U.S. Envoy Talks With Chinese About North Korea
New York Times
The State Department’s senior envoy on North Korea said Wednesday that he had discussed “all aspects of the North Korea issue” with Chinese officials, including sanctions on the North, during a one-day visit to Beijing.
“I think this is all a work in progress,” the diplomat, Glyn B. Davies, said at a briefing for reporters in Beijing. “The Chinese have said to us that they will faithfully implement U.N. Security Council sanctions and are doing so. And, as I’ve said before, we take them at their word.”
U.S. gov’t urges N. Korea to free jailed American
The U.S. government called Wednesday for North Korea to release an American citizen jailed there, saying Washington’s top priority is to secure the safety of its nationals.
“We urge the DPRK (North Korea) authorities to grant Mr. Bae amnesty and immediate release,” Patrick Ventrell, deputy spokesman for the State Department, told reporters. “There is no greater priority for us than the welfare and safety of our U.S. citizens abroad.”
Canadian linked to Algeria attackers faces 10 years in prison
Prosecutors in Mauritania have accused a jailed Canadian man of helping prepare an attack on an Algerian gas plant in January and have asked a court to extend his sentence to 10 years from two.
Aaron Yoon, 24, formerly of London, Ont., was convicted last July in Nouakchott on charges of having ties to a terrorist group and of posing a danger to national security. He has served almost half of his two-year sentence.
On Monday, prosecutors told a court that Yoon had acted in connivance with those responsible for the Jan. 16 attacks on an Algerian gas plant and the four-day siege that followed, killing more than 80 people. Yoon has denied involvement and protested that he is innocent.
South Korean Media Blast Abe’s ‘Numerical Provocations’
Wall Street Journal
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is facing a challenge from Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto as the most reviled Japanese politician in South Korea, but the Korean media gave Mr. Abe’s latest militaristic photo opportunity top billing Wednesday.
The largest-circulation newspaper in South Korea, Chosun Ilbo, ran at the top of its front page a photo from Sunday of Mr. Abe in a trainer jet, as did two other nationally circulated papers. Others carried it on inside pages.
All drew attention to a marking on the jet with the number 731, which they noted was the same number as that of a Japanese biological and chemical warfare research facility that performed human experiments during the 1937-45 Sino-Japanese War and World War II.
Choi and O’Farrell in contentious battle for council seat
Los Angeles Times
Theirs has become the most contentious of the four council races on the May 21 ballot, with the candidates accusing each other of homophobia and race-baiting, and their supporters clashing in the streets. Allegations of threats and voter fraud in Little Armenia have prompted investigations by the police and Los Angeles County prosecutors.
The battle is being waged against a backdrop of uneven campaign fundraising and a torrent of spending by independent groups that don’t have the same limits as candidates. Choi, who has the support of many in the city’s political establishment, including Villaraigosa, the powerful federation of labor, and the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, has raised nearly twice as much as O’Farrell.
Choi has also benefited from nearly $600,000 in independent spending, nearly all of it from labor unions.
“That’s who he’s going to be accountable to,” O’Farrell insists. He pointed to Choi’s comments in an endorsement meeting with a major city employee union earlier this year as proof.
Hyongsoon Kim: The Koreatown Advocate
On the 24th floor of Century Plaza Towers, in his office at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, attorney Hyongsoon Kim enjoys expansive views of West L.A. and the Pacific Ocean but revels in what’s closer to hand: a mess of legal briefs, boxes and court documents strewn about the room. “This chaos to me invites creativity,” says Kim, 34. “You’re not going to find a lot of attorneys who will agree with me. … But litigation is chaos. You can’t control every piece of it. It’s good for a litigator to thrive in chaos. Because that’s what you’re in the middle of.”
Kim studied to be a classical musician as a teen, attended Cal State L.A. at age 15 and earned his law degree from Columbia at 22. Today he’s lead attorney in a federal lawsuit that’s shining a light on Los Angeles City Hall chicanery by challenging a controversial 2012 gerrymander that handed City Council president Herb Wesson more power. The lawsuit alleges that Wesson, the L.A. City Council and the redistricting commission illegally used race as the main factor to redraw voting-district boundaries for Wesson’s City Council District 10. The contorted land-grab consolidated Wesson’s black voter bloc — and diluted the power of rising Koreatown.
Tiger Mom Amy Chua Responds to Tiger Baby
Wall Street Journal
It’s a sign of just how deep tensions are around parenting today that, over two years after Amy Chua’s “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” was published, its combination of shocking revelation, serious reflection and tongue-in-cheek exaggeration still sends T. Rex-scale ripples skittering across the surface of our sociocultural Dixie cups.
Two weeks ago, novelist Kim Wong Keltner’s “Tiger Babies Strike Back” was published — her nonfiction account of growing up under the paw of her authoritarian Tiger parents. Last week, the web was abuzz over the release of UT Austin psychology prof Su Yeong Kim’s longitudinal study tracking the parenting styles and social outcomes of over 400 Chinese American families in the Bay Area, which seemed to show that children of Tiger Parents had both poorer emotional health and lower GPAs than those of parents who embraced warmer and fuzzier child-rearing strategies.
Florida prom-goers aid in car accident rescue
Prom-goer Peter Kim told NBC Miami that he grabbed a young boy from the overturned van and helped calm the mother.
“We laid her down, and we tried to calm her down. She was just panicking, she was in shock,” Kim said. “She was screaming out, ‘Where’s my baby? Where’s my baby?’”
Philadelphia woman gets probation for Montco car insurance scam
The Intelligencer (Doylestown, Pa.)
A 69-year-old Philadelphia woman, who engaged in a car insurance scam with a Montgomery Township man, will not have to go to jail for her crimes.
Kathleen B. Chung, of the 500 block of Penny Lane, Philadelphia, last week was sentenced to seven years of probation on two felony insurance fraud charges and a misdemeanor false reporting charge to which she pleaded guilty in February.
Chung also will have to perform 125 hours of community service and pay her half of the $24,554 restitution ordered in the case.
Co-defendant Kyung Soon Kim, 53, of the 100 block of Robertson Court, Montgomery Township, will pay the remaining half of the restitution as part of the sentence he received last month following his guilty plea to theft and conspiracy charges. Kim also was sentenced to two weekends in jail and handed a seven-year probation sentence. As part of that sentence, Kim will pay a $5,000 fine and perform 200 hours of community service.
Star Trek: Into Darkness Interviews Part II: – John Cho and Simon Pegg
Sara Fetters: Speaking of evolution, was it easier this time to step into the shoes of these characters? Do you still feel the pressure of decades of Star Trek lore?
John Cho: It was easier. We’ve done it once and we went through that anticipation of whether it was going to be accepted. Also, the welcome was exceptionally warm with the last film. For me, I felt like it wasn’t on us, it’s really all on J.J (Abrams). He’ll take the rap.
Ken Jeong Excited About ‘Community’ Renewal, Calls Cast ‘Harlem Globetrotters Of Comedy’
Ken Jeong was pretty ecstatic when he dropped by “Late Night.” His show, “Community” had been picked up for a 13-episode fifth season by NBC. And despite it not being on the schedule yet, it was a pretty big deal. The show had been considered by many unlikely to return and was one of only two comedies to be renewed at NBC (the other being Parks & Recreation).
“Fifth season,” Jeong said proudly. “Five, six seasons and a movie!” The latter is a catch-phrase that’s been trumpted by fans of the show for the past few years, encouraging NBC to stick by the cult favorite. They’re inching ever so much closer to that goal, even if these latest two have been shorter season orders.
Some of the Juiciest Bits of ‘Rodham,’ the Hillary Clinton Movie Biopic: Sex, Scandal, More
The Daily Beast
Ed. note — Kim immigrated to the States at the age of 9 and considers himself Korean American.
Rodham was written by Young Il Kim, a relatively unknown South Korean. Though casting and filming haven’t begun, the movie is set to be produced by Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen of Temple Hill Entertainment (The Twilight Saga) and directed by James Ponsoldt, whose coming-of-age drama The Spectacular Now was a standout at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The screenplay for Rodham was a hot commodity in Hollywood, earning a place on the 2012 Black List—an annual compendium of the best unproduced screenplays floating around Tinseltown. And according to The Wrap, “industry executives who have read the script claim it offers a potentially award-worthy role for one lucky ingenue.” Kim, meanwhile, has received the Sundance Institute’s Alfred P. Sloan Commissioning Grant to develop his next project—an original, untitled script based on the life of Stephen Hawking.
Check out our story on Kim and his screenplay from last month’s issue of KoreAm:
April Issue: Young Il Kim’s Hillary Clinton Screenplay Earns Hollywood Hype
Gay South Korean film director to marry in bid to pry open closet
A gay South Korean film director is set to symbolically marry his long-term partner, saying he aims to pry open the closet in this conservative Asian country where homosexuality is still taboo and gays have been subjected to hate crimes.
AS Monaco Reportedly Targeting Park Ji-sung
AS Monaco are thinking of grabbing Park Ji-sung from Queens Park Rangers, Patrice Evra from Manchester United and Carlos Tevez from Manchester City in one fell swoop, according to Goal.com on Monday.
“Monaco are considering moves for both Carlos Tevez and Patrice Evra as the Ligue 2 champions-elect construct a team intended to win France’s top division at the first attempt next season,” it reported.
Christina Kim happy to be back in Mobile, looking for good week at Mobile Bay LPGA Classic (video)
No one has ever had trouble finding Christina Kim. Her high-energy approach to golf and life in general and her bubbly personality have made her a favorite with fans on the LPGA Tour.
That’s especially true in Mobile, where Kim won the 2005 The Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions crown at Magnolia Grove’s Crossings Course. She bested many of the LPGA’s top players at that time in winning the then-limited field event on the city’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail course.
Unfortunately for Kim, that is the most recent of her two LPGA Tour victories. The California native who now lives in Orlando has been slowed by injuries in recent years but told AL.com she is looking forward to this week’s Mobile Bay LPGA Classic, a course she knows well and one on which she is comfortable playing.
Michelle Wie looks to make a run at this week’s Mobile Bay LPGA Classic
This week, Wie will seek her third victory in a LPGA Tour event — her first came in the 2009 Lorena Ochoa Invitational, the other at the 2010 CN Canadian Women’s Open — when she competes in the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic at Magnolia Grove’s Crossings Course. The par-72 course on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail will welcome Wie and 143 other golfers seeking the tournament title.
Gripping Photos Capture the Mirror Worlds of North and South Korea
Architectural photographer Dieter Leistner was born the same year East Germany began construction on the Berlin Wall. He was 37 when it fell. Maybe that’s why his interest in North and South Korea feels so personal—he spent forty years in another divided country.
Leistner’s new book, Korea – Korea, is a compendium of images that were shot in 2006, in Pyongyang, and 2012, in Seoul. Each spread compares two different public spaces in each city, including bus stops, subway cars, and public squares. In a foreword to the book, curator Klaus Klemp explains his perspective as a German:
The Japanese government reversed course from earlier suggestions that it could revise or even repudiate the two formal apologies made by the country’s leaders from two decades ago.
Fumio Kishida, Japan’s foreign minister, told reporters on Tuesday that the country’s conservative prime minister Abe Shinzo will abide by the views expressed in the 1995 apology by a Socialist prime minister, Tomiichi Murayama.
Following Kishida’s comments, the chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said in a separate press conference that the Abe government also won’t revise the 1993 apology, when then-prime minister Morihiro Hosokawa recognized the Japanese imperial army’s responsibility in coercing women of its colonized nations into sexual slavery during World War II.
“The Japanese government has accepted the facts of history in a spirit of humility, expressed once again our feelings of deep remorse and our heartfelt apology,” Kishida said. “Prime Minister Abe shares that view.”
Japan issued formal apologies in 1993 and 1995 to the victims of its oppression during the war, many of whom were South Korean “comfort women.” Continue Reading »
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he does not believe Japan’s actions towards their Asian neighbors during World War II could be considered as “invasions.”
Abe added insult to injury after attempting to rescind an apology made by then-Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in 1995 to China and Korea for decades of Japanese militarism, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“The definition of what constitutes aggression has yet to be established in academia or in the international community,” Mr. Abe said on Tuesday, according to Japan’s Asahi Shimbun. “Things that happened between nations will look differently depending on which side you view them from.”
On the same day, 168 Japanese lawmakers visited the Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo, which includes the names of Japanese service personnel who died during the Meiji Restoration period, from 1867 to the end of World War II. Continue Reading »
North Korea Asks Mongolia for Food Aid
Wall Street Journal
As North Korea heads into the time of year when its food supplies run low, it appears to be looking for new donors.
At a courtesy call on the Mongolian president last week, Pyongyang’s new ambassador made a request for food aid, according to the official website for the head of state.
“North Korea may face (a) severe food shortage,” Ambassador Hong Gyu told President Elbegdorj, according to the account. Mr. Hong then asked for Mongolia to consider the possibility of delivering food aid to North Korea, the account said.
South Korean Official Cancels Expected Japan Trip
New York Times
Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se of South Korea has canceled a possible trip to Japan out of anger after Japanese Cabinet ministers visited a controversial war shrine, South Korean officials said on Monday.
Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and other Japanese cabinet ministers prayed at the Yasukuni Shrine over the weekend. Tokyo said on Monday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe didn’t visit but donated a religious ornament marking the shrine’s spring festival with the title “prime minister” on it.
Jasper Kim: North Korea Needs the Internet, So Let’s Help
Wall Street Journal
Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen’s recent WSJ interview related to their North Korea trip was a real eye-opener. In it, the Google executives noted that the closed regime possessed the basic hardware to allow its citizens to plug into the Internet.
So the only thing needed is for Kim Jong Eun to literally “flick a switch” to provide Internet access for his nearly 25 million information-deprived citizenry.
As it stands now, North Korea is about the only country in the world almost totally unplugged to the Internet. South Korea, in contrast, has one of the highest broadband Internet penetration rates in the world, and is home to Samsung Electronics, one of the world leaders in mobile technology.
Park meets with Microsoft founder Gates
President Park Geun-hye met with Microsoft founder Bill Gates on Monday where she was expected to seek advice from the technology czar about her vision to use information technology as the main tool to boost economic growth.
Park has often mentioned Gates and late Apple founder Steve Jobs as examples while pitching her “creative economy” initiative that calls for creating new markets and jobs by developing innovative technologies in the information and communications sector and then combining them with other areas.
“I have made such remarks like ‘As examples of talents we need in our times, there are people like Chairman Gates’ and I am pleased to meet with you today,” Park said at the start of the meeting, adding that she feels like she has known Gates for a long time.
Park Chosen Among TIME’s 100 Most Influential People
President Park Geun-hye and Samsung Electronics vice chairman Kwon Oh-hyun have been picked for TIME’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world for 2013.
The magazine chose Park because she is the first female president of South Korea who is coping with the threat of provocation from North Korea despite critical views about her “political parentage.”
Pyongyang Palace Intrigue [OPINION]
New York Times
North Korea’s recent nuclear brinkmanship is a sign not of strength but of weakness. No matter how hard this Communist dynasty tries to conceal this fact from the outside world, problems at home — especially strains within the regime itself — are an important factor behind its aggressive external behavior.
The regime’s current woes are largely the handiwork of Kim Jong-il, who died almost a year and a half ago. He was not just a bad ruler, but a disastrous one. He was the mastermind behind the epic failure of North Korea’s economy, which, on his watch, recorded the worst performance of any industrialized state. And he was the architect of the only peacetime famine ever to befall an urban, literate society. Most of that disaster’s victims were officially designated members of “hostile classes,” or enemies of the state, so the regime hardly mourned their deaths. But Kim Jong-il’s tenure was ruinous for the entire regime, including his presumptive legatees.
For Once, Someone Got An L.A. Food Show Right: Bourdain’s Parts Unknown Koreatown Episode
For the second installment of his new CNN show Parts Unknown, which aired last night, Anthony Bourdain explored L.A.’s Koreatown. The show was insightful, revealing and pretty much spot-on, giving an accurate depiction of both the fraught history of K-Town and its current status as one of our city’s culinary and cultural gems. Which is a relief, seeing as no food TV show ever seems to get Los Angeles right, including past L.A.-themed episodes of Bourdain’s Travel Channel show, No Reservations.
Using chef Roy Choi and artist David Choe as guides, Bourdain explored Koreatown through the lens of its history, and in particular the L.A. riots in 1992. Choi took Bourdain to the roof where Choi had watched the neighborhood burn for days on end, and Choe explained the effect of having society fall apart around him as a teenager, even as he himself took part in the mayhem. Thanks (I’m assuming) to CNN’s access to news footage, the show had a ton of footage of Koreatown during the riots, and 21 years later the images of an entire swath of the city devolving into a war zone are still gut-wrenchingly shocking.
Sang Yoon on the History of the Father’s Office Burger
The Father’s Office Burger, possibly one of the most divisive and beloved burgers in LA, was conceptualized by Sang Yoon, chef and owner of Father’s Office. After leaving the world of fine dining, Yoon wanted to open a very simple, casual restaurant with great beer and bar snacks in the vein of Spain’s tapas bars. One of the original menu items was a burger, though it was unlike any burger anyone had ever created. Some argue that Daniel Boulud’s db Burger was the burger that launched the current gourmet burger trend, but it was actually Yoon’s creation at the original Father’s Office on Santa Monica’s Montana Avenue that did it.
Dodgers, Ryu fade in 7-5 loss to Orioles in 1st game of doubleheader
AP via FOX News
Staked to an early four-run lead, left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu was in ideal position to earn his third major league win and help the Los Angeles Dodgers end their longest losing streak of the season.
Unfortunately for Ryu and the Dodgers, the South Korean rookie couldn’t maintain the advantage. He allowed two home runs — more than in his previous three starts combined — and Los Angeles ended up losing to the Baltimore Orioles 7-5 Saturday in the opener of a split-doubleheader.
Ryu gave up five runs and eight hits in six innings, walking two and striking out six. Although the 26-year-old didn’t take the loss, he felt compelled to apologize for his performance after the game.
“I can’t really make any excuses. I wish the outcome was better,” he said through a translator. “But I’ll come back and do better next time. I’ll just consider it a big learning experience.”
‘Orphan’: A Novel Imagines Life In North Korea
Last week, The Orphan Master’s Son was awarded the Pulitzer prize for fiction. Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin spoke with author Adam Johnson last year about his book. In that interview, Johnson explained that as part of his research he actually managed to finagle a visit to North Korea. He said his government minders maintained tight control over his itinerary, but they couldn’t hide everything.
Setting up shop in Korea, with some help
When Benjamin Hughes, an American arbitrator and mediator, and a 10-year resident of Korea, decided to open up an office space in Seoul recently, he was already on familiar ground.
“I was previously working as a senior foreign legal consultant at a major Korean law firm so I had some idea as to how business was done in Korea,” Hughes says. That is when he turned to The Executive Center (TEC) inside the Seoul Finance Center to rent a serviced office so he could use the space full time to focus on his practice. Thus far, the move has proven lucrative, and his work flow is running smoothly.
“The facilities are excellent and the staff at TEC is very helpful, as well as bilingual in English and Korean.”
Relations between Korea and Japan in recent years have been cool at best, but over the last few months, anti-Korean sentiment has been growing on the island nation. To be fair, Koreans are equally critical — and can be far from welcoming — of the Japanese.
In this tense climate, it’s no longer rare to see protests breaking out in Tokyo and elsewhere against Koreans. On March 31, in the town of Shin-Okubo, where many ethnic Koreans reside, an anti-Korean protest was held. However, some Japanese citizens fed up with right-wing nationalism and ethnocentrism began to protest the protestors, Rocket News reports.
Armed with signs and a great deal of frustration, pro-Korean protestors told the opposition to “go home,” declaring they were the “shame of the country.” It was a scene not dissimilar to protests in the United States targeting the Westboro Baptist Church, a conservative group known for being vehemently anti-gay. The situation escalated as pro-Koreans threw out insulting hand gestures, and anti-Korean protestors made a show as if to physically strike. Continue Reading »