Tag Archives: k-pop

Japanese Hold Second Protest Of Korean TV Programming

Approximately 6,000 Japanese protestors converged outside of Fuji TV headquarters in downtown Tokyo yesterday to rally against Korean television programming, according to news reports.

Sunday’s demonstration marked the second time in a month protestors have demonstrated against Fuji TV. The first protest drew about 2,500 people, according to the Chosun Ilbo.

Waving Japanese flags, the protesters chanted slogans demanding the broadcaster to stop airing Korean programs and carried signs saying “No More Korean Wave” or “No More K-pop” and “Stop Biased Programming.” The protest lasted around four hours.

Fuji TV was targeted for being the most active broadcaster of Korean TV programs and K-pop music and has drawn the ire of right-wing Japanese.

The “Korean Wave,” also known as “Hallyu,” refers to the phenomenon in which South Korean pop culture, including K-pop, TV shows and movies, has spread abroad in recent years, according to Yonhap News.

Japan has been one the countries that has been affected the most, with many dramas and songs becoming very popular with ordinary people. Organizers said that they did not expect such a large turnout, and said they will send a open letter to the management of Fuji TV to stop favoring Korean entertainment content.

The anti-Korean sentiment in Japan has gained steam recently after Japanese actor Sousuke Takaoka told fans on Twitter he vowed to stop watching Fuji TV due to the high number of Korean TV shows. Takaoka was reportedly then dropped by his management company and issued a public apology.


Wonder Girls To Star In U.S. TV Show

K-pop megagroup Wonder Girls have signed a deal to star in their own TV miniseries which will air on the Teen Nick channel next year, according to soompi.com.

The six-episode series will be called “Wonder Girls at the Apollo” and will be produced by Nick Cannon’s production company N’credible. Cannon is married to pop diva Mariah Carey.

Filming is slated for October with a proposed air date sometime in the first three months of 2012, according to a release from the Wonder Girls’ record company JYP Entertainment.

The Wonder Girls’ foray into mainstream American television will be closely watched by industry executives since it marks the first time an Asian music act will star in a U.S. series.

JYP Entertainment is also planning to time the release of the Wonder Girls debut U.S. album with the new T.V. show. It is an all-out media assault for the next few months as the girl-group plans to release a new album in Korea in November, according to allkpop.com.

Teen Nick is owned by media giant Viacom, which also operates MTV Networks.


Thursday's Link Attack: Margaret Cho, Korilla Food Truck, Hank Conger

Jon Gosselin Reacts to ‘Kate Plus 8′ Cancellation
The Hollywood Reporter

Former Jon & Kate Plus 8 star Jon Gosselin is glad TLC pulled the plug on its reality series that starred his children. Retitled Kate Plus 8 after his divorce from Kate Gosselin forced him off the show, the program had just launched new Season 2 episodes when it was axed on Monday.

Margaret Cho: Cho Dependent, Assembly George Square, Edinburgh
The Independent (U.K.)

The British publication gave Margaret Cho’s “Cho Dependent” show three out of five stars.

US comedian Margaret Cho has never minced her words. She once called Sarah Palin “the worst thing to happen to America since 9/11″ and her stance on gay rights has drawn fire from conservatives at home.

Despite her radical credentials, Cho’s second Fringe show (her first was in 2001) isn’t going to offend anyone unless they happen not to be too keen on smut. Rather than expand upon her activism, Cho seems more concerned with how she looked on Dancing with the Stars, the US version of Strictly Come Dancing, where Cho ended up competing against Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol.

During a relaxed set, Cho’s best moments come when she isn’t being base – and when she remembers her ability to make salient points in bona fide punchlines. See her take on the gay rights situation in the US. “How can you deny any gay man the right to bridal registry? It’s inhumane.”

The Great Food Truck Race Season 2 with Korilla BBQ Truck
channel APA

Among the food trucks competing is the Korilla BBQ Truck from New York.

Korilla BBQ, which stands for Korean + Grill, is the brainchild of Columbia University graduate Edward Song. After graduating during the country’s economic downturn, he found himself thinking outside the box — unexpectedly enrolling in cooking school and taking his passion for Korean food to the streets of New York City. His high school friends Stephan Park and Paul Lee have been with the truck since day one, and together they have made Korean food accessible to the masses in a fast and convenient way.

Hank Conger Pays Visit to Boys and Girls Club

Salt Lake Bees catcher Hank Conger made a visit to the Sugarhouse Boys and Girls Club in Salt Lake Wednesday morning. Conger, a Boys and Girls Club member as a child, talked about his road to becoming a professional baseball player and the time he spent in the club growing up in Southern California.

Florida K-Pop Fan Wins New York Contest
Chosun Ilbo

Citing her dream to become the first non-Asian K-pop star, 15-year-old Madison Gunst of Florida impressed judges with her song-and-dance routine to win the first New York K-Pop Contest in the city on Tuesday (local time).

The American teen, who fell in love with the genre four years ago when her friend showed her the music video for “Heartbreaker” by G-Dragon, beat off seven other finalists to claim the prize. They had been whittled down from 93 preliminary entries chosen through video clips online.

San Jose man beaten with baseball bats in Woodland
Sacramento Bee (Calif.)

Woodland police are investigating the baseball bat beating of a San Jose man early this morning.

Officers were called about 2 a.m. to the 1200 block of Alice Street where they found Bong Kim, 43, of San Jose sitting in the passenger seat of his vehicle. Bong, who was bleeding, was transported to the hospital for non life-threatening injuries.

Beaverton restaurants pack big flavor in “Little Korea”
The Oregonian

Local Korean food fans already know that Beaverton is the Oregon destination for seafood pancakes, dumplings and barbecue.

But the amount and variety available might surprise even well-traveled diners. Clustered in a 1.5-square-mile circle around the Beaverton Transit Center are more than 10 restaurants serving Korean fare.

Kim’s hit caps comeback for Bears
Yakima Herald-Republic (Wash.)

Jae Yun Kim seemed surprised Tuesday night when he entered the Bears clubhouse, equipment bag in tow, to rousing cheers and back slaps from his teammates.

He needn’t have been.

Kim’s two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning — a ball stricken with such force it might have left a vapor trail — capped a three-run uprising that pushed Yakima to its sixth victory in seven games, 5-3 over Spokane.

Prosecutors seek life sentence for doctor accused of killing pregnant wife
Yonhap News

Prosecutors sought on Thursday a life sentence for a South Korean doctor accused of murdering his nine-months-pregnant wife during a quarrel.

The 31-year-old doctor, surnamed Baek, was indicted on charges that he suffocated his 29-year-old pregnant wife while the two were fighting over his heavy computer gaming habit in January. Police found the wife lying dead over a bathtub in the couple’s apartment in Seoul.

Korean Olympic skating champ seeks Russian citizenship

Although it would not be an understatement to say that Koreans are perhaps some of the most nationalistic people in the world, they are proving to be surprisingly cool with the idea of losing one of their prized athletes to Russia.

Ahn Hyun-soo, three-time Olympic short-track skating gold medalist is confirmed to be applying for Russian citizenship in order to represent Russia at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Yonhap News reported that Ahn will renounce his Korean citizenship in order to join the Russian Skating Union.

Fight ends Georgetown basketball exhibition in China
Washington Post

What began as a goodwill trip to China for the Georgetown men’s basketball team turned violent Thursday night, when its exhibition game against the Bayi Rockets deteriorated into a melee during which players exchanged blows, chairs were thrown and spectators tossed full water bottles as Hoyas players and coaches headed to the locker room at Olympic Sports Center Stadium.


Wednesday's Link Attack: Ken Jeong, Koreans Sue Apple

Ken Jeong Promotes ‘The Hangover Part II’ in Seoul
Korean Beacon

Ken Jeong, who plays ‘Mr. Chow’ in both Hangover films, arrived in Seoul earlier this week to promote the release of The Hangover Part II in South Korea.

Steven Yeun Speaks Out About Frank Darabont Leaving

Steven Yeun is the first cast member of AMC’s zombie TV show “The Walking Dead” to speak out about the departure of creator Frank Darabont.

Home is where the heart is for new Canadian
Calgary Sun

Jung Yeun Song finally became a full-fledged Canadian Tuesday, a wish her adoptive mom has been longing for, but a decision the Korean immigrant has struggled with for years.

At seven, the 31-year-old woman was separated from her Korean family to face 17 surgeries in a Montreal hospital.

Seoul to bring back women-only subway cars
Los Angeles Times

The South Korean plan aims to combat groping and other sexual crimes against female commuters. Because reaction to the proposal has been mixed, the restricted cars will run only late at night.

Korean-Chinese woman booked for smuggling N. Korean art
Yonhap News

Seoul police said Wednesday that they have booked an ethnic Korean woman from China for allegedly smuggling North Korean paintings into South Korea, selling them to local consumers and sending some of the profits to the North.

The 46-year-old woman, surnamed Kim, was accused of bringing in about 1,300 paintings by some well-known North Korean artists in violation of a law regulating the flow of goods between the two Koreas, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said.

27,000 South Koreans sue Apple over iOS privacy

As expected, Apple has been hit with a class-action lawsuit in South Korea.

About 27,000 South Koreans filed their class-action suit against Apple today, charging the Cupertino, Calif.-based company with privacy violations in its iOS-based devices, the Associated Press is reporting. The plaintiffs are requesting about 27 billion won ($25.3 million) in damages, which translates to about $936 per person.

Gerard Butler Sued: Ex-Workers Claim They’re Owed Overtime Pay

Apparently, Scottish actor Gerard Butler co-owns a Korean restaurant in Hollywood, along with some other notables. Oh yes, his workers are suing him for unpaid wages.

Chocolat Releases Debut Music Video “Syndrome”

Check out the video for the new K-pop girl group which features three biracial Korean Americans.


August Issue: K-pop Star Turned Chef Remakes Southern BBQ

Changing BBQ As We Know It

A K-pop-star-turned-chef brings a special brand of hot, hot, hot ingredients from the homeland to Southern palates.

story by Lola Pak
photographs by Matthew M. Wong

AS WITH PIZZA in New York City, the debate surrounding “authentic” barbecue in the South is as fiery as the wood-burning chambers it smokes in. So, in Atlanta, Ga., it would seem that an attempt to mess with traditional barbecue marinade by adding spicy Korean red pepper paste (gochujang) might not go over very well with some of the locals.

But when chefs Jiyeon Lee and Cody Taylor opened Heirloom Market BBQ last November, Georgians instead displayed Southern hospitality, embracing the restaurant’s unique, Korean-influenced culinary offerings.

Despite its location in a small, unassuming shack next to a liquor store on the outskirts of Atlanta, Heirloom has practically become an overnight success. The first of the restaurant’s 280 average daily customers (500 on weekends) can often be seen queuing up a half-hour before opening and just in time to catch Lee setting up the sidewalk chalkboard with the day’s specials. Reviewers on Yelp have raved about the soft, smoky texture of the gochujang-laden ribs and launched the restaurant to the city’s top-rated eatery for the term barbecue.


That’s a particularly notable accomplishment for Lee, a native of Korea who was a famous Korean pop star during the 1980s and admitted she wasn’t initially a big fan of American barbecue. After she immigrated to the United States in 2001, however, she traded in her microphone for a chef’s knife, trained at the Le Cordon Bleu and worked at some of Atlanta’s finest restaurants. As she settled in the South, she also grew to love American-style ribs.

“I realized that it matched perfectly with galbi, my favorite Korean dish, and it became my favorite type of American food,” said Lee, known among her colleagues as JiJi.

Of course, as much as she enjoyed traditional Southern staples like ribs and brisket, she also realized ingredients from Korean cuisine could enhance the flavors. At Heirloom, ribs are steeped in a gochujang marinade for 24 hours, while dwaenjang soup, made from fermented soy beans, is injected into the menu’s beef brisket. Continue reading

Friday's Link Attack: Charlyne Yi, Clara Chung, Daniel Dae Kim

‘House’ exec: ‘Charlyne Yi is perfect casting’

House creator David Shore has claimed that new cast addition Charlyne Yi is “perfect” for her role.

The Knocked Up actress will appear in the medical drama’s eighth season as a junior doctor who joins House’s diagnostic team.

Yi’s father is Korean and Caucasian, her mother is Filipino.

Q&A with Singer/Songwriter Clara Chung

OA: What does it mean to be Korean American to you? How strongly do you identify with your background?

CC: I’m very much Korean-American. As far as music goes, I haven’t felt any stigma, put downs, or obstacles for being Korean or Asian. I am part of a local community of LA singers and songwriters and I feel really accepted.

Seoul Warns of Latest North Korean Threat: An Army of Online Gaming Hackers
New York Times

The North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has found a novel way of raising badly needed cash, according to the South Korean authorities: unleashing young hackers on South Korea’s immensely popular online gaming sites to find ways to rack up points convertible to cash.

Despite its decrepit economy, North Korea is believed to train an army of computer programmers and hackers. The police in Seoul said Thursday that four South Koreans and a Korean-Chinese had been arrested on charges of drawing on that army to organize a hacking squad of 30 young video gaming experts.

Hyun-a’s Latest Music Video Too Racy for TV Censors
Chosun Ilbo

The sexy dance moves of 19-year-old Hyun-a, one of the members of girl band 4minute, has caused Korea’s TV watchdog to place a partial ban on screenings of the pop video for her latest song, “Bubble Pop.”

Top 5 Korean Diet Trends

Even though the largest sizes at most clothing stores in Seoul seem to run equivalent to a U.S. size zero, Seoulites are constantly on the lookout for the newest-fangled ways to shed kilos and get that perfect body.

Bridgewater [N.J.] crash victim dies; other driver facing careless driving, drug charges

A man involved in a serious car accident on July 29 died due to his injuries Thursday, when police also announced that the other driver in the incident is facing three drug charges and a charge of careless driving.

Byung S. Kim, 37, of South Korea succumbed to severe head trauma he suffered during the accident, according to police officer Allen Mele of the Bridgewater Police Department’s Traffic Safety Bureau. The other driver, 18-year-old Alexandra Gerraputa of Massapequa, N.Y., is facing charges of possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of narcotics in a motor vehicle, possession of drug paraphernalia and careless driving, Mele said.

Students get to be Korean for a day
JoongAng Daily

Kim Bong-gon, 44, brought his best manners to Sungkyunkwan University last week, when he led a workshop on traditional Korean etiquette for a group of students from overseas who were in Korea to attend an international, student-organized forum.

Kim is a renowned etiquette instructor who has just made a new film that he hopes will help further his mission of introducing students, both Korean and foreign, to traditional Korean culture. The students at the forum were among the first to see the film, which Kim will also present overseas in the fall.

Unwanted Missiles for a Korean Island [OPINION]
New York Times

Gangjeong, a small fishing and farming village on Jeju Island 50 miles south of the Korean peninsula, is a pristine Unesco-designated ecological reserve where elderly Korean women sea divers, haenyo, still forage for seafood. It is also the site of a fierce resistance movement by villagers who oppose the construction of a South Korean naval base on the island that will become part of the U.S. missile defense system to contain China.

Daniel Dae Kim in ‘Arena’ Trailer


2NE1 Tops Charts With Latest Single 'Ugly'

by Colin Takahashi

It’s looking ugly … that is, for many other K-pop groups.

With the release of their new single, “Ugly,” 2NE1 has topped charts and dominated the music scene once again.

With over 20 new groups debuting in the past year, 2NE1 has definitely had to pull out all of the stops with their latest set of promotions. In order to grab viewers’ attention, the single “Hate You” was released as the first ever animated music video in the K-pop scene.

Their latest single “Ugly,” released last week, has managed to log well over two million views in a matter of just one day. There is no question about 2NE1′s ever-growing popularity, but how do they continue to make it possible?

“Ugly,” much like “I Am the Best,” highlights the artists’ ability to stray away from the generic pop music by sporting original looks that have yet to hit Korea.

“As a female, it’s important to defend our feminism,” group member CL told First Look magazine. “However of course I want to convey the message about how females are not always weak and small beings.”

The hard-rocker image in the video, portrayed through clothing designed by Jeremy Scott, is one way that 2NE1 manages to do this.

2NE1′s latest EP “2nd Mini Album” has been doing quite well on the Korean pop charts as well as iTunes and is currently ranked 4th on Billboard’s World Album chart.

Topping music charts. Setting trends. Releasing award-winning tracks. Is there anything that 2NE1 can’t do?

Check out the video after the jump: Continue reading

Thursday's Link Attack: NK Hackers, K-Pop Hits Europe

North Korean hackers hired to attack South Korea game network

More than 30 North Korean hackers were hired to work in China by a South Korean crime ring to steal the personal data of South Korean gamers, and channeled $5 million to their impoverished country in compensation, South Korea’s police said on Thursday.

Wanted: Telegenic Aid Workers
The Wall Street Journal (blog)

You know a craze is out of control when the government starts joining in.

South Korea’s obsession with reality shows has clearly struck a chord with policymakers, who are planning to select around 80-90 international aid workers through a televised audition.

Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan broke the news via Twitter in June and the MBS TV network said recently it’ll air 8 episodes of “KOICA’s Hope” from mid-September. KOICA refers to Korea International Cooperation Agency, which implements and monitors Korea’s overseas assistance programs.

Korean Wave starts lapping on Europe’s shores
AFP via Google News

South Korea’s pop music industry is eyeing Europe after taking East Asia by storm, with promoters using the power of the Internet to lure distant fans.

K-pop over the past decade has established a devoted fan base in China, Japan and Southeast Asia, with heartthrobs like Rain and boy bands like TVXQ packing out concerts and topping charts.

Music industry executives were surprised by the positive response to two sold-out concerts held in Paris last June.

“The response from European fans totally stunned us,” said Kim Young-Min, CEO of SM Entertainment. “Now we feel more confident that we can take a plunge in the European market, albeit step by step.”

Sacramento murder trial defendants linked to shanks in jail cake
Sacramento Bee

A cartoonlike plot to pass weapons around the downtown jail in a yellow cake with chocolate frosting came to light Tuesday in a pretrial hearing for two brothers accused of carrying out a fatal hit on a state prison officer.

Chong Vue had the cake in his cell and asked a sheriff’s deputy to take it to his younger brother, Gary, in another section of the jail, according to testimony at a security hearing before their upcoming murder trial.

Premier League’s newest Korean scores first goal
The Korea Times

The Premier League’s newest Korean Ji Dong-won scored his first goal for the club Wednesday in Sunderland’s 3-0 win in a pre-season friendly with Darlington.

With his first strike since signing with Sunderland on June 30, the 20-year-old raised hopes to be named as a starter in the season opener against Liverpool on Aug. 13.

Your new caffeine fix: Cookies
Los Angeles Times (blog)

It might be painful, but just for a second, imagine skipping your morning coffee. Gasp! For some, having that morning cup of coffee is not only a ritual, it’s a godsend. And when time is short, sometimes adding a bite to eat is out of the question.

Esther Kang, the owner of Batch from Scratch, a Los Angeles-based bakery offering gourmet sweets, is hoping you’ll turn to them for your all-in-one morning fix. Her online bakeshop features two new caffeinated cookies meant to give you a sugary treat and your morning coffee kick: the cardamom caramel macchiato cookie and the Mayan chocolate inferno cookie.

N.Korea Picks New U.S. Partner for Mt. Kumgang Tourism
Chosun Ilbo

A Korean-American businessman claims he has signed a deal with North Korea to operate tours to the scenic Mt. Kumgang resort. South Korea’s Hyundai Asan previously operated the tours there until they were halted in the wake of the fatal shooting of a South Korean tourist at the resort.

Koreans seek honors for fireman killed saving cat
AFP via Google News

A fireman who died while trying to rescue a cat has sparked an outpouring of sympathy among South Koreans, with many demanding he should be laid to rest in the national cemetery.