North Korean hackers hired to attack South Korea game network
More than 30 North Korean hackers were hired to work in China by a South Korean crime ring to steal the personal data of South Korean gamers, and channeled $5 million to their impoverished country in compensation, South Korea’s police said on Thursday.
Wanted: Telegenic Aid Workers
The Wall Street Journal (blog)
You know a craze is out of control when the government starts joining in.
South Korea’s obsession with reality shows has clearly struck a chord with policymakers, who are planning to select around 80-90 international aid workers through a televised audition.
Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan broke the news via Twitter in June and the MBS TV network said recently it’ll air 8 episodes of “KOICA’s Hope” from mid-September. KOICA refers to Korea International Cooperation Agency, which implements and monitors Korea’s overseas assistance programs.
Korean Wave starts lapping on Europe’s shores
AFP via Google News
South Korea’s pop music industry is eyeing Europe after taking East Asia by storm, with promoters using the power of the Internet to lure distant fans.
K-pop over the past decade has established a devoted fan base in China, Japan and Southeast Asia, with heartthrobs like Rain and boy bands like TVXQ packing out concerts and topping charts.
Music industry executives were surprised by the positive response to two sold-out concerts held in Paris last June.
“The response from European fans totally stunned us,” said Kim Young-Min, CEO of SM Entertainment. “Now we feel more confident that we can take a plunge in the European market, albeit step by step.”
Sacramento murder trial defendants linked to shanks in jail cake
A cartoonlike plot to pass weapons around the downtown jail in a yellow cake with chocolate frosting came to light Tuesday in a pretrial hearing for two brothers accused of carrying out a fatal hit on a state prison officer.
Chong Vue had the cake in his cell and asked a sheriff’s deputy to take it to his younger brother, Gary, in another section of the jail, according to testimony at a security hearing before their upcoming murder trial.
Premier League’s newest Korean scores first goal
The Korea Times
The Premier League’s newest Korean Ji Dong-won scored his first goal for the club Wednesday in Sunderland’s 3-0 win in a pre-season friendly with Darlington.
With his first strike since signing with Sunderland on June 30, the 20-year-old raised hopes to be named as a starter in the season opener against Liverpool on Aug. 13.
Your new caffeine fix: Cookies
Los Angeles Times (blog)
It might be painful, but just for a second, imagine skipping your morning coffee. Gasp! For some, having that morning cup of coffee is not only a ritual, it’s a godsend. And when time is short, sometimes adding a bite to eat is out of the question.
Esther Kang, the owner of Batch from Scratch, a Los Angeles-based bakery offering gourmet sweets, is hoping you’ll turn to them for your all-in-one morning fix. Her online bakeshop features two new caffeinated cookies meant to give you a sugary treat and your morning coffee kick: the cardamom caramel macchiato cookie and the Mayan chocolate inferno cookie.
N.Korea Picks New U.S. Partner for Mt. Kumgang Tourism
A Korean-American businessman claims he has signed a deal with North Korea to operate tours to the scenic Mt. Kumgang resort. South Korea’s Hyundai Asan previously operated the tours there until they were halted in the wake of the fatal shooting of a South Korean tourist at the resort.
Koreans seek honors for fireman killed saving cat
AFP via Google News
A fireman who died while trying to rescue a cat has sparked an outpouring of sympathy among South Koreans, with many demanding he should be laid to rest in the national cemetery.
‘MasterChef’ contestant eliminated after cocktail party challenge
Esther Kang has become the latest contestant eliminated from the MasterChef kitchen.
Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot sent Kang home after she failed to impress in either a layer cake pressure test or an hors d’oeuvres challenge at an exclusive rooftop cocktail party.
Kibot: South Korean Robot Reads, Sings and Teaches Toddlers English
The Kibot is designed to be part tutor and part babysitter for South Korea’s hard working parents who are intent on making sure their children grow up bilingual in a country where English has become a prerequisite for admission at prominent private schools.
The Kibot, built Korean telecom giant KT Corp., is perfect for Gina Kim, 36, a working mom who puts in a 12 hours a day and sometimes on Saturday. The grueling work schedule makes it hard for her to spend time with her two toddlers Joey, 4 and Juwon, 1.
Three more defendants admit roles in Palisades Park-based ID-theft ring
Bergen County Record (N.J.)
Three more Bergen County men have admitted their roles in a large-scale identity-theft ring that ensnared 53 suspects last fall, authorities said.
Sung-Rok Joh, 53, and In-Sook Lee, 33, both of Palisades Park; and Jong-Hoon Kim, 50, of Ridgefield pleaded guilty to a variety of fraud charges in federal court in Newark on Tuesday, said Rebekah Carmichael, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.
Kim was accused of the most serious charges among the three. Authorities said he admitted to fraudulently obtaining two Illinois driver’s licenses in 2008 and using them to apply for credit cards from a number of banks, eventually racking up more than $100,000 in purchases and cash, Carmichael said.
‘Inexpensive Hawaii’ can be found in Belize
Kenneth Choi, who stars in the upcoming “Captain America,” is big on Belize.
N. Korea eyes sharing Olympics in S. Korea
AFP via Yahoo News
North Korea would consider sharing some events in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea — but only if the situation between the two countries improves, a Pyongyang sports official said Wednesday.
The Father of the PlayStation and Japan’s Secret Koreans
Akiko Wada, one of Japan’s most famous singers and personalities, admitted her Korean background a few years back. The very Japanese sounding Wada (和田) is not her pass name; before she naturalized, it was “Kaneumi” (金海). The Korean last name “Kim” is often written as “Kane” (金) in Japanese. Tomoaki Kanemoto, the great Hanshin Tigers outfielder, also admitted his Korean background—though, his admission was less of a surprise. Tech mogul Masayoshi Son, the richest man in Japan, is a third generation Korean Japanese who rejected his family’s pass name, Yasumoto.
Lady Gaga’s BFF – Korean Chef Bo Kyung
Lady Gaga was recently interviewed on a popular KBS entertainment news program that aired on the 9th earlier this month. She briefly introduced herself and then went on to talk about her best friend from childhood, a Korean Chef by the name of Bo Kyung.
Jury deadlocks in officer shooting of mom after chase
Orange County Register
A federal judge declares a mistrial in the civil rights suit brought by the family of Susie Young Kim, 37, of Irvine, who died at the scene of a 2009 shooting with her 1-year-old daughter in the back seat of her car.
LG Pops Out a Glasses-free 3-D Monitor
The Wall Street Journal
On Wednesday, LG Electronics Co. said it would start selling a 20-inch computer monitor that displays 3-D images without needing any glasses at all.
The monitor, called the D2000, will go on sale in South Korea first at a price of 1.29 million won, or about $1,200. It will be available in other countries in October, after the IFA electronics industry convention in Germany in September.
S. Korea to raise minimum wage 6 percent in 2012
A trilateral council comprised of the government, labor and management on Wednesday agreed to raise the country’s minimum wage 6 percent to 4,580 won (US$4.30) an hour next year.
Super typhoon may hit Korean Peninsula
The Korea Herald via AsiaOne
The Korean Peninsula is expected to face a mega typhoon of disastrous proportions this summer, according to the state’s weather agency on Tuesday.
The Korea Meteorological Administration predicts that two or three more typhoons could hit the two Koreas up till September, after analyzing computer simulations.
Korean man burns down own home to spite noisy neighbor
The Korea Herald
A man who set fire to his own home to retaliate against his noisy neighbor was sentenced to two years by Changwon District Court.
The 46-year-old arsonist, who lives in an apartment, said the neighbor upstairs was too noisy and he could not stand it. He said in the hearing that despite frequent remonstrations, the situation did not change.
Frozen Street Food Meal Hits Costco
The Korean beef taco is now available for bulk purchase. Yay!