New Mexico Ex-Gov. Richardson Pressing North Korean Test Ban
AP via TIME
Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said Wednesday that his delegation is pressing North Korea to put a moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests and to allow more cell phones and an open Internet for its citizens.
Richardson told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview in Pyongyang that the group is also asking for fair and humane treatment for an American citizen detained in North Korea.
“The citizens of the DPRK (North Korea) will be better off with more cell phones and an active Internet. Those are the three messages we’ve given to a variety of foreign policy officials, scientists” and government officials, Richardson said.
S. Korea, Japan to hold first high-level talks since Abe’s inauguration
Senior diplomats from South Korea and Japan will meet in Tokyo this week to discuss bilateral issues, marking their first meeting since the conservative government of Japan’s Shinzo Abe was launched, Seoul officials said.
The one-day Vice-Ministerial Strategic Dialogue meeting, set for Thursday in Tokyo, will be led by South Korea’s First Vice Foreign Minister Ahn Ho-young and his Japanese counterpart Chikao Kawai, ministry officials said.
Abe sent his special envoy to speak with South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye last week in an effort to mend strained relations between the two nations. Park is set to take office next month.
Upstate New York man arrested in brutal beating of Queens cabbie
New York Daily News
An upstate New York man has been arrested for the brutal beating of a Queens cabbie in the early hours of New Year’s Day after a dispute over the fare, police said Friday.
Andrew Mcelroy, 28, of Buffalo, allegedly punched yellow cab driver Kichun Kim, 53, “numerous times in the face and head with a closed fist,” a police source told the Daily News.
Kim, who lives in Bayside, was still in a coma Friday at Kings County Hospital Center, sources said. Kim is a member of a literary club run by a local Korean-language newspaper and is a published poet, sources said.
Hundreds of Copycats Follow Celebrity Suicides
Korea has the highest suicide rate among the OECD countries. According to estimates by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, 15,000 people kill themselves every year, and about 100,000 are admitted to emergency rooms following a suicide attempt.
But the number of suicides increases 30 percent over the two months after a celebrity commits suicide, according to a study.
Ha Kyoo-seob of the Korean Association for Suicide Prevention on Tuesday said analysis of suicide data for a period after 2005 released by Statistics Korea shows that an average of 2,632 people killed themselves in the two months after five celebrities took their own lives over the period. That is an increase of 607 suicides, or 30 percent, from the average of 2,025 at normal times.
Samsung’s Dominance Is Worrying for Korea
Samsung Electronics achieved staggering earnings in 2012 with sales totaling W201 trillion and operating profit of W29 trillion (US$1=W1,063). Sales were up a 21.9 percent and operating profit a massive 85.8 percent compared to 2011.
Samsung managed to rise to the top of the global mobile phone market by rolling out hit products despite a global slump and a nasty patent dispute with Apple.
But the bumper earnings also fuel concerns about the increasing imbalance in Korea’s economy and industry. Last year, six of the top 10 listed Korean companies saw their operating profits shrink. Samsung Electronics’ net profit last year accounted for an estimated 30 percent of the combined net profits of the top 30 businesses in Korea.
Korean Pop Star Psy To Appear In Super Bowl Ad
Psy took YouTube by storm with the viral sensation “Gangnam Style.” He will appear in a Super Bowl ad for Wonderful Pistachios — one of the biggest processors of the nuts. The commercial will include an alternate version of Psy’s hit song.
Tom Cruise to Receive Honorary Busan Citizenship
Tom Cruise will become an honorary citizen of Busan, officials of the South Korean city announced Tuesday.
The actor will receive honorary citizenship when he visits the southern port city this week to promote Jack Reacher. Busan Mayor and Busan Film Festival chairman Hur Nam-sik will present special citizenship certificates to Cruise as well as the film’s director, Christopher McQuarrie, and its lead actress, Rosamund Pike. The ceremony will be held Thursday at the Busan Cinema Center, the main venue of the Busan Film Festival.
Choi Min-sik And Hwang Jung-min Star In Korean Thriller NEW WORLD
What’s this? An upcoming Korean thriller featuring a pair of the country’s most talentable and reliable performers in the lead? Yes, please.
Choi Min-sik, the star of Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy, should need no introduction around these parts as is work has won him acclaim both at home and around the globe for years now. And while Hwang Jung-min may lack the name recognition of Choi his body of work is very nearly as impressive, the brooding star of Ryoo Seung-wan’s The Unjust having compiled an impressive resume over the past decade or so.
Record earnings for South Korean league
South Korean baseball underlined its continuing growth by posting a record $33 million in revenue last year, local media reported on Wednesday.
Winning gold at the Beijing Olympics and finishing runners-up at the 2009 World Baseball Classic boosted baseball’s popularity and attendances crossed the 7 million-mark for the first time last year, Yonhap News agency reported.
The league pocketed 35 billion won ($32.9 million) in 2012, bettering the 34 billion it earned a year earlier, the report said citing figures from the marketing wing of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).
Former Korean baseball star Cho Sung-min, who was better known as the ex-husband of superstar actress Choi Jin-sil, was found dead in an apparent suicide on Sunday at his girlfriend’s home in Seoul.
Cho’s death came as a shock for many as the tragic suicide of national sweetheart Choi in 2008 still remains vivid in the Korean public’s memory.
Cho sent text messages to his girlfriend and mother prior to his death, hinting that he was having suicidal thoughts, according to police reports. “Thanks for everything. Even without me, please be strong,” read one message. Continue Reading »
Daniel Kim, a college senior, told his family he wouldn’t be coming home for Thanksgiving. Weeks later, he was dead. And the search for the unknowable began.
story by HELIN JUNG
photo illustration by INKI CHO
Daniel Sun Kim sat in the driver’s seat of his black Hyundai Sonata on Dec. 9, 2007, gripping a semi-automatic Bersa Thunder Ultra Compact pistol in his hand. It was a Sunday, an unseasonably warm winter afternoon in Christians- burg, Va., a place known as the onetime home of Davy Crockett, the site of the state’s first recorded rifle duel. It is a city that touts “progressive small town living at its best.”
A 21-year-old senior at Virginia Tech, Daniel had come to this point be- fore—who knows how many times?— and here he was again.
In April of that year, another Korean American senior at V-Tech, 23-year-old Seung-Hui Cho, had also found himself contemplating the end, though not just his own. Cho took the path of infamy and extraordinary bloodshed, firing 170 shots across the university’s Blacksburg campus, killing 32 people and injuring 25 others in a spree that led to his disfiguring demise.
Eight months later, here Daniel was, alone, staring down the barrel of his gun. The car was parked outside a Target. Every bullet was in its place. This time around, he swore he would go through with it.
And he did.
From the very beginning, Daniel had been bright. Too bright, his father, William Kim, says. Like his father—who immigrated to the United States from Korea when he was 18—Daniel never studied, but that was of course because he never needed to. “There’s nothing for me to teach him,” a schoolteacher once told Daniel’ s parents. The homework got done and the grades were always better than middling, so Daniel’ s parents left him alone. Continue Reading »
Dr. Esther Oh urges the Korean American community to learn how to recognize warning signs and offers tips on how you can help someone who may be suicidal.
Did you know:
*suicide is on the rise with 36,909 suicide deaths reported in the U.S. in 2009;
*every 14.2 minutes someone dies of suicide in the U.S.;
*suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.;
*suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people aged 15 to 24;
*more women attempt suicide, but men are more likely to complete suicide;
*90 percent of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric illness.
In light of such alarming facts and the multiple recent headlines of Korean Americans taking their own lives, I wanted to use this month’s column to talk about suicide. Like many mental health issues, suicide is rarely discussed in the Korean American community. In my line of work, I have encountered many Asian patients, including Korean Americans, who have tried to kill themselves by overdosing, hanging or shooting themselves. Patients like Steven Cho (a pseudonym).
The 56-year-old with a history of mild depression came to the psychiatric emergency room after trying to hang himself. He had been dealing with multiple stressful issues in his life. He recently got laid off from his contractor job, his father was dying of cancer, and his second wife wanted a divorce. He found himself feeling more depressed, alone, hopeless and unable to sleep well. As his problems piled up, he felt there was no purpose living anymore. Though he had family members living nearby, he did not want to burden them with his problems and felt ashamed talking about his depressed feelings. Continue Reading »
Photo via Straits Times.
South Korea’s suicide rate is the highest among nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation Development, according to recent OECD data.
Data culled by Statistics Korea showed that more than 15,000 Koreans committed suicide in 2010, which is a 50 percent increase from 2006. This means there have been 33.5 suicides per 100,000 people, which make South Korea’s suicide rate the highest in the OECD for the eighth year running.
“There’s an increase of elderly population and single households,” a Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare official told the Munhwa Ilbo. “When you add that to Korea’s socioeconomic issues, it explains the reason behind the increase of suicide rate.” Continue Reading »