North Korean Swims Across to Defect to South
Wall Street Journal
A North Korean man swam successfully across the heavily-guarded inter-Korean maritime border to a South Korean island on Friday, in the first such defection in almost a year.
The man, aged 46, was unarmed when he knocked on the door of a resident on Gyodong Island at dawn, Seoul’s defense ministry said.
It’s rare for North Koreans to defect south across the tense military border. Most defectors from North Korea cross into China and then travel on to Mongolia or Southeast Asia in order to reach South Korea.
Kaesong may go into partial operation at any time: S. Korean bizmen
PAJU, South Korea, Aug. 22 (Yonhap) — South Korean businessmen operating firms in the joint factory zone in Kaesong, North Korea’s city near the inter-Korean border, said late Thursday that the industrial complex may be able to go into partial operation at any time if its facilities are repaired.
The businessmen’s remarks were made after returning home from their visit to the complex, which was aimed at inspecting facilities that have remained idle for months.
Expectations for the resumption of the complex have been high after last week’s agreement between the two Koreas to restart the factory zone.
Douglas Todd: The new story of Asians in North America is largely one of success, but with complications
Vancouver Sun (Canada)
Edward Yang is about as close to an Asian-American-Canadian as they come.
He was born in Washington state, lived for some years in his parents’ homeland of Taiwan, attended high school and university in Vancouver and has spent the past 14 years in the United States.
At age 40, with dual U.S.-Canadian citizenship, Yang is well-positioned to add his continental perspective to the insights on life, money and family revealed in a wide-ranging poll on Asians in North America.
From his home in West Covina in Southern California, Yang had a great deal to say about the Pew Research Center’s discoveries regarding what 17 million Asian-Americans believe about education, success, discrimination, parents, religion, intermarriage and politics.
Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun Calls Glenn a “Wild Card”
AMC’s The Walking Dead will return to our lives in a few months (Sunday, October 13th), but if you’re chomping at the bit to see, um, undead things chomps on people’s bits, then you can buy The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray when it becomes available next Tuesday, August 27th.
Last season was all about the Prison vs. Woodbury. Rick vs. The Governor. Michonne vs. Dialogue. And in the midst of it, Steven Yeun’s Glenn found himself in a rough part of town, dealing with Merle and the Governor’s goon squad.
I had a chance to talk to Yeun about Glenn’s fleeting moment with leadership, the liabilities of having a love life, and what fans can expect in Season 4!
‘Sullivan & Son,’ ‘Men at Work,’ ‘Deal With It’ Renewed at TBS
The Turner-owned cable network announced Tuesday that the two scripted comedies would return for third seasons and its Howie Mandel-produced rookie hidden-camera entry would be back for a second run.
“Sullivan & Son and Men At Work have really caught on with TBS’ core viewers, and Deal With It has burst out of the gate as one of the summer’s most popular new cable series,” said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “We are very excited to be expanding our relationship with the producers, cast members and production teams on these three series.”
Sullivan, which will wrap up its second run on Aug. 22, will return for a third season of 13 episodes in summer 2014. Airing on Thursdays at 10 p.m., the comedy from Vince Vaughn, Peter Billingsley and showrunnner Rob Long is averaging 2.4 million total viewers when factoring in DVR viewing. The Warner Horizon Television drama is pulling 1.3 million total viewers in the key adults 18-49 metric.
Crayon Pop Plans to Release “Bar Bar Bar 2.0″ in September
Crayon Pop has plans to upgrade “Bar Bar Bar” to “Bar Bar Bar 2.0.”
Crayon Pop’s agency, Chrome Entertainment, plans to continue the addicting “5 Cylinder” dance craze into September as its staff revealed that the music video for “Bar Bar Bar 2.0″ is in the making.
“The popular jumping choreography will remain in the video to lure international attention, but the feel of the song will be entirely different,” he commented. The group recently signed with the global music corporation Sony Music.
Even amidst a windfall of popularity this summer, the girls have been on rocky roads as controversy surfaced over possible plagiarism and politically inappropriate statements. It has led customers of the Korean online shopping mall “Auction” to end their membership due to its endorsement of Crayon Pop. Their feature in the upcoming episode on an MBC documentary series might provide the opportunity to explain the girls’ side of the story. The air date is TBA.
INTO THE NEXT STAGE: Universal Pictures Has Write Aid for Screenwriters
One of the reasons for the genesis of this column more than two decades ago was to provide a continuous forum to discuss and raise awareness of how Asian Americans and Asians had historically been misportrayed and misrepresented in popular American media.
The approach applied to pretty much everything: straight news coverage, or TV shows and movies simply meant to entertain; books and magazines; cartoons and comics; and dramas and comedies.
Despite occasional breakthroughs like Disney’s “Mulan” or Warner Bros. Pictures’ “The Last Samurai” or New Line Cinema’s “Harold and Kumar” pics in movie houses or short-lived attempts on TV like ABC’s “All-American Girl” or the WB’s “The Black Sash,” there was so much that was just plain wrong and often offensive with regard to how Asian Americans and Asians were shown. Stereotyping and race-baiting. Yellowface and Yellow Peril politics. Negative roles and no roles.
It seemed endless.
The Pitch Q&A – John Meyer and Elcid Choi (Innerspin)
In Season 2, Episode 2 of The Pitch, Bliss chose Innerspin as the winning agency. Innerspin President Elcid Choi and Chief Creative Officer John Meyer talk why they decided to compete on the show and what it’s like working together and being best friends.
Q: What made you decide to appear on The Pitch?
John: I got a call from a friend of mine saying that a production company was interested in us for the show. So I talked with Elcid and [CEO] Samuel Koh, and we debated back and forth. Ultimately, we decided it would be good for us to be on the show.
Elcid: We have a different agency model here. So we said we’d love to show everybody how we do things.
John: We’re like, “Let’s go out and eat. We’ll come up with something.
Elcid: It’s the truth. We have fun, we love what we do. Advertising is a fun business. If you enjoy what you do and make money doing it, there’s no better life.
K-Pop Goes Wild, but Stays Smooth
Wall Street Journal
The K-Pop industry is getting desperate for new quirks to stand out in the growing pool of boy bands and girl bands.
The new groove and latest hit on local music charts and YouTube is a song whose lyrics translate to “I growl, growl, growl.” The subject: growling wolves. Fittingly, the title is “Growl.”
Performed by SM Entertainment’s new boy band EXO, the song in its growling actually portrays the interior emotions of a man who doesn’t want his love taken away by rivals, according to the record label. The growls may be meant to scare those rivals off.
This isn’t EXO’s first impersonation of a pack of wolves, though the group’s hit song “Wolf” was more is more verbal in its depiction of the animal. The hook of that song is in the lyrics that translate to “Yeah, wolf. I’m a wolf, awooooooo.”
Since its release less than three months ago, the video of this song has racked up more than 12 million views on YouTube.
Swansea City midfielder Ki Seung-Yeung linked with move to Sunderland
Wales Online (U.K.)
Ki Seung-Yeung has been linked with a move away from the Liberty Stadium after Sunderland emerged as a potential suitor for the Swansea City star.
Midfield Ki has slipped down the pecking order at the Swans following Michael Laudrup’s summer acquisitions of Jose Canas and Jonjo Shelvey in the middle.
And there have been suggestions the South Korean could leave on a loan basis just 12 months on from a then club-record move from Celtic, the 24-year-old left out of the matchday squad for Swansea’s Europa League first-leg play-off clash with Petrolul Ploiesti.
Ki signed in a £5.5m move from the SPL giants but to date has only ever delivered glimpses of his form that made him such a hit in Glasgow as well as his home country.
The Meatball Shop Hits LA for One Night at Sunny Spot
Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow, the team behind New York City’s wildly popular (and ever expanding) The Meatball Shop, have been rumored to be scouting spaces in LA. But, in the meantime, they’re bringing The Meatball Shop west with a one night stand at Roy Choi’s Sunny Spot in Venice on September 7 from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. (seating is first come first serve). The trio will together prepare a bunch of The Meatball Shop’s ballsy dishes and Choi is planning to craft his own unique ball for the night. It’s a shame they didn’t ask Starry Kitchen’s Nguyen Tran and his green balls to participate. But, there’s always next time.
In any event, and this is random, but creatives at Vans sneakers designed limited edition kicks with imagery from The Meatball Shop and Sunny Spot. Those who attend this meal will have the chance to win shoes throughout the eve.
Now Open: BrewWell Coffeehouse in Koreatown
There are no shortages of coffee shops in this town, but finding one with ample seating, quality brews, free WiFi and parking is certainly a rarity. But that’s exactly what BrewWell on 8th in Koreatown offers. The glass-walled latte house is actually attached to the Assi Supermarket just east of Western, but it would be a mistake to confuse it for one of those Coffee Beans that embed themselves inside your local Ralph’s. BrewWell is a separate entity altogether; it just happens to share a roof.
Although it’s been open for about a month, BrewWell has managed to stay well under the radar of most WiFi-hungry nomadic day writers. The rustic modern feel means big wooden chairs with comfy beige backing and reclaimed tables that could have fallen straight out of a Restoration Hardware catalogue.
Korean Fast Food in London
The Korea Blog
Korean food in the UK has been steadily growing and getting more trendy over the recent years. Now with London going crazy for fashionable and high-end fast food this year, there is currently a huge market for tasty, unique and well-made Korean food to grab on the go. During the course of this year, several new Korean fast food joints have sprung up, adding to the already great selection of places punters can choose to get a bite to eat at. So looking for some Korean food to grab on the go? Let’s take a look at what’s out there!
As the upcoming Fox sitcom Dads looms on the horizon like the next strain of swine flu, and amid the din of negative reviews, the Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA) is calling for a reshoot of the “racist” scenes in the pilot before the show makes its debut in September.
The co-creators of Dads are Alec Sulkin and Seth MacFarlane, who is the creator of popular adult animated series Family Guy. Given Sulkin’s controversial tweet in early 2011, which read, “If you wanna feel better about this earthquake in Japan, google ‘Pearl Harbor death toll,” and MacFarlane’s Oscar night of misogynistic, racist and homophobic atrocity, no one is surprised by the blatant racism on Dads, but they are still appalled.
Guy Aoki, founder of MANAA, pointed out the “racially insensitive jokes” and “fatal flaws” in the pilot, in a letter addressed to Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly and other network brass, including senior vice president of current programming, James Oh.
“We are asking you to reshoot the inappropriate scenes of the pilot. Considering the consistent feedback from our community and television critics in general—and the creators saying they hadn’t properly defined their characters nor gotten used to their actors when they shot that first episode—this sounds like a no-brainer,” Aoki wrote. Continue Reading »
As ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy prepares to kick off its 10th season this fall, one of its original and most beloved members will have left Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital by season’s end. Sandra Oh, the five-time Emmy nominee and onetime Golden Globe winner, has opted to depart the series after a decade of playing the prickly yet brilliant surgeon, Cristina Yang.
The decision didn’t come easily for Oh. “Creatively, I really feel like I gave it my all, and I feel ready to let her go,” Oh told the Hollywood Reporter, which first announced the news. “It’s such an interesting thing to play a character for so long and to actually get the sense that she wants to be let go as well. [Cristina] wants to be let go, and I am ready to let her go. We have to start the process, story-wise, for the Grey’s writers to think of why she’s going to go.”
While Oh’s role wasn’t originally envisioned to be an Asian American, the writers at Grey’s Anatomy explored various, at times controversial, subject matter such as abortion, interracial marriage and post-traumatic stress disorder through Cristina Yang. Creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes has said Cristina’s character was the second one she created and that she sees herself in the character. Continue Reading »
The multi-talented Arden Cho will be joining the cast of MTV’s Teen Wolf next season, the television station announced, according to their official blog.
The actress/model/singer will join the cast as a half-Korean, half-Japanese character, as the show delves into Asian mythology with the Japanese legend of the kitsune, known as the gumiho in Korean. The kitsune is a shape-shifting fox which often changes into the form of a beautiful woman but is known as a dangerous trickster in many myths.
Inmate’s Letters Hint at North Korea Opening
New York Times
The family of Kenneth Bae, the American sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea, received letters from him in the mail for the first time this past week, telling them that his health is worse and asking them to press the United States government to help secure his release, Mr. Bae’s sister said Friday.
North Korea experts said the message of the handwritten letters — and their method of delivery, which could not have happened without North Korea’s approval — suggested that the authorities there were open to the idea of negotiations on Mr. Bae. That had seemed remote three months ago when he was found guilty of committing “hostile acts” against the government.
North Korea said Mr. Bae, 44, was a Christian missionary who had sought to build a clandestine proselytizing base in the country, where the Communist government regards missionary work as sedition.
Senate hearing on Joe Yun due next week
A Senate confirmation hearing on a Korean-American diplomat, nominated to become the U.S. ambassador to Malaysia, will be held next week, a related committee said Friday.
In June, President Barack Obama picked Joe Yun, principal deputy assistant secretary handling Southeast Asian affairs, for the post.
The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations said it would open the hearing on Tuesday. It will be presided by Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
5th District challenger Cho already ahead of past Garrett opponents
Bergen County Record (N.J.)
Roy Cho, the 32-year-old Democratic lawyer from Hackensack who wants to challenge Republican Rep. Scott Garrett in North Jersey’s 5th District next year, has already raised more money than Garrett’s two previous opponents. And the election is more than a year off.
The $80,804 Cho reported this week puts him ahead of where Garrett’s opponent in 2012, Adam Gussen, was for the full cycle. Garrett’s 2010 opponent Tod Theise also raised only $26,000.
Another potential Garrett challenger next year, former Rep. Andy Maguire, decided in June not to run after putting about $80,000 of his own money into a campaign account.
Augusta businessman seeks Senate seat
Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)
The Republican primary for Georgia’s open U.S. Senate seat got a little more crowded Friday as an Augusta businessman joined the field. Eugene Chin Yu made his announcement during the National Federation of Republican Women’s conference in Atlanta.
Yu is making his first foray into politics, but he has been active in civic organizations, including serving as the national president of the Federation of Korean Associations.
He came to Georgia as a child, served in the Army and returned to Augusta to become a firefighter, deputy sheriff and the owner of several businesses, including one that supplies
armaments and other equipment to American allies. He has also assisted Georgia officials in recruiting Korean businesses to the state.
Ecstasy Pill Dealer Wins 37-Month Trip
OC Weekly (Calif.)
A Cal State Fullerton student nabbed in an undercover federal investigation of the illegal distribution of Ecstasy pills popular on college campuses and at raves hoped that a judge would send her to prison no longer than one year.
Julie Choi wanted U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney to consider her a “minimal participant” in a high volume, Little Saigon-based MDMA distribution network that extended from Westminster and Garden Grove into Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana and San Diego until Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents, using a confidential informant to make buys, swooped down in 2010.
Government agents did recognize that Choi’s role was minor compared to others charged in the case, but still asked for a 70-month prison sentence, according to court records.
Biggest-ever foreign turnout expected for North Korea mass games
Acrobats, dancers and singers — under normal circumstances, a festival featuring such tried and true attractions might not send you rushing to the Internet to book travel.
But when more than 120,000 gymnasts gather in one of the world’s most secretive nations to perform a highly synchronized, 90-minute spectacle of song, dance and Cold War-style propaganda, it’s something worth looking into.
Massive state-sponsored entertainment is a big part of the lure of North Korea’s annual Arirang Festival, or “mass games,” and it’s drawing foreign visitors in increasing numbers.
U.S. hero pays respects in North Korea, hopes weather allows search for remains
The last time Thomas Hudner was in North Korea, he was fighting for his life.
Sunday, more than six decades later, he paid his respects to the ruler who led that fight against him and his fellow Americans.
Hudner, a retired U.S. Navy captain, is leading a delegation that hopes — weather permitting — to search for the remains of Ensign Jesse Brown, the Navy’s first African-American aviator. Hudner and fellow Korean war veteran Richard Bonelli went to Pyongyang’s Palace of the Sun — the most hallowed site in North Korea — on Sunday.
Following protocol, each man stopped and bowed before the glass caskets of Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s founder, and his son Kim Jong Il, who ruled for 18 years following his father’s 1994 death.
‘Last hope’ for pastor’s grand estate
Philadelphia Inquirer via Philly.com
[Richard S. Yoon, pastor of the First Korean Church of New York,] said he was running out of options. Unless the U.S. Supreme Court takes up a petition he filed in May, he said in an interview, he may have no choice but to sell the aging estate.
“This is the last hope,” Yoon said Friday. “We have been fighting for almost 20 years.”
At the root of his legal faceoff with Cheltenham Township is the use of Lynnewood Hall as a church.
In 1998, the township rejected his request for a zoning variance to operate a church in the residential neighborhood. Five years later, it went even further and eliminated any exceptions to the zoning law for schools or churches.
Yoon has battled the decision in state and federal court, losing every round, including a federal appeal in February.
Character finds growth amid mayhem on ‘ Walking Dead’
It’s not easy becoming a man when zombies are all around. However, Glenn Rhee has been up to the challenge on AMC’s The Walking Dead, which returns for its fourth season on Oct. 13.
He started out on the series as more of “a little boy,” a former pizza delivery guy whose agility and knowledge of shortcuts made him valuable on scavenging runs. As time has passed, however, he’s added depth and character, along with a deep, committed relationship with Maggie (Lauren Cohan).
Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn, talked about the character’s growth during an interview at Comic-Con.
“He’s definitely stepped up as more of a leader. I think his true evolution is kind of him finding himself. You need these almost terrible instances to bring out your true character,” Yeun said.
PSY, WME Sign Exclusive Deal for Representation
South Korean pop star PSY has signed exclusively with WME for representation in all markets outside of his home nation. He was previously represented by CAA.
According to a statement, the agency will work to “expand his musical endeavors” and “pursue opportunities across all entertainment platforms, including film, television, endorsements, books and digital media.”
PSY is managed by Scooter Braun Projects.
The Neighbors’ Tim Jo Interview [Comic-Con 2013]
ABC’s half-hour comedy The Neighbors seems like a perfect fit at Comic-Con seeing as the show is about a family of humans living in a neighborhood inhabited by only aliens. One of the stars of the show, Tim Jo, who plays one the alien sons, Reggie Jackson, was at Comic-Con in San Diego, California to enjoy the festivities and talk about the series.
TV Equals got a chance to talk to Tim Jo his character, Reggie Jackson and Amber’s relationship, what he is hoping for in season 2 and more importantly what Zabrovnian would do at Comic-Con. Find out what he had to say in the video interview below.
Why is Daniel Dae Kim feeling “Lost”?
The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)
It must be deja vu for Daniel Dae Kim, Freedom grad and star of CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0.”
The new police series which recreates the original “Hawaii Five-0″ that aired 1968-1980, has started shooting for its fourth season at a new sound stage – the same one used for the ABC series “Lost” which aired for six seasons and starred Kim in an ensemble cast. The sound stage, Diamond Head Studio, also was home to the original “Hawaii Five-0″ series as well as “Magnum P.I.”
And to add to the “Lost” vibe, CBS announced three of Kim’s former “Lost” cast mates will be guest stars on the season debuting on a new night at 9 p.m. Fridays starting Sept. 27.
North Koreans get warm reception in South, win match
North and South Korea put aside bitter political divisions for 90 minutes on Sunday as their women’s soccer teams clashed in a regional tournament in Seoul, with the visitors scoring a decisive win and getting a warm welcome from home-team fans.
Just months after the North’s threats of nuclear war pushed the peninsula close to conflict, South Korean fans stood as the North’s national anthem echoed around Seoul’s World Cup stadium and even cheered when North Korea scored.
“This wouldn’t happen if it was against any other country, but strangely I wanted to cheer North Korea,” said Moon Sang-soon, a 49-year-old South Korean fan snacking on barbecued pork.
North Korea won the game 2-1.
UFC: Benson Henderson only concerned with winning, not with ‘firsts’
With MMA being such a young sport, there is always room for a first. First female fight in the UFC. First flyweight fight. First this. First that. In a sea of firsts, the opportunity to make history is plentiful. Try this one on for size: First man to successfully defend the UFC lightweight title four times.
That seems to have a nice ring to it, but for the current champ, Benson Henderson, it really doesn’t hold any added appeal. Should he best Anthony Pettis in their upcoming scheduled bout, that first will just be another factoid in his ever expanding Wiki bio. For Henderson, it’s all about putting on his best performance, and making sure the belt stays firmly affixed to his waist. Any extra accolades just become frosting on an already exceptional cake. Here’s what he had to say:
Cincinnati Reds’ Shin-Soo Choo meets with Cincinnati Korean-American Association before game
While it is strong overseas, the fervor of support the 31-year-old outfielder has not been lost on Korean-Americans.
The Korean-American community has rallied behind all 13 South Koreans who’ve played in the MLB, but Choo has arguably been the nation’s most beloved athlete since he signed a $1.35 million contract and debuted with the Seattle Mariners in 2005.
He then spent the next several seasons with the Cleveland Indians, giving regional Korean-American groups like the Cincinnati Korean-American Association (CKAA) a chance to see their national hero play.
Members of the CKAA were presented with a unique opportunity prior to the 2013 MLB season when Choo was traded to the Reds from the Indians. The organization decided it wanted to reach out to Choo to let him know they supported him and his transition to life in the Queen City.
Shin-Soo Choo extends hitting streak to 15-games
Choo Shin-Soo picked up after the All-Star Break right where he left offon a hot streak.
The Cincinnati centerfielder rode a 12-game hitting streak into the mid-summer classic and with a pair of hit this morning against the first place Pirates, Choo extended his hitting streak to a personal best 15-games.
Also with Seattle’s Kyle Seager going 0-for-4 on Saturday, Choo Shin-Soo’s hitting streak is the longest active streak in the majors right nowhe’s now hitting .292 on the season.
Montgomery’s Kyeong Kang beats Mobile BayBears with 11th-inning homer
Montgomery’s Kyeong Kang might as well be King Kong when he comes to Hank Aaron Stadium.
The 25-year-old South Korean hit his second home run of the game in the top of the 11th inning on Sunday night to lift the Biscuits to a 2-1 victory over the Mobile BayBears.
Kang, who was serving as Montgomery’s designated hitter, had pulled a homer way over the right-field fence off reliever Matt Gorgen to tie the game at 1-1 in the seventh.
Public Links golf championship: Jordan Niebrugge holds off Michael Kim
Kim, who finished tied for 17th at the U.S. Open in June to win low amateur honors, trimmed a hole off Niebrugge’s lead at the turn before winning holes No. 12 and 13 to cut his deficit to one.
The pair came to the par-3 14th with the pressure dialed up and the heat sweltering. Kim’s approach shot was within a few feet of the hole, but his birdie putt stayed out. Niebrugge made par to keep his lead at one.
Kim continued to apply pressure, but Niebrugge was unfazed, making clutch par putts on 16 and 17.