Will Smith explained why he chose Korean American singer and rapper, Jay Park, to record the end credits song for his new sci-fi thriller After Earth, allkpop reports.
During the Seoul red carpet premiere, Smith and son Jaden, told the audience that the 26-year-old ex-2PM member’s song, ”I Like to Party” was picked following a recommendation by the Korean wife of Smith’s brother-in-law. Park made an impression on the Hollywood A-lister and he got the gig.
At the event, Park told the two-time Oscar-nominated actor that, for the first time in his life, he was “star struck” meeting Smith.
South Korea to Sign Military Pact With Japan
New York Times
Overcoming lingering historical animosities with its former colonial master, South Korea said on Thursday that it would sign a treaty with Japan that would encourage the sharing of sensitive military data on their common concerns: North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats and China’s growing military might.
In North Korea, learning to hate US starts early
Associated Press via Google News
North Korean students learn that their country has had two main enemies: the Japanese, who colonized Korea from 1910 to 1945, and the U.S., which fought against North Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War.
They are told that North Korea’s defense against outside forces — particularly the U.S., which has more than 28,000 soldiers stationed in South Korea — remains the backbone of the country’s foreign policy.
NKorean claims South agents tricked her to defect
AP via Google News
A North Korean woman said Thursday that she was tricked into defecting six years ago by South Korean agents who offered to arrange a reunion with her father who went to the South during the Korean War.
Stavisky, Meng Celebrate Korean-American Heritage Day
Western Queens Gazette (N.Y.)
With more than 140,000 Korean-American’s calling New York home, state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, along with Assemblymember Grace Meng, welcomed constituents from Flushing to Albany on June 19 to celebrate Korean-American Heritage Day. Meeting with legislators to discuss issues of importance to New York’s Korean-American community, as well as showcasing Korean food and dance, the group held their celebration of Korean-American culture and heritage in the Legislative Office Building.
Comfort women photographer pleased by Japan court
AFP via Google News
A South Korean photographer whose Tokyo exhibition on Japanese wartime sex slaves only went ahead after a court injunction said Thursday it was important to display the work to inform the public.
Japan-based Ahn Sehong said he had been disappointed when camera maker Nikon abruptly cancelled his exhibition, which features 37 pictures of some of the now-elderly Korean women forced into sex slavery during World War II.
Korean American giant BBCN Bank repays its debt to Uncle Sam
Los Angeles Times
The largest Korean American bank has repaid its debt to Uncle Sam — $122 million that was provided at the height of the financial crisis by the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program.
BBCN Bancorp in Los Angeles said late Wednesday that it repurchased stock that its predecessor banks, Nara Bancorp and Center Financial Corp., had sold to the U.S. Treasury. (The banks merged to become BBCN in November.)
South Korea says it has found East Asia’s oldest farming site
Archaeologist Cho Mi-soon said Wednesday that the agency has found the remains of a farming field from the Neolithic period on South Korea’s east coast. The site may be up to 5,600 years old. That’s more than 2,000 years older than what is now the second-oldest known site, which also is in South Korea.
‘Bourne Legacy’ Puts Seoul on Hollywood Radar
“It might be the first time that a Hollywood film has featured Seoul. ‘The Bourne Legacy’ production team was apparently drawn to Seoul as it has been less exposed in films than other Asian metropolises like Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai,” it said.
Seoul is becoming an increasingly popular location for foreign films. The number of foreign movies for which the commission provided some administrative support more than doubled from 10 in 2008 to 24 last year.
Choo takes a breather against southpaw
Without Choo in the lineup as the Indians’ leadoff man — a role he has embraced this season — center fielder Michael Brantley slid into the lineup’s top spot. Backup outfielder Aaron Cunningham took over in right field. Choo entered Wednesday’s 5-4 loss in the sixth inning and drew a walk in the ninth inning in his lone plate appearance.
Hines Ward says NFL players get what they agreed to in CBA
Ward told radio station WFNZ in Charlotte Tuesday that Steelers players, some targeted multiple times by Goodell for allegedly illegal hits, did not sign off on the CBA in large part because of Goodell’s power to discipline players.
“So Roger Goodell, even though a lot of players don’t like having him in charge, the NFLPA, we signed off on the collective bargaining agreement,” said Ward.
Busan’s Trick Eye Museum
Busan for 91 Days
The entire point of this “museum” is to provide setups for funny pictures. An upside-down room makes it look like you’re standing on the ceiling. Stand in front of Mona Lisa with a paintbrush. Lay down on the floor and hang on for dear life to the painting of a cliff. Peer into a gentleman’s briefs. Wrap yourself in the coils of a serpent. Crawl into bed with a surprisingly buxom Mike. Will the hilarity ever stop?! No, it won’t… it goes on and on, for room after room after room. This place is huge and if you haven’t had your fill of funny-posing pictures by the end of it, then you, my friend, have some issues.
Want to feel like an international family of mystery? Add these Korable blocks to your toy collection. The set of 4 blocks is handmade in Michigan and feature the Korean alphabet. The blocks can be combined to create over 120 single-syllable words including numbers, days of the week, foods, nature words, body parts, and more.
Adam WarRock Celebrates His Anniversary With ‘Longshot’ And A Donation Drive
Most of our readers are probably already familiar with Eugene Ahn, AKA Adam WarRock, former co-host of the War Rocket Ajax podcast and occasional ComicsAlliance contributor. Two years ago, Euge quit his career as a lawyer to follow his dream of becoming a full-time rapper, focusing on songs that reflected his interests in comics, TV and video games. Since then, Adam WarRock’s gained critical acclaim for releasing two full-length albums and an EP, touring with top acts such as MC Chris and MC Lars and becoming a one of Wired’s picks for geeks you must follow on Twitter by regularly releasing free music pulsing with pop culture relevance.
KevJumba Takes on Zombies w/ Jay Park
Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts honor veterans
Los Angeles Daily News
[Pfc. Samuel Sungjune Lee], a Korean-American soldier who died less than two weeks before his 20th birthday while serving in the Army during the Iraq War, was unknown to the members of Boy Scout Troop 777, based out of Koreatown.
But his service and death carried special significance to the group, which had made it tradition to seek out all Korean-American soldiers buried at the cemetery to pay tribute. So far, they had found five.
Slain Qns. woman blew boyfriend’s life savings gambling: landlady
New York Post
A Queens man who allegedly stabbed his girlfriend to death was furious with her for gambling away his life savings and leaving him thousands of dollars in debt, his landlady said yesterday.
Feuk Youn Yoon, 56, and Yunhee Shin, 57, were fighting in his basement apartment on 214th Street in Bayside just before he allegedly killed her, police said.
Firefighters responding to calls reporting a small blaze in the home found Shin on the bed with two knife wounds to the neck and Yoon in a closet trying to hang himself.
30 North Korean officials involved in South talks die ‘in traffic accidents’
The Telegraph (U.K.)
Thirty officials of the North Korean regime who were involved in talks with South Korea have been executed or died in “staged traffic accidents,” according to a human rights report.
Theater artists find depth in search for families
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Sun Mee Chomet and Katie Hae Leo, both adoptees, talk about their search for their relatives in Korea.
S. Korean student graduates Harvard as ‘highest ranking undergraduate’
A South Korean student has graduated from Harvard University as a “highest ranking undergraduate,” the first time a Korean student has won the honor.
Economics major Jin Kwon-young, 20, and one other graduate were assessed equal best of 1,552 students who graduated from the prestigious university in a ceremony on Thursday.
The Harvard Business Student Who Landed a Spot on the Home Shopping Network & Created Her Own Skincare Line
By age 25, Grace Choi had already invented four medical devices. By age 26, her first consumer retail invention in jewelry was picked up by the Home Shopping Network, following a televised nationwide search by TV personality Kelly Ripa. And now, as a Harvard MBA, she’s debuting her all-in-one cosmetic skincare line: Grace Choi Porcelian Skin BB Cream.
Asian-American Week: Korean-American Pop Star’s Popularity Extends To New York
He’s a singer, dancer and rapper but his fans say that still doesn’t begin to describe Jay Park’s talent.
The 25-year-old Korean-American phenom has millions of fans across Asia. But if you want proof of his popularity in New York, look no further than a line for his recent concert in Midtown that wound around the corner and stretched for several blocks 8 hours before the show.
“I guess I’m a really dedicated Jay Park fan,” said one fan who waited for over 24 hours for tickets. “I don’t want to take the chance that anyone else got those front-row seats. I’m making sure I’m here first.”
A Rapper Ravaged By An Online Firestorm
Wired‘s Josh Davis speaks with NPR about his recent follow-up article on the Tablo online witch hunt. Stupid Koreans.
Earlier this month, 12 people who posted false accusations online were put on trial in Korea for criminal defamation against Tablo. They could face jail time.
Meanwhile, Tablo has recorded a new album about his ordeal, named Fever’s End. It’s put him right back at the top of the charts, but after such an experience, he’s still not ready to perform publicly again.
SDSU’s Kang has big personality to match game
San Diego Union-Tribune
Soon, [Alex] Kang will turn pro after his final season at SDSU, but this week he is a critical player in the Aztecs’ hopes to win their first NCAA championship in men’s golf. The national tournament begins Tuesday at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. The top eight teams after three rounds of stroke play will advance to single-elimination match play. The champion will be decided on Sunday.
Conger misses callup opportunity with injury
The messages began rolling in for Hank Conger on May 11, the day Angels catcher Chris Iannetta underwent right wrist surgery and John Hester was called up to take his place on the roster.
“People were like, ‘Where you at? Why aren’t they calling you up?’” Conger recalled.
And that’s when the Angels’ prospect catcher would have to explain that he’s on the Minor League disabled list, rehabbing a right elbow injury that dates back to the second series of the Triple-A season and has had him on the shelf for more than a month.
B.J. Penn doesn’t think Frankie Edgar deserves UFC Title rematch with Ben Henderson
Appearing on Thursday’s MMA Uncensored Live on Spike TV, former UFC Lightweight Champion B.J. Penn discusses why he doesn’t think Frankie Edgar deserved a rematch against Benson Henderson.
Visions of the Hermit Kingdom
Wall Street Journal
Chances are, you aren’t going to North Korea any time soon. But armchair travelers can take a virtual tour with “Architectural and Cultural Guide Pyongyang,” edited by Philipp Meuser (DOM Publishers, $49.95).
It’s a two-volume set, the first of which contains photographs and descriptions from the North Korean government’s Pyongyang Foreign Languages Publishing House. The contract required Mr. Meuser to run the images with the official captions, without critical commentary. So volume two provides more photos, history and context, with essays on topics like urban planning, mass gymnastics and propaganda posters.
Queens woman stabbed to death, boyfriend critical after suicide attempt: officials
New York Post
Queens firefighters responding to a blaze Wednesday found a stabbed woman who later died and her boyfriend trying to hang himself, authorities said.
The unidentified 57-year-old victim was on the bed in a basement apartment on 214th Place in Bayside at about 7:30 p.m.
Her body crushed, but not her spirit
The Daily Pilot (Southern California)
In 2007 Un Joo Kang was in college and working as a makeup artist when a drunken driver crashed into her, crushing the lower half of her body.
But five years later, at Orange Coast College she found Extended Opportunities, Programs and Services (EOPS), which provided her with the help she needed to go in a new direction: architecture.
Asian Americans hit hardest by long-term unemployment
Asian Americans have the highest rate of long-term joblessness of any ethnicity in the United States, according to a report from the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank in Washington.
Last year marked the second year in a row that Asian Americans had the largest share of unemployed workers who were unemployed long term (i.e., for six months or more). In 2011, 50.1 percent of the Asian American unemployed were unemployed long term, up from 48.7 percent in 2010. In both of these years, the Asian American share slightly exceeded the African American share.
Ground Shifts in U.S. Aid Stance to NK
Wall Street Journal
In the two months since North Korea’s announcement of a missile launch scuttled a U.S. plan to offer humanitarian aid, there are signs that Washington may come under pressure to reconsider.
And those signs aren’t just coming from North Korea and the aid groups who have an interest in delivering the food.
South Korea less fixated on North Korea
By all accounts, diplomatic relations between the United States and South Korea are as warm and close as they have ever been. But that’s about to change. When Korean voters go to the polls late this year, the nation’s young people plan to take their revenge. And the U.S. is likely to feel the sting.
As college student Seungwon Choi put it in an interview, “After all these years, we are still under the U.S. We can’t make decisions ourselves. We have to reassume operational control and sovereignty.” In that view, she is far from alone.
Republicans Back Kim For State Senate Seat
If State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) wins her primary battle against John Messer, she will no longer run unopposed. Queens Republicans are backing Jung Dong “J.D.” Kim, a Korean-American attorney, to take on Stavisky, the incumbent who has held the seat since 1999.
Face to face with John Kim, The Kim Law Firm
Biz Journal (subscription req’d)
Houston trial lawyer John Kim grew up a Korean in 1960s Lubbock, and he remembers well the first time he was judged for being different.
“Partially because of my parents’ example and largely due to the community in Lubbock, I never experienced prejudice until I became a lawyer,” he said.
Whose Islands are they? South Korea tries branding in its dispute with Japan
Christian Science Monitor
While both Korea and Japan point to historical documents to back up their respective claims, South Korea has occupied Dokdo/Takeshima for more than half a century. And it remains a key rallying symbol for lingering resentment over Japan’s colonial occupation of the then unified Korean Peninsula in the first half of the 20th century.
Four-Year-Old Modern Family Star Is On Twitter
All Twitter (blog)
The youngest character on the show, Lily, is four-year-old Aubrey Anderson-Emmons. Aubrey joined the Modern Family cast in the show’s third season and launched her Twitter account, @AubreyLily, in October of last year.
Surely a four-year-old having a Twitter account is a TOS violation, you say? Nope. Aubrey doesn’t actually tweet from the account (as you probably guessed because most four-year-olds aren’t reading and writing!), her mom does. Mom uses the account to share photos from public appearances and other kid-style observations.
Business traveler’s guide to surviving a Korean drinking session
In Korea, it’s said that the success of your business roughly correlates to how well you can drink … and how respectful you are to your companions while downing bomb shots by the bucketful.
Most companies in Korea have hoesik (literally, dinner with coworkers; figuratively, official eating/drinking fests involving multiple rounds at multiple venues) at least once a month and sometimes every week.
Choo shining in role as Indians’ leading man
Shin-Soo Choo is tired of being asked how moving to the leadoff spot in the batting order has caused him to hit better.
He doesn’t believe the switch is the reason why his batting average has improved approximately 40 points since moving up. The way he sees it, he was beginning to hit better before the change was made.
Check out the video highlight of the monster home run Choo hit on Thursday night here.
Shin-Soo Choo takes the lead and runs with it: Cleveland Indians Insider
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo has taken to the leadoff spot in the Cleveland lineup since he was moved there May 14. He’s hitting .394 (13-for-33), with four doubles, one homer, three RBI, five walks and six runs in eight games.
Video Subtitling Site Viki Puts K-Pop Content in Spotlight
Now Viki will work as an advance guard for spreading K-pop by signing a deal with LOEN Entertainment, a major music distributor in Korea. Netizens from around the world will be able to watch music videos, interview clips and performances from concerts of idol star IU, girl band Brown Eyed Girls, hip-hop artist Drunken Tiger and more, translated into up to 150 languages including Romanian, Tagalog and Arabic.
SK Takes New Step To Prevent Kidnappings
Wall Street Journal
The Code Adam system is implemented if a child is reported missing in multipurpose facilities. When it happens, all entrances and exits will be closed for 10 minutes as employees search for missing child.
Criminal experts consider the initial reaction, roughly the first ten minutes, critical to finding the child. But most multipurpose facilities in South Korea do not have such guidelines. Under the current law, there is no legal ground to force facilities to actively search for children by closing exits or making announcement.
Love for the Bible behind South Koreans’ interest in Israel
While official estimates are hard to come by, South Korea’s ambassador to Israel, Ilsoo Kim, estimates that there are about 800 Koreans in about 300 families living in Israel. The number, he said, has been growing in recent years. They mainly reside around the French Hill and Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhoods in the Jerusalem area.
“Many have lived here quite a long time,” Kim said. “This reflects their feelings.”
S. Korean man sentenced to death for drug smuggling in China: Seoul official
A South Korean man has been sentenced to death for drug trafficking in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao, a senior official at Seoul’s foreign ministry said Friday.
The 53-year-old convict, who is only identified by his surname Jang, was found guilty of smuggling 11.9 kilograms of methamphetamine into China and selling it, the ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
Nikon cancels comfort women photo exhibit without explanation
In an interview with the Hankyoreh on Thursday, 41-year-old photographer Ahn Se-hong, said “I still can’t accept it at all. I will carry on preparing for the exhibition as normal.” Ahn was informed by Nikon Salon on May 22 that his photo exhibition had been cancelled. Ahn photographs of South Korean comfort women were scheduled to be shown from June 26 to July 29 in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
Jay Park tears up New York for ‘Verizon APAHM Tour’
Fresh after kicking the tour off the night before at the Fillmore in Maryland, Jay Park was welcomed by a packed house at the Best Buy Theater, located next to Times Square in the heart of Manhattan. The East Coast leg of the tour also showcased opening acts Viennie V and Dumbfoundead.
You Know How We Do by Jay Park x dumbfoundead
Rappers Jay Park x dumbfoundead collaborate on the track “You Know How We Do”. For the video, the pair use footage from the 2012 APAHM Tour in Washington DC and New York. (If you were at the concert, see if you can spot yourself.) Listen to what motivates the duo with DFD and Jay Park on the mics. This is how they do. You can download the single FREE here. This track contains explicit lyrics.
New Jersey Town’s Korean Monument Irritates Japanese Officials
The New York Times
Two delegations of Japanese officials visited Palisades Park, N.J., this month with a request that took local administrators by surprise: the Japanese wanted a small monument removed from a public park.
Has North Korea Now Crossed China, Too?
International Herald Tribune
China is North Korea’s closest ally. Yet for many Chinese, exasperated tolerance seems to be turning to anger as reports spread of the abduction last week of 29 Chinese fishermen in the Yellow Sea by unidentified North Koreans, with the kidnappers reported to have demanded payment for their return.
UN: N. Korea evades luxury ban to smoke, drink, drive
Ten thousand rolls of tobacco, 12 bottles of Sake, and a handful of second-hand Mercedes-Benz cars are among the latest reported breaches by North Korea of a U.N. ban on luxury goods sales to the reclusive state, according to a confidential draft U.N. report.
Japan told a U.N. panel of experts that Pyongyang also imported thousands of computers and thousands of dollars worth of cosmetics and that almost all the goods were shipped through China, it was reported in the draft seen by Reuters on Thursday.
Thousands Pay Tribute to 1980 Gwangju Victims
The Wall Street Journal
Thousands of people gathered in Gwangju on Friday to mark the 32nd anniversary of the one of the most tragic and disgraceful episodes in South Korean history – the suppression of democracy protesters by the South Korean military.
Several hundred people in the southwestern city died at the hands of South Korean soldiers during three days of violence that began on May 18, 1980.
Kim Jong Un Is an Internationally-Renowned Author
North Korea’s state-owned press is known for making up flattering things about its leaders. Kim Jong Il, for instance, invented the hamburger and routinely shot “3-4 hole-in-ones” every time he played golf. Now, with Kim Jong Un sitting atop the throne, it’s time to nurture a new cult of personality. Today, that means hyping The Outstanding Leader’s authorial genius. With this earth-shattering headline, the Korean Central News Agency is proud to report: Kim Joung Un’s Work Carried by Bangladeshi Paper.
Korean-American Business Leader and Newsman Eying Meng’s Seat
City & State (New York, N.Y.)
A former newspaper editor, who is now the CEO at Korean American Chamber of Commerce of New York, has taken an initial step towards running for Queens Assemblywoman Grace Meng’s seat.
Myungsuk Lee, who for 15 years worked as editor of the Korea Times, has registered a campaign committee to fundraise for a run in the Flushing-based district.The seat is 78 percent Asian-American, and Lee’s strong business credentials and community ties would appear on paper to make him a contender if he goes forward.
Momofuku Restaurant Plans To Introduce Mold & Bacteria To Its Menu
David Chang is a famous Korean-American chef who is known for his trendy restaurant group Momofuku. Now, the celebrity chef and his team have teamed up with Rachel Dutton, a Harvard microbiologist, to develop a one-of-a-kind tasting menu. Chang hopes to find unique strains of bacteria and mold to introduce in his dishes.
FDA bans Korean shellfish from U.S. distribution
The Washington Post
An agency analysis of the Korean shellfish program found unacceptable water pollution levels in shellfish-growing areas and periodic detection of norovirus, a common cause of acute gastroenteritis, or inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
Illustrator finds beauty in Toronto’s back alleys
Globe and Mail (Canada)
[Michael] Cho, well-known in comic-book circles for his off-beat illustrations of superheroes, has spent years drawing the lanes and jumbled backyards around Little Italy for his new book of drawings, Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes. Like the artists who painted the city before him, stretching back to the Group of Seven’s Lawren Harris and Albert Franck, Mr. Cho set out to capture the beauty that’s in the ordinary. It was a highly personal project for him.
Little women of Korean cinema
The Korea Times
The women in these works are of decorative value; they may have onscreen presence and beauty yet strikingly little depth in character. Their lines are cringe-worthy (conveniently lost on most Cannes audience and jury members who will watch with subtitles). Most of all, they are weak, accessories to male co-stars.
One of the oldest stories — beaten to death, really — in Korea’s epicenter of motion pictures Chungmuro, is the supposed lack of leading ladies who are both bankable stars and gifted thespians.
Korean Adoptee Becomes French Deputy Minister
Fleur Pellerin, a Korean orphan who was adopted by a French family when she was six months old, has been appointed deputy minister in charge for small business and the digital economy by France’s new President François Hollande. Hollande announced his 34-member Cabinet on Wednesday afternoon.
Into the Next Stage: Lots of Asian American Regulars Among the New Fall Television Shows
This week, we got the annual “out with the old, in with the new” reports as the television networks announced their new 2012-2013 line-up. Although a few shows featuring Asian American regulars got canceled, a lot more seemed to be green-lighted to series for the fall or as mid-season replacements for the shows that fail.
Edmonds-bred K-Pop star Jay Park’s ‘Fresh Air’ mixtape
Korea-via-Edmonds singer/rapper/dancer Jay Park has a new mixtape out, “Fresh Air: Breathe !t.” Download using the link below. Listen to my pick for the best song above, the slumping Bay Area-inspired rap track “You Know How We Do.”
‘Mrs. Eastwood’: Easy to see why Clint took a liking to her
Chicago Sun Times
Clint Eastwood’s wife Dina is getting her own reality show on E! and apparently has a quirky Korean American housekeeper.
Inside the home the vibe is casual, controlled chaos presided over by the family’s longtime Korean-American housekeeper, Lisa, who’s bursting with spin-off potential. In the pilot, Lisa gets a nose stud, which is funny. And then she pulls it out, which is even funnier.
Choo a quick study in leadoff role
It is still unclear who will be the Indians’ best leadoff option over the long term. For now, though, they seem to have found a temporary solution in Shin-Soo Choo.
Choo — who has also hit third, fourth and sixth in the lineup this season — was hitting .462 (6 of 13) entering Thursday, with two doubles and a home run in three games since moving to the leadoff spot. He had a season-high three hits in Wednesday night’s 9-3 win over the Mariners.
MILLER: Injured vet’s guns stolen by D.C.
After being pulled over, handcuffed, arrested, thrown in jail overnight, [Augustine Kim's] guns were confiscated by the city.
In the end, the platoon leader felt forced to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge, which was later dismissed, but the District still refuses to return to him $10,000 worth of firearms and parts. The national guardsman will deploy to Kosovo this summer. The city should return his property before he leaves to serve our nation overseas for the third time.
Why Facebook Matters to This White Mom Raising a Kid Who’s Not
To help this person understand, I explained that I needed to reach out to other families like mine and to people of color who might have faced similar situations. I needed perspective, and didn’t know if, in fact, my husband I were over-reacting and needed a reality check. I needed to “talk” to those I know and respect and hear what opinions others had.
This was not something that was possible in the smaller community of my son’s school. Yes, it’s fairly diverse, but not enough for the kind of feedback I was looking for. Thus, I went to Facebook. And yes, it helped.