North Korea puts rockets on standby to ‘mercilessly strike’ the U.S.
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
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 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
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?
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
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
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
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.”
Seoul to Mark 3rd Anniversary of Cheonan Sinking
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Korean American starlet, Jamie Chung, is joining the pilot cast of NBC’s upcoming sci-fi drama Believe.
The series centers on a young girl, Bo (played by newcomer Johnny Sequoyah), who is gifted with supernatural powers. Bo is under the protection of a man known as Tate (played by Jake McLaughlin), who must escape from prison and live on the run to fulfill his duties to Bo. Chung will play a woman named Channing, a “strong, practical and smart woman” who helps Tate after he escapes, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The project is being executive produced by Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) and J.J. Abrams, director of the rebooted Star Trek franchise and co-creator of Lost. Continue Reading »
North Korea’s Kim dashes early hope but U.S. still seeks change: Clinton
North Korea’s missile tests and menacing rhetoric have disappointed U.S. expectations that young leader Kim Jong-un would be different than his father but Washington still hopes to persuade Pyongyang to change course, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday.
“With a new young leader we all expected something different,” Clinton said in a town hall-style session put together by the State Department and broadcast worldwide. “We expected him to focus on improving the lives of the North Korea people, not just the elite, but everyone.
“Instead he has engaged in very provocative rhetoric and behavior,” she said of Kim, who took over his impoverished, isolated Northeast Asian nation when his father, Kim Jong-il, died in December 2011.
Outgoing South Korean Leader Creates Furor With Pardons
New York Times
With less than one month left in office, the departing president, Lee Myung-bak, of South Korea granted special pardons on Tuesday to political allies, a longtime friend and dozens of others who have been convicted of corruption and other crimes. The pardons ignited a rare quarrel between the country’s outgoing president and president-elect.
The office of the incoming president, Park Geun-hye, had warned Mr. Lee for days not to “abuse his presidential power” by granting pardons in his last days in office that would “go against the will of the people.”
Mr. Lee ignored that appeal. “This is not an abuse of presidential authority,” Mr. Lee was quoted by his offices as saying during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday. “It is carried out according to law and procedure.” His office said Mr. Lee noted that far fewer people have been granted presidential clemency during his five years in office than under his predecessors.
Google releases detailed map of North Korea, gulags and all
Until Tuesday, North Korea appeared on Google Maps as a near-total white space — no roads, no train lines, no parks and no restaurants. The only thing labeled was the capital city, Pyongyang.
This all changed when Google, on Tuesday, rolled out a detailed map of one of the world’s most secretive states. The new map labels everything from Pyongyang’s subway stops to the country’s several city-sized gulags, as well as its monuments, hotels, hospitals and department stores.
Four More North Korean Defectors Return To North Korea
Another case of a North Korean couple that escaped North Korea for South Korea and had returned to North Korea has occurred.
North Korea’s state-run media, KCNA, held a press conference for the couple and their daughter on the 24th, as well as four other female defectors who had defected to South Korea and then returned to North Korea.
Samsung takes over U.S. medical equipment firm
South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday it has acquired a U.S. medical equipment firm as part of efforts to bolster its healthcare business.
Samsung Electronics America acquired NeuroLogica, a leading computed tomography (CT) company headquartered in Danvers, Massachusetts, the company said in a press release. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Samsung’s U.S. unit will control the U.S. medical equipment maker, which develops medical imaging products and portable CT scanners.
Election Day in Flushing, Queens: From the DREAM Voter to the Poll Workers’ Dream of Decent Work
On January 21st, Barack Obama took oath as President of the United States for his second term in office. In many ways, the victory of his second term cannot be extricated from the story of who voted for him and why. Among the factors was America’s changing demographics due to immigration, and the news media have already offered plenty of hypotheses on the preliminary exit polls that showed the growing Asian-American electorate greatly favoring Obama, in the range of 72 to 73 percent.
But a new set of findings released by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) shows that a higher percentage of Asian-American voters may have chosen Obama than previously expected, at 77 percent. AALDEF’s report, based on an exit poll of Asian-American voters in 14 states who cast ballots in the November 2012 presidential election, revealed many other trends and differences among Asian-American voters. The exit poll project sent hundreds of trained volunteers around the country, and they surveyed 9,096 voters in an effort to document Asian-American voter disenfranchisement as well as to analyze the factors that weighed in on their voting choices. According to Glenn Magpantay, director of AALDEF’s Democracy Program, most exit polls only survey a small proportion of Asian-American voters or only poll those who can speak English. But AALDEF’s survey is multilingual and conducted in 12 languages (English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Bengali, Urdu, Gujarati, Khmer, Hindi, Punjabi, Arabic, and Tagalog). Their poll promises a more nuanced view of voters, broken down by age, ethnic group, geographic location, and political party affiliation.
Hearing that there was a need for Korean-speaking volunteers, I contacted the project and was dispatched on November 6th to monitor poll site JHS 189 in Flushing, where the community demographics necessitate language assistance in Chinese, Korean, and Hindi/Bengali. I waited outside the school with a clipboard in my hands, along with three law school student volunteers and Peter Lee, a staff member from MinKwon Center for Community Action who was supervising the afternoon shift of volunteers.
Facebook Artist David Choe Launches New Gig With Porn Star Asa Akira
A year after David Choe became the most surprising multimillionaire to emerge from Facebook’s IPO, the bad-boy graffiti artist is making the publicity rounds with a new pornographic podcast featuring porn star Asa Akira. He talks to Lizzie Crocker about anal sex, his new gig, and more anal sex.
South Korea shows off Pyeongchang
Associated Press via ESPN
South Korea began showing off its new snow sports mecca at the opening of the Special Olympics on Tuesday.
Pyeongchang, the once-sleepy hamlet in the mountains east of the capital, will also host the 2018 Winter Olympics.
But the arrival of 3,000 intellectually disabled athletes from around the world also has spotlighted South Korea’s long-criticized treatment of the disabled, who for decades were kept out of the mainstream.
Beer sommelier mixes up beer cocktails and pairs cuisine with boutique ales
The Korean beer market is changing with a surge in imported beers, featuring brews from Belgium, America and Germany among others, widening the options for consumers. But understanding beer styles such as Trappist ale, saison and imperial stout isn’t always easy. That would be why a cicerone, or a beer sommelier, steps in. A cicerone ensures beer is served the right way and that you have the right brew for your meal, whether it be Korean or Western cuisine.
Knife Fight Official Trailer #1 (2013) – Rob Lowe, Jamie Chung Movie
Daughter Of A Dictator Favored In S. Korean Election
Her presidential campaign rallies present blaring pop music and dancing supporters, but Park Geun-hye’s campaign involves managing some tricky legacies.
Her father, Park Chung-hee, was a military dictator who ran the country from the time he carried out a 1961 military coup until his assassination in 1979. His memory still stirs mixed emotions among South Koreans.
In September, the daughter publicly apologized for her father’s suppression of democracy. Then again, some older Koreans remember Park fondly for his role in transforming their war-torn, impoverished country into the world’s 11th largest economy.
In ‘Madame Park,’ S. Korea sees its first potential female leader
South Korea has the chance Wednesday to elect a woman to its top office, an unprecedented step in a nation long dominated by boardrooms of men and ranked only slightly ahead of most Islamic countries when it comes to gender equality.
The outcome of the presidential election is hardly clinched: Conservative Park Geun-hye — known to her supporters as Madame Park — must hold off liberal Moon Jae-in, who in recent weeks has slashed Park’s lead in polls from several percentage points to nearly zero.
Remembering Madeleine F. Hsu, 6, Sandy Hook Elementary/Newtown Shooting Victim
This is a sad post that I haven’t wanted to write. My spirits have been heavy ever since I heard about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings on December 14 and while my heart goes out to all the victims, their loved ones and a community shattered, one victim’s name stood out to me as the editor of a blog covering Asian Americans: Madeleine F. Hsu, aged 6.
North Korea Duped by Hackers’ Attack on Time Poll
Wall Street Journal
In what looks a lot like the recent outbreak of Onion-itis at China’s People’s Daily, the Korean Central News Agency reported Tuesday that Mr. Kim was selected by Time subscribers, “including politicians, businessmen, artistes, sportspersons and announcers” as the magazine’s “man of this year.”
Mr. Kim did indeed come top of the online poll, but thanks to some skullduggery on a large scale by members of the 4Chan website, who hacked into the poll to help Mr. Kim to 5.6 million votes, over 3 million more than the second-placed Jon Stewart. In fact, the hackers appear to have successfully manipulated the entire top 14 places of the poll.
Kim Jong-un’s Wife Heavily Pregnant
A screen grab from North Korea’s official KCNS news agency shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s wife Ri Sol-ju heavily pregnant.
Shooting prompts call for more security in Towson when bars close
The alleged shooter, Francis Minsgung Kang, 26, barely drove a block away in his pickup truck before police stopped him.
Cpl. Cathy Batton, a spokeswoman for Baltimore County Police, said Kang, of the unit block of Brook Farm Court in Cockeysville, was leaving the pub at closing time when two women asked if they could get him a cab. Police said Kang yelled at the women and then left and got behind the wheel of his white Dodge Dakota pickup truck.
As he drove down Pennsylvania Avenue past the two women Kang threw an open Gatorade bottle at them, and a group of bystanders chased him around the corner. Police said Kang exited his vehicle in the unit block of West Chesapeake Avenue to confront them.
Jamie Chung stars in the upcoming horror thriller ’7500′
Jamie Chung stars in Japanese director Takashi Shimizu’s upcoming horror thriller “7500,” which follows a group of passengers aboard a flight across the Pacific Ocean who encounter a supernatural force.
The cast includes Chung, Amy Smart, Leslie Bibb, Aja Evans, and Jerry Ferrara from HBO’s “Entourage” series.
Lin shows Knicks why he’s a keeper
The artist formerly known as Jeremy Lin was back on his preferred stage, throwing himself fearlessly at the Madison Square Garden basket while recreating something he swore he did not want to recreate.
Yes, this was a worthy sequel to Linsanity. Some sentimental New York Knicks fans showed up in their Lin jerseys, maybe for the last time, and their former point guard showed up with some of his old flash and dash, definitely not for the last time.
Anthony Kim won’t return from Achilles surgery until March
Following an Achilles injury in June that led to surgery, the once-promising American star Anthony Kim won’t be playing competitive golf again until March at the earliest, according to The Desert Sun.
At just age 27, Kim’s career has had incredible highs, like his debut Tour win at the Wachovia and a starring role on the last winning U.S. Ryder Cup squad in 2008; and lows, like his chronic injuries and murmurs that his Entourage-like lifestyle was holding back his golf game.
Former USC Walk-On Kim Staying Optimistic
Walnut (Calif.) Mt. San Antonio College offensive lineman Patrick Kim will be the first to tell you he’s taken an unconventional football journey, from walking on at USC to joining the Mounties team. He also isn’t making an apologies.
“I had about ten to twelve offers in high school, like UTEP, Villanova, Texas State, San Jose State. I’m really big in my faith; the reason I play football is for the glory of God. I prayed about it with my family, and I just didn’t feel like any of those places were where I was meant to be. A lot of people said it was a terrible mistake, but I feel like the last two years that I spent at USC out of high school were the two years I grew up most as a man. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything,” he said.