Monday’s Link Attack: Ramen Burger Expands to LA; Daniel Henney’s New Movie; Chang-Yong Lim Makes MLB Debut
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: September 9th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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North Korea’s Ten Principles Show Regime Rigidity
Wall Street Journal

Retired NBA superstar Dennis Rodman returned from another highly publicized visit to North Korea on Saturday without hospitalized Korean-American prisoner Kenneth Bae in tow. But he did have one piece of exciting news.

According to Mr. Rodman, youthful “compadre” Kim Jong Un “wants to really actually change things” in the country he inherited from his father, Kim Jong Il, at the end of 2011.

Other news tells a different story. Seoul-based website Daily NK exclusively revealed recently that Pyongyang has updated and confirmed its “Ten Principles for the Establishment of the One-Ideology System.” This move offers some of the strongest evidence yet that Kim Jong Un is steering a similar course to his father.

Student takes on Michelle Rhee
Washington Post

School reformer extraordinaire Michelle Rhee has begun a three-city event where she is hosting town halls in what she says is an effort to have a “real talk” with teachers, who for years have viewed her as anything but a friend. (The same could be said of one of her traveling companions on this tour, Connecticut educator Steve Perry, who is famous for referring to teachers unions as “roaches.”)

Rhee and her panel began their tour in Los Angeles earlier this week and will go to Birmingham on Sept. 12 and then Philadelphia on Sept. 16. One of the more interesting moments of the Los Angeles town hall was when a University of Southern California student, Hannah Nguyen, called out Rhee on her “school reform” movement.

It turns that Hannah Nguyen is a former big supporter of Rhee’s brand of reform, once belonging to Students for Education Reform. She changed her mind after looking at what really happens in schools and now is involved with Students United for Public Education.

S. Korean Rebellion Plot Turns Spotlight on Spy Agency
Voice of America

On September 4, South Korea’s parliament for the first time voted to prosecute one of its lawmakers for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government in favor of North Korea. The lawmaker and the North Koreans are denying the allegation and instead accusing South Korea’s spy agency, the National Intelligence Service, of fabricating it for political purposes.

Seoul’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) last week arrested Lee Seok-ki and three other members of his Unified Progressive Party for treason and violating the National Security Law.

The NIS alleges they plotted an armed rebellion against their own country in the event of war with North Korea.

Angry Asian Man Not So Angry

The Angry Asian Man isn’t always angry. Mostly he just wants to catch people’s attention. Host Michel Martin speaks with blog creator Phil Yu about the blog’s unexpected growth and some of the biggest issues facing Asian-Americans today.

Regional Police Report: Woman Killed in Route 83 Crash; Diamond Heist Investigated (Des Plaines, Ill.)

Long Grove

One Dead, Two Injured in Route 83 Crash

A Buffalo Grove woman was killed in a crash near Route 83 and Westmoreland in Long Grove Thursday evening.

Jeewon Kim, 47, of Buffalo Grove, sustained multiple traumatic injuries in the crash, said Lake County Senior Deputy Coroner Orlando Portillo.

A blue 2011 Honda CRV and a red 2007 Ford F150 collided in the intersection, said Sgt. Sara Balmes with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. Kim was driving the Honda CRV.

Henney drawn to ugly character in ‘Spy’
Korea Joongang Daily

Actor Daniel Henney, 34, who became popular in the TV drama “My Name is Kim Sam-soon,” returned to the big screen in the new movie “Spy,” released in Korea yesterday.

Although he has the image of a romantic guy thanks to his TV drama role, his latest character is evil.

Henney plays a charming spy named Ryan, who in a bid to get closer to his target, Cheol-soo, attracts his wife.

“It is not fun when everyone acts as a comical character just because the movie is a comedy, and we need one character that is straightforward,” he said to the JoongAng Ilbo, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily.

‘Oldboy’ Choi Min-sik Signs on for Luc Besson’s Latest Flick
Chosun Ilbo

Choi Min-sik will appear in his first non-Korean film, “Lucy,” the latest flick by French director Luc Besson. It boasts a star-studded cast including Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman.

Choi has been receiving offers from around the world since the huge success in 2003 of “Oldboy,” directed by Park Chan-wook. Filming on “Lucy” will begin this fall, with a release date scheduled for next year.

A number of Korean actors have been expanding their international careers recently, with actors like Lee Byung-hun and Song Kang-ho probably the highest profile as they have both appeared in current Hollywood hits.

Alina Cho Leaves CNN
Media Bistro

Alina Cho, who has been with CNN nearly 10 years, parted ways with the network last week. Most recently, Cho had been CNN’s fashion correspondent hosting half-hour specials on the industry.

“I am so thankful for all of the opportunities CNN has given me over the last decade,” Cho tells TVNewser. “I have been given a front row seat to military parades in North Korea, presidential elections and, yes, the Paris runways.”

Cho joined CNN in 2004 after stints at ABC News, affiliate service NewsOne, CNBC, and at local news stations in Tampa and Chicago.

15 Male Korean actors that should get more screen time in Hollywood

As the Hallyu wave gets bigger and bigger, it’s not just idols who are branching out into international markets! For actors, their biggest dream is to act in Hollywood. There are many actors who have started to branch into Hollywood movies, but who can get enough of these Korean hotties? Additionally, there’s also Korean American and other actors who have already established a foothold in Hollywood but they’re not being utilized as much as we would like.

Here is a list of more Koreans we’d like to see more often in Hollywood, in no specific order.

Veteran Pitcher Lim Chang-yong Makes MLB Debut with Cubs
Chosun Ilbo

Lim Chang-yong finally made his Major League Baseball debut in a home game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday, coming on the Chicago Cubs’ third pitcher in the top of the seventh with one out.

At the age of 37 years, three months, and four days, Lim became the second-oldest player to debut with the club since 1901. He gave up one hit and one walk, but wrapped up the inning with a double play, not conceding any runs in 2/3 innings.


Four Hour Lines at Ramen Burger’s Los Angeles Debut
Eater LA

Saturday morning, ramen lovers and food enthusiasts lined up as early as 6:20 a.m. at Torrance’s Mitsuwa Marketplace to be one of the first to try the newest oddball culinary mashup: the Ramen Burger™. Invented by Keizo Shimamoto and popularized for the last five weeks at Brooklyn’s Smorgasbord weekend food flea market, a mere 500 of the novelty burgers were supposed to be served starting at 11 a.m. Instead, an anxious line of over 800 people encircled the entire building, many for over four hours before getting a chance to grab the neatly wrapped burger.

Inside, just before the line was allowed to descend upon the food stall taken over by Shimamoto’s team, a mass of media rushed to capture the scene and interview staffers on the back story. Jeffrey Shimamoto, Keizo’s brother, seemed to be behind the operation’s business end, with a hint that a longer term presence in L.A. was in the store for the future. There was also a heartfelt moment when Keizo Shimamoto served his mother, who lives in Southern California, a ramen burger for the first time.

Giraffe’s Baby-Making Record Puts Koreans to Shame
Wall Street Journal

A giraffe is putting South Koreans to shame for their ultra-low birthrate.

Jang-soon, a giraffe based at a safari park just outside Seoul set a world record on Sunday after she gave birth to her 18th calf, park operator Samsung Everland said.

Until Sunday, Jang-soon had shared the record of 17 offspring born in a controlled environment with a giraffe named Lamba at Paris zoo, which died in 2005.

Sharon Lee Crafts Chic Wallpaper Inspired by Korean Folk Art
Los Angeles Confidential

After cutting her teeth working for White House interior decorator Michael S. Smith, artist/designer Sharon Lee opted to strike out on her own last year and hasn’t looked back. A Los Angeles native, Lee, 29, turned to her Korean American roots to craft a line of contemporary art—and new home goods—based on elements found in her culture’s folk art, oddly underrepresented in the realm of pan-Asian-inspired works. We caught up with the innovative talent at her home studio in West LA to talk about her new hand-screened wallpaper collection, being a Korean American artist, and what her future in the design world holds.

How did your interest in fine art develop?
SHARON LEE: I have been an artist all my life and have explored every medium under the sun—drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, and ceramics, along with set, costume, jewelry, and interior design. At UCLA School of the Arts I studied with Catherine Opie, under whom I created Dollhouse, a series of large-scale conceptual photographs exploring Asian stereotypes.

What was it like working as a designer for Michael Smith?
SL: It was an incredible experience where I gained a first-rate design education. I was exposed to many innovative designers and artists. When I had the idea to create a wallpaper line based on my artwork and go out on my own, the company was very supportive.

Korean Smokers Turn to Sucking Tobacco
Wall Street Journal

South Korea’s increasing crackdown on smoking appears to be spurring some tobacco fans to turn to a Swedish powder variety.

Steam-cured tobacco pouches known as ‘snus’ have begun appearing around South Korea since earlier this year, with their importers saying they present an alternative less damaging to health.

The moist powdered tobacco is packaged in a teabag-like pouch and is tucked under the upper lip to give off nicotine. Because it is ingested through the gums, advocates say it’s an easy way to quit smoking with no lung cancer risks. But critics, including the World Health Organization, say tobacco in any form poses grave health threats.

Tuesday’s Link Attack: Korea-Japan Relations Still Cold; Daniel Henney’s New Movie; John Cho’s ‘The Office’ Audition
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: August 6th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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Seoul-Tokyo ties remain icy one year after Lee’s Dokdo visit
Yonhap News

A year after former President Lee Myung-bak’s high-profile visit to Dokdo, relations between South Korea and Japan remain frosty with no signs of improvement following a recent series of provocative actions by Tokyo, analysts said Tuesday.

Bilateral ties took a major blow after the former South Korean president set foot on the easternmost South Korean islets on Aug. 10 last year, becoming the first sitting local head of state to do so.

The bold move, intended to reassert South Korea’s sovereignty over the islets, sparked a strong backlash from Tokyo, which has long laid claim to the outcroppings that lie about halfway between the countries.

Clock Ticking on Koreas’ Idled Kaesong Park
Wall Street Journal

Idle since all North Korean workers withdrew four months ago, the nine-year-old Kaesong industrial park—a rare symbol of inter-Korean cooperation—neared a crucial step Tuesday toward its potential demise.

The unification ministry in Seoul, handling cross-border relations, said Tuesday it had almost completed reviewing state-funded insurance payment for 109 of the 123 South Korean firms operating in Kaesong, paving the way for paying damages to the companies.

Upon receiving state reparation, the companies would be required to hand over control of their Kaesong assets to the Seoul government.

National Geographic, Korea, and the 38th Parallel: How a National Geographic map helped divide Korea
National Geographic

Sixty years ago North and South Korea ended the “Korean Conflict” by agreeing to the Armistice Agreement for the Restoration of the South Korean State. The agreement—a cease-fire, not a peace treaty—called for the Korean peninsula to be divided by a Military Demarcation Line (MDL) and a buffer, the demilitarized zone (DMZ), whose function would be to “prevent the occurrence of incidents which might lead to a resumption of hostilities.”

The armistice line meanders in an east-west fashion across Korea, connecting what Koreans call the East Sea with Gyeonggi Bay, 148 miles (238 kilometers) away off the peninsula’s west coast.

Although it approximates the positions held by communist and U.S.-led U.N. forces for most of the last two-thirds of the war, the MDL is not the same line that had divided Korea before North invaded South in June, 1950.

Two-time North Korean defectors detained in China are in limbo
South China Morning Post

China is in a diplomatic quandary on how to treat North Korean defector Kim Kwang-ho and his family who were arrested by public security officials in the northeastern city of Yanji last month.

What complicates Kim’s case is the fact that he and his wife originally defected from the North in August 2009 and settled in South Korea in March 2010.

Chinese authorities are trying to determine whether Kim, his wife Kim Ok-sil and his one-year-old daughter should be treated as North Korean citizens or as South Koreans.

Former North Korean child beggar wins fame as TV chef

With her flower-print dress and black hair dyed a fashionable light brown, Kim Ha-na does not seem like a former child beggar who risked her life three times trying to escape from North Korea before finally fleeing at the age of 15.

Kim, 25, settled in South Korea in 2005, and has recently gained television fame with a run in the competitive cooking show Masterchef Korea.

She hopes her spell in the spotlight will help her find her father, who she last saw as they tried to flee across the North Korean border into China, with North Korean guards in hot pursuit.

Joe Yun all set for work as U.S. ambassador to Malaysia
Yonhap News via GlobalPost

Joseph Yun, a Korean-American diplomat, plans to begin his work as the new top U.S. envoy in Malaysia in late August or early September, a diplomatic source said Tuesday.

Yun, principal deputy assistant secretary of state handling Southeast Asian affairs, underwent a Senate confirmation hearing last week for his nomination as ambassador to Malaysia.

“He was confirmed by the Senate last week. He is expected to start his work in late August or early September,” the source said.

N.Y. woman indicted in murders of ex-boyfriend, River Edge woman

An Orange County woman who allegedly stalked her ex-boyfriend before killing him and his new lover has been indicted for their murders.

Monica Mogg, 49, of Washingtonville, N.Y., could face up to two consecutive life terms if convicted of murdering Arthur Noeldechen, also from Washingtonville, and Jung Yi “Lillian” Kim, 42, of River Edge, on Oct. 30. She is currently being held on $3 million bail in the Bergen County Jail, according to court records.

DREAM Riders Cross the Country to Tell Stories
Epoch Times

When Kevin Lee was little, his mother warned him to keep his families’ immigration status a secret. “Mom said, ‘Kevin, don’t say anything,’ and I knew at any moment my parents could be taken away. I knew I was undocumented. Some people find out later.”

Lee is a Dreamer, an undocumented youth who received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, (DACA). It means he can get a drivers’ license and work legally, and will not be deported. His parents could still be deported. There is no similar program for people over 30.

Before the Dream Act or DACA, Lee went to the Navy to enlist, but found he could not enlist without a Social Security number. “Even though I pledged allegiance to the flag every day (in school) I was not really an American,” he said in an American accent.

Family Ties: More Than a Face in the Crowd
Huffington Post

The bonds of family are extremely strong in most Asian-American households. So it should be no surprise that many short films screened during 2013′s CAAMFest offer unique perspectives on family relations. Three shorts stand out among this year’s crop.

Many people can point to an aunt or uncle who was always a bit odd, or danced to a different drummer. But for filmmaker Samantha Chan, her 100-year-old great aunt’s extensive film career was a mystery that needed to be solved.

Many people may have noticed Jane Chung’s cameo appearances in When Harry Met Sally, Chinatown, and The Birds. But as Chan documents in More Than a Face in the Crowd, her great aunt’s screen career (which began at a time when acting was often equated with prostitution) led to roles in more than 50 films and several television series.

What lessons could public schools take from South Korean cram schools?

The Wall Street Journal has a fascinating article on South Korea’s hagwons, the for-profit cram schools that nearly three out of four South Korean students attend. What can American public schools learn from a country where top tutors can earn up to $4 million a year?

Update: This is one of those posts where the best nuggets, in my opinion, are in the comments. There are some great discussions going on from people with experience in both the US and South Korean educational systems.

It’s interesting to compare this world of private tutoring, where parents shell out more to have their students taught by top-performing tutors, with Finland’s entirely public education system, in which schools provide education as well as food, counseling, and medical care. Two very different educational cultures, both marked by highly motivated teachers—at least according to the WSJ piece on the South Korean side.

Crystal Kim ’15 Examines Korean Fever for Education
Hamilton College

Crystal Kim ’15 grew up in America with South Korean parents, and she was often struck by the difference between her American education and her Korean upbringing. Upon realizing that education is a central part of Korean culture, she decided that she needed to gain a better understanding of Korea and of her own heritage. She is taking advantage of the summer to do just that with an Emerson Foundation grant, “The Korean Fever for Education: An Examination of Historical Foundations, Cultural Transmittance, Educational Inequalities, and Social Issues,” working with Director of the Education Studies Program Susan Mason as her advisor.

Last summer, as an intern with KoreAm Journal, a monthly Korean-American culture and news magazine, she read multiple articles about education, which sparked her interest in the topic. Her goal this summer is to gain a broad understanding of Korean education. In order to do so, Kim is reading many books and articles that discuss modern Korea and the history that led to the current educational system. In particular, she is researching “Education Fever,” a cultural obsession with education and educational credentials as a primary means of societal success and recognition. Kim described it as “almost a religious fervor.”

Daniel Henney to Return with New Film
Chosun Ilbo

Heartthrob Daniel Henney on Monday appeared with other cast members at a press event to promote his new movie “The Spy,” which is set to be released in early September.

He was accompanied by fellow stars Sol Kyung-gu and Moon So-ri.

The comic action film set in Bangkok, Thailand is the story of a spy and his wife, who has no idea what he does for a living.

‘The Office’: Watch Adam Scott, John Cho and more audition for the show

In 2003, as the American version of “The Office” was just getting off the ground, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn and Bob Odenkirk were among the actors who auditioned for the roles of Jim, Pam and Michael.

Press reports from that time, and a Facebook post by “Office” star Rainn Wilson from earlier this year, clued us in to some of the people who read for roles on the show. Now, you can actually see some of those auditions.

Readings by Scott and John Cho (Jim), Seth Rogen (Dwight), Odenkirk (Michael), Hahn (Pam) and future “Modern Family” star Eric Stonestreet (Kevin) are part of an extra feature on “The Office” Season 9 Blu-ray and DVD sets. You can get a glimpse of their readings in the clip below.

Crayon Pop Does The Straight-Five Engine Dance
Wall Street Journal

Are these five jumping girls on their way to produce this year’s “Gangnam Style?”

“Bar Bar Bar,” the latest single by girl group Crayon Pop, is emerging from left field in South Korea with eccentric choreography that has pundits comparing with Psy’s famous horse-dance routine.

Known as the “Straight-Five Engine Dance,” the five girls jump up and down during the track’s refrain, mirroring the movements of five engine cylinders.

How To Say Goodbye by Dia Frampton
Channel APA

Former Voice contestant singer Dia Frampton released her original song “How To Say Goodbye”. The break up song ponders on where the relationship went wrong, but the only thing to do now is to say goodbye. The separation is heart breaking and leaves an indelible mark on everyone involved. In the video, her vocals are backed by a quartet of guitars, a mandolin, and a cello.

Park In-bee ready to start fresh after disappointing Women’s British Open
Yonhap News

After coming up short in winning her fourth straight LPGA major last weekend, South Korean star Park In-bee said Tuesday she is ready to put the disappointment behind her.

Park arrived home on Tuesday to rest after competing at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at the Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland. She was seeking to become the first golfer, male or female, to win four consecutive professional majors in the same season, but she finished tied for 42nd at 6-over par, 14 shots behind the champion, Stacy Lewis of the United States.

At Incheon International Airport, Park, the world’s No. 1-ranked female golfer, said she was relieved to be done with the event.

SPORTS BRIEFS: Generals’ Ji-Man Choi is Southern League Hitter of the Week
Jackson Sun (Tenn.)

Jackson infielder Ji-Man Choi has been named the Southern League’s Hitter of the Week for the week July 29-August 4. During the last week Choi batted .350 with four extra base hits and 10 RBI. Choi also drew eight walks and registered a .536 on-base percentage.

Choi is a native of Kwang Yeuk, South Korea and was signed by Seattle as a non-drafted free agent in 2009. He was a member of the World squad during the 2013 Futures Game in New York.

Monday’s game was postponed to today.

World’s first road-powered electric vehicle network switches on in South Korea

South Korea has rolled out the world’s first road-powered electric vehicle network. The network consists of special roads that have electrical cables buried just below the surface, which wirelessly transfer energy to electric vehicles via magnetic resonance. Road-powered electric vehicles are exciting because they only require small batteries, significantly reducing their overall weight and thus their energy consumption. There’s also the small fact that, with an electrified roadway, you never have to plug your vehicle in to recharge it, removing most of the risk and range anxiety associated with electric vehicles (EVs).

The network consists of 24 kilometers (15 miles) of road in the city of Gumi, South Korea. For now, the only vehicles that can use the network are two Online Electric Vehicles (OLEV) — public transport buses that run between the train station and In-dong.

March Cover Story: Daniel Henney Is Ready For His Hollywood Close-Up
Author: KoreAm
Posted: March 19th, 2013
Filed Under: Back Issues , BLOG , FEATURED ARTICLE
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Leading Man

Actor Daniel Henney, who first shot to fame in Korea in the hit drama My Lovely Sam Soon, is now ready for his Hollywood close-up.

story by ADA TSENG
photographs by MITCHELL NGUYEN MCCORMACK/Corbis | styling: JULIET VO grooming: ERICA SAUER @ The Wall Group | stylist’s assistants: LAURYN STONE and TESS OAKLAND

For the past eight years, Korean American actor Daniel Henney has been juggling roles on both sides of the Pacific. Adored as a heartthrob in Korean dramas and films, Henney shot to stardom after playing Dr. Henry Kim in the drama My Lovely Sam Soon, and soon after that, became a household name in Korea, with leading man roles on the small and big screens, as well as high-profile ad campaigns, like the 2005 one for the South Korean fashion brand Bean Pole International that co-starred Gwyneth Paltrow.

The Michigan-born Henney had decided to relocate to Korea in the first place because he wasn’t getting the acting opportunities he wanted in the U.S. But when he got to Seoul, he realized he had a lot to learn before he could even be competitive in Hollywood. Now that he has fame and clout in Asia, many of Henney’s American fans, who have caught glimpses of him on X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the recent Schwarzenegger flick The Last Stand or even the short-lived CBS series Three Rivers, have wondered when the actor might be coming home to America for good.

Well, the answer is: he’s home. This doesn’t mean he’s given up his jet-setting lifestyle—his next two films include The Negotiator, an action film in Korea, and F*** I’m Pregnant, a romantic comedy in China—but he has a place in Los Angeles and is preparing for the right opportunity to break into the U.S. market. Continue Reading »

Daniel Henney, ‘Shanghai Calling’ Cast Celebrate Opening Of Award-Winning Film
Author: KoreAm
Posted: February 14th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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(L-R) Daniel Henney, Janet Yang (producer), Eliza Coupe, Bill Paxton, Zhu Zhu, Sean Gallagher and Daniel Hsia (director) at the L.A. premiere of Shanghai Calling. Photo by Araya Diaz/WireImage.


The sharply dressed cast of Shanghai Calling, an award-winning rom-com starring Korean American actor Daniel Henney, made their way to Los Angeles on Tuesday night, where they screened the film at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The movie opens in Los Angeles and New York City on Feb. 15.

The film’s director Daniel Hsia was the first to make his way down the red carpet, and he chatted with reporters about making his very first feature film, loosely based on experiences he and his fellow Chinese American expat friends had when they lived abroad in Shanghai. He was soon joined by producer Janet Yang, romantic lead Henney (who plays Sam Chao), Eliza Coupe (Amanda), Bill Paxton (Donald), Sean Gallagher (Brad) and Zhu Zhu (Fang Fang).

In the film, Sam Chao is an ambitious Manhattan attorney who is relocated temporarily to Shanghai to open the law firm’s satellite office. If successful with the assignment, Sam may make partner at his firm, but the Chinese American, who has spent much of his life ignoring his heritage, isn’t thrilled about being sent to the motherland. Continue Reading »

Monday Giveaway: ‘Shanghai Calling’ Premiere With Daniel Henney
Author: KoreAm
Posted: February 4th, 2013
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Here’s your chance to go to the theatrical premiere of SHANGHAI CALLING to be attended by actor Daniel Henney on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese 6. Enter now for your chance to win a pair of tickets to this screening. Just follow the three easy steps below to enter.

Like KoreAm on Facebook
Follow KoreAm on Twitter and tweet us telling us WHY you want to win
Comment on this post below with your Twitter Handle AND name as it appears on Facebook Continue Reading »

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