Monday's Link Attack: France Returns Overdue Books, Goes Nuts Over K-Pop

South Korea hails return of books looted by France
The Korea Herald

Korea celebrated the return of nearly 300 copies of its ancient royal documents that were looted by French troops 145 years ago with welcome ceremonies and performances in Seoul and Ganghwa Island on Saturday.

The ceremonies came after the final batch of 297 volumes of Uigwe arrived in Seoul from Paris late last month. The books have been shipped back to Seoul in four separate installments since April 14.

Korean pop groups hold first concert in Paris
The Korea Herald

K-pop fans throughout Europe descended upon Paris last Friday and Saturday to attend the first-ever Korean pop music concert in Europe.

Popular acts TVXQ, Girls‘ Generation, Super Junior, SHINee and f(x) put on a three-hour performance at Le Zenith de Paris concert hall, singing a total of 44 songs for the fans, who had come from all parts of Europe, including France, Spain, Italy and Poland.

About 100 teenage fans spent the night outside the concert hall on Thursday, while more than 1,000 people crowded outside the hall five hours prior to the start of the show. Even rain was not enough to drive away fans who stood waiting for the concert to start as they sang Korean pop songs and danced to their music.

The Korea Herald reported that only two percent of the audience was Korean, according to promoters.

The Wall Street Journal explored the business side of a potential European expansion for Korean music.

“Thanks to the Cannes Film Festival, many Korean directors, actors, and actresses have found French acclaim can lead to international fame,” said Bernie Cho, chief executive at DFSB Kollective. “Hopefully, Korean bands, singers, and musicians can now follow in their footsteps.”

South Korean University President Dead in Apparent Suicide
The Associated Press

A South Korean university president and former agricultural minister reportedly under a corruption investigation was found dead Monday in an apparent suicide, police said.

Police found the body of Sunchon National University President Lim Sang-gyu along with burned charcoal and a suicide note in a parked car in the southern city of Suncheon, officer Yang Byung-wu said.

Lim apparently killed himself with carbon monoxide gas from the charcoal sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning, Yang said.

Actress Diane Farr writes amazing book on interracial romance, Kissing Outside the Lines (with video!)

The Web site for the St. Petersburg Times holds a Q&A with the Numb3rs thespian where she talks about what it’s like to be married to a Korean American man.

Farr: What’s so funny is in this exact moment of time, Asians are having like a moment in the sun, between the Tiger Mom and the cover of New York Magazine, and they’re being portrayed as either Nazi-like parents who have no sense of humor or meek, short, sheltered cattle. It seems everything about being biracial in America is about black and white. Sometimes I even feel funny to say I’m in a biracial marriage because people are like, ‘Oh, he’s Asian?’ The subtext is, ‘Who cares?’ You didn’t marry a black person. No one’s paying any attention to you. So for the first moment that we’re paying attention to Asians, we’re putting them down.

Farr is plugging her new book on interracial marriages.

Margaret Cho Collaborates With Parents Q&A

Your ’30 Rock’ cameo as North Korean dictator Kim Jon-il was hysterical. How was that experience?

It was really amazing. That was all Tina Fey’s idea. She thought of me as Kim Jong-il and I was really excited to do it. Everybody was great. That show is really funny and it’s always wonderful to be on something that you watch. It was so dreamlike to walk into their world and be on that set. It’s powerful. I really had a good time. The physical transformation to become Kim Jong-il is kind of hard, and was definitely different than what I normally look like, but it’s so funny.

The 3,000-mile exit route from North Korea
Channel 4 (UK)

In 2004, 46 North Koreans made their way to Thailand. Last year 2,500 made the trip – although one Thai official told me that the number is probably far higher. If they do make it (and the journey is a perilous one), they know the Thais will hand them over to the South Korean government, which will equip them with entry papers, house and feed them and get them started in their new capitalist surrounds.