The World Cup draw is a big deal for teams that spend years to qualify for the quadrennial showdown. When FIFA, international soccer’s governing body, unveiled the eight groups for 32 teams that will head to Brazil next summer for the tournament, South Korea wound up in Group H with Belgium, Russia and Algeria.
Although Korea is ranked lower than its three opponents in the FIFA rankings, many Koreans still breathed a sigh of relief as they avoided soccer’s traditional powerhouses, including host nation in Brazil, reigning champion Spain and perennial contender Germany. While Korea gears up to play in its eighth consecutive World Cup, neither Belgium nor Russia made it to the 2010 tournament and Algeria got eliminated early in the group stages. In that same tournament, Korea advanced to the round of 16 before getting knocked out by eventual semifinalists Uruguay.
At least on paper, the competition in Group H should be relatively manageable for Korea. It certainly could’ve been worse, as evidenced by the United States, which ended up in the so-called Group of Death with Germany, Portugal and Ghana. Continue Reading »
The South Korean men’s national soccer team will face the United States in a friendly match on Feb. 1 in Carson, Calif., as both teams prepare for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The preparation match for the quadrennial showdown in next summer’s World Cup will be a rematch for Korea and the U.S. since they played to a 1-1 draw at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Both teams are expected to field lineups consisting of those playing in their respecting domestic leagues, since the date is not an official match-day sanctioned by FIFA, the governing body for international soccer. Europe-based players are not expected to participate.
“As a team that has qualified for Brazil, the Korea Republic will be another great benchmark for us,” U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann told USSoccer.com. “They bring a different style of play than we have seen in the last two years, and that gives us a chance to grow.” Continue Reading »
China’s Airspace Claim Inflames Ties to South Korea, Too
New York Times
South Korea’s foreign minister warned on Wednesday that China’s recent attempt to police the sky over a vast area in the East China Sea was worsening tensions in a region already strained by territorial disputes.
China’s so-called air defense identification zone covered not only a group of islands that both Japan and China claim but also a submerged rock that both China and South Korea want to control.
The dispute over the submerged rock has never been as fierce as China’s dispute over the islands with Japan, but the new air patrol zone drew strong protests from South Korea, threatening to heighten tensions with Beijing. Seoul said it would not recognize the Chinese zone and would maintain its jurisdictional right to waters around the rock, which is called Ieodo in Korea and Suyan Rock in China.
Brisbane teen ‘looking for thrill kill’
9 News (Australia)
The teen accused of fatally bashing a South Korean student in a Brisbane park had fantasised about murder since he was a child, police will allege.
Detectives believe Alex Reuben McEwan, 19, was hunting for a random victim when he attacked 22-year-old Eunji Ban in an inner-city park as she walked to work as a hotel cleaner in the early hours of Sunday morning, the Courier-Mail reports.
McEwan, an apprentice spray painter, was arrested late on Monday after a tip-off to police.
He was allegedly wearing a fresh plaster cast for a broken hand he sustained in the attack.
Culturally mixed, united in learning
A fourth grader, Kaya, didn’t have a care in the world while playing soccer with friends after classes Tuesday on the grounds of Seoul Itaewon Elementary School.
Merrily and slightly roughly, Kaya and fellow fourth graders were kicking, running and scoring goals, shouting out mostly in Korean but with a mix of English
Kaya, who would only give his first name, was born to an Indian father and a Korean mother.
Tokyo, Seoul clash over artifacts taken to Japan during colonial period
South China Morning Post
There is growing anger in South Korea over an exhibition of ancient Korean artefacts that are on loan from a museum in Tokyo, with a Japanese legal expert warning that “emotional” demands by the media are likely to strain ties that are already at breaking point.
“Both countries have ratified the conventions that cover these artefacts so the situation seems to be more legal than nationalistic, but the South Korean media is becoming more and more emotional and that is certain to accelerate the nationalistic tendencies,” said Toshiyuki Kono, a professor in the faculty of law at Kyushu University and an expert in the trade of ancient artefacts.
Under the headline “Stolen national treasures come home for 90 days”, The JoongAng Daily on November 21 said visitors to an exhibition of treasures from the Gaya period at the Yangsan Museum, in South Gyeongsang province, were “stunned” that the items were only on loan from the Tokyo National Museum.
College-bound graduate seeks help for buying an assistance van
The Issaquah Press (Washington)
Local volunteers hope to make a college transition easy for one student.
Jae Kim graduated from Issaquah High School this year and is excited about starting Bellevue College in January. She has cerebral palsy, and while Issaquah High School provided assistance in transportation, she will need to find her own way to future education.
In response, a group of local residents have started a campaign to raise $50,000 to buy Kim and her family a gently used van, complete with lift assistance. They hope to find help from the community to take this large worry off Kim’s entry into college.
Kangta to represent ‘voice’ of Korea
Kangta, a former member of Korean boy band H.O.T., will attend the “Voice of World” concert as a representative of Korea.
The world-wide event, organized by China’s Zhejiang TV, has invited judges and contenders of a survival audition program “The Voice,” whose regional editions have been aired throughout countries like the U.S., U.K., Germany, China as well as Korea.
Kang, 34, a former judge of the first and second season of “Voice of Korea,” will attend the special event with his mentee and second season winner Lee Ye-jun, to be held on Saturday at the Wukesong stadium in Beijing, China.
MUSIC VIDEO: Never Shout Never Ft. Dia Frampton – “Under The Mistletoe”
Under the Gun Review
Earlier today, Never Shout Never partnered up with Alternative Press to release a music video for “Under The Mistletoe,” which is the first single off their brand new EP, titled The Xmas EP. You can view it for yourself by following the jump.
Throughout the tender tune, Dia Frampton aids frontman Christofer Drew on vocals, resulting in a warm, easy-to-listen-to arrangement that even goes so far as to rival more established holiday carols. In addition to “Under The Mistletoe,” this EP also features three classic Christmas sing-alongs to put you in the holiday spirit.
South Korean Web Giant Naver to Support Indie Cinema
South Korea’s biggest online search engine Naver has signed a pact with the Association of Korean Independent Film & Video (KIFV) to promote local independent films, the partners announced Wednesday.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) covers online services, as well as offline events, such as local independent film festivals.
The two parties will in January launch what they called an “online theater” for screening indie films. They will also create a database for independent filmmakers and actors. They will also co-sponsor local genre events, including the Seoul Independent Film Festival that kicks off Thursday, and the Seoul Independent Documentary Film & Video Festival that will take place in March. Films featured in the festival will be shown on Naver.
Asia TV Success Stories: Korean Dramas, Asian Animation
Aside from Hong Kong’s kung fu movies, Korean dramas and Asian animation are the two genres of local content that have the most success crossing borders within Asia.
Long-running Korean series play everywhere from Mongolia to the Middle East, Eastern Europe to Mexico, which otherwise have little connection with Korean culture. Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun recently reported that all four terrestrial and six satellite channels in Japan were airing Korean drama, amounting to more than 93 hours of Korean content per week.
MBC’s historical medical drama “Jewel in the Palace” this year celebrates its 10th anniversary, a decade in which South Korean TV drama exports have climbed in value from just $8 million in 2001 to $155 million in 2011, the latest data available. Most are sold as completed shows, but others have been sold as formats.
‘Oldboy’ movie review: Spike Lee’s remake of a 2003 Korean cult film makes some fixes
There’s a nice Hitchcockian quality to the new “Oldboy,” Spike Lee’s remake of Korean director Park Chan-wook’s cult film of revenge and regret. Which is kind of weird, considering that the source material is not Hitchcockian in the least.
It’s a strange, yet not entirely unsatisfying, fit. In trying to adapt the source material — not just the 2003 film, but the late 1990s Japanese manga series on which it was based — Lee and writer Mark Protosevich (“The Cell”) have jettisoned some details while significantly reshaping others, all the while keeping the essential outlines of the baroque and quite frankly bizarre tale of punishment and redemption intact.
“Oldboy” is grand opera shoved into the shoebox of a murder mystery.
As in the original, Lee’s “Oldboy” revolves around a man (Josh Brolin, here given the Everyman moniker of Joe) who wakes up after a bender to find that he’s been imprisoned in what seems to be a seedy, windowless hotel room where he’s fed, through a hole in the locked door, the same carryout Chinese dumplings every day for the next 20 years. (In the manga, it was 10 years; in the first film, 15. I guess that’s inflation for you.)
More Details on Han Ye Seul and Teddy’s Relationship in Woman Sense Magazine
The December 2013 issue of women’s magazine Woman Sense revealed further details behind actress Han Ye Seul and YG Entertainment hip hop producer Teddy Park’s relationship. The article contains information from multiple unnamed sources close to the couple. The reporter stated that the magazine spent two months covering the story in order to verify the couple’s relationship, which was ascertained through various channels.
The two met through a mutual acquaintance at the beginning of this year, and became a couple after May. Han Ye Seul and Teddy share something in common; both grew up in the US (California). A source close to the couple stated, “Teddy and Han Ye Seul are serious about one another. Both are working in different fields, and naturally that led to curiosity about each other’s work. Furthermore, they share similar feelings having lived overseas for a long time.”
Han Ye Seul has been on hiatus from entertainment activities for a while, but Teddy’s been actively producing for 2NE1 and G-Dragon, so their dates are usually early in the morning to fit Teddy’s schedule. Another close source explained, “Teddy usually starts working late at night. He works on songs almost every day as he produces most of YG artist’s songs. He goes on dates with Han Ye Seul after he finishes work early in the morning.”
LPGA’s Koreans Make Statement With Golf, English
AP via ABC News
This kind of conversation was rare five years ago on the LPGA Tour. For starters, it involved Vin Scully.
So Yeon Ryu was chatting on the putting green when the topic of her name came up. The LPGA makes sure everyone pronounces it correctly as “Yoo.” So why is it that Scully referred to rookie left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu as “REE-yoo?”
“Oh, the Dodgers’ pitcher? He’s a really good guy,” she said. “Maybe that can be a nickname for him.”
Fresh from the street
Korea Times US
One of Seoul’s biggest attractions as a food destination is that its culinary offerings are not confined to restaurants. An amazing variety of food is available at the food carts and trucks that are a common sight along the streets of leisure and business districts, providing pleasure and refuge for the city’s famously overworked citizens.
It could be said that the city’s street-food culture was more vibrant from the 1960s to the early 1990s. But vendors now struggle to compete with franchised fast-food chains, the dull but relentless juggernauts that now dominate the inexpensive eating industry.
Photo via Instagram
A Korean American-led ice dancing team is vying to represent South Korea on the world stage, after competing in the 2013 Korea Skating Union’s President Cup at the Mokdong Ice Rink last week.
Yura Min, an 18-year-old Korean American, and her partner Timothy Koleto, made their official Korean debut, scoring 105.78 points.
Min, a dual citizen of the U.S. and South Korea, was born and raised in California. She trained in Arrowhead, Calif., as a singles skater before relocating to Michigan last year to pursue ice dancing. Her parents immigrated to the United States in 1989. Continue Reading »
When Dartmouth junior kicker Riley Lyons went for an easy 21-yard field goal as time was expiring, Lyons’ teammates raised their arms in anticipation of a last-minute victory over the University of Pennsylvania on Oct. 5.
But Penn senior linebacker David Park made a miraculous block on the kick to send the game to overtime. The block by Park — listed at 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds — became the turning point that led to one of the most memorable wins in the history of the Quakers, after four overtimes.
“This one had as many highs and lows as any game I could recall,” Penn coach Al Bagnoli told the Daily Pennsylvanian after the game.
As a 7-year-old in South Korea, Park dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player. When his family brought him to the United States, he picked up football as soccer wasn’t nearly as accessible as it was back home. Continue Reading »