Wednesday’s Links: Asiana Investigation Continues; Lee Byung-hun’s Abs of Steel; Korea’s Photoshop Trolls
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: July 10th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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SF plane crash pilots focused on centering jet
San Francisco Chronicle

The pilots trying to land Asiana Airlines Flight 214 knew 500 feet from the ground that they were coming in off course – and they focused on correcting that problem while assuming that the plane’s airspeed was being controlled automatically, investigators said Tuesday.

By the time the pilots realized the plane’s speed had dropped dangerously low, investigators said, it was too late to correct. The main landing gear and tail struck the rocky seawall at the base of San Francisco International Airport’s Runway 28L, breaking into pieces and sending the plane into a devastating spin.

Two flight attendants and a 16-year-old girl were flung out of a gaping hole at the rear of the jet where the tail section had been. The teenager died and the flight attendants were found alive, but critically injured, surrounded by galley materials, newspapers, magazines and cabin carpeting. Another girl was found dead next to the burning hulk of the aircraft, although it’s not clear whether she was thrown from the plane or evacuated.

SFO crash: NTSB reveals chaotic details of pilots’ confusion; two flight attendants ejected
San Jose Mercury News (Calif.)

As the families of the two girls killed in the Asiana Airlines crash went through the heartbreaking task of formally identifying their children, new details emerged about cockpit confusion along with the astounding revelation that two flight attendants survived after also being ejected from the disintegrating aircraft.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah Hersman on Tuesday described the chaos of the final seconds before and after Saturday’s crash of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday morning.

Among the details she revealed were that two flight attendants who were seated in the back of the plane were thrown onto the tarmac in the crash.

“They were found down the runway and off to the side of the runway,” Hersman told reporters. “Those flight attendants survived, but they obviously have gone through a serious event.”

Investigation Deepens Mystery of Asiana 214 Crash
Chosun Ilbo

The pilots aboard Asiana flight 214 that crashed at San Francisco International Airport told investigators that they sensed the airplane was descending too fast and lifted the nose of the aircraft seconds before touchdown.

Investigators with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation interviewed the pilots of the Being 777-200 in the U.S. on Monday.

The first officer told investigators that he informed the pilot 54 seconds before landing that the aircraft was descending too quickly. And the pilot, Lee Kang-kuk, told investigators that he lifted the aircraft after determining 34 seconds prior to touchdown that the plane was flying at too low at an altitude of just 150 m.

Korean Culture May Offer Clues in Asiana Crash

Investigators combing through the debris and data recordings from the Asiana Airlines jet that crashed in San Francisco Saturday may learn more about what happened inside the cockpit of the Boeing 777 aircraft by studying an unlikely clue: Korean culture.

South Korea’s aviation industry has faced skepticism about its safety and pilot habits since a few deadly crashes beginning in the 1980s. But despite changes, including improved safety records, Korea’s aviation sector remains rooted in a national character that’s largely about preserving hierarchy—and asking few questions.

“The Korean culture has two features—respect for seniority and age, and quite an authoritarian style,” said Thomas Kochan, a professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “You put those two together, and you may get more one-way communication—and not a lot of it upward,” Kochan said.

Park expressed regret over TV anchor’s slip of tongue about Chinese jet crash victims
Yonhap News

South Korean President Park Geun-hye expressed strong regret Wednesday over a slip of the tongue that a local TV anchor made about Chinese victims in the recent Asiana Airlines plane crash in San Francisco.

While delivering breaking news on the jet cash, the Channel A cable TV anchor said Sunday that it was a relief from the South Korean perspective that the two fatal victims in the accident turned out to be Chinese, not South Koreans.

South and North Korea Fail Again to Agree on Reopening Shuttered Complex
New York Times

South Korean factory managers returned Wednesday to a shuttered industrial park in North Korea for the first time in two months as the two governments tried again but failed to agree on terms for reopening the complex, once an iconic symbol of inter-Korean economic cooperation.

Sixty factory managers from the South arrived in the Kaesong Industrial Zone, the factory park in the North Korean border town of the same name, for a day trip to check on their factories, which have been idle since the last of the managers withdrew in late April. North Korea halted production there in early April by withdrawing all 53,000 of its workers, blaming tensions it said were caused by joint American-South Korean military drills.

Former South Korean Spy Chief Charged With Bribery
New York Times

A former national intelligence chief of South Korea was arrested on bribery charges on Wednesday, further tarnishing the image of the country’s spy agency, which has already been accused of meddling in the presidential election in December.

Won Sei-hoon, who served as director of the National Intelligence Service under President Lee Myung-bak from 2009 until the end of Mr. Lee’s term in February, is the latest in a series of former South Korean spy chiefs who have faced criminal indictments after leaving office. Several of them have been imprisoned for corruption and other crimes.

Mr. Won was charged with accepting cash, gold and other gifts totaling 150 million won, or $132,000, from the head of a construction company since 2009. Prosecutors said the gifts were bribes Mr. Won accepted in exchange for peddling influence to help the businessman win construction projects from a state-run power plant and a major supermarket chain.

Visit by U.S. political figure won’t free American jailed in N. Korea: report
Yonhap News via GlobalPost

Even an attention-drawing visit by a high-ranking U.S. political figure won’t help to win freedom for a Korean-American man imprisoned in North Korea, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper in Japan said Wednesday.

Kenneth Bae, whose Korean name is Bae Jun-ho, was arrested in North Korea in November on charges of trying to overthrow the communist regime. In April, he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

In the past, visits by high-profile U.S. political figures like former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton led to the release of Americans jailed in the North.

But the Choson Sinbo, a pro-North Korean newspaper published in Japan, said in an article Wednesday that North Korea now “is taking a totally different path on this latest case.”

How a $1.79 Bottle of Orange Juice Helped Spark the L.A. Riots
LA Weekly

The L.A. riots of 1992 were about the acquittal of four LAPD officers who pummeled motorist Rodney King in a “use of force” caught on tape.

Or were they? Keen watchers of L.A. news remember that the fatal shooting of 15-year-old South L.A. girl Latasha Harlins by a Korean American convenience store merchant within two weeks of King’s beating also put tensions south of the 10 freeway on high:

In fact, a new book from UCLA history professor Brenda Stevenson puts the Latasha Harlins case front-and-center when it comes to sparking the 1992 uprising.

The book, titled “The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender and the Origins of the LA Riots,” also puts gender at the fore.

Glendale approves Korean ‘comfort woman’ statue despite protest
Los Angeles Times via Glendale News-Press

Despite significant opposition both overseas and locally, the City Council Tuesday approved a 1,110-pound monument honoring Korean women taken as sex slaves by the Japanese army during World War II.

Members of the council received hundreds of emails — many appearing to come from Japan — and listened to dozens of speakers at the Tuesday meeting who claimed the so-called “comfort women” were not indentured servants, but ordinary prostitutes.

Glendale has become the latest American city to set the scene for a decades-old controversy between some Japanese who deny their army abducted up to 200,000 women from Korea, China and other countries as sex slaves and Koreans who want to raise awareness of the human rights violations.

San Francisco supervisor Kim says pledge of allegiance for first time
San Jose Mercury News (Calif.)

San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim said the Pledge of Alliance for the first time at the start of today’s board meeting in what she said was a response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling last month to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Kim made headlines early in her tenure as supervisor, which began in 2011, for standing during the pledge but refusing to say the words.

She said she took issue with the phrase “liberty and justice for all,” but changed her thinking after the Supreme Court ruling on June 26 that found unconstitutional the law that prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

‘CEO’ of Korean prostitution ring in Biloxi agrees to plead guilty
Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.)

An Atlantic City man has agreed to plead guilty to a conspiracy to run a Korean prostitution ring in Biloxi by harboring women who were in the U.S. without authorization.

Federal court documents show Chi Sung Jung also has asked to be prosecuted in New Jersey on charges of sex-trafficking and immigration violations. A date for his plea hearing has not been set.

Jung, 52, has been held without bond in New Jersey since February. His request to transfer the case to a federal court in New Jersey was filed in court records Monday.

‘Oldboy’ poster: First look at Spike Lee’s remake of Korean thriller
Los Angeles Times

The first poster for the American remake of “Oldboy” shows the film’s star Josh Brolin climbing out of a steamer trunk.

Hero Complex readers get a first look at the provocative poster, which is not a composite but rather an actual shot from the film, directed by Spike Lee.

Lee has said the film will be even darker than Chan-wook Park’s 2003 original “Oldeuboi,” the highly stylized Korean art house hit, based on a Japanese manga series, about a man who seeks revenge after being kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years.

Lee Byung-hun Ripped and Ready to Thrill in ‘Red 2′
Chosun Ilbo

A still from “Red 2″ showing heartthrob Lee Byung-hun flashing his six-pack and sculpted physique has been released ahead of the movie’s world premiere on July 18.

Lee is said to have worked out religiously and focused on training for his action scenes for over three months after receiving the script in order to fully immerse himself in the role of a killer.

Brown Eyed Girls Release ‘Recipe’ Single: Listen

In less than five days’ time, long-running K-pop girl group Brown Eyed Girls announced their return to the K-pop scene and dropped a new track, “Recipe.”

Centered around a walking bass line, “Recipe” is a funky, ’90s-inspired track embellished with disco dance elements and guitar riffs. The ladies’ vocals bounce from soft head voice to attitude-soaked rapping. The translated lyrics use food and cooking metaphors to tell a love interest how they’ll flavor the relationship from “hot and sexy” to “sweet and spicy.”


So it’s the first day back at work after a four day weekend (if you’re lucky), and it’s going about as well as Jay’s Magna Carta release. TOKiMONSTA and Gavin Turek know how real the struggle is, so they’re bringing it back to preschool-era basics with their new interactive stickerbook music video for “Clean Slate.” That’s right; ARTS AND CRAFTS, BITCHES!

In “Toki’s Monstas,” Tokimonsta and Gavin are beamed down to Earth via flying saucer, where they dance all over a number of landscapes with Colorform monster friends—which monster friends they get down with is up to you, as you drag and drop the 27 different cartoon creatures into the video.

Book World: Susan Choi’s ‘My Education’ a smart and witty novel about college life
Washington Post

Just when it seems that there’s no room in the class for another novel about college life, a new hand goes up. I won’t run through the whole roster because you already know the upperclassmen — from Richard Russo’s “Straight Man” to Jane Smiley’s “Moo.” Only two years ago, Jeffrey Eugenides brought the form to new heights with “The Marriage Plot,” a brilliant novel about an English major infected by the plots of 19th-century classics. Kingsley Amis’s “Lucky Jim,” of course, still lords it over them all.

So it takes some nerve to stride into this tweedy group and perform under the anxiety of their influence. What new footnote could be added to David Lodge’s satires of postmodern theory? How many class titles like “Fetishes and Freaks: Strategies of Queering the Gothic” can we giggle over? Who could possibly trace another erotic tension or envious impulse through the groves of academe?

Answer: Susan Choi. She’s never sounded smarter or wittier than she does in her fourth novel, “My Education.” Once again, we’re on a college campus with pompous professors. Once again, we meet an English major donning the mantle of adulthood, thirsty for “new esoterica.” But by the force of her stylistic virtuosity and psychological precision, Choi gives this worn setup all the nubile energy of a new school year.

H Mart readying for move into Central Square this fall

Korean grocery chain H Mart is planning to open in Central Square late this fall with a food court in the space formerly occupied by the Harvest Co-op.

The Cambridge License Commission Tuesday night approved common victualler licenses for H Mart and three restaurants at 581 Massachusetts Ave. James Rafferty, an attorney for the businesses, said they will run a food court with a total of 120 seats in the supermarket.

Harvest Co-op has already moved out of the spot to a new location across the street.

Best of Busan: What to do in Korea’s ‘second city’

Often called “the summer capital of South Korea,” the port city of Busan is just a two-and-a-half-hour train ride from Seoul. The country’s two largest cities, however, are remarkably different places.

In the more low-key Busan, a night out usually means drinking soju with friends on the beach while watching kids play with firecrackers. Or eating hoe (Korean sashimi) — again with soju — at the shiny new fish market.

Korea’s Photoshop Trolls Make the Internet a Better Place

On June 26, a Korean language Facebook page called “We Do Phoshop” appeared online. The site solicited Photoshop requests, and the ensuing ‘shops weren’t exactly what askers had in mind. Or what anyone had in mind, for that matter.

There’s a tradition of these kind of Photoshops online in China. People would ask “Photoshop masters” to make them taller or cooler or whatever. And netizens would whip up trollish Photoshops for internet giggles. But people tended to know what they were getting themselves in for when they made the requests, so the end result isn’t malicious.

That’s what is going on over at the We Do Phoshop Facebook page. Currently, it has around twenty-nine thousand likes and is still taking requests. However, so far, their page appears to be Korean language only — so here’s a look at some of of those requests.

Thursday’s Link Attack: North Korean Threats; Dokdo and the US; Sung Kang
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: January 24th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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North Korea Vows Nuclear Test and Threatens U.S.
New York Times

North Korea vowed on Thursday to launch more long-range rockets and conduct its third nuclear test, saying that it would build up its capability of striking the United States after the United Nations’s expansion of sanctions against North Korea.

The North’s threat was the boldest challenge its new, untested leader, Kim Jong-un, has posed at his country’s longtime foe, the United States, and its last remaining major ally, China, and rattled governments in Northeast Asia that are undergoing sensitive transitions of power.

In a statement issued through state-run media, the National Defense Commission, the North’s highest governing agency, headed by Mr. Kim, said that “a variety of satellites and long-range rockets which will be launched by the D.P.R.K. one after another and a nuclear test of higher level which will be carried out by it” will be “targeted” at “the U.S., the sworn enemy of the Korean people.”

U.S. envoy warns N. Korea against conducting nuclear test
Yonhap News

A special envoy from Washington warned Pyongyang Thursday against conducting a nuclear test, minutes before North Korea threatened to carry out an atomic test and more rocket launches directed at the United States in retaliation to toughened U.N. sanctions.

“Whether North Korea tests or not, it’s up to North Korea. We hope they don’t do it, we call on them not to do it. It will be a mistake and a missed opportunity if they were to do it,” said Glyn Davies, the U.S. special envoy on North Korea policy, when asked about the possibility of a nuclear test by North Korea.

China calls for talks after North Korean threat
Los Angeles Times

With North Korea openly threatening the United States with nuclear weapons, China called Thursday for a new round of diplomacy and appears to be growing increasingly frustrated with its longtime ally.

Beijing’s calls for intervention come amid a torrent of belligerent language from Pyongyang, angered by a United Nations resolution earlier in the week expanding sanctions over its missile and nuclear program.

The latest escalation came Thursday when Pyongyang lashed out at the United States, which it called the “archenemy of the Korean people.”

Ki Suh Park dies at 80; architect helped rebuild L.A. after riots
Los Angeles Times

From rubble and wreckage, Ki Suh Park often saw possibility. It was so as he stood amid the destruction of the Korean War, when he resolved to study architecture and help rebuild his homeland. And it was so as he drove down Western Avenue after the 1992 Los Angeles riots, when he vowed to help rebuild a community after the violence that wracked his adopted home.

Park, an architect who rose to become a leader in the city’s Korean American community, died Jan. 16 at Stanford University Medical Center after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer, his family said. He was 80.

Antonia Hernandez, an immigrant rights activist who served with him on Rebuild L.A., a campaign to help rebuild and revitalize riot-stricken areas, credits Park with representing the Korean community while encouraging consensus during a time when tensions were still raw.

Palisades Park mayor hailed by Korean-American group
Bergen County Record (N.J.)

Palisades Park Mayor James Rotundo was recently recognized for his work with the local Korean community by the Korean-American Association of Greater New York.

Rotundo, who has been mayor since 2004, received the “Good Neighbor Award” for his “hard work and efforts” at a ceremony in New York earlier this month.

“Mr. Rotundo was recommended by the Korean-American community because Korean-American people recognized his great efforts in upholding human rights, especially with regard to the memorial to the forced sex slavery by Japan,” said Paul Park, executive director of the organization.

Man accused of scamming Hines Ward waives hearing
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Brookline man accused of trying to extort money from retired Pittsburgh Steelers star Hines Ward waived Tuesday his right to a preliminary hearing.

Joshua R. Van Auker, 26, is next scheduled to appear March 11 in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court for formal arraignment.

Investigators from the district attorney’s office have charged Mr. Van Auker with two felony counts of attempted extortion, accusing him of trying to squeeze $15,000 from Mr. Ward’s personal assistant, Raymond Burgess Jr., in exchange for not releasing allegedly damaging information about the former wide receiver.

NK News

Until recently, South Korea has been the final destination for most North Korean refugees and other returning ethnic Koreans. However, the situation is changing in that an increasing number of individuals who have settled in the South are now leaving and heading for North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific Region. The forms and patterns which this new phenomenon of Korean remigration takes are diverse and, at times, antagonistic to the borders of nation-states.

Given that mass movements of people are always a dynamic phenomenon, intimately tied to the vicissitudes of global power, it is not surprising that, as the number of North Koreans in South Korea continues to grow, we are privileged to bear witness to a number of eccentricities emerging from within this migrant community. This article will briefly discuss concepts of caste acting to ‘push’ a growing number of North Koreans to leave South Korea, and then describe two such peculiarities, firstly, the relatively well-known ‘return migration’, and the newer ‘re-migration’.

‘US crucial for Dokdo defense’
Korea Times

With new leaders in both South Korea and Japan, the chronic territorial dispute over the Dokdo Islets is about to enter a fresh round. Now it’s up to the incoming Park Geun-hye administration to quickly and strategically engage the U.S. to get the upper hand on the diplomatically sensitive issue, says a prominent Dokdo expert.

“It’s more important than ever to get the U.S. to lean in our direction,’’ Choi Jang-geun, a professor of the Department of Japanese Language and Studies at Daegu University, said in an interview with The Korea Times.

Currently a visiting scholar at Murray State University, Choi also heads Daegu University’s Dokdo Territorial Studies Research Center.

Expert care, minimal pain, fast recoveries with Dr. Pak
Queens Chronicle (N.Y.)

Having surgery can be a scary proposition for most people, that’s why it is important to consult an experienced, trustworthy physician. There is perhaps no one that embodies both those qualities more than Dr. Sang Pak, a general surgeon practicing in Queens for the past 13 years.

Pak recently completed a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery. That advanced training allows him to care for complex cases with minimally invasive techniques in laparoscopy.

Control Your Personal Brand or Get Left Behind (Palo Alto, Calif.)

Karen Kang learned a thing or two about branding as a principal and partner for RegisMcKenna, the firm that put Apple, Intel and Genentech on the map, and later for her own company, BrandingPays, based here in Palo Alto.

But Kang has a new message for 2013—personal branding. She’s just released the book, BrandingPays: The Five-Step System to Reinvent Your Personal Brand. The book is aimed at professionals and entrepreneurs, students and recent graduates, and provides inspiring examples of how branding spurred success.

According to Kang, your personal brand will make or break your next career opportunity.

Between Takes, ‘Bullet to the Head’ Cast Gushes Over Stallone

Sung Kang (Fast Five) plays Stallone’s partner, Taylor Kwon, in the film — a character whose background doesn’t help his stature with the rough, tough James Bonomo (Stallone). It’s a relationship prime for comedy. Making reference to Hill’s past work, Kang says that Bullet redefines “that whole 48 Hrs dynamic between Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy” and the culture clash becomes the meat of the story. “In the past, any time there was an Asian in a film, let’s say, opposite an African-American, the jokes were always on the Asian guy,” says Kang. “Like, ‘You don’t speak English!’ ‘What do you do, kung fu?’ It’s more making fun of his ethnicity, but he couldn’t return it. But this is more acceptable, because it’s this old-school guy in his 60s, and it’s a guy’s guy kind of thing.” The comedy found in Bonomo and Kwon’s pairing is pure science in Kang’s mind. “You put these two people together, and it’s water and oil. You shake it up, and it becomes humorous. It’s really funny.”

Top Chef Seattle Recap: Kentwood’s Kristen Kish waiting in the wings while the other chefs deep fry theirs (Mich.)

[Kristen] Kish will have a shot at redemption by defeating Smith-Malave in a head-to-head battle in the Last Chance Kitchen. Will she continue on and fight her way back or will Smith-Malave prove that she wasn’t the weak link that cost Kish her crown.

Football defender Yun Suk-young set to join QPR in Premier League

Football defender Yun Suk-young is set to join the Queens Park Rangers (QPR) in the English Premier League, the player’s South Korean club announced Thursday.

Chunnam Dragons of the first-division K League Classic said in a press release that Yun will leave the team’s training camp in Bangkok, Thailand, to undergo medical tests before signing with the London-based club. Should he pass those tests, Yun will become the 11th South Korean player to don a Premier League uniform. He will also join South Korean veteran Park Ji-sung on the QPR.

A Sweet Gig

Confectionery artisan and designer Jenna Park adds sugar and spice to the blog world.

Food stalls become source of livelihood and bad business
Yonhap News

Kim In-su laughs nervously as a crowd begins to form in front of him. It’s 9 p.m., halfway through the dinner rush, and already the street food guru is in emergency mode; the rice is almost gone.

On a narrow side street in Noryangjin, a district of western Seoul, a procession of shivering students huddle impatiently beneath the yellow glow of a dusty halogen bulb hanging from his plastic tent. They’re here for his “cup bap,” or cup rice, a quick and cheap meal served in a cup that has become popular, and a lifeline for many in the area.

“It has to be delicious,” he said, calling in more rice from a neighboring stall. “That’s what keeps them coming back.”

Jeju tangerine, Korean health food
The Jeju Weekly

Koreans consume twice as many Jeju tangerines as they consume apples. Due to the high concentration of bioactive substances and vitamins, Jeju tangerines were long used for herbal medicines to enhance bodily functions and safeguarded Koreans from numerous diseases.

Friday’s Link Attack: LA Riots Film, CS Lee, Gold Medalist Yang Hak-seon
Author: Linda Son
Posted: August 10th, 2012
Filed Under: BLOG
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AHSC helps Asian immigrants afford breast cancer care
KATU (Portland, Ore.)

AHSC helped Young Mee Kim with interpreting, setting up appointments, paying for treatment and getting the support she needed during her recovery process. “Through AHSC this was all resolved so I felt a bit more relieved and could focus on just my fight with this disease,” Kim said. “If it wasn’t for AHSC I’d be in a very difficult situation and my recovery would probably have taken longer.”

Leigh Ann Hahn: Polyglot L.A. Is A Grand Performance

“My goal when I was a child was to be blond-headed and blue-eyed like all the other kids I hung out with, but that was never going to happen. “So eventually I realized I didn’t necessarily want to change, but I did want to blend in. The idea of living in Los Angeles was really appealing to me because Los Angeles is a polyglot community.

A Korean American zenith [OPINION]
The Korea Times

This November, the Korean-American community needs to choose the best candidate to represent its unique needs and views in the Oval Office for the next four years. It isn’t much of a choice. There is only one candidate who, throughout his career, has consistently supported and committed to Korean-Americans. During his first term as president, Barack Obama has set a historic precedent in making Asian-American issues a priority for his administration.

1992 riots the centerpiece of Korean American Film Festival
Los Angeles Times

Continuing through Saturday, the first Korean American Film Festival Los Angeles features 24 movies (including narrative and short films and documentaries), with its centerpiece program of five movies focusing on the Korean American perspective on the riots 20 years later. All screenings take place at the Korean Cultural Center, 5505 Wilshire Blvd.

Courtroom tension boils in Apple-Samsung showdown

It was the end of a long week in court in the Apple-Samsung legal war, and Samsung attorney John Quinn was trying to block his adversary, Apple attorney Bill Lee, from showing the jury a document. As Quinn made his argument to U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, he slipped in a reference to Koh’s pre-trial order blocking sales of some Samsung products — a subject Koh had forbidden the parties from discussing in front of the jury.

Minority Business Leaders: Shinjoo Cho
Philadelphia Business Journal

Shinjoo Cho did not take a traditional route to her job as technical assistance and outreach manager for the Philadelphia Department of Commerce. A native of South Korea, Cho studied piano performance and pedagogy (the art of teaching ) at the Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, N.J.

K-Town Episode 5: Korean Speed Dating and SCARLET SMASH!
San Francisco Weekly

As much as I love K-Town, I must quibble with the show’s refusal to coherently tie up loose ends. In Episode 5, there’s no mention of Young’s lapdance imbroglio, though, I’ll let it slide because it opens with some of his own impromptu dancing while Prince Jowe impressively beat-boxes Wu-Tang Clan’s “Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit.”

Asbury Methodist Church welcomes Rev. Hyekyung Pauline Kang as its new pastor

Rev. Kang is a first generation Korean-American. Since 1985, when she began her theological studies at Drew University, she served as a pastor for children and youth in various churches until she took a full-time position in 2002 as educational minister at Korean Community Church in Englewood.

Yang Hak-seon vaults from poor beginnings
The Hankyoreh

The nineteen-year-old seemed trepidacious. His Kakao Talk profile read, “Yang! Hak! Seon! Shoooow your coooourage!!!!!” Such was the urgency. A few days before, he had dreamed of being shunned by his cohorts at the Taereung Athletes’ Village, national training center for South Korean athletes, for failing to win a medal. Even the springboard at North Greenwich Arena was causing problems: the springs were too strong for his body weight. Chances of gold? Ninety-nine percent. And even that was just a possibility. Nobody could say for certain. But the Korea National Sport University student was as courageous as he had to be on the Olympic stage. More than that: he was flawless.

Korean Coca-Cola More Harmful Than Made-in-USA
Korea Times via New America Media

A consumer group claims that Coca-Cola produced in South Korea has 24 times the amount of a harmful substance than that manufactured in the United States.

Consumers Korea released a statement Friday citing a report made by the U.S.-based Center for Science in the Public Interest, that Coke made in Korea had 96 micrograms (ug) of the chemical 4 methylimidizole (4-MI), far exceeding amounts in the soda produced in China at 56 ug, and Japan, 72 ug.

Soft autonomous robot inches along like an earthworm

Now researchers at MIT, Harvard University and Seoul National University have engineered a soft autonomous robot that moves via peristalsis, crawling across surfaces by contracting segments of its body, much like an earthworm. The robot, made almost entirely of soft materials, is remarkably resilient: Even when stepped upon or bludgeoned with a hammer, the robot is able to inch away, unscathed.

The INNERview #20 “C.S. Lee” A famous Korean American Actor at Hollywood Part.2

Arirang TV’s INNERview meets with top celebrities and renowned Koreans in the arts, sports, and entertainment, as well as renowned personalities from abroad who have come to visit Korea.

August Issue: Who Will Lead Korean America?
Author: KoreAm
Posted: August 3rd, 2012
Filed Under: August 2012 , Back Issues , BLOG , FEATURED ARTICLE
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Who Will Lead Korean America?

It’s a question that was heard 20 years ago, when Los Angeles burned and Korean Americans found themselves on the frontlines of the 1992 riots. It’s also one that resurfaces in 2012, as the country’s largest Korean American community faces new battles that could sure benefit from the voice of leadership.

story by JIMMY LEE
illustrations by INKI CHO

IN ARGUABLY the local story of the season, scores of Korean Americans converged on City Hall this past spring, and with their bright yellow “I Love K-town” T-shirts, literally lit up the august chambers of the Los Angeles City Council. They mobilized in numbers unheard of since the 1992 L.A. riots (World Cup soccer tournaments notwithstanding) and engaged in a political process that is as convoluted as it is controversial, no less: redistricting.

As members of the community, largely apathetic about civic affairs in the past, weighed in on how the city should reset its 15 council districts and, in some cases, complained loudly about all that was lacking in the city’s response to Koreatown needs, there were also whispers heard in these halls—that, at the end of this process, there would be a Korean American vying for a seat in one of these newly drawn council districts. The whispers proved partly true: Not just one person, and not just two, but three Korean Americans would eventually announce their candidacy for the 2013 race for the highly coveted Council District No. 13: John Choi, a former member of the city’s Board of Public Works; BongHwan Kim, general manager of the city’s Department of Neighborhood Empowerment; and L.A. Fire Department Deputy Chief Emile Mack. (As of this writing, Kim announced he was dropping out of the race to take a job in San Diego.)

Now instead of rallying behind one person to be the first Korean American elected to the Los Angeles City Council, we would have to choose.

Welcome to Los Angeles’ Koreatown, where it’s not uncommon for church members to splinter off and start their own church, and where there are often 10 chairmen of one board.

“We have a unity problem,” said David Ryu, a longtime local political staffer and one of the organizers in the Korean American community’s redistricting efforts. “There’s division because all the [community] leaders can’t agree.”

Continue Reading »

Longtime Koreatown Advocate BongHwan Kim Drops Out of LA City Council Race
Author: KoreAm
Posted: July 16th, 2012
Filed Under: BLOG
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There will be one fewer person vying to be Los Angeles’ first Korean American city councilmember next year.

BongHwan Kim announced he will be stepping down from his post as general manager of the city’s Department of Neighborhood Empowerment to accept a position as vice president/executive director of civic engagement with the San Diego Foundation, a philanthropic organization.

“The timing of this opportunity at the San Diego Foundation collided at exactly the same moment as my plans to become the first ever Korean American city councilman running on a public participation vision,” he said in a written statement released online this afternoon, declining to further explain his decision to pursue the foundation position. He did not immediately return a phone call for comment.

The announcement came as a surprise to many Korean Americans in Los Angeles. Continue Reading »

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