Wednesday’s Link Attack: UN Sanctions NKorea; Asian Americans and Suicide; Fan Death Myth
Y. Peter Kang
Author: Y. Peter Kang
Posted: January 23rd, 2013
Filed Under: BLOG
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UN Council hits N. Korea with sanctions over rocket launch
AFP via Google News

The UN Security Council ordered tougher sanctions against North Korea for a banned rocket launch, triggering a defiant pledge by Pyongyang to bolster its nuclear deterrent.

The Security Council added North Korea’s state space agency, a bank, four trading companies and four individuals to the UN sanctions list. The council threatened “significant action” if the North stages a nuclear test.

The resolution, proposed by the United States and passed unanimously by the 15-nation council, “condemned” North Korea for what its “ballistic missile technology” test on December 12.

N. Korea vows to end denuclearization talks
Yonhap News

North Korea pledged on Wednesday to end any efforts at denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, just hours after the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution condemning the country’s December rocket launch, according to North Korea’s state-run news outlet.

“Due to the U.S.’s worsening policy of hostility toward North Korea, the six-party talks and the joint September 19 statement were rendered null and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula was put to an end,” the North’s foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency.

Asian Americans struggle with suicide
San Francisco Chronicle

“I wanted to just walk across the street and be hit by a car, but finally I didn’t have the courage to do it,” said [Jeannie] Wong, 72, a Western Addition resident who spoke through a Cantonese interpreter.

Wong may feel alone, but many elderly Asians silently suffer from depression and consider suicide, researchers say.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Asian American women ages 65 and older had a higher suicide rate – 6.5 per 100,000 – than any other racial or ethnic group between 2004 and 2007. White women had the next highest suicide rate: 4.3 per 100,000.

South Koreans face lonely deaths as Confucian traditions fade

When South Korean widow Yoon Sook-hee, 62, died after a bout of pneumonia in mid-January, she joined a growing number of old people in this Asian country who die alone and was cremated only thanks to the charity of people who never knew her.

Once a country where filial duty and a strong Confucian tradition saw parents revered, modern day South Korea, with a population of 50 million, has grown economically richer, but family ties have fragmented. Nowadays 1.2 million elderly South Koreans, just over 20 percent of the elderly population, live – and increasingly die – alone.

Yoon’s former husband, whom she divorced 40 years ago, relinquished responsibility after being contacted by the hospital and told of her death. Her only son was unreachable as he had long broken off all contact with his parents.

Suspected North Korean Spy Arrested in South Korea
Voice of America

South Korean officials say a man who defected from North Korea nearly a decade ago has been arrested and charged with spying for Pyongyang.

Authorities say the man, who was not identified, had a job with the Seoul city government supporting North Korean defectors.

A New Opportunity for China-South Korea Relations Under Park Geun-hye and Xi Jinping?
Council on Foreign Relations

Following an early ambassadorial visit and a courtesy call on President-elect Park Geun-hye from China’s special envoy Vice Minister Zhang Zhijun, Park has decided to reciprocate by sending her first special envoys to Beijing during the transition. The exchange illustrates a mutual recognition that Sino-South Korean relations had deteriorated under Lee Myung-Bak and Hu Jintao and that Park and Xi have a chance to start out on the right foot this time.

Lauryn Chun makes a Korean condiment a culinary star in ‘The Kimchi Cookbook’
New York Daily News

Lauryn Chun has turned kimchi from a side dish to a main course.

Her primer, “The Kimchi Cookbook,” takes the traditional Korean condiment to new heights, showcasing its versatility as both a simple pickled vegetable and complex flavor enhancer.

“In its most basic state, I really think of kimchi as salted vegetables,” says Chun, who adds seasonings such as chili peppers, garlic and fish sauce.

Check out our profile of Chun in the December 2012 issue of KoreAm.

Will Korean cuisine be the next big thing in Charlotte?
Creative Loafing Charlotte (N.C.)

When my mother first came to the United States in the late 1970s — the young Korean wife of an American soldier who’d just finished his tour near Incheon, Korea, where they’d met — her biggest challenge wasn’t the language barrier. It was the food.

The Southern country cuisine that her Tennessee in-laws prepared was too foreign, and my mother found herself missing the food of her country so much that she refused to eat. Everything was either too coarse, with salty seasoning — why would anyone boil greens with the fat of pigs? she wondered — or thick and meaty. In America, she thought, people didn’t seem to enjoy food simply for what it was. The corn was slathered in butter, the beans drowned in pork and gravy. People here even put salt on their tomatoes and apples.

“It make me so sick to stomach,” she recalls, her English a little rough even after all these years. “You daddy, he and Uncle Don drive to five grocery store to find me what I need to make kimchi.”

Korean-owned winery a hit with the critics
Korea Herald via AsiaOne

A little more than three years ago, Dana Estates, then a Napa Valley new blood and a relative unknown, catapulted to fame when influential wine critic Robert Parker awarded its 2007 Lotus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon the highest score of 100 points.

Owned by Lee Hi-sang, CEO of South Korean conglomerate DongA One Group, the fledgling winery made its first vintage in 2005, making the 2007 its third.

“We took a risk,” Lee, 67, recalled how the decision to produce posh, single-vineyard cult Cabernets was a bold move on his part.

Football Fan Guilty of Racially Abusing Park Ji-sung
Chosun Ilbo

A U.K. court has found a football fan guilty of making a racist comment about Park Ji-sung of Queens Park Rangers.

British media on Tuesday said the West London Magistrates’ Court found Everton fan William Blything guilty of racially abusing Park and Everton’s Victor Anichebe.

He reportedly shouted, “Take down that chink” referring to Park.

Na Hopes Special Olympics Change Views on Disabled
Wall Street Journal

Former two-term lawmaker Na Kyung-won has temporarily suspended her political career, but she remains one of South Korea’s busiest public figures as she tries to change her country in a different way.

Ms. Na, chairwoman of the organizing committee for the Special Olympics World Winter Games that open in the city of Pyeongchang next week, hopes the event will help change the way her society sees the disabled.

Illustration by Alex Eben Meyer.

Is Your Electric Fan Trying to Kill You?

Did you know Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings grew up in Seoul? He writes a piece on the Korean fan death myth for Slate.

I actually grew up as a child in Seoul, South Korea, and fans were no laughing matter. Everyone took the Great Fan Menace for granted and had a hard time believing that other cultures were ignorant of it. An apartment of Americans I knew teased their lone Korean roommate by going to bed one summer night in an enclosed room with six electric fans turned on. He pleaded with them not to throw their lives away and slept in the hallway. When, in the morning, all three had survived the ordeal, the Korean roommate was still not convinced. Obviously, he said, they had been playing a practical joke on him and had cracked a window as soon as he was out of the room.

Burning dog sparks public outcry in S. Korea
AFP via Google News

A South Korean animal rights group offered a $2,800 dollar reward Wednesday to catch those responsible for setting a dog on fire in an incident that triggered a public outcry.

CCTV footage of the dog running through a car park while engulfed in flames was shown on national TV news channels and prompted angry discussions on social network sites.

The dog ran into a garage and triggered a fire which gutted the structure in Yongin, a city south of Seoul, on Sunday.

Looking Back, With Nostalgia and Pain
New York Times

At first glance, there’s nothing extraordinary about Yang Seung-woo’s photograph of two boys leaping playfully across mounds of earth (Slide 7). In many ways, it does not fit in well with the rest of the images that make up his project “The Best Days.”

But Mr. Yang sees a lot in that moment, in those carefree steps.

“It represents life and death,” he said.

The setting is a Korean cemetery. The boys are playing around the grave of Mr. Yang’s close friend, a high school buddy who hanged himself after a short, but hard life in South Korea’s gang world and in prison. It was a world — and fate — that almost claimed Mr. Yang, too.

Mr. Yang — who was born in 1966 in Gwangju, South Korea — took the picture in 2004, when he’d already been living in Japan for seven years. He shot it on one of many return visits to his homeland, recalling the life he once lived.

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