Steph Curry to Visit South Korea on July 27th

The man that just signed the richest contract in NBA history looks like he will be making a few more bucks during his visit to South Korea on behalf of Under Armor:

NBA All-Star Stephen Curry will visit Korea in July.

He will be here on July 27 for the “Under Armor – Stephen Curry Live in Seoul” event sponsored by the Under Armor Korea Corporation.

Fans who wish to participate will be given a raffle ticket after they buy at least 50,000 won ($43) of Under Armor products by July 5.

Raffle ticket submissions can be made at all Under Armor stores nationwide — excluding outlets — or through the official Under Armor event webpage.

Winners will be sent a text on July 10 and may bring a friend.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Trump-Moon Summit “Went Far Better Than Many Predicted”

Supposedly a lot of people thought the Trump-Moon summit was going to be a disaster and to me it concluded the way I expected it to.  President Trump advanced his issues on trade and USFK cost sharing and President Moon advanced his ideas on how to engage North Korea:

Ken Gause, a North Korea expert at CNA Corp., said that the summit “went far better than many expected.”

“I was pleased to see that Trump backed Moon’s lead on peninsula affairs, including supporting inter-Korean dialogue,” Gause said. “We shall see if this gives Moon more traction with Pyongyang, which still may need a greater commitment from Washington. Trump will continue to support if it shows progress. It also gives Moon the latitude he needs to deal with Beijing.”

He said it’s no surprise at all that Trump pushed for renegotiation of the FTA and greater defense cost-sharing.

“These are just as much domestic as foreign policy issues for the administration. If Trump can show he is getting a good deal from the Koreans on these issues, it gives him more latitude to support Moon’s approach to North Korea,” the expert said.

“So bottom line, the summit doesn’t appear to be the disaster many were predicting. Whether it has laid the foundation for a way forward, we will have to see,” he said. “I don’t expect Moon will get traction with Pyongyang unless he is willing to open the aperture for dialogue beyond denuclearization. Washington will have to support the expansion of the aperture for this to work.”  [Yonhap]

Did people really think President Trump was going to say something crazy about President Moon?  Trump has been respectful to those who have been respectful to him.  President Moon is a seasoned politician and understands how to approach Trump.  He is not like former ROK President Roh Moo-hyun.  If Roh and Trump were in the same room together then I would be worried about a summit disaster.

Is White Privilege to Blame for Otto Warmbier’s Death?

Leave it to the social justice warriors to connect the death of Otto Warmbier to so called “white privilege”:

As shocked as I am by the sentence handed down to Warmbier, I am even more shocked that a grown man, an American citizen, would not only voluntarily enter North Korea but also commit what’s been described a “college-style prank.” That kind of reckless gall is an unfortunate side effect of being socialized first as a white boy, and then as a white man in this country. Every economic, academic, legal and social system in this country has for more than three centuries functioned with the implicit purpose of ensuring that white men are the primary benefactors of all privilege. The kind of arrogance bred by that kind of conditioning is pathogenic, causing its host to develop a subconscious yet no less obnoxious perception that the rules do not apply to him, or at least that their application is negotiable.  (…..)

As I’ve said, living 15 years performing manual labor in North Korea is unimaginable, but so is going to a place I know I’m unwelcome and violating their laws. I’m a black woman though. The hopeless fear Warmbier is now experiencing is my daily reality living in a country where white men like him are willfully oblivious to my suffering even as they are complicit in maintaining the power structures which ensure their supremacy at my expense. He is now an outsider at the mercy of a government unfazed by his cries for help. I get it.  [Huffington Post via reader tip]

What is interesting is that there have been far fewer white people detained in North Korea than other races which the author makes no mention of in her article.  There has been 16 American detainees in North Korea since 1996.   Five were white, eight were ethnic Koreans, one black and one hispanic.  I have long recommended against traveling to North Korea, but many Americans have traveled there with no issues.  The biggest reason Americans have been detained is because of religious reasons, or in the case of Euna Lee and Laura Ling sheer stupidity.

This actually makes Warmbier’s detention very different from all the others.  What we don’t know is was Warmbier told by someone in the hotel he could have the poster in order to have an excuse to arrest him?  It seems pretty insensitive to me to blame so called “white privilege” when all the facts of why he was detained and what happened to him are not known.

55-Year Old Korean Woman Robbed and Beaten while Visiting Daughter in Los Angeles Area

This is a horrible experience this Korean mother and daughter just went through:

Surveillance video shows the suspects navy blue BMW 4-door sedan in the parking of the Best Western Hotel in Placentia. (Photo courtesy of Placenita Police Department)

Two women visiting from Korea were robbed and one was beaten unconscious in the parking lot of a Placentia hotel on Friday, June 16, authorities said.

Placentia police officers were dispatched to the Best Western motel, 118 E. Orangethorpe Ave., about 9:30 p.m. When officers arrived, they found a 55-year-old woman on the ground with signs of trauma and a 25-year-old woman unharmed. The women were a mother and daughter visiting from Korea, according to Sgt. Bryce Angel of the Placentia Police Department.

When the two women arrived at their hotel, a navy blue 4-door sedan parked next to their car. Two men got out of the car and one person stayed behind the wheel, Angel said. One man attempted to grab the mother’s purse, which she had slung over her shoulder. The man tried to violently rip the purse from her, but the woman put up a struggle.

As they wrestled over the purse, the other man pointed a handgun at the woman. The suspects pushed the older woman to the ground and were able to get the purse away from her, Angel said.

The suspects continued to punch and kick the victim, who was lying on the ground, until she lost consciousness. The daughter was not physically harmed, Angel said.  [OC Register]

You can read more at the link as well as watch video about this assault at this link.

Seoul Court Denies Prosecutors Request to Arrest Chung Yoo-ra

Like I have been saying all along, I saw no evidence that Chung Yoo-ra did anything illegal.  It appeared from the start that the attempts to arrest her were to put pressure on her mom, Choi Soon-sil to cooperate on implicating former President Park in her allegedly corrupt dealings.  With Park currently behind bars and standing trial right now, there is less urgency to use Chung to pressure her mom:

Chung Yoo-ra brought to the district prosecutors office in Seoul. [Chosun Ilbo]

A Seoul court on Saturday rejected a prosecution request for the arrest of a daughter of ousted President Park Geun-hye’s friend at the center of a massive corruption scandal that removed the former leader.

Chung Yoo-ra, the daughter of Park’s longtime friend Choi Soon-sil, was freed after the court dismissed the prosecution request for her arrest.  [Yonhap]

Seoul to Offer Free Bus and Subway Fares to Fight Pollution

I predict that this program will make no perceptual difference to the amount of pollution in Seoul because of how much of it comes from China, but it does cause the perception the government is “doing something”:

Seoul will provide free public transportation during commuting hours when the fine dust level goes beyond certain levels starting next month, as part of its efforts to curb air pollution.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Thursday the rush-hour fare exemptions for bus and subway passengers will be introduced to encourage half of commuters driving to work to voluntarily leave their cars at home based on odd-even number plates.

The new program will take effect from July when the daily average density of ultra-fine dust in the capital area goes beyond 50 micrograms and is forecast to be in excess of the level until the next day.

In order to boost citizens’ participation, the city government will provide free bus and subway transport during commuting hours — from the first train or bus to 9 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., though some critics say the measure appears inefficient as the standard is set too high.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

Picture of the Day: North Korea Declares Ballistic Missile Test Successful

North Korea confirmed its test-firing of a precision-guided ballistic missile was “successful”, the state-run news agency KCNA reported Tuesday, a day after the projectile landed in waters provocatively close to Japan.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un supervised the launch of the “new-type precision guided ballistic rocket” — the third missile test by the nuclear-armed regime in less than three weeks and carried out in defiance of UN sanctions warnings and US threats of possible military action.

“The ballistic rocket flew toward the east sky where the day broke and correctly hit a planned target point… after flying over the middle shooting range,” the report said.

South Korea’s military earlier said the Scud-type missile travelled eastward for 450 km (280 miles). Japan said it believed it had fallen into its exclusive economic zone, extending 200 nautical miles from the coast.  [AFP]

Former Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Publishes Book Titled “I’m Happy Because I’m Not Born Korean”

This book title as expected is not going to go over well in South Korea:

Masatoshi Muto

The former Japanese ambassador to South Korea has stirred controversy with his book titled “I’m happy because I’m not born Korean.”

The book written by Masatoshi Muto will hit Japanese shelves on June 1. It’s uncertain why Muto, once regarded as a pro-Korea Japanese diplomat, penned the controversially titled book, in which he reportedly describes South Korean President Moon Jae-in as “the worst president ever elected in South Korea.”

Recollecting his meeting with Moon, apparently before his May 9 election, Masatoshi wrote, “North Korea was the only thing he (Moon) had in his head,” according to South Korean newspaper Dong-A Ilbo, which reviewed the book.

The diplomat also laid bare his acrimony against Moon, calling him a “populist” and saying Moon will push forward with anti-Japan policies if it helps bolster his popularity.  [Korea Times]

You can read the rest at the link, but outside of Park Geun-hye hasn’t every Korean politician used anti-Japanese policies to boost their popularity and look where she ended up, in jail and on trial.

Over 2,000 Kilograms of Gold Caught Hidden in the Private Parts of 51 Koreans

Remember this the next time you buy a gold product in South Korea, it may have been sitting in someone’s rectum:

Dozens of Korean citizens were caught smuggling 2,348 kilograms of gold hidden in their “private parts,” the Korea Customs Service (KCS) said on Tuesday. It was the nation’s biggest smuggling bust.

Fifty-one people, including several housewives, were apprehended at Incheon International Airport early last month. The smuggling had been happening for about two years.

Male smugglers were hiding five or six gold bars (3cm x 3cm), each weighting 200 grams, in their rectums while the women hid the gold in their rectums or vaginas.

The value of the gold was about 113.5 billion won ($100 million) ― the highest value of gold confiscated in a single smuggling case.

The smuggling happened from March 2015 and the gold came from Tokyo and China’s Yantai.

Korea’s gold price is usually higher than many countries because of a 15 percent additional tax imposed on gold products, according to the KCS.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.