Tag Archives: North Korea

Friday's Link Attack: John Cho, Joy Osmanski, Yuna Kim

Kal Penn and John Cho on Tonight Show with Jay Leno
channel APA

Actors John Cho & Kal Penn landed on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno to promote their upcoming film “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas“. They start off chatting about their connections with President Obama from working at the White House to being invited there. The duo also talk about their very first press tour and the similarities to their Harold & Kumar characters. Watch a special clip from their movie.

Glendale man arrested on suspicion of stealing Korean Americans’ IDs
Los Angeles Times

A 49-year-old Glendale man has been arrested on suspicion of stealing the personal information, including Social Security numbers, of more than 90 Korean-Americans, police said.

Dong Ho Han, who is being held in lieu of $4.6-million bail, was arrested early Wednesday on suspicion of identity theft, possessing a forged driver’s license or identification card and possessing pills without a prescription, according to Glendale police reports.

“There is no indication of what he was going to do with them,” Financial Crimes Sgt. Harley Wing told the Glendale News-Press.

Police stopped Han about 2:30 a.m. at Los Olivos Lane and Moore Street for a traffic equipment violation when they discovered he was on probation for forgery in Santa Barbara County, Wing said.

During a search of Han’s car, police found dates of birth and Social Security numbers for more than 90 Koreans, he said.

Police also found prescription pills, including Oxycontin and Methadone, three or four signed blank checks and four passports in his name, but with different dates of birth, Wing said. Han also had $3,200 in cash, Wing added.

Illinois Fugitive Hyungkyu Choi
Chicago Tribune

On Sept. 28, 2011, a father told Naperville police that his 13-year-old daughter had been sexually abused by her martial arts instructor, Hyungkyu Choi.

Five days earlier, about 2 a.m., the girl told her dad, Choi drove her to one of the YK Martial Arts Studio locations in Naperville, and sexually abused her there.

A doctor interviewed and examined the minor that day, and the minor disclosed to him that she had a relationship with Choi over several months and they had sexual contact twice between July and September.

Choi was 26, twice the alleged victim’s age.

After meeting with police on Oct. 1, Choi fled the country for South Korea on Oct. 6.

joy osmanski’s in the new animated fox show allen gregory

Heads up. Our friend, actress Joy Osmanski, stars in the next FOX animated series Allen Gregory, which premieres this Sunday, October 30 as part of the network’s animation block (right after The Simpsons). Joy supplies the voice of Julie DeLongpre, Allen Gregory’s sister.

SKorea: Singer, judge discuss race prejudice
Asian Correspondent

A top star and a judge, both middle-aged, have joined hands in Korea and America to overcome the difficulties of being mixed-race. They have spent over 50 years of life in different places but when they meet their faces seem both similar and different. 54-year-old singer In Soon-yi, the child of a Korean mother and a black American father who was serving in the Korean war, and 56-year old Judy Draper, a Korean-American judge, met at a restaurant in Bangbae-dong, Seoul, on the 20th. Their meeting was arranged after the Ministry of Foreign affairs and Trade (외교통상부) brought Draper to Korea on the 17th after she became a well-known Korean-American after being made a circuit judge in St. Louis, Missouri. Judge Draper, who brought her multicultural son with her, came to know In Soon-yi when she learned were both doing similar work at the Pearl S. Buck Foundation Korea (한국펄벅재단) and requested that the Ministry arrange a meeting.

A spokesperson for In Soon-yi said that “as soon as in Soon-yi met Judge Draper they embraced… As mixed-race Koreans they each overcame discrimination and never gave up, working to be treated fairly, and each was touched by that.”


Seoul, US cautiously move on 6-party talks
Korea Times

South Korean officials Wednesday remained mum on high-level talks between North Korea and the United States on how to resume nuclear disarmament negotiations but said the communist state had shown seriousness in a recent flurry of diplomacy.

A Seoul official said the government was waiting for a full briefing from Washington before making any comment. But he added on condition of anonymity that in two rounds of contact between the Koreas, running in conjunction with the U.S.-North talks, Pyongyang had been “quite serious.”

The cautious approach echoed that of U.S officials, who after the two-day session in Geneva earlier this week, said talks had been positive, while stamping down hope for an imminent breakthrough. Stephen Bosworth said the sides had narrowed differences on resuming six-party talks but did not elaborate on areas of progress.

Korean Skating Champ Yuna Kim Collaborates on Ceramics Line
ABC News

Figure skater and Olympic champion Yuna Kim is launching her own ceramic collection, “YUNA,” in collaboration with a Korean ceramic company.

“I wanted to do something with my career that could spread awareness of Korean culture,” said Kim at the YUNA showcase at Shinsegae department store on Thursday. “And I chose the most Korean brand.”

She referred to the porcelain manufacturer Kwangjuyo. The upscale, traditional, handmade pottery-maker is known for its drive to develop and introduce Korean food globally.

Faculty Spotlight: Born in Korea, Educated in America, Now Teaching In Singapore
Tisch Arts blog

Assistant Arts Professor at Dramatic Writing Department
New York University Tisch School of the Arts Asia

Raised in: Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea

Courses I teach: Grad Screenwriting I, Thesis Screenwriting I & II, Screenwriting Lab, Collaborative Film for 2nd Year Writing Students & 3rd Year Film Students, Feature Writing for 3rd Year Film Students.

Educated in: New York (BFA NYU Tisch Film & Television 2000; MFA NYU Tisch Dramatic Writing Department 2002), Los Angeles (MFA American Film Institute Screenwriting 2003)

Proudest Professional Moment: The Red Snow, a screenplay that I wrote while at Tisch Dramatic Writing Department, won 2003 Hartley-Merrill Award that was announced at Cannes Film Festival; The Chaser, a Korean film, that I co-wrote became a hit in South Korea in 2008 and is expected to be remade by Warner Bros., starring Leonardo DiCaprio; Sayonara Itsuka, a Japanese language film, that I wrote became the highest grossing Korean film in Japan in 2010.

I’m Now Working On: A love story set in New York City to be produced by Terence Chang (Tisch alum; producer of Face/Off, Red Cliff, Hard Boiled); A US-Korea co-production project that deals with the rumored to be true story about a Korean soldier who had a fling with Marilyn Monroe in 1954; A suspense thriller set in Singapore to be produced in 2012; An action blockbuster film set in four Asian countries to be produced in 2012-2013.

’21 and Over’ begins shooting in China

The young adult comedy co-starring Justin Chon began filming in China.

Miles Teller (“Footloose”), Justin Chon (“The Twilight Saga”), Skylar Astin (“Taking Woodstock”) and Sarah Wright (“The House Bunny”) star in the pic, which follows two childhood friends who drag their straight-arrow buddy out to celebrate his 21st birthday the night before an important medical school interview, in an evening of debauchery that spirals out of control. But when one beer leads to another, the evening spirals into a wild misadventure of debauchery that none of them will ever forget.


Thursday's Link Attack: Richard Park, North Korea, Snoop Dogg

Mayor Bloomberg Talks Kimchi In Queens
New York Daily News

After reminiscing about the years he traveled to Korea for business, enjoying good food and drink, Bloomberg took a series of questions ranging from immigration and restaurant inspections to language access and the paucity of Korean-American judges on the bench.

And since this is Queens, there was a complaint about parking.

But the first question at the Queens Library’s Flushing branch delved into the world of Korean food and restaurant inspections. The Mayor was told that Korean restaurant owners and small business owners feel they are treated unfairly and receive low grades.

Korean-American Voters Hear From District 37 Candidates
Patch.com (Teaneck, N.J.)

The Korean American Voters Council (KAVC) hosted a debate Tuesday for District 37 candidates at the Fort Lee Public Library following a forum the previous day with candidates for Bergen County office, in an effort to boost participation in the rapidly-growing Korean community.

The focus of both was on issues of particular concern to Korean-American voters, who tend to have a low turnout rate for elections, said moderator and KAVC staff attorney Chejin Park.

“The Korean population is really growing in Bergen County, but their participation is really low,” Park said. “The voter registration rate is less than 50 percent, and the participation rate—voter turnout—is less than 30 percent.”

Fairfax school board incumbent Ilryong Moon defends record
Washington Post

Critics have said the board doesn’t listen to parents and stubbornly defends Superintendent Jack D. Dale’s policies and decisions without asking tough questions.

Ilryong Moon, 54, the only at-large incumbent in the race, is one of the targets. In 2009, when the board voted 7 to 3 to extend Dale’s contract, Moon abstained. It was one of the most important votes of the last four years, and critics say Moon’s abstention showed a lack of leadership..

But Moon says he took a thoughtful and deliberative position, characteristics he says have defined his 12 years on the board. He says he abstained because he supported the contract renewal but disagreed with its four-year length — too long, in Moon’s eyes.

He says his institutional knowledge will be important for the school system’s stability as six other board incumbents retire, taking with them a combined 48 years of experience.

“I am very patient. I do not jump to conclusions and I am willing to consider all sides,” he said. “The next board needs to have someone with my background, experience and proven leadership.”

Weekes: Eight ‘non-stars’ impressing me

Richard Park, F, Pittsburgh Penguins — He’s always good. He’s just a good pro. How did the Islanders let a guy like that go? He’s versatile, cheap, a leader and a true pro. The Penguins value him and he’s a bargain at $550,000 on a two-way deal. They can play him on the third line, fourth line, power play, penalty kill. He’s a very skilled guy and a steal for Ray Shero.

North Korea bans citizens working in Libya from returning home
The Telegraph (U.K.)

North Korea has banned its own citizens working in Libya from returning home, apparently out of fear that they will reveal the extent – and final outcomes – of the revolutions that have shaken the Arab world.


Koreans in US eager to vote
Korea Times

Kim Bong-nam always thought voting was more a chore than a privilege. But not anymore — not since he moved to the U.S. and no longer had an official say in Korean politics.

“It’s funny how the sense of feeling deprived kicks in when you know you can’t do something,” says Kim, who left his hometown Incheon for New York just over a decade ago.

For Kim and some 2.7 million overseas Koreans, next spring is when the days of deprivation ends.

Starting with the general elections in April 2012, Korean nationals living abroad will be allowed to cast ballots, as part of a revised election law in 2009.

The new law grants voting rights to overseas residents aged 19 and older, as long as they still retain Korean citizenship.

Happy Makgeolli Day
Wall Street Journal

Makgeolli, the Korean rice liquor once derided as the drink of farmers and manual laborers, has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, as beloved by the generation of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak as it is by twenty- and thirtysomethings.

So much so that Mr. Lee’s government has dedicated a national day to the tipple. Makgeolli Day celebrates the fruit of Korean country life’s rise to prominence.

Kim Ng has the resume to be the Angels’ general manager
Los Angeles Times

After working in major league baseball in many capacities, including assistant general manager of the Dodgers, she is highly qualified to fill the vacant job in Anaheim.

Why the Next Steve Jobs Will be Asian

As Washington maneuvers on skilled immigration reform, the United States is losing its near-monopoly on entrepreneurship by forcing its educated Indian and Chinese immigrants to return home.

Pan-Asian girl band looks to Snoop Dogg for help

The pan-Asian “girl band” Blush has been around for only 11 months but already has a track record more established groups might envy — a single that hit number-three on the U.S. dance music charts and rapper Snoop Dogg in one of their songs.

This week, the English-singing group, whose members hail from Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Korea and India, will open for the Black Eyed Peas at their Manila concert. They appeared at a Justin Bieber concert in Hong Kong earlier this year.

“The goal for Blush is to become really the first Asian singers to make it big in the West,” said John Niermann, a former president of Walt Disney Co’s Asia-Pacific unit, who brought the band together last year after a broad talent search.

Welcome to the world, little one
Korea Times

Here’s a nice first-person piece about bringing a child into the world in multicultural America.

I don’t usually write about my personal life in this space, but this time I will. I hope that you will forgive me. But it won’t be all personal, I promise. I will manage to work in some over-arching and redeeming social construct out of this somehow.

As I write, I am sitting in a birthing room in an ultra modern hospital with my wife in a bed over yonder hooked up with all types of tubes and monitors.

She’s eyeing me with an unfriendly “Really?” look on her face as I begin pecking on my laptop. I tell her that I want to make sure that this moment is recorded in writing for our baby to read when he grows up, so that he would know how much pain and effort she went through to give birth to him.

Friday's Link Attack: Anthony Kim, Dr. Sammy Lee

American Kim leads by a hair in S. Korea
AP via Google News

Anthony Kim may soon require a trip to the hairdresser after he battled his way to a six-under-par 66 on Friday to propel him into a three-shot halfway lead at the inaugural CJ Invitational.

The 26-year-old American, a three-time winner in the United States, did not even produce his best golf at the Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club but ground out seven birdies in the $750,000 event in South Korea hosted by K.J. Choi.

Choi endured an error-strewn 70 for tied second place with fellow South Koreans Lee Ki-Sang and David Oh, who shot 67 and 69 respectively for a 137 total in the co-sanctioned Asian Tour and Korean Golf Tour showpiece.

Oral history? Telling it like it was
Orange County Register

Dr. Sammy Lee has a tale to tell.

Born in California in 1920, he was inspired by the 1932 LA Olympics to become a two-time Olympic gold diving champion. A respected doctor and veteran, he traveled the world and was family friends with Syngman Rhee, the first president of South Korea.

The son of immigrants, he encountered discrimination that sounds horse and buggy today – outmoded from a different time.

Lee could not practice diving at private clubs because these pools were closed to Asians. During World War II, he once wore a badge: “I am Korean, not a Jap.” He won the 1953 Sullivan Award from the Amateur Athletic Union, but was turned down twice in 1954 trying to buy a house in all-white Garden Grove — until the media got involved.

Those are the facts, an outline for a story only Lee can tell. It’s the kind of the story the Center for Oral and Public History at Cal State Fullerton wants to capture.

Palisades Park woman admits role in ID-theft and bank-fraud ring
Bergen County Record (N.J.)

A Palisades Park woman who was one of 53 suspects arrested in a massive identity-theft and bank-fraud ring last year pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to produce phony identification documents, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.

Sung-Sil Joh, 47, also pleaded guilty in federal court in Newark to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting financial institutions, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, authorities said.

Joh was arrested in September 2010 when authorities broke up an identity-theft and bank-fraud ring allegedly run by Sang-Hyun “Jimmy” Park, 44, of Palisades Park.

The ring allegedly obtained Social Security cards beginning with “586.” Cards with that prefix were issued legitimately in the 1990s to Chinese citizens who came to work in American territories such as American Samoa, Guam and Saipan.


US citizen killed in Medan
Jakarta Post (Indonesia)

US citizen Samuel Hyein, 28, died after he was stabbed by two unidentified men riding on a motorcycle.

The Korean-American was taking a pedicab headed to his hotel from Polonia International Airport, according to North Sumatra Police chief Sr. Comr. Heru Prakoso.

“The victim had just arrived at 10:30 p.m. local time from Malaysia on an AirAsia flight,” Heru said on Thursday.

Hyein bled to death from a wound to his leg while being treated at Elisabeth Hospital in Medan.

“We are still trying to identify the perpetrators. Their features were obscured since they wore helmets,” Heru said.

Detectives were still searching for a motive, Heru said. All of Hyein’s property was accounted for, mooting assumptions that the killing was a botched robbery.

From Korean orphan to Richmond local hero
Richmond Times-Dispatch (Virginia)

Margaret Lerke Woody, whose abandonment as a Korean infant severed her ancestral bloodlines, has become a vital Richmond community lifeline as a volunteer, caregiver and champion of inclusion.

For her efforts, Woody was honored as a “local hero” during Thursday night’s Neighborhood Excellence Initiative Awards at the Virginia Historical Society. With her recognition comes a $5,000 gift from Bank of America to ART 180, an organization that seeks to transform local youth and communities through art.

Marina woman says she was imprisoned in chicken coop
Monterey County-Herald (Calif.)

A Korean woman in California locked up her Japanese mother-in-law in a chicken coop.

A 92-year-old woman reported to the Marina Police Department she was battered and locked in a chicken coop Wednesday by her daughter-in-law.

The alleged victim said Myuong Sakasegawa, 64, took her purse, battered her, and locked her in the chicken coop. She said she was released from the coop by her son about an hour later.

(HT Marmot’s Hole)

Manoa school featured in George Clooney movie
KHON2.com (Honolulu, HI)

The upcoming film “The Descendants,” starring George Clooney and directed by Alexander Payne was shot entirely in Hawaii and hundreds of local students auditioned for small parts in the movie. One of them was high school student Esther Kang, who had a scene with the Academy Award-winning actor.

“He was like making jokes, he was a super cool guy, like, I had a conversation with him. It was sweet just to meet him,” said Esther Kang. “When I found out [I was cast] I was so happy it was like the best day of my life.”

Adoption satire mostly hits mark
Minneapolis Star Tribune

In “Four Destinies,” Korean-American playwright Katie Hae Leo’s smart, cutting social satire now up in a premiere in Minneapolis, a meddlesome character named Katie Leo (played by Katie Bradley) declares that she wants to speak for all adoptees. And she does, with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Beckman’s Kim runs over Northwood for five TDs

It turns out last week was just a warmup for Jeff Kim.

After rushing for 191 yards and two touchdowns last week against Woodbridge, Kim ran for 253 yards and five touchdowns Thursday in visiting Beckman’s 52-31 victory over Northwood in a Pacific Coast League game at Irvine High.

Kim, who was not allowed to play in three games because of undisclosed reasons and returned to action for the Woodbridge game, had 218 yards in the first half and scored four touchdowns in the second quarter.

For the season, Kim, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound senior, has rushed for 621 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Organizers Accused of Sexually Harassing Beauty Queens
Chosun Ilbo

Contestants of an international beauty pageant hosted by Korea were sexually harassed and offered places in the competition in exchange for sex, contestants claim.

Amy Willerton (19), who competed in the 2011 Miss Asia Pacific World in Korea from Oct. 1 to 15, was quoted by the Sun on Wednesday as saying, “I had two of the organisers sexually assault me — one tried to pull my top down.”

“Girls were pulled aside and told they knew what they had to do if they wanted to win — we all knew they meant sex,” Willerton said.

About 50 contestants participated in the pageant, the first of its kind, in Seoul, Daegu and Busan between Oct. 1 and Oct. 15. The top prize was US$20,000.

Contestants were put in a hotel without enough beds and fed just one meal per day, Willerton said. An optional “talent round” was won by Miss Venezuela, who had not even entered that section of the competition.

Latest hot Korean medical tour: Voice feminization surgery

A little over a decade ago, Dr. Kim Hyung-tae, 48, was your standard otolaryngologist, or a doctor specializing in ear, nose and throat.

Now he is being touted as the best in a highly specialized area — voice feminization surgery, which he developed while treating anemic patients at Catholic University Hospital in Seoul.

Initially devised as a way to combat the voice-deepening side effects of treating anemic female patients, voice feminization surgery is becoming increasingly sought after by transsexuals from overseas who fly in to specifically to receive this treatment, reported Joongang Ilbo today.


Name released of victim in fatal Wednesday crash near Drummond
KBZK.com (Bozeman, Mont.)

Powell County authorities released the name of a man killed in a Wednesday morning crash on I-90 near Deer Lodge as Yun Seok Kang, 41, of Denver, Colorado.

A passenger car with two people hit an elk while traveling westbound in Powell County at around 3 a.m. Wednesday, according to Montana Highway patrol Trooper Tom Gill. Gill said after hitting the elk, the driver lost control of the vehicle, which then crossed the median into the eastbound lanes and hit a semi truck head-on.

Kang was a passenger in the car. The driver, a female, was taken to Deer Lodge by ambulance and then airlifted to a Great Falls hospital.

Student group raises awareness about North Korea
The Pitt News (Univ. of Pittsburgh)

Pitt’s chapter of Liberties in North Korea is a nonprofit student organization designed to break down those walls of silence.

“We raise awareness about not only the human-rights atrocities going on in North Korea, but also the refugee situation in China,” T.J. Collanto, president of Pitt’s Liberty in North Korea chapter, said.

Last year, former Pitt seniors Laura Lee and Jimmy Eppley launched the organization on campus. They devised a way to involve Pitt in the national organization after watching a documentary screening of the crisis in North Korea. Eppley is now a fifth-year senior and Lee has graduated, but the club’s message resonated with the people who joined.

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.