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Daniel Anderson

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Disney Plus announces crime K-drama ‘The Worst of Evil’ starring Ji Chang-wook, Lim Se-mi and Wi Ha-joon

  • Disney Plus has announced a 2023 premiere for its original upcoming Korean crime drama series, “The Worst of Evil.”
  • The series takes place in 1980s South Korea and will follow the story of undercover cops infiltrating a drug trafficking crime ring involving Korea, China and Japan.
  • Ji Chang-wook will play the main protagonist officer Kang Joon-mo, and is joined by Lim Se-mi as narcotics officer Yoo Eui-jung and Wi Ha-joon, whose character is the head of the criminal empire.
  • No exact release date has been announced, but the series adds to Disney Plus’ goal of green lighting over 50 Asian-Pacific original series by 2023.

Disney Plus’ upcoming original K-drama series “The Worst of Evil” has been announced for a 2023 premiere.

Disney Plus made the announcement on Tuesday. The series is a crime-drama set in 1980s South Korea that focuses on undercover police investigators infiltrating a criminal empire inciting a drug war among Korea, China and Japan.  

Stray Kids’ Bang Chan receives a memorable birthday message from Ryan Reynolds

  • On Oct. 3, in celebration of Stray Kids member Bang Chan’s birthday, Ryan Reynolds shared a birthday message in the form of an edited clip of his character from “Free Guy” seeing a holographic Bang Chan dancing to The Weeknd’s hit song “Blinding Lights.”
  • The “Deadpool” actor spread the clip across his personal social media accounts, including the Twitter page for his production company Maximum Effort.
  • Reynolds and the K-pop boy group struck up a friendship following a “Deadpool”-inspired performance they gave on the Mnet reality competition show “Kingdom: Legendary War” last year.
  • Since then, Reynolds and Stray Kids have interacted by supporting each other’s latest projects, liking each other’s social media content and exchanging autographed gifts.

Stray Kids member Bang Chan celebrated his birthday on Monday and got a special birthday message from “Deadpool” actor Ryan Reynolds. 

The duo’s friendship formed after Reynolds complimented the K-pop act’s “Deadpool”-inspired performance on the reality competition show “Kingdom: Legendary War” last year. 

South Korean defense minister calls BTS fulfilling military service ‘desirable’

  • South Korean defense minister Lee Jong-sup said it is “desirable that members of BTS carry out their mandatory military service” during the National Defense Committee’s interpellation session on Tuesday.
  • Lee was asked to give his opinion on a proposal from lawmaker Kim Young-bae of the Democratic Party of Korea, which would revise the current provisions and expand the list of exceptions for military service to include pop artists who have made significant cultural contributions.
  • Currently, all able-bodied Korean men must enlist for two years of military service before age 30, but exceptions are made for award-winning athletes and notable classical musicians.
  • BTS member Jin is first up to enlist as he will turn 30 in December.

South Korean defense minister Lee Jong-sup is in favor of BTS completing their upcoming mandatory military service.

On Oct. 4, during the National Defense Committee’s interpellation session, Lee was asked for his thoughts regarding the proposal last month from lawmaker Kim Young-bae of the Democratic Party of Korea. The proposed bill would have allowed an alternative exemption to be made for pop artists who have made significant cultural impact. 

Michelle Kwan officially confirmed as US ambassador to Belize

Michelle Kwan
  • Former Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan was confirmed last Thursday by the Senate through voice vote as the U.S. ambassador to Belize.
  • Kwan was nominated by Biden last December.
  • Aside from her accomplishments in skating, Kwan served as the first public diplomacy envoy for the State Department and traveled globally to tackle social and educational issues.
  • Her educational background includes a B.A. with a focus on international relations from the University of Denver and an M.A. from Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Nominated by Biden in December, Michelle Kwan has been confirmed by the Senate as the U.S. ambassador to Belize.

She was praised by the State Department in January in a Certificate of Competency.  

BLACKPINK’s agency asks police to investigate leaked private photos of group member Jennie

  • South Korean entertainment agency YG Entertainment made an official statement on Monday to threaten legal action against those who spread the private photos of BLACKPINK’s Jennie. 
  • The statement revealed that the agency has filed a complaint for defamation and has requested a police investigation into the leaks. 
  • They reminded online users that sharing private photos is grounds for legal action.
  • Their statement comes weeks after several images that seemingly show Jennie and BTS’ V started circulating online.

On Monday, BLACKPINK’s management agency YG Entertainment released a statement announcing that legal action will be taken against those who leak and distribute private photos of group member Jennie.

The statement revealed that the company requested a police investigation into those responsible for the “indiscriminate rumors, criticism, personal attacks, sexual harassment and violations of personal life sparked by those private photographs.”

Man arrested for racist harassment of K-pop boy group ATEEZ in Saudi Arabia

  • A man was arrested on Saturday in Saudi Arabia after harassing K-pop boy group ATEEZ with racist remarks at the airport.
  • The Saudi Gazette later reported that legal action will be taken against the man.
  • ATEEZ was in the country to perform at KCON 2022 Saudi Arabia alongside other artists such as NewJeans, Sunmi and Rain.
  • Later this month, they will perform at KCON 2022 Japan and start their world tour in Seoul. 

K-pop boy group ATEEZ were the victims of a racist verbal tirade in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

As the K-pop act landed at King Khalid International Airport for the inaugural KCON 2022 Saudi Arabia music festival, they were greeted by fans and paparazzi.

88rising announces Head in the Clouds Manila lineup

  • 88rising announced on social media on Sunday that one of the upcoming Head in the Clouds (HITC) music festivals will take place on Dec. 9 and Dec. 10 at the SM Festival Grounds in Paranaque City in the Philippines’ Metro Manila region.
  • The Manila lineup includes acts such as NIKI, Jackson Wang, Joji, Rich Brian, MILLI and special guest Zedd, among many others. 
  • Tickets will go on sale starting this Wednesday at 10 a.m. Manila time.
  • 88rising will also host a HITC Jakarta music festival on Dec. 3 and Dec. 4. 

88rising recently announced that one of the upcoming Head in the Clouds (HITC) music festivals will take place in Paranaque City in the Philippines’ Metro Manila region.

Taking place on Dec. 9 and Dec. 10 at the SM Festival Grounds in Paranaque City, the upcoming festival’s lineup was announced on 88rising’s social media accounts on Sunday. Several acts including Jackson Wang, Joji, Rich Brian, MILLI and special guest Zedd are set to perform.

Indonesian singer-songwriter NIKI adds Asia dates for ‘NICOLE’ world tour

  • Indonesian singer-songwriter NIKI announced several stops in Asia as part of her “NICOLE” world tour on Sunday.
  • The artist will perform in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 before heading to Singapore; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila; and Taipei, Taiwan.
  • She is currently on the North American circuit of her “NICOLE” tour, which is slated to finish in Los Angeles on Oct. 22.
  • Her tour coincides with her recently released album of the same name.

Indonesian singer-songwriter NIKI recently announced several tour stops in Asia as part of her “NICOLE” world tour.

Announced via social media on Sunday, the “High School in Jakarta” singer shared dates and venues for the Asia leg of “NICOLE,” her first world tour.

Tennis star and certified ARMY Naomi Osaka meets BTS’ SUGA in Japan

OSAKA
  • Olympic tennis star Naomi Osaka made her ARMY dreams come true when she met BTS’ SUGA on Friday.
  • Both sat courtside for the NBA Japan Games’ first match between the Golden States Warriors and the Washington Wizards.
  • Osaka, who used to run a BTS fan account, told SUGA “Autumn Leaves” was a great song.

Tennis Olympian Naomi Osaka, who has been an ARMY for years, finally met BTS’ SUGA at an NBA preseason game in Japan. 

Osaka said during a 2019 press conference for the Madrid Open, “I got into BIGBANG and 2NE1, especially CL. I don’t know the year, sort of like when ‘Crush’ and stuff came out. And then I just saw BTS doing a lot of related stuff, so I was like, ‘Who are these kids?’ Then I slowly started getting into them during the ‘I Need U’ era.”

Survey reveals Anti-Asian hate crimes in the US are scaring away Chinese travelers

  • A new survey of 1,000 mainland Chinese citizens found that a majority had “little to no interest” in U.S. travel.
  • The biggest reasons all involve perceived anti-Asian violence and discrimination in the U.S., with 57% citing violent crime, 52% citing terroism and 44% concerned by anti-Chinese biases.
  • Many also identified the increasing number of mass shootings in the U.S. as a significant concern.
  • Scott Moskowitz, who co-authored the survey, pointed out that state-controlled media in China does, however, play up anti-Asian crime stories in the U.S. when compared to other countries due to geopolitical tensions.

The uptick in anti-Asian hate crimes in the U.S. is deterring potential visitors from China. 

This month, a new survey from Morning Consult, a decision intelligence company, found that a “plurality of Chinese have little to no interest in US travel,” citing anti-Asian discrimination and violence as key factors. 

Stray Kids add Asia, Australia and more US dates for ‘Maniac’ world tour

STRAY KIDS
  • K-pop boy group Stray Kids announced new dates for their “Maniac” world tour on Thursday, including stops in Asia, Australia and the U.S.
  • The JYP Entertainment act will perform two stadium shows in Jakarta, Indonesia, in November before heading to Thailand, Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney in February.
  • They will revisit the U.S. in March for rescheduled shows in Atlanta and Fort Worth, Texas, with an additional show added for each city.
  • Stray Kids’ new album “Maxident” will be released on Oct. 7.

Stray Kids have announced more stops for their “Maniac” world tour. 

The JYP Entertainment act will have back-to-back stadium shows in Jakarta, Indonesia, in November. Then, in February, they will circuit to arenas in Bangkok and Singapore before venturing to Australia for performances in Melbourne and Sydney. 

Seungkwan of K-pop group SEVENTEEN covers Harry Styles’ ‘As It Was’ for Spotify

  • Seungkwan of K-pop boy group SEVENTEEN dropped a cover of Harry Styles’ “As It Was” on Friday. 
  • The cover comes with an exclusive video and interview on Spotify’s website K-pop ON! Track.
  • SEVENTEEN are currently on the Southeast Asia leg of their “BE THE SUN” world tour. 
  • They are also slated to perform at the inaugural LA3C festival on Dec. 10 and Dec. 11 at Los Angeles State Historic Park.

SEVENTEEN member Seungkwan and Spotify Singles have collaborated to bring a unique take on Harry Styles’ hit song “As It Was.”

The exclusive Spotify single comes paired with a special video and exclusive interview accessible on Spotify’s website K-pop ON! Track.