Monday’s Link Attack: SKorean Credit Card Breach; LPGA Pro Called Jenner’s ‘Mystery Woman’; Pyongyang Marathon Hosts Foreign Tourists
Author: Cassandra Kwok
Posted: April 14th, 2014
Filed Under: BLOG
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Hurst laughs off being called Jenner ‘mystery woman’
NBC Golf Channel

LPGA pro Vicky Hurst unwittingly became “the mystery woman” hugging Bruce Jenner when paparazzi captured them outside a Chipotle restaurant Friday in Malibu, Calif.

The story ran under this headline in the British Daily Mail’s online edition: “Bruce Jenner wears wedding band on right hand embracing mystery woman in Malibu.”

Jenner, the decathlon gold medalist in the ’76 Olympics, is married to Kris Jenner, previously Kris Kardashian, mother to the Kardashian siblings of reality TV fame. Celebrity news sites have been abuzz over the separation and now reports of a possible reconciliation of the couple.

Citigroup Says Client Data Leaked at Korean Consumer Credit Unit

Bloomberg

Citigroup Inc. (C:US) and Industrial Bank of Korea (024110) said client information was leaked from their South Korean leasing and consumer credit units, the latest instances of data breaches at financial firms in the country.

Authorities found 17,000 instances of leaks of information including names and phone numbers, Citigroup Korea Inc. said in an e-mailed reply to Bloomberg News questions today. The company was informed of the breaches by the prosecutors’ office in February, it said. The same number of leaks occurred at Industrial Bank of Korea’s IBK Capital Corp., company official Shin Dong Min said by phone from Seoul, declining to elaborate

N. Korea blasts reunification offer as ‘psychopath’s daydream’
Yahoo

North Korea on Saturday blasted South Korean President Park Geun-Hye’s proposal on laying the groundwork for reunification through economic exchanges and humanitarian aid as the “daydream of a psychopath”.

The blistering attack from the North’s powerful National Defence Commission (NDC) was the first official reaction from Pyongyang to a proposal Park made in a speech last month in Dresden in the former East Germany.

North Korea Marathon Opens Pyongyang Streets to Foreign Tourists

NBC News

Pyongyang was filled with runners from all over the world on Sunday for the annual marathon, open to foreign amateurs for the first time.

Nancy Q: Wie finds way to make odd putting stroke work
The Tennessean

The putting stroke is the one skill that can take on a totally different look from one player to the next. That has never been more evident then when watching the putting style of LPGA Tour player Michelle Wie.

Two years ago I witnessed Wie putting at the Navistar Classic. I was very surprised at how “bent over” she was in her setup. So was every other golf instructor and golf critic in the country! In an interview that week, I heard her say she was the one who decided on that putting style, not David Leadbetter, her teacher of many years.

Learning in reverse brought Kogi chef Roy Choi to the top
LA Times

All roads lead back to the Kogi truck.
“It’s like my ‘Sweet Caroline’ and I’m Neil Diamond,” Roy Choi said. “I’ll never be able to outlive Kogi. Kogi is a beast.”
The chef was attempting to articulate what spawning that marvel of Korean barbecued ribs enveloped in tortillas has meant to him in front of a crowd at the 19th-annual L.A. Times Festival of Books. The sprawling two-day event at USC features readings, screenings, musical performances and cooking demonstrations.

The kimchi revolution: How Korean-American chefs are changing food culture
Salon

In a recent interview with food writer Michael Ruhlman, celebrity travel/food writer Anthony Bourdain said that “when you look at all the people who are sort of driving American cuisine right now, they’re all Korean American.” By “all,” he mostly meant “both,” since his list boiled down to two: David Chang and Roy Choi.

Roy Choi is best known as the L.A. Korean taco truck guy, and David Chang is the founder of the Momofuku restaurant group as well as the cult food publication “Lucky Peach.” Bourdain probably intended to mention Edward Lee in this interview as well, insofar as he’d praised Lee’s cookbook, “Smoke and Pickles,” by calling him one of “America’s most important young chefs.”

World Bank’s Kim urges SA to cut red tape around investment
Business Day

WORLD Bank president Jim Yong Kim says countries such as India, South Africa and others in Africa with massive infrastructure programmes should limit red tape to make it easier for investors to bring in the billions of dollars such large projects require.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) spring meetings on Thursday.

The South African government plans to invest more than R800bn over the next three years on energy, road, rail, school and municipal infrastructure and has called on the private sector to participate. It has identified infrastructure development as one of the areas that can create jobs and provide skills for millions of unemployed people.

Out of the blue
Economist

FORAGING in South Korea’s mountains may soon become more fruitful. Since a wild ginseng digger reported the wreckage of a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on April 3rd, the South’s ministry of defence has been ruminating on rewards for anyone who spots an enemy drone. The report followed the discovery of two other similar aircraft: on March 24th in Paju, a border city; and on March 31st on Baengnyeong island, near the disputed Northern Limit Line which demarcates the two Koreas’ maritime border. North Korean inscriptions on the planes’ batteries; an ongoing military investigation into their engines, fuel tanks and weight; and the sequence of the photographs found stored in one of the plane’s cameras suggest the drones were sent from North Korea. For others, their sky-blue camouflage paintwork, identical to that on larger drones paraded in the capital Pyongyang two years ago, was a giveaway.

Friday’s Link Attack: Shari Song Enters State Senate Race; Samsung Galaxy S5 Hits Shelves; In-bee Park Awarded Player of the Year
Author: Cassandra Kwok
Posted: April 11th, 2014
Filed Under: BLOG
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Shari Song to run for key state Senate seat
Seattle Times

Democrats have finally recruited a candidate for the key state Senate race in South King County’s 30th district — Shari Song, a real-estate agent who last year unsuccessfully challenged Metropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn.

Song, however, will have to combat carpetbagging charges as she is moving from Bellevue to Federal Way just in time for the race.

In a Thursday news release, Song stressed her ties to the district, noting that she previously lived there for years, founded the Federal Way Mission Church Preschool and served on the Federal Way Diversity Commission. She said she was moving back to be closer to husband’s elderly parents.

Korean-Born Woman Back in French Cabinet
Chosun Ilbo

Fleur Pellerin has been appointed to France’s top foreign trade post after the Korean-born woman stepped down as deputy minister for small business and digital economy.

Pellerin (41) was named state secretary for foreign trade, tourism on Wednesday in the roster of new ministers after a cabinet reshuffle last week.

Assemblyman Ron Kim slams Tiger Mom author Amy Chua for sending the wrong message
Daily News

Call him the Tiger Mom slayer.

Assemblyman Ron Kim, the first Korean-American elected to the state Legislature, slammed “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” author Amy Chua on Thursday, saying her latest tome about cultural distinctions “sends the wrong message.”

Just two days before the Flushing assemblyman is slated to speak at a conference for Asian-American students at SUNY Albany, Kim took a shot at the controversial author’s new book, “The Triple Package,” which hit bookshelves January.

Apple and Samsung trial judge orders court to turn phones off
Irish Independent

US District Judge Lucy Koh has become increasingly frustrated during the first few days of the trial of Apple versus Samsung as the many personal Wi-Fi signals interfere with a network the judge relies on for a real-time transcript of the proceedings.

The phones also ring, vibrate and can be used to take photos; a serious violation of court rules.

Park In-bee Collects Female Player of Year Award at Augusta
Chosun Ilbo

World No. 1 Park In-bee was officially named Female Player of the Year at the annual Golf Writers Association of America awards at Augusta, Georgia on Wednesday. She collected the gong one day before the Masters, the first major of the U.S. PGA season, got under way at Augusta National Golf Club in the city.

Park claimed six titles on the LPGA Tour last year, including a historic run that saw her win the first three majors of the season. This helped her garner an overwhelming majority of 91 percent when the association held its ballot in January to determine who should receive the award for 2013.

90% of Foreigners Would Date a Korean
Chosun Ilbo

Some 90 percent of foreigners would be happy to date a Korean, a straw poll by a dating site suggests.

Korea’s largest matchmaking company Duo and social media side Korspot in a survey asked 1,147 people in North America, Southeast Asia and Europe whether they would to date a Korean — 505 men and 642 women — and 90 percent said yes.

Can Samsung’s Galaxy S5 take on the next iPhone?
CNBC

Galaxy S5 boasts a variety of new features, but does it have what it takes to prevent users from jumping back on the Apple bandwagon when the next generation iPhone with a potentially larger-screen is launched?

The new flagship Android smartphone is being rolled out worldwide on Friday amid an increasingly tough environment for smartphone makers as the industry moves toward commoditization.

The phone’s stand-out features are its ability to survive when submerged in water, or to act as a heart-rate monitor for personal-fitness tracking. There is also a fingerprint scanner for biometric screen locking – a feature introduced by Apple in its iPhone 5S last year.

Holt under inspection after adoptee’s death
Korea Times

Holt Children’s Service being inspected for its practice of sending adoptees in and outside of Korea, after a 3-year-old sent to the U.S. through the agency was allegedly beaten to death by his adoptive father.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare said Wednesday that it has been inspecting the adoption agency since Monday over its adoption procedures, and the commission fees it receives from foster parents for adoption.

Holt authorities said that inspectors were looking into its financial statements.

Survey shows the effects of smartphone addiction
Korea Joong Ang Daily

One out of every five students residing in Seoul is addicted to smartphones, the city government announced on Tuesday, a trend it claims has contributed to a rash of societal problems, such as cyberbullying.
The figure is part of the results of a survey of 4,998 students in the fourth through 11th grades across 75 schools in Seoul who were evaluated over two weeks last November on a diagnostic scale developed by the National Information Society Agency.

Yuna Kim to perform to ‘Frozen’ soundtrack in farewell ice shows
NBC Sports

Yuna Kim‘s program for her farewell ice shows next month will include music from the Disney animated film “Frozen,” according to Arirang News.

The 2010 Olympic champion and 2014 silver medalist will open her shows May 4-6 in Seoul by performing to the song “Let it Go” from the film. She will skate to other song medleys from “Frozen,” too, according to the report. Kim’s closing performance will be to Francesco Sartori‘s “Time to Say Goodbye.”

Tuesday’s Link Attack: Korean Reunions End; SKorea Forms Reunification Committee; Michelle Wie Feels Refreshed
Author: Cassandra Kwok
Posted: February 25th, 2014
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Separated Koreans part again in tears with no hope of reunion
Yonhap News

Hundreds of South Korean and North Koreans burst into tears as they bade farewell, perhaps for good, to each other on Tuesday at a North Korean mountain resort after their first reunions since the 1950-53 Korean War.

Some of them sang doleful Korean folk songs as their long-lost relatives from North Korea were told to take buses at the end of their final reunions that lasted only about 50 minutes at Mount Kumgang, a scenic resort on the North’s east coast.

“Brother, brother, how can I live without you?” Park Jong-soon, a 68-year-old South Korean, wailed as she grabbed her 88-year-old North Korean brother’s hand sticking out of a bus window.

As tearful Korean reunions end, more seen unlikely
Washington Post

The 88-year-old North Korean man stretched his arms out the bus window to grasp the hands of his South Korean sister one final time before the end of rare reunions Tuesday between hundreds of family members separated for decades by war and politics.

“Brother, brother, my brother! How can I live without you?” the sister, Park Jong-soon, cried out from the parking lot at the North’s scenic Diamond Mountain resort, according to South Korean media pool reports.

Wiping away tears, Pak Jong Song shouted back: “Stay healthy! We’ll see each other again if we’re healthy.”

South Korea Committee to Prepare for Reunification with North
Voice of America

South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye, has announced a committee to prepare for reunification with North Korea. President Park said unifying with the north would be an economic bonanza, but analysts say the south would face a heavy financial and legal burden.

President Park announced the plans to create a blue print for reuniting South Korea with the North on Tuesday.

In a televised speech marking her first year in office, Park said she would form a preparatory committee directly under the presidential office. She said the committee will expand dialogue and private exchanges with Pyongyang.

N. Korean patrol ship violates sea border amid family reunions
Yonhap News

A North Korean patrol ship violated the tensely guarded western maritime border several times Monday night, but it retreated after repeated South Korean military warnings, Seoul’s defense ministry said Tuesday.

The North Korean vessel crossed the Northern Limit Line (NLL), a de facto maritime border, at around 10:46 p.m. Monday, and sailed to a location about 23.4 kilometers west of South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow Sea.

The ship returned to its territory at around 2:25 a.m. Tuesday after the South Korean military broadcast warnings 10 times, the defense ministry’s spokesman said.

“The North Korean ship’s NLL violation is seen as part of military drills or an inspection of (the South Korean military),” Kim Min-seok said in a briefing. “It is believed that (the North Korean vessel) intended to test the South Korean military.”

Jang Song-taek ‘Killed for Sleazy Past’
Chosun Ilbo

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s uncle was executed chiefly for his role overseeing a thinly disguised prostitution ring for the nomenklatura, the Kim family’s former sushi chef claims.

Kenji Fujimoto claimed Jang Song-taek was eliminated because of his role supplying young women for a “pleasure brigade” for former leader Kim Jong-il, because his son detested his father’s womanizing.

Fujimoto told the U.K.’s Daily Mail on Saturday that when Kim Jong-un returned to North Korea aged 18 from study abroad, he “found himself exposed to his father’s ‘pleasure brigade,’” which are groups of beautiful young women who sing, strip and perform massages or sexual favors.

North Korea Cloaked in Darkness
Wall Street Journal

One of the most stunning—and revealing—photos ever taken of North Korea was a 2002 satellite image of the peninsula at night, shown by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a Pentagon briefing.

The photo showed the lights of South Korean conurbations, and even large clusters of fishing boats, in stark contrast to an almost entirely black North Korea. Other than a small spot of light in the showcase capital Pyongyang and the outline of the country, North Korea wouldn’t have been visible at all.

“South Korea is filled with lights and energy and vitality and a booming economy; North Korea is dark. It is a tragedy what’s being done in that country,” Mr. Rumsfeld said.

Foreigners with Korean ancestry on rise in S. Korea
Yonhap News via GlobalPost

The number of foreigners in South Korea with Korean ethnic background surpassed the 200,000 mark for the first time last year, thanks in part to increased inflow of ethnic Koreans from China, data showed Monday.

According to the data by the Ministry of Justice, there were 233,269 foreign nationals with Korean ancestry residing in the country in 2013, a 24.3 percent jump from a year earlier.

The figure accounted for 14.8 percent of the total number of foreigners living in South Korea, the data showed.

South Korea’s ‘Running Man’ in Australia
SBS Australia

Cast and crew of popular South Korean variety show Running Man have touched down in Australia to film a Down Under special.

The program, in which contestants are pitted against each other in a race against time to solve a series of physical challenges and puzzles in landmarks and cities, has a strong following in its native South Korea, and has been translated into English, Spanish and Arabic.

The variety show has previously visited countries such as Thailand, Macao and Vietnam but the upcoming Australia special will be the first episode of Running Man that takes place in a country outside of Asia.

S. Korean athletes return home from Sochi
Yonhap News via GlobalPost

South Korean athletes returned home Tuesday after two weeks of thrilling competition at the winter games in the Russian city of Sochi.

South Korea had its largest-ever Winter Olympics delegation, with 71 athletes competing in every sport except hockey.

It ended in 13th place, with three gold medals — one by speed skater Lee Sang-hwa and two by short tracker Park Seung-hi — along with three silver and two bronze medals, coming up just short of its stated goal of winning four gold for a top-10 finish in the medals.

Figure Skating at the Olympics: Justice served
The Economist

THERE’S something about figure skating that makes it a magnet for scandal. Fans of other pastimes can try to get themselves worked up over performance-enhancing drugs, illicit payments to amateurs or team tax fraud. But when it comes to shock value, nothing can compete with the Nancy Kerrigan-Tonya Harding imbroglio or the vote-trading ring at the 2002 Olympics. Judging by commentators’ hyperbolic reaction to the sport’s outrage du jour, Adelina Sotnikova’s victory over Yuna Kim on February 20th at the Winter Olympics, audiences could be forgiven for believing that the upset was a travesty of justice on a par with skating’s worst offences. But what the criticism really demonstrates is that in a discipline whose scoring is inescapably subjective, the media’s appetite for controversy will always trump their obligation to help the public understand what’s really going on in an event that only attracts mass attention once every four years.

Wie’s swing coach says ex-phenom refreshed after winter break
CBS Sports

When do I get the 30 for 30 on Michelle Wie’s career? Do I have to wait until she’s done playing or can we start rolling tape on that thing right away?

Wie finished tied for fourth at the Honda LPGA Thailand tournament on Sunday, after swing coach David Leadbetter said he thinks she’s enjoying golf more than she has in a while.

“I think she fell out of love with the game to an extent,” said Leadbetter. He told Wie to take five weeks over the winter.

“I think it’s the first time since she was 5 years old that she has gone that long without touching a golf club,” Leadbetter said. “We had a little boot camp before the start of this year, and you could see she was really refreshed, really ready to go.”

Kakao to offer money transfers
Korea Times

Kakao, the operator of the country’s most popular messaging application KakaoTalk, will run a test of a money transfer service next month in cooperation with banks, the company’s chief executive said Monday.

“We have been working with banks over the past 12 months to start financial services for KakaoTalk. We are now fine-tuning the details of the business partnership,” co-CEO Lee Sir-goo told The Korea Times Monday (KST) on the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

Kakao will partner with 16 commercial banks to allow its users to send and receive small amounts of money through the messaging app. For example, they will be able to transfer money gifts for weddings or condolence money for funerals, Lee said.

Monday’s Link Attack: Japan Lobbies Against ‘East Sea’; SKoreans Ranked Biggest Drinkers; ‘Frozen’ Tops Korean Box Office
Author: Cassandra Kwok
Posted: February 3rd, 2014
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Koreas Plan Family Reunion Talks
Wall Street Journal

The two Koreas on Monday appeared to move closer to resuming reunions of families separated by the Korean War after North Korea agreed to hold preparatory talks at the border this week.

Breaking its weeklong silence on the South’s proposal that the reunions be held from Feb. 17 to 22, Pyongyang suggested a meeting on the northern side of the Panmunjom border village on Wednesday or Thursday

The South notified the North that it preferred Wednesday, Seoul’s unification ministry said. North Korea later agreed.

“Given the urgency of the family-reunion issue, the government will prepare for the reunions to resume as soon as possible,” ministry spokesman Kim Eui-do told a regular briefing.

French cartoon festival highlights sex slavery victims
Korea Times

A special exhibition about Korean women forced into sexual slavery during World War II attracted nearly 17,000 visitors during the four-day Angouleme International Comics Festival in France.

On Sunday, Minister of Gender Equality and Family Cho Yoon-sun welcomed the event for helping raise international awareness of the tragedy of wartime victims.

“The power of art is enormous. I feel vindicated that the wartime sex slavery issue has become a universal wartime human rights issue through the art of comics at this festival,” Cho was quoted by the ministry as saying.

The minister promised that she would continue to try and raise the issue at the international level through diverse forms of art.

Inside North Korea’s Western-funded university
BBC News

In the heart of North Korea’s dictatorship, a university – largely paid for by the West – is attempting to open the minds of the state’s future elite. The BBC’s Panorama has been granted unique access.

Entering the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, it is immediately clear this is no ordinary academic institution.

A military guard salutes us as our vehicle passes through the security checkpoint. Once inside the campus we hear the sound of marching and singing, not more guards but the students themselves.

They are the sons of some of the most powerful men in North Korea, including senior military figures.

Wary NKorea struggles to stay afloat in info age
Boston.com

It’s late afternoon at the e-library in North Korea’s Kim Il Sung University, where row after row of smartly dressed students sit quietly, their faces bathed in the glow of computer displays as they surf the Internet. On the surface, it’s a familiar-seeming scene, which is exactly why officials are offering it up for a look.

North Korea is literally off the charts regarding Internet freedoms. There essentially aren’t any. But the country is increasingly online. Though it deliberately and meticulously keeps its people isolated and in the dark about the outside world, it knows it must enter the information age to survive in the global economy.

As with so many other aspects of its internal workings, North Korea has tried hard to keep its relationship to the Internet hidden from foreign eyes. But it opened that door just a crack recently for The Associated Press to reveal a self-contained, tightly controlled Intranet called Kwangmyong, or ‘‘Bright.’’

Document shows Japan’s aggressive lobbying against East Sea name
Yonhap News

The Japanese Embassy in Washington signed a US$75,000 contract recently with a major U.S. public affairs firm in a bid to kill a legislation on the use of the “East Sea” name, according to a related document.

Yonhap News Agency on Sunday obtained the four-page contract signed in mid-December between the embassy and McGuireWoods Consulting LLC (MWC). It details the company’s strategy to block a legislative move in the U.S. state of Virginia on identifying the body of waters between Korea and Japan.

The legislation would require local school textbooks to name it the East Sea as well as the Sea of Japan.

MWC is developing “white papers and talking points on why the ‘East Sea’ proposal is bad public policy,” reads the document from the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) database of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Chun Doo-hwan’s Son Owns Prime Real Estate in U.S.
Chosun Ilbo

Disgraced ex-president Chun Doo-hwan’s son Jae-yong and his wife, actress Park Sang-ah, own a US$2.4-million home in Orange County, California, giving the lie to his claim that he is broke.

The property was discovered by journalist Ahn Chi-yong, who analyzed real estate registration documents and other materials for the Chosun Ilbo’s premium website on Sunday.

Prosecutors last month revised an arraignment of disgraced Chun Jae-yong and his uncle Lee Chang-seok, reducing the amount of taxes they allegedly evaded from W6 billion to W2.7 billion (US$1=W1,073). Prosecutors accepted Chun’s claim that he did not manipulate a real estate contract for the sale of a plot in Osan, south of Seoul to dodge W6 billion in taxes.

South Koreans drink twice as much liquor as Russians and more than four times as much as Americans
Quartz

The biggest hard alcohol drinkers on the globe aren’t cuddled up somewhere in sub-zero Siberia; they’re sipping on Soju, in South Korea.

South Koreans drink 13.7 shots of liquor per week on average, which is the most in the world. And of 44 other countries analyzed by Euromonitor, none comes anywhere close. The Russians, the second biggest in Euromonitor’s sample, down 6.3 shots per week; Filipinos drink roughly 5.4 shots per week; and Americans consume only 3.3.

South Korea’s unparalleled liquor consumption is almost entirely due to the country’s love for a certain fermented rice spirit called Soju. The South Korean liquor accounts for 97% of the country’s spirits market.

S. Korea Crackdown on Underground Economy Stokes Angst: Economy
Bloomberg

South Korean (KOGDPQOQ) bar owner Jeong Young Soo doused his body with paint thinner and set himself aflame, his final protest against a government crackdown to collect more tax from his industry.

The shock in front of Chuncheon city hall, northeast of Seoul, highlighted an underlying tension as President Park Geun Hye tries to squeeze an extra 27.2 trillion won ($25 billion) in revenue from the undocumented economy.

Extra pressure on groups from bar owners to doctors to mom-and-pop retailers contrasts with Park’s 2012 election-campaign focus on reducing the scope of industrial groups, known as chaebol, to create space for small- and medium-sized businesses. The clampdown may have the opposite effect, said Jean Lim, a Seoul-based economist at Korea Institute of Finance, a non-profit research center.

‘Frozen’ Sets South Korean Box-Office Record for Animated Film
Hollywood Reporter

Frozen has became the highest-grossing animated feature ever in South Korea over the weekend, while also selling the most tickets during the country’s long Lunar New Year break from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2. According to the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), the Disney film has grossed $44.17 million (47.7 billion won) in South Korea, passing prior record holder Kung Fu Panda 2, which pulled in $41 million (44.3 billion won) in 2011.

Frozen, about two estranged sister princesses trying to break a wintry spell that freezes their kingdom, has so far drawn more than 6 million admissions in South Korea as of Monday. It reached the box-office milestone in just 18 days, after taking only 17 days since opening on Jan. 16 to reach 5 million admissions. The film is expected to easily break 7 million admissions in the days ahead.

South Korea’s film offices often use admissions as their primary measure.

The Frozen soundtrack is also reportedly selling well, according to local music charts.

Expectations high for Korea’s Olympians
Korea Times

Figure skater Kim Yu-na and short-rack skater Shim Suk-hee are expected to lead South Korea to a respectable medal count behind traditional powerhouses at the Sochi Winter Olympics, according to recent projections.

In its preview of the Games, the Associated Press (AP) predicted Korea would win six gold, two silver and three bronze medals. That would put Korea in seventh place overall according to gold medal count.

Meanwhile, Sport Illustrated magazine predicted Korea would capture five gold, five silver and three bronze medals, finishing eighth in gold medals.

Both had Kim defending her gold medal in women’s figure staking over opponents such as Mao Asada of Japan and Julia Lipnitskaia of Russia.

James Hahn ready to make his move at Pebble Beach
San Francisco Chronicle

One year later, James Hahn still hears more about his dance moves than his golf skills.

Hahn stitched together a strong West Coast swing in 2013 – tie for fourth in Palm Springs, tie for 16th in Scottsdale, tie for third at Pebble Beach. Even so, most fans remember him for his animated, Gangnam-style dance off the No. 16 green at TPC Scottsdale (the party hole), after he rolled home a 20-foot birdie putt in the final round.

In nearly every tournament since then, spectators have asked Hahn to dance again. Even after a routine par on the first hole? Uh, no, he’s not really in the mood.

Pot Bar Now Opens Wednesday, Here’s What to Drink
Eater (U.S.A)

The Line Hotel, a revamp of what was formerly known as The Wilshire Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard at Normandie in Koreatown, has a cool new minimalist look and a top shelf set of food and drink operators poised to make waves. While the hotel has been up and running for guests since early January, the property’s food and drink components are still in the works, but come Wednesday (yes, slight delay) The Line’s lobby bar, Pot Bar, part of Roy Choi’s Pot restaurant, will soft roll. Choi, who earned a name for his prized mashup of Korean and Mexican flavors at Kogi, has teamed up with eat-your-drink chef Matthew Biancaniello, a barman applauded for his own crazy mashup cocktails that sometimes involve uni and white truffles.

Tuesday’s Link Attack: Choco Pies on Black Market in NKorea; Adoptee’s Search for Birth Mother Stalls; Kim Yuna’s Good Draw
Author: Cassandra Kwok
Posted: January 28th, 2014
Filed Under: BLOG
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How Choco Pie infiltrated North Korea’s sweet tooth
CNN

The first time the South Korean factory owner watched his North Korean employees nibble on a Choco Pie, they appeared shocked — even overwhelmed.

He summed up their reaction to the South Korean snack in one word: “Ecstasy.”

Much like what Twinkies are to Americans, South Korea’s Choco Pies — two disc-shaped, chocolate-covered cakes, sandwiching a rubbery layer of marshmallow cream — are ubiquitous, cost less than 50 cents and are full of empty calories.

S. Korea holds live-fire drill despite North’s warning
Yonhap News

South Korea on Tuesday carried out a live-fire drill on its northwestern islands despite North Korea’s warning of “grave consequences,” but the closely-watched exercise ended without clashes with the communist state.

South Korea has carried out live-fire exercises on the frontline islands every two or three months to improve Marine Corps’ readiness. The drills have often been met by protest from Pyongyang.

Ahead of Tuesday’s exercise, the North’s National Defense Commission sent a fax through the western military hotline to National Security Office chief Kim Jang-soo urging President Park Geun-hye to cancel it, defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said.

Korea slams Japan over Dokdo
Korea Times

South Korea Tuesday denounced Japan for Claiming Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo in its newly revised teaching manuals for Middle and high schools.

The denouncement follows the Japanese Education ministry’s Disclosure of new manuals stating that Dokdo is Japanese Territory, rejecting Seoul’s earlier Call to withdraw the Claim.

“Japan Will Face the consequences,” said Cho Tai-Young, a Spokesman at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Decision to keep U of I Urbana-Champaign campus open leads to twitter firestorm
Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Ill.)

No disciplinary action is planned against the students who sent racist, sexist and threatening tweets targeting University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise who declined to offer a day off due to the weather on Monday.

The tweets were sent after an email was delivered to all students in the Urbana-Champaign campus Sunday that advised them to bundle up and be careful Monday because of the extreme cold, said University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign spokeswoman Robin Kaler.

Kaler said they notified university police, who determined there was no “threat.” The university is not planning any disciplinary action, characterizing it as “a free speech issue.’’

Sacramento-area woman’s quest for Korean birth mother stalls
Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)

Fawn Press-Dawson’s quest to find her birth mother has stalled after two weeks in South Korea.

The 21-year-old from Gold River – whose well-chronicled search has drawn international attention – flew to Seoul with her adoptive mom, Andee Press-Dawson, on Jan. 10, armed with her adoption papers, her birth mother’s name and the knowledge that only a tiny number of Korean adoptees actually find their biological parents.

Last Thursday, Andee came home while Fawn moved into a guest house for Korean adoptees searching for their roots operated by South Korea’s Eastern Social Welfare Society.

Lawsuit filed in collapse of Rittenhouse fire escape
ABC Local

A civil lawsuit has been filed against the owner and landlord of a Center City apartment building where a fire escape collapsed, killing one man and seriously injuring two women.

The suit was filed on Monday on behalf of the families of 22-year-old Albert Suh and 24-year-old Laura O’Brien.

It was just before midnight on January 12th when Suh, O’Brien, and a thirdperson, identified as Nancy Chen, were standing on the fire escape outside their fourth floor apartment, located at 229 South 22nd Street in the city’s Rittenhouse section.

The roommates were throwing a party, and had allegedly stepped out onto the fire escape when the collapse occurred, sending all three plummeting 40 feet to the ground below.

Vienna man sentenced in largest-ever bid-rigging scheme
Fairfax News

Oh Sung Kwon, 48, a Northern Virginia businessman, was sentenced yesterday to 46 months in prison on federal charges stemming from a bribery scheme in which he paid thousands of dollars to an Army official in return for government contracts, as well as a separate scheme involving fraudulent real estate sales and refinances.

Kwon, also known as Thomas Kwon, of Vienna, pled guilty in September 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count each of bribery, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and willful failure to file a tax return. He was sentenced by the Hon. Emmet G. Sullivan. Judge Sullivan also ordered Kwon to pay $1,188,500 in restitution and the same amount in a forfeiture money judgment. Upon completion of his prison term, Kwon will be placed on three years of supervised release.

Kwon was the co-founder and chief executive officer of Avenciatech Inc., a government contractor based in Annandale. He is among 17 people and one corporation that pled guilty to federal charges for their roles in the largest domestic bribery and bid-rigging scheme in the history of federal contracting. The investigation is continuing.

Internet Cafes Get a Makeover
Wall Street Journal

In South Korea, Internet cafes, known as PC Bangs, have long been places of refuge for hardcore video gamers battling it out in games like League of Legends.

But some now feel they’re under attack from a push to make PC Bangs more hygienic, including a complete smoking ban from this year. The core clientele of PC Bangs have long been predominantly male, many of whom enjoy a good smoke while gaming.

Some in the industry are scrambling to find ways to attract new clients by giving PC Bang interiors drastic makeovers and looking for alternative sources of revenue, such as by turning into hybrid restaurants. The changes aren’t being welcomed by regulars of these cafes.

The Bachelor’ week 4 recap: Juan Pablo takes ladies to South Korea
Cleveland.com

The fourth episode of this season’s “The Bachelor” saw Juan Pablo take the ladies outside of the country for the first time. JuanPabs and the ladies flew to Seoul, South Korea. There was a one-on-one date and two group dates.

Lots of kissing, flesh-eating fish, tears, a Korean pop group, eating octopus and, yes, more cattiness. Monday night’s episode had it all. When the episode finished, two more ladies were sent home and the plan to travel to Vietnam was revealed as the remaining ladies sipped champagne.

The group arrived in South Korea for a few days. Juan Pablo can’t even speak English all that well and now, going to Korea, he was forced to try his hand at another language.

The first date card arrived and read, “Pop!”

Korean SNL to meet original SNL
Korea Times

Hosts of the Korean version of Saturday Night Live (SNL) will fly to New York City this week to watch the live taping of an episode of the original SNL.

A spokesman for tvN, a cable channel that produces SNL Korea, said on Monday top comedian Shin Dong-yup and Yoo Se-yoon will depart for NYC on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, at the invitation of NBC, a major American broadcaster that created the widely beloved late-night live television sketch comedy show in 1975.

“The two will visit the live studio for SNL and meet with its directors,” tvN said in a statement. “They will discuss a variety of production issues with the directors. They also plan to participate in events promoting Korean culture.”

Kim Yu-na gets favorable draw
Korea Times

Figure-skating megastar Kim Yu-na is about as sure-fire a gold-medal candidate as there is among the athletes booked for the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Now, observers think her odds improved even further after she was placed in the fourth group of skaters competing in the women’s individual competition that begins on Feb. 20.

In the Olympics, athletes in figure-skating appear in reverse order of the world rankings.

While Kim, the reigning Olympic champion, is clearly the woman to beat at Sochi, her world ranking slipped to No. 15 as she missed several scheduled appearances during the 2013-14 season after suffering a foot injury in September.

On a sled and a prayer, Korea’s ‘Miracles on Asphalt’
Reuters

For South Korea’s “Miracles on Asphalt” bobsleigh team, having ice on the track is a big problem.

Chilled to the bone by the biting cold of the Taebaek Mountain range, officials from the Korea Bobsleigh Skeleton Federation use shovels and mops to smash and sweep ice from the ‘push track’, which simulates the action at the start of a run.

The Alpensia Ski Resort in Pyeongchang, which is to host the 2018 Winter Games, has no proper ice track and athletes have to push their sleds on rails to practice the all-important start.

Despite the inadequate facilities, South Korea will compete in the skeleton at the February 7-23 Sochi Games, as well as sending two teams in both the men’s two- and four-man bobsleigh events and a two-woman bobsleigh team.

Lydia Ko’s profile expected to soar in the USA
Stuff (New Zealand)

Lydia Ko is already a huge name in golf, but one of the world’s leading golf writers predicts she could follow the likes of Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie and have an appeal that transcends the sport.

Two months after turning professional, 16-year-old Ko is the talk of the US golf scene as she heads to Christchurch to defend her New Zealand Women’s Open title at Clearwater, starting on Friday.

The start of her rookie season at the Bahamas Classic this week when she finished seventh equal made headlines as did her switch from Kiwi coach of 11 years Guy Wilson to David Leadbetter, the self-proclaimed “world’s leading golf instructor”.

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