The U.S. Army officer who was rendered brain dead following a fight at a downtown Los Angeles nightclub, passed away earlier this week but not before giving new life for six people.
Albert Song, 24, a first lieutenant and West Point graduate, was a registered organ donor. Six patients in need received his organs, an unidentified friend told the Korea Daily Los Angeles.
“He was a good person until the very end and now he has gone to heaven,” the friend told the newspaper. The friend added that he hoped police would catch the perpetrator quickly. Continue Reading »
Los Angeles is naming a new elementary school after a Korean American living legend.
The board of directors of the Los Angeles Unified School District met today and approved the new elementary school’s name to be the “Dr. Sammy Lee Medical and Health Science Magnet Elementary School,” named after the 92-year-old former Olympic diver.
Dr. Lee was the first Asian American to win a gold medal for the United States and competed at the London Olympics in 1948 and the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, winning gold medals in the 10-meter platform at both Olympics.
The native of Fresno, Calif., was already a physician when he won his gold medals, having earned a medical degree from the University of Southern California in 1947. He also served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during the Korean War. Continue Reading »
South Korean President Park Geun-hye today wrapped up her first U.S. visit with a stop in Los Angeles, where Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hosted a garden luncheon in her honor at his mansion in Hancock Park, just a stone’s throw away from the nation’s largest Koreatown.
After meeting privately with Villaraigosa and California Governor Jerry Brown, South Korea’s first female president emerged from the residence, pausing briefly to listen to an all-female mariachi band before greeting various dignitaries among the 120 guests invited to the exclusive luncheon.
Villaraigosa is no stranger to South Korea, having visited the country three times. During his visits he would often be introduced as the “mayor of the seventh largest Korean city,” he noted.
“Los Angeles is unthinkable without its Korean American community,” he added.
Park, speaking through an interpreter, acknowledged the fact that Los Angeles boasts the greatest number of ethnic Koreans outside the peninsula. “The same applies for California, as well. So, for us Koreans, L.A. as well as California have a special place in our hearts,” she said. Continue Reading »
Just six days after Psy’s surprise appearance, Dodger Stadium was graced by another K-pop star when Tiffany Hwang of supergroup Girls’ Generation threw the ceremonial first pitch before Monday night’s game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Hwang, a Southern California native from nearby Diamond Bar, threw to Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, albeit somewhat off the mark.
Hwang said the newly-arrived lefty pitcher was now her favorite player on her hometown team.
“It’s great to see a fellow Korean on a team I’ve supported since I was young,” she told iamKoreAm.com before the game. “I hope he does well.”
Hwang’s pitch was a memorable one, unlike most ceremonial first pitches which become forgotten as soon as the actual game begins. It was actually more of a “throw” than a pitch, as she tossed the ball right through the middle of first base and home plate, prompting hysterical laughter from the crowd.
“It went terrible,” she said. “But [Ryu] said it was okay!” Continue Reading »
College friends seek release of former University of Oregon student Kenneth Bae from North Korean prison
Friends and colleagues described Bae as a devout Christian from Washington state but based in the Chinese border city of Dalian who traveled frequently to North Korea to feed the country’s orphans.
“Knowing Kenneth from college, he’s such a warm-hearted person, I can’t imagine him breaking the law,’’ Kwon said, adding that it is possible Bae took photos of orphans begging for food: “He probably couldn’t walk away from what he saw.”
Since Sunday, Lee and Kwon have been calling friends as well as Oregon’s congressional delegation to see what can be done to release their old college buddy. They are working on a website to complement a Facebook page that went up in late December.
Why is North Korea cooling it?
After weeks of fiery rhetoric, military saber rattling and threats against the United States and South Korea, North Korea seems downright quiet and willing to dial back the tension.
Fears Kim Jong Un would test a long-range missile have given way to an easing of his daily war threats, and North Korea has produced a list of conditions for dialogue.
In exchange for returning talks, North Korea wants the lifting of U.N. sanctions, the end of the U.S.-South Korea military drills, the withdrawal of U.S. nuclear strike capabilities from the region and a halt on criticism of the North. It also wants a South Korean apology for offending its leadership.
Choco Pies offer North Koreans a taste of the other side
The Guardian (U.K.)
World leaders have tried aid, lectures, sanctions and engagement. But the long-term future of North Korea may be partly determined by a small, round, sugary snack from the South given as a reward to North Korean workers, say analysts.
“Choco Pies are an important mind-changing instrument,” said Andrei Lankov, author of The Real North Korea and a leading expert on the country.
“It has become a symbol of South Korean prosperity – and North Koreans read it. They are suffering and starving, but thanks to Choco Pies, DVDs and large-scale labour migration to China, people don’t buy the old story [that the South is even poorer] and the government does not sell it any more.”
New Student School Board Member Says, ‘Students Are the Largest Stakeholders’
Patch.com (Rockville, Md.)
Meet Justin Kim, junior at Poolesville High and an 18-year-old Gaithersburg native who will serve as student member of the Montgomery County Board of Education next year.
Kim was elected to the position with 65 percent of the student vote, Montgomery County Public Schools announced April 26. All secondary students in the system were eligible to participate in the election.
Patch spoke to Kim about what he hopes to achieve during his term and the challenges the school system faces.
ITV Studios America Ups True-Crime Producer John X. Kim
Veteran showrunner John X. Kim has been promoted to Senior Executive Producer, ITV Studios America. Kim is the co-creator and executive producer of the real-life homicide investigation series The First 48, now in its 15th season on A&E. He also exec produces After The First 48 and The Killer Speaks, both currently airing on A&E, and the upcoming The Mathis Project on BET.
Cho teaches K-pop that youth isn’t everything
The K-pop scene has long been dominated by sleek young talents in their teens or not far out of them. But youth is not a requirement as 63-year-old veteran singer Cho Yong-pil has proven.
Cho’s new single “Bounce” is a hit, as is his new “Hello” – which happens to be his 19th.
“Bounce” immediately reached No. 1 on nine local music charts, competing with Psy’s global hit “Gentleman.” Preorders for “Hello,” Cho’s first album in a decade, reached 20,000.
Hines Ward doesn’t ‘think football is ready’ for an openly gay player
Jason Collins decision to come out of the closet is a huge deal: Collins, despite being an NBA free agent, is the first active player in any major North American sport to be openly gay. It’s not illogical to believe that the NFL and MLB are next in line to accept an openly gay player.
However, former Steelers wideout Hines Ward doesn’t think that “football is ready” for an openly gay player just yet.
“I don’t think football is ready. There’s too many guys in the locker room and, you know, guys play around too much,” Ward said on NBC Sports Radio via Pro Football Talk.
What a Bargain!: Shin-Soo Choo is a Steal for the 2013 Cincinnati Reds
The Cincinnati Reds took a chance that other teams may not have taken when they converted right fielder Shin-Soo Choo to center field, where Choo had played all of 10 games in his eight years prior to 2013. Defensively, the move of Choo to center hasn’t been flawless (2 errors and other dicey moments), but his strong arm and sufficient range have made the gamble by the Reds to play Choo in center look acceptable.
Offensively, Choo has been worth his weight in gold as a leadoff hitter. Leading the majors in on-base percentage with enough pop in his bat to also rank within the Top 10 in MLB in on-base plus slugging is much more of a return on investment than the $3.875 million the Reds are paying Choo this year.
Chego Opens in Chinatown This Saturday
From Roy Choi’s Twitter feed, and I quote: “We don’t think anyone’s been as excited about Chego in Chinatown as us. And, well, maybe you. Which is why we’re sending you the invite. Finally. Ooey Gooey Fries and Chubby Pork Bellies shall be had once again…With maybe a little ping pong on the side. Trust. It shall be a Grand Opening that Far East Plaza shalt not soon forget.”
What: Chego reopens in Chinatown. Or, more stuff you’re probably wildly happy about. (See: The Dodgers, maybe. Trois Mec, maybe. Number 98.)
When: Sat. May 4, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Cocohodo: Korean Walnut Pastries In OC’s Koreatown
Usually, Asian trends start in LA and then migrate south to the smaller enclaves in Orange County. LA’s Koreatown is approximately a bazillion times larger than OC’s ever-expanding Koreatown, but that didn’t stop Cocohodo, a dessert maker whose name inspires Pavlovian drooling among a certain subset of young Koreans, from opening their first U.S. shop in Buena Park.
The little treats are so popular that there’s now a larger, more upscale-looking shop in Kaju Plaza at the northwest corner of Garden Grove Boulevard and Magnolia Street in Garden Grove, where the H-Mart is. You walk in and there is the usual menu of Asian tea drinks (boba, grain tea, etc.) and a display full of empty boxes.
North Korea’s former poet laureate to publish memoir in English
Los Angeles Times
Rider Publishing, a Random House imprint, acquired world rights to “Crossing the Border,” the memoirs of former North Korean State Poet Laureate Jang Jin-sung, the Guardian reports. In 2004, unable to reconcile his privileged position with the suffering endured by most North Koreans, Jang traveled to China on a pass and from there he found sympathizers who got him to South Korea.
Accounts of North Korea by insiders are rare. North Korean Kang Chol-hwan authored the prison camp memoir “The Aquariums of Pyongyang.” Barbara Demick’s “Nothing to Envy,” a National Book Award finalist, told of the hardships of ordinary life in North Korea as related by defectors living abroad.
Blakelock’s Ji Soo Choi headed to Juilliard to study violin
InsideHalton.com (Ontario, Canada)
Oakville’s Ji Soo Choi clearly has music in her veins. The young violinist is headed to Juilliard School in New York City where she will work on her bachelor’s degree in violin this coming school year.
“I’m really excited. It’s something that also my mom dreamed of and is something that I really wanted to do. Juilliard is such a big name,” Choi said.
The 18-year-old T.A. Blakelock High School student has been playing violin since the age of three. She takes lessons through the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) and practices a minimum of six hour a day, this on top of the time she spends in music class at Blakelock. She’s also the concertmaster for the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.