Jake By MIREYA NAVARRO (NYT)
AT Le Privé, a dance palace in the heart of Koreatown, Chris Son guarded
the door with the zeal of a World Cup goalkeeper.
"Who's your waiter?" was his greeting to all, including a young Asian woman
who showed up alone in tight jeans, high heels and a headband as big as
"Jay," she replied, looking straight ahead.
Mr. Son, the manager, let her in after barking some words in Korean into
his headset and confirming she was no impostor. He then explained Le Privé's
admission protocol to others trying to get in: reservations must be made
through one of the club's waiters. The waiters' names and cellphones are
available only by word of mouth.
"We're pretty selective," he said, which came out sounding like
"tough luck," and turned his attention back to his clipboard.
It was 1:05 a.m. on a Saturday, a young night in Koreatown if you know a waiter.
Few areas in Los Angeles, if any, have as lively a night life, as many
after-hours spots or as much energy in the wee hours as this ethnic enclave
between Hancock Park and Echo Park, not far from Hollywood and downtown
Los Angeles. Police officials estimate there are more than 500 night-life
establishments within the loosely defined boundaries of Koreatown,
the highest such concentration in the city.
The district, which encompasses roughly a 20-by-20-block area, has the feel of a mini-Seoul:
it is dotted with all-Korean signs and menus with no translations; smoking
is tolerated everywhere ? outdoors, indoors, sometimes right under the "No Smoking" sign.
Though it is against the law, a sizable number of businesses serve liquor after 2 a.m.
A visitor gets the impression that in Koreatown, after dark, different rules apply.
Indeed, the commercial district has become a magnet for the Korean-American
population of Los Angeles County, which has grown to nearly 200,000,
the largest concentration outside South Korea.
Robert Luna, the new executive chef at Rosen Brewery Restaurant in Koreatown,
and formerly of Hillmont on the eastern end of Hollywood Boulevard,
said the scene is unlike any other he has seen in Los Angeles.
"On the west side," he said, "last call is at 1:30 and it's a big pickup scene.
Here, it's more cliquish, big groups. You can have a
Son arrested in shooting deaths of parents
24-year-old man has been arrested for investigation of murder in the shooting
deaths of his parents, a Pierce County sheriff's spokesman said Monday.
Lee Soo-il, 62, and Lee Keum-yim, 60, were found dead on Christmas Day in
their home in this community south of Tacoma.
Dispatchers received a 911 call at 5:30 p.m. Sunday from a person who had
found the bodies, sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said.
The son was arrested Monday at a house near Rainier, Troyer said, adding
officers also seized the vehicle the man was driving.
big group of guys come out and they just drink.
And, he added, "I've seen more people smoke indoors than I've seen in Vegas."
Smoking indoors is illegal in California, but a sizable minority of Koreatown
businesses flout the law either because "they don't care" or do not know what
the law is because of a language barrier, said Officer Jason Lee, a spokesman
for the Los Angeles Police Department. The district is not a high-crime area,
he said, but alcohol violations are a big problem, particularly sales after
hours, to minors or in clubs where hostesses ask patrons to buy them drinks.
City Settles Lawsuit Alleging Racism
Allegations that Hermosa Beach police officers harassed owners of a nightclub
because it attracted black patrons resulted in a $1.1-million settlement by
the city and prompted the police chief to call for all officers to audio
record their encounters.
The case centered on Point 705. The club's owners alleged in a federal lawsuit
that police officers manhandled and intimidated people at the restaurant and club.
The suit also alleged that officers regularly directed racial slurs at
the Korean American owners and angrily challenged them for bringing in
African American patrons into the city.
"We don't like people like you in my town," one officer allegedly told
the son of one of the owners.
"I am going to do everything to shut you down."
"The amount itself belies the notion that this was a nuisance value settlement,"
said Merrick Bobb,
who monitors the Sheriff's Department for the Los Angeles County supervisors.
"It may be a business decision in that it may be reflective of a fear that if
the case is tried on its merits, the potential damages … will far exceed
The episode has renewed talks about making audio recording by police officers
mandatory as a deterrent against misconduct, but also to protect officers.
"If you have a statement that is recorded, then you can refer to the statement,
and it would help you see the true character" of what happened, Police Chief
Michael Lavin said.
Korean Takes Hostages in Hamburg Bank
JULY 30, 2005
A Korean broke into a bank in Hamburg, Germany
and held hostages for three hours before he was arrested
by German special police on July 28,
according to the internet edition of a German daily paper, Build.
The Korean, identified only as K, entered the Sparkasse bank
in Alsdorf, Hamburg at 7:50 a.m. and confronted police,
taking two female hostages, before he was arrested by police
MEK (Mobiles Einsatzkommando), the newspaper said.
Husband who chopped up wife gets 5 years
A language school head who killed his domineering wife
with a single punch to her jaw
and then cut up her body with an electric saw was jailed
for a total of five years yesterday.
Paul Dalton, from Kingston, Surrey, was cleared of murdering
Tae Hui but was convicted of manslaughter at the Old Bailey
During the trial, the jury heard he had chopped his wife's body
into nine pieces, which he stored in a kitchen freezer
before fleeing to Japan.
Dalton maintained he accidentally killed his Korean-born wife
after suffering years of torment and provocation.
She had treated him like a slave, the court heard.
"She always got what she wanted. I was scared of her.
Everyone was scared of her," he said.
She was just saying she married me for the visa," he said.
The prosecution alleged that Dalton meant to dump the body parts
in the sea or river Thames,
but lost his nerve and fled to Japan.
Dalton, a teetotal computer specialist, met his wife in 1994.
He told the court she was domineering and controlling.
"She always wanted to be in control," he said,
adding that she once stole his passport to stop him getting
away from her.
They married in 1997. Over time, she bullied him at work,
and denied him a wage from a business he had set up, he claimed.
He and his wife ran a language school in Kingston.
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries held an information session with the local Korean-American community.
Organized by several Korean-American groups, the event happened
because of the enforcement of laws related to black bears.
The dried pieces of the gallbladders of black bears are used for
medicinal purposes in Korea and this cultural practice has been brought
Unfortunately, it is illegal in Virginia to sell body parts of
black bears and poaching for such parts has reduced their populations.
Over the past three years, the Game Department, along with the federal
government, set up sting operations to catch those who sell bear
They placed ads in Korean language magazines about bear gallbladders
being sold at an emporium in the Shenandoah Valley.
The sting resulted in the arrests of 30 Korean-Americans who did not
know they were breaking the law.
The immigrant scandal that won't go away
By Greg Ansley
On Wednesday night 12-year-old Ian Hwang and his 6-year-old sister
Janie walked out of their own nightmare and into the much larger one
consuming Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone.
Just a week after the damning report of the inquiry into the unlawful
detention of Australian resident Cornelia Rau and the wrongful deportation
of Vivian Alvarez, and another condemning immigration detention centre
staff for failing to protect a woman who was sexually assaulted in front
of her young daughter, the Hwang children emerged as yet more victims
of Australia's unyielding and deeply flawed treatment of asylum-seekers
and illegal immigrants.
The case of the Hwangs was especially poignant: two innocents, entitled
to live in Australia under visas granted in 1998, taken from their
classroom at Sydney's Stanmore Public School and locked away in Villawood
detention centre for four months.
They were taken to Villawood to join their mother, Young Lee,
a South Korean who had allegedly overstayed her visa but whose lawyer
claims is legally in the country. Lee was released with her children
into community detention under more lenient rules announced by Prime
Minister John Howard
Korean man expelled from Vietnam for pandering
A Korean national working as a hotel manager in Ho Chi Minh City will be
expelled from Vietnam for acting as a go-between for foreign tourists
and local prostitutes, according to the local court July 22.
Hwang Kyung Soon, 49, and Vietnamese tour guides had jointly set up
a so-called “sex tour” to supply prostitutes for foreign tourists.
Korean Air jet may have narrowly missed disaster
Pilots on Korean Air Flight 85 mistakenly issued a hijack alert at
1:24 p.m. ET as they neared Alaska on the way to Anchorage.
Military officials, who had ordered two F-15 fighters to tail the jet,
told Anchorage air traffic controllers that they would shoot it down
if it did not turn away from populated areas, several sources told USA TODAY.
During the next 90 minutes, officials on the ground launched evacuations in
Anchorage, at the Trans Alaska Pipeline and in Whitehorse, the capitol of
Canada's Yukon Territory.
Scanning every communication it transmitted that day, it found something
suspicious sent by the Korean jet. The Seoul-to-New York flight was headed
for a refueling stop in Anchorage.
In a message sent at 11:08 a.m. ET to Korean Air's base, the pilots included
the letters "HJK" ? a code for hijacked.
Instead of reassuring controllers, the Korean pilots declared themselves
hijacked at 1:24 p.m. They set their transponder, which transmits information
about the flight to radars, to the four-digit universal code for hijacked 7500.
Suddenly, more than an hour after the skies emptied over the lower 48 states,
a routine flight became a potential new attacker.
With two F-15s tracking Flight 85, NORAD officers told officials at the
Anchorage center that they would shoot down the airliner if it continued,
the sources said. Air traffic officials ordered the jet to turn wide of
Alaska's largest city.
Canadian air traffic officials agreed to let the jet land there, but its
approach set off a new wave of evacuations.
Drunk Korean caught for unruly behavior
July 15, 2005
A Korean was arrested for malicious mischief and direct assault last Monday
in barangay Pusok, Lapu-Lapu City.
The Lapu-Lapu police Special Weapons and Tactics team led by PO2 Ronan Andales
arrested Jik Seong Kim, 41, presently staying as guest at Villa Vista Hotel of
the said barangay.
After a few minutes, without apparent reason, he allegedly harassing some duty
room attendants then went wild inside his occupied room, destroying the room’s
two lampshades, a stereo, a closet drawer and some bed linens.
Responding policemen arrested Kim, but as they were bringing him in he resisted
arrest and fought with them, eventually destroying an ammo pouch of one of the
SWAT members until he was subdued.
Cathay Leaves Stubborn Koreans Stranded
Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways invited Korean ire on Sunday when it
ordered a plane to take off from Chek Lap Kok International Airport on
Sunday without 44 Korean passengers on board. The Korean passengers blame
the incident on the carrier’s “insincerity” and are demanding damages,
but Cathay Pacific says the Koreans were making unreasonable demands.
Cathay Pacific CX 416 was scheduled to leave Hong Kong for Incheon
International Airport at 4:20 p.m. on Sunday. The airline delayed
the flight twice, first to 5:30 p.m. and then again to 6:00 p.m.
The airline said it made four announcements of the delays, both in
the terminal and at boarding gates. But with the airport bustling and
the broadcasts made in English and Chinese, some of the Koreans were
unable to understand them.
Dozens of Korean passengers protested to Cathay Pacific staff at
the boarding gate that the airline had delayed the flight twice but
offered no explanation. They also demanded free transport once they
arrived in Incheon and compensation for the delay.
The airline promised to provide meal coupons (HK$45), phone cards
and transport according to its flight delay regulations. It says
it also went beyond regulations in offering US$25 coupons toward
in-flight duty-free goods and discount airline tickets during their next trip.
However, one Korean passenger who called Cathay Pacific’s Seoul
office was told the airline would provide transport only up to
the point of arrival while other compensation was not the airline’s
problem. The Korean passengers then demanded a written undertaking
but airline staff refused.
The furious Koreans then started protesting vociferously, screaming
and waving their arms. Alone among the 308 passengers, the 44 Koreans
refused to board the aircraft. Attempts by the pilot to convince
them fell on deaf ears.
The airline then decided to let the flight take off at 7:14 p.m.
without the Koreans, explaining it could not delay any longer.
At this stage some of the Koreans relented saying the most important
thing was to get back to Korea first, and suggested the airline must
have had its reasons. When the flight arrived at Incheon at 11:34 p.m.,
five buses were waiting to take passengers to their regional destinations.
The stranded passengers in Hong Kong demanded transport and lodging from
the airline through a Korean consular official who came to airport.
Cathay Pacific said they could use the next Seoul-bound flight on Monday
afternoon but declined to provide accommodation.
Seven of the passengers returned to Korea early Monday morning aboard Asiana.
The remaining 37 stayed up or slept in downtown hotels, returning aboard
Cathay Pacific’s 2:20 p.m. flight, having paid for transport between
the airport and downtown as well as lodging out of their own pockets.
They plan to write to the airline demanding an official apology from a
high-ranking Cathay Pacific official and compensation for losses they
suffered because they were unable to board the Sunday flight.
korean apartment owners violated Fair Housing Act
The owner had, according to some evidence, made statements that he did
not like African-Americans or Hispanic tenants, but preferred Korean tenants.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits "making, printing or publishing 'any notice,
statement, or advertisement, with rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference,
discriminated against Plaintiff SMITH and other African-Americans by printing
fliers indicating a preference for Koreans and Korean-Americans.
Such marketing discriminates against all non-Korean
discriminated against Plaintiff SMITH, based upon his race,
by falsely representing theunavailabilityof apartments at The Townhouse,
by refusing toallow him tocomplete an application, byrefusing torent anapartment to him,
and by excluding him from marketing that was only directedat individuals
of Korean ancestry that could speak Korean.
Defendant JOHNSON, who is alsoKorean-American, solicited only Koreans
and Korean-Americans in the summer of 1998
Plaintiff SMITH filed a complaint with the California Department of
Fair Housing on April20, 1999. Such discrimination, denying Plaintiff
section 1021.5 of the California Code of Civil Procedure because
this action involves the enforcement of an important right affecting
the public interest,
namely access to low-income apartment housing at The Townhouse by all
individuals not of Korean ancestry.
Three Chinese workers sue employers
Revenge drove Cambodian to lead school raid-police
By Ek Madra and Karishma Vyas
Fri Jun 17, 8:20 AM ET
SIEM REAP, Cambodia (Reuters) - A Cambodian man who shot dead a Canadian
toddler during a school hostage drama near Angkor Wat was driven by revenge
against his South Korean ex-employer, police said on Friday.
Chea Khom quit last week as driver for a Korean restaurant owner in Siem Reap,
gateway to the famed 800-year-old temples, after being slapped in the face
for taking the children to school late, senior police investigator Ou Em said.
He then decided to exact revenge by kidnapping the Korean's children from
the school, hatching a plot with friends in Phnom Penh which led ultimately
to Thursday's school siege and the death of the 2-year-old Canadian boy, he said.
"When he entered the school his first target was to kidnap the Korean children,
but when he saw the parents of the children he was afraid to do it," Ou Em told
reporters. "So he turned to another classroom and took them hostage."
Armed with knives and a handgun, the four hostage-takers, all in their 20s,
first demanded $1,000 and a van in return for the release of the 29 infants
in the class. Later, they increased the sum to $30,000, police said.
When negotiators stalled over the demand for weapons, Chea Khom and his
accomplices started to lose their cool.
"The gunmen demanded we give them money, a van and grenades. We did not
agree to give them grenades and guns, so they got mad and shot the kid
in the head," he told Reuters.
Cambodian hostage-taker sought money, revenge against S Korean
Ex-Worker Led Cambodia School Siege
The alleged gang leader said he initially planned the raid as revenge against
a South Korean man who employed him to drive his two children to the school,
said Prak Chanthoeun, deputy commander of military police in Siem Reap province.
The suspect said his employer recently got angry with him and slapped his face,
causing him to quit his job and return to his hometown in the central province
"Every day, he thought about taking revenge against the South Koreans.
So he bought a pistol, then called three friends from his home area,"
said Prak Chanthoeun.
Slavery by Korean companies
Jun 14, 2005
Neil Kearney, General Secretary, International Textile, Garment and Leather
Workers' Federation, has sent this report to The International Labour
Conference in Geneva
Shafiqul Islam today lies paralysed in Dhaka following the collapse of
the Spectrum garment factory two months ago which left 64 dead, 84 injured
and hundreds jobless.
This increasing criminalisation of trade union action
in Cambodia's garment industry makes the achievement of decent work near impossible.
Irresponsible employers and negligent governments are a growing feature
of working life in the textile, clothing and footwear sectors.
Many such companies appear to be Korean-based
and in the aftermath of trade liberalisation in the sector are simply
abandoning production and fleeing overnight.
Victoria Garments Co., Tae Hwa, Stirwen and Dong Ho Puspa have joined
this band of runaways leaving thousands of Indonesian workers
jobless and without their earned wages and accrued benefits.
Such criminal bosses impede the drive for decent work and
should be driven from the industry but,
the Indonesian government seems powerless to act while Korea ignores
the activities of their wayward citizens.
“Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery, and sadly, we see it here
in Illinois,” said Governor Rod Blagojevich
The most recent case of slavery in Illinois was discovered on February
27 when several federal agents conducted five raids in *Rockford massage parlors
where they found “undocumented Chinese and Korean women kept in brothels.
The young women worked and lived in small rooms, virtually enslaved,
unable to go out to the street.”
June 3, 2005
The State Department said Friday 14 countries could be subject to
sanctions because they are not cracking down on trafficking.
"Trafficking in human beings is nothing less than a modern form of slavery,"
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said.
S Korean man arrested over 1999 robbery
2 arrested for 6.5 million yuan fraud
Local police have arrested two people for defrauding more than 200 workers
hoping to be employed overseas out of 6.5 million yuan (US$793,000).
In June 2003, Lei Yuan, 39, got to know a 69-year-old ethnic Korean woman
surnamed Cui who claimed she had a quota to send expatriate labour to
Lei was in charge of recruiting labourers who each had to pay 35,000 yuan (US$4,300) for the service while Cui was supposed to handle the procedures for sending them abroad.
S Korean suspect in Osaka, Hyogo robberies in custody
Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 02:03 JST
OSAKA ? South Korean authorities recently captured a South Korean man
who is suspected of involvement in a series of robberies in Osaka and
Hyogo prefectures in 1998-1999, informed sources said Tuesday.
The suspect, Son Yong Gyo, 54, has been on the international wanted list
for the series of robberies in which he and others broke into private homes
and demanded money, saying in Japanese,
"Kane, kane, kinko" (money, money, the safe). (Kyodo News)
Second man pleads guilty to human smuggling
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
BOISE, Idaho -- A South Korean citizen has pleaded guilty to smuggling
13 women and a man from Canada into Idaho as part of an alleged
Bum Suk "Michael" Kim, 33, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
He entered his plea in U.S. District Court in Coeur d'Alene on Monday, U.S. Attorney Tom Moss said.
Another man, 29-year-old Sang Yoon "Steven" Kim of Surrey, British Columbia,
pleaded guilty to the same charge earlier this month. The two are not related.
In a plea agreement, Michael Kim said he was paid between $300 and $350 for
each of the 14 people, and said he knew they were illegal immigrants and could
not legally enter the United States.
Investigators claim that on April 1, the two men drove together from
Los Angeles, where Michael Kim lived, to Worley, Idaho, where Steven Kim
dropped off Michael Kim at the Coeur d'Alene Casino and Resort. Steven Kim
then apparently picked up the 14 people near the Canadian border, but was
stopped and arrested on Highway 95 by Border Patrol agents, who had been
tipped off by an informant. Michael Kim was arrested April 3 in Worley.
Koreans arrested for selling pirated merchandise
May 22, 2005
Thousands of items of fake designer sportswear, sunglasses, watches and
children's toys were seized in Australia's largest suburban market raid
yesterday as part of a crackdown on pirated merchandise.
The goods were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
About 100 police officers and patent experts representing major manufacturers,
including Nike and adidas, spent several hours
at Parklea Markets in Sydney's west seizing counterfeit goods from traders.
Koreans bar mayor's wife, face ouster
Posted 09:01pm (Mla time) May 23, 2005
By Miko Morelos, Leila Salaverria
Inquirer News Service
OF ALL the customers they barred from their shop, it had to be
Cebu City's first lady.
For allegedly doing just that, four Korean nationals were arrested
by immigration agents and now face deportation charges.
Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Alipio Fernandez Jr. said he
ordered the foreigners' arrest in response to a Cebu City council resolution
urging the bureau to look into the Koreans' alleged maltreatment of Margot
Osmena, wife of Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmena.
The passing of the resolution on April 13 was prompted by a complaint
from Mrs. Osme?a who alleged that the
Korean owners of the Saboten Handicraft souvenir shop near Mactan Airport
in Lapu-Lapu City had prevented her from entering the shop.
BI intelligence chief Faisal Hussin described the Koreans' refusal to
let Mrs. Osme?a enter their shop as a classic case of racial discrimination.
"Apparently, Mrs. Osme?a was refused entry to the store as its owners have
declared the establishment off-limits to Filipinos," he said in a statement.
The four Koreans, who were identified as Lee Tai-woo, Choi Young-wook,
Cha Yun-bok and Park Why-whang, were arrested on May 17 inside their shop.
They face deportation charges for being “undesirable aliens.
The Southern California city of Garden Grove has imposed restrictions
on cybercafes, hoping to quell real-life violence
Garden Grove Mayor Bruce Broadwater said the regulations, approved
by the City Council on Tuesday night,
were prompted by a Dec. 30 killing outside one of the city's many such establishments
Broadwater said Garden Grove has 21 cybercafes, many in the city's
large Korean-American business district.
Garden Grove is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the U.S.
a Many of the city's cybercafes are owned and operated by Korean immigrants and,
like their popular counterparts in Korea, the establishments tend to be a magnet
for Asian gangs.
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. ― The "turning point" in Adam Yahiye Gadahn's
journey toward Islam was when the Californian got involved in online
religious discussions on his grandmother's computer.
Burglary charges are expected to be filed today against a Los Angeles man
Thursday, May 19, 2005
suspected of ransacking at least 12 Fullerton homes and stealing
less than $50,000 in cash and jewelry, officials said.
Police officers arrested Youn Sik Ahn, 44,on Monday during their
surveillance of the neighborhood where a string of burglaries had
been reported from April 7 to May 13.
Investigators believe that Ahn used a Korean community group's
contact list, which included names and addresses, to target homes
in the affluent community northwest of Sunny Hills High School.
Internet date turns sour
16/05/2005 12:22 - (SA)
A 29-year-old street vendor was arrested Monday in Japan for allegedly
keeping a high school girl in handcuffs for three weeks and threatening
to kill her if she rejected him, reports said.
Takayuki Tei, a South Korean national, got acquainted with
the 17-year-old girl through an internet dating site in April and
handcuffed her hands to his to bring her to live with him in Osaka
While driving, the suspect would handcuff her hand to the steering wheel,
saying: "You must like me or I'll kill you," according to the Mainichi.
On Sunday, the girl seized the chance when he was unguarded and
ran away as he operated a stall selling dried fruit in Nara,
a prefecture neighbouring Osaka in western Japan, the Asahi Shimbun said.
"I was so infatuated with her. I wanted to be with her," the Asahi
quoted Tei as saying. The girl's health condition was reported to be stable.
Korean accused of P1.5M theft nabbed
By Joy G. Romares Tuesday, May 17, 2005
A Korean national, who is accused by his employer of stealing P1.5 million
worth of jewelry, was arrested by the police inside a KTV bar
at Dona Vicenta Village in Bajada, Davao City, late Sunday evening.
Korean Minister gets prison for extorting Celine Dion's husband in Vegas
May 12, 2005
Las Vegas, NV, May. 13 (UPI) -- A Las Vegas minister was sentenced to
nine years in prison for trying to extort millions of dollars from the
husband of singer Celine Dion.
Thursday's sentencing, prosecutor L.J. O'Neale said Kwon was a consummate liar.
"The truth is not in him," O'Neale said.
Kwon, a Korean native in the United States on an immigration visa, was
arrested in 2002 with his wife, Yun Sung, for trying to extort $20 million
from Dion's husband, Rene Angelil, claiming he raped Sung
in a Las Vegas hotel room.
Yi Dynasty Korean BBQ House Rodent infestation
1701, #E Corinthian Way, Newport Beach
Kim Su Seafood Restaurant Cockroach infestation
10526 Bolsa Ave., Westminster
IHOP Cockroach infestation
23592 Rockfield Blvd., Lake Forest
Seoul House Rodent infestation
1200, #C W. Warner Ave., Santa Ana
Hong Kong Express Cockroach infestation
4031 W. Chapman Ave., Orange
Source: Orange County Environmental Health Division
More information: Orange County Environmental Health Division at
Food Facility Closure List Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
The Visa Waiver Program
Under the Visa Waiver Program, citizens from certain countries are
permitted to enter the United States
for tourism or business (but not for employment or formal study) for
up to 90 days without a visa. Although these travelers are inspected
at U.S. points of entry,
they do not undergo the more rigorous background investigations and
in-country interviews associated with regular visa applications.
Twenty-seven countries currently participate in the VWP:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France,
Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg,
Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino,
Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
To participate in the VWP, a country must at least:
Offer reciprocal visa-free travel to U.S. citizens,
Issue machine-readable passports, and
Meet the requirement that the refusal rate for its nationals who apply
for nonimmigrant U.S. visas must be less than 3 percent.
The VWP is intended primarily to facilitate entry for foreign visitors
who are likely to return to their home country within the 90-day limit!!!!
For example, in the case of South Korea, U.S. Ambassador Christopher R. Hill
and other American government representatives have said that
the ROK cannot join the VWP until the number of illegal South Korean
residents in the United States significantly declines.
Additionally South Korea’s visa rejection rate is higher than the 3 percent
Finally, ROK officials estimate that some 70,000 South Korean passports
are lost or stolen each year and then traded on the black market,
a factor that has impeded Seoul’s participation in the VWP.
Koreans in U.S. have low median income
Koreans living in the United States had median family incomes substantially
below that for all Asian families,
although Asians as a whole were better off than all American families, a U.S.
census report says.
The median income of Asian families was $59,324 - $9,000 higher than the
median for all families -
but Korean family income only stood at $47,624, according to the bicentennial
report by the U.S. Census Bureau issued in December 2004.
Japanese and Asian Indian families enjoyed median incomes more than $10,000
higher than that of all Asian families.
Japanese were at $70,849, Indians $70,708, Chinese $60,058, Pakistanis
$50,189 and Thais $49,635.
Korean men and women reported $38,776 and $28,403, compared to $40,650 for
Asian men and $31,049 for Asian women.
Analysts said key to earnings may be related to English skills
Japanese were the only group with over 50 percent speaking only English at
home, with 52.7 percent.
About 27.2 percent of Japanese said they don't speak the language less than
very well, and 20 percent were non-English at home, but speak English very
In a survey on the poverty rate in 1999, Korean families were 14.8 percent,
while the average Asian population was at 12.6 percent, which is similar to that of the total population of 12.4 percent.
Article on the Korean population of New Malden
24 January 2005
Every seven and a half minutes, on average, a train leaves
Waterloo for New Malden. Subtly, after Clapham Junction,
the view from the window begins to change. Graffiti still
proliferates, but it's larger and more ambitious, the work
of sedate suburban vandals. Every other roof bulges with a fresh
loft conversion, the fruit of safe streets, quiet neighbours
and excellent links to the City. Something soft and comforting
drifts over the station platform: the steam from warm white rice.
"New Malden used to be a bit of a rundown area," says Young-il Park,
manager of the Asadal restaurant, a 10-minute walk from the station.
"A lot of the shops were closed, businesses weren't doing so well,
and the new arrivals regenerated the area. But the people who used
to be here weren't too keen on the change." Park speaks softly,
carefully measuring every remark and serving it with understatement.
"I think the thing I noticed most was that people would stare.
People weren't used to seeing an Oriental, perhaps."
They must be used to it by now. Since immigration restrictions were
relaxed in 1989, the British Korean population has grown rapidly to
around 30,000, and most of them - some say as many as 20,000 - live
in New Malden. The Park family were early pioneers. Young-il was
the only Korean in his school, and the Asadal, founded by his father
in 1991, was the first Korean restaurant in New Malden.
"It was supposed to be a little bit of Korea brought into a very
English town," says Park. "I think it started the ball rolling."
Since then, the transformation has been dramatic. "It's most noticeable
when you walk down the street," says Park. "You'll see a lot of Koreans,
like it's become a little Korea in London. And, also, you'll see
a lot of shops being set up." This is true. Perhaps a third of
the signage on New Malden High Street is in Korean script.
Ree is keen to talk, but apprehensive. Soon it is clear why.
"We had a very bad article in the Times at the beginning of this year,
and I wasn't very pleased with that. It was about eating dogs and all
that stuff." To many people, the dog thing is just a little joke, but
it is a real problem in New Malden. Somehow, Korea's image has been
stranded between China and Japan in the British consciousness, leaving
just the dog thing, a near-negligible aspect of Korean life, to haunt
the community. Young-il Park battles it constantly, and Ree, a prominent
local figure, does her best to get Koreans known for other things.
"We are looked upon as a very unusual community," she says,
"because we don't really open up to other communities in the borough."
Language, it seems, is the main enemy. "Even though I've been here
so long, I still have problems," admits Ree, who is so English that
she takes a box of PG Tips with her when she visits Korea.
"I went to a football match and everyone was going, erm ... "
Her brow crumples. "'Who are you?' What is that word?"
Koreatown Revival Eludes Poor
April 24, 2005
Not long after Chang Park's arrival from South Korea four years ago,
the reality of his predicament became painfully clear: Life in
the United States was going to be harder than expected.
Merchants who moved in after South L.A. riots prosper, but employees
Koreatown's residents and workers are still suffering, and are poorer
than ever, according to community leaders, academicians and civil activists.
"While the business sector of the community has been progressing,
the residents and workers are living in poverty,"
said Danny Park, executive director of the Korean Immigrant Workers
Advocates, a workers support group.
The largely immigrant population is mainly employed in unskilled nonunion
jobs, with virtually no benefits, in the service sector, retail trade and
restaurant industry, the report concluded.
It also found that 70% of the population in Koreatown, where a typical
family of four makes less than $36,800 a year, could be classified as
The area's median household income is $20,000, compared with the national
average of $42,000. Families are surviving on 83% of the income they had
And the average hourly pay in Korean supermarkets, the neighborhood's
largest employers, is around $7.
"Jobs in Koreatown do not pay enough wages and benefits to avoid the cycle
of poverty," said professor Edward J. Park, director of Asian American
Studies at Loyola Marymount University,
who collaborated on the Korean Immigrant Workers Advocates report
Skyrocketing home prices, which have caused overcrowding and public health
concerns, add to the potent ingredients for social discontent, experts on
urban social trends observed.
Fugitive Money Manager Is Arrested in Arizona
April 26, 2005
Fugitive Los Angeles money manager Won Charlie Yi, accused of
bilking millions of dollars from fellow Korean Americans,
was in federal custody Monday after his car was stopped for speeding
on an Arizona highway, authorities said.
The car "was going 113 miles an hour in a 75 zone outside of Yuma,"
said Assistant U.S. Atty. James Aquilina, citing a report from Arizona
"He apparently had a .45 [caliber handgun], 300 rounds of ammunition
and two manuals on how to make homemade silencers."
Court filings accused Yi last year of fraudulently raising at least
$36 million from investors, mainly garment manufacturers and other
small-business owners in Southern California,
through his C+ Capital Management company in downtown Los Angeles.
Yi is believed to have arrived in Los Angeles early this month,
where he called a former associate at C+ Capital and persuaded him to
drive the two of them to an Arizona gun show in the borrowed BMW.
They were stopped while returning from that show, he added.
Before his disappearance, investors said that Yi had appeared to be
living a classic American success story, driving luxury cars,
including a bulletproofed BMW, chartering jets for gambling sprees
in Las Vegas
and hiring major investors' children to work at C+ Capital,
headquartered in 14,000 square feet on the 36th floor of Sanwa Bank Plaza.
Tragic death that uncovered the shadowy world of Britain's hidden Chinese workers
Hsiao-Hung Pai and David Leigh
Tuesday January 13, 2004
Fatal 24-hour shift at microwave plant highlights plight of migrants
working long hours, under false names, for low pay
When Zhang Guo Hua dropped dead in Hartlepool, after stamping the word
Samsung on microwave ovens for 24 hours on end, it turned out to be
in no one's interests to make too much of a fuss - not his employer,
nor his workmates, nor the gangmaster who brought him there, nor even
his widow back home.
News was anyway unlikely to spread fast, as Mr Zhang's friends spoke
no English. The bereaved Mrs Zhang did not understand the death
certificate when it was eventually sent to her back in China.
The body was soon cremated, without the benefit of an inquest.
A Guardian investigation has discovered that the dead man was one
of a hidden army of workers from northern China, many of them without
papers, toiling under conditions that few Britons would tolerate.
But the very worst job, he said, was the one he shared with Mr Zhang,
working night shifts along with up to 80 other Chinese, in the cluster
of plastics plants in Teesside which feed the Korean-owned Samsung
factory there with components.
He said they were recruited by a man called Sung Chul Lim, who has been
granted asylum and says he is a North Korean refugee. He runs a firm
called Thames Oriental Manpower Management, from small offices in
the suburb of New Malden, south-west London, set up near Samsung's
UK corporate headquarters.
Families of Korean inmates at the L.A. County Men’s Central Jail
don't want their family members to room with non-Asian prisoners.
After an Asian inmate was assaulted by a group of African Americans,
allegedly because he was thought to be Korean, family members are
concerned Korean inmates are being targeted.
On November 16,a Chinese American known as "T" was stabbed seven
times by six African Americans. Investigators at the Sheriff Department
reportedly suspect that the victim was mistaken for a Korean
by the attackers. Families of Korean prisoners are concerned that
Koreans prisoners will be victimized by non-Asian prisoners who
are "physically stronger" and in more "powerful cliques."
Twenty representatives of Korean inmates’ families visited the office
of County Sheriff Lee Bacca late last month to plead that Koreans be
separated from non-Asians. They explained that Asian prisoners are
known to be docile and submissive because they are physically smaller
and don’t have supporting cliques.
The Rev. Soo Min Lee, who has been ministering Korean inmates in
Southern California prisons since 1966, said he has seen Koreans become
crime victims of non-Asians many times.
“Because of their small physical shape, they easily become target
of sexual assaults, or errand boys for their drug trafficking,”
Lee said. “When they do not yield, they are beaten, literally
beaten near to death.”
State prisons that house inmates serving sentences are much better
organized, Lee said. But county jails, where inmates are waiting
for court judgments, are so crowded that it is common for half-dozen
prisoners to share one room, making it difficult to keep them in order.
Currently about 7,000 inmates in jails are waiting for court sentencing
statewide. And Lee estimates that 300 to 400 Koreans are locked there.
Aside from conflicts with non-Asian inmates, most of the Koreans suffer
from cultural and language barriers, Lee said. “They sorely miss steamed
rice and kimchi,” he said. “Many of them have difficulty communicating
in English adequately.”
At the meeting with Korean families, Deputy Sheriff Doyle Campbell said
that the new room assignments were inevitable due to budget cuts and
prisoner management policies. He pledged that the jail wardens would make
more patrols and hinted that the authority would consider regrouping if
they judge that Asians are in extreme danger when they are with non-Asians,
according to a family representative.
Dream of overseas job becomes a nightmare
University students and graduates seeking jobs and internships
overseas are complaining that companies that arrange the positions
are in some cases defrauding them.
A recent university graduate, identified only as Ms. Kim,
is an example of the students' plight. She said she paid 4.9 million won
($4,900) to a company that promised her
an internship at a hotel in Alaska, but the outsourcing operator
failed to provide the position.
Another woman, identified as Ms. Choi, paid a deposit when she was
promised she could intern as a receptionist
at a U.S. hotel. Ms. Choi returned to Korea recently after six months
working in the hotel's laundry.
"Most Korean students who obtained internships at the hotel worked
as maids, Ms. Choi said.
350,000 illegal Koreans Sep 9, 2004
The report said at least 350,000 Koreans are living illegally
in foreign countries
The most illegal emigrants ? nearly 183,000 ? were in the United States,
followed by Canada with some 100,000.
There are about 46,500 illegal emigrants in Japan
and 10, 000 in the Philippines, the report said.
Boycotted Store Is Firebombed
By Petula Dvorak
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 1, 2000
The fight was captured on scratchy videotape, a soundless melee
tumbling in and out of a surveillance camera's frame.
All over a 65-cent ice cream bar.
The incident sparked a series of protests this week in front of
the Korean-owned A-1 Grocery in Northeast Washington. Meanwhile,
police picked apart the videotape, conducted interviews and
examined evidence in an effort to determine who was at fault
in the altercation.
Then early yesterday, someone threw a pipe bomb at the entrance
of the store, charring the front of the building. No one was injured.
Graffiti also covered an outside wall.
Los Angeles riot and Korean immigrants
On March 16, 1991, only thirteen days after the beating of Rodney King
by four members of the LAPD, Korean-American Soon Ja Du was minding
the counter at the Empire Liquor Market on South Figueroa Street in
South Central Los Angeles. Du rarely worked in the shop, but her son,
who normally worked behind the counter, had been physically threatened
by a few members of the Crips, an infamous gang in LA (he was supposed
to testify against one of their members in a robbery case).
Needless to say, racial tensions in Los Angeles were high.
Lyrics to Ice Cube's Black Korea
"Twenty D Energizers."
"Twenty, C Energizer?"
"D, not C, D"
"D motherfucker, D! Learn to speak English first, alright? D!"
"How many you say?"
"Twenty, motherfucker, twenty."
"Everytime I wanna go get a fucking brew
I gotta go down to the store with the two
Oriental one-penny counting motherfuckers
That make a nigga mad enough to cause a little ruckus
Thinking every brother in the worls' out to take
So they watch every damn move I make
They hope I don't pull out a gat and try to rob
They funky little store, but bitch, I got a job
(Look you little Chinese motherfucker
I ain't trying to steal none of yo' shit, leave me alone!
Yo, yo check it out
So don't follow me, up and down your market
Or your little chop suey ass'll be a target
Of the nationwide boycott
Juice with the people, that's what the boy got
So pay attention to the black fist
Or we'll burn your store, right down to a crisp
And then we'll see ya!
Cause you can't turn the ghetto into Black Korea!
("I do fuck you!")