The United States announced plans to deploy an additional 14 missile interceptors, CNN reports.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters today that 14 additional ground-based interceptors will be used to help the nation defend itself against a mounting threats from North Korea and Iran. This will bring the total number of ground-based missile interceptors to 44; the missile expansion will be completed by 2017.
“The reason that we are doing what we are doing and the reason we are advancing our program here for homeland security is to not take any chances, is to stay ahead of the threat and to assure any contingency,” Hagel said.
Sexist Taunt From North Korea Raises Gender Issue for the South’s New Leader
New York Times
When North Korea blamed President Park Geun-hye’s “venomous swish of skirt” this week for tensions on the Korean Peninsula, it brought up an issue that had been mainly unremarked upon in South Korea: Would their leader’s gender color the latest confrontation between the Koreas?
The North Koreans, masters of outrageous propaganda, no doubt picked their phrase carefully for the South’s first female president. “Swish of skirt” was long an insult in Korean culture, directed at women deemed too aggressive, far from the traditional ideal of docile and coy.
Korea fires off short-range missiles: military sources
North Korea fired off short-range missiles into the East Sea on Friday amid heightened tension following its February nuclear test, a military source in Seoul said.
“A North Korean military unit on drill test-fired two shots of short-range missiles, presumed to be KN-02 missiles, into the East Sea” the source said.
The source did not say the exact time of the launching.
“The launch was seen as testing its capability for short-range missiles. It seemed to be conducted on a military-unit level, not at a national level.”
Fast Fashion’s Challenge: Making Money With ‘Made In The USA’
Do Won Chang, founder and CEO of Forever 21, is 58, Korean-American and devoutly Christian. Every Forever 21 shopping bag is stamped with the Bible verse John 3:16.
Chang has also had his share of legal trouble. There have been waves of worker disputes over labor conditions that lasted years at a time and even boycotts. Chang has also been charged with design theft for stealing styles from other designers.
In an interview with CNN, Chang said he really had no interest in fashion; he just wanted to make money. And he has done a good job of that; relying heavily on manufacturing overseas, Chang projects $4 billion in sales this year.
Koreans’ Plastic-Surgery Obsession Baffles Tourists
Tourists cite the obsession with plastic surgery among Korean women as the most puzzling characteristic of the country’s contemporary culture.
Cosmojin Tour on Thursday said in a straw poll of 384 tourists, 48 percent named plastic surgery as the aspect of modern Korean culture they found hardest to understand.
“Many tourists who visited the Gangnam or Itaewon districts of Seoul tell their tour guides that Korean women are beautiful but ask why they look and dress the same,” said a Cosmojin Tour staffer. “For many foreigners, who value individuality and uniqueness, it seems surprising to see Koreans so obsessed with plastic surgery to boost their appearance.”
Banshee: Hoon Lee Talks Season Finale — Everything Gets Brought To A ‘Critical Mass!’
AccessHollywood.com: How does it feel to finally be here, at the end of Season 1, knowing you have a Season 2 as well?
Hoon Lee: It’s really invigorating. The response has been so gratifying, really… To see that hard work being received so well is incredibly satisfying and it just gives us a lot of fuel for Season 2. I think we’re kind of in perfect position because I think we are able to go into Season 2 with confidence – not second guessing ourselves — and still have the experience of Season 1 under our belts.
South Korean TV Star Lee Young-ae Opens New Shop
Wall Street Journal
Ten years ago, the success of a TV series about a cook in an ancient royal court turned actress Lee Young-ae into a superstar and a sought-after celebrity endorser for companies throughout Asia.
Now, Ms. Lee is entering business herself.
This weekend, she opens Lya Nature, a boutique selling organic, chemical-free children’s clothing and other items, just up the street from Seoul’s largest palace, in a neighborhood that’s popular with residents and tourists alike.
Hear 2NE1 and will.i.am’s Long-Awaited K-Pop Collision ‘Take on the World’
It’s finally here.
A year ago at this time, both Girls’ Generation and 2NE1 looked poised to steamroll the American market and shush those that might suggest K-Pop’s increasingly global conquest would stop here. The former had a Snoop Dogg cosign (and Letterman appearance) in their handbags, and 2NE1, having already stormed Times Square in December of 2011, were rumored to be in the lab with known chart terrorist, will.i.am. It was only a matter of time. But then summer arrived and so did “I Love You,” to relatively little fanfare. Girls’ Generation went largely silent, and then came Psy. You know the rest.
But as of this afternoon, the wait is over:
Korean Enclave In Duluth Served By St. Andrew Kim
The Georgia Bulletin
A Korean Catholic mission in the heart of Gwinnett County’s vibrant Korean-American enclave of Duluth has more than doubled its membership in 18 months.
St. Andrew Kim Korean Catholic Church is located on a stretch of Duluth Highway known as church row, amidst several other Korean churches. Since August 2011, it has grown from 98 registered families to 228 families.
The community expects to continue to share in the fast growth in Gwinnett, where the Korean population overall is 22,001, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. That reflects a doubling since the year 2000. The Korean American Association of Greater Atlanta estimates that there are 100,000 Korean-Americans in Georgia.
Q&A with Phillip Y Kim, financial industry insider and author of Nothing Gained
Shanghaiist: You have worked in the finance industry for over twenty-five years, why did you decide to write a novel, and what in particular inspired you to write Nothing Gained?
Phillip Y Kim: I’ve always had creative urges, but was too busy over the years working as an investment banker to properly address them. However, I had accumulated many fascinating and intriguing experiences over the years, and the need to put them in writing finally became irresistible. I chose to write a novel because I felt that I could tell a better story by doing more than just presenting fact. Non-fiction would have also involved exposing too many people and embarrassing matters better left undercover!
How Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 Compares With iPhone 5
Wall Street Journal
Samsung finally pulled the curtains back on the Galaxy S 4, its next flagship Android smartphone, at an event in New York today.
In addition to bumping up the size of the screen from 4.8 inches to 5 inches, the guts of the device also received a significant boost — putting it ahead of the major competition in many technical aspects.
Granted, we haven’t seen the Apple’s next iPhone model for 2013, but for the time being the specifications of the Galaxy S 4 are a significant upgrade.
Kim, an American’s idol, wins short at world skating
Because Kim, 22, had been away so long, she lacked the ranking points to skate in her accustomed position, one of the last in the competition order. That she was 14th starter of the 35 women, in a group with decided also-rans, worked in her favor.
“Because I was so used to competing (in the same group) with so many high-level skaters in the past, this time I was not as nervous,” Kim said. “I was just able to focus. If I did end up competing with top skaters right now, I think I would be more nervous.”
She opened with an impressive triple lutz-triple toe combination, which produced the highest score of anyone in the field for the required jump combination. From then on, Kim was in command, no matter that her time away from competition clearly affected her sharpness.
Kim Yu-na returns to big stage
Reigning Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na carved out a singular place for herself at the 2010 Winter Games, so it shouldn’t be surprising that her theatrical re-entry to top-level competition would be singular as well.
The South Korean icon glided onto the ice Thursday for her short program at the world championships in an unaccustomed place, not even midway through the field of 35 in a format where the highest-ranked skaters are deliberately shuffled toward the end of the deck. Three minutes later, it was clear she had retained her seamless blend of the ethereal and the athletic after taking the better part of two seasons away from the sport.
World’s 10 best drinking nations
7. South Korea
In South Korea, booze acts like a pressure valve, allowing people to vent frustrations. Booze also acts as a lubricant, oiling the wheels of business.
And, of course, booze acts like booze, getting people drunk.
South Korea’s strict social protocols seem to dissolve in alcohol, with the most hierarchical of relationships turning to brotherhoods by the end of the night, or early morning. A good session involves rapidly soaking up as many “bombs” (mixtures using “golden ratios” of whiskey and beer) as possible and then speaking (or slurring) what’s left of your mind, preferably to your boss.
Photo via TIME.com
We’ve come to expect news of the ludicrous and outright strange from North Korea — from tunneling into South Korea, facilitating an illegal meth trade in China and, most recently, becoming BFFs with Dennis Rodman — but recent reports of money laundering sound unbelievable.
And yet, as unbelievable as we may think it, it isn’t necessarily unexpected. And it’s already happening.
Reports from Chosun Ilbo connect North Korea with a highly organized crime ring. A defector from the North explained to news sources that diplomats would take forged “high quality $100 bills” and pass them onto embassies around the world for exchange. Continue Reading »
Domestic Politics, Pyongyang-Style [OPINION]
New York Times
ON Monday, North Korea declared that it had nullified the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War, a new level of bellicosity that raised, at least on paper, the potential for the resumption of armed conflict on the peninsula.
The fiery rhetoric seemed to foreign observers a desperate attempt to force the United States and South Korea to restart stalled talks on denuclearization, in the hope of extracting aid and concessions. But recent history suggests that it was motivated less by international politics than by domestic concerns: North Korea’s new hereditary leader, Kim Jong-un, may have been stoking fears of a foreign threat primarily to dampen political unrest at home.
The belligerent talk, and the nuclear test North Korea conducted last month, its third, are part of a pattern that began in the 1990s when the North Korean economy collapsed following the end of the cold war.
PM visits western border island, calls for high alert on N.K. provocations
Amid heightened inter-Korean tensions, South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won on Thursday visited the country’s western border island of Yeonpyeong that was bombarded in a North Korean artillery attack in 2010 to encourage soldiers and residents there, his office said.
Tensions have been simmering on the Korean Peninsula in recent weeks as North Korea has been escalating its war of words over tougher U.N. Security Council sanctions that punish its third nuclear test on Feb. 12, and ongoing Seoul-Washington annual joint military exercise.
Chung’s visit drew particular attention, as Pyongyang’s media reported earlier Thursday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently guided artillery exercises targeting Yeonpyeong and a nearby island near the Yellow Sea border.
Wall Street Journal
As inter-Korean military tensions rise, two South Korean islands in the Yellow Sea are drawing attention again. Lying just south of the disputed maritime border called Northern Limit Line (NLL), Yeonpyeong and Baengnyeong have been a tinderbox for the two Koreas recently—and now Pyongyang has openly placed them in the crosshairs of North Korea’s artillery scopes.
Location: Yeonpyeong is only about eight kilometers, or five miles, from the North Korean coast. Baengnyeong, which lies to the northwest of Yeonpyeong, is almost as close.
Race In America: Asian-Americans & Race
FOX News Philadelphia
It’s a headline that got us talking: A Vermont newspaper decided to run a poster with the words “Fry Rice” on it.
The daily reportedly did this in support of its’ local sports team in a game against Rice Memorial High School.
The problem? The font or print used is associated with Chinese calligraphy.
Some Asian-American readers were offended, saying the “play” on words was both racist and insensitive.
Bank of Korea’s Suh Young Kyung Shuns Schoolgirl Outfit
When Suh Young Kyung joined the Bank of Korea in 1988, officials at the central bank told her to wear a schoolgirl’s outfit. She refused.
Hired with one other woman and 50 men, Suh has risen to be the most senior female executive in the institution’s history. As director of the financial-markets division, she’s in charge of open-market operations to regulate liquidity in the banking system, reporting to Governor Kim Choong Soo and monetary-policy board members.
“They tried to force me to wear the same uniform as high- school graduates while giving money to my male colleagues to buy a suit every season,” Suh said in an interview, wearing a navy tweed jacket and white blouse with black pants. “The BOK was entirely dominated by men when I started.”
Koreans Travel Long Distances For Their Kimchi
Patch.com (Cupertino, Calif.)
For many Korean American families, keeping culture and tradition alive may mean driving on a regular basis to Santa Clara County. Numerous stores in our area cater to the Korean American community, offering them the necessary ingredients they need to cook traditional dishes.
“We get customers (from) as far as Fairfield, Pleasanton, and the Concord areas. Even as far south as Monterey,” said Steve Kim, the owner of Super Kyo Po Plaza in Santa Clara, one of the largest Korean supermarkets in the Bay Area.
He said approximately 1,000 customers come through his doors each day. “They make it a day where they eat out at a restaurant then do other things here, and also do their shopping.”
Korean students balance military service, academics
Stanford Daily (Stanford Univ.)
While his peers worry about what major to declare or their summer plans, Peter Moon ’15 currently faces a different, more complicated decision — whether he will serve in the South Korean military, and when.
A dual American-South Korean citizen, Moon — among fellow undergraduates — anticipates serving in the South Korean military in order to maintain his South Korean citizenship status. He is currently deciding whether he will take time off during his undergraduate career or immediately following his senior year to serve.
‘Our Homeland’ Filmmaker Yang Yong-hi on North Korea, Japan and Divided Selves
Wall Street Journal
It has been almost a decade since Yang Yong-hi obtained her South Korean citizenship, but the Tokyo-based filmmaker still doesn’t know where she belongs.
Born and raised in Osaka to Korean parents, she was just six when her family was split in two. Her father, a North Korean sympathizer originally from South Korea’s southernmost Jeju Island, sent her three teenage brothers to live in Pyongyang in 1971 as part of a repatriation program organized by Japan and North Korea. Ms. Yang, a girl, was the only child to stay home.
SXSW Film: “And Who Taught You To Drive?” [Interview]
There are few lonelier feelings than being in a foreign country where you aren’t familiar with the culture and don’t speak the language. Now, add to that the pressure of having to take a driving test.
That’s the premise of the entertaining documentary And Who Taught You to Drive? Director Andrea Thiele and writer Lia Jaspers filmed three people taking driving lessons in a foreign country—a Korean mother in Germany, a German in India, and an American in Japan. We sat down with Thiele and Jaspers to talk about the film.
Q: Where did this idea come from?
Choo earns widespread respect in move to Cincinnati
Shin-Soo Choo was wondering how many at-bats he’d be getting in a Cactus League game the other day, so he asked Reds bench coach Chris Speier.
When Dusty Baker found out Choo had gone to Speier and not him, he asked Choo why.
“In Korea,” said Choo, a native of Pusan, South Korea, “[the players] don’t talk to the manager. The manager is like a god.”
Baker laughed. “Man,” Baker replied, “you ain’t in Korea now.”
Ever respectful of leadership and ever genuine in his bid to win and be the best Major League player he can be, Choo has earned instant respect in this Cincinnati clubhouse for the way he’s approached this team and this transition. Acquired from the Indians in a three-way trade in December, Choo has wasted no time working the room, making an effort to get to know each guy on a personal level.
Pete Rose and fiancée Kiana Kim do furniture commercial
It makes sense, if you rationalize it, Pete Rose doing a furniture commercial for greater Cincinnati TV. Even these days, regardless of the salaries some athletes make, you’ll see a lot of players doing cheap-looking commercials for, say, an auto dealership. They’ll do it in exchange for a free lease, usually.
But Charlie Hustle doing Muenchen’s Furniture is throwback to a time when pro athletes supplemented their income by becoming actors in “B” productions because they kind of had to. I’m speaking of the 1960s and 1950s, when the genre was young and the production values were, well, not so valuable.
Korean Fine Dining, Re-interpreted
Wall Street Journal
For those looking for a fine dining experience, the Korean restaurant scene can be admittedly uninspiring. Last week, a local food critic noted on Korea Real Time the lack of innovative cuisines in South Korea, especially among Korean kitchens.
Lucia Cho’s Bicena in Seoul’s Itaewon district is one Korean restaurant that is challenging the status quo.
In Latest Insult, North Korea Targets South Korean Leader’s Dress
New York Times
North Korea issued a direct personal attack on the South’s new president for the first time since her inauguration two weeks ago, saying on Wednesday that her “venomous swish of skirt” was to blame for rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The insult directed at President Park Geun-hye, the first woman to hold the office, added a curious sartorial element to the verbal barrage North Korea has been mounting since the United States and the South began a joint military exercise on March 1, followed by a new round of sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council.
“This frenzy kicked up by the South Korean warmongers is in no way irrelevant, with the venomous swish of skirt made by the one who again occupies” the presidential Blue House, the North’s Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces said in a statement, referring to Ms. Park. She returned to the residence as president on Feb. 25, about 33 years after her father, the former President Park Chung-hee, was assassinated.
The Koreas: To a war footing
NORTH KOREAN invective has always been colourful. But the old threats to turn Seoul into a bulbada—“sea of fire”—suddenly look bland compared with the new rhetoric. Having peered out through binoculars at the South Korean border island of Baengnyeong on March 11th, the North’s supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, was quoted as telling his troops to “break the waists of the crazy enemies” and “cut their windpipes”, to show them “what real war is like”. Baengnyeong is home to almost 5,000 civilians, as well as South Korean military units, which makes the bluster more alarming. Mr Kim went so far as to point out priority targets, including radar posts and rocket sites, said KCNA, the North Korean news agency.
South Korea Struggles To Rein in Bullying, Student Suicides
Wall Street Journal
While Pyongyang has been lambasting Seoul over the past week or so, South Korea has been grappling with a different, yet equally persistent kind of bullying problem on its home turf: school violence and suicides.
On Monday, a 13- year-old boy killed himself by jumping from his apartment in the southern city of Kyungsan. His suicide came exactly a week after a 12-year-old girl in Busan jumped to her death on the first day of school, leaving a suicide note saying “I am sorry. I am worried that I will become the odd one out again.”
The boy, surnamed Choi, also left a suicide note. The handwritten note begins “I will now tell you why I will die. Dear policemen, I will share my story here of how I’ve been bullied so far.” He named five students who he said had been harassing him since 2011. He said he had endured years of physical and verbal violence, humiliation and extortion in and out of school.
Six Words: Ask Who I Am, Not What
Jessica Hong is a 29-year-old reservationist living in New Orleans. She is originally from Seattle and she heard about The Race Card Project via comedian W. Kamau Bell on Twitter. As a Korean-American, Hong is constantly asked about her heritage and those queries became the basis for her six words: “Ask who I am, not what.”
Police probe American TV personality for allegedly smoking marijuana
Police said Wednesday that they have questioned an American female TV personality for allegedly smoking marijuana, a crime punishable by up to one year in prison under South Korean law.
Bianca Mobley, who gained popularity in South Korea after starring in a TV show featuring foreign women living here, was suspected of smoking marijuana between October and late November last year, said an officer at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency.
‘Community’ scene-stealer to guest star on ‘Sullivan & Son’
TBS comedy Sullivan & Son is about to get Chang-ed!
EW has learned exclusively that Community fan-fave Ken Jeong is set to appear in a second-season episode of S&S, set to air in the summer.
He will play Jason, Steve’s (Steve Byrne) doctor brother-in-law whose workaholic ways are putting strain on his marriage to Steve’s sister, Susan (Vivan Bang). So Susan enlists Steve’s help in getting Jason to unwind, but the plan backfires when Jason begins to reject his old life entirely.
SXSW Music: Korean Pop With Its Own Special f(x)
New York Times
But along came f(x), a five-woman group from South Korea — four of them under 21 — that is a female “idol band” from the artificial world of K-pop. On the model of American boy bands like ‘N Sync, idol bands are assembled, trained, choreographed and supplied with material by their management companies.
F(x) is reportedly one of the more daring idol bands; one of the five’s costumes was a modified T-shirt from the horror-punk band the Misfits. The group has song titles like “Hot Summer,” “Danger” and “Electric Shock,” which were all part of the group’s brief set, sung (in Korean, with English refrains) to prerecorded tracks that closely followed American and European electropop.
CAAMFest 2013 Reviews: Lee Isaac Chung’s Abigail Harm
Lee Isaac Chung’s surreal fable Abigail Harm follows the eponymous character (Amanda Plummer of Pulp Fiction fame), a reader to the blind who is struggling to deal with her father’s declining health. Fascinated by the Korean folktale of the woodcutter and the nymph, Abigail is suddenly visited by a mysterious, injured man (veteran character actor Will Patton) in her New York City apartment. For her generosity in aiding him, he rewards her by showing her a location where she can find an otherworldly being (Tetsuo Kuramochi) to love her. The film has minimal dialogue, so those expecting a traditional narrative should be forewarned. However, viewers who want a more conceptual film-going experience will enjoy the abstract re-telling of the Korean folktale and its exploration of accepting and releasing love.
Top Chef Winner Kristen Kish Hosts Pop-up Dinners
Top Chef winner winner Kristen Kish of Stir will present a series of pop-up dinners this spring, starting on Monday, March 25 at The Butcher Shop (617-423-4800). The menus are comprised of her winning competition dishes such as cured scallop crudo; délice de Bourgogne tortellini en brood; and fennel pollen olive oil cake with Meyer lemon olive oil glaze and candied fennel, among other dishes. What’s more, Kish will talk about how she came up with the dishes in the heat of the moment during the competition.
‘The Queen’ is back: Kim returns to worlds
AP via Yahoo Sports
Kim Yu-na’s performances in Vancouver were so majestic it seemed unlikely anyone could ever come that close to perfection again.
“The Queen” sure wants to try.
The Olympic gold medalist returns to major competition for the first time in two years at this week’s World Figure Skating Championships, and she looked so sharp in practices Monday and Tuesday it was as if she had never been away.