Talks on Korean Factory Complex to Continue
New York Times
A third round of talks on Monday between North and South Korea failed to produce an agreement on reopening the jointly operated Kaesong industrial park in the North, a symbol of inter-Korean economic cooperation that has been shuttered for more than three months.
The two sides will meet in Kaesong again on Wednesday, said Kim Ki-woong, the chief South Korean negotiator.
The factory park, near the North Korean border, was idled in early April, when North Korea withdrew all of its 53,000 workers, blaming tensions it said were caused by American-South Korean military drills. The South later pulled out all of its workers, most of them factory managers.
Asiana to Bolster Pilot Training
New York Times
Asiana Airlines of South Korea said on Monday that it would increase training for its pilots, following the recent crash of one of its Boeing 777 jets at San Francisco International Airport.
Asiana will give special safety training, including an enhanced program for visual approaches and automated flight, to all of its pilots. It said it would also strengthen its training programs for those switching to a new type of jet, a senior executive said in a presentation to the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
The Asiana report was released by the ministry, which gathered representatives of all South Korean airline companies on Monday to stress safety following the July 6 crash. Three Chinese teenagers were killed and over 180 injured when the Asiana flight crash-landed.
Use of Rising Sun image, flag unfurls controversy
Korea JoongAng Daily
Megan Rha, a New York City resident and mother of two girls, was deeply disturbed when she saw Japan’s gymnasts during the London Olympics last year.
They were wearing an outfit with a pattern representing Japan’s Rising Sun flag – the flag with the red disk on a white background used by the militarist government that invaded half of Asia in the Second World War.
“Promoting the Rising Sun flag is just like promoting the Nazi swastika, which is actually under legal restrictions in a number of countries,” Rha told the Korea JoongAng Daily through a recent e-mail interview.
President of Michelle Rhee’s group leaves
The president of the education reform group founded by former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee is stepping down, POLITICO has learned.
After less than a year on the job, Kahlil Byrd will leave his post as president of the group StudentsFirst, according to a staff-wide email obtained by POLITICO. He will remain an adviser to the group.
“My day-to-day mission with StudentsFirst has been accomplished, and Michelle and I agree that with a strong team and strategy in place, that I am leaving after a year of significant successes for StudentsFirst,” Byrd wrote.
Making Coast Guard history
Herald Star (Ohio)
Former Richmond native Joseph M. Vojvodich has made history as he begins a new chapter in his Coast Guard career this month.
The son of Su Cha Vojvodich of Weirton, formerly of Richmond, and the late Joseph Vojvodich is now the first Korean American to attain the rank of rear admiral in the Coast Guard, the equivalent to a brigadier general ranking in the Army.
A 1981 graduate of Jefferson Union High School, Vojvodich made the transition during two ceremonies held June 28 in New Haven, Conn.
Area man arrested with heroin after bringing an unconscious female to Brockton police station
Enterprise News (Mass.)
An Easton man was arrested Friday evening for intent to distribute heroin after he and another male party arrived at the Brockton police station with an unconscious woman, police said.
Police received a call at approximately 4:15 p.m. from the 500 block of Summer Street that two male parties were loading an unconscious female in to a grey Honda, said Sgt. Tracy Harrington.
Pedestrian’s Daughter Shares Account of Friday Night Accident
Patch.com (Pleasantville, N.Y.)
Minjee Choi watched her father attempt to motion for a pickup truck to stop as it was speeding down Bedford Road during a rainy Friday night, she said.
But instead of slowing down, the truck hit her father’s left side and sent him flying “about 50 feet” into his front yard, the Bedford Road resident recalled.
Her father, 44, had hosted a party for some of his employees in their home that night, Choi explained, and was helping to navigate traffic on the street as cars were moved from the driveway to allow a worker’s van to leave.
With Nearly 200M Users, Messaging App LINE Is Gunning For The U.S.
Mobile messaging apps are fast becoming more than just messaging apps. KakaoTalk and Kik are turning into social platforms that host third-party apps and games. LINE, which started off as an app offering free texts and calls, wants to be a fully fledged entertainment platform.
Japan-headquartered LINE is one of the most popular messaging apps in Asia alongside KakaoTalk, based in South Korea, and WeChat of China. It claims 190 million registered users worldwide, and says 80% of them are active on a monthly basis. Now after establishing partnerships with high-profile celebrities in Asia and Europe, it is looking to expand its presence in the United States.
“We’ve been so successful in Asia and now we need to go outside,” says Jeanie Han, who heads up LINE’s business in those three regions. Han joined LINE in 2012 after she was approached by the company via mutual contacts in Japan. “They came to me and said they wanted to take [LINE] global, and they needed someone who can do the marketing and also business development,” she says.
Jay Park Likes 2 Work With Friends–And Party
Wall Street Journal
K-pop fans aren’t necessarily kind to talent that deserts them, but Jay Park has been welcomed back to the scene, and he’s more fulfilled now that he’s collaborating with people of his own choosing.
After the Seattle-raised K-pop star and b-boy dropped out of the popular Korean boy band 2PM in 2009, he didn’t exactly have a soft landing. Now 26, Mr. Park says he worked at a tire shop for a while to help make ends meet, but he was able to get back into the spotlight again relatively quickly thanks to Youtube.
Cincinnati’s Choo Shin-soo ends first half with bang
Choo Shin-soo, the leadoff man for the Cincinnati Reds, closed out the first half of the Major League Baseball (MLB) season in much the same way as he started — with a bang.
Choo belted his 13th home run of the season against the Atlanta Braves on the road on Sunday and extended his hitting streak to 12 games. He went 2-for-3 with an RBI, three runs scored and two walks, as the Reds beat the Braves 8-4.
The Reds and the rest of the MLB will enjoy the All-Star break until Thursday.
Playing in his first season for the Reds after an offseason trade from the Cleveland Indians, Choo is now batting .287 with 13 home runs and 31 RBI, along with 11 steals.
Choo keeps hitting simple
Tony Perez would be proud.
Shin-Soo Choo said his resurgence at the plate is due to a simplification.
“See the ball, hit the ball,” Choo said.
That was Perez’s key to success. Choo extended his season-high hitting streak to 11 games on Saturday, which happened to be his 31st birthday. He is hitting .413 (19-for-46) with four doubles over the streak.
Hee Young Park shoots 61 to take lead at Manulife LPGA
South Korea’s Hee Young Park shot a career-best 61 to move into the lead after the third round at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic on Saturday.
Park was 10 under for the round and 20-under 193 overall, one stroke better than American Angela Stanford and two shots ahead of Scotland’s Catriona Matthew.
Park nearly chipped in on the 18th hole for an eagle before tapping in a short putt for her sixth birdie on the back nine.
Hayashi’s political career, legacy in jeopardy with charges looming
San Jose Mercury News
State Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi entered the political world as a survivor of a tormented childhood, losing an older sister at 17 to suicide and watching as her disgraced parents burned her sister’s clothes, cut her out of photos and never mentioned her name again.
Yet Hayashi quickly built a name for herself at the Capitol after becoming the first Korean-American woman to serve in the Legislature. She became part of the inner circles of two Assembly speakers. A magazine named her one of the 100 most influential Asian-Americans of the past decade.
Now, a new and puzzling source of shame is threatening to ground this once-rising East Bay Democrat and dash her plans to run for the state Senate: a bizarre grand theft charge that accuses her of shoplifting nearly $2,500 of clothes at San Francisco’s Neiman Marcus on Oct. 25.
While the case has embarrassed fellow lawmakers and could make Hayashi the first California lawmaker in 18 years to be ousted because of a felony conviction, it has focused new attention on what legislative staffers call Hayashi’s overly ambitious and sometimes erratic behavior.
Her criminal case has caused tongues to wag at the Capitol and jolted the tight-knit Korean-American community, where many view her as a role model.
“I’m saddened because she’s somebody that many in the Korean-American community have looked up to,” said Jiyon Yun, a Walnut Creek attorney. “She’s had so many accomplishments and contributed so much to so many efforts and projects, I hope this doesn’t take away from what she’s been working on.”
David Oh takes the cake in at-large Council race
Philadelphia Daily News
There will be no repeat of the nightmare four years ago, when attorney David Oh was ahead on election night for one of two City Council at-large seats set aside for the minority political party but lost after absentee ballots were tallied.
Oh today finally bested Al Taubenberger in last week’s election, after absentee, military and provisional ballots were counted. In the final tally, Oh led by 166 votes from election day ballots and absentee ballots. A count today of 755 provisional ballots, used on election day when there are questions about a voter’s registration, did not put Taubenberger ahead.
Oh said he was not surprised by the narrow margin, though he said it was unclear what impact a barrage of negative mailings, radio ads and robo-calls in the closing week of the campaign had on his campaign. That effort was run by a political action committee controlled by Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which supported another Republican in the race.
Hee Young Park wins LPGA finale
Holding off some of the biggest names in women’s golf, unheralded Hee Young Park won the CME Group Titleholders on Sunday for her first career LPGA title.
Park, with a closing 70, finished at 9-under-par 279 to beat Paula Creamer and Sandra Gal by two shots at sun-splashed Grand Cypress Resort to win the LPGA tour’s season-ending event. Another shot back were Na Yeon Choi and world No. 2 Suzann Pettersen. Michelle Wie, world No. 3 Cristie Kerr and world No. 1 Yani Tseng, trying to win for the 12th time this season, made brief runs at the championship before finishing in a tie for sixth, seven shots behind.
Korean Tacos Bounce From LA to Seoul
Wall Street Journal
In an alley just off Garosoo-gil, the tree-lined street in Gangnam that has taken over from Apgujeong as the coolest place to be seen on weekends, is the three-month-old Grill5taco restaurant that has created its own version of Kogi’s fusion of Korean and Mexican foods.
Grill5taco was started by Ban Joo-hyung and Kim Hyun-chul and their original thought was to sell their tacos from trucks just like Kogi does. So they brought one over from the U.S. and hit the streets for a short time last year.
But the police kept slapping them with fines. Apparently, it’s OK to sell food from tents and from trucks that have permission to work in certain spots. But it’s against the law to just drive around wherever you want and sell food.
Mr. Kim said that’s when they decided to open the restaurant. “Garosoo-gil was the only neighborhood we considered,” he said.
Korea Still Sends Hundreds of Babies Abroad for Adoption
Korea is still the largest exporter of babies for adoption to the U.S., highlighting the need to strengthen child protection in the country. According to the 2011 Annual Adoption Report to Congress released Friday, out of the total of 2,047 foreign-born children adopted by U.S. families from October 2010 to September 2011, 734 or 36 percent were from Korea.
The Philippines was a distant second with 216, Uganda third with 196, India fourth with 168, and Ethiopia fifth with 126. Korea last topped the list in 2003 and since then it ranked fourth or fifth until it reclaimed first place this year.
Suspected N.Korean Spy Arrested After Posing as Defector
An alleged North Korean spy has been arrested after arriving in the country posing as a refugee.
The government said Saturday that a routine background check on the individual revealed he had been assigned by the North to conduct espionage activities in the South.
Authorities said the man entered Korea in April after traveling through China and Southeast Asian countries including Laos, Vietnam and Thailand in a bid to legitimately build his cover story as a defector.
A New Voice Grips South Korea With Plain Talk About Inequality and Justice
New York Times
Two days before Seoul elected a mayor last month, an unassuming man slipped into the campaign headquarters of Park Won-soon, an independent candidate. Amid flashing cameras, the man, Ahn Cheol-soo, a soft-spoken university dean who had earlier been seen as a contender for mayor himself, affirmed his support for Mr. Park, entrusted him with a written statement and then left.
“When we participate in an election, we citizens can become our own masters, principle can defeat irregularity and privilege, and common sense can drive out absurdity,” said Mr. Ahn’s statement, an open appeal to voters that quickly spread by way of Twitter and other social networks. “I’m going to the voting station early in the morning. Please join me.”
It was a pivotal moment in an election whose outcome has rocked South Korea. In a country where resentment of social and economic inequality is on the rise, and where many believe that their government serves the privileged rather than the common good, Mr. Ahn’s words — “participate,” “principle,” “common sense” — propelled younger voters to throw their support overwhelmingly behind Mr. Park, the first independent candidate to win South Korea’s second-most-influential elected office.
Korean-American businesses donate 600 turkeys
WNEM.com (Flint, Mich.)
Detroit police Chief Ralph Godbee says Korean-American businesses are donating 600 turkeys for distribution to the city’s needy.
Godbee says the 27th Korean-American Share Day is being marked with an event at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the department’s 12th Precinct station.
A Korean teacher cycling across the country stops in East Texas
KTRE ABC (Lufkin, Tex.)
It was a request like no other for the First Assembly of God. A 21-year old teacher from Korea cycled up to the church last Thursday, asking to spend the night in the front yard.
“He asked if he could put his tent up and stay the night to get some rest because he felt more safe staying at churches than he did just anywhere,” said First Assembly of God member, Lesa Rodgers.
“They told him yes he can camp here. So then, I come up. It was cold. So I said look just come on in the church. We weren’t going to leave him there,” said First Assembly of God pastor, Kenneth Reynolds.
Tungin Byun saved up money over the past year. Now, he’s using it to cycle around the US, stopping at churches for rest along the way.
North Korean celebrities are struggling because of the Hallyu Wave
North Korean celebrities are suffering significantly due to the Hallyu Wave, mainly because South Korean celebrities are gaining much popularity, while North Korean celebrities are becoming forgotten. Multiple insiders state, “People related to the North Korean entertainment business ignore the demands of the people and solely focus on Kim Jong Il‘s propaganda. People can expect to see the end of North Korea’s entertainment industry“.
North Korean youths who defected from the country were able to name several South Korean films including ‘Stairway to Heaven‘ and ‘Scent of a Man‘, while they were unable to recall any names of actors/actresses from a particular North Korean film.
N. Korea crowned world champs – unofficially
AFP via Google News
North Korea’s 1-0 win over Japan last week was not only a famous victory over their bitter rivals — it also made them the Unofficial Football World Champions, according to a tongue-in-cheek website.
The www.ufwc.co.uk site contends that the world title won by Spain in 2010 passed unofficially to Argentina after a friendly win, and then to Japan after the Blue Samurai beat Lionel Messi’s men in October last year.
So when Pak Nam Chol buried his 50th-minute header at Pyongyang’s bitterly cold Kim Il Sung Stadium last Tuesday, prompting rapturous celebrations, it was a goal that also put the secretive state unofficially on top of the world.