North Korea Tones Down Language, Giving Hope for Dialogue
New York Times
By North Korean standards, the invective issued over the past week has bordered on civil. Instead of near daily threats of nuclear annihilation for the “nest of evil” in the United States and promises to “press the button,” the North in recent days has grumbled over a “crafty ploy” and “cunning trick” by America and its allies to strip the North of its nuclear arsenal.
The United States and South Korea, meanwhile, have made a change of their own: putting a new focus on offering talks after weeks of meeting North Korean provocations with harsh warnings that included deploying nuclear-capable stealth bombers on a practice run over South Korea.
Security analysts in South Korea and the United States expressed cautious optimism this week that the shift in tone, however understated, is a sign that after weeks of escalating threats that raised fears of armed conflict, both sides might be ready to calm tensions.
Obama says he doesn’t believe North Korea has nuclear missile
President Barack Obama has said he doesn’t believe North Korea can fit a nuclear warhead on a missile, casting strong doubt on an alarming assessment disclosed last week by the Pentagon’s intelligence arm.
And he warned the young North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that weeks of threats against the United States and South Korea had only served to isolate the regime further.
U.S. spy chief: No uniform intelligence on what’s happening in N. Korea
Speaking with unusual candor in public about the U.S. ability to know what’s happening in North Korea, James Clapper, chief of the U.S. intelligence community, said there is a difference on the level of confidence among his agencies with regard to the communist nation.
On the controversy over whether Pyongyang has nuclear warheads to be delivered by missiles, he said it’s still too early to confirm that the reclusive country has mastered the technology.
“North Korea has not fully developed, tested or demonstrated the full range of capabilities necessary for a nuclear-armed missile,” Clapper said at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Queens Koreans aren’t too worried
Queens Chronicle (N.Y.)
For all the talk about North Korea’s possible ability to deliver a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile, there appears to be only a slight fear of war breaking out in the region — at least among members of the Korean community in Queens.
And for all his bluster, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, who took over that country’s reins upon the death of his father late in 2011, doesn’t even seem to be rattling many nerves. In fact, the extent of his power is being questioned by many.
South Korean Intelligence Officers Are Accused of Political Meddling
New York Times
At least two agents from the South Korean National Intelligence Service illegally posted comments online criticizing the political opposition ahead of the December presidential election, the police said on Thursday in an interim report on an investigation into accusations of political meddling.
In Psy’s musical wake, K-pop tries substance over style in star search
Singing a duet in front of thousands of fans with South Korean rapper Psy, a world sensation for his “Gangnam Style” and “Gentleman” videos, would be heady for any singer, much less one who’s only 16 years old and has just launched her first album.
But the soulful-voiced Lee Hi, like Psy, has been breaking rules for the K-pop music industry since her discovery in an amateur talent show two years ago, including looking more like the girl next door than a diva.
South Korea’s love affair with pretty boy bands and doll-like girl groups may be starting to crack and its music industry is becoming more willing to experiment with talented and less lovingly groomed stars, following Psy’s megahit “Gangnam Style,” YouTube’s most popular song with over 1.5 billion hits.
‘Stuck Elevator’ review: Top-flight
San Francisco Chronicle
Creative riches explode from one small, claustrophobic space in “Stuck Elevator,” the extraordinary musical that opened Tuesday at American Conservatory Theater. Within the story of a trapped deliveryman and a mere 80 minutes, composer Byron Au Yong, librettist Aaron Jafferis and director Chay Yew pack an epic’s worth of inspired music and inspirational content, performances and design.
It’s also unusually timely, though, as Artistic Director Carey Perloff noted in a brief curtain speech, no one could have planned the world premiere to open the same week Congress finally took up immigration reform. “Elevator” is Au Yong, Jafferis and Yew’s tuneful, thoughtful riff on the true story of undocumented immigrant Ming Kuang Chen, a Chinese-food deliveryman who became trapped in a Bronx elevator for 81 hours in 2005. The result is a vibrant opera-musical theater hybrid with a story both personally compelling and eye-opening.
Half the drama – the part in much-abridged real life – is virtually a duet between golden-toned Julius Ahn as takeout deliveryman Guang and the confining, moving platforms within the towering skeletal elevator shaft that dominates Daniel Ostling’s remarkable set. The other half, which occupies more stage time, takes place within Guang’s mind as four versatile actors embody his memories, fears, fantasies and nightmares in the ever-more fanciful costumes of Myung Hee Cho.
The ever-changing flavor of L.A.’s Koreatown
World-renowned chef, author and Emmy winning television personality Anthony Bourdain visits Los Angeles’ Koreatown in the next episode of “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” airing Sunday, April 21, at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.
Roy Choi created a brave new world of gastronomy almost single-handedly with his Los Angeles-based Kogi BBQ taco truck.
A Korean-American who grew up on the fringes of Mexican and hip hop culture, Choi’s food reflects a new American idea of natural fusion – culinary influences that grew up next to and with each other.
In this episode of “Parts Unknown,” Anthony Bourdain examines the meeting point of Asian, Latino, Mexican and even Bangladeshi culture in modern L.A. Koreatown.
Shin-Soo Choo leads Reds to fourth consecutive win
AP via ESPN
Tony Cingrani might have been a little too relaxed for his first big league start. With the way the Reds have been hitting, that’s understandable.
Shin-Soo Choo singled, doubled and scored twice, helping Cingrani get a victory in his starting debut, and the Reds won their fourth in a row by beating the Miami Marlins 11-1 on Thursday night.
Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu gets the start, and first endorsement deal
Los Angeles Times
Hyun-Jin Ryu will be attempting to snap the Dodgers’ four-game losing streak Friday in Baltimore and win his third consecutive game.
But he’s already nabbed one early prize. Just three games into his major league career, he’s signed his first endorsement deal.
Ryu has joined fellow South Korean Shin Soo Choo as a spokesman for Hanmi Bank. Hanmi Bank specializes in the Korean-American community and has 27 branches throughout most of California.
Shop MTV News Correspondent SuChin Pak’s Closet (I’ll Race You to the Fendi Sandals!)
First of all, SuChin has posted more than 50 designer pieces on the online consignment site, which means lots of opportunities to score a fun, fancy new item (at a much lower price than on regular retail sites or brick-and-mortar stores). She’s also made a two-tone Alexander Wang dress and bright green Opening Ceremony dress up for grabs. Here are a few more items she’s willing to part with:
ReadingMate Lets You Read on the Treadmill
Do you ever get bored running endless miles on a treadmill and wish that you could read while working out? Well, now you can, thanks to a new system that steadies text on a display so you can read it as you sweat through the miles.
The system, called ReadingMate, counteracts the bobbing motion of a runner’s head by adjusting text on a monitor so that it appears still, said Ji Soo Yi, an assistant professor of industrial engineering and director of the Healthcare and Information Visualization Engineering Lab at Purdue University.
“Not many people can run and read at the same time,” said Yi, who developed the system with doctoral candidate Bum chul Kwon. “This is because the relative location of the eyes to the text is vigorously changing, and our eyes try to constantly adjust to such changes, which is burdensome.”
Hey Glenn (THE WALKING DEAD TRIBUTE SONG – SPOILERS)
YOMYOMF via YouTube
Defense: Man accused of killing business partner was threatened by him
A witness in the murder trial of businessman Joong Rhee said a document that showed his alleged victim borrowed $300,000 and agreed to turn surrender land in Moab, Utah, if the loan wasn’t repaid on time, was dated before the dead man owned the property.
Hae C. Park, Rhee’s business partner, found out about the deed of trust for vacant land adjacent to a motel he bought in 2002, shortly before he died in 2010. The document, dated March 29, 2002, spells out an agreement requiring Park to repay the loan one year after it was drawn up or forfeit the land.
Unique Obstacles For Asian Americans In Voting
There’s been a lot of attention on how voter ID laws might affect minority groups like African-Americans and Latinos. But some observers say that Asian Americans may also be affected. Host Michel Martin discusses the potential impact with Glenn Magpantay of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Asian Americans: A voting block often overlooked
WTVR (Richmond, Va.)
As the presidential election season intensifies, presidential candidates are zeroing in on demographics crucial to winning. While both parties have explicitly sought the attention of women and Latinos, many Asian Americans feel overlooked.
New Voice in South Korean Politics Enters Presidential Race
New York Times
A 50-year-old graduate school dean whose appeal to disaffected voters has made him a political star officially declared his candidacy for president of South Korea on Wednesday, upending the contest by turning it into a three-way race just three months before the election.
The announcement by the dean, Ahn Cheol-soo, a former medical doctor and wealthy software entrepreneur-philanthropist who has no party affiliation, had been eagerly anticipated in South Korea, where his political ambitions have been a resilient hot topic because of his plain talk about inequality and justice.
Invitation to go big: Women entrepreneurs can have it all by SuChin Pak
My parents, like so many other immigrant families, moved to this country to create a better future for their children. My earliest memories of moving to America are intertwined with watching my parents first go to work in restaurants and then running their own. While a lot of kids have memories of summer camp, I remember spending my summers with my brother, working the cash registers, filling refrigerators with canned soda and watching my parents slowly build a life here for our family.
Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’: The social commentary behind the viral hit
AP via Entertainment Weekly
The song explores South Koreans’ “love-hate relationship with Gangnam,” said Baak Eun-seok, a pop music critic. The rest of South Korea sees Gangnam residents as everything PSY isn’t, he said: good-looking because of plastic surgery, stylish because they can splurge on luxury goods, slim thanks to yoga and personal trainers.
“PSY looks like a country bumpkin. He’s a far cry from the so-called ‘Gangnam Style,’” Baak said. “He’s parodying himself.”
The video abounds with ironic, “not upper-class” images that ordinary South Koreans recognize, said Park Byoung-soo, a social commentator who runs a popular visual art blog. Old men play a Korean board game and middle-aged women wear wide-brimmed hats to keep the sun off their faces as they walk backward — a popular way to exercise in South Korea.
Film festival opens in movie-crazy North Korea
AP via San Jose Mercury News
It’s true that homegrown movies predictably tend toward communist propaganda with a healthy dose of tear-jerker, North Korea is a film-crazy country. Well-to-do residents pay as much as 500 won (about $5 according to official exchange rates) to see new releases from the government-run Korean Film Studio, as well as Russian and Chinese imports.
The Creators Project Hits Seoul
Wall Street Journal
The Creators Project returns to Seoul this weekend for a two-day cultural festival at Zaha Hadid’s Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Art installations, film screenings and live music will be par for the course, with performances running the gamut from Korean-American hip-hop crew Drunken Tiger and K-pop girl group 2NE1 to electro-rockers Idiotape and genre-defying quartet Vidulgi OoyoO.
In the kitchen with Sujin Pak, owner of NAMI Japanese Steakhouse
The News-Press (Fort Myers, Fla.)
Pak opened NAMI at 13550 Reflections Parkway, south Fort Myers in February; 433-0508 or namijapanesesteakhouse.com.
• Age: 29
• Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea
• Culinary training: No formal training. Grew up working for my family’s restaurant, Origami, in Fort Myers.
• Former gigs: New home sales and corporate marketing for a commercial general contractor in Orlando.
S. Korea vows ‘stern measures’ against Japan over Dokdo
South Korea vowed to take “stern measures” on Friday unless Japan withdraws its proposal to take the issue of Dokdo, Seoul’s easternmost islets claimed by Tokyo as its territory, to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
“We make it clear that the Japanese proposal does not deserve even a passing notice as there is no territorial dispute over Dokdo because it is clearly a Korean territory historically, geographically and under international law,” Seoul’s foreign ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young said.
The proposal, which was immediately rejected by South Korea, is not feasible because Tokyo must secure Seoul’s consent to have the issue heard at the ICJ, Seoul officials said.
Uncle of North Korean Leader in Beijing
New York Times
China’s official media said the trip could be a prelude to Mr. Kim’s first visit, but the official focus was economic development. The meetings between Mr. Kim’s uncle, Jang Song-thaek, and the top Chinese leaders came toward the end of his six-day trip to China, during which the government in Beijing promised to help North Korea develop two special trade zones near the Chinese border. Such zones, if successful, would provide the North Korean government with badly needed money as it tries to revive its staggering economy.
Fort Lee school board looks to fill open seat
Trustees this week elected Yusang Park to serve as president until the board reorganization meeting in January.
Park, a Korean-American who has been on the board for five years, declined to comment on any specific agenda for the next five months, saying he’d wait until the board’s goal-setting session in September to discuss concrete plans.
Woman killed in three-vehicle wreck on 101st Parkway
The Leaf Chronicle (Clarksville, Tenn.)
Knoll said the Arcadia failed to yield to a westbound Honda Accord, driven by Dae Kang, 64. The Honda crashed into the Arcadia and continued onward to hit a stopped Toyota 4Runner, driven by Jacquelynn Jackson-Bunch, 34, and finally came to rest after running into a stop sign.
Kang and his wife, Tae Kang, 65, who was a passenger in the Honda, were transported to Gateway Medical Center by ambulance, according to Knoll. Tae Kang died at Gateway shortly after the crash. The cause of death is still under investigation.
Interview: PSY on ‘Gangnam Style,’ posers and that hysterical little boy
Thanks to PSY (real name Park Jae-Sang), the whole world is talking about Gangnam, Seoul’s ritziest district, and wondering where — or what — it could possibly be.
And over on Facebook, feeds continue to be peppered with posts about the comic K-Pop singer-songwriter’s frenzied “horse dance,” which foreign media is calling “the second Macarena” because of its catchiness.
Top of the K-pops: Korean musicians must export or starve
Korean pop (known as K-pop to fans) is turning into an export success. Groups such as Super Junior and 2NE1 now sell millions of CDs and concert tickets in other parts of Asia. As K-pop zooms up the foreign charts, share prices of leading labels, such as SM Entertainment, have soared too.
But the outlook at home is less rosy. With the world’s fastest broadband connections, Koreans have embraced downloading. This in itself is not a problem, but the way they do it is.
Korean Music Report: 2NE1 To Launch “New Evolution” In NY Area
Meet CL, Dara, Bom, and Minzy. The group 2NE1 burst onto the Asian music scene with the hit “Fire” in 2009 and have been red hot ever since. Now they’re headed to New York. But what sets them apart from the other Korean groups tryng to find success in the United States?
“I think it’s our music and our loving fans that give us energy on stage,” said 2NE1′s CL.
’4 Wedding Planners’ available on VOD
Director Michael Kang’s latest feature, 4 Wedding Planners (formerly Knots), is available on Video on Demand and as a digital download starting today.
Unlike his previous features, The Motel and West 32nd Street, his latest film was written by and stars Kimberly-Rose Wolter. Wolter plays Lily, the oldest of three sisters, all by different dads. Mom Miriam (Illeana Douglas) believes in love and marriage, but maybe not so much the everlasting nature of either. As you might expect, that’s left all three of her daughters with some issues.
T Magazine/New York Times
Cole Haan’s recent collaborations — with the musician Theophilus London on a pair of blue suede bucks and with the recording artist and designer Hiroshi Fujiwara on neon-accented wingtips — have offered men of style a new view of the venerable footwear brand. This fall, the company is giving its women’s line a similar treatment. For the first limited-edition women’s collaboration, Olivia Kim, Opening Ceremony’s vice president of creative, and her pal Jen Brill, a brand ambassador for Chanel and creative consultant, have created a collection of shoes that can be worn from day to night.
Knockout loves being the ‘heel’
The Daily Reporter (Spencer, Iowa)
For more than 13 years, Gail Kim has used her athleticism and charisma to entertain audiences around the world performing in the ring, and most recently, as one of the top performing Impact Wrestling Knockouts.
N.Korea Olympic squad returns to heroes’ welcome
AFP via Google News
North Korea’s Olympic squad has returned home to a heroes’ welcome, with cheering crowds lining the streets and the cabinet hosting a celebration banquet, according to the official news agency.
The North won four gold medals and two bronze at the London Games, finishing 20th in the table in the country’s best result since Barcelona in 1992, and its athletes have credited the ruling dynasty for their strong performance.
If history is any indication, Na Yeon Choi could be player to watch in Safeway Classic
Aside from the winners, no player has performed better at Pumpkin Ridge than Choi, who was runner-up the last two years. Last year, Choi controlled the tournament through 36 holes and had a three-shot lead going into the final round before shooting 73 Sunday and losing in a playoff to Suzann Pettersen.
“I think I can read the greens very well,” Choi said. “That’s why I played well the last two years, and I think even this year, I have really good confidence on this golf course.”
Every boyfriend’s nightmare: Inside Seoul’s new handbag museum
The brainchild of Kenny Park, 57, the CEO of Simone Acc. Collection Ltd., a Korea-based supplier of handbags for labels including Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade and Tory Burch, the museum houses more than 300 European pieces in its permanent collection over two floors and reserves the top floor for special exhibitions.
Built over three years, the building itself cost US$3.53 million while another US$1.59 million was spent on securing pieces for the collection.
Hester Street Fair
The Hester Street Fair is an outdoor community market in the Lower East Side of New York City created by The Big Social team of Ron Castellano, SuChin Pak, Adam Zeller, and Suhyun Pak. HSF is a hybrid incubator and launching pad for small, independent businesses and artists specializing in unique handmade goods and artisanal food. Hundreds of vendors rotate over 60 spaces every Saturday at The Hester Street Fair to create one of the most dynamic outdoor events in New York City. Listed as Time Out New York’s #1 Thing To Do in New York City, The Hester Street Fair has become one of New York’s most beloved destinations.
Christie defends Supreme Court nominee Philip Kwon
State House Bureau (N.J.)
Governor Christie has been adamant that Philip Kwon was an independent — not a Republican or Democratic nominee to the New Jersey Supreme Court.
But during a news conference Thursday Christie seemed to acknowledge that Kwon, of Closter, was a Republican — something Democrats have argued all along.
Kwon was a registered Republican before moving to New Jersey several years ago and that coupled with his mother’s legal troubles was among the reasons the Democrats rejected him in March. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday rejected Christie’s other nominee, Chatham Mayor Bruce Harris, a registered Republican, saying the private attorney lacked courtroom and judicial experience.
N. Korea says it targets S. Korean media for possible attack
North Korea said Monday its military has entered map coordinates of some conservative South Korean media offices as it threatened to strike their headquarters for their alleged insult to North Korea’s new leader Kim Jong-un.
The General Staff of the Korean People’s Army said the country’s troops have been targeting the Seoul headquarters of the Chosun Ilbo at coordinates of 37 degrees 56 minutes 83 seconds North latitude and 126 degrees 97 minutes 65 seconds East longitude. It also revealed the coordinates of the JoongAng Ilbo and Dong-a Ilbo newspapers, as well as the KBS, MBC and SBS television stations and CBS radio.
It is the first time the North has released coordinates of intended targets in South Korea.
SuChin Pak Gives Birth to Baby Boy
While chatting with The Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson and Elizabeth Banks during the 2012 MTV Movie Awards on Sunday, MTV News correspondent Sway announced the exciting news.
“Also, we want to say congratulations to SuChin Pak who just had a baby boy,” he said. “Congratulations!”
This is the first child for Pak, 35, who joined MTV News as a correspondent in May 2001. She is now the new on-air correspondent for Daily Candy.
Montgomery School’s chief stepping down to serve schools in need
Times of Trenton (N.J.)
The question has contributed to Earl Kim’s decision to leave his six-year post this summer as superintendent of schools in the affluent community. Trying to represent the interests of the district while remaining true to his conscience had become a struggle, especially with added pressure exerted against him by others.
Lit Motors’ C-1: A 2-wheel car? Or untippable motorcycle?
Los Angeles Times
Is it a motorcycle? A car? Neither. It’s an entirely new form of personal transportation, presuming it gets off the ground.
The all-electric vehicle is fully enclosed and uses a steering wheel and floor pedals like a car. But it weighs just 800 pounds and balances on two wheels even when stopped, making it more efficient than hauling around a 2-ton four-wheeler and safer than an accident-prone bike.
“Most people don’t drive motorcycles because they’re dangerous,” said Lit Motors founder and C-1 creator Daniel Kim, 32.
Margaret Cho Reveals How Much Money ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Rejects Make On ‘The View’
She may not have taken home the “Dancing With The Stars” trophy, but Margaret Cho isn’t complaining.
While on ABC’s “The View” (weekdays on ABC) on Friday, Cho admitted that the dance competition show left her with $200,000.
Margaret Cho lets her pansexual flag fly — with details
Los Angeles Times
Margaret Cho is doing the rounds, and when this comic actress does the rounds, the result is likely to be just a little more Cho than you wanted to know.
And while the “Dancing With the Stars” alum and”Drop Dead Diva”actress kept it relatively tame on “The View” last Friday, hitting “safe” topics such as race and money, she let her pansexual flag fly Monday with Wendy Williams.
“I’m really attracted to all different types of people,” Cho explained to Williams. “So I don’t like to say that I’m gay or I’m straight — I’m just slutty.”
The Case of the Argentine Waiter and the Korean Supper Club
New York Times
It turns out that Mun Kim, 44, had thrown over a career as a banker in Los Angeles and New York to do what he really loves: cook. He mentioned the Korean short ribs his mother would make when he was growing up in an immigrant family in Honolulu, and also how he’d studied at the Sushi Chef Institute before working for the chef Makoto Okuwa, a regular on “Iron Chef,” at Sashi in Manhattan Beach, Calif. Having fallen hard for Buenos Aires during vacations there, Kim, according to the site, decided to make it his home and introduce his own version of Asian-California cuisine to a city “dominated by a mix of parrilla (red meat) and pastas.”
Salt Lake Bees: Hank Conger delivers walk-off win for Bees
Hank Conger continued his hitting streak Friday night, finishing the night 1-for-5 with a walk-off single that scored Doug Deeds for the 6-5 victory. Conger has now hit safely in all 15 games he has played in this season.
when yomyomf launches a youtube channel, all hell breaks loose
angry asian man
This is madness! Here’s the freshly launched, crazy epic, mayhem-filled promo video for the YOMYOMF YouTube Network from director Justin Lin, giving you an insane little taste of what to expect from this new video venture: IT HAS BEGUN: BANANAPOCALYPSE.
by Y. PETER KANG
A popular NYC outdoor marketplace spreads its wings to Los Angeles when the Hester Street Fair hits Hollywood this Saturday, June 2. Founded by former MTV News correspondent SuChin Pak, along with her brother Suhyun and friends Ron Castellano and Adam Zeller, the all-day event will be the first of four Hester events taking place this summer.
This Saturday’s theme is dubbed the “Bite Size Food & Craft Festival” and will feature indie designer labels from New York and L.A., as well as local food vendors offering snack-size foodstuffs. Oh yeah, a craft beer garden will also be available. Admission is free. SuChin took the time out from her current gig as chief correspondent for Daily Candy to chat with iamKoreAm.com.
How long has the LA version of Hester Street Fair been in the making?
Well, we’ve been looking at spaces in L.A. for almost two years and haven’t found the right place. Then we were introduced to the folks at DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners who are the kind of real estate developers that actually care about the community and neighborhood they build in.
They had this great space on Hollywood and Vine, which is the area of their next development site, and asked us if we wanted to use their lots to create a kind of community market that would celebrate all the creativity in the area. It was kind of a Willy Wonka golden ticket and with their sponsorship, we were able to get this up and running in a matter of weeks. Hollywood and Vine is the perfect, central location. I think a lot of people from the do-it-yourself, indie community from the East Side in Echo Park, Los Feliz, Eagle Rock, etc., will attend and I hope that we also reach a very mainstream crowd with the heavy tourist traffic of the neighborhood. It’s a great way to reach a diverse audience for our indie vendors who are all growing and building their businesses.
What sort of obstacles have you encountered getting this thing going? Continue Reading »