Steven Yeun Rocks Tie-Less Suits for GQ
Author: KoreAm
Posted: March 15th, 2014
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He was just featured alongside costar Lauren Cohan in a romantic photo shoot for Los Angeles magazine last month, and now, Steven Yeun suits up again for a feature on suits in this month’s issue of GQ.

Our favorite zombie-slayer dons a slick comb-over and dressy shirts and blazers for March’s style feature titled “Back from the Dead: The Air Tie,” as if we needed another reason to remember the man is one of People‘s Sexiest Men of 2013.

The photos provide a stark contrast from the dirty, tired, blood-stained Glenn Rhee we see running around every Sunday night on AMC’s The Walking Dead, but we love Steve either way. Continue Reading »

Friday’s Link Attack: Congressmen Urge NK Reunions for Korean Americans; Steven Yeun Gossip; Kim Yuna
Author: Cassandra Kwok
Posted: March 7th, 2014
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The North Korean Purge That Didn’t Happen
Wall Street Journal

Call it a helpful reminder that much of what you hear about North Korea is probably not true.

A senior North Korean military official close to dictator Kim Jong Un reemerged in state media on Friday after disappearing from public view for a few weeks. Speculation had been building that Choe Ryong Hae might have been purged after a report from a radio station operated by North Korean defectors that Mr. Choe was arrested on Feb. 21.

The report said Mr. Choe had fallen short in his duties to keep troops sufficiently devoted to Mr. Kim, among other failings.

North Korean election provides clues to reclusive Stalinist state

Reading the official website of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and you would be forgiven for thinking the reclusive Stalinist state was the Cayman Islands of East Asia.

No taxes, zero unemployment and a performance-related reward-for-labor bonus regime, North Korea touts itself as having “a people-centered social system in which the masses of the working people are the masters of everything and everything in society serves them.”

This Sunday, North Koreans will be required to show their assent for this political system at general elections universally expected to return the current incumbent Kim Jong Un.

Pyongyang’s Hunger Games
New York Times

The United Nations Commission of Inquiry’s report on North Korea, released last month, contains so many tragic findings that it is difficult to grasp the scale of the crimes described. But the world owes it to the North Korean victims, both living and dead, to focus on a figure buried in paragraph 664 of the commission’s report: $645,800,000.

That is what the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, is said to have squandered in 2012 on “luxury goods,” including cosmetics, handbags, leather products, watches, electronics, cars and top-shelf alcohol. In that same year, Mr. Kim also spent $1.3 billion on his ballistic missile programs.

Mr. Kim’s profligacy should be weighed against two other statistics absent from the commission’s report. The first is $150 million. That is what the United Nations World Food Program asked donor nations to give for food and other humanitarian aid for North Koreans in 2013. The second is 84 — the percentage of North Korean households that, according to the W.F.P. and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, had “borderline” or “poor” levels of food consumption in 2013.

Four U.S. congressmen urge reunions of divided Korean-American families
Yonhap News via GlobalPost

Four U.S. congressmen submitted a resolution to a House committee calling for the reunion of Koreans in the United States with their long-lost families in North Korea, according to the Library of Congress.

The measure was sponsored by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Howard Coble (R-NC), John Conyers (D-MI) and Samuel Johnson (R-TX), all Korean War veterans.

“The division on the Korean Peninsula separated more than 10,000,000 Korean family members, including some who are now citizens of the United States,” said the resolution, referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs Thursday.

Japan’s Uphill PR Battle
The Diplomat

Japan is involved in a worsening quarrel with its two neighbors, China and South Korea, not only concerning sovereignty over some tiny islets, but also its alleged tendency to whitewash its history of military aggression and brutal colonial rule.

One of the major points of antagonism is the issue of “comfort women” (or “sex slaves” as an angry Hillary Clinton called them), namely women in Japan-occupied Asia who were forced into prostitution serving Japanese soldiers. Despite the 1993 Kono Statement in which the Japanese government admitted that Japan’s military had coerced these women, a recent rise of nationalism has led a majority of Japanese to deny any such thing, giving rise to suspicion that Japan is again refusing to take responsibility for its war crimes.

On this issue, the Koreans are more militant than the Chinese and political ties between Tokyo and Seoul have been frozen since the hawkish Shinzo Abe returned to power, and has hardly bothered to hide his aim of repealing past Japanese admissions of sin regarding the comfort women. The right-wing prime minister actually represents a growing number of Japanese who believe that Japan did nothing wrong in the last world war and that the comfort women were only professional prostitutes. These Japanese are fed up with the Korean and Chinese demands for apologies and compensation.

Mappers’ Delight
Washington City Paper

Lobbyists have wet dreams about this scenario.

You’ve mobilized an entire constituent group, 80,000 potential swing voters in a swing state. It’s a growing immigrant population with a profile coveted by politicians: well-educated, relatively prosperous, suburb-dwelling, beholden to no party. State legislators and gubernatorial candidates meet with you and come to any press events you organize. They are prepared to speechify about whatever issue you tell them is dear to your community, and pledge that your cause is their cause. Any issue at all.

What do you tell them?

If you are Peter Kim, president of the Virginia-based Voice of Korean Americans, you tell them what your community really wants—more than anything—is for any reference in any school textbook to the body of water that lies between the Korean peninsula and Japan, commonly called the Sea of Japan, to say that it’s also known as the East Sea.

Flushing man to offer free meds, barber trims to the needy
New York Daily News

He wants to snip away at poverty. A Flushing man who gave away free bowls of soup to the poor at a Korean restaurant last month now has his sights set on the barber’s chair as a way to help out Queens’ neediest.

Jin Kim, 38, is working with a local pharmacy to hand out free meds and Queens barbershops to offer gratis haircuts.

“Not only me, a lot of people need help,” said Kim, a Korean-American immigrant and John Jay College Ph.D student who got the idea to start a charity when he first arrived in Queens 12 years ago and struggled to survive. “I think some people have more. Maybe they will share a little bit and help everyone. I want to be the connection.”

For Korean Kids, Mobile Chat Rules
Wall Street Journal

The verdict is still out on whether teens and tweens are a reliable predictor of tech trends, but if South Korean school kids make a good benchmark, chat is king.

A recently-released poll by the National Youth Policy Institute, a Seoul-based public research center, shows that the most frequently used feature among students in grades four to 12 on their smartphones was local messenger apps such as KakaoTalk and Line. Over a quarter – one third for girls – said it was their most-used feature.

The overall runner-up in the November survey was games (15.6%), followed by making calls (14.8%) and music (12.8%). Just 6.8% of the 10,000 students surveyed said social media was their most-used application, the same percentage as said browsing the Internet was what they do most on their phones.

S. Korean Dream Line: Rail Link Via N.Korean Eco Zone To Russia

Imagine a railroad linking the great industries of South Korea with Europe. The dream might some day come true as the South drafts elaborate plans for shipping goods through North Korea’s Rason special economic zone adjacent to the North’s 10-mile-long Tumen River border with Russia.

The South Koreans have the enthusiastic support of the Russians, who have long dreamed of shipping goods by rail from South Korean factories, through North Korea and then onto the trans-Siberian railway. They’ve already rebuilt the railroad into North Korea over which they once shipped oil and other products at prices way below their real costs.

The oil stopped flowing with the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, but Russia has never abandoned its historic interest in the Korean peninsula.

Police seek help in locating missing Staten Island man
Staten Island Advance (N.Y.)

Police seek the public’s help in ascertaining the whereabouts of a 60-year-old New Springville man reported missing on Thursday.

Kang Ok Cho was last seen two week ago on Friday, Feb. 21 at about 6 p.m., according to a written statement from the office of the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for public information. He was leaving for his job at a Flushing, Queens, car service, said an NYPD spokeswoman.

The reason for the delay in the report being made was not immediately clear.

TV Soap Revives Korean Craze in China
Chosun Ilbo

Korean soap “My Love from the Star,” about a woman’s romance with an alien, has taken China by storm, sparking fads for anything from food to books.

The Bibigo chain of Korean restaurants launched a new dish in outlets in Beijing on Wednesday consisting of fried chicken, pickled radishes and two bottles of beer, which is a popular combination among Koreans.

“We decided to add the new item to our menus due to the explosive popularity of ‘chi-maek’” — the Korean abbreviation for the combo.

So what’s going on here then? Jessica Gomes’ goofy snap with Walking Dead star Steven Yeun’s sparks romance rumours
Daily Mail (U.K.)

She split from her long term boyfriend Sebastian Drapac a few months ago, and now it looks like Australian model Jessica Gomes could be back on the dating scene.

The 28-year-old David Jones fashion ambassador posted a goofy candid photo of herself and 30-year-old Walking Dead actor Steven Yeun on Instagram earlier today, sparking speculation of a new romance.

The pair playfully pulled their tongues out, and fans commented asking if the model and actor were dating.

Iowa City native connects two cultures in film debut
Iowa City Press-Citizen

Christine Yoo made her first movie as a student at Shimek Elementary.

“In my reading group, we wrote and shot a construction animation piece about finding King Tut’s tomb,” she said, recalling that she was inspired by her art teacher, Mr. Ferguson.

Years later, the former Iowa City resident has made her first full-length feature film with “Wedding Palace,” a movie about a young Korean American man dumped at the altar and facing a family curse that requires all family members to marry before they turn 30. The film strives to connect two cultures.

Yoo said the movie has been described as the Korean-American version of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”

An account of Kim Yuna backstage at Olympics; Netizens moved
Korea BANG

‘Yuna cried a lot backstage. That was why the awards ceremony was a bit delayed.’

In contrast with her calm appearance after the women’s singles figure skating competition, ‘figure skating queen’ Kim Yuna (24) looked extremely sad backstage and shed many tears, according to an eyewitness account that was uploaded to the Internet. It has caught the attention of many people, and many netizens are crying together.

In a popular Internet community on the 3rd of March, a post titled ‘Kim Yuna is a delicate athlete after all’ has recorded a high number of hits and has gained a lot of public interest.

10 Personality Traits about Koreans You Should Know!

1. Nationalistic
The most Korean of athletes are always nationalistic. Whether it be olympians that dedicate their victories to their home country, or MMA fighters that dedicate their wins to the Independence Day of Korea (UFC Fight Night 37), nearly all Korean athletes are loyal to their country. Koreans are raised to put their country before themselves, and that leads to nationalistic activists that fight for Korea’s ownership of the Dokdo Islands (aka Liancourt Rocks), expansion of Korea’s airspace territory, or even Koreans abroad fighting for renaming of the Sea of Japan (contested as the East Sea). Koreans are bred to be nationalistic, mostly with the phrase: Daehanminguk manse (대한민국 만세)! Victory to Korea!

2. Green
South Korea is definitely on the forefront when it comes to the term “Save the Earth”! We always try to save on energy and recycling. The Korean government initiated a program throughout the country back in 2005 that tries to limit green house gases by conserving the energy costs of businesses through the Cool Biz program. Korea also takes its recycling programs serious! Bio-waste matter (left over food) is recycled through yellow plastic bags that are meant specifically for compost matter (which is rumored to be super eco-friendly and fed to pigs!). In addition, everything is separated by glass, plastic, cardboard and cans. And if you don’t believe us, watch your trash not get picked up!

Tate Modern buys first collection of Paik Nam-june works
Yonhap News via GlobalPost

The Tate Modern gallery in London said Friday it has bought its first ever collection of works by late Korean-born American media artist Paik Nam-june and will put the new collection on display in the second half of this year.

Tate Modern, which mainly houses international modern and contemporary art from the 20th and 21st century, acquired nine media art pieces and video installations by Paik, the gallery said.

It added the purchase was funded by South Korea’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor Co. as part of a bilateral partnership deal signed between the two sides in January. The items will go on display in the second half of this year at the gallery, the gallery said.

Free Oriental Medicine clinic this Saturday in O.C.
Korea Times

The Korean American Federation of Orange County will offer free oriental medicine treatments and medical consultation at the Orange County Korean Cultural Center from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Appointments are required due to the limited time.

Acupuncture treatment with a moxa system, as well as consultation, will be aided by Dr. Han Choong-hee, who operates an acupuncture clinic in Irvine.

Steven Yeun Named to People Magazine’s ‘Sexiest Men’ List
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: November 21st, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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Actor Steven Yeun’s character, Glenn Rhee, dates one of the more attractive The Walking Dead characters, but Yeun is no slouch in that department himself. People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” issue, which goes on newsstands this Friday, is giving Yeun his due for what many people already know.

The magazine didn’t choose the 30-year-old as the sexiest man, but he’s still one of People’s top picks. During his photo shoot, Yeun explained what he considered attractive in others.

“The quality that I think is sexy … is style, kind of how you carry yourself,” he told People. “I don’t think it has to do with all the ‘sex’ part of it really. I think it’s just how you exude your presence in the world. I find how you are as a human as probably the sexiest thing.” Continue Reading »

Monday’s Link Attack: US Sick of KOR-JPN Squabbles; Pepero Day; ‘Psy Impact’ Sparks Interest in Korean Studies
Author: James S. Kim
Posted: November 11th, 2013
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America is infuriated by the incessant squabbles between Japan and South Korea
The Economist

WITH so much in common, Japan and South Korea should be natural partners. Industrialised democracies and firm American allies, they face the same strategic threats: a nuclear-armed North Korea and a rising China. Japan’s emperor even claims Korean ancestry. Resentment at the Japanese occupation of Korea from 1910-45 should be fading. Yet the shadow of the past seems to grow darker by the year. Relations are at their lowest ebb since the two countries normalised relations in 1965. And, worryingly for America, officials in both expect worse to come.

Having snubbed Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, at two regional summits last month, Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s president, said in an interview this week that she saw no point in meeting him. Yet Japan is South Korea’s second-largest trading partner. Nor does she rule out meeting Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s youthful despot, whose regime just last month threatened her country with “ruthless pre-emptive strikes of annihilation”.

In both countries, negative stories about the other are staples of the press. Each side’s diplomats ooze exasperated contempt for the other. Koreans blame Japanese politicians for repeatedly stirring up historic disputes. In Japan a senior official says the Abe administration is “sick and tired” of South Korea. The country is like a “single-issue activist”, wilfully ignoring subjects that might unite the countries in favour of those that heighten dissension.

On Pepero Day, a Japanese Rival Lurks
Wall Street Journal

It’s Nov. 11, “Pepero Day” in South Korea, when the marketing folks at Lotte Confectionery Co. would like you to show your affection for friends and loved-ones by exchanging gifts of their chocolate-coated wand-like pretzel snack.

The made-to-order holiday has been a resounding success for Lotte over the years, but there’s a complication this year: a rival product with the same promotional trick.

Legend has it that Pepero Day began in 1994 when middle-school girls in the southern city of Busan decided to give each other Pepero on 11/11 with wishes to become skinny—like the snack stick or the four 1’s that make up the date.

S. Korea calls on North to identify S. Korean detainee
Yonhap News

Seoul’s unification ministry formally called on North Korea Monday to provide information about a South Korean citizen who Pyongyang says has been arrested for espionage.

“South Korea’s intelligence agency already said that the claim that an agent was caught is untrue, but since the North has said it is holding a South Korean in custody, Seoul wants to know who the person is,” said ministry spokesman Kim Eui-do.

The North’s Ministry of State Security said last Thursday that it captured a member of the South’s National Intelligence Service (NIS). It gave no name or age of the person in custody other than to say the man had been caught entering Pyongyang and disguised his true identity by conducting missionary work in a neighboring country.

Police: No charges in garbage truck accident that killed three in Glenview
Chicago Tribune

After a three-week investigation, authorities said Friday that no charges or citations will be filed in connection with the two-vehicle crash in October that killed three people.

The Oct. 15 accident killed three Chicago residents, Won Suk Lim, 56, his wife Jung Ran Min, 50, and their friend Gwi Rye Kim, 65.

All three were in a 2006 Kia SUV when it collided with a Skokie-owned garbage truck at the intersection of Harlem Avenue and Harrison Street, erupting in flames.

The truck’s driver, whose name has not been released, was not injured.

Leader of Korean prostitution ring in Biloxi sentenced to prison
Sun Herald (Mississippi)

An Atlantic City man who organized and led a Korean prostitution ring found operating in Biloxi has been sentenced to 15 months in prison.

Chi Sung Jung, 52, had been held without bond in New Jersey since February, when he requested he be prosecuted closer to his home.

Jung accepted a plea agreement to a charge of conspiracy to harbor women in the United States illegally for financial gain. Court papers show the conspiracy took place from January 2011 until Oct. 1, 2012.

Asian-Americans protest Jimmy Kimmel after ‘kids table’ skit says ‘kill everyone in China’
89.3 KPCC (Southern California Public Radio)

Asian-Americans and their supporters are rallying Saturday at ABC headquarters in Burbank. They’re asking the network to suspend or fire late-night talk host Jimmy Kimmel after he aired a skit they found offensive.

The skit shows Kimmel in a roundtable discussion with young children. He tells the kids that America owes China a lot of money and asks them how the US should pay the Chinese back. One boy says “kill everyone in China,” and Kimmel leads a brief conversation in which he tries to steer the kids away from the idea.

‘Walking Dead’ Dissection: Steven Yeun on Glenn’s Close Call — ‘He’s a Man With a Purpose Now’
The Hollywood Reporter

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the "Internment" episode of AMC's The Walking Dead.]

After a week out of the prison, AMC’s The Walking Dead returned to the barred community Sunday with an episode involving threats both inside the compound and at the fences of their safe haven.

Before Daryl’s (Norman Reedus) group returns, Hershel (Scott Wilson), Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) are tasked with caring for the ill, seeing the group’s numbers rapidly dwindle as the virus turns several of the sick. With Glenn’s and Sasha’s health failing, the council’s leader was forced to take out his first member of the undead and care for his son-in-law, all while navigating the undead.

Korean girl group Crayon Pop send fans into a frenzy with their encore of Bar Bar Bar
Daily Telegraph (Austrailia)

About a dozen fans had occupied the front row at the barriers from about 8am.

Crayon Pop, whose latest disco-beat dance song Bar Bar Bar is zooming up the Asian and Western charts, zoomed onto the stage at 2pm, sending the multinational throng of fans screaming, fan-chanting their part in the songs and iPhoning.

The girls, Cho A, Gum Mi, Ellin, So Yul and Way, wore their iconic costumes – this time in lime green – and their scooter helmets. Bar Bar Bar was ranked athe top of the weekly Billboard K-Pop hot 100 chart for the first six weeks since its release.

Riding Shotgun with Roy Choi: L.A. Son Tells the Kogi Chef’s Story
Los Angeles Weekly

So how’s this for an L.A. story? A young couple and their two-year-old son leave South Korea for Los Angeles, where they open a restaurant. It fails, but they refuse to quit — working their family connections to enter the jewelry business. There they achieve such staggering success they’re able to move on up to Orange County, right into Nolan Ryan’s old house. Their son, meanwhile, battles addictions to drugs and gambling, fighting off the lure of thug life to become one of the city’s best restaurateurs, changing L.A.’s dining scene forever by reinventing the food truck for foodies.

That’s Roy Choi’s story. And, yes, it’s a doozy. As Choi tells it in L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food, his new cookbook autobiography written with Natasha Phan and L.A. Weekly Senior Food Writer Tien Nguyen, his destiny as a great chef was far from assured. Choi studied political science at Cal State Fullerton, then philosophy. He even dabbled in theatre for a time. After he finished school (the book isn’t clear on whether he graduated), there was a week lost to crack, a year and a half lost to gambling, and countless days lost to a soul-killing job selling mutual funds.

The Psy Impact
Inside Higher Education

Korean pop singer Psy has emerged as an international phenomenon with his viral hit “Gangnam Style,” but his influence is reaching beyond pop culture and into the classroom as many colleges and universities report first-ever waiting lists for Korean studies courses.

As K-pop merges with American pop culture, more students are interested in learning about the Korean culture and language. At Columbia University, where students in the East Asian studies major can choose to study Chinese, Korean or Japanese, Charles Armstrong, professor of Korean studies, is seeing tremendous growth in Korean language course enrollments, especially among students with no ties to Korea.

“The overall trend I’ve seen is where 15 years ago, or even 10 years ago, the bulk of interest in Korean studies was from the heritage community, it’s now shifted to non-heritage students,” Armstrong said. “Most of them, from what I’ve asked and seen, seem to get originally attracted to Korea through music and pop culture.” (“Heritage” in language courses refers to those from families with ethnic or national ties to the country whose language is involved.)

Her personal newscast to San Diego
Union Tribune San Diego

With the return of the 14th annual San Diego Asian Film Festival, Lee Ann Kim is back in the spotlight.

As a former news anchor and reporter at KGTV, Kim was once a daily presence in many San Diegans’ homes. But these days, the Sorrento Valley resident has been working behind the scenes, handling a festival that’s become nationally recognized for its outstanding film selections.

The event, run under the umbrella of Pacific Arts Movement, is happening now and runs through Nov. 16.

Actor Steven Yeun Maintains Humor Despite Being Robbed in Atlanta
Author: Young Rae Kim
Posted: November 5th, 2013
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Yeun at the Walker Stalker Convention in Atlanta.

Actor Steven Yeun, of AMC’s Walking Dead, had his car broken into and backpack stolen on Sunday in Atlanta.

Yeun was in Atlanta for the Walker Stalker Convention, a fan event for the show, and parked his car on 537 Edgewood Ave. SE. When he returned to his vehicle after the convention at around 9 p.m., his rear-seat window was smashed and his black North Face backpack was missing.

The backpack contained Yeun’s personal MacBook Air, a Ricoh camera and a black iPod. It also held a David and Goliath hardback novel and a moleskine journal. Continue Reading »

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