Friday’s Link Attack: OC Bank Robbery, North Korea, Singer John Park
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: March 2nd, 2012
Filed Under: BLOG
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Bank gunman shot; manager escapes harm
Orange Country Register

Police shot and injured a gunman who held a bank manager hostage Thursday afternoon after a failed robbery attempt, authorities said.An hours-long standoff ended when SWAT officers about 3 p.m. exchanged gunfire with the man outside of Saehan Bank.Police said the man suspected of holding the bank manager hostage was struck by gunfire, while three SWAT officers suffered minor injuries.The female bank manager, who was near the gunman when shots were fired, was escorted to safety, authorities said.

Dallas Korean, black groups make peace, but protest at store continues
Dallas Morning News (Subscription Required)

Korean-American and African-American groups held a news conference Thursday to preach reconciliation after three months of protests against a Korean-owned convenience store in predominantly black South Dallas.

NK, US Sell Their Deal Differently
Wall Street Journal

In the annals of U.S.-North Korea relations, Wednesday’s announcement of a kind of deal in which the North promises to behave nicely and the U.S. promises to provide nutritional goods for a year appears to be one of the sunnier moments.

But U.S. officials were cautious about not over-hyping it and pointed out that North Korea promised nothing it couldn’t reverse or walk away from. North Korea said nothing more about the deal after its initial statement.

Not surprisingly, the two countries emphasized different issues when they announced the arrangement.

N. Korea finds a purpose for small group of ‘friends’
Washington Post

As North Korea tells it, Kim Jong Il has grieving friends all across the world. There are mourners for the late leader in Mongolia and broken hearts in Bangladesh. The Ugandans laid wreaths before Kim’s portrait. The Brits sent flowers for Kim’s posthumous 70th birthday bash.

These friends are mentioned almost daily in articles published by North Korea’s state-run media, as if to tell people that the outside world misses Kim — and supports his son and heir — with every bit the fervor that people inside the country are expected to.

10 NK Deaths in Yeonpyeong Response
Daily NK

Approximately 40 North Koreans were reportedly injured by the South Korean artillery response to North Korea’s shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, according to an inside source cited by Radio Free Asia today.

The source from South Hwanghae Province reportedly told Radio Free Asia, “I heard from this battalion commander that 10 North Korean soldiers were killed and 30 wounded in the 2010 Battle of Yeonpyeong Island. He said he personally witnessed the bodies and injured soldiers being taken to Pyongyang No.11 Hospital by military vehicle.”

“After the Yeonpyeong Island shelling the North Korean military got scared of facing high-tech weapons and stopped wanting to fight the South Chosun military,” the source said. “The North Korean authorities boast every day that they want to go to war, but the soldier’s fighting spirit is extremely weak.”

A look at North Korea’s relations and tensions
AP via Google News

The United States and North Korea have announced a nuclear-disarmament-for-aid deal after their first nuclear talks since the death of Kim Jong Il. Here’s a timeline of some key developments of North-South tensions in Korean history:

— Sept. 9, 1948: Kim Il Sung establishes the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the northern half of the Korean peninsula.

— June 25, 1950: North Korea invades the South, beginning the Korean War. United States backs South Korea, while China and the Soviet Union provide support to the North….

Faith leaders tout citizen outreach to DPRK

Korean faith leaders arrived in Washington to promote citizen engagement with North Korea, which has agreed to suspend its nuclear activities.

Venerable Young Dam of the Jogye Order, Korea’s largest Buddhist group, led a multi-faith delegation to North Korea in September, the first visit approved by the South Korean government since the 2010 shelling of Yeonpyeong Island by Pyongyang.

The Rev. George Rhee, a Christian minister, runs the Love North Korean Children, a U.K. charity. Since 2001 he has set up bakeries in North Korea that feed 9,000 children daily with plans to expand into 26 cities.

Lee Urges Japan Over ‘Comfort Women’
Chosun Ilbo

President Lee Myung-bak has again called on the Japanese government to take steps to tackle compensation for so-called comfort women who were pressed into sexual slavery during World War II.

In a speech marking the 93rd anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement, Lee stressed that in order for the two countries to work together as genuine partners, Tokyo must have the courage and wisdom to face the historical truth. The apology and compensation for comfort women are “a humanitarian matter that must be resolved more urgently than any other pending issue,” he said.

Jonathan Gold’s 60 Korean Dishes Every Angeleno Should Know
LA Weekly

I arbitrarily capped the number of dishes in this guide at 60, but it is clear that the number could just as well be 160 — the more I learn about Korean cooking in Los Angeles, the less I feel I know. The basic unit of consumption may still be all-you-can-eat barbecue meals, a phenomenon not covered in depth here, but the energy is clearly elsewhere. And I am already mourning the omission of Ham Hung’s naengmyun with skate, Young Dong’s sullongtong with tongue, Nakzi Village’s stir-fried octopus, chicken wings at the Prince, the spicy fried rice made from the nuclear-hardened remains of Ttu Rak’s galbi jjim — and, really, any serious pancake. Do not hesitate to tell us about your favorite bindaedduk.

Man accused of embezzling millions returned to South Korea
Los Angeles Times

Federal immigration officials Thursday turned over a Korean national accused of embezzling millions from real estate investors in his home country, officials said.

Doo Young Choi, 58, was flown from Los Angeles to South Korea, escorted by officers from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and the Korean National Police Agency.

Choi was charged in May with collecting the equivalent of $6 million from investors for a luxury high-rise that was never built, immigration officials said.

At long last, Michelle Rhee’s funders revealed

Walking Rorschach test Michelle Rhee is back in the headlines this week, put there by a reporter who found a crack in the infamous wall shrouding the funding sources for her national education-reform lobbying powerhouse StudentsFirst.

Whatever you thought of Rhee five minutes ago, prepare to have it confirmed. Her multi-million-dollar backers include top donors to the campaigns of both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, as well as foundations that back charter school proliferation, so-called parent-trigger laws and public-sector union reform.

Forgotten literary pioneer decades ahead of his time
Yonhap News

Kim’s career writing in English began in 1957 and spanned nearly four decades. He published one book of folk tales, six novels, dozens of short stories, two essays, one television show and one movie (in Korea). He was published in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s Bazaar, Mademoiselle, and the Hudson Review among other magazines, had a book of short stories published, and was anthologized several times.

Kim wrote amusing stories for juveniles and penetrating and multi-layered works for adults. His influence went beyond the works he wrote; he also profoundly affected other authors. American poet Robert Bly once commented on Kim’s advice, saying, “I’ve been grateful for (it) for years.”

Yet, today, when we think of successful Korean authors in English, Kim Yong-ik’s name rarely comes up.

Hines Ward deserves to make Hall of Fame

Whether Ward ever sees his bust immortalized in Canton is up for debate. He is certainly far from a slam dunk to get voted into the Hall of Fame, and the odds are currently against him from getting inducted. But he deserves to be there.

Ward should get in for his productivity. He is one of eight players in NFL history to reach 1,000 career receptions.

Ward should get in for his consistency. He averaged 85.6 catches during a nine-year period (2001-09).

Ward should get in for his toughness. He is the one wide receiver who will be remembered as much for his bone-jarring hits as his clutch catches.

Samuel Park’s ‘This Burns My Heart’ was inspired by his mother: New in Paperback
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Park’s nuanced writing evokes unsettled, postwar South Korea quite well, but his portrayal of the complex, infuriating Soo-Ja is timeless. The writer has said this novel was inspired by a marriage proposal his mother received the day before she wed another.

John Park ‘knocks’ on the door of success
Yahoo! Ok Pop

Korean-American singer John Park, best known in Korea for his third-place finish in the popular singing competition “Superstar K2″ and as a shortlisted “American Idol” contestant, has released his debut album “Knock” last February 22.
John Park’s debut was met with critical and peer acclaim, hailing the unique adult contemporary sound the artist offers. In fact, within the week of its release, John Park’s “Knock” has been praised by K-Pop luminaries like Girls’ Generation’s Yoona, veteran Korean singer Lyn, and respected musician Jung Jae Hyung, who all tweeted about the quality of the songs on “Knock.”

September Issue: Samuel Park’s ‘This Burns My Heart’ Hits Close To Home
Author: KoreAm
Posted: September 14th, 2011
Filed Under: Back Issues , BLOG , September 2011
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Photo by Ryan Bakerink

by Eugene Yi

Author Samuel Park is a “man vs. society” type of writer; his first book dealt with a young closeted scholar in 1940s New England struggling with his sexuality. His newly released book, This Burns My Heart (Simon & Schuster), follows the story of a young Korean woman named Soo-ja as she struggles to escape the prescribed destiny of her gender during the 1960s, a time of political unrest, economic instability and cultural upheaval. It’s a tale inspired by his own mother and her vivid recollection of a handsome suitor who asked her out the day before her wedding to Park’s father.

KoreAm’s Eugene Yi caught up with the 35-year-old author (and former KoreAm contributor) while he was promoting his book in Los Angeles last month. Park revealed that he learned some surprising things in talking to other Koreans about the novel’s plot. Continue Reading »

Monday’s Link Attack: David Chang, Moon Bloodgood, Lesbian Korean Drama
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: August 8th, 2011
Filed Under: BLOG
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Happy Birthday, David Chang! A Look Back at His Biggest Culinary Moments and Controversies

Here’s a slideshow of Momofuku chef David Chang.

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ to Film Scene With Pittsburgh Steelers
The Hollywood Reporter

Hines Ward and members of the Pittsburgh Steelers will appear in the upcoming ‘Batman’ movie.

Christopher Nolan’s upcoming Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, is adding some professional athletes to its cast.

Members of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers team will be filming a scene in the Warner Bros. film this weekend playing football players at Heinz Field. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and a dozen of his teammates, including Hines Ward, Willie Colon and Maurkice Pouncey, are expected to participate during Saturday’s filming. Thousands of extras will be on hand to play fans.

KBS receives harsh criticisms for airing Korea’s first lesbian drama

A new KBS drama called ‘Daughters of Club Bilitis‘ had viewers up in arms over the fact that it contained content relating to same-sex couples.

Moon Bloodgood on ‘Falling Skies’
Crave Online

Here’s a short Q&A with Moon Bloodgood, one of the stars of TNT’s “Falling Skies,” a sci-fi hourlong drama which concluded its first season yesterday.

Crave Online: What brought you to “Falling Skies”?

Moon Bloodgood: Well certainly when you get handed a script and they tell you it’s Bob Rodat and Steven Spielberg, you’re immediately drawn to it. It’s got your attention. I was a little cautious about wanting to do science fiction again. But it was more of a drama story, more of a family story. I liked that and I wanted to work with Spielberg. I liked the idea of playing a doctor and deviating from something I had done already. And I just love the story, the family. It was simple. It wasn’t trying to hard.

Select Korean-Americans to be allowed to exchange letters with their families in N. Korea
Yonhap News

North Korea has agreed to allow 10 Korean-Americans to exchange letters with their families in the communist country whom they have not seen since the Korean War more than a half century ago, a South Korean Red Cross official Saturday.

Margaret Cho ‘Cho Dependent’ Review
The Guardian (U.K.)

From innocence to experience, the cast of last year’s series of the US reality show Dancing with the Stars ran the full gamut. In one corner, sexual abstinence campaigner Bristol Palin. In the other, Margaret Cho, the Korean-American comedian who is to sexual abstinence what Caligula was to good governance. “I want to get f–ked into assisted living,” says Cho, whose Edinburgh show hymns her carnal voracity and her war against the Palinification of the US. Even as her tales of cunnilingus and geriatric sex strain for gaudy effect, it’s a cosy, congratulatory – and enjoyable – affair.

Postwar dreams in a changing Korea
Miami Herald

The Miami Herald reviews Samuel Park’s new novel “This Burns My Heart.”

An assistant English professor at Chicago’s Columbia College and author of the one-act play turned novella turned short film Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Samuel Park displays an affinity for stage and screen in his atmospheric and exuberantly filmic new novel.

Inspired by his mother’s memories, This Burns My Heart cuts a chunky swath of postwar South Korea from 1960 through the ’70s funneled through the life arc of sprightly but initially superficial Soo-Ja Choi. Each scene unfolds visually — in darkened stone interiors, busy hotels and coffee houses — with domineering mothers, maniacal fathers, familiar themes of filial piety and cultural obligation, the inevitably unhappy marriage that was never what it appeared. But since the story is centered on Soo-Ja, she is most sharply in focus and not always sympathetically.

Frenchman Who Teaches Korean Language at SNU
Chosun Ilbo

Marc Duval jokes that his love of the spicy Korean stew kimchi jjigae made him a professor of Korean language at the prestigious Seoul National University.

World-class athletes to gather in Daegu for int’l event
The Korea Herald

Usain Bolt, Yelena Isinbayeva, Asafa Powell and other world-class athletes will gather in Daegu next month to take part in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Championships.

Free Hank Conger!

After moving Joel Pineiro to the bullpen, there’s only one obvious move left for the Angels to make. They must free Hank Conger.

As bad as the Angels’ offense has been, it’s their catching that has been especially atrocious in 2011.

Greg Pak’s Epic Run to Conclude with INCREDIBLE HULKS #635
The Daily Blam!

Comic book writer Greg Pak is ending his five-year run as writer of The Incredible Hulks.

Marvel Comics has released advance preview pages for The Incredible Hulk​s #635, the final issue of writer Greg Pak​’s run. The issue hits stores August 31, 2011.

Oldest foreign school in Seoul kicks off its centennial
Yonhap News

Here’s a feature story on the oldest international school in South Korea.

Seoul’s oldest foreign school is turning 100 years old next year, and the school is ready to celebrate the occasion by opening itself up to show how its pioneering academics have shaped 100 years of educating Seoul’s foreign population.

The Arms Race Intrudes on Paradise [OPINION]
New York Times

Gloria Steinem writes an op-ed piece for the Times regarding Jeju Island.

Jeju isn’t called the most beautiful place on earth for nothing. Ancient volcanoes have become snow-covered peaks with pure mountain streams running down to volcanic beaches and reefs of soft coral. In between are green hills covered with wildflowers, mandarin orange groves, nutmeg forests, tea plantations and rare orchids growing wild; all existing at peace with farms, resorts and small cities. Unesco, the United Nation’s educational, scientific and cultural organization, has designated Jeju Island a world natural heritage site.

Now, a naval base is about to destroy a crucial stretch of the coast of Jeju, and will do this to dock and service destroyers with sophisticated ballistic missile defense systems and space war applications. China and South Korea have positive relations at the moment. But this naval base is not only an environmental disaster on an island less than two-thirds the size of Rhode Island, it may be a globally dangerous provocation besides.

U.S. ignores Koreans’ protest in naming sea between Korea, Japan
Yonhap News

Despite a growing furor among Koreans, the U.S. government formally confirmed a policy Monday of calling the waters between Korea and Japan the Sea of Japan.

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