Monday’s Link Attack: Japan Lobbies Against ‘East Sea’; SKoreans Ranked Biggest Drinkers; ‘Frozen’ Tops Korean Box Office
Author: Cassandra Kwok
Posted: February 3rd, 2014
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Koreas Plan Family Reunion Talks
Wall Street Journal

The two Koreas on Monday appeared to move closer to resuming reunions of families separated by the Korean War after North Korea agreed to hold preparatory talks at the border this week.

Breaking its weeklong silence on the South’s proposal that the reunions be held from Feb. 17 to 22, Pyongyang suggested a meeting on the northern side of the Panmunjom border village on Wednesday or Thursday

The South notified the North that it preferred Wednesday, Seoul’s unification ministry said. North Korea later agreed.

“Given the urgency of the family-reunion issue, the government will prepare for the reunions to resume as soon as possible,” ministry spokesman Kim Eui-do told a regular briefing.

French cartoon festival highlights sex slavery victims
Korea Times

A special exhibition about Korean women forced into sexual slavery during World War II attracted nearly 17,000 visitors during the four-day Angouleme International Comics Festival in France.

On Sunday, Minister of Gender Equality and Family Cho Yoon-sun welcomed the event for helping raise international awareness of the tragedy of wartime victims.

“The power of art is enormous. I feel vindicated that the wartime sex slavery issue has become a universal wartime human rights issue through the art of comics at this festival,” Cho was quoted by the ministry as saying.

The minister promised that she would continue to try and raise the issue at the international level through diverse forms of art.

Inside North Korea’s Western-funded university
BBC News

In the heart of North Korea’s dictatorship, a university – largely paid for by the West – is attempting to open the minds of the state’s future elite. The BBC’s Panorama has been granted unique access.

Entering the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, it is immediately clear this is no ordinary academic institution.

A military guard salutes us as our vehicle passes through the security checkpoint. Once inside the campus we hear the sound of marching and singing, not more guards but the students themselves.

They are the sons of some of the most powerful men in North Korea, including senior military figures.

Wary NKorea struggles to stay afloat in info age

It’s late afternoon at the e-library in North Korea’s Kim Il Sung University, where row after row of smartly dressed students sit quietly, their faces bathed in the glow of computer displays as they surf the Internet. On the surface, it’s a familiar-seeming scene, which is exactly why officials are offering it up for a look.

North Korea is literally off the charts regarding Internet freedoms. There essentially aren’t any. But the country is increasingly online. Though it deliberately and meticulously keeps its people isolated and in the dark about the outside world, it knows it must enter the information age to survive in the global economy.

As with so many other aspects of its internal workings, North Korea has tried hard to keep its relationship to the Internet hidden from foreign eyes. But it opened that door just a crack recently for The Associated Press to reveal a self-contained, tightly controlled Intranet called Kwangmyong, or ‘‘Bright.’’

Document shows Japan’s aggressive lobbying against East Sea name
Yonhap News

The Japanese Embassy in Washington signed a US$75,000 contract recently with a major U.S. public affairs firm in a bid to kill a legislation on the use of the “East Sea” name, according to a related document.

Yonhap News Agency on Sunday obtained the four-page contract signed in mid-December between the embassy and McGuireWoods Consulting LLC (MWC). It details the company’s strategy to block a legislative move in the U.S. state of Virginia on identifying the body of waters between Korea and Japan.

The legislation would require local school textbooks to name it the East Sea as well as the Sea of Japan.

MWC is developing “white papers and talking points on why the ‘East Sea’ proposal is bad public policy,” reads the document from the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) database of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Chun Doo-hwan’s Son Owns Prime Real Estate in U.S.
Chosun Ilbo

Disgraced ex-president Chun Doo-hwan’s son Jae-yong and his wife, actress Park Sang-ah, own a US$2.4-million home in Orange County, California, giving the lie to his claim that he is broke.

The property was discovered by journalist Ahn Chi-yong, who analyzed real estate registration documents and other materials for the Chosun Ilbo’s premium website on Sunday.

Prosecutors last month revised an arraignment of disgraced Chun Jae-yong and his uncle Lee Chang-seok, reducing the amount of taxes they allegedly evaded from W6 billion to W2.7 billion (US$1=W1,073). Prosecutors accepted Chun’s claim that he did not manipulate a real estate contract for the sale of a plot in Osan, south of Seoul to dodge W6 billion in taxes.

South Koreans drink twice as much liquor as Russians and more than four times as much as Americans

The biggest hard alcohol drinkers on the globe aren’t cuddled up somewhere in sub-zero Siberia; they’re sipping on Soju, in South Korea.

South Koreans drink 13.7 shots of liquor per week on average, which is the most in the world. And of 44 other countries analyzed by Euromonitor, none comes anywhere close. The Russians, the second biggest in Euromonitor’s sample, down 6.3 shots per week; Filipinos drink roughly 5.4 shots per week; and Americans consume only 3.3.

South Korea’s unparalleled liquor consumption is almost entirely due to the country’s love for a certain fermented rice spirit called Soju. The South Korean liquor accounts for 97% of the country’s spirits market.

S. Korea Crackdown on Underground Economy Stokes Angst: Economy

South Korean (KOGDPQOQ) bar owner Jeong Young Soo doused his body with paint thinner and set himself aflame, his final protest against a government crackdown to collect more tax from his industry.

The shock in front of Chuncheon city hall, northeast of Seoul, highlighted an underlying tension as President Park Geun Hye tries to squeeze an extra 27.2 trillion won ($25 billion) in revenue from the undocumented economy.

Extra pressure on groups from bar owners to doctors to mom-and-pop retailers contrasts with Park’s 2012 election-campaign focus on reducing the scope of industrial groups, known as chaebol, to create space for small- and medium-sized businesses. The clampdown may have the opposite effect, said Jean Lim, a Seoul-based economist at Korea Institute of Finance, a non-profit research center.

‘Frozen’ Sets South Korean Box-Office Record for Animated Film
Hollywood Reporter

Frozen has became the highest-grossing animated feature ever in South Korea over the weekend, while also selling the most tickets during the country’s long Lunar New Year break from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2. According to the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), the Disney film has grossed $44.17 million (47.7 billion won) in South Korea, passing prior record holder Kung Fu Panda 2, which pulled in $41 million (44.3 billion won) in 2011.

Frozen, about two estranged sister princesses trying to break a wintry spell that freezes their kingdom, has so far drawn more than 6 million admissions in South Korea as of Monday. It reached the box-office milestone in just 18 days, after taking only 17 days since opening on Jan. 16 to reach 5 million admissions. The film is expected to easily break 7 million admissions in the days ahead.

South Korea’s film offices often use admissions as their primary measure.

The Frozen soundtrack is also reportedly selling well, according to local music charts.

Expectations high for Korea’s Olympians
Korea Times

Figure skater Kim Yu-na and short-rack skater Shim Suk-hee are expected to lead South Korea to a respectable medal count behind traditional powerhouses at the Sochi Winter Olympics, according to recent projections.

In its preview of the Games, the Associated Press (AP) predicted Korea would win six gold, two silver and three bronze medals. That would put Korea in seventh place overall according to gold medal count.

Meanwhile, Sport Illustrated magazine predicted Korea would capture five gold, five silver and three bronze medals, finishing eighth in gold medals.

Both had Kim defending her gold medal in women’s figure staking over opponents such as Mao Asada of Japan and Julia Lipnitskaia of Russia.

James Hahn ready to make his move at Pebble Beach
San Francisco Chronicle

One year later, James Hahn still hears more about his dance moves than his golf skills.

Hahn stitched together a strong West Coast swing in 2013 – tie for fourth in Palm Springs, tie for 16th in Scottsdale, tie for third at Pebble Beach. Even so, most fans remember him for his animated, Gangnam-style dance off the No. 16 green at TPC Scottsdale (the party hole), after he rolled home a 20-foot birdie putt in the final round.

In nearly every tournament since then, spectators have asked Hahn to dance again. Even after a routine par on the first hole? Uh, no, he’s not really in the mood.

Pot Bar Now Opens Wednesday, Here’s What to Drink
Eater (U.S.A)

The Line Hotel, a revamp of what was formerly known as The Wilshire Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard at Normandie in Koreatown, has a cool new minimalist look and a top shelf set of food and drink operators poised to make waves. While the hotel has been up and running for guests since early January, the property’s food and drink components are still in the works, but come Wednesday (yes, slight delay) The Line’s lobby bar, Pot Bar, part of Roy Choi’s Pot restaurant, will soft roll. Choi, who earned a name for his prized mashup of Korean and Mexican flavors at Kogi, has teamed up with eat-your-drink chef Matthew Biancaniello, a barman applauded for his own crazy mashup cocktails that sometimes involve uni and white truffles.

Monday’s Link Attack: Jamie Chung, Councilman Peter Koo, DramaFever
Author: Crystal Kim
Posted: June 11th, 2012
Filed Under: BLOG
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North Korea: No plan for nuclear test ‘at present’
BBC News

There has been speculation that the North will conduct a third nuclear test, after the UN Security Council tightened sanctions on Pyongyang in the wake of the North’s failed rocket launch in April.

The North responded with atomic tests in 2006 and 2009 after UN imposed sanctions against its rocket launches.

The US has warned that a nuclear test would lead to a “swift and sure response” from the region, saying any such move by Pyongyang would be “a serious miscalculation”.

Councilman Peter Koo going ahead with controversial memorial
New York Daily News

“I talked to many of my colleagues and all of them are in support of putting in legislation,” said Koo (D-Flushing). “Most of the people I talk to agreed we should do something for these women who suffered during World War II.”

Koo is working with civic leaders to scope out several locations for a memorial including Northern Blvd. and 156th St. and Lippmann Plaza at Main St. and Roosevelt Ave.

La Habra college graduate beats cancer twice
Whittier Daily News (Calif.)

Kim, 22, grew up in La Habra and beat cancer twice, after she was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was 11-years-old.

She underwent two surgeries in a matter of six years before she was pronounced cancer-free a year after her second surgery in December 2007.

“As a cancer survivor, I have a greater sense of urgency to live my life with purpose,” Kim told CSUF News.

North Korea Describes Provocation
New York Times

North Korea said Saturday that although it had no current plans to conduct a nuclear test, South Korea was trying to provoke it into conducting one and taking other retaliatory actions, like an artillery attack.

North Korea has detonated nuclear devices twice since 2006, as well as shelling the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong in 2010. It blames South Korea and the United States for those actions, accusing them of raising tensions and forcing the North to retaliate.

Eden, Any Day Now Are the Big Winners at the 2012 Seattle International Film Festival

Among the films to be honored at yesterday’s Awards Brunch, two took home multiple awards: Travis Fine’s Any Day Now, which received the Golden Space Needle Audience Awards for Best Film and Best Actor (Alan Cumming), and the locally shot Eden, which won the Golden Space Needle Audience Award for Best Actress (Jamie Chung) in addition to grabbing the Lena Sharpe Award for Persistence of Vision for its director, Megan Griffiths, and winning the Reel NW Award (and the $2,500 prize that goes with it).

DramaFever gets backed by Bertelsmann, AMC & NALA

DramaFever, the New York-based online video service for foreign TV dramas, is adding more high-profile backers to its latest funding round: Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, cable network AMC and Nala Investments are joining a Series B round officially announced in March, which now totals $6 million in funding.

South Korea TV show opens a window on the North
Los Angeles Times

As a regular panelist on South Korean television’s “Eje Mannareo Gapnida,” which airs on cable’s Channel A, Lee is one of a dozen or so female North Korean defectors featured on the program.

Part talk show and part talent show, the title translates as “Now On My Way to Meet You,” a name that conveys the program’s goal of raising awareness between average North and South Koreans.

NK Starts to Address Kim Jong Eun’s Mom Dilemma
The Wall Street Journal

Since Kim Jong Eun took over as North Korea’s top leader after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in December, one of the unknowns for outside observers of the authoritarian regime was how its propaganda machine was going to handle the story of Kim Jong Eun’s mother.

Her name is Ko Young Hui and she had a life that’s difficult to square with the main narrative of the North’s propaganda, which portrays the Kim family as vanquishers of the Japanese occupiers and protectors of the pureblood Korean race.

Q&A: Solomon Choi, CEO, 16 Handles Frozen Yogurt Franchise

The self-serve business model continues to dominate. More QSR/food-focused concepts are realizing that when you bring the guest into the experience magic happens. Today it’s all about letting guests choose what they want how they want it. The return is a stronger guest connection and increased loyalty. From a trend perspective we’re also seeing several takes on the explosion of “cake” dominant flavors – think Red Velvet, Carrot, Pound Cake and Graham Cracker frozen yogurt, along with menu extensions in the “mini” space with frozen cake bites and juice-based popsicles. At 16 Handles, we’re doing something unique with artisan toppings and have recently appointed a head chef who is busy creating micro batch toppings like Smoked Almond Brittle and a new granola that’s going to make our guests say “wow!”

Korean American Among New York Yankees Draft Picks
Chosun Ilbo

A Korean-American baseball player has been included in the New York Yankees first-year player draft for the first time. Daniel Oh (22) out of UC Berkeley was picked by the Yankees in their latest draft.

Oh, who was born and raised in Seattle, started playing baseball at the age of nine and was a star slugger at Henry Jackson High School there. Oh played a major role in helping the team win the state championship without losing a single match when he was still a high school junior.

The reason why young Japanese women like Korean men
The Korea Times

“Ten years ago those in their 40s and up were main consumers of Korean products, but recently females in their 10s and 20s are turning their attention to K-pop groups,” said Kim Hyun-oak, 39, who has been living in Tokyo for 15 years and also in a doctoral program (Ph.D program) in political science at the graduate school of the University of Tsukuba. “The female meat-eater phenomenon in young Japanese women is influencing considerably.”

Choo stays aggressive in leadoff spot

Since moving to the leadoff spot on May 14, Indians left fielder Shin-Soo Choo is batting .303 (30-for-99) in 24 starts. Choo is still hitless (0-for-9) entering the third and final game of this weekend series in St. Louis. But he won’t be looking to do anything differently on Sunday, he’ll just try to continue being aggressive at the plate and looking for solid contact.

6 crazy fun things to do in Korea this summer

Korea’s “fifth season” — the monsoon — is here. But the summer showers do little to dampen the festive mood as some of the year’s most anticipated music, film and big bashes open around the country.

Korean festivals are getting more and more globally superlative every year — here’s where to go for some of the world’s best live rock ’n’ roll, classical music, horror films and mud-ball fights this summer.

Looking for Father’s Day Ideas? Fred Kim of Gabose Talks Korean BBQ
Broward Palm Beach New Times (Fla.)

Korean barbecue shares some similarities with American, but it is distinctly divergent. Both focus on the meat, but the the flavor profiles couldn’t be further apart. Like American, Korean barbecue can be prepared over propane or charcoal. Rather than slow-cook the meat for hours on end, Koreans use “direct heat to cook the meat quickly,” says Kim. “The meat is cooked about an inch over the heat for less than a minute per side.” The most popular choices are short ribs, rib eye, and pork.

Dragonfly Sushi owners make their own opportunities
The Gainesville Times (Fla.)

After getting passed over for jobs in the corporate world, Kim and Leung opened Dragonfly Sushi and Sake Company in 2000 in a 2,400-square-foot space in downtown’s Union Street Station in what is now the banquet room for Mark’s Prime Steakhouse.

Today, Dragonfly is a popular restaurant occupying the 4,500-square-foot corner spot next door with a sister restaurant in Orlando and a simplified, quick-serve version called Rolls ‘N Bowls off of Southwest 34th Street. The three restaurants combined have more than 200 employees.

Acting For Action with Sung Kang Trailer

Building off his character from Car Talk Car Discussion, Sung Kang joins the YOMYOMF Network’s slate of new shows. Take a sneak peek of his new comedy webseries “ACTING FOR ACTION WITH SUNG KANG,” which revolves around a self-consumed ego maniac actor named Sung Kang played by SUNG KANG (Han from the “Fast & Furious” films).

Wednesday’s Link Attack: Kim Jong-un, NK Death Camps, Danji Restaurant
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: September 28th, 2011
Filed Under: BLOG
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New Kim Jong Eun Film for the Troops
Daily NK

A documentary film glorifying the achievements of Kim Jong Eun is being shown to soldiers in North Korea, part of ongoing efforts to burnish the image of the successor and establish his power base.

Kim, a 28-year old male in the middle of his military service near Nampo in South Pyongan Province revealed the news to The Daily NK today, saying, “They have been showing us the documentary film ‘One Year under the Banner of the Supreme Leader’ since the start of September.”

The expression ‘supreme leader’ lends weight to the supposition that Kim Jong Eun’s takeover of power in the military sector is proceeding well, although it is clearly very early to be producing such propaganda.

Inside Kim Jong-il’s Death Camps
FrontPage Mag

Clearly detailed satellite photos released by the South Korean government reveal a rapidly growing network of six slave-labor camps, home to more than 200,000 North Koreans, one-third of whom are believed to be children.

Located in the rugged, isolated mountain terrain of central North Korea, the gulags are the repository for those unfortunate North Koreans who have committed perceived “political offenses” against the despotic regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong​ ll.

The prison system is divided into areas called “Total Control Zones,” from which no prisoners are ever released. As such, these camps hold up to three generations of North Koreans, many of whom have been born into permanent captivity.

Separated families in Washington
Korea Times

This article was written in support of a documentary made by amateur filmmakers Jason Ahn and Eugene Chung called “Divided Families” about Korean Americans with relatives living in North Korea.

My dad was 16 years old in Pyongyang the last time he saw his mother and baby sister. He is now 78 and living in New Jersey, more than 6,000 miles and 60 years away from his family.

When he left Pyongyang, following the steps of the retreating U.N. forces during the Korean War, he couldn’t have imagined that he would never see his family again. The separation was to be only for a few days, just to avoid the initial onslaught of the communist forces who were sweeping down.

Danji Brings Bargain Korean, Great Tartare to Broadway: Review
Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Danji is still something of a work in progress, and that’s okay given the prices.

Does [Chef Hooni] Kim’s yellowtail with jalapeno have that same signature sting as at Gari? No, but the fish has a fresh oceanic oiliness.

Korean fried chicken is famous for its addictive, phyllo- like crust. Here, the so-called “KFC” wings are closer to any respectable version around town.

Bossam, braised pig with cabbage wraps, doesn’t have the same chewy skin as Momofuku’s $200 version — hardly a deal breaker since the sharable dish is $18 here. Avoid pork belly buns, whose natural high-fat levels are sent into overdrive with a slick of mayo. And kimchi paella is unappealingly mushy.

And yet beef tartare, sold-out on three of four visits, is one of the city’s best. Toasted pine nuts, sesame oil and pear add sensuous fruit to a dice of raw beef.

‘The Crucible’ Brings Demons of Child Molestation Case Back to Life
Chosun Ilbo

A slew of sex crimes against children with disabilities that took place from 2000 to 2005 at a special institute for deaf youngsters remain unsolved six years after they were first brought to light, sparking anger among social groups.

Author Gong Ji-young in 2009 published a novel inspired by the case that reignited public interest in it. Now a new film adaptation is once again stirring controversy among viewers, who are calling for the case to be reinvestigated.

Chevy drivers at GM Korea set Guinness World Record with vehicle logo

In preparation for Chevrolet’s centennial celebration, set for November 3, 2011, GM Korea gathered 1,143 of its customers in Pyeongchang, Gangwon, to create the largest Chevrolet bow tie and set a new Guinness World Record.

The motorcar mosaic was made up of Spark, Aveo, Cruze, Orlando and Captiva models and measured 688 feet (209.9 meters) in length and 221 feet (67.6 meters). The design was recognized as the Largest Car Logo.

Monday’s Link Attack: NK Famine, Moon Bloodgood, Hines Ward
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: September 12th, 2011
Filed Under: BLOG
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WFP captures heartbreak of North Korean hunger
CNN International

A four-year-old boy looks straight into the camera. His eyes are dull, his tiny legs crossed underneath him. Choi is an orphan, severely malnourished and too weak to stand.

This is just one of the heartbreaking sights captured on film by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) as they traveled around North Korea last month delivering aid to the most needy.

The most deprived are children — WFP estimates a third of those under the age of five in North Korea are severely malnourished, and says it will only worsen if more aid is not delivered soon.

Actress Moon Bloodgood strives to be a role model
Color Magazine

Most celebrities don’t want to think of themselves as a role model.

Moon Bloodgood relishes the idea.

“I wish people thought of me that way, especially young Asian/American girls because it’s so important to have someone like you that you can see in movies or on television and think, she’s just like me,” Bloodgood said. “I don’t know if people even realize I’m Korean – well, my mom is Korean and my dad is Dutch-Irish – but I’m very proud of my heritage. I’ve gone to Korea several times and I identify more with my Korean side than my Dutch/Irish side. I know from experience how good it feels when you see someone of Asian heritage up there on the screen, because there weren’t many of them when I was growing up.”

‘Panda 2′ helmer rings in coin

Female directors have been gaining ground in recent years — mostly on the specialty scene. But when it comes to blockbusters, it’s still a man’s world. Tell that to Jennifer Yuh Nelson, director of Paramount-DreamWorks Animation’s global hit “Kung Fu Panda 2.”

Ban on Styrofoam to Hurt Korean Businesses
Korea Times via New America Media

Korean grocery stores and restaurants in California told the Korea Times that the passage of SB568, which sought to impose a statewide ban on the use of polystyrene takeout packaging, would more than double their operating costs.

“Take out accounts for upwards of 30 percent of business for most Korean restaurants,” said the owner of one eatery in LA’s Koreatown, adding that while options to using polystyrene are available, the costs are formidable. “There’s a good chance [if the bill passes] that take out places will take a big hit in sales as they will have to raise prices to offset the costs of using alternative packaging.”

10 Best Korean Movies With English Subtitles
Screen Junkies (blog)

I bought the DVD for “Chunhyang” so I could watch it with my mother. When I told her what it was about, she said, “Pansori sucks!” We never watched it. Check out this list, “Oldboy” is noticeably absent.

If you enjoy watching Asian films, check out these ten best Korean movies with English subtitles. Some of them can be downloaded online, and all of them are available for purchase over the Internet.

Concept Korea IV Presentation: Doho, Lie Sang Bong, Resurrection by Juyoung, Son Jung Wan, and Steve J & Yoni P

Concept Korea IV, a collaborative effort between the CFDA and (this season’s Concept Korea winners) Korean designers Doho, Lie Sang Bong, Resurrection by Juyoung, Son Jung Wan, and Steve J & Yoni P was pretty fantastic. We zigzagged our way through the crowd to get a closer look at the designs and along the way we were nearly knocked over by America’s Next Top Model runway coach Miss J. Alexander, who was on his way to greet designer Juyoung. Also there? Model Hyoni Kang and actress Vanessa Hudgens, who stopped by to pose for some pictures.

Abducted son of SKorean businessman freed in Lima
AFP via ninemsn

The son of a South Korean businessman was freed after a gang held him for 19 days demanding a $1.8 million ransom, police said Sunday.

“Kyoung Kim Hee, 18, was released about midnight in a neighborhood on Lima’s south end, and is now with his loved ones,” said General Felix Murga, the police investigating unit chief. Police said they did not believe a ransom was paid.

Hines Ward on Ravens game: ‘We’ll remember everything’
CBS Sports

“It leaves a taste in your mouth,” Ward said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “The 2-point conversion [when the Ravens led, 27-7]. The passing at the end …

“We’ll remember everything.”

Celtic’s Ki Sung-yeung & Sunderland’s Ji Dong-won Score Goals
Arirang News

Two Korean footballers Ki Sung-yeung and Ji Dong-won playing for different Premier League clubs each scored a goal for their teams on Sunday. Ki Sung-yeung who currently plays as a central midfielder for Scottish Premier League club Celtic hammered in a drive from 25 yards in the second half of the game adding a goal to Celtic’s 4 to nil victory over Motherwell.

Ji Dong-won scored his first goal for Sunderland in a 2-1 loss to Chelsea in the English Premier League.

Tuesday’s Link Attack: Obama Staffer Promoted, Kim Jong Il In Russia
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: August 23rd, 2011
Filed Under: BLOG
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Korean-American named senior counsel to Obama
Korea Herald

Korean-American Christopher Kang was named last week senior counsel to U.S. President Barack Obama for legislative affairs, according to reports on Tuesday.

Kang, who was on Obama’s legislative affairs staff, will be in charge of judicial nominations, it added.

Beechwood Not Closing

Despite a report last week in EaterLA, local hotspot Beechwood is not set to close for any amount of time, according to a tweet the restaurant sent over the weekend. “Contrary to reports, we are OPEN w/ no set plans to close. Roy Choi developed our current menu & will eventually lead a new concept for us,”

Sylvester Stallone, Todd Phillips Projects Scheduled for Release in 2012
The Hollywood Reporter

The Sylvester Stallone-Sung Kang action drama “Bullet to the Head” is set for an April 13, 2012 release date.

On a South Korean isle, a life of squid fishing is slipping away
Los Angeles Times

Kim Yae-sun will tell you straight out: The squid life is a hard life.

For the 72-year-old widow, who peddles the sea creatures from a waterside stand here, it means rising at 4:30 a.m. and going to church to pray for an ample catch. When her fisherman husband was still alive, she asked God to watch over the squid fleet that heads out to sea each night, the boats strung with lines of light bulbs like Christmas garlands.

North Korean Leader Explores City Where He Will Meet With Medvedev
New York Times

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, spent the fourth day of a weeklong Siberian train ride in the city of Ulan Ude, where he was shown an aircraft factory after taking a boat ride on Lake Baikal and visiting the infrastructure of a tourist zone that is under construction, the Interfax news agency reported Tuesday.

3 North Korean defectors get U.S. scholarships
Yonhap News

Three young North Korean defectors living in South Korea have won scholarships offered by the U.S. federal government for study and internships at American universities, Washington’s top diplomat in Seoul said Tuesday.

Top Gear Motors Into Korea
The Wall Street Journal

The Journal‘s “Korea Real Time” blog reviews the premiere episode of the Korean version of the popular auto enthusiast show.

Michelle Wie defends decision to mix college and golf
Los Angeles Times

Former LPGA great Annika Sorenstam suggested last month that Michelle Wie was shortchanging women’s golf by pursuing her degree at Stanford. ‘Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion,’ Wie responds politely but firmly.

Top 5 summer beauty obsessions in Korea

Now that good weather is finally here in Seoul, the downsides are also back with a vengeance, with temperatures skyrocketing and humidity kicking in. To deal with the sweat and frizz, Seoul women have accordingly been switching up their beauty regimes.

Here are the top five summer beauty obsessions in Seoul.

Blind: Film Review
The Hollywood Reporter

Korean writer-director Ahn Sang-hoon unabashedly designs a thriller inspired by Terence Young’s 1967 “Wait Until Dark” which starred Audrey Hepburn.

S.Korea confirms world status with athletics event
AP via Google News

Hosting the 2011 world athletics championships in Daegu completes a prestigious treble for South Korea after the Olympic Games and the World Cup as the East Asian nation confirms its status as a major destination on the international sporting stage.

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