Tuesday’s Link Attack: Asiana Crash Survivor Stories; Asian Ams, Latinos Reshape Campaigns; ‘Miss Korea’ Drama First Impressions
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: December 24th, 2013
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‘Korean Unification Unlikely to Take Place Soon’
KBS World

Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae predicts the two Koreas will not reunite anytime soon.

Ryoo made the assessment on Tuesday during a full session of the National Assembly’s Legislation and Judiciary Committee.

Ryoo was commenting on a media report that quoted National Intelligence Service (NIS) Director Nam Jae-joon as saying during a year-end party attended by senior NIS officials that the unification of the two Koreas could happen in 2015. Nam is said to have then urged the participants to sacrifice their lives to unify the two Koreas under a free democratic system.

Latinos, Asian Americans square off in political races
SF Gate

Dave Gilliard has seen a lot in 25 years of coordinating political campaigns in California, a resume that includes the 2003 recall of Gov. Gray Davis. But even he doesn’t know what to expect in two legislative races he’s running that are a window into the future of state politics.

That’s because both Orange County races feature an Asian American running against a Latino. As the 2014 campaigns gain momentum, Gilliard isn’t sure what role, if any, race and ethnicity will play in districts that are split among Asians, Latinos and whites. Will voters side with – or against – a candidate because of their race?

“And how will Caucasian voters react to not having a Caucasian on the ballot for the first time?” said Gilliard, who handles Republican candidates and causes. “There’s a lot we don’t know about here. This is uncharted territory.”

Asian Americans and Latinos are the two fastest-growing slices of the electorate in both California and nationally, and their swelling numbers are reshaping the way campaigns are run.


Asiana Crash: Survivors’ Stories
Wall Street Journal

Five months after Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport, some passengers are still grappling with emotional trauma.

Most survivors of the July 6 accident, which killed three passengers and injured more than 180, have already recovered or are recovering from their physical injuries. But for some, the psychological wounds linger.

The Journal spoke with some of the passengers about how they are coping since the crash. Following are some of their extended remarks. You can read the full WSJ story here.

Former President’s Collection Boosts Interest in South Korea’s Art Market
Wall Street Journal

Is former president Chun Doo-hwan an unlikely savior of South Korea’s art market?

Earlier this month, the country’s two biggest auction houses — K auction and Seoul Auction – successfully sold off 201 art pieces that used to belong to the Chun family. The art pieces had been seized by prosecutors in an effort to collect an outstanding fine of 167.2 billion won ($158 million) that was levied on Mr. Chun 16 years ago on charges relating to the creation of slush funds while he was in office from 1980 to 1987.

On Dec. 11, K Auction put 80 items up for auction, under the title of “Chun Jae-kuk Collection,” while Seoul Auction held “Special Auction for Ex-President’s Collection,” a week later with 121 items.

Canada Goose Down Jackets All the Rage
Chosun Ilbo

Expensive foreign-brand down jackets and coats are selling like hot cakes here this winter despite their astronomical prices.

Canada Goose’s down jackets cost some W1 million (US$1=W1,061) and the French Moncler’s padded jackets more than W3 million, but 800 of them sold out almost instantly in a special sale at a department store in the affluent Gangnam district of southern Seoul.

Canada Goose even has put a Korean-language menu on its website.

Top Korean American Contestants on “K-pop Star” Ever
Kpop Starz

admit I’ve been on a “K-pop Star” marathon these days and I am absolutely blown away by the talent. I’m so used to seeing a lot of vocally talentless artists in Korea, that I’ve grown accustomed to the lack of Korean singers with strong vocals. There’s nothing wrong with not being vocally gifted, because most artists are stronger in other suits whether it’s dancing or stage presence or personality. But then I see these contestants on “K-pop Star” and I am just dumbfounded at how these agencies haven’t picked every single contestant that auditions on that stage in front of the 3 judges. I have a soft spot for my Korean American contestants so here’s a list of the best of the best!

[First Impressions]“Miss Korea” – Comedic, but Touches on Serious Societal Issues

MBC’s new drama “Miss Korea” touches on some deep societal issues, yet does it in a funny and light hearted way. One of the first things we notice is that many of the actors appeared together on the drama “Pasta.” This should not be surprising as director Kwon Seok Jang and screenwriter Seo Sook Hyang of “Miss Korea” also worked together on “Pasta.” I guess this is a good thing, as the actors of “Miss Korea” have good chemistry with each other.

The first episode gives us an introduction to the characters, and the deep history between them. Basically, we learn that Seoul University graduate Kim Hyun Joon leads a struggling cosmetics company and has taken a loan from a struggling gangster, who is ironically named Teacher, to keep his business afloat. In order to make his company survive and pay off his loan to the gangster, he decides that he needs to find a “Miss Korea” to promote his products. He has only one candidate in mind, his high school crush Oh Ji Young.

Miss Korea Dazzles But Misses Final Round at Miss Universe
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: November 11th, 2013
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Miss Korea Kim Yu-mi fell short of the final round of the Miss Universe competition on Saturday in Moscow, Russia.

Kim had been named the the most popular contestant in an unofficial online vote by a Spanish newspaper earlier this week, sparking speculation that Kim would be one of the finalists, according to the Chosun Ilbo.

The evening began with all 86 contestants taking the stage in red and black cocktail dresses, then changing into red and black bikinis. Kim failed to make cut for the Top 16.

The title of most beautiful woman in the universe went to Venezuela’s Gabriela Isler, the seventh Miss Universe win for that country. In the past 20 years, Latinas have taken the crown more than half of the time. Continue Reading »

Miss Korea Gears Up For Miss Universe 2013 Pageant
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: October 28th, 2013
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The winner of the Miss Korea 2012 pageant is getting ready to participate in the Miss Universe 2013 contest being held in Moscow next month.

Kim Yumi was seen posing in front of cameras at the welcome dinner with participants from other nations.

“There are difficulties with staying overseas for so long, but I feel the responsibility to do my best,” she told the Korea Times.

Kim drew additional attention after winning the crown in 2012, after high school photos showed her with a vastly different physical appearance. She freely admitted to undergoing plastic surgery and was surprised when a scandal ensued. Continue Reading »

Miss Korea Contest Hit by Bribery Claims
Author: Steve Han
Posted: October 24th, 2013
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Miss Korea, South Korea’s national beauty pageant, was hit with a bribery scandal after a participant’s mother allegedly paid off a judge to put her daughter at an advantage, according to TV network MBC’s investigate journalism program, Sisa Magazine 2580.

The program claimed that the mother offered money to an employee at the Korea Times, one of Korea’s oldest daily newspapers that also hosts the event, and that other contestants gave luxury goods to judges, such as pearl rings and other bribes.

The scandal is fueling fire to the already controversial event, as many Koreans have criticized the event for awarding contestants based on superficial values. Continue Reading »

Miss Korea 2013 Crowned
Author: Narae Son
Posted: June 4th, 2013
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Yoo Ye-bin. Photos via Korea Times

A fashion design student from Daegu was crowned Miss Korea 2013 on Tuesday at the Sejong Center in Seoul.

Yoo Ye-bin beat 54 other participants to take home the coveted title. The new Miss Korea, who reportedly enjoys doing yoga and listening to music as well as cooking, will represent Korea at the Miss Universe pageant in 2014.

Standing at 5-foot-6 and weighing 114 pounds, the student attending Gyeongsang National University hopes to become a wedding planner. Continue Reading »

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