Friday’s Link Attack: SKorea’s First Female President Takes Office Monday; Dokdo; Plastic Surgery Bandit
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: February 22nd, 2013
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South Korea’s president-elect faces tough challenges
CNN International

South Korea’s first female president Park Geun Hye will take office on Monday in the shadow of two giants — the first is the specter of a nuclear-armed North Korea and the second is the legacy of her father, former military dictator Park Chung Hee.

The daughter of the assassinated strongman of South Korea, Park, 61, will be sworn into Seoul’s presidential Blue House promising a conservative policy of “trustpolitik” with its volatile northern neighbor — a concept that emphasizes what she has called “mutually binding expectations” between the two sides.

The policy stands in contrast to that of former President Lee Myung-bak, who demanded an end to Pyongyang’s nuclear arms program as a condition of economic aid.

S. Korea slams Japan for event claiming Dokdo islets
Yonhap News

The South Korean government criticized Japan on Friday for holding an event to promote its territorial claims to South Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo, and urged it to drop the “unjustifiable and meaningless” arguments.

Conflicts have grown over Dokdo after Tokyo has renewed its territorial claims to the rocky outcroppings in the East Sea, or the body of water between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

Souring the relations even further, Japan’s Shimane Prefecture, which claims administrative sovereignty over the islets, designated Feb. 22 as a day to promote Takeshima, the Japanese name for Dokdo, in 2006, and has since hosted various programs to strengthen its claims on the day, with no exception this year.

Former U.S. commander says N. Korea could build ICBM in 5-7 years
Yonhap News

North Korea may be able to develop nuclear-tipped long-range missiles capable of reaching the U.S. mainland in less than a decade if the country keeps up its nuclear ambitions, a former U.S. military commander in South Korea said Friday.

“If North Korea continues its military first policy and continues to put its full effort into nuclear missile development, it is my assessment that it could develop an operational ICBM capable of targeting the United States in the next five to seven years,” Ret. Gen. Burwell Bell said in an email interview with Yonhap News Agency.

Michelle Rhee group donates $250,000 to candidates in LAUSD races
Los Angeles Times

A group led by former District of Columbia schools chancellor Michelle Rhee donated $250,000 Wednesday to contests for seats on the Los Angeles Board of Education, adding further political fuel to a battle over the direction of reform efforts in the nation’s second-largest school system.

The support of StudentsFirst, which is based in Sacramento, will benefit an independent campaign on behalf of school board President Monica Garcia as well as Kate Anderson and Antonio Sanchez, who are seeking to join the seven-member body.

The L.A. teachers union is mounting an opposing campaign in two of the races.

Lavine Honors Korean ‘Comfort Women’
Oyster Bay Patch (Long Island, N.Y.)

Assemblyman Charles Lavine joined several South Korean dignitaries in honoring the memory of women who were abused during World War II.

“200,000 of these ill-termed ‘comfort women’ in Korea…were subjected to sexual servitude,” said Lavine. The first memorial to comfort women in New York State was placed in Eisenhower Park.

“It’s important to recognize today that what occurred years ago in Asia has tremendous significance,” said Lavine, stressing the importance of protecting all citizens, including girls and women. “Even in today’s world, it happens far too often and on a daily basis. Girls and women are brutalized. We see this happen in Afghanistan where girls are shot because they want to go to school.”

South Korea’s Hottest Import: Foreign Workers

Sharma Sagar is the new face of Korean manufacturing. The Nepalese studied Korean for years, competing with other candidates to be chosen for a government program set up to help South Korea supplement its dwindling labor pool. “I’m earning a lot here, about 20 to 25 times more than back home. I want to stay here as long as possible,” says Sagar, 31, who has been mixing materials to produce vinyl at Homyeong Chemical Industrial, north of Seoul, since he arrived in May. Sagar earns 2.35 million won per month ($2,180) and sends most of it home to his wife.

With its fast-aging population, South Korea has gone from a country where labor was the only abundant resource to one seeking foreigners to help run its plants and farms. Japan has largely rejected imported labor as a solution to its aging workforce, but South Korea is starting to accept it. The number of immigrants has risen sevenfold, to 1.5 million, since 2000. That’s 2.8 percent of the population. Immigrants could make up more than 6 percent by 2030, the government says. “It’s inevitable that we will have to absorb foreign labor to boost our economy,” says Choi Kwang Hae, a director general at the Finance Ministry.

Man Has Plastic Surgery After Stealing W4.7 Billion
Chosun Ilbo

A man in his 30s underwent plastic surgery to avoid arrest after stealing W4.7 billion from his employer (US$1=W1,086).

Police in Asan, South Chungcheong Province on Thursday said the man identified only by his surname Yoon, who worked in the finance department of a local semiconductor firm, has now been arrested for embezzlement.

Police said Yoon buried W1.6 billion of the stolen money at a mountain near his hometown in South Jeolla Province and stashed away another W1.15 billion in a safe house in another part of the province.

South Korean Crossover in Hollywood
New York Times

This year a new group is arriving on American screens: the South Koreans, representing a celebrated national cinema that has not had much crossover with Hollywood before now. It hadn’t been for lack of trying: the directors Park Chan-wook, Kim Ji-woon and Bong Joon-ho had all been approached by American producers over the years. But through the vagaries of career paths and production schedules each one’s first English-language production has been or is scheduled to be released this year.

“I thought it was such a coincidence,” said Mr. Park, director of “Stoker,” a dark coming-of-age story starring Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode and Nicole Kidman. “I tried to come up with an answer, but I haven’t really reached a satisfying one. If you want to twist my arm, it probably took around the same amount of time for the interest from the American industry to turn into confidence in these three directors to be able helm U.S. productions, and it would have probably taken an equal amount of time for all three directors to ponder such a proposition.”

Kristen Kish On ‘White Girl Asian Food,’ Peeing Her Pants, and the ‘Top Chef’ Finale
Boston Magazine

I think you coined a new term last night. Can you define “white person Asian food”?
(Laughing) Sheldon was giving me such a hard time. It was funny. Well, for me, I don’t know how authentic things can be, but I know what tastes good. I know soy sauce, and sesame oil, and ginger, and all those flavors that I love, can be typical Asian. I use all those different flavors in some of my cooking, just maybe not all together. I’m not sure what I meant by that. I hope I’m not offending any Asian people. But that’s what I am! I was born in a white household. I was raised by white parents. But I’m Asian. But I kinda don’t know a lot about Asian cooking.

Hank Conger needs to stake claim with Angels this season
Los Angeles Times

The Angels are offering Hank Conger a plum opportunity to gain a foothold in the big leagues this season as a left-handed-hitting complement to starting catcher Chris Iannetta.

But it’s a limited-time offer.

This is the last season Conger, a first-round pick from Huntington Beach High in 2006, can be sent to the minor leagues without having to pass through waivers, where other teams can claim him. If Conger doesn’t establish himself as a major leaguer by next spring, he will probably be an ex-Angel.

Q&A: UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson talks life, MMA and being a comic book nerd
Spartan Daily (San Jose State Univ.)

With the Ultimate Fighting Championship set to return to San Jose’s HP Pavilion April 20, UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson (18-2) looks to defend his title against former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (21-2) in the main event. Henderson, who is coming off two consecutive title defenses and is 6-0 in the UFC, sat down for an interview last week during a media tour to discuss his upcoming fight and what life is like being the champion.

‘Batman/Superman’ showcases meeting of DC Comics icons
USA Today

Writing Batman and Superman in the same comic book? That’s the offer Greg Pak couldn’t refuse.

A longtime Marvel Comics scribe for everything from Incredible Hulk to X-Treme X-Men, Pak makes his DC Comics debut a memorable one with the company’s two most famous superheroes in the upcoming ongoing series Batman/Superman, debuting in June and teaming the writer with artist Jae Lee (Inhumans, The Dark Tower).

“Working in comics, almost every project you do for DC or Marvel deals with these amazing characters that are so much fun to work with,” Pak says. “But, wow, Superman and Batman? That kind of lifts your hat and spins it around in the air a bit.

David Choe, Famed Artist of Facebook Headquarters, Helps Kids Paint a Mural in South L.A.
LA Weekly

On a small grass field, a group of young students walk in a row lugging paint cans. Last Saturday, early in the morning, some of the younger members of A Place Called Home — a South Los Angeles non-profit organization that helps 8-to-20-year-olds through mentoring, art classes and more — gather excitedly to begin a new project. They sift through a bucket of black aprons, lay out material to protect the grass and tease each other in the way only elementary school students can.

Then David Choe arrives.

To the students assembled, Choe is just an artist coming to help them out with a mural for the day. But for those familiar with the name, Choe resides on the more famous side of the art spectrum. Besides creating his distinctive style — with explosions of color and weird characters — Choe cemented his name in popular culture through works like the album cover for Jay-Z and Linkin Park’s Collision Course.

Tuesday’s Link Attack: North Korea Steps Up Rhetoric; Elderly Suicide; Shin Soo Choo
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: February 19th, 2013
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S. Korean President Issues Warning to North
Voice of America

In a farewell speech to the nation six days before leaving office, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Tuesday warned Pyongyang its missiles and weapons are taking the North “closer and closer to a dead-end.”

Lee alerted his compatriots to hastily prepare for reunification of the Korean peninsula. The president asserted that “even though the North Korean regime is refusing to change, its citizens are quickly changing and nobody can block that.

However, there is no outside evidence of any citizen protests in isolated North Korea which human rights advocates describe as one of the world’s most repressive states.

North Korea threatens South with “final destruction”

North Korea threatened South Korea with “final destruction” during a debate at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday, saying it could take further steps after a nuclear test last week.

“As the saying goes, a new-born puppy knows no fear of a tiger. South Korea’s erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction,” North Korean diplomat Jon Yong Ryong told the meeting.

Jon’s comments drew quick criticism from other nations, including South Korea, France, Germany and Britain, whose ambassador Joanne Adamson said such language was “completely inappropriate” and the discussion with North Korea was heading in the wrong direction.

Some Chinese Are Souring on Being North Korea’s Best Friend
New York Times

Beds shook and teacups clattered in this town bordering North Korea, less than 100 miles from the site where the North said it detonated a nuclear test that exploded midmorning in the midst of Chinese New Year festivities.

“I’m worried about radiation,” said a 26-year-old woman as she served customers in a bookstore here. “My family lives in the mountains close to the border. They felt the bed shake on the day of the test. I have no idea whether it is safe or not, though the government says it is.”

At home and abroad, China has long been regarded as North Korea’s best friend, but at home that sense of fraternity appears to be souring as ordinary people express anxiety about possible fallout from the test last Tuesday. The fact that North Korea detonated the device on a special Chinese holiday did not sit well, either.

North Korea uses cash couriers, false names to outwit sanctions

Kim Kwang-jin says that when he worked for North Korea’s state insurance company in Singapore in 2003, he stuffed $20 million into two suitcases one day and sent it to Pyongyang as a special gift for then leader Kim Jong-il.

He received a medal for that, Kim Kwang-jin said.

North Korea, sanctioned by the United States since the 1950s and later by the United Nations after its nuclear tests, has been shuffling money for decades from illicit drugs, arms and financial scams and is now more expert at hiding it to fund its weapons programs and its leaders’ opulent lifestyles.

As Families Change, Korea’s Elderly Are Turning to Suicide
New York Times

Even with the explosive growth of suicides in South Korea, the case of the 78-year-old widow was shocking enough to merit attention in the recent presidential election and hand-wringing in the news media.

Rather than quietly taking her life at home as many South Koreans do, the woman staged her death as a final act of public protest against a society she said had abandoned her. She drank pesticide overnight in front of her city hall after officials stopped her welfare checks, saying they were no longer obligated to support her now that her son-in-law had found work.

“How can you do this to me?” read the suicide note that the police said they had found in a purse next to her body. “A law should serve the people, but it didn’t protect me.”

Korean Pastor Tackles Prejudice At Home

Korean-American pastor Peter Chin leads an African American church, and lives in a predominately black neighborhood. It hasn’t always been easy, but in this holiday rebroadcast, Chin tells host Michel Martin how he’s worked through diversity issues with his family, his congregation and himself.

Martial arts skill trumps gun in Newton road rage conflict
Boston Globe

A road-rage rumble that erupted along a quiet Newton street Thursday afternoon pitted one driver carrying a sawed-off handgun against another armed with his championship martial-arts skills.

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ­expert prevailed.

He put the other driver in a chokehold, landed a couple of strikes to his head, and wrestled the gun away, all before the police arrived, according to court documents.

Reds look at Choo in CF to start spring training
AP via Yahoo Sports

Shin-Soo Choo has made 10 starts in center field over eight seasons in the majors. He’ll get a chance to win the job during his first spring training with the Cincinnati Reds.

If that doesn’t work out, the defending NL Central champions will have to do some rearranging.

The Reds traded incumbent center fielder Drew Stubbs to Cleveland for Choo in the offseason, looking for a stronger bat at the top of the lineup. They haven’t had a consistent leadoff hitter for years.

Shin-Soo Choo draws crowd at Reds’ spring training

Shin-Soo Choo drew quite a crowd on the first day of camp.

Twenty-five members of the South Korean media, representing 12 organizations, were at the Reds’ spring training complex to cover him.

They followed his every move — from the batting cages for early work to outfield practice to batting practice on the field. Most of the contingent will spend five days in Goodyear. During the season, however, only one reporter follows Choo.

Conger aims to secure role as backup catcher

Hank Conger probably thought it would happen sooner.

But now, as he enters yet another Spring Training, he’s suddenly 25, heading into his last option year, coming off three straight seasons of being deemed primarily a Triple-A catcher and hoping to finally stick full-time in the Majors as a backup to Chris Iannetta.

“Everyone I’ve talked to, the biggest hurdle is Triple-A to the big leagues,” Conger said. “That’s definitely one thing I always remember. For me, [the last three years were] a big learning curve. But right now, I feel like I’m ready to try to overcome that next step.”

United and Chelsea set for summer bidding war over South Korean starlet Son
Daily Mail (U.K.)

South Korean star Son Heung-Min is set to become the subject of a bidding war between Manchester United and Chelsea this summer.

The 20-year-old has become one of the rising stars of the Bundesliga this season, following a succession of outstanding performances for Hamburg.

And Sir Alex Ferguson and Rafa Benitez are both interested in bringing the £10m-rated attacker to the Premier League, according to the Sunday People.

FIFA Dashes Korean Teen’s Dreams of Playing for Barca Youth Team
Chosun Ilbo

Teenager Lee Seung-woo has been banned from playing for Barcelona’s youth team after FIFA deemed him underage.

The world governing body of football said on Monday that the 15-year-old violated the rule stating that players have to be at least 18 years old to be eligible for international transfers.

Linkin Park Design New Boots with Sebago
Rolling Stone

Linkin Park have teamed up with the shoe company Sebago for a smartly designed new boot, dubbed the Jungle X, which is on sale now.

Made of a mix of leather, canvas and a Vibram rubber outsole, the black boot was designed by the band and retails for $250. Ten percent of the proceeds will benefit Hurricane Sandy victims via Linkin Park’s charity, Music for Relief.

Samsung Reboots Smart TV
Wall Street Journal

Did the smart TV just get smarter? Samsung Electronics hopes so.

The world’s top manufacturer of television sets on Tuesday unveiled an upgrade to its “Smart TV” series, after recent models got less than stellar reviews.

The new F8000 series TVs have screens measuring 46, 55, 60, 65 and even 75 inches diagonally, and Samsung said their “Smart Interaction” functions have been improved to better interpret viewers’ verbal commands or hand gestures. Previous models could only read one-handed command gestures.

Friday’s Link Attack: Kim Jong-un; Road Rage Gunman Arrested; K-pop Meets Country Music
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: February 15th, 2013
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North’s Test Re-ignites Debate in South on Nuclear Weapons
Wall Street Journal

North Korea’s nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009 stirred debate on the southern side of the peninsula about Seoul arming itself with nuclear weapons in response.

The debate predictably flared up again this week after Pyongyang staged its third such test on Tuesday.

Several lawmakers from the ruling conservative Saenuri Party as well as right-leaning newspapers have been vocal in calling for the South to respond in kind against the mounting nuclear threat from the North.

What’s Kim Jong Un’s intention with the nuclear test?
CNN International

On Tuesday, the international community reacted to North Korea’s third nuclear test by calling its action “provocative,” while South Korea’s foreign minister warned that it was a “clear threat to international peace and security.”

It was what Kim Jong Un, the nation’s young leader, wanted.

From the North Korean government’s view, the more pressure the international community places on its nuclear testing, the better. They enjoy the chatter among the world’s leaders and at the U.N. about how North Korea’s nuclear program must be stopped at all cost.

UC student takes Dream Act case to YouTube
San Francisco Chronicle

Terrence Park has done plenty of work – in laundries, in restaurants and tutoring in private homes – to realize his dream of getting a college education.

But the 24-year-old UC Berkeley math club leader and biostatistics major from South Korea said Wednesday that he never dreamed he would reveal his biggest secret – that he is an undocumented immigrant – on YouTube.

Park is the star of a new video in which he reveals that he is a one of an estimated 2.1 million American youths whose undocumented parents brought them to the United States as children. Without passage in Congress of the legislation known as the Dream Act, he and the others could have their dreams dashed.

Driver disarms gunman in Newton road rage incident
Boston Globe

A 21-year-old Newton man pleaded not guilty to assault and gun charges Friday after police said he pulled a sawed-off handgun on another driver during a road rage incident in Newton’s Oak Hill neighborhood.

The other driver, whom police did not identify, wrestled the gun away after employing some calm talk and martial arts skills, police said.

Byung Jin Kang was ordered held on $5,000 cash bail at his arraignment in Newton District Court on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and illegal gun possession.

For ‘Last Stand’ Director, a Tough Hollywood Debut
Wall Street Journal

Hollywood is a rough place when you’re the new guy in town, even for a celebrated filmmaker.

Kim Jee-woon was well out of his comfort zone directing his debut Hollywood movie, “The Last Stand,” starring governator Arnold Schwarzenegger in his first leading role in a decade. At a Seoul press conference this week, Mr. Kim described the experience as “lonely,” “difficult” and “controlled.”

K-Pop Meets Country Music (and New Jersey)

On these shores, Korean pop music—more popularly known as K-Pop—is perhaps most identified with the club-ready electronic beats and slickly tuxedoed look of global phenomenon (and newly crowned “King of YouTube”) PSY. So why is K-Pop duo 2YOON heel-toeing in a barnyard in their new video? Why are they wearing overalls? Why is there a saloon in the background? And more important: what’s with their new K-Pop-goes-country sound?

Country music and K-Pop may seem like strange bedfellows right now, but musicians and producers are betting that this unlikely union could yield the next chart-busting hit. Meaning: we could start hearing American-music influences in one of the world’s most popular and dynamic pop genres.

Conger looking to stick in majors
San Gabriel Valley Tribune (Calif.)

Hank Conger made his first career Opening Day roster two years ago. He would like to do so again – and stick around this time, too.

The 25-year-old catcher knows what he needs to do.

“In this organization, we really take pride on our defense,” he said. “That’s the No. 1 thing as a catcher, our defense. As long as we keep focusing on improving on the defensive part, hopefully things work out.”

South Korea Digests White House Kimchi Recipe
Wall Street Journal

For the past week, South Korean netizens and media have been chewing over the revelation of a White House kimchi recipe with pride, humor and a bit of debate.

On Feb. 6, the Twitter account of First Lady Michelle Obama dispatched word that the White House cooks had taken a new harvest of Napa cabbage grown in the South Lawn garden and made kimchi out of it.

Lee Young-ae Promotes Bibimbap in NYT Ad
Chosun Ilbo

Actress Lee Young-ae has been featured in a full-page ad in the New York Times promoting bibimbap, the healthful Korean dish of rice with assorted vegetables.

The ad was paid for by enthusiastic promoters of Korean cuisine including Seo Kyoung-duk, a public relations expert and professor at Sungshin Women’s University.

Monday’s Link Attack: Korean Adoptees, Jay Park, Hank Conger
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: May 28th, 2012
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Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts honor veterans
Los Angeles Daily News

[Pfc. Samuel Sungjune Lee], a Korean-American soldier who died less than two weeks before his 20th birthday while serving in the Army during the Iraq War, was unknown to the members of Boy Scout Troop 777, based out of Koreatown.

But his service and death carried special significance to the group, which had made it tradition to seek out all Korean-American soldiers buried at the cemetery to pay tribute. So far, they had found five.

Slain Qns. woman blew boyfriend’s life savings gambling: landlady
New York Post

A Queens man who allegedly stabbed his girlfriend to death was furious with her for gambling away his life savings and leaving him thousands of dollars in debt, his landlady said yesterday.

Feuk Youn Yoon, 56, and Yunhee Shin, 57, were fighting in his basement apartment on 214th Street in Bayside just before he allegedly killed her, police said.

Firefighters responding to calls reporting a small blaze in the home found Shin on the bed with two knife wounds to the neck and Yoon in a closet trying to hang himself.

30 North Korean officials involved in South talks die ‘in traffic accidents’
The Telegraph (U.K.)

Thirty officials of the North Korean regime who were involved in talks with South Korea have been executed or died in “staged traffic accidents,” according to a human rights report.

Theater artists find depth in search for families
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Sun Mee Chomet and Katie Hae Leo, both adoptees, talk about their search for their relatives in Korea.

S. Korean student graduates Harvard as ‘highest ranking undergraduate’
Yonhap News

A South Korean student has graduated from Harvard University as a “highest ranking undergraduate,” the first time a Korean student has won the honor.

Economics major Jin Kwon-young, 20, and one other graduate were assessed equal best of 1,552 students who graduated from the prestigious university in a ceremony on Thursday.

The Harvard Business Student Who Landed a Spot on the Home Shopping Network & Created Her Own Skincare Line

By age 25, Grace Choi had already invented four medical devices. By age 26, her first consumer retail invention in jewelry was picked up by the Home Shopping Network, following a televised nationwide search by TV personality Kelly Ripa. And now, as a Harvard MBA, she’s debuting her all-in-one cosmetic skincare line: Grace Choi Porcelian Skin BB Cream.

Asian-American Week: Korean-American Pop Star’s Popularity Extends To New York

He’s a singer, dancer and rapper but his fans say that still doesn’t begin to describe Jay Park’s talent.

The 25-year-old Korean-American phenom has millions of fans across Asia. But if you want proof of his popularity in New York, look no further than a line for his recent concert in Midtown that wound around the corner and stretched for several blocks 8 hours before the show.

“I guess I’m a really dedicated Jay Park fan,” said one fan who waited for over 24 hours for tickets. “I don’t want to take the chance that anyone else got those front-row seats. I’m making sure I’m here first.”

A Rapper Ravaged By An Online Firestorm

Wired‘s Josh Davis speaks with NPR about his recent follow-up article on the Tablo online witch hunt. Stupid Koreans.

Earlier this month, 12 people who posted false accusations online were put on trial in Korea for criminal defamation against Tablo. They could face jail time.

Meanwhile, Tablo has recorded a new album about his ordeal, named Fever’s End. It’s put him right back at the top of the charts, but after such an experience, he’s still not ready to perform publicly again.

SDSU’s Kang has big personality to match game
San Diego Union-Tribune

Soon, [Alex] Kang will turn pro after his final season at SDSU, but this week he is a critical player in the Aztecs’ hopes to win their first NCAA championship in men’s golf. The national tournament begins Tuesday at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. The top eight teams after three rounds of stroke play will advance to single-elimination match play. The champion will be decided on Sunday.

Conger misses callup opportunity with injury

The messages began rolling in for Hank Conger on May 11, the day Angels catcher Chris Iannetta underwent right wrist surgery and John Hester was called up to take his place on the roster.

“People were like, ‘Where you at? Why aren’t they calling you up?’” Conger recalled.

And that’s when the Angels’ prospect catcher would have to explain that he’s on the Minor League disabled list, rehabbing a right elbow injury that dates back to the second series of the Triple-A season and has had him on the shelf for more than a month.

B.J. Penn doesn’t think Frankie Edgar deserves UFC Title rematch with Ben Henderson
MMA Torch

Appearing on Thursday’s MMA Uncensored Live on Spike TV, former UFC Lightweight Champion B.J. Penn discusses why he doesn’t think Frankie Edgar deserved a rematch against Benson Henderson.

Visions of the Hermit Kingdom
Wall Street Journal

Chances are, you aren’t going to North Korea any time soon. But armchair travelers can take a virtual tour with “Architectural and Cultural Guide Pyongyang,” edited by Philipp Meuser (DOM Publishers, $49.95).

It’s a two-volume set, the first of which contains photographs and descriptions from the North Korean government’s Pyongyang Foreign Languages Publishing House. The contract required Mr. Meuser to run the images with the official captions, without critical commentary. So volume two provides more photos, history and context, with essays on topics like urban planning, mass gymnastics and propaganda posters.

Thursday’s Link Attack: North Korea, LA Riots, Chef Roy Choi
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: April 26th, 2012
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North Korea’s Kim Poised to Rattle Region With Nuclear Blast
Bloomberg via San Francisco Chronicle

Political pressure, a high-stakes bargaining strategy and technical challenges may push North Korea’s new leader to order the country’s third nuclear test any time now.

North Korea has been escalating its threats against South Korea and the U.S. in the past month as new leader Kim Jong Un celebrates the centennial of the birth of the country’s founder, his late grandfather Kim Il Sung.

Analysts: North Korea’s new missiles are fakes
AP via USA Today

Analysts who have studied photos of a half-dozen ominous new North Korean missiles showcased recently at a lavish military parade say they were fakes, and not very convincing ones, casting further doubt on the country’s claims of military prowess.

Kim Jung-Ju’s Gaming Bonanza

The biggest story of South Korea’s richest over the past year happened in Japan. In December Kim Jung-Ju listed his online gaming company, Nexon, in Tokyo in a $1.2 billion initial public offering that was Japan’s largest of the year. That placed a much higher value on the company than analysts had long assumed, and since the launch the stock has risen 17%. So Kim’s wealth has more than doubled in a year, from $2.06 billion to $4.3 billion. That makes him Korea’s third-richest person, up from No. 9, last year.

The Los Angeles Riots: Inspiration behind a culinary upheaval
Los Angeles Times

Award-winning food critic Jonathan Gold writes an interesting piece about the L.A. Riots.

But change in Los Angeles is often easier to track by looking at its restaurants rather than its boardrooms, and from the business end of a pair of chopsticks, extreme diversity didn’t look so bad.

Social and mental stigmas affecting Asian-American students
Spartan Daily (San Jose State Univ.)

For students of Asian-American descent, the duality of being part of two conflicting cultures can be a troubling experience because of family pressures and society.

Justin Ko, a junior child development major, expressed his parents’ disapproval of his pursuit into becoming an elementary school teacher.

“My parents don’t like the fact that I want to teach,” Ko said. “In the Korean culture, elementary school teaching is viewed to be a ‘feminine’ job and my parents want me to do a more ‘masculine’ career.”

Chan Young Kim Of Fairfax, Va. Arrested For Beating Another Man With Golf Club In Korean BBQ Parking Lot

A man has been arrested for hitting another man with a golf club in a Fairfax parking lot on Tuesday afternoon.

Forty-seventy-year-old Chan Young Kim is accused of getting in a fight with a man at 4060 Jermantown Road. Kim reportedly punched, knocked to the ground and then kicked the other man before taking a golf club out of his car and hitting the victim when a witness tried to intervene in the fight.

Korean Pop Idol Enrages Japanese Internet by Eating Instant Noodles From the Pot
Rocket News 24

While the internet in general is known for being a bottomless cauldron of hate, nothing quite gets Japanese netizens seething like South Korea. Case in point: the Japanese net is raging over a video of a young South Korean woman eating instant noodles because she has bad table manners.

List of Korean Emoticons and How to Use Them

Korean emoticons have meanings far and wide. And knowing these Korean emoticons will let you know if your Korean friends are happy, surprised, or just trying to be cute! Reciprocate your feelings using this list of Korean emoticons.

Seoul Sausage Company Opening in Little Osaka

In good news for anyone who feels over saturated by Austrian and German wieners, Seoul Sausage Company is bringing its killer Korean meats to a retail location. Planting itself down in West L.A.’s increasingly diverse Little Osaka neighborhood, the company plans to open on Mississippi Avenue before summer arrives, right off of Sawtelle in a space aside Coffee Tomo and Blockheads.

T.G.I. Friday’s Is Now Serving Korean Tacos, Too

Look out Roy Choi: T.G.I. Friday’s is now serving Korean tacos. And not just any Korean tacos: they’re steak tacos. And they’re served with Sriracha, so you know they’re super Asian-y or something. Also on the tacos: ginger-lime slaw, cucumbers, fresh cilantro, basil. And jasmine rice pilaf on the side, because why not?

Catching prospect Conger on DL with elbow injury

Angels catching prospect Hank Conger was recently placed on the seven-day Minor League disabled list with a right elbow injury.

“Just a light sprain in the elbow,” Conger said via text message on Wednesday night. “I’ll be good. Should be back in a couple of weeks. Nothing serious.”

Roy Choi – Flavor of Los Angeles

Roy Choi – Flavor of Los Angeles from The Avant/Garde Diaries on Vimeo.

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