Tag Archives: film

Friday's Link Attack: 9/11 Profiles, Kim Jong Il, Ken Jeong

Here are three stories about Korean Americans who lost their lives during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Grieving 9/11 victim Christina Sunga Ryook on the 10th anniversary
by Janet Cho of the Cleveland Plain Dealer

For Dae Jin and Kyung Woo Ryook, Sept. 11 is the one time of the year that the rest of America can appreciate the enormity of what they grieve every day – the loss of their only child, Christina Sunga Ryook.

Christina, 25, was killed in the 2001 terrorist attacks after a hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the top floors of the World Trade Center.

An administrative assistant in the human-resources department of bond-trading firm Cantor Fitzgerald, she worked on the 104th floor of the North Tower, six floors above where the plane hit.

When people tell her father, Dae Jin Ryook (pronounced “Yook”), 63, that they’re sorry about his daughter and ask how he’s doing, he always says, “I’m all right, thank you.”

“I don’t like to lie, but how can I say, ‘I’m not all right. I’m not fine,'” he asked. “I still get upset. I still get angry.”

Legacy lives on through foundation
NorthJersey.com

William “Bill” Kim and Andrew Kim’s relationship was a competitive rivalry like many siblings one year apart in age. Nevertheless, the brothers held an inseparable bond until Sept. 11, 2001.

On that day, Andrew Kim, 26, was a certified financial analyst for Fred Alger Management, which was located in the World Trade Center’s north tower on the 93rd floor. American Airlines Flight 11 was flown into his building at 8:46 a.m. by terrorists, impacting from the 93rd to 99th floors.

Andrew Kim is believed to be the only Leonia resident who perished during the attack. His firm lost 36 employees.

Ten years later, his brother Bill Kim, 38, a neuroradiologist for Hackensack University Medical Center is reminded of what was taken from him and the rest of his family.

South Pasadena to Honor Family Who Perished on 9/11
PasadenaNow

On the morning of September 11, 2001, 35-year old Sue Kim Hanson boarded a Boeing 767 United Airlines flight 175 together with her husband Peter Hanson and their 2 ½ -year-old daughter Christine, from Boston en route to Los Angeles. Sue was a local product, a graduate of South Pasadena High School. The family was supposed to have a good time in Disneyland and then visit Sue’s relatives. They never made it to their destinations.

North Korea leader Kim Jong-il appears with Kim Jong-un
BBC News

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il has appeared at national celebrations with his son and heir apparent Kim Jong-un.

The rare joint appearance underlines what observers say is a planned third generation of dynastic rule.

State TV showed the two applauding from a reviewing stand as military hardware rumbled by to mark the 63rd anniversary of North Korea’s founding.

Tenafly triple murder suspect enters no plea at hearing; trial date set
Northern Valley Suburbanite (New Jersey)

Triple-murder suspect Kang-Hyuk Choi entered no plea at a hearing on Sept. 7 before Superior Court Judge Donald Venezia, according to Maureen Parenta, the communications director for the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

Choi allegedly stabbed Han-Il “Sean” Kim on May 4, 2008 after grabbing an eight-inch knife from a fruit plate during an argument. Kim was allegedly stabbed in the neck and the body was stuffed in a closet in Tenafly, authorities said.

Choi allegedly then waited for Kim’s mother, Yoo Bok Kim, and allegedly stabbed her several times, killing her, after she walked into the room and saw her son’s arm sticking out of the closet, authorities said.

On May 5, 2008, Choi allegedly stabbed Doo Soo Seo, who was Yoo Bok Kim’s brother-in-law, authorities said. He then allegedly took $30,000 from the house and allegedly drove away in Han Kim’s BMW before going to California, authorities said.

A first look at a Seoul chef’s Manhattan offshoot
Yonhap

Here’s a nice long feature story about new fine-dining Korean restaurant Jung Sik, opening in New York City on Sept. 12.

A restaurant opening is no news these days, but this one in particular has amassed more interest from Korea than any other this year. Despite the continued discussions of opening a flagship Korean restaurant in New York City sponsored by the Korean government and other high-end restaurant plans explored by Korean companies, the 33-year-old [Jung Sik] Yim, who already has the experience of running his successful restaurant Jung Sik Dang (JSD) in Seoul, is the first to execute his plan.

Yim is the first Korean-born-and-raised chef to open a fine-dining Korean restaurant in Manhattan. While he represents many of the first attempts as a native Korean chef, he also shares a common background with other young Korean-American chefs who have presented their take on Korean food in the U.S. in recent years.

Yim has gone through his share of professional culinary training, starting with his time spent in the army kitchen in Korea. Realizing his passion for cooking during the mandatory military service, he spent time in various kitchens in Seoul, ranging from a rice cake store to a pub to a bakery.

Shoreline a bright spot for thriving Korean Americans
Northwest Asian Weekly

Among the cities in Washington with a large Korean American community presence, Shoreline stands out. Having had three Korean American elected officials, two of them women, Shoreline is a beacon for local Korean Americans aspiring to enter the state’s political scene. It is also a thriving hub for local Korean American businesses, and it has started building bridges with Korea both past and present.

Hines Ward might be emergency QB for Steelers
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The Steelers are contemplating whether to dress No. 3 quarterback Dennis Dixon for Sunday’s game against Baltimore.

If the Steelers choose to sit Dixon, their emergency quarterback behind Ben Roethlisberger and Charlie Batch will be receiver Hines Ward.

Ward said he has taken snaps and practiced handoffs following recent practices and said Thursday that he will be ready if needed at quarterback against Baltimore. “I am just taking snaps just in case,” said Ward, who last played quarterback in college. “We don’t have an option right now. I can hand the ball off, but if it comes down to me, we are really in bad shape.”

the house of suh now available on dvd
angry asian man

All right. You’ve got to watch this documentary. The award-winning true crime documentary The House of Suh, directed by Iris K. Shim, is now available on DVD. If you missed it on the film festival circuit, and missed it on television, this is your chance to watch it on your own time.

South Korea to step up suicide prevention efforts
Los Angeles Times

In 2009, 15,413 people took their lives, a rate that is three times higher than two decades ago. Officials plan to boost suicide prevention funding and install surveillance devices at key sites.

‘Hangover’ Star Ken Jeong – Is the Question Racist … Or Just Tasteless?
TMZ

This is a clip from the TMZ TV show where the news team discusses whether or not a question asked of Ken Jeong is racist.

“Hangover” actor Ken Jeong was asked if he could kick Kim Jong-il’s ass in a street fight — so, is the question racist? And it has nothing to do with them both being Korean. Okay, maybe a little.

N. Korean leader tours lavish food outlets
AFP via Google News

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il toured a meat store and pancake factory in the capital and offered “precious teachings”, state media said Thursday, as his impoverished country seeks overseas food aid.

S. Korea’s Lee says open to summit with N. Korea
AFP via Google News

South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak said Thursday he is open to a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, but the North should first show it is committed to peace.

“I may or may not hold an inter-Korean summit during my term,” Lee said during a nationally televised panel discussion.

Korean passenger jet on 9/11 Alaska flight could have been shot down
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (Alaska)

A decade ago on the confused morning of Sept. 11, we came perilously close to having our own nightmare in Alaska.

A Korean Air Lines passenger jet on a flight from Seoul was heading to Anchorage and the military and civilian aviation authorities had good reason to believe it was hijacked.

The pilot had punched in a transponder code that signaled a hijacking, but there was uncertainty because the aircraft was obeying orders from the ground and the pilots did not seem upset, according to various accounts of the incident.

Today Show: Hoda’s Favorite Things – This Burns My Heart
The Today Show

Hoda Kotb recommends the novel THIS BURNS MY HEART by Samuel Park on the Today Show, during the Favorite Things segment with Kathie Lee Gifford. Airdate: 9/5/11. THIS BURNS MY HEART is about a young woman in South Korea in the 60s who marries the wrong man.

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Thursday's Link Attack: Jennifer Chung, Ken Jeong, Jung Sik Restaurant

Q&A with Singer Jennifer Chung
TheOtherAsians

Talented, down-to-earth, and bubbly. These are the general adjectives that come to mind whenever someone meets Jennifer Chung for the first time. It’s inspiring to think that a simple girl publishing YouTube videos for her friends in a college dorm would eventually become a voice to the Youtube generation. Who would’ve known right? She has been able to engage an audience all over the world using her raw lyrics and powerful vocals balancing the whole shebang of student life –classes, loans, late night study sessions, part-time jobs.

Now with school out of the way, she is now settling in with her new life in Los Angeles, with a debut album releasing VERY soon! Join OA as we sit down with Jennifer and she shares her experience as a pioneer in new media, her feelings about her video featured on New York’s Times Square, and her development as an artist.

Ken Jeong: Friend or Foe?
Hyphen

That’s the question that kept popping up in my head as I looked at the GQ photoshoot featuring Ken Jeong and the fall season’s hottest corduroy pants. The actual task of showcasing those pants, mind you, falls not to Jeong but the male model with the washboard abs, canoodling with a 19-year-old female model. Jeong’s role is to “photobomb” each shot with nothing more than his own brashness; clothing optional.

The GQ photoshoot is the type of physical comedy audiences have come to expect from Jeong, who gained fame as the flamboyant gangster Mr. Chow from the Hangover series. In the first Hangover, a nude Chow introduced himself by leaping out of a car trunk and beating the movie’s three protagonists with a tire iron.

Fall Restaurant Preview: Jung Sik – Spicy, Crispy, Modern and Korean
New York Times

[Andrea Ahan] is one of four young Koreans and Korean-Americans who are opening Jung Sik. All of them, including the chef (for whom the restaurant is named), the pastry chef and the sommelier, attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., where, Ms. Ahan said, they bonded during trips to Fort Lee, N.J., to eat authentic Korean food like dukbokki (chewy rice cakes) and tofu stewed with kimchi.

Jung Sik Yim, the 33-year-old chef, went on to internships in New York and Spain before returning to Seoul to open Jung Sik Dang, in 2009. Said to be the first restaurant in which molecular gastronomy was applied to Korean ingredients, it was a huge hit.

Garden Grove doctor arrested in fraud sweep
Orange County Register

A doctor and an administrator at a Garden Grove medical clinic have been arrested for allegedly billing Medicare for physical therapy treatment that was never provided, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

Dr. Byung Ho Pak and Mary Lim were arrested Wednesday morning as part of federal sweep in six regions of the U.S. Pak and Lim, while working at Seoul East West Medical Center, billed Medicare $2 million for physical therapy, according to an indictment. Patients, however, were given treatments that weren’t covered such as acupuncture and moxibustion, a traditional Chinese medicine skin treatment.

Korean Canadian store owner hits the jackpot
Winnipeg Free Press

A Winnipeg convenience store owner is $1 million richer after a lottery ticket he purchased at his store hit the jackpot.

Byung Cho won $1 million in the Western 649 lottery, according to the Western Canada Lottery Corp. Cho purchased a $28 ticket at his shop, Mak Milk, at 661 Talbot Ave. The next day, Cho checked his lotto numbers and discovered he had the winning numbers.

Konnect Magazine Interviews Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader Connie Chung
Konnect Magazine

I love everything there is about being a Korean American. I embrace being an American but I also embrace being a Korean. I don’t think you can find anyone else that is more proud of being a Korean American than I. My favorite type of food is Korean and my favorite thing to do is Karaoke. I taught myself how to read and write Korean in middle school by watching popular Korean music variety shows such as Inkigayo and Music Bank. I love Korean Pop music and can watch KPOP music videos for hours and learn the dance routines. In fact, when I was in college I participated in many cultural talent shows and performed many KPOP dances! I’m a Korean American and I’m VERY proud of it.

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Rare Color Photo of the Kim Dynasty
Chosun Ilbo

This rare photo of reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-il with his younger sister Kyong-hui (right) and his father Kim Il-sung (center) was recently published by a nkleadershipwatch.wordpress.com, a blog dedicated to North Korea issues.

Why Thailand has become a popular path to freedom for North Korean defectors
Christian Science Monitor

A growing number of North Korean defectors are crossing illegally into Thailand via a new ‘underground railroad’ because Thailand processes defectors and sends them to South Korea quickly.

Kim Jong-Il’s Human Rights Atrocities
New York Times (Letter to the editor)

North Korea is ranked in every survey of freedom and human rights as the worst of the worst. A network of at least six camps for political prisoners, holding up to 200,000 people, forms the core of Kim Jong-il’s terrifying control apparatus. Shocking accounts of the worst possible forms of torture have emerged from survivors of the gulags who have escaped.

What should the international community do?

First, end its silence. It is extraordinary that a situation as severe as North Korea is so seldom discussed. When North Korea is on the agenda, it is in the context of its nuclear program, regional security or food shortages. Rarely do the North Korean gulags enter the consciences of international policymakers. That must change.

Minn. man sentenced for harboring illegal aliens
WXOW.com (La Crosse, Wisc.)

An Eagan man has been sentenced to two years in prison for harboring illegal aliens so they could work in his siding business.

U.S. District Judge Joan N. Ericksen on Wednesday sentenced 63-year-old Joo Ok Kim on one count of harboring and concealing aliens.

Kim pleaded guilty in August 2010. In his plea agreement, he admitted that from November 2008 through March 2009 he kept five Mexican nationals in his basement.

In Immigrant Areas, a Culture Clash Over Gay Marriage
New York Times

A bar in Sunnyside, Queens recently held a raffle for a same-sex wedding reception, which included a horse-drawn carriage as transportation.

Neighbors said they would boycott the bar. Bloggers posted reports of past health violations there. Larry Yang, the Korean-American owner of a hardware store next door, said he resented such a public promotion of same-sex marriage. He said many among the large number of Korean-American Christians in Queens felt similarly but feared that if they spoke out they would be demonized by a liberal majority.

“If that horse-drawn carriage rides by my store, I will make sure my kids do not see it,” Mr. Yang, 45, said. “I am worried about what kind of message gay marriage is sending.”

Korean women use invention to jump over gender gap
Yonhap

Lee Bok-hui used to wonder what happened to all the leftover stones she saw lying around construction sites. Now she knows exactly where a percentage of those leftovers go — into an eco-friendly inflammable sheeting-material used to reinforce electrical outlets, which she invented specifically to reuse that construction site waste.

Lee debuted her invention at the Korea International Women’s Invention Exposition in May, where she won second place in the expo’s title prize.

S. Korea court upholds Somali pirate life sentence
AFP via Yahoo News

A South Korean appeals court on Thursday upheld a life sentence on a Somali pirate convicted of hijacking a South Korean-operated ship in the Arabian Sea and trying to murder the captain.

The high court in the southern port of Busan confirmed the sentence passed in late May on Mahomed Araye after the 23-year-old had appealed.

Prosecutors had sought the death sentence for Araye for shooting and seriously injuring Captain Seok Hae-Kyun of the chemical carrier Samho Jewelry with an AK rifle.

Suicide main cause of death for those under 40 in S. Korea
Yonhap

Suicide was the No. 1 cause of death among people under 40 years of age in South Korea last year, with the nation’s overall suicide rate also marking the highest among the world’s major countries, a report showed Thursday.

Former classmate charged with murder of Michelle Le
San Francisco Chronicle

A Union City woman was charged today with murder in the slaying of a nursing student who vanished from a Hayward parking garage more than three months ago.

Giselle Esteban, 27, who is pregnant, is to appear this afternoon on a charge of murder at the Hayward Hall of Justice. She is accused of killing her former high school friend Michelle Le, 26, whose body hasn’t been found.

Tuesday's Link Attack: Chris Jeon, Dumbfoundead, Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Chris Jeon’s Parents Say He’s Safe
The Atlantic

As Libyan rebels try to talk the country’s remaining loyalist forces into a peaceful surrender, their wackiest member, UCLA student Chris Jeon, is reportedly planning to head home soon. Jeon has been living with the fighters for several weeks, and has become the fascination of many stateside who think he’s an imbecile, a daredevil, or both. On Tuesday, The National’s Bradley Hope tweeted: “Parents of #ChrisJeon told me he is safe and heading back soon. He was unaware that there had been any news about him for the last week.”

As reports surface of UCLA student Chris Jeon fighting with rebels in Libya, former roommate feels shock, concern
The Daily Bruin (UCLA)

About a week ago, Cody Soto and Ross McCray dropped their close friend Chris Jeon off at Los Angeles International Airport.

Soto had one thought on his mind: “I just watched my friend go into war. Did I just do that?”

The plan: join the rebel movement against Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s in Libya. Jeon, a math student at UCLA, had a camera, a small backpack with a couple sets of clean clothes and a one-way, $800 ticket. Soto and McCray tried to talk him out of it, but Jeon – a high-adventure spirit who has apparently also spent four months living with an indigenous tribe in Costa Rica – had his mind made up.

Steelers name Roethlisberger, Ward, Farrior and Battle captains
AP via Washington Post

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ final 53-man roster includes all the usual names, including captains Ben Roethlisberger, James Farrior, Hines Ward and Arnaz Battle. One name, however, raised some serious eyebrows on one of the NFL’s most stable teams.

Steelers’ Ward nearing elite mark
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Hines Ward has plans if he finds his way to the end zone Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. “If I score,” the Steelers wide receiver recently said with a smile, “I’ll give a ‘Dancing with the Stars’ tribute.”

Ward needs only 46 catches to become the eighth player in NFL history with 1,000 career receptions.

dumbfoundead: respect the OGs
angry asian man

I am 25 years old and I’ve been performing since I was 15. Back in the early years Asian-American musicians were obviously not as visible as they are today. We’re talking the “pre-YouTube” era, where we were only getting paid gigs by playing for college organizations. Some of the artists I would run into regularly were Beau Sia, Denizen Kane, PK, Jupitersciples, Far-East Movement, Danny Cho, Ken Oak Band, Eddie Kim, Nemo, Burning Tree Project, Snacky Chan, Jin, etc. Since then YouTube has expanded and created huge fan bases for the AA community and has played a great role in the transitioning of AA artists into the mainstream.

North Korea’s Kim does not trust China: US cable
AFP via Google News

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il expressed distrust of his country’s major economic prop China during a 2009 meeting with a visiting South Korean businesswoman, according to a US diplomatic cable.

Jennifer Yuh Nelson Becomes The Highest-Grossing Female Director Of A Film
PR Newswire via Dailymarkets.com

DreamWorks Animation today announced that its summer blockbuster, Kung Fu Panda 2, has grossed over $650 million globally to date, making Jennifer Yuh Nelson the highest-grossing female director of a film at the worldwide box office.

Check out our August 2011 cover story on Jennifer Yuh Nelson here.

Hank Conger makes defensive strides behind the plate
Daily Breeze (Torrance, Calif.)

Hank Conger couldn’t really see tangible results Friday behind the plate, but he knew he was on the right track.

Even though he bounced a couple of balls while throwing to second base, Conger noticed his footwork was better. That’s appropriate because his defensive progress has come in short steps for the young catcher, who has been under the tutelage of bullpen coach Steve Soliz and bullpen catcher Tom Gregorio to improve throwing technique.

How Chuseok is Changing
Wall Street Journal

With Chuseok, Korea’s Thanksgiving, happening this weekend, new businesses have sprung up for people torn between the need to follow traditional customs and the desire for an easier and relaxed holiday.

One of the important Chuseok rituals is beol-cho, an annual event where relatives get together several days before the holiday to tidy up ancestors’ grave sites with overgrown weeds. Some people find it increasingly cumbersome because they have to make an hour-long trip to the countryside to join it, not to mention a possible danger from using the hand-held mowing device that a city-dweller is generally not used to.

South Korean village bitter over what it sees as Olympic slight
Los Angeles Times

Soon after a farming area was chosen to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, the government angered villagers by banning most land sales, and resort jobs never materialized.

Friends, teachers remember drowned USC international student Wonwoo Choi
The Daily Gamecock (Univ. of South Carolina)

Known for his infectious happiness, big personality and love for his Korean heritage, cooking and sports, Wonwoo Choi was a model of positivity to his many friends and teachers.

Choi, a student in USC’s English Programs for Internationals, drowned in the Saluda River Friday evening, according to Richland County Coroner Gary Watts.

5 best indie rock bands in Hongdae
CNNGo

The music scene in Hongdae, whether it be hip-hop, punk or indie rock, is growing at a rapid speed with more music clubs now than ever before. These five best Korean indie rock bands are reason enough to drag yourself out to a club in the most youthful part of town.

Top Seoul educator vows not to quit
Korea Times

Embattled top Seoul educator Kwak No-hyun said Thursday he will continue to work with a “sense of grave responsibility,” rebuffing calls for his early resignation over ever-growing bribery allegations.

East meets West: Korean student teachers learn, share at Sky View
The Herald-Journal (Utah)

Here on a mission to teach and learn, three South Korean students are taking their time to explore the American education system and acclimate to the new environment before they have a chance to take on the role of teacher in one of Sky View’s classrooms.

Dan Bi Park, So Young Cho and Hye Mi Jang traded one of their senior semesters at Seoul National University for Sky View High School in Cache Valley, where they will have a chance to learn about American culture and education, as well as introduce a little bit of South Korea to the local high school.

Ed Wang, Craig Davis among Bills cuts
NBC Sports

Chinese American offensive lineman Ed Wang was released by the Buffalo Bills in the final round of cuts last week. Wang starred at Virginia Tech as a left tackle and was drafted in the 5th round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

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Monday's Link Attack: Chef Bill Kim, Park Ji-sung, Hank Conger

Bill Kim to Host “Belly Pop” LA Pop-Up Sept 17; Launching Urban Belly Seoul Sauce at Dose Market
Eater LA

Chef Bill Kim has already said he is thinking about opening a restaurant in LA and said he wanted to do a pop-up out there. Now the Urbanbelly chef is being true to his word.

Kim, who also owns Belly Shack, will host a pop-up on Sept. 17 in Los Angeles in conjunction with the launch of sister-in-law Yasmina Cadiz’s new shoe line, ToeJamm Shoes. The event, which will take place between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Daily Dose Cafe in Downtown LA, will be dubbed Belly Pop and will have mini bites of from both of Kim’s restaurants, like the Belly Dog and togarashi fries with curry mayo.

Reality show helps revive Korean American’s singing career
Dong-A Ilbo

Lena Park recalled her last performance in the reality music competition show “I’m a Singer” on MBC TV, as if she was daydreaming. The 35-year-old singer revived her musical career through the show for the first time since her debut 14 years ago.

Seattle restaurant Nettletown’s closing a loss for wild-food lovers
Puget Sound Business Journal

Nettletown, a small but notable restaurant in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood, announced late Friday that it was closing. Chef and owner Christina Choi said the tough economy had nothing to do with her decision.

Josh Brolin To Star In Spike Lee’s ‘Oldboy’ Redo For Mandate
Deadline.com

Josh Brolin was rumored to be on the short list to star in Spike Lee’s Oldboy, a remake of the cult 2003 Korean revenge thriller from Park Chan-wook. Now it’s official: Brolin will topline the Mandate Pictures redo, which begins production in March.

Park Ji-sung Scores His 1st Goal of Season
Chosun Ilbo

Football star Park Ji-sung scored his first goal of the season on Sunday for Manchester United. Defeating long-time rival Arsenal 8:2 at the Old Trafford, Man U pitched its first goal 22 minutes into the game. Coming off the bench as a substitute Park added the team’s sixth point in the 70th minute.

‘I won’t regret joining Arsenal’ – South Korea captain Park Chu-Young to complete £3m move with backing of national team manager
Goal.com

Arsenal will complete the signing of South Korea captain Park Chu-Young from Monaco on Monday.

Park passed the second part of his medical at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground on Sunday and has agreed personal terms after the Premier League club dramatically stole him from under the noses of French champions Lille on Saturday morning.

Q&A With Mike Butcher and Hank Conger
fangraphs.com

Conger: Early on, like after I first signed, I had trouble calling a game. I still feel like that’s the case sometimes. One of the best pieces of advice [pitching coach Mike] Butch gives us — he tells us this all the time — is to stick with the pitcher’s strength. I try to keep it simple and work with our pitchers’ strengths, and not get caught up in thinking too much.

‘Fantastic’ tale
Elgin Courier-News (Ill.)

Howard Royer admits the story sounds “fantastic”: A Korean-American, imprisoned as a suspected spy while helping with famine relief in North Korea in the 1990s, later is asked by its government to create the country’s first private university.

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Tuesday's Link Attack: Obama Staffer Promoted, Kim Jong Il In Russia

Korean-American named senior counsel to Obama
Korea Herald

Korean-American Christopher Kang was named last week senior counsel to U.S. President Barack Obama for legislative affairs, according to reports on Tuesday.

Kang, who was on Obama’s legislative affairs staff, will be in charge of judicial nominations, it added.

Beechwood Not Closing
Patch.com

Despite a report last week in EaterLA, local hotspot Beechwood is not set to close for any amount of time, according to a tweet the restaurant sent over the weekend. “Contrary to reports, we are OPEN w/ no set plans to close. Roy Choi developed our current menu & will eventually lead a new concept for us,”

Sylvester Stallone, Todd Phillips Projects Scheduled for Release in 2012
The Hollywood Reporter

The Sylvester Stallone-Sung Kang action drama “Bullet to the Head” is set for an April 13, 2012 release date.

On a South Korean isle, a life of squid fishing is slipping away
Los Angeles Times

Kim Yae-sun will tell you straight out: The squid life is a hard life.

For the 72-year-old widow, who peddles the sea creatures from a waterside stand here, it means rising at 4:30 a.m. and going to church to pray for an ample catch. When her fisherman husband was still alive, she asked God to watch over the squid fleet that heads out to sea each night, the boats strung with lines of light bulbs like Christmas garlands.

North Korean Leader Explores City Where He Will Meet With Medvedev
New York Times

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, spent the fourth day of a weeklong Siberian train ride in the city of Ulan Ude, where he was shown an aircraft factory after taking a boat ride on Lake Baikal and visiting the infrastructure of a tourist zone that is under construction, the Interfax news agency reported Tuesday.

3 North Korean defectors get U.S. scholarships
Yonhap News

Three young North Korean defectors living in South Korea have won scholarships offered by the U.S. federal government for study and internships at American universities, Washington’s top diplomat in Seoul said Tuesday.

Top Gear Motors Into Korea
The Wall Street Journal

The Journal‘s “Korea Real Time” blog reviews the premiere episode of the Korean version of the popular auto enthusiast show.

Michelle Wie defends decision to mix college and golf
Los Angeles Times

Former LPGA great Annika Sorenstam suggested last month that Michelle Wie was shortchanging women’s golf by pursuing her degree at Stanford. ‘Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion,’ Wie responds politely but firmly.

Top 5 summer beauty obsessions in Korea
CNNGo

Now that good weather is finally here in Seoul, the downsides are also back with a vengeance, with temperatures skyrocketing and humidity kicking in. To deal with the sweat and frizz, Seoul women have accordingly been switching up their beauty regimes.

Here are the top five summer beauty obsessions in Seoul.

Blind: Film Review
The Hollywood Reporter

Korean writer-director Ahn Sang-hoon unabashedly designs a thriller inspired by Terence Young’s 1967 “Wait Until Dark” which starred Audrey Hepburn.

S.Korea confirms world status with athletics event
AP via Google News

Hosting the 2011 world athletics championships in Daegu completes a prestigious treble for South Korea after the Olympic Games and the World Cup as the East Asian nation confirms its status as a major destination on the international sporting stage.

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Ken Jeong's Parents' Love and Blessings

Actor Ken Jeong hams it up at the premiere of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

by Ann Lee

Let’s say you’re a doctor — and I mean a real doctor, not some resident working 80-hour shifts for barely any pay– and you decide that you want to become an actor. How would your parents react?

It’s unlikely that they’ll be pleased with the decision, let alone support it. They might even start beating their chest and asking God where exactly they had gone wrong in raising you. Sure, a couple of you may have a stage parent eager to live vicariously through you, but in general, Asian people really like doctors.

Given this mindset, it’s refreshing to learn that the parents of comedian Ken Jeong were incredibly supportive of Jeong’s desire to leave his secure occupation as an established physician for the tumultuous world of entertainment.

During a recent interview in Seoul, while promoting the R-rated blockbuster The Hangover Part 2, Ken Jeong talked about his parents’ reaction to his interest in becoming a full-time actor. With his wife already supporting him, Jeong went to his parents Continue reading

Monday's Link Attack: Moon Bloodgood, Grace Kelly

Moon Bloodgood Steps in for Franka Potente
PR.com

The “Falling Skies” star was recently cast in an upcoming independent movie.

When a last minute production snag caused Franka Potente to drop out of the indie pic ”The Power of Few,” Moon Bloodgood quickly stepped up to join the worldly ensemble cast. Christopher Walken, Christian Slater, Anthony Anderson, Q’orianka Kilcher, Jesse Bradford, Nicky Whelan, Juvenile, and Navid Negahban star in the mystery time-bender being sold by Arclight Films’ at Toronto.

Now appearing in Speilberg/TNT’s ‘Falling Skies,’ Bloodgood plays Mala in ‘TPOF,’ the pregnant owner of a cyber cafe where criminals, smugglers and holy fools converge on a day of possible transformation.

Pettersen downs Choi in LPGA playoff
AP via Google News

Norway’s Suzann Pettersen overcame a nine-stroke deficit then defeated South Korean Choi Na Yeon at the first playoff hole to win the LPGA Safeway Classic.

Q&A: Back injury didn’t keep Danielle Kang from back-to-back amateurs
Los Angeles Daily News

By winning her second straight U.S. Women’s Amateur title, the former Westlake High standout and former Pepperdine golfer pulled off something of a historic comeback herself. Kang was tied for 27th place, at 2 over, during the stroke-play portion of the event at the Rhode Island Country Club. Then, a nagging upper-back problem affected her in match play after scratching out a quarterfinal win.

After a 45-minute chiropractic readjustment, saving a trip for her superstitious mother, who is an acupuncture specialist, to fly in and treat her, Kang recovered to reach Sunday’s 36-hole final, capping it off with an impressive 6-and-5 victory against Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugard. Enough people must have watched it on the Golf Channel: Kang said she got 75 text messages, 40 voicemails and 78 friend requests on Facebook before she even went to her postmatch news conference.

“I don’t accept the person if I don’t have a mutual friend, really,” she admitted. “My brother always yells at me if I accept somebody. I learned.”

South Korea churches’ beacons an eyesore to some
Los Angeles Times

The L.A. Times reports on the current backlash from some South Korean citizens who resent the neon church steeple crosses dotting the nighttime landscape.

Tens of thousands of churches dot South Korea, most with their own red neon crosses. In Seoul, where several churches crowd onto a single block, illuminating their crosses until midnight or later, the beacons combine to color the urban night like a carnival come to town.

“Looking from above, the night scene of Seoul looks like that of a graveyard,” one Internet user complained in a posting.

Englewood Cliffs looks to fund 9/11 memorial
NorthJersey.com

The city of Englewood Cliffs, N.J. is hoping to raise $30,000 to honor two locals killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The benches would honor Rajesh Mirpuri, the borough’s only resident who died in the attacks, and Leonia resident Andrew Jay-Hoon Kim, who also was killed. Kim’s father, Paul Kim, operates a business in town, Cioffi said.

Local teen dubbed ‘the future of jazz’
The Dedham Transcript (Mass.)

As a 19-year-old Asian-American female, Grace Kelly is something of a rare gem in the jazz world. But to her, what matters is that people love her music.

“It’s great when people say ‘You’re great for your age,’” says Kelly, who performs a free concert at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston on Aug. 25. “But I think it’s so much better when someone goes up to me after a show and tells me, ‘Your music is wonderful.’”

Kelly, who has been featured on seven albums, has been called a prodigy by both critics and musicians. The Wellesley-born, Brookline-raised Korean-American is also a bandleader, arranger, composer and singer. Kelly — not to be confused with the late actress/princess, though she adored the other Grace Kelly as a child — traveled to Europe four times and toured in eight countries just this year.

Cho names strong squad for opener
FIFA.com

Korea Republic coach Cho Kwang-Rae has named a strong squad for the country’s opening FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against Lebanon on 2 September. Cho has called up six Europe-based players though is without Bolton winger Lee Chung-Yong (broken leg) and Wolfsburg midfielder Koo Ja-Cheol (torn ankle ligaments).

Korean TV talent search show scored for Muslim portrayal, apologizes
Manila Bulletin (Philippines)

Korean TV talent search show “Star King” has issued an apology after a recent episode came under fire from viewers who criticized the show for depicting a wrong portrayal of Saudi Arabians and Muslims in general.

North Korea to Auction Resort Owned by South
New York Times

North Korea on Monday gave South Korean tourism officials 72 hours to leave a mountain resort, declaring that it will start auctioning off South Korean-owned hotels, restaurants and other remnants of what used to be a symbol of inter-Korean cooperation.

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Wednesday's Link Attack: Ken Jeong, Koreans Sue Apple

Ken Jeong Promotes ‘The Hangover Part II’ in Seoul
Korean Beacon

Ken Jeong, who plays ‘Mr. Chow’ in both Hangover films, arrived in Seoul earlier this week to promote the release of The Hangover Part II in South Korea.

Steven Yeun Speaks Out About Frank Darabont Leaving
thewalkingdeadpodcast.com

Steven Yeun is the first cast member of AMC’s zombie TV show “The Walking Dead” to speak out about the departure of creator Frank Darabont.

Home is where the heart is for new Canadian
Calgary Sun

Jung Yeun Song finally became a full-fledged Canadian Tuesday, a wish her adoptive mom has been longing for, but a decision the Korean immigrant has struggled with for years.

At seven, the 31-year-old woman was separated from her Korean family to face 17 surgeries in a Montreal hospital.

Seoul to bring back women-only subway cars
Los Angeles Times

The South Korean plan aims to combat groping and other sexual crimes against female commuters. Because reaction to the proposal has been mixed, the restricted cars will run only late at night.

Korean-Chinese woman booked for smuggling N. Korean art
Yonhap News

Seoul police said Wednesday that they have booked an ethnic Korean woman from China for allegedly smuggling North Korean paintings into South Korea, selling them to local consumers and sending some of the profits to the North.

The 46-year-old woman, surnamed Kim, was accused of bringing in about 1,300 paintings by some well-known North Korean artists in violation of a law regulating the flow of goods between the two Koreas, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said.

27,000 South Koreans sue Apple over iOS privacy
CNET

As expected, Apple has been hit with a class-action lawsuit in South Korea.

About 27,000 South Koreans filed their class-action suit against Apple today, charging the Cupertino, Calif.-based company with privacy violations in its iOS-based devices, the Associated Press is reporting. The plaintiffs are requesting about 27 billion won ($25.3 million) in damages, which translates to about $936 per person.

Gerard Butler Sued: Ex-Workers Claim They’re Owed Overtime Pay
TMZ

Apparently, Scottish actor Gerard Butler co-owns a Korean restaurant in Hollywood, along with some other notables. Oh yes, his workers are suing him for unpaid wages.

Chocolat Releases Debut Music Video “Syndrome”
YouTube

Check out the video for the new K-pop girl group which features three biracial Korean Americans.

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