South Korea Expects Missile Launch by North
New York Times
The South Korean government warned on Sunday that the North might launch a missile later this week, while a top military leader postponed a scheduled trip to Washington, citing escalating tensions on the peninsula.
The warning by Kim Jang-soo, director of national security for President Park Geun-hye, came three days after the South Korea’s defense minister said that the North had moved to its east coast a missile with a “considerable range” but not capable of reaching the mainland United States.
North Korea says it’s pulling workers out of joint industrial zone
North Korea said it would pull out all its workers and temporarily suspend operations at the industrial complex it jointly operates with the South, the latest sign of deteriorating relations on the Korean Peninsula.
The North said it would also consider permanently closing down the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a shared manufacturing zone that is the last major symbol of cooperation between the two countries.
N. Korea warns foreign diplomats of ‘grave inter-Korean situations’: Seoul official
Just two days after warning foreign diplomatic missions to leave Pyongyang, North Korea briefed foreign officials on the developments on the Korean Peninsula, but did not reiterate the warning to evacuate, a senior official at Seoul’s foreign ministry said Monday.
North Korea’s foreign ministry on Friday asked foreign embassy officials based in Pyongyang to leave, saying a war could break out soon and the safety of foreigners could not be guaranteed, but the call for withdrawal was not mentioned during Sunday’s meeting, according a foreign ministry official, requesting anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.
Some L.A. Koreans unfazed by North Korea’s threats
Whittier Daily News
Kyung Moon Hwang, a 45-year-old Claremont resident, has been following headlines about North Korea, but he doesn’t think the communist nation’s combative posturing will lead to war.
The USC history professor said North Korea’s saber rattling is cyclical and always happens around March when American and South Korean militaries have joint war games known as Key Resolve and Foal Eagle.
“It’s happened so many times in the past that it mitigates the alarm,” said Hwang, who studies socio-political authority and hierarchy in Korea. “It’s more internal politics than shifts in external policies, so I don’t attach too much significance to that.”
Venerating the Kims: Just one more religion?
WHAT is the tenth most widely followed religion in the world? According to www.adherents.com, a site which gathers data on faith from many sources, that honour goes to juche, the national ideology of North Korea, which is credited with 19m followers. As the site’s editors explain, “from a sociological viewpoint, it is clearly a religion”. Juche is more obviously religious in character than either Soviet communism or Maoism. Thomas J Belke, an American Protestant theologian who has writen a book about juche, agrees that it’s a religion. “It has a comprehensive belief system, holy places, distinctive customs…and it displaces other religions.”
It does not take a sociological genius to see that the cult of the North Korean state’s founder, Kim Il Sung, and of his son and successor Kim Jong Il, who ruled from 1994 to 2011, shares many features with established creeds. Images of the Kims, and their all-wise pronouncements, fill the sensory field of every North Korean, in a way that Christianity permeated daily life in medieval Europe or Byzantium. The founder is sometimes presented as a kind of god, and his successor as the “son of a god”—a formula that has echoes of Christian theology. If the latest member of the dynasty to take the helm, Kim Jong Un, has any legitimacy, it is as the grandson of one divine figure and son of another. The young scion is starting to accumulate laudatory titles of his own.
Koreatown DUI driver dies after police use Taser gun
ABC Los Angeles
An investigation is under way after a suspected drunk driver died Friday after he was Tasered by police in Koreatown Thursday.
The incident occurred near the intersection of 4th Street and Vermont Avenue. According to authorities, LAPD officers pulled up to the scene of the car wreck around 11:20 p.m. The driver, police say, appeared to be drunk and was combative.
“This individual was involved in a hit-and-run crime. There may be some intoxication involved, a lot of physical exertion and that is usually the case with Tasers,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said.
Chief Beck says a Taser was used in this case. But the man, whose name has not been released, started having health problems and was pronounced dead Friday around 1 a.m. at a local hospital.
Rockets’ Jeremy Lin says race was ‘barrier’ to interest from colleges
Jeremy Lin is 24, a global superstar, a full-time starter for the Rockets, and the recipient of a three-year contract worth more than $25 million last summer. That success on and off the court hasn’t made him forget what life was like when he was a high school senior in 2009, when he opted to play basketball for Harvard after receiving little interest from major college programs near his hometown of Palo Alto, Calif.
In a CBSSports.com preview of an upcoming interview on 60 Minutes, Lin points to his race as a factor in his lack of scholarship offers from major programs.
“I think the obvious thing, in my mind, is that I was Asian-American, which is a whole different issue,” he said. I think that was a barrier.”
Asked why race would be a barrier, as Asian-Americans are fully capable of playing basketball, Lin said: “I mean, it’s a stereotype.”
Korean’s Rise Leads to Victory in a Major: Inbee Park Wins Kraft Nabisco Championship
New York Times
After the 2008 United States Open, the major championships were supposed to flow like Champagne out of a bottle. But Inbee Park, like Tiger Woods, saw her major ambitions corked for nearly five years. The impediments, mostly mental, gave way Sunday when Park carded a three-under-par 69, for a 72-hole total of 15-under 273, to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club.
Now the spotlight shifts to Woods, who will try to secure his 15th major title, and his fifth green jacket, this week at the Masters.
Park, a winner in February in an L.P.G.A. event in Thailand, birdied the first two holes on her way to a four-stroke victory over her South Korean compatriot So Yeon Ryu, who said of Park’s performance, “She looks like she played another golf course.”
Michelle Wie’s new putting stance is a source of confusion
Michelle Wie has been many things in her up-and-down career, and polarizing is definitely at the top of that list.
She’s turning heads again this season with a strange new putting stance in which she bends her body in a 90 degree angle to get her head out over the ball. You can see the video above.
Wie is playing the Kraft Nabisco Championship this week (the first major of the year) and sat tied for 12th at 2 under.
A lot of people are questioning Wie’s tactics (Annika Sorenstam questioned her talent earlier in the week), as this is the first year for her to use the bent-over sideways putting style.
Shin-Soo Choo getting on base, setting Reds’ table
The Reds went out and traded for Shin-Soo Choo in an attempt to get a leadoff man who would get on base on a consistent basis. So far through six games, he’s done just that — by any means necessary. His .516 on-base percentage has been aided by getting hit by pitches four times in his first six games as a Red.
“I don’t think they’re trying to hit me. I don’t mind getting by hit by a pitch,” said Choo, who has reached safely in each of the team’s first six games so far this season. “I’ll take it. The second game (of the season, against the Angels), I scored after getting hit by a pitch. I had a lot of hit-by-pitch last year.”
Dodgers pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu buys downtown condo
Los Angeles Times
Hyun-jin Ryu, the Dodgers’ new starting pitcher from South Korea, has bought a unit at the Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. Live.
The two-bedroom, three-bathroom condominium has 2,082 square feet of living space. Features include 10-foot-high ceilings, expansive windows and views of the Hollywood Hills, the ocean and the downtown skyline. The sales price was not disclosed.
Park Ji-sung ‘Set to Lose Spot on QPR’
With the prospect of relegation for the Queens Park Rangers in the English Premier League looming large, there is speculation that Park Ji-sung will have to leave the club after this season.
The Daily Mirror in an article, headlined “QPR set to offload Park Ji-sung, Julio Cesar, Loic Remy and Chris Samba regardless of relegation,” said on Saturday, “Rangers owner Tony Fernandes needs to reduce costs by offloading overpaid misfits in the summer.” The paper added, “[Park] is set to become the first victim of QPR’s nightmare season.”
In Koreatown, the Lakers are the team holding court
Los Angeles Times
For years, the purple and gold claimed a steady fan base in the sprawling community, but this season the intensity has been amplified — with games now broadcast in Korean, a first in the NBA.
Check out our story on the Lakers commentators from the February 2013 issue:
February Issue: Korean Lakers Commentators Talk About Their Dream Job
A priest in Korea played matchmaker for this Lee’s Summit couple
Have you met Maija Rhee yet?” the priest asked 25-year-old Michael Devine for the third time. It was March 1970, and Michael was a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English at a Jesuit college in Seoul, South Korea.
The priests were extremely proud of Maija Rhee, 26. She had graduated from the college, gone to St. Louis for additional studies and returned to South Korea to teach. Michael finally phoned Maija, and they arranged to meet at a tearoom.
Maija: “I was shocked because he was 6 feet, 3 inches, and I’m 5 feet. But I really liked the stories he told. They all contained a natural humor, and that really appealed to me.”
Michael. “I thought she was cute. I enjoyed talking with her, and I was impressed with her zest for life and her wide range of interests.”
DFLA – f(x)’s newest member?! Anna Kendrick Behind the Scenes & Interview
MnetAmerica via YouTube
Retired golf legend Annika Sorenstam was critical of Michelle Wie, saying the once-promising golfer’s projected talent is simply “not there.”
In a recent interview with Golf Magazine, Sorenstam said Wie’s focus on competing against men so early in her career was far too premature. Indeed, after debuting as a 13-year-old phenom 10 years ago, Wie is now ranked 86th in the Rolex World Rankings, after missing 10 of 23 cuts in 2012, which she called “the worst year” of her career.
“What I see now is that the talent that we all thought would be there is not there,” Sorenstam said of the 23-year-old. “There was a time when the LPGA really needed her. I thought she had a lot to bring to the table. Now she’s one of many.” Continue Reading »
North Korea Moves Missile to Coast, but Limited Threat Seen
New York Times
South Korea’s defense chief said on Thursday that North Korea had moved to its east coast a missile with a “considerable” range, but that it was not capable of reaching the United States. The disclosure came as the Communist North’s military warned that it was ready to strike American military forces with “cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means.”
North Korea has been issuing a blistering series of similar threats in recent weeks, citing as targets the American military installations in the Pacific islands of Hawaii and Guam, as well as the United States mainland. In its latest threat on Thursday, it did not name targets but said it was authorized to “take powerful, practical military counteractions” against the threats from B-2 bombers from the United States, B-52 bombers from Guam and F-22 Stealth jet fighters from United States bases in Japan that have recently run missions over the Korean Peninsula during joint military exercises with South Korea.
As N. Korean threats intensify, first signs of jitters in the South
This bustling South Korean capital has been defined for decades as a place of traffic jams and luxury shopping malls, long days of work and longer nights of sipping rice liquor. Residents rarely behaved as though their routines could be upended in minutes by the Kim regime to the north and its 10,000 artillery pieces.
But after years of largely ignoring threats from North Korea, some residents say they are becoming a bit jittery, with the ascension of an unpredictable young leader in Pyongyang and levels of fury not seen since the early 1990s.
Calls in South Korea for Envoy to North
Wall Street Journal
As North Korea’s barrage of war-like threats shows no sign of easing, some South Korean policy makers are cautiously suggesting that their government move more actively to bring the tension to a peaceful end, with some calling for Seoul to send a representative to the North.
“As part of pre-emptive diplomacy, we should consider sending a special envoy to North Korea,” Chung Woo-taik, one of six members of the Supreme Council of the ruling New Frontier Party, said Thursday in an interview. “We need to deal with them sternly should there be any provocation, but at the same time, we need to open various channels including an envoy to find out what their true intentions are.”
Family a Priority for Immigration Reform Advocates
Immigration reform advocates are pushing Congress to be inclusive of immigrants’ families when drafting immigration reform.
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) kicked off a month-long photography contest Tuesday to highlight the role of family in immigrant communities. The contest “We Are America, America Is Home” seeks to create a visual narrative of all types of families who call the United States home.
Participants are encouraged to submit photos online by April 30, 2013. Photos will be shared with members of Congress and used to promote NAKASEC’s family campaign, according to NAKASEC staff.
‘The Walking Dead’ actor, K-College grad Steven Yeun talks strippers, basketball and Michigan on Conan O’Brien
Yeun now lives in Atlanta, Ga., where the NCAA college basketball Final Four will be held this weekend. The University of Michigan is one of four teams left in the tournament, which is broadcast by CBS and its sister stations, including TBS, home of Conan O’Brien’s show.
Yeun seems to have a natural chemistry with the talk show host. He appeared last year and poked fun at himself for his lack of facial hair. During his latest spot on the show, he donned something similar to a mustache.
Among the highlights of his stint on Conan O’Brien, Yeun cited the Clermont Lounge, a strip club, as one of his favorite places in Atlanta. He also talked about basketball. O’Brien asked if he was excited about the Wolverines. Yeun said yes but added, “Personally, I root for Michigan State with basketball.”
Psy’s “Gentleman” [music video] to star Yoo Jae Suk, Noh Hong Chul, HaHa, and Brown Eyed Girls’ Ga In?
Remember Psy‘s epic performance during ‘Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve‘ with Yoo Jae Suk, Noh Hong Chul, and HaHa? Well if you enjoyed the trio performing alongside Psy, you’ll be glad to hear that they’ll be featured in Psy’s “Gentleman” MV!
Yoo Jae Suk and Noh Hong Chul already made cameos in the video for “Gangnam Style“, but now HaHa will join them to add to the fun in the highly anticipated music video!
The trio have been confirmed by YG Entertainment themselves through a press release, so we can expect them for sure. In addition, it’s rumored that the female singer who will join Psy this time around is none other than Brown Eyed Girls‘ Ga In, who also has a solo comeback of her own coming up.
Tokimonsta Leaves the Nest
But [Jennifer] Lee’s career is proceeding apace. Half Shadows is her second full-length LP and first on dance-music label Ultra, whose roster includes David Guetta, Deadmau5 and Calvin Harris. These are, perhaps, strange bedfellows for an elite member of L.A.’s electronic underground; indeed, she initially rebuffed offers from the EDM mega-label. She eventually relented, however, when Ultra “convinced me that they cared.”
“Nothing is overbearing,” she says of the deal. “They’re not trying to put scantily clad girls all over my album.”
This major-label release brings Tokimonsta to audiences far beyond the Low End scene. At least, she hopes it does. “Everyone wants to go beyond the beat scene,” Lee says. “If they don’t say it publicly, they’re thinking it.”
Reds to keep Choo as permanent center fielder
As the Reds adjust to an outfield without injured left fielder Ryan Ludwick, there was no thought from manager Dusty Baker in moving Shin-Soo Choo over from center field.
Choo, who was acquired in an offseason trade from the Indians, was primarily a corner outfielder throughout his career. Ludwick’s replacement in left field, Chris Heisey, has extensive experience in center field.
Orange Fanatics: Chris Kang is the biggest SU fan living in South Korea
I may be a typical 30-year-old Korean man who works at a Korean corporate company in Seoul, but I promise I am the biggest Syracuse University supporter in Korea, maybe in whole Asia.
My father is a public administration professor here, and I first got to see SU basketball when I was in second grade of elementary school when my father took my family to Syracuse University as an exchange professor. We lived in Syracuse from late 1989 to 1992 and I attended the public elementary school in that area.
My father took me to the Carrier Dome for the first time in 1990, and I was just fascinated by what I witnessed. I was an 8-year-old who didn’t know much about basketball at that time, but after I saw Dave Johnson make a reverse dunk I was deeply tied with Orange basketball forever. I just fell in love with the style of the team and the atmosphere of the Dome at such a young age.
The Masters: John Huh talks about his first time
John Huh recently talked to me about his first trip to the Masters. Huh qualified by finishing in the top 30 of the 2012 PGA Tour money list (28th).
Kyle Porter: What are you most excited about in playing your first Masters?
John Huh: The thing I’m most excited about is … playing the Masters, you know? Playing one of the most historical golf tournaments and courses.
Porter: Have you played the course before?
Huh: No. I had a chance to go out there the week of the Arnold Palmer, but I didn’t.
Porter: Why did you choose not to go?
Huh: I was kind of burned out playing golf, so I was trying to take it slow.
Here’s the Cover of L.A. Son, Roy Choi’s Upcoming Book
Hot off the Eaterwire, here’s the cover for Los Angeles chef Roy Choi’s upcoming book, L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food. The book, which was co-written by Tien Nguyen and Natasha Phan with photos by Bobby Fisher, will be the second publication from Anthony Bourdain’s line of books for Ecco. (The first is Daniel Vaughn’s Prophets of Smoked Meat, out in May.)
South Korea Vows Military Reply if North Provokes It
New York Times
President Park Geun-hye of South Korea ordered the country’s military on Monday to deliver a strong and immediate response to any North Korean provocation, the latest turn in a war of words that has become a test of resolve for the relatively unproven leaders in both the North and South.
“I consider the current North Korean threats very serious,” Ms. Park told the South’s generals. “If the North attempts any provocation against our people and country, you must respond strongly at the first contact with them without any political consideration.
“As top commander of the military, I trust your judgment in the face of North Korea’s unexpected surprise provocation,” she added.
N.K. leader may attack to save face: U.S. lawmaker
With North Korea churning out military threats, a key concern is that its young leader Kim Jong-un may reach a point of no return in provocative steps, a U.S. congressman said Sunday.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY), former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said North Korea’s statements may not be an “empty threat.”
“Kim Jong-un is trying to establish himself. He’s trying to be the tough guy. He is 28, 29 years old, and he keeps going further and further out, and I don’t know if he can get himself back in,” he said in an interview with ABC News.
South Korean Media, Public Back U.S. Show of Force
Wall Street Journal
Recent announcements from the U.S. military of the deployment of advanced weaponry to South Korea as part of exercises have been designed to send a message to North Korea about the consequences of following through on its warnings of attack against the South and its allies.
Without question, Pyongyang has taken notice of the potential for a devastating counter-attack from the U.S. with its state-of-the-art nuclear-capable bombers and fighters. But with a young and largely unknown leader, it is far from clear whether displays of force will make North Korea less inclined to act rashly or spur it into lashing out.
North Korea Vows to Keep Nuclear Arms and Fix Economy
New York Times
North Korea’s leader on Sunday announced a “new strategic line” that defied warnings from Washington, saying that his country was determined to rebuild its economy in the face of international sanctions while simultaneously expanding its nuclear weapons arsenal, which the ruling party called “the nation’s life.”
Anniversary of Oikos shooting massacre in Oakland evokes painful memories
San Jose Mercury News (Calif.)
June Lee, executive director of the Korean Community Center of the East Bay, said the shooting and resulting trauma across the Korean-American community emphasized the need for more services.
“The community had no awareness of how to deal with it,” she said. “They find it really horrifying. In the Korean community if you have cancer, people will talk about it. But if you have mental illness, nobody wants to talk about it.”
Lee said the city and various nonprofits have expressed interest in grass-roots initiatives that would help tackle these issues, but so far nothing has been done.
Illegal alien pleads guilty to sex trafficking South Korean women
A South Korean man, who entered the U.S. on a temporary visa and then illegally remained in the United States, pleaded guilty to transporting female illegal aliens into the state of Mississippi for financial gain in connection with a sex trafficking organization, according to federal officials in a press statement released Friday.
The guilty plea follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs agents and officers from the Biloxi, Miss., Police Department.
According to court documents, Moonseop Kim posted an advertisement on the Internet offering Korean female escort services in September 2012. Undercover officers with the Biloxi police responded to the ad and conducted a sting operation which resulted in the arrest of the 54-year-old Kim and a Korean female.
St. Vincent Medical Center, Los Angeles
On Monday, officials at St. Vincent Medical Center announced that the facility has opened a 30-bed unit for Korean-American patients.
The unit is staffed by Korean-American nurses who speak fluent Korean. In addition, the unit features Korean cuisine, TV channels and signage throughout the facility.
According to hospital officials, the number of Korean-American patients seeking care at St. Vincent has grown significantly over the last 10 years.
Girls’ Generation’s ‘Gee’ breaks 100 mil. YouTube views
“Gee” by South Korean K-pop group, “Girls’ Generation” passed 100 million hits on YouTube Monday, according to the global online video website.
The video reached the milestone three years and 10 months after it was released on June 8, 2009, becoming the second video by a Korean singer or group to hit the record following rapper Psy’s “Gangnam Style.”
South Korean Shin-Soo Choo already impressing Reds fans
Choo is only the third Asian to play for the Reds (pitchers Jung Keun Bong and Sun-Woo Kim are the others), and is, by far, the best South Korean hitter ever to play in the major leagues (of the 13 South Koreans to play in MLB, 11 are/were pitchers).
His reputation as a nice guy – hard-working, unfailingly polite and yet confident enough in his English and himself to exchange wisecracks with his teammates – arrived in Reds camp before he did.
S. Korean golfer [KJ Choi] to enter Asia Pacific Golf Hall of Fame
South Korean PGA Tour veteran Choi Kyoung-ju will enter the Asia Pacific Golf Hall of Fame, his agency said on Monday.
In a press release, IMG Korea said Choi, 42, will enter the hall in a special induction ceremony in Jakarta, Indonesia in November, during the 2013 Asia Pacific Golf Summit.
Master chef Sang Yoon prepares pigs ear terrine
Los Angeles Times via YouTube
Heart of a Champion
K.J. Choi, Asia’s most successful male golfer, says his proudest accomplishment takes place outside the links.
story by STEVE HAN
photographs by MARK EDWARD HARRIS
Success on the green is old hat for South Korean golfer K.J. Choi. Since making his professional debut in 1994, Choi has won 18 tournaments worldwide. Eight of those wins were on the PGA Tour, which makes him Asia’s most winningest golfer of all time. Ironically, the award Choi was tapped for last month—his first-ever in the U.S.—has nothing to do with what he has accomplished on the golf course. In fact, Choi’s eligibility for this honor had everything to do with what he has done off the fairway.
The prestigious Charlie Bartlett Award, named after the first secretary of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), recognizes a professional golfer’s commitment to the betterment of society. Recent recipients include Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. Choi will be honored at the GWAA Annual Awards Dinner in Augusta, Ga., on April 10. Choi, 42, said receiving the Charlie Bartlett Award is one of his proudest accomplishments. Chatting with KoreAm Journal at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles prior to the Northern Trust Open in mid-February, Choi said he would take this award over any other accolade in golf.
“This is an award to K.J. Choi the person, not K.J. Choi the golfer,” Choi said in Korean. “That’s why it means more. It motivates me to always try to be a better person in life, not just on the course.” Continue Reading »