Latest Posts

South Korea
  • Tweet Untweet: Vitamin A-Bomb

    Tags: North Korea, South Korea, Tweet Untweet, Twitter
  • Psy, Anti-American Guy

    Psy Gangnam StyleOh dear. America's favorite Korean superstar, Park Jae-sang (aka Psy), may not be the lovable pop-rap muppet we thought he was.

    According to reports, in his pre-meme days Psy participated in at least two anti-U.S. protest concerts, including a 2004 performance where he joined a group singalong of Korean band N.E.X.T.'s "Dear America," which goes something like this:

    Kill those fucking Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives
    Kill those fucking Yankees who ordered them to torture
    Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law, and fathers
    Kill them all slowly and painfully

    Interestingly, a CNN iReporter wrote a post about this back in October, but nobody noticed, because who even looks at CNN iReports? Nobody at CNN, that's for sure.

    Now people are calling for President Obama to cancel Psy's scheduled performance at this year's "Christmas in Washington" concert, and it's possible Americans have lost their taste for Gangnam Style for good.

    The one upside: You won't have to watch your grandmother doing the horse dance at Christmas.

    Alan Simpson Dances Gangnam Style [VIDEO]
    The Best and Worst "Gangnam Style" Political Parodies

    Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

    Tags: CNN, Gangnam Style, Music, Psy, South Korea
  • Kim Jong-Il Dies in Supreme, Glorious, High-Intensity Field Inspection

    There may be more rational explanations for today's news — like the fact that deaths happen in an unbroken series that we arbitrarily choose to assign into groups of three — but the most satisfying account involves Christopher Hitchens and Vaclav Havel being asked by God who they would like to complete their celebrity death trifecta.

    Because Hitchens and Havel were good human beings with a keen commitment to human rights, they picked Kim Jong-il, dictator of the Earth's largest Orwellian theme park, claymation star in Team America: World Police, and the worst person in the world

    Kim Jong-il, the North Korean leader who realized his family's dream of turning his starving country into a minor nuclear-weapons power even as the isolated nation sank further into despotism, died on Saturday of a heart attack, according to the country's state-run media. Within hours of the announcement, the South Korean news agency reported that North Korea tested an unspecified number of short-range missiles on Monday morning.

    It's getting mighty awkward in the Demilitarized Zone, which makes for the perfect opportunity to reflect on our missed chance to have John McCain and Sarah Palin in the White House. All we're getting from the White House are cautious statements about America's commitment to "stability on the Korean peninsula, and to the freedom and security of our allies." In a more humorous/terrifying world, Palin would issue statements about Kim's successor, Lil' Kim, while McCain readied the invasion forces.

    As it stands, all we can do is await the results of the all-important Pyongyang caucuses and Wonsan primaries, to see who will succeed the Ever-Victorious, Iron-Willed Commander, the Bright Sun of the 21st Century, the Glorious General, Who Descended From Heaven…

    A few hours after the announcement, the ruling Workers' Party and other state institutions released a joint statement suggesting Mr. Kim's chosen successor, his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, was in charge.

    The statement called the son "the great successor to the revolution" and "the eminent leader of the military and the people." It was the first time North Korea referred to the son as "leader" since his ailing father pulled him out of obscurity in September last year and made him a four-star general and vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party.

    What, that's it?  If we're going to find a successor to the world's greatest golfer (38 under par the first time he played!), the inventor of the hamburger and Glorious Keeper of the Bouffant Haircut, we should at least offer the North Korean people a Donald Trump-moderated debate to assist them in their time of need.

    Photo by Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: International Affairs, Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong-un, North Korea, South Korea
  • Michele Bachmann Finally Votes as Trade Deals Reveal Lone Congressman Still Doing His Job

    Yesterday, the House of Representatives took a break from its longstanding policy of not debating any jobs-related legislation and approved a series of trade pacts that had been under consideration since the Bush administration…

    Congress resoundingly approved long-stalled trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama late Wednesday, authorizing the most significant expansion of trade relations in nearly two decades…

    The South Korea deal has the potential to create as many as 280,000 American jobs, according to a recent assessment by the staff of the U.S. International Trade Commission, and to boost exports by more than $12 billion. Several major labor unions have warned that any gains will come at the cost of layoffs among American workers because of heightened competition from South Korean imports. The South Korea deal is widely hailed as the most consequential trade pact since the North American Free Trade Agreement was ratified in 1994.

    But those controversial jobs figures, which are disputed by the AFL-CIO and various groups that are skeptical of free trade, belie the true importance of this legislation. How vital were these measures? Well, there were several dozen roll call votes in the past week. Michele Bachmann  participated in precisely zero. Which brought the number of votes the "Congresswoman" has cast since August 1st to…zero.  But on Wednesday, Christmas came early to the south side of the Capitol, and miracle of miracles, Bachmann's Bizarro Iron Horse streak of 88 consecutive missed votes came to an end with her votes in favor of the trade deals.

    To be fair, showing up to vote is a huge drag. Between campaigning for re-election or seeking higher office, raising money or attending lobbyist-funded junkets, writing to irate constituents or sending creepy texts to strangers while using their niece's chat avatar, few Members of Congress have the time to actually do their jobs. And by few, I mean one

    On the other hand, Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pa., has not missed a vote during his tenure in the House dating back to Jan. 4, 2007. Altmire’s impressive streak is now beyond 4,300 straight votes.

    Of course, racing back to Washington to cast vote after vote is totally rewarded by constituents and the judgement of history. After all, every schoolchild knows the story of  William Natcher, a Kentucky Democrat who cast 18,401 consecutive roll call votes from his election to the House in 1954 to his death in 1994. He's more famous than Cal Ripken, Jr. and Lou Gehrig, right? Right?

    Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Colombia, House of Representatives, Jason Altmire, Michele Bachmann, Panama, South Korea
  • South Korea Is Just Not That into North Korea

    Did you awake this morn to a feeling of excitement fluttering around in your chest like a coked-out butterfly? Of course you did, because today South Korea released its biennial defense white paper! Around the globe, fans of white papers and kimchee and looming war are squealing with delight as they page through this fascinating and not-at-all gloomy document.

    Let's find the diamonds among this pile of precious jewels!

    The North Korean military, the world’s fourth-largest, has bolstered its special-forces units during the past two years and has deployed a new battle tank, called the Storm, while expanding its tank brigades.

    Well, that's uplifting. Anything else?

    Defense officials in Seoul said Thursday that the North had steadily upgraded its capabilities in asymmetric warfare and was better able to strike the South in unconventional and unpredictable ways. A rise in special-operations troops, to 200,000 from 180,000, was indicative of that shift in strategy.

    2011 is gonna be such an awesome year for Seoul and Pyongyang's tumultous, sexy relationship. If things go as expected, the U.S. military will get to dance at their wedding/mutual death match!

    Tags: Military, North Korea, South Korea