North Korean leader’s ousted uncle alive and safe: South Korean minister
The uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is alive and appears to be safe, South Korea’s unification minister said on Wednesday, a day after the South’s National Intelligence Service said he had been removed from two powerful positions.
Jang Song Thaek, considered the second-most powerful man in the impoverished, reclusive North, was last seen in public in early November at a basketball match between North Korean and Japanese teams in Pyongyang.
“I understand that Jang Song Thaek is not in any physical danger,” Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae told lawmakers gathered at an emergency sub-committee meeting in Seoul.
Signs of N.Korean Purge Spotted in September
The government is preparing to deal with the potential impact of the sacking of North Korea’s eminence grise Jang Song-taek for cross-border relations.
An intelligence official here said there are “no immediate signs of major changes in the North” and urged calm, but added that a “huge uncertainty” hangs over in the North Korean regime.
Intelligence officials had been monitoring Jang and his coterie since September. Not only had Jang’s public appearances with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un decreased significantly this year, but there were also rumors of a “bloody purge” targeting Jang’s circle.
NK leader following his father’s path in purging potential enemies: expert
North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong-un, is apparently demonstrating swift ruthlessness in eliminating his potential political rivals with reports that his uncle Jang Song-thaek has been ousted from all of his key posts, a U.S. expert said Tuesday.
Alexandre Mansourov, who has long studied North Korean issues, said Kim seems to be following in his late father’s footsteps. His father, Kim Jong-il, purged his own uncle Kim Yong-ju, regarding him as a threat to his power bid in the mid-1970s, said Mansourov.
“If true, Jang’s removal from power will be a major development in North Korea’s post-Kim Jong-il history,” he told Yonhap News Agency.
South Korea in a daze over Chinese haze
Scientists in South Korea say the country must brace itself for a bank of smog rolling in across the sea from China, it’s reported.
The National Institute of Environmental Research says westerly winds are bearing a cloud laden with high levels of heavy metals such as arsenic and lead. They expect the whole country to be enveloped in what Choson Ilbo newspaper called the “new influx of toxic haze” that blanketed the western island of Baengnyeong at the weekend and went on to obscure the skyline of the capital Seoul.
Korea is the world’s top producer of unhappy school children
By many measures, Korea is doing incredibly well.
Unemployment is ridiculously low.
Exports are booming, driving the country’s record current account surplus.
And according to the just released-numbers from OECD, the Paris-based international think tank, South Korean students are some of the best performing in the world. Young South Koreans are especially far above average in math and reading, as measured by the percentage of students reaching the highest level of proficiency in those subjects according to the study of global student achievement known as the PISA.
But there is one measure of education where Korea is at the bottom of the list: happiness.
Can a Sunken Rock Unite Japan and Korea?
All the drama surrounding China’s declaration of a vast “air-defense identification zone” off its shores centers on the disputed islands known as the Senkaku by Japan, which administers them, and the Diaoyu by China, which challenges Tokyo’s claim. The new zone encompasses the airspace over the islands: Beijing wants any planes in the area to identify themselves beforehand or face unspecified, possibly military, action. Japan scoffs at this demand, as does the U.S., which has accused China of unilaterally trying to alter the status quo by threat of force.
The issue dominated U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Tokyo today — and will do the same when he travels to Beijing tomorrow. The Japanese have been pushing the U.S. — which has recommended that American airlines respect China’s rules even if the U.S. military will not — to take an even tougher stand against Beijing. If he really wants to undercut China, though, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should be focusing on another island entirely.
Lawyers for ex-State Dept. worker Stephen J. Kim urge Holder to drop leak charges
awyers for a former State Department employee accused of leaking sensitive defense secrets are urging Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to drop criminal charges, saying that the case might never have been pursued under current Justice Department guidelines on leak investigations.
Defense attorneys for former State Department arms expert Stephen J. Kim argue that the Department of Justice should abandon its case for multiple reasons — but largely because the new leak policy would have stopped investigators from obtaining some of the evidence they are now using to prosecute Kim.
Asian-Americans outspend other US households, Nielsen study shows
South China Morning Post
The spending habits of the mainland consumer have been well dissected, as have the buying preferences of their travellers. But what about their peers who go abroad and stay there?
Nielsen yesterday released the results of a study done on the consumption habits of Asian-Americans who come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, including Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Korean and Japanese.
It found that Asian-American households outspend US households in general by an average of 19 per cent. They are also the number one demographic among online shoppers.
Seventy-seven per cent of Asian-Americans had made an online purchase within the past year, as against 61 per cent of all Americans.
Twelve per cent of Asian Americans spent US$2,500 or more a year on internet shopping, almost double the amount for the general population in the United States.
U.S. Senators Say South Korea Should Not Hire China Firm
New York Times
Two leading senators have asked the Obama administration to warn South Korea against allowing Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications firm, to build large parts of a next-generation network for the capital city of Seoul, arguing that it could give the Chinese government a way to enter the networks of a major American ally.
The issue appears almost certain to come up when Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. arrives in Seoul later this week, the last stop on his Asian trip.
At a moment when the United States is already protesting China’s establishment of an “air defense zone” over disputed territory in the East China Sea, the Huawei issue is bound to be another irritant in an increasingly contentious discussion with the government of the Chinese president, Xi Jinping.
Holiday Burdens from Korea
For those Koreans who live in the United States, it’s the price you have to pay for having friends or relatives in Korea. Sometimes you have no choice but to participate in the Black Friday frenzy.
Their requests keep on barging in every year, and it’s really no different than an uninvited guest popping up at your front door completely unannounced.
Only identified by last name and age here, 25-year old Los Angeles resident Kim says she had to buy five Coach brand purses last Friday at the Citadel Outlets. “It’s true that I saved as much as 60% since it was Black Friday, but they are not mine,” she explained. ”I was just doing favors for friends and relatives in Korea.”
Another Korean American, 36-year old Park, says she gets nervous when she gets text messages during this time of the year, especially on Kakao Talk, because of such requests. “They’ve either been here [before] to know, or heard about Black Friday sales through the media and they don’t hesitate to ask,” she says. “It’s not like I don’t have enough to do as it is, but it’s difficult to say ‘No.’”
Hotel Boom in South Korea Sparks Concern
Wall Street Journal (subscription req’d)
A record number of foreign tourists visiting South Korea in recent years has fueled in Seoul what property developers are calling the biggest hotel boom in the country’s history. But some industry participants say an overreliance on visitors from China and Japan leaves South Korea vulnerable to future overcapacity.
South Korea has seen its international profile as a tourist destination rise significantly in the past few years, helped by the splash Korean pop culture has made overseas.
The number of foreign tourists visiting Asia’s fourth-largest economy leapt past 11 million for the first time last year, according to the Korean Tourism Organization, marking the fourth consecutive year of double-digit percentage growth. By comparison, Japan, a neighbor almost four times the size of South Korea with similar climes, took in 8.36 million foreigners last year, according to Japan Tourism Marketing Co., a Tokyo-based tourism industry consultancy.
Amanda Seyfried puts on a stylish show in South Korea while Justin Long the supportive boyfriend waits in the wings
Daily Mail (U.K.)
She’s known as a screen siren, but Amanda Seyfried can also add ‘muse’ to her list of titles.
On Wednesday, Amanda Seyfried attended the Muse party in Seoul, an event that promoted cosmetic brand Clé de Peau Beaute.
As the official muse for the make-up brand, Seyfriend was the guest of honor at the shindig and held a press conference to welcome the media and fans.
China says ‘not aware’ of detention of N. Korean defectors
China’s foreign ministry said Monday it had no information that 13 North Korean defectors were arrested in the Chinese city of Kunming late last week.
“I’m not aware of the specifics you mentioned,” ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters when asked about the detention of the North Koreans who were arrested Friday.
The North Koreans were arrested while trying to board a bus bound for an unidentified Southeast Asian nation, Seoul-based activists said earlier in the day.
“I need to get further information about that,” Qin said.
U.S. envoy on N. Korean human rights arrives in Seoul
Yonhap News via GlobalPost
Robert King, U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, arrived here Sunday for talks with South Korean officials.
King’s trip comes as Kenneth Bae, a Christian missionary, remains detained in the communist North since he was caught nearly a year ago.
The Korean-American has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor by a North Korean court for committing an unspecified crime against the state.
Seoul Helicopter Crash Raises Fears Over New Skyscraper
Wall Street Journal
The crash of a private helicopter into a high-rise apartment building in Seoul over the weekend grabbed the attention of the local media, though the focus was not on the accident itself but on another skyscraper under construction nearby.
Media reports and politicians Monday raised fresh concerns that the construction of the 555-meter Lotte World Tower, set to be the tallest building in Korea once completed in early 2016, would pose a safety risk to flights over the capital city.
“The government needs to review the possibility of reducing the height of the new building. If an airplane or fighter jet hits it, it will cause an unimaginable catastrophe,” said Lee Hye-hoon, a lawmaker and senior leader of the ruling Saenuri Party, during a party meeting Monday.
Korea Indicts Sellers of SAT Leaks
Wall Street Journal
Seoul’s prosecutors indicted a group of brokers and cram-school officials for leaking U.S. college-entrance exam materials, but the city’s education board said it may let the centers in question continue to operate.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office said Monday that 22 individuals were charged for selling SAT materials. A single question was allegedly valued at up to 300,000 won ($284).
One broker allegedly made 358 resales, while a manager at a test-prep center was found to have paid 100,000 won each to people pretending to take the SATs so they can memorize or photograph official test booklets, prosecutors said in a statement, without directly naming the people or businesses involved.
The Love App
Among twenty-ﬁve million, they were two, speeding toward the glowing span of the Wonhyo Bridge on a warm spring night, the scooter trailing pink balloons. They were born in Seoul in 1985 and 1992. They were natives of the most wired city in the world, a megalopolis that is nearly twice as dense as New York but maintains the wide margins of the suburbs—roomy restaurants, boulevards lined with trees. The city belonged to them, beaming its vital signs at speeds of more than fifty megabits per second to its citizens, who bunched and flowed in near-instantaneous reply. Their smartphones were lanterns, illuminating the urban grid. Bubbles within windows within browsers within screens: it was as though, through some mathematical trick, the smaller the interface the more freedom it afforded
Animated Film On The ‘Kamikaze Plane’ Hits A Nerve In Asia
Oscar-winning Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki created beloved films such as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. But his latest film is drawing unusually sharp criticism.
The Wind Rises is no ordinary tale: It tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi, the Japanese engineer who designed the Mitsubishi Zero, the fighter plane (in)famously used in kamikaze attacks in World War II.
Commentators in South Korea have called the film “right wing” and said it “glorifies Japanese imperialism” and “depict[s] oneself as the victim and portray[s] the calamity of war, but fail[s] to point out the cause.”
Hawaii Five-0′s Daniel Dae Kim dials up diversity
It’s not easy for a Korean-born, Asian-American actor to land a regular starring role in a popular, long-running prime-time entertainment series, let alone two — but that’s exactly what Daniel Dae Kim has done. Philosophical concepts like diversity in casting, racial harmony and respect for different cultures get bandied about in network executives’ discussions, but rarely acted on.
That’s not what has made playing hard-luck Honolulu police Det. Chin Ho Kelly in Hawaii Five-0, now in its fourth season, so richly satisfying, though.
It’s not even the memories of playing Korean fisherman-turned-Mob-enforcer Jin-Soo Kwon for six seasons in the Emmy Award winning Lost.
Original ‘Oldboy’ Gets Remastered, Rescreened for 10th Anniversary in South Korea
A digitally remastered version of Oldboy will be released across South Korean theaters on Nov. 21, exactly 10 years since its original release in 2003.
Under the auspices of its director Park Chan-wook, the film’s visuals have been revamped with color correction and elimination of scratches and dust. The editing and audios remain the same.
Director of the original ‘Oldboy’ is a Spike Lee fan
When South Korean director Park Chan-wook made the film “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance” in 2002, there were no plans to follow it up with two more quirky, nasty, violent entries that would eventually morph the three films into what’s now known as his “Vengeance Trilogy.” Director Park wasn’t even aware of the hit Japanese manga (comic book) called “Oldboy” until his producer approached him with a copy.
“He suggested it would be a good project to adapt the manga into a film,” said Park, through his translator, by phone from South Korea. “The element that attracted me was that it took place in a private incarceration facility. The room was described in the manga as being between the seventh and eighth floors — the 7.5 floor — somewhere that nobody can really know exists. And in this place, one of our neighbors, who is known to be missing, is incarcerated. That starting point was something that mesmerized me. I thought the set-up was rather brilliant. That’s why I decided to do it.”
Shin-Soo Choo brings more than just on-base percentage
The last time the Mets and Yankees truly butted heads in pursuit of an elite player was during the 2007 winter meetings, when the lobby conversations at the Opryland hotel in Nashville were dominated by Johan Santana trade chatter.
Omar Minaya won that round by pulling off the trade-and-sign with the Twins for the two-time Cy Young winner. But to borrow one of Scott Boras’ better analogies, the New York rivals have done their shopping in different aisles of the supermarket since then, with the Mets poking around in the freezer section and the Yankees eyeing the prime steaks.
This offseason, however, finds the teams at the intersection of a top Boras client: Shin-Soo Choo, a high-OBP corner outfielder with some power who would be the perfect fit for either club. Despite the Yankees’ surprising number of holes, the Mets, with plenty of their own, have the greater void in terms of talent and star attraction.
Orioles add four minor league free agents
The Orioles today signed four players to minor league contracts, adding two pitchers and two outfielders from four different organizations.
They signed right-handed pitcher Brock Huntzinger, left-handed pitcher Nick Additon, and added outfielders Chih-Hsien Chiang and Kyeong Kang.
The 25-year-old Huntzinger went 5-2 with a 1.83 ERA in relief last year pitching between Double-A and Triple-A in the Red Sox organization. A third-round draft pick in 2007, he worked 68 2/3 innings, allowing 51 hits with 28 walks and 62 strikeouts.
The 26-year-old Additon pitched in 2013 at Triple-A Memphis in the St. Louis organization, going 9-7 with a 4.10 ERA in 24 games, 21 starts. Over 131 2/3 innings, he walked 38 and fanned 117. Additon was drafted out of a Davie, Fla., high school in round 46 of 2006 by the Cardinals.
Lee Sang-hwa breaks world record in women’s 500
South Korea’s Lee Sang-hwa broke the world record in the women’s 500 meters Friday in a World Cup speedskating meet at the Utah Olympic Oval, finishing in 36.57 seconds.
China’s Wang Beixing was second in 36.85, Heather Richardson finished third in a U.S.-record 36.97.
More fast times followed on the track known as the “fastest ice on earth.” American Shani Davis, the world-record holder in the men’s 1,500, won the event in 1:41.98.
Glendale’s Benson Henderson sees UFC grow
It’s been 20 years since the first Ultimate Fighting Championship and its eight-man tournament format.
Benson Henderson, a former UFC lightweight champion from Glendale, has seen the sport transform in the three years he’s been involved.
“It’s come a long ways, 20 years ago and just my short time period in the UFC,” Henderson said. “Crossing a lot of borders, going mainstream and breaking records.
“It’s been amazing for me to actually witness it and be a part of it.”
Not that long ago, mixed martial arts in general, and UFC in particular, was considered a sports sideshow. Sen. John McCain once labeled UFC as “human cockfighting,” and many states would not sanction events. But a series of rules changes and regulations brought much of the mayhem under control, and two years ago UFC made its first big push toward the mainstream, signing a seven-year partnership deal with Fox.
From student to captain; Jane Kim does it all
La Voz Weekly
Jane Kim, a 20-year-old, 5’7 and 140 pound water machine is De Anza College’s women’s water polo captain. Tough in the pool and with the books, the working student athlete does not have time to waste.
Aside from providing leadership to her team, she helps guide others outside of De Anza. Kim is constantly in the water and if she is not in the pool for school, she is at work as a swim instructor.
“After practice, I teach kids how to swim. It can be draining and on my days off, I compete for school,” said Kim. “My weekends consist of tournaments or games.”
What Foods to Eat in Korea When You’re Sick
Feeling under the weather in Korea? Korea is not only famous for their delicious food but also for their restorative and medicinal qualities too! Here are a few to try out:
Are you ill to the point you don’t want to eat anything too heavy or too flavourful? Then ‘Juk’ will be perfect for any circumstance! ‘Juk’ or rice porridge is very popular to eat in Korea and it comes in many different varieties. In Korea it is often eaten after a heavy meal like Korean BBQ, as a delicacy, as a snack , as a comfort food, or even when someone is sick. ‘Juk can be quite bland so Koreans often add some shrimp jeot (Korean condiment) or eaten alongside with different varieties of Kimchi.
Date a Geek: Cristhian Kim of BarkBox
Tell us a bit about yourself (Age, hometown, what you do for a living):
I’m a 27 year old currently living in Williamsburg. I grew up in New York but was born in Paraguay. I’m a developer at BarkBox where we make dogs and dog parents happy by delivering a surprise box of treats and toys each month.
What makes you a geek?
I’m a geek because I love building and tinkering with things. I am fascinated by complex systems, how they are abstracted to simpler parts and how they all work together. Also, the fact that I wrote that last sentence makes me a geek.
Android, iOS, or other?
After being on Android for the last 4 years I just switched to iOS, got myself a Gold 5S and it’s a thing of beauty. I do miss certain Android features such as being able to send a photo/video to any apps that manipulate those files not just the ones that Apple says it’s ok. But I do love the polish and snappy camera of the iPhone.
N. Korea slams President Park for fueling inter-Korean tensions
North Korea slammed President Park Geun-hye Tuesday for fueling tensions with provocative anti-Pyongyang remarks made during her recent trip to Europe.
The North’s Korean Central News Agency, citing a statement issued by an unidentified spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK), referred to Park by name and accused her of being a hypocrite and only focused on maintaining a confrontational stance with the DPRK.
The DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name.
During her recent trip to France, Britain and Belgium, Park, who has made “trust building” the cornerstone of her North Korean policy, called on the isolationist country to get rid of its nuclear weapons and improve human rights.
Syrian regime recruited North Korean pilots – activist group
A British-based Syrian activist group claims Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has recruited 15 North Korean pilots to operate his regime’s attack helicopters.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors casualties and developments in Syria’s civil war, cited an opposition-linked website, which claims the North Koreans were brought in due to fears Syrian pilots might defect to neighboring countries.
In the past, there have been reports of Syrian fighter jet pilots defaulting to Jordan with their jets but the reports were never confirmed.
North Korea, a close ally of Syria, is thought to have sold military equipment, including chemical weapons and scud missiles, to the Assad regime in the past.
S. Korea pledges US$5 mln in aid to Philippines
Yonhap News via GlobalPost
South Korea will offer US$5 million in relief aid to the typhoon-ravaged Philippines and send a team of relief workers there, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.
The government decided to provide the Philippines with assistance in cash and relief goods including food, blankets and tents, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The goods will be shipped to the country after the Philippine government’s approval, which is expected to take a day or two, according to the ministry.
Samsung offers US$1 mln in aid to typhoon-stricken Philippines
Samsung Group, South Korea’s biggest conglomerate, said Tuesday that it has decided to offer US$1 million in aid to the Philippines, which has suffered from huge damage by a typhoon.
Typhoon Haiyan cut a wide swath of destruction through the central part of the Southeast Asian country last weekend, taking thousands of lives and leaving thousands of homes destroyed.
The group’s financial aid will be delivered to the country via the Red Cross and World Vision, a nongovernmental humanitarian aid group.
Meanwhile, the group’s flagship unit Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s biggest smartphone maker, will send a 20-member emergency team of its Filipino subsidiary to the areas hit by the typhoon to provide free repair service of home appliances, the group said.
Linking up Europe and South Korea ‘not easy’
Deutsche Welle (Germany)
Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to pay a state visit to South Korea today, November 12, where he will meet with President Park Guen-hye. The two leaders met on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg in September and have a full agenda for their two days of discussions in Seoul, including ways of improving bilateral ties, ensuring peace and stability on the fractious Korean peninsula and stepping up cooperation and exchanges.
Putin, however, is particularly keen on a project that could bring major economic and geo-political benefits to Russia: the long-debated plan to connect the furthest reaches of Western Europe with Busan, the South Korean port on the very tip of the peninsula, by railway.
This route would primarily follow the existing Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to the Russian Far East before crossing into North Korea on the short stretch of border that the two nations share, continuing south, traversing the so-called Demilitarized Zone that is the border between North and South and finally ending up in Busan, the largest container ship hub in Asia.
How to Cure South Korea’s English Fever?
Wall Street Journal
How much should a country pay to master the English language?
Based on the economics and outcomes of English tuition in South Korea today, the country is throwing excessive amounts at the task with meager results.
According to Swiss-based language learning company EF Education First, the average South Korean gets nearly 20,000 hours of English education from kindergarten through university. Much of that tuition comes at private institutes known as hagwon that Korean kids flock to stay ahead in the nation’s hyper-competitive educational race.
Ailee’s Agency Takes Legal Action Regarding Distribution of Singer’s Nude Photos
Ailee’s agency, YMC Entertainment, has taken concrete moves in order to take legal action in regards to the distribution of the singer’s nude photos.
A representative from YMC Entertainment stated to a local news source on November 12 KST, “CEO Jo Yoo Myung has personally appointed a lawyer in the U.S. However, we cannot currently reveal specific plans as we are still in the process of closely examining the facts.” The reason for appointing a U.S. lawyer is due to the difficulty of investigating from South Korea, as all sources of the photos are located overseas.
A source from the foreign affairs department of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency also commented, “The foreign affairs department doesn’t always take on every investigation involving foreigners.” Pointing to the lengthy and difficult process of obtaining help from U.S. law enforcement agencies and embassy, the source stated, “It will be hard to expect a proper investigation in the case of Ailee.” The source continued, “But if [the agency] appointed a U.S. lawyer, the speedy procurement of the identity of Ailee’s ex-boyfriend might be possible. It will depend on how much ‘Allkpop’ cooperates.”
Super Junior wows European fans
Super Junior held a successful first concert in London, where about 10,000 fans gathered, SM Entertainment said Monday.
The popular K-pop boy band performed at Wembley Arena in London its signature “Super Show 5.” The audience included not only British fans but also those from France, Germany, Poland, Hungary and other parts of Europe.
The group started off with “Mr. Simple,” which is the lead track from its fifth full-length album, and continued on with such popular songs as “Sorry Sorry” and “Sexy, Free & Single.” All together, the members performed 23 songs.
Samsung Debuts Online Drama Series
Samsung will begin airing a web-only soap opera this week in an effort to ride interest in TV dramas and connect with the country’s smartphone-obsessed youth.
Samsung Group spokesman Kevin Cho said the series is a new step for the company’s social engagement program, targeting South Korea’s twentysomethings with a story about penniless young jobseekers living together and the hardships they face in getting a job.
South Korea’s largest conglomerate by revenue appears serious about the production quality, recruiting an outside studio and K-Pop stars for the six-episode “Infinite Power.”
Video: Rob Gronkowski mocks Asian fan at watch party
Richie Incognito and Riley Cooper are among the NFL players who have come under fire for racially insensitive incidents this year. Rob Gronkowski may be next.
TMZ has posted a video of the Patriots tight end mocking an Asian fan. (See below.) The incident was reportedly filmed during a fan event last weekend. Gronkowski was scheduled to attend a watch party Sunday at Bar Louie in Foxboro.
When an Asian man wearing a Gronkowski jersey began dancing, the Pro Bowler said into the microphone: “They told me he could only cook fried rice.” Gronkowski later referred to the Asian fan as “Leslie Chow” after Ken Jeong’s character in The Hangover.
Sobban: A Korean-Southern diner
Wall Street Journal
There are fewer than 40 seats inside Sobban, the Korean-Southern diner set under the horseshoe-bowed roof and soaring plate windows of a vintage Arby’s. That hasn’t stopped the crowds that (mostly) wait patiently to try this exciting new restaurant — one whose time most definitely has come.
You could argue that Atlanta has emerged as one of the country’s (if not the world’s) great towns for Korean food, and many of the area’s best chefs find inspiration from the restaurants and markets throughout the Northern suburbs. We’re ripe for a Western-style restaurant like this, which assumes a certain level of familiarity and comfort with Korean flavors on the part of the customer, both in terms of its chile heat and its twangy funk of fermented vegetables.
This restaurant also has some budding star power behind it: Jiyeon Lee and Cody Taylor of Heirloom Market BBQ. This project seems more like Lee’s baby, and she oversees the menu. It feels one part derived from Korean family recipes and home cooking, one part Southern farm-to-table, and one part rock ’n’ roll new Asian in the manner of Miso Izakaya or Octopus Bar.
Chef Roy Choi Soups Up Instant Ramen With American Cheese
Thought you’d never look at another package of instant ramen again after college? What if American cheese was involved?
In his new cookbook, L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food, chef Roy Choi of L.A.’s famous Kogi taco truck (among a slew of other popular restaurants) shares this souped-up instant ramen recipe that will forever change the way you look at your 2 a.m. college dinner (or 2 p.m. breakfast).
“Making instant ramen is spiritual, important and methodical for Korean-American kids,” Choi tells Tasting Table. “It’s our peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”
News from Seattle tends to dominate most of the headlines in Washington’s King County. In the days leading up to Nov. 5’s election cycle, however, another district in King County is making some noise.
Korean American Shari Song, a Democrat, looks to upset two-term Republican incumbent Reagan Dunn for the 9th District County Council seat, in an intensely contested race that has gained greater attention in the last several months.
A resident of Bellevue, Song, 49, has raised more campaign funds than any of Dunn’s previous challengers, and her endorsers include U.S. Rep. Adam Smith and Sen. Patty Murray, in addition to several Democratic state lawmakers. Recently, she also earned the support of Washington governor Jay Inslee.
While the county council is officially nonpartisan, a win for Song would give Democrats—who currently have five of nine seats—a veto-proof majority. That explains the strong support she has received from members of her party and why District 9 is the most competitive County Council race. Continue Reading »
North Korea Hands Over 6 South Korean Detainees
New York Times
Six South Koreans who had been held in North Korea on charges of illegal entry returned to their home country on Friday, after the North released them in a gesture that could help ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The six men were handed over to the South Korean authorities at the border village of Panmunjom, the South’s Unification Ministry said in a statement.
North Korean officials also handed over the remains of a woman. They said that the woman was the wife of one of the six men, and that she was killed during a quarrel with her husband, South Korean officials said.
Nuclear North Korea: Bad or mad?
UNDERNEATH THE “TOWER of the Korean War”, a monument in Seoul resembling a bronze sword, is a bunker managed by the Ministry of Public Administration and Security. Inside, visitors learn how to protect themselves from a North Korean attack, chemical (seal the windows), biological (cover your mouth and nostrils) or nuclear (find a bunker).
A squad of cadets, in the middle of their 21 months of mandatory military service, troop inside, don 3D glasses and watch a stirring televised account of the bombardment of Yeonpyeong island in November 2010 by North Korean artillery, which killed two soldiers and two civilians in the first shelling of South Korean territory since the end of the Korean war. The North Koreans, some analysts assumed, were trying to bolster their new general, Kim Jong Un, in preparation for his succession to the throne of the Kim dynasty.
N. Korean diplomat based in Ethiopia defects to S. Korea: sources
A North Korean diplomat based in Ethiopia defected to Seoul in August after seeking asylum at the South Korean Embassy in the African country, multiple sources said Friday.
The North Korean man, whose identity is unknown, stormed into the South Korean embassy in Addis Ababa, asking for help for his defection to the South, they said.
“At that time, he worked for the North Korean office of the trade representative in Ethiopia … I’ve learned that he is not a senior official, though,” one source said without elaborating further.
North Korea is losing a crucial source of income: Koreans in Japan
Possibly the only thing that North Korea needs and craves more than nuclear brinksmanship is hard currency, which is essential for the country’s survival but which international sanctions make very difficult to secure. The hermit kingdom has a number of ways to bring in cold, hard cash, but one of its previously most reliable has hit yet another setback in what appears to be its permanent decline.
That source of income is a group known as Chongryon, or the “General Association of Korean Residents in Japan.” The Japan-based, pro-Pyongyang group links North Korea with the sizable community of ethnic Koreans living in Japan. Since its 1950s founding, Chongryon has done three things, and done them all pretty well: pushed pro-Pyongyang ideology among Japanese Koreans, funneled money from those Japanese Koreans into North Korea and, most important, has run all sorts of business that existed solely to generate cash for the North Korean regime.
With Impeccable Timing, ‘Dokdo Day’ Arrives to Stir More Nationalistic Fervor
Wall Street Journal
South Korea’s territorial dispute with Japan over a minuscule rocky outcropping in the ocean has been out of the headlines for some months, but Tokyo and Seoul are doing what they can to try and fix that.
Earlier this week, the two foreign ministries embroiled themselves in a tiff over a YouTube video that Japan’s foreign ministry posted on its website, asserting sovereignty over the uninhabited islets known internationally as the Liancourt Rocks.
NTSB went to South Korea as part of Asiana Airlines crash inquiry
Los Angeles Times
National Transportation Safety Board officials have traveled to South Korea as part of an investigation into the crash of an Asiana Airlines jet at San Francisco International Airport, in which three people died and more than 180 others were injured.
The investigators interviewed managers and training personnel and “observed Asiana procedures in a simulator and an exemplar aircraft,” according to a NTSB announcement Friday.
Investigators in Korea also combed through records from the airplane involved in the accident.
Man wanted for August sexual assault
KTVA CBS 11 News
Police are searching for a man charged with sexually assaulting a woman in late August.
James Kim, 56, faces two counts stemming from the incident. In a statement released Wednesday, Anchorage Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Castro wrote Kim was gone when officers arrived at his residence to place him under arrest.
Police initially believed Kim fled to Korea, but new information pointed in a different direction. They now believe Kim is still in Anchorage, Castro wrote, possibly staying with people who don’t know about his recent activity.
Korean Victims of Hiroshima Bomb Awarded Medical Costs
A Japanese court has ruled that it is against the law not to cover the medical costs of victims of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb who live outside Japan.
Under a relief law for atomic bomb survivors enacted in 1994, the Japanese government covers all medical expenses of victims who received treatment in Japan but not of those treated elsewhere.
Lee Hong-hyun (67), a Korean victim who lives in Korea, filed the lawsuit along with the surviving families of two other Korean victims.
The judge said there is “no clause in the relief law that limits the provision of medical expenses only to Japanese territory.”
TEA to Present Julia Cho’s 99 HISTORIES, 10/24-11/16
99 Histories is a powerful story about the bond between mothers, daughters, sisters and aunts across three generations. 29-year-old Korean American violin prodigy Eunice comes home pregnant and unmarried, and tries to mend her estranged relationship with her very Korean mother. Haunted by memories of a violent past, Eunice must confront her ghosts before she can move forward. This is a riveting and poignant drama of memory, legacy and home – what is remembered is made up, the only homelands that exist are the imaginary.
Theatre Esprit Asia (TEA) is proud to present “99 Histories” by Julia Cho, and directed by Terry Dodd, opening Thursday, October 24 and running through November 16. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 7:00 p.m. Single tickets are: $25 at the door, $23 advance; $20 anytime students/seniors 60+ with ID, groups of 6 or more. Tickets are available by calling 303-856-7830 or online at www.theatre-esprit-asia.org. All performances are held at Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010
MLB players from Park Chan-ho to Ryu Hyun-jin fuel baseball boom at home
The Korea Baseball Organization said last month that South Korea’s top professional baseball league has passed the 6 million mark in attendance for the third straight year. It’s a reminder of how the ball game has emerged as a national pastime.
Not only diehard baseball buffs but also ordinary families, couples and friends are visiting the ball parks together to watch the heart-thumping, live drama. People also constantly talk about the games and players in the workplace, at schools, cafeterias and on social networks.
It’s a bit of a stretch to say that Korea is a “baseball nation” yet, but it’s also safe to say that baseball is now an integral part of Korean leisure.
Yankees interested in Korean relief pitcher
New York Post
With all the emphasis on Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka and which team he signs with, Oh Seung-Hwan, a Korean right-hander, is also drawing attention.
The Yankees are among the MLB clubs that have scouted the 31-year-old reliever who is a seven-time All Star in the Korean Baseball Organization and has spent nine years with the Samsung Lions.
Like Tanaka, Oh has to go through the posting process which won’t begin until Nov. 1.
From Whitney High to UC Irvine to Pro Boxing
Korea Times US
Cerritos resident and UC Irvine graduate Daniel Kim will make his long-awaited professional boxing debut on Friday night at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula.
The 23-year old Korean American Junior Welterweight is scheduled to fight four rounds against Cory Muldrew (0-3) from Phoenix, Arizona. Both weighed in at 142 pounds on Thursday.
Orange County-based boxing promoter Roy Englebrecht appears to have high hopes for the 2012 Southern California Blue & Gold champion. Kim joins a trio of undefeated fighters promoted by Englebrecht – Alexander Flores (13-0), Dwain Victorian (2-0), and Curtis Millender (3-0 in MMA).
Wall Street Journal
A long-held winter practice of Koreans may be declared an intangible cultural heritage by Unesco.
Kimjang—the making and sharing of kimchi, Korea’s pickled-vegetable staple— has been listed by a Unesco advisory committee that evaluates new candidates, Korea’s Cultural Heritage Administration said Wednesday. The final decision will be made during the Unesco sessions slated for Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 2 to 7.
Kimjang would become the country’s 16th intangible cultural heritage, joining the likes of the epic chant pansori (approved in 2008), traditional martial art taekkyeon (2011) and the lyrical folk song arirang (2011).
Tacky Tourist Items You Can Buy at the North Korean Border
It’s hard to imagine the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, the world’s most heavily armed border, as anything other than a long, dreary stretch of dangerous terrain. Just last month, a man was killed by South Korean soldiers while attempting to swim into North Korea. It’s just the most recent fatal incident along the 150-mile-long DMZ, in place since 1953.
It’s a different story in the border city of Paju, South Korea. There, life looks more similar to Niagara Falls than a place of half-century-long political tension.