Friday, 11 November 2016 16:17

U.N. S. Korean Ambassador Oh Joon

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Building a Global Community

Ambassador Oh Joon is the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations. His most recent role at the U.N. was President of the Economic and Social Council, which he served from 2015 to 2016.He currently serves as the President of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Having begun his career fresh out of university at the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Oh has served as a diplomat both within South Korea and around the world. Working as a senior member of the Korean Foreign Ministry, he has worked at the Republic of Korea Embassy in Brazil and Malaysia, and most recently was Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in Singapore from 2010 to 2013. He has also served many roles in the United Nations, where he represented the Republic of Korea in many U.N. bodies. He has also served as President of the Security Council in 2014. Seoul Journal Executive editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked with Ambassador Joon about diplomacy, his experiences, and challenges that face our world today.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016 03:33

Hines Ward

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NFL Analyst & Former Star Receiver Discusses his Korean Heritage

Hines Ward is a champion on and off the football field who has come a long way from his birthplace in Seoul, South Korea. The retired National Football League (NFL) wide receiver, who is currently an NBC studio analyst, holds every receiving record in the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Born in Seoul in 1976 to a Korean mother and an African American father, he grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and has become an advocate for the social acceptance of foreigners and mixed-race youth in South Korea. In addition, President Barack Obama, who has called Hines Ward “the happiest man in football,” appointed Hines a member of the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The two-time Super Bowl Champion and MVP of Super Bowl XL is a four-time Pro Bowler, the all-time team leader in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns, and the only receiver in Steeler history to surpass 1,000 receiving yards for four straight seasons. He was named to the Steelers’ 75th Season All-Time Team and on January 1 2012, his last catch as a Pittsburgh Steeler made NFL history as Hines became the eighth player to reach 1,000 career receptions. Since his retirement from the NFL, he has appeared on television and the silver screen, making cameos in The Dark Knight Rises and The Walking Dead, and championing the dance floor as a reality TV star, winning Season 12 of ABC's hit dance competition Dancing with the Stars. His many achievements have resulted in Hines being featured on the cover of such publications as TIME Magazine, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, and Esquire, and as one of GQ's 2009 "Men of the Year.” Hines Ward shared insight into his Korean roots and his many achievements with Seoul Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie.

Monday, 06 April 2015 00:00

Irvine, California Mayor Steven Choi

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Irvine, California Mayor Steven Choi

Brings Work, Living and Play Together at Great Park

Steven Seokho Choi is the second Korean-born mayor of Irvine, California and the first Asian American to have been elected to a four-year term on the Irvine City Council. Holding a B.A. from Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea, he earned his master’s degree in library science from Louisiana State University and his Ph.D. in library and information science from the University of Pittsburgh. He founded and serves as director of Dr. Choi’s Academy and has taught at University of Southern California, University of California Irvine, California State University Los Angeles, Henderson State University, Saddleback College and Coastline Community College. His political career began when he was elected to the Irvine Unified School District School Board in 1998 and was re-elected in 2002. He was then elected to the Irvine City Council in 2004. In 2012, Choi successfully ran for Mayor of Irvine and was re-elected in 2014. Seoul Journal's Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie met with Mayor Choi at Irvine City Hall.

Monday, 05 May 2014 00:00

Author Kyung-sook Shin

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Kyung-sook Shin is a celebrated author in her native South Korea. She made her literary debut in 1985, winning the Munye Joongang New Author Prize for her novella Winter Fable. She recently came to international attention with the translation of her latest book, Please Look After Mom, into a number of languages for distribution in 33 countries. The book is about a mother who disappears and the family’s desperate search to find her. It won the prestigious Man Asian Literary Prize for 2011, the Asian equivalent of the Man Booker Prize. The first Korean and first woman to win the prize, she beat celebrated Asian authors such as Haruki Murakami and Anuradha Roy. TJ’s Hong Kong correspondent David Nunan caught up with Ms. Shin at the recent Hong Kong International Literary Festival where she was a featured speaker.

DN: When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?
K-s S: My dream to become a writer came very naturally to me. I grew up in the rural countryside, a long way from the city. We raised animals like cows and chickens and then we would kill them and eat them. I had many siblings, many brothers who would bring books home and leave them lying around. I read them and fell in love with literature. Many of the questions I had about life were answered in the books. I loved the characters and felt that I was experiencing the same thing. So my dream to become an author was very natural to me. When I was 16, I went to Seoul to go to high school, and my love of literature got deeper there.

Thursday, 01 May 2014 00:00

Rethinking the MBA

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Rethinking the MBA

As the global financial crisis has subsided, some business schools have added one or two courses on ethics to their MBA programs. The courses are mostly an afterthought. The thinking behind them is: “Our financial institutions have behaved badly, so maybe it would be a good idea to add a touch of ethical instruction to the curriculum.” Nothing could be more revealing of the mindset of our economic thinkers than that business ethics has become a sideshow, an add-on, an extra frill.

The prevailing view of the economy as a giant autonomous mechanism following inexorable laws is a highly abstract, quasi-scientific conception. Like the laws of gravity, there isn’t much room for ethics. But, in fact, this prevailing view conflicts sharply with how we actually experience the economy in our day-to-day encounters.

The Hungarian philosopher Karl Polanyi emphasized the importance of what he called “tacit knowledge,” or non-conscious knowledge that accumulates from our experience with ideas, objects, people or institutions without our being fully aware of it.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 08:41

Through the Eyes of Yankelovich

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See how one of the world’s most influential people in public affairs, communications and public relations, Daniel Yankelovich, views the world.

A PROBLEM NOT CONFINED TO THE UNITED STATES

DEMOCRACIES with capitalist economic systems like those in Japan, the United States and Europe have many features in common. One is to compartmentalize thinking about the economy as if it were an autonomous system that operated in isolation of the larger society to which it belongs. Such thinking can lead to serious miscalculations of the sort that currently threaten the social contract that now prevails in the United States

Most economic theorists acknowledge that capitalism creates inequalities. This is a tradeoff that most Americans up to now have willingly accepted, despite the high value we place on equality. To reconcile the conflicting pulls of freedom and equality, Americans have settled on the principle of equality of opportunity as the underlying core value of democratic capitalism. Unfortunately, however, the traditional American value of seeking to “better oneself ” is beginning to show signs of erosion. This is because it is becoming increasingly difficult to realize.

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