Tag Archives: dan choi

Friday's Link Attack: Steven Yeun, Priscilla Ahn, Dan Choi

‘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

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
Patch.com (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.

Gay Former Army Officer To Reenlist Following Repeal

The U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was repealed effective midnight last night and Dan Choi — who was discharged from the U.S. Army after coming out on a talk show — said he would reenlist, according to Politico.

“Going back to the military will be a vindication,” Choi told Politico. [I’m] going back because I fought to go back. The seriousness of our claims was not just political theatre – it was really drawn from our lives. I sacrificed so much so I could go back.”

In October 2010, he attempted to rejoin the U.S. Army, but has gone back and forth since then. Choi has scheduled appointment with a military recruiter to talk about joining the Army Reserves later this week. Continue reading

Tuesday's Link Attack: Dan Choi on Trial, Eden, Kim Jong Il

Gay former Army officer on trial in DC for protest
AP via Google News

A gay former Army lieutenant arrested for handcuffing himself to a White House fence during a protest is being treated differently because he is a prominent voice for gay rights, his lawyer said Monday.

Dan Choi, a West Point graduate and Iraq War veteran, is charged with disobeying police orders to leave an area in front of the White House during a November 2010 protest of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell policy.” During the protest, 13 people handcuffed themselves to the fence, some in uniform, chanting slogans including “let us serve.”

Choi’s attorney Robert Feldman said Monday at the start of his trial in federal court in Washington that people arrested for protesting at the White House are usually charged in local court where the penalty for disobeying a police order is a fine of between $100 and $1,000. But Choi was charged in federal court, where he faces both a fine and jail time of up to six months.

Survivor of human trafficking and sex slavery on set for film shooting in Kirkland
Kirkland Reporter (Wash.)

The movie, “Eden,” that was partially being filmed in Kirkland Thursday was inspired by [Chong Kim’s] true story as a survivor of domestic human trafficking and sexual slavery. The film stars actress Jamie Chung and actor Beau Bridges.

Japanese journalists ‘offered $10,000′ for video of Kim Jong-Il
Russian International News Agency

Japanese journalists offered supermarket staff $10,000 for footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il’s visit to their East Siberian store, a spokesperson for the supermarket said on Tuesday.

To Foreigners in Korea: Please learn a little Korean
Marmot’s Hole

A video is circulating on the Korean Internet of a black gentleman yelling at and threatening an elderly Korean couple.

His violent behavior was the result of him misunderstanding the elderly man’s comment to him. The elderly man reportedly said “니가 여기 앉아” (a sign of consideration) but not knowing Korean, the man in question interpreted “니가” as the N-word which led to his violent outburst.

“Obstructing Business”: South Koreans on the March
Huffington Post

I was in Seoul, South Korea this month at the invitation of the wonderful EBS TV Documentary Festival, and was truly, happily surprised to see a resurgence of activism among ordinary Koreans. Don’t get me wrong. Since its founding, Korea has had a tradition of fierce, die-hard activism (which Koreans themselves may attribute to a diet high in garlic and red pepper, as well as their commitment to social justice), but this ferocity seemed to have gone dormant in the mid-nineties. I was overjoyed to find that this was no longer the case.

Angels’ Conger proud of Ocean View Little Leaguers
Orange County Register

ESPN’s cameras were in the Angels’ clubhouse before the game Sunday as part of the network’s ‘Baseball Tonight’ coverage. They caught several Angels gathered around the big-screen TV, watching the Ocean View Little League team beat the Japanese team, 2-1, in the Little League World Series championship game.

While there were “friendly wagers” among a few players, rookie catcher Hank Conger had the most direct rooting interest. The Huntington Beach native played for Ocean View and reached the West Region championship in 2000 before losing.


Group Of KA Churches Oppose Ordination of Gay Clergy

Former Army officer Dan Choi has been a vocal proponent of gay rights.

A group of more than 400 Korean American Presbyterian churches have come out in opposition of a recent decision by a national assembly of Presbyterian churches to allow gay members to become ordained church officials.

The Presbyterian Church U.S.A. ruled last May to allow openly gay men and women in same-sex relationships to join the clergy; the ruling went into effect last Sunday.

While some churches have embraced the change, others are standing fast in opposition.

The National Council of Korean Presbyterian Churches, which is comprised of 430 Korean-American churches with more than 55,000 active members, held a three-day conference in June to discuss the new ordinance.

“We would not ordain active homosexuals,” said Pastor Tae Young Ko, the conference moderator and senior pastor at Good Shepherd Presbyterian in Rowland Heights, Calif. “This meeting reaffirmed that the Korean-American community would not support this and we will try to help local churches strongly reaffirm our conviction.”

The Korean American contingent constitutes the second largest ethnic caucus in the denomination.

However, not all Korean-American Christians are opposed to the amendment.

Former Army officer Dan Choi, known for being discharged from the Army National Guard after revealing his sexuality on national television, praised the change.

“I think it’s a great decision by the [Presbyterian Church] and I hope that all other religious denominations will recognize their fellow gay and lesbian congregants,” Choi told the Orange County Register. “Jesus would have us love all gay people and treat them as equal preachers of God.”

Choi, an Iraq war veteran, said he grew up in a strict Korean-American household and his father was a senior pastor in a church in Garden Grove. He said his public announcement in 2009 strained his relationship with his parents and they do not speak to this day.

Some Presbyterian churches have already seceded from the denomination as a result of the contentious verdict.

Friday's Link Attack: Kimchi Chronicles, Lt. Dan Choi, North Korea

Lt. Dan Choi slams Obama volunteer for lack of support for marriage equality
Washington Blade

The former military officer kicked out due to the anti-gay “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy made headlines again yesterday.

During a panel discussion, a young Obama campaign volunteer handed Choi campaign material promoting President Obama to the gay community and asked him for support ahead of the 2012 election.

Making his case for Obama, the worker said he couldn’t offer support for same-sex marriage, but noted the president has accomplished other things for the LGBT community. Choi asked the volunteer to clarify that Obama doesn’t [support] marriage equality, to which the worker responded, “No,” and continued to make his case.

At this point, Choi ripped the campaign pamphlet handed to him in two and flung the pieces toward the campaign worker. The volunteer went on to say something about civil unions, then retreated back to the audience.

Read the Huffington Post’s take on the news here.

Super-Chef Jean-Georges Goes Korean in New Series
AP via ABC News

Vongerichten, whose empire includes 10 restaurants in New York alone, among them his flagship Jean Georges and the Asian-themed Spice Market, spent five formative years in Asia but was still unfamiliar with Korean cuisine until recently.

“I didn’t know anything about it until I met Marja,” he says. His wife of six years has been cooking Korean more and more since the show got under way, vying for kitchen space with her husband.

South Korea won’t return 9 defectors from the North

South Korea’s Unification Ministry on Friday rejected a demand from the North to repatriate nine of its citizens who defected to the South by boat over the weekend.

The South’s Red Cross informed North Korea through a statement that all nine defectors have expressed their desire to defect to the South, a statement from the ministry said.

Japan scientist synthesizes meat from human feces
Digital Trends via Yahoo News

Mitsuyuki Ikeda, a researcher from the Okayama Laboratory, has developed steaks based on proteins from human excrement. Tokyo Sewage approached the scientist because of an overabundance of sewage mud. They asked him to explore the possible uses of the sewage and Ikeda found that the mud contained a great deal of protein because of all the bacteria.

Shop’s closure leaves brides in distress
The Arizona Republic

A number of stressed-out brides-to-be were suddenly left without wedding dresses when a bridal shop in Arizona closed down without any warning.

Some of the nuptials were only weeks away, and the brides had ordered their dresses months in advance. Kihuk Choi, I Do I Do Bridal owner, could not be reached for comment.

Jennifer Glass and fiance Ivan Schustak had ordered her dress over a year ago and completed the full payment of about $1,500 by April. Their wedding is scheduled for Aug. 14 in Washington state.

When the dress had not been delivered to her parents’ house in Washington by the end of May as scheduled, she started investigating. Like many, she went to the store at 1635 E. Indian School Road in Phoenix on June 7 and found it closed. No one picked up the phone. The voice mailbox was full.

The story has a semi-happy ending as Choi’s relative drove up from Tuscon and delivered the wedding dresses that were ready for pickup.

Lt. Dan Choi, Back in the Army

Photo via NYTimes

Lt. Dan Choi, the Korean American who became the face of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal movement, re-enlisted in the military on Tuesday, this time as an openly gay man.

Choi, who was honorably discharged from the military after coming out, created a stir when he and Cpt. James Pietrangelo II were arrested for chaining themselves to the White House fence in a non-violent protest. Continue reading