Wednesday’s Link Attack: Park on Korean Reunification; McDonald’s Dispute Aftermath; Park Ji-Sung World Cup Return Doubtful
Author: Young Rae Kim
Posted: January 22nd, 2014
Filed Under: BLOG
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Jackpot or Crackpot? Park on Korean Reunification
Wall Street Journal

The demure Park Geun-hye rarely startles. Yet South Korea’s president did just that on Jan. 6. In her first press conference after almost a year as president, Ms. Park raised eyebrows by calling Korean unification a “jackpot”. The usual fear of vast costs has it wrong, she argued. Rather, this will be “a chance for the economy to make a huge leap.”

She didn’t elaborate, but cited Jim Rogers in support. The US.. investment guru reiterated his own bullishness on a joint Korean future on Jan. 14: “… South Korea’s capital and technical skills, and North Korea’s labor and natural resources, [can] make Korea grow exponentially.”

Ms. Park’s jackpot talk gained her rare praise from the South Korean liberal opposition. Democratic Party leader Kim Han-gil said he was “glad [she] helped break the common misconception that reunification is a cost.” But Mr. Kim added a crucial condition: “Only a gradual and peaceful reunification is a blessing. Reunification by absorption [after] a sudden change in North Korea could be a catastrophe.” Or to be more technical, reunification will be path-dependent.

Are U.S. troops in South Korea still necessary?
Al Jazeera America

After meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Jan. 7 that the United States would send an additional 800 troops to join the nearly 30,000 American service members already stationed in South Korea.

“We remain fully committed to the defense of the Republic of Korea,” Kerry explained, “including through extended deterrence and putting the full range of U.S. military capabilities in place.”

A day earlier, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel discussed with Yun “the importance of maintaining a robust combined defense of the Korean Peninsula as a strong deterrent against provocations from North Korea.”

Prosecutor indicted for peddling influence to help actress
Yonhap News

An incumbent prosecutor was indicted Wednesday on charges of abusing his influence to help a female celebrity, prosecution officials said.

The 37-year-old prosecutor, only identified by his surname Jeon, is under suspicion of helping TV personality Lee Yoon-ji, better known by her stage name Amy, settle disputes with a plastic surgeon in 2012. An inspection division of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office (SPO) said it has brought charges against Jeon for violating the attorneys-at-law act.

Jeon first met Lee when he was prosecuting her case involving a psychotropic drug propofol abuse in 2011, the SPO said. Lee was charged for drug abuse and served two months in prison before being released on parole. After her release, Lee allegedly complained about the side effects of a cosmetic surgery she underwent, prompting Jeon to blackmail the doctor to let Lee undergo another operation free of charge, it said.

Jeon also allegedly collected 22.5 million won (US$21,000) in compensation from the clinic on her behalf, which he gave to the 32-year-old TV personality, SPO officials said.

US state universities recruit Korean students
Korea Times

The State University of New York (SUNY) and California State University held a briefing about their admissions policies as they relate to the recruitment of Korean students at the COEX in southern Seoul on Saturday and Sunday.

The session was organized by the Korus Education Institute which provides the Education Abroad program in partnership with American universities. About 200 students and parents attended the event.

The two U.S. state universities are in the process of attracting some 100 Korean students under the Education Abroad program. The deadline for applications is Jan. 23. Students applying to the program can prove their English abilities by taking the Proficiency of English for Academic Purposes (PEAP) instead of submitting TOEFL scores.

The Education Abroad program is one of the international exchange programs selected by 20 state universities in the U.S. such as SUNY and California State University. These universities have officially acknowledged PEAP as a replacement for other English tests.

South Korea’s New Hybrid Media: Wall Posters Gone Viral
Huffington Post

For around a decade, South Korea has been a byword for advanced internet connectivity. With the world’s earliest mass adoption of broadband – and at the fastest speeds – this nation of 50 million is regularly cited as the “world’s most wired”. The introduction last year of LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) mobile communications means that Koreans now enjoy the world’s fastest wireless network as well.

And despite South Korea’s image as a follower (albeit a fast one), this country has been ahead of the pack on a surprising number of internet innovations. A firm named Saerom developed Dialpad, a VoIP service, three years before Skype came along. And when Facebook and even Myspace were mere minnows, millions of Koreans were already using a social network named Cyworld. Lee Jun-seok, a South Korean entrepreneur and political activist, fondly remembers e-mailing his Harvard classmate Mark Zuckerberg, “We already have Cyworld, a far better and more sophisticated website. Your start-up will fail soon.”

Famous last words, of course. But the most profound effects of Korea’s internet mania have been felt in the realm of politics, rather than business. In 2002, liberal candidate Roh Moo-hyun had been all but written off for that December’s presidential election race, but narrowly won following a last-minute surge led by online fan-club Nosamo (‘people who love Roh Moo-hyun) and the efforts of a then-fledgling ‘citizen journalism’ site named Ohmynews.

Hitches in Compromise at a McDonald’s
New York Times

Maybe it was the snow. Or a lack of communication.

For whatever reason, the compromise between a McDonald’s and a group of older Korean patrons — limiting the hours that the group can linger at the restaurant — seemed to have some loose ends on Tuesday, two days after the agreement was reached.

The compromise, brokered by Assemblyman Ron Kim, called for patrons to limit their loitering to less than an hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the McDonald’s at the corner of Northern and Parsons Boulevards.

Victim of motorcyle gang beating sues city, biker cops
New York Post

The lower Manhattan ­father who was swarmed and beaten up by a raging motorcycle gang last fall plans to sue the city and two of his alleged attackers, NYPD cops Wojciech Braszczok and Matthew Rodriguez.

Alexian Lien filed the complaint on behalf of his himself, his wife, ­Rosalyn Ng, and their ­2-year-old daughter who were in the family’s Range Rover during the brutal confrontation on Sept. 29, 2013.

“A vicious and unruly mob of motorcycle riders” “attacked and assaulted” Lien and “vandalized his motor vehicle” by smashing a rear window where his toddler was sitting, according to his notice of claim filed on Dec. 24.

Final summons
The Economist

FOR the directorial debut of a former Korean “webtoon” artist, the accomplishment is remarkable. Based on a script he had mulled over since the 1990s, Yang Woo-seok’s “The Attorney” was originally intended as an indie movie for a small audience. But it has beaten Korean box-office records since its release on December 18th—at the end of a year in which Korean cinemas set a new record of over 200m ticket sales (in a country of 50m people). It hit the 1m-admissions mark after just three days, beating the other most popular movies of 2012 and 2013 (“Masquerade” and “Miracle in Cell no. 7”, respectively, which each took four days to do so). Its viewership is also growing at a faster clip than “Avatar”, an American blockbluster from 2009, which attracted the biggest Korean audience of all time (13.3m). On January 19th, just one month after its release, it entered the 10m-admissions club—joining just eight other movies in the history of Korean film.

Films based on real-life events have a special appeal for Koreans. With “The Attorney” counted among Korea’s 10m club, four of its nine members are now historical films. “The Attorney” is based loosely on an infamous court case which took place in Busan in 1981. Twenty-two university students were arrested, tortured and tried on the trumped-up charge of forming a book club to study seditious literature. The “Burim case” has long been seen as a massive frame-up of South Korea’s communist movement, aimed at bolstering support for Chun Doo-hwan, a strongman who had seized power in a coup the previous year. In “The Attorney”, an ambitious solicitor quits a high-earning job advising taxpayers to take on the political case in defence of the innocent students. The part is played by Song Kang-ho, who starred in three movies in 2013; the first two, “The Face Reader” and “Snowpiercer”, sold over 9m tickets each in Korea, earning him the nickname “the 20m man”.


Critics Pick ‘Snowpiercer’ as Korean Film of The Year

South Korea’s film press has voted English-language “Snowpiercer” as the best Korean film of 2013.

The annual Film of the Year Awards are organized by the Korean Film Reporters Association and were unveiled Wednesday at the Korea Press Center in Seoul.

“Snowpiercer” was the English-language directing debut of established Korean helmer Bong Joon-ho, who was also named director of the year. The film stars Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris and Tilda Swinton alongside Korean favourite Song Kang-ho and Ko Ah-sung.

Released in August, the film sold 9.34 million tickets and became a mega hit that belied its language and art-house roots.

Kim’s Convenience might be turned into a TV show
Toronto Life

Before Kim’s Convenience made the jump from Fringe Festival hit to Soulpepper Theatre Company mainstay, nobody knew that the problems of a convenience-store-owning Korean family could be the stuff of compelling, popular theatrical drama. Now, after two years’ worth of successful remounts, the film industry evidently wants a piece.

In a press release issued on Tuesday, Soulpepper announced that it has entered into a partnership with Vancouver-based Thunderbird Films, a company that has produced TV shows like Package Deal and Some Assembly Required. According to a Thunderbird spokesperson, the company is in the process of scripting both film and TV adaptations of Ins Choi’s 2011 play, which takes place almost entirely inside a Regent Park mini-mart run by a gruff Korean pater familias and his wife.

Park Ji-sung to host charity football match before World Cup, return to nat’l team doubtful
Yonhap News

Former South Korean football captain Park Ji-sung will host a charity football match in Southeast Asia only days before the start of the FIFA World Cup, his father confirmed Wednesday, leaving the player’s possible return to the national team in doubt.

Park Sung-jong, the player’s father, said the footballer will host the annual charity event either on May 31 or June 1 in Malaysia or Indonesia. Park Ji-sung launched his own charity organization called JS Foundation in 2011 and has been hosting an All-Star football match to raise funds for children since that year.

“This is something he’d planned to do all along,” the senior Park said. “He is executing plans that he’d made when he retired from international play three years ago.”

If the former Manchester United midfielder commits to his own event, it appears unlikely he will join the national team in Brazil for the World Cup in early June. The tournament opens on June 12, and South Korea plans to travel to the host country early in that month.

S. Korean pitcher Lim invited to Cubs’ spring training: agent
Yonhap News

South Korean pitcher Lim Chang-yong, recently released by the Chicago Cubs, has been invited to spring training by the Major League Baseball (MLB) team, his Seoul-based agent said Tuesday.

Kim Dong-wook, head of the local sports agency Sports Intelligence, said the 37-year-old right-hander will try to make the big league team again when the Cubs’ camp opens in mid-February in Arizona.

The Cubs non-tendered Lim last month, making him a free agent on paper, but Kim said the Cubs have informed him that they still retain rights to the pitcher.

“We had no plans to move Lim,” Kim said. “He has been invited to the Cubs’ spring training.”

Socially speaking: LPGA’s best

With the 2014 season set to tee off on Thursday at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, we thought we would take a look at some of the LPGA’S best and brightest. In 140 characters or less and Earlybird filter usage, that is.

Fair warning: If you’re currently in an area covered in snow, you might not want to follow any of the women below this week. The pictures of the gorgeous Bahamian beaches and sunny skies might be too much to bear.

Short track: Russia’s Ahn looking to upstage Asian rivals
Global Post

Russia’s Victor Ahn will be looking to upstage his native South Korea and put the Olympic hosts on the medals table for the first time in short track speed skating at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Ahn, formerly known as Ahn Hyun-Soo, is the only short-tracker to win four medals in one Olympics with his three gold and bronze in 2006 for South Korea before falling out with the team, and after failing to qualify for the 2010 Vancouver Games he switched citizenship to compete for Russia.

Russia warmed up for Sochi by dominating the European championships at the weekend with 28-year-old Ahn taking three titles as the Olympic hosts won ten medals in total including five gold in Dresden, Germany.

Dumpling party marks Korean New Year with hundreds of mandu and dozens of eaters
Washington Post

Grace Hong is pretty sure her mother would be appalled. Not at the fact that she and her husband celebrate the new year with traditional lucky mandu, dumplings made the Korean way. But possibly at every other aspect of their celebration. With 600 dumplings, 60 guests and an unmentionable amount of wine and beer, the annual fete they call Dumplingfest violates most, if not all, of her mother’s holiday traditions.

Hong, 40, grew up in Lyons, N.Y., not far from Rochester. “We were the only Asian family in town,” she says. And every New Year, for a small, family-only gathering, her mother would make duk mandu guk, a traditional Korean soup. She would fill a large soup pot with beef bones and aromatic vegetables to make the rich broth, in which she simmered meat-filled dumplings and glutinous rice cakes, symbols of prosperity.

Listen for sizzle of Korean street food
Boston Globe

On the streets here, find your next meal by listening for the sizzle. Street food is everywhere, and food carts and stalls selling a short list of foodstuffs or specializing in only one item attract long queues at all hours of the day. A pojangmacha — a Korean word that translates as “covered wagon,” and refers to a movable, street-side restaurant draped in tarps — offers more of a complete meal: set menus, a greater number of options, more complicated dishes, and, often, tables for customers.

Street food plays a significant part in Seoul’s culture. Students might stop by their favorite stall for a quick, cheap bite after school or before going out for the evening. Crowds of professionals will descend after the workday ends, and on into the night. And then there are the late comers: taxi drivers and other graveyard shift workers who appreciate a hot meal or snack, at any hour.

Marja Vongerichten, wife of celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, hosted and co-produced the 2011 TV show “Kimchi Chronicles,” a travelogue-style exploration of Korean food, including street food. Marja Vongerichten was born in Korea (her mother is Korean and her father an African-American serviceman) and adopted and raised by a family in the United States. She learned about her culture through Korean food. She is also author of a cookbook based on the series, “The Kimchi Chronicles: Korean Cooking for an American Kitchen.”

This is the Closest Thing to a North Korean Google Street View

Despite North Korea’s notoriously strict limitations on tourists in general (not to mention those slinging around cameras), last autumn, the country’s officials decided to allow Pan to photograph non-military points of interest—so long as it wasn’t “political,” that is. And Pan seems perfectly all right with that. According to his site, his DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea) 360 project is not meant to address “any past, present, or future political issues that may be sensitive.”

Teen Golf Prodigy Lydia Ko Wins First Tournament as a Professional
Author: Steve Han
Posted: December 9th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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Teenage golf phenom Lydia Ko snatched her first victory as a pro on Sunday at the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters in Taiwan.

The 16-year-old Korean New Zealander rallied from three shots behind midway through the final round and won by three strokes over So-yeon Ryu. LPGA Player of the Year Inbee Park came in third.

“Ryu is a great player,” Ko said at a press conference. “It’s just lucky I won three shots ahead.” Continue Reading »

Wednesday’s Link Attack: Details Emerge in Australia Murder; Multicultural Education in Seoul; Korean Street Food
Author: Young Rae Kim
Posted: November 27th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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China’s Airspace Claim Inflames Ties to South Korea, Too
New York Times

South Korea’s foreign minister warned on Wednesday that China’s recent attempt to police the sky over a vast area in the East China Sea was worsening tensions in a region already strained by territorial disputes.

China’s so-called air defense identification zone covered not only a group of islands that both Japan and China claim but also a submerged rock that both China and South Korea want to control.

The dispute over the submerged rock has never been as fierce as China’s dispute over the islands with Japan, but the new air patrol zone drew strong protests from South Korea, threatening to heighten tensions with Beijing. Seoul said it would not recognize the Chinese zone and would maintain its jurisdictional right to waters around the rock, which is called Ieodo in Korea and Suyan Rock in China.

Brisbane teen ‘looking for thrill kill’
9 News (Australia)

The teen accused of fatally bashing a South Korean student in a Brisbane park had fantasised about murder since he was a child, police will allege.

Detectives believe Alex Reuben McEwan, 19, was hunting for a random victim when he attacked 22-year-old Eunji Ban in an inner-city park as she walked to work as a hotel cleaner in the early hours of Sunday morning, the Courier-Mail reports.

McEwan, an apprentice spray painter, was arrested late on Monday after a tip-off to police.

He was allegedly wearing a fresh plaster cast for a broken hand he sustained in the attack.

Culturally mixed, united in learning
Korea Times

A fourth grader, Kaya, didn’t have a care in the world while playing soccer with friends after classes Tuesday on the grounds of Seoul Itaewon Elementary School.

Merrily and slightly roughly, Kaya and fellow fourth graders were kicking, running and scoring goals, shouting out mostly in Korean but with a mix of English

Kaya, who would only give his first name, was born to an Indian father and a Korean mother.

Tokyo, Seoul clash over artifacts taken to Japan during colonial period
South China Morning Post

There is growing anger in South Korea over an exhibition of ancient Korean artefacts that are on loan from a museum in Tokyo, with a Japanese legal expert warning that “emotional” demands by the media are likely to strain ties that are already at breaking point.

“Both countries have ratified the conventions that cover these artefacts so the situation seems to be more legal than nationalistic, but the South Korean media is becoming more and more emotional and that is certain to accelerate the nationalistic tendencies,” said Toshiyuki Kono, a professor in the faculty of law at Kyushu University and an expert in the trade of ancient artefacts.

Under the headline “Stolen national treasures come home for 90 days”, The JoongAng Daily on November 21 said visitors to an exhibition of treasures from the Gaya period at the Yangsan Museum, in South Gyeongsang province, were “stunned” that the items were only on loan from the Tokyo National Museum.

College-bound graduate seeks help for buying an assistance van
The Issaquah Press (Washington)

Local volunteers hope to make a college transition easy for one student.

Jae Kim graduated from Issaquah High School this year and is excited about starting Bellevue College in January. She has cerebral palsy, and while Issaquah High School provided assistance in transportation, she will need to find her own way to future education.

In response, a group of local residents have started a campaign to raise $50,000 to buy Kim and her family a gently used van, complete with lift assistance. They hope to find help from the community to take this large worry off Kim’s entry into college.

Kangta to represent ‘voice’ of Korea
Korea Times

Kangta, a former member of Korean boy band H.O.T., will attend the “Voice of World” concert as a representative of Korea.

The world-wide event, organized by China’s Zhejiang TV, has invited judges and contenders of a survival audition program “The Voice,” whose regional editions have been aired throughout countries like the U.S., U.K., Germany, China as well as Korea.

Kang, 34, a former judge of the first and second season of “Voice of Korea,” will attend the special event with his mentee and second season winner Lee Ye-jun, to be held on Saturday at the Wukesong stadium in Beijing, China.

MUSIC VIDEO: Never Shout Never Ft. Dia Frampton – “Under The Mistletoe”
Under the Gun Review

Earlier today, Never Shout Never partnered up with Alternative Press to release a music video for “Under The Mistletoe,” which is the first single off their brand new EP, titled The Xmas EP. You can view it for yourself by following the jump.

Throughout the tender tune, Dia Frampton aids frontman Christofer Drew on vocals, resulting in a warm, easy-to-listen-to arrangement that even goes so far as to rival more established holiday carols. In addition to “Under The Mistletoe,” this EP also features three classic Christmas sing-alongs to put you in the holiday spirit.

South Korean Web Giant Naver to Support Indie Cinema
Hollywood Reporter

South Korea’s biggest online search engine Naver has signed a pact with the Association of Korean Independent Film & Video (KIFV) to promote local independent films, the partners announced Wednesday.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) covers online services, as well as offline events, such as local independent film festivals.

The two parties will in January launch what they called an “online theater” for screening indie films. They will also create a database for independent filmmakers and actors. They will also co-sponsor local genre events, including the Seoul Independent Film Festival that kicks off Thursday, and the Seoul Independent Documentary Film & Video Festival that will take place in March. Films featured in the festival will be shown on Naver.

Asia TV Success Stories: Korean Dramas, Asian Animation

Aside from Hong Kong’s kung fu movies, Korean dramas and Asian animation are the two genres of local content that have the most success crossing borders within Asia.

Long-running Korean series play everywhere from Mongolia to the Middle East, Eastern Europe to Mexico, which otherwise have little connection with Korean culture. Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun recently reported that all four terrestrial and six satellite channels in Japan were airing Korean drama, amounting to more than 93 hours of Korean content per week.

MBC’s historical medical drama “Jewel in the Palace” this year celebrates its 10th anniversary, a decade in which South Korean TV drama exports have climbed in value from just $8 million in 2001 to $155 million in 2011, the latest data available. Most are sold as completed shows, but others have been sold as formats.

‘Oldboy’ movie review: Spike Lee’s remake of a 2003 Korean cult film makes some fixes
Washington Post

There’s a nice Hitchcockian quality to the new “Oldboy,” Spike Lee’s remake of Korean director Park Chan-wook’s cult film of revenge and regret. Which is kind of weird, considering that the source material is not Hitchcockian in the least.

It’s a strange, yet not entirely unsatisfying, fit. In trying to adapt the source material — not just the 2003 film, but the late 1990s Japanese manga series on which it was based — Lee and writer Mark Protosevich (“The Cell”) have jettisoned some details while significantly reshaping others, all the while keeping the essential outlines of the baroque and quite frankly bizarre tale of punishment and redemption intact.

“Oldboy” is grand opera shoved into the shoebox of a murder mystery.

As in the original, Lee’s “Oldboy” revolves around a man (Josh Brolin, here given the Everyman moniker of Joe) who wakes up after a bender to find that he’s been imprisoned in what seems to be a seedy, windowless hotel room where he’s fed, through a hole in the locked door, the same carryout Chinese dumplings every day for the next 20 years. (In the manga, it was 10 years; in the first film, 15. I guess that’s inflation for you.)

More Details on Han Ye Seul and Teddy’s Relationship in Woman Sense Magazine

The December 2013 issue of women’s magazine Woman Sense revealed further details behind actress Han Ye Seul and YG Entertainment hip hop producer Teddy Park’s relationship. The article contains information from multiple unnamed sources close to the couple. The reporter stated that the magazine spent two months covering the story in order to verify the couple’s relationship, which was ascertained through various channels.

The two met through a mutual acquaintance at the beginning of this year, and became a couple after May. Han Ye Seul and Teddy share something in common; both grew up in the US (California). A source close to the couple stated, “Teddy and Han Ye Seul are serious about one another. Both are working in different fields, and naturally that led to curiosity about each other’s work. Furthermore, they share similar feelings having lived overseas for a long time.”

Han Ye Seul has been on hiatus from entertainment activities for a while, but Teddy’s been actively producing for 2NE1 and G-Dragon, so their dates are usually early in the morning to fit Teddy’s schedule. Another close source explained, “Teddy usually starts working late at night. He works on songs almost every day as he produces most of YG artist’s songs. He goes on dates with Han Ye Seul after he finishes work early in the morning.”

LPGA’s Koreans Make Statement With Golf, English
AP via ABC News

This kind of conversation was rare five years ago on the LPGA Tour. For starters, it involved Vin Scully.

So Yeon Ryu was chatting on the putting green when the topic of her name came up. The LPGA makes sure everyone pronounces it correctly as “Yoo.” So why is it that Scully referred to rookie left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu as “REE-yoo?”

“Oh, the Dodgers’ pitcher? He’s a really good guy,” she said. “Maybe that can be a nickname for him.”

Fresh from the street
Korea Times US

One of Seoul’s biggest attractions as a food destination is that its culinary offerings are not confined to restaurants. An amazing variety of food is available at the food carts and trucks that are a common sight along the streets of leisure and business districts, providing pleasure and refuge for the city’s famously overworked citizens.

It could be said that the city’s street-food culture was more vibrant from the 1960s to the early 1990s. But vendors now struggle to compete with franchised fast-food chains, the dull but relentless juggernauts that now dominate the inexpensive eating industry.

Tuesday’s Link Attack: Korea-Japan Squabbles Continue; Inside the Unification Church; ‘Snowpiercer’ Wins Awards
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: November 19th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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Seoul, Beijing Find New Common Ground Against Tokyo
Wall Street Journal

History quite literally shapes the present in northeast Asia, where leaders refuse to let the past rest in peace as they tap into this infinite source of conflict – so much so that Japan seems unable to escape the diplomatic quagmire that it’s in with China and South Korea.

But while the source of the current strain between Japan and its neighbors tended to be territorial rows or about mid-20th century aggression by the imperial army and how the current Japanese leaders continue to offend, Seoul and Beijing have recently decided to go further back in time to denounce Japan, possibly driving the schism deeper between Asia’s top economic powerhouses.

On Monday, South Korean President Park Geun-hye thanked a visiting senior Chinese official for the progress made for a monument in Harbin, China, commemorating the 1909 assassination of Hirobumi Ito, who presided over the Korean Peninsula as governor when it was a colonial protectorate of Japan’s.

Japan envoy urges attention on Tokyo efforts to help comfort women
Yonhap News

South Korea should acknowledge Japan’s efforts to help Korean women sexually victimized by Japan in the early 20th century, Japanese ambassador to Seoul said Tuesday, calling for cooperation in resolving the tricky issue.

“Acknowledging Japan’s efforts and taking a cooperative attitude are important in order to solve the issue of comfort women for Japanese soldiers,” Koro Bessho said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency to mark his one year on the job.

The Japanese government made efforts in the 1990s to help the female victims, establishing an Asian women’s fund to help them, sending apology letters to each of the victims and providing medical support for them, Bessho said. “But such efforts have not been properly assessed in South Korea.”

Seoul unveils lists of Korean victims of anti-Japan uprising, massacre
Yonhap News

South Korea on Tuesday made public decades-old official lists of Koreans killed by colonial Japan during its independence movement in 1919 and victims of Tokyo’s massacre following a powerful earthquake four years later.

According to the National Archives of Korea, a registry recently found in the country’s embassy in Japan showed detailed information about 630 Koreans killed during the March 1 national uprising against its colonial rule in 1919.

The Korean Peninsula was under Japan’s brutal colonial rule from 1910-45.

Currently, a total of 391 people are officially recognized as victims of the independence movement.

The Fall of the House of Moon
: Sex rituals, foreign spies, Biden offspring, and the Unification Church’s war-torn first family
New Republic

In Jin [Moon] had assumed control of the U.S. church at a precarious moment for Moon’s religious empire. Her father had come to the United States from Korea nearly 40 years earlier, aiming to “subjugate” America as the first phase in a plan to establish a new world order. Moon had gone on to amass extraordinary political influence, building a vast network of powerful right-wing organizations and forging alliances with every Republican presidential administration since Ronald Reagan’s. In 2004, he and his wife even staged an elaborate coronation ceremony in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, which at least a dozen lawmakers attended.1 Republican Roscoe Bartlett bowed down before the couple, and Democrat Danny Davis carried in one of two golden crowns that were placed on their heads. Moon then informed the audience that “kings and presidents” had declared him “humanity’s savior” and that Jesus, Buddha, Hitler, and Stalin had been “reborn as new persons” through his teachings.

But in recent years, Moon’s plans to remake America and salvage humanity had run into trouble. Followers had drifted away; his political influence had ebbed. With his ninetieth birthday approaching, he increasingly looked to his children to preserve his life’s work.

For Korean students, it is Harvard, MIT all the way
Korea Times US

No matter how trends change, it is still Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology all the way for Korean students.

That has held true even as the number of Korean students heading overseas for their studies has dwindled due to the ongoing economic downturn.

Despite a small reduction in the number of students heading to foreign countries, the ranks of those choosing top universities in the United States are still going strong.

Family’s future in Canada uncertain due to work permit wait
CBC News (Canada)

A man who brought his family to Winnipeg from South Korea five years ago says their future in Canada is uncertain due to immigration bureaucracy.

Kyung Sung Kim says he has been waiting for Citizenship and Immigration Canada to renew his work permit since it expired 2½ years ago.

While Kim, a carpenter, has been allowed to continue working in the interim, he said waiting so long to get his work permit renewed has been difficult for his family.

German game developer calls addiction bill ‘joke’
Korea Times

Khaled Helioui, CEO of Bigpoint, a Germany-based game developer, argues that a proposed bill on game addiction will hurt Korea’s gaming industry.

“This bill could be quite a big threat to the online game industry,” Helioui said during a recent interview. “The government might be putting at risk something they have built over the last 10 years.”

The bill was proposed by Rep. Shin Eui-jin of the ruling Saenuri Party on April 30 and places Internet games in the same category of addictive activities as drugs, alcohol and gambling.

Chinese Tourists in Seoul Spend Most on Shopping
Chosun Ilbo

Most Chinese tourists stay in Seoul for six days and spend an average of $250 a day, according to a recent survey. The results are based on a poll of 2.22 million Chinese who visited the country in 2011.

The results showed that 91.1 percent stayed in the capital for an average of six days and spent $250 a day, mostly on shopping.

Their favorite destinations were Myeong-dong (69.2 percent) and Dongdaemun market (66.7 percent).

‘Snowpiercer’ Wins Big at South Korean Film Critics Awards
Hollywood Reporter

Bong Joon Ho’s sci-fi blockbuster Snowpiercer won best film at the 33rd Korean Association of Film Critics (KAFC) Awards on Monday. It also took home best director and best cinematography.

Set in a dystopian future, Snowpiercer is one of the year’s highest-grossing films, with over 9.3 million admissions. It is most expensive Korean film to date. Bong’s first English-language film — starring Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton — it was also sold to a record 167 countries.

Hallyu is more than K-pop: Korean jazz artists gaining global attention
Korea Times US

Jazz is not a style of music for everyone’s taste and seldom sees commercial success — at least in Korea where K-pop is dominating the music industry.

Under this mercantile environment unfavorable to diverse musical genres here, some jazz musicians are turning their eyes to overseas fans, making a splash in the international jazz scene. Jazz songstress Nah Youn-sun and duo Winterplay are solidifying their strong fan bases around the world.

Son Heung-min Ranked Among Top Rated Young Players in Europe
Chosun Ilbo

Bayer Leverkusen’s Son Heung-min has been named one of the five top rated players aged 21 or under in Europe’s top five leagues this season by

The site, which collects statistics on the English, French, German, Italian and Spanish leagues, announced its verdict on Friday.

Its top five players were Brazil’s Neymar of Barcelona, Switzerland’s Ricardo Rodriguez of Wolfsburg, Italy’s Luca Antei of Sassuolo, France’s Paul Pogba of Juventus, and Son.

Cal’s Kim competing at Q-School this week

The 2012-13 Haskins award winner Michael Kim is competing in second stage of Tour Q-School, Nov. 19-22. The California junior will compete as an amateur at Bear Creek Golf Club in Murrieta, Calif.

Kim is exempt into second stage of Q-School after his 17th-place finish in June at the U.S. Open at Merion, which earned him low-amateur honors.

Kim and fellow first-team All-Americans – Daniel Berger and James Erkenbeck – are also competing in second stage this week. Berger, who turned professional after his sophomore season at Florida State, will play at Southern Hills Plantation in Brooksville, Fla., and Erkenbeck, who graduated from New Mexico, will play with Kim out in California.

Inbee Park Becomes First Korean to Win LPGA Player of the Year Award
Author: Steve Han
Posted: November 18th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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Pro golfer Inbee Park became South Korea’s first ever player to win the LPGA Player of the Year award on Sunday, after winning six tournaments on the tour in one calendar year.

Park started the year by winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April, and won the North Texas LPGA Shootout, the LPGA Championship, Walmart NW Arkansas Championship and the U.S. Women’s Open in a span of only three months, from April to June. She also won twice on the tour last year, which ended her four-year drought since winning the U.S. Open in 2008.

“It feels great to be the first one to win,” Park told Continue Reading »

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