Comedienne Margaret Cho had some interesting news when she appeared on “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” last week.
It turns out the 44-year-old tattooed funnywoman, known for her spot-on impersonations of her Korean immigrant mother isn’t really Korean at all. She revealed to the Scottish TV host that she took a DNA test and her genes show that she is actually Chinese. Continue Reading »
North Korea May Be Preparing Economic Changes
New York Times
North Korea said on Wednesday that it would convene its Parliament this month, an unusual session that South Korean analysts said might officially introduce a program by the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, to revitalize the North’s moribund economy.
Since taking over the leadership after the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, in December, the younger Mr. Kim has repeatedly stressed the need to improve the living standards of his impoverished people. He said in April, during his first speech, that he would ensure that North Koreans would “never have to tighten their belts again.”
N. Korea launches rare attack on Chinese company
AFP via Google News
North Korea on Wednesday launched a rare attack on a Chinese company which had denounced the communist state over a troubled joint venture deal.
It is highly unusual for North Korea to issue any criticism involving Beijing, the sole major ally and economic lifeline for the impoverished country, which is a major recipient of Chinese food and fuel aid.
N. Korean leader sends condolences over Moon
AFP via Google News
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un sent condolences Wednesday over the death of Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon, fuelling speculation he might send a rare delegation to South Korea for the funeral.
Moon, a self-styled messiah who gathered a global following behind his church and spawned a multi-billion business empire, died on Monday at the age of 92.
New World Bank chief starts Africa tour in Ivory Coast
AFP via Google News
The new president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, began an African tour Tuesday with a call to Ivory Coast to “choose peace” in order to foster economic growth.
Kim, 52, a Korean-American physician and anthropologist, took up his functions at the beginning of July. On Tuesday evening he met Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara for talks followed by a dinner.
San Ramon man arrested on suspicion of beating of foreign exchange student with a stick
Contra Costa Times (Calif.)
A San Ramon man was arrested on child endangerment and assault charges Sunday after authorities were told he was beating a foreign exchange student who was living in his home, police said.
Hyungwoo Lee, 34, was arrested at his San Ramon home after police were notified of possible child abuse involving a 16-year-old South Korean foreign exchange student staying in his residence, Lt. Herb Walters said.
Lee, who works from home as a self-employed tutor, accepts South Korean teenagers on student visas into his home so they may receive an American education, Walters said.
Racist Allegations At Palo Alto Restaurant
NBC Bay Area
An accusation of racism at a popular downtown Palo Alto restaurant and bar has stunned not only customers, but the 14-year owner who says , if true, it would be the first ever incident of racism at The Old Pro.
Engineering firm consultant, Michael Chae, 30, said he was at his own going away party there on Thursday night with one Chinese-American and six white co-workers when a waitress approached them.
“She asked my Caucasian coworker, ‘Hey are those two guys with you guys?’” Chae recounted. “My coworker said, ‘Oh, the Asians?’ She says, ‘Yeah, oh, so those ching chongs are with you?”
TBS Renews Sullivan & Son for Season 2
TV Guide via Seattle Post-Intelligencer
TBS is staying in business with Sullivan & Son.
The comedy has been renewed for a 10-episode second season, the network announced Tuesday. In its first season, the comedy is averaging more than 2.5 million viewers, ranking as one of the Top 23 new summer series on TV.
South Korea’s horror-charged hijinks
Reuters via Vancouver Sun
On a rainy South Korean summer night, Na Won-ju, eyes shut tight, is glued to her boyfriend in a desolate village in Yongin as pale figures in white with loose black hair dart out at them from the shadows.
Unlike in the West, where spooky activities like Halloween are concentrated in the darker months of the year, visiting haunted houses at amusement parks and watching horror movies are a popular summer pastime in South Korea, with people believing a good fright will help them keep cool.
Korean artist Lee Kyu Hak recreates Van Gogh’s works with Styrofoam-based mixed-media mosaics
New York Daily News
Korean artist Lee Kyu Hak is reinterpreting the work of Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh by wrapping bits of newspaper and magazines around pieces of Styrofoam to create stunning mixed-media mosaics.
Wiseguys Comedy: Margaret Cho
City Weekly (Utah)
When Margaret Cho apes her mother, affecting a menacing but matronly growl, she gets big laughs. Speaking from her Atlanta home, Cho says her mother is “into it” and “loves” the attention. This is good, because Seung-Hoon Cho is her daughter’s frequent muse–and a chief inspiration for Margaret Cho’s new stand-up show, Mother.
Korean All-Girls’ Group 2NE1 Chats About Big US Debut
It was billed as a “New Evolution,” as thousands came out in Newark and Los Angeles for the U.S. debut of 2NE1, an all-girl group from Korea that has become an international sensation.
The four members of the group — Bom, Minzy, CL and Dara — found their American audiences to be very enthusiastic.
“We had so much fun on-stage and the energy was there and I felt that our fans were having fun and we got their energy,” says CL.
Kim Jong-un expected to embark on state visit to Iran
The Telegraph (U.K.)
Media reports from South Korea indicate that Kim, who inherited power after the death of his father in December, will take part in the six-day summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran from Sunday.
The organisation is made up of 120 member states that consider themselves independent of any of the major powers, but the venue for this year’s summit has provoked criticism in the West because of Iran’s defiance of international pressure over its nuclear programme.
Kim Jong Un Is No Reformer
Let me be blunt: The North Korean regime will not change because Little Kim studied in Switzerland, likes Mickey Mouse, and has a hot wife. If anything, another crisis could be looming: The death of Kim Jong Il and the politics of an unstable leadership transition, a new “get-tough” attitude in Seoul, and U.S. and South Korean electoral cycles constitute a unique confluence of escalation that has not been seen on the peninsula since the 1990s.
After decades of work, Bergen County Koreans have earned political respect
Bergen County Record (N.J.)
After two decades of persistence, Korean-Americans, one of the fastest-growing minority populations in Bergen County, have become a force commanding the attention of both major political parties.
“As time goes on, it’s going to become more and more important,” said Bob Yudin, chairman of the Bergen County Republican Organization. Yudin said the Korean-American community is undergoing what so many other ethnic minorities have experienced as they enter the political system.
McLean Teen’s Hope Floats Across Korean Borders
Charlotte Heffelmire, 15, of McLean is using helium balloons and neighborhood donations to break into North Korea. Standing on the roof of a building in South Korea, Heffelmire released about a dozen balloons — pearly greens, pinks and blues — that she hopes will float over the 2.5-mile-wide Korean Demilitarized Zone into North Korea.
Japanese Ambassador to Return to South Korea
Wall Street Journal
Japan is to send its ambassador back to South Korea after recalling him amid a diplomatic row over disputed islands. Masatoshi Muto was recalled earlier this month in protest against a surprise visit to the islands by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.
Why Richard Aoki is Still a Symbol of Solidarity
If reporter Seth Rosenfeld was seeking tons of press attention for his new book about the FBI’s war on student activism during the 60s & 70s, he achieved his goal. One day before his book was published, Rosenfeld released an article stating that former Black Panther Richard Aoki had worked as an FBI informant after graduating from high school. My first reaction was to deny it. I’m still not going to fully accept this allegation until more information is published.
Margaret Cho’s Newest Confidence Booster: Her Motorcycle
The Drop Dead Diva star took her latest passion to New York City this month to share her riding experience with a group of women at a blogging conference in New York City hosted by Harley-Davidson.
“One of my proudest achievements was getting my motorcycle license,” Cho says. “I think it’s an inspiring thing.”
Neta: Cool Fish, Cool Place
Nick Kim is dressed all in white, standing in his open steel kitchen, wrapping seaweed around some brightly colored morsels of sea urchin gonad. A man in a T-shirt is seated in front of him, tossing his curls, talking loudly. “Hey, bro, why don’t you make that one thing, though? I used to get it all the time at Masa.” Kim delivers the sushi in his fingers. “Because I don’t have to,” he replies.
BellyQ: The Latest from UrbanBelly’s Bill Kim
Bill Kim got the Belly ball rolling in 2008 at UrbanBelly with his imaginative takes on noodles and dumplings. Belly Shack—an Asian-Latin fusion joint—followed a year later, and the boricua sandwich was born (think marinated tofu and miso sauce over crispy plantains). Now Kim can’t wait to get his hands on the new infrared grills and the Chinese water smoker.
Michelle Wie stays positive in ‘tough year’
Vancouver Sun via Calgary Herald
Wie’s game this year has lacked consistency. Her eighth-place finish in Portland was her first top 10 in a year where she has missed seven of 14 cuts.
She is proud she hasn’t let her indifferent play get her down.
“It’s been my toughest year so far, but I think that I’ve really tried to see positives through it and done a good job with that,” Wie said. “I’ve enjoyed every single week. Even though I didn’t play as well, I still try to take the positives out of it because the game is tough enough without beating yourself up too much.
S. Korean Badminton Pairs Have Bans Cut to 6 Months
AP via ESPN
The association’s disciplinary committee had earlier proposed banning the two women’s doubles pairs from international and domestic play for two years after they were ejected from the Olympics for trying to deliberately lose in order to manipulate the knockout rounds. The players appealed for leniency. The punishment was lowered to six months Wednesday.
LG Unveils 84-Inch TV with Lots of Little Pixels
Wall Street Journal
How many pixels is enough for a TV? LG Electronics Co., the second-largest seller of TVs globally by units, pushed into new territory on Wednesday by unveiling an LCD-TV with an 84-inch (yes, seven feet diagonally) screen that has a resolution of 8.2 million pixels.
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.”