Tuesday’s Link Attack: Japan ‘Disappointed’ By Summit Remarks; Kimchi Ad in New York Times; SNSD’s Manic Fans
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: November 5th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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Japan ‘disappointed’ by South Korea summit remarks
BBC News

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
Yonhap News

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
Bloomberg

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
Washington Post

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
Salon

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’
NPR

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
Chosun Ilbo

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.

Thursday’s Link Attack: Kim Jong-un Receives Honorary Doctorate; Plastic Surgery Perfected with 3-D Printers
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: October 24th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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Increase in Activity Reported at North Korean Nuclear Test Site
New York Times

North Korea has increased activity at its main underground nuclear test site, digging new tunnel entrances in what could be preparations for another nuclear test, a Washington-based research institute reported Thursday.

The U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, which based its conclusion on analysis of commercial satellite images of the site in Punggye-ri in northeastern North Korea, said there was no sign that a test was imminent.

The report came a day after North Korea’s Foreign Ministry reaffirmed that the isolated country would continue to expand its nuclear arsenal, despite warnings from the United States that it will not engage in the dialogue that Pyongyang is seeking until the North moves toward denuclearization.

Mother: Reunion with US man jailed in North Korea ‘emotional
BBC News

The mother of American Kenneth Bae, who is imprisoned in North Korea, told the BBC his health had improved following two months of medical treatment.

But Myunghee Bae said her worst fear was that he would get sent back to a labour camp.

The Korean-American was arrested last November and sentenced to 15 years’ hard labour in May.

Mr Bae, described as a tour operator and Christian missionary, was accused of plotting sedition.

It’s Now Dr. Kim Jong Un, Thanks to Malaysian University
Wall Street Journal

A Malaysian university has given North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un a new title – Dr. – offering the controversial figure its first degree to a foreign head of state.

Mr. Kim Jong Un might seem like an unlikely recipient for a university’s degree. But, despite grabbing world-wide headlines through a series of nuclear missile tests and threats to strike U.S. cities, he received an honorary doctorate in economics from Kuala Lumpur-based HELP University.

Paul Chan, vice chancellor and president of HELP, said the award was meant to build “a bridge to reach the people” of North Korea. He said Mr. Kim accepted the degree through his ambassador in a ceremony that was held Oct. 3 in North Korea’s embassy in Malaysia.

‘Choco Pie’ on table for campaign to address N. Korean human rights problem
Yonhap News

Call it the “Choco Pie Project.”

The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) plans to give away free Choco Pies near the White House next week in a bid to enhance public awareness of the human rights conditions in the communist nation.

The event will take place at Farragut Square on Wednesday, coinciding with the opening of two-day public hearings by a special panel of the U.N. Human Rights Council looking into the human rights abuses in the North.

Faced with overwhelming pressures, South Korean women have gone on baby-strike
The Economist

Mothers with young children spend nearly five times as long looking after their family and home as fathers do, calculates Jayoung Yoon of the Korea Labour Institute. But at least the ratio is getting better. In 2009 men gave about half an hour a day more of their time to domestic chores than they had done ten years earlier, and women shaved off roughly 20 minutes. In the Korean sex wars, the front line moves slowly.

The burden of child-rearing poses a formidable obstacle to women’s professional ambitions. Women in their 20s now have higher labour-force participation rates than men, but many drop out in their 30s. They typically return in their mid-40s, though often not to the kinds of corporate jobs they held down before marriage. Instead they work for themselves or their families, often with lower pay and perks (see chart 1).

The 54th parallel
The Economist

SITTING IN SEOUL’S Tapgol Park under the bronze statue of a patriotic hero, an elderly gentleman reads his newspaper with the aid of a pocket magnifying glass. When asked, he spells out his name (“Mr Jeon”) in the Chinese characters familiar to Korea’s pre-war generation.

In his younger days Mr Jeon worked as a carpenter and builder. Now 87, he is a regular member of the park’s greying congregation: “There’s no other place to go for an old person like me.” He and his companions spend their time complaining about their ailments and corrupt politicians. “In the daytime this spot is packed.”

South Korea is ageing faster than any other country in the OECD. Last year almost 12% of the population were aged 65 or over. By 2030 that proportion will double. The number of South Koreans of working age will peak in just three years’ time, according to the OECD’s Randall Jones and Satoshi Urasawa. By 2040 their number will drop by about a fifth.

Korean-Americans undertake campaign to help accused intelligence analyst
The Hankyoreh

Korean-Americans are taking part in a campaign to help Stephen Kim, who has been waging a battle in the courts since US prosecutors charged him with violating the Espionage Act by leaking material related to national security in 2010.

“We’ve decided to hold our first fundraiser in Flushing, New York, on November 21,” said Lee Myung-seok, former president of the Korean-American Association of Queens, New York on Oct. 22. “We’ll establish a committee for helping Stephen Kim, and we’ll launch rescue committees in each major city.”

“We’re also planning to send petitions to the White House, the Justice Department, and major media outlets,” Lee said.

Wilmette man’s Barrington Hills home invasion trial begins
Chicago Tribune

Prosecutors and witnesses described two hours of armed violence in a Barrington Hills home nearly five years ago as the trial of a Wilmette man on charges of home invasion and kidnapping got underway in Cook County Circuit Court today.

Kuhn Kim, 28, of the 1600 block of Sheridan Road, is also charged with armed robbery, aggravated battery and other crimes in a 22 count indictment stemming from the Dec. 5, 2008 incident.

The bench trial before Judge Kay Hanlon in Rolling Meadows branch court began following lengthy psychiatric examinations and several incidents in which Kim violated conditions of his $1.5 million bond, including a case of reckless driving and possession of drug paraphernalia. He has been in Cook County jail since his bond was revoked last year.

District man sentenced to 40 years in prison for 2010 fatal shooting of Fairfax man
Washington Post

A District man was sentenced to 40 years in prison Thursday for the 2010 slaying of a man who authorities say was shot in the face in Southeast Washington.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Russell F. Canan sentenced Marlon Williams, 34, in the Sept. 13, 2010, killing of Min Soo Kang, 37, of Fairfax County. According to prosecutors, Williams was identified after he stole Kang’s 2010 Cadillac Escalade after the shooting. The vehicle was equipped with OnStar GPS tracking, which enabled police to locate the vehicle. Prosecutors said that Williams’s prints were found in the vehicle.

Prosecutors said Williams shot Kang about 4:30 a.m. in the 3500 block of Croffut Place SE. Kang was shot multiple times in the chest, face, finger and forearm.

Seoul, San Francisco Mayors Pledge to Strengthen Ties
Voice of America

In South Korea, the mayor of Seoul has met with his counterpart from San Francisco to strengthen sister city relations, and discuss encouraging Internet-based business.

San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee and Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon affirmed nearly four decades of sister-city relations with pledges to strengthen economic, cultural and education exchanges.

Mayor Park praised San Francisco’s reputation for innovative business and said he hoped its Korean-American community could act as a bridge across the Pacific.

High-security isolation for South Korea’s exam-setters
AFP via NDTV.com

Every October, hundreds of South Korean teachers and professors are sequestered – like jurors in a mafia trial – in a secret, guarded compound: prisoners of their country’s obsession with education.

For one month, they are kept in complete isolation under conditions that resemble house arrest, with everything down to their food waste subject to rigorous examination.

Their sole task is to compile the annual college entrance exam – the importance of which in the minds of stressed-out students and their often equally stressed-out parents is almost impossible to exaggerate.

What’s it like to live on $26 a week?
Prince George Citizen (British Columbia)

As a registered dietitian, Erica Kang knows what it takes to eat a healthy, balanced diet, but this week she didn’t consume nearly enough calories and was short many vitamins and nutrients.

Kang didn’t slack off her regular eating routine because she wanted a break nor was she on the latest diet craze, instead she took part in the Welfare Food Challenge to both raise awareness about low social assistance rates in B.C. as well as learn what’s it’s like to live on a food budget of just $26 a week.

“Even for somebody trained, with five years of schooling, I wasn’t able to manage what was an adequate diet for my needs,” Kang said after completing the challenge this week.


Plastic Surgery Perfected With 3-D?
Wall Street Journal

3-D technology is helping plastic surgeons make more-precise cuts and easing patients’ anxiety by giving them an advance look at their future faces. The WSJ’s Kurt Achin reports from Seoul, South Korea.

Monday’s Link Attack: Kenneth Bae’s Heartbroken Mother; K-Pop Racism Controversy; Koreans Cut Back on Coffee
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: October 21st, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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Kenneth Bae’s mother tells of heartbreak after seeing, leaving imprisoned son
CNN

Walking into a Pyongyang hospital room to greet her imprisoned son, Myunghee Bae was overcome with emotion. Talking exclusively to CNN, Bae said it was a “very happy moment. At the same time, I could not believe he was a prisoner in North Korea; a new realization.”

Bae was granted a five-day visa to North Korea and three short visits with her son, Kenneth; a total of six hours, in which she says there was not one moment’s silence. “He said he’s being treated very fairly,” she said. “He was taken to a special labor camp, so he was the only prisoner, and a whole lot of people have to stay with him, guards and doctors.”

Kenneth Bae, an American citizen, was arrested in November of last year and sentenced in May to 15 years of hard labor. The North Korean regime says he was found guilty of “hostile acts” and attempts to topple the government. His mother says he has a profound love for the country and its people, and any offense he caused was not intentional.

Engaging with North Korea
Los Angeles Times

Pyongyang, North Korea — I became British ambassador to North Korea a year ago, and since then I have seen firsthand the nature of the regime. Its human rights record is appalling; it continues to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and to sell its military know-how to other states. And yet, I’ve also seen that it is possible to engage with the regime constructively.

The United Kingdom is one of just a handful of Western countries that have diplomatic relations with North Korea (known formally as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and that maintain embassies in Pyongyang. We are there because we support international efforts to encourage North Korea to engage positively with the outside world and to stop its provocative and repressive behavior. There is a better course for the government if it wishes to take it.

Make no mistake, North Korea continues to aggravate the international community in cycles of threat, provocation and conciliation that have become a familiar, even expected, theme.

MTA officer struck by car at Verrazano Bridge
ABC News (New York)

An MTA Bridges and Tunnels officer was critically injured when he was struck by a vehicle Sunday morning at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Authorities say 61-year old Thomas Choi, a 10-year veteran, had parked his wrecker truck near the entrance to the Brooklyn-bound lower level of the bridge near the facility administration building when he was struck by a Nissan Maxima with New Jersey plates at around 7:45 a.m.

The 26-year-old female driver from Bayonne remained at the scene. The cause of the accident is under investigation by the NYPD Collision Investigation Squad. The driver and four passengers inside the car were not injured.

Mayoral Candidates Court Asian American Vote, Fill Up On Soda Ban Debate
NY1.com (New York)

Friday afternoon Bill de Blasio got a warm reception in Chinatown, picking up the endorsement of the Lin Sing Association, a coalition of Chinese-American groups and local elected officials, including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

“We’re going to make a very focused effort in the Chinese community,” De Blasio said.

It was a different scene in Flushing, where Republican Joe Lhota attended an Asian Americans for Lhota fundraiser at a Chinese restaurant. Attendance appeared to be sparse, though Lhota said many supporters were arriving later.

miss A’s Min gets embroiled in a racism controversy
allkpop.com

Min recently posted a photo onto her Instagram that she apparently found funny – a photo that had Rick Ross’ head attached to Sunmi’s body. While that might not seem too offensive, the photo also included a fried chicken leg with the caption “Rick Ross – Lacking 24 servings”.

The fried chicken jab is a derogatory jab at many African Americans, and has a history back to when slaves would fry the leftover chicken from plantation owners to eat them.

The photo deeply offended many on the internet, and she has since deleted the photo from her Instagram. However, there are those defending Min since Rick Ross/chicken memes are popular. He is know for his love of chicken and even owns a chicken restaurant.

‘Konglish’ Is Pervasive in K-pop Songs
Korea Times

Finding a K-pop song with lyrics entirely in Korean is getting increasingly difficult. Behind the changes are musicians and producers who seem to regard the mixture of Korean and English as fancy, and more importantly, are trying to make K-pop more appealing to the global audience.

Yet English lyrics are not always worded properly. Many international K-pop fans say they are even frustrated by what they call “awkward” English terms or expressions in K-pop.

“They (international K-pop fans) become annoyed with strange English lyrics,” Mimsie Ladner wrote in an article she posted on the Huffington Post under the headline, “K-pop and the Future of Korea.” She went on to say they are also frustrated by “seemingly identical tunes that blare from just about every storefront of the country.” Another foreign K-pop listener echoed the view, saying, “If [K-pop musicians] are going to use English, they should use real English.” The listener, who refused to be identified, said, “It’s always random, meaningless words like ‘man,’ ‘girl,’ ‘you,’ ‘baby,’ ‘Come on,’ which only lower the quality of the songs.”

Accommodations | A New Hotel in L.A. Celebrates its Koreatown Surroundings
New York Times

In L.A.’s golden age, when streetcars clanged past urban orange groves and Carmen Miranda was Hollywood’s nod to ethnicity, the high life thrived on a stretch of Wilshire Boulevard near Vermont Avenue. Today, a generation after gang wars and riots sapped the life out of this district, it has re-emerged as the lively epicenter of the city’s Koreatown, bustling with restaurants, nightclubs and shops. The area has long been off the tourist map, but this is about to change with the opening of the Line in November.

The hotel’s creator, Andrew Zobler, is the man behind the Beaux-Arts-style NoMad Hotel in Manhattan and the cheap-chic Freehand Miami hostel. But the Line, designed by Sean Knibb, is something different for both Zobler and Los Angeles. Korean-American culture — or at least a high-end permutation of it — is the 388-room establishment’s organizing theme. ‘‘There is so much good stuff coming out of Korea today, and nobody has really captured that in a hotel,’’ Zobler says. Setting out to educate himself on Korean culture, he encountered the celebrated chef Roy Choi, who will preside over the hotel’s two restaurants: Pot, which serves a new take on hot-pot cuisine, and Commissary, a vegetarian eatery. The 24-hour thrum of the neighborhood inspired Zobler to make the hotel an all-hours social hub. There will be a late-night bakery, a newsstand that never closes and a nightclub that stays open until the wee hours, called Speek, created by the twin brothers Mark and Jonnie Houston, who grew up just four blocks from the hotel.

Shipbuilding in South Korea: Extreme drilling
The Economist

SOUTH KOREA’S shipyards are having a busy time at the moment welding the behemoths of the shipping industry into shape. Clustered around Busan, the country’s second city, the big three yards—Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and Hyundai Heavy Industries—are churning out Maersk’s “Triple-E” class, which at 400 metres in length are the world’s biggest container ships; an oil barge that at 460 metres long is just under half the height of England’s tallest mountain, Scafell; and some of the largest-ever jack-up oil rigs. Equally impressive are the latest “ultra-deepwater” drill ships. These are being built at SHI, and were described to your correspondent on a visit to the yard as “giant Black&Deckers” by one engineer. The first of these, the Viking, was christened recently by Maersk, the ship’s owner.

As inland and offshore wells nearer the coast run down after decades of exploitation, so Big Oil is being forced ever farther out to sea. The new type of drilling vessel is specifically designed to work in the very deepest of waters, mostly in the Gulf of Mexico or off the coast of west Africa. At 228 metres they are relatively short compared with the giant new container ships, but what they lack in length they make up for in technical wizardry. The Viking, which is going to be used by ExxonMobil, can operate in depths of more than 3,000 metres of water and then drill down through another 12,000 metres of earth.

Food Fair Highlights Health Benefits of Korean Food
Epoch Times

Korean food and culture is based on health. And finding ways to incorporate foods such as seaweed into dishes—including ice cream, noodles, and other snacks—is a never-ending pursuit.

Seaweed is an extraordinary source of nutrients that includes protein, iodine, and vitamins. It has three times the amount of calcium than milk, according to the Korean Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation.

“I think the health benefits and varieties of Korean food is not very well known,” said Kim Jae Soo, president of the Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation. The Korean Food Fair, held in Times Square on Oct. 19–20, was organized by the corporation.

South Koreans Cut Back on Coffee
Wall Street Journal

The South Korean coffee frenzy seems to be waning, with data showing a drop in imports and average household spending on the popular beverage.

Almost every other building in Seoul and other cities houses a café, but South Koreans appear to have cut back on coffee as the country’s economic woes keep a lid on consumer spending.

Each household spent an average of 7,873 won ($7.4) on processed coffee or tea in the April-June period, down 1.8 percent from a year earlier. That was the second straight quarterly fall after a 1.4% drop in the January-March period, said Statistics Korea on Monday. The latest declines followed five years of nonstop quarterly gains until 2012.

14 Reasons Why Living in Seoul, Korea is Awesome!
Seoulistic.com

1. Public Transportation in Seoul

Transportation in Seoul is very affordable. The 1050 won (approximately $1USD) base fare is the envy of commuters in other major cities with more expensive public transportation systems. Plus, public transportation in Seoul is super convenient. You can get to pretty much every corner of Seoul only relying on subways and buses. Public transportation is also very safe in Korea. Sure there’s a few crazies here and there, and some lines do tend to get more crowded than others, but that goes for any public transportation system in a major city. The majority of Seoul commuters are exhausted businessmen and students that just want to go home in peace. If you’re already living in Seoul, you know how valuable public transportation has been to you.

Thursday’s Link Attack: Low Obesity Rates for Asian Americans; Spitting Chinese Tourists; Tom Hiddleston in Seoul
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: October 17th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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Gov’t Has ‘No Plans’ to Join U.S. Missile Defense
Chosun Ilbo

Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin on Wednesday played down suspicions that South Korea is about to join the U.S.-led missile defense program by the back door.

Kim told reporters South Korea “clearly will not participate in the U.S. missile defense program.” He said the military is not currently considering purchase of SM-3 or THAAD interceptor missiles that form the core of the program.

The SM-3 can destroy North Korean ballistic missiles at an altitude of 150 km and the THAAD at a lower altitude of 100 km.

What’s behind South Korean president’s new strategy on North Korea?
Christian Science Monitor

For nearly 20 years, South Korea and the world’s biggest powers have sought to pry from North Korea a promise – that it would keep – to end its nuclear weapons program.

They have used carrots and they have used sticks. As inducements, the powers offered to build North Korea a nuclear reactor, provided fuel, and gave food. When that failed they have tried punishments, freezing Pyongyang out of the world financial system and imposing sanctions to starve the government there of all sorts of goods.

Yet twin clouds of steam from North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear reactor, spotted last month in satellite images, suggest all those efforts have come to naught, and raise questions about how the international community – distracted by Iran and Syria – can deter North Korea’s seemingly insatiable desire for nuclear weapons.

North Korea Slams South’s Claim Kim Wants Reunification by Force
Bloomberg Businessweek

North Korea bristled at comments by the head of South Korea’s intelligence service that leader Kim Jong Un will seek to reunite the two countries by force within three years.

The remarks are a smear campaign against North Korea, and the head of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service will “meet the most shameful end” for it, the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said today in a statement distributed by the official Korean Central News Agency.

NIS chief Nam Jae Joon commented on Kim’s possible intentions earlier this month, according to South Korean ruling Saenuri party legislator Cho Won Jin. Cho didn’t say how Nam obtained his information.

N.Korea ‘Disguised Civilian Cargo Planes for Military Show’
Chosun Ilbo

North Korea flew civilian cargo planes painted in camouflage during a military parade earlier this year in an apparent attempt to make its arsenal seem bigger than it really is, U.S.-based website NK News said Tuesday.

The “Victory Day” parade on July 27 featured three Russian-made IL-76 military cargo planes, but they were actually civilian cargo planes owned by North Korean carrier Air Koryo, according to the NK News. The website claimed that they were recently spotted at an airport in Moscow with remnants of camouflage on their trail wings.

NK News said the ploy was designed to “exaggerate” the North’s military power.

Kim Tours South Korea, Lectures At Top Schools
Queens Gazette (N.Y.)

Assemblymember Ron Kim (D-Flushing), the first Korean American to be elected to office in New York state, accepted an invitation by the Overseas Korean Foundation to lecture at the number one women’s college, Ewha Womans University, and the top two high schools in South Korea (Cheong Ju Foreign Language H.S. and Korean Minjok Leadership Academy). His lectures mainly focused on the importance of developing leadership traits like determination, perseverance, and grit among our youth.

The Overseas Korean Foundation (OKF) is a department of the South Korean government that was founded 17 years ago to build and maintain close connections with Koreans all around the world. Every year, OKF sponsors political and public leaders worldwide to tour and lecture at some of South Korea’s top schools.

China, Spitting and Global Tourism
New York Times

That’s because spitting is a major reason Chinese tourists can feel unwelcome abroad, commentators say. And more are traveling: Chinese will make about 100 million trips next year, up from 82 million last year, and over 90 million this year, Shao Qiwei, the head of China’s National Tourism Administration, said in Chicago last week.

“In recent years the world has more and more opportunities to know China,” Sun Yingchun, a professor at the Communication University of China, wrote in Huanqiu magazine. “But discrimination and prejudice against Chinese people abroad hasn’t diminished,” he wrote. “Even though Chinese people bring tourist business with them they are also castigated by foreigners. Some foreigners don’t feel kindly toward Chinese tourists because they say they are ill-mannered.” He singled out spitting, loudness, line-cutting and littering.

No one agonizes about it more than some Chinese. Sun Yat-sen, the revolutionary leader and first president of the Chinese republic said in a 1924 speech, “Spitting, farting, growing a long fingernail’’ to pick one’s nose, ‘‘not brushing teeth,’’ in these things ‘‘all Chinese people are unrestrained.”

Anti-Bullying Programs Found to Produce Smarter Bullies and More Victims
allgov.com

Efforts to stop bullying in schools have produced unintended results, specifically more kids being picked on by smarter bullies.

Two academics examined bullying data involving 7,001 students from across the country, expecting to find that anti-bullying programs have mitigated this problem.

But Dr. Seokjin Jeong, a researcher and criminologist from the University of Texas at Arlington, and Byung Hyun Lee from Michigan State University were surprised to learn that the programs actually made things worse.

Their study found that students at schools with anti-bullying programs were more likely to be victimized than students at schools with no such programs.

What’s actually behind the low Asian-American obesity rate?
NBC News

At first glance, it seems like most Asian-Americans pretty much have this whole obesity thing under control, by the looks of new national statistics. An estimated 11 percent of adult Americans of Asian descent are considered obese. Compare that to the nation’s obesity average as a whole, which stands steady at about 35 percent.

It’s the first time obesity estimates for Asian-Americans have been included in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a research program from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They haven’t been included before because people of Asian descent only make up about 5 percent of the population (though by 2042, that is expected to climb to 9 percent).

Why are Asian-Americans so much thinner? The answer may not be obvious, some experts say.

UCLA and Pepperdine Students Give K-Town Some Love
Korea Times

Students and staff members from UCLA School of Dentistry and Pepperdine University gave some love to Koreatown.

The UCLA School of Dentistry, in a collaborative partnership with Wilshire Bank, provided free dental care in Koreatown of Los Angeles last Saturday. The event took place at the Wilshire State Bank located at 3200 Wilshire Boulevard, and approximately 40 staff members and students from the UCLA School of Dentistry participated and treated about 250 Koreatown patients. 100 patients will receive follow-up care at the School’s Westwood clinic this Saturday.

Unemployment, Poverty Grow Among Asian Americans in Los Angeles County
Voice of America

More Asian Americans live in Los Angles County than anywhere else in the United States. A recent report by Asian Americans Advancing Justice L.A. found that, from 2000 to 2010, Asian Americans were the fastest growing group in L.A. County. The report also found that the number of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in L.A. County who are unemployed and living in poverty continued to grow. Long Beach, California, is home to the largest Cambodian community outside Cambodia.

Several Asian American communities have some of the highest poverty rates in Los Angeles County. Research analyst Kristin Sakaguchi said many people in Asian communities here diverge from the stereotype of Asian American success and easy assimilation.

“A lot of these communities are marginalized and not really focused on,” said Sakaguchi.

PSY And Steven Tyler Are Teaming Up
Huffington Post

PSY took over the music listening world with the K-pop electro banger “Gangnam Style,” but the truth is that he looks to classic rockers for inspiration.

In an interview with Italy’s L’Uomo Vogue magazine, the singer said that he collaborated with Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler for a track on his new album.

“When I was in middle school, I literally cried when they were singing ‘Crazy’ or ‘Amazing’ or whatever, they were my lifetime role models, and now I am collaborating with Steven Tyler, what the fuck, man? I love my life,” PSY said.

Tom Hiddleston Dances, Sings His Heart Out On Korean TV Show
Huffington Post

He may play the evil Loki in the “Thor” movies, but in real life Tom Hiddleston is all about sprinkles and sunshine — and these videos prove it.

The 32-year-old English actor channeled his inner Michael Jackson as he busted out his dance moves on a Korean television show, knocking over chairs and almost ripping his tuxedo pants while doing so.

But that’s not all …

The Art of Breaking Taboos
Wall Street Journal

For South Korea, Kim Ki-duk presents a dilemma. The internationally acclaimed director is one of the country’s best-known filmmakers. His films have collected a host of awards at some of the world’s most prominent festivals, including the top prize at last year’s Venice Film Festival for “Pieta.”

But his work often finds a warmer reception abroad than at home. Mr. Kim, whose other films include “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring” (2003) and “3-Iron” (2004), has hardly been a box-office darling—or even the critics’ favorite—in South Korea. (He once threatened to stop releasing his films in the country.) He is known for courting controversial subjects. His latest film, “Moebius,” offers a stark example.

The film—which is devoid of dialogue—follows an adulterous husband, his vengeful wife, their teenage son and the woman whose relationship with the husband puts the story in motion.

Suk-Min Yoon rumors: Twins interested in Korean pitcher
Philly.com

The Minnesota Twins will have scouts at Korean pitcher Suk-Min Yoon’s upcoming showcase and are interested in signing him, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN.

Strengthening the Twins interest is the fact that Yoon is a free agent and will not require a posting fee to sign with an MLB team. However, Yoon is represented by agent Scott Boras, who is known for driving up prices of his clients.

The 27-year-old has pitched for the Kia Tigers since 2005, working as a starter up until 2013, when a shoulder injury caused him to lose velocity on his fastball and moved to the bullpen. He would likely be looked at first as a starting pitcher by MLB teams.

The Chicago White Sox Should Acquire Shin-Soo Choo
Yahoo Sports

Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn must find someone to bat leadoff and play center field if they are going to be competitive in 2014 and beyond.

Since the farm system is not prepared to help out in either capacity for at least two more seasons, and Avisail Garcia is seemingly the only outfielder with any long-term upside, Hahn needs to sign Shin-Soo Choo to a free-agent contract. It is a signing that must be made, actually. There is simply no other choice right now.

Let’s take a deeper look at why Choo makes so much sense for the White Sox:

Park In-bee Under Pressure to Seal Golf Title
Wall Street Journal

As the U.S. women’s professional golf tour winds down with its late-season swing through Asia, this weekend’s KEB-Hana Championship in South Korea should have been a comfortable victory lap for Park In-bee in front of her home supporters.

Instead, she’s looking over her shoulder.

The 25-year-old Seoulite blitzed the field by winning the first three major tournaments this year and appeared to be cruising toward becoming South Korea’s first winner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association’s Player of the Year award.

S. Korea’s Park teeing it up one last time this week
Golf Channel

Grace Park is coming out of retirement this week for a special farewell appearance in her South Korean homeland.

Park, 34, will tee it up Friday in the LPGA KEB-HanaBank Championship at Sky 72 Golf Club’s Ocean Course in Incheon, South Korea. She will be paired with fellow South Korean legend Se Ri Pak and American Cristie Kerr.

Park announced her retirement at the Wegmans LPGA Championship in 2012. She hasn’t played in an LPGA event since but was offered a sponsor exemption to play this week. She’s considered one of South Korea’s pioneers of women’s golf, having joined Pak, Hee Won Han and Mi Hyun Kim as trailblazers making impacts in the United States and internationally in the LPGA ranks.

Asia’s parents suffering ‘education fever’
BBC News

Zhang Yang, a bright 18-year old from a rural town in Anhui province in China was accepted to study at a prestigious traditional medicine college in Hefei. But the news was too much for his father Zhang Jiasheng.

Zhang’s father was partly paralysed after he suffered a stroke two years ago and could no longer work. He feared the family, already in debt to pay for medicines, would not be able to afford his son’s tuition fees.

As his son headed home to celebrate his success, Zhang Jiasheng killed himself by swallowing pesticide.

Zhang’s case is an extreme. But East Asian families are spending more and more of their money on securing their children the best possible education.

In richer Asian countries such as South Korea and emerging countries like China, “education fever” is forcing families to make choices, sometimes dramatic ones, to afford the bills.

Ginko Trees in Seoul – Pretty, But The Stench is a Problem
Wall Street Journal

When the Seoul Metropolitan Government first named the gingko tree as its official tree more than 40 years ago and started to plant it widely along city streets, one problem was overlooked: the stench.

The trees help cut pollution and dust in the city, cast shade in sizzling summer, and are loved by Seoul citizens most of the year, but turn into a headache in autumn.

The gingko trees and their yellow leaves make for beautiful scenery but the nuts they drop get crushed by pedestrians, making for slippery streets and foul odors.

Thursday’s Link Attack: Kim Jong-Un Establishes More Power; Margaret Cho’s New Show; Justin Bieber in Seoul
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: October 10th, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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North Korean Leader Tightens Grip with Removal of Top General
New York Times

North Korea’s state media on Thursday confirmed the removal of a hard-line general as its military chief, the latest sign of a military overhaul in which the country’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, has replaced nearly half of his country’s top officials in the past two years, according to South Korean officials.

The firing of Gen. Kim Kyok-sik and the rise of Gen. Ri Yong-gil to replace him as head of the general staff of the North’s Korean People’s Army was the latest in a series of high-profile reshuffles that Kim Jong-un has engineered to consolidate his grip on the North’s top elites.

Since taking power upon the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, in late 2011, Kim Jong-un has replaced 44 percent of North Korea’s 218 top military, party and government officials, the South’s Ministry of Unification said in a report. He engineered this and other reshuffles to retire or sideline the old generals from his father’s days and promote a new set of aides who will owe their loyalty directly to him.

Don’t go to the land of death, North Korean ‘slave labourer’ urges tourists
National Post

A woman who spent nine years in a North Korean slave labour camp has urged tourists not to visit the reclusive state.

As Kim Jong-un, the country’s ruler, oversees final preparations for Thursday’s opening of North Korea’s first ski resort, Kim Young-soon said it was wrong “to pay into the coffers of the regime.” A British company is offering Christmas in Pyongyang, but Ms. Kim, 77, said: “Why give money to a leader who cares nothing for his people?”

As a young woman Ms. Kim danced for Kim Il-sung, then the country’s leader and grandfather of the current leader. A friend of hers was the secret mistress of Kim Il-sung’s son, Kim Jong-il, and after gossiping about their relationship Ms. Kim was sent to the infamous Yodok prison camp – with her parents and son, who were deemed guilty by association.

S. Korea, U.S., Japan hold joint naval drill
Yonhap News

South Korea, the United States and Japan began a two-day drill in waters off the Korean Peninsula, Seoul’s defense ministry said Thursday, amid heightened tensions with North Korea, which angrily responded to the trilateral joint exercise involving an American aircraft carrier.

The drill, which was delayed for a few days due to a typhoon, started in waters off the peninsula’s southern coast as part of routine trainings, mobilizing the nuclear-powered, 97,000-ton carrier USS George Washington as well as Aegis destroyers of South Korea and Japan.

The training also includes the guided-missile USS Antietam CG-54 cruiser and guided-missile USS Preble DDG 88 destroyer. Fighter jets, anti-submarine helicopters and early warning aircraft will also be included.

South Korea Risks Overplaying Its Hand with Japan
Wall Street Journal

While his many detractors would never admit it, former President Lee Myung-bak oversaw an impressive rise in South Korea’s international profile. This rise, combined with Korea’s economic and technological achievements, have created a new confidence among the Korean public—polling data shows many perceive the country as increasingly influential on the international scene.

The Park Geun-hye administration is now acting on that confidence in its diplomatic dealings, but it is in very real danger of overplaying its hand when it comes to relations with Japan.

So far, Seoul has snubbed most of Tokyo’s advances for high-level meetings and stuck to a line that Japan needs to do more to address historical grievances first.

Seoul warns of frayed ties over Japan’s Yasukuni visit plans
Yonhap News

South Korea warned Japan Thursday that their bilateral relations will face even more difficulties if Japanese politicians go ahead with their plans to visit the controversial Yasukuni war shrine in October.

“Visits to the Yasukuni shrine by ranking Japanese political leaders will not only jeopardize the South Korea-Japan relations but also cause severe difficulties in the steady development of ties among countries in the region,” Cho Tai-young, the spokesman of the South Korean foreign ministry said in a briefing. “I urge them not to pay the visit.”

The call came as two cabinet members of the conservative Shinzo Abe administration — Yoshitaka Shindo and Keiji Furuya — are reported to be planning a visit to the war shrine during the country’s autumnal festival next week.

Samsung Set for $1.4 Billion Windfall After Seagate Stock Sale
Bloomberg.com

Samsung Electronics Co. will reap a $1.4 billion windfall from its decision two years ago to accept stock in Seagate Technology Plc (STX:US) as partial payment for selling its computer hard-disk drive business.

Samsung sold the unit in April 2011 for $687.5 million in cash and $687.5 million in stock. Since then Seagate’s shares have more than doubled and Samsung agreed to sell part of the stake back to the Dublin-based company.

Samsung exited its 22-year-old business making hard drives to focus on consumer electronics, memory chips and medical technology. The world’s biggest smartphone maker will sell back 32.7 million of its Seagate shares for $1.51 billion. It will keep another 12.5 million shares, valued at $561 million based on yesterday’s prices.

Jane Kim Steps In To Help Mid-Market Tenants Facing Eviction
SFist.com

Following on yesterday’s breaking news about the 100+ people getting evicted from two buildings on Market between 6th and 7th, Supervisor Jane Kim is hoping to get the word out to tenants that there may be help for them after all.

Kim’s office spoke to SFist yesterday and they feel as though there may be some solutions no one has talked about yet. They’d like to hear from as many tenants as possible before going forward.

In addition to a meeting this morning in which Kim is discussing some legislation to protect non-profits from eviction (public comment is at 11 a.m. at City Hall, Room 250), she’s joining a meeting with tenants of 1049 and 1067 Market Street tonight, Wednesday, at 8 p.m. in the 4th Floor lobby of 1005 Market.

‘Grandfather’ of Korean cinema sees life through a lens
Yahoo! News

“Film is my passion,” the 77-year-old said. “And you must follow your passion.”

Affectionately known as the “Grandfather of Korean cinema”, a large number of Im’s acclaimed productions have focused on what he sees as the erosion of Korean culture in a society that has seen rapid change in recent decades.

With giant posters of him displayed all over the city, Im has been an omnipresent force at this year’s 18th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), which is screening 71 of his movies while making him the subject of a series of seminars and panel discussions.

Margaret Cho brings new show to S.F.
SFGate.com

Margaret Cho, the comedian, actress and singer, is one of San Francisco’s most celebrated natives. Although her parents, who owned a bookstore in the city, have relocated to San Diego, Cho, 44, says she still feels a connection to her hometown, even if that connection involves a needle.

Currently in the midst of an international comedy tour called “Mother,” Cho called from the road to talk about her tour – which plays the Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium on Saturday – her new albums, her revived TV series and her thoughts on San Francisco.

2AM to Grant K-Pop Christmas Wishes with First Solo U.S. Concert
Billboard.com

When Billboard caught up with 2AM in Los Angeles, the K-pop boy band famous for their ballads commented that “in L.A. and the U.S.A., the fans are more passionate.” The quartet will see those “passionate” fans soon with their first-ever solo concert in the United States. 2AM’s “Nocturne in Christmas” show will take place at Los Angeles’ Club Nokia L.A. Live venue on December 15. Merry Christmas, K-pop fans!

Fans can also get up close and personal with the foursome at a “high touch” event held prior to the concert. At these engagements, attendees get to give the 2AM guys a high-five. Based off of boy band B.A.P’s high touch event in New York, expect a handful of fans to be bawling after meeting the idols.

2AM last visited America to perform as one of the headliners at KCON 2013. The boys not only belted out singles like “One Spring Day” and “Can’t Let You Go Even If I Die,” but also performed Bruno Mars’ Hot 100 No. 1 hit, “Just the Way You Are” (below).

G-Dragon was a surprise guest in Justin Bieber’s first Korean concert
allkpop

On the 10th, Justin Bieber’s first Korean concert as part of his ‘Believe Tour’ opened at the Olympic Park’s gymnasium in Seoul. After performing his hit songs for about fifty minutes, he said he would introduce a guest. At that time, G-Dragon made a sudden surprise appearance to perform his song “Crayon.”

G-Dragon was welcomed warmly by the crowd as all of his Korean fans got on their feet. The response to G-Dragon seemed even more enthusiastic than when Justin Bieber was performing! It was very reminiscent of G-Dragon’s own concerts.

After his “Crayon” performance, G-Dragon said before leaving, “As Bieber will show you a better performance, I hope you will have fun until the end.”

Kim Jang-hoon gives out Hangeul T-shirts in New York
Korea Times

Pop singer Kim Jang-hoon promoted Hangeul in the United States with an event giving out T-shirts emblazed with the Korea alphabet in New York, Wednesday.

The event was to celebrate Hangeul Day, which falls on Oct. 9 each year.

Kim and Korean students at New York University handed out 600 white T-shirts in Washington Square Park.

The T-shirts had two variations ― one lettered with “nanum,” a word meaning sharing, and the other with Hangeul, both written in Korean.

The Walking Dead Countdown: Will Maggie Get Pregnant? Steven Yeun and Lauren Cohan Talk “Beautiful” Season Four
E Online

Hmm…Does Diapers.com deliver to post-apocalyptic prisons? The Walking Dead’s Maggie and Glenn might want to start looking into such things, because—and we are only speculating here—we have a sneaking suspicion a baby might be on the way for the show’s core couple.

In anticipation of Sunday’s season-four premiere of TWD, we spoke with Steven Yeun (Glenn) and Lauren Cohan (Maggie), and, acting like a true nervous daddy-to-be, here’s how Yeun responded to a question about whether Maggie might ever get pregnant:

“You know, I think that’s definitely a genuine, um, you know, thing that could be,” Yeun stumbled. “And, um, obviously, I can’t really address that at any point. But you know, there’s genuine fears that go along with trying to live a normal life in that world, and that all applies into what makes it more dangerous, or what makes you more vulnerable, so it’s all cool.”

Daniel Dae Kim is proud of ‘Hawaii Five-0′ for its minority representation
Canadian Press via 660News.com

South Korean native Daniel Dae Kim says skirting Asian stereotypes is something that’s been important to him since he started his acting career, first onstage in classic plays and improv comedy and then in onscreen projects including the film “Crash” and TV’s “Lost.”

And it’s a goal he feels he’s continuing with “Hawaii Five-0,” which is into its fourth season on Global and CBS.

“One of the things I’m proudest of on ‘Hawaii Five-0′ is the fact that we have so much minority representation, and it’s not done in a token way, it’s not done in a stereotypical way,” Kim, 45, said in an interview.

“All of us have interesting characters to play, and that is a great direction for television to go in.”

The case against Shin-Soo Choo
ESPN.com

The Mets have turned their attention to the offseason, amid expectations that the Wilpons will be spending like it’s 1998.

And the apple of the Big Apple’s eye appears to be Shin-Soo Choo, the Reds right fielder who was second in the NL in on-base percentage. Choo is a fine player, and I can see why he will generate interest as a free agent, but when I look at Choo I see the next version of Jason Bay — a 31-year-old outfielder with severe flaws coming of a year he is unlikely to replicate.

The biggest problem with free agents — particularly those coming off of great years — is that it’s easy to assume that their most recent season is their true level of performance when it’s most likely not. The Mets can look at Choo’s .285/.423/.462 line and think he will repeat that for a few years, but what if his future performance is more in line with his 2011 performance: .283/.373/.441? Or even worse, 2010: .259/.344/.390.

‘Stun Gun’ Kim stuns Silva with knockout
Korea Times

Kim Dong-hyun lived up to his ”Stun Gun’’ nickname Thursday (KST) at the UFC Fight Night 29 in Brazil, where he knocked out crowd favorite Erick Silva in what arguably was the biggest win of his career.

The welterweight fight had been billed as a clash of styles, with the underdog Kim rated a top-class grappler and the explosive Silva being one of the most feared strikers in his weight class.

Kim has a chance against Silva only if he can take him off his feet, observers had said. If anyone of them claims they pictured the 31-year-old Korean dropping Silva with a left, they are probably lying.

Insider Guide: Best of Seoul
CNN.com

In Seoul, you can shop at brilliantly lit malls at 4 a.m., sing karaoke an hour later, then get McDonald’s delivered to your doorstep for breakfast.

The city’s 10.4 million residents can also brag about the world’s top airport (ice rinks and movie theaters included) and a stunningly efficient public transportation system featuring high-tech details from massive touch-screen displays at subway stations to tickers at bus stops announcing which bus is coming when.

Business travelers like to drop by the centuries-old temples and palaces for a quick walk on the way to meetings in the Jongno financial district, while design fanatics devise their own tours of the latest skyscrapers and stadiums.

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