U.S. Navy positions ships to monitor North Korea launch
The Navy is moving some warships into position to monitor a possible upcoming North Korean launch of a long-range ballistic missile, U.S. Department of Defense officials said Thursday.
The USS Benfold and the USS Fitzgerald – both guided missile destroyers – are moving into positions, although the Navy declined to give their exact location. They are being sent to monitor for a possible launch and “provide reassurance to allies,” according two Defense Department officials.
It’s possible two additional ships will be sent in the next few days, the officials added.
Kim Jong Un tightens his grip
Earlier this week, North Korea placed its missile on the launch pad at Dongchang-ri in the northwestern tip of the country. For the past few weeks, the world’s media has been focused on the inevitable launch, which Pyongyang says will take place sometime between December 10 and 22. But in all of the hoopla surrounding this event, the media (at least in the West) is missing another, potentially more important story percolating in the upper reaches of power in the Hermit Kingdom.
Last week, reports began to surface that Kim Jong Gak had been released from his post as the Minister of People’s Armed Forces. Rumors are that he has been replaced by General Kim Kyok Sik, a former chief of the General Staff and commander of the Fourth Corps, and said to be a hard-line officer whose fingerprints are on both the Cheonan sinking and the Yeonpyeong Island shelling back in 2010.
Old habits die hard: A South Korean election that promised transformation in fact looks all too familiar
BIDDING a formal farewell this week to his two-month campaign for South Korea’s presidency, Ahn Cheol-soo was elegiac but hopeful. “Today’s parting”, he said, “is not the end, but a new beginning.” Yet looking at the presidential contest now that Mr Ahn, an academic and former doctor and software entrepreneur, has forsaken it, it is hard not to see his departure as the end, for now, of his “hopes for new politics and regime change”.
Of the seven remaining candidates in the poll on December 19th to elect a successor to Lee Myung-bak, a conservative former businessman, only two have a chance. Each has deep roots in one of the two camps that have swapped power since South Korea embraced democracy 25 years ago. Hence they represent the very forces that disillusioned South Korean voters and helped make Mr Ahn, a charming outsider and political novice with no clear policy platform, a serious contender for the highest office.
Man allegedly posed as SMU student, offered free massages
Dallas Morning News
SMU police arrested a man who posed as a student while roaming dormitory hallways offering female students free massages, according to a report by CBS, Channel 11.
The 24-year-old, identified as Edwin Kim by CBS but as Eswin Kim by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, faces criminal trespassing charges after peddling his services in the Morrison-McGinnis residence hall, police told Channel 11.
Guilty plea for ex-restaurant king Kwon
Salt Lake Tribune
Once-thriving restaurateur Gene Kwon on Wednesday pleaded guilty to theft, securities fraud and a pattern of unlawful activity for misleading his friends to obtain loans in an effort to prop up his failing business empire.
“The reason I’m here today is because I’ve wanted to take ownership of what I’ve done — I am very sorry,” Kwon told 3rd District Judge Judith Atherton.
Facing trial, Kwon, 45, instead pleaded guilty to one count of theft, three counts of securities fraud and one count that involved a pattern of unlawful activity, all second-degree felonies. Each charge carries a prison term of one to 15 years, which can be ordered to run consecutively or concurrently.
Fort Lee’s Tea Bar Reopens More Than a Month After Sandy
Patch.com (Fort Lee, N.J.)
The Tea Bar in Fort Lee opened under new ownership in September with innovative ideas for how to retain the best parts of the existing business while adding their own unique touches.
Less than a month later, Sandy hit, and the Lee family—Seung and Hyun Lee and their son and daughter Ryan and Kris—were forced to close because of severe damage to the building and the common space of the plaza at 1636 Palisade Ave.
Lit Motors And Its Convention-Defying Motorcycle
It’s an Indian summer day in October in San Francisco’s SOMA district and Daniel Kim is walking in a trance. As we wander and chat about his company, Lit Motors, he steps out into traffic despite the clear “No Crossing Allowed” sign and traverses the busy city intersection amid turning cars and an on-looking policeman.
“Talk about risk!” Kim chuckles, skipping across the last section of the six-lane street to avoid an onrushing Prius.
‘Top Chef: Seattle’ episode recap: why Kristen Kish’s lack of screentime is a good thing, this time
Kristen Kish didn’t get much face time in “Top Chef: Seattle” this week. And that’s a good thing for our competitor from Kentwood, who won last week’s elimation challenge.
The Dec. 5, 2012 episode, amusingly titled “Pike Place Pickle,” was – well, let’s not mince words: it was a massacre. The chefs’ efforts in the elimination challenge were so terrible, nobody won the $10,000 prize. And judge Tom Colicchio seemed so angry – maybe because he had to apologize to the artisans – you could practically see steam coming off his bald head as he told the chefs there would be no winner this week.
Q&A: Cheezburger’s top cat savors success of kitty-driven Web humor empire
Dallas Morning News (subscription req’d)
Ben Huh, chief executive of Cheezburger, acknowledges those who laughed off the concept of a website with cat pictures. “I don’t begrudge them for being naysayers and I don’t begrudge them for not investing,” he says.
Hyun Bin is Back, and Stronger
Wall Street Journal
A South Korean heartthrob who raises the pulse rate of so many women around Asia is back.
Actor Hyun Bin was discharged from the Marines on Thursday morning after fulfilling his 21-month of mandatory military service, an event considered so big that it was broadcast live on several national TV networks.
Wie aims for strong show despite food poisoning
Gulf News (U.A.E.)
Michelle Wie is hoping for a better end to her Omega Dubai Ladies Masters after seeing her first two days’ play hampered by food poisoning.
The 23-year-old American invite spent the day before the Ladies European Tour season-ender in hospital as she battled sickness. She endured a four birdie, one double bogey opening round of 70 on Wednesday and followed it up with a 73 on Thursday, rife with three bogeys, a double and four birdies.
For Los Angeles’ Seoul Sausage Truck It’s ‘Seoul Plus Sausage, Bam. Easy’
The Daily Meal
What one piece of advice would you give someone looking to get into the food truck business?
Make sure you love what you’re doing. The love alone will bring you many customers. Ted and I love chef Chris’ cooking. So, in all honesty, it is very easy to sell.
Entrepreneur battles to market “Forest in Your Pocket”
What if you could carry a can containing germ killers, stress relievers, memory aides and — allegedly — sex performance enhancers in your pocket? What if that product were 100 percent natural? And what if it were delivered in a waft of pure oxygen?
The good news? The product exists, and its benefits are backed by scientific research. The bad news? You are unlikely to see it in your local supermarket any time soon because it is being marketed, not by a giant conglomerate, but by a lone entrepreneur.
Meet Fiona Bae, a vivacious 37-year-old who is working to program an entirely new product category into the consumer mind-space on a minimal budget. Her marketing challenge is shared by ventures nationwide, who struggle to gain business traction in Korea’s top-heavy economy.
Psy Receives Double-Edged ‘Celebrity of Year’ Accolade from TIME
TIME magazine named Psy the world’s top “fleeting celebrity” of the year on Tuesday, a tempered compliment for the singer who became a global pop star with his smash hit “Gangnam Style,” which many foreign media have dubbed “Korea’s Macarena.”
“The earworm beat and the distinctive horse-riding dance that Psy performs in the video combined to make the song a smash. Released in July, the viral sensation mocking Korean-pop cliches has racked up over 800 million views on YouTube, surpassing Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ video to become the most-viewed video of all time,” the magazine wrote.
“Thugs the Musical,” With David Alan Grier and Margaret Cho, Will Get NYC Screening
“Thugs the Musical,” the new faux-documentary short film starring David Alan Grier, Margaret Cho and Kevin Avery, will be screened in New York City Dec. 15 as part of the New York No Limits 2012 Film Summit.