Seoul to Mark 3rd Anniversary of Cheonan Sinking
President Park Geun-hye is to preside on Tuesday over a ceremony at the National Cemetery in Daejeon marking the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan in 2010.
It will be attended by the families of 46 South Korean sailors who died in the attack, as well as the widow of Navy Warrant Officer Han Joo-ho, who drowned during the search for survivors.
Park hopes to send a strong warning to North Korea against further provocations.
Behind the veil: A rare look at life in North Korea
Olaf Schuelke is a self-taught Germany documentary photographer based in Singapore. These are his images and observations formed during a tour of North Korea in 2012. You can see more photos of Schuelke’s North Korea trip on his website.
The Lonely Days of President Park Geun-hye
President Park Geun-hye usually arrives at her office in Cheong Wa Dae between 9 and 10 a.m. from her sleeping quarters in the compound three to four minutes by car.
Unless she has official appointments elsewhere, the only trips she makes are from her quarters to her office and back. She is said to be an early riser, getting up at around 4:30 a.m. for the past 15 years. Aides say the routine has not changed since she moved into Cheong Wa Dae.
She begins her day reading various reports from Cabinet members and surfs the Internet. She also makes a point of reading critical online posts.
As the eldest daughter of former President Park Chung-hee, she served as the de facto first lady after her mother was assassinated in 1974. In those days, she would have breakfast with her father. Now, she has breakfast alone.
Editorial: Get to the bottom of Kenneth Bae’s detention in North Korea
DON’T forget about Kenneth Bae. North Korean officials arrested the Lynnwood man last November, reportedly after he led tourists into the reclusive country.
Four months later, he remains in custody.
The U.S. State Department, which does not have an official presence in Pyongyang, is mum on the topic of Bae’s status and health. Members of Washington state’s congressional delegation also are hesitant to speak.
Asian Americans attack cultural labels at summit on stereotypes
Los Angeles Times
More than 200 participants gathered in Little Tokyo on Saturday to talk – and tweet – candidly about persistent negative images damaging to their ethnic group, especially when it comes to family, education, politics and news coverage.
Participants converged on Little Tokyo for “Beyond the Bad and the Ugly,” the first ever summit on Asian American stereotypes. Some sported buttons with labels touting them as thugs, geeks, players and FOBs, or “fresh off the boat.”
“Don’t be afraid,” a moderator urged at the start, and participants didn’t hold back, attacking offensive stereotypes of some members of their ethnic group that ranged from sexless nerds to predatory temptresses.
Kim Jang-hoon Plans Center for ‘Comfort Women’ in New Jersey
Singer Kim Jang-hoon will build a center in New Jersey dedicated to raising awareness of women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. He revealed the plan on his Me2day account on Friday, adding the hope that the move will have a nationwide impact there.
Jamie Chung discusses new flick ‘Eden’ and role on JJ Abrams pilot ‘Believe’ filming in New York
New York Daily News
Jamie Chung remembers vividly the dreaded call a few years ago when her strict Korean mother discovered her deepest secret:
That her little girl was actually a professional actress on “Days of Our Lives.”
“I got a call from my mom one day and she said, ‘Are you on a soap opera?’ So and so’s mom ‘told me you were on a soap opera,’ ” Chung told the Daily News, able to laugh at it now.
Freedom’s Daniel Dae Kim narrates “Linsanity”
The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)
Freedom grad Daniel Dae Kim and star of CBS’ reboot of “Hawaii Five-0″ is the narrator for “Linsanity,” the documentary about basketball sensation Jeremy Lin and his rise from obscurity to the covers of Time Magazine and Sports Illustrated to become one of the best known Asian American stars since Bruce Lee.
Although as a high school and college athlete, Lin impressed coaches with his ability, he was never offered any athletic scholarships and was undrafted out of college. But when he joined the New York Knicks as a backup,other player’s injuries gave him the chance to play and the rest is history. Lin scored more points in his first five NBA starts than any other player in the modern era.
K-Pop Fans Raise Hell After Popular Videos Get Blocked on YouTube
What do K-pop fans and the state of Texas have in common? Answer: It’s never a good idea to mess with either.
Early Sunday morning (March 24), it appeared videos by K-pop entertainment agency, Cube Entertainment, were being blocked for international fans. Cube Entertainment (home to popular artists like 4minute, B2ST, G.NA and HyunA) is one of the few Korean agencies who work with a major U.S.-based label distributor. Universal Music Korea helps distribute Cube Entertainment, a rare partnership in a market where most entertainment entities have the means to distribute themselves or use domestic options like the much-used major South Korean record label, LOEN Entertainment.
Yet, when international fans were being blocked from watching music videos of their favorite artists there was online pandemonium.
New York City’s 8 Best Korean Restaurants
With the opening of the massive Barn Joo and the critical success of Hanjan, Korean cuisine is having a moment in New York City. These new joints elevate the fare and should attract a new wave of curious diners, but will their innovative takes be enough to rank them among the city’s best? Korea Town might be a small series of blocks, but it’s still pretty crowded. Click through the slideshow to see which joints are tops according to our 2013 New York City Restaurants guide, and let us know your favorite in the comments.
North Korea issues fresh threat to U.S., South probes hacking
North Korea said it would attack U.S. military bases on Japan and the Pacific island of Guam if provoked, a day after leader Kim Jong-un oversaw a mock drone strike on South Korea.
The North also held an air raid drill on Thursday after accusing the United States of preparing a military strike using bombers that have overflown the Korean peninsula as part of drills between South Korean and U.S. forces.
North Korea has stepped up its rhetoric in response to what it calls “hostile” drills between South Korea and the United States. It has also been angered by the imposition of fresh U.N. sanctions that followed its February 12 nuclear test.
South Korea Says Chinese Code Used in Computer Attack
The biggest cyberattack on South Korean computers in two years used malware code from China, according to an initial investigation that is focusing on possible links to North Korea.
Around 32,000 servers were damaged in yesterday’s attack on broadcasters and banks, the Korea Communications Commission said today in a statement. President Park Geun Hye set up a team to investigate whether North Korea is responsible, after computer shutdowns hit companies including Shinhan Bank (1558), Nonghyup Bank, Munhwa Broadcasting Corp., YTN and Korea Broadcasting System.
Was N.Korea Behind Wednesday’s Cyber Attack?
It is unclear who was responsible for a massive cyber attack on major broadcasters and banks in South Korea on Wednesday, but authorities say there is a strong chance that North Korea was behind it.
Government officials here believe no individual hacker could have launched such a major attack, and the modus operandi points to the North. North Korea launched so-called denial of service attacks in 2009 and 2011 aimed at major South Korean websites.
Major North Korean websites including the state-run Rodong Sinmun daily and broadcaster KCNA apparently suffered connection failures on March 13 and 14 after being hit by a hacking attack. A key government official here confirmed that the North was indeed hit by a cyber attack but the source was unknown.
Why cyberattacks are the logical North Korean weapon
Christian Science Monitor
Suspicion for yesterday’s cyberattack quickly fell on North Korea. Cyberwarfare gives North Korea the chance to inflict damages on a militarily superior foe, without having to own the responsibility.
Hollywood’s Changing Its Movies to Appease the Chinese? Good
This month’s gross-out college comedy 21 and Over is the kind of no-hype, no-stars box-office blip that usually passes through movie theaters without much notice except from bored teenagers at mall cineplexes. But the film was noticed—not for being the first comedy since the Harold and Kumar series to feature an Asian-American character with depth and screen time, but because the film’s Chinese producers demanded changes to the script and a different cut of the film for their country’s box office.
In fact, the influx of Chinese cash into Hollywood has opened up a new niche beat for some journalists detailing the edits Chinese financiers require. The individual stories—of changing Looper’s future global capital from Paris to (a more-plausible) Shanghai, of cutting risqué scenes from Cloud Atlas and Skyfall, of deleting a single line from Life of Pi so as not to anger devout moviegoers—are, of course, fascinating. But taken in their totality, the press’s coverage of Chinese censorship of big-studio products has a certain doomsaying quality. A Los Angeles Times reporter writes, for example, that “the net effect [of Chinese influence] is a situation that movie-business veterans say is unprecedented: The suppressive tendencies of a foreign nation are altering what is seen not just in one country but around the world.” Unmentioned is the United States’ own history of government censorship of its films, as well as the progressive outcomes that will result from yuan-financed filmmaking.
North Korean documentary tries transmedia trends
When Toronto filmmaker Ann Shin screened her riveting documentary “The Defector: Escape from North Korea” last November, she received acclaim for crossing a border that few filmmakers dare to go — the technological border, that is.
Shin and her small crew of a camera operator and sound technician followed an agent called “Dragon” from the North Korea-China border all the way to Bangkok with refugees who had high hopes for a better life in South Korea. In an entirely new approach, Shin adopted new, innovative technology to compliment her documentary project, like 360 degree animations and an interactive web site as well as a Facebook app.
In the Defector Interactive (http://experience.thedefectormovie.com/), launched on Feb. 15, users can take a 10-minute haunting interactive journey through the eyes of a woman desperately attempting to escape North Korea.
TOKiMONSTA Remixes Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” (Stream)
The Justin Timberlake love continues. This time around Los Angeles’ uber-talented producer TOKiMONSTA took JT’s new breezy pop single “Suit & Tie” single and twisted some knobs adding some popping bass and a handful of interesting electronic and vocal effects. It’s much more aggressive with the drum beats and would be a hit in a club setting. The take on the track almost sounds like what the single could’ve sounded like if Justin wanted to bring sexy back.
Complete Korean cosmetics shopping guide
With the world’s biggest obsession with plastic surgery and some of the fastest-evolving beauty technology, spas and cosmetic lines in the world, South Korea is a bona fide beauty destination.
According to a government survey, the items tourists want to purchase the most while visiting are Korean beauty products.
With good reason. Korean cosmetic brands introduce products made from exotic ingredients seemingly every month — Jeju Island volcanic clay, soybeans, traditional Korean medicine and, of course, snail guts.
Kim Yu-na and Denis Ten dazzle at figure skating worlds
With her victory at the World Figure Skating Championships in London, Ont., South Korea’s Kim Yu-na not only proved that she could come back, but she also re-established herself as perhaps the most dominant athlete in an individual winter Olympic sport. Her margin of victory at worlds was 20.42 points, the largest gap since the ISU adopted the current system of scoring in 2004. (Kim had won the Olympics in Vancouver by a margin of 18.34.)
“She is in another world right now,” said Carolina Kostner, the Italian silver medalist. And Kostner wasn’t just a weak entrant bringing up the rear; she was the world champion in 2012, when Kim was still on her break from figure skating. To look at it another way, Kim’s winning margin in London was greater than the point differential between Kostner and China’s Li Zijun in seventh place. Granted its status as a sport entails that it be judged, an appreciation for it demands more than quantification. The aesthetic is harder to define.
“The thing about Kim,” U.S. national champ Ashley Wagner says, “is that she has this ability to tell a story and take you with her. It’s so clean from start to finish.”
Shin-Soo Choo misses fifth straight game with back spasms
As if moving to center field at age 30 after never playing the position regularly before wasn’t challenging enough for Shin-Soo Choo now he’s dealing with a back injury.
Choo is out of the Reds’ lineup today for the fifth straight game with back spasms and manager Dusty Baker seemed unsure about his return timetable when talking to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer:
“We’d like to get him in within a week of starting [the regular season], but you don’t know. We’re trying not to have any setbacks, because that’ll make it worse. When it comes to back spasms and the back, you’re just guessing. We just don’t want him to have any setbacks.”
Wyoming outdoors: Trip hooks Korean student on fly fishing
Billings Gazette (Montana)
Have you ever shared in a person’s joy of a momentous event? Have you been lifted up by that person’s unfettered happiness and elation? If you have, you can identify with the experience I had last Friday.
I had volunteered to take a young Korean student, Taesub Kim, fly-fishing. Taesub is a nursing student at Sheridan College and has been a valuable asset to the college, community and his church. Taesub is an extremely talented pianist and has enthralled many people with his concerts and adds a wonderful accompaniment to the choir at Holy Name Church.
Our pastor, Father Jim Heiser, and music director, Mark Sonderby, thought that it would be a fitting reward to have Taesub go fishing. So they asked me if I would teach Taesub to fly-fish and take him on a fishing trip on the Bighorn River.
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 »
Colleagues and friends of Sung Kang celebrate the actor’s latest role, going toe to toe against Stallone.
by ADA TSENG
KoreAm Journal and Audrey Magazine hosted an advanced preview screening of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Sylvester Stallone action flick, Bullet to the Head, at CGV Cinemas in Los Angeles’ Koreatown on Jan. 31. The honorary guest of the night was Stallone’s co-star, Korean American actor Sung Kang, who plays Detective Taylor Kwon, a New Orleans cop who enlists hitman Jimmy Bobo (Stallone) to help him track down the bad guys who killed both their respective partners.
At the event, Kang told KoreAm about the lessons Stallone and director Walter Hill taught him about being the quintessential “alpha male,” both onscreen and off. It’s about exuding confidence; even when an alpha male doesn’t know what’s going on, he acts like he does.
“I’m always running around, feeling like I have to explain myself to everybody,” said Kang. “But alpha males tend to be very quiet. They just stand there, and everyone else gravitates toward them. At the same time, there’s a sense of respect, because the alpha male has earned it.” Continue Reading »
Christina Yoon is a film student at New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts who wants to give a voice to the alienated, the marginalized.
Her student film White Rabbit follows a young Korean American girl who goes on a journey of self-discovery after stumbling upon a slaughtered rabbit. Yoon and her crew of volunteers are currently trying to raise funds on Kickstarter but are less than halfway toward their goal of $7,500.
Yoon took the time to chat with iamKoreAm.com about herself and her project.
Why did you decide to make this film?
I knew I wanted to write a script exploring the early teenage years of my life — maybe as a way to better understand it, but mostly to share the experience with others. It was a time when I felt unhappy, confused, alienated from everyone else, and powerless to change anything.
Then one day, I was thinking about my film in the shower, and the image of a slaughtered white rabbit came to my mind. A very powerful image – and something that symbolized my teenage years in a visual way. The rabbit is innocent, powerless, and lost, like a child who is beginning to grow up. The act of slaughtering a rabbit felt to me like killing one’s childhood identity. Continue Reading »