North Korea’s outlook has earned it the title of the ‘hermit kingdom.’ The country is both cut off from the wider world and intensely focused on its neighbors.
In South Korea, some praise North’s departed “Dear Leader” Reuters
Despite growth that has propelled South Korea to become the world’s 13th largest economy, a powerhouse that makes computers, mobile telephones and cars, there are some in the capital of Seoul who believe life is better in the impoverished North.
As the world watched Wednesday’s funeral of dictator Kim Jong-il, who presided over famine, a nuclear arms push and military skirmishes with the South, Choi Dong Jin, 48, told Reuters that Kim was “a great and outstanding person” for resisting U.S. imperialism.
Korean American pastor seeks reunification through humanitarian aid CNN.com
When Chang Soon Lee reflects on his childhood years in North Korea, his joy quickly turns to deep sadness. Like millions of Koreans caught in the middle of the Korean War in the early 1950s, Chang at the age of 15 was forced to flee his native homeland.
His father, a prominent minister who survived World War II, disappeared just days after communist-led forces invaded Pyongyang. “After the (World War II) liberation of Korea, my father often visited churches and preached but one day we waited for him and he never returned home,” says Chang.
By the time an armistice halted the Korean War in 1953, nearly 37,000 U.S. troops had been killed and more than 400,000 North Koreans soldiers were dead, according to the U.S Department of Defense.
Chang eventually emigrated to the United States on a student visa and became a minister, co-founding a ministry for Korean immigrants at Wiltshire United Method Church in Los Angeles, home to the nation’s largest Korean-American population.
But Chang has never forgotten his homeland and he’s returned half a dozen times on humanitarian missions, taking tons of food to orphanages as part of a charity group he established in the United States. “Its a kind of symbolic showing for them that we love you, you are our brothers and sisters, we are tragically separated but we are one and we are concerned about you we are praying,” says Chang.
A man who claimed to be a North Korean defector has committed suicide after confessing that he was sent to spy on the South.
During questioning the man, who was in his 30s, said he had received orders from Pyongyang to report on a South Korean organization that helps defectors from the North.
The National Intelligence Service said the man had hanged himself in a shower room. The source said North Korean spies held the man’s family hostage and that he felt pressured after his confession.
Adoption of Korean boys leads to full house Journal Review (Crawfordsville, Ind.)
Paul and Stacey Leonard of Ladoga adopted sons Charlie, 1, and Reuben, 5, from South Korea. The Leonards also have a biological son, Peter, 8.
Injury costs Huskers one-time starting lineman for bowl NBC Sports
Due to an injury to the regular starter, Nebraska Cornhuskers offensive lineman Seung Hoon Choi will be in the starting lineup when Nebraska takes on South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 2.
S. Korean short-track legend gains Russian citizenship to fulfill Sochi dream Russia Today
Russia’s medal hopes at their first-ever Winter Games in Sochi have been given yet another boost as South Korean short-track legend Ahn Hyun-soo has finally been granted Russian citizenship.
The 26-year-old captured three golds and one bronze at the Turin Olympics back in 2006, becoming the most successful athlete there. He is also a five-time Overall World Champion.
HyunA & 2NE1 make it to Spin.com’s ‘Favorite Pop Tracks of 2011′ list allkpop
On December 27, the website for music magazine Spin revealed their favorite pop singles of 2011.
Among the various songs by A-list pop icons, two K-pop songs made it to the list. At #3, HyunA‘s “Bubble Pop” beat #4 pop princess Britney Spears‘ “Till the World Ends“, and 2NE1‘s “I Am the Best” took the #8 spot.
Lidea Park, owner of Duck Hyang restaurant in Queens, says she makes kimchi with trepidation.
Ever since she received seven violation points during a city health inspection in June, she’s been fearful about how her restaurant prepares and stores kimchi, a traditional fermented dish that is a staple in Korean cuisine. The violation points resulted from five pounds of kimchi being left at room temperature and exceeding the city Department of Health’s 41-degree temperature requirement for cold foods, according to the inspection.
“They don’t understand the kimchi,” said Ms. Park. “Many Korean restaurants with kimchi get points because the inspector, they don’t understand what it is.”
Korean restaurant and business groups say they are all too often unfairly penalized by the health department because their fermented foods are determined to be above 41 degrees, the temperature below which city rules require potentially hazardous prepared cold food be stored.
A Great Falls man has admitted he played a key role in what authorities have described as one of the most brazen federal contracting scams in U.S. history, according to court records that became public Monday.
Young N. Cho, who also goes by the first name of Alex, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bribery charges at a secret hearing in September — just weeks before federal agents arrested four other men in a $20 million scheme that targeted the Army Corps of Engineers.
Cho’s plea deal became public after a federal judge ordered it unsealed.
Cho, 40, was chief technology officer of Nova Datacom, a Chantilly-based information technology company that did work with the Army Corps. His role in the scam began in 2007 when he began passing kickbacks to two program managers at the Army Corps in exchange for lucrative contracts, according to court papers.
Background Extra Recounts His Unlikely Spiritual Mission Media Bistro
LA native Steve Cha has a B.A. in Asian American Studies from UCLA and is currently working on an M.A. in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. Along the way, he also worked for several years as a professional background extra.
Earlier this year, Cha published a book about his on-set experiences called Hollywood Mission: Possible. With Christmas and Tom Cruise upon us, he is re-promoting a tale of, essentially, the Tim Tebow of background extras:
During his three-year journey, Steve evangelized many famous actors, actresses, directors, and aspirants in Tinsel Town… Steve’s revealing autobiography recounts how the gospel was shared with celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, Brad Pitt, Harrison Ford, Dan Aykroyd, and many other stars.
Hines Ward in ‘Dark Knight Rises’ trailer CBS Sports
“Dark Knight Rises,” the latest in the line of Batman movies from Christopher Nolan, is slated to hit theaters in July of 2012. But the full trailer hit the Internets over the weekend and guess who makes a cameo: Hines Ward!
We already knew that a slew of Steelers players were playing roles in the movie as members of the Gotham Rogues, whose home field is set at Heinz Field, but not until my younger brother chatted me on Sunday did I realize that Ward was actually in the preview.
You can check out Ward’s appearance at the 1:15 mark below as he runs from not just defenders, but a slew of explosions set by Bane, the movie’s villain, who’s basically like an evil version of Rob Gronkowski, who is also hell-bent on blowing up Heinz Field (only metaphorically) and quite clearly a efficient killing machine created by scientists.
You can walk all the way around it for hours, but to fully experience artist Chul Hyun Ahn’s “Void Platform,” you have to take off your shoes (as signs prompt you to do) and walk out onto it.
The “out” inserts itself in that sentence because of the nature of the piece. In the front gallery at C. Grimaldis Gallery on North Charles Street, Ahn has constructed a low 10-foot-by-8-foot plywood-faced platform that appears to cover a yawning pit descending through the floor as far as the eye can see, albeit a pit lined with subtle bands of greenish lighting. You find yourself testing the surface with your sock-encased toes, curious to know if it will hold your weight. It will, but you hesitate a little anyway. You step onto the smooth surface and stand over what seems to be infinite space receding away below your feet. But if the surface of the piece didn’t hold your weight, you’d drop a mere 16 inches onto Grimaldis’ wooden floor.
Why it’s great to be a foreign traveler in Korea CNNGo
With so many foreign travelers visiting Korea on shopping sprees, it seems Korea has been busy devising ways to say “visit often’ and “thank you” at the same time.
There is so much special treatment for foreign travelers, we wonder why Koreans aren’t more envious.
Here are five benefits of being a foreign traveler in Korea.
It started as a challenge. A patently absurd challenge. Could one writer keep up with a real-life Wolf Pack—comic star Aziz Ansari, top chef David Chang, and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy—as the hipster trinity partied through Tokyo, arguably the food capital of the world? (It’s definitely the drunk-karaoke capital.) Brett Martin remembers what happened next. Most of it.
David Chang – surly and hot, the chef who’s delivering Manhattan chic to our high rollers The Daily Telegraph (Australia)
Momofuku Seiobo opened just three weeks ago at the revamped Star in Pyrmont and is already one of the most talked-about restaurants in town, and not for all the right reasons. There’s the online-only booking policy, $175 upfront payment in a dark diner without a view and music too loud for the over-45s.
Chang is a bit surly. The shopping trip to Railway and Rowe Sts in Eastwood to sample the delights of Sydney’s Little Korea doesn’t start well when he is kept waiting 40 minutes after his car fails to turn up. He hops in a cab instead and picks up the organiser of the missing lift – me – on the way.
He doesn’t talk much, preferring to eke out emails on his phone before his New York head office shuts up shop.
Anthony Bourdain called him the hottest chef in the business. At 27 the New York food scene was struck dumb by his French/Japanese/Italian/Korean cuisine, including homemade, fluffy white steamed buns stuffed with braised pork belly and topped with hoi sin sauce and dishes including his spins on ramen noodles, kimchi stews and slow-cooked egg.
Amid Shrinking Budgets, Forever 21 Just Keeps Getting Bigger Advertising Age
(Pictured above: Linda Chang, Forever 21 senior marketing manager and daughter of co-founders Do Won and Jin Sook Chang).
For a privately held fast-fashion retailer that after 27 years in business is still run by its Korean-American founder, Do Won Chang, Forever 21 has been behaving a lot like a big-box giant.
While many stores struggled to stay afloat during a recession that walloped consumer spending, Forever 21 pushed forward aggressively, opening ever-bigger locations and in many cases moving into space vacated by bankrupt businesses. Some Forever 21 shops, at 90,000 square feet or more, now rival a Kohl’s or Target in size.
“Many of [Forever 21] locations look and feel like flagship stores,” observed Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst with NPD Group. “Every shopper feels like it’s a great experience for them.”
South Korean pastor jailed for adultery
AFP via Yahoo News
A South Korean Christian pastor was jailed for 18 months for having a decade-long affair with a woman whose wedding he had officiated at, according to a court.
Adultery in South Korea is a criminal offence punishable by up to two years in prison but most offenders usually receive only suspended jail terms and imprisonment is quite rare.
The 51-year-old pastor, whose name has been withheld for privacy, had a secret affair with the woman, 41, for more than 10 years after conducting her marriage ceremony. She and her husband were both followers of his church. The woman was also given a year-long jail sentence.
Tammy Chu was adopted by an American family at the age of nine and raised in rural New York state. She never saw another Korean until she went to college. “I remember what my birth parents looked like, but I forgot how to speak Korean and memories of Korean culture also disappeared from my mind,” she recalls.
Chu became a documentary film director and came back to Korea in 1998 for a project. “When I came to Seoul, it felt strange yet familiar and uncomfortable yet comfortable.”
She now lives in an apartment in Itaewon. She had shuttled back and forth from New York and Seoul for some 10 years and eventually decided to settle down here. Last year Chu, who can now understand a lot of Korean, won the top prize for a documentary at the Busan International Film Festival for her film “Resilience,” which focused on Korean adoptees.
Protests against South Korea’s ratification of a free-trade agreement with the U.S. took another ugly turn over the weekend with the assault of a police chief during a major demonstration in central Seoul.
Park Geon-chan, the head of Jongno Police Station, sustained minor wounds after being attacked by a group of around 100 demonstrators. They were part of a larger gathering of over 2,000 anti-FTA protestors that brought the Gwanghwamun area to a standstill on Saturday evening.
Mr. Park was apparently singled out because of his status and because he was in uniform.
US jury convicts man of visa fraud for recruiting Thai welders, forcing work in restaurants
AP via Washington Post
A California man was convicted of seeking visa extensions for Thai welders purportedly hired for a construction job when in reality they were forced to work at restaurants and live in deplorable conditions, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Yoo Taik Kim, 55, was found guilty by a federal jury in Los Angeles on Tuesday of visa fraud and lying on his citizenship application.
The case was part of a broader investigation into a labor deal that Thai welders claimed promised them legitimate jobs for an American steel company but subjected them to intolerable conditions at the hands of Kim’s manpower company.
Jeff Kim scored four rushing touchdowns and added another receiving as Beckman defeated Ocean View, 62-24, in the second round of the CIF-SS Southern Division playoffs Friday night at Ocean View High.
The game was played with a running clock in the fourth quarter as Beckman (10-2) carried a 45-point lead into the final quarter.
Kim finished with 204 rushing yards on 13 carries, including a scoring run of 90 yards midway through the third quarter. He also caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Cameron Biedgoly to put Beckman up 28-10 three minutes before halftime.
White Men are Likely to Move Twice as Fast When With a Minority Girlfriend 8Asians
Among young American adults, relationships between white men and minority women move into sexual intimacy and from sex to cohabitation significantly faster than white-white couples or minority-minority pairings, reports a new study by a Cornell demographer. [...] Controlling for such factors as religion and family background, the researchers found that, on average, white male-minority female couples advanced to sex within one month of dating — nearly twice as fast as white-white couples.
A group of elderly South Koreans are campaigning “to generate more interest in the fate of tens of thousands of South Koreans believed to have been forcibly taken to North Korea during the Korean War six decades ago.”
On a sidewalk in central Seoul recently, Lee Mi-il and several other older South Koreans took turns at a microphone, calling out what seemed like an endless list of names. They began in the morning and continued through the night, one faceless name after another — 83,000 in all — ringing out and melting into the cacophony of the capital city’s busiest district.
Yet another mainstream article about the global K-pop phenomenon.
The loudest screaming I’ve ever heard isn’t at a pop concert at the O2, or the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury, or the Birmingham NEC – it’s ringing up and down the aisles of a cinema in central London. And the cause of such eardrum-shredding shrillness? Not stadium rock gods or Simon Cowell’s latest pop puppet or a Beyoncé-calibre diva, but a band you’ve probably never even heard of: SHINee, five pretty young men from Korea. This is K-pop, and it may just be conquering the world.
Captors free last of South Korean businessmen held in restive southern Philippines, army says
AP via Washington Post
Kidnappers abandoned two South Korean businessmen in the restive southern Philippines after troops closed in and the gunmen panicked, an army general said Sunday.
The gunmen had been holding three South Korean businessmen. The first, Choi Inn-so, was released Friday, apparently because he had fallen ill and was slowing down the group.
On Saturday, the other two were found in Lanao del Norte province. Army Maj. Gen. Noel Coballes said Wu Seok-bung and Kim Nam-du were weak and starving when troops found them.
A Filipino guide who was seized with the South Koreans on Oct. 21 was reportedly shot in captivity, and troops will continue to look for him and the approximately 15 kidnappers, army Col. Daniel Lucero said.
Gardena husband shoots and kills estranged wife, then himself Daily Breeze (Orange County, Calif.)
A man apparently shot his wife to death at the door of their Gardena apartment, stepped away from her and then killed himself, police said Friday.
Detectives said it appeared the husband, Won Chin, 52, committed the acts Wednesday night in the 15800 block of South Normandie Avenue because of a failing marriage.
“She moved out fairly recently,” Gardena police Sgt. Russ Temple said. “She came over to the house that night and it looks like he met her at the door and shot her with one single gunshot wound to the head.”
Korean Footballers a Step Closer to London Olympics Chosun Ilbo
The nation’s Olympic footballers beat Saudi Arabia 1-0 at Seoul World Cup Stadium on Sunday to top Group A in the final round of Asian qualifiers for the 2012 London Games.
Led by coach Hong Myung-bo, the team added three precious points to keep its Olympic dreams alive halfway through regional qualifying. It now has seven points from two wins and one draw, while Saudi Arabia is bottom of the table with one point.
As it seeks to become a leader in robotic technology, South Korea is about to put a new type of droid through its paces: a robot prison guard.
Under a project sponsored by the Ministry of Justice, trials of the robots will be held for a month at a jail in the city of Pohang, southeast of Seoul, from March. The robots are designed to patrol the corridors of corrective institutions, monitoring conditions inside the cells. If they detect sudden or unusual activity such as violent behavior they alert human guards.
A councilman from Queens, an Asian immigrant who’s traveled the striver’s path to success, rises to New York’s political heights with the support of a multicultural coalition of voters. His reformist zeal and unique ability to unite fragmented factions — blacks, Latinos, Asians and labor — make him a media darling and a serious contender for what some call the second-most powerful office in America: mayor of New York. But when an Asian American agent is sent undercover to probe the roots of his success, allegations of an illicit immigrant money ring surface, threatening to derail this rising star’s ambitions.
You might recognize this as the story of city comptroller John Liu, who’s gone from Flushing, Queens councilman to putative frontrunner in the race to replace Mayor Bloomberg in 2013 — only to have that status rocked last week by the high-profile arrest of one of his major fundraisers, Oliver Pan, over alleged financial improprieties. Liu, New York City’s chief financial officer and the first Asian-American to hold citywide office, said in a statement that he was “saddened” by the allegations: “If it is true, then the conduct was clearly wrong and my campaign was not told the truth.”
Uncannily, however, the controversy also happens to mirror the basic plot of a novel written in 1995: Chang-Rae Lee’s acclaimed PEN/Hemingway award-winning debut, “Native Speaker.” Reached in Princeton, where he’s a professor of creative writing at the university’s Lewis Center for the Arts, Lee admits to being a bit spooked by the seeming coincidence.
Martin Scorsese Gives a Thumbs Up to UCI Professor Kyung Hyun Kim’s Cinema Book O.C. Weekly
It’s not often that an academic tome–even one related to film–snags a forward written by legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, whose latest movie Hugo coincidentally opens nationwide today.
But Kyung Hyun Kim, UC Irvine’s associate professor of East Asian languages & literatures and film & media studies, won those bragging rights, and like else everything in Hollywood it all started with the right connections.
U.S. ambassador to Seoul confident of enduring ties with Korea Korea Herald
U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Sung Kim expressed confidence in the resilience of the ties between his country and South Korea, saying he believes the friendship between the U.S. and the country of his birth will survive any challenge.
In his second blog post since taking office earlier this month, the Korean-American ambassador said two of his main missions here are to “strengthen and deepen” both the bilateral alliance and people-to-people ties. He is the first Korean-American to serve as Washington’s top envoy to Seoul since the sides established diplomatic relations 129 years ago.
Tales from Asia: Benson Henderson’s tour through Korea and Japan Yahoo Sports
Last week, I was honored to be asked by the UFC to represent them in Korea and Japan. This is my first time overseas, which these days seems to put me in a minority. But I am looking forward to the great events and festivities that are lined up.
The main purpose of this trip is to visit with many of our American troops here in Korea. These men and women do so much for our country, and have to spend so much time away from their loved ones to accomplish that. We sometimes take that for granted.
I also wanted to take this trip for a very personal reason. I am a second-generation Korean-American, and I am visiting my mother’s home country. My Oma (mom) is accompanying me on this trip. Over the weekend, she will get to see many of her family members for the first time in years, and I will be meeting them for the first time EVER! Being able to share this trip with my Oma makes it so much more special.
I never really thought I’d come visit Korea until I was much older and retired, but the UFC has made it a reality. As I am writing this, we are driving through a very beautiful and slightly overwhelming downtown Seoul.
Half-Korean mixed martial artist proud of heritage Yonhap News
Ben Henderson, a U.S. mixed martial artist born to a Korean-American mother and an African-American father, speaks only little Korean.
But that hasn’t stopped him from tattooing Korean characters onto his lithe, yet chiseled frame: his own name, as well as the words for “power,” “glory” and “warrior.”
In an interview with Yonhap News Agency Thursday, Henderson, a Colorado native, said he takes great pride in his heritage.
“I am very proud to be part-Korean, to have Korean in my blood,” Henderson said in a phone conversation Thursday. He was visiting the demilitarized zone (DMZ) as part of an ongoing tour in South Korea, and he’s also scheduled to visit U.S. troops and spend some time with his mother’s family. This is his first trip to his mother’s homeland.
“I think Koreans… have a lot of pride,” he said. “I think that’s where I get it from, from my Korean side.”
While most UC Berkeley students chose to head home for the Thanksgiving break, senior Alex Kim decided to do something decidedly different early Thursday morning.
Kim cancelled his plane ticket home and instead lugged camping equipment and his pet cat Obi to Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s front lawn around 5 a.m. There he pitched a tent in solidarity with the Occupy Cal movement that has shaken the campus over the last three weeks.
Interview with Two Brothers Making Products They Love MYX TV
Terrence and Kevin Kim are two Korean American brothers from New Jersey who had a dream. Instead of going down the usual post-college-graduate path that most 22-year-olds follow after their education is complete, the brothers decided to pack up a suitcase each and head for Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China.
Fast forward to the end of 2011, and the brothers have traveled all around China and Korea to experience the cultures of both countries by visiting factories, fabric markets, and sight seeing. Influenced by the traditional art, architecture, fabrics, dyeing, monks, etc., they decided to make their dream a reality.
Student kills mother, keeps body at home for 8 months Korea Times
A high school student is suspected of having killed his mother and keeping the body hidden for eight months at their home after being pressured by her to get higher exam scores.
Gwangjin Police in eastern Seoul said Thursday they have requested an arrest warrant for the 18-year-old high school senior, identified as Ji, on suspicions of murdering his mother, 51-year-old Park. Ji is suspected of having stabbed his mother to death at their home in eastern Seoul at around 11 a.m. on March 13. The body was kept in her room for eight months.
According to police, Park kept telling her son that he must enter a top-class university and should rank first in nationwide exams. When he obtained lower scores than her expectations, she didn’t give him food or forced him to stay awake at night to study. Being afraid of her scolding, Ji had fabricated grade reports since middle school. His fear grew as his test scores fell after entering high school.
Sang-Eun Byun, an assistant professor of consumer affairs at Auburn University in Alabama, surveyed hundreds of shoppers at Zara and H&M and found that the limited availability of goods in those stores excited the customers. Even though it wasn’t Black Friday, she said her findings hold true for any shopping situation in which high-value goods are scarce.
Ordinarily, Byun said, shoppers are turned off by crowds. But when crowds create a sense of competition — such as when hundreds of shoppers are rushing to collect marked-down goods — they generate a different feeling entirely. Competition creates what’s called hedonic shopping value, or a sense of enjoyment from the mere process of buying goods.
“At certain levels, consumers enjoy arousal and challenges during the shopping process,” Byun said. “They enjoy something that’s harder to get, and it makes them feel playful and excited.”
North Korea warned on Thursday that any military clash on a disputed maritime border could escalate into an attack on the presidential office in Seoul, threatening to engulf the South Korean leadership “in a sea of fire.”
The threat came one day after South Korea conducted military drills near Yeonpyeong, a front-line island west of Seoul. The display of firepower was timed to mark the first anniversary of the North Korean artillery attack on Yeonpyeong, which killed two marines and two civilians.
Hines Ward’s reduced status does not look as though it will change any time soon, which begs this question: Are we watching the final games of the brilliant career of the Steelers most prolific and decorated receiver?
Golfer Kevin Na Thanks Fans with Charity Tournament Chosun Ilbo
Korean American golfer Kevin Na, who won his first U.S. PGA title on his 211th attempt and his eighth year on the Tour early last month, will hold a charity tournament under his name near Los Angeles on Dec. 8.
Looks like a mullet is required to be a member of the Asian Boyz.
Deputies looking for Asian Boyz gang members wanted in a machete attack also discovered 1,400 marijuana plants worth about $3 million growing in a house on Wednesday.
In addition, authorities seized Ectasy pills and methamphetamine at a house next to the pot grow. They arrested a man and two teens for the assault plus two other people for the drug possession.
Sgt. Steve Kim of the Sheriff’s Asian Gang Team said 30 deputies served search and arrest warrants at five Rosemead locations at 6:30 a.m.
It’s been a strange couple of months for current TNA Knockouts Champion Gail Kim. Back in August the Canadian-born grappler controversially went against instructions and eliminated herself from the Divas Battle Royal match on the August 1st episode of Monday Night Raw. A few days later Kim announced on Twitter that she had quit WWE, however, she was not permitted to leave.
What followed was a stunning standoff between WWE and their former Women’s Champion, which saw her forced to sit out the remainder of her contract. Kim’s decision to eliminate herself caused quite a bit of controversy, with some figures in the wrestling world who called her actions unprofessional, although Kim stands by the decision she made.
Roy Choi of Kogi, Chego and A-Frame says he’ll be opening new restaurant Sunny Spot on Nov. 18 in Venice in the former Beechwood space — “think roadside cookshop, where every day’s a holiday.”
Inspired by the cuisine of the West Indies, Sunny Spot’s menu runs the gamut from double-fried jerk chicken and rum-glazed prawns to slow-roasted whole goat and papaya-guava honey pot salad with crushed cashews, red onion, lime and tarragon (pictured).
An ex-member of an elite North Korean special warfare unit defected across the West Sea on Oct. 30. He crossed the sea on a raft made of tires, it emerged on Tuesday.
Under questioning by the National Intelligence Service, the military and police, the man, who is in his early 30s, said he had been discharged from the marine sniper brigade five years ago and then worked as a civilian member in a military unit.
Watch Margaret Cho Invade Bonnaroo, Accost Indie Rockers Spin.com
Last week, we watched Das Racist drag their parents to Bumbershoot. Today, to herald the release of Margaret Cho’s stand-up concert film, Cho Dependent — and say farewell to SPIN’s first-ever “Funny” Issue — we have footage of the comic and friend-of-indie-rockers everywhere bugging the shit out of everyone backstage at the 2010 Bonnaroo festival to the sounds of her “Baby I’m With the Band” (featuring Brendan Benson). Watch carefully to see who embraces the Cho, and who eyes her warily (the list of guest stars includes Conan O’Brien, Reggie Watts, Doug Benson, The Flaming Lips, Weezer, OK Go, the Gossip, The Punch Brothers, and GWAR).
Hines Ward did not start in Cincinnati, and he played a limited number of snaps in the Steelers’ 24-17 win over the Bengals. If the Steelers’ all-time leading receiver has been demoted he is taking it in stride.
“It’s not about me, it’s about the team,” Ward said. “We won the game that’s the bottom line.”
Ward said his health wasn’t an issue, and that the coaches didn’t tell him before the Bengals game that his playing time would be diminished.
Anthony Kim has endured plenty of lows over the past 12 months, but feels he’s now on course to hit new highs.
The Language of Many: ‘The Language Archive’ at East West Players [REVIEW] Hyphen
During the LA premiere of The Language Archive at East West Players, the scent of warm bread wafted through the theater. There’s nuance to smells, I’m told, a layering that is discernible to even the most indiscriminate noses. The same could be said of language and of theatrical plays that go beyond just the black and white categorization of “good” and “bad.”
As with my nose, there’s a certain level of layering that I’m oblivious and, like the bread smell, there was something comfortable and familiar with the The Language Archive. I spent the evening trying to figure out where I’ve seen this story before.
Sarah Cho of Torrey Pines wins CIF state girls golf title ESPN.com
Sarah Cho of Torrey Pines won the CIF state girls golf championship in a two-hole playoff over Cha Cha Wilhoite of Palm Desert at the Poppy Hills Golf Course at Pebble Beach on Tuesday.
Cho and Wilhoite were the only two golfers to shoot under par in the tournament. Both were 1-under, 71, after 18 holes.
S. Korean football fans demand coach’s ouster
AFP via Google News
Angry fans called Wednesday for the resignation of coach Cho Kwang-Rae after South Korea suffered a stunning 1-2 defeat to underdogs Lebanon in the third round of regional World Cup qualification.
The official website of the Korea Football Association (KFA) was flooded with critical postings, with one suggesting a petition campaign to press the KFA to dismiss Cho.
Newspapers also lambasted South Korea for playing what Chosun Ilbo daily called a “game of sleepwalkers”.
Asian women struggle to make films City Times (San Diego)
For many filmmakers, the festival serves as an opportunity to create change in the industry through gaining exposure and connecting with people.
“Support from groups like this has been invaluable in helping further my career,” said Mina T. Son, a Korean American filmmaker who screened her short, “Making Noise in Silence,” at the festival. The the short follows the lives of two Korean-American students at the California School for the Deaf. Son returned to the festival to receive an award for Best Short Documentary for the second year in a row.
Derek Kirk Kim Completes Season 1 of ‘Mythomania’ Live-Action Web Series [Video] Comics Alliance
The Eisner and Harvey-winning cartoonist behind such works as Same Difference and Other Stories, The Eternal Smile (with Gene Luen Yang) and Good As Lily (with Jesse Hamm), Derek Kirk Kim has completed the first season of his live-action Web series Mythomania. Written and directed by Kim, the show follows aspiring cartoonist Andy Go as he navigates the joys, challenges, sacrifices, screw-overs and other assorted indignities suffered by those who seek their fortunes in the comic book book business. The show is an honest and personal (perhaps too personal, in the case of episode seven) into what life can be like for cartoonists, and how easy it can be to face not only rejection but also opportunity.
Harrisburg Councilwoman Patty Kim to challenge Rep. Ron Buxton The Patriot-News (Penn.)
Harrisburg City Council Vice President Patty Kim will challenge state Rep. Ron Buxton for his House seat next year, she said today.
Kim, a six-year veteran on council, said fellow Democrat Buxton has not fought hard enough to stave off a state takeover of the city, which is more than $300 million in debt. “He has not rolled up his sleeves or taken any position that could positively contribute to a solution,” she said, pointing to the Capitol. “His seat is not a chair to hide behind. I’m calling him out on this unacceptable lack of leadership.”
Joon Pahk’s Jeopardy run finally ended when he lost in the semifinals of the game show’s Tournament of Champions.
There is only one elite competition in which I still believed — honestly believed — I could be one of the best: Jeopardy!
I believed that until precisely 8:01 p.m. on Friday night, when I finished watching the third (and final) Tournament of Champions semifinal.
Even before the game, there was a feeling that this could be a bloody, epic, inter-planetary death match. It was the Jeopardy! equivalent of a title-unification fight. Roger Craig, Joon Pahk, and Mark Runsvold were pitted against each other. Never mind what they do in real life or where they’re from. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that they are the fourth, sixth, and tenth all-time money winners, not including tournaments, in Jeopardy! history. Craig also holds the record for the single greatest game ever, when he went home with $77,000. (Pahk and Runsvold also eclipsed the $50,000 mark during their original runs, a feat accomplished by only five men not named Ken Jennings.) Now the three of them were on the stage at the same time.
Walk-on Husker guards Long, Choi go the distance against Penn State HuskerExtra.com
Seung Hoon Choi, a walk-on offensive guard from Lincoln Christian, had just played every snap in a crucial Big Ten triumph for 19th-ranked Nebraska.
Pretty satisfying, no doubt.
“Yeah, it’s all right,” Choi said with a grin, in his usual understated manner, after the 17-14 victory against No. 12 Penn State at Beaver Stadium.
If you haven’t already, it’s probably time to learn Choi’s name.
Nebraska assistant coach Ron Brown struggled to pronounce Choi’s name. He didn’t struggle finding words of praise for Choi and right guard Spencer Long, who also played every snap against the nation’s eighth-ranked defense.
Justin Chon celebrates the premiere screening of ‘Jin’ at the CGV Cinemas Examiner.com
It was a cool Sunday evening at the CGV Cinemas in Los Angeles’ Koreatown as the red carpet was rolled out for the premiere screening of Il Cho’s short AFI Thesis Film, ‘Jin’ starring Justin Chon, Josiah D. Lee and Ben Baller.
Recently arriving from China for the filming of the upcoming “21 and Over” from the makers of “The Hangover,” Justin Chon definitely did not have a hangover as he walked the red carpet posing for the photographers and interviewing with various media outlets for the premiere of the short film. Chon mentioned that this film illustrated his more serious side as many people know him in real life as being a crazy, fun loving guy. Many may recognize the young actor from the “Twilight” franchise and also the tv show “Just Jordan.” Chon’s next big feature release will be “From The Rough” starring Taraji P. Henson and Michael Clarke Duncan.
Often actors will do interviews together, especially if they play characters who are closely connected. That meant Kal Penn and John Cho spent weeks together promoting “A Very Harold & Kumar 3-D Christmas.” It’s nice to have someone to carry the interview load, but it means the actors hear each other’s stories repeatedly.
Penn’s heard Cho talk about his belief in Christmas in almost every interview, but he hasn’t gotten tired of the story. In fact, he even brings it up if Cho forgets. That’s what happened during our talk.
“I came to America when I was 6 from Korea. We didn’t believe in Santa. When we came to the States, my parents were trying to be good sports and told us about Santa Claus,” Cho says at Penn’s insistence. “It sounded weird. A fat Caucasian old man invading your home, eating your food and either leaving gifts or fossil fuel. Santa is a creepy, obese home-invader.
“It was just a weird thing to believe.”
Despite his misgivings, Cho went along with what his parents told him. That belief didn’t last long because his Christmas present from Santa was wrapped in the box that held the vacuum cleaner his parents had purchased a few days before Christmas.
A homeless man accused of clubbing an elderly woman with a piece of wood on a Midtown street had to be subdued after acting erratically while awaiting arraignment on Sunday night, the authorities said.
The police said they did not yet know what prompted the assault, which occurred in front of 10 East 40th Street about 6:15 p.m. on Saturday.
The woman, whose name, Kim Chong, was confirmed by the police, is 74 and lives in Queens. After the attack, she was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, where she was treated for a broken arm and received stitches for a head wound. The police said she had been struck with a two-by-four.
The intense grief that Kim II-nam has felt every day since his father died 27 years ago led to a startling decision: He dug up the grave, cremated his father’s bones and paid $870 to have the ashes transformed into gem-like beads.
Kim is not alone in his desire to keep a loved one close — even in death. Changes in traditional South Korean beliefs about cherishing ancestors and a huge increase in cremation have led to a handful of niche businesses that cater to those who see honoring an urn filled with ashes as an imperfect way of mourning.
“Whenever I look at these beads, I consider them to be my father and I remember the good old days with him,” a gray-haired Kim, 69, told The Associated Press in an interview.
Some jokesters will forever be at the back of the bus, exhaling spitballs at the driver for cheap laughs, but Dumbfoundead is shedding that image and sitting with the big kids. A Korean-American by way of Argentina and Mexico, the L.A. rapper, born Jonathan Park, began his career at the informally famous open-mic Project Blowed in South Central. “I used to go every week to freestyle, battle and perform,” he tells Hive. “It was like rap school for me.” He made the transition from local celebrity to online monolith as he began making runs through the West Coast division of Grindtime, one of the most popular battle rap circuits, spinning off one hilarious, sharp Youtube victory after another.
Coralville man who doesn’t want wife to wear dress accused of assault The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
A Coralville man was charged with assault Sunday after police said he punched and kicked his wife.
Eung N. Kang, 37, of 2245 Oakleaf St., Apt. 201D, was charged with domestic abuse assault without intent causing injury at 11 a.m. Sunday at his residence.
Kang and his wife argued because he didn’t want her to wear a dress, Coralville police reported.
He ripped the dress and when his wife pushed him away, Kang punched her in the head and kicked her in the stomach, police said.
Two S.Korean climbers killed in Himalayas
AFP via Google News
Two South Koreans fell to their deaths while climbing a treacherous course in the Himalayas, weeks after three colleagues went missing and were presumed dead, according to mountain authorities.
Kim Hyung-Il, 43, leader of the K2 Extreme team, and Chang Ji-Myeong were killed on Friday when they fell as they were ascending on the notorious Cholatse north face, the Korean Alpine Federation said.
Their bodies were later recovered by two colleagues who left the base camp in search of them after radio contact was lost.
North Korea ‘opens luxury goods store’
AFP via Google News
North Korea has opened a department store in its capital offering luxury goods for the ruling elite to try to bolster loyalty before a second dynastic succession, officials and reports said Monday.
The store named Potongkang opened in February, selling imported high-end brands such as Chanel and Giorgio Armani as well as medicine, furniture and food, a South Korean government official said on condition of anonymity.
Black, Korean leaders to commemorate 20th anniversary of L.A. riots Los Angeles Wave
Seeking to create a multicultural Los Angeles that exists in lasting harmony, Korean-American and Black community leaders are spearheading a committee to commemorate next year’s 20th anniversary of the 1992 civil unrest.
South Korean students’ ‘year of hell’ culminates with exams day CNN
Most South Korean students consider their final year in high school “the year of hell.” It is when all students are put to the ultimate test.
About 700,000 test applicants sat down in classrooms across the country Thursday to take their college entrance exams — also known as the College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT).
The stock markets opened an hour late, buses and subway services were increased and police cars offered rides for students, all to ensure they made it on time.
Younger students gathered in large groups outside school gates, some having arrived at 4a.m. to mind a good spot, waiting to support their school seniors. Cheers exploded throughout the school grounds as test applicants arrived, most being guided by their anxious parents.
Gloria Oh was elected councilwoman for Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
Once Oh, the highest vote-getter Tuesday and first Korean-American to win office in the borough, and Aversa are sworn in Jan. 1 the Democrats will hold all but one council seat.
World, Get Ready For 2NE1: MTV Iggy’s Best New Band In The World! MTV Iggy
The meteoric rise of 2NE1 could be a fable, foretold by the epic video for their recent single, “I Am The Best.” Dark gives way to light, as a mysterious hooded creature appears in the distance. As the camera swoops in, flashbulbs pop, synths and beats explode, and BOOM! the ladies of 2NE1 take the stage, twirling in tight black pantsuits and sensual abandon. “I am the best!” they sing, and you can almost hear their millions of fans around the world screaming in concurrence, reveling in the awesome, almost otherworldly presence of this dazzling and fierce foursome. If they aren’t the best, then they are certainly something approaching perfection.
Adam Warrock — the Korean American attorney turned pop culture-obsessed rapper who won 2011’s Kollaboration Atlanta, the city’s annual Asian American talent show — is nothing if not hard to define. Whether rapping about This American Life’s Ira Glass or X-Men, he’s aware of the pitfalls of being boxed into the nerdcore genre, a school of hip-hop that focuses on themes like sci-fi and comics. While he also raps about race and identity, he doesn’t want to be labeled strictly as an Asian American artist either.
Mr. Kang, a farmer from Sacheon, South Gyeongsang province, is one of the most recognizable members of the 299-seat parliament. He almost always wears a traditional hanbok, stands on the front line of every protest that his Democratic Labor Party supports and is willing to resort to shoving, fisticuffs and other minor violence to make his point. He has staged weeks-long hunger strikes and chained himself to the door of the main assembly chamber.
Now, the DLP and other opposition parties (including the biggest, Democratic Party) continue to resist any type of compromise with the ruling Grand National Party over the Korea-U.S. FTA. On Thursday, for the second week in a row, the ruling party canceled a plenary session. The next plenary is set for Nov. 24, which gives the parties two more weeks to argue over the FTA.
Q: You stated once that your parents were upset when you told them you were not going to be a doctor or lawyer. Have they come around yet?
A: Oh absolutely. They’re now on full-throttle brag mode. They’re Korean parents, and they just wanted me to have a structured, safe life and when I told them I wanted to do this they were worried that I’d be struggling. This industry is up and down, but right now they don’t have to worry about me.
But that didn’t stop Maggie from whipping off her clothes and getting down to some serious Glenn business.
Sure, she later said it was a “one time thing.” But it seems pretty clear that she’s got a bad case of the Glenns and a burning desire for another taste of go-to-town expert. And really, can you blame her?
Glenn, you are an inspiration, a hero, apparently a halfway decent lover, an excellent keeper of pregnancy test secrets and amazingly adept at rope-tying under duress. And for that, we salute you.
Ravens LB Ray Lewis Fined $20K for Hit on Steelers’ Hines Ward SI.com
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has been fined for his hard hit on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, the Carroll County Times reports. NFL Insider Adam Schefter tweets Lewis was fined $20,000 for the hit.
During the game, Lewis’ play did not result in a penalty but the league believed the helmet-to-helmet hit was worthy of a fine. The play left Hines Ward “dazed” and the wide receiver did not play for the remainder of the game.
Korean star pitcher Yoon could be in MLB in 2012 Yahoo Sports
Right-hander Suk-Min Yoon, the 2011 MVP of the Korean Baseball Organization who starred in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, could play in the major leagues as soon as next season, his agent said Tuesday.
Scott Boras, whom Yoon and another WBC standout, left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, hired recently, said he would speak with Yoon in the near future about entering the posting system, in which major league teams bid to win exclusive negotiating rights with a player. If Yoon, 25, chooses against posting, he would be a free agent next season. Ryu, 24, can post before the 2013 season and would hit free agency in 2014.
Florida is the latest among a recent string of U.S. states that agreed to simplify what’s usually considered a complicated process for drivers.
Maryland was the first to ink a deal with Seoul a year ago, followed by Virginia, Washington, Massachusetts and Texas.
Under the new agreement, Korean drivers can acquire a U.S. license by presenting a valid Korean license with proper translation to the motor vehicle authority. The deal only applies to non-commercial motorists and some states require drivers to surrender their Korean license in exchange for a U.S. equivalent.
First Into Seoul? No Thanks
The Asian Lawyer via Law.com
As Korea has inched towards liberalization of its legal market over the past several years, there has been much speculation about which international law firms will be first into Seoul. Now, with the U.S. Congress ratifying a free trade agreement with Korea last month, the time for action is close at hand.
So the race is on, right? Not exactly.
Though a number of firms have been vocal about their desire to enter Korea at the earliest opportunity, many leading Korea practice lawyers privately express reservations about relocating to Seoul, citing everything from children’s school commitments to a preference for the warmer weather, lower taxes, and more expat-friendly environment of Hong Kong, where most international firms currently base their Korea practices.
New high-tech weapons and equipment may be needed to counter the threat of North Korea’s nuclear arms and missiles. But what’s in the arsenal already? Here is a review of 10 high-tech weapons made in South Korea.
South Korea’s education system is held up as a model around the world. Some 80% of its high-school students now go on to further education.
But according to South Korea’s president, that academic success is creating its own “social problem” – a youth unemployment rate of 6.7% in October, more than twice the national average, even as parts of the labour market are hungry for workers.
South Korea’s Exam Suicides
Al Jazeera via YouTube