Tag Archives: North Korea

Thursday's Link Attack: Mountain Climber Missing, North Korea, Choco Pies

Renowned South Korean climber, 2 partners disappear while trying to summit Mount Annapurna
AP via Washington Post

A renowned South Korean climber and two of his partners have disappeared while trying to summit Mount Annapurna, official and rescuers said Thursday.

Dipendra Poudel of Nepal’s mountaineering department in Katmandu said rescuers have not been able to find any trace of the three South Korean climbers missing since Tuesday.

Park Young-seok has climbed the world’s 14 tallest mountains and reached both the north and south poles. He first climbed Annapurna in 1996. It is the 10th tallest and considered a technically difficult climb.

The department identified the two other missing South Korean climbers as Kang Ki-seok and Shin Dong-min.

New U.S. Envoy to Talk With North Koreans
New York Times

The United States will resume exploratory talks with North Korea next week in Geneva and has appointed a full-time envoy with a background in nuclear issues, the State Department announced Wednesday.

The news media in North Korea reported, meanwhile, that the country’s leader, Kim Jong-il, made rare comments on the possibility of resuming broader six-nation talks aimed at ending his country’s nuclear program.

The current American representative for North Korea policy, Stephen W. Bosworth, will be replaced by Glyn Davies, the United States ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman. In the past, Mr. Davies held a senior position in the State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Review: Karen O’s ‘Stop The Virgens’ Is Pretty, Vacant
Village Voice

The Voice gives a somewhat lukewarm review of Karen O’s latest project.

There ought to be something lethal at the heart of a rock show, some hurts-so-good death drive that reminds you how glorious it is to live, to breathe, to dance. Karen O’s “psycho rock opera” Stop The Virgens—playing at St. Ann’s Warehouse through the weekend—takes that fatal impulse seriously. By the piece’s end, 40 blood-spattered bodies litter the stage, victims of a sudden and violent plague. Lock up your daughters; post-punk can kill.

This mass demise and its ensuing resurrection are the closest this stylish, vacant show comes to narrative, frustrating the expectations of audience members who took seriously the idea that it would have the dramatic heft of an opera. O and co-creator KK Barrett create a world part Brothers Grimm and part Henry Darger, with a dash of Village of the Damned, but they haven’t borrowed any of the plots.

Bloomberg to meet Korean residents in New York

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to hold an unprecedented town hall meeting with Korean residents in the city next week, a move that apparently reflects the growing presence and influence of Koreans in the United States, a community group said Thursday.

Bloomberg, accompanied by other senior municipal officials, will have a meeting with several groups of Koreans at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Flushing Library in New York, according to Korean American Community Foundation (KACF).

HBO Developing ‘China Doll’ Family Drama From ‘Big Love’ Creators

The creators of polygamist series Big Love are developing another unconventional family drama for HBO. Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer are behind China Doll, a show in the works at the pay cable network about a mixed-race family and their humanoid robot. The project combines Scheffer’s passion for technology and Olsen’s interest in Chinese history and politics. “It is about China, Chinese Americans, robots, the effect of technology on our lives and the China moment in American consciousness,” said Olsen, referring to China’s current economic ascendance that is changing the dynamic in the U.S.-Chinese relationship. China Doll centers on a successful California construction subcontractor, his Asian American wife who is a university professor, and a robot as they straddle both sides of the Pacific with extended families on two continents.

Alleged rapes by U.S. soldiers ratchet up anger in South Korea
Los Angeles Times

Three violent attacks on South Korean residents were allegedly committed in recent weeks by off-duty U.S. servicemen here, including the assault of a 70-year-old grandmother and the unconnected rapes of two other women, Seoul officials say.

Park Kyungsoo, 30, director of the National Campaign for the Eradication of Crimes by U.S. Troops in Korea, knew the public outrage to the crimes would be swift.

“There’s a degree of perversion to the attacks that I knew South Koreans wouldn’t stand for,” said Park.

A 21-year-old U.S. Army private is in South Korean custody after being indicted in the alleged rape of an 18-year-old girl. U.S. officials, including top East Asian diplomat Kurt Campbell, apologized for “pain” caused by allegations that American soldiers sexually assaulted citizens here, and the military has imposed a temporary curfew on its soldiers across South Korea.

N.Korea Appears to Crackdown on Choco Pies in Kaesong
Chosun Ilbo

The amount of Choco Pie snacks consumed by North Korean workers in the Kaesong Industrial Complex, an inter-Korean project located in the North, has dropped significantly, according to sources on Wednesday.


Plea deal sought for Cali. man in Aug. motorcycle death
Cortez Journal (Cortez, Colo.)

The case of a California man accused of causing an Aug. 5 accident that killed a motorcyclist is on hold to give the prosecution and defense more time to reach an agreement.

Representing defendant Joonwan Choi, 21, of Fullerton, Calif., Cortez attorney Cameron Secrist on Tuesday told the judge his client extends his condolences to the victim’s widow and family. He said the incident was unfortunate and tragic.

Choi is charged with careless driving causing death after allegedly running a stop sign in a BMW X5 SUV and smashing into a Harley-Davidson motorcycle ridden by 54-year-old Richard E. James of Mancos at the Mesa Verde overpass of U.S. Highway 160, according to a Colorado State Patrol investigation.

James was thrown from his motorcycle. He received treatment from emergency responders and was transported to Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez, where he was pronounced dead.

Woman dies in Bluffs house fire
Daily Nonpareil (Council Bluffs, Iowa)

A Council Bluffs woman died Wednesday after fire personnel pulled her from a house fire.

Yon-Sook Kim, 77, died at Alegent Health Mercy Hospital after firefighters found her over-come by smoke and unconscious in her home at 917 Spruce St.

The woman is the mother of Inky Westfall, an aide to Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan and the city’s co-director of First Night celebration each New Year’s Eve.

Korea Rediscovers Its Rock ‘N’ Roll Soul
New York Times

[Shin Joong-hyun] has been called the godfather of South Korean rock. Mojo magazine likened him to Phil Spector for his ability to discover talent and create sounds. Mr. Shin’s sound was low-fi and psychedelic, freely mixing genres and, as time passed, it grew ever more wild. His albums typically had short, poppy songs, on the Aside, but side B was for Mr. Shin and the band, featuring free-flowing instrumentals up to 22 minutes long.

“The man was a revolutionary who mixed Western music such as rock, soul, and folk with the sound of traditional Korean music,” said Matt Sullivan, founder of Light in the Attic Records, an American boutique label that in September issued two retrospectives of Mr. Shin’s music.

TOKiMONSTA: “Hotel Room” (Unreleased)

Uh, she’s not from Japan. She was born in Torrance, Calif., and is Korean American.

Los Angeles-by-way-of-Japan producer TOKiMONSTA dropped one of the year’s strongest beat excursions this past May with the Creature Dreams EP. Since then, she’s stayed busy DJing, performing live instrumental sets, and (hopefully) working on her next full-length release. But before we hear more about any of that, she’s taken to her Soundcloud page to drop off a few cuts from her past. “Hotel Room,” a glimmering bass-heavy romp, was apparently made in 2008. But for whatever reason, she never shared it until now. We’re sure glad she did, if only because the genre of “robot porn” is so perfect it hurts.


Bergen freeholders field noise, traffic complaints linked to Korean-American festival
Bergen County Record (N.J.)

I have a strong feeling the festival will be moving back to New York next year.

Several Leonia residents complained to the Bergen County freeholders on Wednesday night about the noise and traffic generated by a recent Korean-American festival at Overpeck County Park.

“This has nothing to do with the type of event,” said Leonia Mayor Mary Heveran “Bringing people together is a beautiful thing.” But she said the noise was such that she could hear the thump of the bass all weekend from her home in the borough’s north end. “This particular event was too large, too loud and too dangerous,” Heveran said.

But several people who attended the festival turned out to voice support for the event.

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime event,” said Sungbae Ju, a River Edge resident and President and CEO of Garden State Opera. He described the festival crowd as “well-behaved and cordial” as they celebrated their culture. “We have a right to congregate in a public space,” he added.

The weekend festival drew an estimated 75,000 people on Oct. 8 and 9 to the Ridgefield Park section of Overpeck County Park.

Occupy Wall Street Gets Pyongyang’s Backing
Wall Street Journal

North Korea’s state news agency weighed in on the Occupy Wall Street protests Thursday, highlighting the “stern judgment” of “millions of people” against a capitalist system that “brings exploitation, oppression, unemployment and poverty to the popular masses.”

The Korean Central News Agency’s daily dispatches usually contain a few accounts of the woes of the rest of the world, so KCNA’s editors were probably rubbing their hands with glee at the chance to play up the Occupy movement, which the report says is “sweeping across the capitalist world.”

With no apparent sense of irony, KCNA says that in capitalist society “1% of privileged class is granted all preferential treatment while 99% of working masses are forced into poverty and death.”

henry cho as earl lee, barcelo vip

Look who’s front and center as the VIP in this commercial for Barceló Hotels & Resorts. It’s none other than veteran comedian Henry Cho as big deal high roller Earl Lee, rocking a cowboy hat and living it up. He advises you to book early.

Lee Seung-yeop to Return to Korea
Chosun Ilbo

Orix Buffaloes slugger and Korea’s national hitter Lee Seung-yeop is coming home. Lee reportedly informed the Osaka-based Japanese team of his desire to leave when they slipped to fourth place in the regular season and failed to qualify for the postseason on Tuesday.

5 reasons to visit Jeonju

Hankering for a weekend getaway from Seoul? The Jeonju Bibimbap Festival kicks off today at its namesake city in the south of the peninsula. A little under three hours away by bus, Jeonju features a historical setting, an artistic vibe and a culinary reputation. Here are five reasons to visit the city.

Wednesday's Link Attack: North Korea, North Korea and North Korea

US professor leads effort to save N. Koreans from starvation
Korea Times

At first sight, she seemed like a typical Korean mother who is kind and gentle. As the interview continued, however, she felt like a giant as she is in charge of feeding tens of thousands of North Koreans in the poor communist country.

Kim Pil-ju is the founder of the Agglobe Services International (ASI) and teaches as an adjunct full professor at University of Minnesota. Set up in 2001, the ASI is a non-profit outfit aimed at offering humanitarian aid to impoverished nations.

Under her stewardship, the ASI runs five large farms. The combined size of the farms reaches more than 3,000 hectares in North Korea, accommodating up to 17,000 citizens including some 7,000 farmers.

Restaurant Review: Prime & Beyond
New York Times

Is New York ready for a serious steakhouse without hash browns or shrimp cocktail? Kyu and Kevin Lee, Korean-American brothers who opened Prime & Beyond in the East Village this summer, believe so. Like the original Prime & Beyond in Fort Lee, N.J., the Manhattan restaurant serves wonderful beef, all of it prime, at below-market prices — alongside a few excellent Korean and Japanese side dishes.

The Lees are not interested in a copycat American steakhouse, or even a Korean one. In 2003, with no particular food experience (but a belief that there was money to be made in meat), Kyu Lee opened a butcher shop in Fort Lee. They didn’t realize that the competition for top-quality meat would be stiff. “They weren’t used to seeing Asians,” Kevin said of the wholesalers at Hunts Point in the Bronx.

The Lees persisted, built a clientele and opened a restaurant next door to the shop in 2007. Now, the brothers are allowed to choose their carcasses at Master Purveyors, alongside the buyers for Peter Luger and Keens.

A mountainous challenge: South Korean host of 2018 Winter Olympics has a long way to go
Chicago Tribune

Indeed, South Korea’s first Olympic party since the Seoul summer games of 1988 is still very much a work in progress. Many of the venues, such as the bobsled course, have yet to be carved out of the surrounding hillsides. The site of the future media village mostly remains a vacant weed-strewn field.

Still, one has to wonder if the Koreans can do it: Can they turn a newly built resort, set amid a middling winter wonderland terrain that wouldn’t look out of place in New York State’s Catskill Mountains, into a legitimate Olympic venue? At this point it seems nothing short of an Olympian task.

Hype builds around North Korea’s look-alike hotel

The butt of countless jokes, the North Korean capital Pyongyang’s Ryukyong Hotel was the monolithic structure dominating the city’s skyline that seemed to be a veritable “white elephant.”

Work started on the 105-story, pyramid-shaped building in 1987 with hopes of being opened just two years later. But four years on, and still very much a work in progress, construction ground to a halt under the pressure of a groaning economy at a time when North Korea was about to enter the worst ravages of the famine it faced during the 1990s.

Now, with work restarted after a 15-year hiatus thanks to a US$400 million investment by the Egyptian firm Orascom, London’s unfinished — and perhaps almost equally incongruous — building the Shard is drawing decidedly unfavorable comparisons to the Ryukyong.

Korean talent agency cuts IPO size after key star’s drug scandal

South Korean talent agency YG Entertainment, which manages the popular boy band Big Bang, has cut the size of its planned initial public offering, citing a drug scandal involving a key star as a risk factor.

YG said a recent incident involving marijuana consumption by prominent Big Bang member Kwon Ji-yong, 23, or “G-Dragon,” could curtail the band’s activities and hurt the company’s operations.

North Korea safe enough to resume search for Americans killed during Korean War
The Telegraph (U.K.)

North Korea is safe enough to resume searches for the remains of thousands of Americans killed in the 1950-53 Korean War, according to the Pentagon.

Kim Jong-il’s Grandson Briefly Breaks Silence
Chosun Ilbo

Kim Han-sol, the grandson of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, broke his silence on Wednesday under relentless media pressure and spoke to the Chosun Ilbo at his school in Bosnia.

Apparently exasperated, Kim agreed to answer a few questions but declined to talk about North Korea or answer questions in Korean. Apart from revealing that he misses his friends in Hong Kong, the 16-year old was clearly uncomfortable talking to the press and was soon whisked away by staff at the school.

Teaching in the world’s most isolated classroom
Washington Post

The Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, a privately funded school in communist North Korea, is hiring.

The Korean-American leaders of the school are looking for promising scientists or English teachers willing to overlook official travel advisories and go to work in the world’s most isolated state.

Salary? None. Benefits? World peace.

The school relies on donations from Christian evangelists in South Korea and the United States to stay afloat. Faculty have to find sponsors or pay their own way if they want to support the school’s mission of developing the North Korean economy to promote peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.

Here’s an account of what it’s like to work beyond one of the final frontiers of the Cold War from Karen Best, an English as a second language instructor at the University of Wisconsin who spent her summer teaching technical English skills to some of the country’s elite college students.


South Korean woman awarded $4 for brother’s war death
Los Angeles Times

The elderly South Korean woman sees her older brother as a national hero, a young man killed in the line of duty over a half-century ago during the bloody Korean War.

For years, Kim Myung-bok has pursued the government for what she calls proper compensation for the sacrifice of Yong-gil, cut down in battle as an 18-year-old youth, barely out of high school.

Many South Koreans have expressed outrage over the government’s decision in the case: Officials offered Kim 5,000 won — or about $4.36 — as a gesture to the perished soldier, or as one newspaper editorial here wrote this week, “the value of a hamburger.”

Kim called the ruling an insult. “I fainted many times in a fit of uncontrollable anger when the notice was delivered,” Kim, 63, told a South Korean newspaper. “What is the government doing for the young soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice?”

Korean officials now admit that the payment was not adjusted for inflation. The Ministry of Veterans and Patriots Affairs and the Ministry of National Defense each have suggested that it was the other agency’s responsibility to make sure such payments were awarded in real-time dollars.

Manslaughter charge dropped
Winnipeg Free Press

Justice officials have dropped a manslaughter case against a Winnipeg shopkeeper who allegedly killed a customer he caught stealing a can of luncheon meat.

Kwang Soo Kim, 64, appeared in court Tuesday expecting to begin a preliminary hearing for the September 2009 case that made national headlines. Instead, he walked out a free man following the Crown’s surprise decision to pull the plug.

South Korean pilot grounded as possible Kim Jong-Il sympathizer
Los Angeles Times

Government officials have indefinitely grounded a commercial airline pilot while investigators determine whether the veteran captain is a North Korean sympathizer who might one day flee with a jumbo jet for the not-so friendly skies of Kim Jong-Il’s regime.

Call it a case of either good police work or just plain cross-border paranoia, but officials this week raided the home of a 45-year-old Korean Air pilot, seizing his computer hard drive and several documents they say laud the North Korean strongman.

Possessing or trafficking in North Korean paraphernalia or engaging in pro-North Korea activities is a violation of South Korea’s national security law.

South Korea: Japan to Return Looted Korean Royal Documents
AP via New York Times

Japan’s prime minister will return looted Korean royal documents during a summit meeting with his South Korean counterpart this week, officials said Tuesday. The move is apparently an effort to bolster relations between the Asian neighbors. Japan colonized the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945, and many older Koreans still harbor deep resentment over its rule.

Blogger stuck at Taiwan airport survives on soy sauce and wasabi

The Japanese traveler who has been stuck in a Taiwanese airport for more than a month — mimicking the hit movie “The Terminal,” which starred Tom Hanks — is finally going home.

Former reporter and restaurant worker Masaaki Tanaka became stranded at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on September 7 after running out of money. Things got so desperate for the 42-year-old that at one point he was forced to survive on water and packets of soy sauce and wasabi.

Now, thanks to generous donations, Tanaka is due to return home to Japan next week.

Tanaka, who identifies himself online as ZhongZheng, has been blogging about his life in the airport.

The woman who aged from 23 to 73 in ‘a few days’
Daily Mail (U.K.)

These pictures may look like an attractive woman in her 20s and her grandmother. But they are said to be the same person – apparently taken just days apart.

The young Vietnamese woman at the centre of the improbable medical case, Nguyen Thi Phuong, claims the transformation may have come about because of an extreme allergy to seafood.

Nguyen, 26, says she developed this puffy face and sagging skin in 2008 but was too poor to seek treatment. Earlier this month, doctors said they would examine her free of charge. Nguyen’s husband, carpenter Thanh Tuyen, insists the story is true and his love has not faded for his once-beautiful wife.

“Can’t Concentrate” by Paperdoll
channel APA

Rock band Paperdoll dropped their latest music video “Can’t Concentrate”. Fronted by vocalist Teresa Lee, the group delivers a catchy song. Lots of hula hoop action in this video along with a major guitar riff toward the end of the song. This group knows how to rock.

Monday's Link Attack: Michelle Rhee, Doo-Ri Chung, Mushroom Suit

Michelle Rhee’s D.C. schools legacy is in sharper focus one year later
Washington Post

A year ago this month, Michelle A. Rhee resigned as D.C. schools chancellor, ending a tenure as contentious and turbulent as that of any urban school leader in memory. “The best way to keep the reforms going is for this reformer to step aside,” she declared.

What footprints remain from Rhee’s 3 1/2 years in Washington? An examination of her legacy, with a year’s perspective, reveals a mixed picture of hits, misses, long-term effects and continuing question marks for the 45,000-student system.

The first chancellor in a new era of mayoral control of D.C. schools, Rhee was granted total authority by the man who hired her, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), to turn the low-achieving system on its head. Today, teachers are better paid and evaluated more closely. A landmark labor contract gives school principals more control over who is in classrooms. Basic central functions including purchasing, textbook delivery and food service, although not perfect, are viewed as much improved. Private foundations, enthused by Rhee’s emphasis on teacher quality and willingness to take on a politically potent union, poured millions of dollars into the public schools.

North Korea and U.S. to meet in Geneva next week: report

North Korea and the United States will hold a second round of talks in Geneva next week to discuss ways to restart regional talks on disabling North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, South Korean media reported Monday.

Michelle Obama Wore a Politically Correct Gown to the State Dinner
New York Magazine

Doo-Ri Chung won the honor of dressing Michelle Obama for [Thursday] night’s state dinner honoring South Korea. Doo.Ri is not a label regularly worn by the FLOTUS (this may have been the first time Michelle wore Doo.Ri publicly — indeed it was certainly the most visible event she’s worn the designer to). Apparently the White House commissioned the dress after seeing Chung’s spring collection, she told the Washington Post.

The Korean American Who Dresses Michelle Obama
Chosun Ilbo

Chung Doo-ri started her business from the basement of her parents’ dry cleaning store 10 years ago, and last week U.S. first lady Michelle Obama wore one of her dresses at the official state dinner with President Lee Myung-bak.

The single-strap violet gown was made from Chung’s trademark jersey fabric and featured a high-waisted chiffon belt studded with crystals. Michelle Obama deliberately chose a dress by a Korean-American designer for the dinner.

Chung (38), who is based in New York City, did not know the dress had been chosen until the afternoon of the state dinner last Thursday.

Korean-American Judge Hears Samsung-Apple Patent Case
Chosun Ilbo

Patent litigation between Samsung Electronics and Apple is being handled by Lucy Koh, a Korean-American U.S. district judge. The first hearing was Thursday.

Koh is the first federal judge of Asian descent in California. Born in Washington, D.C., she graduated from Harvard Law School and worked as an assistant to the U.S. solicitor general and a federal prosecutor.

Jae Rhim Lee: My mushroom burial suit
channel APA

Here’s a powerful provocation from artist Jae Rhim Lee. Can we commit our bodies to a cleaner, greener Earth, even after death? Naturally — using a special burial suit seeded with pollution-gobbling mushrooms. Yes, this just might be the strangest TEDTalk you’ll ever see …

Local foodie brings pie-in-a-jar to Food Network competition
News 1130 (British Columbia, Canada)

Surrey’s Mijune Pak from Follow Me Foodie will be a contestant on Recipes to Riches on The Food Network.

“It’s pretty much American Idol but for recipes,” says Pak. “So it’s made for stay-at-home bakers and amateur bakers and cooks.”

On the show, contestants compete against each other armed with their chosen dishes. In Mijune’s case, she’s got her Canadian Pie in a Jar.

Catch Mijune on Recipes to Riches next Wednesday night, Oct. 19, on The Food Network.

UNC’s arts director set his own path
Chapel Hill News (North Carolina)

When Emil Kang’s parents came to the U.S. in 1967, his mother was seven months pregnant with him. They came for the reason that most immigrants did: to give their children a better life.

“I grew up as the only Asian kid, other than my sister, in my neighborhood,” Kang said.

From an early age his parents set a course for him, he said. “I had three options as a kid: to be a doctor, a lawyer or a priest. Those are the only three options I was given.”

Art was not on that list. That is what Kang wound up pursuing, though, and it led to him where is now: UNC’s executive director for the arts.

Fashion Startup Snapette Raises $1.3 Million

Snapette, an app developed in NYC that allows shoppers to take photos of fashion items and see where the merchandise is located nearby, announced recently that it has raised $1.3 million in seed funding from several angel investors. Launched this past August, the company was founded by Harvard grads Jinhee Ahn Kim and Sarah Paiji, who plan to use the funds to expand its management team, and incorporate social commerce capabilities, according to VatorNews.

Annie Kim finds comfort at Irvine Valley College
Daily Pilot (Irvine, Calif.)

Breaking up was hard to do for Annie Kim, but getting back together has been that much sweeter.

Kim and volleyball are together again, a harmonious reunion that is commencing at Irvine Valley College, where the Lasers are ranked No. 18 in the state and Kim is a big part of it. Her play in IVC’s victory over No. 7-ranked Fullerton earlier in the week was pivotal at a pivotal point in the season.

Dana Tai Soon Burgess tells an adoptee’s story in ‘Becoming American’
Washington Post

Dana Tai Soon Burgess knows a haunting image when he sees one. His new work, “Becoming American,” opens with the small, expressionless face of an Asian child beamed onto a screen. As the camera pans out, it appears the child is holding a number, like a preschooler in a police lineup.

Korean orphan K85-869, now known as Katia Chupashko Norri, stood onstage at Dance Place below her own picture Friday night. She’s now 28 and ready to tell her adoption story through dance.

Rev. Moon’s Son Answered Call to Help at Home
Wall Street Journal

In 2005, Moon Kook-jin was in the U.S. running his small manufacturing firm when his father asked him to return to his native South Korea to solve problems at the small conglomerate his father had started but left others to run.

For Mr. Moon, his return involved more than familial duty. His father, the Rev. Moon Sun-myung, is the founder of the Unification Church and one of the most recognized Koreans in the world.

After decades in which he and his associates ran the businesses more as charities than as for-profit organizations, Rev. Moon realized they were becoming a major drag on both the finances and reputation of the church.

Business owner frustrated by unsolved crime
Daily Gleaner (New Brunswick, Canada)

A convenience store owner says he’s still waiting the Fredericton Police Force to solve an armed robbery at his Skyline Acres business in the spring.

Yundoo Cho owns Raymonde’s General Store Ltd. at 523 Canterbury Dr. He purchased the business in October 2009 when he emigrated to Canada from South Korea. Since then he’s had two break-ins: one Jan. 20, 2010, and one March 14, 2010. Both happened around midnight after the store had closed for the night.

Asian American Ballplayers In MLB: 2000-2011 (Part 2 of 2)

Darwin Barney made his major league debut with the Chicago Cubs on August 11th, 2010, after Infielder Mike Fontenot was traded to the San Francisco Giants. Five days later, he recorded his first major league hit, finishing the season with a .241 batting average. He was named the starting second basemen during the 2011 season, hitting .276 as an everyday player in the starting lineup.

He is part Korean American and part Japanese American.

Steelers’ Ward says he’ll know when it’s time to step aside
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The question is not: Is Hines Ward finished as a player? He most certainly is not. Did you see him leap over safety Michael Griffin to score his second touchdown against the Tennessee Titans last Sunday?

The question is: Will Ward be content all season to play a lesser role for the Steelers? That one is harder to answer. It’s always difficult for a future Hall of Famer to step aside. It’s especially difficult for a player with Ward’s pride.

“I don’t want to be a cancer on this team,” he said last week.

Film Underscores Koreans’ Growing Anger Over Sex Crimes
New York Times

At an appeals court in the southwestern city of Gwangju in 2006, a school official was convicted of raping a 13-year-old deaf girl and sentenced to one year in prison. When the verdict came, an outraged middle-aged man, also deaf, let out an incomprehensible cry from the galley, signaling frantically with sign language.

“It was clear that the man was shouting, ‘This is wrong! This is wrong!”’ Lee Ji-won, a newspaper intern, wrote in her blog later that day under the subject line, “I saw the foul underside of our society.”

The man was forcibly removed for disrupting the courtroom. And that might have been the end of it. Except that the intern’s blog inspired a best-selling author, Gong Ji-young, to write a novel based on the sexual assaults at the Inhwa School for the hearing impaired, the school’s attempts to conceal the abuses and the victims’ struggle for justice.

Now, a film based on that novel — “Dogani,” or “The Crucible” — has roiled South Korea.

Kim’s return spurs Beckman to victory

Beckman’s football team welcomed back star running back Jeff Kim to the lineup Saturday night against Woodbridge.

Kim sat out the last three games for unspecified reasons. But he came through in a big way, leading the Patriots to a 28-13 victory over the Warriors in a Pacific Coast League game at Irvine High.

Kim rushed for 191 yards on 23 carries and scored two touchdowns, including a 75-yard scamper early in the fourth quarter that sealed the victory.

Whiz Kid: Stephen Kim
Patch.com (Cupertino, Calif.)

Stephen Kim, 15, is already an accomplished violinist. He started playing the violin at the age of three and in 2009, he made his debut at Carnegie Hall, and has been featured on “From the Top”, NPR’s classical music program.

Disgraced Korean scientist unveils cloned coyotes
AP via Google News

Disgraced South Korean stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-Suk unveiled eight cloned coyotes Monday in a project sponsored by a provincial government.

Hwang delivered the clones to a wild animal shelter at Pyeongtaek, 50 kilometres (35 miles) south of Seoul, in a ceremony chaired by Gyeonggi province governor Kim Moon-Soo, Kim’s office said.

Hwang was a national hero until some of his research into creating human stem cells from a cloned embryo was found to be faked.

Korean-American Chef Rides Food Truck Craze to the Top
Voice of America

One chef riding the food truck wave is Tai Lee, known more commonly as Chef Tai.

His Mobile Gourmet Food Truck, which is based in College Station, Texas, was recently named “America’s Favorite Food Truck” during a contest run by the popular television specialty channel Food Network.

“I opened the food truck to share my passion and love for the food with more people at a much lower price of entrance,” said the Korean-born chef, who has no formal culinary education.

Video Interview: Nikita Writer-Producer Albert Kim
Cinema Blend

Looking for the scoop on what’s to come on Nikita? Who better to talk to than one of the show’s writer-producers, Albert Kim?

Asian American Commercial Watch: Citi Simplicity Card

Patricia Ja Lee is still cute as a button.

ken leung in unofficial talks for chew adaptation

Ken Leung is still cute as a button.

Hines Ward in Head and Shoulders commercial


Thursday's Link Attack: North Korea, Hines Ward, Cloned Dogs

Tending a Small Patch of Capitalism in North Korea
New York Times

Grappling with an economy that has stagnated from decades of communist central planning, North Korean leaders are slowly opening their isolated nation to foreign investment.

A thrust of their strategy is to develop previously created “free trade and economic zones” on the borders that have languished. Here, about 30 miles from China, the combined towns of Rajin and Sonbong, called Rason, are central to the new push.

Since designating Rason a special zone in 1991, North Korean officials have tried on occasion to attract investment here, with poor results. Some foreign analysts and businesspeople are skeptical, saying the country’s investment climate remains too unstable, but others argue that North Korea could be establishing here the kind of laboratory that the Chinese Communist Party set up in the fishing village of Shenzhen in 1980 to help move China forward.

Korean language ballots coming to Bergen County
Bergen County Record (N.J.)

Coming soon to Bergen County polling places: Korean language ballots.

The U.S. Census Bureau has determined the county’s Korean-American population – 2010 census figures put it at 56,773 – has grown enough to warrant language assistance during elections. The Korean-American population in the county was 36,075, according to the 2000 census.

Priscilla Ahn can play the part of a ’60s chanteuse

It would be difficult not to get quickly seduced by her playful blend of off-kilter lyrics, soulfully breathy vocals (especially on the showstopping “City Lights [Pretty Lights]”), and retro-pop effects recalling French lounge singers like Françoise Hardy, most obviously on the sultry “Oo La La”.

“That’s exactly what I was going for,” says the raven-haired guitar wielder, who could easily fit in with the glamour chanteuses of the swinging ’60s. “Fortunately, I had really wonderful support from my producer, Ethan Johns.” (He’s the son of legendary Brit hitmaker Glyn Johns, who made key albums with the Stones, Led Zeppelin, and Bob Dylan.)

U.S. soldier in S. Korea confesses to theft, not rape
Stars and Stripes

A Yongsan Garrison soldier denied raping a South Korean high school student when questioned by police Thursday, but admitted to stealing the girl’s laptop following a night of drinking in Seoul last month.

The 21-year-old private maintained that he had consensual sex with the 18-year-old girl in her dormitory-style apartment in Seoul’s Mapo neighborhood early on Sept. 17, according to police.

Hines Ward still thriving for Steelers at 35
AP via Google News

Hines Ward doesn’t know where it comes from, really.

The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver doesn’t have many theories either. He can’t tell you why he leapt over Tennessee’s Michael Griffin at the goal line during the third quarter to score his second touchdown of the day in Pittsburgh’s easier than expected 38-17 rout.

Maybe it was instinct. Maybe it was the memory of pulling a similar move over Denver’s Champ Bailey a few years ago. Maybe it was the residual effects of all that nifty footwork he displayed while winning “Dancing With the Stars” during the spring.

Ward doesn’t know and to be honest, he doesn’t care.

“I can’t put a finger on what made me do that,” Ward said, “but just to do that and to be able to help this team get going, that’s all that matters.”

That’s all that’s ever mattered to the 35-year-old Ward, even as his career numbers have reached staggering heights.

The 14-year veteran needs 13 yards against Jacksonville on Sunday to surpass Hall-of-Famer Michael Irvin for 19th on the all-time list. He’s 108 yards away from becoming just the 18th receiver to reach the 12,000-yard plateau and is 26 catches away from 1,000.

Cloned Super Sniffing Dogs Detect Drugs in South Korea

While South Koreans scientists have been known for cloning beloved pets that have died, they have also found much more practical applications of this technology. Cloned super sniffing dogs nicknamed “Toppies” (for “Tomorrow Puppies”) now patrol Korean airports, checking for drugs. These Labrador Retrievers have proven extremely successful in their job. You might ask, why is this a big deal? It turns out that the economics of training sniffing dogs make cloning, despite its expense, worthwhile.


Mansfield Police arrest two fugitives from Hudson County Sheriff’s Office
The Warren Reporter (N.J.)

A vehicle stop led to the arrest of two fugitives, a report from the Mansfield Police Department states.

Dae Cho, 69, of Hackettstown, and passenger Hae Choi, 63, of Jersey City, were arrested after Patrolman David Chudy stopped the 1991 Nissan Pathfinder that Cho was driving around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 11, the report states.

During the investigation, Cho was found to be a fugitive from the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office for Contempt on criminal charges, police said. The passenger, Choi, was also found to be a fugitive from the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office for Contempt on criminal charges and in addition had a traffic warrant out of Newark, according to police. Both were placed under arrest and turned over to the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office.

Aziatix Reveals US Tour for November

Just six months following a successful debut, Aziatix is ready to embark on their first tour in the United States. So far the trio has arranged for stops in 14 different cities across the US in November. They will be targeting major cities along the East and West coast.

Check out the group’s tour page here.

20 delicious Korean drinks

Traditional Korean beverages roughly fall into two categories: alcoholic and non-alcoholic. While this may be indicative of Korea’s long-standing love affair with alcohol, there are close to 200 types of traditional teas, juices, and grain drinks associated with the latter group, known as eumcheongnyu (음청류).

Winnowing that list down to 20 drinks required many tasting panels and difficult decisions, but nevertheless, here is our list of the top 20 most interesting and delicious Korean drinks.

Wednesday's Link Attack: Priscilla Ahn, Moon Bloodgood, SNSD

South Korea’s Lee defends stance on North
Washington Post

Facing growing criticism that his hard-line stance toward North Korea has backfired, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak defended the strategy, and said there are signs his approach is beginning to work.

Lee has said that Seoul will provide aid and security to its neighbor only after Pyongyang denuclearizes. Speaking on Monday, he said that controversial strategy had yielded a breakthrough: In recent meetings between the Koreas, the North has been willing to discuss its nuclear program. Though talking about the arsenal is far different than dismantling it, the subject itself was previously off limits.

In Falling Skies Moon Bloodgood: Softer, more cerebral
Philippine Star

What do you like most about your character, Anne Glass?
I really enjoy the fact that she’s a doctor. I think she’s very admirable. She doesn’t talk about herself often, is extremely selfless, always calm, rational, fair, and with reason. I admire her because I’m not always that way, and she is always selfless and very maternal towards everyone.

What would be the most difficult part of doing the series?
The subject matter is heavy and there’s lot of depth and weight, and you have to take yourself to that level. You’re supposed to be hungry and scared and you’ve lost your family. When we were working, the subject matter weighed on me at times. Sometimes I wanted levity, so I’d go home, watch some comedy on TV and have a beer because I just needed some sort of change. But I think no matter how much I resist it, I gravitate towards these subject matters because I like the drama and that’s where I feel most comfortable.

All grown up: Q/A with Priscilla Ahn
Oregon Music News

When you aren’t making music, what do you like to do?
I started taking a pottery class at the beginning of the year. I sorta suck at that, but I’m glad I tried! [Giggles] Now that it’s fall, I’m really wanting to make soups, and make the house smell like pumpkins, and just do a lot of cooking and be a home maker. So, when this tour is over, I’ll be doing a lot of that. I’m a home body.

SNSD officially joins Universal Music Group for U.S. debut

SM Entertainment previously announced plans on releasing SNSD‘s upcoming album “The Boys“ worldwide, and it seems their plans on doing so have been officially confirmed!

On Oct. 12, SM Entertainment revealed that SNSD will release a maxi single (similar to a mini-album) in the United States sometime in November through the well known Universal Music Group under Interscope Records, which currently houses extremely famous talents such as Lady Gaga, Eminem and the Black Eyed Peas.

For Pyeongchang region, a golden opportunity in 2018
Travel Weekly

Now that South Korea has been named the host of the 2018 Winter Olympics, the Korea Tourism Organization is hoping that publicity building up to the sporting event seven years hence, along with associated infrastructure development, will spur foreign interest in, and visits to, the region surrounding host city Pyeongchang-eup.

Luis Maravi, spokesman at the KTO’s New York-area office in Fort Lee, N.J., said that Pyeongchang county, set in the scenic Taebaek Mountains about 110 miles east of capital city Seoul, is South Korea’s most popular outdoors-oriented getaway destination for domestic travelers. It might hold similar appeal for U.S. visitors, he added — if only they were also in the know.

The man behind Kim Jong-il Looking at Things
The Next Web

Undoubtedly, one of the most famous and most loved Tumblr blogs is Kim Jong il Looking at Things, which was founded one year ago by a 26-year old Portuguese guy named JR and has over 50,000 followers. In fact, when you search for “kim jong-il” on Google, his Tumblr is the 3rd result.

CBM: Who is the man behind Kim Jong-il looking at things?

JR: This is gonna be the most boring answer you’ve gotten. I’m just a regular guy, honestly. I’m 26 and I do what every regular, well-adjusted 26-year-old does, which involves lots of things I’ll probably regret in 15 years.


NKorean leader’s grandson arrives in Bosnia to enroll to an international high school
AP via Washington Post

Officials in Bosnia say North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s grandson has arrived in the country to enroll at a private high school made up of international students.

A border police spokeswoman said 16-year-old Kim Han Sol entered the country at Sarajevo airport Wednesday afternoon on a regular flight from Vienna.

Why David Henry Hwang Wrote ‘Chinglish’
Wall Street Journal

The Tony Award-winning Chinese American playwright returns to Broadway with his new play “Chinglish.”

The comedy, which begins performances at the Longacre Theatre tomorrow and officially opens Oct. 27, is about the hilarity and politics that ensue when a U.S. businessman tries to secure a lucrative contract in China for his family’s sign-making firm. The lead producers of “Chinglish,” Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel, are bringing the play to Broadway after a sold-out run at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.

“In its own way, I would call it a groundbreaking comedy,” Richards said in an interview. “There’s never been a play, a comedy like ‘Chinglish,’ on Broadway. It explores relations today between the Chinese and Americans and our relationship. It’s very much cutting-edge in its way.”

The play was inspired by Hwang’s own business trips to China, which he has taken in the past six years amid China’s interest in Broadway-style musicals. “I happen to be the only even nominally Chinese person who’s written a Broadway show,” Hwang said. “So people would call me over for meetings and there’d always be plans to build a theater district in China.”

What’s so great about Seoul? Residents and visitors disagree

Most of Seoul’s residents love living in the Korean capital. Most visitors love the city too. But when it comes to why, their opinions diverge.

The findings emerged from a survey of 3,827 citizens and foreigners carried out by the Seoul City government. Seoulites said that Han River was the most charming aspect of Seoul, while palaces came in second, reported Yonhap.

In contrast, visitors to Seoul liked Korean food best, and the city’s friendly people. A new addition to the list for visitors was Korean saunas (jjimjilbang), which came in eighth in terms of popularity.

Monday's Link Attack: KOR-US FTA, Korean Festivals, Sarah Chang

US House and Senate to Vote on KORUS FTA Wednesday
Arirang News

The long-awaited ratification of the Korea-United States free trade agreement is making progress in Washington.

US congressional leaders say the House of Representatives and the Senate will vote Wednesday on the pending deals with Korea, Columbia and Panama which will be one day before Korean President Lee Myung-bak is set to visit the White House for talks with US President Barack Obama.

Man arrested in Greenport was wanted for murder in South Korea
Suffolk Times (Long Island, N.Y.)

A South Korean man who was wanted for murder in his native country was arrested after he began throwing fish back in the water when he was seen fishing by Southold Town Bay Constables at Clark’s Beach in Greenport Sunday morning, according to police reports.

Police said the Bay Constables, while on patrol just after 11:30 a.m., saw Byungsoo Kim, 57, who currently lives in Long Island City, fishing on the beach.

When the constables approached, Mr. Kim began throwing the fish he had caught back into the Sound, despite the fact that officers told him not to throw away the fish. While the officers were writing him a summons for dumping finfish, Mr. Kim fled on foot.

Not long after, the officers discovered that Mr. Kim was wanted by Interpol for murder in South Korea.

Passing the past along at Korean Festival
Baltimore Sun

She was born in South Korea, loves her homeland’s traditions with a passion and has officially served the burgeoning Korean-American community in Maryland for more than six years now. But Michelle Kim still insists that as a cultural ambassador, she sets something of “a poor example.”

Kim, an official with the Korean Society of Maryland, helped organize the 34th Korean Festival in West Friendship on Saturday, an event that drew thousands of people on a brilliantly sunny afternoon.

But as Korean pop music throbbed in the background, the aromas of traditional foods like songpyeon (steamed rice cakes) and bulgogi (barbecued beef) filled the air, and a group of children tried their hands at yut nori, an ancient stick-tossing game, she still seemed a little preoccupied.

Korean festival merges tradition, modernity in Ridgefield Park
Bergen County Record (N.J.)

From the traditional bowls of bibimbap to the new global allure of K-Pop, the Korean harvest festival at Overpeck County Park seemed to have something for everyone on Saturday.

The Korean Produce Association of New York held the annual festival in New Jersey this year, a first in the event’s 29-year history. Thousands of attendees from as far as Cape Cod and as close as Teaneck and Englewood descended on the park for the start of the two-day event featuring Korean food, entertainment and wares.

The shift to New Jersey created some challenges for visitors, many of whom showed up at the Leonia section of Overpeck instead of the Ridgefield Park section where it was held off Challenger Road. But once there, crowds sampled tasty dishes while vendors peddled magazines, handmade soaps, candies and other goods.

Noise level at Korean festival triggers complaints
Bergen County Record

The noise generated by rock and pop music at a Korean festival at Overpeck County Park over the weekend brought a cacophony of complaints from residents of neighboring towns.

Residents e-mailed county officials and the media and called the police and politicians. Leonia Mayor Mary Heveran said she received an unusual number of complaints from residents who live some distance away.


North Korea suspected in poison-needle attacks
Los Angeles Times

On a Sunday evening in August, a middle-aged South Korean pastor collapsed suddenly near a taxi stand in Dandong, a Chinese city on the Yalu River overlooking North Korea.

The 46-year-old, who used the name Patrick Kim, had a discolored complexion, spots on his fingers and limbs, flecks of foam on his mouth. He was dead by the time he reached the hospital.

The pastor was a human rights activist who secretly helped people slip out of North Korea into China. And his family and South Korean diplomats believe he was killed by North Korean agents in retaliation. The weapon of choice: most likely a poisoned needle.

N.J. school petitioned over textbooks
Japan Times

A Korean-American has filed a petition against a Japanese school in New Jersey requesting it stop using a textbook that allegedly describes South Korea’s control of the Takeshima islets, which Japan lays claim to, as illegal.

The unpalatable appetites of Kim Jong-il
The Telegraph (U.K.)

While his people are left to subsist on boiled grass and ground tree bark, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il indulges shamelessly in only the world’s finest food and wines.

Korean WWII Film Promises Big Action, Bigger Drama
The Hollywood Reporter

A new World War II action drama with an Asian perspective promises never before-seen battle scenes rife with humanist messages.

After holding a large-scale press junket at the Cannes Film Festival in May, the makers of My Way held the first Asian media showcase in Busan on Saturday. Footages of the 28 billion-won Korea-China co-production were revealed during the event, featuring exquisite period details of 1930s Seoul to bloody battle sequences on European battlegrounds.

Showing My Face in Support of the DREAM Act
La Prensa San Diego

By David Cho
For three years as a UCLA undergraduate student, I was the drum major conducting the 250-member UCLA marching band with great fanfare in front of 75,000 people at the Rose Bowl. I became the first Korean American drum major in UCLA history. Majoring in international economics and Korean, I maintained a 3.6 grade point average and graduated a quarter early. This Fall, I will become a double Bruin attending the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs to obtain my Master’s in Public Policy (M.P.P.). I hope to analyze and implement public policies that will improve the welfare of our Los Angeles community. My parents brought me to California from South Korea at the age of 9. It seems like I’m the picture of the American immigrant success story. But it is more complicated than that. I’m facing the very real possibility of deportation.

I didn’t know that I was undocumented until I was accepted into UCLA. That was when my father showed me a letter saying the family’s visa wasn’t valid. I stared at that letter feeling as if my world had turned upside down.

MSU music faculty member to perform Oct. 13 at White House State Dinner
Montana State Univ. News Service

A member of the Montana State University music faculty will play Oct. 13 at the White House at a state dinner for the presidents and first ladies of both the United States and South Korea.

Angella Ahn, who teaches violin at MSU, will perform at the White House with her two sisters, Maria and Lucia. The three compose the celebrated Ahn Trio.

“We’ve been fortunate to play in many wonderful venues throughout the world, but never before have we played at anything like this,” Ahn said. “As musicians, what an honor it is, to say the least.”

Fan club for NK leader’s grandson opened on Facebook
Dong-A Ilbo

A fan club for North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s eldest grandson Kim Han Sol has been opened on the social networking service Facebook.

The person who opened the Facebook page did not disclose his or her nationality and name. Considering most messages were posted in either Korean or English and the year of birth was recorded as 1995, the person is assumed to be a Korean teenage girl.

Mr Kim sings praises of taekwondo
Northern District Times (New South Wales, Australia)

IF you ask West Ryde resident Myung-Man Kim the secret behind his fit and youthful appearance, he’ll happily credit his lifelong devotion to the Korean martial art of taekwondo.

Mr Kim is 61 but he could pass for a man at least a decade younger. He has been practising taekwondo, the most popular form of martial arts in Korea, for more than 50 years and has achieved the highest rank of 9th Dan Black Belt, known as Grandmaster.

Film Tells Stories of Divided Korean Families Hoping to Reunite

A film by Jason Ahn and Eugene Chung tells the story of some of these families. The film, “Divided Families,” was screened Tuesday on Capitol Hill for an audience that included Korean Americans.

Pak Se-ri disqualified for signing wrong score

Pak Se-ri has been disqualified from the ongoing LPGA Tour event in South Korea for signing a wrong score, tournament organizers said Saturday.

Officials at the LPGA Hana Bank Championship, being held at Sky72 Golf Club in Incheon, west of Seoul, said Pak had written down a 3 for her score on the par-3 17th during the first round Friday, after she had actually scored a bogey 4. Her first round score on the leader board was a four-over 76.

Violinist Sarah Chang to perform at St. Cecilia Music Center Great Artist Gala
The Grand Rapids Press (Mich.)

Born in Philadelphia and raised in New Jersey, the daughter of two professional musicians, Chang was just 8 years old when she made her debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1989. Three years later, she became the youngest musician ever awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant.

In 1994, Chang was hailed as Newcomer of the Year at the Classical Music Awards.

Friday's Link Attack: North Korea, Roy Choi, Hines Ward

Special Report: Crisis grips North Korean rice bowl

In a pediatric hospital in North Korea’s most productive farming province, children lay two to a bed. All showed signs of severe malnutrition: skin infections, patchy hair, listless apathy.

“Their mothers have to bring them here on bicycles,” said duty doctor Jang Kum Son in the Yellow Sea port city of Haeju. “We used to have an ambulance but it’s completely broken down. One mother travelled 72 kilometers (45 miles). By the time they get here, it’s often too late.”

It’s also getting late for North Korea to get the massive amount of food aid it claims to need before the harsh winter sets in. The country’s dysfunctional food-distribution system, rising global commodities prices and sanctions imposed over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs had contributed to what appears to be a hunger crisis in the North, even before devastating summer floods and typhoons compounded the emergency.

Restaurateur provides a waystation for North Korean defectors
Christian Science Monitor

A Korean American man’s restaurant in Ansan, South Korea aims to help North Korean refugees.

Restaurateur Dan Kang runs the Seoul City Mongolian Grill, which trains North Korean defectors in the restaurant industry. The long-term goal: Return them to the north after Korea reunifies.

Undiscovered musician? He’s unbelievable
Orange County Register

You probably never heard of Ray Choi.

He runs a little music shop in Garden Grove, where he sells an odd instrument with 37 strings. It looks like a zither, which is to say it resembles nothing you’ve ever seen. Or maybe something your grandmother strummed last century.

But when Choi hugs it to his chest and plays?


That’s because Choi plays his autoharp 10 hours a day. Sometimes more.

He’s on a mission to win the Super Bowl of autoharp – the Mountain Laurel Autoharp Championship, in Pennsylvania.

“One time, my daughter asked, ‘Why don’t you go to the movies? Or talk with friends? Or travel? Why are you always playing autoharp?’ I told her. ‘I’m going to be champion.’ “


Food trucks as a vehicle to sit-down restaurant success
Los Angeles Times

Probably the most famous pioneer of the hip food truck movement is Roy Choi, whose Kogi BBQ operation has gotten international attention. But back when he and his partners started rolling in 2008, the prospect of starting a restaurant seemed like a distant dream.

“We had $1,500, no job, a career of self-doubt, and no one watching or caring what we did,” Choi said. “There is no way we could have gone a traditional route with all the bells and whistles.”

Choi has helped open two restaurants: A-Frame in Culver City and Chego in the Palms neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Eateries Expand Koreatown’s Turf
Wall Street Journal

A neon-lit strip of 32nd Street dotted with karaoke bars and greasy, all-night restaurants is, incongruously, one of the priciest retail strips in the city.

Now fierce demand for locations in the core of Manhattan’s Koreatown—on 32nd Street between Broadway and Fifth Avenue—has prompted restaurants to breach the boundary of Fifth Avenue for the first time in decades in search of more affordable space.

Several Korean restaurants have opened on Fifth Avenue in recent months, with another, Dong Chun Hong, set to open by the end of November.

In South Korea, American Official Apologizes Over Rape Case
New York Times

A senior American diplomat apologized on Friday in connection with the rape of an 18-year-old South Korean woman for which an American serviceman has been accused, and the United States military imposed a monthlong late-night curfew on its troops in South Korea.

The apology by Kurt M. Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, and the curfew reflected Washington’s sensitivity over crimes involving American soldiers, which have set off protests here.

Asian American Ballplayers In MLB: 2000-2011 (Part 1)

Terrmel Sledge, on April 6th, 2004, made his debut with the Montreal Expos in 2004, their last regular season in Montreal before moving to Washington in 2005. He hit the first Home Run in Washington National’s history. He was later traded to the Texas Rangers in December 2005, and then dealt to the San Diego Padres in 2006. Following the 2007 season, he signed with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan, playing there until 2010 when he signed with the Yokohoma Baystars.

Sledge is half Korean American and half African American. His mother is Korean, whereas his father is African American.

Hines Ward challenges Steelers’ offense to step up
The Sporting News

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward says it’s time for the team’s offense to give the defense more help.

“The defense has carried us for many years now,” Ward told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “And now they’re going through this situation. We need to be there for our teammates and this organization. … We have to go out and make more plays. … We have a lot of guys who are (ticked) off right now.”

Forever & Ever album by David Choi

Singer/songwriter/music producer David Choi is about to release his third album “Forever & Ever”. In a few short years, David has amassed over 1 million subscribers online, completed a worldwide sold out tour, won prestigious competitions, received over 100 million views online and released 2 albums. Most artists would consider a list of those accolades the end of a great career, but David’s true testament to his musical future has yet to be revealed. In his third album, David Choi will push past the normal pop music sound and delve deeper into a sound that David has spent years crafting. In a soulful lyrically challenging style, he will enthrall you on a 12 track journey into the release of his 3rd self produced album, Forever And Ever. After completing 2 previous albums, David’s sound has been tempered and tailored so that his 3rd album is potentially his most diverse and creative to date.

Thursday's Link Attack: State Dinner, K-Pop, Kim Jong-Il's Grandson

White House state dinner for Korea: We try to guess the guests
Washington Post

The invitations for next week’s White House state dinner are in the mail, and so begins one of Washington’s favorite parlor games: Who scored one of the coveted seats at the Oct. 13 black-tie evening honoring South Korean President Lee Myung-bak?

Kim Jong Il’s grandson barred from Hong Kong
Los Angeles Times

The boy who couldn’t visit Disneyland now has been turned down by Hong Kong as well. The 16-year-old grandson of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was accepted at an elite English-language high school in Hong Kong but was rejected for a student visa by local authorities, the school’s former principal said Thursday.

Kim Han Sol is the son of Kim Jong Nam, the leader’s oldest son. In 2001, Kim Jong Nam tried to bring the boy to Tokyo Disneyland but ended up being arrested for trying to enter Japan on a forged Dominican passport.

Flash forward a decade: Hong Kong authorities turned down Kim’s request for a visa to attend United World Colleges’ campus there, according to Stephen Codrington, who was principal until this summer. The official reason was that North Korean passport holders, along with Filipinos, Nepalese and Cambodians, are not eligible for student visas because of a history of overstaying their visits.

Web Postings Stir Interest in Teenager’s Relation to North Korean Leader
New York Times

The sharply dressed 17-year-old might be any fashionable South Korean teenager: bleached blond hair, an earring and a necklace with a cross-shaped pendant.

Or he might be the grandson of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

A frenzy of speculation about the teenager, named Kim Han-sol, has gripped South Korean news organizations this week as reporters scour the Internet for any shred of evidence connecting the seemingly loquacious youngster with the deeply secretive man atop North Korea.


Korean Festival Moves From NYC to Bergen

New York’s annual Korean harvest festival — one of the largest in the United States — will be held for the first time in Bergen County this weekend.

But the two-day festival’s move across the river is not being welcomed by members of the Korean American Association of New Jersey. They say the upcoming event led fewer people to attend their 10th annual local celebration of Chusok, a harvest festival they organized this past weekend at Overpeck County Park in Ridgefield.

Kun Y. Lee, past president of the Fort Lee-based group, said only about half of the more than 20,000 people who attended last year’s event showed up this year to the annual Jersey event.

More than half of the vendors who had registered for a spot backed out when they heard that the New York festival would be coming. He said the non-profit group estimates they may have lost more than $50,000.

Body of missing swimmer visiting from Canada located 30 yards from Kauai shore
AP via The Republic

Rescue crews have recovered the body of a 28-year-old man from Canada who was swept out to sea while swimming off Kauai.

The Kauai Fire Department says the body of Steve Kim, a tourist from Ontario, was found 30 yards from the shore of Polihale Beach Wednesday morning.

K-Pop to Descend on Las Vegas in November
Chosun Ilbo

K-pop stars are drawn to Las Vegas, the home of gambling and glitzy entertainment, with 10 of Korea’s top singers — including TVXQ, BEAST, SHINee, 4minute, G.Na and MBLAQ — set to assemble there for a concert next month, host Billboard Korea said on Wednesday.

The concert, dubbed the “2011 Billboard K-Pop Masters, presented by MGM Grand,” will launch at 8 p.m. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Nov. 25. This will set another new milestone for Korean idols.

One in 25 Korean Women Contract Breast Cancer
Chosun Ilbo

Recent data suggests the one out of every 25 women in Korea has breast cancer, although the rate varies by year.

The number of breast cancer patients around the country surpassed 11,000 in 2006 but was as high as 14,000 in 2008. The country has seen a 91 percent increase in the rate of women’s breast cancer patients from 2002, the biggest jump among OECD nations.

Unlike other Western countries, where women tend to contract the disease after going through their menopause, it is more prevalent in Korea among women under 40.