World Bank race heating up
The World Bank will choose its next president in one week, and for the first time ever, it’s got a competition on its hands. Throughout its more-than-60-year history, the bank has been led by an American, part of a tacit agreement between the United States and its Western European allies. Europe, in turn, has maintained control of the top spot at the bank’s sister organization, the International Monetary Fund.
Now, candidates from the developing world are trying to shake things up. Dartmouth University President Jim Yong Kim, nominated last month by President Obama, is facing off against Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and former Colombian finance head José Antonio Ocampo.
North Korea ready to launch rocket
The Korea Times
Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta labeled North Korea’s rocket launch as a “grave act of provocation” Tuesday as the Stalinist country completed its preparation for what it claims is an effort to send its Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite into orbit.
According to Seoul officials, the two agreed that it would be tantamount to a long-distance missile test and would be subject to sanctions for a violation of U.N Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and related international agreements.
The two also agreed to jointly deal with the North’s provocation resolutely.
North Korea space official: Rocket ready for launch
AP via Google News
North Korean space officials said Tuesday that the rocket built to carry a satellite into space was ready for liftoff this week as the nation’s leadership makes a series of appointments before a major political gathering.
Workers’ Party delegates are scheduled to convene Wednesday for the fourth conference of North Korea’s ruling political party, where new leader Kim Jong Un is expected to inherit titles once held by his father, the late Kim Jong Il.
At least 150,000 North Koreans in nightmarish gulags, report says
Los Angeles Times
North Korea keeps at least 150,000 people locked up in hidden gulags where they are forced to work behind barbed wire and electrified fences, according to a report from a human rights group.
Sixty North Koreans shared bleak stories of life in the notorious prison camps in the latest report from the U.S.-based Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, which issued a similar report nine years ago when roughly 3,000 people had fled the communist country. That number grew to 23,000 in 2010 and 2011, it said, adding to the number of former political prisoners able to tell their stories.
Students Begin 31-Hour Fast for North Korean Defectors
The Harvard Crimson
Beginning on Tuesday, members of Harvard Human Rights in North Korea (HRiNK) will fast for 31 hours to raise awareness about the 31 North Korean defectors recently repatriated by the Chinese government. The defectors face imprisonment, forced labor, and possible execution in their native country.
For HRiNK co-president Rainer A. Crosett ’14, the fast is an opportunity to correct Harvard students’ misconceptions about North Korea.
Goldman Economist: Korea Likely Won’t Take Japan’s Path
Wall Street Journal
While politicians attempted to make the economic discussion leading up to Wednesday’s general election about welfare, populism and a fight of “fairness versus growth,” South Korea’s basic difficulty boils down to this: the country is too rich to keep doing the things for growth that it did when it was poor.
It keeps doing them anyway, of course, which is why employment and income distortions are growing, along with anger in the public.
But the question that politicians and policymakers should constantly be asking themselves is: which advanced country do we want to be like now? Japan, the U.S., countries in western Europe all offer different ideas for how South Korea can achieve the next stage of growth.
Former ‘Survivor’ winner Yul Kwon now explores the back story of that hot pizza delivery
New York Daily News
Kwon will star in “America Revealed,” a four-part PBS series that debuts Wednesday at 10 p.m.
Korean-American boxer is accused smuggler
On the 10th the Incheon Metropolitan Police announced that it had arrested 30-year-old Mr. A., a Korean-American professional boxer, and eight other people on charges of smuggling amphetamines (pilopon) from Los Angeles and distributing them in this country.
Police also arrested but did not detain Mr. B, an organized crime member, and arrested others or sought arrest warrants for them on the same charges.
Restaurateur fined $12K for illegal workers
CBC News (Canada)
A Winnipeg restaurant owner has been ordered to pay $12,000 in donations to two Winnipeg charities.
Jung Won Choi, who operated two sushi restaurants, including Kenko Sushi on Corydon Avenue, had been convicted in 2010 of illegally employing immigrants from Korea.
10 Reasons Why I Love L.A.’s Koreatown
Here’s ten reasons why I think Koreatown is an awesome place to live:
1. It’s my alternate Asian Universe.
Yes, I’m guilty of being an Asian person who once believed that all Asians were the same. Growing up in a predominantly Chinese American community in San Francisco, I naively assumed that the few Koreans I met were Chinese people speaking another language. (I was a kid, ok?!) So what a shock for me to see it customary for Korean restaurant patrons to scream “Yogygyo!” to get their waiter’s attention, to have to cook my own food at the table, and… are all those little dishes of food that came out before we ordered really free?
Nameless Gangster: The Korean Mob Film Scorsese Would Be Proud Of
The best moment in every movie about organized crime comes when the aspiring gangster becomes an actual one. In Goodfellas, it’s when Henry returns from his first arrest and is rewarded by fellow mafiosos for not ratting them out. In The Godfather, it’s when Michael Corleone puts a bullet in Sollozzo’s head. In the Korean epic crime drama Nameless Gangster — now in limited release — it’s when Choi Ik-hyun (Choi Min-sik) goes to a high-end karaoke bar.
Koreans switching back to traditional meat-free diet
When they eat out for a change on weekends, Son Yu-kyong and her husband take their 10-year-old daughter to vegan restaurants, the same way that families head to steakhouses and buffet chains on special occasions. For them, forgoing meat in favor of vegetarian fare has been a decade-old family tradition to stay healthy.
“It used to be samgyeopsal and beef ribs when we ate out 10 years ago but not anymore,” the 41-year-old housewife said, as her family dined at a vegan restaurant in eastern Seoul on Sunday.
Her meat-loving husband used to have itchy skin and a pot belly, and her daughter was allergic. All the troubles were gone after Son, who is Buddhist, took up vegetarian cuisine based on temple foods.
In South Korea, new political parties consumed by familiar scandal problems
South Korea’s two largest political parties have both tried recently to reinvent themselves. The liberal party merged with a smaller faction, changed its name and revamped its leadership. The ruling conservative party came up with a name change of its own, promised an end to corruption scandals and vowed to “earn the public trust,” its leader said.
$5.5 million SuperLotto ticket purchased in Koreatown
Los Angeles Times
The ticket was sold at the Wilshire World Postal Center, 3010 Wilshire Blvd. in Koreatown, which will earn one-half percent, or $40,000.