U.S. calls on North Korea to release detained U.S. citizen
The United States called on North Korea on Monday to immediately release on humanitarian grounds a U.S. citizen accused of trying to topple the reclusive state’s government.
Korean-American Kenneth Bae, 44, was in a group of five tourists who visited the northeastern city of Rajin on a five-day trip last November and has been held by North Korean police since then.
“We call on the DPRK to release Kenneth Bae immediately on humanitarian grounds,” U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters at his daily briefing.
State Department hits right tone in denouncing North Korea charges against Kenneth Bae
“These charges, we believe, are completely unwarranted,” said Joseph Y. Yun, the acting assistant secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.“We really do urge North Korea to release him. There is no reason to hold him.”
As he spoke to a State Department briefing of the Association of Opinion Journalists, Yun hit the right notes about the man who has been in custody almost six months. My colleague Thanh Tan has written editorials urging attention to Bae’s plight. The Times last editorial said: “According to previous news reports, North Korean officials have charged Bae with committing ‘hostile acts against the republic.’ Political experts remain skeptical of the totalitarian state’s true motives. U.S. officials must exhaust diplomatic channels to get to the bottom of this.”
South Korea: Joint military drills with U.S. over, but vigilance on North remains
Joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States officially ended Tuesday, the South Korean Defense Ministry said.
But the ministry noted that South Korea is still closely monitoring for possible provocation and possible missile launches by North Korea.
A torrent of unnerving threats from Pyongyang in recent weeks has strained already fragile relations in the region.
Remaining South Korean Managers Leave Plant in North
New York Times
All the remaining South Korean factory managers in an industrial park in North Korea returned home early Tuesday, as political tensions drove the two Koreas to sever their last economic ties.
The withdrawal of the 43 factory managers meant that the Kaesong Industrial Complex, in the North Korean border town of Kaesong, was emptied out except for seven South Koreans who will remain for a few days to sort out a dispute over unpaid wages.
When that is settled, South Korea is expected to turn off the electricity it supplies to the complex, which until now has been one of the most brightly lighted parts of North Korea, a country shrouded in darkness at night because of a severe lack of fuel.
Trapped in South Korea, veteran spies still believe in the North
Reuters via Yahoo News
Park Hee-sung, a 78-year-old North Korean former agent who has been held in the enemy South for close to half a century, remains staunchly loyal to his homeland, the ruling Kim family and its Juche ideology of economic self-reliance.
A trim, neat man, Park is one of around two dozen North Korean operatives trapped in exile in affluent South Korea. He lives in a charity house in central Seoul with another former agent, 79-year-old Kim Young-sik, and dreams of the day he can return freely to the northern part of a unified Korea.
For Park and Kim, North Korea, which for several weeks has threatened the United States and South Korea with nuclear war, is no menace to world peace, rather a plucky nation that single-handedly stands up to American bullying.
Man accused of killing mother with golf club had previous outbursts
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Calif.)
Six weeks before he allegedly beat his mother to death with a golf club, Luke Kang was seen outside swinging the weapon and threatening family members.
Neighbors and law enforcement officers testified Monday about the ordeal, which ended with Kang being taken into custody for a mental evaluation, during the guilt phase in the defendant’s trial.
Kang, 28, is suspected in his mother’s death on Feb. 22, 2012 at their Rancho Cucamonga townhome after a road trip to Los Angeles. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to murder and assault.
Walton foundation gives $8 million to StudentsFirst
Los Angeles Times
A foundation associated with the Wal-Mart family fortune has expanded its support for the education advocacy group run by former District of Columbia schools chancellor Michelle Rhee.
The Walton Family Foundation announced Tuesday an $8-million grant over two years to StudentsFirst, which is headquartered in Sacramento but has operations in 18 states.
Rhee established StudentsFirst as a political counterweight to teachers unions and has pushed, mostly at the state level, for policies that include limiting teacher tenure, easing rules for dismissing teachers and making student test scores the major factor in an instructor’s evaluation.
‘Sa-I-Gu’ Documentary Explores How Korean Women Remember the L.A. Riots
Three Korean women, Dai Sil Kim-Gibson, Christine Choy and Elaine Kim started making the film “Sa-I-Gu” just three months after the uprising in Los Angeles. They interview interview several Korean women shopkeepers and use newsreel footage and family photographs to help tell their side of the experience.
Sa-I-Gu provides an important perspective for better understanding the Los Angeles riots, community studies, and ethnic relations and racism in the United States.
Korean-American Group to Push for Textbook Change in U.S.
A group of Korean-Americans living in the U.S. is pushing for the joint publication of two names for the body of water lying between the Korean peninsula and Japan.
The group, called the Voice of Korean Americans (VoKA), said it had received positive feedback from education committees in the states of Virginia and Maryland after it persuaded them to publish both “East Sea” and “Sea of Japan” in school textbooks. The group said it would expand its efforts nationwide.
‘Spectacular Now’ Director Up For Hillary Rodham Clinton Biopic
Before last December, Young Il Kim was an economist and aspiring screenwriter. But with the release of the 2012 Black List, which compiles the most buzzed about unproduced screenplays circulating Hollywood, Kim became a writer to watch thanks to his Hillary Rodham Clinton biopic spec script Rodham. For many emerging talents, getting on to the Black List is a step toward getting your movie made. And it Kim’s goal is getting closer to fruition as Rodham’s producers have secured a noteworthy director for the project.
The Wrap reveals James Ponsoldt has been attached to helm. The indie director first earned buzz in 2012 with the Mary Elizabeth Winstead-fronted drama Smashed. Then, at 2013′s Sundance and SXSW he awed critics with his follow-up The Spectacular Now. (Notably, the latter’s screenplay was on the Black List in 2009.) Between the buzz around Kim’s script and the acclaim Ponsoldt has already earned, this seems like a dovetailing of incredible talent. Now the search begins for a leading lady who will not only capture the spirit of the polarizing politician, but also can stir up interest among potential backers. But who would be right for this role?
Check out our profile of Kim from the April 2013 issue of KoreAm.
Psy to watch Ryu Hyun-jin’s game
South Korean rapper Psy will attend a Los Angeles Dodgers game on Tuesday where his compatriot, Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin, will take the mound against the Colorado Rockies, the rapper’s agency said.
DMTN’s Daniel + 4 others attend first hearing for marijuana related charges
DMTN’s Daniel and the four others indicted by the prosecution regarding their various marijuana charges attended their first hearing in court today.
The hearing took place on the 30th at 10:50 AM, and Daniel is said to have admitted to all his charges with a solemn expression. It is also said that in addition to aiding in the distribution, the idol also admitted to smoking marijuana.
As he emerged after the hearing, he bowed his head as he said “I’m sorry” to the press gathered outside. When someone asked, “Do you admit to all your charges?” He responded, “Yes”, and left the scene with his agency staff and lawyers.
4 others who attended the hearing with Daniel include the English academy teacher (age 24), son of a famous actor (age 23), makeup artist (age 33), and former academy teacher (age 21).
From Dissections To Depositions, Poets’ Second Jobs
Monica Youn, an attorney at the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, was an NPR NewsPoet last year. She points out that “poetic techniques show up in law more often than one would think — repetition, cadence, metaphor. Just no one thinks of them as poetry.” And, of course, the poet with a day job always runs the risk of having her poetry introduced into her “normal” life whether she likes it or not. “One opponent arrived at a hostile deposition,” according to Youn, “and sneered, ‘I’ve read your poems online,’ apparently in an attempt to psych me out. It didn’t work.”
Grandmaster Pak says goodbye after 40 years
Iowa State Daily (Iowa State Univ.)
Since Pak has been on Iowa State’s campus, he has taught over 35,000 students from Iowa State alone.
He has received numerous awards such as the National Collegiate Taekwondo Association Coach of the Year award, the Amoco Outstanding Teachers award and the Dr. Martin Luther King Community award.
“Right now, there is no difference from between 2013 and 1973,” Pak said. “I have gotten many awards and have heard a lot of thank yous, but to me, it’s just my job. I am doing what I love to do, hoping that I can teach others to love it as much as I do.”
Kim Cheese’s “Kim Cheese Burger”: One of 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now
Riverfront Times (St. Louis, Mo.)
Kim Cheese combines one of the nation’s hottest culinary trends with one of my personal restaurant obsessions. The trend is Mexican-Korean fusion: tacos and burritos stuffed with Korean barbecue and garnished, if you like, with pungent kim chi. Los Angeles birthed this trend, but it has proven wildly successful even where it doesn’t make a lick of demographic sense.
My obsession is local, independent restaurants that open in shuttered fast-food joints. The Moon family opened Kim Cheese in August of last year in a former Dairy Queen. Driving past, you might still mistake it for a Dairy Queen.
It is so much better.
The most intriguing dish at Kim Cheese might be the “burgers.” Strictly speaking, these aren’t burgers but steak sandwiches served on hamburger buns. The “Kim Cheese Burger” pairs thin slices of grilled rib eye with a generous serving of kim chi and tops them, classic burger-style, with tomato, onion and a slice of American cheese. The savory-sweet beef, the funky kim chi and the tangy cheese manage to surprise at the same time the combo presses your fast-food-pleasure buttons.
“America & Me” 비디오 콘테스트 – 대상 수상작
U.S. Embassy Seoul via YouTube
This is the 1st place entry for the annual “America and Me” contest sponsored by the United States embassy in South Korea.
S. Korean workers quit troubled joint factory zone
Dozens of South Korean workers returned from a jointly run factory park in North Korea on Saturday as part of an evacuation of the flagship project following months of military tensions.
The move plunges into doubt the future of the Kaesong complex — once a rare symbol of cooperation across the world’s most heavily militarised border, and a crucial source of hard currency for Kim Jong-Un’s isolated nation.
The workers’ return came on the same day that the North announced it would put a Korean-American arrested in November on trial for trying to overthrow the communist regime — a move sure to add to frictions with the West.
N.Korea Demolishes Border Villages to Stem Defections
North Korea is demolishing villages near the border with China along the Duman River and forcing residents to move south in order to prevent defections.
A government source here said on Friday, “North Korea has been forcibly relocating villagers along the Duman River to places further from the border.” The source added soldiers have been mobilized to demolish homes in some of the villages.
In one village in Onsong, North Hamgyong Province, around a hundred homes were reportedly demolished. The Duman narrows as it passes Onsong, making the area a popular spot for defectors to cross into China.
Kim Family ‘Has US$1 Billion in European Banks’
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s family has stashed away at least US$1 billion in secret European bank accounts, the Washington Times reported last Thursday quoting a U.S. intelligence official.
The unnamed official told the paper that the Kim family’s money sits in bank accounts in Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg. U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen recently said Washington is trying to track down the slush funds amassed by the North’s ruling family.
South Korea reopens painstakingly restored 14th century gate destroyed by arsonist 5 years ago
AP via Washington Post
Five years after being torched by a disgruntled elderly man, the stone and wood southern gate to the old walled capital of Seoul has been painstakingly restored to its late 14th Century glory by a small army of master craftsmen using traditional tools.
From the hand-carved stones of the walls flanking Sungnyemun gate, to the finely wrought touches on the inner beams of the graceful, upwardly curving roof, each detail of what’s considered the country’s top treasure is meant to harken back to the day the gate was completed in 1398. On the ceiling beneath the center archway two large whiskered and horned dragons are rendered in vibrant yellow, green, blue, pink and orange scales.
Andrew Choi of Springfield charged with producing child pornography
A 35-year-old Springfield man has been accused of recording young boys as they performed sex acts during online video chats, authorities said.
Andrew Choi, 35, was arrested Friday and charged with production of child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Virginia.
Cavalry chaplain can relate to military stresses
Bellingham Herald (Wash.)
Chaplain Capt. Rick Pak is his own best example in the stories he uses to help veteran Stryker soldiers cope with the stresses of juggling combat deployments with family lives at home.
Having trouble adjusting as newlyweds? Pak’s been there.
Have each spouse pick a destination for a date. He took his wife, Sara, to a gun range. She took him for a pedicure.
Or maybe the family doesn’t feel the same as it did before a deployment. Pak went through that, too, when his daughters, 7-year-old Samantha and 5-year-old Addyson, were not as warm with him when he returned from Afghanistan last winter.
Hate aimed at ethnic Korean residents continues, but one man changes
Asahi Shimbun (Japan)
When its hatemongers were holding a demonstration in the Shin-Okubo district on the Sunday in March, counter-demonstrators gathered on the opposite side of the road holding placards. Some shouted, “Zaitoku (meaning Zaitokukai), go home.”
The skirmish line has been repeated since February.
Meanwhile, a 39-year-old man was watching the protest from the crowd of onlookers as if he was concealing himself.
The man, whose name is withheld, had participated in demonstrations on behalf of Zaitokukai and other rightist citizens groups 65 times. It was the first time that he witnessed the demonstration from the outside. What he saw made him feel like crying.
Adoptees selected for North Korean mission
Asian American Press
In August 2013, three Minnesotans will travel to North Korea as part of a peace delegation through Nodutdol, a New York-based organization focused on Korean community development.
The Minnesota participants are actress and playwright Sun Mee Chomet, attorney Caitlin Kee, and scholar Dr. SooJin Pate. They are three of ten North Americans chosen to participate in the 2013 Korea Education and Exposure Program – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (KEEPDPRK). The other participants this year are from Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, New Jersey, and New York. A documentary filmmaker may also accompany this year’s KEEP-DPRK peace delegation.
Harvey White to Direct American-Japanese-Korean Co-Production ‘On The Mark’
The $20 million production, featuring J-pop and K-pop artists, will film in Las Vegas and Tokyo.
Psy named South Korea tourism ambassador
Psy’s new song, “Gentleman,” has confirmed he’s more than a one-hit wonder — the music video already has 244 million views on YouTube since debuting two weeks ago.
So it makes sense that South Korea is using the gyrating dance-pop sensation for publicity abroad.
Psy has been tapped as South Korea’s tourism ambassador and has just finished taping a series of TV commercials to show off the country, according to the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO).
He’s certainly a better fit than the former spokesman — Kenny G, the curly-haired American saxophonist, has held the honorary ambassadorship since October 2012.
Benson Lee Goes ‘Seoul Searching’
Filmmaker Benson Lee believes that on the quest for success in America, comparatively speaking, “Asians have done pretty well.”
“They have the highest income [and] spend the most money on entertainment,” Lee says.
But, he says, there’s one drawback: “They’re the least satisfied with their image in the media.”
Lee, born in Toronto and raised in Philadelphia, remembers growing up and loving the films by director John Hughes — the Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles. “I really connected [to them] as a kid,” he says. “But there was a certain aspect of those films I hated, which was always the Asian-American characters.”
Hallyu fuels Korean language boom abroad
The Asia-wide popularity of Korean TV dramas and pop music known as hallyu has caused a boom in Korean language learning in foreign countries, the culture ministry said Monday.
As hallyu has increased people’s interest in Korea and its language, there have been noticeable increases in the number of foreigners taking courses at state-sponsored Korean language institutes abroad or taking the official Korean language proficiency test, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Starting with only 13 in three countries in 2007, the number of King Sejong Institutes offering Korean language education programs has risen to 90 in 44 countries all over the world.
Choo cares for team more than his personal record
Choo Shin-soo, Cincinnati Reds’ starting center fielder and leadoff man, said Friday he was more disheartened by his team’s loss than an end to his on-base streak.
Choo failed to get on base in Friday’s game here against the Washington Nationals at the Nationals Park, and his streak of reaching safely, dating back to Sept. 21 last year, was snapped at 35 games.
Despit going 0-for-4 at the plate, however, Choo is still batting a robust .360 on the season, good for fourth in the National League (NL).
“It was something I have to suffer,” Choo said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency, shruggiong off the end of his on-base streak. “I can’t get on base every time.
Learning new parks part of Choo’s routine
Shin-Soo Choo has been doing extra work in Washington, trying to learn the field since it’s his first time playing at Nationals Park.
Choo said he’s been going out with coach Billy Hatcher early to study the way the ball comes off the walls and screens in Washington, since it’s not just one long wall from left to right. There are several nooks and crannies, and the ball shoots in different directions, which happened Thursday night.
One ball hit the video screen in right-center, but rebounded back in the opposite direction to elude Choo momentarily. The only way to learn those secrets is to go out and practice, and that’s what Choo’s trying to do.
Conger, Trumbo homer to power Angels over Seattle
AP via Seattle Times
Hank Conger and Mark Trumbo each hit two-run homers and C.J. Wilson worked out of a pair of bases-loaded jams to help give the Los Angeles Angels a 6-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners Friday night.
Ex-NFL star struggles but finishes St. Anthony’s Triathlon
Tampa Bay Times
“He’s come a long way,” Ward’s coach, Paula Newby-Fraser, said. “He was just awesome.”
Fraser, the winner of eight Ironman World Championships, is training Ward as part of the “Got Chocolate Milk?” ad campaign.
“I think he really dug down deep for this one,” Newby-Fraser said. “Now it is on to Kona.”
Ward, 37, plans to do a Half Ironman next then the granddaddy of all triathlons, the Ironman in Hawaii, all in less than one year.
“After all those years in the NFL, you would think that I was in good shape,” Ward said. “But playing football is nothing like endurance sports.”
Inbee Park wins LPGA Shootout
Associated Press via ESPN
Inbee Park was already preparing to congratulate Carlota Ciganda for winning the inaugural North Texas LPGA Shootout.
Park, the top-ranked woman in the world, was in the middle of a solid final round and still trailed by two strokes after the playing partners both had birdies at the par-5 10th on Sunday.
Everything changed in a two-hole stretch, when Park went ahead with consecutive pars. The 24-year-old South Korean went on to a bogey-free 4-under 67 that put her one stroke ahead of Ciganda, good enough for her third victory this season and fifth in her last 18 starts.
Homeland Meets Hometown: Salt & Fat in Sunnyside, Queens
New York Times
Note that the sauce is boosted with sriracha, togarashi and tobanjan (fermented bean paste). Daniel Yi, the 28-year-old chef and owner, was born in Seoul, grew up in Sunnyside and its eastern neighbor, Woodside (both home to sizable Asian communities), and honed his craft at Riingo and Sapa, where the accents were, respectively, Japanese and Vietnamese. He describes his cooking at Salt & Fat, which opened two years ago, as New American, and in a sense it is exactly, exultingly that: the food of the new America, in which immigrants companionably raid one another’s larders.
I would call it, more specifically, Asian-American, which should not be confused with fusion. Exotic ingredients aren’t being co-opted and sublimated; they’re not thought of as exotic in the first place. If you grow up eating hot dogs with rice, and pizza with kimchi, why not introduce sambal to meatballs, pair a classic French duck breast with litchis, and steep oxtail in dashi before compressing it into a wondrous terrine?
From apartment rooftop comes authentic Alabama barbecue
Whenever people move from place to place, they may adopt new friends, new languages, or new behaviors, but one thing just doesn’t seem to go away — the love for one’s home cuisine. Certainly a newcomer to Korea might find a lot about Korean cuisine that they like, but likely, there would also be days where the cravings for food from back home get the best of even the most seasoned expatriate.
“Unfortunately, Korea gets an F minus when it comes to authentic foreign cuisine,” said Roy Kim, a native of Miami, who has lived in Korea for two years. In his opinion, Korea’s idea of foreign food is merely foreign looking food.
“There’s usually nothing right about foreign food here. Going out for Italian? They serve you sweet garlic bread and pickles… since pasta is foreign, and pickles are foreign to the typical Korean diner’s view, they go together,” he said. He admits that the quality of foreign cuisine is getting better as more and more Koreans go overseas and bring foreign food with them when they return, but he still thinks Korea has a long way to go.
Training to go supersonic with South Korea’s Top Guns
It’s not everyday someone asks you if you’d be prepared to ride in a fighter jet but when my producer put the question to me several weeks ago I jumped at it.
Roaring engines, heat haze on the tarmac, fighter pilots in Aviator sunglasses: What’s not to like?
The South Korean Air Force was offering CNN rare access to its T-50 — a training fighter developed in South Korea in conjunction with U.S. military contractor Lockheed Martin.
LG taking pre-orders for curved OLED TV sets in South Korea
Los Angeles Times
LG on Monday began taking pre-orders for a 55-inch curved OLED TV. The new display, which looks like a flat-screen TV but with a subtle, inward curve, is available for purchase by South Korean customers for $13,500. It will arrive for customers next month.
OLED technology is supposed to provide a more vivid image as well as allow manufacturers to build even thinner TVs. OLED also makes it possible for manufacturers to build curved screens. LG and others in the industry say the advantage of a curved OLED display is that it makes the experience of watching something much more immersive and similar to watching an IMAX movie.
A Korean American man is facing charges in North Korea of attempting to overthrow the government, an offense which may be punishable by death.
Kenneth Bae, 44, a South Korean-born U.S. citizen and a resident of Washington state, “traveled with a group of businessmen in November from Yanji, China, to the North Korean special economic zone of Rason, where he was arrested,” the New York Times reports.
Bae has been described as religious, and holding philanthropic leanings with interest in helping orphans within the reclusive country. Continue Reading »
South Korea presses North for talks on crisis at joint industrial zone
South Korea on Thursday warned North Korea of serious consequences if it rejects an offer for talks about the dire situation at their shared manufacturing zone where Pyongyang has halted activity amid recent tensions.
The South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-seok urged the North to respond to the offer of talks by noon Friday, saying South Koreans inside the zone, the Kaesong Industrial Complex, are facing “serious difficulties due to lack of food and medical supplies.”
Kim said that if Pyongyang turns down the offer, Seoul would have no choice but to take “grave” measures regarding the zone. He did not specify what those measures would be.
Top US general foresees ‘prolonged provocation’ by North Korea
Christian Science Monitor
Belligerence by North Korea, coinciding with Kim Jong-un’s ascent as leader, is likely to continue for a ‘prolonged’ period, Gen. Martin Dempsey said Wednesday after a trip to China. He believes China’s military to be as ‘concerned’ as the US about North Korea’s actions.
S.Korean software mogul wins parliamentary seat
AFP via Google News
Popular South Korean software mogul and former presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-Soo has finally won elected office with a thumping by-election victory in Seoul.
Running as a liberal independent, Ahn won 60.5 percent of the vote against 32.8 percent for his ruling party rival in Wednesday’s ballot for a northeastern district of the capital.
“Please watch my new start,” Ahn said in a statement after his victory.
Is L.A. City Council Candidate John Choi a No-Show?
Los Angeles City Council District 13 candidate John Choi is getting slammed by his opponent, Mitch O’Farrell. He says Choi has shown a disturbing “pattern” of being a “no-show” at important candidates’ forums.
“Voters deserve the right to hear about our experience, our ideas, and to ask the tough questions and evaluate for themselves how we deal with complicated issues,” O’Farrell says in a recent press release.
CD 13 is one of the most coveted political jobs in Los Angeles, where either Choi or O’Farrell will represent the Tri-Hipster Area of Hollywood, Silver Lake, and Echo Park and find himself in perfect position to run for higher office. The Choi campaign says O’Farrell is full of malarkey.
“John has been to multiple forums this election, attending many during the primary, and is fully accessible to voters,” Choi campaign consultant Mike Shimpock tells L.A. Weekly via email. “Perhaps Mitch should spend more time talking to voters instead of documenting our schedule.”
Glass ceiling: Asian Americans still under-represented in Silicon Valley leadership
San Jose Mercury News
We put these same questions to leaders including CEO Meg Whitman, CEO Tim Cook and COO Sandberg, whose Silicon Valley workforce in HP, Apple and Facebook is largely Asian American but whose leadership teams posted on their web sites are conspicuously lacking in Asian Americans.
While the proportion of Asian American high tech workers in Silicon Valley has grown from 38 percent in 2000 to over 50 percent in 2010, their representation on senior executive teams is only 11 percent. In board rooms, their presence has declined from 8.8 percent to 8.3 percent. And even though Chinese Americans constitute the largest Asian group, their board representation has dropped from 5 percent to 3 percent.
Asian American women appear to face a double-pane glass ceiling. Women are 17 percent of boards and 16 percent of senior executives in Silicon Valley, but Asian American women are less than 1 percent in both. These are red flags missing in the public conversation about the corporate glass ceiling.
Korean Group: No Remaining Objections to Proposed Comfort Memorial
Patch.com (Fort Lee, N.J.)
Following a now nearly month-long controversy surrounding the proposed Fort Lee Comfort Memorial, Korean American Civic Empowerment (KACE) is now striking a more conciliatory tone and deferring to local groups on some aspects of the design to which it previously objected.
The Fort Lee Korean American Vietnam War Veterans originally proposed the memorial honoring 200,000 women forced into sexual service by the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War. KACE, based in New York and Hackensack, says that it became involved because the proposed wording of the monument was “inappropriate.”
The controversy deepened when KACE president Dongchan Kim said in a letter that the council would “face a strong opposition from the Korean American community” at the polls should the wording go unchanged.
Dr. Billy Kim: The first Asian elected as president of the 40-million-member Baptist World Alliance
Jackson Free Press (Miss.)
Born in 1934, Kim was raised in what is now North Korea during a time where “war” and “home” were synonymous in his country.
“I wanted to be a politician at first,” Kim told the Jackson Free Press. “I wanted to change the lives of poor people. I felt like politicians were capable of doing that.”
Born into a poor family and the eldest of three siblings, life in Korea was difficult for Kim and his family, especially during the long Korean War of the 1950s. Kim went to work as a houseboy for the U.S. military under Sgt. Carl Powers. Undoubtedly, it was fate that brought the two men together. Powers was responsible for changing Kim’s life and introducing him to Christianity.
“I was able to attend college in the U.S. with the help of an American solider I worked for,” Kim said. “All he asked of me was to spread the word of Christianity, human values and democracy around the world.”
Cho Yong-pil Makes Koreans ‘Bounce’ Again
Wall Street Journal
Move over Psy, here’s the real “oppa.” Singer-songwriter Cho Yong-pil has knocked Psy from the top of the chart with his first album in a decade.
The 63-year-old made his comeback Tuesday with his 19th album ‘Hello.’ The showcase in Seoul on the same rainy day drew some 400 people from the media and thousands of fans.
Mr. Cho for the first time recorded songs written for him, and partnered foreign engineers such as Tony Maserati and Ian Cooper. The result: an entirely new sound.
P!nk Remains Atop Hot 100, PSY Enters Top 10
K-pop star PSY blasts into the Hot 100′s top 10 (No. 12 to No. 5) with “Gentleman,” which wins top Streaming and Digital Gainer honors following its first full week of availability. The song follows his breakout U.S. hit “Gangnam Style,” which became the first video ever to reach 1 billion views worldwide. (It now stands at 1.6 billion.) “Gangnam” peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 for seven weeks last fall (before YouTube data began contributing to the chart) and has sold 4.5 million downloads.
“Gentleman” bounds into the Hot 100′s top 10 fueled primarily by a 60% gain in streaming, as it tallies a second week at No. 1 on Streaming Songs with 13.9 million U.S. streams. It had registered 8.6 million streams in the U.S. in just shy of two days since its posting (on April 13) in last week’s chart tracking period. (Now up to 216 million YouTube views worldwide [as of this posting], the song set the mark for the most views [18.9 million] for a video in its first day on the site, according to sources at YouTube, as previously reported. The Hot 100, however, counts only U.S. views in its weekly tabulation.)
Watch out! Angry Asian girl is sharing her feelings
Los Angeles Times
‘Angry Little Girls,’ an online comic strip about Asian American female rage, is coming to TV this summer. Yay! Another outlet for all that fury.
Check out our article on Lela Lee’s new TV show from the October 2012 issue of KoreAm.
N.C. native Ken Jeong has a funny way of doing things
Charlotte Observer (N.C.)
There’s a pivotal scene near the beginning of the crime comedy “Pain & Gain” (opening Friday) in which an angry, manipulative motivational speaker named Jonny Wu yells to his prospective flock of suckers: “ Don’t be a don’t-er. Do be a doer!”
The man who plays Mr. Wu? Ken Jeong.
Ken Jeong? Doer.
This is a guy who grew up in Greensboro, graduated from Page High School at age 16 (winning the city’s Youth of the Year award along the way), was pre-med at Duke University, then a med student at UNC Chapel Hill, then an internal medicine resident in New Orleans, then a physician at a clinic in L.A. until 2006.
Cincinnati Becoming Choo-Ville
Blog Red Machine
When the announcement was made of the three-team trade involving the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians and Arizona Diamondbacks in which the Reds acquired Shin-Soo Choo, there was a bit of a flinch from a portion of the Reds fanbase. One, highly touted shortstop prospect Didi Gregorius was sent to the D’backs. Two, despite the high number of strikeouts, Drew Stubbs, who went to Cleveland, had his fair share of supporters. Three, Choo will be a free agent after this season.
Twenty-one games into the 2013 season, I’m sure the vast majority of those that flinched at the deal aren’t doing that so much these days. All Choo has done is win over Reds fans at an alarming rate. Along the way, he has produced in the one spot in the Reds lineup that was deemed the blackest of holes: leadoff.
All Choo has done is produce. After going 2-for-4 in today’s Reds 1-0 win, he owns a triple slash of .392/.534/.608. They’re not quite video game numbers, but sometimes you think Choo’s just merely living in one. Aside from last night’s MLB action, here’s how Choo ranks in some prominent NL statistical categories…
North Korea’s ‘hotel of doom’ opening debacle continues
This was going to be the year.
The year that the infamous North Korean “hotel of doom” would finally open, allowing the world’s more adventurous tourists to gawk at whatever ridiculous or bewildering or extravagant interior North Korea dreamed up for the colossal glass-plated money drain that has stood empty on the Pyongyang skyline for nearly three decades.
Hometown Advantage | Jung Bae’s Seoul
New York Times
“There’s so much more than PSY, bibimbap and Gangnam,” says Jung Bae, 40, of Seoul, her hometown that was recently featured in T’s travel issue. It’s understandable why Bae, an artist and self-professed “cultural mediator,” has grown weary of the global spotlight on one singer, one bowl of food, and one neighborhood. And as someone who’s juggled multiple creative professions — writer (the author of two books: “The Devil Wears Cheap Prada” in 2007 and “Shopping and the City” in 2006), the former editor in chief of Nylon Korea, the current creative director of Absolut Vodka Korea and Kiehl’s Korea, and the current publisher of the art tabloid Hello, Garosu-gil (translation: tree-lined street) — Bae doesn’t mind the mainstream. But what she really loves is seeking out neighborhoods and establishments that lie at popularity’s tipping point.
Take, for example, Bae’s decision to move her office last summer from the bustling, ever-crowded Garosugil in Gangnam to a sleepy back street in Jong-no, Gangbuk. It’s an area that’s easy for tourists to miss, but impossible to ignore — with its quiet, narrow walkways and charming, historic buildings — once you’ve stumbled upon it. “My new office neighborhood reminds me a lot of New York City’s meatpacking district, before it became crowded and developed,” Bae says.
Here, Bae opens up her little black book to share her favorite things and places in Seoul.
Current home: I live in Sangam-dong, Mapo-gu, near the World Cup Stadium.
Weinberg junior recognized for work with Campus Kitchens
Daily Northwestern (Northwestern Univ.)
Weinberg junior Sarah Suh spent her Sundays for the last three years delivering leftover food from Northwestern dining halls to Evanston residents in need. Because of her efforts, she was one of five students nationwide recognized last week for taking a stand against hunger.
On Thursday, Sodexo, Inc., nuCuisine’s parent company, honored Suh’s charitable work with the Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholarship, worth $10,000.
Suh is the outgoing president of NU’s Campus Kitchens. Since stumbling upon the organization at an activity fair her freshman year, Suh has focused on the neediest members of the community. She started working on the group’s meal shifts, which involve packaging leftover dining hall food to be delivered to Campus Kitchens’ clients. She became more invested in the group after she started working delivery shifts.
South Korea and U.S. Fail to Reach Deal on Nuclear Energy
New York Times
South Korea said on Wednesday that it had failed to reach a compromise with the United States on its civil nuclear energy program, forcing the two allies to delay the deadline for a deal by two years.
Secretary of State John Kerry had called for an agreement before the planned summit between President Obama and his South Korean counterpart, Park Geun-hye, on May 7. But the differences between the allies remained deep over South Korea’s demand that the United States lift a ban on enriching uranium and reprocessing spent nuclear fuel. The United States had South Korea commit itself to the ban in a treaty signed in 1972 when Washington transferred nuclear material and technical expertise to help build South Korea’s nuclear energy industry.
Inter-Korean tensions halt N. Korea humanitarian aid
Heightened inter-Korean tensions triggered by North Korea’s nuclear test and war threats have put South Korea’s humanitarian aid to the impoverished country on ice, local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) said Wednesday.
The North has been ramping up its bellicose rhetoric and war threats against South Korea in response to United Nations sanctions for its third nuclear test in February and the South Korean-U.S. joint military exercise in March.
Civic groups said shipments of such goods as baby food and basic medical supplies have been held up after tensions reached the highest levels in nearly two decades.
U.S. gov’t says food aid for N. Korea possible if distribution transparent
The U.S. government clearly said Tuesday it could weigh food assistance to North Korea as long as transparency of distribution is guaranteed.
“In terms of food aid, we’ve long said that we have no ill will toward the North Korean people,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said at a press briefing.
But a precondition is that the regime make efforts to feed its people rather than spending money on the development of nuclear weapons and missiles, he added.
Both Koreas Are Ruled by Women
One of the great mysteries about the North-South Korean confrontation is who’s pulling the strings on North Korea’s “Supreme Leader” Kim Jong Un. Among those believed to wield the most power: his aunt, Kim Kyong Hui.
The ascent of Kim Kyong Hui, younger sister of Jong Un’s late father, Kim Jong Il, and daughter of “Great Leader” Kim Il Sung parallels the rise of South Korean President Park Geun Hye, daughter of Park Chung Hee, the former general who ruled South Korea with an iron fist for 18 years until his assassination by his intelligence chief in 1979.
“It looks like Kim Kyong Hui has power in the North,” says Ha Tae Keung, a South Korean National Assembly member who runs a short-wave station that broadcasts regularly into North Korea. “She is deciding policy.”
KIM JONG IL’S GRANDSON ‘MISSING’ FROM BOSNIAN SCHOOL
Kim Han Sol, the grandson of the late Kim Jong Il and a student at the Mostar-based branch of the United World College (UWC) has not been seen for days, a Bosnian newspaper said on the 19th.
Kim Han Sol is the son of Kim Jong Nam (the elder half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un) and is an overseas student in Bosnia. His family reportedly fell out of favor with Kim Jong Il in the early 2000s, and has been living in Macau, in effective exile from North Korea.
“He doesn’t to go North Korea at all, he lives here [in Mostar], he has his circle of friends and he’s an excellent learner,” Bosnian newspaper Glas Srpske reported the UWC Mostar headmistress Valentina Mindoljević as saying to Croatian daily Slobodna Dalmacija. Local media reports suggest Kim Han Sol may only have left Mostar temporarily.
S. Korea software mogul makes election debut
AFP via Google News
South Korean software mogul Ahn Cheol-Soo, whose independent candidacy enlivened last year’s presidential campaign, made his ballot-box debut as polls opened in a Seoul by-election.
Ahn, 51, ran as an independent candidate championing political and economic reform in the presidential race but dropped out just weeks before the December 19 vote to support the main opposition party candidate.
Hugely popular among younger voters, his decision to withdraw disappointed many seeking an alternative to the old liberal-conservative face-off between the established parties.
My Foreign Mom
This is a personal essay written by Wired writer Mary H.K. Choi.
When I was small I thought I was just cooler than my mom because of how foreign she is. She’s really foreign. You’d think it would kill her to get store-bought snacks, she’s that foreign. She grew up in a Korea filled with Koreans, married a Korean and then moved to Hong Kong in her mid-30s. I was 11 months and my brother was two years old. This was back when Hong Kong was a British Crown colony, which meant we were living in Asia with heaps of Australians and bronzed Europeans who dated Filipino women. It was all very James Clavell and linen shirts. In any case, I speak four languages and am a ruthless assimilation ninja. I will renounce all kin in the name of camouflage because everything is a contest and I am a disgusting sell-out. It’s the twin moon to my being popular in any context provided I put my mind to it. I’m sure there’s a field of corn withering somewhere in my soul that fuels this despicable talent, but everyone’s got to die of cancer some time, right?
My mother, on the other hand, speaks English poorly with a screwy, poncy Korean British accent, as if she learned it from watching one 1960s Merchant Ivory movie on repeat. She’s also ridiculously formal, deeply private and not a joiner. She transitions poorly. The move to Hong Kong with two wee kids and an absentee partner was rough. My father had elected to set up a shipping company. He was out of the country for eight months of the year, and sometime around my tenth birthday I discovered that he spoke conversational Russian for reasons that remain murky. All this is to say that he wasn’t around a lot.
UC Riverside: Korean American center holds events
Press-Enterprise (Riverside, Calif.)
UC Riverside’s Young Oak Kim Center for Korean American Studies is presenting several events over the next few weeks, including a lecture, a film and a quiz bowl for middle-school students.
Shin-Soo Choo has been hit by more pitches than every team in baseball
I wrote yesterday about how Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo had been hit by more pitches than any player in baseball history through this point in the season and then last night he got plunked again.
Choo has now been hit 10 times in 19 games. You can read yesterday’s post to see how far ahead of everyone else that is this early in a season, but here are some more stats for a little context:
• None of the other 29 teams have been hit by 10 pitches collectively and 13 of the 29 teams have been hit by five or fewer pitches.
Shin-Soo Choo: Choo gets three hits, but Reds fall to Cubs
Shin-Soo Choo went 3-for-4 with a run scored, but the Reds lost to the Cubs in 10 innings on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old was acquired to set the table for the Reds, and he’s been worth every penny early on. Choo is now hitting .387 with 18 runs scored through 20 games. The only thing he won’t do for fantasy squads is drive in runs in bulk, but he’s setting up to have a huge year at the top of the Reds lineup.