Japan ‘disappointed’ by South Korea summit remarks
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said Japan had outlined its position on the issues and he hoped South Korea would accept that.
He said Japan would continue to seek to build co-operation with Seoul.
President Park Geun-hye said Japan must apologise for war-time “wrong-doings”.
Japan raps S. Korea for islet claims, alarmed at China’s criticism
Japan’s Foreign Ministry in separate reports has criticized South Korea for selectively interpreting historical records to justify its territorial claim to a disputed group of islands in the Sea of Japan, while registering its concern about China’s stepped-up criticism of Japan over a separate island dispute through its state media.
Together the reports, submitted late last month to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s special committee on territorial issues, strongly suggest the ministry’s willingness to seek LDP support in pushing back on information campaigns.
In analyzing South Korea’s recent criticism of Japan, one of the reports says Seoul has interpreted relevant documents and materials over the history of Takeshima, a group of islets controlled by South Korea but claimed by Japan, “in a way that is consistent with its claims to make it look as if the islands are its own territory.”
North Korean Sailors Reported Killed in October Sinking; South Says There Was No Clash
New York Times
A North Korean naval vessel sank last month, killing an unspecified number of sailors, according to North and South Korean news media.
The news first appeared on Saturday when the North’s official Korean Central News Agency reported that the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, had visited a newly built cemetery for the sailors “sacrificed” on board the vessel, a submarine chaser, during “combat duties” last month.
The news agency gave no further details about what happened but quoted Mr. Kim as instructing his navy to “find all the bodies,” hinting at a sizable death toll. Photos of Mr. Kim visiting the cemetery with flowers showed a large mass tomb encircled by what looked like at least a score of headstones bearing the names and photographs of the sailors who had died.
South Korean Businesses Quit Kaesong
Wall Street Journal
South Korean businesses are exiting the Kaesong industrial park in North Korea, making Seoul’s efforts to attract foreign investment to the site an even tougher sell.
At least nine South Korean firms have ended or have decided to end business at the Kaesong Industrial Complex, just north of the inter-Korean military border, because of uncertain investment prospects and financial crunches following a five-month operational halt amid cross-border tensions.
Officials at the Unification Ministry in Seoul confirmed two of 123 South Korean firms in Kaesong had fully withdrawn from North Korea after selling out their business assets there. They withheld the names of the companies—one manufacturing electronics parts and the other textile.
Road Voyeurism Fueling Surge in Black Box Sales in Korea: Cars
In the world of the wired, South Koreans rule: millions got hooked on social networking years before Facebook; their mobile phones went broadband first; and Internet connections are faster than anyplace on the planet.
Now they’re going pedal to the metal on the next hi-tech craze: “black boxes” for cars, devices that automatically record video and audio as well as time, location and speed.
What began five years back as a way to protect local taxi drivers from passengers who run off without paying has caught on with other drivers — 2.2 million black boxes are already in use, more than the number of autos sold in Korea each year. Broadcaster SBS has enough clips from viewers that it aired more than 100 morning show segments on car crashes.
South Korea is stuck with Internet Explorer for online shopping because of security law
South Korea is renowned for its digital innovation, with coast-to-coast broadband and a 4G LTE network that reaches into Seoul’s subway system. But this tech-savvy country is stuck in a time warp in one way: its slavish dependence on Internet Explorer.
For South Koreans who use other browsers such as Chrome or Safari, online shopping often begins with a pop-up notice warning that they might not be able to buy what they came for.
“Purchases can only be made through Internet Explorer,” says one such message on the Web site of Asiana Airlines, one of South Korea’s two major carriers.
Michelle Rhee revolution faces massive threat — and new accusations
Education reform lightning rod Paul Vallas – who courted controversy helming school districts in Philadelphia, New Orleans and Chicago — isn’t on the ballot tomorrow. But a school board election in Bridgeport, Conn. – the latest district to tap Vallas to oversee reforms — could effectively spell his fate. Tomorrow’s vote will offer the latest referendum on the bipartisan, billionaire-backed mainstream education reform movement, and on a multi-year effort by local Democrats – aided by the likes of Michael Bloomberg and Michelle Rhee — to defeat or disempower labor-backed dissenters.
“As I’ve gone around the country, I always point to Bridgeport as one of the signs that the people can beat the power,” former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education and high-profile reform critic Diane Ravitch told activists on a conference call last month. Tuesday’s election is the latest round in a long-running war over ed reform, and who should shape it, in the largest city in one of the country’s most unequal states.
For the sake of shielding Vallas and his agenda, activists allege that the city’s Democratic machine has acted indifferent or even hostile to defeating Republicans tomorrow.
Convicted sex offender is charged
Wilkes Journal-Patriot (North Carolina)
A man is awaiting trial in Wilkes District Court on 41 felony counts of being a sex offender on the premises of a place where children gather.
Leonard Lee Yoon, 73, of 540 Obed Heights Drive in the Pores Knob community is also charged with one felony count of obtaining property by false pretenses for denying that he was a convicted sex offender when he signed a Wilkes YMCA membership form in April, said Lt. Jason Whitley of the Wilkes Sheriff’s Department.
Whitley said 40 counts of being a sex offender on the premises of a place where children gather resulted from Yoon being at the Wilkes YMCA and one count resulted from him being at the Wilkes County Library from April through June.
Why Girls’ Generation and K-Pop Won Big at the YouTube Music Awards
Wall Street Journal
Last night, K-Pop supergroup Girls’ Generation took top honors at the first-ever YouTube Music Awards, winning Video of the Year for their clip “I Got a Boy” — an eclectic, electric mashup of candy-colored visuals that parallels the song’s peppery stop-start aesthetic. In doing so, they beat out a fairly impressive list of video music titans — including Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, One Direction and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis — sending shockwaves of self-congratulatory glee across the K-Pop fanscape.
That’s because, given the YTMA’s parameters, the Girls’ victory was literally a win by, for and about the fans: Unlike the Grammys and the MTV Video Music Awards, nominees for the YTMAs were selected solely by algorithm, based on likes, shares, views and other metrics of “fan engagement,” and, according to YouTube, winners were chosen based on how many fresh shares the nominated videos got in the month-long runup to the actual event (with YouTube keeping the vote-with-your-browser window open right up to the actual show itself).
Kimchi advertised in New York Times
Korea Times US
An ad for kimchi, South Korea’s representative side dish, is featured in the Nov. 4, 2013 edition of The New York Times. Actress Kim Yun-jin, known for her role in popular TV series “Lost,” modeled for the ad arranged by South Korean Prof. Seo Kyung-duk, an active promoter of Korea.
Author Catherine Chung: ‘I Want To Embrace The Things That I Am’
Catherine Chung went from mathematics to writing, though she says words were always her first love. She was named one of Granta’s New Voices in 2010, and her first novel, Forgotten Country, received honorable mention for a PEN/Hemingway Award last year.
In Forgotten Country, Chung writes of a family with a curse that stretches back generations — from their time in Korea to their life in America. Since the Japanese occupation of Korea, each generation of the family has lost a daughter.
“I tried to pull my hand out of my mother’s grasp, but she held on. She had lost her sister; she had lived in the aftermath of war. This was always what it came down to, in the end. My grandmother had told me once that my mother had never gotten over the death of my aunt. ‘Never talk of it,’ my grandmother had said. ‘Never bring it up.’ “
Could the Royals land a Korean pitcher this winter?
Kansas City Star
There is an interesting prediction about the Royals at the MLB Trade Rumors site.
In a post about the top 50 free agents, the web site predicted the Royals would land two pitchers this winter:
Toronto’s Josh Johnson (no surprise to hear that) and South Korean Suk-Min Yoon.
Yoon, 27, is a right-hander who was the MVP of the Korean Baseball Organization in 2011.
However, this past season, Yoon had a shoulder problem for the KIA Tigers and finished with a 4.00 ERA in 87 2/3 innings. He moved to the bullpen from the rotation. He also pitched in the World Baseball Classic earlier this year, allowing two earned runs in 4 1/3 innings in a 5-0 loss to the Netherlands.
Oh Seung-hwan to Start Seeking MLB Club
Samsung Lions’ relief pitcher Oh Seung-hwan will start trying to negotiate a deal with foreign clubs as he looks to potential suitors in Japan and the U.S.
Oh is hoping to find a place for himself in U.S. Major League Baseball, where several clubs have reportedly expressed interest in him. But he apparently sees Japan as his most realistic next destination.
The righty played a crucial role in the Lion’s victory at this year’s Korean Series, which ended last week. Now baseball fans hope he can prove himself as a successful pitcher in the MLB like Los Angeles Dodgers’ Ryu Hyun-jin.
Glenview boutique owner driven by passion for fashion design
Glenview Announcements (Illinois)
Ask Grace Yoon why she decided to open up her Glenview women’s boutique, Ella Louvi and she’ll say her goal was to share her creativity — her clothing designs — with her customers.
“Owning the store isn’t my first passion,” said Yoon, who opened Ella Louvi last July, just months after she and her former business partner, Stella Chun closed their successful store, Stella + Grace. “I love my customers, and I love helping them pick out beautiful outfits, but designing my own line of clothing is my dream.”
Yoon, who came to the states with her family when she was nine years old grew up in the city and in Glenview.
A dangerous stalemate between Japan and South Korea
Relations between U.S. allies Japan and South Korea have descended to another low, fueled by issues of wartime history and the still-poisonous legacy of Japan’s harsh colonial rule over Korea from 1910 to 1945. The two countries’ leaders have not met since May 2012, and polls show that three times more Koreans view China favorably than Japan. A senior adviser to the Japanese prime minister recently suggested to me that the United States might no longer be given a free pass to use its bases in Japan to support South Korea in a war.
This dysfunctional relationship threatens to undermine U.S. security interests, including dealing with a rising China and an aggressive North Korea. For too long, U.S. policymakers have told themselves that wartime memories will eventually fade. It is clear that the passage of time cannot by itself cure the corrosive effect of historical injustice or dim the fires of nationalism among younger generations of Northeast Asians.
North Korean Naval Ship Mysteriously Sank
A North Korean naval vessel sank last month, according to media reports in North and South Korea, but the details, including the number of causalities and the reason, remain a mystery.
In a rare report on a military mishap, the North’s official news agency said Saturday that an unspecified number of deaths occurred while a submarine chaser was performing “combat duties,” the Associated Press reports. State media also reported that leader Kim Jong Un visited a military cemetery and displayed images of the leader beside stone markers inscribed with “Oct. 13.”
Uncensored Instagrams From North Korea Buck Brutal Trend of Secrecy
When Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder first went to North Korea in 2000, he was plunged into the dark—he had to leave his phone at customs, and his hotel windows were covered with black plastic. But over time, the most restrictive country in the world has loosened up, at least for some. In January it allowed foreigners to carry phones; in February it activated a 3G network for visitors. As the AP’s chief photographer for Asia, Guttenfelder now sends out images from the Pyongyang bureau and posts daily to Instagram. In a country without the Internet, a reporter with social media is king, so we asked Guttenfelder for his report from inside:
I was the mayor of the Koryo Hotel in Pyongyang on Foursquare until a week ago. And if you’re seeing restaurant check-ins in the capital, my AP colleague and I probably left them. In a country known for its censorship, I’m now uploading photos to Instagram from the streets of North Korea like I would anywhere else in the world.
South Korea’s elderly population booms
There has been a gradual change in South Korea’s workforce in recent years, as it gets older.
The number of elderly people finding jobs in the capital has more than doubled in the past 10 years, because the country has the world’s fastest growing aged population.
Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett reports from Seoul.
Why Asians Are Deserting The GOP
Asian-Americans have been moving steadily toward the Democrats and away from the GOP. In 2012, Asians supported Obama by a staggering 73-26, compared to 62-35 in 2008. This is a remarkable trajectory for a group that, back in 1992, supported George H.W. Bush over Bill Clinton by a strong 54-30 margin. In every election since then, Asians have increased their support for the Democratic candidate, including elections like 2004 where most other groups, even progressive ones, were going in the opposite direction
COMMENTARY/ Haruki Murakami forms community of ‘coolness’ in South Korea
Asahi Shimbun (Japan)
On July 1, a 50-meter line formed in the new books section of one of the biggest bookstores in Seoul. South Korean TV stations and newspapers reported on this unusual scene with a hint of excitement.
It was the line for the release of the Korean-language translation of Haruki Murakami’s new novel, “Shikisai wo Motanai Tazaki Tsukuru to, Kare no Junrei no Toshi” (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage). It was the first Korean translation of the writer’s book in three years since his “1Q84” was released in the language. This time, as in the past, Murakami returned to this country’s literary scene with great fanfare.
What created the biggest buzz was the report that Murakami had gotten a record advance of some 140 million yen ($1.4 million) for the new novel, substantially higher than the approximately 100 million yen he received as an advance for “1Q84,” a sum described at that time as unprecedented in the history of the South Korean publishing industry.
Four More Korean Americans Become LAPD Officers
Korea Times US
Becoming a police officer is an increasingly popular career option for Koreans in Los Angeles. Four more Koreans graduated from the Los Angeles Police Academy on Friday.
They are Kim Ko, Lee Ji-sung, Park Kyung-han, and Park Myung-hun. Kim, 22, is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara with a degree in history, and will work out of the Mission Hills station. Lee, who made a career change from teaching at the age of 39, has been assigned to the Olympic station. Park Kyung-hwan, 23, is a psychology major from UC Riverside and will patrol out of the North East station near Koreatown. Park Myung-hun, also 23, will work from the Valley station.
During the last five months alone, a total of six Koreans became members of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), reflecting its growing popularity. According to the Los Angeles Police Academy’s only Korean instructor Paul Ahn, they receive more than 100 Korean applicants per every 24-week session.
Park seeks to promote Korean culture in Paris
South Korean President Park Geun-hye watched French fans of Korean TV dramas sing and dance to the tunes of theme songs of popular series in the heart of Paris on Sunday as she sought to promote Korean culture on the first full day of her visit to France.
The Korean “Drama Party” was meaningful because the French fan club of Korean dramas, named “Bonjour Korea,” organized the event voluntarily, officials said. It shows that not only Korean pop music, known was K-pop, but also dramas are gaining popularity, they said. The event was held at the Espace Pierre Cardin performance hall near the famous Champs-Elysees street.
It was the first event Park attended after arriving in Paris on Saturday evening for a three-day visit. Her trip is aimed at bolstering business and financial cooperation as well as cultural exchanges between the two countries.
A Love Letter to L.A., From Its Street-Food King
The Atlantic Cities
When describing a plate of kalbi — the thin slices of marinated, grilled Korean short ribs — in his lively new book, L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food, the chef Roy Choi is a poet: “They came out of the kitchen a glistening, super deep brown caramel. This is L.A.’s southern comfort, its own version of American BBQ filtered through Korea, which is as amazing as anything from Austin to the Carolinas.”
Born in Seoul, raised in L.A. and ping-ponged through countless neighborhoods as a child, Choi — the man whose pioneering Kogi food truck introduced Korean tacos to the world and paved the way for the food truck craze to follow — is a bard of SoCal’s unlikely cultural collisions. (Subscribe to his colorful, R-rated Twitter feed, @RidingShotgunLA, and you get something approximating a mash-note rap to L.A. and other great food cities.) The book is a vivid, curb-level tour of Choi’s personal L.A., rich with photos and detailed narration.
Songwriter weaves thread of K-pop hits
Two hands are not enough to count the K-pop stars he has worked with; T-ara, 4minute, Beast and counting. Same goes for the smash hits he has produced.
As a result, he has earned the nickname “Midas touch,” forcing his clients to put their names on a long waiting list to receive his high-priced care. His fame seems unlikely to dim for a while since his ability to write music and know trends remains intact.
Taking advantage of the K-pop boom overseas and his fame, the star songwriter is looking to expand his business into overseas markets, especially into China.
“I’ve sold 15 songs so far this year and seven songs were hits, which means the success of my song is estimated at 50 percent or so,” said Lee Ho-yang, better known as “Sinsadong Tiger,” his pseudonym, in a recent interview with The Korea Times at his office in Seoul’s Sinsa-dong, home to several major incubators of K-pop singers such as SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment. “It’s likely that I will sell four more songs by the end of the year.”
Could Detroit Tigers land free agent Shin-Soo Choo? One national writer predicts that they will
The Detroit Tigers have a high payroll. They face a tough decision when it comes to Max Scherzer, who will be a free agent next winter. Miguel Cabrera will be a free agent a year after that. They have seven free agents of their own and nine players eligible for arbitration this offseason.
They are not expected to make a huge splash in free agency. But at least one writer believes they will.
In his annual post about the top 50 free agents on the market, Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors predicts that the Tigers will sign free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who will be one of the most sought-after free agents on the market.
Korean barbecue great Park’s fast food Oleego in downtown L.A.
Los Angeles Times
Name of restaurant: Oleego (which means “to place or lay on top” in Korean)
Concept: Fast food Korean in an upscale downtown food court
Chef: Jenee Kim, the owner of Park’s Barbeque, is trying her fast-casual Korean food concept at the TASTE inside the Fig at 7th complex
What dish represents the restaurant, and why? The galbi is the most expensive item on the menu (at $12), but worth it for the tasty tenderness. The beef strips come with a giant bone you can gnaw on. Although you can choose your favorite starch, the kimchi fried rice or the egg fried rice go best with the beef. The seasoning is a bit sweet, but Koreans usually swing a little sweet when trying to please American palates.
The New KFC : Korean Fried Chicken
The Korea Blog
Many people would associate Korean food culture with the traditionally tasty dishes such as Kimchi, Bulgogi, Sangyetang, Bibimbap etc. However, a new wave of Korean Food Culture that cannot be ignored is the Korean Fried Chicken, also known as KFC coincidentally!
The Korean Fried Chicken started off as a supper food, yasik, in the 1980s. For convenience, fried chicken was a popular home/office-delivery dish, just like how the original KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) had traditionally been marketed. Besides the chicken, the delivery would normally come with softdrinks and packed pickled radish too.
Yesterday marked a one-year anniversary of Kenneth Bae’s detainment in North Korea, making the 45-year-old the first known American to be imprisoned in the world’s most secretive country for over a year since the Korean War.
Bae was arrested on Nov. 3 of last year by North Korean police while guiding five European tourists across the North Korean border. He was allegedly carrying a computer hard drive that contained photos of North Korean children living under impoverished conditions. North Korea then sentenced Bae to 15 years in a labor camp for “hostile acts,” such as planning anti-North Korean religious practices, organizing efforts in China to overthrow the North Korean government and conducting a smear campaign.
Since his imprisonment, Bae has shown alarming signs of declining health. He was reportedly transferred to a hospital in Pyongyang in August, as he suffered from various health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and a back problem. Continue Reading »
Why Kim Jong Un Snubbed Mongolia’s President
Wall Street Journal
Mongolia’s president had a busy four days in North Korea this week, meeting various officials and zipping around to Kim Il Sung University, a Pyongyang theater, the Munsu water fun park, the border with South Korea and Kim family mausoleum, among other places.
But after Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj had jetted out of Pyongyang on Thursday it became clear that he didn’t meet the one person expected to have capped it all: Kim Jong Un.
What’s with the apparent snub?
Experts say it may have something to do with North Korea’s ambivalent attitude towards the landlocked country to the north-west. The nomadic ancient Mongolians were considered barbarians by the Koreans, according to historians.
When It Comes to Slaying Asian-American Stereotypes, Ads Lead the Way
Before May runs out, let’s spend a few moments thinking about the importance of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, a time when the country recognizes the contributions and achievements of Americans of Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander heritage.
May heralds two important moments in history for the United States and Americans of Asian-American ancestry. In May 1843, the first Japanese immigrants arrived in America, and in May 1869, the Transcontinental Railroad was completed by a large number of Chinese immigrants.
President Jimmy Carter signed a joint resolution of Congress in 1978 to proclaim Asian-Pacific American Heritage Week an annual observance. In 1992, President George H. W. Bush extended the week to a month-long celebration. Each year since then, every sitting president has issued a proclamation commemorating May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.
Back to Korea
More and more Korean students who have come to the United States to study are on their way back to Korea. They say even the Korean companies here are refusing to sponsor them in order to obtain a work visa, making it impossible for them to get employed and stay in America.
One 25-year old female Korean, identified only as K here, says she’s been spending stressful days since graduating from Cal-State Northridge this year, during an interview with The Korea Times. “I was told since I was a sophomore about how difficult it is to get a job here, so I even changed my major from straight traditional music to more practical management in music, but it hasn’t helped,” she said. “At every job interview, they tell me they find it difficult to hire me because of my resident status, to a point now where I have to seriously consider going back to Korea.”
Many of her friends are facing a similar predicament. She says it seems like one out of ten has been successful in landing a job in the U.S. after finishing their studies here and added, “I even have a friend who got married here but still can’t find a job!”
Review: A one-man revolution rises up in ‘Sake Bomb’
Los Angeles Times
In “Sake Bomb,” twentysomething video blogger Sebastian (Eugene Kim) has a problem few film characters ever face: a sense of relentless, righteous rage for which there is no simple solution. For Sebastian, life as an Asian American male is one of perpetual defense against silent accusations of foreignness, meek quietness and — the one that really stings — small genitalia.
To disabuse the world (or at least his 10 subscribers) of such stereotypes, he bleats the concepts of Asian American Studies 101 over the Internet. In person, he’s even more unpleasant, indicting any Asian woman with a white partner as a self-loathing racist, a charge he doesn’t really believe.
Actress Jamie Chung Reveals What It’s Really Like to Train for a Half Marathon
A little over two months ago I was presented with the opportunity to run the San Francisco half marathon with Nike. It sounded like an almost impossible and utterly scary challenge, but after a solid week of consideration I decided to accept.
I’d never been one to set any fitness goals for myself— I was more of a running “dabbler,” if you will— but over the course of the two months leading up to the San Francisco half marathon, I really dedicated myself to a fitness schedule. That meant getting plenty of sleep, scheduling runs into my morning routine at least four days a week, adding extra protein to my diet to supplement all the calories I was burning, and running in the more supportive shoes Nike Lunar Glides.
As my training progressed I met other women running on the team, like the actress Jamie Chung! I jumped at the chance to interview her, and here are her tips for running, more about her routine, and stellar words of motivation.
Roy Choi serves up an appetizer with memoir ‘L.A. Son’
Los Angeles Times
Several years ago, a cookbook editor friend called asking my advice on whether she should publish Jacques Pépin’s autobiography. Pepin is one of my heroes in food, I told her, but I’d pass on the book — all chef biographies tend to follow the same story arc, there’s not a lot new to be said.
Wisely she ignored me, and though “The Apprentice” turned out just as I predicted plot-wise, it was one of the bestselling cookbooks of the year. I learned two lessons from that incident: I’m a lot better off as a second-guessing journalist, and when it comes to these autobiographies, plot is secondary to character.
What brings this to mind is Roy Choi’s new book, “L.A. Son: My Life. My City. My Food.” On the surface, there is not much to connect Pépin and Choi. Pépin is the consummate old-school professional. Choi is the tattooed bad boy popularizer of the Korean taco and the food-truck craze, thanks to his Kogi truck.
YouTube All-Stars: Why I Love Korea (Interview)
The YouTube Music Awards is going on right now and Seoulistic was lucky enough to be invited to take part in the event! Youtube flew out a few YouTubers to Seoul to film videos to promote the event. Some are in Seoul for the very first time, others have been living here for years. And we thought with these diverse backgrounds, it would be the perfect to ask people what they thought about Korea and what they loved about it! Hopefully, you’ll get to see why we’re running this site and making videos on our YouTube channel!
Roots of K-pop
Everything has its roots and humble beginnings of its own. K-pop is no exception.
While today’s genre is characterized by pretty young boy and girl bands with slick dance routines and computer-assisted catchy tunes, its primitive form nearly nine decades ago was nowhere near any sort of attention-grabbing fanciness.
Back then, the out-dated combinations of black and white traditional costume or “hanbok” was considered the sole “uniform” for singers, with which they solemnly crooned melancholy songs on creaking wooden stages under dim lighting.
They normally confronted another harsh reality after the show: social stigma. In a society affected by Confucianism for generations, entertainment was considered an inferior profession so that its practitioners were belittled with the derogatory nickname “tantara.”
Ken Jeong ready for SportsCenter
I’ve been in Europe this week, so I watched opening night NBA highlights in Dublin. We’ve been on a press tour for The Hangover Part III’s DVD/Blu-Ray’s release but it’s been the release of LeBron, Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin that has been occupying my mind.
I’m a hoops addict — which is exactly why this opportunity to host tonight’s 6 p.m. SportsCenter, on the first Friday of the 2013-14 NBA season, is so humbling.
I grew up in North Carolina, which was heaven for a hoops junkie, with Duke and Carolina right there. (Editor’s Note: Jeong attended Duke as an undergraduate and received his M.D. from UNC. He is a licensed physician.)
Footballer Lee Chun-soo Says Sorry for Bar Brawl
Incheon United star Lee Chun-soo apologized in front of the press on Thursday for his involvement in a recent bar brawl.
The 32-year-old former national team member was accused of assaulting a customer at a bar in the early morning of Oct. 14. He faced the press this week and read out a written apology.
The footballer said he wanted to apologize to his fans and the club for letting them down.
Mystery meat dish in Koreatown a tasty surprise
Los Angeles Times
When I was in Korea a few weeks ago, I fell in love with something called tteok galbi, hand-chopped beef short ribs mixed with vegetables, aromatics, sometimes even pork, then grilled over a hot charcoal fire. Tteok is the Korean word for rice cake, but the patties are so called because they look a little like rice cakes, not because they include rice among their ingredients. They are more or less the local equivalent of hamburgers, served bare on a plate accompanied by neither rice nor bun.
The best tteok galbi tends to be served with the bones inserted back into the patties as a sign of authenticity, and maybe to add a little flavor. In Gwangju, there is an entire street devoted to tteok galbi specialists. In Damyang, the home of the dish, a platter of the juicy, crunchy patties joins bamboo “sashimi” as the heart of the region’s famous country meals.
I did not find it beyond imagining that among the several hundred Korean restaurants in Los Angeles, there might be one or two serving some version of the dish.
Korean art on exhibit at world-renowned U.S. museums
Korean art has been regarded as a spinoff from those of China and Japan, which are believed to possess the core of Asian cultural and aesthetic values. It is rare to have the opportunity to appreciate the sheer essence of Korean art on the international scene.
However, as Korea’s national profile is on the rise partially thanks to the cultural influence of “hallyu,” or Korean wave, global interest in Korean cultural roots is also spiking. Ongoing exhibitions in the United States featuring ancient artwork from Korea offer an opportunity for non-Korean visitors to discover the unknown beauty of Korean ancient art which is discernible among Asian cultures.
Supported by the National Museum of Korea, two major exhibitions on Korean art are taking place in east and west coast cities of the United States. “In Grand Style: Celebrations in Korean Art During the Joseon Dynasty” and “Silla: Korea’s Golden Kingdom” allow for a large-scale and in-depth exploration of rare objects from two ancient Korean kingdoms ― Silla (B.C. 57-A.D. 935) and Joseon (1392-1910). It is notable to compare the two distinctive cultures based on different ruling ideologies ― Buddhism in Silla and Confucianism in Joseon.
Instagramming North Korea
Three North Korean boys gaze attentively into the camera lens, their portrait surrounded by selfies and shots of fancy food. Nearby, a female soldier smiles as she salutes, and a woman runs a snack shack in the North Korean countryside.
They are the subjects of the trailblazing Instagram account of an American teacher in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital and perhaps one of the least understood places on Earth.
Drew Kelly, 24, is one of the few foreigners posting photos of North Korea.
Known as the Hermit Kingdom, North Korea is renown for its government’s secrecy and strict control on the flow of information. The country’s authorities and its reclusive leader, Kim Jong Un, severely limit what state media report and the access that foreigners, and especially journalists, have to the country.
South Korea’s Fashion Doyenne
Wall Street Journal
In 1947, at the age of 19, aspiring South Korean fashion designer Noh Myung-ja decided to change her first name to Nora. Her inspiration: the protagonist of Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 play “A Doll’s House,” about a housewife who leaves her children and husband to discover herself.
Ms. Noh, who had recently ended a marriage of convenience that helped her avoid becoming a “comfort woman” to Japanese soldiers, soon left Seoul to study fashion in Los Angeles. So began a career spanning more than six decades, in which the designer’s name and brand, Nora Noh, became a driving force in South Korean fashion for more than three decades, from the 1950s through to the 1970s.
Photo via KBS.
Two North Koreans who smuggled videos of South Korean television dramas were publicly executed on Sunday, according to Free North Korea Radio, a South Korean broadcast network run by defectors from the North.
The smugglers, a man and a woman, were charged with distributing South Korean dramas and pornography after transporting the illicit items in from China.
Residents of Hyesan, North Korea, were told to report by 11 a.m. local time to a nearby airfield, where they saw the execution by shooting, a source told FNKR. The report added that the State Security Department made the execution public to demonstrate the severe consequences of possessing videos of South Korean dramas which it considers an “anti-government activity.” Continue Reading »