South Korea’s new president: Plenty on her plate
PARK GEUN-HYE’S campaign advertising described her as a “prepared female president”. Having narrowly defeated the Democratic United Party (DUP) candidate, Moon Jae-in, on December 19th, two-thirds of her slogan will be realised with her inauguration on February 25th. The “prepared” part, however, is less clear.
South Korean presidents-elect appoint transition teams to help smooth their way into office and many of their members then take up posts in the new government. With her appointments, Ms Park seems to be trying to bridge the political divide. Her transitional team, consisting of nine subcommittees, is headed by Kim Yong-joon, a former head of South Korea’s Constitutional Court.
South Korea budgets for sunnier ties with reclusive North
South Korea has increased its budget to fund North Korea-related projects this year, government data showed on Thursday, with a new president seeking closer relations due to take office in Seoul and signs of an opening from Pyongyang.
The two Koreas remain technically at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended with a truce, not a treaty, and relations plunged under South Korean President Lee Myung-bak who cut aid dramatically after the shooting of a South Korean tourist in the North in 2008.
U.S. Congress Passes Welfare Act for N.Korean Children
The U.S. Congress on Tuesday passed a bill promoting the welfare and human rights of North Korean children in third countries. A full session of the House of Representatives unanimously passed the North Korean Child Welfare Act of 2012.
The bill urges the U.S. government to facilitate protection of North Korean children in China and other countries by reuniting them with their families or through adoption.
Is North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un A New Dad?
There’s media speculation that Kim Jong-un may have added another title to his roles as new North Korean leader and new husband – could he be a new father?
Notoriously secretive North Korea apparently released an image of Kim’s stylish wife, Ri Sol-ju this week, attending a New Year’s event. She’s trim and glamorous in her purple suit, standing next to her saluting husband.
South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo posted the image of Ri on its news site next to another one of Ri snapped on December 21; there, she’s certainly not trim. Ri is shown wearing a modest red and black long sleeved gown, possibly covering a swelling mid-section – it does appear that she’s pregnant.
South Korea Rejects Extradition in Attack on Japanese Shrine
New York Times
A South Korean court sided with China on Thursday in a fight between Beijing and Tokyo over the custody of a Chinese man accused of an arson attack at the Yasukuni Shrine for Japan’s war dead.
The man, Liu Qiang, 38, completed a 10-month prison term in South Korea in November after hurling four petrol bombs at the Japanese Embassy in central Seoul. His attack in January last year left burn marks on the embassy wall but hurt no one.
Mr. Liu had told South Korean police that his late maternal grandmother, a Korean, was one of Asia’s so-called “comfort women,” who were forced into sexual slavery for Japan’s Imperial Army during World War II. He said that he attacked the Japanese Embassy to show his anger at Tokyo’s refusal to apologize and compensate properly for the wrongs done against the women.
One more victim of Japan’s wartime sex slavery dies
One more Korean woman who was forced into sexual slavery by Japan during World War II died Friday, a civic group said, raising concerns that the aging victims may die before receiving compensation or apologies from Tokyo.
At the age of 92, Hwang Kum-ju died earlier in the day, according to the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan.
Her death put the number of South Korea’s government-registered surviving victims of Japan’s enforced sexual enslavement at 58, the council said. Initially, a total of 234 victims were on the list.
South Korea’s Smartphone Film Fest Accepting Submissions
South Korea’s Olleh Smartphone Film Festival is now accepting submissions from overseas for its newly added international competition section.
Shorts shot with a smartphone running less than 10 minutes are eligible, regardless of genre. Candidates should submit videos between Feb. 1 and 28 through the official Web site (www.ollehfilmfestival.com). Prizewinners are entitled to cash gifts amounting to 50 million won (about $46,910) and brand new smartphones.
The Midas Behind ‘Gangnam Style’
Rapper Psy captured the worldwide fame with over 1 billion people listening to his dance hit “Gangnam Style” on YouTube. Everyone was surprised by the global success of a chubby man in his 30s, who does not fit the sleekly doctored image of most K-pop stars.
But Yang Hyun-suk (43), the CEO of Psy’s management company YG Entertainment, had faith. Yang says he has targeted the global market since he opened YG Entertainment back in 1997. “Psy’s success?” asks Yang. “The door we’ve been knocking on has finally opened.”
Yang himself is a pop icon in Korea. He got his start with the group Seo Tai-ji & Boys, which transformed the landscape of Korean pop music in the 1990s and later opened his own talent agency, whose artists are now making inroads into the W23 trillion (US$1=W1,069) global music industry.
No hoppy ending in sight for local breweries
The local scene has been dominated over the past few decades by two breweries – Hite-Jinro and Oriental Brewery. Oriental Brewery, established by the Doosan Group in 1952, is responsible for the OB, Cass and Cafri lagers. Hite-Jinro produces Hite and Max.
The domestic beer market is estimated to be worth around 4 trillion won ($3.76 billion). OB accounts for around 55 percent of local production while Hite-Jinro dominates almost all of the remaining 45 percent. The duopoly has done little to satisfy consumers, and imports are surging as a result.
There is little question as to why Cass, Hite and Max aren’t impressing. They are the reasons behind Korea’s unflattering titles like “The land of the bland,” “Home to the piss of the devil” and “Where beer tastes like cASS.” But what is less certain is why fuller, more assertive brews haven’t taken bites out of the market.
Cal’s Suh wins Silver Belle after final-round 67
Hannah Suh of San Jose, Calif., won the Joanne Winter Arizona Silver Belle on Dec. 30, finishing the 54-hole event at 6-under 210 at the ASU Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz.
Suh shot a final-round 67 (-5) to move from 15th to first in the final day of the tournament. The event is open to female amateurs between the ages of 13 and 23.
Suh is a freshman at California, who opened her first season by finishing T-2 with teammate Jacqueline Williams at the Washington State Cougar Cup. The Golden Bears won the team title.
Post-Steelers, Hines Ward stirs lots of pots
For Hines Ward, the route to a post-football career has taken some pretty diverse turns.
Already a “Dancing With the Stars” champion, Mr. Ward has filled the months since his retirement from the Pittsburgh Steelers in March with a hefty slate of work. His first choice was a common one for former pro athletes: doing commentary for NBC Sports in various capacities. Pittsburgh affiliate WPXI-TV gave him “The Hines Ward Show,” a weekly potpourri of football analysis and interviews.
What a Park Presidency Means for South Korea’s Foreign Policy
South Koreans used to joke that their country was a “shrimp among whales” because it is flanked by the giants China and Russia, as well as Japan and, of course, the other and more bellicose Korea to the north. Today, however, South Korea is an emerging power. It is the world’s 11th biggest economy, sixth biggest exporter and on track to become the eighth biggest trading nation. And because it lies in a geopolitical hotspot, with an economy dependent on exports, the new President’s direction of foreign policy will matter. “[South] Korea is one of the most connected countries in the world,” says Troy Stangarone of the U.S.-based Korea Economic Institute of America. “Both its role in Northeast Asia and globally will probably be shaped by the next administration.”
Park’s foremost challenge when she takes office in February will be North Korea. The outgoing government of President Lee Myung-bak, a no-nonsense former corporate CEO, reversed 10 years of so-called sunshine policy — a conciliatory approach to Pyongyang that saw two summits, the South’s investments in the North and reunions of family members separated by the Korean War. Lee adopted a stern approach, cutting off dialogue and humanitarian aid over Pyongyang’s unwillingness to drop its nuclear-weapons program.
Inter-Korean relations likely to change under Park presidency
South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye’s election promise to mend fences with North Korea is spurring a mood of optimism for a turnaround in the frozen inter-Korean relations, but analysts said that the two Koreas may take some time before resolving long-standing issues, which stymied their ties under the outgoing government.
The first South Korean woman elected to the five-year presidency has pledged to depart from outgoing President Lee Myung-bak’s hard-line North Korean policy, in which the government has refused to engage with the North without the communist country’s apologies for the deadly 2010 attacks on the South Korean Navy vessel Cheonan and the border island of Yeonpyeong.
Did a Tantrum Kill Kim Jong Il?
Wall Street Journal
A year after the death of Kim Jong Il, little information has emerged about the circumstances of his reported heart attack other than the official narrative that he died from overwork at 8:30am on Dec. 17 aboard his personal train while heading out on another “field guidance” trip.
Doubts about parts of that account have been raised, including skepticism about whether Mr. Kim was actually on the train given his apparent habit of sleeping in late, and satellite images showing the train still in Pyongyang.
N. Korean leader to purge more of the old guard in new year: expert
As North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wraps up his first year in power, marked by the reckless purging of several old guard elites, he may replace the country’s No. 2 leader, Kim Yong-nam, and some other top officials next year, according to a North Korea expert here.
“Who replaces Kim Yong-nam may tell us about the future direction of the restructuring of the political system,” said Alexandre Mansourov, a specialist in Northeast Asian security. He now works as a visiting scholar at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University.
He said Kim Yong-nam will likely “honorably retire,” rather than being purged.
Largest Korean-American Bank Seeks to Become Regional Player After Deals
American Banker (subscription req’d)
BBCN execs took a difficult path to build the largest Korean-American bank, but a successful merger in L.A. and a deal in Seattle have put it on course to become a West Coast player — and maybe more.
Check out our story on BBCN from the October 2012 issue of KoreAm.
Honey Pig Korean BBQ Opens In Irvine
OC Weekly (Calif.)
As Shuji reported a long while ago, Honey Pig, the Korean BBQ joint that specializes in samgyeopsal (pork belly), is coming to Irvine. It has finally opened. There are other Honey Pigs in LA’s Koreatown, in La Palma, and a Wako Honey Pig in Buena Park.
Some are related to the other by loose familial ties and they all have that specialty in common, as well as the domed cooking surface on which you sear and render your fatty pork slices into crispness.
Photo studio pervert does something unusual
A pervert in his 40s who ran a photo studio did something unusual; he would use a timer when taking photographs of female college students.
What he would do is rush to the back of his clients and drop his pants when the camera clicked. He would take the regular photographs but keep the pornographic shots in his computer.
The man was finally caught for what he was up to since the beginning of the year and was indicted last May under laws for the protection of youths. However, the court ruled that he was innocent of the crime.
Top ten Asian players of 2012
3. Koo Ja-cheol (South Korea and FC Augsburg)
The young midfielder ticked all the boxes in 2012 – impressive for the South Korean national team, very impressive with FC Augsburg in the Bundesliga and inspirational in leading his country to the bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics. The game for the bronze medal between Japan and Korea was perhaps the high point of 2012 on the pitch for Asia, and for Koo it was just the latest in a string of high-class performances.
While his spectacular strikes from the edge of the box have been catching the eye in Germany – as well as his contretemps with Franck Ribery – back in East Asia, fans know that Koo is developing into a fine driving midfield player who is set to be at the heart of the South Korean team for years to come. 2013 could be the year in which he makes it really big.
Korea drops Major Leaguer Choo Shin-soo from WBC roster
Yonhap via Korea Times
Choo Shin-soo, outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds in Major League Baseball (MLB), on Thursday was dropped from Korea’s roster for the World Baseball Classic next spring.
The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) said Choo had asked to be left off the national team for the March 2-19 tournament so that he can prepare for his first season with the Reds. He was recently traded from the Cleveland Indians to the National League club.
Lydia Ko, John Huh Named Among Year’s Top Breakout Golfers
Korean-New Zealander Lydia Ko and Korean-American John Huh were named among the top 10 breakout players of the year by the Golf Channel on Wednesday.
7 Questions With … Hines Ward of “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off”
Channel Guide Magazine
He’s the legendary Pittsburgh Steeler who broke records (and one opponent’s jaw) on the field, then broke hearts in the Dancing With the Stars ballroom before retiring from the NFL last May to become an NBC football analyst. Now Hines Ward is testing his game in a whole new arena — the kitchen — as a contestant on Season 2 of Food Network’s Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, battling Johnny Weir, Kathy Najimy, Carnie Wilson, Gilbert Gottfried and others for celeb-chef supremacy.
Symbolism and Numerology in North Korean Rocketry
New York Times
North Korea has announced it will make another attempt to launch a long-range rocket, and speculation is rife on the peninsula about the when and the whys of this latest effort.
So far, North Korea has said only that the launch window was between Dec. 10 and Dec. 22, and it has alerted Japan of this time frame and the rocket’s proposed southward trajectory. (Tokyo, Seoul and Washington, meanwhile, are said to be ramping up their monitoring and intercept teams.)
Weather permitting, it seems likely that the launching will occur Dec. 17, all the better to mark the first anniversary of the death of the longtime dictator Kim Jong-il.
Ahn Takes His Final Bow — For This Race, At Least
Wall Street Journal
In a sixth-floor room so packed with people that a fire marshal would have been nervous, Ahn Cheol-soo thanked his campaign staff and brought a formal close to his independent run for the presidency.
The doctor-turned-businessman-turned-professor jumped into the presidential race late, on Sept. 20, and got out on Nov. 23 just before the registration deadline that marked the start of the official campaign. His exit was so sudden that some campaign staffers who were out with reporters who covered Mr. Ahn watched it from a restaurant they were in.
Monday’s ceremony was scheduled in part as a thank-you-and-goodbye event for them. But it was also a test of how fully Mr. Ahn would back Moon Jae-in, the Democratic United Party nominee with whom he negotiated for several weeks about running a united campaign.
Software mogul slams S. Korean presidential politics
AFP via Google News
South Korean software mogul Ahn Cheol-Soo formally ended his popular independent presidential campaign Monday with a withering criticism of the country’s entrenched left-right political divide.
Speaking to tearful supporters, Ahn reiterated his backing for the remaining liberal candidate in the race, Moon Jae-In, but his remarks fell short of the ringing endorsement Moon’s campaign had been hoping for.
Ahn first announced he was quitting the race 10 days ago, and has since dropped from public view, raising questions over whether he plans to actively campaign for Moon against conservative front-runner Park Geun-Hye.
Collective Naiveté : Ahn Cheol-soo and Hwang Jang-yop
Exit Emperor Kim Jong-Il (blog)
Are you confused about what’s going on with the presidential election in Korea? You are not alone. I am getting a lot of questions about it and I thought I would talk about what I am seeing here in Korea.
On December 19 the Korean electorate will send either Ms. Park Geun-hye or Mr. Moon Jae-in to the Blue House, the presidential mansion at the foot of Buk Han Mountain. Both Park and Moon are familiar with the Blue House. Park lived there with her father Park Chung-hee, president of South Korea from 1963 to 1979. Moon spent his time at the Blue House as the Chief of Staff for president Roh Moo-hyun from 2003 to 2008.
As of one week ago, there was another candidate named Ahn Cheol-soo, aka Charles Ahn. He doesn’t know much about the Blue House.
‘Sex on campus is lots of fun and surprisingly easy’: Berkeley student’s controversial column
Daily Mail (U.K.)
The elite University of California, Berkeley has seen a blow to its uber-serious reputation with a controversial article from a student boasting about her marathon campus sex sessions.
Nadia Cho’s detailed account was part of her weekly column in The Daily Californian, Berkeley’s independent, student-run newspaper.
Cho writes that she and an unnamed male student started their romp in Berkeley’s library, Main Stacks, the day before Thanksgiving, when the campus was ‘marvellously empty’.
Local eye surgeon gives sight to Ethiopians
Times-Republican (Central Iowa)
When there is one eye doctor for every one million people in locations in Ethiopia, there is no doubt a dire need for mission work. Dr. Donny Suh, filled that need for a week and a half in October working out of Gondar, Ethiopia. Suh is a pediatric ophthalmologist at Wolfe Eye Clinic.
Suh’s journey was part of a mission trip sponsored by ORBIS International, a nonprofit humanitarian organization that helps save sight worldwide. It was Suh’s 20th mission trip.
“Every place that I go there are different challenges,” Suh said.
WALKING DEAD’S STEVEN YEUN: “THERE ARE A MILLION DOGS ON SET”
Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn Rhee on the Walking Dead, jokes that he’d like to someday have a case-study performed on the cast of AMC’s hit zombie drama: “Our cast is so intense and driven, and we get put through so much while filming. I think we’re all going to have PTSD in five years.” Indeed, this season has been particularly hard on Yuen’s character, who, as of the show’s latest episode, had been taken hostage and left to fight off a gnashing zombie while tied to a chair. To gear up for the show’s mid-season finale this Sunday, we chatted with Yeun about the ways his character is changing, his days with Second City in Chicago, and how he’s going to unwind when this season wraps up.
Psy’s Success Is ‘No Surprise’ To Wonder Girls
There’s no question Psy has had a whirlwind year. He’s racked up more than 848 million views on YouTube, united with MC Hammer at the American Music Awards and gotten his “Gangnam Style” on with countless celebs, including Britney Spears and Madonna.
And while many of us are still scratching our heads regarding his overnight success, fellow Korean pop stars Wonder Girls say his accomplishments come as “no surprise.”
“Psy was a huge star back in Korea,” Wonder Girls member Yenny told MTV News. “We grew up listening to him, so we’re very glad he’s becoming huge here and all over the world.”
Asheville School grad wins $500K singing prize
Citizen-Times (Asheville, N.C.)
A young musician who a year ago was posting music videos alone in his Asheville School dorm room is now fending off legions of fans after having won a $500,000 television singing contest.
Sang Woo “Roy” Kim, a native of Korea who graduated from Asheville School earlier this year, recently won “Superstar K4,” the South Korean equivalent of “American Idol.” One of the songs he sang to clinch the prize was written at Asheville School.
Kim’s musical skills were already well known to many at the private prep school.
Reality Check: Hines Ward goes from dance floor and football field to kitchen
So Hines Ward thinks he can cook?
One-time “Dancing With the Stars” champ and former Steelers receiver Mr. Ward has been spending his fall in a new gig: working with the NBC Sports NFL broadcast team. But he found time to compete in another reality show, Season 2 of Food Network’s “Rachel vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off.”
The program debuts Jan. 9.
South Korean men get the make-up habit
South Korean men have a particular kind of image – hard-drinking, hard-working and prepared to fight bravely for their country. But now major cosmetics companies are seeing a different side to Korean manhood – a growing interest in skincare products, and even foundation.
Asian-Americans and the Politics of Fairness
The fastest-growing U.S. demographic group is highly educated, relatively affluent and, politically, increasingly Democratic.
That’s Asian-Americans, who comprised 3 percent of this year’s electorate, a share that will keep growing. They voted almost three to one for President Barack Obama, according to the exit poll. Yet unlike African Americans or Latinos, Asian Americans are more highly educated — half have at least bachelor’s degrees — and are more affluent than whites.
Why then did they support the more liberal party?
The Pulse: Asian American vote could be a wake-up call to the GOP
Much is still being analyzed regarding the voting demographics for the presidential election. Some seem easily explained.
For example, the monolithic vote for Barack Obama among African Americans. His 93 percent support among blacks is no doubt attributable, in part, to his own race, and would explain why Mitt Romney received not a single vote in 59 Philadelphia divisions.
And, given the GOP primary climate, it’s not hard to understand why 71 percent of Hispanics voted against Romney, who ran as a severely conservative candidate on immigration. That was what the primary process demanded.
S.Korea presidential hopefuls resume merger talks
AFP via Google News
South Korea’s two left-leaning presidential hopefuls on Monday resumed talks aimed at uniting behind a single candidate to take on conservative front-runner Park Geun-Hye.
The talks were suspended last week after independent Ahn Cheol-Soo accused Moon Jae-In, candidate of the main opposition Democratic United Party (DUP), of lacking commitment to political reform.
Ahn and Moon only have one week to decide which one of them will drop out of the race and support the other, with the deadline for candidate registration falling on November 26.
S.Korea to hold drill on island shelled by North
AFP via Google News
South Korea will hold a military drill this week on a border island shelled by North Korea in 2010, marking the second anniversary of an attack that triggered fears of a full-scale conflict.
Friday’s drill will feature field and simulated exercises by marines stationed on Yeonpyeong island as well as other naval forces, a Marine Corps spokesman told AFP.
“The exercise will be held… based on various scenarios of provocations and attacks by the enemy,” he said on Monday.
Obama’s message for North Korea in visiting Burma: Let’s make up
On Monday, President Obama visited a medium-sized Asian country known for its international isolation, brutal military dictatorship and flirtations with nuclear weapons. If that sounds familiar, you are not alone in seeing some parallels between the reforming autocracy of Burma (also known as Myanmar; more on that distinction here), which Obama became the first-ever sitting U.S. president to visit, and North Korea.
Student arrested after Isla Vista stabbing
KSBY (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
A student at UC Santa Barbara was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a stabbing early Sunday that left one person with life-threatening injuries.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Peter Cho at a home in the 800 block of Embarcadero Del Norte in Isla Vista Sunday.
Deputies and campus police officers had responded to a report of a fight at a business in that same area at about 4 a.m. They found a man who had been stabbed six times and another person who had been hit in the head. The stabbing victim was rushed to the hospital and taken into surgery for inuries to his back, wrist, and side. He is currently stable. The other victim was treated and released at the scene.
Man charged with assault after parking lot fight
Westport News (Conn.)
Daniel Kang of Norwalk faces an assault charge after police said he was pummeling another man in the Charles Street commuter parking lot early Thursday.
Kang, 30, was straddling another man lying on the pavement and hitting him repeatedly when he was spotted shortly before 1:30 a.m. Thursday by an officer on patrol, according to the report.
A dream fulfilled: After plenty of studying, years of yearning, 88-year-old from Korea becomes citizen
Marietta Daily Journal (Ga.)
For Kim Kunsoo, America stands for the freedom to dream. At 88 years old, Kim fulfilled his dream of becoming a U.S. citizen.
“I always wanted to live here,” said Kim, as interpreted through his grandson, Brian Kim of John’s Creek.
Born on Aug. 9, 1924 in Korea (now South Korea), Kim longed for freedoms protected by the United States. “Throughout the Korean history, the U.S. was regarded as very high. We always dreamed about coming to the United States,” he said.
Choi wins final LPGA Tour event of the year
AP via Google News
If nothing else, Na Yeon Choi proved to be a big-money player this year on the LPGA Tour.
Choi captured her first major this summer at the U.S. Women’s Open, the biggest purse of the year. She turned a great season into her best one yet Sunday by winning the Titleholders and a $500,000 check, the second-biggest prize on tour.
For someone who has an appointment Monday in Orlando to buy a new house, the timing couldn’t have been better.
How Hines Ward would love one more chance at the Ravens
They are making a big mistake by allowing Hines Ward on the field at halftime tonight of the Steelers-Baltimore Ravens game. It’s wonderful that the Steelers are honoring him as a part of their 80th anniversary celebration. He’s one of their all-time greats. The problem is Ward might not leave peacefully after the ceremony. He might just run out on the Heinz Field lawn and pop Ravens safety Ed Reed.
For old time’s sake, you know?
“It’s probably a good thing I’ll be in a suit and tie instead of a uniform,” Ward said.
Top Chef Seattle episode recap: Kristen Kish from Kentwood still in the hunt
Kristen Kish, the Kentwood native competing on Top Chef Seattle, cruised through the first episode from Seattle.
While not on the top team, her team was nowhere near the bottom and had nothing to worry about when elimination was being discussed.
Kish is one of the 15 contestants who started on the show. I say started because we’ve added three contestants. The first twist of the season was to have three contestants who were booted from previous seasons be the judges of the Quickfire challenge only to then turn around and join the chefs as competitors for the grand prize.
Where the Chefs Eat: Chego’s Roy Choi
Where the Chefs Eat is an ongoing series in which we ask a local chef to give us his or her favorite dining options. This week, Roy Choi, chef and owner of Chego, A-Frame, Sunny Spot and the fleet of Kogi BBQ trucks, tells us his favorite spots to eat these days.
Roy Choi lives in Koreatown, and most of the eating he does is in and around his neighborhood in family-owned Korean and Mexican restaurants.
For Korean comfort food: “Seongbukdong is a small place with really amazing food,” Choi says. “They have a few signature items, like spicy braised mackerel, and kimchee rice porridge. It’s peasant food, completely delicious.”
After Psy’s Gangnam Style, here come Korea pop princesses Girls’ Generation
The Guardian (U.K.)
Almost two months after a portly 34-year-old armed with a catchy chorus and a comical line in choreography soared to the top of the British pop charts, the world doesn’t appear to have had its fill of Gangnam Style.
Psy, the Korean rapper whose viral video sensation (the YouTube view count stands at 738 million and rising) spawned myriad copycat videos by everyone from the US navy to pupils at Eton, became the first Korean artist to gain household-name status outside K-pop’s main hunting ground of Asia.
It now seems certain that he has blazed a trail. Girls’ Generation , a nine-member Korean girl group who had racked up millions of sales throughout east Asia long before Psy made “air” horseriding socially acceptable, are poised to release their first album recorded entirely in English.
Kirkpatrick: North Koreans Want Freedom
Wall Street Journal
Many reporters worry about being scooped by competitors, but at the Journal we also have to worry about being scooped by the writers and editors on our opinion page.
As a news reporter responsible for covering North Korea, that has routinely meant coming across the following response while calling defectors, aid groups, officials and researchers to talk about a development: “Melanie Kirkpatrick called me about that already.”
Few people have put as much time and energy into telling the world how North Korea abuses its people – and putting the spotlight on the foreigners who have tried to help North Koreans flee – as Ms. Kirkpatrick.
US warns N. Korea against provocations
AFP via Google News
The US pointman for North Korea Monday warned Pyongyang against any provocation during a rare period of near simultaneous political transition in nations encouraging it to abandon nuclear weapons.
Glyn Davies is wrapping up talks over the past week in Japan, South Korea and China on their common goal of denuclearising North Korea and achieving peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.
Those countries along with Russia have for years been working to persuade Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear programme via a framework of on-again, off-again negotiations known as the six-party talks.
Spring break in Libya
HIS PLANE TOUCHED down in Cairo on Aug. 23, 2011. School didn’t start again for another month, and Chris Jeon, a 21-year-old UCLA math major, had told his parents he was going sightseeing in Egypt. What he didn’t tell them was that he had decided to fight with the Libyan rebels against Muammar al-Qaddafi. He wanted to see something historic, he told friends.
Kim hopes to win Senate seat focusing on economy
Times Ledger (Queens, N.Y.)
Republican candidate J.D. Kim hopes to open up the buzzing economy of Flushing to the surrounding communities if he defeats incumbent state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) for a Senate seat in November.
According to campaign filings from early October, Kim is severely out-funded in the race. Between July and October, he raised about $7,500 with about $2,000 remaining in his coffers compared to Stavisky, who raised less than $2,000 over the same period but still has a balance of $36,000.
The Life of an Alleged Female Enforcer
As a tall, slender and attractive woman, Kelly Soo Park does not fit the typical profile of a menacing enforcer sent to intimidate her boss’s business associates.
But that is what Los Angeles prosecutors allege in court documents that accuse her of strangling 21-year-old actress Juliana Redding in 2008.
Park “used her bare hands” to “strangle” the actress and then, according to prosecutors, turned on the gas stove in an “attempt to blow up the apartment.”
AALAC ‘Voting Gangnam Style’ Video Goes Viral
Duluth Patch (Ga.)
The Asian American Legal Advocacy Center’s “Voting Gangnam Style” video on Youtube has gone viral, according to a press release issued by the center.
The 60-second video was meant to be a teaser for a full-length get-out-to-vote video to be released later. AALAC partnered with Kollaboration Atlanta to shoot the video.
“We wanted to send a message — especially to students — that voting is fun. And to make that message viral, we took advantage of the international dance hit Gangnam Style,” Helen Ho, AALAC’s executive director, said in the press release.
Op-Ed: Becoming a Kringo – What a Korean-American is Doing at a Hispanic Ad Agency
It’s been a minute but we’re back with another entry in our Day in the Life of an Intern series. This submission comes to us courtesy of a Justin Jahng, a biz dev intern at Grey Group agency Wing, which focuses on the U.S. Latino market. It’s really hard to top Jahng’s title for his entry so we’ll just let the Boston University grad have the floor and explain. Take it away, young man.
For the past four months, I have been the Business Development intern at Wing, a full-service advertising agency focused on the US Hispanic Market. I have learned a lot during my time here from fellow coworkers and supervisors, but there is something about who I am that makes my experience slightly different from the rest. I am Korean American.
The GQ+A: The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun
These days, however, Glenn, played by Steven Yeun, gets to engage in post-apocalyptic games of Hide the Sausage with his bombshell girlfriend, and dismembers zombies with abandon. In other words: guy’s found his mojo. In our weekly GQ+A with a Walking Dead insider, we spoke with the comedian-turned-drama-star about playing the last nice guy on earth.
Korean dance bootcamp goes bust
The wildly popular South Korean rapper “PSY”‘s moves have made him a viral video sensation, and Korean hip-hop known as KPOP is a huge hit with the kids.
Learning KPOP was exactly how Bonnie Blake’s teenage daughter Kelly wanted to spend her summer, and this promotional video for HITS NY summer boot camp caught her eye.
“She saw the video and the kids working really hard, and had a real passion for this, and wanted to experience it herself,” said Bonnie.
Doctor runs with runner he saved
Orange County Register (Calif.)
Doctors said chances were slim that she ever again would run recreationally, and slimmer that she would ever again race competitively.
Suzanne Maldonado-Rael, 34, proved them wrong Sunday, just eight months after her heart stopped and she collapsed at the Surf City Half-Marathon.
Unlike her regular doctors, the doctor who saved her life Feb. 5 said he felt differently about her recovery. Dr. Steven Kim assured her she would run competitively again – and vowed that he would race with her.
The Asians on TV: New Fall 2012-13 Shows
Angry Asian Man
I’ve been meaning to post this for several weeks… So the new fall television season is well underway, and that means we’re seeing some Asian faces on new shows. Well, I watch a lot of TV, and as you know, I am particularly interested in seeing more Asian folks on the tube. So…
For your reference, I have compiled a running list of Asian actors in the starring casts of new scripted prime time network television shows. Some of the shows have premiered, others won’t be on until midseason, and some actually have already been canceled (like I said, I meant to post this sooner).
Hines Ward returns to PBS with his new team
After Hines Ward retired earlier this year, many thought they had seen the last of him in Paul Brown Stadium. But the former Steelers receiver will be here tonight as part of NBC’s crew for the Football Night in America pregame show.
To say that Ward has a special place in Bengals fans’ minds would be an understatement. According to Pro Football Reference, he is the only player to have 100 career catches against the Bengals.
In 29 games, including one postseason, Ward had 133 receptions for 1,598 yards and 16 touchdowns against Cincinnati. He is one of six to have at least 1,000 receiving yards against the team.
Q&A: Stanford golfer Lauren Kim of Los Altos
Palo Alto Daily News via Mercury News
Stanford freshman Lauren Kim spent a few minutes on the phone Thursday with Daily News sports reporter Vytas Mazeika to talk about her early success with the women’s golf team. The Los Altos High graduate, who over the summer won the 83rd NCGA Junior Championship at Spyglass Hill Golf Course, was the California Junior Girls’ State Champion in 2009 and the runner-up this year. In her first college tournament at Vanderbilt, Kim was the top finisher for the Cardinal as she tied for 17th. Next up is this weekend’s 49th Stanford Intercollegiate, which tees off today and ends Sunday.
‘Dumplings’ And Bunnies: Asian Folk Songs For Kids
Billed as “all-ages folk and children’s music from East Asia,” Rabbit Days and Dumplings collects mostly traditional songs from China, Tibet, Taiwan, Japan and Korea. The album is the creation of Elena Moon Park. She’s spent six years playing family music with Dan Zanes, who has a fanatically devoted following among the smaller set. For this project, she brought in dozens of other musicians from around New York City.
Park is a Korean-American, born and raised in East Tennessee with immigrant parents from South Korea.