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3 South Korean Companies on Forbes’ List of the World’s Most Valuable Brands

by REERA YOO

Three South Korean companies made the cut this year on Forbes’ annual list, “The World’s Most Valuable Brands.”

Among the 100 brands listed, Samsung was ranked at No. 8 while its rival Apple topped the list. The other two South Korean companies that made the cut were auto manufacturers Hyundai and Kia Motors, placing No. 71 and No. 80 respectively.

Despite Samsung’s plunge in smartphone sales this year, its brand value saw a 19 percent increase from 2013 and is now valued at $35 billion. The tech giant even bumped one spot ahead of its ranking in Forbes’ 2013 list. Apple, brand valued at $124.2 billion, also experienced a 19 percent increase over the past year.

Hyundai and Kia also made leaps on Forbes’ chart. While Hyundai rose 10 spots from its previous rank with a brand value of $7.8 billion, Kia made the Top 100 for the first time with a brand value of $6.9 billion.

Following Apple, the top five most valuable brands were Microsoft, Google, Coca-Cola and IBM.  You can view the full list here.

Photo courtesy of Tech Trends Diary.

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Kia Scores LeBron James as Brand Ambassador

NBA all-star LeBron James will join South Korean automaker Kia Motors as the brand ambassador for its new luxury sedan, the K900. His endorsement deal with Kia comes after he posted a photo of the company’s flagship model on his Instagram account in August with a message that read, “Rolling around in my K900. Love this car!”

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“They’re also the title sponsor of the NBA and they did a lot of great promoting as far as the game,” James said before taking the court for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ preseason game against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, according to ESPN. “And me being one of the top guys in our league, to try to promote the game, I thought it was fitting.”

K900, Kia’s premium sedan, was released for the first time in the U.S. last January.

James is joining an already impressive list of athletes promoting Kia, including his NBA colleague Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, tennis star Rafael Nadal and professional golfer Michelle Wie.

“As fans of the game of basketball, we were honored to learn that one of today’s most influential athletes and tastemakers recognized something different was going on at Kia and wanted to check out our flagship sedan,” Kia Motors America’s marketing communications vice president Tim Chaney said in a press release.

Tuesday's Link Attack: Roy Choi, 2NE1, Samsung

Street Food Guru Roy Choi on Sunny Spot, Food Trucks, Kogi & More
The Daily Beast

Food-truck godfather Roy Choi, the man behind the craze that’s swept the country, tells Jace Lacob about his new Caribbean roadside eatery Sunny Spot—and how embracing street food and putting aside our Western concepts of dining can save society.

2NE1 performs for 2,000 fans at New York’s Times Square
allkpop

2NE1 has stolen the hearts of 2,000 American fans with their live performance at Times Square in New York. The girls were recently deemed as the ‘2011 Best New Band in the World‘, and so to celebrate, they held a concert at the MTV studio downtown.

Broadcast and streamed to fans worldwide, 2NE1 was ecstatically welcomed by thousands of New York fans.

LAPD probes racist graffiti at Korean church fire scene
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles police Monday night were investigating racist scrawls left with a marker and baby powder at a Korean church where a small fire broke out earlier in the day.

Officers initially responded to a possible burglary call at the Valley Korean Central Presbyterian Church in North Hills and found a toaster oven on fire in one of the buildings on the property, a law enforcement source told The Times.

Racial epithets were scrawled with a marker pen on the walls and written with baby powder on the floor of the building, according to the source, who asked not to be named because the investigation is ongoing.

Party Crasher! Hyundai is headed upmarket
Los Angeles Times

But now Korean automaker Hyundai seems set to crash the luxury party. Hyundai’s first full-size luxury sedan, the Genesis, was released stateside in 2008. The company followed up with the overtly opulent and even larger Equus model two years later. Even Hyundai’s corporate cousin, Kia (Hyundai has part-owned Kia since 1998) is getting in on the act. Kia’s unveiling of its Maserati-esque GT Concept coupe at last month’s L.A. Auto Show is a fairly obvious signal that it, too, harbors upscale ambitions.

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S.Koreans go mass-market, online for luxury goods
Reuters

Sixty years ago, war-torn South Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. Now it is the world’s 13th largest economy and a magnet for luxury goods, prying open the wallets of its wealthy people as well as tourists.

Pierpont Inn owner files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
Ventura County Star

The owner of the Ventura Pierpont Inn has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection a year after signs of trouble emerged at the historic property.

Millions of dollars in debt, Grace S. Ahn filed for bankruptcy protection Nov. 25. Ahn is the trustee of The Ahn Family Trust, which bought the inn and spa in spring 2009.

Appeals panel hears new science about arsons that could free man
Fire Engineering

On Monday, a federal appeals court wrestled with Lee’s case – specifically, whether he should be given a new hearing to present evidence about the changed understanding of how fires burn, and whether he should be freed outright.

Defense attorney Peter Goldberger argued that Lee had been convicted only because of the testimony of fire investigators in Monroe County, and that their findings would not hold up today.

22-year-old becomes youngest mayor in O.C., probably the state
Los Angeles Times

Jeremy Yamaguchi still lives at home, is active in the Boy Scouts and voted for the very first time just a few years ago.

He’s also -– at the ripe age of 22 -– the youngest mayor in Orange County, and perhaps the state, the Orange County Register is reporting.

Yamaguchi was named mayor of Placentia last week, the youngest person to hold the post in the city’s 85-year history. He was elected to the council when he was 19, serving alongside council members who’d known him since he was in grade school. He was the top vote-getter in that election.

The Cal State Fullerton senior is set to take finals this week, the LA Times reported.

The Korean girlfriend gift guide
CNNGo

Visiting Supernormal, Cheongdam-dong boutique located right off the main “luxury street” is like entering a young, very rich, very stylish celebrity’s walk-in closet.

Fashionably daring Korean celebs such as 2NE1, Choi Ji-woo and Lee Hyori frequent the relatively small store to stock up on the latest in interesting fashion, while Japanese travelers also descend in small groups on the weekends.

Since anything in the shop has already been through extremely fashion-conscious screening, we consulted the Supernormal experts about putting together a fabulous girlfriend gift guide. Here are 10 unique gifts for the impossible-to-please, impeccably stylish ladies out there.

Samsung Was the Talk of Seoul, More than Usual, After Dealing With Hyundai
Wall Street Journal

Samsung has been the talk of the town on Tuesday for two reasons: the decision announced Monday to sell a big stake in an important affiliate to a Hyundai (yes Hyundai!) company and the list released Tuesday of annual promotions throughout the 60-plus Samsung companies.

As South Korea’s largest business group, Samsung is always the subject of a lot of attention, of course. But Tuesday’s chatter was particularly huge.

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Friday's Link Attack: Pyongyang University, John Cho, Sung Kim


The Man With the Golden Shoes (Photo)
WSJ

Young Jun wears a vintage leopard jacket over Givenchy’s snarling Rottweiler t-shirt. New Yorkers seem particularly fond of the image’s “step back” message; Rottweiler tees are prowling the streets. Both Young Jun’s baggy pants and his golden wingtip shoes are by Comme des Garçons. The bag slung over his shoulder is made by the Korean design duo, Steve J & Yoni P.

New university is opening doors in North Korea
Houston Chronicle

The meeting was recently held in the new Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST). What I came to learn was that the very existence of this institution represents nothing short of a miracle and a unique opportunity for change.

The brainchild of James Kim, a Korean-American businessman who survived imprisonment and a death sentence in Pyongyang in 1998, the university is a place where hundreds of North Korean students are receiving a first-class education taught in English by a multinational, primarily Western faculty. The students who live and study here are among their nation’s brightest and best, and most importantly, represent the leaders of tomorrow.

In South Korea, Plastic Surgery Comes Out of the Closet
New York Times

Cosmetic surgery has long been widespread in South Korea. But until recently, it was something to keep quiet about. No longer.

And as society has become more open about the practice, surgeries have become increasingly extreme. Double-jaw surgery — which was originally developed to repair facial deformities, and involves cutting and rearranging the upper and lower jaws — has become a favorite procedure for South Korean women who are no longer satisfied with mere nose jobs or with paring down cheekbones to achieve a smoother facial line.

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas: Film Review
The Hollywood Reporter

Nothing has changed. After being waylaid by the lame Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay in 2008, Harold and Kumar, looking well past 30 — the actors always played much younger than they were — return for another nocturnal ramble that will increasingly move into surreal fantasy. But the situation, for all the 3D claptrap, remains essentially the same: Two reasonably authentic characters tumble into a Wonderland of sheer nonsense.


To Anyone: The Rise of Korean Wave
Pitchfork

South Korean pop culture (often referred to as “Hallyu”, which means “Korean Wave”) is a fresh-faced phenomenon. The record companies that currently dominate the country’s music industry date back only to 1995, which means that K-Pop, as a genre and a business, is probably younger than you are. It certainly sounds young– even if you ignore the fact that most K-Pop groups are made up of teenagers, there’s a wild, enthusiastic spirit evident in the way their producers gobble up and spit out sounds like Britney/Gaga Eurotrance, Auto-Tune, rapid-fire rap, swooning Final Fantasy strings, breakbeats, and industrial-strength synths. This music can be flat, derivative, and sometimes really, really annoying. It can also deliver the kind of senses-shattering, hands-in-the-air euphoria that’s a defining marker of great pop.

Blunted in the Walk-In: Eddie and Prodigy Eat Korean at Jung Sik
Complex

Jung Sik wants to be the “first high-end, thoroughly modern Korean restaurant in New York.” If “modern” means a Korean Francophile’s expensive and long-winded tasting menu, then they’re undoubtedly modern in every sense of the word. But if modern means something more like Roy Choi, who serves a modern, personal, Korean-American story through $2 tacos, then NY is still waiting for its first thoroughly modern Korean restaurant or, better yet, a Kogi Truck on dub-deuces. Cause if I had a food truck, it’d be sittin’ on 22-inch Daytons with Uncle Murda yelling “Ohhh, I’m gettin’ paper.”

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The True Origins of Pizza: Irony, the Internet and East Asian Nationalisms
Japan Focus

On September 30, 2011, an outfit named GumshoePictures uploaded on YouTube a video entitled “The True Origins of Pizza,” which, in the format of a brief documentary (3:44), reminiscent of those seen on such stations as the Discovery Channel, investigates an apparent historical puzzle: a series of speakers, from academics to a blogger and a representative of the “Korean Culinary Center,” are interviewed and advance evidence that pizza originated in Korea and had been “stolen” by Marco Polo, much as he had reputedly brought back noodles from China to Italy as spaghetti.

The co-star of Harold & Kumar comes clean about his addiction to Angry Birds and his epiphany after reading The New York Times in print.
AdWeek

Give us the skinny on your favorite app.
My favorite app right now is Angry Birds. It’s like a disease. And Netflix, although it’s weird in terms of what’s available lately. I think iBooks is insanely convenient.

What’s your biggest digital indulgence?
An iPad is not particularly necessary, but I got one. But it hasn’t taken over my life.

Look how far South Korea has come
The Globe and Mail

The Kia Optima may be the winning car of this group, but overall at this year’s TestFest, the South Korean currency was the big winner. Every category in which a South Korean product was entered, a South Korean car scored a victory, with one exception: the Hyundai Genesis R-Spec, which was optimistically entered into the Performance Above $50,000 group of track stars, instead of the Luxury car group, where it more naturally fit.

Jung Gon Kim charged with sexually abusing boys
ABC 7

An Ellicott City barber is facing charges that he sexually abused a 13-year-old boy.

Police charged the barber, Jung Gon Kim, 54, with sexual abuse of a minor, second- and third degree sex offense, sodomy and second degree assault.

The victim was a client of the Scissors Sound Hair Salon in Ellicott City.

Sung Kim sworn in as U.S. ambassador to S. Korea
Yonhap News Agency

“The new ambassador, Sung Kim, is expected to go to Seoul around Nov. 10 and he will immediately present credentials (to President Lee Myung-bak) to begin his work,” the source said, requesting anonymity since the State Department has yet to announce a related schedule.

Kim, a career diplomat with expertise on the North Korean nuclear issue, will become the first Korean-born U.S. ambassador to Korea since the two sides forged diplomatic relations 129 years ago.

Kim Jong-il reveals fondness for dolphins and fancy dogs
The Telegraph

North Korea’s ailing leader Kim Jong-il has long been known to have a taste for the finer things in life – from Uzbek Caviar to fine French Cognac – but a new list of luxury imports now also reveals a penchant for Chinese dolphins, French poodles, and African aphrodisiacs.

박재범 Jay Park ‘Girlfriend’ [Official Music Video]
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Wednesday's Link Attack: Kim Jong-un, World Cup, Wonder Girls

Kim Jong-un ‘Masterminded Attacks on S.Korea’
Chosun Ilbo

A North Korean document supports the conclusion that North Korea attacked the Navy corvette Cheonan and Yeonpyeong Island last year to whip up domestic support for the succession of leader Kim Jong-il’s son, Jong-un.

The document, which the Chosun Ilbo obtained from a source in China on Tuesday, claims that Kim junior was deeply involved in both attacks. Titled “Lecture Materials,” the document was apparently drawn up for military propaganda officers early this year.

Hollywood Blockbuster About DMZ in Pipeline
Chosun Ilbo

A multi-million-dollar blockbuster is being produced featuring Seoul and the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas. The Seoul city government said on Monday that CJ Entertainment and Di Bonaventura Pictures have agreed to work jointly on a science fiction movie called “DMZ Project” and are now in the second stage of writing the scenario for the flick.

Korean Author Debuts in English With Popular Novel
AP via ABC News

Here’s an article about Korean novelist Kyung-Sook Shin, whose book Please Look After Mom is the first Korean novel to make the New York Times bestseller list.

On a recent day in New York, Shin discussed, through her translator, the popularity of the novel and its universal themes of mother and child, and the gradual realization that all our moms actually have a life outside the family and are women with thoughts and desires.

N. Korea Kim’s sister ‘treated in Russia’
AFP via Google News

The influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il is believed to have received medical treatment in Russia after disappearing from public view for two months, according to a report.

Kim Kyong-Hui, a key influence on the communist leader’s youngest son and heir apparent Kim Jong-Un, was spotted by South Korean tourists at Moscow airport early last month walking with a stoop, the Yonhap news agency reported.


Let us be the first to welcome our new Korean overlords
Jalopnik

Automobile blog Jalopnik discusses Korea’s rapidly-growing presence in the U.S. car market.

Through the first seven months of 2011, Hyundai and Kia have sold more vehicles to Americans than all European automakers combined, and are growing faster than any other automaker. Here’s how South Korea’s automakers have the rest of the world on the run.

Korea Face Rocky Road to World Cup Finals
Chosun Ilbo

The road to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is going to be tougher for the Korean national soccer team as changes to the group-stage format mean it must either overcome several strong opponents from the Middle East or square off against Australia or Japan in the early group matches.

The legend that is Lee
ESPN.com

Here is a long profile on Lee Young-pyo, the recently retired South Korean soccer superstar.

Now 34, Lee was still a student in 1999 when he was first called to the South Korean national team to face Mexico at the Olympic Stadium, just across the Han River, still swollen from the previous week when the worst rain for a century caused chaos in the capital. It was the first of 127 appearances that spanned 12 years and three World Cups and, he says, one of his proudest moments. As you can imagine in a career that also included stints with PSV Eindhoven, Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Dortmund there are others.

Chino Hills woman dies in freeway crash
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Calif.)

A 43-year-old Chino Hills woman died Sunday after the vehicle she was traveling in crossed an open center divider for unknown reasons on the northbound 15 Freeway and was struck by another vehicle headed south.

Paramedics pronounced Jae Hyun Cho dead at the scene on the freeway about six miles north of Mountain Pass (Baily Road) and 14 miles from Primm, Nev., after the 9:50 a.m. crash, according to a San Bernardino County coroner’s news release. Cho’s husband, Danny Cho. drove the 2005 Toyota 4-runner where she was the front passenger.

The library where you can borrow a person
CNNGo

Inspired by a quirky idea that started out in 2000 in Denmark at the Roskilde Festival, a group of young people have organized Singapore’s first Human Library.

The ‘books’ include an alternative healing practitioner, members of the Singapore Contemporary Young Artists, a member of the Singapore Association for the Deaf, a poet, parkour enthusiasts, as well as a rural development social worker.

Wonder Girls Cover B.O.B. and Bruno Mars
Billboard.com

Thousands and thousands and thousands of you came to Billboard.com in recent weeks to vote on which song Korean pop sensations Wonder Girls should play for their Mashup Monday cover. It was close, but B.o.B and Bruno Mars’ hip-hop/R&B-tinged “Nothin’ On You” won with 47% of the vote, narrowly beating out poppy Miley Cyrus’ “Party In The U.S.A.” which got 43%.


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