In a Starving Nation, Luxury for a Few
New York Times
The South Korean news media, which scrutinizes every photo of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, zeroed in this week on one particular photo released by the North’s state-run media on Tuesday. It shows Mr. Kim watching an art performance by soldiers during a military visit, the first reported in the North Korean media since he fired the top army leader, Vice Marshal Ri Yong-ho, on July 15.
But the photo also showed his wife, Ri Sol-ju, with something most North Korean women have never heard of, much less owned: a Christian Dior handbag.
South Korean journalists did not take long to identify Ms. Ri’s handbag and its going price in Seoul: 1.8 million won, or $1,600. That is about 16 times the average monthly wage of a North Korean worker in the Gaeseong industrial park, a joint venture between North and South Korea that provides some of the best-paying jobs in the impoverished North.
Violence and Making Sense
Cho was a Korean-American from the South who had entered college with dreams, however mangled and bizarre, of becoming a writer. That same sentence could have been written about me. As the evidence of Cho’s derangement began to surface in the videos, short stories and plays he left behind, it became clear that Cho had been trying to tell a righteous story, where the “rich kids” and “brats” were cleansed from the earth by a sort of Frankenstein’s monster of messianic figures and revenge-movie heroes.
Wesson accuses council of racial, geographic cliques
Los Angeles Times
In videotaped remarks posted online by a Los Angeles Baptist ministers organization, Wesson discussed the council’s recent, once-a-decade redistricting process, saying the council is divided into four factions: white, black, Latinos and those who represent the San Fernando Valley. He noted an ongoing split between himself and the council’s two other black council members, Jan Perry and Bernard C. Parks. And he said some of his colleagues deliberately tried to exploit that rift, which became public after Parks and Perry skipped the vote to make Wesson council president.
North Korea: Don’t Call Us “Naughty”
Wall Street Journal
North Korea gets referred to in less-than-glowing terms on a regular basis, and for good reason. But now it’s upset about being called something a lot less damning: naughty.
On Tuesday, the North’s official news agency lashed out at an Australian newspaper for its tongue-in-cheek reference to North Korea as “Naughty Korea” in an Olympic medals table printed last Wednesday. The free daily, mX, referred to South Korea as “Nice Korea” in the same table.
‘Comfort Women’ Billboard Goes Up in Houston
An advertisement titled “Do You Hear?” condemning the Japanese government for failing to apologize to women it subjected to sexual slavery during the World War II was set up on a highway billboard in Houston, Texas.
La Crescenta Library to Receive 10,000 Korean Books
About 10,000 Korean books were shipped by boat across the Pacific from Korea to Los Angeles, and will soon line the shelves at La Crescenta Library.
Crescenta Valley Town Councilmember James Suh, Ph.D., learned about a Korean language book donation program happening at a library in Cerritos. He contacted the Campaign Association of the Book Supplying for Overseas Koreans.
‘Go On’: Matthew Perry and John Cho share a moment
Zap 2 It
Perry plays Ryan King, a sports-radio host whose wife dies a month before the series opens. Cho is Steven, Ryan’s boss at the station, who orders him to attend group therapy to help cope with his loss.
As you can see, neither man is exactly at ease talking about the sensitive subject.
K-Town by K-Town: A Jokbal Platter + Seoul Train + Partying in Rounds
Chatter of K-Town, an unapologetic Asian American rendition of Jersey Shore, began in 2010. Rumors mixed among facts: R&B singer Tyrese Gibson is the executive producer; it was slated to air on a cable network; and it was about to drop any minute. Angry Asian Man kept tabs on when (and where) the show would premiere, while critics debated the merits and failures to both community and pop culture at-large. SNL even made a spoof. All this until it was apparent that K-Town was experiencing distributive difficulties.
Television network aims at growing US Asian market
New York Daily News
In hopes of seizing an untapped market, Mnet, the first round-the-clock Asian American entertainment network, has been expanding across the United States with programs ranging from Korean pop to US-produced animation.
Mnet, which entered Washington and Philadelphia in June as its latest markets, faces a complicated task ahead as it looks to appeal to one of the most diverse demographics in the United States.
Emmy nominee Margaret Cho: ‘The most alarming thing’ is that I look like Kim Jong-il
OMG via Yahoo Canada
Margaret Cho was recently nominated for her first-ever Emmy … but it’s for a guest role most viewers don’t even realize she’s playing. After all, who would ask a 43-year-old woman to portray North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il? “30 Rock” star and executive producer Tina Fey would (and did!) and Cho jumped at the chance.
“It seemed like a good fit. I was absolutely flattered. People don’t expect it to be me because I’m so disguised. But the way I’m disguised is just that I’m not wearing any makeup. That’s actually enough to transform me into him,” Cho, whose parents both emigrated from South Korea, explains of the comic-infused version of the notorious leader she’s played on the NBC sitcom for the last two seasons. “The most alarming thing is that I just look like that. There are a couple of different fat suits I wear, and I guess it’s in the performance, so that’s good. I’m proud that I get to play a man and be nominated as an actress. I feel like Cate Blanchett.”
Olympic Update: Japan to Battle Rival South Korea for Men’s Soccer Bronze
Wall Street Journal
Like Japan, South Korea missed the finals, unable to answer any of Brazil’s three goals during the semifinal match. But the Asian rivals’ dashed gold medal hopes mean fans back home will be treated to a fiery kicker.
Japan is chasing its first Olympic soccer medal in 44 years. South Korea wants its first ever. Now one of them is assured of walking away with both a medal and the satisfaction of thumping a rival.
Cerritos Native-Gold Medalist Reflects on the Olympic Moment That Almost Wasn’t
It was a golden moment that almost didn’t happen. Between waking up with a 102 degree fever that morning, and suffering a broken toe in his first bout that day, Jimmy Kim was ready to give up.
But after a few words of wisdom from his coach/father Grand Master Chan-Yong Kim, the 21-year-old Olympian fought through the pain and exhaustion that ravaged his body and instead became the first American male to ever win a gold medal in Taekwondo at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea.
Viewers’ guide to UFC 150
So when the former lightweight champion stares into the eyes of Benson Henderson on Saturday night in Denver (10 p.m. ET, PPV) and has a déjà vu moment, it’ll be a familiar feeling. The UFC 150 main event with Henderson, who dethroned Edgar in February, will be Frankie’s sixth fight in a row against someone he’s met in his last one or will face again in his next.
Park won’t be back with Penguins
Richard Park’s second stint with the Penguins officially ended.
The Penguins showed little interest in bringing the veteran center back for another season, and on Tuesday, he inked a two-year deal with HC Ambri Piotta in Switzerland.
Park enjoyed two previous stints in the Swiss Elite League. He scored seven goals and added seven assists last season in 54 games with the Penguins.
Say It Ain’t So — Kogi BBQ Truck Gets Rid of Select Menu Items
Looks like Chef Roy Choi of Kogi BBQ fame is back on his feet again and is planning to add new menu items to his world famous Los Angeles and Orange County based trucks.
Following a recent stint in which Choi stopped eating meat for a week and considered leaving the culinary world, it seems as if his passion for cooking has been reignited.
Boo, the World’s Cutest Dog, Calls a Facebook Employee “Mom”
Two of my tipsters say that Boo’s adoptive human mother of the past six years is Irene Ahn, a dyed-in-the-wool Facebook employee working in a leading position in the company’s finance department. After working for Yahoo and PayPal in the past, Ahn has been with Facebook since December of 2008.
Korean American comedienne Margaret Cho is all smiles after learning of her Emmy nomination for outstanding guest actress in a comedy series, announced on Thursday.
Cho appeared as the enigmatic and vertically challenged dictator in three episodes of hit NBC sitcom 30 Rock in 2011 and 2012.
“I’m so excited to have been nominated for an Emmy, especially for 30 Rock, which is an incredible show and also for playing a deranged and deceased world dictator who has divided the small country of my origin in two,” Cho told CBSNews. “That’s the best part. I think that’s what I’d call iron curtain irony.”
North Korea Tests the Patience of Its Closest Ally
New York Times
Since succeeding his father, Kim Jong-il, six months ago, Mr. Kim has quickly alienated the Obama administration and put North Korea on track to develop a nuclear warhead that could hit the United States within a few years, Chinese and Western analysts say.
Most surprising, though, is how Mr. Kim has thumbed his nose at China, whose economic largess keeps the government afloat. For example, shortly after Mr. Kim took over, a Chinese vice minister of foreign affairs, Fu Ying, visited Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, and sternly warned him not to proceed with a ballistic missile test. The new leader went ahead anyway.
Koreans in US ham-handed on racial issues
Chung, who is responsible for planning events and exchanges between Korean and black communities, feels that Koreans’ racial prejudice is a major speed bump in building a friendly relationship.
“We need to take a look at our attitude and how we’re treating people,’’ he said, pointing out that Koreans, especially business owners, often come off as rude and condescending
Meet Min Reyes, Canada’s top political tweeter
The Star (Canada)
How did this young woman of Korean parentage, who grew up in Paraguay, arrived in Canada in 1998 not speaking any English, and now lives in New Westminster, B.C., get so deep into Canadian politics when, as she admits, she was unengaged and uninformed just a few years ago?
“Funny thing, in 2008 I voted Conservative,” Reyes says. “I didn’t care about politics. I cared about landing a good job in communication. Basically 2008 came and I didn’t know who to vote for. So I watched the leaders’ debate.”
Two of Korea’s Leading Actors Stamp Prints in Hollywood
Actors Ahn Sung-ki and Lee Byung-hun left their hand prints on the forecourt of Mann’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on Saturday (local time), becoming the first Asian actors to do so.
Michelle Rhee: Quality of Public Education ‘Dire’
Rhee’s comments came the same month that a Gallup poll found that just 29 percent of respondents had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in public schools, an all-time low.
“I actually don’t think that most Americans understand how dire the situation is,” she said. “Every year when the new results come out that show that America is near the bottom for internationals rankings for mathematics aptitude, you don’t hear an outcry.”
Nebraska private schools see influx of interest from foreign students
Journal Star (Neb.)
In Lincoln, most parochial schools take six to 12 students a year on such visas, although Frayser said the number of requests has increased dramatically in the past five years.
“It is becoming more and more common,” she said.
Next year, she said, Pius will have nearly a dozen foreign students, and she sees that as a good thing for the school.
Arirang unites: 17 Korean American women artist reflect on cross-cultural heritage at exhibition opening
The diversity of the folksong Arirang, with its many regional variations and flavors across Korea, was well matched by the eclectic artwork featured in Arirang: 17 Women Artists, which opened at the Korean Cultural Center Washington DC in May 2012.
Organized by Komelia Hongja Okim, Professor of Art and Metal at Montgomery College in Maryland, the opening reception on May 4 included a performance by Korean fusion rock group TODA, who performed their modern take on Arirang for an audience of about 70 guests.
Escort Stage a Disco Revival on Debut LP
[Dan] Balis, a political-science major, met co-bandleader Eugene Cho, an art-history major, in an electronic-music class at Vassar College, where they bonded over a love of house music. Their obsessive crate-digging habits led them back to disco classics by Chic and August Darnell (the leader of Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band and Kid Creole and the Coconuts), along with other hits from an era when the thirtysomething duo spent more time in sandboxes, not dance clubs.
Margaret Cho delivers the laughs in St. Louis show, despite protesters
STL Today (Mo.)
The comedian’s two sold-out shows were linked to St. Louis PrideFest, where the bisexual comedian made an appearance prior to the Lumiere shows.
“They’re (messed) up,” she said, referencing some of the protestors’ signs. “God hates hate.”
Cho’s tour was as much about Cho’s sexuality, love of marijuana and affinity for gay men as it was about her mother and growing up Asian.
Star-studded K-pop concert in Hong Kong
AFP via Google News
Thousands of fans flocked to a major K-pop concert in Hong Kong, cheering an array of South Korean stars in the latest sign of the pop music phenomenon’s rising popularity.
Music Bank featured eight popular South Korean artists and was the largest K-pop concert to be held in the southern Chinese city.
Boy band TVXQ and singing starlet IU were among the groups that danced and sang to a sea of exuberant fans.
Kyung Kim prevails to win U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links title at Neshanic Valley
The teenager from Georgia tried to mount comeback after comeback in the 36-hole championship match of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Saturday afternoon, but her putter wouldn’t let her. Instead, Kyung Kim of Arizona walked away from Neshanic Valley Golf Course with the trophy, winning 4&2.
Elisabeth Burgess, Dahm Choi
New York Times
Elisabeth Brynn Burgess, a daughter of Joleen and Timothy Burgess of Seattle, was married there Saturday to Dahm Choi, a son of Hyang Ran Choi and the Rev. Sang Joon Choi of Irvine, Calif. The bridegroom’s father, a Lutheran minister, performed the ceremony at Bethany Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. Rick Hudson, a Presbyterian minister, taking part.
Ji Kim and Albert Shin
New York Times
Ji Yeh Kim, the daughter of Kap S. Kim and Chang G. Kang of Annandale, Va., was married Saturday to Albert Dongjin Shin, the son of Christina Shin and E. Peter Shin of Flushing, Queens. The Rev. Beau Underwood, a Disciples of Christ minister, performed the ceremony at the National City Christian Church in Washington, where he is the church’s assistant pastor. The Rev. Hyong Sohn, a Baptist minister, assisted in the ceremony.
Heejun Han and Colton Dixon Talk ‘American Idol’ Summer Tour
Christie defends Supreme Court nominee Philip Kwon
State House Bureau (N.J.)
Governor Christie has been adamant that Philip Kwon was an independent — not a Republican or Democratic nominee to the New Jersey Supreme Court.
But during a news conference Thursday Christie seemed to acknowledge that Kwon, of Closter, was a Republican — something Democrats have argued all along.
Kwon was a registered Republican before moving to New Jersey several years ago and that coupled with his mother’s legal troubles was among the reasons the Democrats rejected him in March. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday rejected Christie’s other nominee, Chatham Mayor Bruce Harris, a registered Republican, saying the private attorney lacked courtroom and judicial experience.
N. Korea says it targets S. Korean media for possible attack
North Korea said Monday its military has entered map coordinates of some conservative South Korean media offices as it threatened to strike their headquarters for their alleged insult to North Korea’s new leader Kim Jong-un.
The General Staff of the Korean People’s Army said the country’s troops have been targeting the Seoul headquarters of the Chosun Ilbo at coordinates of 37 degrees 56 minutes 83 seconds North latitude and 126 degrees 97 minutes 65 seconds East longitude. It also revealed the coordinates of the JoongAng Ilbo and Dong-a Ilbo newspapers, as well as the KBS, MBC and SBS television stations and CBS radio.
It is the first time the North has released coordinates of intended targets in South Korea.
SuChin Pak Gives Birth to Baby Boy
While chatting with The Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson and Elizabeth Banks during the 2012 MTV Movie Awards on Sunday, MTV News correspondent Sway announced the exciting news.
“Also, we want to say congratulations to SuChin Pak who just had a baby boy,” he said. “Congratulations!”
This is the first child for Pak, 35, who joined MTV News as a correspondent in May 2001. She is now the new on-air correspondent for Daily Candy.
Montgomery School’s chief stepping down to serve schools in need
Times of Trenton (N.J.)
The question has contributed to Earl Kim’s decision to leave his six-year post this summer as superintendent of schools in the affluent community. Trying to represent the interests of the district while remaining true to his conscience had become a struggle, especially with added pressure exerted against him by others.
Lit Motors’ C-1: A 2-wheel car? Or untippable motorcycle?
Los Angeles Times
Is it a motorcycle? A car? Neither. It’s an entirely new form of personal transportation, presuming it gets off the ground.
The all-electric vehicle is fully enclosed and uses a steering wheel and floor pedals like a car. But it weighs just 800 pounds and balances on two wheels even when stopped, making it more efficient than hauling around a 2-ton four-wheeler and safer than an accident-prone bike.
“Most people don’t drive motorcycles because they’re dangerous,” said Lit Motors founder and C-1 creator Daniel Kim, 32.
Margaret Cho Reveals How Much Money ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Rejects Make On ‘The View’
She may not have taken home the “Dancing With The Stars” trophy, but Margaret Cho isn’t complaining.
While on ABC’s “The View” (weekdays on ABC) on Friday, Cho admitted that the dance competition show left her with $200,000.
Margaret Cho lets her pansexual flag fly — with details
Los Angeles Times
Margaret Cho is doing the rounds, and when this comic actress does the rounds, the result is likely to be just a little more Cho than you wanted to know.
And while the “Dancing With the Stars” alum and”Drop Dead Diva”actress kept it relatively tame on “The View” last Friday, hitting “safe” topics such as race and money, she let her pansexual flag fly Monday with Wendy Williams.
“I’m really attracted to all different types of people,” Cho explained to Williams. “So I don’t like to say that I’m gay or I’m straight — I’m just slutty.”
The Case of the Argentine Waiter and the Korean Supper Club
New York Times
It turns out that Mun Kim, 44, had thrown over a career as a banker in Los Angeles and New York to do what he really loves: cook. He mentioned the Korean short ribs his mother would make when he was growing up in an immigrant family in Honolulu, and also how he’d studied at the Sushi Chef Institute before working for the chef Makoto Okuwa, a regular on “Iron Chef,” at Sashi in Manhattan Beach, Calif. Having fallen hard for Buenos Aires during vacations there, Kim, according to the site, decided to make it his home and introduce his own version of Asian-California cuisine to a city “dominated by a mix of parrilla (red meat) and pastas.”
Salt Lake Bees: Hank Conger delivers walk-off win for Bees
Hank Conger continued his hitting streak Friday night, finishing the night 1-for-5 with a walk-off single that scored Doug Deeds for the 6-5 victory. Conger has now hit safely in all 15 games he has played in this season.
when yomyomf launches a youtube channel, all hell breaks loose
angry asian man
This is madness! Here’s the freshly launched, crazy epic, mayhem-filled promo video for the YOMYOMF YouTube Network from director Justin Lin, giving you an insane little taste of what to expect from this new video venture: IT HAS BEGUN: BANANAPOCALYPSE.
North Jersey Korean-Americans move toward forming PAC
Bergen County Record (N.J.)
The Korean-American Civic Action Committee was formed in the wake of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s rejection in March of Phillip Kwon, the first Korean-American nominee for the state Supreme Court. The bipartisan organization has yet to be registered with the state, but a kickoff ceremony drew more than 75 to the Palisadium banquet hall Tuesday, and its founders said their goals were clear.
“We felt our Korean community didn’t have an organized voice,” said Andrew Kim, one of the founders and a former president of the Korean-American Association of Fort Lee. “That’s one of the main goals, to have a voice and to educate voters about the issues.”
Love, L.A. style: A Korean-Armenian couple dishes on romance, food, in-laws and ‘the dowry’
Southern California Public Radio
Today’s couple: Aris and InSun Janigian, married 15 years, the parents of two children. Aris, a novelist whose recently published This Angelic Land relates the story of the 1992 L.A. riots through an Armenian American protagonist, was born in the U.S. of Armenian parents; InSun, a homemaker and former jack of all trades, is Korean American and arrived in the U.S. at age four.
Nashville girl prepares for spelling bee
Grace Park has longed to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee for years. On Wednesday, she will finally get her chance.
Grace, 14, of Nashville, caught the spelling-bee bug during a trip to the nation’s capital three years ago, when she and her family stumbled across hundreds of spellers at Washington’s Grand Hyatt Hotel, where the competition was held until last year.
Korean-American quizzed over suspicious apartment deal with Roh’s daughter
Prosecutors appear to have reopened an investigation into a complex cash and real estate deal apparently involving the family of the late former President Roh Moo-hyun, as a Korean-American woman underwent three days of questioning over allegations Roh’s daughter bought her New Jersey apartment years ago with cash from suspicious sources.
Margaret Cho to Launch Mother! Tour in August
Stage and television star Margaret Cho will launch a tour of her new show, Mother! at The Art House in Provincetown, Massachusetts, August 11-18.
The all-new stand-up show offers up an untraditional look at motherhood and how we look at maternal figures and strong women in queer culture.
Korean Sound Wave: Girls’ Generation Applies Pop Formula To U.S. Market
New York 1
Girls’ Generation’s carefree and innocent image is a huge hit all over Asia with many of their songs also performed in Chinese and Japanese. That makes English a fourth language for many of the members: An obvious sign of their intelligence and determination.
“They’re kind of like the Korean version of the Pussycat Dolls but more refined, and less sexy but still very cute,” said Entertainment Writer David Yi.
McFarlane honors Ward’s ‘Dark Knight Rises’ role in toy form
McFarlane Toys will be releasing a special figure in November of former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward in his Gotham Rogues uniform, which he wears in a cameo in the upcoming Batman flick The Dark Knight Rises (out July 20).
Young Chefs Adapt Korean Food for American Palates
Edward Song, who majored in finance at Columbia University, and his two friends offer Porkinator, a taco made with pork and kimchi, and Wonder Bird, a taco with chicken and kimchi. Korilla BBQ has over 18,000 followers on Twitter.
Korean cuisine was first introduced to the U.S. by first-generation Korean immigrants, and now their children are having fun reimagining it. Many of these successful second-generation Korean cooks are young, business-minded graduates of prestigious universities. They strictly try to approach Korean food from American point of view and reinvent it to appeal to the taste of local people.
Teen shares her musical talent with local nursing home
Residents in Bodmann Pavilion, a skilled nursing facility at Maple Knoll Village, are entertained by the musical stylings of a very special volunteer. For the past two months, 13 year old Esther Kim has been visiting Bodmann and playing a variety of songs for residents. Esther’s younger sister, Rachel, often joins in for a few duets.
Bo Xilai ‘Paid Movie Star Zhang Ziyi for Sex’
The disgraced top Chinese official Bo Xilai is now being accused of paying actress Zhang Ziyi to have sex with him on a dozen occasions over the last five years. Anti-Beijing website Boxun on Monday quoted sources as saying that Zhang is being investigated by Chinese authorities and has been barred from leaving the country.
Gallery: What 100,000 people are lining up (in frustration) to see at Yeosu World Expo
Despite being riddled with global superlatives — of the quirky techie variety, including biggest gathering of robots in the history of expos, the world’s largest dome screen, the world’s tallest robot and a laser-shooting robot fish — the ocean-themed Expo 2012 in Yeosu, Korea, has had a rickety start the past few weeks in terms of attendance and operations.
The Demise of a Former Hero
Wall Street Journal
South Korean police said Wednesday they arrested Kim Dong-hyun, a former Suwon Samsung Bluewings midfielder, on charges of armed robbery of a middle-aged woman in a posh neighborhood in southern Seoul on Saturday.
David Choi Teams Up With Macy Gray to Cover Radiohead’s “Creep”
David Choi has recorded an utterly moving take on Radiohead’s classic “Creep” with none other than Macy Gray.
Together, their voices entwine in hypnotic and haunting harmonies, infusing Thom Yorke’s ode to the freaks with a deep sense of soul. Choi’s vulnerability echoes within the acoustic guitar plucks as he delivers each line with a palpable intensity. Meanwhile, Gray sounds simply pristine, stamping the tune with her own blues darkness. This rendition illuminates Choi’s power as a performer, and his ability to duet with the best of them. The YouTube sensation is definitely the real deal, and we can’t wait to hear what he does next.