April Issue: Advocate Says Tragic Adoption Case ‘Does Not Represent All’
by STEVE MORRISON
Many adoptees and Koreans are justifiably upset at the death of Hyunsu O’Callaghan, who was allegedly murdered by his adoptive father Brian O’Callaghan. Mr. O’Callaghan has served in the Iraq War and is an employee of the NSA overseeing the Korea Project. The tragedy for 3-year-old Hyunsu occurred only four months after his arrival to his new home. The adoptive father has been charged with first-degree murder, and the investigation continues to determine how and why this innocent little life was snuffed out. The father maintains the boy fell down and hit his head while taking a shower, but the investigation showed multiple injuries, including skull fractures at the front and back part of his head, thus raising suspicion that the death was not a mere accident as the father had claimed.
The news of this tragedy has shocked the entire Korean adoption community, and resulted in numerous protests and calls for justice in Korea. In particular, a group of adoptees and Koreans who have long been opposed to the intercountry adoption program in Korea set up memorials with banners that read, “Sorry Hyunsu, for not being able to protect you …” or “Hyunsu was adopted to the U.S. and beaten to death by his father.”
This article can be found in our April 2014 issue, but you can read it online at iamkoream.com!
April Issue: After Terrible Tragedy, This Adoptee Asks: ‘What Is a Korean Child Worth?’ (Commentary 1 of 2)
by LAURA KLUNDER
Let us take a moment of silence for Hyunsu O’Callaghan.
On Feb. 21, at the Hongdae Children’s Park in Seoul, members of KoRoot, Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea, Adoptee Solidarity Korea, Dandelions and The Korean Unwed Mothers and Families Association gathered together to remember this Korean child who was adopted to the United States last October and entrusted to the care of Brian Patrick O’Callaghan, chief of the U.S. National Security Agency Korea division. Yet, at 3 years old, Hyunsu is dead.
This article can be found in our April 2014 issue, but get the inside scoop online here! More on current events and updates can be found on iamkoream.com!
Joss Whedon Apologizes for Filming ‘Avengers’ in Seoul
by JAMES S. KIM
Seoul will be getting a big taste of Hollywood blockbuster action this weekend, as Avengers: Age of Ultron begins filming in the capital on Sunday. But the various road closures aren’t sitting well with many concerned South Koreans, and director Joss Whedon recorded an apology to the residents and commuters who will be dealing with the changes until April 12.
“I’m really grateful and excited to be filming in your city,” the director said. “We’re going to mess it up a bit and inconvenience some people for a few days and I apologize for that. I know what that’s like, I live in Los Angeles, it happens to me all the time and it’s not fun.”
More updates on this weeks latest news and events can be found on iamkoream.com!
‘America’s Next Top Model’ Filming in Korea
by CASSANDRA KWOK
Supermodel Tyra Banks and the newest contestants of reality TV show America’s Next Top Model were spotted roaming the streets of Seoul, causing a “frenzy” among local media, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Local residents have been reporting on the group’s whereabouts on social media, after host Banks and her crew arrived in Seoul on March 21. The group reportedly visited various city landmarks and popular tourist attractions, including City Hall and Gwanghwamun at Gyeongbok Palace, while filming the 21st iteration of the modeling competition, which will be coed this season.
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Seoul to Shut Down Some Streets For Filming of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’
by CASSANDRA KWOK
The upcoming sequel of Hollywood blockbuster The Avengers will soon be taking over the streets of Seoul from March 30 to April 14, thanks to an agreement made between the Korean government, the Korean Film Commission and Marvel Studios.
Authorities have confirmed production of Avengers: Age of Ultron will shut down many major streets and locations that may cause quite an inconvenience for Seoulites.
Get more updates and stories on iamkoream.com!
Disastrous Vendor Evictions in Gangnam
by TAYLOR WEIK
The plight of the lowly street vendor is not something typically associated with the upscale Seoul district of Gangnam.
In February, over the course of two days, the Gangnam District Office and police hired a group of 50 “city workers” to forcefully evict street vendors. This resulted in physical altercations between workers and vendors, and the complete destruction of several street stands.
Check out the rest of the story originally posted on our sister magazine, Audrey!
After John Kerry Visit, Tteokbokki Stand in Seoul Sees Business Boom
by PETER KANG
Customers have been flocking to a small outdoor food stand in Seoul after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made an impromptu visit and ate some tteokbokki, or spicy stir-fried rice cakes.
“I came here for a taste after I heard that Kerry stopped by,” a customer told the Chosun Ilbo.
All 12 seats inside the small makeshift restaurant were full, along with six outdoor seats, which is double the number of the owner’s usual customer base.
For more on this story, click here! More stories and updates of this week’s top news on iamkoream.com!
South Koreans Flex Smartphone Muscles
Wall Street Journal
First time on Seoul’s subway system? Don’t expect a lot of eye contact.
Here, almost everyone is busy playing games like Cookie Run, or sending messages on their oversized smartphones.
Those eyeballs add up. In 2013, South Korea jumped ahead of the U.S. in revenue generated from app sales on Google Inc.’sGOOG +4.13% Play mobile store, according to research and analysis firm App Annie, which tracks app purchases.
That makes South Korea, a country of 50 million people, the second-most lucrative country in the world by that metric, just behind Japan.
By app downloads, which doesn’t take into account the amount of money spent, South Korea also ranks second on Google Play, behind the U.S., whose population is six times that of Korea’s.
Read more and stay connected on this week’s updates through KoreAm!
North Korea’s top envoy to Britain dangled the possibility of progress in staging reunions for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War as he renewed Pyongyang’s demands that Seoul cancel its annual military drill with the United States.
Hyun Hak-bong said in a video interview posted Thursday that the two Koreas can discuss a date for staging the family reunions, breaking the silence the North has kept since South Korea proposed earlier this week to hold the reunions for the aging Koreans.
“As for the practical and exact date, it could be exchanged and discussed between the two sides … Now, we are working on that,” Hyun said in the interview with Sky News, a 24-hour news channel in Britain. Still, he did not elaborate.
How will the reunification negotiations play out? Keep updated on the latest weekly news and updates on iamkoream.com!
2NE1’s “I Am the Best” Rises to the Top of the Charts After Their Appearance on “The Bachelor”
On January 27, 2NE1 appeared on ABC’s hit reality show “The Bachelor,” fostering a new interest in the girl group in the United States and Canada.
The cast of “The Bachelor” visited YG Entertainment headquarters in South Korea. The show introduced YG to the cast as the place where “K-Pop in South Korea happens,” and compared 2NE1 to the Spice Girls, saying that 2NE1 are megastars in Korea. 2NE1 then welcomed the cast, who came into their dance studio, and taught them the dance to “I Am the Best.”
One of the girls on the show said, awestruck, “2NE1 is huge here in Korea. Their YouTube video has 77 million views. Million. That’s a lot of views.” 2NE1 also invited the “Bachelor” cast to perform with them for “I Am the Best” during their mini concert at Times Square in Seoul.
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K-Pop Star G-Dragon on His Growing Global Influence: ‘I Didn’t Realize How Famous I Was” (Q&A)
Imagine Justin Timberlake’s boy bander-turned-credible musician pedigree and Kanye West’s genre-bending artistic daredevilry, and you’ll get an idea of G-Dragon’s standing in K-pop — though his reach is expanding rapidly beyond Asia.
Juggling equally successful careers as a solo artist and as frontman of the group Big Bang, whose 2012 world tour drew 800,000 fans to sold-out shows on four continents, the rapper, songwriter and producer says, “Before I was physically there in different countries to meet my fans in person, I didn’t really realize how famous I was.”
The 25-year-old, né Kwon Ji Yong, also has attracted recognition from Western peers. A few years ago, Ludacris paid a visit to the Seoul-based YG Entertainment, the record label and agency where G-Dragon, Big Bang and Psy are all signed. “We were showing him some music videos that YG came out with,” recalls Danny Im, a former labelmate who now hosts the talk show Danny from LA on cable network Mnet America. “When they saw GD, they didn’t know who he was, but they went, ‘Yo, that kid’s a star.’” The video was “Knockout,” a track from the Big Bang subnunit GD&TOP, and produced by Diplo. The in-demand DJ returned for G-Dragon’s 2013 solo album Coup d’Etat, a bold mashup of hip-hop, EDM, punk rock and Korean folk that charted on the Billboard 200 and also featured contributions from Baauer, Boys Noize, Sky Ferreira and Missy Elliott.
Get more weekly news and keep up with the latest kpop stories here!
'The Bachelor' week 4 recap: Juan Pablo takes ladies to South Korea
The fourth episode of this season’s “The Bachelor” saw Juan Pablo take the ladies outside of the country for the first time. JuanPabs and the ladies flew to Seoul, South Korea. There was a one-on-one date and two group dates.
Lots of kissing, flesh-eating fish, tears, a Korean pop group, eating octopus and, yes, more cattiness. Monday night’s episode had it all. When the episode finished, two more ladies were sent home and the plan to travel to Vietnam was revealed as the remaining ladies sipped champagne.
The group arrived in South Korea for a few days. Juan Pablo can’t even speak English all that well and now, going to Korea, he was forced to try his hand at another language.
The first date card arrived and read, “Pop!”
More on this week’s news and stories at iamkoream.com!
Korean Actress Cast in Upcoming “Avengers 2”, Sources Say
By Young Rae Kim
Korean actress Kim Soo Hyun was reportedly cast in the upcoming blockbuster sequelAvengers 2: Age of Ultron, according toTwitch Film.
Kim, 28, not to be confused with the popular male actor with the same name, is not well known outside of Korea and previously went by the stage name Yoo Ri-el. Still, it was reported that she beat out dozens of other actresses — including some top-tier names — to snag a supporting role as a doctor who helps Iron Man. Her English proficiency and familiarity with the action genre reportedly helped her cause.
Marvel has stated that at least 10 to 15 minutes of the film will be set in the swanky Gangnam district of Seoul. Marvel has already hired one of Korea’s top production teams and domestic shooting is scheduled to begin in the springin Seoul and Incheon.
Further information on Kim Soo Hyun and her role in the upcoming Avengers here!
Also check out the actress show off her English proficiency on youtube!
"Glamping" Fad Takes Camping to Another Level
By Young Rae Kim
For those who would like to experience the outdoors but don’t want to take care of business in the bushes or endure days without a hot shower, there is an alternative: Glamping.
Glamping, a word for “glamorous camping,” is a growing trend in Korea, a country that has had a long love affair with the outdoors. With leisure time increasing and TV shows like Healing Camp, gaining in popularity, Koreans are seeking outdoor activities in increasingly greater numbers. Instead of beans from a can and coffee, glampers snack on abalone and sip champagne, at least at one “glampground” located at the Sheraton Walker Hill in Seoul.
Meanwhile, a new design made by the young studio, Archiworkshop takes the humble tent to the next level.
Read more on this new style of camping currently trending in Korea at iamkoream.com!
Korea slams Japan over Dokdo
South Korea Tuesday denounced Japan for Claiming Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo in its newly revised teaching manuals for Middle and high schools.
The denouncement follows the Japanese Education ministry’s Disclosure of new manuals stating that Dokdo is Japanese Territory, rejecting Seoul’s earlier Call to withdraw the Claim.
“Japan Will Face the consequences,” said Cho Tai-Young, a Spokesman at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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