North Korea’s dynastic succession
Le Monde Diplomatique
The Obama administration fretted about a power struggle, something Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had spoken of after Kim’s stroke three years earlier. The model seemed to be the USSR after Stalin died, or China after Mao. They ignored what happened when Kim Il-sung died in 1994 — which was nothing.
U.S. Congress to hold hearing on N. Korean defectors in China
A U.S. congressional panel announced Tuesday that it will convene an emergency hearing next week on China’s policy to repatriate North Korean defectors, reflecting growing concerns here over the issue that has often affected Seoul-Beijing ties.
North Korean refugees face slaughter when China repatriates them
Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans have been forced to escape to China in order to survive. They are refugees as defined by international law because the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea criminalizes and savagely punishes those leaving the country.
In contravention of China’s obligations under the U.N. Refugee Convention, its 1967 Protocol and the U.N. Convention Against Torture, the country systematically has denied the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees access to the North Korean refugee population. China continues to hunt down and forcibly repatriate refugees to North Korea, where they are brutally tortured and either executed or imprisoned in hellish concentration camps.
American master of Brazilian grappling is man of Korean letters
John Frankl: Yonsei University associate professor and third degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, an art he introduced to South Korea in 1999. Today with 12 affiliated dojang (martial arts schools) nationwide, the 44-year old academic is probably the most influential foreign martial artist to reside in Korea in the republic’s history.
REVIEW: Eyvind Kang, The Narrow Garden
Eyvind Kang is not the type to repeat himself. To come to grips with the music of the prolific American composer, arranger, and violinist, you would need to sift through upwards of 50 albums, each with its own secret but palpable internal guidelines. (Lots of them have to do with “NADE,” a Sanskrit word with a number of obscure connotations that has a mysterious significance for Kang.) And you would have to range far beyond the composer’s own works, through those of Laurie Anderson, Sunn O))), Mike Patton, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell, and many other hard-to-classify artists. To generalize, Kang refracts strategies from global classical, jazz, folk, and experimental music though his esoteric personal interests, which are always changing. He’s a musical polymath who writes in his own voice instead of self-consciously “crossing genres.” Boundaries are aren’t smashed, but simply ignored, dreamily melting away.
Will.i.am Talks Music, Science with Korean Kids
Wall Street Journal
When will.i.am was growing up in East Los Angeles, he promised the Korean woman who owned the neighborhood convenience store that he would visit her country some day.
“I hate to sound cliché, but that’s what it was. I told Ms. Lee I wanted to see Korea and she said ‘You should Will, you should,’” the musician and producer told a group of Korean children at a gathering Wednesday afternoon in the home of the U.S. ambassador to South Korea, Sung Kim.
South Korea beat Kuwait to advance with underdogs Lebanon
South Korea beat Kuwait 2-0 Wednesday to seal their place in the final stage of Asia World Cup qualifying as Group B winners.
Their victory also meant Lebanon qualified in second place, despite a 4-2 defeat against the United Arab Emirates.
Kuwait went into the match in Seoul needing a win to leapfrog Lebanon, while a draw would have been enough for 2002 World Cup semifinalists Korea.
Huh’s Hard Work Pays Off with PGA Title
Korean-American John Huh was overwhelmed by his win at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico, on Sunday, which came on just his fifth tournament since joining the PGA Tour.
“My dream was to play on the PGA Tour, and the win… I don’t know how to describe this joyful feeling…” said the 21-year-old. After finishing the fourth round at 8-under-par, he forced a nail-biting eight-hole playoff against Australia’s Robert Allenby.
A Passion for Basketball, Made Even Stronger by Lin’s Emergence
New York Times
It may have taken the rapid rise of Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin to familiarize the wider basketball world with the idea of a Taiwanese-American point guard, but thriving Asian-American leagues have existed across the country for years.
20th Century Fox First Major U.S. Studio to Enter Korea
20th Century Fox, the media giant behind hit movies like “Avatar” and “X-Men,” has become the first major U.S. film studio to officially enter the Korean film market
Starting this year, Fox said it will directly invest US$4 to 5 million into five Korean film projects it plans to distribute worldwide. Fox’s international unit said the American studio wants to be the distributor and primary investor of the films to be produced in Korea.
Kia Best Ride for Auto Company Shareholders
Kia, maker of the Optima sedan, and Hyundai have challenged Japanese and American carmakers by improving quality, design and fuel efficiency, which helped spur share price increases of 32 percent and 23 percent, respectively, in 2011. The South Korean companies have expanded beyond their local market and increased their combined U.S. market share to a record 8.9 percent in 2011, according to auto-researcher Edmunds.com. Robust U.S. demand will drive more stock gains for the companies this year, KDB Daewoo Securities analyst Michael Yun and Shin Young Securities analyst Hyung-sil Lee said in reports last month.
Elizabeth Olsen in Early Talks to Star Opposite Josh Brolin in ‘Old Boy’
Elizabeth Olsen is in talks to star opposite Josh Brolin in Oldboy, Mandate’s remake of the noted South Korean action thriller.
Olsen has the offer to play the part of the caseworker who helps investigate the past of the character being played by Brolin, a man kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years and inexplicably released.
Insiders indicate that a deal is likely.
Rappers Recap February 2012 Edition
Unbeknownst to most ya’ll, when these guys aren’t speaking in rhythmic patterns and beating up instrumentals, they actually got a couple things to say about things unrelated to rap. For a well-rounded mix of opinions we reached out to MCs from all over the country, Rekstizzy (NY), Decipher (PA), Lyricks (VA) and Dumbfoundead (CA). Read the interview at Gumship.com.
Bae Yong Joon to open Waikiki cafe
After successful acting roles in Korean and Japanese television (where he is known as Yonsama), Bae expanded his business interests into restaurant ventures in those two countries. A visit to Hawaii island last year got him interested in opening something here.
“He really enjoys Hawaii and is an avid golfer,” Lee said. “When he was here in April, we were in Kona, and that’s where he really got to experience the coffee farms.”
Documentary Film about Korean Diaspora in Kazakhstan Screens March 5
The film documents Stalin’s 1937 campaign of ethnic cleansing and forcible deportation of 180,000 Koreans living in the coastal provinces of Russia near the border of North Korea to the unsettled steppe country of Central Asia 3,700 miles away.
“Koryo Saram” is the Soviet Korean phrase for “Korean person.”
Through recently uncovered archival footage and new interviews, the film follows the deportees’ history of integrating into the Soviet system while working under punishing conditions in Kazakhstan, a country which became a concentration camp of exiled people from throughout the Soviet Union.