Psy may be breaking records on Youtube with his most recent video release, “Gentleman,” but the video won’t be getting any airplay on KBS.
The video has been condemned as inappropriate and not compliant with the network’s broadcasting standards because of a scene depicting “vandalism,” in which Psy knocks down a street cone that says “no parking,” Wall Street Journal reports.
The ruling reflects South Korean conservatism about what can be shown in public. Since last year, music videos, even when streamed online, had had to be rated by a government body or a broadcaster. The rule was met with skepticism, especially from the younger generation. Continue Reading »
America and North Korea: Birthday blues
DEAD for 19 years, but president of North Korea for ever, Kim Il Sung marked his 101st birthday on April 15th in familiar style: with a national holiday, banners, flags and rations of cheap peanuts. One bang the party went without, however, was the launch of a Musudan missile, which would be yet another breach of UN Security Council resolutions, and which many observers had been expecting around the time of the festivities. This must have been a relief for John Kerry, America’s new secretary of state, who visited Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo from April 11th to 15th, warning on the way that the launch would be a “huge mistake”.
Nothing suggested, however, that Kim’s grandson, North Korea’s incumbent tyrant, Kim Jong Un, was listening to Mr Kerry. By the middle of the week, no launch had taken place. But officials in Japan and South Korea were still expecting it—imminently, though perhaps after an interval long enough that it would come as a surprise and reclaim the world’s attention. Nor has North Korea toned down its blood-curdling battle cries. Indeed, in response to protests in Seoul on the occasion of the holy birthday, at which Kim portraits were burned, it issued an “ultimatum” demanding an apology, and threatened “sledgehammer blows” in reprisal.
North Korea Sets Conditions for Return to Talks
New York Times
North Korea on Thursday demanded the lifting of United Nations sanctions and an end to joint American-South Korean military exercises as preconditions for starting dialogue to defuse tension on the Korean Peninsula.
By making demands that both the United States and South Korea had no intention of accepting, North Korea signaled that it would not stand down anytime soon from a military standoff that has lasted for weeks.
But the fact that North Korea has recently begun responding to American and South Korean offers for dialogue, even though they came with steep preconditions, has raised cautious hopes among South Korean analysts that the North might be ready to wind down weeks of hostile rhetoric that at times appeared to bring the peninsula close to a point of conflict.
Experts Urge Evacuation from Kaesong
North Korea experts say it is high time to evacuate some 200 South Korean staff who remain at the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex. The North on Wednesday refused to let in supplies of food and other necessities for the South Koreans.
Kim Hee-sang of the Korea Institute for National Security Affairs said, “It may be impossible for North Korea to seal off the complex completely, but it can really harass South Korean workers there.” He urged the government to evacuate the South Koreans there or risk them being taken hostage.
Kim said evacuating the remaining staff could lead to a quicker resolution to the crisis by showing the North that Seoul is not afraid to shut down the industrial park if necessary.
CHOI ENDORSED BY PEREZ, SOLIS
Los Angeles City Council candidate John Choi announced two major endorsements — from Assembly Speaker John Perez and former Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis — last week.
“I am so proud to be receiving the backing of Speaker John Perez,” said Choi. “Speaker Perez has been a trailblazer and a longtime advocate on issues of equality, justice and economic fairness. As speaker and the one of the assemblymembers that represents the 13th District, I am proud to count him as a supporter.”
Another US city sets up a monument to Korean comfort women
“It is more distressing and upsetting to see it for myself. They [comfort women] were only young girls…I respect their bravery in enduring such difficult lives.”
Frank Quintero’s face twisted in dismay as he listened to the voice full of anger. The voice was of Kang Duk-Kyung, one of the former ‘comfort women’, and came from a video installed at War and Women’s Human Rights Museum in Seoul’s Seongsan neighborhood. Quintero, who carefully read the prisoner’s interrogation documents of the Allied Forces in the museum, is the former mayor of Glendale, California.
The former mayor visited Korea on Apr. 14, after passing the bill to establish a “peace monument” for comfort women in Glendale Central Park. The city’s new monument will be the first overseas “peace monument” that is identical to the one established in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul. It will be funded by Korean Americans.
How Republicans Can Win Over Asian-Americans
I am the son of Taiwanese immigrants who came to the U.S. in the 1970s seeking opportunity for themselves and the chance for their children to grow up in a more prosperous society. My story is not unusual among Asian- Americans. It’s also a profile that is tailor-made for the Republican Party, which stands for enhancing opportunity. Yet Asian-Americans from my generation (and others) are finding less and less appeal in the Republican Party.
Education advocate Michelle Rhee fends off accusations
Los Angeles Times
Michelle Rhee, head of a group that advocates using student test scores to evaluate teachers, fends off accusations that she failed to pursue evidence of cheating when she ran the D.C. school system.
Ken Jeong revels in Pain & Gain
THERE’S A MOMENT during a news conference for the film Pain & Gain in which Ken Jeong is not the funniest person in the room. Asked a question about who inspires him in life, the actor, famous for wild comedic roles, gives an impassioned yet humorous speech about how his wife inspired the former doctor to quit his practice and jump into acting.
“The first movie I did was Knocked Up, and I was still working as a physician,” Jeong begins. “Even after that movie, I was really afraid to try and do acting full-time. I didn’t have the confidence. It was my wife that fully supported me to quit my job and be naked in movies like The Hangover.”
6 Lessons From “Guts and Glory”: Anthony Bourdain and Roy Choi on Paula Deen, The Taste + Authentic Food
Anthony Bourdain greeted a packed house at the Pantages last night. The Los Angeles installment of Bourdain’s “Guts and Glory” tour took place in the opulent 1930 theatre with a crowd that was more academic than hip, and fiercely local as demonstrated by any reference to L.A. — and especially during the introduction of Bourdain’s co-host, Roy Choi.
The chefs opened with questions for each other, standing for a verbal tennis match, then sat and cracked beers for a more fluid dialogue, finally ending with questions from the audience. Bourdain was ruthless as ever, even mocking the audience for spending hard earned money on the tickets. But his charisma and tendency toward self-deprecation won the crowd over — and made it clear why he’s such a compelling player on the food world stage.
8 things to know about L.A.’s Koreatown
“Have you been to Koreatown yet?” my friend asked eagerly over the phone. It was my third week as a resident of Los Angeles, and I could no longer claim the pure shock of moving to a city so sprawling, so overwhelming, as the reason I had yet to explore its most interesting neighborhoods.
But I had to answer “no.” In a city as vast as Los Angeles, Koreatown seemed especially impenetrable, a huge warren of restaurants, markets, strip malls and residences. As much as I knew that it held a treasure trove of food, culture and nightlife, I was intimidated to even get started.
Now, almost a year later, Koreatown is one of my favorite things about living in Los Angeles. It’s like having an entire other city within a city, a gloriously foreign one at that. There are places in Koreatown where you look around and swear you are in Asia. And yet, it’s also 100% Los Angeles: a strange, sprawling melting pot full of hidden delights.
Psy’s ‘Gentleman’ Nears 125 Million Views, But Can It Match ‘Gangnam Style’?
Can lightning strike twice? We may soon find out thanks to Psy’s new song, “Gentleman.”
While the South Korean rapper’s original world-beating hit, “Gangnam Style” had a slow, then meteoric rise to YouTube dominance last year on its way to an unprecedented 1.5 billion views, in its first five days “Gentleman” is actually outpacing “Style” by a mile. (It took “Gangnam” more than a month to reach 100 million views.)
At press time, “Gentleman” was about to blow by the 125 million mark in YouTube views after tallying more than 20 million in its first 24 hours, easily beating the previous record set by Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend,” which attracted eight million views on its first day.
THR’s ‘Top Chef’ Cruise Diary: Culinary Rock Stars Take to the Open Seas
Approximately 3 a.m. — Success. The recently named chef de cuisine at Boston’s Menton, having made her way into the galley to make a grilled cheese sandwich, intercepts a room service call from a cruiser. Kristen cooks the order and delivers it to their cabin door.
11:50 a.m. — Alone in an empty dining room, Kristen is deftly tinkering away on a grand piano for what seems to be her own satisfaction. Presumably, she’s slept at some point.
Korean ice skating champion on why he became Russian
Russia Beyond the Headlines
Victor Ahn is a Russian Short track speed skating athlete from South Korea. One of the most accomplished Short Track Speed Skaters of all time, Ahn gave an exclusive interview to RBTH.
Victor Ahn (Ahn Hyun-Soo) won three gold medals and a bronze medal in 2006 Winter Olympics held in Turin, Italy, becoming the most successful athlete there. Ahn is the only male short track skater to have won at least three consecutive world championships. Two years ago Victor has received Russian citizenship to compete for Russia in the 2014 Olympics.
Much like how homemade Harlem Shake videos cluttered up the interwebs in the last few months, a new viral phenomenon is breeching Korea’s borders and spreading like wildfire throughout Southeast Asia. Continue Reading »
Park urges end to rewarding N. Korea’s bad behavior
South Korean President Park Geun-hye called Wednesday for an end to rewarding North Korea’s bad behavior, saying the “vicious cycle” of Pyongyang creating a crisis before returning to negotiations and receiving assistance must be broken.
Park made the remark during a meeting with a group of foreign ambassadors, saying the international community should speak with one voice to make North Korea decide whether to remain isolated from the outside world or to become a responsible member of the international community.
“We must break the vicious cycle of holding negotiations and providing assistance if (North Korea) makes threats and provocations, and again holding negotiations and providing assistance if there are threats and provocations,” Park said during the meeting.
Electric cable a lifeline for idled symbol of Korean cooperation
An electricity cable running from South Korea over the border into North Korea is one of last lifelines for more than 200 South Korean workers at a joint industrial park that North Korea has shut down amid fears of war.
About 53,000 North Koreans worked at the Kaesong complex, just inside North Korea, where 123 South Korean companies have set up factories.
North Korea suspended work there last week as it stepped up its threats of war over new sanctions imposed after its third nuclear test in February, snuffing out the last remnant of cooperation between the neighbors.
Six Years After Shooting, Virginia Tech Remembers
With so much attention given to the violent bombings in Boston, Virginia Tech is remembering a terrible tragedy of its own today. It’s been six years since shooter Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and injured 17 on the Virginia Tech campus, and then shot himself to death. Today, his victims are being remembered in a series of events.
The college’s Day of Remembrance began early this morning with a candle lighting at midnight. It will burn all day, until it’s extinguished tonight at midnight. At 11:30 this morning, a community picnic is planned. There are sites for “quiet reflection” set up around campus.
First Coast Boston Marathon participant will keep running
First Coast News (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Sung Ho Choi of Jacksonville ran in his 10th Boston Marathon on Monday.
He came in at 3 hours, around 1:20 p.m., then returned to his hotel. He heard the bombs going off while he was in the shower.
“When I went into the shower, and had the water running,” he said. “that’s when the bombs went off. I was in total shock. I was just like … I didn’t know what to think.”
Choi, who goes by Henry, said he was in shock.
Korean Tourist Attacked by Killer Shark
A Korean man in his 40s was killed by a shark in Guam, AP reported on Tuesday.
The man, who was identified as Kim Nae-dok, went missing on Saturday and staff of the Pacific Island Club, the resort hotel where he had been staying, searched the area.
His remains were eventually discovered by two fishermen about 6 m from Tumon Bay the following day. The body was missing both legs and the right arm.
Why ‘Gentleman’ Could Be Psy’s Next Video to Break a Billion Views
Wall Street Journal
But what’s truly remarkable is that if “Gentleman” simply tracks the growth rate of “Gangnam,” it will take over the all-time record in a little over a month, and hurdle 4 billion in 45 days. And in just 75 days, “Gentleman” would project out as hitting 12.6 billion views.
Now, of course, that’s a level of popularity that “Gentleman” can’t possibly attain — it’s more views than YouTube collectively generates each month from all of its videos on a global basis, and “Gentleman’s” momentum already looks like it may be slowing.
Suburgatory’s Rex Lee on Artificial Romance and Self-Love
Rex Lee sashayed into our hearts as the Lloyd Lee, the long-suffering guy Friday to power publicist Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) on HBO’s Entourage. But these days, Lee has traded his designer shades and skinny lattes for the provincial charm of the fictional town of Chatswin, N.Y., in ABC’s sleeper hit Suburgatory, which airs a special hour-long season finale tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern.
The out Korean-American actor once again portrays a gay man, as Mr. Wolfe, the guidance counselor who often seeks counsel from the show’s teenage protagonist, Tessa (Jane Levy). While Mr. Wolfe was originally intended to be a minor character, fans responded so well that show creator Emily Kapnek wove Wolfe’s storyline into the show’s broader narrative.
Review: Ahn Trio at Winspear Opera House
Dallas Morning News
The three South Korean-born sisters who perform as the Ahn Trio have appeared in magazine fashion spreads as well as on concert stages. (Good looks haven’t hurt their careers.) On Tuesday night, they performed a decidedly non-traditional piano-trio program for an enthusiastic audience at the Winspear Opera House.
Jointly presented by TITAS and the AT&T Performing Arts Center, they stuck to music composed or arranged for them. They chatted with the audience in the manner of giggly movie starlets.
No shortcuts on Bendo’s road to greatness
Benson Henderson didn’t begin preparing for his showdown Saturday night with Gilbert Melendez a few months ago, when the UFC officially announced the fight.
That process started six years ago, when Henderson trained for the first time in mixed martial arts. It was at that moment that he took the initial step toward achieving his ultimate goal: of one day being recognized as the greatest mixed martial artist ever.
In every training session, Henderson visualized himself competing and winning fights. Sometimes he’d put a face on his imaginary foe. On a few occasions, the foe would be Melendez.
And in every one of those imaginary battles, Henderson would walk away victorious.
John Huh revels following first appearance at Masters Tournament
Glendale News-Press (Calif.)
John Huh arrived at his Texas home Monday quite satisfied following his most recent accomplishment and with his young career on the upswing.
Huh, a 2008 Crescenta Valley High graduate, participated in The Masters Tournament last week. He finished tied for 11th in the prestigious event, earning him an invitation to the 2014 rendition at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.
“My ultimate goal was to go out there and play some good golf,” said Huh, last year’s PGA Rookie of the Year who finished the four-round event with a two-under-par 286. “It’s neat for me that I get to come back and I feel like I deserve it.
Michelle Wie looks to turn around LPGA Tour struggles with home-state stop in Hawaii
AP via Washington Post
Michelle Wie is hoping a Hawaii stop on the LPGA Tour will inject a little aloha into her game.
She’s 91st in the world ranking after breaking 70 only once in 18 rounds so far this season. She’s coming off a season-best tie for 41st two weeks ago in the Kraft Nabisco Championship — after starting the tournament with an apology from Annika Sorenstam for being quoted as saying the former child prodigy hasn’t shown the talent that initially made her a star.
Ryu Hyun-jin to Establish Charity Foundation
Ryu Hyun-jin of the Los Angeles Dodgers will establish a charity foundation in conjunction with sponsor Hanmi Bank, his agency said on Monday.
“Ryu plans to set up a foundation because he wants to do something good. It will take about six months to come up with a concrete plan,” a spokesman said at a press conference announcing the sponsorship deal with the largest Korean bank in the United States.
Eighth-grader makes state geographic bee
Dayton Daily News (Ohio)
Sung In Jeon, an eighth-grader at Tower Heights Middle School in Centerville, wants to be a medical doctor in the distant future. “I want to go to different countries and help people,” said the 14-year-old.
His favorite subjects are science, math and social studies — but it was his interest and knowledge of social studies that got him to the Ohio Geographic Bee in Columbus on April 5. He was among the top 100 scorers in Ohio invited to compete as a semifinalist.
“We’ve only had two students qualify for state competition during the six years I’ve taught here,” said Elizabeth Dickson, his social studies teacher for the past three years.
Stalker fans in Korea are becoming increasingly worrisome for celebrities, prompting one popular K-pop idol to speak out.
Kim Jae-jung, a member of boy group JYJ, recently took to Twitter to blast the so-called sasaeng fans, a moniker which is a combination of the Korean words for privacy and fan.
Kim said on Twitter earlier this week that he arrived at Incheon International Airport in a good mood, fresh off the conclusion of a successful tour in Taiwan. His mood soon soured, however, after he was met by a mob of unruly sasaeng fans.
“It’s OK to take pictures at the airport, but passer-by halmonis and harabeojis were falling down, shouldn’t you help them up or at least apologize to them?” Kim wrote. “Why didn’t you check to see if they were your grandparents, instead of checking your photos in your car?” Continue Reading »