Tag Archives: North Korea

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
allkpop

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.

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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
CNNGo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Passing the past along at Korean Festival
Baltimore Sun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Noise level at Korean festival triggers complaints
Bergen County Record

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

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

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North Korea suspected in poison-needle attacks
Los Angeles Times

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

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

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

N.J. school petitioned over textbooks
Japan Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Film Tells Stories of Divided Korean Families Hoping to Reunite
infoZine

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

Pak Se-ri disqualified for signing wrong score
Yonhap

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

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

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

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

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

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

Special Report: Crisis grips North Korean rice bowl
Reuters

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

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

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

Restaurateur provides a waystation for North Korean defectors
Christian Science Monitor

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

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

Undiscovered musician? He’s unbelievable
Orange County Register

You probably never heard of Ray Choi.

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

But when Choi hugs it to his chest and plays?

Magic!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eateries Expand Koreatown’s Turf
Wall Street Journal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forever & Ever album by David Choi
channelAPA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Korean Festival Moves From NYC to Bergen
NorthJersey.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One in 25 Korean Women Contract Breast Cancer
Chosun Ilbo

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

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

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

Wednesday's Link Attack: G-Dragon, Kim Jong Il, SAT Cheaters

‘Glee’ Roars Into the World of Tiger Moms, Dads and Cubs
Wall Street Journal

Count me among the legions of Asian American Gleeks who’ve been irritably waiting for show producers Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan to do something interesting with Harry Shum Jr.’s peripatetic footballer-turned-dance machine, Mike Chang. Really, RyBrI: After two years of back-bench toil as the mostly mute “Other Asian,” there isn’t a performer on the show who’s earned a turn in the spotlight more than Harry. And given the season-opener revelation that Chang is a senior, with little likelihood of sticking around on the show post-McKinley, this season could represent Shum’s final chance to shine.

A Closer Look: Back from Libya
The Daily Bruin (UCLA)

Chris Jeon reminisces about his time fighting in the Libyan revolution and living with rebels.

Rain’s final concert this Sunday
CNNGo

Weeping will ensue en masse this weekend, as South Korea’s biggest pop star and Stephen Colbert’s arch-nemesis, Rain, will perform in the public for the last time before enlisting in the South Korean military. The “Ninja Assassin” star’s free good-bye concert will be held on Sunday, October 9, as part of the Gangnam Fashion Festival 2011.

It is sure to be a tearful affair on both sides: “Concerts to me are like life on a smaller scale,” Rain told CNN Talk Asia in 2009. Rain begins his mandatory, 22-month, Republic of Korea Army service on Tuesday, October 11.

Big Bang’s G-Dragon caught smoking marijuana
allkpop

But did he inhale?

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Koreans make their mark in Fairfax
Fairfax Times (Va.)

When Steve Choi and his family moved to Virginia from South Korea in 1974, his sixth-grade classmates wanted to touch his hair, or challenge him to a fight–sometimes both.

“A lot of them had never even met an Asian before, so even my hair was very interesting to them,” said Choi, who now runs a highly successful food service company and serves as President of the Korean-American Association of the Washington Metro area, based in Annandale. “Everybody thought I was Bruce Lee- they wanted to fight me to see if I knew kung-fu.”

These days, Koreans are no longer the novelty they once were in the region. Korean immigration to the U.S. was negligible prior to 1970, but since that year some 973,450 South Koreans have obtained permanent resident status in the U.S. and the Washington, D.C. metro area has the third largest Korean population in the country behind Los Angeles and New York.

The Torrid Romantic Life of Kim Jong-il
Chosun Ilbo

Yun Hye-yong was a woman beyond the reach even of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il. Yun, the lead singer of Kim’s former favorite band Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble, was brutally executed after she spurned Kim’s persistent advances and fell in love with another man.

Or so claims Chang Jin-song, an author formerly affiliated with the North Korean Workers’ Party, in “Kim Jong-il’s Last Woman.” Published in May, it is an epic poem that details Kim’s private life and inside story of his regime based on the true story of the Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble.

SAT cheaters
Korea Times

A famous SAT teacher in Korea was caught illegally discussing what was on the exam. He used the time difference between the United States and other countries to tell his students what will be on the test.

As students talked after the test, some of them, without noticing, told others that they had known what was going to be on the exam.

Since SAT scores are based on percentages, the other students felt this was unfair and reported the incident to the College Board. All the tests taken in Korea were voided and the efforts of those who actually worked hard came to naught.

However, the worst part starts here. As more and more people found out about the SAT teacher, more and more parents tried to send their kids to him so their children could attain high scores. It is shocking that some parents care more about children’s short-term goal of getting into a good college instead of looking to the distant future of their children.

Korean Official: US will endorse FTA with Korea by Oct. 21
Korea Times

Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon said Wednesday that the U.S. Congress is expected to give a final endorsement of a free trade agreement with Korea by Oct. 21 at the latest.

Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na named ambassador for 2012 Winter Youth Games
AP via Washington Post

Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na will help promote the first Winter Youth Games.

The IOC says the 21-year-old South Korean skater will join Olympic ski champions Lindsey Vonn and Benjamin Raich as an “ambassador” for the games, which will be held in Innsbruck, Austria, from Jan. 13-22.

Jay Park interview with channelAPA.com
channelAPA

Over the weekend at 2011 ISA LA, channelAPA.com had a chance to chat with Jay Park about his music and dance careers. With a huge following in both USA and Asia, we talk about opportunities for Asian Americans in both regions. He shared with us about his strategy straddling the East and West. Jay Park has already release several singles including Single Life, Demon, Bestie & Speechless. He’s even done several collabos like Clouds and Maybe One Day. He might not have an English album soon, but he’s working on new English tracks. In the meantime, he’ll be busy promoting his upcoming Korean film “Mr. Idol” and a Korean album in November.

Monday's Link Attack: Dia Frampton, NY Choi, HyunA

Blake Shelton Announces US Arena Tour, Dia Frampton To Open
Hollywood Reporter

Shelton will hit 27 cities on the “Well Lit & Amplified Tour 2012” starting in January in Toledo and ending in March in Las Vegas. His opening acts include country singer Justin Moore and his mentee on NBC’s The Voice, finalist Dia Frampton, as reported by All Access Music Group.

Local Politicians Press to Win Korean-American Vote
Patch.com (Annandale, Va.)

Dozens of candidates for public office gathered in Fairfax Thursday night to try and win votes from within the Korean-American community.

Often starting out with a greeting in Korean, the candidates by and large stressed the importance of relief for small businesses, family values, opportunities for immigrants and access to better education while speaking to a packed audience during the 2011 Korean American Association of Virginia/Korea Times Candidates Night.

‘Bling Ring’ Burglar Pleads No Contest
angryasianman

Remember Rachel Lee, one of the alleged masterminds behind the so-called “bling ring”? She and her accomplices were accused of targeting wealthy celebrities, breaking into their homes and making off with millions in luxury goods and accessories.

Last week, Lee appeared in court and pleaded no contest to one count of first-degree residential burglary in the 2009 break-in of reality star Audrina Patridge’s house. She is expected to be sentenced to four years in state prison as part of a plea bargain.

Lee’s mother is an immigrant from North Korea, according to Vanity Fair, and her father is a businessman living in Las Vegas.

South Korea stares down demographic dilemma
Reuters

Kim, a doctoral student in her 30s, personifies many of the qualities that make South Korea such an economic force — relative youth, education and ambition.

The trouble — for corporations and policymakers — is that she is equally typical by not wanting to have children.

“I just want to live happily with my husband without having to worry about kids or making sacrifices for them,” said Kim, asking to be identified only by her surname.

N.Y. Choi, Lewis improve women’s golf ranking
UPI

Choi Na-yeon and Stacy Lewis each move up one place, causing minor shifts in the world women’s golf rankings, updated Monday.

The LPGA heads into an Asian swing with tournaments in South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan this month as the 2011 schedule begins to wind down. Choi moved past South Korean countrywoman Shin Jiyai for fourth in this week’s world rankings.

Warrant issued for US soldier over rape
Korea Times

A local district court issued Saturday a warrant to arrest a U.S. soldier on charges of raping a young Korean woman, citing concerns that he might flee the country.

The 21-year-old Army private, identified only as “K” who is assigned to the 2nd U.S. Infantry Division in Dongducheon, is accused of having raped an 18-year-old girl near his unit at around 4 a.m. on Sept. 24.

Prosecutors are expected to indict the American soldier soon.

She was watching TV alone when he broke into her house, according to the police. Police officers identified the American soldier through a surveillance camera installed near her house and informed the U.S. military of the case.

Piano Prodigy Wants to Use Berklee Scholarship to Help Society
Chosun Ilbo

Kang Chae-ri, 16, ranks as the youngest person ever to be admitted to the prestigious college, which stands as a world authority in pop music. She is also first Korean recipient of the coveted Presidential Scholarship, which covers full tuition and living expenses.

DVD of the Week: Woman on the Beach
New Yorker

The filmmaker-protagonist of the South Korean director Hong Sang-soo’s dryly comic 2006 romantic drama, “Woman on the Beach”, is at work on a project of peculiar abstraction—the sort of silly idea that comes from spending too much time alone and at a desk—and is having trouble finishing his script. The adventure that follows from his efforts to unblock himself—which also entails some emotional and erotic unblocking, with two women who, he thinks, resemble each other—becomes the basis for his new film.

Seoul Taco introduces Korean fusion to St. Louis
Washington Life (Washington Univ.)

For those who didn’t grow up in a large city, it’s completely understandable not to have heard of Korean food served in a tortilla. But St. Louis native David Choi is trying to change that, one taco at a time.

Choi and his business partner Andy Heck are the owners of the Seoul Taco food truck, which serves traditional Korean food with a Mexican twist. The truck serves traditional Korean food, such as bulgogi (literally, “fire meat”) and spicy pork, on a taco or inside a quesadilla. Seoul Taco is only in its third month and makes a weekly stop at Wash. U. on Thursdays.

HyunA Ranked 17th on Under-21 Billboard Chart
Billboard.com

Nineteen-year-old South Korean pop singer HyunA got her start with pop girl group Wonder Girls in 2007. After overcoming health issues, she left the group to become lead rapper and vocalist of 4Minute and embarked on her own solo career. But HyunA’s career really took off when she became the star of her own show.

2010 saw the debut of her first single “Change,” and in July of 2011 she released her first mini-album “Bubble Pop!,” the video for which was deemed “too sexy” for some Korean TV outlets. The controversial star displays a sexiness and stage presence far beyond her years, and is well on her way to becoming one of the key faces of the global K-Pop movement. HyunA, now a fixture in South Korean pop culture, is set to perform on the Korean version of “Dancing With the Stars” in June 2012.

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Friday's Link Attack: Rhea Suh, Adoptee Artist, Chef Tai Lee

Suh says Korean Americans are ‘bridge builders’ between two nations
Yonhap

Making her first trip to South Korea in a decade, Rhea S. Suh, who handles a $12 billion budget at the Department of the Interior, says she is bringing a message of hope for ethnic Koreans in foreign nations.

“I am going to focus on basically my personal experience as a Korean American, and specifically on the fact that my experience as both a Korean and as a American, I think, gives me a unique opportunity to think about how we can build stronger relationships with one another because of the fact that we have been able to for so long live within two cultures simultaneously,” she said Thursday in an interview with Yonhap News Agency at her office in Washington.

President Obama praises Fremont high school student
KTVU via Yahoo News

President Obama recognized the achievements of a Bay Area teenager Wednesday in his annual back-to-school speech.

Will Kim, as student in Mission San Jose High School in Fremont said getting a shout-out from the president came as a “big surprise.”

I heard “The White House called and I was stunned,” Kim said.

Kim is the founder of the nonprofit Happy Day Microfunds, a website which helps student entrepreneurs.

Artist tackles adoption, racism in new show
Minnesota Public Radio

Dana Weiser has put up with a lot. Take for example, this experience:

I was in the elevator by myself with this man, and he said “I just have to ask – where are you from? Are you Chinese? Japanese?” He listed off all these Asian countries, and I said ‘no’ to each of them until finally he said “what’s left?” I told him “I’m Korean.” He leaned in and smelled me and said “where’s the kimchi?”

Q&A With Chef Tai Lee, Winner of Food Network’s America’s Favorite Food Truck
8Asians

Chef Tai Lee, the recent winner of America’s Favorite Food Truck, is a Korean American who came to the States when he was 13 years old. He moved to College Station and attended Texas A&M University and graduated with Finance Degree. Tai started his culinary career even before he graduated from college. When he was in college, he worked at a local sushi bar and eventually became an Executive Sushi Chef.

Korean Choi finds home on Nebraska’s offensive line
CBSSports.com

There’s a lot that college football fans didn’t know about Choi three weeks ago. Like that he used to train with his father, a collegiate judoka and retired police officer, and that he had kept his athleticism from his days as a pitcher. Or that at Lincoln Christian, and later Nebraska, he became a weight-room junkie, going from struggling to bench press the bar to regularly putting up 400 pounds.

Nobody could have known that Choi would start again last Saturday at Wyoming or that offensive coordinator Tim Beck would call his number again and again, asking him to pull on a simple toss play that made up a good chunk of running back Rex Burkhead’s career-best 170 yards on 15 carries.

Is Hines Ward a Hall of Fame receiver?
ESPN.com

Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward needs 16 yards receiving to surpass Hall of Fame receiver Don Maynard for 20th in NFL history, another milestone that could help his future campaign for Canton. In his 14th season, Ward has totaled 11,819 yards receiving.

Connected, Yes. Competitive, Maybe.
New York Times

Speed is an obsession here. A common restaurant order is “the fastest dish.” Airline passengers, eager to disembark, crowd the aisles with luggage while the plane is still taxiing. Hordes of “quick service men,” equipped with map-reading, order-tracking smartphones, zip across the city on their motorbikes 24 hours a day carrying packages and running errands.

Koreans’ ppalli-ppalli, or “hurry-hurry,” penchant — a trait more evident in Seoul than anywhere else — helps explain why South Koreans consider broadband Internet a virtual birthright and why the nation’s three telecommunications firms wage a do-or-die competition to expand and improve their networks.

No Rest for the Wired
New York Times

Here, at virtually every street corner stands a “PChttp://iamkoream.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=22220&action=edit bang,” a rabbit warren of high-speed Internet connectivity where youngsters sit facing rows of desktop monitors aglow with online games. Here, more than 8 in every 10 homes are linked to broadband Internet cables. Every motel room comes with a complimentary desktop with high-speed Internet. Every subway car has a wireless connection, allowing passengers to pay bills, watch soap operas, and meet many other everyday needs — all on their smartphones.

North Korea’s ‘Dear Young General’ Has Made His Mark
New York Times

It is a telling sign of who is the rising star in North Korea: state-run television showing octogenarian party secretaries bowing to a man their grandchildren’s age before accepting the smiling young man’s handshake or kowtowing to his instructions.

Kim Jong-il’s Grandson Goes to Int’l School in Bosnia
Chosun Ilbo

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s grandson Han-sol has enrolled in the United World College in Mostar in Bosnia, a local newspaper reported Wednesday. UWCiM is an international school established in 2006 “with an explicit aim to contribute to the reconstruction of a post-conflict society.”

Patient kills dentist over ‘unsatisfactory’ treatment
Korea Times

An arrest warrant was sought Thursday for a man on charges of killing a dentist for “unsatisfactory” dental work.

The 30 year-old man, surnamed Kim, killed his 56 year-old dentist, surnamed Yoo, at around 7 p.m. Wednesday at a dental clinic in Osan, Gyeonggi Province, according to the Hwasung Dongbu Police Station.

Kim, after receiving the first treatment at Yoo’s dental clinic last May to remove tartar from his teeth, continued to visit the dentist two to three times afterwards as his teeth smarted after the work. Despite Kim’s complaints, Yoo said that the treatment was done properly and refused to provide additional medical care.

Death of delivery man moves nation
Korea Herald

The death of a Chinese food delivery man who regularly donated a portion of his small salary to help the needy is touching the heart of the nation.

People he barely knew have attended his funeral, expressing condolence. They praised him for carrying out the spirit of sharing despite living on a shoestring budget.

Kim Woo-su, 54, died Sunday, two days after his motorcycle collided with a car while on a delivery run. Though Kim scratched a living as a delivery man of a small Chinese restaurant, he had given part of his salary to children in need through Child Fund Korea since 2006. He had earned 700,000 won ($600) a month from the restaurant in the southern Seoul town of Ilwon.

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Newspaper Confirms Release of South Korean Journalists in China
New York Times

China has released five South Koreans, including three journalists, who were detained while on a reporting trip along China’s border with North Korea last week, a spokesman for the reporters’ newspaper said on Thursday.

Bibimbap: The next generation
CNNGo

For Seoulites craving some variation on their traditional bowl of bibimbap, these three creative innovations new to the scene serve up a culinary adventure.

Glee: Asian F
YouTube

The Case for Food Aid to North Korea

As the North Korean food crisis rises to critical levels, the Korea Policy Institute invites the public to an urgent briefing on to take place tomorrow at the Korean Peace Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles.

David Austin, the director of the North Korean program of Mercy Corps, one of five US NGOs that furnish humanitarian food relief to North Korea, will offer an on-the-ground assessment of acute malnutrition and starvation in North Korea following this summer’s typhoon and floods.

Austin, who is featured in an interview that ran in the September issue of KoreAm, will outline the case for responsible, monitored food aid to the most vulnerable in North Korea and will explain the methods that insure delivery rather than diversion. Austin will also answer questions regarding one of the most challenging foreign policy issues facing the Obama administration today.

What: North Korea Food Aid Briefing
Where: Korean Peace Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles
3200 Wilshire Blvd., S. Tower, Ste. 1310.
When: Thursday, Sept. 29, at 6 p.m.

Acutely malnourished boy in critical condition with his mother in a pediatric ward at a county hospital in North Hwanghae in North Korea. Photo taken September 2011.