Will Yun Lee (Left) and Brian Tee (Right). Photo via Hollywood Reporter
Actors Will Yun Lee and Brian Tee will be joining the cast of The Wolverine, set in Japan and slated for a summer release in July 2013, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Tee, a Korean-Japanese American, has appeared in The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift and Burn Notice. He will be taking on the role of Noburo Mori, the villanous minister of justice who plans to marry Wolverine’s love interest, the daughter of a Yakuza crime lord.
Korean American actor Lee of Witchblade and Bionic Woman will be playing the crime lord’s illegitimate son, Harada, also known as The Silver Samurai. Continue Reading »
4.29 사이구 Plus 20: The Ricochet from LA
Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal calls KoreAm’s oral history of the L.A. Riots by Eugene Yi “gripping reading.”
Unity Declaration Marks 20th Anniversary of Riots
Twenty years later, the atmosphere in Koreatown was calm as community leaders gathered at Robert F. Kennedy School to present a statement of unity. Held in conjunction with the “Diversity Is Our Strength” 4.29 Center Essay Contest organized by the Korean American Coalition, this was one of several events marking the anniversary.
Exclusive: U.S., allies urge sanctions for North Korea firms; China resists
The United States, European Union, South Korea and Japan have submitted a list of about 40 North Korean companies to the U.N. Security Council’s sanctions committee for possible blacklisting due to Pyongyang’s recent rocket launch, envoys said on Tuesday.
The committee, which includes all 15 Security Council members, received an initial response from China that it would only consent to adding two entities to the U.N. list of banned North Korean firms, which the United States and its allies see as too few, envoys told Reuters on the condition of anonymity.
‘North Korea jamming’ hits South Korea flights
Jamming signals thought to be from North Korea have affected GPS navigation on at least 250 flights, South Korean officials say. Nine South Korean and nine foreign airlines have been affected since Saturday, the Transport Ministry said. The flights had to rely on alternative navigation systems but were in no danger, the ministry added. The South has accused the North – with which it remains technically at war – of similar incidents in the past.
N. Korea believed to have enriched uranium for up to 6 bombs: expert
North Korea is believed to now have enough large stocks of weapons-grade highly enriched uranium for up to six bombs, a nuclear expert at the South Korean government said Wednesday, amid growing concerns that the North may be ready for a new nuclear test.
North Korea’s small pool of mobile phones pose a big political threat
The Globe and Mail
Despite these risks, North Koreans are becoming increasingly connected to the world beyond their hermit kingdom, where most foreign media are banned and the Internet is virtually inaccessible.
Rapid growth in the use of mobile telephones is aiding the flow of information, and creating severe challenges for North Korea’s rulers. Experts say it could gradually undermine both Kim Jong-un’s police state and his propaganda machine.
Travels in the Empire of Kim Jong Un
Spiegel Online (Germany)
North Korea may have a new leader, but it still has many of the same old problems. Despite efforts to modernize the capital Pyongyang ahead of 100th birthday celebrations for Kim Il Sung, the country still suffers from shortages of food, electricity, heat and hope.
DEA ‘accidentally’ left forgotten suspect in cell
San Diego Union-Tribune
A drug suspect was taken to a federal holding facility and “accidentally left in one of the cells” last month until he was found with methamphetamines and taken to the hospital, the Drug Enforcement Administration said Monday. The suspect was “left” on April 21, according to the agency. The paramedics were called on April 25, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department confirmed.
Ninth Circuit Says Yoo Is Immune from Torture Claims
Wall Street Journal
One of the legal architects of the harsh methods used in the Bush administration to interrogate suspected terrorists is immune from a lawsuit by a U.S. citizen who said he was tortured while detained in a military brig, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday.
China, South Korea Start Talks on Free-Trade Pact
China and South Korea are starting discussions toward reaching a free-trade agreement and want to establish the accord as early as possible, Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming said.
The first round of talks will take place this month, Chen said at a briefing in Beijing today with South Korean Trade Minister Bark Tae Ho. The two countries’ goal is to lift trade to $300 billion in 2016, Chen said.
Intense Heat, But No Light, in Japan-Korea Hydrographic Battle
The Wall Street Journal
Unable to agree on what to call that body of water, delegates from the two East Asian neighbors have come home bruised but unbowed from last week’s meeting of the International Hydrographic Organization In Monaco.
The issue there was whether the world’s map makers would continue to call the body of water the “Sea of Japan,” as Tokyo wanted, or also label it the “East Sea,” as Seoul had been requesting. For weeks before — and then during– the meeting on the sunny Riviera, diplomats and maritime officials from Tokyo and Seoul had thrown uncharacteristically harsh words at each other.
The distance traveled to find family, measured in paper cranes
Anchorage Daily News
Smith was born in South Korea. Beyond that, she knows very few facts about the way her life began.
“I know I had a young single mother, and that’s it,” she said.
Smith imagines there was turmoil for her biological mother, maybe in her country or with her family or in her relationship. She went to a foster home as a newborn. At 4 months old, she winged her way to her family in the U.S. through an international adoption. That’s a fact of her life. Until lately she hadn’t given it much thought.
Adoptee rallies support for single mothers
They say an activist’s work is never done. For Jane Jeong Trenka, an advocate for Koreans adopted abroad, the adage couldn’t ring truer.
Trenka, head of the Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea (TRACK) and a Korean adoptee herself, is now focusing her attention on single mothers, who she says face societal hurdles here that push them to resort to adoption.
Tribeca Film Acquires ‘For Ellen,’ Starring Paul Dano
The Hollywood Reporter
Tribeca Film has acquired North American rights to writer/director So Young Kim’s drama For Ellen, which stars Paul Dano as an aspiring rock star trying to reconcile with his young daughter. The cast also includes Margarita Levieva, Jon Heder, Jena Malone and newcomer Shaylena Mandigo.
Tribeca Film plans a fall release in select theatrical markets, beginning Sept. 5 at New York’s Film Forum. The movie also will be released via On Demand platforms on a variety of video-on-demand offerings as well as through iTunes, Amazon Watch Instantly, VUDU, Xbox and Samsung Media Hub.
Role Playing More Than a Game in South Korea
The Peninsula via Korea Economic Institute
Imagine Seoul, a city where there is a 24-hour PC room on almost every street, filled with people of various ages who stay there from anywhere to a few hours to over a day. South Korea is a country where celebrities aren’t just movie stars and singers, but are also pro-gamers, such as Lim Yo-Hwan (aka Slayers_BoxeR), who earns around US $400,000 a year. In addition to celebrity pro-gamers, as of 2002, many of Korea’s major companies, such as SK Telecom and Samsung Electronics, began to sponsor teams to compete in pro-matches and tournaments, some of which reached audiences of 120,000 on-site and over 1,000,000 through online streaming.
Citibank Korea globalizes all ATMs … spending money in Korea now even easier
Banking in Korea just got more convenient for foreign travelers who bank with Citibank. First time travelers to the country are often bewildered by how difficult it is to find an ATM that accepts their foreign card for cash withdrawals, as most local ATMs don’t accept them and “global ATMs” can be found only at a few select locations throughout the country.
Due to a steady and large influx of inbound travelers to Korea, and the forecast of millions of visitors expected to arrive for the Yeosu World Expo opening on May 12, Citibank Korea has decided to globalize every ATM at all of its 220 branches in the country.
Anthony Kim tries to shake injuries, struggles
Hidden from the view of spectators and his peers, Anthony Kim hit several bags of balls Tuesday behind the palm and oak trees that frame the short-game practice area at Quail Hollow Club. In search of a swing and confidence before Thursday’s start of the Wells Fargo Championship, the seclusion was a perfect fit for a man whose game is lost at the moment.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen. You saw me hit a shank, right?” Kim said. “I didn’t want to hit over there and have people say I’m hurt again. I wanted to get in a mind-set of being alone and being on a golf course.”
Ex-Bulldog Hines Ward hopes to catch on as analyst
Hines Ward could be offering up football commentary on TV before he coaches any football.
The former Super Bowl MVP wide receiver was back in Athens on Monday to play in the Stadion Classic Celebrity Pro-Am with Bulldogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, just days after Ward huddled with TV network honchos about a possible future in broadcasting.
The Training Diary of Will Yun Lee : Episode 2
Hollywood star Will Yun Lee continues his Training Diary documentary. He explores pieces of his past and the things around him that keep him motivated and grounded. In episode 2 entitled “Ties That Bind”, Will Yun Lee draws parallels to his acting career and his father’s passion to train others in martial arts. See how he’s used martial arts to stay focused and driven to succeed. Watch his inspiring story HERE.
Dia Frampton and Kid Cudi: “Don’t Kick the Chair”
NBC The Voice’s YouTube
Season 1 runner-up Dia Frampton teams with Kid Cudi on “Don’t Kick the Chair.”
Undocumented and Korean at UC Berkeley
New American Media
When Ju Hong stepped before his class at UC Berkeley to discuss his status as an undocumented immigrant, the response was telling. “A lot of the students were surprised at seeing a yellow face,” says the soft-spoken 22-year-old, who notes there is a trend among many of his peers to equate undocumented with Hispanic.
Man In Critical Condition After Found At The Bottom Of Pool
Fox News New York
A man attending a party is in critical condition after he was found at the bottom of pool.
Suffolk County Detectives say 21-year old Dale Ahn was attending a party at 3 Farmview Drive in Dix Hills when he discovered by two partygoers who pulled Ahn from the pool around 12:40 a.m. Sunday morning.
A South Korean’s unwanted war legacy from Japan
Los Angeles Times
In 1944, he was abducted from his village by Japanese soldiers and forced to dig tunnels at a World War II camp. In 2005, he learned he was mistakenly listed among Japan’s war dead at a Tokyo shrine.
Korea through retrojournalism
Here are some amazing and rare color photos from the Korean War, which spanned 1950 to 1953.
Bank software company invests in its people
Austin American-Statesman (Tex.)
This is a nice business profile of a small banking software company in Austin, Tex. with a very worker-friendly environment.
A sign hanging in the game room of Banker’s Toolbox sums up the software maker’s workplace motto: Be Nice or Get Out.
The 11-year-old company, which moved to Austin from Los Angeles last year, has grown by emphasizing a close-knit, team-driven culture, said founder Daniel Cho. Every day, its 45 employees gather for a catered lunch in the cafeteria. Everyone gets an individual office. And when the company makes money, it is shared by all.
The result, Cho said, has been steady revenue and profit gains, without raising any money from outside investors.
“It’s simple — I believe happy employees will create happy customers,” Cho said. “We try really hard to make work fun, and we also believe in sharing what we earn.”
Film Review: Where the Road Meets the Sun
To call “Where the Road Meets the Sun” a juggling act would suggest that all the figurative balls stay in the air. But quite the opposite is true in this ambitious but scattered multi-character drama, which aspires to Altmanesque complexity and ends up merely addled. The bright young cast may end up giving Mun Chee Yong’s debut feature a level of posthumous celebrity, a la “Empire Records” (“Look who was in this movie!”), but its own lifespan will be comparatively short and sparsely attended.
Dotted Lines [OPINION]
The Daily Californian (U.C. Berkeley)
Annual trips to Korea in my childhood gave me glimpses into the crowded streets of Seoul, where morning and night blend together and life thrives incessantly on the main streets of the city. I’ve seen the red tents that pop up in the early evening and stay up late into the night, under which steaming vats of street food are sold to tired students and drunk businessmen alike. If I think carefully, I can hear the way the roar of the trucks and the murmurs of sleepless youth meandering through the streets below slip through the window of my grandparents’ 30th floor apartment.
Park Ji-sung Renews ManU Contract
Park Ji-sung has renewed his contract with Manchester United in the English Premier League until at least the end of the 2012/13 season, the team announced on its website Friday.
Son Heung-min Scores in Hamburg-Hertha Berlin Game
Korean striker Son Heung-min scored a goal for Hamburg in a 2-2 draw against Hertha Berlin in the German Bundesliga.
Historic Korean figure gets the Broadway treatment
“Hero: The Musical” will be performed at Lincoln Center from Aug. 23 to Sept. 3.
“I want to wow the audiences in New York,” said Ho Jin Yun, producer and director.
The vehicle with which Yun hopes to dazzle ticket buyers is based on the story of a Korean martyr, An Chunggun, who fought Japanese annexation of Korea, killing a high-ranking Japanese official. He was executed in Japan in 1910.
“The subject is very heavy,” said Yun. “But it is a musical, after all, so it has humor and action as well. And Korean shows provide a bigger spectacle than Broadway does.”
MTY Foods to acquire Koryo Korean BBQ assets
Canadian restaurant holding group MTY Foods Group said it would acquire Korean Canadian restaurant chain Koryo Korean BBQ for $1.8 million, according to the Montreal Gazette. Koryo Korean operates 20 restaurants across Canada.
KAC national leaders gather in Dallas for 2011 KAC National Convention
Young Korean-American leaders from across the nation gathered in Dallas last week for the annual 2011 Korean American Coalition National Convention.
Korean American Actor Will Yun Lee Wins Best Ensemble Acting Award
Being an Asian American in Hollywood is challenging, says Will Yun Lee who recently shared in the award for Best Ensemble Acting at this year’s Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival for the film Where the Road Meets the Sun. But it is getting better, Lee adds, and more opportunities are opening up every day.
Crystal Kay aims for spring break vibe in Zushi
The Japan Times
The Japan Times published a Q&A with Crystal Kay, the biracial Korean American who just so happens to be a Japanese pop superstar.
Crystal Kay has been an exciting singer to watch mature in the music industry. Since her debut at 13 years old, this Yokohama native has wowed fans with her powerful vocals and a compelling personal story of being a mixed-race singer (Korean-American) in Japan.
Film Review: ‘Wedding Palace’
On a completely different note is the AAIFF closing night feature Wedding Palace by Christine Yoo. This is the fictional story of Jason Kim (Brian Tee, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift), a Korean American in L.A. whose family is cursed (the origins of which are shown in an imaginative hand-drawn/CGI animation blend), meaning that the 29-year-old must marry by his 30th birthday. A relationship with a long-term girlfriend doesn’t work out; neither do set-ups orchestrated by his meddling parents (in one fun scene, Jason and his parents are in a Dating Game-style show to assess potential brides). Eventually, a business trip to Seoul leads Jason to the seemingly perfect Na Young (Hye-jung Kang, Oldboy), but of course several wrenches are thrown in along the way to their budding relationship.
North Korea mocks South over artillery fire claims
Stars & Stripes
North and South Korea traded insults Thursday, a day after South Korea responded to what it determined was artillery fire from the North – the latest chapter in the tense relationship between the two countries.
Once again, experts are left scrambling for explanations of what it all means.
‘X-Men’ miniseries coming from Frank Cho
Frank Cho has announced that he is writing and illustrating an X-Men miniseries.
The Liberty Meadows creator listed his upcoming projects for the next 12 months on his website Apes and Babes.
“I can’t say too much right now, but this miniseries will have three of the hottest women in the Marvel Universe,” said Cho of the title.
Lydia Ko advances; Jihee Kim ousted at Women’s Am
Los Angeles Times
Korean Kiwi Lydia Ko, 14, advanced on Wednesday in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Golf Championship with a win over Lauren Dobashi. Meanwhile, defending champion Danielle Kang of Southern California remained alive in her repeat bid.
Returning to help Korean kids through KKOOM
It all started when Aimee Jachym returned to South Korea for a year-long volunteer program, having left her country of birth at just four months old.
Her year out soon turned into a vocation as the Korean-American adoptee founded the Korean Kids and Orphanage Outreach Mission to help orphans still living here to a better life.
Souvenirs from the World’s Most Dangerous Border
Der Spiegel (Germany)
Given that North and South Korea are still technically at war, the wall between them is officially a cease-fire line. With its watchtowers and guns, the demilitarized zone is the world’s most dangerous border, no matter how popular it may be with tourists.
Koreans Overcome Differences By Way of Cuisine
Voice of America
There is an increasing number of North Korean defectors who are opening North Korean restaurants and even a cooking school in their new home in South Korea. Check out our May 2011 story on a North Korean restaurant in Northern Virginia.
Teaching Korean students to dream big
Korean students from top U.S. and Canadian universities have helped less fortunate young people here reach for their dreams this summer.
The newly established Teach for Korea has offered free tutoring and mentoring to economically disadvantaged students from four Seoul schools. Graduates and students from world-renowned U.S. institutions including Cornell, Columbia and Pennsylvania Universities are helping with the non-profit project.
The Frontline: Film Review
The Frontline, one of Korea’s biggest blockbusters this year, depicts the bitter struggle between North and South to gain foothold of a hill at the tail-end of the 1950s civil war. Jang Hun’s (Rough Cut, Secret Reunion) even-handed direction and Park Sang-yeon’s traditional but finely-tuned screenplay instills the right measure of humanist anti-war sentiment and personal heroism, turning the fates of a small company of men confined to one hellish location into an expose of how impersonal military operations literally makes mountains out of molehills.
50 must-visit traditional markets in Korea
With all the online shopping in Korea these days, sometimes you miss some good old-fashioned haggling. That, and actually seeing what you’re buying.
The Small and Medium Business Administration and the Agency for Traditional Market Administration (ATMA) recently selected 50 must-visit traditional markets in Korea, based on criteria such as memorable food, colorful attractions and entertainment.
Surprisingly, only two on the list — Namdaemun Market and Dongdaemun Market — are located in Seoul.
China’s New Wealth Spurs a Market for Mistresses
New York Times
Jian, a 42-year-old property developer in the booming southern metropolis of Shenzhen, had acquired just about everything men of his socioeconomic ilk covet: a Mercedes-Benz, a sprawling antique jade collection and a lavishly appointed duplex for his wife and daughter.
It was only natural then, he said, that two years ago he took up another costly pastime: a beguiling 20-year-old art major whose affections run him about $6,100 a month.