Tag Archives: yeonpyeong

Tuesday's Link Attack: Dia Frampton, Organic K-Pop, Korean Pitcher Joins Orioles

Catching Up With…Dia Frampton!
StarPulse

“I’m excited to start touring again. I’d just like to tour with as many great bands as possible,” she enthused. “I’d like to go worldwide. That’s a really big, big dream. I know that The Voice aired in a lot of different countries; I’ve got people on my Facebook page from [countries like] Singapore [and] Australia, and it just made me want to be able to tour in all these different places.”

Authentic: K-Pop Without Nips And Tucks
Wall Street Journal

Just when South Korea appeared ready to cement its position as one of the world’s capitals of plastic surgery, a backlash appears to be forming. Or at least a marketing opportunity.

YG Entertainment, one of the top music and entertainment producers in the country, is planning to launch a new girl group on to the K-pop scene with a twist – the members of the group will commit to not having any kind of plastic surgery.

YG said the group will debut next year and declined to announce its members except for one: Kim Eun-bi, a teenage singer who made it to one of the final rounds of the popular “Superstar K” audition-contest show last year.

Zakaria: Why all of South Korea went silent
CNN.com

Those of you who watched our recent education special saw the exhausting study habits of South Korean students. The culmination of that pressure was last week when almost 700,000 South Korean high school students took the test they had spent all those hours working toward.

It was a wild scene outside test centers as younger kids cheered on the heroic test-takers as they arrived. Police motorcycles even whisked the late ones to school.

But when it came time for the high schoolers to begin the grueling nine-hour exam, silence was the order.

40 Korean foods we can’t live without
CNNGo

Street food, comfort food, spicy stews for masochistic mouths: These 40 dishes are essential to the Korean heart, soul and digestive tract

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Single Women a Growing Problem
Chosun Ilbo

One in five women in Korea in her 30s is single, while in Seoul the ratio is one in three, according to Statistics Korea. Although there are no specific data on the total number of single women, experts believe around 40 percent of working women in their 30s are single, which is in line with what the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service estimates.

A report released on Wednesday by state-run Korea Development Institute on Korea’s low birthrate shows that Asian countries like Korea have a lot of women in their 30s who are single.

According to the KDI report, the six countries with the lowest birthrates among 222 countries are all in Asia, including Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Those countries saw more and more women enter the workforce since the 2000s and are seeing a surge in single women in their mid-30s. As of last year, 21.9 percent of women between 35 to 39 were single in Japan, 21 percent in Taiwan, 17 percent in Singapore and 12.6 percent in Korea. The problem is not only that many highly educated women are single, but they do not want to have children.

O’s nearing deal with Korean reliever Chong
MLB.com

The Orioles are closing in on signing right-handed reliever Tae-Hyon Chong out of South Korea as the two sides — which were involved in heavy negotiations on Monday — have agreed to terms, according to a baseball source.

The exact length of the deal and money involved was not immediately known, as exact details were still being hammered out in the preliminary agreement. With the deal not yet official, the Orioles had no comment on Chong, who would need to undergo a physical examination before anything can be made official.

A 33-year-old submarine-style pitcher, Chong closed out South Korea’s gold medal win over Cuba in the 2008 Summer Olympics, and his poise on the big stage was a major plus for the Orioles.

What a potential Chong signing really means
Baltimore Sun

The jury is out on whether Chong will be able to make it as a late-inning reliever in the big leagues. Some believe his unorthodox style will befuddle hitters no matter where he is pitching. And he has had plenty of success on the international level (he closed out both medal games in the 2008 Summer Olympics).

But he’d be the first person ever to leap from Korea’s baseball league to the majors and some believe that’s way too much of a jump. That he’ll be a Double-A level reliever, nothing more.

Whether he makes it is only part of the plot here. The fact is the Orioles are the team that is on him. And Dan Duquette is the one with the major connection to South Korea. He had connections there when he was in Montreal and Boston and now his first noteworthy signing will be a guy from South Korea.

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Yeonpyeong Remains Rattled a Year After Attack
Wall Street Journal (subscription req’d)

A year after North Korea attacked this South Korean island, most of the destroyed homes and buildings have been rebuilt and the rhythms of daily life restored. But an enormous amount of anxiety and tension remains under the surface.

Residents become anxious and even frightened by loud sounds such as the hammering at houses being rebuilt, but especially when the small military post on the island tests its artillery guns every few months.

Thursday's Link Attack: Will Yun Lee, J-Pop Star Crystal Kay, Artist Frank Cho

Korean American Actor Will Yun Lee Wins Best Ensemble Acting Award
HanCinema

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’
Hyphen

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
digitalspy

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
Korea Herald

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
Korea Herald

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
Hollywood Reporter

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
CNNGo

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.

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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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August Issue: South Korean Island Frozen In Time

©Mark Edward Harris

Frozen In Time

A visit to Yeonpyeong Island seven months after North Korea’s shelling reveals a people and place still reeling from the damage and feeling abandoned by their own government.

Story and photos by Mark Edward Harris

AFTER ARRIVING ON THE South Korean island of Yeonpyeong via a ferry from Incheon, I took a stroll down Yeonpyeong-ro, the quiet fishing community’s seaside street. First, I passed a house where boxes of soju bottles were neatly stacked outside waiting to be sent to the mainland for recycling. Then, just a few doors down was another house whose roof had been transformed into a mangled mess of concrete and iron rods. Inside, a wall calendar was still turned to November 2010.

On the 23rd day of that month, the North Korean military launched an artillery bombardment on Yeonpyeong. That morning the North had sent a telex demanding the South halt a planned live-fire artillery exercise in waters off the islands and warned it would not tolerate firing into what it regarded as its territorial waters. Pyongyang has never accepted the western maritime border known as the Northern Limit Line established by United Nations Command in 1953, and this area has been a flashpoint between the two Koreas ever since.

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The South went ahead with the drill as planned, and at 2:34 p.m., North Korean coastal artillery batteries at Mudo and Kaemori opened fire on Yeonpyeong. Minutes later, South Korean guns stationed on the island returned fire in what would become the most serious artillery engagement between the North and the South since the signing of the armistice in 1953.

The more than 150 shells and rockets fired destroyed some 25 homes, warehouses and public buildings, and started fires across large areas of the island’s forests and fields. Two South Korean marines and two civilian construction workers were killed, and dozens were injured. (North Korean casualties are unknown.) As I surveyed the still-visible damage during a visit to the island in late June, I was amazed Continue reading

Korea Expert Answers Your Questions

Following the headline-making attack on Yeonpyeong island last week, top Korea expert David Kang—director of the Korean Studies Institute at USC, where he also teaches international relations and business—took your questions about the incident, its ramifications and the larger picture of North-South relations. Following are his answers. Thank you to everyone who posted questions and special thanks to David Kang.

Questions after the jump!

Continue reading

A Line in the Sea

GRAPHIC BY ALLEN LEE

Story by Julie Ha

Following the North’s artillery shelling of South Korea’s Yeonpyeong island last week, some global headlines screamed that the Korean peninsula was nearing the brink of war. Meanwhile, many who follow North Korea closely expressed a more measured view: here we go again.

Indeed, there was a déjà vu quality to the most recent conflict, which took place Nov. 23 on an island in the Yellow Sea, just south of a maritime border that has long been the source of tension between North and South. At about 2:30 p.m. that day, North Korea fired multiple rounds of artillery shells across the western sea border onto Yeonpyeong island, home to about 1,500 residents, mostly fishermen and their families, as well as a South Korean military base.

The North, believed to be targeting military installations on Yeonpyeong, justified its shelling as a response to the South’s “live fire” military exercises on the island, about seven miles from the North’s shores, earlier that day. Pyongyang had warned its neighbor of retaliation if the exercises went ahead. Continue reading