Gay Activist Dan Choi Found Guilty in White House Protest Case
Author: Chelsea Hawkins
Posted: March 29th, 2013
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Daniel Choi at a Gay Pride Rally in 2009. Photo via Wikipedia. 

Openly gay and outspoken LGBTQ activist, Daniel Choi, has been found guilty of a criminal misdemeanor and charged $100 fine for handcuffing himself to the White House gate in November 2010 to protest the since-repealed “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military.  The sentence was lighter than anticipated; Choi could have received as much as a six-month jail term.

Choi, a former U.S. Army lieutenant and Iraq War veteran, was dismissed from the military because of his sexual orientation as a result of the policy which banned gays from service.  During his trial, Choi told the court that, “All I want at the end of this day is to return to the U.S. military,” the Washington Post reports.

Choosing to represent himself rather than seeking legal counsel, Choi’s behavior during his trial was described as “erratic.” Continue Reading »

Thursday’s Link Attack: South Korea Flexes Military Muscle; Bus Groper Deported; K-pop Star Ailee
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: February 14th, 2013
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South Korea Shows Military Muscle in Sparring With North
New York Times

South Korea flexed its military muscle on Thursday by staging large military drills and disclosing a new cruise missile capable of hitting any target in North Korea, as the North became increasingly candid about its intentions to build intercontinental ballistic missiles tipped with nuclear warheads.

“We no longer hide but publicly declare: If the imperialists have nuclear weapons, we must have them, and if they have intercontinental ballistic missiles, we must have them, too,” the North’s state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper, the most authoritative mouthpiece for the North’s leadership, said in a commentary published on Thursday. “Anger seeks weapons.”

“Imperialist” is the word North Korea uses to refer to the United States.

S. Korea readies military after N. Korea nuclear test
Yonhap News

South Korea carried out large-scale military drills throughout the country Thursday in a show of force in response to the recent nuclear test by North Korea who has threatened to enforce stronger measures if necessary.

Following Tuesday’s atomic test, South Korea and U.S. forces have stepped up surveillance, mobilized aircraft and readied facilities to collect air samples from the test site to determine the fission materials of the atomic blast.

After intelligence and military officials in Seoul raised the possibility of additional tests by North Korea in the next couple days, several military maneuvers took place across the country.

N.Korea ‘Has 100 Mobile Missile Launch Platforms’
Chosun Ilbo

North Korea has about 100 mobile launch platforms for ballistic missiles, which could pose the biggest threat to South Korea if the regime succeeds in miniaturizing nuclear warheads.

It would be hard to detect these heavy trucks and strike them because they keep moving around.

A government source in Seoul on Wednesday said South Korean and U.S. intelligence agencies believe that the North has some 100 of these platforms for medium-range ballistic missiles such as the Scud and Rodong, which have all of South Korea within range.

Englewood based Korean organization joins other groups to help out after Hurricane Sandy
Northern Valley Suburbanite (N.J.) via

Lee’s situation was one of many stories of loss within the Korean community during Hurricane Sandy. In order to help such families, the Korean American Sandy Relief Committee of New Jersey was created as a collaborative effort between six different Korean-American organizations to help those affected by the storm.

“We had some families who experienced real grief,” said Prisca Leigh, deputy executive director of Korean Community Center, in Englewood.

To commend the effort, charitable organization The Robin Hood Foundation gave the Korean American Sandy Relief Committee a $75,000 grant to aid in its effort to provide Korean-Americans with help. The organization, which currently has helped approximately 500 families, has set a target of helping more than 1,000 families, said Kyunghee Choi, chairperson of the Korean American Sandy Relief Committee.

SungEun Grace Lee, 28, at Center of Right-to-Die Case, Succumbs
New York Times

SungEun Grace Lee, who was at the center of a struggle pitting her right to die against her family’s wish to keep her alive, died on Sunday, according to her family. She was 28.

Last fall, Ms. Lee’s relatives posted a video of her, paralyzed from the neck down by a brainstem tumor, on YouTube. They wanted to gain public support for their battle to prevent her from being removed from life support, an act they saw as a violation of their evangelical Christian faith.

Ms. Lee lived five months longer than she would have had her family not gone to court to keep her alive, one of her brothers, Paul Lee, said.

Driver who hit, killed bicyclist in Rancho Santa Fe sentenced to two years in prison
KFMB (San Diego, Calif.)

A two-year prison term was handed down Wednesday for a motorist who struck a bicyclist and left him to die along a Rancho Santa Fe road.

Jin Hyuk Byun, 20, pleaded guilty in October to felony hit-and-run causing death. He was sentenced by Vista Superior Court Judge K. Michael Kirkman.

The defendant was behind the wheel of a black 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche that struck 18-year-old Angel Bojorquez sometime after 1 a.m. last July 6.

Transit groper sent packing back to South Korea
The Province (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

A transit groper has been deported to South Korea after he was caught in the act aboard the 99 B-Line.

On Jan. 15, Transit Police received a report from a commuter who saw a man inappropriately touching women on the busy Broadway route. Two plainclothes officers were immediately dispatched to the bus. They saw the man commit the offence in front of them.

The man was arrested, but was evasive and gave police a fake name. Immigration officers were called in and were able to ID the man as Seung Woo Min, 49. Min was found to have been illegally living in Vancouver since 1995. He was deported Feb. 7 to South Korea, where he was wanted on multiple warrants, including fraud and embezzlement of almost $200,000.

At Montclair State, Iraq veteran speaks out against ‘Don’t ask don’t tell’
Passaic Valley Today (N.J.) via

Last year, Feb. 7 took on new significance at Montclair State University when a note that said “fags will die on 2/7″ was found on the door of a women’s bathroom there.

As a result, the university dubbed that date a “Day of Unity” and students rallied against discrimination. This year, they held their second annual Day of Unity, during which Daniel Choi, a former lieutenant in the U.S. Army Infantry, who is now a gay rights advocate, spoke about his experience being gay in the military.

In South Korea, Valentine’s Day is all about the men

Unlike most harried men in many other countries around this time each year, Korean men don’t have to worry about shopping for jewelry or flowers or writing nice cards to give to their significant other on February 14.

Instead, for South Koreans Valentine’s Day is when women shower men with chocolates. It’s also just one romantic day in a whole series of calendar-dictated romantic days.

Next up is March 14. Known as White Day, on this occasion men gift women with candy. Fact: Chupa Chups is the most sold candy.

K-Pop Star Ailee Comes Home to America, Hints at New Music

To say Ailee had a big debut would be an understatement. The solo female star made her K-pop debut last February and has already racked up three K-Pop Hot 100 Top 3 singles — including last week’s No. 1 “Shower of Tears” with BAE CHI GI — as well as the MAMA Award (Korea’s Grammy equivalent) for Best New Female Artist. Ailee’s impressive start also got some stateside recognition–during Grammy week of all times.

Last month, Billboard broke the news that Ailee — Denver-born and raised in New Jersey — would be a guest of honor at Mnet America’s first annual Pre-GRAMMY Party on Feb. 7. Thursday night she was awarded the Mnet America Rising Star Award based on her accomplishments from her first year. “I didn’t expect any of this to happen so fast,” the K-pop star tells Billboard with a laugh. “Everything feels like a dream I’m just really happy and excited.”

Q&A with Margaret Cho
Vancouver Sun

Margaret Cho’s mom is almost as famous as Margaret Cho. Since Cho started doing standup comedy more than 20 years ago, the Bay Area comedian’s impression of her mother has been a highlight of her set. So it seems inevitable the actress/musician/author/ comedian would put together a show called Mother. She brings the show, the latest in a long line of Cho extravaganzas that includes I’m the One That I Want and Assassin to the Vancouver Comedy and Arts Festival.

Q How do you prepare for a performance?

A I like to have quiet, just in general. I love to read or make my own notes, in silence. That is a great motivator for me – silence. I feel I can fill the space better with my own noise/music.

Son Heung-min First Korean in AP Soccer Rankings
Chosun Ilbo

Hamburg SV striker Son Heung-min became the first Korean soccer player to be named in the Associated Press Global Soccer Rankings.

In this week’s AP top 10, Son ranked seventh behind Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Andres Iniesta (FC Barcelona), Gareth Bale (Tottenham), Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), David Alaba (Bayern Munich) and Robin van Persie (Manchester United).

Veteran wants to put the ‘Wi’ in winner at Riviera
Los Angeles Times

Charlie Wi has had enough of being a bridesmaid. He wants to get the toast, not give it, at the big banquet.

It’s not that he hasn’t had success on the American pro golf tour. This is his eighth season and his bank account shows $9.1 million for his efforts. It is hard to feel sorry for anybody in that situation, but as Wi points out, “We play out here to win.”

Wi has won nine tournaments, eight in Asia and one in Europe. In the good ol’ USA, he has been second five times. Very good and also very frustrating. Even on the second-tier Nationwide Tour, now the circuit, he never won.

Friday’s Link Attack: Sen. Daniel Inouye; Subway Suspect Charged; Psy Fever
Author: Steve Han
Posted: December 21st, 2012
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South Korea’s president-elect promises ‘new era of change’
Christian Science Monitor

South Korea’s President-elect Park Geun-hye signaled today the tough policy toward North Korea that she’s likely to pursue when she embarks on her five-year term as president in February.

She began the day after winning the presidential election by visiting the national cemetery, bowing before the grave of her father, Park Chung-hee, the long-ruling dictator who was assassinated by his intelligence chief in 1979.

“I will open up a new era of change and reform,” she scrawled in the visitor’s book, but soon she left no doubt she would mingle calls for inter-Korean dialogue with a firm stance against compromise.

South Korea’s Generation Gap
The New York Times

There is an expression in Korean — “men-boong” — which means feeling shell-shocked to the point of mental collapse. My university students here are saying they are completely men-boong with the election of Park Geun-hye as South Korea’s next president. And many of us following South Korea’s growing pains as a democracy can understand why.

Park is the daughter of South Korea’s former president, Park Chung-hee. He spearheaded the country’s economic miracle, but his 18 years in power are remembered as a very dark period for democracy and human rights.

To the younger generation, that Park Geun-hye would run for president is offensive. That their parents and grandparents would elect her is repulsive.

Analysts: South Korean Election to Trigger North Korean Provocation

Following a presidential election in South Korea this week, a number of analysts are saying North Korea is likely to commit a provocative act within the next few months to test Seoul’s resolve. There is virtually nothing the United States can do to head off any such destabilizing move, according to the specialists.

“The North Koreans tend to do provocations within 16 to 18 weeks of every South Korean election, going back to 1992,” said Victor Cha, a Center for Strategic and International Studies senior adviser and Korea chairman, at a CSIS panel discussion on Thursday.

“North Korea always tests the new South Korean leader in various forms,” echoed Scott Snyder, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who spoke at the same CSIS-sponsored event. “They want to figure out what the parameters are of the relationship and, frankly, what they think they can get out of it.”

North Korea Says It Has Detained an American Citizen
New York Times

North Korea said on Friday that it had charged an American citizen detained there with committing “hostile acts against the republic,” a crime punishable by years in prison, at a time when the United States is pushing for new sanctions against the reclusive country for a recent rocket launch.

The North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said that the American, identified as Bae Jun-ho, had entered the country on Nov. 3 through a port city near the Russian border. Human rights activists in South Korea said they believed Mr. Bae to be Kenneth Bae, 44, who they reported earlier this month was being held in the North.

In recent years, North Korea has detained several Americans, in some cases agreeing to let them go only after high-profile American figures visited the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, to seek their release. Analysts have suspected North Korea’s leaders of trying to use such detentions to counter Washington’s diplomatic pressure over its nuclear and missile programs and force the United States to engage with them.

An Asian-American Moment in U.S. Politics
Huffington Post

The death of Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii has deprived the nation not only of its longest-seated senator, but also the highest-ranking Asian American in history. As president pro tempore of the Senate since 2010, Inouye held one of just five positions created directly by the constitution, and was third in the line of succession to the presidency.

Still, the loss of Inouye should not obscure the larger reality that we are entering an Asian-American moment in U.S. politics.

The Asian-American population has grown the fastest of any group over the past 30 years, expanding nearly 400 percent since 1980. And since 2009 Asian immigration has outpaced that of Latinos. Granted, the overall numbers are still relatively small, with people of Asian (and Pacific Islander) descent constituting about 5.6 percent of the U.S. population and about 3 percent of voters, 4 percent of state governors, and 2 percent of the next Congress.

Is the Ivy League Fair to Asian Americans?
The Atlantic

An admission officer’s uncomfortable explanation for why they don’t get in as often as their test scores would predict suggests it’s not.

Subway shove suspect indicted in Queens dad death
New York Post

A Manhattan grand jury today indicted veteran burglar Naeem Davis in the subway-push murder of a Queens dad.

Davis, a 30-year-old Sierra Leone refugee, has been charged with intentionally killing Ki Suk Han, 58, by shoving the older man off a Times Square subway platform during an argument — just as a Q train barreled into the station two weeks ago.

Davis was informed of the indictment at a brief court hearing this afternoon, during which Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Melissa Jackson ordered he continue to be held without bail and set January 15 as the court date on which his charges will be read aloud to him.

Alumnus Elected to NYS Assembly as the First Korean-American Lawmaker in NYS History
news@Riverdale (N.Y.)

When Ron Kim ’97 was elected in November to the New York State Assembly for the 40th District in Queens, he became the first Korean-American lawmaker in New York State.

Ron credits Riverdale—at least in part—for his political success. “It was clear throughout my run for office and in the preceding years in New York government and politics that the education and experience I received at Riverdale Country School was a critical component of my success,” he says.

Beginning his career in public service as an aide to then-Assemblyman Mark Weprin, Ron moved on to work in the Department of Buildings and the Department of Small Business Services. At the City Council, Ron worked as a policy analyst, writing and examining legislation on issues related to transportation, infrastructure, and economic development.

Mayor outlines new vision for the city
Orange County Register (Calif.)

The Choi Agenda.

As Steven Choi takes the mayor’s gavel to lead Irvine for the next two years, he will have at least two colleagues eager to help him accomplish his agenda. And, based on what he has said publicly, I’d expect a lot of unanimous decisions made by the 2013-14 Irvine City Council.

In a speech last week Mayor Choi outlined his agenda, key among it being transparency in government.

Hong Kim keeps phones ringing
Off 68 (Monterey County, Calif.)

After already starting two businesses, Hong Kim believes that his third venture may well be the one that has the most success. The owner of uBreak iPhix opened his first store in Salinas just over a year ago and he has already expanded to a second location.

“This one’s really the charm and the one that has the most potential,” Kim explained. “I’ve never been in a business where the customers believe so much in what I’m doing that they want to get into this.”

The Marina resident said as a youth his passion was raising tropical fish. He began importing fish and selling them out of his garage to local retailers. Eventually he saved enough money to open his own retail shop which he operated for about five years. When the store’s lease was up, Kim decided it was a good time to do some traveling so he didn’t renew the space.

Charges Against Dan Choi in Keystone Protest Dropped

Charges against gay and environmental activist Dan Choi stemming from a protest at the White House over the Keystone XL pipeline in 2011 have been dismissed, and a restraining order barring him from the White House grounds has been lifted.

The Washington, D.C., attorney general’s office today dropped the charge of failing to obey an officer’s order, which was brought in D.C. Superior Court, said Jon W. Norris, one of Choi’s attorneys. Another case against Choi, stemming from a “don’t ask, don’t tell” protest at the White House in 2010, remains pending in federal court.

Prosecutors recognized that as charges against the other Keystone protesters had been dropped, the same should be done for Choi, Norris said.

Psy fever heats up world in 2012

The year 2012 was undoubtedly the year of “Gangnam Style.”

Psy became the first Korean singer to top the British Official Singles Chart for the song in October and occupied the No. 2 slot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Chart for seven straight weeks. The song also placed first on iTune’s charts from 30 countries, including the United States.

The 34-year-old singer-rapper rocketed to global fame after the video went viral online with his distinctive but catchy horse-riding dance.

Park Chan-ho Heads to Los Angeles to Mull Retirement Plans
Chosun Ilbo

Park Chan-ho left for Los Angeles on Thursday in what may amount to a year out of the limelight as he ponders his options going forward some three weeks after he called time on his career as a professional baseball player.

“I may just take next year to think about what to do next,” he said before his departure.

After announcing his retirement, Park was widely expected to become involved with the NC Dinos in the Korea Professional Baseball League as he has so many close contacts with the team. But he said he has no plan to manage or own a team in Korea for the time being.

Friday’s Link Attack: Steven Yeun, Priscilla Ahn, Dan Choi
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: September 23rd, 2011
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‘The Walking Dead’: The cast and new showrunner react to Frank Darabont’s ouster
Entertainment Weekly

“The Walking Dead” will air its season 2 debut in October sans series creator Frank Darabont. The cast, which includes KA Steven Yeun, talks to EW about Darabont’s firing and new showrunner Glen Mazzara, former executive producer of “Crash.”

“It is a sad situation,” says Steven Yeun, who plays former pizza delivery guy Glenn. “We all absolutely love Frank. And at the end of the day, this show still has Frank written all over it. Frank created it on television, and I think what it did do was make all of us as a cast come together and realize we got to carry on this vision, and we’re going to do it to the best of our abilities. We are dying for this show. People are working out in the 100 degree weather everyday, three days in a row, screaming, crying, bleeding. That is all we can do, and that’s what we’re aiming to do.”

Choi slams GOP crowd for booing gay soldier

Here’s a quick update on the case of Stephen Hill, the gay soldier who received a distinctly chilly reception from the GOP presidential field — and was booed by a handful of members of the audience — at the debate last night.

Former Army Lt. Dan Choi, who was discharged because he is gay and became a leading opponent of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” tells Salon he was appalled by the response of both the audience and the candidates to Hill’s question about whether they would try to reverse the repeal of DADT.

“Any soldier who courageously stands for truth and not comfort should be applauded, supported and respected. Stephen Hill serves our country,” Choi said in an email. “Those who boo our honorable soldiers do not support our troops.”

From Seoul to NU starter: Seung Hoon Choi’s amazing move
Lincoln Journal Star

The Nebraska offensive lineman continues to garner media attention following his start last week against the Washington Huskies. This profile is similar to the one written by the AP earlier this week but also reveals that Choi faced racial taunts from opposing players in high school as well.

But Choi was a quick learner. He was also a weight room junkie. “A strength freak,” Farup said.

By his senior year, Choi could bench press upward of 400 pounds. He stood 6-feet-2 and weighed 320. The guard next to him on Lincoln Christian’s line weighed about 140.

Choi started to figure out the language and the game. His aggression on the field began to pick up.

When Farup heard the story about some Washington players calling Choi “a fat Asian” this past weekend, it hardly surprised him that Choi responded by pushing back even harder.

“Our senior year, there was a game where one of the of opponents got after him racially,” Farup said. “Man, that poor kid. (Choi) just drove him all night long. He did everything legal, everything above board. But man, he got upset and he let that kid have it.”

Three enduring acts coming to the [Philadelphia] region

Chances are you don’t know Priscilla Ahn. But you have heard her music on the TV shows “Psych,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Brothers and Sisters.”

You also heard her songs in the films “Bride Wars” and “Disturbia,” as well as in a national Jeep Wrangler commercial. Now, it’s time to put that music to a face (and a couple of albums).

Ahn, who uses her Korean mother’s maiden name, was born in the United States and lived locally in Berks County, Pennsylvania, before moving to Los Angeles to make it as a pop singer.

China Questions 5 South Koreans Detained Near Its Border With the North
New York Times

Five South Koreans, including three journalists affiliated with the mass-circulation daily JoongAng Ilbo, have been detained and questioned by the Chinese authorities along China’s border with North Korea, the South Korean government and the newspaper said on Friday.

Chung Yong-soo, a senior journalist specializing in North Korea, a photographer and a video journalist were near the Tumen River, which forms the northeastern border between China and North Korea, when they were stopped by the Chinese police on Sept. 20, said Chung Chul-gun, a JoongAng spokesman.

South Korean Bank Chief Apparently Kills Himself, Police Say
New York Times

The head of a South Korean savings bank appeared to have jumped to his death on Friday, police officials said, as prosecutors expanded their investigation into an alleged corruption scandal by raiding his and six other banks and seeking to arrest a former senior aide to President Lee Myung-bak.

Jeong Gu-Haeng, president of Jeil 2 Savings Bank, was found dead after apparently jumping from his office on the sixth floor of the bank’s headquarters in downtown Seoul, a police spokesman said, insisting on anonymity until his agency made an official announcement. People who were entering the bank witnessed Mr. Jeong falling, the spokesman said.

MIT Names Korean Scientist as Top Innovator
Chosun Ilbo

MIT has named Korea’s Kim Dae-hyeong as one of the world’s most promising scientists for his pioneering work in developing electronic skin, which allows for the measuring of heart beats and brain waves when it is attached to any part of a person’s body. The journal Science introduced the technology last August.

Sue-Jean Choi earns Scura’s Chance for Success scholarship

For many years, Realtor Jackie Scura of Re/Max First Choice in Parsippany has awarded her Jackie Scura’s Chance for Success scholarship to a local high school senior. This choice is about much more than academic achievement. Each year Scura looks for the candidate who she feels exemplifies the sort of work ethic which has brought her success in her own life and career. This year’s recipient is Sue-Jean Choi.

A recent graduate of Parsippany High School, Choi has shown an exceptional ability to balance education, volunteering and work during her high school career. She has volunteered extensively: as president of Operation Smile, as vice president of the Arcola Korean Youth Group, as a computer teacher at the Southwest Senior Center and by performing more than 50 hours of service in the Key Club.

Soju’s Sojourn: Will Korea’s National Spirit Find Staying Power in the US?
Booze Muse

Korean nationals certainly take pride in soju, their widely consumed national spirit that is ubiquitous in Korean-American communities throughout the country and is enjoyed in a variety of ways—chilled or mixed with a number of beverages, including bek-seju (a strong ginger-spiced wine), yogurt or even beer.

Soju is the second most consumed spirit in the world (according to a recent report by Forbes magazine), but when you bring it up around westerners not hip to Asian drinks, few have even heard of it. This is bound to change, since large producers like Jinro and Charm have been hard at work introducing the spirit to American audiences. “Recently we launched the ‘Kimchi Chronicles’ project with PBS,” explains David Kim of Jinro America via email. “Other than our various ads and sponsorships through local events, we are focusing on selling Jinro to the local mainstream market, such as Albertsons, Restaurant Depot, etc.”

One Roof, Three Generations – Portrait of a Chinese-American Family
New York Times

SEVEN o’clock on a Thursday morning: time for bao, Chinese breakfast buns. Dressed for school in striped leggings and a pink shirt, Mebrat Yong, 9, waited for the baby sitter to arrive at her family’s building in Chinatown with a red shopping bag filled with the steaming treats from her uncle’s bakery a few blocks away. Mebrat was dividing up this day’s buns.

She slipped a plain bun into her Hello Kitty backpack, then set aside another for Gung Gung, as she and her siblings call their 86-year-old grandfather, who speaks only Cantonese and occupies the first floor. She took a half-dozen — one coconut, two plain, one roast pork, one bacon and scallion, one cookie — up to the third floor for her aunt and three cousins, who washed them down with fruit shakes.

Wednesday’s Link Attack: Dan Choi, Sex Assault Case, North Korea
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: September 21st, 2011
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The making of Dan Choi
Global Post

When The Rachel Maddow Show came calling to discuss his public defiance of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Lt. Dan Choi answered the call of duty for what would become an all-consuming public role as the face of change within the U.S. military.

On MSNBC’s Maddow Show, the fresh-faced Choi made his debut on national television with three powerful words which he spoke while staring directly into the camera: “I am gay.”

That sentence, stated publicly, broke Army regulations and immediately put the decorated Iraq war veteran’s job on the line. They were just three words, but they sparked an international media firestorm, leading Choi — living with his parents at the time — to perform 18-hour days filled with interviews, appearances and lobbying. They also galvanized a movement that Tuesday ended with the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which like so many army regulations has its own acronym, DADT.

“I didn’t know if I could say no to anybody so I just did every interview,” Choi said of his first months as an activist.

He was using his father’s phone, who asked the newly minted superstar, “Are you turning my house into gay headquarters?”

Seung Hoon Choi leaves S. Korea for educational opportunity, ends up in No. 9 Huskers’ lineup
AP via Washington Post

Here’s a nice profile of Seung Hoon Choi, the Korean immigrant walk-on player who started for the ninth-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers last Saturday.

Choi’s parents sent him to this country with the belief he would have a better chance at a college education. The family picked Lincoln because an uncle, the brother of Seung’s father, had worked at the university as a researcher and lived here with his two children, Seung’s cousins.

Seung’s older sister, Ju-Youn Choi, preceded him to Lincoln and went on to the University of Washington — the school whose team Choi started against on Saturday.

“Although I am an alum from the University of Washington, I am happier that Huskers got victory,” Ju-Youn wrote from South Korea in an email to The Associated Press.

The only words Choi knew upon his arrival in Lincoln were “yes” and “no,” and homesickness prompted him to beg his mother, unsuccessfully, to let him to go back to South Korea.

Girl describes alleged sexual assaults at the hands of Ace Academy director in Pen Argyl
The Express-Times (Lehigh Valley, Pa.)

A 15-year-old high school girl testified this morning how the director of a Slate Belt foreign study program sexually assaulted her 17 times over a three-month period.

The girl said she recorded in her diary the dates and times that Richard Kim, 33, of Horsham, Pa., allegedly made advances and sexually assaulted her. She said the encounters started with Kim kissing her and eventually progressed into unwanted molestation and oral sex.

‘Hell on earth’: Detailed satellite photos show death camps North Korea still deny even exist
Daily Mail (U.K.)

The North Korean government may deny their existence, but photos taken from space have revealed in unprecedented detail the concentration camps that are used imprison more than 200,000 citizens.

Men, women and children are forced to work seven days a week as slaves and eat ‘rats, frogs, snakes, insects’ and even faeces to battle starvation in the camps.

Previously there have been blurred images taken by satellite but new detailed pictures from South Korea’s Unification Ministry allow a closer look at the sites – and also prove they have grown.

N.Koreans tell US of lives ‘worth less than flies’
AFP via Google News

North Korean defectors Tuesday urged the United States to isolate Kim Jong-Il’s regime as they recounted years in camps where they toiled morning until night and lives were worth less than flies.

Amid cautious international efforts to engage North Korea, US lawmakers invited two women to share their stories of suffering in a bid to put a greater priority on improving human rights in the communist nation.

Kim Hye-Sook told a congressional panel that she was taken to a prison camp with her family when she was only 13 because, she learned later, her grandfather had defected to South Korea years earlier.

Inmates were forced to work in coalmines for up to 18 hours a day and ate scraps of food, she said, and guards threatened to execute anyone who broke rules — including a ban on prisoners even knowing why they were jailed.

Springfield Sisters Make Chocolate, Write Books (Burke, Va.)

If chocolate is the basis of your food pyramid, you can’t miss Chocolate Chocolate: The True Story of Two Sisters, Tons of Treats, and the Little Shop That Could, by local authors Frances and Ginger Park.

The Park sisters co-own the popular D.C. shop Chocolate Chocolate — a Washington Post editor’s pick — and together have co-authored nine books inspired by their Korean American heritage.

Chocolate, Chocolate is their latest book and first memoir. It chronicles their lives after the death of their father in 1979. Grief stricken, the Park sisters, with their mother as a silent partner, opened a chocolate shop. It has thrived for the past twenty seven years.

[San Francisco Restaurant] Seoul Patch Starts Serving Bulgogi LTs Today
SF Weekly

Not long ago, Eric Ehler, who’d been a cook and sous-chef at Serpentine for three years, took a break from cooking to hang out in Seoul. “I didn’t just love the cuisine of Seoul,” says Ehler, who was born in Korea but had spent his life in the States. “I also wondered: What is this crazy Americanization of everything? Because of the American influence on the country after the Korean War, I saw a lot of foods there like corn dogs wrapped in french fries. Real Korean American food.”

Spotted on the Street | Heewon Kim
New York Times (fashion blog)

The Girl: Heewon Kim, a fashion stylist and the executive director of the store Qlosette, a women’s clothing boutique.

The Location: Mulberry Street between Prince and Spring.

The Look: A demure but striking combination of pretty pink lips and cheeks, framed with a strong, angled bob with bangs.

Rise Seen in North Korean Intimidation
Wall Street Journal

North Korean attempts to hack computers at South Korea’s Health Ministry and related organizations have nearly doubled this year, officials said Tuesday, part of a campaign of intimidation and sometimes violence by Pyongyang that appears to be escalating but gets less attention than military and nuclear provocations.

North Korean hackers have ramped up efforts to obtain health records of individual South Koreans that are maintained in the South’s state-run health-care system, Yoon Seok-yong, a member of the South’s parliament said. Computer systems at the South’s Health Ministry withstood over 14,000 access attempts through the first six months of the year traced to the North, compared with about 17,000 for all of 2010, he said. It is unclear what information, other than basic name and address data, is the focus of the attacks.

Is a Miracle Happening for Oh Kil-nam?
Wall Street Journal

It’s amazing news if it’s true: Oh Kil-nam’s wife and daughters are alive, after 25 years in North Korean concentration camps.

Mr. Oh, a 69-year-old former economist who has tried during all that time to bring attention to his family’s plight, hasn’t heard since the late 1980s whether his wife Shin Sook-ja and their two daughters were still alive inside North Korea’s prison system.

He learned that they were on Tuesday when he read a story in Chosun Ilbo, South Korea’s largest newspaper by circulation. (He says the newspaper didn’t call him first.)

Korea beats Oman 2-0 in Olympic football qualifier
Korea Times

Korea opened its final round of the 2012 Olympic regional qualifiers triumphantly, defeating Oman 2-0 in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, Wednesday.

Midfielder Yoon Bitgaram broke the deadlock with a free kick in the 23rd minute after a tense competition to dominate the field at the Changwon Football Center, while substitute Kim Bo-kyung secured the victory at home in the 74th.

Ji-sung Park: The United cash machine who owes it all to a diet of boiled frogs and antlers!
Daily Mail (U.K.)

At midnight on Sunday, Korean time, millions will tune their televisions or radios into Manchester United kicking off against Chelsea, none of them sure if their main man will even feature.

For this is hero worship, Asian-style, and the man they all adore is Park Ji-sung, the most successful footballer the world’s largest continent has produced.

It is also music to the ears of United’s money men because, increasingly, even the most far-flung fans are translating to cash. What does Park life sound like at Old Trafford? Ker-ching.

Report: Terrell Owens is in Korea for stem cell treatment
Yahoo Sports

Back in the day, an NFL player would tear up his knee and say, “Ah, I’ll just rub some dirt on it and go play.” We’ve evolved past that now. We’re at least to the point where a guy will insist on rubbing some Korean dirt on it before going back out and playing.

Terrell Owens is in Korea right now, according to the Korea Times, looking for a stem cell treatment he couldn’t get here in the states. Owens tore his ACL a couple of months ago, and I guess it’s not healing as fast as he wants it to.

More from the Korea Times.

Two Men Arrested in Killing of TV Reporter in China
New York Times

The police in central Henan Province have arrested two men suspected of killing a television reporter whose microblog posting touched on a scandal involving the illegal reuse of cooking oil, the state media reported Wednesday.

In the days since the reporter, Li Xiang, 30, was stabbed to death, the Chinese media have speculated that his murder may have been prompted by a posting he sent out about a local factory that processed and resold discarded restaurant grease.

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