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Posted : 2013-02-19 18:25
Updated : 2013-02-19 18:25

Midweek roundup: In case you missed it

By Kim Tong-hyung

Here's your midweek update on the stories in entertainment and media you might have missed while reading about North Korean nukes or a meteor crashing in Russia, or because your life is probably a lot more fulfilling than ours.

Park Si-hoo
Park accused of rape

Actor Park Si-hoo, who recently played a serial killer that becomes a national heartthrob because of his good looks, was accused of allegedly raping a 22-year-old aspiring actress late Monday.

According to the police, the woman claims that Park, 35, raped her after sharing a late-night drink last Friday. In a statement released through his management agency, Park admitted that he had sex with the woman but claimed it was consensual.

Park gained popularity for his role in television shows such as "Iljimae'' and "The Princess Man'' and starred in last year's thriller "Confession of a Murder.''

A suspected swing voter at a gym. / Korea Times file
MBC links biceps with politics

Just when you thought the quality of Korean journalism has hit rock-bottom, MBC brings out the excavator.

The television network, once hailed as the beacon of integrity in science coverage after it brought down former rock-star professor Hwang Woo-suk, the fraud who faked papers on stem cells and cloning, is now reporting that a person's political beliefs could be predetermined by the size of his biceps.

The bigger your ‘guns,' the more likely you are to side with the conservative right wing, MBC said in its evening news program Monday. Those with smaller biceps are more likely to sympathize with leftists.

To provide "proof,'' the reporter interviews sweaty men pumping iron in a gym. A man with a 35-centimenter bicep voices opposition against more taxes and welfare spending. Another man with a 31-centimeter bicep criticizes the government of disregarding inequality.

This represented MBC's most startling piece of investigative reporting since it had a reporter turn off the lights at a PC bang (computer gaming lounge) last year to ''experiment'' whether video games make people more violent.

The basis of MBC's recent report was a recently published study by American scientists titled "The ancestral logic of politics: Upper body strength regulates men's assertion of self-interest over economic redistribution." It's questionable whether the reporter read the paper properly.

Korean social media sites erupted in collective, sarcastic cackle.

"I have the chest of a Fascist and the butt of a socialist,'' quipped one Twitter user.

"There should be a follow-up report on whether women with larger breasts are more conservative,'' said another.

KBS TV's spy series IRIS II
NK nukes appearing in TVs, books and cartoons

The increasing threat of North Korea's nuclear weapons program seems to be just another full-blown buffet for South Korean cultural industries, in desperate search of the next buzz item.

North Korea's potential nuclear-capable long range missiles are central in the plot in the new season of the spy series ''IRIS'' on KBS television. The internet cartoon, ''Steel Rain,'' published on Daum (www.daum.net), revolves around the story of the United States offering South Korea the option of nuking the North as the leaders in Pyongyang prepare for war.

The novel, "Putting on the Hat,'' written by Oh Dong-seon, imagines that South Korea has secretly developed nuclear weapons under the government of late former President Roh Moo-hyun.



Movie hits new audience mileage

The Korean film "Miracle in Cell No. 7'' has been seen by more than 9 million people in the 27 days through Monday, according to box office records, keeping the spy thriller "The Berlin Files'' in second-place. The movie could reach the 10 million mark this weekend, cementing its place among the most successful Korean films ever.

The comedy ― directed by Lee Hwang-kyun and starring Chungmuro hotshot Ryu Seung-ryong ― is about a man with learning difficulties who raises a daughter alone. After he is wrongfully jailed for murder, his warmhearted cellmates take drastic measures to secretly bring in his daughter to live with them.

And no, we have no idea why everyone thinks this is so great.


  • 1. Chinese bar could get fined for scantily-clad women
  • 2. After MMA loss, Song Ga-yeon's camp gets feisty
  • 3. Rideshare app Sidecar allows you to chose driver's gender
  • 4. US Army Humvees for sale, starting at $10,000
  • 5. Actress breaks down after surprise Blue Dragon win
  • 6. Prosecutors quiz Heather Cho
  • 7. Boyfriend wanted double suicide, court says
  • 8. Cosmetic surgery on rise among N. Korean women: survey
  • 9. US school accuses FTC of harassment
  • 10. Russian crisis worries Korea
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