Thursday’s Link Attack: Kim Jong-un’s Aunt a ‘Vegetable’; Expat Women Dating Woes; Michelle Wie’s New Putting Stance
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: January 9th, 2014
Filed Under: BLOG
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Kim Jong-un’s aunt ‘in vegetative state after brain surgery’
The Telegraph (U.K.)

Speculation over the fate of the aunt of Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, took a new twist on Thursday as intelligence sources in Seoul and Washington claimed that Kim Kyong-hui is in a vegetative state after undergoing surgery for a brain tumour late last year.

The reports come just days after South Korean media reported that Ms Kim, 67, was dead and may have committed suicide.

The only daughter of Kim Il-sung, the revered founder of North Korea, Ms Kim was the estranged wife of Jang Song-taek before he was executed in December for a litany of crimes against the state.

Strangest of bedfellows
The Economist

THE crowd gathered at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium on January 8th made unlikely spectators for a basketball game. Dressed in suits and ties, the 14,000 people filling the stands in North Korea’s capital held neither hotdogs nor giant foam fingers. Applause for the two squads, a motley crew of former American National Basketball Association (NBA) stars and street-ball players, and then the North Korean team, was tightly orchestrated. But when the country’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, entered the stadium, the atmosphere changed. “It’s just really shocking, an overwhelming experience to see how much power that guy has in this country,” said Dennis Rodman, the provocative former professional American player who was chiefly responsible for the spectacle. “All [Mr Kim] has to do is get up and they go nuts.”

This is Mr Rodman’s fourth trip to North Korea, an ostentatious tour with an athletic entourage which is estimated to cost his hosts about $1m. He is the highest-profile American to have met the youthful Mr Kim, and this has cast Mr Rodman into a position of perhaps unwitting ambassadorial significance. He labels his own visits as “basketball diplomacy”, an opportunity for cultural exchange with the secretive state. He claims to have no political motive.

Students Plan Visit to N.Korea in Dokdo Campaign
Chosun Ilbo

A group of university students and a freelance writer publicizing Korea’s sovereignty over Dokdo want to visit North Korea in August of this year to promote their cause.

The Unification Ministry said on Wednesday it has received an application from the group calling themselves the “Dokdo Racers.” A ministry official said, “We can’t give them a quick answer due to the many variables in inter-Korean relations, but we should be able to reach a decision by May at the latest.”

If their visit is permitted, it would be the first time since 2006 that university students here have visited the North. The last time was a federation of university student councils who went to Mt. Kumgang for a meeting with North Korean student bodies.

Advocates push to give undocumented New York immigrants driver’s licenses
New York Daily News

Believing the political climate is now in their favor, advocates are launching a major push to allow undocumented immigrants to get New York State driver’s licenses.

Members of more than 50 organizations met Tuesday with an umbrella group known as the New York Immigration Coalition to set their campaign in motion.

“We have really decided to go forward, and go forward full steam,” said Steven Choi, the coalition’s executive director. “We are hearing from our members, from Brentwood in Long Island all the way to Buffalo, that driver’s licenses are a major issue.”

S. Korea tycoon has high hopes for L.A. hotel project
Los Angeles Times

On a honeymoon trip to Southern California in 1974, Yang-ho Cho and his new bride drove into downtown Los Angeles only to get lost among the dark, empty industrial buildings and shuttered shops.

Cho remembers he could find no one on the streets to ask for directions to his hotel.

Nearly 40 years later, Cho is heading the development of the tallest building west of the Mississippi, a $1-billion downtown hotel complex that no one will have trouble finding at night.

Apple, Samsung CEOs agree to mediation in U.S. patent fight

Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics have agreed to attend a mediation session to be held on or before February 19, as they prepare to clash in court in March over smartphone patents.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon will attend the session with in-house lawyers only, according to a Wednesday court filing. Their legal teams had met on January 6 to “discuss settlement opportunities,” the filing read.

Neither company immediately return messages seeking comment.

Is dating harder for expat women?
Korea Times

After Jenny, an American, decided to move to Busan to teach English, she researched the expat dating scene in Korea. And then she resigned herself to being single.

“A lot of people say that Western guys in Korea only want to date Korean girls and Korean guys only want to date Korean girls,” she said. Such views weren’t completely accurate, however. “There are men who are exceptions.”

She eventually began going out with a Korean, a “rebellious and unique” man who “liked being different.” But her initial expectations reflected common perceptions about dating here, where it’s more common to see heterosexual couples of expatriate men and Korean women, than vice-versa.

Local martial arts instructor, Sang Kim, has passed away
KCBD News (Texas)

Family and friends are mourning the loss of a well-known Taekwondo instructor here in Lubbock.

A close friend of Grand Master Sang Kim says he passed away Tuesday night after battling a long-term illness.

Many people would say he is a long-time Lubbock martial arts legend and although his life was short, his impact has been a long and lasting one.

Hulu Executive Talks Original Programming, New CEO and Online Viewing Habits (Q&A)
Hollywood Reporter

Hulu might have a new face running the show, but many familiar faces will be returning to its slate of original programming this year.

The streaming service’s lineup of shows includes new seasons of some of its most popular original programming. Among the shows renewed for a second season are Seth Meyers’ animated superhero series The Awesomes and Chris O’Dowd’s semi-autobiographical comedy Moone Boy.

Hulu is also introducing four new series to its audience this year. Among them are Deadbeat, a supernatural comedy co-produced with Lionsgate Television, and reality TV satire The Hotwives of Orlando.

At one year, South Korean babies get gilded parties

It takes a lot more than a cake and a song to celebrate a baby’s first birthday in South Korea, where in the past disease and starvation claimed so many lives that the completion of an infant’s first year was a major milestone.

The first birthday, or “doljanchi”, is now an event where affluent parents in one of the world’s richest countries flaunt their wealth, connections and even their offspring’s gilded career prospects at lavish parties.

At one party in Apgujeong, dubbed the Beverly Hills of Seoul, one-year-old Dot-byul peered down at a tray of items symbolizing various professions – including a stethoscope for a doctor, a judge’s gavel and a microphone.

New Yorker

This week, Chang-rae Lee’s fifth novel, “On Such a Full Sea,” comes out from Riverhead. The book is set in a future version of America where classes are rigidly stratified. When a young woman named Fan leaves the security of her life in a labor settlement, we follow her adventures as she travels through this dangerous and divided country. I spoke to Lee about how he created his dystopian world and about his approach to writing about violent struggle and assimilation in his previous books. What follows is an edited text of our conversation.

Your last novel, “The Surrendered,” traced the shadows cast by the Korean War on the lives of a Korean woman, who was a young girl during the war, and an American man, a U.S. soldier, decades after the war’s conclusion. When you finished that novel, did you know your next book was going to be set in some dystopian American future?

Psy to come back next month…with Snoop Dogg
Korea Times

Singer Psy is expected to come back in February after filming a music video for his next song this month.

He is busy in his last stage of preparation since the dates for shooting his music video have been confirmed, according to his staff members.

Filming a music video implies that he has already decided on his title songs, costumes and dance.

Yuna Kim, the queen of the rink

When she took to the ice at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum on 25 February 2010, Yuna Kim turned on a dazzling gold medal-winning display that captured the imagination of the crowd and impressed the judges, who gave the 19-year-old the highest score ever awarded to a figure skater. In doing so she made an indelible mark on the Republic of Korea’s Olympic history by winning the country’s first ever figure skating title, a feat that made her a national idol.

That status is founded on the kind of grace and technical prowess she displayed in executing triple Lutz-triple toe loop combinations and her signature layover spin, dubbed the Yuna Camel, in front of 15,000 spellbound spectators in Vancouver. That performance, one of the most stunning of the 2010 Winter Games, was hailed by the then IOC President Jacques Rogge, and rewarded by the judges with a total of 228.56 points that saw her earn a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

Kim has long been accustomed to pulling off firsts. She took up skating at the age of six and nurtured her talent under the watchful eye of Canada’s two-time Olympic silver medallist Brian Orser in Toronto since 2006.

Michelle Wie shows off her new putting stance

If you watched any women’s golf last year, no doubt you saw Michelle Wie’s ”tabletop” putting stance. I know I did a double-take when I first saw her bend at the waist until her back was parallel to the ground before taking her stroke.

She took a lot of ribbing for her unique stance, and even made fun of it herself on a few occasions. And during a visit to the David Leadbetter Academy on Wednesday, she jokingly showed us the latest adjustment to her stance (that’s her on the right).

”The 2014 version of the ‘tabletop’ putting stance,” she tweeted, adding a couple of hashtags: #donttrythisathome and #leadbetterschoolofputting.

KBO veterans see more foreign players as boon
Yonhap News via GlobalPost

A recent decision by the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) to add an extra roster spot for foreign players starting in 2014 will likely have a positive impact on the quality of play in the top-flight domestic league, three veteran pitchers from overseas say.

Previously, the KBO teams were allowed to sign up to two imports. From 2014, they will be permitted to put a maximum of three players on their active rosters, and have two of them play at the same time. The maximum number is four for the expansion team NC Dinos.

All nine teams in 2014 must also include at least one position player. In the past two seasons, all KBO teams have filled their quotas with pitchers.

The Great Sriracha Debate Heats Up: Are You Team Andrew or Team David?

Things are heating up between chefs Andrew Zimmern and David Chang in what we’re calling the Great Sriracha Debate of 2014. Okay, maybe friendly discourse is more like it — when it comes to hot sauce, there are no losers.

Quick recap: Last month, Bizarre Foods‘ Zimmern called sriracha both one of the top food trends of 2013 and the most overrated item of the last 20 years. “There are a hundred hot sauces and chile condiments I prefer,” he told PEOPLE, and listed a few of them (including Peruvian Aju Limo Paste and Lousiana’s Crystal Hot Sauce) on his website, which sparked some rather spicy reactions.

More recently, Chang defended sriracha to PEOPLE, and reflected on his comrade’s opinion: “I don’t understand how he could hate something so loving and giving. It’s just goodness. It’s good on everything,” the Momofuku restaurant founder enthused.

Campus Chic: Seojung Kang
California Aggie

New quarter, new fashion. In our first edition of Campus Chic for 2014, our muse of the week, third-year biochemistry and molecular biology major Seojung Kang, tells us all about her winter getaway in Seoul, Korea and what she bought as a little gift to herself during the holiday season.

There’s something about Seojung that really caught my eye. Everything from the Karlie Kloss-inspired cropped hair to the oversized, tweed waistcoat was just so chic yet so effortless that I was immediately compelled to feature her look in MUSE. She is able to play with the masculine and the feminine and incorporate menswear tailoring in her look to create her own sophisticated style.

1. If you could describe your personal style in three words, what would they be?

Comfortable, classy and chic. Even though I say “comfortable” is one of my words, sometimes I just want to wear my heels.

North Korea Rejects Family Reunion Proposal Pitched By South
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: January 9th, 2014
Filed Under: BLOG
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North Korea balked at resuming the family reunion program for relatives separated by the Korean War, according to news reports.

The Communist country’s rejection was a response to South Korean president Park Geun-hye’s call on Monday for resuming the reunions in time for the Lunar New Year, in exchange for increased humanitarian aid.

North Korea sent South Korea a message on Thursday saying that “the mood was not right for holding family reunions” and blamed South Korean media’s recent criticism of its leader Kim Jong-un in light of the reported execution of high-ranking official Jang Song-thaek, according to the New York Times. Continue Reading »

Wednesday’s Link Attack: Americans Cleared For Pyongyang Marathon; Rappers Film Video in NKorea; Gangnam Tourist Site Flops
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: January 8th, 2014
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North Korea assembly vote set for March, to consolidate Kim’s power
Chicago Tribune

North Koreans will hold elections for the country’s rubber stamp parliament in March, the first such polls under Kim Jong Un’s leadership, which are set to further consolidate his power after the purge of his uncle.

Kim’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, was one of the most powerful figures in North Korea until his purge and execution just a few weeks ago. South Korean President Park Geun-hye has described recent events in North Korea as a “reign of terror.”

The reclusive North’s official media said on Wednesday that the election for its Supreme People’s Assembly would be held on March 9, without offering details.

N. Korea allows Americans to run in Pyongyang marathon in April
Yonhap News

North Korea has said it will allow Americans and other foreigners to run in the Pyongyang marathon in April, a U.S. tour agency said Wednesday.

Uri Tours, a U.S.-based agency that specializes in trips to North Korea, said that Americans and other nationalities, whether they are amateurs or professional runners, can run in the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon on April 14. Mangyongdae is the birthplace of the North’s founder Kim Il-sung.

“This is the first time that Americans are allowed to run as professionals in the marathon and also the first time that amateurs will be allowed to run in the marathon,” the agency said on its website.

S. Korea says N. Korean leader’s aunt likely in critical condition
Yonhap News

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s aunt appears to be in a critical condition due to a heart problem, a senior South Korean official said Wednesday.

Kim Kyong-hui, 67, a senior party secretary and wife of the recently executed Jang Song-thaek, visited Russia between September and October last year for medical treatment, the official said.

“We believe (she) is in a critical condition,” the official said, noting that her heart problems appeared to have worsened due to alcoholism.

S Korean ‘comfort women’ still waiting for apology after 22 years
BBC News

Supporters of South Korean women forced into sexual slavery in Japan’s military brothels during and after World War II have held a rally outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul.

Rallies in support of the victims – known as comfort women – have been held every week for 22 years.

They are calling for a formal apology and compensation for the thousands of women affected.

Korea’s Dementia Crisis
Wall Street Journal

The tragic deaths this week of the father and grandparents of Lee Teuk, leader of K-pop boy band Super Junior, are raising calls for South Korea’s government to do more to lighten the burden for dementia patient’s families.

The superstar’s father and grandparents were found dead at their home in southern Seoul. According to media reports, police said a note at the scene suggests Mr. Lee’s 59-year-old father, who for several years had been sole caregiver for his parents—both suffering from dementia—committed suicide after killing them. The case is still under investigation.

The financial, physical and psychological stress of dealing with dementia is hitting more and more people in South Korea, where looking after these patients is widely regarded as a “family matter.”

Ethnic Korean stars make splash here
Korea Times

Songwriter/singer Yoo Hee-yeol, who recently became a judge on a television audition program, said that when he first saw Han Hee-jun, he was admittedly waiting to see just how good the “American Idol” star was.

The 25-year-old from Queens, New York was the first Korean-American to make it to a final of “American Idol,” during season 11 of the hit show.

Han was a “star” in his own right and signed with Polaris Entertainment’s U.S. outlet. Polaris Entertainment in Korea is home to singers Kim Beom-soo and Ivy.

Photo Gallery: A Look Inside The Line, Koreatown’s Hip New Hotel
Los Angeles Magazine

Koreatown has bragging rights: Not only is it L.A.’s densest neighborhood it also boasts the highest concentration of late-night businesses. Now, Koreatown finally has the hotel it deserves. The Line, located in what used to be the Wilshire Plaza, “soft opened” on January 1. In keeping with the modernist style of the building, which dates back to 1964, the décor is minimalist with lots of exposed concrete, accents of orange, and occasional ornate flourishes.

“Everything we’ve done before is less spare, but this building called for a modern aesthetic,” says Andrew Zobler, CEO of Sydell Group, a company that develops “lifestyle-oriented hotels”—like the Ace hotels in New York and Palm Springs, the Saguaro hotels in Scottsdale and Palm Springs, and the NoMad Hotel in New York.

The overarching idea for the Line’s vibe and décor was “celebrating everyday stuff,” according to Zobler. Hence the art installation made of old t-shirts that hangs over part of the lobby and the colorful faux detergent bottles that sit on nightstands. Plans To Pull Its IPO, Sell Stake to Permira
Wall Street Journal

Online legal services company Inc. is not going public after all, despite the hoopla that accompanied its Form S-1 filing back in May of 2012.

Instead, the company plans to sell more than $200 million of its equity to a company backed by Permira, a European private equity firm. LegalZoom sells low-cost downloadable legal forms and pre-paid legal plans that provide consumers and small businesses with access to a network of third-party attorneys.

“It’s a large capital raise,” LegalZoom chief executive John Suh told Law Blog on Monday night. “Our intention is to notify the SEC that we will be pulling the S-1 prior to the close of the deal. We have not formally pulled it yet.”

So whatever happened to pop music’s Korean Invasion?
Globe and Mail

Has K-Pop become a K-Flop?

Eighteen months ago, there was lots of talk in the press about the Korean Wave and how it was about to inundate North American airwaves with a flood of South Korean popular music, or K-Pop.

In 2012, Girls’ Generation, a smile-intensive, nine-member singing and dancing group, packed Madison Square Garden, charmed David Letterman, and was profiled in The New Yorker and The Wall Street Journal. Another K-Pop girl group, the Wonder Girls, were in a made-for-TV movie on Nickelodeon. And the hip-hop oriented acts 2NE1 and Big Bang were included with One Direction and fun on American MTV’s “Best Band Style 2012” list.

U.S. rappers film first-ever North Korean rap video
United Press International

Ignoring State Department’s Nov. 19 blanket warning against all American travel to North Korea, Washington, D.C.-based rappers Pacman and Peso used $10,400 in Kickstarter funds to secretly film a music video in the isolationist country.
Now they’re back, and they’ve offered The Guardian an exclusive preview of the video ahead of its official release on Wednesday.

The two D.C. natives joined a sightseeing tour of the country, which took them to government-approved sites around Pyongyang. They used a small camera to shoot improvised footage when their tour guides weren’t looking, without the benefit of microphones or headphones.

So far, Gangnam tourist site a flop
Korea JoongAng Daily

Boosted by the popularity of Psy’s music, the Seoul city government put 1.5 billion won ($1.42 million) toward the construction of the venue, the site of which is near a boutique-lined street in Gangnam’s Apgujeong-dong.

The complex contains general tourist information and medical tourism booths on the first floor and an entertainment hall on the second. The second floor – equipped with the latest virtual technology and handset devices featuring K-pop music videos – was expected to be the centerpiece of the tourist facility and to serve as an emotional connection with tourists.

Unfortunately, the complex has been met with little success.

Since it opened its doors in June, the facility has been cursed by a number of issues, including a lack of tourists, poor promotional scope and funding concerns.

On Such A Full Sea is unbearably mournful
AV Club

Chang-rae Lee’s On Such A Full Sea is so elegiac that it almost collapses into a morass of sorrow, yet it’s so well crafted it’s impossible not to see the story to its end. With his latest novel, Lee creates a world far into the future, where the boundaries between countries have frayed and a semi-dystopian state has arisen. Although Orwellian themes linger in the background, the book itself is really about one woman, and the symbol she becomes to the village she leaves behind.

Fan is a fish-tank driver and resident of B-Mor (once Baltimore), and when the government takes her boyfriend Reg for undisclosed reasons, she leaves her village on a quest to find him. Set as a kind of dream-like picaresque, On Such A Full Sea follows Fan as she explores both the poor communities in the counties surrounding B-Mor and the rich Charter towns where the elite live out their days. Not quite an indictment of capitalism, the book instead shows Fan’s impact on many walks of life, suggesting that the bold act of leaving home can reverberate beyond a person’s immediate world. Told from the perspective of the townsfolk of B-Mor, the novel places the repercussions of Fan’s actions and her own tale side by side.

Chefdance 2014 includes five ‘Top Chef’ alum
Salt Lake Tribune

The line-up for Chefdance 2014 is filled with winners, all-stars and finalists from the Bravo reality television show “Top Chef.”

This is the 11th year of Chefdance, a private dining event that coincides with The Sundance Film Festival. It takes place in the basement of Park City Live at 625 Main St, Park City.

On Friday, Jan. 17, Chef Brooke Williamson, the runner-up from Season 10, kicks off the five-day series. Williamson will be joined in the kitchen with Tiffany Derry, who placed fifth in Season 7 and competed among the All-Star chefs in Season 8.

‘Makgeolli’ ad appear on WSJ front page
Korea Times

The ad features Korean actor Song Il-gook sporting a white hanbok and offering a bowl of the rice-fermented liquor to its viewers with the copy phrase “MAKGEOLLI?” American daily Wall Street Journal’s Europe edition published on Monday a front page ad for Korea’s traditional liquor “makgeolli.”

The sources told the ad was directed by Sungshin Women’s University professor Seo Kyoung-duk, 40, also known as the popular hallyu campaigner working mainly overseas.

Song made his appearance to the ad as a talent donation, while the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs covered the ad’s production costs.

Dennis Rodman Sings Happy Birthday to Kim Jong-Un
Author: Steve Han
Posted: January 8th, 2014
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The public reaction towards Dennis Rodman’s first two trips to North Korea, where he befriended dicatator Kim Jong-un, was amused at best and dumbfounded at worst. But the former basketball star’s fourth visit is drawing widespread criticism after he threw a tantrum on live television regarding Kenneth Bae, an American citizen who has been detained in North Korea for over a year, and serenaded the head of the world’s most oppressive regime.

Rodman sang “Happy Birthday” to Kim before the game while the rest of the players, referees and the crowd clapped to the song.

The team of American players, led by Rodman, lost the first half of the exhibition game to the North Korean team, 47-39. Rodman watched the second half from the stands with Kim as two teams merged and played together.

In an interview with CNN during his stay in Pyongyang, Rodman suggested that North Korea is detaining Bae for a reason. Continue Reading »

Tuesday’s Link Attack: Dennis Rodman’s NKorean Meltdown; David Choe and John Cusack; Chang-Rae Lee
Author: Young Rae Kim
Posted: January 7th, 2014
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Angry Dennis Rodman defends North Korea basketball game

Basketball star Dennis Rodman defended his controversial visit to North Korea with a team of former NBA players in a combative exchange Tuesday, saying it was a “great idea for the world.”

In an exclusive interview with Chris Cuomo of CNN’s “New Day,” Rodman reacted angrily when pressed on whether the group should have traveled there given recent events in the secretive country.

The trip takes place just weeks after North Korea shocked the world by announcing the purge and execution of Kim’s once-powerful uncle. There are also concerns for the welfare of U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae, who’s been detained there for more than a year for reasons that are unclear.

Purge of Kim’s uncle flags N. Korea’s ‘swerve away’ from China: expert
Yonhap News

The stunning purge and execution of the North Korean leader’s uncle appears to signal that Pyongyang is trying to reduce its over-reliance on China while seeking to break a deadlock in relations with the United States, a Chinese expert said Tuesday.

Jang Song-thaek, the once-powerful uncle and political mentor of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was executed on Dec. 12 on charges of attempting to overthrow the Kim dynasty, corruption and other misdeeds. Jang was also accused of selling the North’s coal to “a foreign country” at excessively cheap prices.

The execution marked the biggest political upheaval since Kim took power two years ago and raised concerns about North Korea’s economic ties with China as Jang had overseen key business projects with Beijing.

A Wolf in Husky clothing
Herald Business Journal

Bjong Wolf Yeigh could have done anything with his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth and a master’s degree from Stanford.

Naturally, he joined the Navy during Desert Storm.

“I’m an immigrant, so it was my way of giving back before I got too old,” Yeigh said.

Yeigh, 49, became the new chancellor at the University of Washington Bothell last fall, just the third chancellor the campus has had since opening in 1990.

Born in South Korea, he first passed through Seattle at age 11 when his family immigrated to the United States.

John Y. Kim Elected Vice Chairman of New York Life

New York Life announced today that John Y. Kim, 53, has been elected a vice chairman of the company and will now oversee the company’s technology function in addition to his current responsibilities. Mr. Kim will continue as president of New York Life’s Investments Group, which includes the investment management, annuities and retirement plan recordkeeping businesses, as well as chief investment officer of New York Life Insurance Company. In these combined roles he is responsible for approximately $400 billion in assets under management.

Ted Mathas, chairman and CEO of New York Life, said, “Under John Kim’s leadership our Investments business has grown to become a vital part of New York Life, significantly expanding our profile and our profitability and contributing to our financial strength. He also has done a superb job since 2011 as our chief investment officer. I’ve asked John to now expand his corporate responsibilities to include oversight of enterprise-wide technology, a key component of our future success. In recognition of this newly expanded role and the leadership, drive and commitment to our mission John has demonstrated since joining the company in 2008, he has been named vice chairman of the company. With John’s broad and deep experience and judgment we know he will continue making important contributions in the position of vice chairman.” Mr. Kim will continue reporting to Mr. Mathas.

Christina Kim charged with running a prostitution based massage parlor, police say

A woman has been arrested in connection with a raid more than six years ago.

An investigation by Boca Raton police in 2007 led to the closure of the Essence Spa at 289 E. Palmetto Park Road.

Police at the time had conducted surveillance at the massage parlor and concluded that it was being used for prostitution.

Police arrested 25 men and charged them with solicitation.

Two women were also arrested at the time and charged with prostitution.

On Monday police arrested Christina Kim of New York and charged her with running Essence Spa.

This Korean-American Author Just Wrote the Great American Novel

Great American Readers, may I have your attention please? If you haven’t yet heard of Chang-rae Lee, there’ll be no escaping his name now.

Lee has just published his fifth novel, On Such a Full Sea, a dystopian story of a post-climate change and post-racial America, and he is finally getting the attention he deserves. In fact, he’s just written a novel so sensitive to the plight of Asian Americans in America that it may well come to be the Great Asian American novel.

LA’s Koreatown is getting safer every year
Korea Times US

According to data accumulated by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for Jan. 1 to Dec. 21, every division has shown a marked decline, including Koreatown.

Crime is down throughout Los Angeles for the 11th straight year, and homicides citywide are at the lowest level since 1966. Violent crime is down citywide 12 percent compared with the same period in 2012, and property crimes are down 5 percent.

LAPD’s Olympic Community Station reported a total of 843 cases of violent crime such as homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault last year in Koreatown and its surrounding areas, which reflects a 10% decline in comparison to the 934 cases reported in 2012. It’s also 9% lower than the 914 reported cases in 2011.

Homicide was reduced to a reported four cases, which is represent decrease of 71% from the 14 cases in 2012 and even lower than the six reported cases from two years ago.

Analyst: Shin-Soo Choo was brought to Texas for patience at plate, not power
Dallas News

An analysis of Shin-Soo Choo’s performance at the plate from Bloomberg Sports writer Rob Shaw may give reason for Rangers fans to be a bit nervous about the 7-year contract the Korean slugger just received.

Much has been made of Choo’s struggles against lefties, and Shaw points out that the Rangers’ off-season acquisition did not hit a single home run against southpaws last season.

The other finding in the study shows Choo’s drop in performance against off-speed pitches, batting .181 and slugging .269 against such pitches last season.

Scientist steeped in figure skating
Korea Times

Koreans’ perception of figure skating is mostly limited to the ladies’ competition, due to an absence of stars in other disciplines. This is something many fans want to see changing in Korea, particularly ahead of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics Games.

Thanks to Kim Yu-na’s victory at the 2013 worlds, Korea has secured three berths in the ladies’ event in Sochi, but no male figure skaters will compete for Korea. The last time a Korean entered an Olympic men’s competition was in Salt Lake City in 2002.

What can Korea do to be able to send some male figure skaters to the 2018 Olympics taking place at home? Some commentators like Song Doo-heun, a college professor who writes a popular blog about figure skating, say one of the keys to nurturing male Olympians lies in specialized coaching for the variety of required elements.

Eye-Openers: Roy Choi on feeding communities and creating new eating environments [Video]
Inside Scoop SF

From the local scene:
•Video: At his Google Talk last month, Los Angeles chef Roy Choi discussed his new book, Kogi, his initial reactions to people talking bad about him, his Asian heritage, gambling and more. He also reads an excerpt from the book at the 21-minute mark, right before the Q&A session. Among his many good quotes is his take on making food accessible to everyone, a subject he tackled at MAD last year: “For the evolution and development of food, one of the first steps is we have to have open conversations about it … [It's] sparking smart people like yourselves for us collectively to not talk about it but come up with systems and new processes to figure these things out … It’s taking vacant lots, creating kind of like hawker centers, creating outdoor eating environments for us to congregate and eat … The main thing is that we have to make food a part of the culture. ” The topic begins around the 27 minute mark.

Korean food, confident enough to go back to basics
Korea Times

For the longest time, Korean food was to be consumed rather than enjoyed. Having known destitution and poverty, Koreans took a no-nonsense attitude toward food during the heydays of industrialization and rapid growth. There was not sufficient time to look back and enjoy the rich traditions that had continued on over hundreds of years. But in 2014, Korea is much better able to look back and dig deeper into the culinary traditions of its forefathers. With that in mind, five of the nation’s leading agents in the food sector gathered for a roundtable discussion at the offices of The Korea Times in Seoul.

Hyundai Taps Google Glass Compatibility to Boost Sales
Wall Street Journal

Hyundai Motor Co. is hoping to further raise its appeal to tech-savvy customers with a new app that allows owners to interact with their vehicles remotely through Google Glass and potentially other wearable devices.

Among the features being launched with Hyundai’s all-new 2015 Genesis, owners will be able to use their wearable device to remotely start a car’s engine, unlock and even to locate the vehicle, according to the South Korean carmaker. Hyundai will start selling the Genesis to U.S. customers this spring.

Meanwhile, push notifications through the wearable device will alert drivers when maintenance is needed and allow quick service scheduling, the company said.

Either John Cusack Is a Legit Street Artist, Or David Choe Is Pulling Off the Greatest Internet Hoax of All Time

The account has been active since August of 2013, but for some reason the Internet (ourselves included) is just noticing actor John Cusack’s alleged Instagram profile, @cusackshakur. The profile features a whole lot of Macaulay Culkin-themed artwork, Photoshopped images and stills from Cusack’s films, and some quality graffiti tags that include some variation of the actor’s name in different styles. Because this is the Internet, you can’t really verify anything based on “visual evidence” short of a signed confession next to a social security card and photo ID, but people are convinced that all of it really is Cusack’s handy work.

ArtInfo points out that the IG is similar to Cusack’s verified Twitter, but the visual content (and language) on each is very different. One theory is that well-known artist David Choe is in someway involved with the @cusackshakur profile. Choe and his DVDASA podcasting partner Asa Akira appear in many of the images on the profile, and Cusack has discussed his relationship with Choe on the show in past. During that episode, he and Choe talked about doing graffiti together and “Culkin Christ,” a creepy motif that appears multiple times on the profile.

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