Wednesday’s Link Attack: SuChin Pak, Jamie Chung, Heejun Han
Author: Linda Son
Posted: April 4th, 2012
Filed Under: BLOG
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S. Korea set to elect first defector lawmaker
AFP via Google

Less than a year after becoming the first North Korean defector to take a senior government post in South Korea, Cho Myung-Chul is set to win office as the country’s first defector lawmaker.

Cho, who is standing for the ruling conservative New Frontier Party (NFP) in the April 11 parliamentary poll, says his victory would send a message both to his former homeland and to fellow refugees struggling to adapt in the South.

“If I win, it will not only give hope but also practical help to the defectors going through difficult times … and most significantly, it will have great influence on the elite in the North,” he told AFP in a phone interview.

Cho, a one-time member of that elite who grew disillusioned with the regime, seems almost certain to be elected after being ranked fourth in the NFP’s list of proportional representation candidates.

SuChin Pak Wants to Fund Education With Dog Poo
New York Magazine

What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
I’m embarrassed to say it: Avenue Q. Like nine years ago? Live theater makes me nervous. I feel like I have to fake emotions, because the actors can see me. And I feel bad, especially if it’s not going well. That’s too much work, which is also why I don’t go to comedy clubs either.

Sub shop owner breaks a sound barrier
The Bellevue Reporter

Through his church, Park began attending a service that catered to deaf individuals. He noticed the job market for the hard of hearing was a tough one, so he decided to make a difference. Park hired three deaf individuals, including the church’s deaf pastor, to work at his shops. They worked the morning shift — opening the store, prepping the vegetables and ingredients. At first it was a big adjustment for them, and the other employees.

“They complained about the deaf peoples’ functionality because fast food restaurants require one person to multi-task,” said Park, who spends his days traveling between stores and working on the front lines with customers. “Other crew members had to do a little bit extra for them.”

But, Park said, things quickly smoothed out. Many of the employees learned sign language phrases for things like “cheese fries, for here, to go.” The new method of communication even made things a little more efficient.

The parent company took notice.

Park was honored last week with the company’s Brotherly Love award, given to franchise owners who work hard to create positive change in the community. The company also recognized Park for mentoring new owners and donating furniture to employees when they need it.

Many Korean Americans call Augusta home
Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)

Nearly 40 years since a first wave of Koreans immigrated to Augusta, today the area is simply “home” to several thousand Korean Americans.

Some have risen to great prominence: Augusta businessman Eugene Yu was elected last year as the national president of the Federation of Korean Associations. The role means he represents 3.5 million Korean Americans on Korea’s Congress, and it recently took him to Dallas to help resolve a 57-day protest by blacks of a Korean store.

Jamie Chung Talks About Her Game-Changing Role in ‘Eden’

The movie Eden made its world premiere at this year’s South by Southwest and it immediately made waves among the SXSW crowd. The movie snagged the Audience Award for Narrative Feature and director Megan Griffiths received the SXSW Chicken & Egg Emergent Narrative Woman Director Award. (I mentioned all this already, but it’s worth a repeat post.) In addition, Jamie Chung was praised with Special Jury Recognition for her performance as Hyun Jae (who is named “Eden” by her captors), a Korean American teenager who was abducted and imprisoned as a sex slave.

Strange Bedfellows in Couch Commerce

Choi says that the ease of purchase on CoffeeTable via its Express Checkout system is going to give the company a big edge against its rivals that are similarly trying to get a piece of the estimated $270 billion catalog industry.

“Shoppers are only two taps away from purchasing versus being redirected to a third-party website for an inferior checkout experience,” he tells “We’ve seen two-times conversion rates in our Express Checkout catalogs relative to those with Web checkout, highlighting a smoother process that bridges the point of inspiration in the catalog to purchase.”

The company also provides its retail partners with shopper analytics, he says.

Beauty in the East: what it takes to be female flight attendant in Asia
The Korea Times

“Crooked chin. Elf shape. Pimple spots.” These are the words imprinted on Jessica’s job application photo. The 28-year-old Korean hopeful, who asked to be identified only by her first name, returned for her second stage in an intensive job application process for a popular Japanese airline. It is Jessica’s dream to become a flight attendant, but she understands the competitive nature of the industry and is realistic about her chances.

It is not easy to become a female flight attendant in Asia. In Korea, for example, new flight attendants should hold a university degree and speak fluent English. But one thing that sets this job apart from others is the emphasis on physical appearance. Priority is placed on physically attractive women and a face can often be a deal-breaker in the airline industry. Negative marks for female applicants for the Japanese airline include “uneven teeth,” “no chest,” “long torso,” “acne scars” and “poor frame.”

Heejun Han Only Regrets Not Taking Off His Pants On ‘American Idol’

“I’m just going to be me, that’s all,” Han said. “But I will say that the show itself was the greatest opportunity a person could ever have in their lifetime, I believe. A guy like me, who has less talent than any other contestant that’s on that stage made it this far was amazing. It was a God-given gift.”

Of course, he took the same tack when asked about his now-infamous performance of Billy Joel’s “My Life,” in which he shed a tuxedo and sprinted through the audience, much to the annoyance of judge Steven Tyler and, judging by his getting voted off the show the following week, the majority of the “Idol” audience too. But does he regret doing any of it? In a word: No.

Kristalbelli, first restaurant venture by Korean music mogul J.Y. Park, aims to attract trendsetting crowd
NY Daily News

Kristalbelli, a self-proclaimed “high-end Korean barbecue restaurant,” is tucked into the heart of Manhattan just a few blocks north of the city’s designated “Koreatown” and is part lounge, part restaurant – and all taste.

“We wanted to introduce Korean food in a very hip and edgy way where the trendsetters of New York can come and enjoy good food and have a good time,” founder and Korean music mogul J.Y. Park told the Daily News of the eatery.

“We also wanted to make this a networking place, where people who really care about culture can come together.”

Split between two levels – a restaurant featuring crystal barbecue grills on each table downstairs and a pulsing bar and lounge upstairs – Kristalbelli boasts the culinary prowess of David Shim, who has worked the kitchens of such NYC staples as L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon and Gramercy Tavern.

S.M. Entertainment singers to hit L.A.
The Korea Herald

Broadcaster MBC and S.M. Entertainment Agency are to co-host a K-pop concert, “MBC Korean Music Wave in Los Angeles,” in May.

K-pop groups from S.M. including Girls’ Generation, TVXQ, SHINee, f(x) and Super Junior will showcase at Anaheim Honda Center on May 20, MBC announced on Tuesday.

The organizers said that the concert will be a large-scale project different from previous hallyu, or Korean Wave, concerts.

An Exclusive Look At Hines Ward’s Atlanta Mansion
CBS Pittsburgh

After 14 seasons with the Steelers and a potentially “Hall of Fame” worthy career Hines Ward now has a lot of free time on his hands.

He’s spending his retirement at his palatial home outside of Atlanta, Ga., where he recently took KDKA’s Bob Pompeani on an exclusive tour. Ward says he designed the 13,000 square foot house himself, clipping pictures from magazines for years before he actually built the place.

“I just put a lot into it,” said Ward, who revealed that his mother will be moving in with him next month now that she’s retiring. “Crazy we’re retiring the same year. We’re going to take a vacation to Hawaii and just sit back and reflect and enjoy life.”

After mistake, I.K. Kim shows right way to handle failure

As we all know by now, LPGA golfer I.K. Kim had one of those cringe-worthy sports moments Sunday on the 18th hole of the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

In line to win her first major, she biffed a two-foot putt that elicited gasps from the gallery and a heart-breaking look of disbelief from Kim. It was no surprise that the still-rattled athlete was not in top form on the playoff hole which she lost to Sun Young Yoo.

After Kim’s failure, I was interested to see how she handled herself with the media afterward. To the surprise of no one that knew her, she handled it like a pro.

Cat Speaks Korean
YouTube via Reddit

Nothing to see here. Just an unhappy cat being given a bath and telling its owner, “나갈래…” (“I want to get out”) over and over in Korean. Nothing special. (Fast forward to the 1:00 mark).

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