In Latest Insult, North Korea Targets South Korean Leader’s Dress
New York Times
North Korea issued a direct personal attack on the South’s new president for the first time since her inauguration two weeks ago, saying on Wednesday that her “venomous swish of skirt” was to blame for rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The insult directed at President Park Geun-hye, the first woman to hold the office, added a curious sartorial element to the verbal barrage North Korea has been mounting since the United States and the South began a joint military exercise on March 1, followed by a new round of sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council.
“This frenzy kicked up by the South Korean warmongers is in no way irrelevant, with the venomous swish of skirt made by the one who again occupies” the presidential Blue House, the North’s Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces said in a statement, referring to Ms. Park. She returned to the residence as president on Feb. 25, about 33 years after her father, the former President Park Chung-hee, was assassinated.
The Koreas: To a war footing
NORTH KOREAN invective has always been colourful. But the old threats to turn Seoul into a bulbada—“sea of fire”—suddenly look bland compared with the new rhetoric. Having peered out through binoculars at the South Korean border island of Baengnyeong on March 11th, the North’s supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, was quoted as telling his troops to “break the waists of the crazy enemies” and “cut their windpipes”, to show them “what real war is like”. Baengnyeong is home to almost 5,000 civilians, as well as South Korean military units, which makes the bluster more alarming. Mr Kim went so far as to point out priority targets, including radar posts and rocket sites, said KCNA, the North Korean news agency.
South Korea Struggles To Rein in Bullying, Student Suicides
Wall Street Journal
While Pyongyang has been lambasting Seoul over the past week or so, South Korea has been grappling with a different, yet equally persistent kind of bullying problem on its home turf: school violence and suicides.
On Monday, a 13- year-old boy killed himself by jumping from his apartment in the southern city of Kyungsan. His suicide came exactly a week after a 12-year-old girl in Busan jumped to her death on the first day of school, leaving a suicide note saying “I am sorry. I am worried that I will become the odd one out again.”
The boy, surnamed Choi, also left a suicide note. The handwritten note begins “I will now tell you why I will die. Dear policemen, I will share my story here of how I’ve been bullied so far.” He named five students who he said had been harassing him since 2011. He said he had endured years of physical and verbal violence, humiliation and extortion in and out of school.
Six Words: Ask Who I Am, Not What
Jessica Hong is a 29-year-old reservationist living in New Orleans. She is originally from Seattle and she heard about The Race Card Project via comedian W. Kamau Bell on Twitter. As a Korean-American, Hong is constantly asked about her heritage and those queries became the basis for her six words: “Ask who I am, not what.”
Police probe American TV personality for allegedly smoking marijuana
Police said Wednesday that they have questioned an American female TV personality for allegedly smoking marijuana, a crime punishable by up to one year in prison under South Korean law.
Bianca Mobley, who gained popularity in South Korea after starring in a TV show featuring foreign women living here, was suspected of smoking marijuana between October and late November last year, said an officer at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency.
‘Community’ scene-stealer to guest star on ‘Sullivan & Son’
TBS comedy Sullivan & Son is about to get Chang-ed!
EW has learned exclusively that Community fan-fave Ken Jeong is set to appear in a second-season episode of S&S, set to air in the summer.
He will play Jason, Steve’s (Steve Byrne) doctor brother-in-law whose workaholic ways are putting strain on his marriage to Steve’s sister, Susan (Vivan Bang). So Susan enlists Steve’s help in getting Jason to unwind, but the plan backfires when Jason begins to reject his old life entirely.
SXSW Music: Korean Pop With Its Own Special f(x)
New York Times
But along came f(x), a five-woman group from South Korea — four of them under 21 — that is a female “idol band” from the artificial world of K-pop. On the model of American boy bands like ‘N Sync, idol bands are assembled, trained, choreographed and supplied with material by their management companies.
F(x) is reportedly one of the more daring idol bands; one of the five’s costumes was a modified T-shirt from the horror-punk band the Misfits. The group has song titles like “Hot Summer,” “Danger” and “Electric Shock,” which were all part of the group’s brief set, sung (in Korean, with English refrains) to prerecorded tracks that closely followed American and European electropop.
CAAMFest 2013 Reviews: Lee Isaac Chung’s Abigail Harm
Lee Isaac Chung’s surreal fable Abigail Harm follows the eponymous character (Amanda Plummer of Pulp Fiction fame), a reader to the blind who is struggling to deal with her father’s declining health. Fascinated by the Korean folktale of the woodcutter and the nymph, Abigail is suddenly visited by a mysterious, injured man (veteran character actor Will Patton) in her New York City apartment. For her generosity in aiding him, he rewards her by showing her a location where she can find an otherworldly being (Tetsuo Kuramochi) to love her. The film has minimal dialogue, so those expecting a traditional narrative should be forewarned. However, viewers who want a more conceptual film-going experience will enjoy the abstract re-telling of the Korean folktale and its exploration of accepting and releasing love.
Top Chef Winner Kristen Kish Hosts Pop-up Dinners
Top Chef winner winner Kristen Kish of Stir will present a series of pop-up dinners this spring, starting on Monday, March 25 at The Butcher Shop (617-423-4800). The menus are comprised of her winning competition dishes such as cured scallop crudo; délice de Bourgogne tortellini en brood; and fennel pollen olive oil cake with Meyer lemon olive oil glaze and candied fennel, among other dishes. What’s more, Kish will talk about how she came up with the dishes in the heat of the moment during the competition.
‘The Queen’ is back: Kim returns to worlds
AP via Yahoo Sports
Kim Yu-na’s performances in Vancouver were so majestic it seemed unlikely anyone could ever come that close to perfection again.
“The Queen” sure wants to try.
The Olympic gold medalist returns to major competition for the first time in two years at this week’s World Figure Skating Championships, and she looked so sharp in practices Monday and Tuesday it was as if she had never been away.
North Korea vows to end nonaggression pacts with South Korea
Los Angeles Times
North Korea has vowed to nullify nonaggression pacts with South Korea in response to the U.N. Security Council’s new tough sanctions and planned joint South Korea-U.S. military drills.
In addition to voiding the peace agreement, the Committee for Peaceful Reunification of Korea, the North’s agency in charge of dealing with cross-border affairs with the South, announced in a statement broadcast on state media Friday that it will sever a North-South hotline.
The state-run agency said North Korea “abrogates all agreements on nonaggression reached between the North and the South … [and] also notifies the South side that it will immediately cut off the North-South hotline.”
After Sanctions Vote, 2 Koreas Ratchet Up Attack Threats
New York Times
Angrily responding to the United Nations Security Council’s unanimous decision to impose tightened sanctions, North Korea said on Friday that it was nullifying all nonaggression agreements with South Korea, with one of its top generals claiming that his country had nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles ready to blast off.
Matching the harsh warning with a toughened stance, South Korea said Friday that if Pyongyang attacked the South with a nuclear weapon, the government of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would be “erased from the earth.”
Tensions on the Korean peninsula: Kim blows up again
RUMOURS of fatherhood, and the thrill of having Dennis Rodman, a 51-year-old American basketball has-been, as a new best friend, have done little to mellow Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s young leader. Once again relations between his family’s regime and the outside world have returned to the dangerous script of nuclear provocation, sanctions and threats of war.
On March 6th Kyodo, a Japanese news agency, reported that camouflage netting was being thrown over buses and trains in Pyongyang in readiness for conflict. A day earlier the regime reheated old threats, as America proposed a resolution to the UN Security Council, stiffening sanctions against North Korea for its third nuclear test on February 12th. It said it would scrap the 1953 armistice agreement with America that ended the Korean war (did it forget that it had already scrapped it, in 2009?). It cut off a hotline with American troops in South Korea. And it once again threatened nuclear attack.
Is Kim Jong Un more dangerous than his father?
North Korea’s threat to launch a preemptive nuclear strike against the United States has puzzled American officials, who see the regime ramping up its threats and rhetoric.
It’s leading to the belief that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is more unpredictable, more dangerous and harder to read than his late father, Kim Jong Il.
“The new leader is acting in ways a bit more extreme than his father, who was colder and more calculated,” a senior administration official said. “Kim Jong Il was more aware of the off-ramps to end these escalations.
O.C.’s Korean Americans react to North Korea threat
Orange County Register (Calif.)
They’ve heard North Korea’s threats before. Some local Korean Americans are concerned. Many others, however, see it more as political theater.
Orange County’s Korean American community offered mixed reactions to North Korea’s threat to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States and South Korea. Many said threats by North Korea are so common that it’s hard to take them seriously.
“They talk tough so many times. Nobody takes it literally,” said J.J. Kim, president of the Korean American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County.
U.S. ambassador hails ‘truly historic’ inauguration of President Park
The inauguration of President Park Geun-hye last week was “truly historic” for South Korea, the U.S. ambassador to Seoul said Friday, renewing his commitment to closely working with the new government.
“Last week was truly historic for Korea. President Park Geun-hye was inaugurated as South Korea’s first female president,” U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim said of his attendance at the inauguration ceremony in a blog post on the embassy’s Web site.
“President Park has long been a strong supporter of the alliance, and we very much look forward to working with her administration,” Kim said.
Is This the First Digital Image of a North Korean In-Flight Meal?
This is an airline meal. It’s not just any airline meal, however; it’s a piece of digital imaging and travel history and it was only created this morning.
David Guttenfelder, Chief Photographer in Asia for the AP, is currently in North Korea on assignment and taking advantage of the newly un-banned 3G network to share some Instagrams from daily life, like this seemingly banal image of his in-flight meal on North Korea’s state airline, Air Koryo.
Kakao chats punishable for defamatory comments
The Korea Times
Spreading unfounded rumors through free mobile chat service KakaoTalk is subject to punishment on the grounds of defamation a court ruled Thursday.
The Seoul court fined a woman 700,000-won for spreading defamatory comments through KakaoTalk.
According to records, the woman made groundless accusations and shared them through Kakao with 13 others.
In another case, a man was given a six-month suspended jail term for insulting his girlfriend. The man had claimed on Kakao that she had a miscarriage after having sex with another man.
Top Chef’s Beverly Kim returns to Kendall College to cook and teach at her alma mater
Around this time last year, Beverly Kim was something of a minor television celebrity on “Top Chef.” Several Saturdays ago, we found Kim calling out dinner orders from a cavernous and modern West Town kitchen, a space that would be the envy of every chef in town. This kitchen even has a 180-degree view of the Chicago skyline.
Kim wore a neckerchief and a tall chef’s hat, attire not seen since French restaurants in the ’80s, and hollered lingo only line cooks understood: “Pick up three amuse!”
Since January and until mid-June, this kitchen is where Kim spends her Tuesday through Saturday nights. The menu is hers; the restaurant isn’t. It’s CUL-249 at Kendall College’s School of Culinary Arts, a course titled fine dining restaurant. It’s an unplanned but welcome surprise, Kim said, as she never thought she’d teach undergraduates at a cooking school in 2013, especially for a chef who was supposed to springboard from a TV show to operating her own restaurant (see: Izard, Stephanie).
PSY to Debut “Gangnam Style” Follow-Up Next Month
Stop making ‘Harlem Shake’ videos, and listen up: South Korean rapper PSY announced today that he is releasing a follow-up to his worldwide hit “Gangnam Style.”
The single is due out Apr. 13, and Psy will perform a concert dubbed “Happening” at the Seoul World Cup Stadium later that night, which will be streamed live on YouTube. PSY, whose real name is Park Jae-sang, delivered the news in Korean, English, Chinese, Thai, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Indonesian subtitles — a sign of how popular “Gangnam Style” has become worldwide.
Hank Conger’s throwing issues could be a concern for Angels
Los Angeles Times
Catcher Hank Conger has sailed two throws to third base into left field this spring. He bounced a late throw to second on Wednesday and nearly hit pitcher Jered Weaver in the head with a throw to second after the Angels pitcher finished his warm-up tosses before an inning.
Conger, a 2006 first-round pick who has spent much of the past three years at triple-A, is ready to hit in the big leagues, and his arm strength is adequate. But to nail down the job as Chris Iannetta’s backup, he’ll need to find a consistent-enough exchange and arm stroke to control a running game. He is still searching.
“On the practice field, he’s making a lot of strides, but at some point you need to bring that consistency into the game,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’re very confident he will, but he has to find it.”
Ryu piles up K’s, but Dodgers’ bats stymied
Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu — signed to a six-year contract worth $36 million over the offseason — held the Indians to two runs on three hits in three-plus innings. Ryu piled up five strikeouts, including three consecutive called strikeouts to Ryan Rohlinger, Drew Stubbs and Jason Kipnis in a swift third inning.
“Everything kind of worked for me, including control, command of the pitches,” Ryu said through an interpreter. I was able to execute pitches. Not only the fastball, but other pitches as well.”
Why South Korean Gamers Are So Pissed about SimCity
Upset about the rocky SimCity rollout? Take heart. You are not alone. Gamers in South Korea are also not happy campers. But it’s not just due to the inability to play.
Here’s what happened: When South Korean gamers couldn’t connect to servers, the official SimCity Korean Facebook page called out the country for piracy. You know, EA Korea’s paying customers. Talk about adding insult to injury!
Frankie Faison, Hoon Lee on ‘Cons’ of ‘Banshee’
AP via YouTube
Park Si-hoo has filed a lawsuit against his accuser, a 22-year-old aspiring actress who claims the South Korean actor and his friend, surnamed Kim, raped her, Chosun Ilbo reports.
From the beginning, Park has maintained his innocence but after security camera footage showed the accuser, clearly intoxicated, being carried into his residence, Park dodged police questioning.
Park has since obtained legal counsel and has agreed to cooperate with police interviews. Continue Reading »
by MONICA Y. HONG
Let’s get down to business. Kristen Kish is in the finale of Top Chef Season 10. It doesn’t matter anymore how she got here — all the heartache, the pain and frustration those darn reality show producers put us through — she’s in. And it’s a battle. And by battle, I mean all of a sudden for its finale, Top Chef has given birth to an alien baby that is 2/3 cup “Iron Chef”, two tablespoons “American Idol”, a pinch of “Fashion Star” and a dash of “The Weakest Link”. In other words, it’s a bowl of whipped crazy!
It is awesome to see two women in the finale cook for the $125,000 prize and the prestigious life-changing title of Top Chef. Either KK or Brooke Williamson will be named only the second ever female Top Chef. Pretty darn cool. But they have to compete under some major pressure cookers: five judges, all nine past Top Chef winners, a stadium full of fans and their families. The new format is a round-by-round judgment where the cheftestants plan on five courses, but have the potential to be eliminated sooner. There is side-by-side action too, where the chefs both have to serve scallops in the second course and red snapper during their fourth course.
The finale begins with Padma in a red dress yelling over the noise in what looks like “Kitchen Stadium” overrun with Top Chef alumni. Kristen has a team of three sous chefs including Lizzie the South African San Franciscan, Sheldon the King of Umami and Josh the OK mustache. Brooke chooses big big Ceej, Kuniko the One that Got Away and Stefan the Wannabe Husband. Did I mention Paul Qui is there too? Yee haw! Continue Reading »
Korean American starlet, Jamie Chung, is joining the pilot cast of NBC’s upcoming sci-fi drama Believe.
The series centers on a young girl, Bo (played by newcomer Johnny Sequoyah), who is gifted with supernatural powers. Bo is under the protection of a man known as Tate (played by Jake McLaughlin), who must escape from prison and live on the run to fulfill his duties to Bo. Chung will play a woman named Channing, a “strong, practical and smart woman” who helps Tate after he escapes, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The project is being executive produced by Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) and J.J. Abrams, director of the rebooted Star Trek franchise and co-creator of Lost. Continue Reading »