Tag Archives: Dia Frampton

Monday's Link Attack: Judge Brian G. Kim, Crime, North Korea

Montgomery judge fined in road-rage case resigns
Washington Post

A Montgomery County judge recently fined in a road-rage case resigned Friday, according to his attorney.

District Judge Brian G. Kim was approaching his 10-year reconfirmation process. A colorful and controversial figure in Rockville legal circles, he was known for running a tight courtroom.

Kim’s attorney, Barry Helfand, said the judge “wanted to seek a new opportunity.” He said that Kim, 50, did not want to be interviewed.

In April, Kim paid a $510 fine for a traffic citation stemming from an Oct. 18, 2010, incident that started outside the Montgomery District Courthouse at the end of a business day.

Kim, driving a Honda CR-V, was accused of tailgating a Volkswagen Passat — apparently after believing he’d been cut off — and following it onto Interstate 270. The Passat’s driver, Rachel Viglianti, filed a report with Maryland State Police asserting that the CR-V driver kept “zooming up beside me, yelling through the windows and gesturing.” She also said that the Honda reached about 70 mph and zoomed over to her lane, causing her to slam on her brakes to avoid a wreck.

Man charged with second-degree murder after body found in SUV
Toronto Star

Toronto police have laid second-degree murder charges after a man was found dead in an SUV in North York Friday.

The victim has been identified as Victor Seung, 33. Joon Sung Kim, also known as Kevin Kim, has been charged with second degree murder. He was scheduled to appear in court Saturday.

Residents of a quiet, modest North York neighbourhood expressed shock and disbelief after Seung’s body was found Friday afternoon in a vehicle on Willowdale Ave., north of Finch Ave. E.

Police were called just after 1 p.m. Seung, was pronounced dead at the scene, said Const. Tony Vella. He died as a result of injuries inflicted by a sharp object, according to police.

Motorist charged after elderly woman killed in Albany Park hit-and-run
Chicago Tribune

Charges have been filed against a motorist who allegedly struck and killed an elderly woman crossing the street on the Northwest Side Saturday.

Jose Cornejo-Flores, 51, of the 3600 block of North Francisco Avenue, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death, according to police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro. He was ordered held in lieu of $50,000 bail today, officials said.

Hyun Cho, 76, of the 4000 block of North Spaulding Avenue, was pronounced dead at 12:23 p.m. at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, according to a spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

An Abductee’s Daughter Speaks Out About an Unhealed Korean Wound
New York Times

Since 2000, Ms. Lee has campaigned to generate more interest in the fate of tens of thousands of South Koreans believed to have been forcibly taken to North Korea during the Korean War six decades ago. She has been demanding that the government negotiate for the return of those who may still be alive and the remains of those who are not. Government officials have never made that issue a priority when they have sat down with their North Korean counterparts, treating her campaign as a distraction from what they consider a more important task: persuading the North to abandon its nuclear weapons.

Once Again, Lawmaker Escapes Punishment
Wall Street Journal

Can any wrongdoing get a South Korean lawmaker removed from office?

Slanderous foot-in-mouth disease doesn’t do it; one lawmaker clung to his seat after slamming the TV news profession by suggesting female reporters sleep their way to the top. And violence doesn’t do it either, with the lawmaker who set off tear gas in the chamber of the National Assembly escaping penalty.

Indeed, the tear-gas tosser Kim Sun-dong over the weekend was appointed vice floor leader of a new party called the United Progressive Party.

[ad#graphic-square]

Downtown Murder Suspect Pleads Not Guilty
Patch.com (Bellevue, Wa.)

Sung Ho Kim, 43, the Redmond man that prosecutors say shot and killed a man he believed was having an affair with his wife, pleaded not guilty at an arraignment Friday morning, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Kim is accused of shooting Jin Kim — an employee of the wife and no relation to the family — at a Belle Arts apartment building in downtown Bellevue on Nov. 15. Kim pleaded not guilty to a charge of Murder Second Degree and remains in jail with bail set at $2 million, according to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Dog, Gone
Wall Street Journal

Columnist Jeff Yang mourns the death of his Jindo dog.

My friend Hyungwon Kang — a senior staff photographer with Reuters, and perhaps America’s foremost authority on Korean dogs — has told me that Shaohu’s personality was typical of this exceptional breed. “Faithful, independent, and very proud,” he calls them. They’re also devastatingly smart, fiercely fearless, and capable of extraordinary (and sometimes infuriating) feats.

Store Owner Still Waiting for Looters to Pay
Bay Citizen (Oakland, Calif.)

On July 8, 2010, as an angry crowd made its way through downtown Oakland smashing windows, James Cho and his wife, Kim, huddled in the back of his store, JC Jewelry, along with an employee and her 2-year-old daughter.

That day, members of the crowd, enraged over the involuntary manslaughter conviction of Johannes Mehserle, the BART police officer who had killed Oscar Grant in 2009, looted stores and lit trash cans on fire.

“It seemed like the people were crazy. I understood why they were angry,” Cho said. “But I was scared to death.”

By late afternoon, Cho heard people shaking the steel bars covering his windows, which eventually gave way. More than 200 people rushed into the store, smashing glass jewelry cases, punching Cho in the face, pummeling his wife and running off with around $100,000 worth of merchandise — enough to force the jeweler out of business.

South Korea police probe possible election fraud
Los Angeles Times

REPORTING FROM SEOUL — Probing political chicanery reminiscent of some banana republic nation (or perhaps the state of Florida circa 2000) South Korean authorities are investigating a case of alleged election fraud that appears to be designed to keep a ruling-party candidate in office.

Police say that an aide to a lawmaker for the nation’s Grand National Party organized a widespread cyber attack to confuse voters trying to get to the polls on election day in late October.

The aide, who is in custody, reportedly hired three Internet technology workers to cause computer breakdowns on a website designed to help voters find their polling stations.

Pyongyang Restaurants Extending Reach in Southeast Asian Cities
Voice of America

North Korean restaurants are offering a rare glimpse to the country’s reclusive culture by growing its network in major Southeast Asian cities. The restaurants, bearing the brand name Pyongyang after the capital city of North Korea, are serving everything from cold noodles to quirkier dishes such as dog meat casserole.

At first, the establishments catered to South Korean businessmen in the region. But in recent years, they have seen an increasing number of tourists and locals craving Korean cuisine.

Some Asians’ college strategy: Don’t check ‘Asian’
AP via Yahoo News

Lanya Olmstead was born in Florida to a mother who immigrated from Taiwan and an American father of Norwegian ancestry. Ethnically, she considers herself half Taiwanese and half Norwegian. But when applying to Harvard, Olmstead checked only one box for her race: white.

“I didn’t want to put ‘Asian’ down,” Olmstead says, “because my mom told me there’s discrimination against Asians in the application process.”

For years, many Asian-Americans have been convinced that it’s harder for them to gain admission to the nation’s top colleges.

Studies show that Asian-Americans meet these colleges’ admissions standards far out of proportion to their 6 percent representation in the U.S. population, and that they often need test scores hundreds of points higher than applicants from other ethnic groups to have an equal chance of admission. Critics say these numbers, along with the fact that some top colleges with race-blind admissions have double the Asian percentage of Ivy League schools, prove the existence of discrimination.

The way it works, the critics believe, is that Asian-Americans are evaluated not as individuals, but against the thousands of other ultra-achieving Asians who are stereotyped as boring academic robots.

[ad#graphic-square]

South Korea and U.S. Differ on Nuclear Enrichment
New York Times

Over the past year, Washington and Seoul have held low-key but highly sensitive talks on whether South Korea should be allowed to do what the Americans have long tried to stop North Korea from doing: enrich uranium and reprocess spent nuclear fuel.

The talks, set to resume Tuesday in Seoul, are aimed at revising a bilateral nuclear cooperation treaty for the first time in four decades. And the two allies’ expectations are as far apart as their perspectives on what it would mean for South Korea to adopt the technologies, which can be used to create fuel for reactors, but also to make nuclear weapons.

Video: Dia Frampton Performs “The Broken Ones” On ‘Jay Leno’
Neon Limelight (blog)

After finishing in second place on the first season of The Voice, Dia Frampton is ready for the spotlight. Dressed up in a dazzling blue floor-length dress, the shy girl with the sweet voice stopped by the Tonight Show with Jay Leno to perform her new single, “The Broken Ones.” It’s the first track taken from her debut solo album, Red, out on December 6.

[ad#bottomad]

Thursday's Link Attack: Toby Dawson, SNL Korea, Tokimonsta

Skier returns to his roots
Korea Herald

Olympic bronze medalist Toby Dawson has only been the coach for the Korean national men’s freestyle skiing team for a short time but he’s already received a shock.

A month has passed since he settled in Korea, and Toby Dawson, a U.S. Olympic bronze medalist skier, has just found out his real birth date.

“I had a fake birth date from the orphanage, which was Nov. 30 in 1978. But two days ago my dad in Busan told me I was born on May 4 in 1979,” Dawson said Wednesday.

Dawson, a Korea-born adoptee, came to Korea last month after being named freestyle ski coach for the national team. And after his official appointment last week, the 32-year-old sat in a caf in Gangnam, southern Seoul, to speak about his plans here.

“I’m just starting to learn so much now, and I’m very excited,” he said with a big smile on his face.

Seoul Patch vs. Reform Club Pop-Up Battle Royale
SF Weekly

San Francisco-based Korean American chef Eric Ehler will be mashing up his two pop-up kitchens this Sunday.

Some of the menu highlights include seared rock cod with braised kimchi beans, ham hock, and ginger, and salted caramel ice cream with black sesame rice cake and persimmon. To take the evening to the next level, they’ll play K-Pop and a Korean Dramedy on the projector screen. Bang!

[ad#graphic-square]

Official Says U.S. Needs Time to Assess Aid to North Korea
New York Times

The United States needs more time to decide on possible aid for North Korea because it is not sure humanitarian assistance would reach the people in need, the top American aid official said on Thursday.

Rajiv Shah, the head of the United States Agency for International Development, made the comment amid growing appeals from American and United Nations relief agencies, which have recently called for urgent aid for the most vulnerable of the North Korean population, especially its children.

REVIEW: Dia Frampton – Red
Entertainment Weekly

With Red, [Frampton] pledges allegiance to no single genre, flitting confidently from Blondie-style disco-pop (”Billy the Kid”) and floaty acoustic folk (”The Broken Ones”) to the kind of big-chorus country proffered by her Voice coach Blake Shelton, who turns up for a duet on ”I Will.” The result feels like a farewell to life on the Warped Tour. B

REVIEW: Dumbfoundead’s ‘DFD’
The Silver Tongue (blog)

Rising out of the very saturated Los Angeles hip hop scene is Korean-American emcee Dumbfoundead, who has been making quite a name for himself through various viral YouTube videos of his exploits as a battle rapper and his latest venture: a media collective/lifestyle brand known as Knocksteady. All of these efforts have lead up to his latest album titled DFD, which hit the #2 spot on iTunes during it’s week of release last month, shocking many as Dumb is an unsigned act that managed to accomplish this feat with the strong fan base he has built over the years.

DFD’s production is very much in the realm of synthy boom-bap with splashes of alternative rock elements that give off a happy-go-lucky vibe throughout the album. Guest vocalists such as American Idol finalist Andrew Garcia and Breezy Lovejoy along with Dumbfoundead himself provide very catchy melodies and flows that have a lot of crossover appeal while maintaining a genuine everyman atmosphere in the track concepts.

Korean Students Struggle at Ivy League Colleges
Chosun Ilbo

The number of Korean students at Ivy League universities is on the rise, but little more than half complete their courses. According to figures from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, around 110,000 Korean students were studying in the U.S. as of this year, the largest group of foreign nationals for the fourth year running.

Korean-American academic Samuel Kim, a doctoral candidate at Columbia University’s Teachers College, reviewed data of 1,400 Korean students at 14 top universities such as Harvard, Yale and Cornell between 1985 and 2007 for his doctoral dissertation and found that only 784 or 56 percent graduated while the rest dropped out.

Hillsborough gas station owner shot in leg during robbery
St. Petersburg Times (Florida)

Deputies were searching for two men who robbed a gas station and shot the owner in the leg Wednesday night.

Two men walked into the BP station at 9702 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and demanded money. As the two attempted to take money from Tae Chun Kang, 42, the owner struggled with them and a gun fired, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Kang was taken to the hospital with a non life-threatening injury, deputies said.

Korea Tourism Organization wages war on ‘Engrish’
CNNGo

Looks like Engrish.com — the snarky website showcasing error-riddled English signs in Asia — won’t be getting as many submissions from Korea.

How awesome is this? Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) is offering to reward photographers who submit snaps of muddled signs at tourist spots.

The prize? A gift card of ₩50,000 (approximately US$45) that can be used at any vendor that accepts credit cards — otherwise known as free money.

Live From Seoul! It’s Saturday…Really…
Wall Street Journal

Since 1999, the KBS comedy show called “Gag Concert” on Sunday nights has been required viewing for those wanting to be part of the cultural zeitgeist. It’s often called Korea’s “Saturday Night Live” for its influence, though obviously not its format or time.

Now, cable station tvN, which mainly broadcasts variety shows and entertainment-celebrity news, is starting a weekly comedy program called “Saturday Night Live Korea.”

And it will be both live and on Saturday night. The show starts this Saturday.

It will have a cast of 16, nine men and seven women. A celebrity will host each week and there will also be musical guests, just like the original SNL on NBC in the U.S.

Toyota Gains From U.S.-S. Korea Trade Pact
Bloomberg

The biggest beneficiary of the new trade agreement that will end South Korea’s tariffs on U.S.-made cars may be based in Japan.

Toyota Motor Corp. is looking to profit as it fights a rising yen blamed for an operating loss (7203) in its fiscal first half. Japan’s biggest carmaker began exporting Sienna minivans from Princeton, Indiana, to South Korea this month and may do the same with Camry sedans next year, said spokeswoman Amiko Tomita. The Camry was the third most popular import in South Korea in 2010.

Until this month, the 17 Toyota and Lexus models sold in South Korea were all from Japan. The dollar has declined against the won in the past year while the yen has gained.

“Because of a more favorable dollar-won exchange rate compared with the yen-won rate, Japanese carmakers can shift sourcing to the U.S., allowing them to lower their prices in Korea,” said Christian Yang, an analyst at consultant IHS Automotive. “Japanese imports look to gain market share through more aggressive pricing against domestic competitors.”

K.J. Choi leads Tiger Woods in Chevron World Challenge
Los Angeles Times

Tiger Woods birdied four of the first five holes but a red-hot K.J. Choi did Woods one better with birdies at all five to grab the early lead Thursday in the first round of the Chevron World Challenge.

Choi, a South Korean who won the Players Championship in May, went out with a five-under 31 on the front nine holes of the par-72 Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks.

After a bogey at the par-four ninth hole, Woods carded a three-under 33 and trailed by two shots as he headed to the 10th tee.

Preparation of Steelers’ Hines Ward hasn’t changed
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review via Boston Herald

The reality is that Ward has had to accept a reduced role since wide receivers coach Scottie Montgomery told him three weeks ago that the Steelers wanted to get others more involved in the passing game.

Ward played just nine snaps in Cincinnati, and he caught one pass for 10 yards. Ward started last Sunday night in Kansas City, but he logged just 16 snaps and caught four passes for 21 yards.

“I didn’t ask why or if I was playing bad or the reason behind it. I’ve never once questioned a coach(ing) decision, how they run game plans,” Ward said following practice yesterday. “That’s all that was told me that we want to get other guys the ball. They don’t owe me anything. I just try to go out and bust my tail and continue being the same player. I think you guys wanted it to be about me, but it’s not about me. I’m a team guy.”

TOKiMONSTA: “Swine And Burgers”
Prefix Magazine

Can I just come out and say that Soundcloud is the f-cking tops? I mean, in just the past 24 hours we have been able to hear previously unreleased gems from Brainfeeder’s Flying Lotus and TOKiMONSTA thanks to their accounts on the social networking/music site. The latter just posted a great never-before-heard tune, “Swine and Burgers,” that stems from some recording sessions back in 2009. Why she chose to leave this bumper of a tune off any of her releases is beyond me, but at least we’re hearing it now, right?

Check out our feature story on Tokimonsta from the October 2011 issue of KoreAm.

[ad#bottomad]

Wednesday's Link Attack: North Korea, K-Pop, Dia Frampton

North Korea Reports Progress on New Reactor
New York Times

Earlier this month, the North’s state media reported that “the day is near at hand” when its new reactor will come into operation. The Web site “38 North” later published satellite photos that it said showed significant progress in building the new reactor. But it said it was unlikely to become operational for two to three years.

Six-nation talks aimed at ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons program collapsed in 2008 when North Korea balked at the American demand for intrusive inspections on its nuclear facilities. It has since raised tensions by beginning to restore the partially dismantled nuclear facilities in Yongbyon, test-launching a long-range rocket, conducting a second nuclear test and launching military provocations against the South.

Football Veteran Lee Young-pyo To Join Major League Soccer
Yonhap News

Lee, 34, retired from international play earlier this year, and ended a two-year stint with Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia in June. He said during the summer that he was mulling retirement.

Should he sign with Vancouver, it will be Lee’s sixth professional team. After starting out with Anyang LG Cheetahs, currently FC Seoul, in South Korea’s K-League, the versatile wingback has also played for PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League, Borussia Dortmund in Germany’s Bundesliga and Al Hilal.

Korean Pop Music Out to Conquer the World
Reuters

The structure of Korea’s relatively small music market is such that telecom companies control a large proportion of revenues, he said, meaning bands have an economic incentive to look abroad.

And K-pop acts, often created and nurtured by savvy record companies like S.M. Entertainment, are being groomed for specific markets — learning Japanese, for example, and fitting in with Japan’s musical mores.

One recent success story has been the nine-member South Korean girl band Girls’ Generation, whose first full-length Japanese album sold over 500,000 copies in Japan.

McClure also argued that Korean pop acts, though often manufactured, were generally more professional than their Japanese rivals and produced a better sound.

K-Pop Translation on Smartphone App
Korea Times

Pop!gasa is at www.popgasa.com and the app is available to download through Apple’s App Store. It is priced at $0.99 and available for free for a limited time as a promotion.

The app is user-friendly, sorting translated lyrics by artist, title and by show. Lee and Kim want to provide a nest for K-pop fans all over the world and have included a comment function to their app, so fans can share their thoughts and ideas through Pop!gasa.

“We want the app to reach as many users as possible but it has legal issues and we have to pay for copyrights to the Korea Music Copyright Association,” Lee said. “When this app makes a profit, the first thing we will do is develop it for Android.”

Coming Soon to the Sidewalks: A New Look for Scaffolding
New York Times

To replace those painted plywood sheds supported by pipes and protruding bolts that can rip pedestrians’ coat sleeves, a team consisting of Young-Hwan Choi, Andres Cortes and Sarrah Kahn from Agencie Group, a design firm based in New York, gracefully melded recycled steel and translucent plastic panels into a structure that resembles an open umbrella.

“I would say it is a really elegant take on protecting you instead of from rain from debris falling from a construction site,” Mr. LiMandri said.

Some version of sidewalk sheds with scaffolding above them have been placed at construction sites since builders began erecting Gothic cathedrals and probably since the pyramids, said Dan Eschenesy, the buildings department’s chief structural engineer.

Babysitter Arrested After Mom Tells Son About Penn State Scandal
ABC News

The mother of the two boys found out about the alleged abuse after she told her oldest son about the Penn State sexual abuse scandal.

“She was trying to describe some of the acts that are basically no-nos,” said Tom Lorenz, spokesman for the Glendale Police Department. “The child began to cry and said, ‘Mommy, the babysitter has been doing this to me.'”

Margaret Cho Says She’s Like Susan Boyle With Dirty Songs on Ferguson
AOL TV

In talking about her latest project, Margaret Cho admitted that it’s a mix of stand-up comedy and original songs on ‘The Late Late Show’ (Weeknights, 12:30AM ET on CBS). Craig Ferguson was surprised to hear that she did songs, as she’s not well known for that.

Watch the video here: LINK

Police Say Two South-Side Deaths Were Murder-Suicide
Anchorage Daily News

Tae Won Ro, 40, was found hanging by a rope in the second-floor living area, and an autopsy showed he had strangled, police spokesman Lt. Dave Parker said in a written statement. A medical examiner found that Yoo Jin Kim, 33, died from multiple stab wounds, Parker said. She was discovered lying on the home’s third floor, surrounded by blood, said Detective Mark Huelskoetter.

Ro apparently killed Kim, then hanged himself, Huelskoetter said. Crime scene investigators found evidence that Ro had Kim’s blood on his hands when he went to the first-floor garage to get a rope, the detective said.

[ad#graphic-square]

2 Koreans shot in Manila
Journal Online (Philippines)

Two Korean nationals were shot in two separate incidents in Manila — one in an ambush while he was driving his car and the other in a foiled robbery.

The first victim was identified as Jeong Mwan Choi, 39, a freelance tourist guide residing in Bustos, Bulacan.

‘The Voice’s Dia Frampton: ‘Don’t Kick the Chair’ Feat. Kid Cudi Lyric Video Premiere
AOL Music

She isn’t just a pretty ‘voice,’ but also one talented songwriter! Dia Frampton, who rose to fame as the runner-up on the inaugural season of NBC’s ‘The Voice,’ has a catchy new, Kid Cudi-assisted single out called ‘Don’t Kick the Chair.’ The Utah native puts the tune’s poignant lyrics in the spotlight for its brand-new video.

‘Don’t Kick the Chair’ also features an interlude by famed rapper Kid Cudi. “It was a pleasure having Kid Cudi on this song,” says Dia. “I’m a fan of his work and also am very happy with the positive lyrics he created. This song has a dark undertone, but overall, I wanted it to be optimistic.”

[ad#bottomad]

Tuesday's Link Attack: Mary Hayashi, Dia Frampton, Debbie Lee

Hayashi arrest no laughing matter [OPINION]
Oakland Tribune via San Jose Mercury News

A Bay Area columnist weighs in after it was revealed that Neiman Marcus security had red-flagged state Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi during a previous visit. Hayashi, the first female Korean American to serve in the California Legislature, was arrested for felony theft on Oct. 25.

‘Voice’ Runner-Up Dia Frampton Works With Kid Cudi, Foster The People For Raw Debut
Billboard.com

“Red,” Frampton’s debut, arrives Dec. 6 on Universal Republic. She says the album is far more upbeat than Meg & Dia’s three albums and four EPs, owing to her collaborations with other writers in Los Angeles, Nashville and London. Without her older sister to split writer duties — “We don’t work together; she writes her songs and I write mine” — Frampton found the experience different from what she expected.

“This record is very personal, almost uncomfortable,” the 24-year-old artist says after doing a promotional concert at the Hollywood office of Reveille Productions. “I felt very alone on this record. On our last [Meg & Dia] record, we were stuck in this little cabin sharing bedrooms, just the five of us. The guitar amps were in the living room.

NKorea shows leader and his son watching massive live-fire drills amid tension with SKorea
AP via Washington Post

North Korean television has aired footage of leader Kim Jong Il and his son watching massive live-fire drills.

The footage aired on state television Tuesday showed Kim and his heir-apparent Kim Jong Un watching tanks, aircraft, warships and rocket launchers firing at targets on mountains. Dozens of troops were seen parachuting from a plane.

The two Kims were seen speaking to each other as they watched the drills from an enclosed viewing stand with senior military officers.

South Korean gamers suffer joystick curfew shock
The Register (U.K.)

A ban restricting all South Korean gamers under 16 from playing online games between midnight and 6am is now in full affect.

South Korea, boasting the fifth largest broadband penetration rate, is the first country to implement the controversial initiative under the Youth Protection Revision bill.

The bill, variously known as the Shutdown Law or Cinderella Law, had been contested but was eventually passed.

At this stage the ban only pertains to PC and console based networked games including Xbox Live, PlayStation and multiplayer dominions such as World of Warcraft. The government says that within two years networked games using mobile phones will be included in the ban.

News On-the-Go, Even in Pyongyang
Wall Street Journal

Like newspapers all around the world, North Korea’s biggest newspaper Rodong Shinmun is apparently adjusting to new technology.

Word is out that Rodong Shinmun is now providing news on cellphones in Pyongyang. Chosun Sinbo, a newspaper in Japan run by the General Association of North Korean Residents in Japan, published a story about it on Saturday.

It’s not quite right to say the newspaper has developed an “app” since there aren’t yet smartphones in North Korea. It appears Rodong Shinmun is sending out multimedia messages, or MMS, with stories.

[ad#graphic-square]

Lawsuit spurred by Virginia Tech student’s suicide settled for $250,000
Roanoke Times

The state has agreed to pay $250,000 and create a $100,000 scholarship fund to settle a $43 million wrongful death lawsuit brought against Virginia Tech by the family of a student who committed suicide, according to a court order

The state will pay up to $126,666 in legal fees to the plaintiff’s attorney. The family of Daniel Sun Kim is to receive at least $123,334.

Additionally, Virginia Tech will establish a $100,000 scholarship in Kim’s name, place a memorial plaque somewhere on campus and enact a policy of considering immediate notification of the parents or guardians of any student who is thought to be suicidal.

The Kim family brought the action in Fairfax Circuit Court in 2009 to “learn why Tech didn’t follow its protocols” in responding to a warning that Kim was suicidal, plaintiffs’ attorney Gary Mims wrote in a statement.

Ahn-Joo: Debbie Lee’s Korean Pub Food Restaurant, Her Cookbook + a Recipe for Chicken Meatballs
L.A. Weekly

Ahn-joo is the Korean word for pub food. It’s what Debbie Lee serves at her newly opened Ahn-Joo, a Korean snack bar in the Americana mall in Glendale. No liquor there, but Lee frequents Koreantown pubs so she knows the dishes well. And she adds her own spin to come up with a modern take, even turning rice cakes into nachos.

Nothing is cheffy or pretentious. “I’m a cook. At the end of the day, I want to serve people the food that I want to eat,” she says.

South Korea’s Hottest IPO: Boy Band, Inc.
The Atlantic

For the past month, the biggest story in South Korea’s stock market has centered on a five-piece boy band called Big Bang, and a couple puffs of marijuana.

News that the Big Bang’s front-man had reportedly tested positive for pot threatened to put a crimp in the initial public offering of YG Entertainment, the label responsible for some of the biggest acts in Korean Pop. The concerns were for naught. Last week, buyers snapped up YG Entertainment’s stock like teenagers trying to score tickets to their favorite boy band’s show. The company’s share price more than doubled on its first day of trading, reaching roughly $67 as buyers ordered 561 times more stock than was available. Its market cap now sits at roughly $340 million.

Samsung Lions beat SoftBank Hawks to win Asia Series
Yonhap News

South Korea’s Samsung Lions beat SoftBank Hawks of Japan 5-3 to capture the Asia Series tournament in a battle of league champions.

At Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium, the Lions, the 2011 champion of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) overcame an early deficit against the Hawks, the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) champion. Samsung’s starter Jang Won-sam settled down after a shaky start and the bullpen took care of the rest, as the Lions became the first KBO club to win the Asia Series since it began in 2005. The Lions also avenged a 9-0 loss to the Hawks in the round-robin phase of this tournament.

[ad#bottomad]

Tuesday's Link Attack: Dia Frampton, Organic K-Pop, Korean Pitcher Joins Orioles

Catching Up With…Dia Frampton!
StarPulse

“I’m excited to start touring again. I’d just like to tour with as many great bands as possible,” she enthused. “I’d like to go worldwide. That’s a really big, big dream. I know that The Voice aired in a lot of different countries; I’ve got people on my Facebook page from [countries like] Singapore [and] Australia, and it just made me want to be able to tour in all these different places.”

Authentic: K-Pop Without Nips And Tucks
Wall Street Journal

Just when South Korea appeared ready to cement its position as one of the world’s capitals of plastic surgery, a backlash appears to be forming. Or at least a marketing opportunity.

YG Entertainment, one of the top music and entertainment producers in the country, is planning to launch a new girl group on to the K-pop scene with a twist – the members of the group will commit to not having any kind of plastic surgery.

YG said the group will debut next year and declined to announce its members except for one: Kim Eun-bi, a teenage singer who made it to one of the final rounds of the popular “Superstar K” audition-contest show last year.

Zakaria: Why all of South Korea went silent
CNN.com

Those of you who watched our recent education special saw the exhausting study habits of South Korean students. The culmination of that pressure was last week when almost 700,000 South Korean high school students took the test they had spent all those hours working toward.

It was a wild scene outside test centers as younger kids cheered on the heroic test-takers as they arrived. Police motorcycles even whisked the late ones to school.

But when it came time for the high schoolers to begin the grueling nine-hour exam, silence was the order.

40 Korean foods we can’t live without
CNNGo

Street food, comfort food, spicy stews for masochistic mouths: These 40 dishes are essential to the Korean heart, soul and digestive tract

[ad#graphic-square]

Single Women a Growing Problem
Chosun Ilbo

One in five women in Korea in her 30s is single, while in Seoul the ratio is one in three, according to Statistics Korea. Although there are no specific data on the total number of single women, experts believe around 40 percent of working women in their 30s are single, which is in line with what the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service estimates.

A report released on Wednesday by state-run Korea Development Institute on Korea’s low birthrate shows that Asian countries like Korea have a lot of women in their 30s who are single.

According to the KDI report, the six countries with the lowest birthrates among 222 countries are all in Asia, including Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Those countries saw more and more women enter the workforce since the 2000s and are seeing a surge in single women in their mid-30s. As of last year, 21.9 percent of women between 35 to 39 were single in Japan, 21 percent in Taiwan, 17 percent in Singapore and 12.6 percent in Korea. The problem is not only that many highly educated women are single, but they do not want to have children.

O’s nearing deal with Korean reliever Chong
MLB.com

The Orioles are closing in on signing right-handed reliever Tae-Hyon Chong out of South Korea as the two sides — which were involved in heavy negotiations on Monday — have agreed to terms, according to a baseball source.

The exact length of the deal and money involved was not immediately known, as exact details were still being hammered out in the preliminary agreement. With the deal not yet official, the Orioles had no comment on Chong, who would need to undergo a physical examination before anything can be made official.

A 33-year-old submarine-style pitcher, Chong closed out South Korea’s gold medal win over Cuba in the 2008 Summer Olympics, and his poise on the big stage was a major plus for the Orioles.

What a potential Chong signing really means
Baltimore Sun

The jury is out on whether Chong will be able to make it as a late-inning reliever in the big leagues. Some believe his unorthodox style will befuddle hitters no matter where he is pitching. And he has had plenty of success on the international level (he closed out both medal games in the 2008 Summer Olympics).

But he’d be the first person ever to leap from Korea’s baseball league to the majors and some believe that’s way too much of a jump. That he’ll be a Double-A level reliever, nothing more.

Whether he makes it is only part of the plot here. The fact is the Orioles are the team that is on him. And Dan Duquette is the one with the major connection to South Korea. He had connections there when he was in Montreal and Boston and now his first noteworthy signing will be a guy from South Korea.

[ad#graphic-square]

Yeonpyeong Remains Rattled a Year After Attack
Wall Street Journal (subscription req’d)

A year after North Korea attacked this South Korean island, most of the destroyed homes and buildings have been rebuilt and the rhythms of daily life restored. But an enormous amount of anxiety and tension remains under the surface.

Residents become anxious and even frightened by loud sounds such as the hammering at houses being rebuilt, but especially when the small military post on the island tests its artillery guns every few months.

Dia Frampton Releases Video For New Single 'Broken Ones'

by Y. Peter Kang

Dia Frampton, champion of the disenfranchised, is occupying the meadow in a new video for her debut solo album.

The singer and runner-up on reality singing contest “The Voice” will be releasing her album “Red” on Dec. 6. The first single is “The Broken Ones” and the video features Frampton’s sister Meg and other members from the sisters’ band Meg & Dia. In addition, three of Frampton’s little sisters (it’s a family of six girls!) also served as extras in the video, playing “broken” people.

“They needed girls so I told them to let my little sisters do it,” Frampton told iamKoreAm.com in a phone interview.

David McClister, who directed the video, told The Hollywood Reporter that the video is a cross between “‘Where the Wild Things Are,” “Lord of the Flies” and the lost boys from “Peter Pan.”

In the video, Frampton sings and plays piano in a woodland hideaway for a bunch of orphan-looking teenagers. They are invaded by some woodland toughs and after a furious battle (spoiler alert!), emerge victorious.

Frampton said she wanted to show her family some of the behind-the-scenes aspects to her job.

“I’ve been doing this thing for awhile I feel like it’s one of those jobs that you can talk about it but nobody understands what it means,” Frampton said. “They got to see what goes on with a video shoot and see how I woke up at 3:30 in the morning and be ready to shoot at 6 a.m. to get the good light. We were there for 16 hours and they got to see what I do.”

Frampton will be the opening act for her “The Voice” mentor, country star Blake Shelton, whose 26-date tour is set to kick off in January. Shelton, known for his somewhat brash demeanor, tweeted earlier today: “If you haven’t downloaded Dia Frampton’s ‘The Broken Ones’ there’s a real good chance you’re not getting laid this weekend…”

“The Broken Ones” was released on iTunes on Nov. 15.

Dia and her sisters and mother (far right) on the set of “The Broken Ones.”

[ad#graphic-square]

Wednesday's Link Attack: Jenna Ushkowitz, Dia Frampton, K-Pop

Jenna Ushkowitz on ‘Glee’ Rumors, Ratings & Future: ‘Tina’s Time Will Come’
Billboard.com

We caught up with Ushkowitz during a lunch break on set to talk what’s next for Tina, where she takes her musical inspiration from, and what kind of roles she’d like to take on post-Glee.

First, rumor has it you’re part of Lady Gaga’s next music video, for “Marry The Night.” Can you tell me anything about that?
Um. Where did you hear that from? (Laughs) I can’t confirm or deny anything at this point.

Well, you Tweeted this so I think you can confirm — you were in the studio recording a song for “Glee.” Everyone is anxious to hear her sing again… can you tell us what she’s performing?
I sing a little, it’s not a solo for Tina, but I was in the studio for one of our mashup numbers that we weren’t going to be doing. It’s episode 6. There’s a couple of really fun mashups and I get to sing a little on those.

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Dia & Meg Frampton of Meg & Dia
Keepin’ It Country

Were you girls worried about Dia being forced to go solo on The Voice & The Voice tour, or were you happy with the promotion you got from it?

Meg: I am very happy with the exposure we received from her being on the show.

Dia: I was worried about it, and still am. I originally tried out for The Voice not thinking I would go very far at all…. My biggest hope was that I’d get a little bit of air time so that people might google my name and come upon the band, (Meg and Dia). I didn’t expect to get very far or be propelled into a solo act. It all came as a big surprise to me. It’s been hard adjusting, and I know it’s been hard for Meg too. It’s a different kind of stress having everything be upon my shoulders, even though the band has been backing me up, literally, and then of course, emotionally and mentally. This album is going to be under my name, all the critics, the youtube comments, all of that, will be directed at me. I am just happy that I still have my support group (the band, management, friends, family). Plus, I’ve made it a point to stay away from youtube. My friends won’t let me get on there anymore. Ha! It’s like you’ll read 50 nice comments and then one terrible comment and it’ll ruin your day. People can be so mean on the internet.

Music Review: Korean Pop Machine, Running on Innocence and Hair Gel
New York Times

Think of the work required to make just one Justin Bieber. The production, the management, the vocal training, the choreography, the swagger coaching — all that effort to create one teen-pop star in a country that’s still starving for them. South Korea has no such drought, thanks to several companies that specialize in manufacturing a steady stream of teenage idols, in groups of various configurations. One of the longest-running of these companies is SM Entertainment, which on Sunday night hosted SM Town Live, a sold-out showcase at Madison Square Garden for several of its acts, any one of which any American reality-TV talent show or major-label A&R department worth its salt would be thrilled to have discovered.

American teen-pop at its peak has never been this productive. K-pop — short for Korean pop — is an environment of relentless newness, both in participants and in style; even its veteran acts are still relatively young, and they make young music. Still, there were subtle differences among the veterans, like BoA and TVXQ, and the newer-minted acts like Super Junior, Girls’ Generation and SHINee.

Thomas Kim arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting two women in Herndon
WJLA.com (Herndon, Va.)

Police this week arrested a 31-year-old man who allegedly impersonated a police officer and sexually assaulted two women.

Police on Monday arrested Thomas Kim, of Herndon, and charged him with sexual assault, abduction, impersonating a law enforcement officer and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He is currently behind bars at the Fairfax County Detention Center.

Kim was arrested while he was allegedly committing a similar crime.

Whiting Foundation Names Winners of Writers’ Awards
New York Times

Don Mee Choi was named one of ten recipients of the Whiting Writers’ Awards, given annually to authors “of exceptional talent and promise in early career.” Choi received the award, which includes a cash prize of $50,000, for her poetry collection The Morning News is Exciting. See more info about Choi here.

[ad#graphic-square]

Critic of South Korean Leader Elected as Seoul Mayor
New York Times

A civic activist and vocal critic of President Lee Myung-bak rode a growing call for political change to become mayor of the South Korean capital, Seoul, winning a poll widely seen as a bellwether for the presidential election in December next year.

The activist, Park Won-soon, an independent candidate who was supported by the main opposition Democratic Party, clinched the mayoral race by winning 53.4 percent of the 4 million votes cast, according to the country’s Central Election Management Committee.

His rival, Na Kyung-won, a candidate affiliated with President Lee’s Grand National Party, won 46.2 percent.

‘Jung Sik’ Showing New Yorkers High-Class Korean Cuisine
Chosun Ilbo

Yim Jung-sik saw a niche to fill in the Big Apple and promptly did so by opening his upscale Korean fusion restaurant Jung Sik in September with several partners in New York’s TriBeCa district near Wall Street.

The area is packed with top-notch eateries but none were serving dishes with names like “Five Senses Satisfaction Pork Belly” — until now.

“I felt bad that there were no Korean fine dining restaurants similar to the ones that serve Japanese or Italian cuisine,” said the 33-year-old chef, who has enjoyed runaway success with his Jung Sik Dang restaurant, which opened in Shinsa-dong, Seoul in 2009.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says Park Chu-Young ready for league
BBC Sport

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said Park Chu-Young is “ready for league games” after the striker scored the decider in the 2-1 Carling Cup win over Bolton.

How Many Foreigners Live In Pyongyang?
Wall Street Journal

Foreigners pass through Pyongyang all the time and diplomatic staff from some countries, including Sweden and the U.K., are based there for extended periods.

But the size of the foreign population of the North Korean capital is something of a mystery. So a report in a South Korean magazine of a census apparently conducted in Pyongyang in 2005 provides some interesting reading and one surprise about the largest foreign group at that time.

the 15 apa women leader spotlights: isabel kang
angryasianman

Isabel Kang
Nominated by Terry Park

Describe your name.
Isabel, because my mother chose it for me, and she is Catholic, and I’m bi-cultural Korean-Brazilian, and I love my Korean name, but it is only for my family use, and was carefully chosen by my father, reflecting the characters for East, and Hope.

How do you identify?
A radical activist, person of color, immigrant, working class allegiance, mother, WOMAN!

Seoul’s best museums
CNNGo

These six museums beat out 100 others for the most haunting glimpses into Korea’s past

Tuesday's Link Attack: Daniel Dae Kim, Dia Frampton, Debbie Lee

The Set of Hawaii 5-0: Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, and Lauren German
Giant Robot

Our friends at Giant Robot take a behind-the-scenes look at Hawaii 5-0.

Television has such a fast moving pace that the director can’t scrutinize every moment of every word. There’s trust between the sound, multiple camera angles, and how the lines are delivered. Daniel answers, “the intonations can change per take.” He cites that it’s often his own discretion, and they’ll pick one of them. Even the hmmms, yeahs, and extra unscripted sounds that the actors make might get edited out, but are used to keep in rhythm of the scene. There are plenty of lines to memorize in a scene like this, and while some actors can memorize them after reading them once, the director cites Kiefer Sutherland as one who memorizes them instantly. Grace Park reveals that she works on them days early. Two days early is her technique for success. Then she goes over it again and again. Daniel Dae Kim who started off with a Law and Order Episode said that some of the old pros on that show read the lines right before the take for the first time, and fired them off perfectly.

Blake Shelton Records a Duet With Dia Frampton
Taste of Country

When asked whether or not she and her coach have been working on material together, Frampton answered with an enthusiastic “Yes!” before going into more detail.

“I wrote a song with some friends (who also knew Blake) in Nashville. The song is called ‘I Will,’ and when I sent it to Blake he said he’d love to sing on it,” she revealed. “He took time out of his busy schedule to come record his part, which meant a lot to me. He’s been so supportive through all of this. He’s working overtime as a coach.”

Dia graced the cover of KoreAm’s October 2011 issue.

South Korean orchestra, conductor strike discordant note
Los Angeles Times

There’s a musical mutiny playing out in this city’s hallowed concert hall, a discordant note not usually heard from the nation’s premier symphony orchestra.

Musicians in crucial chairs of the KBS Symphony Orchestra have either walked out or been dismissed, taking their instruments with them. Others are donning protest T-shirts and offering subpar work during practices and even some performances.

Such sourness stems not only from hard financial times and a trend toward declining salaries but the reappointment of an unpopular American-trained conductor. Many veteran musicians with the 55-year-old symphony orchestra are irate about controversial conductor Hahm Shinik, who many say can’t tell an oboe from a French horn.

“During rehearsals when the tune is off, the conductor doesn’t know,” one musician told the JoongAng Daily newspaper here. “Furthermore, he doesn’t recognize the distinction between different instruments.”

At rallies, the musicians have chanted: “We don’t want a circus. Make the unskilled conductor step down.”

The impact of Michelle Rhee’s ‘culture of urgency’
Washington Post

Here’s a vaguely negative opinion column about former D.C. public schools chancellor Michelle Rhee.

It is an almost universal tribute offered about Michelle Rhee’s 3 1/2 -year tenure of the Washington D.C. school district — that if she accomplished one thing, it was to instill a sense of urgency in the city about the need to fix broken schools that had failed children for decades.

[ad#graphic-square]

Infant found outside church; ‘God let people hear the baby crying’
Chicago Sun-Times

The cries of a newborn girl abandoned in a grocery bag at a Schaumburg church led congregation members to discover her tucked under a teddy bear and a bath towel. But her rescuers think there was something more that helped them find the baby as the Gospel Presbyterian Church emptied after Sunday services.

“I definitely feel God was working in this situation,” said Bob Song, a church elder who helped find the 5-pound, 9-ounce girl. If no one had heard the newborn crying Sunday from inside the green, recyclable grocery sack, she might not have been discovered for two days because the church is typically closed and empty on Monday.

“That would have been too late,” Song said, worrying that the baby could have died by then. “I felt so good that God let people hear the baby crying.”

The article also noted that the baby was Asian.

Find Debbie Lee’s Restaurant, Win $100
LA Weekly

Be the first person to figure out where Debbie Lee is opening the brick-and-mortar location of Ahn Joo Snack Bar (already rolling around LA as a food truck since last year), and you could win a $100 gift certificate to the place. The Korean pub grub concept officially opens on November 10th. We keep hearing it’s in Hollywood, but what do we know?

The first person to correctly reveal the “secret” location of Ahn Joo Snack Bar by snapping a picture of it and tagging it @AhnJooLA on Twitter, will receive a $100 gift certificate, as well as an invitation to the restaurant’s opening celebration.

Kim Jong-il ‘Only Old-School Dictator Left’
Chosun Ilbo

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is the only “old-school” dictator in the world now that Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi is dead, wrote William Dobson, a former editor of Foreign Policy magazine and Newsweek, in the Washington Post on Sunday.

Dobson classified dictators into “20th-century old-school dictators” and “21st-century dictators.” “So-called 21st century dictators have realized the high cost of pure dictatorship so they repress their populations indirectly through legality, procedure and process instead of iron-fisted control,” he said.

North Korea Rents Out Its Resources to Stave Off Reform
New York Times

In September, under the flags of North Korea and China, North Korean workers began digging at Haesan, a hilly town near the Chinese border, kicking off one of several joint mining ventures. On Oct. 13, a Russian train chugged across the border to celebrate the restoration of a dilapidated Soviet-era rail link between the Russian city of Khasan and the North Korean town of Rajin.

At Haesan, China acquires copper, one of the many abundant mineral reserves lying next door waiting to be exploited. At Rajin, Russia wins access to an ice-free port to export Siberian coal and take in Asian goods it wants to transport to Europe. From both projects, the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, counts cash.

These and other similar deals North Korea is striking with its two Cold War-era allies, especially China, are creating a predicament for the South Korean government.

[ad#graphic-square]

Trio of restaurants brings cultural diversity
Daily Trojan (Univ. of Southern California)

One of the earliest people to foresee the potential of the [downtown L.A.] Arts District was restaurateur Jason Ha, who restored a historic building into an Asian-fusion sushi restaurant in 2002.

Ha is a pioneer in revitalizing eastern Downtown’s dining scene. When he first came to the United States at 19 years old, he barely spoke a word of English. Walking around the college cafeteria with his lunch tray, he determinedly introduced himself to different tables each day with the only English sentence he knew: “Hello, I’m Jason. How are you?”

A couple of decades later, and Ha is now a Californian-ized Korean. He speaks perfect English with a California twang but retains dramatic Korean expressions. His skin is tanned from years of windsurfing with multi-ethnic friends, but he still attends a Korean church.

Most eco-friendly tours in Korea
CNNGo

Becoming a tourist hot spot may mean fame and money for the locale, but it can often bring destruction to the beauty that prompts people to go there in the first place.

While eco-friendly tourism has been gaining popularity around the world and organizations such as the International Eco-Tourism Society have been around since the early 1990s, environmentally friendly tourism in Korea is only a recent development.

According to Good Travel, an environmentally responsible travel agency in Seoul, eco-tourism has is becoming more and more popular within Korea.

Here are some the most ecologically interesting tours in Korea that are also focused on conservation.