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Koreans Recognized as “People Who Shape Our World”

2006/05/02 Source

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Three Koreans have been selected for this issue of "Time 100: The People Who Shape Our World", printed in Time Weekly, which will hit newsstands May 8, 2006. The three Korean influences who are said to have a major global impact are pop-star and singer Rain, 16-year-old golf pro Michelle Wie, and tuberculosis genius Jim Yong Kim.

Rain, "whose style virtually clones American pop", is the latest rage, who is sweeping popularity across the world. "Rain, after all, falls on everyone", says the article, which suggests that pop culture is no longer a mere movement from the West to the rest of the world, but rather "a global swirl, no more constrained by borders than the weather".

Jung Ji-hoon (real name) was popular in America before he even visited the U.S. (via TV, internet, and soap opera DVDs), and his two shows at Madison Square Gardens earlier this year completely sold out. He still plans to come West, as he continues to study English day and night. With his "angelic face, killer bod, and Justin Timber-like dance moves", at 23, "Rain is the face—and well-muscled torso—of pop globalism".

Michelle Wie, the young Hawaiian high schooler, entered the realm of pro golfers in October, and already, her dreams are big. She is already ranked No. 2 among world women golfers only 7 months after turning pro, and she intends to be the first woman to play the Masters, refusing to let barriers of race, gender, or skepticism stand in her way.

Her sponsors, Nike and Sony, already provide her with a generous $10 million a year in endorsements, but while she continues to draw many fans from across the globe, she has yet to win the titles. However, her hopes are high, and she thinks that maybe this is her year. The article claims, "She has the talent: her game has both power and finesse, and her tenacity is Tiger-like".

Dr. Jim Yong Kim, according to the article, is trying to "solve some of the world's most difficult problems". A genius in the field of medicine, he has played an enormous role in advancing tuberculosis treatments, and he hopes to do the same for AIDS. Trained as both a physician and anthropologist, he earned his MD and PhD at Harvard University. He is the chief of both the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Division of Social Medicine at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Dr. Kim and his colleagues proved experts wrong when they found a way to treat the so-called drug-resistant TB, while working among those infected with the disease in Lima, Peru. Additionally, says the article, Kim "led a campaign that forced down the prices of the necessary drugs about 90%. Since then, 36 countries have adopted the protocols Kim and his colleagues devised".

While he's done much to increase the number of recipients receiving HIV/AIDS treatment from 2003-2005, he doesn't feel he's gone far enough. No one knows what he'll do next, but you can bet whatever it is will be remarkable. One of Dr. Kim's university students recounts that he is one who makes you believe you can change the world.

By Krista Empey

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