Wednesday’s Link Attack: Oregon Bus Crash; Rain’s Dating Scandal; Kim Yuna
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: January 2nd, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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Survivors recall terror after a bus crash in Oregon’s Blue Mountain range kills 9
New York Daily News

A charter bus carrying 48 tourists, many of them South Korean nationals, crashed through a guadrail near a spot called Deadman’s Pass. Survivors remember the horror of seeing bodies in the snow.

5 Korean Victims of Oregon Bus Crash Identified
Chosun Ilbo

Nine people were killed when a tourist bus carrying 48 people plunged 30 m down a steep embankment from a highway in the U.S. state of Oregon on Monday.

The Foreign Ministry here said Tuesday that five of the victims have been identified as Korean, three others were Korean American and one has not been identified.

North Korean Defector Arrivals Plunge in South in 2012
Wall Street Journal

The number of North Koreans defecting to South Korea after fleeing their impoverished and oppressive homeland fell sharply in 2012, apparently due to tightened border control.

The Ministry of Unification said 1,508 North Korean defectors arrived in South Korea last year, a preliminary figure that may be revised by next month when final count is reached.

The number is about half the 2,706 North Koreans who arrived in South Korea in 2011. It’s also the first drop below the 2,000-level since 2006.

Focus on North Korea’s detention of Lynnwood man
Seattle Times [EDITORIAL]

Kenneth Bae, 44, of Lynnwood has been detained in North Korea since November. There’s hope for the tour operator’s release, but officials must deal with the situation diplomatically.

North Korea’s caste system faces power of wealth
AP via Google News

For more than a half-century, a mysterious caste system has shadowed the life of every North Korean. It can decide whether they will live in the gated compounds of the minuscule elite, or in mountain villages where farmers hack at rocky soil with handmade tools. It can help determine what hospital will take them if they fall sick, whether they go to college and, very often, whom they will marry.

It is called songbun. And officially, it does not exist at all.

The power of caste remains potent, exiles and scholars say, generations after it was permanently branded onto every family based on their supposed ideological purity. But today it is also quietly fraying, weakened by the growing importance of something that barely existed until recently in socialist North Korea: wealth.

Google’s executive chairman to visit final frontier of cyberspace: North Korea
AP via Minneapolis StarTribune

Google’s executive chairman is preparing to travel to one of the last frontiers of cyberspace: North Korea.

Sources tell The Associated Press that Eric Schmidt will be traveling to North Korea on a private trip led by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson that could take place as early as this month. The sources, two people familiar with the group’s plans, spoke Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the visit hadn’t been made public.

Korean American soldier acquitted of rape in Seoul
Asian Correspondent

On the 1st the 27th criminal division (Judge Kim Hwan-su) of the Seoul Central District Courts acquitted 25-year old Korean-American soldier Mr. A of charges of sexually assaulting a woman he had met at a nightclub while she was intoxicated. He had been indicted on the charge of quasi-rape (준강간죄).

The court said that “it is difficult to see the situation in which the victim had sexual relations with Mr. A as one in which she was unable to resist or could not protest… simply because the victim does not remember what occured does not enable the court to determine her intention or judge her unable to have resisted.”

Bergen County municipal court judge Jae Y. Kim reappointed

County officials have announced the re-appointment of Central Municipal Court Judge Jae Y. Kim.

Kim, a Hackensack attorney, was first appointed by Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan in January of last year. He’ll be sworn in at a ceremony at the Bergen County Court House Wednesday afternoon.

Buck Gee and Vish Mishra: Silicon Valley and our Asian-American advantage
San Jose Mercury News (Calif.)

We believe that the key reason few Asian Americans become Silicon Valley executives is that many bring a cultural background and a focus on individual achievement that leaves blind spots in their understanding of organizational leadership, especially with soft skills and business vision. We have witnessed this in the reactions of participants in a unique advanced leadership program for Asian American executives at the Stanford Business School, a partnership with Ascend and Asia Society that we helped initiate three years ago. To paraphrase an Intel engineering director’s closing feedback last August, “unknowing to awareness in six days.”

But we worry that there is a different narrative in the community. In a 2009 survey, 71 percent of Asian Americans polled felt that they were disadvantaged in workplace promotions. This has not significantly changed since 1993, when another study found that 80 percent of Asian Americans in Silicon Valley thought that a glass ceiling existed.

Military issues cloud singer Rain’s love life
AFP via Google News

South Korean pop icon Rain has come under fire after reports revealing his relationship with a top TV actress suggested he might be flouting the terms of his compulsory military service.

Rain’s relationship with Kim Tae-Hee, a major TV drama star with a massive following in Japan, was first reported Tuesday by a tabloid magazine, sparking a fan frenzy on entertainment websites and social networks.

The magazine published photos showing Kim, 32, wearing a cap and surgical mask, getting into a car driven by the singer, who is halfway through the two-year military service that is mandatory for Korean men.

Kim Yu-na to skate in S. Korean figure championships this weekend
Yonhap News

Figure skating star Kim Yu-na will compete in the South Korean national championships this weekend, her first appearance at the tournament in seven years, as she tries to qualify for the world championships this spring.

The Korea Skating Union (KSU) said Wednesday Kim will take part in the 2013 Korea Figure Skating Championships at Mokdong Ice Rink in western Seoul. The ladies’ short program is set for Saturday and free skating is on Sunday.

Footballer Ji Dong-won moves from England to Germany on loan
Yonhap News

South Korean footballer Ji Dong-won, once confined to the bench in the English Premier League, has joined a first-division German club on loan, officials said Wednesday.

Ji’s new team, FC Augsburg in the Bundesliga, and his English side, Sunderland, both announced early Wednesday, Korean time, that Ji is moving to Germany on a loan deal. The transaction ended months of speculation on the future of the 21-year-old, who had not played a game for Sunderland in the ongoing season.

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