With the U.S. government shutdown in full effect and the two houses of Congress failing to reach any sort of agreement, Hyundai is trying to take some financial burden off the more than 700,000 federal employees on unpaid furlough.
The South Korean automaker announced that it will defer car payments due from government workers who have been affected by the shutdown.
The new assistance program is available for customers who financed their purchase or lease through Hyundai Finance America. Continue Reading »
For the first time ever, hydrogen-powered vehicles are well on their way to being available to the public. South Korean car manufacturer, Hyundai, said it will begin mass producing cars powered by hydrogen this week, according to Yonhap News.
The SUV – Hyundai’s Tucson model – will be made available to consumers on a large-scale by 2015. But the environmentally conscious vehicle may not be a viable option for many people: currently the car runs at about $200,000 in comparison to a gasoline-powered Tucson coming in between $20,000 to $26,000.
A car powered by hydrogen fuel cells has zero emissions as water is the only byproduct of the hydrogen-to-electricity conversion. Continue Reading »
For South Koreans, a familiar tone from Pyongyang
As a child, Lee Yoon Jung used to hide underground with her classmates when the sirens rang at her school. The emergency drills were held in case of a North Korean attack.
Lee, now 46, has children of her own, who do not have such exercises at their schools in Ulsan, South Korea.
It represents the attitude shift over recent decades of tension between the two Koreas. South Koreans have become accustomed to living next to their northern neighbor, which often releases bellicose statements and calls it a “group of puppet traitors.”
U.S. May Have Trouble Gauging North Korean Nuclear Test
New York Times
Even if North Korea follows through with its threat to conduct a third nuclear test, Washington and its allies will have difficulty determining whether the device detonated is made of plutonium or uranium, a prominent American nuclear scientist and South Korean officials said on Tuesday.
Whether North Korea will set off a uranium bomb is a question high on the minds of policy makers and analysts in Northeast Asia. A failure to answer it would complicate their efforts to assess North Korea’s nuclear weapons capabilities.
U.N. urged to probe North Korean leaders’ role in abuses
Reuters via Yahoo News
North Korea’s leaders are likely to be the target of a U.N. investigation into their personal responsibility for rapes, torture, executions, arbitrary arrests and abductions, following an expert report published on Tuesday.
The report by Marzuki Darusman, an Indonesian lawyer who is the U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, said North Korea’s “grave, systematic and widespread” human rights violations ought to be laid bare before the U.N. Human Rights Council and the U.N. General Assembly.
More diversity among Asian Americans than meets the myth
Southern California Public Radio
Many observers regard Asian Americans as the nation’s most successful immigrants. But a new report details how the nation’s fastest-growing racial group is far more diverse a population, socioeconomically and otherwise, than “model minority” myths might indicate.
The stereotype of a generally well-educated, well-paid group doesn’t play out in the report by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, a civil rights and legal organization in Los Angeles.
While some Asian American groups in Southern California do earn more than non-Latino whites, the study also found that some groups, such as Cambodians, Bangladeshis and Tongans, tend to earn less than blacks and Latinos. And Korean Americans in the region, for example, are as just as likely as Latinos to lack medical insurance.
Big Korean Business Dominates Super Bowl Ads
Big Korean companies flashed their growing global presence with their Super Bowl ads on Sunday.
A total of 37 companies from around the world invested US$300 million in TV commercials during the Super Bowl between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans, Louisiana on Sunday.
Korean giants like Samsung, Hyundai and Kia all paid a massive share.
Jon Stewart tests Michelle Rhee, defends teachers
Jon Stewart invited Michelle Rhee on “The Daily Show” Monday night and, while he didn’t skewer her the way some Rhee critics would have liked, he kept challenging her about whether her brand of school reform unfairly targets teachers. He also said something that Rhee and other reformers could take to be something of a slap: that there has been “no real innovation in education since John Dewey.”
See the video here.
L.A. CHEF SANG YOON GOES FOR PIG’S BLOOD SOUP AT RUEN PAIR
Sang Yoon, the chef behind L.A.’s Father’s Office (and its world-famous burger), avant Asian bistro Lukshon and the forthcoming Helms Bakery, a project that sees the chef partnering with Sherry Yard (pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck) to re-open the classic L.A. institution that closed in the late 60s and turn it into a “bakery/cafe rooted in the old Americana,” Yoon tells us. Read on for his late-night picks.
Where’s your favorite place to go in L.A. for a late-night bite after you leave the kitchen?
The thing about L.A., especially the West Side of L.A., is that it’s not really known as a late-night town. But luckily, we have an amazing Koreatown and Thaitown so between the two — which are in the middle of the city — you have a lot of late-night options. In the Thai neighborhood there’s a place called Ruen Pair. It’s very popular amongst the Thai population — it’s quite authentic. [It's also] a favorite among chefs. I know several guys who end up over there and I think they’re open til at least 3 or 4 in the morning.
Crayon Pop Subvert Sexy Stereotypes
Stereotypical and over-abundant may be appropriate words to describe the current crop of K-pop singers. There are so many generic bands with similar looks that it is difficult to distinguish one from another.
But Crayon Pop defy such stereotypes by thumbing their nose at sexy girl bands and they are far from the cookie-cutter mold.
On anniversary of Linsanity craze, Jeremy Lin spends day nursing sprained ankle with Houston Rockets
New York Daily News
Lin was on the verge of being cut by the Knicks last Feb. 4 when then-coach Mike D’Antoni inserted him off the end of the bench for a 25-point outburst to lead the Knicks to a victory over the Nets, igniting a season-saving seven-game winning streak.
South Korean teenager youngest player in field
Monterey County Herald
South Korean teenager Si Woo Kim simply cannot believe that it’s all happening. Back in December, the 17-year-old’s wild ride first began when he became the youngest player to ever earn his PGA Tour card at what was the final Q-School where players could advance directly to the tour.
Kim made it through all four stages of Q-School, including pre-qualifying in September.
A few weeks ago, Kim’s good fortune continued when he got a call from Monterey Peninsula Foundation CEO Steve John, telling him that he’d be getting a sponsor’s exemption to play in this week’s AT&T Pro-Am.
Opening act Dia Frampton shines after ‘The Voice’
The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Ohio)
“I’m learning a little bit more about my performance style,” said Frampton, who balances the gig with stops on her own tour.
During her time on “The Voice,” viewers commonly described Frampton as an indie artist. She made waves with performances like a slowed-down version of Kanye West’s “Heartless,” a tune she performed at a piano.
North Korea Warns South but Accepts Food Aid
New York Times
North Korea warned on Friday that a South Korean military drill around front-line islands could lead to a “full-scale war” as South Korean trucks crossed the border carrying private food aid for North Korean children.
The 180 tons of flour from the Korea Peace Foundation, based here in Seoul, was the first such aid shipment since the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, died on Dec. 17, leaving his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, as leader.
INTO THE NEXT STAGE: A New Korean American Super Hero—The Ray
Asian Americans had to wait a long time before one of their own became a superhero and got his own comic book in 1994 when “Xombi” hit the stands. It was published by DC (home of Superman and Batman) and was the alter ego of scientist David Kim, who used nanotechnology to keep himself alive by constantly regenerating his body when he was injured.
His book lasted 22 issues (including an issue #0) and was revived last year as a six-issue mini-series.
Jury indicts man in 1980 murder of store clerk
Fox 12 Oregon
On Jan. 18, 1980, 29-year-old Myong Su Cho was working behind the counter at the Plaid Pantry near Portland State University when an armed robber barged in and demanded money, police say.
Cho ran after the suspect, but was shot and killed a few blocks away, according to authorities.
Strategy with Kristy: John Kim Part One
John Kim has played poker for a living for 14 years. He’s supported his wife and daughter through live and online cash-game winnings and has also accumulated more than $300,000 in tournament cashes. For this edition of the Strategy with Kristy podcast, brought to you by South Point, Kim talks about what it takes to be a professional poker player.
Off Camera, NK’s Star Anchorwoman Smiles
Wall Street Journal
While North Korea has been boring this week, simply churning out its normal churlish statements, China Central Television got a scoop by getting its cameras inside North Korea’s official TV station, Korea Central Television.
And more importantly, they met the network’s biggest star: Ri Chun Hui, the anchorwoman known for her intense delivery of the most important statements by the authoritarian government.
And she seemed charming. She smiled and spoke normally, without the fierce breathlessness she uses to deliver the news.
Sundance 2012: ‘For Ellen’ puts focus on the father
Los Angeles Times
Have breakfast with writer-director So Yong Kim, tell her how remarkable her new film is, and you’ll see her put her menu in front of her face in embarrassment. But hearing compliments on the quietly exquisite “For Ellen” is something the filmmaker is going to have to get used to. It’s that good.
The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this week, stars an excellent Paul Dano as the hard-edged and distraught Joby, a twenty-something hipster rock performer who’s lived only for his music and, on the verge of an unavoidable divorce, has to decide if he can live for something else as well, his young daughter, Ellen.
Having Thrived in America, Hyundai Takes On Europe
Big car companies spend millions of dollars on ads to burnish their brands. But Hyundai Motor received one of its biggest boosts from an unlikely source: competitor Volkswagen (VOW:GR). In a video shot during the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, VW Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn is seen praising the adjustable steering column on a Hyundai i30 compact, effectively anointing Hyundai as a top rival. “Nothing rattles,” Winterkorn said to his entourage in the amateur video posted on YouTube (GOOG). “Why can they do it? BMW can’t. We can’t.” The video has been viewed more than 1.6 million times.
Korea’s 2002 World Cup hero Ahn Jung-Hwan to retire
AFP via Google News
South Korean footballer Ahn Jung-Hwan, famous for his dramatic goal in the 2002 World Cup, will retire next week, his agency said Friday.
In a press release quoted by Yonhap news agency, Moro Sports Korea said Ahn would hold a press conference Tuesday to announce his decision.
“Ahn returned from Dalian Shide in the Chinese Super League this year, and he was torn between continuing his career and retirement,” the agency said.
“He has finally decided it would be best for him to finish his career at this point.”
Aziatix announces their 2012 US Tour
A bicoastal sold-out U.S. tour last year was simply not enough for AZIATIX and their fans. To kick off 2012, the three members have announced a 13-city tour starting in February, including a show at SXSW on March 16th.
Street Food Guru Roy Choi on Sunny Spot, Food Trucks, Kogi & More
The Daily Beast
Food-truck godfather Roy Choi, the man behind the craze that’s swept the country, tells Jace Lacob about his new Caribbean roadside eatery Sunny Spot—and how embracing street food and putting aside our Western concepts of dining can save society.
2NE1 performs for 2,000 fans at New York’s Times Square
2NE1 has stolen the hearts of 2,000 American fans with their live performance at Times Square in New York. The girls were recently deemed as the ‘2011 Best New Band in the World‘, and so to celebrate, they held a concert at the MTV studio downtown.
Broadcast and streamed to fans worldwide, 2NE1 was ecstatically welcomed by thousands of New York fans.
LAPD probes racist graffiti at Korean church fire scene
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles police Monday night were investigating racist scrawls left with a marker and baby powder at a Korean church where a small fire broke out earlier in the day.
Officers initially responded to a possible burglary call at the Valley Korean Central Presbyterian Church in North Hills and found a toaster oven on fire in one of the buildings on the property, a law enforcement source told The Times.
Racial epithets were scrawled with a marker pen on the walls and written with baby powder on the floor of the building, according to the source, who asked not to be named because the investigation is ongoing.
Party Crasher! Hyundai is headed upmarket
Los Angeles Times
But now Korean automaker Hyundai seems set to crash the luxury party. Hyundai’s first full-size luxury sedan, the Genesis, was released stateside in 2008. The company followed up with the overtly opulent and even larger Equus model two years later. Even Hyundai’s corporate cousin, Kia (Hyundai has part-owned Kia since 1998) is getting in on the act. Kia’s unveiling of its Maserati-esque GT Concept coupe at last month’s L.A. Auto Show is a fairly obvious signal that it, too, harbors upscale ambitions.
S.Koreans go mass-market, online for luxury goods
Sixty years ago, war-torn South Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. Now it is the world’s 13th largest economy and a magnet for luxury goods, prying open the wallets of its wealthy people as well as tourists.
Pierpont Inn owner files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
Ventura County Star
The owner of the Ventura Pierpont Inn has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection a year after signs of trouble emerged at the historic property.
Millions of dollars in debt, Grace S. Ahn filed for bankruptcy protection Nov. 25. Ahn is the trustee of The Ahn Family Trust, which bought the inn and spa in spring 2009.
Appeals panel hears new science about arsons that could free man
On Monday, a federal appeals court wrestled with Lee’s case – specifically, whether he should be given a new hearing to present evidence about the changed understanding of how fires burn, and whether he should be freed outright.
Defense attorney Peter Goldberger argued that Lee had been convicted only because of the testimony of fire investigators in Monroe County, and that their findings would not hold up today.
22-year-old becomes youngest mayor in O.C., probably the state
Los Angeles Times
Jeremy Yamaguchi still lives at home, is active in the Boy Scouts and voted for the very first time just a few years ago.
He’s also -– at the ripe age of 22 -– the youngest mayor in Orange County, and perhaps the state, the Orange County Register is reporting.
Yamaguchi was named mayor of Placentia last week, the youngest person to hold the post in the city’s 85-year history. He was elected to the council when he was 19, serving alongside council members who’d known him since he was in grade school. He was the top vote-getter in that election.
The Cal State Fullerton senior is set to take finals this week, the LA Times reported.
The Korean girlfriend gift guide
Visiting Supernormal, Cheongdam-dong boutique located right off the main “luxury street” is like entering a young, very rich, very stylish celebrity’s walk-in closet.
Fashionably daring Korean celebs such as 2NE1, Choi Ji-woo and Lee Hyori frequent the relatively small store to stock up on the latest in interesting fashion, while Japanese travelers also descend in small groups on the weekends.
Since anything in the shop has already been through extremely fashion-conscious screening, we consulted the Supernormal experts about putting together a fabulous girlfriend gift guide. Here are 10 unique gifts for the impossible-to-please, impeccably stylish ladies out there.
Samsung Was the Talk of Seoul, More than Usual, After Dealing With Hyundai
Wall Street Journal
Samsung has been the talk of the town on Tuesday for two reasons: the decision announced Monday to sell a big stake in an important affiliate to a Hyundai (yes Hyundai!) company and the list released Tuesday of annual promotions throughout the 60-plus Samsung companies.
As South Korea’s largest business group, Samsung is always the subject of a lot of attention, of course. But Tuesday’s chatter was particularly huge.