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]
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
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?
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’
[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’
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
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.”
North Korean academic says detained American called family and asked US to push for amnesty
AP via Washington Post
A North Korean academic says an American sentenced to 15 years’ hard labor has called his family and urged Washington to push for his amnesty.
Ri Gyong Chol, section chief of the North Korean Academy of Social Sciences’ Institution of Law, also told The Associated Press Sunday that Kenneth Bae informed his family on Friday that he couldn’t appeal his April 30 sentence.
Ri’s information came from authorities in charge of Bae’s case. Washington has called for Bae’s release.
N. Korea in dangerous nuclear showdown: US envoy
AFP via Google News
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is playing a dangerous game in his nuclear showdown with the international community, the US envoy seeking to tempt the isolated state back into talks said Thursday.
Glyn Davies said ahead of a tour of South Korea, China and Japan that it was becoming clear that the young Kim is the master dictating policy, including sanctions-busting nuclear bomb and long-range missile tests.
Juliana Redding Murder Update: Kelly Soo Park’s defense claims Redding’s boyfriend could be killer
In a key pre-trial hearing days before Kelly Soo Park stands trial for the 2008 murder of 21-year-old aspiring model Juliana Redding, the prosecution and defense effectively switched roles as Park’s attorneys sought to point to what they say is another possible murder suspect — Redding’s boyfriend.
The defense team is attempting to establish that former Santa Monica resident and surfer John Gilmore could very well have been the killer, instead of Park. Meanwhile, prosecutor Stacy Okun-Wiese voiced her intention to demonstrate Gilmore’s “innocence,” insisting Park is indeed the killer.
Park is accused of beating and strangling Redding, whose body was found in March 2008 in Redding’s Santa Monica, Calif. condo. Redding had moved to Santa Monica from Arizona in order to pursue a career in modeling and acting. She had been featured in Maxim magazine, where she won a “Hometown Hotties” contest.
District Attorney investigates complaint in Hollywood area council race
Southern California Public Radio
The District Attorney’s Office is investigating a complaint that campaign workers in a Hollywood area city council race illegally filled out ballots for voters.
The complaint was filed by the John Choi campaign against his opponent Mitch O’Farrell. According to the campaign, the O’Farrell camp mishandled ballots and outright voted on behalf of constituents in the Little Armenia neighborhood. The O’Farrell campaign denies all the allegations.
“This is the most blatant and widespread case of voter fraud I’ve seen in 20 years of political campaigns,” said Mike Shimpock of the Choi campaign. “They are literally stealing this election. This needs to be stopped.”
LA Catholic Archiocese grooming next generation of elementary school leaders
Southern California Public Radio
Tech-savvy and a skilled fundraiser, Jae Kim is exactly the type of leader the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles wants for its schools.
Last July, Kim became the first person other than a nun to be principal of St. John Chrysostom School in Inglewood. He’s outfitted the 85-year-old school with Wi-Fi, developed a financial plan that includes a rainy day fund and instructed teachers to post grades online.
Kim is part of a new generation of leaders whom the archdiocese is grooming. They’re being cultivated at a critical time for a Church eager to attract and hold onto the next generation.
Crazy, Stupid, Korean Love: On David Choe, Han, and “Unmarriageable” Koreans
I asked a few Korean Americans to elaborate on their “unmarriageable” status as professed by Choe. Aside from a universal sense of self-deprecation and wryness at an all too familiar topic, some responses specifically alluded to the personalities and relationships of their parents’ generation:
“It feels great because now I can tell my mom that it’s not my fault after all! It’s just because I’m Korean American. So, it’s your fault, mom. Your fault.” –C.K.
“My Korean father refused to marry my Korean mother, and abandoned her, pregnant and alone. I was sent away from the motherland, to be raised strangers abroad. But yeah, sure. That sounds great. It’s not like I’ve spent my entire life trying to prove I’m unmarriageable and unloveable.” –K.D.
“If I’m anything like my mother, I completely understand why a man would hesitate to marry me.” –V.L.
South Korean Men Cosmetics-Crazed
Their catchy tunes and sleek moves have helped sell billions of records.
Now, K-pop’s biggest stars are helping cosmetics firms sell makeup – to men.
Eager to achieve their pretty-boy looks and smooth complexion, South Korean men are increasingly turning to BB cream foundation and anti-aging products to achieve K-Pop perfection, spending $900 million a year on cosmetics, according to research firm Euromonitor.
South Korea is by far the largest in a growing global market for men’s cosmetics, accounting for nearly a quarter of sales in the skin care market.
Japanese First Lady in Korean Musical Furor
Akie Abe, the wife of rightwing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, came in for a storm of criticism when she said on Facebook that she went to see a Korean musical.
Last Wednesday night, Akie posted the seemingly uncontroversial comment, “I had an enjoyable time watching Korean musical ‘Caffeine’ currently on stage in Tokyo,” with a photo showing her in front of the poster. “Caffeine” has been running since April 25 at the Amuse Musical Theater in Roppongi, Tokyo, which is dedicated to Korean musicals.
But Japanese patriots were incensed by her “careless” conduct as the wife of the prime minister at this “sensitive time.”
Los Angeles Dodgers Rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu Consistently Good in First Eight Starts
Yahoo Sports [Contributor Network]
The Los Angeles Dodgers spent a lot of money on Korean import Hyun-Jin Ryu this winter. So far, he’s making them look awfully smart.
The initial scouting reports weren’t exactly impressive: an average fastball, an average slider and a potentially plus changeup. The reports almost didn’t warrant a six-year, $36 million deal and a $25.7 posting fee. He was nearly a $62 million commitment before even throwing a pitch in the majors. That’s what former No. 1 overall draft picks in the NFL used to get. In a league where contracts are guaranteed, the Dodgers were taking a considerable risk, no matter how deep their pockets are these days.
Hank Conger’s mother marvels at son’s MLB dream
Eun, born and raised in South Korea until immigrating to the U.S. in 1986, came from a culture that preaches studying hard, going to college, obtaining a degree and ultimately working a normal 9-to-5 job.
Draft night brought mixed emotions.
“It was half and half,” Eun said of how she felt to watch her son get selected in the first round. “I was happy, but then another side was like, ‘Aw, he should go to school.’”
But Eun can laugh about all this now. Her 25-year-old son is living out his dream in the Major Leagues, while serving as a backup catcher on the Angels and doing what only one percent of those who aspire to take on his profession actually accomplish. Better yet, he’s playing for a team whose home ballpark resides in Anaheim, a half-hour drive from the Huntington Beach area where Conger grew up.
Margaret Cho: I’d like to be a role model for minority women
From your early days, you often use your family as material in your stand-up — and your mother was the “headliner” in your latest tour. How did your parents and your cultural upbringing influence your career path?
Yes I think so, but what was remarkable was how much it really informed me as a person. I don’t know how Confucian I actually am consciously, but it seems to really have affected me because of my upbringing. I’m very drawn to Korean culture and food now that I’m older and have a more secure sense of my Americanness. There was a period where I wanted to avoid Korean things because they felt so close to home, but now I miss my home so much!
Asian American Literary Pioneers
May is Asian American History Month. As a recent U.S. Census report revealed, Asian Americans are the largest group immigrating to America in the last decade. It goes without saying that Los Angeles and Southern California is central to this, like it is with the Latino population. L.A. Letters celebrates all histories every month but nonetheless this week will focus on a few forgotten early Asian American pioneering poets that paved the way for the stellar contemporary writers mentioned previously in this column, like Sesshu Foster, Amy Uyematsu, Chiwan Choi, Traci Kato-Kiriyama, Edren Sumagaysay, Cathy Park Hong, and musicians and artists like Tracy Wannomae, Alan Nakagawa, DJ Rhettmatic, Prach Ly, and Yayoi Kusama, among countless others.
State media: U.S. man sentenced in North Korea not a ‘bargaining chip’
The case of a U.S. citizen sentenced to 15 years in a North Korean labor camp is not a “political bargaining chip,” the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency reported Sunday.
Pae Jun Ho, known as Kenneth Bae by U.S. authorities, was arrested and prosecuted for various crimes aimed at “state subversion,” KCNA said. It previously reported the Korean-American was arrested November 3 after arriving as a tourist in Rason City, a port in the northeastern corner of North Korea.
In prior instances, North Korea has released Americans in its custody after a visit by some U.S. dignitary.
But Bae’s case could get caught up in the recent tensions between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as the North is formally known, and the United States.
Former North Korean detainees start letter-writing campaign for imprisoned American citizen Kenneth Bae
New York Daily News
Kenneth Bae was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for alleged ‘hostile acts’ toward the North Korean government. Journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling, detained by Kim Jong-il in 2009, are asking people to send Bae letters of support.
Life in North Korean Complex: A Glimmer of Hope
New York Times
When the order came last weekend to evacuate an industrial park in North Korea, Kwak Kyung-dock, a South Korean factory manager, said he was forced to flee with the suit on his back — and his car filled with so many boxes of the plastic machinery parts made at his factory that he had to tie several on the roof.
“I had to leave like a refugee,” he said.
The flight of South Korean managers like Mr. Kwak, crossing the border in cars overburdened with gear from factories they may never see again, has become the enduring image of a standoff that began when the North successfully launched a long-range rocket in December.
Park, Obama Must Forge Close, Honest Relationship
President Park Geun-hye flew to the U.S. on Sunday to meet with President Barack Obama. They will issue a joint statement to mark the 60th anniversary of the South Korea-U.S. alliance before she addresses a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.
Park is accompanied by no fewer than 52 officials, heads of major conglomerates, leaders of business lobbies and representatives of labor unions.
Cheong Wa Dae said the huge business entourage is aimed at “dispelling concerns” among international investors over the risks the South Korean economy faces from North Korea and the weak Japanese yen.
Fort Lee puts off decision about comfort women memorial
Bergen County Record (N.J.)
The mayor and council chose not to approve a comfort women memorial this week, despite pleas from several North Jersey Korean-American groups to move forward.
Still, officials continued to stress they’re in favor of paying tribute to the hundreds of thousands of women, many of Korean descent, who served in Japanese military brothels, or “comfort stations,” during World War II. But the Korean-American community is still divided, they said. Various factions have tussled over the memorial’s inscription and design in recent weeks.
During Thursday’s council meeting, group members acknowledged that, despite some concessions, the groups still had differing opinions about the design but some did not want to delay the decision further.
“That’s why there is the council,” said Dongchan Kim, president of Korean American Civic Empowerment, which has offices in Hackensack and New York. “I understand there are some divided ideas,” he said. “I think it’s time the councilmen decide.”
Authorities, family members seek missing Diamond Bar man
San Gabriel Valley Tribune (Calif.)
Officials and worried family members are asking the public’s help in locating a Diamond Bar man who’s been missing for more than a week.
Yong Soo Chung, 48, was last seen April 24 when he left his home in the 20000 block of Lake Canyon Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“He left in his vehicle and has not been heard from since,” sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. “His family is very concerned and is also asking for the public’s assistance.”
Missing woman’s husband issues plea for public’s help
CBC News (Canada)
The husband of a missing Saint John woman is asking for the public’s continued help for her safe return.
Yeonhee Choi, 45, who is originally from South Korea, has been missing since April 22.
Her husband, Woogoo Han, and teenaged daughter are distributing flyers across the city and offering a $50,000 reward for any tips that help police to locate her.
“I have hope. I never give up [on] my wife’s return,” Han told CBC News.
Protest planned in wake of Missoula teen’s death
Missoula County prosecutors have decided against filing a felony charge against a woman they say hit and killed Hellgate High School senior Chance Geery. Investigators say the woman, Yoon Hee Cho, had driven up onto a sidewalk and struck Geery.
An investigation into the matter had found that Cho, a University of Montana Associate Professor, was distracted, but had not been texting, drinking or speeding. City prosecutors will likely file a misdemeanor careless driving charge.
Some Hellgate students NBC Montana spoke with said that Cho will have to deal with the incident for the rest of her life, and so a felony isn’t necessary. Others expressed anger that a driver who prosecutors say struck and killed their classmate won’t face a felony.
Rice bowls, beer-battered fries at Roy Choi’s Chego in Chinatown
Los Angeles Times
By 10:30 p.m. on opening night at Chego, the crowds had thinned, enough so that late-to-the-party stragglers could walk up to the cashier at Roy Choi’s new Chinatown hub and immediately order the Beefy-T or Chubby Pork Belly rice bowls and easily find a spot at one of the picnic tables outside.
Earlier in the evening, the line of customers had extended all the way to the end of Far East Plaza, an open two-level Chinatown shopping mall on Broadway, which also houses Wing Hop Fung Ginseng and Pho 97, directly across the plaza from Chego.
Chego is tucked into a corner spot in the center of Far East Plaza on the ground floor and has a patio that serves as an en-plein-air dining room, dominated by a pretty light-strung tree and flanked by coin-operated kiddie rides. Choi, in black T-shirt and Dodgers hat, pointed to a spinning Winnie the Pooh ride that might fit a few (slender) adults and said, “I’m going to make that my private dining room.”
Psy to Speak at Harvard
Rapper Psy will give a special talk at Harvard University on Thursday, the Korea Institute at the university announced Saturday. He is to talk about the popularity of K-pop around the world and his own life story.
South Korean Olympic logo is ‘risk-y business
New York Daily News
The 2018 Winter Games are nearly five years away, giving the South Korean host city of PyeongChang plenty of time to reconsider the official emblem.
Organizers unveiled their logo Friday, describing how the first of its two shapes represents “the harmony of heaven, earth, and human” and how the second character symbolises “snow and ice, as well as the athletes’ stellar performances.”
That’s very nice, but The Score predicts many sports fans will look at the second shape and immediately think of an asterisk — and that’s no small thing in the sports world. Readers of The Score might even recall the time the Daily News marked a Barry Bonds home-run record on the newspaper’s cover with an asterisk built out of images of needles and syringes.
Choo finally gives Reds good leadoff hitter
The baseball season is a process. A systematic series of countless decisions and actions building on each other every day for 162 games directed at one end: the postseason.
So, when on May 6 we see Shin-Soo Choo ranking second in the National League to teammate Joey Votto in on-base percentage (.463 to .464), leading in offensive WAR (2.0) and batting .331, a fair question to ask: Will the Cincinnati Reds center fielder keep up this production?
“He’s only going to get, I think, better once he knows the league,” manager Dusty Baker said last week. “Right now he’s going on video and word of mouth from people until he forms his own book so to speak.”
Choo finds his hitting stroke at Wrigley Field
After starting out 3-for-26 over the first seven games of the Reds’ 10-game road trip, center fielder and leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo put a good game together in Friday’s 6-5 win over the Cubs, going 2-for-3 with an RBI single, a double and two runs scored.
Choo followed that up by leading off Saturday’s game against the Cubs with a home run.
Choo, who came into Saturday having reached safely in 27 of his 29 games, had been going through his first hitting slump of the season.
Hank Conger stumbles his way into unintentionally hilarious bunt single (Video)
You’ll often hear coaches encourage their players to “take what the defense gives them.” That advice was heard loud and clear by Los Angeles Angels catcher Hank Conger, and he put it to terrific use in their 5-4 loss to the Orioles on Saturday afternoon.
With Baltimore’s defense shifting hard to the right side in anticipation of the left-handed Conger pulling the ball, he did something that more players faced with those circumstances should feel comfortable doing — he laid down a bunt. And let me be clear here: I’m saying more players should be willing to bunt at the right time, not everybody should be bunting all of the time. I realize bunting as a whole is evil business.
Anyway, Conger laid the bunt down beautifully and had himself the easiest basehit he’ll have all season. Well, right up until the point where he went backside over tea kettle on his way down the first base line. Then it got a little bit more interesting, but since the Orioles defense had already conceded the play, he was able to recover and still get to the bag with a relatively easy, yet completely embarrassing basehit.
S. Korean workers quit troubled joint factory zone
Dozens of South Korean workers returned from a jointly run factory park in North Korea on Saturday as part of an evacuation of the flagship project following months of military tensions.
The move plunges into doubt the future of the Kaesong complex — once a rare symbol of cooperation across the world’s most heavily militarised border, and a crucial source of hard currency for Kim Jong-Un’s isolated nation.
The workers’ return came on the same day that the North announced it would put a Korean-American arrested in November on trial for trying to overthrow the communist regime — a move sure to add to frictions with the West.
N.Korea Demolishes Border Villages to Stem Defections
North Korea is demolishing villages near the border with China along the Duman River and forcing residents to move south in order to prevent defections.
A government source here said on Friday, “North Korea has been forcibly relocating villagers along the Duman River to places further from the border.” The source added soldiers have been mobilized to demolish homes in some of the villages.
In one village in Onsong, North Hamgyong Province, around a hundred homes were reportedly demolished. The Duman narrows as it passes Onsong, making the area a popular spot for defectors to cross into China.
Kim Family ‘Has US$1 Billion in European Banks’
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s family has stashed away at least US$1 billion in secret European bank accounts, the Washington Times reported last Thursday quoting a U.S. intelligence official.
The unnamed official told the paper that the Kim family’s money sits in bank accounts in Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg. U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen recently said Washington is trying to track down the slush funds amassed by the North’s ruling family.
South Korea reopens painstakingly restored 14th century gate destroyed by arsonist 5 years ago
AP via Washington Post
Five years after being torched by a disgruntled elderly man, the stone and wood southern gate to the old walled capital of Seoul has been painstakingly restored to its late 14th Century glory by a small army of master craftsmen using traditional tools.
From the hand-carved stones of the walls flanking Sungnyemun gate, to the finely wrought touches on the inner beams of the graceful, upwardly curving roof, each detail of what’s considered the country’s top treasure is meant to harken back to the day the gate was completed in 1398. On the ceiling beneath the center archway two large whiskered and horned dragons are rendered in vibrant yellow, green, blue, pink and orange scales.
Andrew Choi of Springfield charged with producing child pornography
A 35-year-old Springfield man has been accused of recording young boys as they performed sex acts during online video chats, authorities said.
Andrew Choi, 35, was arrested Friday and charged with production of child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Virginia.
Cavalry chaplain can relate to military stresses
Bellingham Herald (Wash.)
Chaplain Capt. Rick Pak is his own best example in the stories he uses to help veteran Stryker soldiers cope with the stresses of juggling combat deployments with family lives at home.
Having trouble adjusting as newlyweds? Pak’s been there.
Have each spouse pick a destination for a date. He took his wife, Sara, to a gun range. She took him for a pedicure.
Or maybe the family doesn’t feel the same as it did before a deployment. Pak went through that, too, when his daughters, 7-year-old Samantha and 5-year-old Addyson, were not as warm with him when he returned from Afghanistan last winter.
Hate aimed at ethnic Korean residents continues, but one man changes
Asahi Shimbun (Japan)
When its hatemongers were holding a demonstration in the Shin-Okubo district on the Sunday in March, counter-demonstrators gathered on the opposite side of the road holding placards. Some shouted, “Zaitoku (meaning Zaitokukai), go home.”
The skirmish line has been repeated since February.
Meanwhile, a 39-year-old man was watching the protest from the crowd of onlookers as if he was concealing himself.
The man, whose name is withheld, had participated in demonstrations on behalf of Zaitokukai and other rightist citizens groups 65 times. It was the first time that he witnessed the demonstration from the outside. What he saw made him feel like crying.
Adoptees selected for North Korean mission
Asian American Press
In August 2013, three Minnesotans will travel to North Korea as part of a peace delegation through Nodutdol, a New York-based organization focused on Korean community development.
The Minnesota participants are actress and playwright Sun Mee Chomet, attorney Caitlin Kee, and scholar Dr. SooJin Pate. They are three of ten North Americans chosen to participate in the 2013 Korea Education and Exposure Program – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (KEEPDPRK). The other participants this year are from Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, New Jersey, and New York. A documentary filmmaker may also accompany this year’s KEEP-DPRK peace delegation.
Harvey White to Direct American-Japanese-Korean Co-Production ‘On The Mark’
The $20 million production, featuring J-pop and K-pop artists, will film in Las Vegas and Tokyo.
Psy named South Korea tourism ambassador
Psy’s new song, “Gentleman,” has confirmed he’s more than a one-hit wonder — the music video already has 244 million views on YouTube since debuting two weeks ago.
So it makes sense that South Korea is using the gyrating dance-pop sensation for publicity abroad.
Psy has been tapped as South Korea’s tourism ambassador and has just finished taping a series of TV commercials to show off the country, according to the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO).
He’s certainly a better fit than the former spokesman — Kenny G, the curly-haired American saxophonist, has held the honorary ambassadorship since October 2012.
Benson Lee Goes ‘Seoul Searching’
Filmmaker Benson Lee believes that on the quest for success in America, comparatively speaking, “Asians have done pretty well.”
“They have the highest income [and] spend the most money on entertainment,” Lee says.
But, he says, there’s one drawback: “They’re the least satisfied with their image in the media.”
Lee, born in Toronto and raised in Philadelphia, remembers growing up and loving the films by director John Hughes — the Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles. “I really connected [to them] as a kid,” he says. “But there was a certain aspect of those films I hated, which was always the Asian-American characters.”
Hallyu fuels Korean language boom abroad
The Asia-wide popularity of Korean TV dramas and pop music known as hallyu has caused a boom in Korean language learning in foreign countries, the culture ministry said Monday.
As hallyu has increased people’s interest in Korea and its language, there have been noticeable increases in the number of foreigners taking courses at state-sponsored Korean language institutes abroad or taking the official Korean language proficiency test, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Starting with only 13 in three countries in 2007, the number of King Sejong Institutes offering Korean language education programs has risen to 90 in 44 countries all over the world.
Choo cares for team more than his personal record
Choo Shin-soo, Cincinnati Reds’ starting center fielder and leadoff man, said Friday he was more disheartened by his team’s loss than an end to his on-base streak.
Choo failed to get on base in Friday’s game here against the Washington Nationals at the Nationals Park, and his streak of reaching safely, dating back to Sept. 21 last year, was snapped at 35 games.
Despit going 0-for-4 at the plate, however, Choo is still batting a robust .360 on the season, good for fourth in the National League (NL).
“It was something I have to suffer,” Choo said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency, shruggiong off the end of his on-base streak. “I can’t get on base every time.
Learning new parks part of Choo’s routine
Shin-Soo Choo has been doing extra work in Washington, trying to learn the field since it’s his first time playing at Nationals Park.
Choo said he’s been going out with coach Billy Hatcher early to study the way the ball comes off the walls and screens in Washington, since it’s not just one long wall from left to right. There are several nooks and crannies, and the ball shoots in different directions, which happened Thursday night.
One ball hit the video screen in right-center, but rebounded back in the opposite direction to elude Choo momentarily. The only way to learn those secrets is to go out and practice, and that’s what Choo’s trying to do.
Conger, Trumbo homer to power Angels over Seattle
AP via Seattle Times
Hank Conger and Mark Trumbo each hit two-run homers and C.J. Wilson worked out of a pair of bases-loaded jams to help give the Los Angeles Angels a 6-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners Friday night.
Ex-NFL star struggles but finishes St. Anthony’s Triathlon
Tampa Bay Times
“He’s come a long way,” Ward’s coach, Paula Newby-Fraser, said. “He was just awesome.”
Fraser, the winner of eight Ironman World Championships, is training Ward as part of the “Got Chocolate Milk?” ad campaign.
“I think he really dug down deep for this one,” Newby-Fraser said. “Now it is on to Kona.”
Ward, 37, plans to do a Half Ironman next then the granddaddy of all triathlons, the Ironman in Hawaii, all in less than one year.
“After all those years in the NFL, you would think that I was in good shape,” Ward said. “But playing football is nothing like endurance sports.”
Inbee Park wins LPGA Shootout
Associated Press via ESPN
Inbee Park was already preparing to congratulate Carlota Ciganda for winning the inaugural North Texas LPGA Shootout.
Park, the top-ranked woman in the world, was in the middle of a solid final round and still trailed by two strokes after the playing partners both had birdies at the par-5 10th on Sunday.
Everything changed in a two-hole stretch, when Park went ahead with consecutive pars. The 24-year-old South Korean went on to a bogey-free 4-under 67 that put her one stroke ahead of Ciganda, good enough for her third victory this season and fifth in her last 18 starts.
Homeland Meets Hometown: Salt & Fat in Sunnyside, Queens
New York Times
Note that the sauce is boosted with sriracha, togarashi and tobanjan (fermented bean paste). Daniel Yi, the 28-year-old chef and owner, was born in Seoul, grew up in Sunnyside and its eastern neighbor, Woodside (both home to sizable Asian communities), and honed his craft at Riingo and Sapa, where the accents were, respectively, Japanese and Vietnamese. He describes his cooking at Salt & Fat, which opened two years ago, as New American, and in a sense it is exactly, exultingly that: the food of the new America, in which immigrants companionably raid one another’s larders.
I would call it, more specifically, Asian-American, which should not be confused with fusion. Exotic ingredients aren’t being co-opted and sublimated; they’re not thought of as exotic in the first place. If you grow up eating hot dogs with rice, and pizza with kimchi, why not introduce sambal to meatballs, pair a classic French duck breast with litchis, and steep oxtail in dashi before compressing it into a wondrous terrine?
From apartment rooftop comes authentic Alabama barbecue
Whenever people move from place to place, they may adopt new friends, new languages, or new behaviors, but one thing just doesn’t seem to go away — the love for one’s home cuisine. Certainly a newcomer to Korea might find a lot about Korean cuisine that they like, but likely, there would also be days where the cravings for food from back home get the best of even the most seasoned expatriate.
“Unfortunately, Korea gets an F minus when it comes to authentic foreign cuisine,” said Roy Kim, a native of Miami, who has lived in Korea for two years. In his opinion, Korea’s idea of foreign food is merely foreign looking food.
“There’s usually nothing right about foreign food here. Going out for Italian? They serve you sweet garlic bread and pickles… since pasta is foreign, and pickles are foreign to the typical Korean diner’s view, they go together,” he said. He admits that the quality of foreign cuisine is getting better as more and more Koreans go overseas and bring foreign food with them when they return, but he still thinks Korea has a long way to go.
Training to go supersonic with South Korea’s Top Guns
It’s not everyday someone asks you if you’d be prepared to ride in a fighter jet but when my producer put the question to me several weeks ago I jumped at it.
Roaring engines, heat haze on the tarmac, fighter pilots in Aviator sunglasses: What’s not to like?
The South Korean Air Force was offering CNN rare access to its T-50 — a training fighter developed in South Korea in conjunction with U.S. military contractor Lockheed Martin.
LG taking pre-orders for curved OLED TV sets in South Korea
Los Angeles Times
LG on Monday began taking pre-orders for a 55-inch curved OLED TV. The new display, which looks like a flat-screen TV but with a subtle, inward curve, is available for purchase by South Korean customers for $13,500. It will arrive for customers next month.
OLED technology is supposed to provide a more vivid image as well as allow manufacturers to build even thinner TVs. OLED also makes it possible for manufacturers to build curved screens. LG and others in the industry say the advantage of a curved OLED display is that it makes the experience of watching something much more immersive and similar to watching an IMAX movie.
Los Angeles Angels catcher Hank Conger hit a pinch-hit walk-off home run to give his team a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the final exhibition game on Saturday at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
After being told that he made the cut for the Angels’ opening day roster just hours before the game, Conger celebrated the news by smacking a dinger to end the game while pinch hitting for designated hitter Josh Hamilton.
“It was a pretty good ending to the spring,” Conger told the Los Angeles Times. “I really couldn’t write it any better.”
Conger, 25, ended an impressive spring at the plate with a team-high 16 runs batted in, four home runs and a .359 batting average. Continue Reading »