Thursday’s Link Attack: Kim Jong-Un Establishes More Power; Margaret Cho’s New Show; Justin Bieber in Seoul
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: October 10th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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North Korean Leader Tightens Grip with Removal of Top General
New York Times

North Korea’s state media on Thursday confirmed the removal of a hard-line general as its military chief, the latest sign of a military overhaul in which the country’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, has replaced nearly half of his country’s top officials in the past two years, according to South Korean officials.

The firing of Gen. Kim Kyok-sik and the rise of Gen. Ri Yong-gil to replace him as head of the general staff of the North’s Korean People’s Army was the latest in a series of high-profile reshuffles that Kim Jong-un has engineered to consolidate his grip on the North’s top elites.

Since taking power upon the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, in late 2011, Kim Jong-un has replaced 44 percent of North Korea’s 218 top military, party and government officials, the South’s Ministry of Unification said in a report. He engineered this and other reshuffles to retire or sideline the old generals from his father’s days and promote a new set of aides who will owe their loyalty directly to him.

Don’t go to the land of death, North Korean ‘slave labourer’ urges tourists
National Post

A woman who spent nine years in a North Korean slave labour camp has urged tourists not to visit the reclusive state.

As Kim Jong-un, the country’s ruler, oversees final preparations for Thursday’s opening of North Korea’s first ski resort, Kim Young-soon said it was wrong “to pay into the coffers of the regime.” A British company is offering Christmas in Pyongyang, but Ms. Kim, 77, said: “Why give money to a leader who cares nothing for his people?”

As a young woman Ms. Kim danced for Kim Il-sung, then the country’s leader and grandfather of the current leader. A friend of hers was the secret mistress of Kim Il-sung’s son, Kim Jong-il, and after gossiping about their relationship Ms. Kim was sent to the infamous Yodok prison camp – with her parents and son, who were deemed guilty by association.

S. Korea, U.S., Japan hold joint naval drill
Yonhap News

South Korea, the United States and Japan began a two-day drill in waters off the Korean Peninsula, Seoul’s defense ministry said Thursday, amid heightened tensions with North Korea, which angrily responded to the trilateral joint exercise involving an American aircraft carrier.

The drill, which was delayed for a few days due to a typhoon, started in waters off the peninsula’s southern coast as part of routine trainings, mobilizing the nuclear-powered, 97,000-ton carrier USS George Washington as well as Aegis destroyers of South Korea and Japan.

The training also includes the guided-missile USS Antietam CG-54 cruiser and guided-missile USS Preble DDG 88 destroyer. Fighter jets, anti-submarine helicopters and early warning aircraft will also be included.

South Korea Risks Overplaying Its Hand with Japan
Wall Street Journal

While his many detractors would never admit it, former President Lee Myung-bak oversaw an impressive rise in South Korea’s international profile. This rise, combined with Korea’s economic and technological achievements, have created a new confidence among the Korean public—polling data shows many perceive the country as increasingly influential on the international scene.

The Park Geun-hye administration is now acting on that confidence in its diplomatic dealings, but it is in very real danger of overplaying its hand when it comes to relations with Japan.

So far, Seoul has snubbed most of Tokyo’s advances for high-level meetings and stuck to a line that Japan needs to do more to address historical grievances first.

Seoul warns of frayed ties over Japan’s Yasukuni visit plans
Yonhap News

South Korea warned Japan Thursday that their bilateral relations will face even more difficulties if Japanese politicians go ahead with their plans to visit the controversial Yasukuni war shrine in October.

“Visits to the Yasukuni shrine by ranking Japanese political leaders will not only jeopardize the South Korea-Japan relations but also cause severe difficulties in the steady development of ties among countries in the region,” Cho Tai-young, the spokesman of the South Korean foreign ministry said in a briefing. “I urge them not to pay the visit.”

The call came as two cabinet members of the conservative Shinzo Abe administration — Yoshitaka Shindo and Keiji Furuya — are reported to be planning a visit to the war shrine during the country’s autumnal festival next week.

Samsung Set for $1.4 Billion Windfall After Seagate Stock Sale

Samsung Electronics Co. will reap a $1.4 billion windfall from its decision two years ago to accept stock in Seagate Technology Plc (STX:US) as partial payment for selling its computer hard-disk drive business.

Samsung sold the unit in April 2011 for $687.5 million in cash and $687.5 million in stock. Since then Seagate’s shares have more than doubled and Samsung agreed to sell part of the stake back to the Dublin-based company.

Samsung exited its 22-year-old business making hard drives to focus on consumer electronics, memory chips and medical technology. The world’s biggest smartphone maker will sell back 32.7 million of its Seagate shares for $1.51 billion. It will keep another 12.5 million shares, valued at $561 million based on yesterday’s prices.

Jane Kim Steps In To Help Mid-Market Tenants Facing Eviction

Following on yesterday’s breaking news about the 100+ people getting evicted from two buildings on Market between 6th and 7th, Supervisor Jane Kim is hoping to get the word out to tenants that there may be help for them after all.

Kim’s office spoke to SFist yesterday and they feel as though there may be some solutions no one has talked about yet. They’d like to hear from as many tenants as possible before going forward.

In addition to a meeting this morning in which Kim is discussing some legislation to protect non-profits from eviction (public comment is at 11 a.m. at City Hall, Room 250), she’s joining a meeting with tenants of 1049 and 1067 Market Street tonight, Wednesday, at 8 p.m. in the 4th Floor lobby of 1005 Market.

‘Grandfather’ of Korean cinema sees life through a lens
Yahoo! News

“Film is my passion,” the 77-year-old said. “And you must follow your passion.”

Affectionately known as the “Grandfather of Korean cinema”, a large number of Im’s acclaimed productions have focused on what he sees as the erosion of Korean culture in a society that has seen rapid change in recent decades.

With giant posters of him displayed all over the city, Im has been an omnipresent force at this year’s 18th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), which is screening 71 of his movies while making him the subject of a series of seminars and panel discussions.

Margaret Cho brings new show to S.F.

Margaret Cho, the comedian, actress and singer, is one of San Francisco’s most celebrated natives. Although her parents, who owned a bookstore in the city, have relocated to San Diego, Cho, 44, says she still feels a connection to her hometown, even if that connection involves a needle.

Currently in the midst of an international comedy tour called “Mother,” Cho called from the road to talk about her tour – which plays the Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium on Saturday – her new albums, her revived TV series and her thoughts on San Francisco.

2AM to Grant K-Pop Christmas Wishes with First Solo U.S. Concert

When Billboard caught up with 2AM in Los Angeles, the K-pop boy band famous for their ballads commented that “in L.A. and the U.S.A., the fans are more passionate.” The quartet will see those “passionate” fans soon with their first-ever solo concert in the United States. 2AM’s “Nocturne in Christmas” show will take place at Los Angeles’ Club Nokia L.A. Live venue on December 15. Merry Christmas, K-pop fans!

Fans can also get up close and personal with the foursome at a “high touch” event held prior to the concert. At these engagements, attendees get to give the 2AM guys a high-five. Based off of boy band B.A.P’s high touch event in New York, expect a handful of fans to be bawling after meeting the idols.

2AM last visited America to perform as one of the headliners at KCON 2013. The boys not only belted out singles like “One Spring Day” and “Can’t Let You Go Even If I Die,” but also performed Bruno Mars’ Hot 100 No. 1 hit, “Just the Way You Are” (below).

G-Dragon was a surprise guest in Justin Bieber’s first Korean concert

On the 10th, Justin Bieber’s first Korean concert as part of his ‘Believe Tour’ opened at the Olympic Park’s gymnasium in Seoul. After performing his hit songs for about fifty minutes, he said he would introduce a guest. At that time, G-Dragon made a sudden surprise appearance to perform his song “Crayon.”

G-Dragon was welcomed warmly by the crowd as all of his Korean fans got on their feet. The response to G-Dragon seemed even more enthusiastic than when Justin Bieber was performing! It was very reminiscent of G-Dragon’s own concerts.

After his “Crayon” performance, G-Dragon said before leaving, “As Bieber will show you a better performance, I hope you will have fun until the end.”

Kim Jang-hoon gives out Hangeul T-shirts in New York
Korea Times

Pop singer Kim Jang-hoon promoted Hangeul in the United States with an event giving out T-shirts emblazed with the Korea alphabet in New York, Wednesday.

The event was to celebrate Hangeul Day, which falls on Oct. 9 each year.

Kim and Korean students at New York University handed out 600 white T-shirts in Washington Square Park.

The T-shirts had two variations ― one lettered with “nanum,” a word meaning sharing, and the other with Hangeul, both written in Korean.

The Walking Dead Countdown: Will Maggie Get Pregnant? Steven Yeun and Lauren Cohan Talk “Beautiful” Season Four
E Online

Hmm…Does deliver to post-apocalyptic prisons? The Walking Dead’s Maggie and Glenn might want to start looking into such things, because—and we are only speculating here—we have a sneaking suspicion a baby might be on the way for the show’s core couple.

In anticipation of Sunday’s season-four premiere of TWD, we spoke with Steven Yeun (Glenn) and Lauren Cohan (Maggie), and, acting like a true nervous daddy-to-be, here’s how Yeun responded to a question about whether Maggie might ever get pregnant:

“You know, I think that’s definitely a genuine, um, you know, thing that could be,” Yeun stumbled. “And, um, obviously, I can’t really address that at any point. But you know, there’s genuine fears that go along with trying to live a normal life in that world, and that all applies into what makes it more dangerous, or what makes you more vulnerable, so it’s all cool.”

Daniel Dae Kim is proud of ‘Hawaii Five-0′ for its minority representation
Canadian Press via

South Korean native Daniel Dae Kim says skirting Asian stereotypes is something that’s been important to him since he started his acting career, first onstage in classic plays and improv comedy and then in onscreen projects including the film “Crash” and TV’s “Lost.”

And it’s a goal he feels he’s continuing with “Hawaii Five-0,” which is into its fourth season on Global and CBS.

“One of the things I’m proudest of on ‘Hawaii Five-0′ is the fact that we have so much minority representation, and it’s not done in a token way, it’s not done in a stereotypical way,” Kim, 45, said in an interview.

“All of us have interesting characters to play, and that is a great direction for television to go in.”

The case against Shin-Soo Choo

The Mets have turned their attention to the offseason, amid expectations that the Wilpons will be spending like it’s 1998.

And the apple of the Big Apple’s eye appears to be Shin-Soo Choo, the Reds right fielder who was second in the NL in on-base percentage. Choo is a fine player, and I can see why he will generate interest as a free agent, but when I look at Choo I see the next version of Jason Bay — a 31-year-old outfielder with severe flaws coming of a year he is unlikely to replicate.

The biggest problem with free agents — particularly those coming off of great years — is that it’s easy to assume that their most recent season is their true level of performance when it’s most likely not. The Mets can look at Choo’s .285/.423/.462 line and think he will repeat that for a few years, but what if his future performance is more in line with his 2011 performance: .283/.373/.441? Or even worse, 2010: .259/.344/.390.

‘Stun Gun’ Kim stuns Silva with knockout
Korea Times

Kim Dong-hyun lived up to his ”Stun Gun’’ nickname Thursday (KST) at the UFC Fight Night 29 in Brazil, where he knocked out crowd favorite Erick Silva in what arguably was the biggest win of his career.

The welterweight fight had been billed as a clash of styles, with the underdog Kim rated a top-class grappler and the explosive Silva being one of the most feared strikers in his weight class.

Kim has a chance against Silva only if he can take him off his feet, observers had said. If anyone of them claims they pictured the 31-year-old Korean dropping Silva with a left, they are probably lying.

Insider Guide: Best of Seoul

In Seoul, you can shop at brilliantly lit malls at 4 a.m., sing karaoke an hour later, then get McDonald’s delivered to your doorstep for breakfast.

The city’s 10.4 million residents can also brag about the world’s top airport (ice rinks and movie theaters included) and a stunningly efficient public transportation system featuring high-tech details from massive touch-screen displays at subway stations to tickers at bus stops announcing which bus is coming when.

Business travelers like to drop by the centuries-old temples and palaces for a quick walk on the way to meetings in the Jongno financial district, while design fanatics devise their own tours of the latest skyscrapers and stadiums.

Wednesday’s Links: Asiana Investigation Continues; Lee Byung-hun’s Abs of Steel; Korea’s Photoshop Trolls
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: July 10th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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SF plane crash pilots focused on centering jet
San Francisco Chronicle

The pilots trying to land Asiana Airlines Flight 214 knew 500 feet from the ground that they were coming in off course – and they focused on correcting that problem while assuming that the plane’s airspeed was being controlled automatically, investigators said Tuesday.

By the time the pilots realized the plane’s speed had dropped dangerously low, investigators said, it was too late to correct. The main landing gear and tail struck the rocky seawall at the base of San Francisco International Airport’s Runway 28L, breaking into pieces and sending the plane into a devastating spin.

Two flight attendants and a 16-year-old girl were flung out of a gaping hole at the rear of the jet where the tail section had been. The teenager died and the flight attendants were found alive, but critically injured, surrounded by galley materials, newspapers, magazines and cabin carpeting. Another girl was found dead next to the burning hulk of the aircraft, although it’s not clear whether she was thrown from the plane or evacuated.

SFO crash: NTSB reveals chaotic details of pilots’ confusion; two flight attendants ejected
San Jose Mercury News (Calif.)

As the families of the two girls killed in the Asiana Airlines crash went through the heartbreaking task of formally identifying their children, new details emerged about cockpit confusion along with the astounding revelation that two flight attendants survived after also being ejected from the disintegrating aircraft.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah Hersman on Tuesday described the chaos of the final seconds before and after Saturday’s crash of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday morning.

Among the details she revealed were that two flight attendants who were seated in the back of the plane were thrown onto the tarmac in the crash.

“They were found down the runway and off to the side of the runway,” Hersman told reporters. “Those flight attendants survived, but they obviously have gone through a serious event.”

Investigation Deepens Mystery of Asiana 214 Crash
Chosun Ilbo

The pilots aboard Asiana flight 214 that crashed at San Francisco International Airport told investigators that they sensed the airplane was descending too fast and lifted the nose of the aircraft seconds before touchdown.

Investigators with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation interviewed the pilots of the Being 777-200 in the U.S. on Monday.

The first officer told investigators that he informed the pilot 54 seconds before landing that the aircraft was descending too quickly. And the pilot, Lee Kang-kuk, told investigators that he lifted the aircraft after determining 34 seconds prior to touchdown that the plane was flying at too low at an altitude of just 150 m.

Korean Culture May Offer Clues in Asiana Crash

Investigators combing through the debris and data recordings from the Asiana Airlines jet that crashed in San Francisco Saturday may learn more about what happened inside the cockpit of the Boeing 777 aircraft by studying an unlikely clue: Korean culture.

South Korea’s aviation industry has faced skepticism about its safety and pilot habits since a few deadly crashes beginning in the 1980s. But despite changes, including improved safety records, Korea’s aviation sector remains rooted in a national character that’s largely about preserving hierarchy—and asking few questions.

“The Korean culture has two features—respect for seniority and age, and quite an authoritarian style,” said Thomas Kochan, a professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “You put those two together, and you may get more one-way communication—and not a lot of it upward,” Kochan said.

Park expressed regret over TV anchor’s slip of tongue about Chinese jet crash victims
Yonhap News

South Korean President Park Geun-hye expressed strong regret Wednesday over a slip of the tongue that a local TV anchor made about Chinese victims in the recent Asiana Airlines plane crash in San Francisco.

While delivering breaking news on the jet cash, the Channel A cable TV anchor said Sunday that it was a relief from the South Korean perspective that the two fatal victims in the accident turned out to be Chinese, not South Koreans.

South and North Korea Fail Again to Agree on Reopening Shuttered Complex
New York Times

South Korean factory managers returned Wednesday to a shuttered industrial park in North Korea for the first time in two months as the two governments tried again but failed to agree on terms for reopening the complex, once an iconic symbol of inter-Korean economic cooperation.

Sixty factory managers from the South arrived in the Kaesong Industrial Zone, the factory park in the North Korean border town of the same name, for a day trip to check on their factories, which have been idle since the last of the managers withdrew in late April. North Korea halted production there in early April by withdrawing all 53,000 of its workers, blaming tensions it said were caused by joint American-South Korean military drills.

Former South Korean Spy Chief Charged With Bribery
New York Times

A former national intelligence chief of South Korea was arrested on bribery charges on Wednesday, further tarnishing the image of the country’s spy agency, which has already been accused of meddling in the presidential election in December.

Won Sei-hoon, who served as director of the National Intelligence Service under President Lee Myung-bak from 2009 until the end of Mr. Lee’s term in February, is the latest in a series of former South Korean spy chiefs who have faced criminal indictments after leaving office. Several of them have been imprisoned for corruption and other crimes.

Mr. Won was charged with accepting cash, gold and other gifts totaling 150 million won, or $132,000, from the head of a construction company since 2009. Prosecutors said the gifts were bribes Mr. Won accepted in exchange for peddling influence to help the businessman win construction projects from a state-run power plant and a major supermarket chain.

Visit by U.S. political figure won’t free American jailed in N. Korea: report
Yonhap News via GlobalPost

Even an attention-drawing visit by a high-ranking U.S. political figure won’t help to win freedom for a Korean-American man imprisoned in North Korea, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper in Japan said Wednesday.

Kenneth Bae, whose Korean name is Bae Jun-ho, was arrested in North Korea in November on charges of trying to overthrow the communist regime. In April, he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

In the past, visits by high-profile U.S. political figures like former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton led to the release of Americans jailed in the North.

But the Choson Sinbo, a pro-North Korean newspaper published in Japan, said in an article Wednesday that North Korea now “is taking a totally different path on this latest case.”

How a $1.79 Bottle of Orange Juice Helped Spark the L.A. Riots
LA Weekly

The L.A. riots of 1992 were about the acquittal of four LAPD officers who pummeled motorist Rodney King in a “use of force” caught on tape.

Or were they? Keen watchers of L.A. news remember that the fatal shooting of 15-year-old South L.A. girl Latasha Harlins by a Korean American convenience store merchant within two weeks of King’s beating also put tensions south of the 10 freeway on high:

In fact, a new book from UCLA history professor Brenda Stevenson puts the Latasha Harlins case front-and-center when it comes to sparking the 1992 uprising.

The book, titled “The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender and the Origins of the LA Riots,” also puts gender at the fore.

Glendale approves Korean ‘comfort woman’ statue despite protest
Los Angeles Times via Glendale News-Press

Despite significant opposition both overseas and locally, the City Council Tuesday approved a 1,110-pound monument honoring Korean women taken as sex slaves by the Japanese army during World War II.

Members of the council received hundreds of emails — many appearing to come from Japan — and listened to dozens of speakers at the Tuesday meeting who claimed the so-called “comfort women” were not indentured servants, but ordinary prostitutes.

Glendale has become the latest American city to set the scene for a decades-old controversy between some Japanese who deny their army abducted up to 200,000 women from Korea, China and other countries as sex slaves and Koreans who want to raise awareness of the human rights violations.

San Francisco supervisor Kim says pledge of allegiance for first time
San Jose Mercury News (Calif.)

San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim said the Pledge of Alliance for the first time at the start of today’s board meeting in what she said was a response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling last month to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Kim made headlines early in her tenure as supervisor, which began in 2011, for standing during the pledge but refusing to say the words.

She said she took issue with the phrase “liberty and justice for all,” but changed her thinking after the Supreme Court ruling on June 26 that found unconstitutional the law that prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

‘CEO’ of Korean prostitution ring in Biloxi agrees to plead guilty
Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.)

An Atlantic City man has agreed to plead guilty to a conspiracy to run a Korean prostitution ring in Biloxi by harboring women who were in the U.S. without authorization.

Federal court documents show Chi Sung Jung also has asked to be prosecuted in New Jersey on charges of sex-trafficking and immigration violations. A date for his plea hearing has not been set.

Jung, 52, has been held without bond in New Jersey since February. His request to transfer the case to a federal court in New Jersey was filed in court records Monday.

‘Oldboy’ poster: First look at Spike Lee’s remake of Korean thriller
Los Angeles Times

The first poster for the American remake of “Oldboy” shows the film’s star Josh Brolin climbing out of a steamer trunk.

Hero Complex readers get a first look at the provocative poster, which is not a composite but rather an actual shot from the film, directed by Spike Lee.

Lee has said the film will be even darker than Chan-wook Park’s 2003 original “Oldeuboi,” the highly stylized Korean art house hit, based on a Japanese manga series, about a man who seeks revenge after being kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years.

Lee Byung-hun Ripped and Ready to Thrill in ‘Red 2′
Chosun Ilbo

A still from “Red 2″ showing heartthrob Lee Byung-hun flashing his six-pack and sculpted physique has been released ahead of the movie’s world premiere on July 18.

Lee is said to have worked out religiously and focused on training for his action scenes for over three months after receiving the script in order to fully immerse himself in the role of a killer.

Brown Eyed Girls Release ‘Recipe’ Single: Listen

In less than five days’ time, long-running K-pop girl group Brown Eyed Girls announced their return to the K-pop scene and dropped a new track, “Recipe.”

Centered around a walking bass line, “Recipe” is a funky, ’90s-inspired track embellished with disco dance elements and guitar riffs. The ladies’ vocals bounce from soft head voice to attitude-soaked rapping. The translated lyrics use food and cooking metaphors to tell a love interest how they’ll flavor the relationship from “hot and sexy” to “sweet and spicy.”


So it’s the first day back at work after a four day weekend (if you’re lucky), and it’s going about as well as Jay’s Magna Carta release. TOKiMONSTA and Gavin Turek know how real the struggle is, so they’re bringing it back to preschool-era basics with their new interactive stickerbook music video for “Clean Slate.” That’s right; ARTS AND CRAFTS, BITCHES!

In “Toki’s Monstas,” Tokimonsta and Gavin are beamed down to Earth via flying saucer, where they dance all over a number of landscapes with Colorform monster friends—which monster friends they get down with is up to you, as you drag and drop the 27 different cartoon creatures into the video.

Book World: Susan Choi’s ‘My Education’ a smart and witty novel about college life
Washington Post

Just when it seems that there’s no room in the class for another novel about college life, a new hand goes up. I won’t run through the whole roster because you already know the upperclassmen — from Richard Russo’s “Straight Man” to Jane Smiley’s “Moo.” Only two years ago, Jeffrey Eugenides brought the form to new heights with “The Marriage Plot,” a brilliant novel about an English major infected by the plots of 19th-century classics. Kingsley Amis’s “Lucky Jim,” of course, still lords it over them all.

So it takes some nerve to stride into this tweedy group and perform under the anxiety of their influence. What new footnote could be added to David Lodge’s satires of postmodern theory? How many class titles like “Fetishes and Freaks: Strategies of Queering the Gothic” can we giggle over? Who could possibly trace another erotic tension or envious impulse through the groves of academe?

Answer: Susan Choi. She’s never sounded smarter or wittier than she does in her fourth novel, “My Education.” Once again, we’re on a college campus with pompous professors. Once again, we meet an English major donning the mantle of adulthood, thirsty for “new esoterica.” But by the force of her stylistic virtuosity and psychological precision, Choi gives this worn setup all the nubile energy of a new school year.

H Mart readying for move into Central Square this fall

Korean grocery chain H Mart is planning to open in Central Square late this fall with a food court in the space formerly occupied by the Harvest Co-op.

The Cambridge License Commission Tuesday night approved common victualler licenses for H Mart and three restaurants at 581 Massachusetts Ave. James Rafferty, an attorney for the businesses, said they will run a food court with a total of 120 seats in the supermarket.

Harvest Co-op has already moved out of the spot to a new location across the street.

Best of Busan: What to do in Korea’s ‘second city’

Often called “the summer capital of South Korea,” the port city of Busan is just a two-and-a-half-hour train ride from Seoul. The country’s two largest cities, however, are remarkably different places.

In the more low-key Busan, a night out usually means drinking soju with friends on the beach while watching kids play with firecrackers. Or eating hoe (Korean sashimi) — again with soju — at the shiny new fish market.

Korea’s Photoshop Trolls Make the Internet a Better Place

On June 26, a Korean language Facebook page called “We Do Phoshop” appeared online. The site solicited Photoshop requests, and the ensuing ‘shops weren’t exactly what askers had in mind. Or what anyone had in mind, for that matter.

There’s a tradition of these kind of Photoshops online in China. People would ask “Photoshop masters” to make them taller or cooler or whatever. And netizens would whip up trollish Photoshops for internet giggles. But people tended to know what they were getting themselves in for when they made the requests, so the end result isn’t malicious.

That’s what is going on over at the We Do Phoshop Facebook page. Currently, it has around twenty-nine thousand likes and is still taking requests. However, so far, their page appears to be Korean language only — so here’s a look at some of of those requests.

Thursday’s Link Attack: Jane Kim, Dia Frampton, Sung Kang
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: February 2nd, 2012
Filed Under: BLOG
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To Combat Modern Ills, Korea Looks to the Past
New York Times

Mr. Park is chief curator of Sosu Seowon, a complex of 11 Confucian lecture halls and dormitories that first opened in 1543 in this town 160 kilometers, or 100 miles, southeast of Seoul.

In South Korea, where the word “Confucian” has long been synonymous with “old-fashioned,” people like Mr. Park have recently gained modest ground with their campaign to reawaken interest in Confucian teachings that stress communal harmony, respect for seniority and loyalty to the state — principles that many older Koreans believe have lost their grip on the young.

South Korean Indicted Over Twitter Posts From North
New York Times

South Korean prosecutors indicted a social media and freedom of speech activist this week for reposting messages from the North Korean government’s Twitter account.

Park Jung-geun, 23, a photographer who specialized in taking pictures of babies, was detained last month on charges of violating South Korea’s controversial National Security Law, which bans “acts that benefit the enemy” —North Korea — but does not clearly define what constitutes such acts. The Twitter account Mr. Park was accused of reposting is run by the North Korean government Web site,, which South Korean news media regularly cite for their stories.

Korean coalition: Choi, O’Toole rush to nicked Kwon’s side

Several Korean-American community leaders gathered in Bergen County last night to propel the N.J. Supreme Court candidacy of Phillip Kwon, whose early going was marred by reports of an ultimately fruitless criminal investigation into family business matters.

The Korean American Voters Council, former Edison Mayor Jun Choi, and state Sen. Kevin O’Toole, (R-40), Cedar Grove, spearheaded a nonpartisan coalition to extol the first Asian American nominee to the high court.

Also see: Korean Community Rallies in Support of NJ Supreme Court Nominee

Tom Kim’s Free Medical Clinic celebrates 10,000th patient
Knoxville News Sentinel

Kim founded the Free Medical Clinic in South Knoxville in 1993, providing no-strings-attached medical care to the uninsured working poor — often out of his own pocket in the early days.

The woman, whose appointment was Monday, was his 10,000th new patient at the South Knoxville clinic. There, Kim’s had 31,000 appointments — and he’s opened clinics in Briceville and Oneida.

Kim was born in North Korea but fled in 1951 during the Soviet occupation to South Korea. A child at the time, he escaped by riding on the roof of a railroad boxcar, he said. He moved to the United States in the 1960s and has always claimed a debt to Korean War veterans, who he says gave him the freedom to get the education to become a physician.

San Francisco Police: Supervisor Jane Kim Wants Tougher Restrictions In Terrorist Probes
Huffington Post

San Francisco City and County Supervisor Jane Kim wants the police department to fall in line with state and local privacy rules that restrict what information police can amass, and she wants investigators to refrain from gathering intelligence on people unless there is reasonable suspicion that the person has engaged in criminal conduct.

2 John Brown University students hurt in collision
AP via Washington Examiner

Officials say two international students at John Brown University were hurt when they were struck by oncoming traffic while trying to walk across a highway in Siloam Springs.

The school says the accident happened Jan. 20 when Dahye “Sarah” Kim and Eunbit “Gina” Oh were trying to cross U.S. 412. Kim was flown to a hospital in Tulsa where she is in critical condition. The university says she underwent surgery to alleviate brain swelling and was placed in a medically induced coma.

Oh was hospitalized in Springfield, Mo., with a broken pelvis. The school says she will not require surgery.

‘The Voice’s’ Dia Frampton Stars in Own Web Series (Video)
Hollywood Reporter

The Voice returns this weekend after the Super Bowl, but NBC is reminding us of the talent it’s already found on Season 1 with a new web series featuring runner-up Dia Frampton called Dia’s Next Stage.

David Choi Steps Out of YouTube Into the Real World
OC Weekly

Over the past five years, singer/songwriter David Choi has wooed millions with his lulling voice and charming lyrics. And he’s mostly done so while sitting with his guitar in his bedroom in Fullerton. Now, the 25-year-old YouTube star is flipping off the camera switch and performing (in person!) on his Forever & Ever Tour, singing tunes from his third album of the same name. Remember to put on pants for this one.

Can Asians Save Classical Music?

There is one group that still likes classical music and, what’s more, pays to hear it performed: Asians. Of Asian-Americans ages 18-24 responding to the same survey, 14 percent reported attending a classical concert in the past year, more than any other demographic in that age group. Despite classical’s deserved reputation as the whitest of genres, Asian attendance rates match or surpass the national average up through the 45- 54 age range. To put it one way, the younger the classical audience gets, the more Asian it becomes. To put it another, the only population that is disproportionately filling seats being vacated by old people dying off is Asians.

Car Discussion 3 with Sung Kang

Actor Sung Kang is back with a brand new episode of Car Discussion (formerly known as Car Talk). In this episode, the director tries to get Sung Kang to talk about why the title of his show has changed, but as usual he veers off course in his own direction. The Fast and Furious star bring along his friend True to promote his debut album Suki Boy Choy: True hip hop from the streets. Get a taste of his new found talent on the mic.

Thursday’s Link Attack: Tim Kang, Autumn Ahn, Stephen Kim
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: January 27th, 2012
Filed Under: BLOG
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Celebrity Interview: Tim Kang (The Mentalist)

Tim Kang has appeared in everything from The Office to AT&T commercials before landing a spot as the stoic king of dead-pan snark , Agent Kimball Cho on The Mentalist.
[Popstar] caught up with Tim to talk about his character this season and to see if anything’s new in the world of “Cho-business.”

How and why my pop-up was born
San Francisco Chronicle

Korean American adoptee Eric Ehler gives a first-person account of how his popular pop-up restaurant started. Ehler took his first trip to South Korea and his first experience with Korean food became his fuel.

Senate panel balks at dictating to textbook editors, buries bill prescribing use of ‘East Sea’
AP via Washington Post

A Senate committee has drawn the line on dictating geographic terms to editors of public school textbooks by narrowly rejecting a bill that would have mandated publishers to also refer to the Sea of Japan as the East Sea.

Sen. Dave Marsden introduced the legislation to address concerns of Virginians of Korean-American descent and other Asian origins.

Jane Kim Spends Night In Tenderloin Homeless Shelter

District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim spent last Wednesday night in a homeless shelter, on an evening when she was technically serving as Acting Mayor while Ed Lee was out of state. Kim has been interested in improving the shelter system since beginning her term last year, and Wednesday found her experiencing it first hand, lining up for a shelter-bed reservation, getting assigned one, and checking in 7 p.m. for a 12-hour stay at the Next Door Shelter at Polk and Geary.

Autumn Ahn: Meet One Of Boston’s Fearlessly Fierce Artists
Style Caster

Her work has appeared in many forms, from shows at galleries to commissioned installations, including one for Diesel at New York Fashion Week in 2010. And when it comes to a preferred presentation, Ahn asks only that her work be displayed “anywhere a person can be physically engaged with it.”

“I have really enjoyed working within different social environments,” she said. “The challenges of negotiation and new language inform any installation.”

Group Forms to Aid S. Korean Indicted for Espionage
New America Media

Stephen Kim, a senior adviser to the U.S. State Department on arms control compliance, was indicted in August 2010 on charges of disclosing secret U.S. government information to the media.

The U.S. government claims that he “leaked classified national defense information” by telling a Fox News reporter that North Korea would likely attempt additional nuclear tests if the UN passes a resolution on sanctioning the North.

Kim’s attorneys claim that charging him with criminal action for providing the media with information that is publicly accessible violates the First Amendment.

The Most Popular Stories of 2011
Author: Gina Kim
Posted: January 4th, 2012
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Now that 2011 has come to an end, we’ve gathered the top 10 most popular articles of the year on We’ve got ourselves a mishmash of inspirational stories, rants, Korean food breakthroughs, setbacks and Hollywood hotties, just to name a few. It’s always interesting to look back on how 2011 went in hopes for a great 2012.

Look back from #10 to #1 for a quick review of a busy year (after the jump). Continue Reading »

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