Thursday’s Link Attack: ‘Gangnam Style’ Stuck at No. 2; Chef Bill Kim; Shin Soo Choo
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: October 25th, 2012
Filed Under: BLOG
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North Korea’s leader still a mystery

The United States and South Korea still have no clear insight on the new leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, nearly a year after he replaced his father.

“We still don’t know whether or not he will follow in the footsteps of his father, or whether he represents a different kind of leadership for the future,” U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta admitted Wednesday.

Panetta made the comment at a news conference on Wednesday after security talks with his South Korean counterpart. The meetings included discussion of North Korea’s young leader, who succeeded his father, Kim Jong Il, after his death in 2011.

South Korea’s presidential race: Three-legged race
The Economist

ALL three main candidates for South Korea’s presidential election on December 19th promise similar things: curbing the power of the chaebol, the country’s industrial conglomerates; expanding the welfare state; and securing more peaceful relations with North Korea. “Economic democratisation” is the trendy slogan that all three candidates seem to embrace. Yet guessing whose warm and fuzzy pledges will win over the public remains a complicated game.

S. Korea’s space program seen as successful
Yonhap News

South Korea will attempt to send a satellite into space this week with a locally assembled space rocket for the third time, leading to the question: Will it succeed this time?

Experts, however, say the relevant question is not whether the launch will be successful, but how successful the country’s space program will be, implying the country’s space program has already succeeded.

The country’s ongoing space program began in 2002 with plans to develop a means to put its own satellite into orbit, an ambition that can be called nothing but humble, especially when it is held by the world’s 15th-largest economy and one of the most developed countries in terms of science and technology.

Welcome to Seoul, the City of the Future
The Smithsonian Magazine

In only a few decades, this capital has transformed itself from an impoverished city decimated by the Korean War to one of the most prosperous and high-tech places in the world. In the past decade there’s also been an explosion of international interest in Korean popular culture, especially catchy K-pop music, soapy TV dramas and edgy cinema, making the most famous Korean singers, stars and directors household names everywhere from Tokyo to Beijing. Koreans even have a name for this blossoming of foreign interest in their homegrown pop culture: hallyu, which means Korean wave. Korea has long been dwarfed by China and Japan, far more populous nations that have colonized the Korean Peninsula, and so this recent cultural hegemony has given Seoul residents a newfound confidence, even exuberance, in their city.

Maria Kim running for Northern Valley Regional Board of Education
Northern Valley Suburbanite (N.J.)

As a resident of Closter, I am committed to making a positive difference in the community I love. Even though I have only moved here a year and a half ago, I currently serve as the Vice-President of Student Activities of the Closter Parent Teacher Organization and the President of the Korean Parent Group at Hillside Elementary School.

Psy remains No. 2 on Billboard for fifth week
Yonhap News

For a fifth straight week, South Korean rapper Psy remained at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard’s main chart, updated Wednesday, once again topped by Maroon 5′s “One More Night.”

The 34-year-old entertainer rose to global fame when his song “Gangnam Style” featuring his funny horse-riding dance moves went viral in July on YouTube, drawing more than 530 million views.

The data behind Gangnam Style: The rise and rise of PSY
The Economist

THE South Korean pop star PSY, who pioneered the popular online video called “Gangnam Style,” might seem like a flash in the pan. But the data tell a different story.

Since his infamous video was posted online in July, it has steadily grown and currently boasts a jaw-dropping 532m YouTube views (see chart). At roughly four minutes of video, that amounts to 36m hours of phantom horseback-riding dance moves, which equates to 4,100 continuous years.

‘LOLwork’ shows that kitty humor blog job is the cat’s meow – really!
New York Daily News

What’s kookier than those cat photos with silly captions that are all over the web? The people who post them there.

Bravo is betting that the eccentric employees of humor site can carry their own reality show, “LOLwork,” debuting Nov. 7 at 11 p.m.

“I think that the quirkiness and the weirdness of how do you make cats interesting, and how we take our jobs seriously — that’s what people find really hilarious,” says Ben Huh, who runs the weblog.

‘Cloud Atlas’ Slammed for Lack of Asian Actors, ‘Yellow Face’ Makeup By Advocacy Group
Hollywood Reporter

“In the modern age of movie make up, it is disturbing to see poorly done Asian eye prosthetics to make Caucasian men look Asian,” the Media Action Network for Asian Americans said.

With bellyQ, Bill Kim’s restaurants hit the spot third time around
Chicago Sun-Times

My honesty came down hard the last two times Bill Kim opened restaurants (Urban Belly and Belly Shack). I thought the flavors were muted and the food was expensive at the former, and I thought the questionable decor at the latter was a bad parody of some non-existent Abercrombie-and-Fitch-meets-a-skateboard store clothing catalog. Seems the third time’s the charm. Chef/partner Kim’s bellyQ is fantastic.

Fairfax group finds harmony with the chromaharp
Washington Post

In the lead-up to her biggest concert event thus far, chromaharpist Mina Kim Choi and fellow musicians gathered around collapsible tables to practice for the Kings Park Library’s 40th anniversary celebration, held last Saturday.

The Korean Gloria Chromaharp Group members are regulars at the Burke-based library, where they rehearse and hold jam sessions, mostly on gospel standards.

Jamming out on a chromaharp sounds a bit like playing the inside of a piano or maybe even lower-pitched ukuleles. The chromaharp is a variation on the autoharp, which also is played by members of the group. It is not a common instrument. Chromaharpists are not a part of a symphony setting. You likely would not see one during a rock show or in a jazz club. They don’t march with a band.

Major Leaguer Choo Shin-soo hopes to join ‘winning ball club’
Yonhap News

A year away from free agency in Major League Baseball (MLB), South Korean outfielder Choo Shin-soo of the Cleveland Indians said Thursday he’d like to “play for a winning ball club.”

Upon returning home from the 2012 major league season earlier in the day, Choo said at a press conference here that if he could choose a team, he would go with a title contender.

“I grew up winning championships since I was young and I am used to winning,” the 30-year-old said. “And it’s been disappointing to go through the same thing in the past three years (with the Indians missing the playoffs). I would like to play for a strong team that contends for the championship.”

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