North Korea Skillfully Evades Sanctions, U.N. Panel Says
New York Times
Recent inspections and seizures of banned cargo have shown that North Korea is using increasingly deceptive techniques to circumvent international sanctions, a panel of experts said in a report to the United Nations Security Council published Tuesday.
After a series of nuclear and long-range ballistic missile tests by North Korea over the past decade, the Security Council has adopted resolutions calling for increasingly vigorous sanctions aimed at crippling the North’s financial and technical capability to build weapons of mass destruction.
In its latest annual report, posted Tuesday on the United Nations website, the panel of eight experts said that North Korea has persisted in defying those resolutions not only by continuing its nuclear and ballistic missile programs but also by engaging in illegal arms trade.
Growing Chinese Influence Worries N.Korean Officials
There are “serious concerns” among some North Korean officials that North Korea could turn into a vassal state of China amid growing economic dependence on its sole ally, a defector said Monday.
Kim Chong-song, who under his real name used to be a senior member of the Workers Party, is the highest-ranking North Korean defector living in the South and spoke to media here for the first time.
“Without Chinese capital and goods, it would be impossible for the North Korean government to operate, and ordinary people would not be able to carry on with their daily lives,” Kim said. “North Korea grew so dependent on China in the 20 years of Kim Jong-il’s rule that it’s now impossible to construct buildings, grow farm produce, or sustain the regime without imports of Chinese materials, fertilizer and pesticides.”
S. Korean charity to send aid to N. Korea under tension
Yonhap News via GlobalPost
A South Korean charity announced on Tuesday it will provide aid for children and expectant mothers in impoverished North Korea, under lingering tensions on the peninsula.
ChildFund Korea said it will ship 200 tons worth of wheat flour and bean flour north of the border. It represents South Korea’s largest private aid to the North under President Park Geun-hye.
According to ChildFund Korea, North Korea has pledged to share the foodstuffs with about 23,000 children and 29,000 pregnant women.
Unified Korea would become world’s 8th largest economy by 2050: think tank
If North and South Korea were to unify within the next year, Korea would have the eighth largest economy in the world by 2050 with a per capita income exceeding that of Japan, a report by a local think tank claimed Tuesday.
According to Hyundai Research Institute (HRI), one of South Korea’s largest research institutions, unification would generate new growth engines and create a sizable domestic market that would make the country less reliant on overseas markets.
“The increase in population and market would make it possible to deal effectively with the drop in economic growth potential and the country’s weakness to external economic developments,” said Hong Soon-jick, head of the HRI’s unification economy center.
Canada, South Korea conclude long-delayed free trade deal
Canada and South Korea announced on Tuesday they had wrapped up talks on a long-delayed free trade deal which had stalled for years amid squabbles over exports of autos and beef.
The deal – outlined in a statement by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper – is particularly important for Canada, which is trying to cut its reliance on the U.S. market.
The agreement is the first Canada has concluded with a nation from Asia, a fast-growing part of the world that Ottawa is deliberately targeting.
Canada’s Trade Ministry says exports to South Korea in 2012 were worth C$3.7 billion ($3.4 billion) while imports from South Korea hit C$6.4 billion.
Pope Visit Caps Banner Year for Korean Catholics
Wall Street Journal
The Pope says he loves Korea. And to prove it, he’s making his first trip to the country later this year, adding to a recent string of coups for South Korea’s Catholics.
On Monday, the Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis would visit in August, marking the popular pontiff’s first trip to Asia since he was elected pope, a year ago this week.
The papal visit, the first to South Korea since John Paul II’s visit in 1989, is the latest — and biggest — coup for South Korea’s Catholic church this year, which generally keeps a lower profile than the country’s Protestants.
SBS Hands Over Footage in Dating-Show Suicide
Broadcaster SBS has handed over raw footage from the blind-date program “Jjak” to police after a contestant killed herself during filming on Jeju Island last week.
A police spokesman said investigators want to check whether the woman suffered “undue pressure or humiliation” during filming of the typically adversarial program.
The contestants on the show, a Korean version of U.S. program “The Bachelor,” are herded together in a hotel for weeks and filmed practically every waking moment.
LA Web Festival to screen ‘Kimchi Warrior’ animation
Kimchi superhero animation will screen at one of the largest U.S. web series festivals.
According to the LAWEBFEST 2014, Korea-born director Kang Young-man’s “Kimchi Warrior” episodes are included in its final play list for the five-day event scheduled for March 26-30. It is the first time that a Korean director has been invited to the festival.
Kang’s two episodes, each running 5-6 minutes, contain blend of martial arts, comedy, and the promotion of good health. Web series are three-to-six minute-long serialized videos in various genres that are rapidly spread through YouTube and SNSs.
“It is a unique blend of martial arts, comedy, and the promotion of good health. Based on the premise of ‘Popeye,’ our hero obtains supernatural strength by consuming the most prominent Korean dish to defend mankind from the world’s most notorious diseases such as swine flu, mad cow disease, malaria and SARS,” Kang, director of L.A.-based YMK Films, said in a statement on its website.
In second camp, Dodgers and Ryu more comfortable
The Dodgers use the word “comfortable” so much to describe pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu this Spring Training compared to last, you’d think he’s throwing from a Barcalounger.
The fact is, it’s the Dodgers who are more comfortable this Spring with Ryu.
Last Spring, they had a rocky honeymoon. Ryu reported out of shape, unaware that Major Leaguers are expected to be ready from Day One of camp and not work themselves into fitness.
He believed the six-year, $36 million contract he signed to leave Korea assured him a spot in the starting rotation. Management, though, got a little worried as he struggled in exhibition games and began talking about “competing” for a job.
IOC admits misquoting Yuna
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) admitted that a quote attributed to figure skater Kim Yuna was fabricated in a news story published on its website during the recent Sochi Olympics.
“It was originally written by one of our ‘young reporters’ (young trainee reporters from the Youth Olympic Games), but Kim Yuna’s agent contacted us to say she felt that the quote was not accurate,” IOC media relations manager Sandrine Tonge told The Korea Times on Monday.
“We felt it was better to remove it since this was not integral to the story and we wanted to be accurate.”
Stargazers Witness Close Encounter
A bright shining object in the skies captivated observers in Suwon on Sunday night. Experts say it was probably a shooting star.
The object blazed across the night sky for some moments before crashing to earth.
Several videos capturing the scene from in-car systems were posted on social networking sites.
On Monday morning, a black rock measuring 25 by 50 cm and presumed to be part of a meteorite was found in a greenhouse in Jinju, South Gyeongsang Province.
Korean Emoticons Infographic
Dom & Hyo
Check out this super cute infographic about Korean emoticons. This useful guide will show you some new ones, for sure.
World’s Largest Asymmetrical Building to Open in Seoul
Wall Street Journal
Seoul unveils to the public next Friday what is likely to be South Korea’s most controversial building in recent memory.
Designed by Pritzker-winning Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, the seven-story Dongdaemun Design Plaza is the world’s largest asymmetrical free form building, according to its operator Seoul Design Foundation. With a floor area of 86,574 square meters (931,875 square feet), the structure spans three underground levels and four above ground, and occupies a site of more than 25,000 square meters — equivalent to 3.5 soccer fields.
The building’s exterior is noted for its grass-covered tops and its 45,133 aluminum panels, each individually shaped.
Built on a historic site adjacent to the ancient capital’s east gate, the structure contains exhibition spaces and conference centers as well as workshops and boutiques. The shows for the 2014 Fall/Winter Seoul Fashion Week will take place at its opening next Friday.
Japan Won’t Alter Apology to World War II Sex Slaves
New York Times
Japan will not revise a landmark apology to women forced to work in military brothels during World War II even as it moves ahead with a review of the testimony used to create that apology, a spokesman for the Japanese government said Monday.
Yoshihide Suga, the chief cabinet secretary, told reporters that the conservative government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had no intention of changing the 1993 apology, called the Kono Statement. The apology admitted for the first time that the Imperial military played at least an indirect role in forcing the women, known euphemistically as “comfort women,” to provide sex to Japanese soldiers.
Mr. Suga was responding to rising criticism from South Korea, a former Japanese colony where many of the women came from, of an announcement made two weeks ago by Mr. Suga that the government would review evidence used to support the apology. At that time, Mr. Suga said the government would form a panel of experts to review the evidence used to back up the statement, mostly testimony made two decades ago by 16 aging former sex slaves.
North Korea Election: A Sham Worth Studying
Kim wins. That is the unsurprising outcome of North Korea’s first legislative election under the leadership young dictator Kim Jong Un. State media report that nearly 100% of eligible North Koreans voted in Sunday’s poll, and 100% cast votes in favor of the status quo. This is only partly as ridiculous as it sounds: voting is mandatory and there is one option on the ballot.
Indeed, when North Korea votes, it votes. When exactly 100% of eligible North Korean set out to cast votes 100% in favor of pre-determined politicians, they were carried forth on “billows of emotion and happiness,” state media reported. And nowhere were they happier — or more billowy, presumably — that in Kim Jong Un’s district, Mount Paektu, the Korean peninsula’s highest peak. The group that voted at the storied site were so moved by the exercise that they spontaneously burst into song, state media said.
North Korean Flagged Tanker Puzzles Observers
Wall Street Journal
Is North Korea trying to import oil from rebel forces in Libya?
The Libyan government and militias are threatening to attack a North Korean-flagged tanker off its coast that they say rebels are hoping to use to export oil from the port of al-Sidra.
“Any attempt (by the tanker) to move, it will be turned into scrap,” Libyan Culture Minister Al-Habib al-Amin said on Sunday, according to the Associated Press.
The presence of the tanker, named “The Morning Glory,” has puzzled observers because it’s very unusual for North Korean-flagged vessels to appear in the Mediterranean.
Dennis Rodman pledges to end North Korea trips
Dennis Rodman, back from a North Korea trip that included an exhibition game and birthday song for Kim Jong Un, has pledged he will not make a return visit to the dictator if that is not what people want.
Rodman said he went to North Korea with pure intentions, stating that he only wants to “do great things in life” in a television interview with ESPN’s Mark Schwarz.
“I wish they understood the whole purpose of why I went to North Korea,” Rodman said. “I wish they did.”
Kim Jong-un’s Sister Secures Place in Nomenklatura
North Korea’s state-run media have for the first time mentioned leader Kim Jong-un’s younger sister Yeo-jong by name, suggesting she has established a position of some influence for herself in the corridors of power.
North Korean state TV on Sunday reported that Kim Jong-un visited a polling station at Kim Il-sung University for elections for the Supreme People’s Assembly on Sunday, accompanied by military politburo chief Choe Ryong-hae, Workers Party deputy directors Kim Kyong-ok and Hwang Pyong-so, “and comrade Kim Yeo-jong.”
Challenging South Korea’s Gender Barrier
Wall Street Journal
When Cho Eun-sook started her career as the first female software developer at LG Electronics Inc. in 1988, there was no such thing as maternity leave. Instead, she took vacation days to give birth to her two sons.
Now in her 27th year at the company, Ms. Cho runs mobile accessory development and is one of three female vice presidents at the company.
Ms. Cho was one of more than 120 female engineers who met to discuss women working in technology at an event hosted by Google Inc. in Seoul on Friday to mark International Women’s Day.
Fugitive tracked by Tribune is returned from S. Korea
U.S. authorities today extradited international fugitive Kyung Ho Song to Chicago from his native South Korea, more than a decade after Song fled Cook County to avoid being tried on charges of drunken driving and reckless homicide.
The hunt for Song was reactivated after the Tribune contacted prosecutors and police about the dormant case in connection with its 2011 “Fugitives From Justice” investigation. The Tribune separately tracked down Song in a suburb of Seoul and interviewed him there in early 2012.
Korean authorities arrested Song in December 2013 on a U.S. provisional arrest warrant, and the Korean ministry of justice authorized his extradition back to Chicago.
Affirmative action amendment has some Asian-Americans furious
Southern California Public Radio
A proposal to reinstate affirmative action at California’s public universities is riling some Asian-American groups more than any recent political issue, with critics unleashing their anger on social media and in protests and public meetings.
At issue is a Democrat-backed bill that would lift a 1996 ban keeping University of California and California State University schools from considering race or ethnicity in admissions and recruitment.
SCA 5 – short for Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 – passed on a party-line vote in the state Senate late January, and if it’s approved by the supermajority in the Assembly, Californians could vote on the issue as early as this year.
More charges after cyclist killed in W. Colorado
AP via Seattle Post-Intelligencer
A 29-year-old Palisade woman involved in a crash in western Colorado that killed a man on a cross-country bicycling trip is now facing several drug charges.
Prosecutors say Tonie Rosales used cocaine for two days in September before heading to Delta for a court hearing relating to a prior DUI arrest. She struck and killed 25-year-old Eunjey Cho on U.S. Highway 50 on her way to court Sept. 18 and was formally charged with the drug offenses Thursday.
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/1gc4wnD ) Rosales already has been charged with two counts of vehicular homicide — one alleging DUI and another alleging reckless driving.
Brentwood girl gets two perfect ACT scores, looks to future in science
For most students, taking the ACT is a rite of passage.
It can be an eye-opening and sometimes brutal experience, often repeated to achieve better results and possibly gain college scholarship money and win selective admission.
But for Joyce Kang, a senior at Brentwood High School, the college entrance exam was a piece of cake both times she took it. That’s right: She made the highest possible score — 36 — both times.
Kang had to endure the exam a second time because she didn’t take the ACT written assessment the first time.
Folk rockers Run River North flows in the right direction on debut album
Society always celebrates the records that top the Billboard 200 album chart. Back of The Billboards is a Music Times weekly segment that looks at the opposite end: the new record that finished closest to the back of the Billboard 200 for the previous week. We hope to give a fighting chance to the bands you haven’t heard of.
Week of 03/07/2013
WHO: Run River North
WHAT: Run River North
Run River North first came to our attention in a method befitting the the style of music they play. The six-piece had assembled its own music video (under its then name Monsters Calling Home) shooting inside a Honda Fit. The car company appreciated the gesture and hooked them up with Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Uncomfortable questions with Shin-Soo Choo
Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas)
Shin-Soo Choo’s big league career began when he was 22 as a rookie with the Seattle Mariners. He is 30 now, and should be fairly secure with the seven-year, $130 million contract he signed with the Texas Rangers in the offseason. He should be able to live off that for at least two to three years.
A native of South Korea, Choo is expected to bat leadoff hitter, and be the Rangers’ every day left fielder. He was nice enough to answer some uncomfortable questions.
Dodgers to start Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu in Australia openers
Los Angeles Times
Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly made official Sunday what had been suspected for some time: Left-handers Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu are set to start the team’s season-opening games against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia.
But anything beyond that, Mattingly said, is still to be determined.
“We still haven’t made all our decisions on exactly how we’re going to set up our roster,” he said. “So those are issues that we continue to talk with guys about.”
IOC Deletes Fake Quotes from Kim Yu-na
The International Olympic Committee has quietly deleted fabricated quotes from Korean figure skating star Kim Yu-na that appeared to downplay controversy over judging irregularities at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
The IOC published an article with the implausible quotes on its official website on March 6, focusing on figure skaters from the Innsbruck Youth Winter Olympics who won medals in Sochi.
One skater in focus was Russian gold medalist Adelina Sotnikova. The IOC claimed Kim had been “magnanimous in defeat” after a highly dubious judging decision in Sochi put her in second place.
Kim Yu-na to hold farewell ice shows in May: agency
South Korean figure skating icon Kim Yu-na will hold farewell ice shows in Seoul this spring, her agency announced Monday.
All That Sports said Kim will take the center stage at her corporate-sponsored ice shows from May 4 to 6 in the nation’s capital.
The 23-year-old star retired from competition after the Sochi Winter Olympics last month. She picked up the silver medal behind Adelina Sotnikova of Russia, after winning the gold at the previous Winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010.
The agency said the three days of performances will be Kim’s last appearances on ice as a figure skater. Through the agency’s press release, Kim said she hopes to take the opportunity to show her appreciation for her fans.
Beverly Kim and John Clark Plan to Open Parachute
When the husband-and-wife chef team Beverly Kim and John Clark took over the now-defunct Bonsoirée in 2012, they fulfilled a dream of working together on a Korean-inspired modern restaurant. Unfortunately, the dream lasted only a few months there, and Bonsoirée closed.
After a year-plus deferral, they’re leaping back into their restaurant-ownership dream, and if you leap, you need a Parachute (3500 N. Elston Ave., Avondale, no phone yet). The 40-seat, liquor-licensed, Korean-American-perspective restaurant is scheduled to open in April.
Kim and Clark say the food will pull together traditional Korean flavors with new and creative ones. “Reminiscent of familiar traditional flavors, but presented in a new creative way,” Kim says. As an example, they offer a crispy mung bean pancake with pork belly, black garlic, and kimchi. The menu breaks down into snacks in the $4 to $7 range, appetizers such as crudos or salads, rice and noodles, and larger plates intended for sharing and costing between $18 and $25.
Korea’s Most Popular Online Eating Shows
Wall Street Journal
One of South Korea’s hardest-to-explain phenomena in recent months is the boom of “mokbang”: Internet-streamed shows where hosts eat often supersized meals – for the audience’s pleasure.
Choi Ji-hwan, a top mokbang host, told The Wall Street Journal in a recent interview that one of his satisfied viewers was on a diet seeking a vicarious thrill. Others were living alone and enjoyed his virtual company as they ate “together.”
Every night on a local YouTube-like platform AfreecaTV, multiple show hosts vie to be selected by hundreds of thousands of viewers. Several of them make a living through these shows and have hundreds of thousands of subscribers.
The North Korean Purge That Didn’t Happen
Wall Street Journal
Call it a helpful reminder that much of what you hear about North Korea is probably not true.
A senior North Korean military official close to dictator Kim Jong Un reemerged in state media on Friday after disappearing from public view for a few weeks. Speculation had been building that Choe Ryong Hae might have been purged after a report from a radio station operated by North Korean defectors that Mr. Choe was arrested on Feb. 21.
The report said Mr. Choe had fallen short in his duties to keep troops sufficiently devoted to Mr. Kim, among other failings.
North Korean election provides clues to reclusive Stalinist state
Reading the official website of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and you would be forgiven for thinking the reclusive Stalinist state was the Cayman Islands of East Asia.
No taxes, zero unemployment and a performance-related reward-for-labor bonus regime, North Korea touts itself as having “a people-centered social system in which the masses of the working people are the masters of everything and everything in society serves them.”
This Sunday, North Koreans will be required to show their assent for this political system at general elections universally expected to return the current incumbent Kim Jong Un.
Pyongyang’s Hunger Games
New York Times
The United Nations Commission of Inquiry’s report on North Korea, released last month, contains so many tragic findings that it is difficult to grasp the scale of the crimes described. But the world owes it to the North Korean victims, both living and dead, to focus on a figure buried in paragraph 664 of the commission’s report: $645,800,000.
That is what the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, is said to have squandered in 2012 on “luxury goods,” including cosmetics, handbags, leather products, watches, electronics, cars and top-shelf alcohol. In that same year, Mr. Kim also spent $1.3 billion on his ballistic missile programs.
Mr. Kim’s profligacy should be weighed against two other statistics absent from the commission’s report. The first is $150 million. That is what the United Nations World Food Program asked donor nations to give for food and other humanitarian aid for North Koreans in 2013. The second is 84 — the percentage of North Korean households that, according to the W.F.P. and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, had “borderline” or “poor” levels of food consumption in 2013.
Four U.S. congressmen urge reunions of divided Korean-American families
Yonhap News via GlobalPost
Four U.S. congressmen submitted a resolution to a House committee calling for the reunion of Koreans in the United States with their long-lost families in North Korea, according to the Library of Congress.
The measure was sponsored by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Howard Coble (R-NC), John Conyers (D-MI) and Samuel Johnson (R-TX), all Korean War veterans.
“The division on the Korean Peninsula separated more than 10,000,000 Korean family members, including some who are now citizens of the United States,” said the resolution, referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs Thursday.
Japan’s Uphill PR Battle
Japan is involved in a worsening quarrel with its two neighbors, China and South Korea, not only concerning sovereignty over some tiny islets, but also its alleged tendency to whitewash its history of military aggression and brutal colonial rule.
One of the major points of antagonism is the issue of “comfort women” (or “sex slaves” as an angry Hillary Clinton called them), namely women in Japan-occupied Asia who were forced into prostitution serving Japanese soldiers. Despite the 1993 Kono Statement in which the Japanese government admitted that Japan’s military had coerced these women, a recent rise of nationalism has led a majority of Japanese to deny any such thing, giving rise to suspicion that Japan is again refusing to take responsibility for its war crimes.
On this issue, the Koreans are more militant than the Chinese and political ties between Tokyo and Seoul have been frozen since the hawkish Shinzo Abe returned to power, and has hardly bothered to hide his aim of repealing past Japanese admissions of sin regarding the comfort women. The right-wing prime minister actually represents a growing number of Japanese who believe that Japan did nothing wrong in the last world war and that the comfort women were only professional prostitutes. These Japanese are fed up with the Korean and Chinese demands for apologies and compensation.
Washington City Paper
Lobbyists have wet dreams about this scenario.
You’ve mobilized an entire constituent group, 80,000 potential swing voters in a swing state. It’s a growing immigrant population with a profile coveted by politicians: well-educated, relatively prosperous, suburb-dwelling, beholden to no party. State legislators and gubernatorial candidates meet with you and come to any press events you organize. They are prepared to speechify about whatever issue you tell them is dear to your community, and pledge that your cause is their cause. Any issue at all.
What do you tell them?
If you are Peter Kim, president of the Virginia-based Voice of Korean Americans, you tell them what your community really wants—more than anything—is for any reference in any school textbook to the body of water that lies between the Korean peninsula and Japan, commonly called the Sea of Japan, to say that it’s also known as the East Sea.
Flushing man to offer free meds, barber trims to the needy
New York Daily News
He wants to snip away at poverty. A Flushing man who gave away free bowls of soup to the poor at a Korean restaurant last month now has his sights set on the barber’s chair as a way to help out Queens’ neediest.
Jin Kim, 38, is working with a local pharmacy to hand out free meds and Queens barbershops to offer gratis haircuts.
“Not only me, a lot of people need help,” said Kim, a Korean-American immigrant and John Jay College Ph.D student who got the idea to start a charity when he first arrived in Queens 12 years ago and struggled to survive. “I think some people have more. Maybe they will share a little bit and help everyone. I want to be the connection.”
For Korean Kids, Mobile Chat Rules
Wall Street Journal
The verdict is still out on whether teens and tweens are a reliable predictor of tech trends, but if South Korean school kids make a good benchmark, chat is king.
A recently-released poll by the National Youth Policy Institute, a Seoul-based public research center, shows that the most frequently used feature among students in grades four to 12 on their smartphones was local messenger apps such as KakaoTalk and Line. Over a quarter – one third for girls – said it was their most-used feature.
The overall runner-up in the November survey was games (15.6%), followed by making calls (14.8%) and music (12.8%). Just 6.8% of the 10,000 students surveyed said social media was their most-used application, the same percentage as said browsing the Internet was what they do most on their phones.
S. Korean Dream Line: Rail Link Via N.Korean Eco Zone To Russia
Imagine a railroad linking the great industries of South Korea with Europe. The dream might some day come true as the South drafts elaborate plans for shipping goods through North Korea’s Rason special economic zone adjacent to the North’s 10-mile-long Tumen River border with Russia.
The South Koreans have the enthusiastic support of the Russians, who have long dreamed of shipping goods by rail from South Korean factories, through North Korea and then onto the trans-Siberian railway. They’ve already rebuilt the railroad into North Korea over which they once shipped oil and other products at prices way below their real costs.
The oil stopped flowing with the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, but Russia has never abandoned its historic interest in the Korean peninsula.
Police seek help in locating missing Staten Island man
Staten Island Advance (N.Y.)
Police seek the public’s help in ascertaining the whereabouts of a 60-year-old New Springville man reported missing on Thursday.
Kang Ok Cho was last seen two week ago on Friday, Feb. 21 at about 6 p.m., according to a written statement from the office of the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for public information. He was leaving for his job at a Flushing, Queens, car service, said an NYPD spokeswoman.
The reason for the delay in the report being made was not immediately clear.
TV Soap Revives Korean Craze in China
Korean soap “My Love from the Star,” about a woman’s romance with an alien, has taken China by storm, sparking fads for anything from food to books.
The Bibigo chain of Korean restaurants launched a new dish in outlets in Beijing on Wednesday consisting of fried chicken, pickled radishes and two bottles of beer, which is a popular combination among Koreans.
“We decided to add the new item to our menus due to the explosive popularity of ‘chi-maek’” — the Korean abbreviation for the combo.
So what’s going on here then? Jessica Gomes’ goofy snap with Walking Dead star Steven Yeun’s sparks romance rumours
Daily Mail (U.K.)
She split from her long term boyfriend Sebastian Drapac a few months ago, and now it looks like Australian model Jessica Gomes could be back on the dating scene.
The 28-year-old David Jones fashion ambassador posted a goofy candid photo of herself and 30-year-old Walking Dead actor Steven Yeun on Instagram earlier today, sparking speculation of a new romance.
The pair playfully pulled their tongues out, and fans commented asking if the model and actor were dating.
Iowa City native connects two cultures in film debut
Iowa City Press-Citizen
Christine Yoo made her first movie as a student at Shimek Elementary.
“In my reading group, we wrote and shot a construction animation piece about finding King Tut’s tomb,” she said, recalling that she was inspired by her art teacher, Mr. Ferguson.
Years later, the former Iowa City resident has made her first full-length feature film with “Wedding Palace,” a movie about a young Korean American man dumped at the altar and facing a family curse that requires all family members to marry before they turn 30. The film strives to connect two cultures.
Yoo said the movie has been described as the Korean-American version of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”
An account of Kim Yuna backstage at Olympics; Netizens moved
‘Yuna cried a lot backstage. That was why the awards ceremony was a bit delayed.’
In contrast with her calm appearance after the women’s singles figure skating competition, ‘figure skating queen’ Kim Yuna (24) looked extremely sad backstage and shed many tears, according to an eyewitness account that was uploaded to the Internet. It has caught the attention of many people, and many netizens are crying together.
In a popular Internet community on the 3rd of March, a post titled ‘Kim Yuna is a delicate athlete after all’ has recorded a high number of hits and has gained a lot of public interest.
10 Personality Traits about Koreans You Should Know!
The most Korean of athletes are always nationalistic. Whether it be olympians that dedicate their victories to their home country, or MMA fighters that dedicate their wins to the Independence Day of Korea (UFC Fight Night 37), nearly all Korean athletes are loyal to their country. Koreans are raised to put their country before themselves, and that leads to nationalistic activists that fight for Korea’s ownership of the Dokdo Islands (aka Liancourt Rocks), expansion of Korea’s airspace territory, or even Koreans abroad fighting for renaming of the Sea of Japan (contested as the East Sea). Koreans are bred to be nationalistic, mostly with the phrase: Daehanminguk manse (대한민국 만세)! Victory to Korea!
South Korea is definitely on the forefront when it comes to the term “Save the Earth”! We always try to save on energy and recycling. The Korean government initiated a program throughout the country back in 2005 that tries to limit green house gases by conserving the energy costs of businesses through the Cool Biz program. Korea also takes its recycling programs serious! Bio-waste matter (left over food) is recycled through yellow plastic bags that are meant specifically for compost matter (which is rumored to be super eco-friendly and fed to pigs!). In addition, everything is separated by glass, plastic, cardboard and cans. And if you don’t believe us, watch your trash not get picked up!
Tate Modern buys first collection of Paik Nam-june works
Yonhap News via GlobalPost
The Tate Modern gallery in London said Friday it has bought its first ever collection of works by late Korean-born American media artist Paik Nam-june and will put the new collection on display in the second half of this year.
Tate Modern, which mainly houses international modern and contemporary art from the 20th and 21st century, acquired nine media art pieces and video installations by Paik, the gallery said.
It added the purchase was funded by South Korea’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor Co. as part of a bilateral partnership deal signed between the two sides in January. The items will go on display in the second half of this year at the gallery, the gallery said.
Free Oriental Medicine clinic this Saturday in O.C.
The Korean American Federation of Orange County will offer free oriental medicine treatments and medical consultation at the Orange County Korean Cultural Center from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
Appointments are required due to the limited time.
Acupuncture treatment with a moxa system, as well as consultation, will be aided by Dr. Han Choong-hee, who operates an acupuncture clinic in Irvine.
So much for reviving the family reunion program between North and South Korea.
The North rejected South Korea’s proposal Thursday to continue the humanitarian program that reconnects families separated by the Korean War from six decades ago, the New York Times reported.
The two Koreas held the reunions, which had stalled since 2010, late last month, but couldn’t ease the strained inter-Korea relations as the North launched short-range missiles into the waters between the Korean peninsula and Japan only a day after the reunions while South Korea and the U.S. held annual military drills. The missiles reportedly flew in the area of a Chinese passenger plane departing from Tokyo to Shenyang, China at the same time.
North Korea dismissed South Korea’s request to arrange additional family reunions in the future, saying the “circumstance and mood” aren’t appropriate to hold such discussions. Continue Reading »
North Korea Tests Rocket Launcher With Longer Range, South Says
New York Times
North Korea on Tuesday tested a new multiple-rocket launcher with a range long enough to strike major American and South Korean military bases south of Seoul, South Korean military officials said.
Four rockets were launched Tuesday afternoon from Wonsan, a coastal city east of the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, flying 96 miles to the northeast before crashing into the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, a South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman said.
The spokesman said his ministry had determined that the rockets were fired from a new multiple-rocket launcher that North Korea had been developing. He spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing ministry policy.
North Korea’s Perfect Timing for Missile Launches
Wall Street Journal
One benefactor of the crisis in Ukraine appears to be North Korea.
U.S. officials confirmed Monday that North Korea’s firing of two Scud missiles earlier the same day was a breach of United Nations Security Council resolutions banning ballistic missile launches, as was the launch of four other missiles last Thursday.
The initial evaluation by the Pentagon had been that there was no sanctions break.
“It’s a short-range Scud missile which they are allowed to test. Nevertheless, we always call on the North Koreans to refrain from provocative action,” Col. Steve Warren, the Pentagon spokesman, said Thursday after the first firing.
South Korea’s first female president intimidated? Yeah, right
What kind of politician is slashed in the face with a knife, and upon waking up in hospital the first thing they ask about is the election campaign?
Answer: Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s first female president, and a woman who has experienced her fair share of violence while working — and growing up — in government.
Park was left with an 11 centimeter wound across her cheek after she was attacked by a man at a political rally in 2006. Her apparently businesslike response after waking from surgery — “How is Daejeon?” — referring to the party’s campaign in that city, earned her the nickname “Queen of Elections.”
In Seoul, Kim Jong Un Preferred to Shinzo Abe
Wall Street Journal
Just how toxic has the Japan-South Korea relationship become? Consider this: among South Koreans, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is now viewed more positively than Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The latest bi-monthly survey of leader ratings from the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul shows that Mr. Abe is for the first time polling below Mr. Kim in favorability rating. Admittedly both are pretty much scraping the bottom of the barrel among South Koreans, but Mr. Kim just ekes past Mr. Abe.
The North Korean leader had a rating of 1.3 on the survey’s 0-10 scale, compared with 1.1 for Mr. Abe. Of those questioned in Asan’s March 3 phone survey of 1,000 people, 61% gave Mr. Abe a zero rating, compared with 58% for Mr. Kim.
South Korea-Japan Rift on Exhibit in China
Wall Street Journal
Even in the icy midwinter, the crowded train station here has become an unlikely pilgrimage spot for South Koreans—like Cho Yoon-hee, a smartly dressed housewife from the Korean port city of Busan.
She flew over recently with a friend to pay homage at a new memorial hall to Ahn Jung-geun. In 1909, Mr. Ahn, a Korean, assassinated the visiting Japanese statesman Hirobumi Ito on the station platform of this city in China’s far north.
Mr. Ito was on an official trip to China at the time of his assassination. He was a founding father of modern Japan and at the time the most senior Japanese official in Korea, shortly before Japan annexed the entire Korean peninsula. To South Koreans, Mr. Ahn is a national hero; Japan calls him a terrorist. He has become a symbol of enduring enmity between the Asian neighbors.
Virginia ‘Sea of Japan’ textbook proposal encounters additional opposition
An obscure textbook bill that has drawn fierce opposition from Japan and created a dilemma for Gov. Terry McAuliffe appears to have hit a new snag related to African American history.
The Virginia House and Senate passed bills this year requiring that new public school textbooks note that the Sea of Japan is also known as the East Sea, but both are awaiting action by the other chamber.
Korean Americans in Northern Virginia, who consider the “Sea of Japan” designation a painful relic of Japanese occupation, have pushed for the measure. Japan strongly opposes the change, suggesting in a letter from its ambassador that the legislation could threaten business relations with the commonwealth.
Second Korean dies of flu in Southern California
Korea Times US
In the midst of a string of hundreds of deaths from the influenza sweeping through California this winter, a Korean woman inflicted by the virus has been reported dead in a Los Angeles hospital.
Hers is the second death of a Southern California-based Korean this year.
The woman, only identified as S, showed symptoms of the flu last week. She checked into a hospital on Feb. 26 and died on the 28th, according to close sources.
Similarly in Orange County, a Korean man in his 50s was brought to the emergency room with symptoms of the same virus in January. He died four days later.
Korean American female rapper is making waves in Christian music scene
Korea Times US
HeeSun Lee, a Korean American female rapper based in New York, is making waves in the Christian music scene with her album Stereotypes.
The album, the second since 2008 from the 30-year-old artist, debuted at No. 7 on iTunes’ Christian/Gospel chart and No. 25 on Billboard’s Gospel rankings upon its release on Jan. 21.
The 16-track record carries verses about doing away with stereotypes and with the status quo, she says. “It’s so refreshing to do what I do. Hearing the craziness, the trash we’re hearing all the time in rap music, it gets tiresome,” Lee says. “It’s to the point where it’s like, ‘Just give me something else.’ People are looking for something different.”
Figure skater Kim Yu-na says ‘absurd’ Olympic result fully behind her
After settling for silver in a controversial decision at the recent Winter Olympics, figure skater Kim Yu-na reiterated on Tuesday she has fully put that “absurd” result behind her.
Kim, the 2010 Olympic champ in ladies’ singles figure skating who took the silver at the Sochi Winter Games last month, met hundreds of her enthusiastic fans at a Seoul shopping mall. She shared with them her thoughts about what many experts and fans felt was a rigged judging decision that denied her a second straight Olympic title and handed the gold instead to the upstart Russian teenager, Adelina Sotnikova.
Though Sotnikova made a landing mistake during her free skate and Kim put together a clean routine, the South Korean finished more than five points behind the Russian. In the aftermath, Kim graciously said she fully accepted the result and the decision was out of her control.
Adios, Yuna: Hail and farewell
Since the 2014 Olympics almost certainly was the last competitive event of that career, I felt remiss about not having given Kim a proper farewell.
Looking again at the pre-written part of the story that never appeared, I realized that with a couple alterations based on the outcome in Sochi, it could be just that valedictory.
So, with apologies to those who think I may have buried the lead, here it is:
By Philip Hersh
SOCHI, Russia – The music is a remembrance, a haunting tango, “Adios, Nonino,’’ composed by Astor Piazzola to honor his late father. When the final notes hung in the air at the end of the figure skating competition at the Iceberg Skating Palace Thursday night, they also were saying goodbye, this time to Yuna Kim, who has joined the immortals of her sport.
Korean Food: The 12 Essential Dishes You Need to Know From the North and the South
The Korean peninsula is such a powder keg of political tension that it’s easy to forget that it’s also a powerhouse of flavor. To serve as guides through the fog of war and into the steam of the kitchen, we enlisted two experts to school us on both Seoul food and Kim Jong cuisine: Holly (South) from Beyond Kimchee and Jae Jung (North), a New Orleans chef who’s curated dinners that were actually attended by Kim Jong-un himself!
Before you learn more about each country’s individual specialties, here’s a quick history lesson.
Although there’s currently little mingling between the North and South, there isn’t necessarily a DMZ line drawn between the culinary traditions. Each culture serves a wide array of small side dishes (banchan), like kimchi and other pickled foods, with meals. Many dishes that originated in the North became South Korean staples as families migrated South after the war.
Korean Robot Steals Spotlight at Oscars Party
Behind the glitz and the glamour, the Oscars proved an opportunity to publicize Korea’s IT prowess in the U.S. Around 200 stars gathered at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles for a gala party ahead of the Academy Awards on Sunday, but the center of attention was a Korean-made robot called Furo.
Cameras flashed as Furo, created by Korean venture capital firm Future Robot, made her entrance with Korean-American actress Camilla Lim. Furo’s screen showed a beautiful Asian woman’s face and a larger screen on its body showed a collection of hanbok or traditional Korean dress and pop content.
Furo proceeded to greet the guests in 30 languages.