North Korea’s recent purging of its leader Kim Jong-un’s once-powerful uncle, Jang Song-thaek, was assisted by Jang’s own wife, reports ABC News. Jang’s wife and Kim’s aunt, Kim Kyong-hee, and brother, Kim Jong-hul, reportedly took part in the arrest of Jang.
North Korea Strategic Information Service Center president Lee Yun-keol said Kim Jong-chu directed the arrest of Jang. “He was even armed with a gun when he took the General Guard Bureau soldiers,” he said.
Lee speculated that ousting Jang from power indicates a change of paradigm in North Korean politics. Continue Reading »
Jang Song-thaek, the once-powerful uncle and guardian of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was the man in charge of all economic projects with foreign countries. Kim’s recent decision to oust Jang from power was not only unexpected, but it seems to be causing repercussions within North Korea’s already-suffering economy.
North Korea began selling a large supply of gold to China in recent months to mitigate its steep economic downturn, reports Yonhap News. The regime’s sale of gold is an alarming sign that perhaps indicates North Korea’s desperate attempt to an economic collapse as the country’s 2,000 tons of gold worth at least $8 billion has been considered the last bastion of its hard assets.
Even Kim Il-sung, the deceased founder of North Korea, specifically ordered his descendants to never sell its gold. Continue Reading »
To help mend strained relations between the station and the Korean American community, San Francisco-based Fox affiliate KTVU is airing a television documentary which chronicles the success of prominent Korean Americans.
KTVU was publicly humiliated last July when it erroneously reported racial slurs as the names of South Korean pilots of the ill-fated Asiana Airlines Flight 214 which crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport, killing three and injuring dozens. The TV network produced the documentary after meeting with Korean American organizations and community leaders a number of times since the scandalous incident.
The Korean American Bar Association of Northern California (KABANC), led by its president Taewoong Koo, proposed the idea to air the documentary series to KTVU. Continue Reading »
There is a long-held superstition among Koreans that pork detoxifies lungs affected by air pollution. Although no scientific proof has ever been provided to support such a belief, the recent smog blowing in from mainland China has triggered a spike in South Korean pork consumption.
Korea’s largest retail chain, Homeplus, reported that the sale of pork belly, famously known as samgyeopsal in Korea, increased by 32 percent in the first week of December, selling over 150 tons, according to the South China Morning Post.
“There is also a popular belief that eating pork belly after doing a big cleanup or working at a dusty place can sweep away all the dirt in the throat,” said Kang Hyung-sik, a Homeplus livestock supplier. “[Samgyeopsal] is the favorite pork part of many Koreans. The consumption of pork belly in Korea is astronomical.” Continue Reading »
A team of South Korean bell-makers recently repaired the Korean Friendship Bell in San Pedro, Calif., restoring the 37-year-old gift from South Korea to the United States as the symbol of strong ties between the two countries, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Led by master bell-maker Chai Dong-hey, bell manufacturer Beom Jong Sa refurbished the Korean Friendship Bell. The bell has a special place in Chai’s heart as it was his mentor who received the request from the Korean government to help cast the bell almost 40 years ago. So when the Korean government approached Chai, 51, to repair the bell that had fallen into disrepair for years, he happily accepted the offer.
“My teacher always spoke of this bell as a child he had given up for adoption,” Chai told the Los Angeles Times through a translator. “I always wanted to come here.” Continue Reading »