A set of photos released by North Korea’s state-run media shows Kim Jong-un touring a camp for children, who are so moved by the leader’s visit they are emotionally overcome.
Kim reportedly visited Myohyangsan Children’s Camp in North Phyongan Province with his wife, Ri Sol-ju, last Sunday, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
Construction of the camp, the KCNA reported, fulfilled the “lifelong desire of the great Generalissimos Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il who did everything for the children as their tender-hearted father all their lives.” Continue Reading »
North Korea says Korean-American sentenced to labor had smuggled in anti-Pyongyang literature
North Korea delivered its most in-depth account yet of the case against a Korean-American sentenced to 15 years’ hard labor, accusing him late Thursday of smuggling in inflammatory literature and trying to establish a base for anti-Pyongyang activities at a border city hotel.
Still, the long list of allegations included no statement from Kenneth Bae, other than claims that he confessed and didn’t want an attorney present during his sentencing last week for what Pyongyang called hostile acts against the state.
Since the sentencing came during a period of tentative diplomatic moves following weeks of high tension and North Korean threats of nuclear and missile strikes on Washington and Seoul, outside analysts have said Pyongyang may be using Bae as bait to win diplomatic concessions in the standoff over its nuclear weapons program. North Korea repeated its denial of such speculation in the new statement, but the pattern has occurred repeatedly.
Disgraced spokesman leaves blemish on Park’s U.S. visit
President Park Geun-hye’s first official visit to the United States ended in one of the worst ways possible Friday with her spokesman being fired amid allegations that he had sexually assaulted a woman during the trip.
The allegations sparked public outrage in South Korea and dealt a serious blow to Park just as she was beginning to regain public confidence through her handling of tensions with North Korea and what appeared to be a successful five-day visit to the U.S.
“(He) completely poured cold water over the accomplishments of the U.S. visit,” said one presidential official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “It’s causing an extreme burden to state affairs.”
Dennis Rodman says heading back to N.Korea
AFP via Google News
Basketball hall-of-famer Dennis Rodman said he plans a second trip to North Korea to try to use his budding friendship with leader Kim Jong-Un to free a jailed American, in an interview aired Friday.
The flamboyant basketball legend, approached by celebrity news website TMZ as he walked on a Los Angeles street Thursday, said he would return to North Korea on August 1 on a mission to release jailed tour organizer Kenneth Bae.
“I’ll be back over there. I’m going to try to get the guy out,” the heavily tattooed Rodman said in between waving to well-wishers.
Woman pleads guilty to hitting and killing teen
AP via San Francisco Chronicle
An associate professor at the University of Montana has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge filed after her car veered onto a sidewalk and struck and killed an 18-year-old Missoula man.
Yoon Hee Cho, 38, pleaded guilty Thursday in Municipal Court to careless driving resulting in death and to driving on a sidewalk.
The plea agreement calls for Cho to spend 30 days on house arrest and pay $5,000 into the Chance Geery Memorial Fund in lieu of a fine.
Cho was charged in the death of Geery, who was struck on April 1 as he was walking and holding hands with his girlfriend.
Palisades Park man linked to ID and credit card fraud ring to be deported to South Korea
Bergen County Record (N.J.)
A Palisades Park man involved in a massive identity theft and credit card fraud ring was transferred Thursday to immigration officials for deportation to South Korea after a federal judge determined that the 31 months he has already spent in jail would satisfy his sentence.
Osung Kwon, 37, pleaded guilty in 2012 to using a social security card and counterfeit driver’s license he obtained through a borough-based black market enterprise to defraud banks and credit card companies of almost $400,000. He has been in prison since he was arrested in September, 2010.
Speaking through a translator, Kwon, who was wearing shackles and a green prison jumpsuit, apologized to U.S. District Judge Katharine Hayden and pleaded for a lenient sentence.
Witnesses tried to save 4-year-old after he was struck by Jeep
First he heard a thud. Then screams. Then Jim Sugent saw a 4-year-old boy lying in the middle of Stevenson Avenue in Alexandria.
Police say the child, who was identified Friday as Jacob Choi, had run into oncoming traffic May 4 and was struck and killed by the driver of a 2010 Jeep Commander. The driver, who is 84, has not been identified by police. He has not been charged in the accident, which remains under investigation, police said.
Jacob’s mother, whose name and address were not released, ran into traffic after her son and also sustained injuries, but they were not serious, police said.
Star Trek’s John Cho a boldly going actor worth shouting about
“I get called Harold the most,” Cho says. “I think maybe Harold & Kumar fans don’t know my name and Star Trek fans do know my name … Harold fans are vocal!”
And of course there’s Star Trek, now two films into the franchise with Star Trek Into Darknessset to boldly go to theatres galaxywide on May 17. Cho plays Enterprise helmsman Hikaru Sulu in the prequel reboot series, the promotion of which has brought him to Toronto. (His introduction at a Monday night screening of Into Darkness included reference to him as “the MILF guy.”)
This makes three hit franchises that Cho has been active in so far, and he’s just entered his 40s. He’s also busy with TV series, most notably the sci-fi drama FlashForward and the recent sitcom Go On, and his early career in the 1990s included much stage work, as a member of East West Players, an Asian-American theatre company in L.A.
Tokimonsta Live at KCRW on Morning Becomes Eclectic 05.09.13
LA native Tokimonsta has a unique take on electronic dance music and is notably the first female to join the groundbreaking Brainfeeder crew, led by Flying Lotus. We’re treated to one of her energetic live performances on Morning Becomes Eclectic at 11:15am.
Choo staying calm in contract year
When new Reds center fielder Shin-Soo Choo arrived in Cincinnati at the start of the regular season, a book was waiting for him at Great American Ballpark. The text was written in Korean, Choo’s native language. A fan had sent it, he said.
It wasn’t a baseball book. It was about the games we play between our ears. Choo read about keeping a narrow focus, about thinking “simple things,” about accepting that he can’t please everyone.
“When you stop, you see everything,” Choo told me recently, in the cramped visitors’ clubhouse at Wrigley Field. “I really want to explain it to you, but it’s hard to say. I’ve already read it three times.”
Mets could go after Cincinnati Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo in offseason
New York Daily News
Almost anything would be an upgrade for the Mets, considering that the state of their outfield is as bad as predicted — even if reserve Mike Baxter has a knack for the big moment, as he showed again Thursday night.
Who’s better: Henderson or Aldo?
ESPN Insider (subscription req’d)
Lightweight champion Benson Henderson and featherweight champ Jose Aldo are two of the most popular fighters in mixed martial arts.
In their most recent fights, Aldo dispatched Frankie Edgar by unanimous decision in February at UFC 156, and Henderson beat Gilbert Melendez in a split-decision victory in April during UFC on Fox 7.
Although the two fight in different weight classes, Aldo has hinted at a jump in competition. Should Aldo beat top contender Anthony Pettis at UFC 163 in August, there’s a real chance these two champs could soon meet in the Octagon.
Mom’s Cooking Comes Between a Husband and Wife
The New York Times
Sometime KoreAm contributor Sung J. Woo writes a Mother’s Day piece for the New York Times.
My mother and I don’t fight often nowadays, because I’m 41 and she’s 72 and we lead separate lives. I see her once every two weeks. She makes me lunch, we shop at Costco, she makes me dinner, then she sends me off with grocery bags full of her cooking.
We’ve been on this schedule for the last eight years, since my father passed away. But on this evening, near the end of my visit to her senior apartment, I could tell we were going to argue.
“Just take it,” she said.
“It’s just one more.” There was an edge to her voice. “Why are you being difficult?”
Have American Parents Got It All Backwards?
This is a guest column by Korean American professor, Christine Gross-Loh, author of Parenting Without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us.
The parent I used to be and the parent I am now both have the same goal: to raise self-reliant, self-assured, successful children. But 12 years of parenting, over five years of living on and off in Japan, two years of research, investigative trips to Europe and Asia and dozens of interviews with psychologists, child development experts, sociologists, educators, administrators and parents in Japan, Korea, China, Finland, Germany, Sweden, France, Spain, Brazil and elsewhere have taught me that though parents around the world have the same goals, American parents like me (despite our very best intentions) have gotten it all backwards.
We need to let 3-year-olds climb trees and 5-year-olds use knives.
N. Korea’s leader not seen in public for 2 weeks
North Korea’s young leader Kim Jong-un has not been seen in public over the past two weeks, setting off speculation that he might be tempted to tone down fiery threats of provocations, according to sources and an analyst on Sunday.
Kim’s absence from the public eye, judged by the North’s choreographed media reports, was not unusual, but this month’s disappearance from public view comes amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula as Pyongyang is expected to launch a mid-range ballistic missile.
North Korea: All cranked up and nowhere to go
WITH each day, North Korean bluster reaches new heights. After the UN tightened sanctions following North Korea’s nuclear test, its third, in February, the regime threatened the United States with nuclear destruction and declared a new “state of war” with South Korea. Now it has advised foreigners in South Korea to leave before the coming “thermonuclear war” (foreign-embassy staff in the North’s capital, Pyongyang, were also told to consider leaving). And signs are growing that medium-range Musudan missiles might be loosed from a launch site on the eastern seaboard, aimed presumably to fall somewhere into the Pacific Ocean.
Austin Professor Thinks We Should Bomb North Korea Right Now
New York Magazine
When North Korea announced that its missiles were now trained on specific U.S. cities a couple weeks, many were surprised to see Austin, Texas on the target list alongside Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Kim Jong-un’s reasons for wanting to destroy the Texas capital aren’t entirely clear — the Samsung plant and provocative hipster population have both been floated as possibilities — but, either way, University of Texas professor Jeremi Suri isn’t taking any chances. In a New York Times op-ed titled “Bomb North Korea, Before It’s Too Late,” Suri, who teaches history and public affairs in Austin, argued for a pre-emptive strike:
The Korean crisis has now become a strategic threat to America’s core national interests. The best option is to destroy the North Korean missile on the ground before it is launched. The United States should use a precise airstrike to render the missile and its mobile launcher inoperable.
Q&A: So, North Korean defector Joo-il Kim, what was life like for you at home?
The Independent spoke to Joo-il Kim, a North Korean defector who now lives in New Malden, Surrey, about his life and the current political stand-off in Korea. His story of what led to him escaping is one of shocking sadness, but since coming to the UK – where he is working on a newspaper to smuggle into the country – he has been able to lead a much happier life.
Q: What made you decide to leave your family and risk your life by defecting in 2005?
A: “Due to economic hardships in the late 1990s and early 2000s, people were dying of starvation – not only civilians but army soldiers. Those who didn’t want to die of hunger would try to escape from the army. Ordinary people in North Korea are not allowed to travel around the country. But as a captain in the military, I had the privilege to travel around – to try and find the people who had escaped.
Three arrested for transporting meth
Mohave Valley Daily News (Ariz.)
Three men are in jail after authorities discovered drugs during a routine traffic stop and more drugs after a closer inspection of their vehicle.
According to reports from the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, deputies spotted a black Mercedes traveling about 85 mph in a posted 75 mph zone on eastbound Interstate 40. Around 8:30 a.m. Friday, deputies stopped the Mercedes on I-40 at milepost 44, near the Shinarump Drive exit. They identified the driver as Sung Il Park, of Los Angeles, with two passengers, Seo Joon Lee, 37, of Marina Del Rey, Calif., and Myunsoo Choi, 30, of Bellevue, Wash. During the traffic stop, deputies reportedly noticed an odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle. A cursory search reveled numerous plastic pull containers containing marijuana and five small plastic bags containing a white style substance, which field-tested positive for methamphetamine, as well as a glass pipe with residue.
Man gets six months as part of Cle Elum motel money laundering scheme
Yakima Herald (Wash.)
An Auburn man was sentenced in U.S. District Court Friday to six months in prison for conspiring to launder money as part of a plot involving the purchase of a Cle Elum motel, according to a news release from the IRS. According to court documents, Joseph Kil and two others conspired to steal $360,000 from two victims for the purported purpose of buying of a Cle Elum motel.
Kil and accomplice Chun Choi, of Bellevue, pleaded guilty to conspiring to engage in money laundering Jan. 23, according to the IRS news release. Choi’s sentencing is set for May 10 in Tacoma.
A third man associated with the scheme, Chang Young Kim, was sentenced to six years in prison March 8 for the same charge and unrelated charges involving sex trafficking, bribery and tax evasion.
Shocking facts on suicide rates among Asian Americans
The Daily Campus (Univ. of Connecticut)
Doctor Eliza Noh provided shocking statistics concerning suicides committed by Asian Americans in the past three decades and the effects of the “model minority myth” during a lecture at Laurel Hall Friday afternoon.
Local DJ Ronnie Kwon dead of brain aneurysm
The Republican (Mass.)
Ronnie Kwon, a well-known DJ and music entrepreneur, passed away of a brain aneurysm Thursday night, according to his family. He was 38.
Kwon, who also owned Dynamite Records in Northampton from the late 1990s until it closed in 2009, was a popular DJ, who spun music at venues such as Bishop’s Lounge. A New York native, he recently had moved back to the city.
Kickstarter Helps D.C. Startup Raise Over $119,000 In 5 Weeks
WUSA 9 (Washington, D.C.)
One of those projects makes its home in the District. Ricky Choi and Phil Moldavski launched a Kickstarter campaign for their company, Nice Laundry, five weeks ago. By the time the funding project closed at 6:00am, Monday morning, it raised $119,321 from 2,004 backers, well above the original fundraising goal of $30,000.
Choi makes the case for his company this way, stating “guys have terrible relationships with their sock drawers,” relationships he and his business partner aim change. They want men to get away from grey and black socks and give patterns and bright colors a shot. Through their page on Kickstarter, people were able to buy packs of their fashion-forward men’s socks at affordable prices. Choi says “a six-pack retails for $39, with complimentary shipping.” That price point works out to be about $6 a pair, well below the $20 to $40 a pair you’d pay for equivalent socks at luxury department stores. They also sold larger packs.
Former Fox Exec Peter Kang Joins Paramount
Paramount has hired Peter Kang as executive vp, production.
Two weeks ago Kang left 20th Century Fox, which had been his home since 1996.
Kang is known for overseeing Fox hits like Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and for running its New York-based book division, overseeing the acquisitions of rights to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs Rule Coachella’s 2013 Kick-Off
It was a refrain Karen O, the extravagant frontwoman of resurgent New York art-rock heroes the Yeah Yeah Yeahs repeated throughout the band’s triumphant main stage performance that highlighted the first night of the vaunted Coachella music festival 2013.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs On Love Songs, New York And Transforming On Stage
Ten years ago this month, a three-person band broke out of New York’s rock scene with an album called Fever to Tell. There was guitar and drums and a tall, provocative singer with a courageous sense of fashion. Her voice was emotional — sometimes soft, sometimes like a banshee’s call.
In the early days of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, singer Karen O got a lot of the spotlight, which caused some friction in the group. But the trio, with Nick Zinner on guitar and Brian Chase on drums, stuck it out — and is about to release a fourth album, Mosquito.
The members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs spoke with NPR’s Rachel Martin. Hear the radio version by clicking the audio link on this page, and read more of their conversation below.
Korean Girl Bands Bare More Skin in Japan
Girl band T-ara have been performing in Japan since unveiling their latest album “Bunny Style” last month. The album has reached the No. 2 spot in Japan’s Oricon weekly charts, and the girls have made a splash with their risqué dance routine.
One widely watched video clip on the Internet shows Japanese women laughing while T-ara perform their routine at an outdoor concert in Japan. The video has incensed some Korean patriots, who feel the manufactured combo are letting the side down.
New leadoff hitter gives Reds a big boost
The Cincinnati Reds’ biggest move this past offseason was adding a leadoff hitter who was once considered a possible trade target for the Pirates.
Center fielder Shin-Soo Choo has filled a void in the Reds’ already potent lineup this season, and manager Dusty Baker is more than pleased with his production.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve had a legitimate leadoff man that could hit and get on,” Baker said. “I just hope he keeps doing what he’s doing until everybody gets hot around him and we really start rolling.”
Jonathan Coulton, Greg Pak pair up for comic book
Associated Press via Google News
Monkeys, robots and zombies? That’s the hat trick that musician Jonathan Coulton and writer Greg Pak are featuring their original graphic novel, “Code Monkey Save the World.”
The escapade centering on the eponymous coding monkey that Coulton wrote and sang about to online acclaim is the first pairing between the two. Pak’s other writing credits include “Batman/Superman,” ”Planet Hulk” and “X-Treme X-Men.”
Korean-American food stays true to its roots
CNN via YouTube
CNN’s Anthony Bourdain learns how Korean cuisine in the U.S. isn’t altered to accommodate Western tastes.
South Korea Expects Missile Launch by North
New York Times
The South Korean government warned on Sunday that the North might launch a missile later this week, while a top military leader postponed a scheduled trip to Washington, citing escalating tensions on the peninsula.
The warning by Kim Jang-soo, director of national security for President Park Geun-hye, came three days after the South Korea’s defense minister said that the North had moved to its east coast a missile with a “considerable range” but not capable of reaching the mainland United States.
North Korea says it’s pulling workers out of joint industrial zone
North Korea said it would pull out all its workers and temporarily suspend operations at the industrial complex it jointly operates with the South, the latest sign of deteriorating relations on the Korean Peninsula.
The North said it would also consider permanently closing down the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a shared manufacturing zone that is the last major symbol of cooperation between the two countries.
N. Korea warns foreign diplomats of ‘grave inter-Korean situations’: Seoul official
Just two days after warning foreign diplomatic missions to leave Pyongyang, North Korea briefed foreign officials on the developments on the Korean Peninsula, but did not reiterate the warning to evacuate, a senior official at Seoul’s foreign ministry said Monday.
North Korea’s foreign ministry on Friday asked foreign embassy officials based in Pyongyang to leave, saying a war could break out soon and the safety of foreigners could not be guaranteed, but the call for withdrawal was not mentioned during Sunday’s meeting, according a foreign ministry official, requesting anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.
Some L.A. Koreans unfazed by North Korea’s threats
Whittier Daily News
Kyung Moon Hwang, a 45-year-old Claremont resident, has been following headlines about North Korea, but he doesn’t think the communist nation’s combative posturing will lead to war.
The USC history professor said North Korea’s saber rattling is cyclical and always happens around March when American and South Korean militaries have joint war games known as Key Resolve and Foal Eagle.
“It’s happened so many times in the past that it mitigates the alarm,” said Hwang, who studies socio-political authority and hierarchy in Korea. “It’s more internal politics than shifts in external policies, so I don’t attach too much significance to that.”
Venerating the Kims: Just one more religion?
WHAT is the tenth most widely followed religion in the world? According to www.adherents.com, a site which gathers data on faith from many sources, that honour goes to juche, the national ideology of North Korea, which is credited with 19m followers. As the site’s editors explain, “from a sociological viewpoint, it is clearly a religion”. Juche is more obviously religious in character than either Soviet communism or Maoism. Thomas J Belke, an American Protestant theologian who has writen a book about juche, agrees that it’s a religion. “It has a comprehensive belief system, holy places, distinctive customs…and it displaces other religions.”
It does not take a sociological genius to see that the cult of the North Korean state’s founder, Kim Il Sung, and of his son and successor Kim Jong Il, who ruled from 1994 to 2011, shares many features with established creeds. Images of the Kims, and their all-wise pronouncements, fill the sensory field of every North Korean, in a way that Christianity permeated daily life in medieval Europe or Byzantium. The founder is sometimes presented as a kind of god, and his successor as the “son of a god”—a formula that has echoes of Christian theology. If the latest member of the dynasty to take the helm, Kim Jong Un, has any legitimacy, it is as the grandson of one divine figure and son of another. The young scion is starting to accumulate laudatory titles of his own.
Koreatown DUI driver dies after police use Taser gun
ABC Los Angeles
An investigation is under way after a suspected drunk driver died Friday after he was Tasered by police in Koreatown Thursday.
The incident occurred near the intersection of 4th Street and Vermont Avenue. According to authorities, LAPD officers pulled up to the scene of the car wreck around 11:20 p.m. The driver, police say, appeared to be drunk and was combative.
“This individual was involved in a hit-and-run crime. There may be some intoxication involved, a lot of physical exertion and that is usually the case with Tasers,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said.
Chief Beck says a Taser was used in this case. But the man, whose name has not been released, started having health problems and was pronounced dead Friday around 1 a.m. at a local hospital.
Rockets’ Jeremy Lin says race was ‘barrier’ to interest from colleges
Jeremy Lin is 24, a global superstar, a full-time starter for the Rockets, and the recipient of a three-year contract worth more than $25 million last summer. That success on and off the court hasn’t made him forget what life was like when he was a high school senior in 2009, when he opted to play basketball for Harvard after receiving little interest from major college programs near his hometown of Palo Alto, Calif.
In a CBSSports.com preview of an upcoming interview on 60 Minutes, Lin points to his race as a factor in his lack of scholarship offers from major programs.
“I think the obvious thing, in my mind, is that I was Asian-American, which is a whole different issue,” he said. I think that was a barrier.”
Asked why race would be a barrier, as Asian-Americans are fully capable of playing basketball, Lin said: “I mean, it’s a stereotype.”
Korean’s Rise Leads to Victory in a Major: Inbee Park Wins Kraft Nabisco Championship
New York Times
After the 2008 United States Open, the major championships were supposed to flow like Champagne out of a bottle. But Inbee Park, like Tiger Woods, saw her major ambitions corked for nearly five years. The impediments, mostly mental, gave way Sunday when Park carded a three-under-par 69, for a 72-hole total of 15-under 273, to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club.
Now the spotlight shifts to Woods, who will try to secure his 15th major title, and his fifth green jacket, this week at the Masters.
Park, a winner in February in an L.P.G.A. event in Thailand, birdied the first two holes on her way to a four-stroke victory over her South Korean compatriot So Yeon Ryu, who said of Park’s performance, “She looks like she played another golf course.”
Michelle Wie’s new putting stance is a source of confusion
Michelle Wie has been many things in her up-and-down career, and polarizing is definitely at the top of that list.
She’s turning heads again this season with a strange new putting stance in which she bends her body in a 90 degree angle to get her head out over the ball. You can see the video above.
Wie is playing the Kraft Nabisco Championship this week (the first major of the year) and sat tied for 12th at 2 under.
A lot of people are questioning Wie’s tactics (Annika Sorenstam questioned her talent earlier in the week), as this is the first year for her to use the bent-over sideways putting style.
Shin-Soo Choo getting on base, setting Reds’ table
The Reds went out and traded for Shin-Soo Choo in an attempt to get a leadoff man who would get on base on a consistent basis. So far through six games, he’s done just that — by any means necessary. His .516 on-base percentage has been aided by getting hit by pitches four times in his first six games as a Red.
“I don’t think they’re trying to hit me. I don’t mind getting by hit by a pitch,” said Choo, who has reached safely in each of the team’s first six games so far this season. “I’ll take it. The second game (of the season, against the Angels), I scored after getting hit by a pitch. I had a lot of hit-by-pitch last year.”
Dodgers pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu buys downtown condo
Los Angeles Times
Hyun-jin Ryu, the Dodgers’ new starting pitcher from South Korea, has bought a unit at the Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. Live.
The two-bedroom, three-bathroom condominium has 2,082 square feet of living space. Features include 10-foot-high ceilings, expansive windows and views of the Hollywood Hills, the ocean and the downtown skyline. The sales price was not disclosed.
Park Ji-sung ‘Set to Lose Spot on QPR’
With the prospect of relegation for the Queens Park Rangers in the English Premier League looming large, there is speculation that Park Ji-sung will have to leave the club after this season.
The Daily Mirror in an article, headlined “QPR set to offload Park Ji-sung, Julio Cesar, Loic Remy and Chris Samba regardless of relegation,” said on Saturday, “Rangers owner Tony Fernandes needs to reduce costs by offloading overpaid misfits in the summer.” The paper added, “[Park] is set to become the first victim of QPR’s nightmare season.”
In Koreatown, the Lakers are the team holding court
Los Angeles Times
For years, the purple and gold claimed a steady fan base in the sprawling community, but this season the intensity has been amplified — with games now broadcast in Korean, a first in the NBA.
Check out our story on the Lakers commentators from the February 2013 issue:
February Issue: Korean Lakers Commentators Talk About Their Dream Job
A priest in Korea played matchmaker for this Lee’s Summit couple
Have you met Maija Rhee yet?” the priest asked 25-year-old Michael Devine for the third time. It was March 1970, and Michael was a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English at a Jesuit college in Seoul, South Korea.
The priests were extremely proud of Maija Rhee, 26. She had graduated from the college, gone to St. Louis for additional studies and returned to South Korea to teach. Michael finally phoned Maija, and they arranged to meet at a tearoom.
Maija: “I was shocked because he was 6 feet, 3 inches, and I’m 5 feet. But I really liked the stories he told. They all contained a natural humor, and that really appealed to me.”
Michael. “I thought she was cute. I enjoyed talking with her, and I was impressed with her zest for life and her wide range of interests.”
DFLA – f(x)’s newest member?! Anna Kendrick Behind the Scenes & Interview
MnetAmerica via YouTube
For South Koreans at North’s Edge, Drumbeat of War Is More of a Patter
New York Times
As Lee Jae-eun retrieved her squirming twins from day care and loaded them into a two-seat stroller, she barely glanced up at the olive green Blackhawk helicopter that swept overhead, just above the high-rise apartment buildings.
Even in peaceful times, low-flying military aircraft are a common sight in this residential community near the heavily fortified border that separates capitalist South Korea from the communist North. But these are not placid times, and the roaring helicopters are one more reminder of rising tensions wrought by North Korea’s recent barrage of war threats.
Tensions With North Korea Unsettle South’s Economy
New York Times
North Korea’s torrent of threats — and the matching show of military power and political resolve from the United States and South Korea — began showing signs of unsettling foreign investors’ confidence Friday.
The development magnified the challenges Seoul and Washington face. The two powers are trying to show the North’s novice leader, Kim Jong-un, that they will not be blackmailed by his bluff and bluster. But at the same time, they do not want to escalate the tensions to an extent that they hurt the South Korean economy, the pride of the local population, or President Park Geun-hye’s political standing at home.
Ex-CIA Analyst Expects North Korea to Attack South Korea Before Tensions End
Unless North Korea wants to be annihilated, its leadership has to find a way to climb down from its current wave of provocative rhetoric. But one of the CIA’s former top Pyongyang analysts thinks dictator Kim Jong-un will order a limited strike on South Korea — as a way to actually tamp down hostilities.
“North Korea will launch an attack,” predicts Sue Mi Terry, a Columbia University professor who served as a senior analyst on North Korea at the CIA from 2001 to 2008. The attack won’t be nuclear, she thinks, nor will it be a barrage from the massive amounts of artillery Pyongyang has aimed south.
Instead, Terry believes, “it will be something sneaky and creative and hard to definitively trace back to North Korea to avoid international condemnation and immediate retaliation from Washington or Seoul.” This, she thinks, is what counts as de-escalation in 2013 from the new regime in Pyongyang: a relatively small attack that won’t leave many people dead.
North Korean tensions: Inside the cult of Kim
IT IS hard to talk about normality in North Korea. But as its leaders each day cranked up the threats of merciless all-out war with America and South Korea, residents in and around the capital, Pyongyang, appeared to be busier preparing for the coming of spring than a coming war.
At a time of high tension on the Korean peninsula, a propaganda blitz in Pyongyang warning of something akin to a doomsday “do-or-die” battle was relentless. On March 26th people crowded around television screens to watch a newsreader in pink bark out orders from the top brass of the Korean People’s Army for field units to be ready to attack American bases and conduct “physical action” against South Korea.
The known unknowns of Kim Jong-Un
AFP via Google News
Like his father Kim Jong-Il, North Korea’s new young leader Kim Jong-Un is viewed by much of the outside world with a heady mix of incomprehension, ridicule and fear.
In early March, people were shaking their heads in bemusement at photos of Kim partying with flamboyant former NBA star Dennis Rodman in Pyongyang after watching a basketball game together.
One month later, they’re wondering if he might be on the brink of tipping the Korean peninsula into a catastrophic conflict.
Controversy puts planned ‘comfort women’ memorial in Fort Lee on hold
Bergen County Record (N.J.)
Responding to backlash for approving what’s turned out to be a controversial “comfort women” memorial, the mayor and council on Thursday ordered members of local Korean organizations to reach consensus on the monument before proceeding with plans to erect one in town.
Borough officials last month approved a memorial in tribute to the hundreds of thousands of women who served in Japanese military brothels, or “comfort stations,” during World War II.
Mayor Mark Sokolich said he was under the impression that Fort Lee’s Korean American Vietnam War Veterans group — which submitted the design and wording for the inscription — had the approval of other members of the Korean community.
But borough officials this week were surprised to learn that wasn’t the case.
Korean Sex Workers Exploited In L.A.; ‘Madam’ Eun Suk Sun Faces Charges In Korea
Eun Suk Sun allegedly ran a house (or, rather, apartment) of prostitution right here in L.A.’s Koreatown. But it isn’t American authorities who want to take her down for it. Nope, it’s Korean officials. And their wish might come true:
You see, Korean authorities allege that the women exploited by Sun’s operation were also South Korean nationals.
So they want to try the 37-year-old in her homeland, American officials say.
Asian-American Students Outpace Other Groups in Math, Science
Voice of America
Asian-American students outperform other racial or ethnic groups in math and science courses, according to a new study of 367 10th grade students in the Philadelphia area.
The study, published in Psychology of Women Quarterly, claims to be “the first study to examine math and science attitudes and achievement at the intersection of gender and ethnicity across four major ethnic groups,” including whites, Asian-Americans, Latinos and African-Americans.
“Asian-American male adolescents consistently demonstrated the highest achievement compared to other adolescents, mirroring the ‘model minority’ stereotype,” the researchers wrote. “In contrast, the underachievement of Latino and African-American males is a persistent and troubling trend.”
Pew Research vs Asian Americans
Recently, some legitimate questions have been raised about The Pew Internet and American Life Project’s new “Demographics of Social Media Users” study for failing to include Asian-Americans. Unfortunately, Pew’s response has only highlighted the glaring problem that for 20 years Asians have been regularly excluded from all of their research studies, not just this latest one on digital aptitude.
It is puzzling that Pew could so comfortably exclude Asian-Americans less than a year after another Pew report said, “At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, Asians have become the largest stream of new immigrants to the U.S. — and, thus, the latest leading actors in this great American drama. The fact that they are coming at a time when a rising Asia is flexing its economic and political muscles on the international stage only adds to the richness of their unique American journey.”
Korean-American Christian teen teaches the Shoah
Times of Israel
At first glance, it doesn’t seem likely that Christopher Huh, a second-generation Korean-American Christian teenager living in suburban Maryland, would have such a close relationship with Ari Kolodiejski, a Polish-born Jewish grandfather who survived Auschwitz, dysentery and a death march.
Yet Christopher knows the elderly man quite well — which isn’t surprising given that the 14-year-old created him for a graphic novel he published earlier this year.
The 170-page “Keeping My Hope” (Amazon CreateSpace) juxtaposes Kolodiejski with his contemporary family as he tells his Shoah experiences to his granddaughter, Sarah. Kolodiejski’s Holocaust story begins when he is an 18-year-old in Lomza, Poland, shortly before the Nazis’ September 1939 invasion, and continues through his escape from a death march and rescue by a farmer in early 1945.
A budding author and self-taught artist who has been doing pencil drawings since he was about 6 years old, Huh became interested in the Holocaust during a seventh-grade English class unit called “Voices from the Past.” Among the readings were “Voices of the Holocaust,” “Friedrich” and portions of “Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl.”
Fountain of youth wasted on middle aged?
The Age (Australia)
Youth is a magnificent state and this is why Margaret Cho has no wish to leave it just for the use of children. In her newest show, Mother, the 44-year-old comic performs a cost-benefit analysis of aging and comes to some ambiguous conclusions.
It is, of course, unlikely that this comedian would come to conclusions of any other sort. Cho, after all, has long delighted in confounding her audience. Comedy for her is a means to convey often confusing ideas. “Ideas that maybe people wouldn’t be otherwise prepared to hear,” she says. Smart as paint and queer as folk, she has always been rather hard to pin down.
A Korean-American bisexual with a sharp tongue and a soft heart, she has long spoken of life as it is lived between states. And now she is exploring the confounding territory of the midlife teen. “I am now old enough to be everyone’s mother,” says Cho. “And yet, I act like a child.” There is, she says, great liberty in her refusal to age. “There is a freedom. You don’t have to have a midlife crisis. You can retain a youthful joy.”
Michelle Wie accepts apology
AP via ESPN
Michelle Wie said Annika Sorenstam apologized to her for comments she made in an interview with Golf Magazine.
“She actually reached out to me last night, said a couple of things got misquoted,” Wie said Thursday after her first round in the Kraft Nabisco Championship. “I thought that was really nice of her to reach out to me. She apologized for what she said, and that’s that.”
Sorenstam’s comments appear in a question-and-answer story in the magazine’s May edition.
“I didn’t read it, so I don’t know what she said,” Wie said when asked how Sorenstam could be misquoted in a question-and-answer format.
Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin enjoys low-profile life in U.S.
South Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin, who recently made his major-league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers, says he is happy leading a quiet life in his new Californian home.
Speaking with Korean reporters at his downtown L.A. apartment Thursday, the rookie pitcher of the Major League Baseball (MLB) club said he’s had no problem adjusting to life in the U.S., and has even gained a little weight from eating the home-cooked meals his mother, who lives with him, makes every day.