Amid increased North Korean aggression in recent weeks, the United States said it signed an agreement with South Korea to back the nation “in countering North Korean provocations,” the New York Times reports.
The agreement has been in the works for more than two years and comes as a direct result of the 2010 shelling of the border island Yeonpyeong, which ended in the death of four South Koreans and a great deal of property damage. At the time, it was one of the most aggressive acts from the North against the South in two decades.
Despite reports of the nation-to-nation deal, the extent or reach of the agreement was not disclosed. The United States has agreed to back the South Korean government against “local” attacks from the North but terms of the deal are unclear. Continue Reading »
South Korea Says It Misidentified Source of Cyberattack
New York Times
The South Korean government said on Friday that it was mistaken when it identified an Internet address in China as the source of synchronized cyberattacks that paralyzed the computer networks of banks and broadcasters.
The Korea Communications Commission, a government agency, said the Internet address actually belonged to a computer at NongHyup, one of the three banks affected by the hacking on Wednesday. It was mistaken earlier, it said, because the address, used only for the bank’s internal network, was identical to a public Internet Protocol address in China.
Such an I.P. address is useful for tracing the location of an Internet-connected computer, though experts say that that computer could be controlled by hackers operating elsewhere.
Apply international law to cyber-warfare? Good luck
FIRST North Korea complained about a cyber-attack from “hostile forces”. The main sign was that the state’s news agency went briefly offline last week. Some thought it might be a mere power cut. Then it was the South’s turn—on a bigger scale. On March 20th two big banks and three broadcasters were crippled. Screens went blank; on some, skulls popped up. ATM machines froze.
Both episodes highlight the ambiguity of cyber-warfare. Tensions are high on the Korean peninsula, so either side might well attack the other. But a purported attack could also be used to justify posturing—or retaliation. Attribution (detecting a cyber-attacker’s fingerprints) is hard and can be impossible. A defence-ministry spokesman in Seoul said it would be “premature” to blame the North. One attack seemed to be by a hacker group calling itself “Whois”. Investigations will take months.
North Korea’s threats: Five things to know
Video propaganda showing the White House and Congress being blown up. Talk of hitting U.S. bases in the Pacific. The reunciation of a 60-year-old armistice that has kept the tenuous peace on the Korean Peninsula.
It seems barely a day passes without another North Korean threat, and coming after the December launch of a long-range rocket and a third nuclear test in February, the florid declarations from Pyongyang have gotten the attention of the United States and its allies.
So why now, and how nervous should you be? Here are five things to consider.
South Korea defense chief pick quits in new humiliation for Park
South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s nominee for defense chief withdrew his candidacy on Friday, the latest humiliation for her month-old administration as the country faces daily threats of nuclear annihilation from the North.
The blunders with appointments began with the withdrawal of her first choice as prime minister over charges of inappropriate real estate deals even before she took office on February 25.
Park, South Korea’s first woman leader, was also without a finance minister until Friday, when she finally filled the post and two other cabinet seats. Her choice for vice justice minister resigned on Thursday amid a sex scandal.
Long Island Holocaust Memorial to Honor ‘Comfort Women’
A permanent exhibition about women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army and the country’s atrocities during World War II is to open in the U.S.
The Korean American Public Affairs Committee on Wednesday said it has reached an agreement with the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center in Nassau County in Long Island to set up a special exhibition on the so-called “comfort women.”
The representation of the issue at the respected center will help bring it into clearer focus for many Americans.
New Findings on the 2012 Asian American Vote in NY: 86% Voted for Obama and 67% Support Immigration Reform
86% of Asian Americans polled in New York voted for President Obama and two-thirds support immigration reform, according to the results of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) exit poll in New York, released today. AALDEF conducted a nonpartisan multilingual exit poll of 4,089 Asian American voters in New York in the November 2012 elections, the largest survey of its kind.
Meet Jeremy Scott’s Muse: K-Pop Star CL
ELLE: What’s your relationship like with Jeremy Scott?
CL: He’s my best friend. He’s like my big brother. He looks out for me. We met each other when he saw the “Fire” video [2NE1’s first single] and flew all the way to Korea to see me. It was actually for a photo shoot for Adidas. He didn’t have to come but he did. You know when you meet someone and you can connect, that click, we had that.
ELLE: You have an empowering song called “Ugly,” about not feeling beautiful. Where did that stem from?
CL: It kinda came from me. I was talking to him in the studio. And no one here understands, but they do back in Korea. You know how Koreans are more strict and people from around the world think that being different is wrong. I don’t understand, you’re unique. I love being myself and love people that are themselves and just, you know, “I’m doing me” type of people. I have respect for those people and love for those people but some people don’t understand that. So for me, I’m seen in public so I’m attacked a lot. I was feeling down one day and talking to him. I was like, “You know, maybe I am ugly to those people.” So we talked on and on and he wrote that song.
TOKiMONSTA releasing new album, playing shows, remixed Justin Timberlake (dates & streams)
TOKiMONSTA began picking up more speed as an artist on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label, and she’s now signed with big-time EDM label Ultra (Deadmau5, Kaskade, Bloody Beetroots), who will release her new album, Half Shadows, on April 2. From the sound of the album’s two singles, “Go With It” (featuring MNDR) and “The Force” (featuring Kool Keith), she’s not changing her sound to fit in with her labelmates (luckily). Instead, she shows us what the LA beat scene sounds like mixed with dream pop on the MNDR collab, and on the one with Kool Keith, she creates an updated vision of the futurism that Keith was doing with Dan the Automator in his Dr. Octagon days.
TOKiMONSTA is playing a few live dates too, including a record release show for Half Shadows with “very special guests” in NYC on April 9 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets for that show go on sale today (3/21) at noon. All dates are listed below.
Kristen Kish Promoted to Chef de Cuisine at Menton
Fresh off her Top Chef win, Kristen Kish has been promoted to chef de cuisine of Menton, Boston’s only Relais & Châteaux property.
The announcement, made today by Barbara Lynch Gruppo, said Kish will officially take the reins beginning June 3, 2013. Kish has been chef de cuisine at Stir.
“As the chef at Stir, Kristen demonstrated her creativity and talents each evening with a new menu,” said Barbara Lynch in a statement. “Watching her – along with the rest of the country – ultimately win Top Chef reinforced what I already knew: She is an exceptionally gifted chef with amazing heart, integrity, and an incredible understanding of what it takes to create beautiful and delicious dishes.”
Roy Choi’s Sunny Spot Brunch Returns Next Week
It’s only appropriate to have brunch at Sunny Spot when it’s actually sunny, so now that the winter fog is lifting, Roy Choi is bringing back weekend brunch for that bright Caribbean-themed patio on March 30. The menu has a few new dishes, like diablo shrimp and grits, the hangover plate (eggs, beans, rice and plantains) and two-fisted burger, but the banana French toast, the amazing Cuban torta and Sunfire Salad all make a comeback, plus $10 endless Jerk Bloody Marys, mimosas and cava.
Ji Kang of Samar on What He Learned After Restaurant Ownership and Eating Live Octopus
The first thing you probably should know about chef Ji Kang is that once he ate squiggling octopus tentacles in Korea. That’s hard-core dedication to local cuisine, even though he swears he’ll never try it again.
Kang, who is the executive chef at Samar, began his culinary career before he even knew it. His grandmother owned a hostel in Korea where she cooked from scratch and was a gracious host to travelers from around the world. Kang was exposed to these traits early life and since has learned just how valuable they are to him now.
Tackling Asian stereotypes in film and TV
Southern California Public Radio
When you think of the most famous Asian characters in film and TV, what might jump to mind are characters like criminal mastermind Fu Manchu; the prostitute who says, “Me so horny,” in Full Metal Jacket; or perpetual foreigner Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles.
Not to mention archetypes like the brainiac, or the kung fu master, or the dragon lady.
But these stereotypes that don’t accurately reflect the 14.6 million Asian-Americans in this country.
This Saturday, these images are getting tossed out of the rickshaw they rode in on: the first summit on Asian-American stereotypes takes place at the Japanese American National Museum in LA.
American audiences: I want my international TV
TV viewers’ appetites are going global as streaming technology broadens their options.
A host of start-up sites like DramaFever.com and Viki.com are tracking down licenses abroad to provide legal means of watching subtitled shows.
From India’s Bollywood and Korean dramas to Japanese anime and Nigerian movies, more obscure foreign titles are legally accessible — often for free with a few clicks. The start-ups that stream them began with the aim of reaching a niche audience — say, first-generation U.S. residents who miss their home-country TV offerings — but soon found that quality content organically finds its way to a broader swath of viewers.
For example, about 85% of viewers for DramaFever, which specializes in scripted serial prime-time dramas from South Korea, are non-Asians.
Younger car buyers shifting to South Korean, American car brands
Los Angeles Times
Detroit’s automakers are doing better selling to young buyers, but South Korean car companies are making the biggest inroads in that segment, primarily at the expense of the Japanese.
That’s the finding of a study of auto registrations by auto research firms R.L. Polk & Co. and Edmunds.com.
The U.S. automakers are doing better in the age 25-to-34 segment by offering “small, fuel-efficient and affordable cars that really appeal to a young set of buyers,” said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with Edmunds.com.
But she noted that domestic automakers are “chiseling away at the Japanese grip” while Hyundai and Kia, the South Korean brands, “are taking big hacks.”
Shin-Soo Choo could return to lineup on Saturday
Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo said he could be back in the Reds lineup as soon as Saturday. Choo, who hasn’t played in a week because of back spasms, underwent a full workout on Thursday without any problems and if he repeats that success on Friday, he expects to be back for Saturday’s exhibition with the Rangers.
“Yesterday I did the full schedule, batting practice, shagging, running, everything. I felt great, no problems,” Choo said Friday morning. “Today I’ll do it again and if I feel good, I think I’ll play tomorrow. I think.”
Choo was hitting .400/.444/.560 in 11 games before waking up on March 16 with back spasms, an injury he hadn’t experienced before. The Reds admittedly used extreme caution with the 30-year-old.
The Getty explores the mystery of Rubens’ Korean man
Southern California Public Radio
To most of us, there’s nothing mysterious about the Peter Paul Rubens drawing “Man in Korean Costume.” It looks like the title says it should look. A Korean-looking man wearing some sort of voluminous Oriental robe.
But if you know your history, you’d say, “Wait a minute! Korea was incredibly isolated in 1617, when Rubens sketched it. How did he know what a Korean man looked like!?”
This is the mystery explored in Looking East: Rubens’s Encounter with Asia, at the Getty Center through June 9th, the Getty’s first Korean-themed exhibit, and its first collaboration with LA’s Korean-American community.
North Korea issues fresh threat to U.S., South probes hacking
North Korea said it would attack U.S. military bases on Japan and the Pacific island of Guam if provoked, a day after leader Kim Jong-un oversaw a mock drone strike on South Korea.
The North also held an air raid drill on Thursday after accusing the United States of preparing a military strike using bombers that have overflown the Korean peninsula as part of drills between South Korean and U.S. forces.
North Korea has stepped up its rhetoric in response to what it calls “hostile” drills between South Korea and the United States. It has also been angered by the imposition of fresh U.N. sanctions that followed its February 12 nuclear test.
South Korea Says Chinese Code Used in Computer Attack
The biggest cyberattack on South Korean computers in two years used malware code from China, according to an initial investigation that is focusing on possible links to North Korea.
Around 32,000 servers were damaged in yesterday’s attack on broadcasters and banks, the Korea Communications Commission said today in a statement. President Park Geun Hye set up a team to investigate whether North Korea is responsible, after computer shutdowns hit companies including Shinhan Bank (1558), Nonghyup Bank, Munhwa Broadcasting Corp., YTN and Korea Broadcasting System.
Was N.Korea Behind Wednesday’s Cyber Attack?
It is unclear who was responsible for a massive cyber attack on major broadcasters and banks in South Korea on Wednesday, but authorities say there is a strong chance that North Korea was behind it.
Government officials here believe no individual hacker could have launched such a major attack, and the modus operandi points to the North. North Korea launched so-called denial of service attacks in 2009 and 2011 aimed at major South Korean websites.
Major North Korean websites including the state-run Rodong Sinmun daily and broadcaster KCNA apparently suffered connection failures on March 13 and 14 after being hit by a hacking attack. A key government official here confirmed that the North was indeed hit by a cyber attack but the source was unknown.
Why cyberattacks are the logical North Korean weapon
Christian Science Monitor
Suspicion for yesterday’s cyberattack quickly fell on North Korea. Cyberwarfare gives North Korea the chance to inflict damages on a militarily superior foe, without having to own the responsibility.
Hollywood’s Changing Its Movies to Appease the Chinese? Good
This month’s gross-out college comedy 21 and Over is the kind of no-hype, no-stars box-office blip that usually passes through movie theaters without much notice except from bored teenagers at mall cineplexes. But the film was noticed—not for being the first comedy since the Harold and Kumar series to feature an Asian-American character with depth and screen time, but because the film’s Chinese producers demanded changes to the script and a different cut of the film for their country’s box office.
In fact, the influx of Chinese cash into Hollywood has opened up a new niche beat for some journalists detailing the edits Chinese financiers require. The individual stories—of changing Looper’s future global capital from Paris to (a more-plausible) Shanghai, of cutting risqué scenes from Cloud Atlas and Skyfall, of deleting a single line from Life of Pi so as not to anger devout moviegoers—are, of course, fascinating. But taken in their totality, the press’s coverage of Chinese censorship of big-studio products has a certain doomsaying quality. A Los Angeles Times reporter writes, for example, that “the net effect [of Chinese influence] is a situation that movie-business veterans say is unprecedented: The suppressive tendencies of a foreign nation are altering what is seen not just in one country but around the world.” Unmentioned is the United States’ own history of government censorship of its films, as well as the progressive outcomes that will result from yuan-financed filmmaking.
North Korean documentary tries transmedia trends
When Toronto filmmaker Ann Shin screened her riveting documentary “The Defector: Escape from North Korea” last November, she received acclaim for crossing a border that few filmmakers dare to go — the technological border, that is.
Shin and her small crew of a camera operator and sound technician followed an agent called “Dragon” from the North Korea-China border all the way to Bangkok with refugees who had high hopes for a better life in South Korea. In an entirely new approach, Shin adopted new, innovative technology to compliment her documentary project, like 360 degree animations and an interactive web site as well as a Facebook app.
In the Defector Interactive (http://experience.thedefectormovie.com/), launched on Feb. 15, users can take a 10-minute haunting interactive journey through the eyes of a woman desperately attempting to escape North Korea.
TOKiMONSTA Remixes Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” (Stream)
The Justin Timberlake love continues. This time around Los Angeles’ uber-talented producer TOKiMONSTA took JT’s new breezy pop single “Suit & Tie” single and twisted some knobs adding some popping bass and a handful of interesting electronic and vocal effects. It’s much more aggressive with the drum beats and would be a hit in a club setting. The take on the track almost sounds like what the single could’ve sounded like if Justin wanted to bring sexy back.
Complete Korean cosmetics shopping guide
With the world’s biggest obsession with plastic surgery and some of the fastest-evolving beauty technology, spas and cosmetic lines in the world, South Korea is a bona fide beauty destination.
According to a government survey, the items tourists want to purchase the most while visiting are Korean beauty products.
With good reason. Korean cosmetic brands introduce products made from exotic ingredients seemingly every month — Jeju Island volcanic clay, soybeans, traditional Korean medicine and, of course, snail guts.
Kim Yu-na and Denis Ten dazzle at figure skating worlds
With her victory at the World Figure Skating Championships in London, Ont., South Korea’s Kim Yu-na not only proved that she could come back, but she also re-established herself as perhaps the most dominant athlete in an individual winter Olympic sport. Her margin of victory at worlds was 20.42 points, the largest gap since the ISU adopted the current system of scoring in 2004. (Kim had won the Olympics in Vancouver by a margin of 18.34.)
“She is in another world right now,” said Carolina Kostner, the Italian silver medalist. And Kostner wasn’t just a weak entrant bringing up the rear; she was the world champion in 2012, when Kim was still on her break from figure skating. To look at it another way, Kim’s winning margin in London was greater than the point differential between Kostner and China’s Li Zijun in seventh place. Granted its status as a sport entails that it be judged, an appreciation for it demands more than quantification. The aesthetic is harder to define.
“The thing about Kim,” U.S. national champ Ashley Wagner says, “is that she has this ability to tell a story and take you with her. It’s so clean from start to finish.”
Shin-Soo Choo misses fifth straight game with back spasms
As if moving to center field at age 30 after never playing the position regularly before wasn’t challenging enough for Shin-Soo Choo now he’s dealing with a back injury.
Choo is out of the Reds’ lineup today for the fifth straight game with back spasms and manager Dusty Baker seemed unsure about his return timetable when talking to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer:
“We’d like to get him in within a week of starting [the regular season], but you don’t know. We’re trying not to have any setbacks, because that’ll make it worse. When it comes to back spasms and the back, you’re just guessing. We just don’t want him to have any setbacks.”
Wyoming outdoors: Trip hooks Korean student on fly fishing
Billings Gazette (Montana)
Have you ever shared in a person’s joy of a momentous event? Have you been lifted up by that person’s unfettered happiness and elation? If you have, you can identify with the experience I had last Friday.
I had volunteered to take a young Korean student, Taesub Kim, fly-fishing. Taesub is a nursing student at Sheridan College and has been a valuable asset to the college, community and his church. Taesub is an extremely talented pianist and has enthralled many people with his concerts and adds a wonderful accompaniment to the choir at Holy Name Church.
Our pastor, Father Jim Heiser, and music director, Mark Sonderby, thought that it would be a fitting reward to have Taesub go fishing. So they asked me if I would teach Taesub to fly-fish and take him on a fishing trip on the Bighorn River.
A state-sponsored drug trade has netted North Korea yearly sales in the hundreds of millions of dollars, an anonymous diplomatic source told the Chosun Ilbo.
North Korean diplomats in overseas posts in Eastern Europe are required to sell 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of drugs in order to bring in funds of $100,000 annually, according to the source, who cited information from a recent North Korean defector. Recently, diplomats were ordered to up their sales to $300,000 in order to “prove their loyalty.”
North Korea mass-produces the illegal drugs in factories in Chongjin and Heungnam under tightly regulated conditions, and as a result the quality is top-notch, said one intelligence official here. “North Korean drugs are highly sought-after overseas.” Continue Reading »
North Korea’s Kim supervises “drone attack” drill
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un supervised a drone attack on a simulated South Korean target on Wednesday, Pyongyang’s KCNA news agency reported, and the armed forces shot down a target mimicking a cruise missile.
North Korea has stepped up its military exercises in response to what it regards as “hostile” joint drills by South Korea and the United States after Pyongyang was sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council for a nuclear test in February.
China Moves on N.Korean Money Laundering
China is making tentative moves in the direction of curbing the illegal activities of North Korean banks, North Korean sources in Beijing said on Tuesday.
According to the sources, Chinese authorities put the brakes on illegal operations by the representative offices of Tanchon Commercial Bank, Korea Daesong Bank and Korea Kwangson Banking Corp. in Beijing and Dandong.
These representative offices are not licensed to engage in business operations such as currency exchange and remittances of money in China because they are not full branches. But in fact they have engaged in money laundering by making payments for trade transactions on North Korean traders’ behalf through borrowed-name bank accounts in China, or by receiving payments on traders’ behalf and asking their headquarters in North Korea to pay the traders.
CeFaan Kim, News12 reporter, mugged in Yonkers; 4 teens arrested
Newsday (subscription req’d)
A News12 reporter who was walking in Yonkers Wednesday morning was jumped by four teenagers in a robbery attempt that sent him to the hospital.
CeFaan Kim, 31, was attacked on Odell Avenue near the Greystone train station shortly before 9 a.m., authorities said. The teens hit him about 30 times before fleeing.
Kim, an ex-sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve, said he fought off the assailants,…
Steven Yeun On The Walking Dead’s Success With Women: ‘It Might Be Norman Reedus!’
“The Walking Dead” has been a major ratings success, bringing in millions to watch the survivors fend off zombies and rival groups on AMC each week. And despite the violence and scary situations, women have been tuning in, in droves.
“It might be Norman Reedus,” Steven Yeun theorized about the show’s success with ladies, when he stopped by Access Hollywood Live on Tuesday. “It’s might be Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln – probably those two.”
Steven, who plays the lovable Glenn (a former pizza delivery man-turned-zombie killer and apocalypse hunk, who has won the heart of Maggie Greene), also said the show resonates with people’s imaginations about dark times.
Cheezburger’s Ben Huh On Why Founders And Companies Should Be More Funny [TCTV]
A lot of founders and companies will say that their big focus is on being taken seriously — especially at the earlier stages. But Ben Huh, the CEO of the super popular Cheezburger Network of websites, says that people should also focus on being taken not-so-seriously. Humor can help provide an important edge in the business world, he says, and it’s a tool that’s not used nearly often enough.
We sat down with Huh this past week at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas to hear a bit more about what it means to be funny at work.
Korean American Students Want You To Watch Their Music Video
Korean American Vincent Ryu, a sophomore at Emory University in Atlanta, GA is hoping to have his music video “More Than The Other” receive as many YouTube views as possible by March 27, in order win his school’s Campus MovieFest Wild Card competition and is asking the public for help.
“We dealt with a genre that is commonly known as an area that Asians have difficulty in having success – hip hop. Both the composer, rapper, arranger, and singer are Korean Americans,” said Ryu who created the video with six friends. “I believe that this film is a great attempt for Asian Americans who don’t believe in boundaries. ”