Monday’s Link Attack: North Korea Missile Launches; John Cho; Grace Park
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: May 20th, 2013
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North Korea Launches Missiles for 3rd Straight Day
New York Times

North Korea launched two short-range projectiles into waters off its east coast for a third straight day on Monday, officials here said, despite warnings from the United States and South Korea against increasing tensions.

The North has conducted six such launchings since Saturday, in what are believed to be tests of short-range guided missiles or rockets from multiple launchers, officials said.

“We remain vigilant for the possibility that the North may launch more,” a spokesman for the South Korean Defense Ministry said, insisting upon anonymity until his government made a formal announcement.

Kenneth Bae: Get him out, but also watch where you are [OPINION]
Seattle Times

For all the fanciful exaggeration of the charges against him, Bae is in a serious fix. North Korea is the most paranoid government on the planet. And Bae is ethnically Korean. Note that his captors use his Korean name, Pae Jun Ho. To them, he is one of theirs.

But he is an American, and our government needs to get him out of there. A diplomatic rescue is, however, going to cost something, and more than money.

More South Koreans support developing nuclear weapons
Los Angeles Times

Perhaps it is merely basic human desire to keep up with the neighbors, but an increasing number of South Koreans are saying that they want nuclear weapons too.

Even in Japan, a country still traumatized by the legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there is a debate about the once-taboo topic of nuclear weapons.

The mere fact that the bomb is being discussed as a policy option shows how North Korea’s nuclear program could trigger a new arms race in East Asia, unraveling decades of nonproliferation efforts. The government in Pyongyang conducted its third nuclear test in February and is believed to be preparing a fourth.

In South Korea, high-profile defector is accused of spying for the North — by his sister
Washington Post

Earlier this year, one of the most prominent North Korean defectors, Yoo Woo-sung, walked out of his apartment building here and found four South Korean government vehicles waiting for him.

Authorities hauled Yoo away and arrested him on charges of espionage. They had learned of his alleged crime, court documents show, thanks to testimony from his sister, who said Yoo had been sent on a mission by North Korea’s secret police to infiltrate the defector community and pass back information about the people he met.

Yoo, 32, is being held at a detention center on the outskirts of Seoul, his case a reminder of how this peninsula’s messy and sometimes covert conflict has left the South on edge, with people here unsure whom they can trust.

South Korea: The little dynamo that sneaked up on the world
Christian Science Monitor

South Korea, long in the shadow of other Asian ‘tiger economies,’ is suddenly hip and enormously prosperous – so much so that it may have outgrown its thankless dream of reuniting with the North.

Undocumented Asian Americans are now sharing personal stories online — and onstage
New York Daily News

The crowd that had descended on Washington, D.C. included a great many undocumented immigrants like Pang, yet she felt as if she were an outsider amid the sea of humanity.

“We felt kind of alienated,” said Pang, 23, who was born in Singapore and moved to New York when she was 14. “There weren’t many Asian-American faces.”

Many undocumented Latino students have gone public with their stories, but it’s far less common for Asian-Americans to do the same — even though Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and activist Jose Antonio Vargas, arguably the country’s most high-profile undocumented immigrant, is from the Philippines.

About 1.3 million of the country’s 11.5 million undocumented immigrants were born in Asia, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimates.

Asian-Americans: Smart, High-Incomes And … Poor?

Asian-Americans have the highest income and education levels of any racial group in the country. So it might be surprising that they have a higher poverty rate than non-Hispanic whites. Michel Martin discusses the issue with Algernon Austin of the Economic Policy Institute and Rosalind Chou, co-author of The Myth of the Model Minority.

Is it time to kiss Michelle Rhee goodbye?
Washington Post

Is is time to kiss America’s most famous school reformer goodbye? Larry Cuban thinks so — and below he explains why. Cuban was high school social studies teacher for 14 years, a district superintendent (seven years in Arlington, VA), and professor emeritus of education at Stanford University, where he has taught for more than 20 years. His new book is “Inside the Black Box of Classroom Practice: Change without Reform in American Education.” This post appeared on his blog.

In a drive toward reform, World Bank’s Jim Yong Kim turns to a ‘deliverologist’
Washington Post

[Sir Michael Barber] has caught Kim’s ear in particular and has been counseling the new World Bank president trying to focus an organization that internal documents describe as “overstretched.”

Barber’s philosophy lays out a tough road — one that would force the bank to change the way it sets internal budgets and be stricter in ensuring projects that countries want funded align with its overarching goals. Kim has made the top priority clear: eliminating extreme poverty by 2030. Reshaping how the bank operates to further that end may require a deep change in culture — and Barber’s ideas about service delivery are driving the process.

John Cho: ‘Harold & Kumar animated series pilot is written’
Digital Spy

John Cho has revealed that a pilot for the Harold & Kumar animated show on Adult Swim has been written.

Last year, it was announced that an animated version of the film franchise will be included in Adult Swim’s 2012-2013 season.

Vancouver’s Grace Park arresting in Hawaii Five-O
Vancouver Sun

As Hawaii Five-O prepares to wrap its third hit season, Vancouver’s Grace Park is almost as famous a fixture in Honolulu as the landmarks that flash on the screen in the show’s opening credits in sync with the best TV theme music of all time.

Park has chosen an isolated Honolulu hotel to meet with The Vancouver Sun, a place where no one will make a fuss over her. But the taxi drivers and hotel staff are still buzzing as she passes by dressed in a casual outfit: “Isn’t that … Yes, it is … that’s Kono.”

Kono Kalakaua, Park’s onscreen alter-ego, is the only female member of the elite Five O police squad that keeps the televised version of Hawaii safe from global organized crime lords with a tendency to arrive on the island and blow a lot of things up, because huge explosions look kinda awesome with a tropical backdrop and sunsets the colour of overripe papayas.

Conger and Wilson proving to be a good battery

While Hank Conger is focused on establishing a connection with every pitcher on the Angels’ pitching staff, he has developed a strong bond with left-hander C.J. Wilson.

That relationship is getting Conger into the lineup — he has caught six of Wilson’s last seven starts — and helping Wilson, as well.

“There’s a comfort level there that’s starting to develop,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said after Friday’s game, albeit a 3-0 loss to White Sox ace Chris Sale. “Hank didn’t really catch him last year, but it started in the spring. They are working well together.”

Wednesday’s Link Attack: South Korean Presidential Race; ‘Sexy’ Kim Jong-un; Korean Beer
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: November 28th, 2012
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Why Did Asian Americans Mostly Vote for President Obama?

According to exit polls in the Nov. 6 election, Asian American voters favored Obama over Romney by a ratio of more than 3-to-1 (76 percent versus 23 percent). This has puzzled a number of Republicans. Asian Americans, more than any other group, including white suburbanites, who are a backbone of Republican support, have demographic characteristics that would seem to make them support low taxes, fiscal austerity, conventional family values, and hostility to affirmative action (especially in higher education)—all policies strongly associated with today’s Republican Party.

Asian American joins anti-profiling lawsuit

An Asian-American has joined a federal civil-rights lawsuit challenging Arizona’s tough immigration law that allows police to ask the immigration status of a person, stopped, detained or arrested if there’s a reasonable suspicion the person is in the country illegally.

Jim Shee, a Paradise Valley real-estate investor who is of Chinese and Spanish descent, is the only Asian-Americans among 10 individuals – the rest are Latinos – publicly named in the lawsuit.

Japanese PM Says Korea ‘Illegally Occupying’ Dokdo
Chosun Ilbo

Japan’s ruling Democratic Party has ratcheted up the rhetoric over the country’s flimsy colonial claim to Korea’s Dokdo islets ahead of next month’s general elections.

A list of campaign pledges announced by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda says Korea is “illegally occupying” the islets and vowed to “demand a peaceful resolution according to international laws.”

Wired SKorea to stem digital addiction from age 3
AP via BusinessWeek

In South Korea, where the government provides counseling programs and psychological treatment for an estimated 2 million people who cannot wean themselves from playing online computer games, youngsters such as Park have previously not been considered as potential addicts.

Here and in other parts of Asia, online addiction has long been associated with hardcore gamers who play online games for days on end, isolated from their school, work or family life and blurring the line between the real and fantasy online worlds. In a shocking 2010 case in South Korea, a 3-month-old girl died after being fed just once a day by her parents who were consumed with marathon online game sessions.

Rivals in South Korea’s presidential election [VIDEO]
BBC News

In South Korea, the race to be the next president is underway. The 19 December election is widely expected to be a contest between the ruling Saenuri party candidate, Park Geun-hye, and her Democratic United Party rival, Moon Jae-in.

Both are fighting for the support of South Korea’s youngest voters. As Lucy Williamson reports from Seoul, the race couldn’t be tighter.

Election Ads Kick Off, Sparking Chair Controversy
Wall Street Journal

The presidential election campaign officially started on Tuesday, and with it the battle of political TV ads.

The candidates can broadcast commercials of less than 1 minute that can’t be played more than 30 times. Election ads in South Korea tend to avoid attacks on the other candidates, and the first somewhat mushy commercials focus mainly on what each campaign believes to be the strengths of their candidate.

Kim Jong-un Seems to Get a New Title: Heartthrob
New York Times

How do you say satire in Mandarin?

Not known for its sense of humor, the Chinese Communist Party’s official mouthpiece apparently fell for a parody by The Onion, the satirical newspaper and Web site, when it reported Tuesday in some online editions of People’s Daily that Kim Jong-un, the young, chubby North Korean ruler, had been named the “Sexiest Man Alive for 2012.”

Or did it?

K-Town Debuts Second Season, Cue Rejoicing and Moans
Los Angeles Magazine

The first season of web series K-Town took viewers on a romp through one of Los Angeles’ most underrated social scenes: the nightlife and restaurant enclave known as Koreatown. Today, the show’s second season premieres with even raunchier stereotype-dispelling episodes revealing the wilder side of 20-something Korean Angelenos who love Makkoli and Korean BBQ more than Ivy League acceptances and martial arts.

The reality show, which follows seven people – from the self-proclaimed “King of K-Town” to a former exotic dancer and unabashed sexual libertine – debuted to mixed reactions. Readers of L.A.-based KoreAm magazine bemoaned the show’s portrayal of Asians, complaining of its “seemingly deliberate plan to expose Koreans as vapid, obnoxious, and fucked up.” Fans, however, embraced the show as an antidote to the typical “goody two shoes” portrayal of Asian-Americans in the media. In its subtly accented, second-generation-immigrant tone, the show proclaims: We do more than study, smoke pot, and play an occasionally good game of hoops.

Korean pop’s giant leap with ‘Gangnam’ steps
Al Jazeera English

Yet another introductory article about K-pop and its global popularity.

South Korea’s pop scene rakes in billions while the horse-galloping PSY video becomes most viewed in YouTube’s history.

How to Train Like the World’s Toughest Mudder
Men’s Fitness

Junyong Pak is 34 years old, 140 lbs., 5’8” tall, and has six Tough Mudders under his belt. But that’s not what makes this Boston entrepreneur such a badass. With his near-heroic performance last week, Pak has now won back-to-back titles in the World’s Toughest Mudder (WTM), proving that his body can take a major beating. Bearing electric shocks, ice-slicked hanging rings, and hypothermia-inducing temperatures, Pak completed 90 miles in just over 24 hours during this year’s competition, surpassing his 60-mile feat the previous year—and setting an all-time record for the competition. The Pak man dished to Men’s Fitness about the diet and grueling training that made him the two-time winner of the hardest obstacle race in the world.

Grace Park Ties the Knot Just Months After Hanging Up Clubs
Chosun Ilbo

Veteran Korean golfer Grace Park married Kim Hak-su, a businessman and an alumnus of her elementary school, at a closed ceremony in Seoul on Tuesday in the presence of their families, relatives and friends.

Brewing in South Korea: Fiery food, boring beer — A dull duopoly crushes microbrewers
The Economist

THEIR cuisine is one of the world’s most exciting. South Korean diners would not tolerate bland kimchi (cabbage pickled in garlic and chili) or sannakji (fresh chopped octopus, still wriggling on the plate). So why do they swill boring beer?

Local brews such as Cass and Hite go down easily enough (which is not always true of those writhing tentacles with their little suction cups). Yet they leave little impression on the palate. Some South Korean beers skimp on barley malt, using the likes of rice in its place. Others are full of corn. And despite the recent creation of Hite Dry Finish—a step in the right direction—brewing remains just about the only useful activity at which North Korea beats the South. The North’s Taedonggang Beer, made with equipment imported from Britain, tastes surprisingly good.

Overcoming the obstacles of diagnosing diabetes in Asian Americans

Several years ago both of my parents were identified as being at risk for developing type II diabetes. Diagnosing my parents was an easy call for their doctors to make since both of them exhibited many of the tell-tale signs: moderate obesity, advanced age, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a sedentary lifestyle. They are also Asian, which dramatically increases their risk of developing type II diabetes(1). While somewhere around 10% of the Asian American population are diabetic, 90-95% of these cases are type II diabetes. My parents’ doctors primarily recommended lifestyle changes including more exercise and dietary modifications. The latter consisted namely of cutting back on that linchpin of Vietnamese cuisine, white rice, which has been proposed to increase the risk of type II diabetes (2). Unlike my parents’ situation, however, diagnosing diabetes in many Asian Americans turns out to be not so simple.

Why Kim Jong Eun Can’t Afford to Give Up Weapons
Wall Street Journal

Golfer Grace Park Retires From LPGA
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: June 11th, 2012
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Pioneering golfer Grace Park announced her retirement from the LPGA last Friday amid a lackluster outing at the LPGA Championship, according to news reports.

The 33-year-old golfer, who battled back from a number of injuries, said that she had been thinking of retiring for a while.

“After getting my health back and playing every event last year, I wanted to give it one last chance at becoming one of the top golfers again,” she said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “I worked really hard to get here today. Especially this past winter in trying to improve my game, improve my strength again, and I thought I could do it again. But the truth was, the reality was, that my game just wasn’t there.” Continue Reading »

Wednesday’s Link Attack: Kim Jong-un, Crazy Korean Hair, Hawaii 5-0
Author: Linda Son
Posted: December 7th, 2011
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Kim Jong-un May Join Powerful Military Organization Next Year
Yonhap News Agency

The youngest son and heir apparent of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il could assume a powerful military post next year as the communist regime inches toward a third-generation hereditary succession, a South Korean report said Wednesday.

The Research Institute for National Security Affairs (RINSA) at the Korea National Defense University said Kim Jong-un could be named the first vice chairman of the powerful National Defense Commission next year. Kim Jong-il serves as the chairman of the organization.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment 2011: Power 100 – #96
The Hollywood Reporter

Nelson doesn’t come across as terribly impressed with herself. Her last movie hit it big, she says, because “we got to explore these characters more deeply. Everyone working on the film — the cast, the crew — knows these characters so well. And everybody has such a great time doing it.”

That’s the case with a lot of movies and probably a lot of sequels. But not every movie sees the same scale of success as Kung Fu Panda 2: With worldwide box office of about $650 million, the animated 3D sequel to the 2008 original has become the highest-grossing film directed by a woman.

Derek Kirk Kim’s Same Difference: Slacker Korean-American Kids Come of Age in the Bay Area

Same Difference is the story of Korean-American 20-something slackers in San Francisco who wrestle with the stereotypes and ambitions that they feel guide their lives. It has the feel of vintage Douglas Coupland, a drifting ennui shot through with moments of human warmth and connection. And though it’s a quick read, it leaves a lasting emotional coal smouldering in its wake.

South Korea Sack Coach Cho

And despite South Korea currently sitting top of their 2014 World Cup qualifying group, a shock 2-1 defeat to Lebanon in their last outing has left the 2002 World Cup semi-finalists precariously poised going into a crunch final game against Kuwait, who could qualify at their hosts’ expense if they win in Seoul.

KBS announced Cho’s departure on Tuesday and named Afshin Ghotbi, Choi Kang-Hee and Hong Myong-Bo as the Korean Football Association’s preferred replacements.

Seoul to let all Native English Speaking Teachers go by 2014
The Marmot’s Hole

A Seoul Metropolitan Council official said according to a poll, students and parents preferred Korean instructors fluent in English over native speakers, and that the council plans to slash Seoul Office of Education’s budget for personnel costs for native speakers.

In the next fiscal year, the city plans to reduce the 30 billion won budget for native speakers by 4.9 billion won; it appears 707 native speakers—57% of the 1,245 total—will leave their schools.

Oxford’s Kim at Home on the Court and in the Classroom
Rockdale Citizen (Conyers-Rockdale County, Ga.)

Kim also sports a 5.5 point-per-game average and scored a team-high 15 points in Oxford’s 89-63 victory on Sunday against the Greenville Titans. And while he’s one of the Eagles’ tallest players, he’s comfortable taking charge of the ball in transition.

“Sam’s a multi-purpose player,” Oxford coach Roderick Stubbs said. “He can play anywhere from point guard to center. And he’s an excellent passer and looks for people in the open court. And he’s our leading rebounder. He brings a lot to the table and helps us to function better.

“We put in a system where if you get the (defensive) rebound, then you’re the point. So he’ll go get it and can run the point and look for people in transition. He loves that.”

South Korea Steps up Enforcement of Cold War-era Law Banning Praise of North Korea
The Washington Post

Since a conservative government took power in 2008, indictments have shot up under a South Korean security law that makes it a crime to praise, sympathize or cooperate with North Korea. More than 150 were questioned and 60 charged in 2010, up from 39 questioned and 36 charged in 2007, officials say.

In another sign of stepped-up enforcement, a South Korean government agency launched a team on Wednesday that will examine Facebook and Twitter posts and smartphone applications to cope with what it says is a growing volume of illicit content, including violations of the security law.

South Korean Leaders Quit Party Posts in Vote Scandal
The Wall Street Journal

South Korea’s ruling political party fell into crisis as three of its seven leaders quit their posts and others tried to distance themselves from a scandal involving legislative aides who police say tampered with the government election agency’s computers during recent polling.

The Crazy Cutting Edge of Korean Hair
The Guardian (U.K.)

The Korea Hair Show in Seoul is a showcase for the most out-there developments in contemporary hairstyling. They’re unlikely to inspire many copycat styles – unless your name is Lady Gaga.

For more photos, check out the gallery.

Access to caregiving can have barriers for immigrants
Baltimore Sun

Banghwa Lee Casado, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, conducted a study of 146 Korean American caregivers in Maryland and northern Virginia to examine access barriers to using home- and community-based programs, such as respite care, adult day care, home health and transportation services.

Casado’s research found a good majority of her subjects had never used these services. A lack of awareness was the most cited reason for not accessing these services. For instance, more than eight out of 10 reported having no knowledge of respite care and caregiving support group.

“We know anecdotally they have limited resources,” said Casado, who presented her findings at The Gerontological Society of America conference last month in Boston. “But without the data, we can’t show evidence there is unmeet need.”

EXCLUSIVE First Look: A TV Wedding, ‘Hawaii Five-0′ Style

Yep, the ‘Hawaii Five-0′ wedding is almost here, and we’ve got the exclusive first look at the big day. In ‘Alaheo Pau’ole’ (Mon., Dec. 12, 10PM ET on CBS) — which translates to “Gone Forever” — Chin and Malia are tying the knot, but not before the Five-0 are called to investigate a crime or two. It seems a man was left for dead in an abandoned WWII bunker, and that is somehow tied to a Jane Doe case the Capt. Fryer (Tom Sizemore) is working on.

The National Film Society interviews Joy Osmanski

Affable actor Joy Osmanski joins the National Film Society to talk headshots, Hollywood and Jonah Hill.

Thursday’s Link Attack: Apple, Grace Park, Korean Adoptees
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: July 14th, 2011
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South Korean Lawyer Plans Class-Action Suit Against Apple
The Wall Street Journal

Apple Inc.’s South Korea unit last month paid about $950 to a South Korean lawyer who sued the company after Apple acknowledged that its iPhone retained location information about users.

The attorney, Kim Hyung-seok, on Thursday said he plans to file a class-action lawsuit against the company on behalf of other people allegedly affected by the matter.

U.S. Senate sets hearing on Sung Kim’s nomination

The U.S. Senate plans to hold a confirmation hearing for Sung Kim, the nominee to become ambassador to South Korea, next week, a related committee announced Thursday.

‘Hawaii Five-0′ back in action
Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Hugs and handshakes were the order of the day as a gallery of news cameras clicked to document the return of the show’s main players: Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park. They were joined by series regulars Masi Oka, Taylor Wily and child actor Teilor Grubbs, who plays Danny “Danno” Williams’ daughter on the series.

Grace Park talks about the upcoming second season for Hawaii Five-0

Man U’s South Korean soccer superstar coming to Seattle
Northwest Asian Weekly

Manchester United will continue its U.S. tour with a stop in Seattle July 20. Former South Korean national team captain Ji Sung Park scored a goal in the Red Devils friendly win over the New England Revolution yesterday.

The Find: Jun Won’s farm-fresh Korean cuisine
Los Angeles Times

A sparkling multicolored spread of dishes on every table gives the place the feel of a lavish tapas party. Fish is the star of the menu, but that’s only one reason the 18-year-old restaurant’s loyal clientele keeps returning. The seasonal array of eight or nine banchan (which may include a toss of sesame-dressed sukkat (young chrysanthemum greens), fresh parsley salad, tiny burger patties and seasoned eggplant) outshines those found at most Korean barbecues.

Owner Jung Ye Jun gets many of her leafy greens from friends who farm them in Bakersfield, says her son Jeff Jun, who now manages the restaurant. For years people would ask to buy extra banchan to go. Finally, at the urging of loyal customers, Jung Ye Jun opened a small retail boutique on Olympic Boulevard, where she makes and sells her banchan along with kimchi in the typical style of her home province, Chungcheongnam-do.

Camp teaches adopted Korean children about their native culture
Democrat & Chronicle (Rochester, N.Y.)

Attending Camp Chin-Gu as a youth and teenager, Amanda Ornt-Rezer had one overarching reaction: Everyone here is just like me.

Now 24 years old, Ornt-Rezer is married, lives in Virginia Beach and is expecting her first child.

But she still makes the weeklong trip to the Fairport camp each year, where she now helps teach young adopted Korean children — and their siblings — about their native culture.

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