Friday’s Link Attack: Thousands Mourn Fallen LAPD Officer; Korea Joins Search for Missing Plane; Roy Choi Uses Google Glass
Author: Cassandra Kwok
Posted: March 14th, 2014
Filed Under: BLOG
« (previous post)
(next post) »

Thousands Mourn Fallen LAPD Officer Nicholas Lee
Korea Times US

Hundreds of mourners, including Mayor Eric Garcetti and Gov. Jerry Brown, gathered on Thursday to pay tribute to Los Angeles police Officer Nicholas Choung Lee, who was killed when his patrol car was struck by a dump truck.

Lee, 40, died at the scene of the crash, which occurred around 8 a.m. Friday near Robert Lane and Loma Vista Drive in Beverly Hills, about one block across the city line. His partner, who was just three months out of the police academy, was hospitalized and released Saturday night. The two were responding to an “unknown trouble” call when the crash occurred.

An investigation into the crash is continuing, but Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck said last week the initial indication appears to be that the truck, which wound up on its side after striking the patrol car, may have lost its brakes.

Japan Prime Minister Says He Will Not Revise 1993 Apology to ‘Comfort Women’
New York Times

Moving to defuse a heated diplomatic dispute over World War II-era history, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday that his government would not revise a landmark 1993 apology to women forced to work in Japanese military brothels.

It was the first time since taking office more than a year ago that Mr. Abe has explicitly stated that his right-wing administration would uphold the official apology, known as the Kono Statement. That statement, issued by Yohei Kono, then the chief cabinet secretary, admitted that Japan’s military played at least an indirect role in forcing the so-called comfort women to provide sex to Japanese soldiers.

“I am deeply pained to think of the comfort women who experienced immeasurable pain and suffering, a feeling I share equally with my predecessors,” Mr. Abe told Parliament. Referring to the Kono Statement, the prime minister said, “The Abe cabinet has no intention to review it.”

N. Korean defectors who once settled in S. Korea face deportation from Canada
Yonhap News

More than 600 North Korean defectors, who initially settled in South Korea, are on the verge of being deported from Canada while attempting to take refuge there, an informed source said Thursday.

The Canadian authorities accuse them of disguising themselves as those who just fled the communist nation, said the source from South Korean political circles.

They actually defected to the capitalist South and gained citizenship there, according to the source who is on a trip here after visiting Canada.

“The people with the nationality of South Korea, who fled North Korea, filed applications for a refugee status with the Canadian government. But their applications were rejected and they face deportation,” said the source.

South Korea to join search for missing Malaysia Airlines plane
Straits Times

South Korea has decided to send two military aircraft to join the international search and rescue operations for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, South Korea’s foreign ministry said on Friday.

The country plans to send a P-3C Orion patrol aircraft and a C- 130 military transport airplane to carry out search and rescue tasks, Xinhua news agency reported, quoting the ministry.

It has also ordered 39 South Koreans from the military to depart for Kuala Lumpur on Saturday to join the international search and rescue efforts, Xinhua said.

Seoul counselors help curb suicide
Korea Times

Thirty counselors at the Seoul Suicide Prevention Center (SSPC) are on standby 24/7 in a fight to bring city’s suicide rate down.

“Suicide is not a disease. An impulse to kill can happen to anyone. When it happens to you, you need people to talk to. That’s what we are trying to do for the callers,” Choi Min-jung, an SSPC counselor, said.

The SSPC, launched in 2005, is under the supervision of the Seoul Metropolitan Government.

This reporter spent two nights recently at the center, to observe the counselors’ work. The writer was not allowed to listen to callers for privacy reasons, but overheard counselors often begin the conversations with questions: “You seem angry. Would you mind sharing more about your feelings?”

Sex crimes against minors soars in recent years
Yonhap News via GlobalPost

The number of sex crimes against minors rose sharply in the past five years but more than 40 percent of convicted offenders were released on probation, government data showed Thursday.

According to the data by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, the number of sex crimes, such as rape, indecent assault and brokering prostitution, against children and juveniles rose 52.7 percent from 1,068 cases in 2007 to 1,631 in 2012.

The findings are based on a research conducted by the state-run Korean Women’s Development Institute on supreme court cases of sex crimes against minors during the 2007-2012 period.

Korea-U.S. FTA Scorecard Shows Seoul the Bigger Winner
Wall Street Journal

The U.S.-South Korean free trade agreement marks its second anniversary Saturday.

The landmark deal, effective since March 15, 2012, helped boost bilateral trade. A question is which side benefits more? The answer is Seoul, not Washington, according to trade data in South Korea.

Bilateral trade has risen 4.1% for the past two years with the South Korean surplus—or the U.S. deficit—growing, show Seoul’s trade ministry data. The data show South Korea’s surplus in trade with the U.S. widening to $17 billion for the first year after the pact took effect and $20 billion for the second year—from $12 billion for a year before the deal.

Beneficiaries from the two-year free-trade pact include South Korean auto-parts suppliers, petroleum-goods producers and processed-food makers as well as U.S. pumping-machine manufacturers, pesticide producers and fruit growers—whose exports to the other side grew sharply.

68-year old Korean American man left brain-dead after falling accident may save up to six lives as an organ donor
Korea Times US

A 68-year-old Korean American man who was left brain-dead after a falling accident may save the lives of up to six people as an organ donor.

Jung Sang-gil was the owner of Dae Hung Refrigeration who lived in Los Angeles’ Koreatown for 28 years.

He was declared brain-dead after he fell from a ladder on March 6 while climbing onto a market rooftop located on James M. Wood Blvd. and Bonnie Brae St.

Jung was a giving person who had made it known that he would donate his organs if necessary, his family said. He died on Sunday after his family made the decision to follow his wishes. His liver and kidneys have been donated through surgery, and the hospital will use his lungs and other organs after testing them for compatibility.

‘Clergy Academy’ trains recruits on mental health
Southern California Public Radio

In immigrant circles, depression and other mental health issues often carry heavy stigma. Those in crisis may forgo treatment and instead seek help from one of the most trusted people in the community: the local clergy member.

But church leaders lack the training to treat mental health, and the help they provide is often restricted to the spiritual.

“They just say only, “Let’s pray.’ And that’s about it,” said Young Ahn, a mental health services coordinator for Los Angeles County.

To better equip faith leaders in immigrant communities, the county’s Department of Mental Health this year officially launched a program called ‘Clergy Academy.’ Pastors and clergy who go through the 12 courses earn a certificate.

Asian Americans nominated for key White House admin positions
Northwest Asian Weekly

President Obama announced on March 6 that he will nominate Nani A. Coloretti to be the Deputy Secretary, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Erika Lizabeth Moritsugu as Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations, Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Coloretti is currently the Assistant Secretary for Management at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, a position she has held since November 2012. From 2009 to 2012, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget. Prior to joining the administration, Ms. Coloretti worked in the San Francisco mayor’s office from 2005 until 2009, most recently serving as budget director. She was a budget analyst for the Department of Public Safety in the state of Hawaii from 1991 to 1992.

Iron Man and Captain America Bound for Gangnam
Wall Street Journal

“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” by the U.S.’s Marvel Studios, will be filmed in Seoul, possibly as soon as this month.

The Korean Film Council told Korea Real Time that the government-supported agency, together with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, will sign a memorandum of understanding with Marvel Studios next Tuesday, when details about the location and timing of the shoot will be revealed.

Yonhap News Agency earlier reported that the Seoul Metropolitan Policy Agency had met with the relevant agencies on Wednesday to discuss possible traffic control and support for the shooting. According to the report, the movie will be filmed from March 30 until April 12 and various parts of the city, including the bustling Gangnam subway station, will be used as locations.

Examining the recruitment of Shin-Soo Choo
ESPN

The Rangers made a big move in November trading for Prince Fielder. And, of course, there would be major ripple effects.

The deal came together so quickly that the Rangers didn’t get a chance to inform Ian Kinsler that he was leaving the team that drafted and developed him before Twitter was abuzz with the news.

General manager Jon Daniels closed the deal just before boarding a plane, but it required MLB approval. As is chronicled in an ESPN The Magazine story on Kinsler, the second baseman found out via text after news broke through social media. Daniels was 30,000 feet in the air, and before he could power on his Wi-Fi the blockbuster was national news.

Watch Roy Choi Use Google Glass To Make Irish Burritos (And Get His Recipe)
LAist

Roy Choi started a new age in the worldwide street food movement when he opened up his Korean fusion taco truck, Kogi. Since then he’s become the de facto spokesman for street cuisine, and the folks at Google have taken note.

It’s not all that shocking, really, considering that Kogi’s popularity spread like wildfire due to Twitter, technology, and mobile culture. Now Choi is one of Google Glass’ Explorers, testing out the technology and showcasing how it would work in a kitchen setting.

To be honest, the geeky glasses seem like they’d come in handy as a cook. We use our iPad as a recipe reference quite a bit, and the screen can get a little messy. With things perched on your head, it seems like there’s less room for water (or wine, if you’ve been known to sip and cook like us) damage.

Pot Cafe is open in the Line Hotel: French bread pizza, butter mochi bars and more
Lost Angeles Times

Pot Cafe, the bakery annex of Roy Choi’s Pot lobby bar and still-to-come Pot restaurant in Koreatown’s Line Hotel, is now open. Tucked into a corner of the main floor of the hotel, it’s Choi’s version of a Korean bakery.

“It’s set up like any bakery but instead of Danish and croissants and morning buns [there are] red bean buns, cream buns, French bread pizza,” Choi said. “If you walk into a Korean bakery, you’ll know what I’m talking about — like 85C, Paris Baguette. We want to take that whole culture and put our twist on it.”

So in the pastry cases are rows of Asian cream buns with fillings such as red bean, custard and cream; toasted bread-and-butter buns such as Bun B the G topped with honey butter, candied ginger and sea salt and the Kimchi Squat with kochujang chile butter and topped with nori; Hawaiian pull-apart bread; mocha chip cookies (including a gluten-free version); Ritz candy bars; and French bread pizza, including a sloppy joe pizza topped with beefy sauce and melted American cheese.

‘Top Chef’ finalist Shirley Chung’s culinary adventures in South Korea
Las Vegas Sun

“Top Chef” contestant Shirley Chung became a fan favorite as she won several weekly episodes of Season 11 in New Orleans, but there was a coast-to-coast collective sigh of sympathy when our Las Vegas chef was eliminated after making the final three and competing in Maui.

Celebrity chef and judge Emeril Lagasse raved about her cuisine during filming, so much so that one of her winning dishes was added to the menus at all of his restaurants, including here in Las Vegas.

During our weekly coverage of her progress, Shirley, who had worked here for acclaimed culinary kings Thomas Keller, Guy Savoy and Jose Andres, told me that she was weighing several offers to open her own dining venue here.

Monday’s Link Attack: Japan Won’t Revise Comfort Women Apology; Run River North Charts; Hyun-Jin Ryu
Author: Cassandra Kwok
Posted: March 10th, 2014
Filed Under: BLOG
« (previous post)
(next post) »

Japan Won’t Alter Apology to World War II Sex Slaves
New York Times

Japan will not revise a landmark apology to women forced to work in military brothels during World War II even as it moves ahead with a review of the testimony used to create that apology, a spokesman for the Japanese government said Monday.

Yoshihide Suga, the chief cabinet secretary, told reporters that the conservative government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had no intention of changing the 1993 apology, called the Kono Statement. The apology admitted for the first time that the Imperial military played at least an indirect role in forcing the women, known euphemistically as “comfort women,” to provide sex to Japanese soldiers.

Mr. Suga was responding to rising criticism from South Korea, a former Japanese colony where many of the women came from, of an announcement made two weeks ago by Mr. Suga that the government would review evidence used to support the apology. At that time, Mr. Suga said the government would form a panel of experts to review the evidence used to back up the statement, mostly testimony made two decades ago by 16 aging former sex slaves.

North Korea Election: A Sham Worth Studying
TIME.com

Kim wins. That is the unsurprising outcome of North Korea’s first legislative election under the leadership young dictator Kim Jong Un. State media report that nearly 100% of eligible North Koreans voted in Sunday’s poll, and 100% cast votes in favor of the status quo. This is only partly as ridiculous as it sounds: voting is mandatory and there is one option on the ballot.

Indeed, when North Korea votes, it votes. When exactly 100% of eligible North Korean set out to cast votes 100% in favor of pre-determined politicians, they were carried forth on “billows of emotion and happiness,” state media reported. And nowhere were they happier — or more billowy, presumably — that in Kim Jong Un’s district, Mount Paektu, the Korean peninsula’s highest peak. The group that voted at the storied site were so moved by the exercise that they spontaneously burst into song, state media said.

North Korean Flagged Tanker Puzzles Observers
Wall Street Journal

Is North Korea trying to import oil from rebel forces in Libya?

The Libyan government and militias are threatening to attack a North Korean-flagged tanker off its coast that they say rebels are hoping to use to export oil from the port of al-Sidra.

“Any attempt (by the tanker) to move, it will be turned into scrap,” Libyan Culture Minister Al-Habib al-Amin said on Sunday, according to the Associated Press.

The presence of the tanker, named “The Morning Glory,” has puzzled observers because it’s very unusual for North Korean-flagged vessels to appear in the Mediterranean.

Dennis Rodman pledges to end North Korea trips
Sporting News

Dennis Rodman, back from a North Korea trip that included an exhibition game and birthday song for Kim Jong Un, has pledged he will not make a return visit to the dictator if that is not what people want.

Rodman said he went to North Korea with pure intentions, stating that he only wants to “do great things in life” in a television interview with ESPN’s Mark Schwarz.

“I wish they understood the whole purpose of why I went to North Korea,” Rodman said. “I wish they did.”

Kim Jong-un’s Sister Secures Place in Nomenklatura
Chosun Ilbo

North Korea’s state-run media have for the first time mentioned leader Kim Jong-un’s younger sister Yeo-jong by name, suggesting she has established a position of some influence for herself in the corridors of power.

North Korean state TV on Sunday reported that Kim Jong-un visited a polling station at Kim Il-sung University for elections for the Supreme People’s Assembly on Sunday, accompanied by military politburo chief Choe Ryong-hae, Workers Party deputy directors Kim Kyong-ok and Hwang Pyong-so, “and comrade Kim Yeo-jong.”

Challenging South Korea’s Gender Barrier
Wall Street Journal

When Cho Eun-sook started her career as the first female software developer at LG Electronics Inc. in 1988, there was no such thing as maternity leave. Instead, she took vacation days to give birth to her two sons.

Now in her 27th year at the company, Ms. Cho runs mobile accessory development and is one of three female vice presidents at the company.

Ms. Cho was one of more than 120 female engineers who met to discuss women working in technology at an event hosted by Google Inc. in Seoul on Friday to mark International Women’s Day.

Fugitive tracked by Tribune is returned from S. Korea
Chicago Tribune

U.S. authorities today extradited international fugitive Kyung Ho Song to Chicago from his native South Korea, more than a decade after Song fled Cook County to avoid being tried on charges of drunken driving and reckless homicide.

The hunt for Song was reactivated after the Tribune contacted prosecutors and police about the dormant case in connection with its 2011 “Fugitives From Justice” investigation. The Tribune separately tracked down Song in a suburb of Seoul and interviewed him there in early 2012.

Korean authorities arrested Song in December 2013 on a U.S. provisional arrest warrant, and the Korean ministry of justice authorized his extradition back to Chicago.

Affirmative action amendment has some Asian-Americans furious
Southern California Public Radio

A proposal to reinstate affirmative action at California’s public universities is riling some Asian-American groups more than any recent political issue, with critics unleashing their anger on social media and in protests and public meetings.

At issue is a Democrat-backed bill that would lift a 1996 ban keeping University of California and California State University schools from considering race or ethnicity in admissions and recruitment.

SCA 5 – short for Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 – passed on a party-line vote in the state Senate late January, and if it’s approved by the supermajority in the Assembly, Californians could vote on the issue as early as this year.

More charges after cyclist killed in W. Colorado
AP via Seattle Post-Intelligencer

A 29-year-old Palisade woman involved in a crash in western Colorado that killed a man on a cross-country bicycling trip is now facing several drug charges.

Prosecutors say Tonie Rosales used cocaine for two days in September before heading to Delta for a court hearing relating to a prior DUI arrest. She struck and killed 25-year-old Eunjey Cho on U.S. Highway 50 on her way to court Sept. 18 and was formally charged with the drug offenses Thursday.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/1gc4wnD ) Rosales already has been charged with two counts of vehicular homicide — one alleging DUI and another alleging reckless driving.

Brentwood girl gets two perfect ACT scores, looks to future in science
The Tennessean

For most students, taking the ACT is a rite of passage.

It can be an eye-opening and sometimes brutal experience, often repeated to achieve better results and possibly gain college scholarship money and win selective admission.

But for Joyce Kang, a senior at Brentwood High School, the college entrance exam was a piece of cake both times she took it. That’s right: She made the highest possible score — 36 — both times.

Kang had to endure the exam a second time because she didn’t take the ACT written assessment the first time.

Folk rockers Run River North flows in the right direction on debut album
Music Times

Society always celebrates the records that top the Billboard 200 album chart. Back of The Billboards is a Music Times weekly segment that looks at the opposite end: the new record that finished closest to the back of the Billboard 200 for the previous week. We hope to give a fighting chance to the bands you haven’t heard of.

Week of 03/07/2013
WHO: Run River North
WHAT: Run River North
SPOT: 196

Run River North first came to our attention in a method befitting the the style of music they play. The six-piece had assembled its own music video (under its then name Monsters Calling Home) shooting inside a Honda Fit. The car company appreciated the gesture and hooked them up with Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Uncomfortable questions with Shin-Soo Choo
Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas)

Shin-Soo Choo’s big league career began when he was 22 as a rookie with the Seattle Mariners. He is 30 now, and should be fairly secure with the seven-year, $130 million contract he signed with the Texas Rangers in the offseason. He should be able to live off that for at least two to three years.

A native of South Korea, Choo is expected to bat leadoff hitter, and be the Rangers’ every day left fielder. He was nice enough to answer some uncomfortable questions.

Dodgers to start Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu in Australia openers
Los Angeles Times

Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly made official Sunday what had been suspected for some time: Left-handers Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu are set to start the team’s season-opening games against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia.

But anything beyond that, Mattingly said, is still to be determined.

“We still haven’t made all our decisions on exactly how we’re going to set up our roster,” he said. “So those are issues that we continue to talk with guys about.”

IOC Deletes Fake Quotes from Kim Yu-na
Chosun Ilbo

The International Olympic Committee has quietly deleted fabricated quotes from Korean figure skating star Kim Yu-na that appeared to downplay controversy over judging irregularities at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

The IOC published an article with the implausible quotes on its official website on March 6, focusing on figure skaters from the Innsbruck Youth Winter Olympics who won medals in Sochi.

One skater in focus was Russian gold medalist Adelina Sotnikova. The IOC claimed Kim had been “magnanimous in defeat” after a highly dubious judging decision in Sochi put her in second place.

Kim Yu-na to hold farewell ice shows in May: agency
Yonhap News

South Korean figure skating icon Kim Yu-na will hold farewell ice shows in Seoul this spring, her agency announced Monday.

All That Sports said Kim will take the center stage at her corporate-sponsored ice shows from May 4 to 6 in the nation’s capital.

The 23-year-old star retired from competition after the Sochi Winter Olympics last month. She picked up the silver medal behind Adelina Sotnikova of Russia, after winning the gold at the previous Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010.

The agency said the three days of performances will be Kim’s last appearances on ice as a figure skater. Through the agency’s press release, Kim said she hopes to take the opportunity to show her appreciation for her fans.

Beverly Kim and John Clark Plan to Open Parachute
Chicago Magazine

When the husband-and-wife chef team Beverly Kim and John Clark took over the now-defunct Bonsoirée in 2012, they fulfilled a dream of working together on a Korean-inspired modern restaurant. Unfortunately, the dream lasted only a few months there, and Bonsoirée closed.

After a year-plus deferral, they’re leaping back into their restaurant-ownership dream, and if you leap, you need a Parachute (3500 N. Elston Ave., Avondale, no phone yet). The 40-seat, liquor-licensed, Korean-American-perspective restaurant is scheduled to open in April.

Kim and Clark say the food will pull together traditional Korean flavors with new and creative ones. “Reminiscent of familiar traditional flavors, but presented in a new creative way,” Kim says. As an example, they offer a crispy mung bean pancake with pork belly, black garlic, and kimchi. The menu breaks down into snacks in the $4 to $7 range, appetizers such as crudos or salads, rice and noodles, and larger plates intended for sharing and costing between $18 and $25.

Korea’s Most Popular Online Eating Shows
Wall Street Journal

One of South Korea’s hardest-to-explain phenomena in recent months is the boom of “mokbang”: Internet-streamed shows where hosts eat often supersized meals – for the audience’s pleasure.

Choi Ji-hwan, a top mokbang host, told The Wall Street Journal in a recent interview that one of his satisfied viewers was on a diet seeking a vicarious thrill. Others were living alone and enjoyed his virtual company as they ate “together.”

Every night on a local YouTube-like platform AfreecaTV, multiple show hosts vie to be selected by hundreds of thousands of viewers. Several of them make a living through these shows and have hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

‘Brothless’ Instant Ramen Gaining Popularity in Korea
Author: Steve Han
Posted: March 3rd, 2014
Filed Under: BLOG
« (previous post)
(next post) »

Brothless ramen, or instant noodles that don’t rely on soup stock, are nothing new, but they are experiencing a renaissance of sorts in South Korea’s competitive food market, according to the Korea Times.

Sales of Bibimmyun, the most popular brothless ramen in Korea, nearly doubled November-to-February sales compared with the same period a year prior, according to the Korea Times.

Paldo first began selling Bibimmyun in 1963 and, three decades later, now offers a second brothless ramen, Bulnak Bokkeum Myun, which has sold well in test markets and will soon see a wide release. Elsewhere, Samyang offers top-selling Buldak Bokkeum Myun. The success of these products has prompted ramen giant Nongshim to step into the fray and release its Chal Bibim Myun last week.

Continue Reading »

Monday’s Link Attack: Politician Predicts ‘First Asian U.S. President Will Be Korean’; Korea Sheds Anger Over Yuna
Author: Cassandra Kwok
Posted: February 24th, 2014
Filed Under: BLOG
« (previous post)
(next post) »

U.S.-South Korea Begin War Games as Family Reunions Continue
Bloomberg

The U.S. and South Korea began annual military exercises — denounced by the North as preparations for war — that coincided with the first reunions of families separated by the Korean War in more than three years.

The Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises began today as scheduled, U.S. Forces Korea spokesman Kim Yong Kyu said by phone. The two sets of drills, one based on computer simulations and the other involving field training, will draw thousands of additional U.S. troops into the country, according to USFK. The two allies say the drills are routine and defensive.

North Korea had initially threatened to pull out of the family reunions if the military drills weren’t canceled. Instead, the agreement to hold the reunions led to two rounds of high-level talks between the two countries, and today South Korea offered negotiations on providing assistance to stop the spread of the foot-and-mouth disease in the North.

California Korean Community on ‘East Sea’ Movement
Arirang News

The U.S. state of California.

Home to the largest population of Korean-Americans and Japanese-Americans in the country. Some may see this as the next ground for a political battle over how to refer to the body of water between Korea and Japan in school textbooks.

Virginia State will soon require the Korean-preferred title of “East Sea” to be used alongside the “Sea of Japan” in its textbooks, while in New York a similar bill has also been proposed.
But the issue has not stirred up much attention yet in California.

“LA The president of the Korean American Federation in Los Angeles says the greater L.A. area has been, and still is* busy trying to protect the so-called “comfort women” memorial statue in Glendale Central Park from being removed. So right now is not the most suitable time to raise another issue and divert attention – whether it be the East Sea bill, or anything else.

‘Korean to be first Asian US president’
Korea Times

It wasn’t long ago that Koreans barely had a voice in American politics. Now, they’re quickly emerging as one of the most influential among Asian politicians, so much so that one notable legislator says the first U.S. president of Asian descent will be Korean.

“I think of all Asian-American ethnic groups, I would say at this stage based on our history and trajectory, the first U.S. president of Asian descent will be Korean,” Mark Keam, a third-term delegate of the Virginia state Legislature who co-sponsored Virginia’s East Sea bill, said in an interview with The Korea Times.

There are several reasons, he said, but one of the foremost is because the growing Korean population in the U.S. is creating a larger pool of solid potential politicians.

“In the ‘80s, I didn’t run across a single Korean in Washington D.C. You just didn’t see any,” said Keam, who first began his political career as a college intern on Capitol Hill. “That’s 25 to 30 years ago. Now, things are a lot different.”

A Yu turn for a long-shot Senate candidate
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Eugene Yu, the Korean American businessman who joined the crowded race for U.S. Senate, said Saturday he would instead challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. John Barrow.

Yu always faced long odds in the race to replace Saxby Chambliss, with three sitting congressmen and two other prominent Republicans in the mix on the GOP side. The Augusta businessman may have decided he had a better shot challenging Barrow, one of the most targeted Democrats in the House, than maintaining an expensive statewide bid.

Barrow, seen as one of the most vulnerable moderate Democrats in the nation, faces heated competition every two years. This election is no different. Yu now joins businessman Rick Allen, long-time GOP aide John Stone and state Rep. Delvis Dutton in the GOP contest to unseat Barrow, who was first elected in 2004.

Sentencing begins in convenience store food stamp fraud cases
Baltimore Sun

Two Korean citizens have been sentenced to prison for their roles in a food stamp fraud scheme and may face deportation, the U.S. Attorney in Baltimore announced this week.

The cases were part of a food stamp fraud sting that implicated 10 convenience store owners in the Baltimore area in September. Authorities said the defendants, eight of whom have pleaded guilty to food stamp fraud or wire fraud so far, would illegally redeem food stamps in exchange for cash.

Hyung Cho, 40, of Catonsville, was sentenced to 38 months in prison and three years of supervised release, and his mother Dae Cho, 67, of Catonsville, was sentenced to 18 months in prison. The Cho’s, who operated K&S Market, a convenience store at 3910 West Belvedere Avenue, were both ordered to forfeit more than $371,000 and pay restitution of $1.4 million. They did not have legal immigration status, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and have “agreed not to object to any proceedings that may be brought to remove them from the United States upon completion of their sentence.”

Justices refuse appeal from killer set to die
Houston Chronicle (Texas)

A convicted killer facing execution next month for a Dallas-area slaying 11 years ago has lost an appeal at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Anthony Doyle is set to die March 27 for the 2003 beating death and robbery of 37-year-old Hyun Mi Cho. She was delivering a doughnut and burrito order to a house in Rowlett. Her body was found in a trash can behind the house. Doyle was 18 at the time and on probation for theft. He also had a juvenile record.

The high court Monday, without comment, refused to review his case.

Doyle told police he intended to rob the woman and struck her with a baseball bat when she told him she had no money. Evidence showed he took her car and used her credit cards.

Girls’ Generation Achieves All-Kill and Sweeps Charts All Over the World
Soompi

Girls’ Generation has finally returned with a new single “Mr.Mr” and have been sweeping music charts not only in Korea but all around the world.

On February 24, Girls’ Generation released their fourth mini-album online. In just a mere hour upon release, “Mr.Mr” was the #1 song on seven different music charts including Melon, Mnet, Olleh Music, Bugs, Genie, Soribada and Monkey3. In a couple more hours, “Mr.Mr” rose to the top on Naver and Daum Music as well.

Overseas reactions and interests are also getting higher and higher. “Mr. Mr” was ranked #2 in Thailand, #5 in Malaysia, #14 in Hong Kong, #21 in Taiwan, #52 in the Philippines and #63 in Indonesia, making “Mr.Mr.” enter the Top 100 chart in six different countries within an hour after release.

Shortly afterwards, “Mr.Mr” was ranked #2 in Thailand, #3 in Vietnam, #4 in Singapore, #5 in Malaysia, #6 in Indonesia and Kazakhstan, #14 in Hong Kong, #21 in Taiwan, #55 in the Philippines, #97 in Sweden and #99 in Macao within two hours upon release.

South Korea Puts Anger Aside After Olympic Skating Disappointment
New York Times

Kim Yu-na was a perfect heroine for her country. Like postwar South Korea, she rose from a humble start, skating on a tatty rink as a 6-year-old, to win gold for a nation that had felt sidelined in a sport dominated by Western athletes.

So when she was dethroned in Sochi by a Russian teenager in a much-debated decision, it was not surprising that Ms. Kim’s country, which has long tied international sports achievements to self-worth, reacted with anger.

A popular novelist said he would remember these Games as the “Suchi Olympics,” using the word for “humiliation.” A petition on Change.org calling for an investigation by the International Skating Union drew more than 1.9 million signatures, most of them from South Koreans. And many online commentators said Ms. Kim had been cheated of a gold medal because her country was “small and weak.”

Yuna Kim Has Not Had Plastic Surgery, and Koreans Love Her For It
New Republic

When the Olympic judges placed South Korean figure skater Yuna Kim second to Russian Adelina Sotnikova yesterday, her fans wouldn’t have it: Nearly two million have already signed a petition to have the judging re-opened. American skating enthusiasts might know Kim for her artistic style or her signature “camel spin”, but in South Korea—where she’s known as “Queen Yuna”—there’s another reason women love her: Unlike most Korean celebrities and “pop stars”, she appears not to have had plastic surgery—even though she has the kind of eyelids that would send many Korean girls running to the doctor.

“Most Korean girls want plastic surgery,” said Lee Tea Yang, a trader in Seoul. “Yuna Kim made a new era. There has never been a star like her.”

Though statistics are hard to verify, South Korea consistently ranks in the top few countries worldwide for per capita plastic surgery. One of the most popular procedures is “double eyelid surgery”, in which doctors use a combination of cutting and stitching to create a crease in Asians’ typically flat upper eyelids, giving the eyes a larger, rounder, arguably Westernized appearance.

South Korea Had the Most Last-Place Finishes in Sochi
Wall Street Journal

After a respectable 14 podium appearances in Vancouver’s 2010 Winter Olympics, South Korea’s outlook was bright coming into the 2014 Games. The Koreans weren’t able to live up to expectations, earning only eight medals in Sochi, but they were the best in the world in one unfortunate category: finishing last.

For the third consecutive Olympics, The Wall Street Journal awarded lead, tin and zinc medals to the three worst performers to complete a given event (based on time or score of last-place finishers in every Olympic event; no disqualifications or non-finishers were counted). South Korean Olympians finished in the bottom three places in an astounding 19 different events, more often than any other participating country.

Canada came in second with 16 medals, with the U.S. (15) earning the third most not-so-precious medals. Since the U.S. and Canada have large Olympic delegations, it isn’t entirely surprising to see such large pools of Olympians finish all over the field of competition: These two countries earned 28 and 25 real Olympic medals respectively in Sochi.

Defection row overshadows South Korean Viktor Ahn’s skating victory for Russia
South China Morning Post

It was a night when Viktor Ahn should have been out celebrating becoming the most successful short track speed skater of all time but instead he was quizzed from all sides at the Sochi Olympics about why he defected to Russia.

Ahn confirmed his place among the greatest Winter Olympians when he won the 500 metres individual event then returned to the ice about 45 minutes later and helped Russia win the 5,000m relay. Ahn also won gold in the 1,000m at Sochi and now has six Olympic gold medals in total – more than any speed skater either in short track or the more traditional long course.

If the skater formerly known as Ahn Hyun-soo, who won three golds for South Korea at the 2006 Turin Olympics, thought he would clarify his position once and for all at a packed news conference starting after midnight he was clearly mistaken.

Far from Sochi, North Koreans hone skiing skills
Washington Post

For North Korean skiers, Sochi was a distant dream. The country didn’t send a single athlete to the Winter Olympics and has never won a downhill medal. But as the rest of the world watches this year’s Olympic pageant wrap up in Russia, North Koreans are flocking to the slopes of a lavish new ski resort all their own — and many have a gold medal in mind four years from now, when the winter games will be held in South Korea.

Of course, that’s a tall order.

Even by official estimates, only about 0.02 percent of North Korea’s 24 million people have ever strapped on ski boots. But with the blessing of leader Kim Jong Un, who has made building recreational and sporting facilities a priority, in part to boost tourism as a source of hard cash for the economically strapped nation, skiing is now almost a national duty for those who have the time, money or opportunity to hit the slopes.

South Korea Awaits 2018 Games With a Different Plan
New York Times

The sun was shining once more by the Black Sea and the jackets were off with the Olympic flame still a few hours away from being extinguished.

“You better bring your jacket to Pyeongchang,” said Kim Jin-sun, head of the organizing committee for the 2018 Games in South Korea. “Much colder than Sochi.”

As the Russians and the members of the International Olympic Committee begin recovering from the sleepless nights that surely accompanied their wild, seven-year ride to Sochi’s closing ceremony, the cosmic question is where the Winter Games go from here in a world of climate instability, declining winter sports participation numbers in the West and spiraling costs and scale for Olympic organizers?

Rangers like what they are seeing with Choo
Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas)

Scouting Shin-Soo Choo has become an easier task over the years. He’s established himself as an on-base machine with speed and power.

In the beginning, though, nobody knew how Choo would pan out. Just ask Jim Colborn, the Rangers’ senior adviser for Pacific Rim operations.

“The big problem with scouting him is that he’d walk about three times a game,” said Colborn, a scout for the Mariners at the time.

“They’d never give him anything good to hit and he’d take his walks. So it was tough to grade him.”

Whiz Now Open Serving Philly Cheesesteaks in Koreatown
LA Weekly

For all those times you’re in Koreatown and have a hankering for a cheesesteak sandwich as opposed to, say, a sizzling bowl of soon tofu: Whiz opened in the neighborhood last Saturday, Feb. 15, a small shop on the corner of 6th Street and Oxford Avenue, or right around the corner from craft beer bar Beer Belly.

This location is no coincidence, as the shop is brought to you none other than Beer Belly’s owner Jimmy Han and executive chef Wes Lieberher. You could have guessed as much just by the artwork: MR44, who did the mural at Beer Belly, collaborated with artist Swanski to create a beautiful piece outside Whiz.

February Issue: Cafe At Your Mother-in-Law Brings Korean-Uzbek Food to New York
KoreAm
Author: KoreAm
Posted: February 18th, 2014
Filed Under: Back Issues , BLOG , February 2014
« (previous post)
(next post) »

Photo by Victor Chu.

Tastes Like Home

A Korean Uzbek woman brings the flavors of her Central Asian home to a city that thinks it’s seen (or eaten) it all.

by SUEVON LEE

The unassuming space in the Brooklyn area of Brighton Beach seems, at first glance, like any small family-run Korean restaurant. A young Korean woman greets incoming guests. A silk-screen divider sits propped in the corner. A small glass-front refrigerator holds plastic containers of what look to be kimchi and other banchan (Korean side dishes). But observe more closely, and there is something different here.

The mounted television is tuned to a Russian game show, the menu features Cyrillic script, and the fragrant smells that fill this room aren’t ones of sizzling garlic, red pepper and sesame, but cumin, anise and baking dough.

Welcome to Café At Your Mother-in-Law, also known as Elza FancyFood (the English name that appears on the bright orange awning), a restaurant serving Korean, Uzbek and Russian food in an unfussy, authentic fashion. Its menu fits on a single page, with dishes ranging from samsa, a baked pastry made with beef or lamb filling, to guksu, a cold beef noodle soup dish resembling Korean naengmyeon. The unique menu represents the amalgam of cultures embodied by its Korean Uzbek owner Elza Kan, a petite 67-year-old who opened the restaurant in 2005. Continue Reading »

Featuring Recent Posts Wordpress Widget development by YD