just shy of two days since its posting (on April 13) in last week’s chart tracking period. (Now up to 216 million YouTube views worldwide [as of this posting], the song set the mark for the most views [18.9 million] for a video in its first day on the site, according to sources at YouTube, as previously reported. The Hot 100, however, counts only U.S. views in its weekly tabulation.)
Watch out! Angry Asian girl is sharing her feelings
Los Angeles Times
‘Angry Little Girls,’ an online comic strip about Asian American female rage, is coming to TV this summer. Yay! Another outlet for all that fury.
Check out our article on Lela Lee’s new TV show from the October 2012 issue of KoreAm.
N.C. native Ken Jeong has a funny way of doing things
Charlotte Observer (N.C.)
There’s a pivotal scene near the beginning of the crime comedy “Pain & Gain” (opening Friday) in which an angry, manipulative motivational speaker named Jonny Wu yells to his prospective flock of suckers: “ Don’t be a don’t-er. Do be a doer!”
The man who plays Mr. Wu? Ken Jeong.
Ken Jeong? Doer.
This is a guy who grew up in Greensboro, graduated from Page High School at age 16 (winning the city’s Youth of the Year award along the way), was pre-med at Duke University, then a med student at UNC Chapel Hill, then an internal medicine resident in New Orleans, then a physician at a clinic in L.A. until 2006.
Cincinnati Becoming Choo-Ville
Blog Red Machine
When the announcement was made of the three-team trade involving the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians and Arizona Diamondbacks in which the Reds acquired Shin-Soo Choo, there was a bit of a flinch from a portion of the Reds fanbase. One, highly touted shortstop prospect Didi Gregorius was sent to the D’backs. Two, despite the high number of strikeouts, Drew Stubbs, who went to Cleveland, had his fair share of supporters. Three, Choo will be a free agent after this season.
Twenty-one games into the 2013 season, I’m sure the vast majority of those that flinched at the deal aren’t doing that so much these days. All Choo has done is win over Reds fans at an alarming rate. Along the way, he has produced in the one spot in the Reds lineup that was deemed the blackest of holes: leadoff.
All Choo has done is produce. After going 2-for-4 in today’s Reds 1-0 win, he owns a triple slash of .392/.534/.608. They’re not quite video game numbers, but sometimes you think Choo’s just merely living in one. Aside from last night’s MLB action, here’s how Choo ranks in some prominent NL statistical categories…
North Korea’s ‘hotel of doom’ opening debacle continues
This was going to be the year.
The year that the infamous North Korean “hotel of doom” would finally open, allowing the world’s more adventurous tourists to gawk at whatever ridiculous or bewildering or extravagant interior North Korea dreamed up for the colossal glass-plated money drain that has stood empty on the Pyongyang skyline for nearly three decades.
Hometown Advantage | Jung Bae’s Seoul
New York Times
“There’s so much more than PSY, bibimbap and Gangnam,” says Jung Bae, 40, of Seoul, her hometown that was recently featured in T’s travel issue. It’s understandable why Bae, an artist and self-professed “cultural mediator,” has grown weary of the global spotlight on one singer, one bowl of food, and one neighborhood. And as someone who’s juggled multiple creative professions — writer (the author of two books: “The Devil Wears Cheap Prada” in 2007 and “Shopping and the City” in 2006), the former editor in chief of Nylon Korea, the current creative director of Absolut Vodka Korea and Kiehl’s Korea, and the current publisher of the art tabloid Hello, Garosu-gil (translation: tree-lined street) — Bae doesn’t mind the mainstream. But what she really loves is seeking out neighborhoods and establishments that lie at popularity’s tipping point.
Take, for example, Bae’s decision to move her office last summer from the bustling, ever-crowded Garosugil in Gangnam to a sleepy back street in Jong-no, Gangbuk. It’s an area that’s easy for tourists to miss, but impossible to ignore — with its quiet, narrow walkways and charming, historic buildings — once you’ve stumbled upon it. “My new office neighborhood reminds me a lot of New York City’s meatpacking district, before it became crowded and developed,” Bae says.
Here, Bae opens up her little black book to share her favorite things and places in Seoul.
Current home: I live in Sangam-dong, Mapo-gu, near the World Cup Stadium.
Weinberg junior recognized for work with Campus Kitchens
Daily Northwestern (Northwestern Univ.)
Weinberg junior Sarah Suh spent her Sundays for the last three years delivering leftover food from Northwestern dining halls to Evanston residents in need. Because of her efforts, she was one of five students nationwide recognized last week for taking a stand against hunger.
On Thursday, Sodexo, Inc., nuCuisine’s parent company, honored Suh’s charitable work with the Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholarship, worth $10,000.
Suh is the outgoing president of NU’s Campus Kitchens. Since stumbling upon the organization at an activity fair her freshman year, Suh has focused on the neediest members of the community. She started working on the group’s meal shifts, which involve packaging leftover dining hall food to be delivered to Campus Kitchens’ clients. She became more invested in the group after she started working delivery shifts.
When local government in Fort Lee, N.J., decided to erect a memorial to honor “comfort women” — women who were forced into prostitution by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II — some members of the Korean American community were shocked and vehemently opposed to the memorial.
The memorial was controversial because some felt it was both distasteful to the women it meant to honor and because they believed the statue and engraving reopened old wounds between the Korean and Japanese communities.
But after weeks of negotiations, discussions and petitions, supporters of the memorial’s original design met with members of Korean American Civic Empowerment and reached a compromise, the Fort Lee Suburbanite newspaper reports. The Korean American Civic Empowerment (KACE) group was the most vocal opponent to the memorial and sent out petitions and letters urging the design be altered. Continue Reading »
America and North Korea: Birthday blues
DEAD for 19 years, but president of North Korea for ever, Kim Il Sung marked his 101st birthday on April 15th in familiar style: with a national holiday, banners, flags and rations of cheap peanuts. One bang the party went without, however, was the launch of a Musudan missile, which would be yet another breach of UN Security Council resolutions, and which many observers had been expecting around the time of the festivities. This must have been a relief for John Kerry, America’s new secretary of state, who visited Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo from April 11th to 15th, warning on the way that the launch would be a “huge mistake”.
Nothing suggested, however, that Kim’s grandson, North Korea’s incumbent tyrant, Kim Jong Un, was listening to Mr Kerry. By the middle of the week, no launch had taken place. But officials in Japan and South Korea were still expecting it—imminently, though perhaps after an interval long enough that it would come as a surprise and reclaim the world’s attention. Nor has North Korea toned down its blood-curdling battle cries. Indeed, in response to protests in Seoul on the occasion of the holy birthday, at which Kim portraits were burned, it issued an “ultimatum” demanding an apology, and threatened “sledgehammer blows” in reprisal.
North Korea Sets Conditions for Return to Talks
New York Times
North Korea on Thursday demanded the lifting of United Nations sanctions and an end to joint American-South Korean military exercises as preconditions for starting dialogue to defuse tension on the Korean Peninsula.
By making demands that both the United States and South Korea had no intention of accepting, North Korea signaled that it would not stand down anytime soon from a military standoff that has lasted for weeks.
But the fact that North Korea has recently begun responding to American and South Korean offers for dialogue, even though they came with steep preconditions, has raised cautious hopes among South Korean analysts that the North might be ready to wind down weeks of hostile rhetoric that at times appeared to bring the peninsula close to a point of conflict.
Experts Urge Evacuation from Kaesong
North Korea experts say it is high time to evacuate some 200 South Korean staff who remain at the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex. The North on Wednesday refused to let in supplies of food and other necessities for the South Koreans.
Kim Hee-sang of the Korea Institute for National Security Affairs said, “It may be impossible for North Korea to seal off the complex completely, but it can really harass South Korean workers there.” He urged the government to evacuate the South Koreans there or risk them being taken hostage.
Kim said evacuating the remaining staff could lead to a quicker resolution to the crisis by showing the North that Seoul is not afraid to shut down the industrial park if necessary.
CHOI ENDORSED BY PEREZ, SOLIS
Los Angeles City Council candidate John Choi announced two major endorsements — from Assembly Speaker John Perez and former Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis — last week.
“I am so proud to be receiving the backing of Speaker John Perez,” said Choi. “Speaker Perez has been a trailblazer and a longtime advocate on issues of equality, justice and economic fairness. As speaker and the one of the assemblymembers that represents the 13th District, I am proud to count him as a supporter.”
Another US city sets up a monument to Korean comfort women
“It is more distressing and upsetting to see it for myself. They [comfort women] were only young girls…I respect their bravery in enduring such difficult lives.”
Frank Quintero’s face twisted in dismay as he listened to the voice full of anger. The voice was of Kang Duk-Kyung, one of the former ‘comfort women’, and came from a video installed at War and Women’s Human Rights Museum in Seoul’s Seongsan neighborhood. Quintero, who carefully read the prisoner’s interrogation documents of the Allied Forces in the museum, is the former mayor of Glendale, California.
The former mayor visited Korea on Apr. 14, after passing the bill to establish a “peace monument” for comfort women in Glendale Central Park. The city’s new monument will be the first overseas “peace monument” that is identical to the one established in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul. It will be funded by Korean Americans.
How Republicans Can Win Over Asian-Americans
I am the son of Taiwanese immigrants who came to the U.S. in the 1970s seeking opportunity for themselves and the chance for their children to grow up in a more prosperous society. My story is not unusual among Asian- Americans. It’s also a profile that is tailor-made for the Republican Party, which stands for enhancing opportunity. Yet Asian-Americans from my generation (and others) are finding less and less appeal in the Republican Party.
Education advocate Michelle Rhee fends off accusations
Los Angeles Times
Michelle Rhee, head of a group that advocates using student test scores to evaluate teachers, fends off accusations that she failed to pursue evidence of cheating when she ran the D.C. school system.
Ken Jeong revels in Pain & Gain
THERE’S A MOMENT during a news conference for the film Pain & Gain in which Ken Jeong is not the funniest person in the room. Asked a question about who inspires him in life, the actor, famous for wild comedic roles, gives an impassioned yet humorous speech about how his wife inspired the former doctor to quit his practice and jump into acting.
“The first movie I did was Knocked Up, and I was still working as a physician,” Jeong begins. “Even after that movie, I was really afraid to try and do acting full-time. I didn’t have the confidence. It was my wife that fully supported me to quit my job and be naked in movies like The Hangover.”
6 Lessons From “Guts and Glory”: Anthony Bourdain and Roy Choi on Paula Deen, The Taste + Authentic Food
Anthony Bourdain greeted a packed house at the Pantages last night. The Los Angeles installment of Bourdain’s “Guts and Glory” tour took place in the opulent 1930 theatre with a crowd that was more academic than hip, and fiercely local as demonstrated by any reference to L.A. — and especially during the introduction of Bourdain’s co-host, Roy Choi.
The chefs opened with questions for each other, standing for a verbal tennis match, then sat and cracked beers for a more fluid dialogue, finally ending with questions from the audience. Bourdain was ruthless as ever, even mocking the audience for spending hard earned money on the tickets. But his charisma and tendency toward self-deprecation won the crowd over — and made it clear why he’s such a compelling player on the food world stage.
8 things to know about L.A.’s Koreatown
“Have you been to Koreatown yet?” my friend asked eagerly over the phone. It was my third week as a resident of Los Angeles, and I could no longer claim the pure shock of moving to a city so sprawling, so overwhelming, as the reason I had yet to explore its most interesting neighborhoods.
But I had to answer “no.” In a city as vast as Los Angeles, Koreatown seemed especially impenetrable, a huge warren of restaurants, markets, strip malls and residences. As much as I knew that it held a treasure trove of food, culture and nightlife, I was intimidated to even get started.
Now, almost a year later, Koreatown is one of my favorite things about living in Los Angeles. It’s like having an entire other city within a city, a gloriously foreign one at that. There are places in Koreatown where you look around and swear you are in Asia. And yet, it’s also 100% Los Angeles: a strange, sprawling melting pot full of hidden delights.
Psy’s ‘Gentleman’ Nears 125 Million Views, But Can It Match ‘Gangnam Style’?
Can lightning strike twice? We may soon find out thanks to Psy’s new song, “Gentleman.”
While the South Korean rapper’s original world-beating hit, “Gangnam Style” had a slow, then meteoric rise to YouTube dominance last year on its way to an unprecedented 1.5 billion views, in its first five days “Gentleman” is actually outpacing “Style” by a mile. (It took “Gangnam” more than a month to reach 100 million views.)
At press time, “Gentleman” was about to blow by the 125 million mark in YouTube views after tallying more than 20 million in its first 24 hours, easily beating the previous record set by Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend,” which attracted eight million views on its first day.
THR’s ‘Top Chef’ Cruise Diary: Culinary Rock Stars Take to the Open Seas
Approximately 3 a.m. — Success. The recently named chef de cuisine at Boston’s Menton, having made her way into the galley to make a grilled cheese sandwich, intercepts a room service call from a cruiser. Kristen cooks the order and delivers it to their cabin door.
11:50 a.m. — Alone in an empty dining room, Kristen is deftly tinkering away on a grand piano for what seems to be her own satisfaction. Presumably, she’s slept at some point.
Korean ice skating champion on why he became Russian
Russia Beyond the Headlines
Victor Ahn is a Russian Short track speed skating athlete from South Korea. One of the most accomplished Short Track Speed Skaters of all time, Ahn gave an exclusive interview to RBTH.
Victor Ahn (Ahn Hyun-Soo) won three gold medals and a bronze medal in 2006 Winter Olympics held in Turin, Italy, becoming the most successful athlete there. Ahn is the only male short track skater to have won at least three consecutive world championships. Two years ago Victor has received Russian citizenship to compete for Russia in the 2014 Olympics.