Tag Archives: suicide

Wednesday's Link Attack: North Korea, K-Pop, Dia Frampton

North Korea Reports Progress on New Reactor
New York Times

Earlier this month, the North’s state media reported that “the day is near at hand” when its new reactor will come into operation. The Web site “38 North” later published satellite photos that it said showed significant progress in building the new reactor. But it said it was unlikely to become operational for two to three years.

Six-nation talks aimed at ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons program collapsed in 2008 when North Korea balked at the American demand for intrusive inspections on its nuclear facilities. It has since raised tensions by beginning to restore the partially dismantled nuclear facilities in Yongbyon, test-launching a long-range rocket, conducting a second nuclear test and launching military provocations against the South.

Football Veteran Lee Young-pyo To Join Major League Soccer
Yonhap News

Lee, 34, retired from international play earlier this year, and ended a two-year stint with Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia in June. He said during the summer that he was mulling retirement.

Should he sign with Vancouver, it will be Lee’s sixth professional team. After starting out with Anyang LG Cheetahs, currently FC Seoul, in South Korea’s K-League, the versatile wingback has also played for PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League, Borussia Dortmund in Germany’s Bundesliga and Al Hilal.

Korean Pop Music Out to Conquer the World
Reuters

The structure of Korea’s relatively small music market is such that telecom companies control a large proportion of revenues, he said, meaning bands have an economic incentive to look abroad.

And K-pop acts, often created and nurtured by savvy record companies like S.M. Entertainment, are being groomed for specific markets — learning Japanese, for example, and fitting in with Japan’s musical mores.

One recent success story has been the nine-member South Korean girl band Girls’ Generation, whose first full-length Japanese album sold over 500,000 copies in Japan.

McClure also argued that Korean pop acts, though often manufactured, were generally more professional than their Japanese rivals and produced a better sound.

K-Pop Translation on Smartphone App
Korea Times

Pop!gasa is at www.popgasa.com and the app is available to download through Apple’s App Store. It is priced at $0.99 and available for free for a limited time as a promotion.

The app is user-friendly, sorting translated lyrics by artist, title and by show. Lee and Kim want to provide a nest for K-pop fans all over the world and have included a comment function to their app, so fans can share their thoughts and ideas through Pop!gasa.

“We want the app to reach as many users as possible but it has legal issues and we have to pay for copyrights to the Korea Music Copyright Association,” Lee said. “When this app makes a profit, the first thing we will do is develop it for Android.”

Coming Soon to the Sidewalks: A New Look for Scaffolding
New York Times

To replace those painted plywood sheds supported by pipes and protruding bolts that can rip pedestrians’ coat sleeves, a team consisting of Young-Hwan Choi, Andres Cortes and Sarrah Kahn from Agencie Group, a design firm based in New York, gracefully melded recycled steel and translucent plastic panels into a structure that resembles an open umbrella.

“I would say it is a really elegant take on protecting you instead of from rain from debris falling from a construction site,” Mr. LiMandri said.

Some version of sidewalk sheds with scaffolding above them have been placed at construction sites since builders began erecting Gothic cathedrals and probably since the pyramids, said Dan Eschenesy, the buildings department’s chief structural engineer.

Babysitter Arrested After Mom Tells Son About Penn State Scandal
ABC News

The mother of the two boys found out about the alleged abuse after she told her oldest son about the Penn State sexual abuse scandal.

“She was trying to describe some of the acts that are basically no-nos,” said Tom Lorenz, spokesman for the Glendale Police Department. “The child began to cry and said, ‘Mommy, the babysitter has been doing this to me.'”

Margaret Cho Says She’s Like Susan Boyle With Dirty Songs on Ferguson
AOL TV

In talking about her latest project, Margaret Cho admitted that it’s a mix of stand-up comedy and original songs on ‘The Late Late Show’ (Weeknights, 12:30AM ET on CBS). Craig Ferguson was surprised to hear that she did songs, as she’s not well known for that.

Watch the video here: LINK

Police Say Two South-Side Deaths Were Murder-Suicide
Anchorage Daily News

Tae Won Ro, 40, was found hanging by a rope in the second-floor living area, and an autopsy showed he had strangled, police spokesman Lt. Dave Parker said in a written statement. A medical examiner found that Yoo Jin Kim, 33, died from multiple stab wounds, Parker said. She was discovered lying on the home’s third floor, surrounded by blood, said Detective Mark Huelskoetter.

Ro apparently killed Kim, then hanged himself, Huelskoetter said. Crime scene investigators found evidence that Ro had Kim’s blood on his hands when he went to the first-floor garage to get a rope, the detective said.

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2 Koreans shot in Manila
Journal Online (Philippines)

Two Korean nationals were shot in two separate incidents in Manila — one in an ambush while he was driving his car and the other in a foiled robbery.

The first victim was identified as Jeong Mwan Choi, 39, a freelance tourist guide residing in Bustos, Bulacan.

‘The Voice’s Dia Frampton: ‘Don’t Kick the Chair’ Feat. Kid Cudi Lyric Video Premiere
AOL Music

She isn’t just a pretty ‘voice,’ but also one talented songwriter! Dia Frampton, who rose to fame as the runner-up on the inaugural season of NBC’s ‘The Voice,’ has a catchy new, Kid Cudi-assisted single out called ‘Don’t Kick the Chair.’ The Utah native puts the tune’s poignant lyrics in the spotlight for its brand-new video.

‘Don’t Kick the Chair’ also features an interlude by famed rapper Kid Cudi. “It was a pleasure having Kid Cudi on this song,” says Dia. “I’m a fan of his work and also am very happy with the positive lyrics he created. This song has a dark undertone, but overall, I wanted it to be optimistic.”

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Local LA News Anchor Dead in Apparent Suicide

The co-anchor of a popular Korean-language news program was found dead in her Los Angeles apartment on Monday in what police are calling a suicide, according to news reports.

A relative of Jean Yoo, 36, found her body on Monday night at her condo in Koreatown after co-workers asked the relative why Yoo did not show up to work that day. The relative then called the police, who made a preliminary ruling that it was a suicide by hanging but are continuing to investigate. The body was sent to the L.A. County Coroner’s office.

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Yoo served as a news anchor at Asian-language channel LA18, co-hosting the Prime News program, and previously worked at Korean-language channel tvK.

One of Yoo’s colleagues from LA18 told the Korea Times that there didn’t seem to be anything amiss with Yoo in recent weeks. A neighbor of Yoo’s told the paper she just moved in three weeks ago so they didn’t know her very well. Her immediate family lives in Korea, according to the Korea Times.

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Tuesday's Link Attack: North Korea, Suicide, Opening Ceremony

Moving on when mom is killed at war
CNN.com

It was only natural for Kristin Choe to begin drawing. Even at age 3, she expressed herself through art.

And that’s exactly what she did in the months after her mother, Navy Lt. Florence Bacong Choe, 35, was killed by an Afghan army soldier in March 2009.

The little girl took out crayons and a sheet of paper and began coloring in some green grass. Her father, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Chong “Jay” Choe, thought Kristin was drawing the family’s home. But the final sketch proved to be much more: a symbol of their new life and a little girl’s loving memory of her mom. Dad didn’t know what to make of the drawing. It left him speechless.

Yet he kept the picture as a reminder of everything that changed the moment Florence was killed. “When I think about what’s next — how do you press on? how do you live your life? — I think of Kristin first and foremost.”

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South Korea Approves Sending Medical Aid to North
New York Times

South Korea on Tuesday authorized the World Health Organization to resume distribution of Seoul-financed medical aid to North Korea, amid growing international calls for humanitarian assistance for malnourished North Korean children.

The decision “was based upon our belief that purely humanitarian support for the young and vulnerable in North Korea should continue,” a senior Unification Ministry official told reporters Tuesday during a briefing given on condition of anonymity.

Student Spotlight: Zenia Kim
StyleBistro

Zenia Kim is an M.F.A. Fashion Design student, who recently debuted her work as part of the Italian Trade Commission Collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. She also interned at Yigal Azrouel over the summer, and has spent the past few months exploring NYC and finding inspiration for her Senior Collection. Read on to hear about all of her eye-opening experiences!

Tackling South Korea’s high suicide rates
BBC News

More than 40 South Koreans a day are taking their lives and the government in Seoul has recognised it is a problem that needs tackling. But, as the BBC’s Lucy Williamson finds out, the reasons for such a high suicide rate are complicated and not easy to solve.

Senior actor found dead in apparent suicide
Korea Herald

A senior South Korean actor was found dead in his small rented room on Tuesday of an apparent suicide, police said.

Kim Choo-ryun, a 64-year-old actor who had his heyday in the 1970s, was found hanging in his studio in Gimhae, 449 kilometers southeast of Seoul, the police said.

He seemed to have killed himself the previous day after months of depression, they noted.

According to police, a suicide note found in Kim’s room, read, “I can hardly stand my loneliness and difficulties. I am sorry for my fans and family.”

11-11-11 is a popular wedding date
Bergen County Record

Krystle Patton, 27 and David Pak, 34, both of Hackensack, also picked Friday as their special day. They had been dating for several years when Pak proposed on Feb. 11, Valentine’s Day weekend. The two knew they would get married later that year.

“I had been waiting 5 1/2 years and wanted to get married in the fall, but I didn’t think we would get 11-11,” says Patton. “I know people had probably had that date booked forever, but someone just canceled and we took it.”

The couple, whose wedding will be at the Graycliff in Moonachie, found extra significance in the date. Pak is Korean, and Nov. 11 in South Korea is Pepero Day, similar to Valentine’s Day in the U.S. “It’s apparently our lucky number now,” says Patton.

Review: Momofuku Seiobo
Sydney Morning Herald

He does The Bun. Let’s get that out of the way right now. After months of claiming his famous steamed pork bun was not part of the plan at his new Momofuku Seiobo at The Star, David Chang has installed it on the $175, 15-course tasting menu. Thank the lord. It’s sweet and steamy, the pork belly in baby-bum-soft cushions of white bread, hit with hoisin sauce and cucumber, Sriracha chilli on the side. As the birthday bloke sitting next to me at the kitchen counter says: ”Ten more of those and a six-pack and I’ll die happy.”

This is the first Momofuku outside New York for Korean-American chef David Chang, recently named one of Time magazine’s 100 people who most affect our world.

Americans in Paris
The National (Dubai, U.A.E.)

Here’s a profile of the duo — Korean American Carol Lim and Chinese American Humberto Leon — behind fashion trendsetting company Opening Ceremony.

Lena Park Enjoys Belated Leap to the Big Time
Chosun Ilbo

The hit MBC TV reality show “I Am a Singer” was nothing if not transformational for Park. It has led to commercial contracts — the first since her debut — and requests to perform and appear on other TV programs. Park describes appearing on the show as a life-changing experience.

“In the past, only a few people recognized me on the street, but now everyone does,” she said. “But that has created a few problems too,” she added.

Born in Los Angeles, California in 1976, Park came to Korea to perform back in 1995 when she was studying acting at UCLA. She says her first days in Korea were tough, since she had to live by herself without knowing the language.

Rain Named Top Marksman at Boot Camp
Chosun Ilbo

Self-explanatory.

Free David Choe Print on 11/11/11 Just Do What He Asks
Giant Robot

Artist David Choe is hosting an elaborate giveaway for some very nice prints of his work. The giveaway, which coincides with Pepero Day on 11/11, will require fans to do four tasks.

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Prosecutors Probing SK Group’s Chairman
Wall Street Journal

SK Group, a South Korean conglomerate with businesses ranging from telecom to oil, said Tuesday that prosecutors visited its headquarters seeking financial documents, as part of an investigation into allegations the group’s chairman, Chey Tae-won, used company funds to cover personal investment losses.

Big Bang wins “Best Worldwide Act” at MTV’s 2011 Europe Music Awards
allkpop

Big Bang won the award for best “Worldwide Act” at the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards.

How To Get A Korean Boyfriend
YouTube

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Korean American Woman Jumps To Death In Manhattan

A 29-year-old woman died Wednesday after jumping from the 18th floor of a luxury condo in New York City’s upper East Side, according to the New York Daily News.

The death of Suyeon Kim, a resident of Flushing, Queens, was ruled a suicide by police.

“I heard a big thump – real loud,” said Juan Gonzalez, a doorman who was stationed across the street. “I thought it was an air conditioner falling. It was that loud.” Continue reading

Friday's Link Attack: 9/11 Profiles, Kim Jong Il, Ken Jeong

Here are three stories about Korean Americans who lost their lives during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Grieving 9/11 victim Christina Sunga Ryook on the 10th anniversary
by Janet Cho of the Cleveland Plain Dealer

For Dae Jin and Kyung Woo Ryook, Sept. 11 is the one time of the year that the rest of America can appreciate the enormity of what they grieve every day – the loss of their only child, Christina Sunga Ryook.

Christina, 25, was killed in the 2001 terrorist attacks after a hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the top floors of the World Trade Center.

An administrative assistant in the human-resources department of bond-trading firm Cantor Fitzgerald, she worked on the 104th floor of the North Tower, six floors above where the plane hit.

When people tell her father, Dae Jin Ryook (pronounced “Yook”), 63, that they’re sorry about his daughter and ask how he’s doing, he always says, “I’m all right, thank you.”

“I don’t like to lie, but how can I say, ‘I’m not all right. I’m not fine,'” he asked. “I still get upset. I still get angry.”

Legacy lives on through foundation
NorthJersey.com

William “Bill” Kim and Andrew Kim’s relationship was a competitive rivalry like many siblings one year apart in age. Nevertheless, the brothers held an inseparable bond until Sept. 11, 2001.

On that day, Andrew Kim, 26, was a certified financial analyst for Fred Alger Management, which was located in the World Trade Center’s north tower on the 93rd floor. American Airlines Flight 11 was flown into his building at 8:46 a.m. by terrorists, impacting from the 93rd to 99th floors.

Andrew Kim is believed to be the only Leonia resident who perished during the attack. His firm lost 36 employees.

Ten years later, his brother Bill Kim, 38, a neuroradiologist for Hackensack University Medical Center is reminded of what was taken from him and the rest of his family.

South Pasadena to Honor Family Who Perished on 9/11
PasadenaNow

On the morning of September 11, 2001, 35-year old Sue Kim Hanson boarded a Boeing 767 United Airlines flight 175 together with her husband Peter Hanson and their 2 ½ -year-old daughter Christine, from Boston en route to Los Angeles. Sue was a local product, a graduate of South Pasadena High School. The family was supposed to have a good time in Disneyland and then visit Sue’s relatives. They never made it to their destinations.

North Korea leader Kim Jong-il appears with Kim Jong-un
BBC News

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il has appeared at national celebrations with his son and heir apparent Kim Jong-un.

The rare joint appearance underlines what observers say is a planned third generation of dynastic rule.

State TV showed the two applauding from a reviewing stand as military hardware rumbled by to mark the 63rd anniversary of North Korea’s founding.

Tenafly triple murder suspect enters no plea at hearing; trial date set
Northern Valley Suburbanite (New Jersey)

Triple-murder suspect Kang-Hyuk Choi entered no plea at a hearing on Sept. 7 before Superior Court Judge Donald Venezia, according to Maureen Parenta, the communications director for the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

Choi allegedly stabbed Han-Il “Sean” Kim on May 4, 2008 after grabbing an eight-inch knife from a fruit plate during an argument. Kim was allegedly stabbed in the neck and the body was stuffed in a closet in Tenafly, authorities said.

Choi allegedly then waited for Kim’s mother, Yoo Bok Kim, and allegedly stabbed her several times, killing her, after she walked into the room and saw her son’s arm sticking out of the closet, authorities said.

On May 5, 2008, Choi allegedly stabbed Doo Soo Seo, who was Yoo Bok Kim’s brother-in-law, authorities said. He then allegedly took $30,000 from the house and allegedly drove away in Han Kim’s BMW before going to California, authorities said.

A first look at a Seoul chef’s Manhattan offshoot
Yonhap

Here’s a nice long feature story about new fine-dining Korean restaurant Jung Sik, opening in New York City on Sept. 12.

A restaurant opening is no news these days, but this one in particular has amassed more interest from Korea than any other this year. Despite the continued discussions of opening a flagship Korean restaurant in New York City sponsored by the Korean government and other high-end restaurant plans explored by Korean companies, the 33-year-old [Jung Sik] Yim, who already has the experience of running his successful restaurant Jung Sik Dang (JSD) in Seoul, is the first to execute his plan.

Yim is the first Korean-born-and-raised chef to open a fine-dining Korean restaurant in Manhattan. While he represents many of the first attempts as a native Korean chef, he also shares a common background with other young Korean-American chefs who have presented their take on Korean food in the U.S. in recent years.

Yim has gone through his share of professional culinary training, starting with his time spent in the army kitchen in Korea. Realizing his passion for cooking during the mandatory military service, he spent time in various kitchens in Seoul, ranging from a rice cake store to a pub to a bakery.

Shoreline a bright spot for thriving Korean Americans
Northwest Asian Weekly

Among the cities in Washington with a large Korean American community presence, Shoreline stands out. Having had three Korean American elected officials, two of them women, Shoreline is a beacon for local Korean Americans aspiring to enter the state’s political scene. It is also a thriving hub for local Korean American businesses, and it has started building bridges with Korea both past and present.

Hines Ward might be emergency QB for Steelers
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The Steelers are contemplating whether to dress No. 3 quarterback Dennis Dixon for Sunday’s game against Baltimore.

If the Steelers choose to sit Dixon, their emergency quarterback behind Ben Roethlisberger and Charlie Batch will be receiver Hines Ward.

Ward said he has taken snaps and practiced handoffs following recent practices and said Thursday that he will be ready if needed at quarterback against Baltimore. “I am just taking snaps just in case,” said Ward, who last played quarterback in college. “We don’t have an option right now. I can hand the ball off, but if it comes down to me, we are really in bad shape.”

the house of suh now available on dvd
angry asian man

All right. You’ve got to watch this documentary. The award-winning true crime documentary The House of Suh, directed by Iris K. Shim, is now available on DVD. If you missed it on the film festival circuit, and missed it on television, this is your chance to watch it on your own time.

South Korea to step up suicide prevention efforts
Los Angeles Times

In 2009, 15,413 people took their lives, a rate that is three times higher than two decades ago. Officials plan to boost suicide prevention funding and install surveillance devices at key sites.

‘Hangover’ Star Ken Jeong – Is the Question Racist … Or Just Tasteless?
TMZ

This is a clip from the TMZ TV show where the news team discusses whether or not a question asked of Ken Jeong is racist.

“Hangover” actor Ken Jeong was asked if he could kick Kim Jong-il’s ass in a street fight — so, is the question racist? And it has nothing to do with them both being Korean. Okay, maybe a little.

N. Korean leader tours lavish food outlets
AFP via Google News

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il toured a meat store and pancake factory in the capital and offered “precious teachings”, state media said Thursday, as his impoverished country seeks overseas food aid.

S. Korea’s Lee says open to summit with N. Korea
AFP via Google News

South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak said Thursday he is open to a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, but the North should first show it is committed to peace.

“I may or may not hold an inter-Korean summit during my term,” Lee said during a nationally televised panel discussion.

Korean passenger jet on 9/11 Alaska flight could have been shot down
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (Alaska)

A decade ago on the confused morning of Sept. 11, we came perilously close to having our own nightmare in Alaska.

A Korean Air Lines passenger jet on a flight from Seoul was heading to Anchorage and the military and civilian aviation authorities had good reason to believe it was hijacked.

The pilot had punched in a transponder code that signaled a hijacking, but there was uncertainty because the aircraft was obeying orders from the ground and the pilots did not seem upset, according to various accounts of the incident.

Today Show: Hoda’s Favorite Things – This Burns My Heart
The Today Show

Hoda Kotb recommends the novel THIS BURNS MY HEART by Samuel Park on the Today Show, during the Favorite Things segment with Kathie Lee Gifford. Airdate: 9/5/11. THIS BURNS MY HEART is about a young woman in South Korea in the 60s who marries the wrong man.

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Thursday's Link Attack: Jennifer Chung, Ken Jeong, Jung Sik Restaurant

Q&A with Singer Jennifer Chung
TheOtherAsians

Talented, down-to-earth, and bubbly. These are the general adjectives that come to mind whenever someone meets Jennifer Chung for the first time. It’s inspiring to think that a simple girl publishing YouTube videos for her friends in a college dorm would eventually become a voice to the Youtube generation. Who would’ve known right? She has been able to engage an audience all over the world using her raw lyrics and powerful vocals balancing the whole shebang of student life –classes, loans, late night study sessions, part-time jobs.

Now with school out of the way, she is now settling in with her new life in Los Angeles, with a debut album releasing VERY soon! Join OA as we sit down with Jennifer and she shares her experience as a pioneer in new media, her feelings about her video featured on New York’s Times Square, and her development as an artist.

Ken Jeong: Friend or Foe?
Hyphen

That’s the question that kept popping up in my head as I looked at the GQ photoshoot featuring Ken Jeong and the fall season’s hottest corduroy pants. The actual task of showcasing those pants, mind you, falls not to Jeong but the male model with the washboard abs, canoodling with a 19-year-old female model. Jeong’s role is to “photobomb” each shot with nothing more than his own brashness; clothing optional.

The GQ photoshoot is the type of physical comedy audiences have come to expect from Jeong, who gained fame as the flamboyant gangster Mr. Chow from the Hangover series. In the first Hangover, a nude Chow introduced himself by leaping out of a car trunk and beating the movie’s three protagonists with a tire iron.

Fall Restaurant Preview: Jung Sik – Spicy, Crispy, Modern and Korean
New York Times

[Andrea Ahan] is one of four young Koreans and Korean-Americans who are opening Jung Sik. All of them, including the chef (for whom the restaurant is named), the pastry chef and the sommelier, attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., where, Ms. Ahan said, they bonded during trips to Fort Lee, N.J., to eat authentic Korean food like dukbokki (chewy rice cakes) and tofu stewed with kimchi.

Jung Sik Yim, the 33-year-old chef, went on to internships in New York and Spain before returning to Seoul to open Jung Sik Dang, in 2009. Said to be the first restaurant in which molecular gastronomy was applied to Korean ingredients, it was a huge hit.

Garden Grove doctor arrested in fraud sweep
Orange County Register

A doctor and an administrator at a Garden Grove medical clinic have been arrested for allegedly billing Medicare for physical therapy treatment that was never provided, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

Dr. Byung Ho Pak and Mary Lim were arrested Wednesday morning as part of federal sweep in six regions of the U.S. Pak and Lim, while working at Seoul East West Medical Center, billed Medicare $2 million for physical therapy, according to an indictment. Patients, however, were given treatments that weren’t covered such as acupuncture and moxibustion, a traditional Chinese medicine skin treatment.

Korean Canadian store owner hits the jackpot
Winnipeg Free Press

A Winnipeg convenience store owner is $1 million richer after a lottery ticket he purchased at his store hit the jackpot.

Byung Cho won $1 million in the Western 649 lottery, according to the Western Canada Lottery Corp. Cho purchased a $28 ticket at his shop, Mak Milk, at 661 Talbot Ave. The next day, Cho checked his lotto numbers and discovered he had the winning numbers.

Konnect Magazine Interviews Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader Connie Chung
Konnect Magazine

I love everything there is about being a Korean American. I embrace being an American but I also embrace being a Korean. I don’t think you can find anyone else that is more proud of being a Korean American than I. My favorite type of food is Korean and my favorite thing to do is Karaoke. I taught myself how to read and write Korean in middle school by watching popular Korean music variety shows such as Inkigayo and Music Bank. I love Korean Pop music and can watch KPOP music videos for hours and learn the dance routines. In fact, when I was in college I participated in many cultural talent shows and performed many KPOP dances! I’m a Korean American and I’m VERY proud of it.

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Rare Color Photo of the Kim Dynasty
Chosun Ilbo

This rare photo of reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-il with his younger sister Kyong-hui (right) and his father Kim Il-sung (center) was recently published by a nkleadershipwatch.wordpress.com, a blog dedicated to North Korea issues.

Why Thailand has become a popular path to freedom for North Korean defectors
Christian Science Monitor

A growing number of North Korean defectors are crossing illegally into Thailand via a new ‘underground railroad’ because Thailand processes defectors and sends them to South Korea quickly.

Kim Jong-Il’s Human Rights Atrocities
New York Times (Letter to the editor)

North Korea is ranked in every survey of freedom and human rights as the worst of the worst. A network of at least six camps for political prisoners, holding up to 200,000 people, forms the core of Kim Jong-il’s terrifying control apparatus. Shocking accounts of the worst possible forms of torture have emerged from survivors of the gulags who have escaped.

What should the international community do?

First, end its silence. It is extraordinary that a situation as severe as North Korea is so seldom discussed. When North Korea is on the agenda, it is in the context of its nuclear program, regional security or food shortages. Rarely do the North Korean gulags enter the consciences of international policymakers. That must change.

Minn. man sentenced for harboring illegal aliens
WXOW.com (La Crosse, Wisc.)

An Eagan man has been sentenced to two years in prison for harboring illegal aliens so they could work in his siding business.

U.S. District Judge Joan N. Ericksen on Wednesday sentenced 63-year-old Joo Ok Kim on one count of harboring and concealing aliens.

Kim pleaded guilty in August 2010. In his plea agreement, he admitted that from November 2008 through March 2009 he kept five Mexican nationals in his basement.

In Immigrant Areas, a Culture Clash Over Gay Marriage
New York Times

A bar in Sunnyside, Queens recently held a raffle for a same-sex wedding reception, which included a horse-drawn carriage as transportation.

Neighbors said they would boycott the bar. Bloggers posted reports of past health violations there. Larry Yang, the Korean-American owner of a hardware store next door, said he resented such a public promotion of same-sex marriage. He said many among the large number of Korean-American Christians in Queens felt similarly but feared that if they spoke out they would be demonized by a liberal majority.

“If that horse-drawn carriage rides by my store, I will make sure my kids do not see it,” Mr. Yang, 45, said. “I am worried about what kind of message gay marriage is sending.”

Korean women use invention to jump over gender gap
Yonhap

Lee Bok-hui used to wonder what happened to all the leftover stones she saw lying around construction sites. Now she knows exactly where a percentage of those leftovers go — into an eco-friendly inflammable sheeting-material used to reinforce electrical outlets, which she invented specifically to reuse that construction site waste.

Lee debuted her invention at the Korea International Women’s Invention Exposition in May, where she won second place in the expo’s title prize.

S. Korea court upholds Somali pirate life sentence
AFP via Yahoo News

A South Korean appeals court on Thursday upheld a life sentence on a Somali pirate convicted of hijacking a South Korean-operated ship in the Arabian Sea and trying to murder the captain.

The high court in the southern port of Busan confirmed the sentence passed in late May on Mahomed Araye after the 23-year-old had appealed.

Prosecutors had sought the death sentence for Araye for shooting and seriously injuring Captain Seok Hae-Kyun of the chemical carrier Samho Jewelry with an AK rifle.

Suicide main cause of death for those under 40 in S. Korea
Yonhap

Suicide was the No. 1 cause of death among people under 40 years of age in South Korea last year, with the nation’s overall suicide rate also marking the highest among the world’s major countries, a report showed Thursday.

Former classmate charged with murder of Michelle Le
San Francisco Chronicle

A Union City woman was charged today with murder in the slaying of a nursing student who vanished from a Hayward parking garage more than three months ago.

Giselle Esteban, 27, who is pregnant, is to appear this afternoon on a charge of murder at the Hayward Hall of Justice. She is accused of killing her former high school friend Michelle Le, 26, whose body hasn’t been found.

Wednesday's Link Attack: NK-SK Tensions, John Cho, Carolina Kimchi

South Korea Returns Fire After North Shells Disputed Waters
New York Times

The South Korean military returned fire on Wednesday after North Korean artillery shells fell in waters near a South Korean island the North attacked last year with a lethal artillery barrage, Defense Ministry officials said.

South Korean marines based on the island, Yeonpyeong, 75 miles west of Seoul, detected three artillery shots from a North Korean island around 1 p.m. Wednesday, the officials said.

Last November, North Korea launched an artillery barrage on Yeonpyeong, killing two marines and two civilians.

Check out our feature story from this month’s issue on how the island is coping with the attack seven months later.

First Look: ‘A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas’
Slash Film

It’s been three years in real time since we last caught up with stoner buds Harold & Kumar (in 2008’s Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay) but it’s been six years of time within the movies since the two friends played by Kal Penn and John Cho last spent time together. Their third film, and their first in 3D (and first outright holiday movie) sees the pair reunited and, judging by the looks on their faces, back in trouble.

N. Korea reportedly attempting to assassinate S. Korean defense chief: sources
Yonhap News

North Korea is apparently trying to assassinate South Korea’s defense chief known for his hard-line stance against Pyongyang, government sources here said Wednesday.

A source said Seoul has “received intelligence” that North Korea is after Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin.

Korean kayaker drowns in Otis
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

A 75-year-old Korean man who was vacationing in Maine drowned Tuesday morning after his kayak overturned on Beech Hill Pond, according to the Maine Warden Service.

Hong Sohn of Seoul, South Korea, was about 300 feet from shore when his boat capsized shortly before 10 a.m., according to Warden Sgt. Chris Simmons. Sohn tried to swim to safety before he sank below the water’s surface.

“Unsuccessful attempts were made from people on the pond to help him,” Simmons said. “He was approximately 30 feet from shore when he just quit swimming.”

SKorean police say stock broker jumped off building after suffering heavy losses
Associated Press via Washington Post

South Korean police say a stock broker has jumped off a high-rise residential building to his death after he apparently suffered heavy losses in the global markets turmoil.

Chief investigator Lee Kang-ho said Wednesday that a 48-year-old man surnamed Seo sent his colleagues text messages expressing remorse over the losses just minutes before he jumped from the building.

Jury orders death penalty for woman convicted of killing family
Los Angeles Times

A Southern California jury recommended the death penalty for a Chinese American woman who murdered her husband and two young sons in 2007.

S. Korean man found hanged in airplane toilet
Yonhap News

A South Korean man was found dead in an apparent suicide in an airplane lavatory on an international flight operated by an unidentified domestic air carrier, police said Tuesday.

The 43-year-old man, identified only by his surname Yang, an employee of a private company, apparently hanged himself aboard the flight departing from the Chinese city of Guangzhou for Incheon International Airport on late Monday, according to police.

Brian Myers: Korea’s most dangerous writer?
Yonhap News

He may be the most influential intellectual writer from the Korean Peninsula, but he is not Korean. He is obscure among domestic Pyongyang watchers but writes about North Korea for some of the world’s most influential media.

He is Brian Myers, an American who teaches international studies at Dongseo University in the southern port city of Busan. An academic, author and columnist, he contributes to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. It’s his status as an iconoclast that has won him fame.

Chefs champion tangy kimchi, the classic condiment of Korean cuisine
Charleston City Paper (S.C.)

Who knew there were so many Korean restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina?

To say that kimchi packs a punch is an understatement. It possesses a crunch rivaled only by the best pickles. If its spicy kick doesn’t knock you out of your flip-flops, then its sourness, the product of days, if not weeks of fermentation, certainly will. But if that doesn’t get you, the smell of garlic and fish sauce and onions and who knows what else will surely do the trick.

Pilot from missing Asiana aircraft had $1.7 million debt
Asia One

The missing captain from an aircraft that crashed near Jeju Island last month reportedly had massive debts from guaranteeing a relative’s loan.

Speculation concerning the intentionality of the accident was sparked as it was revealed that the pilot had signed up for around seven life insurance policies with dividends of US$2.8 million (S$3.4 million), just a month before the crash.

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Monday's Link Attack: Moon Bloodgood, Suicide Pact, Shooting Rampage

Moon Bloodgood brings love of sci-fi to Spielberg’s ‘Skies’
Boston Herald

Ever since she was a child, Bloodgood has been a fan of science fiction and horror.

That’s why she starred in “Terminator Salvation,” “Journeyman” and “Day Break.” It also explains why she wasn’t interested when she first heard about “Falling Skies.”

“I’m always going to love science fiction. That’s just a part of my personality. But I had done so much of it, and I was itching to do something else,” she told the Herald in a recent telephone interview from her Los Angeles home.

4 Killed, 1 Hurt in South Korea Shooting
AP via Time.com

A corporal in South Korea’s marine corps went on shooting rampage Monday, killing four fellow marines and wounding another on a Yellow Sea island base near the country’s tense border with North Korea, officials said.

The corporal was taken into custody on Ganghwa Island, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) west of Seoul, but his motive remained unknown, and the shooting was being investigated, Defense Ministry officials said.

South Korea plans to convert all textbooks to digital, swap backpacks for tablets by 2015
Engadget

South Korea announced this week that it plans to spend over $2 billion developing digital textbooks, replacing paper in all of its schools by 2015. Students would access paper-free learning materials from a cloud-based system, supplementing traditional content with multimedia on school-supplied tablets.

North Korean defector learns to live outside the world’s biggest prison
The Guardian (U.K.)

Rhee Kyeong-mi used to struggle to find enough food. Now she is finding it hard to adjust to abundance and choice in South Korea.

4 South Koreans Missing After Apparent Suicide Attempt
AP via New York Times

Four South Koreans were missing and one was hospitalized Sunday after they jumped into a rain-swollen river in an apparent group suicide attempt first conceived online, police said.