The Underground Railroad from North Korea to Freedom
Council on Foreign Relations
Former deputy editor of the Wall Street Journal Melanie Kirkpatrick has written a compelling book describing the tortuous path North Koreans must undertake across China to freedom in South Korea and other countries in the West. The book captures the multiple paths that desperate North Koreans have taken upon their departure from North Korea through China and other countries to safety in South Korea and the West. It champions the sacrifices of a range of dedicated individuals outside North Korea who have risked their lives to assist North Koreans in their road to freedom and to provide information back to North Korea about the outside world. And it savages the policies of governments including China, the United States, and South Korea’s progressive administrations for turning a blind eye to the suffering of North Koreans who are victims of an uncompromising totalitarian political system.
North Korea’s first lady ‘missing’
The Telegraph (U.K.)
All North Koreans are required to wear the badge, featuring the face of Kim Il-sung, as a mark of their loyalty to the founder of the nation.
Ri Sol-ju, formerly the lead singer with the Ponchonbo Electronic Ensemble, was only officially unveiled as Kim’s wife in July but had previously been pictured accompanying the “Young General” on his visits to state-run farms, military units and official ceremonies.
Initially, state media missed no opportunity to play up the regime’s new First Lady, showing her at a gala in July wearing a black trouser suit and carrying what appeared to be a Chanel bag.
Gritty Koreatown Block Turns Hot With a Taste of Home
New York Times
When Ja-Bun Kwak opened Kang Suh, her two-level, 24-hour restaurant almost 30 years ago at the base of 1250 Broadway, at 32nd Street in Manhattan, there was just a spare handful of Korean businesses on the block catering to the Korean garment industry and import-export laborers.
At the time, Korean food and culture were even more of an outpost in the life of the city than was this gritty block between Broadway and Fifth Avenue, which was mainly a thoroughfare for commuters using Penn Station and fans headed to Madison Square Garden.
But over time, as the Korean immigrant population has grown, 32nd Street has become a destination for immigrants hungry for a taste of home, as well as for curious foodies.
State turns over audio evidence in Morris Plains prostitution case
The state said Tuesday it has audio evidence it believes will convict a 54-year-old Fort Lee woman of prostitution.
Hye O. Kim was charged with prostitution Sept. 20. Police said VIP Spa on Route 10 east, where Kim worked, had been a front for sex-for-money dealings.
Bigger Than Psy: 2NE1 And The Future Of K-Pop
The event roster for the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, is fairly diverse. On any given night, the arena might play host to an American Idol concert, a hockey game or a death-metal mini-festival. But on August 17th, the main attraction was something unusual even for a bastion of bizarreness.
Lee Byung-hun, King of the Screen
Wall Street Journal
There is something about Lee Byung-hun beyond his deep, intense eyes and commanding demeanor. Undoubtedly one of South Korea’s top actors, Mr. Lee oozes charm on the big screen, as well as considerable talent.
Since his debut, the 42-year old Mr. Lee has starred in 20 movies and 21 TV dramas. His breakthrough was “JSA: Joint Security Area,” directed by Park Chan-wook in 2000, a fictional account of how South and North Korean soldiers at the border become friends but face a tragic end after failing to overcome their distrust of each other and a deep ideological divide.
In his latest historical movie, “Masquerade,” Mr. Lee pulls off a fine dual performance as Gwanghae, a Chosun dynasty king, and a commoner who impersonates the king. The movie has become a huge box office hit in South Korea, hogging top spot for five consecutive weeks. Since it opened on Sept. 13, the movie has attracted more than 9.3 million moviegoers and raked in 1.8 billion won in ticket sales.
Korean pop star Psy performs in Sydney
Sky News Australia
Korean pop superstar Psy has Sydney going Gangnam Style crazy.
Thousands filled Martin Place before dawn on Wednesday to see Psy perform his famous hit ‘Gangnam Style’ – not once, but twice.
Fired ‘Gangnam Style’ lifeguards to get jobs back
Associated Press via Seattle Times
Fourteen lifeguards fired last month after appearing in uniform at the city pool in a parody of “Gangnam Style,” the Korean pop music video that has been viewed hundreds of millions of time online, are getting their jobs back.
S. Korea falls to Iran in World Cup qualifier
South Korea fell to Iran 1-0 in their World Cup qualifier here Tuesday.
At Azadi Stadium, Javad Nekounam’s second-half score gave the 10-man Iranian team a huge victory in their Group A contest in the ongoing final World Cup qualification round.
With the win, Iran pulled even with South Korea at seven points in Group A. South Korea remains at the top of the table, however, thanks to the goal difference advantage.
Five questions with the LPGA’s Christina Kim
There are few people in all of golf who are more entertaining than Christina Kim. Love her or hate her, she never holds back with what she’s thinking, on and off the golf course. Recently, Kim has been in the golf news because of what some are calling a Twitter dustup with fellow LPGA-er Brittany Lincicome, and while we did chat with her about that, it was the other stuff that really was interesting.
How a former Korean CIA building became Seoul’s most underrated accommodations
In the 1970s into the 1980s, there used to be a saying about Namsan, the 262-meter mountain in central Seoul now known for its scenic date spots and “love locks.”
In those days of heightened paranoia about activist shenanigans and North Korean espionage, “going to Namsan” was a euphemism for being dragged into the Korean CIA headquarters for questioning. Rumors abounded that the interrogation led to torture, and possibly death.
Asian-Americans Weigh in on Affirmative Action
AP via YouTube
As the US Supreme Court decides what role race should play in college admissions, some Asian-Americans argue that the use of race as a criteria hurts more than helps. Asian-American college students discuss their personal experiences.