When Dartmouth junior kicker Riley Lyons went for an easy 21-yard field goal as time was expiring, Lyons’ teammates raised their arms in anticipation of a last-minute victory over the University of Pennsylvania on Oct. 5.
But Penn senior linebacker David Park made a miraculous block on the kick to send the game to overtime. The block by Park — listed at 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds — became the turning point that led to one of the most memorable wins in the history of the Quakers, after four overtimes.
“This one had as many highs and lows as any game I could recall,” Penn coach Al Bagnoli told the Daily Pennsylvanian after the game.
As a 7-year-old in South Korea, Park dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player. When his family brought him to the United States, he picked up football as soccer wasn’t nearly as accessible as it was back home. Continue Reading »
Editorial: Bring Kenneth Bae home
A SENIOR U.S. envoy’s mission to bring American Kenneth Bae home from North Korea is a breakthrough moment in a long, frustrating saga.
Though no formal relations exist between the U.S. and North Korea, this one-day trip is an opportunity to save a man’s life and ease tensions between the two countries following Pyongyang’s defiant efforts to build its nuclear program.
Bae, a 45-year-old who has lived in Washington state and father of three, has been held in North Korea since November and was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for “hostile acts” against the government. In detention, Bae has lost more than 50 pounds. He is reportedly hospitalized and suffering from several illnesses.
South Korean Spy Agency Probes Opposition Party
Wall Street Journal
South Korea’s spy agency continued with its second day of raids Thursday on members of a minor opposition party, in an expanding probe into allegations they sought to topple President Park Geun-hye’s government.
The United Progressive Party, which holds six of the 298 seats in the country’s parliament, has repeatedly denied the charges. On Wednesday, three UPP members were arrested and state prosecutors say they imposed an overseas travel ban on 14 party members. South Korea’s spy agency, the National Intelligence Service, raided the offices and homes of 10 UPP officials Wednesday.
Daily NK Seeks Help From Readers
Wall Street Journal
A news service staffed by North Korean escapees is reaching out to overseas readers and supporters to finance a major upgrade to its website.
Daily NK, a Seoul-based online news outlet with contacts inside the North, says it needs $10,000 for a revamp so it can reach a larger audience across multiple devices.
Though the site has garnered attention among North Korea watchers as a source for exclusive news from inside the country, Daily NK has faced challenges with funding, according to Greg Pence, director of development.
New Zealand bikers roar across Korean border on ride for peace
Five motorcyclists from New Zealand made a rare crossing of the world’s most militarized border on Thursday as part of a ride for peace from the top of North Korea at Mount Baekdu to the South Korean island of Jeju.
On a journey home from Russia’s Far East, the bikers were allowed by the two Koreas to cross along a corridor near the west coast that has been cleared of landmines and is used by South Koreans visiting the jointly run Kaesong factory zone.
“We’re riding between Baekdu-san and Halla-san to make the point really that Korea has a 5,000-year history. It’s an amazing history,” said Gareth Morgan, one of the riders.
Speak Up With Jimmy: Miss Universe 1997 Brook Lee Reacts to Asian American Racial Questions (VIDEO)
“You’re Asian. How are your eyes so big?” “If you’re looking straight ahead, can you see the floor and the ceiling at the same time?” “So what is the deal with Asia?”
These are examples of offensive questions Asian Americans get asked about their race, compiled by NPR in May 2013. NPR examined the challenges of racial dialogue by asking people to share, via Twitter, questions they get asked about their race. The published results — in a piece entitled The Questions People Get Asked About Their Race — revealed questions that were awkward, offensive, and sadly, unsurprising.
I selected some of the questions submitted by Asian American people, and posed them to Brook Lee, Miss Universe 1997. Brook is multi-racial, grew up in Hawaii and represented Hawaii in capturing the Miss USA 1997 crown before winning the Miss Universe pageant. Watch Brook’s reactions in this video.
Koreatown Man Gets Prison in 40,000 Fake Erectile Dysfunction Pills Case
A man caught smuggling nearly 40,000 counterfeit erectile dysfunction pills at Los Angeles International Airport was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in federal prison, prosecutors said.
Koreatown resident Kil Jun Lee, 73, was sentenced Monday after being found guilty of smuggling and three counts of trafficking in counterfeit goods.
Most of the 29,827 imitation Viagra pills, 8,993 fake Cialis pills and 793 Levitra look-alikes were discovered in Lee’s golf bag by LAX customs officials in February 2012 when he returned from a trip to China that included a stop in his native Korea.
Between identity and assimilation
The Korea Herald
While literary works by Korean writers such as Shin Kyung-sook and Kim Young-ha are rising to prominence overseas, especially in the U.S., a scholar’s latest book focuses on something similar yet different: the works of literature produced by Korean immigrants in America and their descendants.
A meaningful scholarly achievement in Korean Diaspora studies, the book explores the lives of Korean-American writers and their often multi-layered and autobiographical works.
The book, titled “Understanding Korean-American Literature,” is a result of Yoo Sun-mo’s 10 years of research that began in 1996, and includes interviews with some of the most prominent Korean-American writers including Chang-rae Lee, Helie Lee, Susan Choi and Mira Stout.
Karen O Pens Intimate Lullaby ‘The Moon Song’ for Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’
When the song says “Karen O,” it really means Karen O, period. “The Moon Song” is a new song from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman that appears on Spike Jonze’s upcoming film Her, which also has music by Arcade Fire. The stripped-down acoustic ballad is about as cozy as joining O in her apartment. In fact, she recorded the song at home, evident from the sirens that cut across the opening seconds. Nothing much more here than shambling guitar and a pair of yearning, expressive vocal tracks. “Your shadow follows me all day / Making sure that I’m okay / And we’re a million miles away,” she concludes.
‘Some people thought I was stupid’: X Factor star Dami recalls terrible childhood
The Age (Australia)
She is the darling of The X Factor, loved by the Minogue sisters and one of the favourites to win this year’s series on Channel Seven. But when Dami Im was nine years old, Australia was a much tougher place to be.
Newly arrived in Brisbane from South Korea, she couldn’t speak English and was teased terribly by the other children at her primary school.
“People made fun of me and some people thought I was stupid because I couldn’t speak properly,” she says. “But I played piano during assembly and they were like, ‘wow, she’s really good’ and that’s when people stopped looking down at me.”
Korea United: Football hero Ryang Yong-Gi’s ambitious goal
North Korea is one of the world’s most mysterious and secretive states, regarded as a political pariah and at bitter loggerheads with its neighbor South Korea.
Few people are allowed past its tightly-sealed borders but footballer Ryang Yong-Gi, who was born and raised in Japan by a loyally North Korean family, is in a privileged position when it comes to entering and exiting.
The 31-year-old is captain of top Japanese club Vegalta Sendai, and also plays for the national side of North Korea — which in the past has faced allegations of mistreatment of its sports teams after major events.
“My number one hope is for North and South Korea to become united,” he told CNN’s Human to Hero series.
Owner of S. Korean independent ball club to join U.S. team as pitcher
Heo Min, the owner of a South Korean independent baseball team the Goyang Wonders, will join a North American independent league as a pitcher, the Wonders announced on Thursday.
The 37-year-old entrepreneur will pitch for the Rockland Boulders in the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball, commonly known as the Can-Am League, the Wonders said, calling Heo “the first South Korean knuckleballer to reach a U.S. league.”
Headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, the league is made up of two teams from New Jersey, one team from New York and two from Quebec. These clubs have no affiliation with Major League Baseball (MLB) teams, and the level of play is said to be comparable to that of Class A in the minors.
Transformation of Hoover High football’s Alvin Kim
Glendale News-Press (Calif.)
Football wasn’t Alvin Kim’s first choice at Hoover High; it wasn’t even his second.
“I wanted to play golf when I came in as a freshman,” said Kim, a senior. “But that didn’t work out. And then I wanted to try out for the basketball team, but I missed the tryouts.”
Never having played organized football, Kim was convinced by his friend, Se Jun Kim, to try out for the Tornadoes football team. The only problem was the football season was more than half over and Alvin Kim had no idea what position he could play, or if he was any good at the sport.
“It was the seventh week of the season and I asked the coach if I could try out for the team,” Alvin Kim said. “He wouldn’t let me, but I begged him to please let me come out for the team. He finally gave in and said if I could run something like 14 laps around the track my freshman year that I could make the team. I was able to do that and I made the team.
Magnolia launches ‘K-Pop’ ice cream bar
Inquirer Lifestyle (Philippines)
Korean pop or K-Pop culture has caught the world’s attention with its peculiar, trendy approach to South Korean fashion, food, technology, and, most specially, pop music.
Now, even ice cream lovers can have a taste of Korean pop. Magnolia Inc., one of the country’s leading ice cream makers, has introduced to the market its newest product offering: Magnolia K-Pop, an ice cream bar featuring strawberry, honeydew, banana and mango flavors.
Magnolia K-Pop is not your ordinary ice cream bar. It is smooth, creamy, and has a rich, fruity taste.
Seoul’s Modern Architectural Marvels
After the end of the Korean war, Seoul, like many Korean cities, was left in shambles. Reasonably so, rebuilding efforts were focused more on practicality than aesthetics to reconstruct the city quickly and effectively. These days, however, Seoul’s skyline is an eclectic mishmash of modern architecture, from towering cement apartment complexes to eye-catching glass and steel marvels. Impressive modern buildings can be found just about anywhere in Seoul, a UNESCO City of Design, but there are a certain few that I think visitors should keep an eye out for while exploring the city. Check them out below.
Photo via Chosun Ilbo
South Korean soccer star Park Ji-sung is dating a television host, he confirmed at a press conference held in his hometown of Suwon on Thursday.
The Queens Park Rangers midfielder was spotted on Tuesday out on a date with Kim Min-ji, the co-host of a weekly soccer highlight program on South Korean TV network SBS. South Korean tabloid Sports Seoul ran 10 photographs of the couple enjoying a date at Hangang Riverside Park in Seoul.
The former Manchester United star, who has long been averse to opening up about his personal life to the public, admitted he was dating Kim. Continue Reading »
It didn’t come easy, but the South Korean national soccer team ground out a desperately needed 1-0 victory over Uzbekistan on Tuesday to close in on its eighth consecutive World Cup berth.
Akmal Shorakhmedov headed Kim Young-kwon’s left-footed cross from the right flank into his own net in the 43rd minute to decide the match.
The man of the match honor went to midfielder Lee Myung-joo, who made his national team debut in front of 50,000 fans at Seoul World Cup Stadium. The 22-year-old patrolled Korea’s midfield and filled the void left by injured Kim Nam-il, and other regulars such as Ki Sung-yueng and Koo Ja-cheol, both of whom were controversially left out of the squad. Continue Reading »
College friends seek release of former University of Oregon student Kenneth Bae from North Korean prison
Friends and colleagues described Bae as a devout Christian from Washington state but based in the Chinese border city of Dalian who traveled frequently to North Korea to feed the country’s orphans.
“Knowing Kenneth from college, he’s such a warm-hearted person, I can’t imagine him breaking the law,’’ Kwon said, adding that it is possible Bae took photos of orphans begging for food: “He probably couldn’t walk away from what he saw.”
Since Sunday, Lee and Kwon have been calling friends as well as Oregon’s congressional delegation to see what can be done to release their old college buddy. They are working on a website to complement a Facebook page that went up in late December.
Why is North Korea cooling it?
After weeks of fiery rhetoric, military saber rattling and threats against the United States and South Korea, North Korea seems downright quiet and willing to dial back the tension.
Fears Kim Jong Un would test a long-range missile have given way to an easing of his daily war threats, and North Korea has produced a list of conditions for dialogue.
In exchange for returning talks, North Korea wants the lifting of U.N. sanctions, the end of the U.S.-South Korea military drills, the withdrawal of U.S. nuclear strike capabilities from the region and a halt on criticism of the North. It also wants a South Korean apology for offending its leadership.
Choco Pies offer North Koreans a taste of the other side
The Guardian (U.K.)
World leaders have tried aid, lectures, sanctions and engagement. But the long-term future of North Korea may be partly determined by a small, round, sugary snack from the South given as a reward to North Korean workers, say analysts.
“Choco Pies are an important mind-changing instrument,” said Andrei Lankov, author of The Real North Korea and a leading expert on the country.
“It has become a symbol of South Korean prosperity – and North Koreans read it. They are suffering and starving, but thanks to Choco Pies, DVDs and large-scale labour migration to China, people don’t buy the old story [that the South is even poorer] and the government does not sell it any more.”
New Student School Board Member Says, ‘Students Are the Largest Stakeholders’
Patch.com (Rockville, Md.)
Meet Justin Kim, junior at Poolesville High and an 18-year-old Gaithersburg native who will serve as student member of the Montgomery County Board of Education next year.
Kim was elected to the position with 65 percent of the student vote, Montgomery County Public Schools announced April 26. All secondary students in the system were eligible to participate in the election.
Patch spoke to Kim about what he hopes to achieve during his term and the challenges the school system faces.
ITV Studios America Ups True-Crime Producer John X. Kim
Veteran showrunner John X. Kim has been promoted to Senior Executive Producer, ITV Studios America. Kim is the co-creator and executive producer of the real-life homicide investigation series The First 48, now in its 15th season on A&E. He also exec produces After The First 48 and The Killer Speaks, both currently airing on A&E, and the upcoming The Mathis Project on BET.
Cho teaches K-pop that youth isn’t everything
The K-pop scene has long been dominated by sleek young talents in their teens or not far out of them. But youth is not a requirement as 63-year-old veteran singer Cho Yong-pil has proven.
Cho’s new single “Bounce” is a hit, as is his new “Hello” – which happens to be his 19th.
“Bounce” immediately reached No. 1 on nine local music charts, competing with Psy’s global hit “Gentleman.” Preorders for “Hello,” Cho’s first album in a decade, reached 20,000.
Hines Ward doesn’t ‘think football is ready’ for an openly gay player
Jason Collins decision to come out of the closet is a huge deal: Collins, despite being an NBA free agent, is the first active player in any major North American sport to be openly gay. It’s not illogical to believe that the NFL and MLB are next in line to accept an openly gay player.
However, former Steelers wideout Hines Ward doesn’t think that “football is ready” for an openly gay player just yet.
“I don’t think football is ready. There’s too many guys in the locker room and, you know, guys play around too much,” Ward said on NBC Sports Radio via Pro Football Talk.
What a Bargain!: Shin-Soo Choo is a Steal for the 2013 Cincinnati Reds
The Cincinnati Reds took a chance that other teams may not have taken when they converted right fielder Shin-Soo Choo to center field, where Choo had played all of 10 games in his eight years prior to 2013. Defensively, the move of Choo to center hasn’t been flawless (2 errors and other dicey moments), but his strong arm and sufficient range have made the gamble by the Reds to play Choo in center look acceptable.
Offensively, Choo has been worth his weight in gold as a leadoff hitter. Leading the majors in on-base percentage with enough pop in his bat to also rank within the Top 10 in MLB in on-base plus slugging is much more of a return on investment than the $3.875 million the Reds are paying Choo this year.
Chego Opens in Chinatown This Saturday
From Roy Choi’s Twitter feed, and I quote: “We don’t think anyone’s been as excited about Chego in Chinatown as us. And, well, maybe you. Which is why we’re sending you the invite. Finally. Ooey Gooey Fries and Chubby Pork Bellies shall be had once again…With maybe a little ping pong on the side. Trust. It shall be a Grand Opening that Far East Plaza shalt not soon forget.”
What: Chego reopens in Chinatown. Or, more stuff you’re probably wildly happy about. (See: The Dodgers, maybe. Trois Mec, maybe. Number 98.)
When: Sat. May 4, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Cocohodo: Korean Walnut Pastries In OC’s Koreatown
Usually, Asian trends start in LA and then migrate south to the smaller enclaves in Orange County. LA’s Koreatown is approximately a bazillion times larger than OC’s ever-expanding Koreatown, but that didn’t stop Cocohodo, a dessert maker whose name inspires Pavlovian drooling among a certain subset of young Koreans, from opening their first U.S. shop in Buena Park.
The little treats are so popular that there’s now a larger, more upscale-looking shop in Kaju Plaza at the northwest corner of Garden Grove Boulevard and Magnolia Street in Garden Grove, where the H-Mart is. You walk in and there is the usual menu of Asian tea drinks (boba, grain tea, etc.) and a display full of empty boxes.
North Korea’s former poet laureate to publish memoir in English
Los Angeles Times
Rider Publishing, a Random House imprint, acquired world rights to “Crossing the Border,” the memoirs of former North Korean State Poet Laureate Jang Jin-sung, the Guardian reports. In 2004, unable to reconcile his privileged position with the suffering endured by most North Koreans, Jang traveled to China on a pass and from there he found sympathizers who got him to South Korea.
Accounts of North Korea by insiders are rare. North Korean Kang Chol-hwan authored the prison camp memoir “The Aquariums of Pyongyang.” Barbara Demick’s “Nothing to Envy,” a National Book Award finalist, told of the hardships of ordinary life in North Korea as related by defectors living abroad.
Blakelock’s Ji Soo Choi headed to Juilliard to study violin
InsideHalton.com (Ontario, Canada)
Oakville’s Ji Soo Choi clearly has music in her veins. The young violinist is headed to Juilliard School in New York City where she will work on her bachelor’s degree in violin this coming school year.
“I’m really excited. It’s something that also my mom dreamed of and is something that I really wanted to do. Juilliard is such a big name,” Choi said.
The 18-year-old T.A. Blakelock High School student has been playing violin since the age of three. She takes lessons through the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) and practices a minimum of six hour a day, this on top of the time she spends in music class at Blakelock. She’s also the concertmaster for the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.