Friday’s Link Attack: Basketball Diplomacy ‘Mission Accomplished’; Jamie Chung’s Engagement Ring; Hyun-Jin Ryu Back in LA
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: January 10th, 2014
Filed Under: BLOG
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Ex-U.S. basketball star says mission of cultural exchange ‘accomplished’ in N. Korea
Yonhap News

Despite mounting criticism over an exhibition basketball game by Dennis Rodman and a team of former U.S. basketball players in North Korea, one of the former NBA players, Charles Smith, said Friday they “accomplished” the mission of cultural exchange with Pyongyang.

Returning from North Korea, Smith told reporters at the Beijing airport that, “We sat out on a mission to use basketball as a bridge for cultural exchange, and we accomplished that mission.”

“All of us agree that the trip was incredible,” Smith told a swarm of reporters before being ushered out of the airport.

Agent: Rodman did not accept North Korean money
Yahoo Sports

Dennis Rodman’s agent says the former NBA star did not take any payment from the North Korean government during his trip this week to the country.

Darren Prince says the North Korean government did not finance any part of the trip, adding that Irish betting company Paddy Power PLC covered expenses for Rodman and his team of former NBA players that included Charles D. Smith, Kenny Anderson and Cliff Robinson.

NBA Commissioner David Stern told CNN this week that Rodman was influenced by ”a flash of North Korean money” to stage an exhibition game in Pyongyang.

Impasse in Japan-Korea Relations is an Opportunity for Resolution [OPINION]
Huffington Post

Japan-Korea relations are at one of the worst levels of the postwar era. For many observers, this is puzzling. The deterioration in Japan-China relations, however regrettable, has certain structural causes. The rise of China is taking an unambiguous character of the use or threat of force, which will require a forceful response from Japan if necessary. The danger is real and imminent, but at least there are many comparable events in history, and we hope that some solution could be found from that history.

So, the first question in Japan-Korea relations is whether there is a structural cause for the current deterioration of their relationship. At first glance, the answer is no. Korea has remarkable achievements: it established a powerful democracy from a militarist autocracy, developed one of the most vibrant and energetic economies in East Asia, and it has dazzled the Japanese with “Korean waves.” Japan, after being adrift for more than 20 years, is now regaining vigor under Abenomics. Success makes confidence and confidence in principle should mean generosity in accepting others.

‘Love Child’ Examines Death Related to Videogame Addiction
Wall Street Journal

In March 2010, police arrested a South Korean couple for allowing their 3-month-old baby to starve to death while they played a videogame.

The ensuing furor online and off over parental neglect was aggravated by the revelation that a key mission in the couple’s game of choice involved nurturing a virtual child, giving a stark contrast to the real-life baby’s malnourishment.

Charged with abandonment and endangering a child by criminal negligence, the husband was sentenced to two years in prison, while his wife, pregnant with a new child, was given a three-year suspended sentence.

Nearly four years later, the story of the couple is retold in “Love Child,” a feature documentary that will have its premiere at this month’s Sundance Film Festival.

Many Highly Educated Women Stay at Home
Chosun Ilbo

The proportion of Korean women who go to university is among the highest in the world with 80.5 percent, but only 53.5 percent have jobs.

That is way far short of the OECD average of 57.2 percent.

Some 90,559 married women with master’s degrees or PhDs are do not work, according to analysis of statistics for 2012 by the Korean Women’s Development Institute for the Chosun Ilbo.

Jamie Chung Flashes Diamond Engagement Ring for the First Time—See the Pic!
E! Online

Take a look at Jamie Chung’s gorgeous engagement ring!

A week after news broke that her fiancé Bryan Greenberg popped the question, the 30-year-old Hangover actress flashed her new bling for the very first time while out and about in L.A.

Chung, who was understandably all smiles, was snapped wearing black pants and a blue button-up top with her sizeable engagement ring in clear sight. Chung completed her casual daytime look with a leopard-print bag, gold watch and chic sunglasses.

Inside the Strange World of Korean Body Lines
Slate

I hate a bananas, unattainable beauty trend as much as the next person, but if I were trying to sell American beauty products, I would probably have shrines to thigh gap and bikini bridge all around my apartment. By that logic, the living spaces of the people who power the South Korean beauty industry are probably filled with big, shiny monuments to the letter S.

South Korea has been swept up in “alphabetization,” or the grouping of (mostly female) bodies into shapes based on letters from the Roman alphabet. There is the S-line—“ample breasts and buttocks when viewed from the side”—and the X-line—“long legs and arms connected by a narrow waist.” The face of a woman with slim cheeks and a pointed chin follows the V-line. Cleavage is described using a W-, Y-, or V-line.

‘The Suspect’ movie review: Some jump cuts and gunplay with your subtitles
Washington Post

The first half hour of “The Suspect” is dizzying and disorienting, but not because this South Korean spy thriller delves into the perplexities of relations with the North. (That comes later.) It’s because director Won Sin-yeon skillfully emulates the you-are-there-but-where-the-heck-is-that? style of the “Bourne” movies.

Like Jason Bourne, Ji (Gong Yoo) is on the run, with nearly everyone after him. Amid kinetic action sequences and cryptic flashbacks, Ji’s story gradually emerges: Trained as a North Korean superspy, he defected to the South after his wife and daughter were reportedly killed. There he worked as a driver, a choice of profession that foreshadows a couple of the more inventive car chases in recent movies.

SM Entertainment to Hold 2014 Global Auditions
Soompi

It’s that time of year again! Every year, SM Entertainment, one of the biggest and most successful labels in K-Pop holds auditions around the globe in search for the next super star.

The locations and dates have been set, and a video announcing the auditions has been posted on SM Entertainment’s official YouTube channel as well as on the SM Audition Facebook page.

The audition dates and locations are as follows:

DAVID CHO COVERS VICE MAGAZINE’S “THE HORSE IS A HORSE OF COURSE OF COURSE” ISSUE
EMag

For the latest issue of VICE magazine, the publication tapped LA-based street artist David Choe to provide cover art. With the title of the issue being ”The Horse Is a Horse of Course of Course,” Choe provided artwork playing upon that theme. Previously, Choe teamed up with Vice on the Thumbs Up! series, where the artist hitchhiked across North America and China meeting extraordinary characters along the way. In this collaboration, Choe delivers a slightly bizarre yet nonetheless compelling piece — depicting an expedition where naked women are found atop of horses. Look out for the latest issue and head to VICE for a magazine subscription.

Dodgers’ Ryu Hyun-jin determined to avoid sophomore slump
Yonhap News

Ryu Hyun-jin of the Los Angeles Dodgers said Friday he is determined to avoid a sophomore slump in the upcoming Major League Baseball (MLB) season.

The Dodgers’ left-hander departed for Los Angeles to begin preparing for his second big league season. He’d spent the past two months at home, resting and making corporate appearances after a successful rookie season.

At Incheon International Airport, Ryu told reporters he was refreshed and ready to start his training.

Michelle Wie leaves door ajar for return to PGA Tour
Philly.com

The former phenom doesn’t totally rule out making an appearance on the men’s circuit again some day.

Michelle Wie, in her first visit to Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” show, said Thursday she was inclined not to tee it up again on the PGA Tour but refused to rule out a repeat of her dramatic 2004 appearance at the Sony Open.

“I never say never, but I think if there was an invitation that came into my mail right now I would probably decline, but you never know in the future,” Wie, who played with the guys when she was 14, told new Golf Central anchor Lisa Cornwell. “I don’t like to say never, no, so we’ll see. Maybe.”

Gov’t to invest big in alpine Olympics city of PyeongChang
Yonhap News via GlobalPost

The government said Friday it will designate the 2018 Winter Games host city of PyeongChang as a special district and launch a large-scale development project for the successful international event and for sustainable regional growth.

During a meeting of the commission in charge of supporting the 2018 Olympics in South Korea’s alpine city of PyeongChang, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul, the government unveiled a comprehensive plan to develop the city and the surrounding areas in Gangwon Province over the next two decades.

Designating the region of some 27.4 square kilometers as a special district, the government plans to invest 3.3 trillion won (US$3.1 billion) by 2032 to turn it into a mecca of winter sports and a major tourist destination, according to the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.

Video Games: Koreans Catching Fire
Korea Times

UC Irvine graduate Brian Cho, the Art Center College of Design in California alumni Andrew Kim, and Korea’s pro-gamer Lee Jae-dong were included on the Forbes “30 under 30” list for the Brightest Young Stars in Video Games category.

The American business magazine annually selects 30 people under the age of 30 in 15 different fields.

28-year old Cho is a partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, and is described as by the publication as “one of the few young investors who truly understands the video game business.”

Olivia Kim Rings in the New
Style.com

In hopes of promoting a calm and renewed start to 2014, Olivia Kim opens her third curated pop-in for Nordstrom today. “It’s the New Year, it’s a recharge, it’s time to regroup and get yourself together,” Kim says of the new project, which she’s aptly dubbed “New Beginnings.” “That’s really the premise behind [New Beginnings], to offer things that are a little more reflective, that feel a little more personal…things that could help people literally realize their resolutions.”

There are organic cleaning supplies and Dyson vacuum cleaners for those who have pledged to be tidier. For customers who have dedicated their 2014s to getting in shape, there are workout clothes with an edge from Michi, as well as Jawbone Up wristbands that track health patterns. And shoppers who want a full-on makeover need look no further than the colorful Manic Panic beauty products and KORA Organics by Miranda Kerr creams.

New Beginnings also pays homage to celestial movements and astrology with organic jewelry and energy crystals from Gia Bahm’s Unearthen, zodiac sweatshirts by VFiles, and, at a few lucky locations, free chart readings by celebrated astrologists Tali and Ophira Edut (aka The AstroTwins). “I’m a Virgo but a Capricorn rising, and my moon is in Aries,” Kim says, giggling. “Which means I’m a big hot mess, but then it all kind of makes sense!”

Actress Jamie Chung Gets Engaged
KoreAm
Author: KoreAm
Posted: January 2nd, 2014
Filed Under: BLOG
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by ETHEL NAVALES

Hearts are breaking all over the world after 30-year-old Korean American actress Jamie Chung announced she was engaged and officially off the market.

Most known for her recent role as Mulan in the ABC fantasy television series Once Upon a Time, Jamie Chung is now engaged to 35-year-old actor Bryan Greenberg.

The couple began dating in 2012 and have kept their relationship on the private side. When Elle tried to get Greenberg to open up about Chung, he responded, “I don’t really talk too much about my personal life, but I’m happy.” Continue Reading »

Thursday’s Links: Boorish Chinese Tourists in NKorea; K-Pop and Peace in the Middle East; Jamie Chung Has Style
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: August 8th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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Study Suggests North Korea Is Doubling Area Devoted to Uranium Enrichment
New York Times

North Korea appears to have doubled the size of the area used to enrich uranium at its Yongbyon reactor complex in recent months, a proliferation monitoring group reported Wednesday, raising new concerns that the country could increase production of weapons-grade fuel — even as it says it wants to relax tensions with South Korea and the United States.

The monitoring group, the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, said its calculation was based on comparative satellite imagery of the Yongbyon complex. The uranium-enrichment building, in an image taken on June 10, showed an expansion of roughly the same length and width as the original size of the building, from construction that apparently had begun in March, the institute said in a study posted on its Web site.

Family urges North Korea release U.S. man with Seattle-area ties
Seattle Times

The family of an American tour operator and Christian missionary who has been detained in North Korea for the past nine months is renewing calls for his release as concerns about his health mount.

Kenneth Bae was arrested in November, accused of “hostile acts” against the government and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor: farming beans, potatoes and other vegetables.

His recent letters home have portrayed troubling health conditions, including blurred vision that could be associated with his diabetes, his sister, Terri Chung, said Wednesday during an interview at her mother’s home in Lynnwood.

North Koreans to Chinese Visitors: Please Stop Throwing Candy at Our Children
The Atlantic

Chinese tourists’ boorish behavior has raised hackles from Egypt to Washington, D.C. in recent months as growing incomes send millions of Chinese overseas, often for their first-ever trip outside the country.

Now it is North Korea’s turn.

Mainland Chinese tourists throw sweets at North Korean children “like they’re feeding ducks,” Simon Cockerell of Koryo Tours told the South China Morning Post. Not surprisingly, “North Koreans think that’s undignified and offensive.” North Koreans also complain that Chinese visitors are too loud, and pick up strangers’ children for photographs.

Korean-American diplomat to start work in Seoul’s foreign ministry
Yonhap News via GlobalPost

A Korean-American diplomat will start her one-year stint at the South Korean foreign ministry this month as part of a Seoul-Washington diplomat exchange program, officials said Thursday.

The 37-year-old diplomat, Booyeon Lee Allen, will replace Dewey Moore, who was dispatched to the Seoul ministry a year ago as the first U.S. diplomat working in the local foreign ministry under the joint program.

“It has yet to be determined which department she will be placed in,” a ministry official said.

What’s Trending With Jamie Chung: Japonesque Eyelash Curler, Orange Is the New Black & More
E! Online

Jamie Chung has come a long way since she first got her big break on MTV’s the Real World, snagging roles on everything from scripted shows like Once Upon a Time to feature films like Hangover Part II.

And just as the Korean cutie’s career has evolved, so has her style! So, when we caught up with Chung taking in the latest fashions from BCBGMAXAZRIA at the label’s resort 2014 preview—and looking oh-so-stylish in summer whites from the brand, we might add—we just had to get her to spill on her go-to fashion and beauty products.

Plus, she took the time to tell us her fave spots in Los Angeles and her native San Francisco.

Army reality show brings nostalgic boom in military food sales
Yonhap News

In a country where all men must serve at least two years of military service, the strictly controlled life in the barracks is not a fun topic.

After the MBC reality show “Real Men,” which depicts six male celebrities’ struggles in army barracks, has became the talk of the town since the pilot aired in April, more Korean men have begun to share their own stories of military life while watching the clumsy celebrity soldiers in the show.

Not all memories bring back warm, fuzzy feelings for discharged soldiers, but some foods, especially after seemingly endless and intense workouts, are certain to evoke nostalgia.

Friendship Buds as Translator Helps Ryu Hyun-jin Adapt
Chosun Ilbo

In his new capacity as interpreter for Ryu Hyun-jin, Martin Kim is used to eating with the Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher after games and taking him on shopping trips on his days off. The 34-year-old, who joined the club two years ago as a marketer in charge of attracting sponsors, said he is surprised at how quickly Ryu has adapted to life in the U.S., both in the major leagues and off the field.

Kim, who majored in international business and marketing at George Washington University before taking a job at a consulting company in the U.S., said he thinks of Ryu as a close friend rather than just as a player. He tries to accommodate all of his requests and has been helping take care of his day-to-day needs since the beginning of the season.

“I already feel rewarded as Hyun-jin has adapted quickly and has been putting in strong performances for the club,” said Kim, adding that the player likes to unwind by chatting with him over some coffee.

Middle East: Korean pop ‘brings hope for peace’
BBC News

While Israeli and Palestinian negotiators make renewed efforts to find common ground for a lasting peace, youngsters in the region are reportedly taking their minds off the conflict with “K-pop”. Researchers at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, reckon the Hallyu phenomenon – interest in South Korean popular culture – is taking off in Israel and beginning to have an impact in the Palestinian territories, reports Calcalist newspaper. It quotes Dr Nissim Atmazgin as saying that young people see K-pop as “cultural capital” – something that makes them stand out from the crowd.

Study mixed with cello
Harvard Gazette

If Harvard were an Aaron Copland song, says Hansung Ryu of Seoul, it would be “Hoe-Down” — “difficult to play but very colorful and exciting.”

Ryu, a summer research intern at Harvard-affiliated Joslin Diabetes Center and a cellist, had never encountered the famed American composer before joining the Harvard Summer School Orchestra, which played selections from Copland’s “Rodeo” during a concert Aug. 3 at Sanders Theatre.

Now, Ryu said, “whenever I play Copland, it makes me feel the way I do about America.”

MLB Coaches Praise Korean Stars’ ‘Tools’ for the Job
Chosun Ilbo

Ryu Hyun-jin’s changeup and Choo Shin-soo’s strike-zone judgment have caught the attention and respect of managers in charge of Major League Baseball clubs.

Baseball America conducted a poll among the managers of 30 MLB teams to find out who they consider to be the best players in various categories. The result, called “MLB 2013 Best Tools,” was published on Tuesday.

Ryu, a rookie pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, was ranked second in the National League in the “Best Changeup” category, second only to Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Interview: No Need for Chopsticks or Accents, Says Broadway Actor Ray Lee
Asia Society

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Raymond J. Lee was involved in music from a very young age, having started playing the violin at six years old. He went on to realize his love for performing and changed career paths from pre-med to the Radio/Television/Film program in the School of Communication at Northwestern University, and was later accepted to the prestigious Musical Theater Certificate Program. Lee moved to New York City upon graduation and simultaneously worked for MTV Networks while trying to make his big debut in show biz, which he found with the Shakespeare in the Park production of Two Gentleman of Verona. In 2003, Lee competed in the NBC reality show Fame, where young performers were groomed to become all-around superstars.

When did you first realize that you wanted to go into the entertainment industry? How did your friends and family react?

I grew up loving to perform ever since I was a little kid, whether it was in front of my school or my church, so I guess I got bit by the performance bug at a young age. However, I didn’t think I could have ever a career out of it until I graduated from college. My parents had groomed me to be a doctor and I was pre-med chemistry until my sophomore year of college, and realized I had to pursue what I loved to do. I transferred to the School of Speech at Northwestern University and started doing theater and film. My friends have always been my rock when it comes to this business and they have been the ones to push me and support me when I needed them.

Paul Yoon’s novel ‘Snow Hunters’ glistens with light, memory and hope
Cleveland.com

“Luminous” is a word that gets overused in book reviews, but it’s sublimely apt for Paul Yoon’s new novel, “Snow Hunters.” This story of a life continually acted upon by the forces of war brims with light: the flicker of a lantern, sparks rising from a bonfire, electricity guttering, the spokes of a child’s bike catching the first sun.

Often glimpsed from a distance and for only a moment, these ephemeral flashes are the perfect metaphor for a novel about both loneliness and hope.

Yohan is a young Korean who, after a stint as a prisoner in the Korean War, defects to Brazil. Kiyoshi, a Japanese tailor with his own complicated past, takes Yohan under his wing.

Berkeley chef pursues artistry and philanthropy through food
Inside Bay Area (Oakland)

Jason Kwon, chef and owner of Joshu-Ya Brasserie, describes himself as a risk-taker, willing to go against the grain to pursue his life goals. That approach has paid off, giving renewed life to a family business by making it and Asian-inspired, California-focused, sushi brasserie that stands out in the crowded Telegraph Avenue dining scene.

In 2009 Kwon left a career with Couteaux Review, an organization he founded in New York City to promote culinary use of sustainable agriculture, to return to Berkeley to help his family. Family members were ready to retire and wanted to sell their restaurant, Joshu-Ya Sushi Boat.

With the market in collapse Kwon, decided to update the place in an effort to raise its value, intending only to stay a few months.

Q&A: Psy’s New Chef Ricardo Caput Dishes On The Superstar’s Cravings
Los Angeles Magazine

Back in April, after achieving record shattering views on YouTube for his “Gangnam Style” music video, Korean-crossover superstar Psy decided he needed a personal chef. And when you’ve become a household name, why not turn the search into a marketing asset? Psy teamed up with Bibigo!, a modern, casual Korean restaurant concept, to launch a chef search contest. The winner would be Psy’s chef for a year. From a pool of 350 contestants, chef Ricardo Caput of Brazil was chosen by Psy as the winner. So we had to know—what’s cooking for Psy like?

Chic and cheap: China takes shine to South Korean cosmetics
Reuters

Cosmetics brand Laneige has a French name and luxurious blue-and-white packaging but its legions of fans in China, the world’s third-largest beauty products market, love it because it is South Korean and affordable.

Laneige, or “the snow”, is one of about two dozen brands made by South Korea’s biggest cosmetics company Amorepacific Corp which is using its Asian cachet and pocket-friendly prices to give global firms like L’Oreal SA , and Procter & Gamble Co a run for their money.

Other South Korea cosmetics manufacturers like LG Household & Healthcare and Able C&C are also using similar strategies to expand in China’s beauty and personal care market, which is estimated to be worth $34 billion this year.

Friday’s Link Attack: NKorea Tension Escalates; Steven Yeun on Glenn’s Proposal; How to Eat Galbi
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: March 29th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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North Korea puts rockets on standby to ‘mercilessly strike’ the U.S.
CNN.com

North Korea’s leader approved a plan to prepare standby rockets to hit U.S. targets, state media said Friday, after American stealth bombers carried out a practice mission over South Korea.

In a meeting with military leaders early Friday, Kim Jong Un “said he has judged the time has come to settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists in view of the prevailing situation,” the state-run KCNA news agency reported.

The rockets are aimed at U.S. targets, including military bases in the Pacific and in South Korea, it said.

Global Powers Cast Wary Eye as Korean Tension Escalates
New York Times

North Korean state media said Friday that the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, had ordered his missile units to be ready to strike the United States and South Korea, which South Korean officials said could signal either preparations for missile tests or just more blustering.

The United States criticized the North Korean threat, which came one day after American forces had carried out an unusual practice bombing exercise with advanced aircraft across South Korea.

“The United States is fully capable of defending itself and our allies,” said Lt. Col. Catherine Wilkinson, a Pentagon spokeswoman in Washington.”North Korea’s bellicose rhetoric and threats follow a pattern designed to raise tensions and intimidate others.”

THE KOREAN CRISIS: KIM’S DANGEROUS GAME
The New Yorker

Because we do not generally associate the Russian political class with understatement, it was easy to miss Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov’s observation, this week, that things in North Korea could potentially “descend into the spiral of a vicious cycle.” If the Russians—who have vastly more knowledge of the new North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, than we do—are concerned that things are about to get worse, we should brace for a long spring.

The crisis on the Korean peninsula has descended so steadily, amid so many other hot zones competing for attention, and with such a sense of déjà vu about it, that it’s easy to lose sight of how North Korea’s threats to the United States and South Korea are now being made, as Scott Snyder of the Council on Foreign Relations put it, on “unprecedented levels and with greater intensity than ever before.” It is now at its most acute moment in years.

Threats of annihilation normal for South Koreans
CNN.com

Nowhere is there the slightest inkling that anyone in this second largest metropolitan area in the world — is fearful or even anxious about the stream of threats emanating from North Korea.

Just as sure as spring is coming, most seem to find it entirely normal that warnings of thermonuclear war, annihilation and utter devastation punctuate this, the season of joint U.S., South Korean military maneuvers.

“We are post-war, we don’t worry about that,” a journalist specializing in local news told me. “We take it for granted.” He was just one of about 30 reporters I met in a session discussing news in the South Korean capital this week.

Local Leaders Favor O’Farrell
Los Feliz Ledger (Calif.)

Stating his support for O’Farrell, he said, “He knows the district so much better than John Choi and clearly isn’t a ‘carpet bagger’ having just moved in within the last year. He’s been honest, productive and effective when dealing with community issues and has a longer track record of doing so than Choi,” said Lukens.

Samsung’s Employees Listen to K-Pop All Day Every Day
The Atlantic

The likes of “Gangnam Style” reverberate across the grounds of Samsung’s flagship cellphone factory, the Gumi complex just south of Seoul — and the K-Pop blares all day long, which kind of sounds like a mellow version of torture to this American worker. “Korean pop music seems to be everywhere outside, usually coming from outdoor speakers disguised as rocks,” writes Sam Grobart, in his new Bloomberg Businessweek cover story on “How Samsung Became the World’s No. 1 Smartphone Maker.”

While the sweet sounds of any type of music throughout the work day seems like an irritating fixture at any place of work, if a little dystopian, it apparently soothes the South Korean tech giant’s worker bees. “The music, a Samsung spokeswoman explains, is selected by a team of psychologists to help reduce stress among employees,” Grobart continues. So maybe hearing a little Beyoncé while walking around the office park wouldn’t be such a terrible idea over here.

‘THE WALKING DEAD’ STAR STEVEN YEUN ON SUNDAY’S FINALE, AND THAT “INTERESTING” PROPOSAL
Hollywood.com

During last week’s tearjerker installment of The Walking Dead, Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) offered a brief respite from the heartbreaking violence when Glenn got down on one knee and proposed to his typically covered in dirt and guts lady love. Oh wait, no he didn’t. He chopped a finger off a dead lady, grabbed her diamond ring, and put it, silently, in Maggie’s hand — right before they headed to a (sure to be) epic battle to the death.

Some fans were upset that Glenn didn’t “say the words,” but Yeun has a thing or two to say about the backlash he’s received from that scene.

“If you don’t get it, you don’t get it,” Yeun tells Hollywood.com, before explaining that Glenn and Maggie’s precarious lifestyle did not call for your typical wordy proposal. “You’ve got to think about the world that they’re in — what’s coming to them. I think there’s an understanding that all of that pomp and circumstance is out the door at this point… [and] it’s not a thought that they haven’t talked about on their down time. Like, ‘Oh, it’d be so nice if it were the old world, we could get married and it would be awesome.’ It’s not something they can do now. For them it’s like, ‘It is what it is. It’s you and me.’ It was a mutual understanding for Glenn to go up to her and give her [the ring]. He puts it in her hands, and she knows.”

‘OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN’: NOT EVEN ONE ASIAN AMERICAN FACE? REALLY?
Rafu Shimpo

Even “Rising Sun” had more racial balance! In “Red Dawn,” though he appeared somewhat late in the picture, Ken Choy was one of the paratroopers who helped the resistance. Hell, in “Pearl Harbor,” there was a Japanese American doctor helping the wounded for about five seconds. That’s five seconds more than we got in “Olympus.”

If there was a movie about radical Jews taking over the United States (OK, you know there wouldn’t be one, but play along with me here), you can be sure there’d be prominent Jewish American characters fighting them to remind the audience that not all Jews are like that. Same thing if a group from a black country took over the United States; there’d be African American good guys trying to take them down. Why is it when it comes to Asian villains, no one thinks about balancing them with Asian American good guys?

MOVIE REVIEW: True Story Inspires Tale of Sex Trade; in a Twist, a U.S. Marshal Is the Bad Guy
New York Times

The movie, directed by Megan Griffiths, is loosely based on the true story of Chong Kim, who was born in South Korea and moved to the United States as a toddler. As a teenager in the mid-1990s, she became a captive of the domestic sex trade. She eventually survived her ordeal and has become a crusader against human trafficking.

In the film she is a Korean-American teenager named Hyun Jae (Jamie Chung), who works in her parents’ New Mexico gift shop. She is picked up in a bar by a handsome, friendly young firefighter who offers her a ride home. Along the way, he makes a stop and exits the vehicle. Moments later she is kidnapped and drugged and has her identification and possessions confiscated.

Reds hope Choo is center(field) piece of championship puzzle
SI.com

Last year the Reds were very good — they won 97 games (second most in the majors) and were up 2-games-to-0 in the Division Series before the Giants roared back to take the series — but Jocketty was still aggressive in retooling the NL Central champs over the winter, dealing away Drew Stubbs in a three-team trade that brought Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati. It was a bold move that left the Reds without a true centerfielder, but Jocketty says “it was a no-brainer because of the big hole Choo fits, which was leadoff. After we re-signed [Ryan] Ludwick, our priority was getting that leadoff guy, and now you look at the lineup, and it’s just set up so well. The only question is whether Choo will be able to play centerfield. We obviously feel he can.”

When the trade was completed, Indians GM Chris Antonetti quipped to Jocketty, “You’re going to have to give the keys to Choo — he’ll be the first guy in, every day.” Says Jocketty, “Chris was right. [Choo's] a proud guy, and he doesn’t want to be anything less than great at anything he does — he’s been working hard to make this transition [to center] work.”

Guide: How to Eat Galbi the Right Way
Seoulistic

There’s no PERFECT way to eat galbi, but there are certain things that nearly all Koreans do when eating Korean barbecue. Instead of just stuffing your face with beautiful slices of galbi, find out how you can eat galbi like the original gangsters!

Marja Vongerichten explores her roots through Korean cooking
FOX News

Going forward, Marja says she wants to continue exploring her Korean roots through food.

“There are lots of recipes I haven’t tackled yet and I’m still learning as I go, but I have a general understanding of Korean flavors and I know what things taste like.”

Monday’s Link Attack: Cheonan Sinking Anniversary; ‘Lonely’ President Park Geun-hye; Jamie Chung
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: March 25th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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Seoul to Mark 3rd Anniversary of Cheonan Sinking
Chosun Ilbo

President Park Geun-hye is to preside on Tuesday over a ceremony at the National Cemetery in Daejeon marking the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan in 2010.

It will be attended by the families of 46 South Korean sailors who died in the attack, as well as the widow of Navy Warrant Officer Han Joo-ho, who drowned during the search for survivors.

Park hopes to send a strong warning to North Korea against further provocations.

Behind the veil: A rare look at life in North Korea
CNN.com

Olaf Schuelke is a self-taught Germany documentary photographer based in Singapore. These are his images and observations formed during a tour of North Korea in 2012. You can see more photos of Schuelke’s North Korea trip on his website.

The Lonely Days of President Park Geun-hye
Chosun Ilbo

President Park Geun-hye usually arrives at her office in Cheong Wa Dae between 9 and 10 a.m. from her sleeping quarters in the compound three to four minutes by car.

Unless she has official appointments elsewhere, the only trips she makes are from her quarters to her office and back. She is said to be an early riser, getting up at around 4:30 a.m. for the past 15 years. Aides say the routine has not changed since she moved into Cheong Wa Dae.

She begins her day reading various reports from Cabinet members and surfs the Internet. She also makes a point of reading critical online posts.

As the eldest daughter of former President Park Chung-hee, she served as the de facto first lady after her mother was assassinated in 1974. In those days, she would have breakfast with her father. Now, she has breakfast alone.

Editorial: Get to the bottom of Kenneth Bae’s detention in North Korea
Seattle Times

DON’T forget about Kenneth Bae. North Korean officials arrested the Lynnwood man last November, reportedly after he led tourists into the reclusive country.

Four months later, he remains in custody.

The U.S. State Department, which does not have an official presence in Pyongyang, is mum on the topic of Bae’s status and health. Members of Washington state’s congressional delegation also are hesitant to speak.

Asian Americans attack cultural labels at summit on stereotypes
Los Angeles Times

More than 200 participants gathered in Little Tokyo on Saturday to talk – and tweet – candidly about persistent negative images damaging to their ethnic group, especially when it comes to family, education, politics and news coverage.

Participants converged on Little Tokyo for “Beyond the Bad and the Ugly,” the first ever summit on Asian American stereotypes. Some sported buttons with labels touting them as thugs, geeks, players and FOBs, or “fresh off the boat.”

“Don’t be afraid,” a moderator urged at the start, and participants didn’t hold back, attacking offensive stereotypes of some members of their ethnic group that ranged from sexless nerds to predatory temptresses.

Kim Jang-hoon Plans Center for ‘Comfort Women’ in New Jersey
Chosun Ilbo

Singer Kim Jang-hoon will build a center in New Jersey dedicated to raising awareness of women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. He revealed the plan on his Me2day account on Friday, adding the hope that the move will have a nationwide impact there.

Jamie Chung discusses new flick ‘Eden’ and role on JJ Abrams pilot ‘Believe’ filming in New York
New York Daily News

Jamie Chung remembers vividly the dreaded call a few years ago when her strict Korean mother discovered her deepest secret:

That her little girl was actually a professional actress on “Days of Our Lives.”

“I got a call from my mom one day and she said, ‘Are you on a soap opera?’ So and so’s mom ‘told me you were on a soap opera,’ ” Chung told the Daily News, able to laugh at it now.

Freedom’s Daniel Dae Kim narrates “Linsanity”
The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)

Freedom grad Daniel Dae Kim and star of CBS’ reboot of “Hawaii Five-0″ is the narrator for “Linsanity,” the documentary about basketball sensation Jeremy Lin and his rise from obscurity to the covers of Time Magazine and Sports Illustrated to become one of the best known Asian American stars since Bruce Lee.

Although as a high school and college athlete, Lin impressed coaches with his ability, he was never offered any athletic scholarships and was undrafted out of college. But when he joined the New York Knicks as a backup,other player’s injuries gave him the chance to play and the rest is history. Lin scored more points in his first five NBA starts than any other player in the modern era.

K-Pop Fans Raise Hell After Popular Videos Get Blocked on YouTube
Billboard.com

What do K-pop fans and the state of Texas have in common? Answer: It’s never a good idea to mess with either.

Early Sunday morning (March 24), it appeared videos by K-pop entertainment agency, Cube Entertainment, were being blocked for international fans. Cube Entertainment (home to popular artists like 4minute, B2ST, G.NA and HyunA) is one of the few Korean agencies who work with a major U.S.-based label distributor. Universal Music Korea helps distribute Cube Entertainment, a rare partnership in a market where most entertainment entities have the means to distribute themselves or use domestic options like the much-used major South Korean record label, LOEN Entertainment.

Yet, when international fans were being blocked from watching music videos of their favorite artists there was online pandemonium.

New York City’s 8 Best Korean Restaurants
Zagat.com

With the opening of the massive Barn Joo and the critical success of Hanjan, Korean cuisine is having a moment in New York City. These new joints elevate the fare and should attract a new wave of curious diners, but will their innovative takes be enough to rank them among the city’s best? Korea Town might be a small series of blocks, but it’s still pretty crowded. Click through the slideshow to see which joints are tops according to our 2013 New York City Restaurants guide, and let us know your favorite in the comments.

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