Age, military ties mark Kim Jong Un’s inner circle
Associated Press via Google News
Wherever North Korea’s young new leader goes, they’re there: a group of graying military and political officials who shadow Kim Jong Un as he visits army bases, attends concerts and tours schools.
As Kim Jong Un steps into the role of “supreme commander” less than two months after his father’s death, these officials can be seen in the background. They listen attentively as their leader speaks during “guidance visits” and stand at his side during group photos, smiling and clapping.
Since Kim Jong Il died of a heart attack in December, Kim Jong Un has assumed the mantle of leadership with apparent confidence. But this aging circle of advisers is never far behind, lending the young man gravitas and experience while making clear that he has the backing of the powerful military.
South Dallas protest fails to articulate the real problem [OPINION]
Dallas Morning News
A clerk working for Kwik Stop owner Thomas Pak, a Korean American, opened fire during the 2010 confrontation witnessed by a Dallas County sheriff’s detention officer. The cash register thief didn’t just try to run off, he also tried to assault the clerk, a relative of Pak. In December, another man brandished a knife during a confrontation with Pak. This neighborhood is one of the toughest in the city. Over the past month alone, within a five-block radius of Pak’s store, police have responded to at least 73 crimes, including 10 assaults and more than 12 robberies or thefts. Since October, there have been three homicides within a 10-block radius. There are at least two open-air drug markets nearby.
Does that make Pak a great humanitarian for braving all these dangers to keep his business open there? No. In fact, he openly admits he used a racial epithet during an argument in December with Jeffery Muhammad, a student minister at a nearby mosque. And Muhammad apparently responded with his own racial epithet. Pak apologized. But is his racial outburst really the issue here? If he apologized and is seeking mediation to end the dispute, why isn’t that enough to bring a pause to the picketing? Perhaps there’s more here.
K-Pop Leads Record Earnings from Cultural Exports
Korean pop culture generated record profits from overseas last year. According to statistics released by the Bank of Korea Monday, the industry earned US$794 million from exports of cultural and entertainment services last year, up 25 percent from $637 million in 2010.
This was the highest amount since statistics in the sector were compiled for the first time in 1980.
N. Korean women popular as brides: JoongAng Ilbo
The JoongAng Ilbo reports that female North Korean defectors are increasingly popular with South Korean men as brides.
One 46-year-old man running a Japanese restaurant in Cheonan who married a 37-year-old North Korean defector said he was hesitant at first to enter a relationship because he thought there would be a huge cultural gap, but his thinking changed “180 degrees” after meeting her.
He said he liked her purity/innocence, which was hard to find in South Korean women. He also liked her deep thoughts and her vitality, a product perhaps of the great difficulties she has faced.
Chicago restaurant couples must get creative to celebrate their relationships
Yvonne Cadiz-Kim, who owns Belly Shack with her husband, chef Bill Kim, likes to surprise him with last-minute vacations.
Political Star Starts Fund to Benefit South Korea
New York Times
A South Korean software magnate and university dean, whose presidential ambitions are among the biggest unknowns in this election year, said Monday that he would start a charity to help tackle widening social and economic inequality, a major grievance here.
“I continue to reflect on what roles I can play for our society’s change for the better,” said the magnate, Ahn Cheol-soo. “Politics can be one of them.”
How Fashion Week Gets Made With Richard Chai
For our inaugural edition of “How Fashion Week Gets Made,” Richard Chai, who will show his men’s and women’s collections together on Thursday, and was just named creative director at Filson, tells us about his design process, lack of sleep and reveals the location of his after party.
The Battle for Jeju Island: How the Arms Race is Threatening a Korean Paradise
Actor Robert Redford has joined the fight to prevent a military missile defense system from being built on Jeju Island.
I think the least that environmentalists, peace activists and supporters of democracy can do is express our outrage. You can take action now by visiting the Save Jeju Island Campaign website.
S. Korea’s ancient ‘farmer drink’ to hit US
AFP via Google News
A centuries-old Korean rice wine is enjoying a renaissance at home and in Japan, and is set to make inroads into a major new market as it gains ground on better known beverages such as soju.
Makgeolli, a smooth milky-white drink famed for its purported health benefits, will be produced overseas for the first time later this year when a brewery opens in Chicago, South Korea’s Baesangmyun Brewery has announced.
Under a deal with an entrepreneur based in the US city, some 50,000 bottles a month of makgeolli will be produced, a spokeswoman for the company said.
“This will be the first makgeolli brewery outside the country,” she told AFP without being drawn on the cost.
Independent Voter Project with Randall Park
Comedian Randall Park is in a new PSA about the Independent Voter Project. Joining him in the PSA are actresses Jae Suh, Lynn Chen, and Joy Osmanski.
The Independent Voter Network (IVN) is a new kind of news network, an online news platform for communication between independent-minded voters, public officials, civic leaders, and journalists. The Independent Voter Network is dedicated to providing political analysis and rational commentary in an effort to elevate the level of our public discourse.
Playwright Lloyd Suh Talks About a Rebel Finding His Cause: Jesus in India
We are all familiar with the story of Jesus Christ. But what about his lost years? Lloyd Suh, the author of American Hwangap, about a Korean father’s 60th birthday celebration, is back at the Magic Theatre with Jesus in India, exploring Jesus’ teenage years, when he runs away from home with his friend, Abigail of Galilee, to the East to explore who he is and who he wants to become. The play continues through Feb. 19. Suh talked with us recently about prequels, destiny and the universality of coming of age stories.
Hello Kitty jets: Cutest airplanes ever
Forget the YouTube videos. If you want a real dose of cute cat, book a flight with Taiwan airline EVA Air.
The carrier has recently launched three Hello Kitty-themed aircraft, on which everything from the fuselage to the flight attendants to the food is kitted out in the kawaii cat brand’s images.
Passengers have been purring with delight, according to Anna Wong, an EVA Air public relations officer in Hong Kong.
Oh the Lin-Sanity! China Has a New Hardcourt Hero
Wall Street Journal
Move over Yao Ming, China’s newest basketball hero is … Jeremy Lin?
Lin, a former Harvard star who went undrafted out of college, gives up 14 inches and roughly a hundred pounds to Yao, the former No. 1 draft pick and recently retired center of the NBA’s Houston Rockets. He’s also an American by birth, the California-raised son of Taiwanese immigrants.
But none of that appeared to matter to China’s basketball fans after the second-year player exploded for a career-high 25 points in leading the New York Knicks to a victory over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday then went on to top that effort with 28 points in a win over the Utah Jazz on Monday.