Friday’s Link Attack: Kim Jong Un’s Western Fetish; John Cho; KJ Choi
Author: Linda Son
Posted: July 13th, 2012
Filed Under: BLOG
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Young North Korean Defectors Struggle in the South
New York Times

But when he finally made it to South Korea, and freedom, Mr. Kim faced an obstacle that even his considerable street smarts could not help him overcome. He had placed into a university under a new affirmative action program, but was haunted by the deprivations of his past and quickly slipped behind South Korean classmates who had already made it through years of an extremely competitive education system.

“I just couldn’t shake the memory of hunger from my mind,” said Mr. Kim, 26, who dropped out after just one semester and fell into a deep, alcohol-fueled depression.

It’s still ‘My Way’ or the highway under North Korea’s Kim
Los Angeles Times

So North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s recent embrace of Western songs, movies, cartoon characters and flashy fashion — public displays his late father and grandfather would have denounced as “spiritual pollution” — has set Korea analysts to pontificating on what the new leader’s cultural inclinations might signify.

Kim Jong-un Is Ardent Fan of Western Pop Culture
Chosun Ilbo

Highlights and the theme song from “Rocky 4″ were played during a performance by the newly-created Moranbong troupe in front of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last Friday. The show also featured groups of female singers dressed in mini-skirts, high-heeled shoes or off-the-shoulder tops reminiscent of the girl groups of South Korea, and performers dressed as Disney characters.

Top diplomats of two Koreas shun each other at ASEAN forum
Yonhap News

Top diplomats of the two Koreas have pointedly shunned each other at annual security talks here, dashing hopes of a possible encounter and underscoring frozen inter-Korean relations.

Paying for Reunification: No Joking Matter
Wall Street Journal

When Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik came up with the idea of gathering donations from the public as a way to help cover the costs of Korean reunification, he raised more eyebrows than cash.

That hasn’t stopped him pushing ahead with the idea, and on Thursday evening he hosted a fundraiser-cum-comedy-show in northern Seoul to kick-start the program. The centerpiece of the event was the presentation of the first of his own hand-made ceramic “unification jars.”

Colin Farrell and John Cho square off in the new Total Recall clip

In less than a month the remake of the 1990 film TOTAL RECALL, from director Len Wiseman, will hit theaters and the marketing monkey is in full swing. Today we’re getting a newish clip from TOTAL RECALL which shows Colin Farrell going into the fantasy factory and having a short exchange with a bleach blonde Jon Cho. This remake doesn’t really give anything away since we’ve seen the majority of the clip in the previous trailers, but it’ll keep you all intrigued so you won’t forget to put TOTAL RECALL on your summer “to watch” list. We’re also getting a look at the international poster which features Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel, nothing special but nothing terrible either.

What they said: K.J. Choi
PGA Tour

K.J. CHOI: You know, it’s bogey-free on the tournament in the 18 hole. Keep patient every hole. This week in birdie, good patient and good crowd. I love the people here.

Course is fantastic shape in the morning. More saving and greenside hit the putt. It’s a very good read. This really first time Graham caddie for me, so very good helping in this course.

Girls’ Generation’s YoonA earned $3.5 million USD in first half of 2012

Girls’ Generation is currently in the lead when it comes to being considered the nation’s girl group. Yet even among all the members who have each achieved such great popularity, member YoonA has earned the greatest salary. On top of the payments she receives as an artist, YoonA has landed a total of 20 advertisement deals and also completed another drama. As a result, YoonA’s total income has exceeded 4 billion KRW (approx. $3.5 million US dollars) after just the first half of this year.

Minjae Lee features iconic women in his upcoming work
Art Daily

Minjae Lee is a mostly self-taught artist who uses seemingly old-fashioned tools, such as markers, pens, crayons, and acrylics, to create art that focuses on ethereal women. His newest works will focus on iconic women that range in celebrity from actresses to singers to models. The chosen women to be featured in this series of artwork reflect both his Korean and worldwide influences.

22 stunningly photogenic destinations in Korea

While the book doesn’t necessarily make for the most exciting read (we would have loved some quirky/crazy personal stories featuring these destinations as settings), the 1,000-plus photographs are amazing, and the book is certainly crammed with historical and practical information.

Pet Dogs Abandoned and Sold by Owners for Korean Meat Market
Korea Bang

At the height of summer, known in Korean as the Boknal, it has been reported that those who can no longer take care of their pet dogs take them to the Moran market outside Seoul in an attempt to sell them for meat, only to abandon them when merchants refuse to purchase a former pet [Moran is known for selling animals as both pets and meat].

Friday’s Link Attack: Sandra Oh, Daniel Henney, Somali Pirates
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: July 15th, 2011
Filed Under: BLOG
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Interview with Hollywood actress Sandra Oh

Sandra spoke of her love for Korea as a Korean-Canadian and her hopes to one day star in a Korean movie. She also talked about the inside stories behind “Grey’s Anatomy” and how she was cast into the show.

“If I am to be cast in a Korean movie, I will be happy to take any role. I will study Korean, and if I don’t have any lines, I can act with just my facial expressions. I’ve always wanted to attend the Busan Film Festival, but I was always caught up with work. I want to attend the festival with a piece I star in.”

Somali pirates holding S. Korean hostages demand release of captured pirates

Somali pirates holding four South Koreans in a hijacked chemical tanker are demanding that Seoul pay ransom for the hostages and release five pirates captured during a January raid of a seized Korean freighter, an official said Friday.

The four South Koreans are among 25 crew members of the Singapore-registered 21,000-ton MT Gemini that was hijacked on April 30 in waters off Kenya. The seizure came about three months after South Korean naval commandos raided a Korean-owned freighter on Jan. 21 and rescued all 21 crew members.

N.Korean Defectors Flock to U.K.
Chosun Ilbo

Some 581 North Korean defectors have been given asylum in the United Kingdom, making them the largest group of all defectors in countries other than South Korea.

Korean young guns impress at British Open
AFP via Google

South Korean young guns Noh Seung-Yul and Hwang Jung-Gon led the Asian charge at the British Open on Thursday, signaling their talent with sub-par rounds at Royal St George’s.

Where in The World is Daniel Henney?

Daniel Henney recently wrapped shooting on the buddy flick with Bill Paxton tentatively titled “Americatown” and apologized to fans for not being online lately.

I know it’s been FOREVER since I’ve chimed in. My apologies. We’ve been in China for 1.5 months now shooting this film, and it’s been incredibly difficult to get online. Anyway, I’m back now, and will update you with some pics very soon…Pics from my last 1.5 months spent in China.

SUNY Gets OK for Campus in Songdo
The Wall Street Journal

Soon South Korean students seeking a U.S. diploma might be able to do so without even getting a stamp in their passports.

The Ministry of Education announced Wednesday that it has given final approval to Stony Brook University — or the State University of New York at Stony Brook — to open a campus in Songdo, the newly established international business district near Incheon International Airport.

Koreans turn to dog soup to beat the heat
Reuters via ABC News (Australia)

Thursday was not a good day to be a dog in South Korea. That’s because it was one of the three hottest days according to the Korean lunar calendar – and dog soup is one way to beat the heat.

On “Chobok,” people seeking to protect the body from overheating eat traditional healthy foods such as ginseng chicken soup, broiled eel and “bo-shin-tang,” literally “body preservation stew”.

Dogs are bred to be eaten in South Korea, and advocates say bo-shin-tang, which consists of dog meat boiled in a mix of hot and strong spices and vegetables, is good for the health. It is considered a delicacy by some.

Korean BBQ Trivia + Forage’s Soy and Coca-Cola Flank Steak Recipe
LA Weekly

If you’ve ever wondered if Korean households have dining tables with built in bbq holes, like the ones at Korean bbq restaurants, the answer is “no”. The historical antecedent for modern restaurant tables are traditional Korean kitchens with round stoves (agungi) that were fueled by wood or large cylindrical charcoal briquets. If you clicked on the link, you probably figured out why Korean bbq pans are dome shaped, rather than square or rectangular.

FC Barcelona signs Korean teen for five years
JoongAng Daily

A Korean teenager has signed a five-year contract with FC Barcelona’s youth team, his father revealed Wednesday.

Play Canceled on Account of Suicide Threat
The Korea Times

A nude play has been forced to cancel its performance on July 14 by a male member of the public.

The man threatened to commit suicide if “The Professor and the Female Student 2” goes on stage on that date. He claimed that star actress Um Da-hae, 30, who plays the female student, is “his woman.”

Korean gangsters invade Manila
The Manila Times

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) was warned Monday against the entry into the country of Korean criminal syndicates that wanted to establish their illegal network in the country.

Dog Meat Festival Canceled Due To Public Backlash
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: June 29th, 2011
Filed Under: BLOG
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A girl holds a placard reading “Don’t eat my friends, please,” as part of a protest against eating dog meat. Photo credit: Korea Times

A group of “dog farmers” decided to cancel a dog meat festival after animal rights groups strongly protested, according to the Korea Times.

The Korea Dog Farmers’ Association had announced earlier it planned to hold the “2011 Dog Meat Festival” at Moran Traditional Market in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, on July 1.

They said the festival was intended to promote the idea of dogs being raised like livestock at sanitary facilities for human consumption. They also said Continue Reading »

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