Friday, May 22, 2015         

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KBFD started its high-definition broadcast at 12:35 p.m. Monday. If you are watching KBFD without cable on Channel 32.1, you will notice our HD signal.

Today marks the 10th anniversary of this column and in celebration I have scheduled a special event. "North Korea: A New Generation" will feature North Korean defector Yeonmi Park, who was named one of the Top 100 Women by the BBC last year for "raising awareness of the plight of her people in North Korea."

Julia Lee Mullock, Korea's last princess, turned 92 this year. She was married to the last crown prince, Yi Gu, who died in July 2005 in Japan.

Sunday, 6:30 p.m.: Dong-hoo tells Hwa-yeon to leave the house if she's going to be the evil stepmom. Hwa-yeon begs on her knees and gets to stay. Soo-mi finds out it was In-hwa's plot to get Soo-bong to inhale gas and pretend to save him.

The South Korean film "Twenty" opened Friday at the Pearlridge Consolidated Theatres. This film, which opened in South Korea on March 25, has surpassed 2 million ticket sales in 12 days. It's a comedy about three 20-year-olds who hit some bumps in their love life and career planning.

The Hawaii International Film Festival kicked off its Spring Showcase on Friday with "A Samurai Chronicle." The Spring Showcase will continue through April 19 and close with the Zhang Yimou film "Coming Home" starring Gong Li.

South Korea is becoming healthier with a recent ban on smoking in public areas.

Steak lovers are celebrating the opening of Wolfgang's Steakhouse in Seoul. The restaurant, which opened Monday, is located in the pricey neighborhood of Chungdam-dong. It has two floors and can hold up to 200 people.

The Busan International Film Festival is going through some changes as the festival's longtime programmer and executive director, Lee Yong-kwan, was recommended to step down this past January by Busan City Mayor Suh Byung-soo after a special audit on BIFF was taken.

U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert suffered injuries to his face and left hand after he was attacked by a radical activist with a 10-inch knife March 5 in South Korea.

Although Dong-seok caught Jun-hui lying about having amnesia, his feelings for her still overpower the betrayal. Everyone is up in arms when they find out that Keut-sun gave Dong-seok $300,000 to pay off the loan on the house.

Get ready for the 21st Annual Hono­lulu Festival, taking place Friday to March 8. Highlights include a grand parade in Waikiki, educational programs, the Friendship Party at the Hawai‘i Convention Center, a craft fair, workshops, performances and a Nagoya Fireworks show, which is dazzling every year.

Finding your "Seoul" mate is already difficult, but with wedding costs skyrocketing to a new high, marriage is becoming out of reach for many.

Korean movies with nostalgia-themed story­lines seem to be a hit at theaters recently. "Ode to My Father," a film that follows a family from the Korean War to the 1980s, has sold more than 13 million tickets.

Audrey Jung (Keut-soon) is finally going back to Korea after 50 years. During those 50 years, it seems that she's managed to save quite a bit of money. She's returning to give it to her children, Dal-su and Dal-ja, whom she abandoned 50 years ago.

Hwa-ran gets caught by the police and is sent to Immigration to be deported. Ki-jun visits her where she is being held, and tells her that he loves her and for her to wait for him. Hwa-ran convinces Ki-jun not to give up and goes back to Hadurok-ri.

Everyone is worried about Yun-hui and Min-ho after Min-ho goes to see his father in Seoul. Yun-hui puts on a tough act, but she is hurt and worried. Min-ki doesn't know what he's feeling when he sees Hyeok comforting Yun-hui.

Yunjin Kim's ("Lost") latest movie, "Ode to My Father," hit the 10 million ticket-sale mark. The film, a modern historical film taking place from the end of the Korean War to the 1980s, is the 14th Korean film to achieve the 10 million milestone.

Hyeok is getting fed up by the way Min-ki unknowingly hurts Yun-hui. Han-cheol agonizes when he finds out that Su-yeon is gay. The boys come across a new problem with the cabbages

Sunday, 6:30 p.m.: Hyeok and Yun-hui go to town to get tents for the farmers' market in Seoul. Hyeok decides to try driving again on the way back and ends up driving them to the beach.

Yunjin Kim ("Lost") released her South Korean film "Ode to My Father" last week to great reviews and box office ticket sales. Kim is one of the first crossover Korean actresses who has seen success in South Korea and the United States.

"Modern Farmer" • Episodes 7 and 8 • Sunday, 6:30 p.m.: Min-ki and Yun-hui have an uncomfortable visit with his mother. On their way back, Yun-hui's purse is snatched and she hurts her other ankle.

Korean War veterans were recently honored by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Honolulu and KBFD TV with a free movie at Saint Louis School's Mamiya Theatre.

South Koreans are buzzing over the latest Haitai snack, Honey Butter Chip. The product is selling at just over $2, but costs double online because of its difficulty to find. Honey Butter Chip is making nearly $3 million in sales a week in South Korea.

Here is some recent South Korean travel news: » As of Sept. 5, South Koreans who travel abroad can spend up to $600 at duty-free shops. The previous cap was $400. » Jin Air, a budget regional airline, is expected to start a route from Incheon to Hono­lulu in the summer of 2015.

The makeup of South Korean households is rapidly changing, with a full quarter of households comprising only one member. That proportion is projected to grow to one-third by 2035. This has resulted in a boom for convenience stores.

This past Friday marked my father's 80th birthday. I am writing about him because Kea Sung Chung is the founding father of KBFD. Starting the broadcast station in 1986 was extremely risky for my father, who placed all his eggs in one basket, a business practice everyone tells you to avoid.

This year's winner of the 34th Annual Hawaii International Film Festival's top award, the Halekulani Golden Orchid Award, goes to … "Haemoo," a South Korean film directed by Sung-bo Shim, with the help of director Joon Ho Bong, who produced and co-wrote the film.

Taste of Korea, a fundraiser to build a Korean cultural center in Hawaii, will be a night of sampling food prepared by local chefs putting their spin on Korean dishes. Restaurants involved are MW Restaurant, Sora­bol, Lucky Belly, Seoul Jung and The Pig and the Lady.

The Hawaii International Film Festival is set to kick off Thursday. Spotlight on Korea has a late addition to the film lineup from South Korea: "Scarlet Innocence," which stars Jung Woo Sung and E-som.

Low-budget, no-frills airlines in South Korea are a booming business, enjoying double-digit growth year to year, with heated competition resulting in route expansions. South Korean travelers may soon have a new option.

The Hawaii International Film Festival from Oct. 30 to Nov. 9 features 11 Korean feature-length films and shorts. KBFD is sponsoring the following list of titles. Tickets are available at

Korean Alphabet Day, or Hangeul Day, will be celebrated on Thursday this year. Under the reign of King Sejong, Hangeul was born empowering the people. KBFD has produced a special two-part documentary on the Korean alphabet, which will air at 6:50 p.m. Thursday and Oct. 16.

Spotlight on Korea for HIFF this year is looking really strong with eight great films and a couple of celebrity attendances. Scheduled to appear are megastar Kang Dong-Won, along with director EJ Yong, who will be making his second visit to HIFF.

"Friend 2," the sequel to Korea's 2001 box office hit "Friend," was released on DVD in the United States on Tuesday.

Kwon Sang Woo and Choi Ji Woo are back together 11 years after their big hit drama "Stairway to Heaven." The duo stars in the new drama "Temptation." "Stairway to Heaven" took Kwon to superstardom in Japan.

Actor Choi Min Shik is most well-known for his main roles in "Old Boy," "I Saw the Devil," "Nameless Gangster" and "New World," and now is starring in two current releases: "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" and Luc Besson's "Lucy."

A free screening of the Korean film "Papa" will be shown at the Mamiya Theatre at Saint Louis School at 7 p.m. Sept. 8. This special screening is made possible with the sponsorship of the Korea Foundation, the Korean Consulate of Hawaii and KBFD TV.

South Korea was honored with a visit from Pope Francis this month. Known as the "People's Pope," the Pontiff was getting around town in a compact Kia Soul car. His last message to the divided Korea: "Forgive and be united as one people."

Korean cinema is getting a boost late in the summer with "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" hitting more than 10 million tickets sold in the shortest time among all Korean films and "Kundo: Age of the Rampant."

"The Admiral: Roaring Currents," a box-office hit in Korea that was released on July 30 and has already sold more than 4.7 million tickets, will open at Pearlridge Consolidated Theatres on Friday.

THIS WEEK'S SYNOPSES • "Rosy Day" Episodes 11 and 12 • "Dr. Stranger" Episodes 19 and 20 (Final Episode) • "You're All Surrounded" Episodes 19 and 20 (Final Episode) • and more

It's peak summer travel season and recently I have been flooded with emails asking where to go for "real good Korean food" in Korea. When I visit Korea, my friends or relatives will take me to restaurants in hotels, as they are deemed high quality and more expensive than other places.

Jae-woo finds himself interested in Da-jung. Ihn-woo is shocked that Da-jung didn't move in next door because of him

We could see a spike in Korean visitors this summer, with the U.S. dollar weakening against the South Korean won.

The 13th annual Korean Festival is Saturday at Magic Island from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The festival has been held at Kapiolani Park for the last 12 years, but this year it will be held on the Ilikai Boat Harbor side of Magic Island.

A ceremony marking the 64th Korean War Commemoration was held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific on Wednesday. The Korean War broke out on June 25, 1950, and lasted three years, ending in an armistice on July 27, 1953.

THIS WEEK'S SYNOPSES • "Three Days" Episodes 15 and 16 (final episode) • "Dr. Stranger" Episodes 7 and 8 • "You're All Surrounded" Episodes 7 and 8 • "Angel Eyes" Episodes 15 and 16 • and more

One of the most successful Korean films this year, "The Attorney," will have its U.S. DVD release Tuesday. The movie was released in December with more than 11 million tickets sold, which makes it one of the few Korean films to ever break the 10-million-ticket milestone.

Korean megastar Dong-gun Jang is back on the big screen with "No Tears for the Dead," which opens at Pearlridge West on June 20. The Korean title translates to "Crying Man."

THIS WEEK'S SYNOPSES • "Three Days" • "Dr. Stranger" • "You're All Surrounded" • "Angel Eyes"

Oceanic Time Warner Cable's KLIFE channel 81 has more dramas from the past available for on-demand viewing. Recent additions include "Don't Hesitate," "Wish Upon a Star," "Trap of Youth" and "Fashion 70s."

Heartthrob Hyun Bin returns to the big screen with hislatest historical film, "Fatal Encounter," which will open Friday at the Pearlridge West 16 theaters. The film was released at the end of April in Korea.

I have seen many Korean celebrity magazines and other publication startups come and go in the United States. Recently, I found a pair of books that is pretty comprehensive on the K-pop scene.

THIS WEEK'S SYNOPSES • "Three Days" • "God's Gift — 14 Days" • "Cunning Single Lady" • "Angel Eyes"

The Sewol ferry disaster on the afternoon of April 15 Hawaii time left South Korea in a state of shock and disbelief. The sunken ferry was carrying 475 passengers headed to Jeju Island, 325 of them high school students.

Korean celebrity Ricky Kim ("Law of the Jungle," "Let's Go Dream Team! Season 2," "Jejungwon" and "On Air"), who spent time growing up in Hawaii, has started a new reality program on SBS titled "Oh My Baby."

South Korea is getting some Hollywood screen time as Marvel Studios films the next "Avengers" movie in Seoul. Filming of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" started March 30 with Captain America on Mapo Bridge from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Flying to Korea from Hawaii will get more comfortable on Hawaiian Airlines starting April 23. The airline, which has a direct flight from Honolulu to Incheon airport, will be upgrading its current Boeing 767-300 with 264 seats to the Airbus A330-200, which has a capacity of 294 seats.

The Hawaii International Film Festival will celebrate the 15th Annual Spring Showcase April 4-10. There are 37 films from 13 countries including eight Korean films.

KBFD celebrates its 28th anniversary serving the state of Hawaii on Monday. Thank you to all our viewers, sponsors, supporters and fans.

Ji-hyun Jun, aka Gianna Jun, plays the female lead in this drama. She falls in love with an alien played by Soo Hyun Kim. The drama has the Midas touch in Korea and China where everything in the show becomes popular.

The Honolulu Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary with many multicultural events from Friday to March 9. A 16-member delegation from Jeju National University will be a part of the festival representing South Korea.

"Madly in Love" • "A Word from Warm Heart" • "My Love from the Star" • "The Woman Who Married 3 Times"

The Center for Korean Studies' spring 2014 series will feature four English-subtitled films to focus on foreign residents in Korea and their challenges. There are nearly 1.5 million foreign residents changing Korea's ethnocentric culture to a multi-ethnic and multicultural society.

Today, 6:30 p.m.: Soo-hyeok is very upset after he finds Yoo-jung and Moo-yeol trapped in a storage refrigerator. Nan-cho kicks Yoo-jung out, but Yoo-jung comes back with proof that nothing happened between her and Moo-yeol. Soo-hyeok manages to take Moo-yeol's contract with Hope Hospital away, leaving Moo-yeol's company in terrible trouble.

This year's first South Korean blockbuster film, "The Attorney," will be released in Hawaii Friday. The film stars one of my favorite Korean veteran actors, Kang Ho Song, who was also my first guest at the Hawaii International Film Festival in 2002 for the opening night film "YMCA Baseball Team."

Korea's latest family comedy film "Miss Granny" will be released Friday at Pearlridge West Consolidated Theatres. Here is the synopsis of the film provided by CJ Entertainment:

Yoo-jung's mother asks Kang Moon-do for help out of desperation. Moo-yeol gets into a fistfight with Soo-hyeok over Yoo-jung. He warns Soo-hyeok to stay away from her. Moo-yeol takes Yoo-jung to meet his grandfather and tells her the truth about his relationship with Soo-hyeok.

Monday marks the 111th anniversary of Korean immigration to Hawaii. On Jan. 13, 1903, many Koreans aboard the USS Gaelic arrived in Hono­lulu to work in plantation fields. From that day to 1910, more than 7,000 Koreans immigrated to Hawaii.

Korea's latest action-packed thriller, "The Suspect," opens in Hawaii on Friday. The film opened on Christmas Eve in Korea, and more than 1.8 million tickets have been sold. Check your local listings for showtimes.

Madly in Love • A World from Warm Heart • The Inheritors • The Woman Who Married 3 Times

The Consulate General of South Korea in Honolulu and KBFD had a special screening of the Korean film "Top Star" Tuesday night at the Hawaii Theatre, commemorating the 110th anniversary of Korean immigration to the U.S.

"Madly in Love" Episodes 9 and 10. Today, 6:30 p.m.: After Moo-yeol turns down Moon-do's offer of work, Moon-do goes out of his way to destroy Moo-yeol. He stops Moo-yeol's loan.

This week's synopses: “Madly in Love” • “The Mystery Housemaid” • “The Inheritors” • “The Woman Who Married 3 Times”

Two films from South Korea are being released in Hawaii theaters in the next few weeks."Commitment," which was released in South Korea on Nov. 6, will open here Friday. The film stars Choi Seung Hyun, aka T.O.P, a member of the music group Big Bang.

Today, 6:30 p.m.: Tae-shin collapses during an argument with Moon-do and dies in the hospital. Moo-yeol is lost because he knows there is something his grandfather wants him to do, but he doesn't know what.

"Wedding Palace," finishing up its seventh week in Hawaii theaters, is now one of the most successful Korean genre films theatrically released in the islands.

"Wonderful Mama" Episodes 47 and 48; final episode • "The Mystery Housemaid" Episodes 7 and 8 • "Master's Sun" Episode 17; final episode • "The Inheritors" Episode 1 • "Goddess of Marriage" Episodes 31 and 32

“Wonderful Mama” • “The Mystery Housemaid” • “Master’s Sun” • “Goddess of Marriage”

KBFD has a new TV series: "Cathlyn's Kitchen" on Sundays at 6 p.m. The 13-episode series started on Oct. 6 and runs weekly. The focus is cooking simple everyday Korean dishes. The show, which runs for 30 minutes, is in English without subtitles and offers the health benefits of Korean food.

One of the best-kept secrets that I realized on my recent trip to the Busan International Film Festival is that flying to Busan, Korea, is best via Fukuoka, Japan, on Hawaiian Airlines.

This week's synopses of Korean television dramas includes: "Wonderful Mama," "Empire of Gold," "Master's Sun" and "Goddess of Marriage."

The film series "Two Koreas, Shattered Lives," presented by the Center for Korean Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, continues through Nov. 19.

The Hawaii International Film Festival that begins Oct. 10 continues to mature in its 33rd year with quality films from around the globe. There are eight feature films in the Spotlight on Korea section this year sponsored by KBFD.

Korean-American director and writer Christine Yoo will release her film "Wedding Palace" Friday in New York, Los Angeles and Hawaii.

"Wonderful Mama" • "Empire of Gold" • "Master's Sun" • "Goddess of Marriage"

This week's synopses of Korean TV dramas includes: "Wonderful Mama" • "Empire of Gold" • "I Can Hear Your Voice" • "Goddess of Marriage"

K-drama, K-pop and K-directors have all made their mark outside of Korea. Could a K-chef be far behind? This year's Hawaii Food and Wine Festival features Korean chef Lucia Cho Thursday at the Modern Honolulu for the event "Hawaiian Airlines Presents Under the Modern Moon: Morimoto & Friends."

Director Joon Ho Bong ("The Host," "Memories of Murder"), with cinematographer Kyung Po Hong, has been finding box-office success with the release of "Snowpiercer," starring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris and Song Kang Ho.

The Korean celebrity wedding of the year took place Aug. 10 in Seoul when Byung-hun Lee married Min-jung Rhee. With a guest list of 900 people, including close friends and film industry insiders, a pre-ceremony news conference was held that drew more than 100 journalists.

Hawaii Theatre for Youth kicks off its season with “A Korean Cinderella,” a modern, K-pop version of the traditional tale. Written by Alvin Chan, the musical opens at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at Tenney Theatre. HTY collaborated with the Halla Huhm Dance Studio to create the retelling of the traditional Korean tale “Konji and Patji.” For more information, see or call 839-9885.

Woo Sung Jung, who came to the islands for the 2008 Hawaii International Film Festival, is in the limelight with the success of his latest movie, "Cold Eyes." • This week's synopses of Korean TV dramas includes "Wonderful Mama," "Empire of Gold," "I Can Hear Your Voice" and "Goddess of Marriage."

This week's synopses of Korean television dramas includes: "Wonderful Mama," "Empire of Gold," "I Can Hear Your Voice" and "Goddess of Marriage."

When Korean dramas started gaining popularity here, original soundtracks on CD were quite popular. Then came K-drama DVD sets with English subtitles that were originally sold at KBFD, then at local retailers such as Longs, Blockbuster, Barnes & Noble and Costco.

This week's synopses of Korean television dramas includes ""Wonderful Mama," "Jang Ok Jung, Living by Love," "All About My Romance" and "Secret of the Birth."

This week's synopses of Korean television dramas includes: "Wonderful Mama," "Jang Ok Jung, Living by Love," "All About My Romance" and "Secret of the Birth."

This week's synopses of Korean television dramas includes: "Wonderful Mama," "Jang Ok Jung, Living by Love," "All About My Romance," and "Secret of the Birth."

This week's synopses of Korean television dramas • "Wonderful Mama" • "Jang Ok Jung, Living by Love" • "All About My Romance" • "Secret of the Birth"

This week's synopses include: "That Winter, the Wind Blows," "Jang Ok Jung, Living by Love," "All About My Romance," and "Secret of the Birth."

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