Fellow American Golfers Defend Michelle Wie Pick For Solheim Cup
Author: Steve Han
Posted: August 7th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
« (previous post)
(next post) »

U.S. golfers participating in the upcoming Solheim Cup defended the captain’s controversial selection of former child prodigy Michelle Wie.

Meg Mallon, the U.S. Solheim Cup captain, chose Wie with one of her two discretionary captain’s picks. Mallon said that she knew there would be opposing views to her selection of Wie, who will represent the United States despite being ranked only 82nd in the world. The 23-year-old’s last win on the LPGA Tour was in 2010.

“Michelle Wie can handle being on a big stage,” Mallon told ESPN.com. “I kept thinking … And she’s someone who has played in the Solheim Cup and has that experience. I don’t have to worry about that part. I have four rookies, and Michelle will be a leader for me.” Continue Reading »

Monday’s Links: SKorean Teacher Earns $4M Salary; 27-Pound Pot Bust; ‘Snowpiercer’ Has Big Opening
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: August 5th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
« (previous post)
(next post) »

Scandal in South Korea Over Nuclear Revelations
New York Times

Like Japan, resource-poor South Korea has long relied on nuclear power to provide the cheap electricity that helped build its miracle economy. For years, it met one-third of its electricity needs with nuclear power, similar to Japan’s level of dependence before the 2011 disaster at its Fukushima plant.

Now, a snowballing scandal in South Korea about bribery and faked safety tests for critical plant equipment has highlighted yet another similarity: experts say both countries’ nuclear programs suffer from a culture of collusion that has undermined their safety. Weeks of revelations about the close ties between South Korea’s nuclear power companies, their suppliers and testing companies have led the prime minister to liken the industry to a mafia.

One soldier killed in grenade explosion at inter-Korean border
Yonhap News via GlobalPost

A hand grenade held by a recently enlisted soldier exploded at a guard post near the border with North Korea on Saturday, instantly killing the soldier and seriously wounding his platoon leader, military and police officials said Saturday.

The explosion occurred at around 5:05 a.m. when the 21-year-old private, identified by his surname Choe, and his platoon leader were inside the post just south of the western section of the Demilitarized Zone, according to officials.

Choe died at the scene, and the platoon leader, identified as 2nd Lt. Park, 24, sustained serious wounds to his head, neck and other parts of his body. Park received surgery at a hospital in Suwon, south of Seoul, to remove shrapnel. The wounds are not life-threatening, officials said.

Free my brother from North Korea
Miami Herald

I will never forget the sound of anguish my mother made as we watched the recently released video footage of the American citizen — my brother, Kenneth Bae — in a North Korean labor camp. Our family had been devastated by my brother’s 15-year sentence of hard labor, but nothing could have prepared us for this.

My mother drew in a sharp breath and broke into heaving sobs, gasping for breath, at the sight of her son so diminished. We could see the heavy toll his long imprisonment, since November, had taken. Kenneth talked about his deteriorating health due to diabetes, enlarged heart and back pain, and pleaded with the U.S. government to help him.

It wasn’t just that he had lost so much weight and that his health was suffering, but that he seemed so broken. He choked up as he said, “I am my father’s only son,” pained that he could not be here to celebrate our father’s 70th birthday with my parents, who live in Lynnwood, Wash.

The $4 Million Teacher
Wall Street Journal

Kim Ki-hoon earns $4 million a year in South Korea, where he is known as a rock-star teacher—a combination of words not typically heard in the rest of the world. Mr. Kim has been teaching for over 20 years, all of them in the country’s private, after-school tutoring academies, known as hagwons. Unlike most teachers across the globe, he is paid according to the demand for his skills—and he is in high demand.

Mr. Kim works about 60 hours a week teaching English, although he spends only three of those hours giving lectures. His classes are recorded on video, and the Internet has turned them into commodities, available for purchase online at the rate of $4 an hour. He spends most of his week responding to students’ online requests for help, developing lesson plans and writing accompanying textbooks and workbooks (some 200 to date).

“The harder I work, the more I make,” he says matter of factly. “I like that.”

Four men face charges after 27-pound marijuana bust
Daily Herald (Illinois)

Four men accused of receiving 27 pounds of marijuana by mail appeared Friday in DuPage County bond court on drug-trafficking charges.

David Byun, 29, of Round Lake; Brian Panezich, 29, of Lake Zurich; and Landry Park, 29, and Ted Park, 32, both of Arlington Heights, each were held on $500,000 bail.

Prosecutors said the men were arrested Thursday after a drug-sniffing dog alerted on a package at a UPS store in Bensenville. Investigators with the DuPage Metropolitan Enforcement Group later watched as Byun picked up the package and left in a vehicle driven by Panezich, Assistant State’s Attorney Anne Therieau said. Police found 12 pounds of marijuana in the package after a traffic stop.

N. Korean defectors to tell ordeal at 1st film festival in Hong Kong
Yonhap News

Two North Korean defectors will share their personal experiences and hardship at the first film festival in Hong Kong about widespread human rights violations in North Korea, a media report said Monday.

Some 150 people are scheduled to attend Hong Kong’s North Korea Human Rights Film Festival, slated for next week, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported.

One of the two North Korean defectors to make an appearance at the event is Lee Aram, who used to work in the North Korean police, according to the report. After the 25-year-old defected in 2008, her father was sent to a prison camp and died there, it said.

Michelle Rhee embraces disgraced charter school advocate
Salon.com

Tony Bennett, Florida’s education chief, abruptly resigned yesterday after an AP investigation revealed that in his old job running Indiana’s schools, he frantically overhauled the state’s evaluation system to avoid giving a poor grade to a charter school run by a prominent Republican donor. In addition to his charter school advocacy, Bennett was also known for his staunch support of standardized testing.

Emails obtained by AP showed that Bennett and his staff scrambled to make sure the donor’s school received an “A” grade, despite initially earning a “C” thanks to poor test scores. “They need to understand that anything less than an A for Christel House compromises all of our accountability work,” Bennett wrote in September to his chief of staff, who is now Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s chief lobbyist.

How North Korea is coping with uncouth tourists from China
South China Morning Post

When hordes of Chinese tourists descend on Pyongyang, there’s a mixed reaction from North Korea’s tourism workers: they are pleased their No 1 visitors will be splurging on everything from souvenirs to casinos, but then there’s a furtive sigh of: “Here we go again.”

Bad behaviour by mainland Chinese tourists in Hong Kong to Egypt, Paris to the Maldives, is well documented. But breaches of etiquette in the notoriously strict Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are sometimes more obtuse.

Simon Cockerell, of Koryo Tours, which specialises in travel to the reclusive socialist state, cites as an example mainland tourists throwing sweets at North Korean children “like they’re feeding ducks”. “The North Koreans think that’s undignified and offensive,” he says.

New Milford synagogue sold to Korean-American congregation
NorthJersey.com

In the eight years since Pastor David Yi founded Top Stone Church, a Korean Presbyterian congregation in Englewood, its population has grown from 15 to more than 100; each week, dozens of families pour into the pews of a rented church to hear Yi’s sermons.

The years have not been so kind to Congregation Beth Tikvah, New Milford’s only Jewish temple. From a peak membership of nearly 500 in the 1970s and 80s, the synagogue’s ranks have thinned to fewer than 150, mostly elderly residents whose children have long since left.

One congregation wanted a space of its own; the other could no longer support itself. A deal was struck: $1.8 million and several hurdles later, Top Stone is set to move at the end of August into the New Milford Jewish Center on River Road, the stately brick complex Beth Tikvah built 50 years ago. Beth Tikvah will join the Jewish Community Center of Paramus.

Korea’s Arrivals Up, Tourist Police Needed
Wall Street Journal

South Korea’s tourism industry is at risk becoming a victim of its own success. As visitor arrivals pick up, so do complaints from holiday makers. Enter the tourist police.

Between Psy, Korean television dramas, and the lure of cosmetic surgery, Korea has become an increasingly attractive tourist destination, with arrivals increasing from 6 million in 2005 to 11 million last year and to an expected 15 million by 2015.

But visitors attract predators, with theft and scams as reported by tourists increasing to 897 in 2012 from 468 in 2009, according to the Korea National Tourism Organization. Add in other tourist complaints for problems such as heavy traffic or a lack of directional signs, and the number goes up to 1,024 last year, from 640 in 2009.

‘Snowpiercer’ Tops Box Office
Wall Street Journal

Bong Joon-ho, one of South Korea’s top filmmakers, has returned with one of the biggest openings ever in the country’s cinematic history.

Mr. Bong’s science fiction feature film “Snowpiercer” earned 23.8 billion South Korean won ($21.38 million) in its opening week, topping the box office, according to the Korea Film Council.

Nearly 3.3 million people saw the film from last Wednesday to Sunday, making it just the third movie to surpass the 3-million mark in five days after the blockbuster franchise “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” in 2011 and a local spy flick “Secretly, Greatly” earlier this year.

Book Review: Snow Hunters by Paul Yoon
Boston Globe

In “Snow Hunters,’’ Paul Yoon’s much-awaited first novel, a young man named Yohan emigrates from Korea to an unnamed port town in Brazil. He has just been put through the emotional wringer, having served time in a prison camp as a POW at the tail end of the Korean War. We first meet him in the winter of 1954, at 25, as he arrives in Brazil on a cargo ship during a rainfall, “dressed in an old gray suit that was too large for him . . . They were not his clothes.”

Over the course of the novel, Yohan experiences extreme amounts of kindness. His suit was gifted to him by an American nurse at the prison camp before he parted. Upon arrival in Brazil, a sailor hands him a blue umbrella in the rain, a woman’s umbrella. Next, Yohan is taken in by an old Japanese tailor named Kiyoshi and provided with room and board. The two get along and begin to live out a quiet, almost monk-like existence together.

“Snow Hunters’’ arrives four years after Yoon’s debut, “Once the Shore,’’ a celebrated collection of short stories that explored life over a half-century of war, occupation, and peace on a South Korean island. Yoon’s novel traces nearly a decade of Yohan’s life in its 196 pages.

Choo continues to deliver in leadoff spot
MLB.com

Reds center fielder Shin-Soo Choo hit his 15th home run of the season on Saturday night, but it was his first with runners on base. That’s often the way it goes for leadoff hitters, but manager Dusty Baker said Choo has made the most of the opportunities he’s had to put runs on the board this season.

“If my leadoff man can have 50 RBIs and 100 runs at the end of the year, he’s going to be very, very productive in our league,” Baker said. “Choo’s on pace to get that and more.”

Inbee Park Leaves With Good Memories
ESPN.com

Crowds always clap for winners at golf tournaments, so Inbee Park has heard that sound a lot this year with her six LPGA victories, three of them majors.

But this week, for the first time in her LPGA career, Park felt as if folks from all over the world weren’t just offering polite applause. They were really cheering for her. And that’s something she’ll always remember from this quest to win a Grand Slam.

“My favorite part is I never had this many people rooting for me and wanting for me to play good,” Park said after she finished at 6-over 294, tying for 42nd on a 32-hole Sunday at the Women’s British Open. “Never had those feelings before, so that has been nice.”

Azusa’s Lizette Salas, Michelle Wie named to Solheim Cup team
Los Angeles Times

After American Stacy Lewis won the British Women’s Open on Sunday, U.S. Solheim Cup captain Meg Mallon selected Michelle Wie and Gerina Piller as her captain’s picks.

Wie and Piller will join Lewis, who led the Solheim Cup qualifying points standings for the U.S., USC graduate Lizette Salas of Azusa, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Jessica Korda, Lexi Thompson, Angela Stanford, Brittany Lincicome and Brittany Lang.

Representing Europe are: Suzann Pettersen of Norway; Anna Nordqvist of Sweden; Carlota Ciganda, Azahara Munoz and Beatriz Recari of Spain; Catriona Matthew of Scotland; Caroline Masson of Germany; Karine Icher of France.

Jose Aldo takes advantage of Korean Zombie’s shoulder injury, picks up ‘careful’ TKO win
Yahoo! Sports

In a weird sort of way, Jose Aldo expressed his greatness yet again on Saturday.

Oh, the UFC featherweight champion left us wanting more after his fourth-round stoppage of Chan Sung Jung, the “Korean Zombie,” in the main event of UFC 163 at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He might have even left some people wanting a lot more.

Even the most dominant athletes in their sports – the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, the Miami Heat’s LeBron James – have off-games every now and then.

South Korean baseball hits home run with female fans
CNN.com

Chances are, if you’re heading to a ball game in South Korea, the screaming fan to your left will be a woman wielding an inflatable tube.

More and more female fans are packing the stadiums to cheer on their favorite teams in the Korean Baseball Organization, so much so that next year organizers predict there’ll be as many women as men.

“A couple of years ago, men versus women were 60/40. But this year it looks like 55/45. And the number of the female fans is going to be increasing more and more,” says Nick Choi, a spokesman for the Seoul-based LG Twins.

Tuesday’s Link Attack: Colleagues Defend Asiana Pilots; Expat Abuse Video Staged; ‘Gangnam Style’ One Year Later
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: July 16th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
« (previous post)
(next post) »

Will Asiana Pilots Face Charges in Korea?
Wall Street Journal

Concerns about possible criminal prosecution among the pilots of the Asiana Airlines jet that crashed in San Francisco earlier this month follow similar action taken against pilots in the past in South Korea.

Under the country’s law, criminal prosecution of crew members involved in a crash is permitted but hasn’t been pursued for almost two decades. The maximum penalty that can be applied if investigators find gross negligence of duty is a three year jail term, or a fine up to about $45,000.

Friends, Colleagues Defend Asiana Pilot
Wall Street Journal

As South Korea’s transport ministry begins its own probe on the crash of Asiana Airlines flight 214, former colleagues and friends of the plane’s training captain, Lee Jeong-min, are speaking out to praise his piloting skills and character.

A father of two, Mr. Lee, 49, was the most senior pilot on board the Boeing 777 that crash landed at San Francisco International Airport July 6. He flew with three other pilots on the flight, and all escaped serious injury.

The pilots returned to Seoul on Saturday following days of interviews with U.S. and Korean investigators, and they couldn’t be reached for comment.

Racism: Milena Clarke’s Old-fashioned Experience vs. the New Kind After the Asiana Crash
Huffington Post

Ye Mengyuan and Wang Linjia, the two 16-year-old Chinese school girls who died in the Asiana Airlines crash last weekend, aren’t around to experience the kind of knee-jerky modern racism toward Asians the tragedy inspired in both mainstream and social media.

They’ve been spared.

But 14-year-old Milena Clarke in Kentucky certainly has had an earful of the good old-fashioned kind face to face the last two years.

“Gook.” “Nigger lover.” “Chubby chink.”

Straight from the Paula Deen lexicon, those were just some of the point-blank epithets Milena says her own basketball teammates at Russell Middle School in Russell, Kentucky spewed at her incessantly since the sixth grade.

Prosecutors Raid Home of Former South Korean President
New York Times

State prosecutors equipped with metal detectors raided the Seoul residence of former President Chun Doo-hwan on Tuesday to look forhis assets. Mr. Chun, the ex-military dictator, owes South Korea 167.5 billion won, or $150 million, in fines but claims to be broke.

In a Supreme Court court ruling in 1997, Mr. Chun, now 82, was ordered to return to the state 220 billion won he had illegally accumulated through bribery from big businesses during his eight and a half years in power in the 1980s. He has so far paid only a quarter of the amount. In his last payment, he handed in $2,680 he said he had collected as a lecture fee.

Mr. Chun has rarely appeared in public since he stepped down in 1988 and entered a Buddhist monastery. In the 1997 verdict, he was also convicted of sedition for his role in the 1979 military coup that brought him to power and a 1980 military crackdown that left hundreds of people dead in the southwestern city of Kwangju. He initially was sentenced to death, but the penalty was reduced to a life imprisonment. He was later pardoned and freed.

Russian bombers attempt to intrude on S. Korea’s air defense zone
Yonhap News

Two Russian bombers made a botched attempt to violate South Korea’s air defense safety zone in the East Sea but turned back after a warning from South Korean fighters, an Air Force officer said Tuesday.

The Tu-95 strategic bombers tried to enter into the Korea Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) over the East Sea at 11 a.m. on Monday, the officer said on condition of anonymity. Foreign airplanes and ships are required to get approval from South Korea’s military before entering the KADIZ.

“Upon detecting the move, we immediately dispatched two F-15K fighter jets to the area, which sent warnings to interrupt it,” he said, adding the Russian destroyers moved back to their planned route over international waters some 10 minutes later.

WWII Korean ‘comfort woman’ visits Hackensack monument
Bergen County Record (N.J.)

Ok-seon Yi placed flowers Monday on a memorial in front of the Bergen County courthouse honoring thousands of Korean “comfort women” who, like her, were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.

Now, 86 years old, Yi moved slowly toward the stone with help from Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan and a member of her staff. Yi then stood silently as a translator read the English words on the plaque to her in Korean.

“She’s really thankful [to the] Bergen County government for having a comfort women monument … and she’s thankful for human rights,’’ said Ester Chung, an assistant to Donovan who served as Yi’s translator. “She is now more than happy, and she has nothing [to be] sorry even if she dies tomorrow.”

Wilshire to Buy Rival Korean-American Bank Saehan for $105M
American Banker

Wilshire Bancorp (WIBC) in Los Angeles has agreed to buy a rival local Korean-American bank, Saehan Bancorp (SAEB).

The $2.8 billion-asset Wilshire would pay about $105 million in cash and stock for the $542 million-asset Saehan, the companies announced Monday. The sale price of 42 cents a share is a discount of roughly 5% to Saehan’s Monday closing price of 44 cents.

Wilshire would pay $50.4 million in cash and 7.2 million shares of stock, and the final value of the merger will depend on Wilshire’s share price when the deal closes.

Video of expats abusing Korean woman ‘staged’
Korea Herald

An online video showing a Korean woman apparently being harassed by a group of Western men in a nightclub was staged, two men who say they acted in the video have claimed.

The video, which has caused outrage online in recent days and appeared in Korean and foreign media including the Washington Post webpage, appears to show a number of men sexually and verbally harassing an intoxicated Korean woman. The men are shown cursing at the woman, filming her chest and forcing her own finger up her nose and into her mouth.

Some Internet users criticized the woman as being “obsessed with white guys” or claimed “what you get is what you deserve.” Others said she was embarrassing her country, calling her a “kimchi girl,” a degrading term used for Korean women.

JI YEO’S BANDAGED BABES
DazedDigital

Ji Yeo spent her teenage years in Gangnam, a district in Seoul epitomized by Psy’s Gangnam Style. Her own experiences in and out of plastic surgery consultations inspired her recent work, the Beauty Recovering Room series. Acting as a nurse, Ji Yeo gained access to women recovering from plastic surgery and photographed them fresh from going under the knife. Equal parts documentary and art, Ji Yeo’s work aims to interrupt the usual before-and-after plastic surgery narrative by showing the cost of adhering to social pressure in Korea.

K-Pop’s Profile Expands Exponentially, All Thanks to Psy
Billboard.com

It’s been a year already?

As of this morning, July 15, Psy’s viral phenom “Gangnam Style” is officially one year old. The video is already the most-viewed video ever on YouTube and was the first clip ever to surpass 1 billion views, currently standing at 1.74 billion, and just last week his official channel on YouTube became fifth on all of YouTube with over 3 billion views. But according to data provided by Google, perhaps more important than Psy’s own larger-than-life profile is the impact that Psy’s viral phenomenon has had on K-Pop’s popularity worldwide.

‘Gangnam’ Is One Year Old, K-Pop Is Massive, And Music Is Forever Different
Wired.com

Gangnam Style came out a year ago today. I still remember exactly where I was the first time I heard (and saw) Gangnam Style. It was at my desk, in front of a computer. Not very exciting, I know. But it was probably a pretty common way to experience it–on the computer. A decade ago, that wouldn’t have been true. Songs and videos spread the old fashioned way, on radio and TV. Today’s different, and it means that something completely unlikely–like a portly K-Pop star–can hit in never before imagined ways.

I also remember where I was the first time I shared Gangnam Style–which is the video’s other inherent action. I was in my car, talking about it. My passenger hadn’t seen it, so I pulled over to the side of the road, and we watched it on my phone. From there it was a short skip to parodies, photoshops, and your uncool aunt doing the Gangnam dance in the Marriott ballroom during your newphew’s Bar Mitzvah. In other words, in the span of a few months, it totally ate culture.

New Baltimore Orioles’ pitcher hopes to model self after Ryu Hyun-jin
Yonhap News via GlobalPost

Yoon Jung-hyun, a former South Korean college pitcher who recently signed with the Baltimore Orioles, said Tuesday he will try to model himself after a fellow Korean hurler who has had an early success in Major League Baseball (MLB).

The Orioles announced the signing of the 20-year-old left-hander earlier this month. It was a surprise acquisition of an unheralded player who was mid-round draft pick in the domestic Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) out of high school, and dropped out of a Seoul-based university last August. The Orioles cited Yoon’s “smooth delivery” and his “solid curveball with significant upside.”

Wie Future?
Desert Sun (Palm Springs, Calif.)

Q: Where does Michelle Wie go from here? She has become a non-factor on the LPGA Tour and is clearly struggling with her game. There is no question she has, or had, the talent. Where is it now?

A: Well, the answer might be to have patience.

Sometimes we forget that Wie is just 23 years old. That’s four years younger than Stacy Lewis, for instance. And Lewis didn’t have her big breakthrough until she was 26 at the Kraft Nabisco Championship and then a huge year at 27.

ORIGINS: TONY B KIM
GeekExchange.com

Vocations:
Communications Lead for Slingshot Group & Consultant for Comic Book Convention

Location:
Irvine, CA

Obsessions:
Kryptonian, Whovian, Throner, Jedi and Trekkie

I grew up a poor Korean boy in a small town near Dallas. Being one of the few Asian-Americans in my community, I automatically felt marginalized and stereotyped. It certainly didn’t help that I was super nerdy. However, that did enable me to cope with the social anxieties and allowed for a lot of creative expression. As an avid sci-fi and comic book geek, I started my own Star Trek clubs, obsessed over my Star Wars collection and spent my weekends immersed in comic books shops.

Inbee Park Wins U.S. Women’s Open For Third Straight Major
Author: Steve Han
Posted: July 1st, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
« (previous post)
(next post) »

South Korean golfer Inbee Park edged out I.K. Kim to win the 68th U.S. Women’s Open at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.

Park, the world’s top-ranked women’s golfer, finished at 8-under to beat out fellow South Korean Kim by just four strokes. She went 2-over 74 in the final round to secure the win, as Kim shot 74 for the runner-up finish.

It was the third straight major title of the year for Park, who won the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the Wegmans LPGA Championship before heading into the U.S. Women’s Open. Continue Reading »

Monday’s Link Attack: NKorea Wants to Talk … Again; Amateur Michael Kim Wows at US Open; Giant Bibimbap
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: June 17th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
« (previous post)
(next post) »

North Korea Proposes High-Level Talks With U.S.
New York Times

North Korea on Sunday proposed high-level talks with the United States, saying that it was ready to discuss easing tensions and eventually denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

The North’s proposal indicated that it was shifting to dialogue after months of bellicose language, including threats to launch nuclear strikes at the United States and South Korea, that have raised tensions to the highest in years. North Korea had also proposed dialogue with South Korea this month, though their initial agreement to hold high-level dialogue in Seoul collapsed last week over a difference over the level of their chief delegates.

U.S. not enthusiastic yet about N. Korea’s dialogue offer
Yonhap News

The White House said Sunday North Korea should first prove its seriousness about dialogue through actions, “not nice words,” effectively turning down the communist nation’s offer of bilateral negotiations without “preconditions” attached.

“Those talks have to be real. They have to be based on them living up to their obligations, to include on proliferation, on nuclear weapons, on smuggling and other things,” said Denis McDonough, President Barack Obama’s chief of staff.

“So we’ll judge them by their actions, not by the nice words that we heard yesterday,” he told the “Face the Nation,” a CBS talk show.

North Korea to Send Senior Envoy to China
New York Times

A senior nuclear negotiator from North Korea will visit Beijing for a strategic dialogue this week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Monday.

The planned trip by the first vice foreign minister of North Korea, Kim Kye-gwan, follows his country’s proposal on Sunday to hold senior-level talks with Washington to discuss easing tensions and eventually removing nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula.

Mr. Kim, a veteran diplomat and a central figure in North Korea’s negotiations with the outside world over its nuclear weapons programs, is scheduled to meet with the Chinese vice foreign minister, Zhang Yesui, in Beijing on Wednesday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told reporters at a press briefing.

China’s Movie Industry Sets Sights on South Korea
Wall Street Journal

Chinese movies accounted for a tiny percentage of South Korea’s box office last year, but China’s film industry is hoping to change that.

The 2013 Chinese Film Festival in Seoul kicked off Sunday, opening with the first South Korean screening of martial-arts film “The Grandmaster.” Wong Kar-wai, the movie’s director, stepped out onto the red carpet for the event along with its stars, Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi.

Set against the backdrop of tumultuous 1930s China, the film explores the life of martial-arts fighter Ip Man, who famously taught Bruce Lee. The movie is generating buzz in South Korea because popular Korean actress Song Hye-gyo appears in the film as Ip Man’s wife.

Samsung’s Kitchen Ambition
CNN Money

Can Samsung Electronics conquer kitchen appliances in the same way it has conquered televisions and smartphones?

The Korean tech conglomerate, already the market leader in sales of TVs and mobile phones with advanced computing capabilities, says it also aims to be the world’s No. 1 purveyor of home appliances by 2015. That’s a lofty goal considering that today it is the No. 5 player in refrigerators and automatic washer/dryers, according to market share data from Euromonitor International, and isn’t in Euromonitor’s top 5 in dishwashers, ovens or microwaves.

But Boo-Keun Yoon, co-CEO of Samsung Electronics, believes the company can win over global consumers by bringing innovation and a high-tech approach to refrigerators, ovens, air conditioners, and washing machines. “These are products that consumers are very emotional about, but there’s a lot of room for innovation in home appliances.” Yoon says.

Amateur Kim Tops World’s Top 2
San Diego Union-Tribune

Michael Kim understandably ran out of gas on Sunday at the U.S. Open, but he made a big name for himself along the way.

The Torrey Pines High alum from Del Mar closed his first U.S. Open with a 6-over-par 76 at Merion Golf Club to earn a tie for 17th at 10-over. Among the players he bested were world Nos. 1 and 2, Tiger Woods (13-over) and Rory McIlroy (14-over).

The 19-year-old NCAA Player of the Year from Cal was the top finishing amateur, though he missed by three shots earning an automatic return ticket for next year.

Amateur Michael Kim making the most of his time at Merion
Golf.com

The USGA defines an amateur as someone “who plays golf for the challenge it presents, not as a profession and not for financial gain.”

Michael Kim, a 19-year-old rising junior at Cal, had to overcome a couple of those challenges in the two weeks leading up to the U.S. Open.

Lose in the semifinals of the NCAA championships? No problem. Just go out and qualify for 113th U.S. Open the next day.

Choo takes rare day off Sunday
MLB.com

Shin-Soo Choo has played in 67 of the Reds’ 70 games this season, making Sunday’s off-day a rare occasion.

“I just told him to stay in and rest some, come in late,” manager Dusty Baker said of Choo. “I don’t think he knows how to.”

Baker was only half kidding, as Choo had to ask fellow outfielder Jay Bruce when he should arrive at Great American Ball Park before Sunday’s game. The nine-year veteran said his body is just accustomed to arriving early.

Abby Wambach, U.S. top South Korea
ESPN.com

Abby Wambach scored her 156th career international goal to move within two of Mia Hamm’s U.S. women’s record in the Americans’ 4-1 victory over South Korea on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.

Wambach scored on a penalty kick in stoppage time after Alex Morgan was fouled inside the area.

“It’s not easy to score in international soccer, no matter who you’re playing,” Wambach said. “It’s a pretty special night and I’m one more (goal) closer to getting (the record). … I’m glad to have gotten the penalty kick. I think I deserved one earlier, but that’s the way it goes.”

Aspen F&W 2013: Kristen Kish on Winning Top Chef and Her New Gig at Menton
Zagat.com

Top Chef season 10 winner (and Zagat 30 Under 30) Kristen Kish is the star of the show at this year’s Aspen F&W Classic. We watched her tear apart live lobsters with her bare hands during a seminar on Friday morning to the amazement of the massive audience and F&W editor Kate Krader who was standing by. We sat down with the young Boston chef to talk about her whirlwind year and her exciting new gig as chef de cuisine at Barbara Lynch’s Menton. Check out our chat with her below.

A Giant Bibimbap at a Korean Food Festival
New York Times

There are 24 Korean restaurants concentrated near the intersection of 149th Street and 41st Avenue in Flushing, Queens, and locals refer to the area as Muk Ja Gol Mok, or restaurant street. So merchants and civic leaders decided to organize a festival by that name on Saturday, and they hope to make it an annual event, said Kim Young Hwan, president of the Muk Ja Gol Mok association.

The event, the Inaugural Muk Ja Gol Mok Asian Festival, which was also organized by the Korean American Association of Queens, drew about 5,000 visitors, according to The Korea Times.

UCLA Commencement 2013 – Ashley Yoon Sings the National Anthem
YouTube

Featuring Recent Posts Wordpress Widget development by YD