A refugee now living in the US, Joseph Kim tells the story of his life in North Korea during the famine years. He’s begun to create a new life — but he still searches for the family he lost.
Joseph Kim is from the northern region of North Korea. Growing up during the great famine of the 1990s, at the age of 12 Joseph saw his father starve to death, his mother disappear and his sister flee to China to search for food. In 2006, when he was 16, he decided to make the dangerous escape alone out of North Korea to look for food — and for his sister. While hiding in China, he met a Korean-Chinese grandmother who protected and fed him until he found help from Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), a NGO that provided more stabilized shelter and later helped him to escape to the United States.
Joseph arrived in the U.S. in 2007 as a refugee. He is now in college studying international business. He is still searching for his sister.
Over the past year, Eric Lim worked on a project in memory of his sister. His sister, Tanya Lim, killed herself, leaving behind her savings to him. He felt the only appropriate use of this tragic gift was to make something both in her honor and to prevent others from falling into the dark place she fell victim to. To shed a ray of strength on people affected by depression. The end result is “The Forge,” a short film made by a great group of friends and strangers-turned-family that came together to make a reimagining of the public service announcement in their free time. The short is an emotional, anti-suicide message in which a man battles his inner demon in a fight for his life. The production value is impressive with visual effects to illustrate Eric’s thoughts and feelings.
They managed to get an important YouTube channel to host their video: SoulPancake, created by actor Rainn Wilson (Dwight, from NBC’s THE OFFICE). They have agreed to host their message without asking anything in return because they were moved by their message. Rainn Wilson states, “The Forge is an incredibly rich and powerful film. The entire SoulPancake family was moved by Eric Lim’s story and his love for his sister. Death is such a universal experience, but when a life ends too soon, it can be hard to express that grief. This film expresses those feelings beautifully, and we’re grateful that Eric and Stephen Reedy have chosen to partner with our channel to share this with the world.”
The traffic lights are still working; but just about nothing else is in the ghost town of Fukushima. Two years after the Japanese tsunami, the consequences of the nuclear disaster continue to define the residents’ lives. Radiation is an unseen force affecting the people, the land, and their livelihood. Life hasn’t been easy for those who stayed or those who left.
“Everyone is worried about the radiation,” says the mother of seven-year-old Chie. Children from the surrounding areas are not allowed to play outside, and cattle have developed a new disease. In one of the most contaminated places on earth, the continued fears over health risks mix with a sense of a betrayal by the government. “Japanese government policy is very strange. We have been deceived.” Despite voluntary efforts to revitalize the area by its residents, it seems there is little hope of reversing the fate of this radioactive wasteland. Is rebuilding Fukushima a reality or just a dream?
Music artist Kawehi shares her very unusual music video “NEDA” off her VOX album. The song is dedicated to Neda Agha-Soltan, a 26 year old woman who died by a fatal shot to the chest by Iranian authorities during the 2009 election protests. Her death was captured on video by bystanders, put on the internet, and went viral around the world. Neda became the face of Iran’s democracy movement – and the voice of women in Iran. The music video contains real footage from her death. (It is disturbing and mature content.) Also Everything you hear was a sound made by Kawehi.
There were many unexpected surprises in 2012 for Asians and Asian Americans in entertainment. We saw both tears of sadness and joy. Our hearts were broken in early 2012 with the story of Janet Liang as well as school yard bullying caught on tape. We witnessed global phenomenons from Jeremy Lin and PSY along with the long-awaited and often-feared K-Town Reality Show. Thanks to all the fans, followers, supporters, the people we interviewed and the people behind the scenes of channelAPA.com. Here’s a recap of the top videos for 2012 on our site.
In June 2012, she found a match and by September, she got her bone marrow transplant. A week later, Janet Liang passed away. We’re saddened by the lose, but she opened our eyes to the importance of Asian American bone marrow registration. In mid-September 2012 along with other Asian American site, we launched a bone marrow donor cyberdrive.
3. K-Town Reality Show
Two years since, channelAPA.com broke the story about revealing the cast of the K-Town Reality Show. The long awaited show made it’s debut online with a slight change in casting with not one, but two seasons. K-Town Reality Show Season 1 revolved around Joe and the crew helping him promote a big club event, while Season 2 focuses on the cast helping to plan Young’s wedding. K-Town Reality Show started at 10 minutes an episode in Season 1 and doubled to about 20 minutes an episode in Season 2. If you haven’t seen the series yet, you’re missing out on lots of drama, drinking, and more drama. Drinking begats more drama. Get to know Violet Kim, Scarlet Chan, Jasmine Chang, Young Lee, Steve Kim, Joe Cha, and Jowe Kyu.
6. Wedding : Impossible with Gail Kim x Robert Irvine
WWE Diva Gail Kim married chef Robert Irvine (Restaurant Impossible) over the summer. The Food Network Special Wedding :Impossible showed the highlights of their Napa Valley wedding with Irvine leading the charge and his chef friends contributing special dishes. Lots of wonderful dishes and surprises for everyone.
7. Seoul Sausage wins the Great Food Truck Race Season 3 Seoul Sausage entered Season 3 of the Great Food Truck race to win their dream truck and cook full time. The first-generation trio of Korean Americans Yong, Chris and Ted sold their signature Korean-style sausages along with other Korean inspired dishes at each leg of their journey. They made their way from the west coast to the east coast to eventually take the win on The Great Food Truck Race Season 3. Seoul Sausage has won the keys to their dream food truck and $50,000 to start their business.
8. I’m Not Perfect by Cheesa x Charice
Singer Cheesa x Charice collaborated on the single “I’m Not Perfect“. Cheesa appeared on “The Voice” Season 2 with Team Cee Lo and is part of the group A2C, while Charice needs no introduction. The two powerhouse singer combine for a special duet to inspire those who have been underestimated and bullied.
10. Sullivan and Sons
Comedian Steve Byrne brought his sitcom Sullivan and Son to TBS. Much like his own HAPA background, he created a show with a very diverse ethnic mix. His character buys a neighborhood bar from his Irish-American father, Jack Sullivan (Dan Lauria – The Wonder Years), and Korean mother, Ok Cha (Jodi Long – Beginners). Meanwhile, he has an ongoing sibling rivalry with his younger sister Susan (Vivian Bang). What can possibly go wrong running a family business? The show has been renewed for a second season, so look for more Sullivan & Son in 2013.
Some of these moments were captured in YouTube Rewind Style
Each year since we’ve started channelAPA.com, we’ve seen bigger and bigger accomplishments from our community. We expect more unforgettable moments in 2013. We leave you with the DJ Earworm Mashup “United State of Pop 2012 (Shine Brighter)” featuring Bruno Mars, PSY, and more
Last month, singer Elise Estrada created the song Wonder Woman and dedicated it to Canadian teenager Amanda Todd, who committed suicide as a result of cyber-bullying. Previously, Amanda Todd stated “I hope one day I can write a song about cyberbullying, so when kids are alone, staring out the window crying, they can play my song and know that it’s not your fault and things will get better.” With her passing, Elise Estrada took on this challenge and has put together a touching music video for Amanda Todd AND every other person who has ever been a victim of bullying. It is her hope that this song inspires you to stand up to stop bullying. Please support the cause. Here’s more from Elise Estrada:
Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet. Make all your friends feel that there is something in them because there’s something in everyone. Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile. GIVE SO MUCH TIME TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF YOURSELF THAT YOU HAVE NO TIME TO CRITICIZE OTHERS. Be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.”
-THIS is the type of person I try to be. I will not defend why I do what I do. However, I will say this to the negative people who take the time to criticize. You hide behind your fake names, fake accounts, indirect insults…you’re bullies. As a mature young woman, I know not to let your insults hurt or offend me. However, Amanda and other victims of bullying are children. They’re young and vulnerable. It scares me and I refuse to let my future children or ANY child grow up in a society that thinks it’s okay to constantly hurt and damage someone’s spirit, self worth and reputation. Amanda’s story breaks my heart because not only is she STILL being bullied even after death, but this happened in MY city. This has happened too many times to too many young people. And there are still LOTS of young people who are hurting out there. SO YES…I’m using my voice and platform to encourage change. What is wrong with that? What is wrong with using music and Amanda’s story to help raise awareness? This song is about inspiring small actions. It doesn’t take much to be a Superhero. Small actions ripple out to big changes. And as we’ve experienced, the ripples continue to billow out…one story, one person, one act at a time.
You can get the single on . All of the proceeds of the sale of “Wonder Woman” are going to ‘The Amanda Todd Legacy Fund’ which will help aid many Anti-Bullying Campaigns as well as Suicide Prevention.